Sunday, February 25, 2007

Some things I am grateful for on my daughter’s 4th bday

1.Potty Training: Oh my god, you did it! It boggles the mind, really, that we have to learn how to do this. And it’s not just a natural progression, one has to be cajoled, bribed, encouraged, discouraged, and sometimes downright yelled at before one finally accedes to this particular nicety of civilization. Man, it was one long, long year. I remember that first day being particularly trying. But eventually it got better, at times got worse, then got better (then worse)—I don’t think I’ve ever done more laundry. I was always having to clean the kid’s clothes. After 6 months, she was pretty good with the pee, but seemed hopeless with the poop. I resorted to toy bribery and thus have a play room full of Dora the Explorer toys. I threw away countless pairs of panties, I mean, they cost about 50 cents each, and some messes weren’t worth that much. Oh, there was so much poop. I’m really grateful she’s an evening pooper, which saved me some embarrassment at her school. But somewhere along the line, really in these past three months, she’s pretty damn good with using the toilet. There are times I wander into her bathroom and just see some poop in the toilet. Of course, after I see it and congratulate her on a job well done, I feel a strong need to wipe her butt just one more time. You know, skid marks are so unattractive. And stinky. So one year later, hooray, she’s potty trained. (Now if I can just get her to remember to flush the toilet.)
2. Dressing Yourself: Sure, sometimes you want to wear a skirt when it’s cold out, or pants when it’s boiling hot, but I love the fact that I can just say, “Go get dressed.” And you’ll do it.
3. Telling me where it hurts: Oh, I got so tired of guessing. I mean, mom’s intuition usually led me to the right boo boo, but it’s so much nicer (and less time consuming) when I just ask if your tummy hurts. We do still need to work on letting me know in advance when you’re going to vomit, ok?
4. You will finally, albeit briefly, smile for the camera.
5. You like to go on hikes with me, and don’t balk too much when I tell you you’re too heavy to carry all the way home.

Of course, there’s so much more to be grateful for, and much to be just joyous about in general, but Z, you’re the bees knees. The best thing that’s ever happened to me and your daddy. Thank you for being so sweet.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hot Hot Hot!

I'm talking about the Montgomery Ward brand electric oven that came with the rent house. Sunday afternoon I thought it might be fun and tasty to make this snack. I found the recipe on the Family Food blog, and as I happen to have a 3/4 full can of chickpeas sitting in the fridge (left over from my vegtable barley soup), I thought, "A ha!" and then sang a little song. The recipe was super simple: just put the chickpeas on a roasting pan, cover with oil and spices, and roast at 350 degrees. So easy, even a caveman can do it!

Well, I threw the roasting pan into the oven and put the timer on 10 minutes. The recipe called for 20-25, but our oven generally cooks a little hot, and for the past week even more so. I thought 10 minutes on the timer, then take a look/taste to see how much longer. In the meantime, play with kid (lately, we do a lot of Ariel/Eric make believe. guess who gets to be Eric. It's a little disconcerting to tell your daughter to do something and she says, "Okay Eric. I will Eric." Ten minutes later, the oven has worked itself up to a scorching 475 degrees. Hmmm. Turn off oven. The chickpeas aren't done, so I keep them in for about 30 more minutes. When I take them out for the last time, the oven is still 300 degrees hot. And it's off.

The reason I know the exact temp is because I have an oven thermostat in there. One of those little ones you hang off the racks, bought because there was always something a little off about the oven. Trey always cooks things about 5 degrees below the called-for temp, and that seems about right. But for the past week, we'd been referring to the oven as demon-spawn. Everything was getting burned. You get used to your appliances working at a certain speed, but when the timing gets wonky the change can be so subtle you don't notice it. I made a pie for valentine's day and burned the crust--really, this was probably the first real sign it was truly broken. I mean, you only cook the crust for less than 10 minutes, really just to set the butter and graham crackers. Well, my crust was burnt, and when we ate the pie (a chocolate, cream cheese thingy), well, while the crust was still very tasty, it was a lot of work to cut through. Like the sugar was transformed into glass (Trey's description).

In any case, oven's broke. I tested it one more time when I made a shepard's pie thingy that night, and yup. It's tricky to bake things when your oven quickly heats up to Hell temperature. The landlord knows, and the girl who takes the info down said something about needing to check whether it's under warranty or not. HA! It's a Montgomery Ward brand electric oven. It's probably as old as my sister. Hopefully, we'll get a new one (albeit the cheapest new one they can find). That would still be pretty exciting.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

slc myspace is back up

Heh heh, sorry about the confusion, kids. I found some old pictures in a box, so I'll scan them in and add them a little later.

Come be our myspace friends!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Zoey: (Staring intently at a Bratz valentine) Who is this?

Me: I don't know.

Zoey: Say it!

Me: I don't know, sweetie.

Zoey: (more insistent) Say it! Who is this?

Me: (sighs) I think they're called Bratz.

Zoey: (With a touch of awe in her voice) Bratz. Bratz.

She continues to stare intently at the two slutty-looking characters on the card. One has long, thick brown hair, brown skin and those trademark ginormous cat eyes and botox lips. She's wearing a pair of tight jeans with knee-hi red leather stilleto boots. The other is blond, but with her tan skin, one might suspect a bottle was involved. She too has the large cat eyes and pouty lips. Her eye shadow is a pale lavender. She's got a micro denim skirt with a chain belt, and ballet flats.

Zoey: They're beautiful. They're cool.

Me (in my head): Oh shit.

I sense danger up ahead. I do not like these dolls. She got a Groovy Girl for Christmas, Natalya, whom she loves, and I love that she loves this doll. Natalya has thick black yarn for hair that's wild and barely contained by a ponytail. She wears a hip, vintage-y looking outfit, and she's soft and squishy. Really, she seems like such a nice young girl. Can you imagine a six-year-old Zoey going about in cool, vingage outfits. That would rule! I'm afraid the Bratz dolls would inspire her to want to wear short hoochie skirts and belly-button revealing, tight shirts.

(Okay, mea culpa, a lot of her shirts already reveal her belly, but that's only because they're too small for her. She just grows so dang fast. Sometimes you don't realize something is too small for her until after she's had it on for a couple of hours. Seriously.)

Oh well. We shall see what happens. Right now, she's walking around the house pretending she's Dora, singing the adventure song. Right now, Dora Rules.

Oh, and really, I hate dora too.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

i'm a techie autodidact

Well, not just a techie one. Lately I've been filling my limited Me time with various online tutorials, you know, to get some skillz. (Girls got to have skillz, ya know?) I'm trying to teach myself CSS, so that I can create more websites, maybe some for some blogs or something, who knows. Also, I've updated a couple of myspace sites: one for Trey's work ( and one for sad like crazy ( (Just cancelled the slc account so I can set up a musician account with them. duh. feeling stupid.) So you can go check them out. They're both pretty basic at this time, tho I do plan to upload some songs onto the slc site. Of course, the customization of the myspace sites require CSS knowledge. Well, let me clarify that: it requires absolutely no real knowledge besides knowing how to copy and paste and follow directions from the myriad of sites available out there. Seriously, there's apparently a great need currently for glittery text. It's hot. I thought about using some for Trey's site, but nah. What I mean by requiring knowledge is if you happen to want to actually know how to do things yourself, you know, go beyond the cut and paste route. But that's not why I'm studying CSS. I just think it's a good thing to know. Like Flash, which I took a class on, but haven't yet had much of a chance to work much with it.

Yep, still scatterbrained. Still completionally challenged. Still wanting about 6 pots on the stove at the same time. Oh well.

Oh, and I also learned how to make animated gifs. Those were pretty easy, tho time consuming. Below is my masterpiece:

Z's doing fine, tho she's still snot-nosed and coughie. Hopefully she'll get better soon, and then NEVER BE SICK AGAIN!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Merck is looking out for you?

Gov Perry’s mandating the HPV vaccine, Gardisil, for all incoming sixth graders, a seemingly progressive issue on it’s face, until you look at some of the hidden strings.

Now, I consider myself pretty progressive for the most part, but I’m not too keen on jumping on this vaccine’s bandwagon. Lucky for me, my daughter is many years away from the mandated age, so it’s not a pressing issue. But if she were 11, I sure as heck wouldn’t be thrilled to be forced to give her a brand new vaccine. Don’t misunderstand, on its face, the vaccine seems like a fantastic thing. Who doesn’t want to do every safe thing they can to avoid cancer, especially in their daughters? But, let’s be realistic. This is a relatively new medicine—we don’t know what, if any, the far-reaching side-effects may be. I mean, people thought Vioxx was a life-saver, until it turned out to be a life-killer. How do we know the same thing won’t happen with Gardasil? They’re both from Merck, and frankly, I just don’t trust Big Pharma. In fact, Merck is hoping the vaccine will help them out of the financial hole that Vioxx dug for them. It’s $360 price tag certainly would generate a lot of revenue if insurance companies were forced to pay for every girls vaccine. Then think about how much money that would be if all the states mandated the vaccine! Jackpot! You know they’re thinking this.

Of course, the biggest, loudest opponents to this new mandate is Perry’s own religious conservatives. They think (at least, I think they think) that this vaccine will encourage young girls to be sexually active. Cuz, you know, middle schoolers are soooo afraid of catching cervical cancer. “Whoopee! Now I can have sex and not get cancer!” I think it’s just a smoke screen so people don’t look too closely at Perry’s political connections to Merck. According to this article on

“Perry has ties to Merck and Women in Government. One of the drug company’s three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, Perry’s former chief of staff. His current chief of staff’s mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government.”

Merck really does stand to make millions. I don’t know, call me cynical, but I just don’t believe their in it for the good of the people.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Zoey's bike ride

I just whipped this up whilst experimenting with this new video editing software I bought a couple of months ago (sony movie maker). There's something horribly wrong with the rendering, but Z's still cute so I'm sharing with you anyway.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I've decided to try and do some more serious blogging. Well, that's what I've decided to do this week, anyway, or rather, last week I decided this. Which of course entails research, so I've been actually trying to find some time to read other people's blogs besides those of my good friends. (I will continue to read those, I promise!) The impetous behind this decision is my desire to earn some money this year, be it from a full-time job, part-time job, or free-lance. However, as I've been unemployed an overworked SAHM for the past three years, I feel the need to update my skillz. Because right now my skillz correlate a lot more to the preschool set. Ergo, wanting to do more serious blogging to enhance my writing skillz. (Which apparently have gotten so bad I can't even spell.)

Of course, reading all these other blogs, some of which actually make some money(!), really juices my insecurities, as I've been in a writing funk for, oh, about 8 years or so. See, I used to think I was a pretty good writer. I wrote articles, journaled like a woman obsessed, spewed poems out of my ass on a regular basis. But then I had to go and get happy, and as any artist knows, that's often the death knell for creativity. (GONG) So now, writing is sometimes a struggle. My mind reaches for words that it used to fall into. And when I find that words aren't drooling out of my fingers, I get ... I get ... (damn, see what I mean?)... discouraged, and go back to playing Dora the Explorer with my daughter. Because, I'm a mom, and that's what moms do. They take care of kids. That's it. ("Troll bridge, Tree, Tall Mountain, Troll Bridge, Tree, Tall Mountain...c'mon mom, keep playing with me!")

Okay, so, I'm wrestling with my identity this year. I don't know what's going to come out of all this, but who cares, really. It's the wrestling that will what counts. The fact that I've decided to look for something else out there, some other identity for myself beyond what I've backed myself into right now. Not that I don't love being T's wife or Z's mom--that part of my life is the happy part that makes it hard for me to write. It's just that I miss the creativity. It's something I need in my life. And it doesn't have to be writing. I'm hoping to dabble in some art, some graphic and web design, technology, music, and photography. You know, whatever. It's not like I've ever been one to focus in the past anyway. And who knows, next week I might forget all about the blogging idea.

Back to the blog research, I was directed toward this one by the austimama's yahoo group. The topic on the group was food blogs. I guffawed a number of times, and wanted to copy it. Kind of. But not really. To give you an idea of what this guy was blogging about, I humbly submit this picture, that was stolen from his site:

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Interesting, Real Fact

From this site, I stumbled upon this "interesting, real fact": The average four year-old child asks over four hundred questions a day.

This fact is interesting. And it is very, very real. I don't know when it started, but oh my god the questions. They are constant, and not usually about something deep or important, like, "why is the sky blue?" or "what happens when we die?" No, these constant questions tend to be things like, "did you think I didn't want to get up?" "What's Bean doing?" I'm really sorry, but right now I'm just blanking on her questions. But whatever they are, they're prosaic and redundant. Zoey's friend Aidan's mommy put it best, "It's not the questions themselves; it's that they're the same questions over and over and over."

Have you seen that Volvo commercial? The one where the little girl is getting strapped in by her dad and she's talking and talking and talking? That's Zoey. I don't even know what she's saying sometimes, okay, and sometimes I stop listening (because hey, it's not like she's telling me something important or anything). But then I'll suddenly tune in when she bursts out with some random bizarre phrase. Which I also can't remember any of right now. I know, total letdown.

On completely unrelated news, Trey's about to run a Dentworks commercial in Austin. It's pretty clever, and I've linked it below.