Monday, November 26, 2012

This smells like...

Chris has been working a lot of handyman jobs lately.  Sometimes he can squeeze in three or four different homes in a week.  At dinner last night he said, "All homes have a smell.  It's not always bad, but they all have a smell.  Obviously the homeowners can't smell their own home and it got me thinking... What do you think our house smells like?"

I smiled, "Hon, I spent a lot of high school and early college years babysitting.  Every house with a diapered child smells exactly the same.  Clean, dirty, doesn't matter.  They always smell the same.  I bet our house smells like that."

Confused, he asked, "What does it smell like?"

I set my fork down gingerly and said as gently as possible...

"Poop honey.  Our house probably smells like poop."

I have a feeling Chris will refrain from inviting folks over until Cash is potty trained.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday...

It's 7 am Thanksgiving morning and a newspaper is purchased at 7-11.

Each ad is carefully reviewed and sorted into one of three piles - Must go, If there's time, or Not interested.

Highlighters, paperclips, and post-it notes are used to mark items of importance.

Gift cards saved over the last year are placed near the corresponding ad.  $20 bills sit near the gift cards, specifically designated to each store.

There's one last look right before bed.  A quick review to make sure not a single thing is missed.

4:30 am on Black Friday, the alarm sounds... Chris hops out of bed, excitedly dresses, and heads out for his day of shopping.

What?  You thought it was me?  I hate the mall.  I hate shopping.  I hate crowds.

Chris came home about 4 hours later.  His car was so full, he had to take 6 or 7 trips to empty it.  I can't complain.  He saves all year for Black Friday.

He and Cash have been playing with the new tools all morning.

Nope.  Can't complain at all.

It's actually kinda cute....

just don't tell him I said that.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Disaster Preparedness...

Chris decided to go watch the Chargers play at the stadium last night.  Cash and I drove through McDonalds, sharing a hamburger, and had just snuggled up to a carton of frozen yogurt when the lights went out.

Every power source in the house whined as it slowly shut off.  Sounds straight out of a horror film.

I wrapped one arm around the midget and crawled around the living room, searching for my phone to use as a light source.  I used the phone to find a flashlight and went outside to see if it was just me, or if the whole block was out.  My heart sank as I watched three neighbors get into their cars and leave, running from the darkness.

Did the radio warn everyone about a zombie apocalypse and I missed it because I was too busy enjoying yogurt and Judge Judy?!?

The problem is, I'm the PERFECT candidate for a zombie meal!  I haven't worked out since the kidlet was born and my legs likely have a perfect marbling of fat.  I'd be particularly delicious in a stew.

Cash and I sat on the floor near the front door, systematically shining the flashlight in the front yard, then to the back door, as if it would protect me like a light saber.

I Google researched the weaponry necessary to defeat zombies but got bored and went on Pinterest instead.

Two hours into the outage, Cash had fallen asleep on my lap and I had turned off the flashlight and rested my head against the door, staring into the blackness outside.  A huge utility truck pulled in front of our house and a crew of four large men silently climbed my retaining wall and into my yard.  This wouldn't be weird except... we have stairs.  Not one of them used them.  They chose to awkwardly climb the wall... like ZOMBIES.

I stopped breathing, wishing I had put a little more effort into the weaponry research.

Just as I was carefully moving Cash from my lap to the floor so I could grab the chainsaw from the garage, or at the very least, a cleaver from the drawer, the crew was climbing back down the wall and driving off in the truck.

It's been a rough week and well... I haven't showered for a few days.  My face resembles a pubescent teenager and my hair is stringier than a straw broom.  I've been sporting the same pajamas for a week.  In short, I smell.  I can only assume one thing...

they assumed I was already one of them.

I knew it.  I just knew it.

Laziness and procrastination eventually pay off.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Chris and I have been teaching baby Cash a few words in sign language.  He's been catching on quite well but struggles with the word 'More'.

After a few bites of dinner and an empty plate, I lean over, smile, and say ,"More?" while pushing my fingers together.

He stares silently, smiling.

"More?" I say as I try again demonstrating with my hands.

He's still smiling.  Unmoving.

Frustrated, I tell Chris, "I don't understand why he's not getting it.  He's getting every other sign."

A few days later I pull out his dinner at home, serve him a few bits, and when he's done, I sign 'More'.

Radio silence from that boy... but he's got a grin on his face.

I cleaned off the table, did the dishes, and scooped myself some ice cream.  Cash and I share a few bites while watching a Baby Einstein video and as I'm putting away the bowl, he frantically runs over and starts signing 'More'.

And that's when I figured it out.  It's not that he doesn't know the sign...

My cooking is so awfully atrocious, he doesn't want 'More'.

Cash - 1.  Me - 0.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Burning Down the House...

We came home from our camping trip to a house full of fleas.  Apparently the sand we had delivered for the playset was loaded with them and our dogs brought them inside.  I've never had to deal with fleas before so naturally, I calmly assessed the situation, did some research on flea abatement, and controlled the problem.

Well, that's the way I say it went.  Chris describes it a bit differently.  He said I went a little crazy.

I started off by screaming.

That's always my first line of defense against home invaders, small or large.

Then, I sent Cash to my mother's to protect him - from me or the fleas, I can't be sure.  From here, well, it gets a little foggy... maybe because I set off 16 flea bombs in the house.    When they say one per room, they mean it.  You shouldn't put two... cough... or three... in one room.  Shouldn't.  That doesn't mean I didn't.

Every sheet, towel, comforter, and bit of clothing was drowned in a piping hot wash.  My house has never been so Tide fresh.

I bought two industrial bags of diatomaceous earth and we blanketed the carpets.  Chris donned his construction gas mask and ran around the house pretending a nuclear bomb hit.

Funny guy.

Real funny.

I vacuumed.

And vacuumed.

And vacuumed.


As Chris watched me remove yet another vacuum cleaner bag, put in a plastic trash bag, and duct tape the top closed, he said, "I'd hate to see what you'd do with bedbugs.  You'd probably burn down the house."

I looked at him seriously and said, "That's an option?"

There are no more fleas in the house.  OK, sure, the chemicals caused me to sprout a third arm and there is now a cancerous growth on my leg, but the fleas are gone.

I win.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Fantasy League...

Chris convinced me I needed to join my family's Fantasy Football League.  Last year, Chris, my brothers, and sisters spent most of the season sending text messages leading up to and during football games.  Chris' phone would buzz and "SUCK IT!  YOU'RE GOING TO LOSE SUCKA" would scroll across the screen.

Well gee.  As fun as that sounds.

I decided to join... even though my only knowledge about the players is how cute the Kansas quarterback is.

Chris had to draft my team.  I had tried to pick players based solely on their hotness factor but Chris said that wasn't an indication of their abilities.

Says who?

He drafted the Steelers defense and suggested the Cardinals for my bye week.  "I thought the Cardinals were a baseball team." I said.

Chris just stared at me and sighed.

He 'skillfully' set my active and bench players and said, "It'll be fun babe.  You'll see!"

Game time.  I excitedly open the app on my iPad and watch my score...


My opponent? 160.

It got better.  I jumped to 120... just before he jumped to 323.

I should have followed my gut and drafted on the hotness factor.  Educated guessing?  Not working.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Medical Necessity...

I went to dinner with an old friend last night and met his new fiancĂ©.  She's in pharmaceutical sales, specializing in pain management through Botox.

"Botox relieves migraine pain?" I asked.


"Where do they put it?"

"In the areas patients feel strong pain.  Most is injected around the eyes, the forehead, and the neck" she said while demonstrating, "If you suffer from migraines, you should consider the treatment.  It's extremely effective and covered by insurance."

"Insurance covers Botox?!?!" I asked, growing excited... even though I don't suffer from migraines.

"For migraine pain management, yes.  You should also consider medical marijuana.  Studies show positive results in pain management" she said seriously.

Dear Primary Care Physician,

I've suddenly been afflicted with intense migraines.......


Friday, September 14, 2012

I'm Suffering from PTSD...

You know what they don't tell you about getting rear-ended in an auto accident?  You will forever jump when slowing.  I cringe at stop lights.  I cringe in traffic.  Heck, I cringe when I push my grocery cart through the checkout line.

I am now consumed with 'prepping' myself for an accident.  I go to the bathroom before I leave.  I wear comfortable shoes.

And then I realized...

I must reduce my reliance on Spanx.

I can just imagine my embarrassment, "Mam, first off, you're OK.  You've been involved in an auto accident, but it took three paramedics and a pair of industrial clippers to remove these odd flesh colored shorts."

I put on my skirt suit this morning, turned around in the mirror...

and decided a good looking butt is worth a little embarrassment in the event of a collision.

And I've decided, in an accident, my Spanx could double as a tourniquet.  Headlines... "Woman saved by body shaper.  Femoral artery severed but accident victim remained alive for 10 hours before help could arrive thanks to shape-wear 4 sizes too small. Doctors remain uncertain how woman squeezed into them in the first place."

I mean, sure, I could work out.  I could also be a movie star.  I could be the next president.  I could catch a ride to Mars.  I could....

Monday, September 10, 2012

All The Time In The World...

My husband and I are beach camping this week.  This is our 5th summer here and we've finally got it down to a science.  We have a laminated packing list and each year is pretty much the same... well.. except that we have a kid this year.

The night before we left, I was frantically downloading books onto my Kindle.  I usually read no less than 6.  My record standing at 11.

Five days in and...

I'm just about halfway through the acknowledgements page in book #1.

What I didn't anticipate?  My 14 month old would rather spend every second playing in the sand and playing with the other camp children than inside a cool air conditioned travel trailer with all his toys.

Rookie move.

Oh well. There's always next year.  He'll be 2 and...


I'm guessing it won't happen then either.

Looks like my relaxing with a spritzer, book reading days are over.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

About Your Car...

I grabbed my cell phone quickly as it vibrated across my desk last week.  "Hello?"

"Hi!  This is Allison from the Collision Center.  We've got some bad news about your car.  Um.  The piece we ordered.  Um.  Didn't fit."

I said nothing.

"Uh.  We need to order another bumper from the dealer and, uh, it could take a few days."

I could hear her cringing, waiting for me to yell.  "Look.  Normally, I'm quite the laid back gal but I'm driving the ugliest blue beast of a rental car and I'm a bit desperate to get out of it."

"Sorry... but I think we could have you back in your vehicle by next Wednesday." she said.

I dialed the rental car agency.

"Wuz up!  This is Kyle."

Glad to see professionalism isn't dead.

"Hey Kyle.  This is Rebekah.  I'm the one driving the 'sassy' blue Nissan Versa."

I heard Kyle snicker.

"Any chance I could do a switch?  Maybe upgrade to something larger?" I asked.

"I've got a rockin' minivan but that's about it.  'Member?  Still a holiday weekend. Oh. And the minivan upgrade?  Totally not covered by the other dude's insurance."

I'd like to punch Kyle.

Looks like another week with the blue beast.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rental Woes...

After 900 or so hours working with the insurance company of the guy who hit me, they finally resolved to fix my vehicle and provide a rental car.

I dropped my car off at the collision center and walked to the rental car agency.  47 pages of paperwork later (glad to see this isn't a hassle at all....), they escorted me to the rental car.

"Here you go!" he said, turning to hand me my keys.

I took a slow look hood to tailpipe over the horrifically ugly car and gave the guy a blank stare.

"Sassy!" he said.

"By your description of 'sassy', I'm guessing this isn't the first time you've had to defend the looks of this beast?"

"It's a holiday weekend in one of the most desirable vacation cities in the US."

I glared.

Not only is it a Nissan (ugliest cars ever created) it's a Versa, which rates mere millimeters behind the Juke,... in electric blue...hatchback.  Every time I rev the engine and the sun shines on that sparkly blue paint, I sink a little lower and push my sunglasses a little higher.

I miss my car.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Husband is Cheating...

The last week has been rough.  Baby Cash has a cold, is cutting three teeth - two of them molars, has a horrible skin rash, and has an ear infection.  While we do our best to keep him comfortable, he still cries a lot and is up most of the night.

There is no rest in this house.

Or that's what I thought.

Chris is like most men.  He takes his time in the restroom.  I've become accustomed to 5, 10 minutes tops, especially if he has a handyman magazine, but his trips this week have seemed a bit longer.

I thought it was me.  When you are miserable, everything seems to take longer.  But then I  saw him slipping his cell phone into his pocket on the way down the hall.  "Got to go take care of business!" he said as the bathroom door shut and the lock clicked.

5  minutes ticked by.



Cash moaned as I placed a cool towel on his back.

"Are you OK?" I yelled to the door.

"Huh? Oh. Yup." he said.

Suspicious, I picked up my phone, clicked open a page then yelled, "ARE YOU UPDATING YOUR FACEBOOK STATUS!!!???!!"


I imagined him laying in the empty tub, inflatable pillow under his head as he set a new record on Angry Birds and 'liked' photos of far away places.

I paused and remembered, poor guy works two jobs then comes home to help with a sick kid.  He deserves a break now and then.

So I'll keep my mouth shut... but all bets are off if he gets more stars than me on the new Angry Birds Seasons - Back to School Edition.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Panel of Crazy...

Chris and I had our meeting with the attorney to put together our trust.  I thought it would be a simple process - placing our assets into a bucket.

Hold on just a sec.

Sorry.  I had to contain my laughter at the word 'asset'.

As it turns out, trusts involve more than property disbursement.  You have to set up executors, trustees, a springing power of attorney, etc.  It would take too long to explain why, but you have to choose a panel of three people to determine your mental competency.

"Obviously Chris would be on the panel..." the attorney said while writing on his yellow legal pad, "I need two more names.  Would you like to chose members of your family?" he asked.

"My family would declare me incompetent before the ink on the trust dried."

"You husband's family?"

Chris and I started laughing... hysterically.

"Oooook.  We'll come back to that" he said while making deep scratch marks across the paper.  "Who would you like to make your medical decisions in the event you become incapacitated?  This is literally the person who chooses to pull the plug."

I looked at Chris, a grin spreading across his face, "Well, Chris gets a million if I die so he'd be a little too motivated.  My sister is really frugal.  She'd pull the plug to save electricity.  Hmmm.  I guess I'll list my brother.  He's indifferent and that's as close to liking me as they come."

"In the event of a catastrophic loss, meaning, you, Chris, and baby boy die at the same time, who would you like to inherit your life insurance policies and retirement accounts?" he asked.

"We have 19 people in our immediate families.  No matter who we chose, someone will be mad.  Can we just make them all play a game of rock paper scissors?" I asked.

"Best three out of five?"  He said writing down the directive.


Overall, the meeting went well - though I am slightly concerned about some of my choices.  If I end up in a mental institution or... dead... and Chris buys a new truck, I picked the wrong people.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Can You Prove It?

I called the insurance company of the truck who hit me.  The 'gentleman' asked me to identify the make and model of the vehicle.

"It was a Ford F-150, navy blue, with a construction rack" I answered.

"Did you write down the plate number?"


"Neither you nor the other driver involved in the accident wrote the plate.  You can't prove my insured hit you"

I counted to ten... very slowly... trying to get my temper under control.

"Well sir.  I didn't have to write the plate number down.  I took a close up photo of the plate...and photos of the front and back of each vehicle...and of the accident site... and a photo OF YOUR INSURED."


"One of our adjusters will be contacting you before the end of the day" he said and hung up quickly.

Yeah.  I thought so.

Friday, August 10, 2012


I was sitting at a red light last night and was dialing Chris to tell him I was on my way home when...


A car crashed into the back of mine, nosing me into the swish of traffic crossing the intersection.  Horns blared as they swerved around my hood, not one striking me.

I sat, hands shaking, when I heard, "Hello?  Hello?  Babe?" from the speaker on my cell phone.

"I just got into a car accident!  I'll call you back" I said and clicked the 'End' button.

A guy driving a big 4 door work truck had got his boot stuck under the brake pedal and couldn't stop.  He smashed into the car behind me and that car crashed into me.

We pulled off the road, thankful everyone was alright.  I walked around my car, carefully assessing the damage.  "FUDGE!"  I yelled angrily staring at my bumper.

The truck driver said, "I'm really sorry.  It's nothing to get upset about.  It can be fixed." while pushing at the metal of my car as if it could be straightened like a piece of crumpled paper.

"Noooooooo!" I whined.  "I'm thinking of selling my car and it would have been great if you would have just totaled it.  Now I have to go through all the effort of repairing it when getting a check would have been easier.  Ugh.  I have to fix it AND disclose it was in an accident.  Do you think you could try again?  Back up that behemoth and smack the trunk but a little harder this time?"

He smiled thinking I was being sarcastic.

I wasn't.

I arrived home, back, neck and shoulders sore from the hit.  I told Chris what happened and rather than look pleased that no one was hurt and the accident wasn't my fault, he looked deflated.

"What?" I said.

"Well.  Since you always yell at me when I use the cell phone while driving because 'it's dangerous', I was kinda hoping the accident was your fault and that it was caused by your use of the cell phone.  It would have been great karmatic justice."

He is terribly lucky I was too sore to punch him.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hiding my 'Drug Problem'...

Chris and I enrolled in a class at church for parents of young children.  At the start of the first class, I was paired with two other couples while Chris went to get baby boy from the nursery class.  We chatted, getting to know one another when one of the dads asked, "Where did you guys deliver?"  I pointed my open hand to the other couple and said, "Go ahead, you go first."

The mother smiled and named a women's center known for being adamantly against the use of medical drugs during delivery and instead advocates breathing exercises to reduce stress and pain.

"Us too! Our doula was amazing!  It was such a serene experience!" the husband said (easy for him to say - last I checked, dudes aren't the ones pushing).

They all nodded in agreement, shedding tears and sniffling at the memories of their babies entering the world just as God intended.  They grew silent, then stared at me waiting for me to share my 'amazing natural' childbirth story.

I was guessing it wouldn't be an appropriate time to share that I ordered my epidural 3 months in advance...

I didn't want to lie in God's house so I hurriedly turned to look at the door, "My goodness!  Where is my husband!?  He went to grab our son but I can't imagine what's taking so long" I said smiling.

I think they are on to me.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Crime Scene Investigator...

Chris and I came home late Sunday to discover our trashcans sitting in the driveway and all the items on the side of the house moved.  Chris asked, "Did you move the trash cans?"

I slowly nodded no and timidly opened my car door, half expecting someone to jump from behind the pile and rob me.

I should mention, we've had a few incidents of theft and vandalism so I'm overly sensitive when things are out of place.

I walked around, trying to figure out what happened.  I looked through the trashcans for clues, crawled on the ground sniffing for tracks, and stood on the corner of our lot resting my head on my fist for 10 minutes.  I was about ready to start dusting for prints when I remembered a 'semi-important' fact...

we've got security cameras.

Post-baby brain has slowed down considerably.

I ran into the house and pulled the hard drive.  I watched as our sneaky neighbor waited until we left, moved everything from the side of our house, drove a truck and trailer across our yard, dismantled a spa in their backyard, dragged the remaining parts across our yard into another truck, and drove the first truck back out.

Their yard?  Untouched.

Ours?  A mess... with no note.

I yelled at Chris about my findings to which he said, "Well, at least it wasn't a criminal act, just inconsiderate neighbors.  Now you can rest easy."

"Oh no mister!  This is WAR!!  I want more cameras, a bigger hard drive, a larger monitor..." and on I went.

Chris rubbed his hands on his face in annoyance.  Poor man will never win.

No worries.  I'll research the tech specs for adding to our system... and I'm thinking of investing in a moat.  Maybe I can have alligators flown in from the gulf coast...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

And the election results are in...

My sister asked me to speak on her behalf for her nomination to a local public office. Naturally painfully shy, public speaking is not my forte. Not only am I terrified to do any sort of public speaking, I'm not good at it. I sound like the love child of Dr. Seuss and Yoda.

I had a three minute window so I wrote a perfect five minute speech knowing I'd forget some of it. My name was called, I stood, cleared my throat, and gave a 15 second speech.


15 seconds.

So much for my future as an oratorian.

But it must have been amazingly compelling because... she won.

Let's just pray they don't go looking for dimpled chads.

Next, the 2016 presidency.

After that...

world domination.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Public Office...

My sister is running for a position as a local public official. When she mentioned it a few weeks ago, I jumped on the idea, offering to be her campaign manager, her marketing manager, her road crew, whatever. She looked at me oddly, "Uh, yeah. I mean. Sure, you can come."

"Great!" I said with a little too much enthusiasm.

I called her yesterday, "Hey, so what time? Where? I have it in my notes but I just want to confirm. Should I organize a parade? Catering? A band?"

She relayed the info but still seemed a bit confused at my over-the-top support - especially since the only person I am usually concerned about is... um... me.


I've got a few, um, 'things' I 'may' or 'may not' need cleared. Uh. Maybe a few parking and speeding tickets? Oh, and uh, maybe she could get rid of that little public records item that comes up when you Google my name? And if possible, an exemption from property taxes?

Sure, she can't do much about it in the office she's running for but she's certain to work her way to some sort of position of power. I'm investing in my future by jumping on the wagon now - that way, she'll be less likely to see my evil intentions later.

You thought I was concerned about social responsibility? Honor? Service to your country? A sense of community? Sisterly love?


Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a campaign to manage.

Best of luck sis. ; )

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Uh. Yeah. Still 'Working'...

Chris has been watching baby boy at night this week while I've been putting in extra hours in our home office. I pour myself a glass of wine, turn on John Coltrane, and do design work until I fall asleep. Meanwhile, Chris makes dinner, chases baby boy, brings me dinner, chases baby boy, does the dishes, then chases baby boy.

Last night, after only an hour, I finished a section and could go no further without some drawings I was missing from the main office. I shut down the computer, clicked off the desk lamp, and opened the door. I heard baby boy banging his toys in the living room, the timer dinging loudly on the oven, rock music blaring from the radio, and the sound of water splashing in the sink as the dishes clanked together.

Complete chaos.

Slowly I backed into the office, quietly shut the door, clicked the desk lamp back on, turned up Coltrane, and pulled out my Kindle.

What he doesn't know won't hurt him.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Are You Sharpening That?!?!

I had an appointment with my dental hygienist Thursday afternoon. I had planned to arrive 17 minutes ahead of schedule because:

1) Certain appointments, like those with hair stylists, dental hygienists, and estheticians in particular, are in your best interest to be early... mainly because those folks have the ability to make you miserable with very little effort.

2) I was the last appointment of the day and the only thing standing between her and happy hour.

An overturned dump truck blocked 3 of the 4 freeway lanes, snarling traffic for miles. I watched in terror as my 17 minute window closed.

I finally arrived and ran across the parking lot, sliding through the front door as if it were first base at the world series. I glanced at the clock.

7 minutes late.

She stood, arms crossed, tapping her foot in annoyance.


I tried to tell her what happened as she cinched the spit cloth across my neck. "Ow" I yelped as it cut across my neck... and cut short my story.

I squinted into the light she had purposely pointed into my eyes and listened as she made noises with the tools just out of my line of sight.

"Are you sharpening knives back there?" I asked, laughing nervously.

"Just my curette" she replied.

"They need to be sharpened?!"

"For some people" she said, not even a hint of a smile.

I'd like to say she launched into a lovely dental cleaning session putting my fears to rest but...

Nah. It was pretty awful. I'm pretty sure I cried. I don't know. There was a lot of splattering. I couldn't identify whether it was spit, tears, blood... or all three.

When it was over, I said, "That seemed to hurt more than usual."

"Lots of tartar" she while making notes in my file, "Here's your next appointment card. Make sure to be on time."

As I walked out the door, I'm fairly certain I heard maniacal laughing.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Almost There...

A vending machine guy caught me in the hall at work and said, "Sorry, I'm lost. I'm supposed to fill the machine and I can't find it."

"Sure, I'll walk you there" I said heading in that direction, "I'm bummed you guys took out the food machine and offer strictly soda now. But my waistline is happy. I've probably lost 10 pounds!"

"Almost there" he said smiling.

Almost there?!? ALMOST THERE?!?! Seriously? I make jokes about being fat but dear Lord, I'm not that bad! 'Almost there' to skinny? 'Almost there' to looking slightly less fat? You're no hunk of muscle dude. Why is it always OK for dudes to be fat but us chicks have to look like Heidi Klum?!? You aren't 'almost there'! Maybe I shouldn't help you find your dumb machine!!

Realizing I was having this argument completely in my head, I decided to address his narrow-minded idiocy.

I stopped walking suddenly, turned toward him, and said, "WHAT?!?"

"Almost there. I was so close to finding it on my own" he said looking at me confused, pointing at the machine.

"Oh. Um. Hm. Yup."

I'm such an idiot.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Trust Me?

My husband did some work for my brother's wife's father (try figuring that one out). The guy is an attorney and suggested we trade services for payment. Since we aren't being sued - for now anyway - I wasn't down for the deal. The attorney recommended we set up a trust to protect our assets in the event one of us dies.


Chris moved forward with the deal, did the work, and the attorney sent the trust paperwork.

Line 1: Total Estate Value.

Not only is that number negative, it's six figures. I'm not sold I want family (distant or otherwise) knowing we are so underwater, our neighbor is Sponge Bob.

Lying to an attorney about finances when drafting a trust is about as brilliant as lying to police about drug possession when you've got a bong on your dining table but I still see it on COPS all the time so... I'm adopting Lehman Brothers style accounting practices to protect my reputation.

Poor baby Cash will be disappointed to discover mommy and daddy mortgaged his future for a San Diego zip code and the house value listed is actually the value in Mexican Pesos.

But maybe the San Diego real estate market will rebound by that time. And maybe pigs will fly, and maybe I'll lose weight from a steady diet of oreos, and maybe...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I've been a bit moody lately since I'm starting to wean the kidlet. My hormones are raging and I don't have the greatest self control in the best of times... so you can imagine.

Lob on the insane work stress and I'm just a ball of fun to have around.

It's not like I'm out slicing tires or beating up neighborhood kids...yet... but I'm not on Santa's 'nice' list either.

Throughout this, hubsters has been his usual self. Kind, caring, tender, loving, sweet.

In a brief moment of clarity...very brief... I asked him why he stayed with me when I'm crazy.

He hugged me and said he loved me through thick and thin and proceeded to buy me dinner from my very favorite fast food mexican joint.

Based on his reaction, all I have to say is this...





Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Creepy Crawly Fear...

A spider the size of my head (admittedly, I exaggerate its size... a little) scurried across our bedroom floor and under our bed the other night. I yelled for Chris, who was in the shower, "Honey, would you please come out and vanquish this arachnid?" which, once again for the sake of honestly, sounded like, "AHHHHHH spider! AHHHHH! *unintelligible* *garble* AHHHHHH!"

Sure, I could have smashed it myself but I'm terrified of spiders - which seems to be synonymous with being female. Plus, I was too busy screaming from my perch atop my dresser.

Chris slowly finished washing his hair and using the loofah to scrub his feet and I heard the water shut off.


"Are you seriously squeegeeing the shower doors right now?!?!?" I yelled.

"As the person who installed these ridiculously heavy doors and is the person responsible to replace them if not properly maintained, yes. I'm squeegeeing the doors." He replied. SQUEEEAAAAAK.

"It could be a robber out here for all you know and he's had 7 minutes to beat me and loot the house" I yelled back.

"Meh. At least the shower doors would be OK." he said.

He finally came out of the bathroom and started to look under the bed. We don't have anything under our bed so it should have been fairly easy to spot the spider.

After a long pause he said, "Uh babe. I don't see a spider. You want to grab me a flashlight?"

I gave him a look. "There's no chance I'm getting off this dresser until you show me his lifeless body."

He left, found a flashlight, and returned. "Nope. Nothing."

"If he's not under the bed and no where around the edges...that means he's in the bed. I'm not sleeping in the bed tonight." I said.

"OK." he said as he crawled under the covers and turned off the lights.

I sat on top of the dresser for quite some time, debating whether or not to sleep on it. I finally caved but didn't sleep a wink the whole night. I made sure to hit Chris every 15 minutes under the guise of 'spider spotting'.

We still haven't found the spider... a fact I remember right before I close my eyes to sleep each night.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

If not death, arrest...

My husband was not successful in his sneaky plot to kill me by cleaning my car... but I discovered his back up plan.

Send me to jail.

At precisely 59 mph, my old, crummy tires would shake my car like a 50's exercise machine - which only goes to prove those things don't work, I'd weigh 80 pounds by now.

The crummy tires kept me from speeding, which was a good thing because I accidentally bought a car with a big engine.

How do you accidentally buy a car with a big engine? When you're super girlie and point out the car you like based solely on color and say, 'Aww! It's so cute!' as if picking out a puppy.

Anyway, after I wiped the oil slick out of my car, I found myself passing a whole lot of cars on the freeway. I looked down at my speedometer and gasped as I read... 84.

Not only did hubsters replace my tires, he mentioned he replaced them with racing tires. My subconscious summoned my inner Mario Andretti. And since my car was no longer shaking, speed snuck up without my notice.

Part of my route to work is on a freeway strongly monitored by the California Highway Patrol.

I see my future quite clearly...

'Do you know how fast you were going?' the cop would ask.

"Yes. 84. Anything slower would be an insult to the tire manufacturer. I've got racing tires." I'd say while pointing at my front wheel. "Now if you'll simply apologize for pulling me over, I'll be on my way" I'd say, impatiently tapping my fingernails on the metal of my door.

And that's when I'd go to jail.

Friday, July 13, 2012

He's Trying to Kill Me...

I had a flat tire last week and I asked Chris if he could have it repaired for me on his lunch break. When he came home with the car, it was washed, the tires were new, and the interior was glistening from excessive use of oily cleaner.

The next morning, as I tried to pull out of our driveway, my hands slipped on the greasy steering wheel and I bounced my back end off the curb. I wiped my hands on my pants and grabbed the steering wheel again, determined to regain control.

The light turned green at my stop light and I attempted to make a left turn.


Slide, slide, slide went my hands. Right before I crossed into oncoming traffic, I regained control by jamming my hands through the holes in the steering wheel, steering like Frankenstein with my arms oddly outstretched.

I thought I had things under control... until the sun popped out from behind the morning clouds.

The reflection was so strong from my dash, it was as if God took a mirror to the sun and was trying to fry me like an ant. I think my cornea's got sunburned.

Naturally, when I arrived home from work, I thanked my husband for being so thoughtful.


Front door slam. "YOU ALMOST FRIGGIN' KILLED ME" I yelled.

"What? Huh? What'd I do?" He asked.

"There's more oil in my car than in the ocean after the Exxon Valdez spill! I couldn't steer! Or see!"

"Me? No. Not on purpose." he said. But as he walked away, I saw his shoulders shake from laughter he was holding in.

Maybe it's time to change the beneficiary on my life insurance policy.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Just Like Dad...

The older I get, the more I become just like my father. We drive too fast, use the horn too much, listen to the same talk radio, drink the same cheap wine, and make the same inappropriate comments about the mentally unstable.

Seeing the slow progression feels traitorous to the 14 year old me who frequently screamed, 'I'll NEVER be like you!!!!' and swore the zombie apocalypse would happen before that day came.

While I'm exactly like my father in habits and ticks, I've got my own musical and fashion tastes. The 30 year age gap between my father and me assures those two differences will never change.

Sunday, as dad and I sat on the patio drinking cheap wine, enjoying the cool breeze and sunshine, he said, "I'm really liking that song on the radio"

"What song? Celine Dion?" I asked.

"No. It's a guy. Really catchy" he said and started humming.

"George Harrison?" I asked trying desperately to remember which Beetles are still alive... and singing.

"No. Oh! Now I remember. Someone I Used to Know by Gotye" he said snapping.

I spit my wine back into my glass.

That's my current favorite song because... it's catchy.

"By the way kiddo, nice shirt!" he said.

Bring on the zombie apocalypse.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I've never been this tired for this many consecutive months in my life.

Even in college, when my nights were spent in clubs and at parties... *cough* I mean, when I was up late studying, I still managed to sneak in weekend long sleepfests and recover.

When you have a 1 year old in your life, sleepfests are no longer an option.

Baby boy needs 6 hours of sleep each night to function.

I need 8.5.

That 2.5 hour disconnect reduces my brain function to... to... I can't even think of something because my brain quit.

I was told babies like sleeping. I'd punch the person who told me that but... I can't remember who it was. Heck, I can't remember my kid's name... or mine... most of the time.

On Sunday, my sister-in-law, who has no children, was talking about how she has been sleeping until 9:30 or 10 each day. I found myself hanging on every word.

"OK, so you put on pajamas, you crawl into bed, and you fall asleep. How does that feel? Do you get to sleep the whole night? What does sleeping past 5 AM feel like? What's it like to not be tired?" I quizzed dreamily.

Forget '50 Shades of Grey' or 'Magic Mike'. Sleeping is my fantasy.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Congrats! You've just lost 40K!

I've lost money before. I've dropped change. I've paid too much for auto insurance. I've bought things a week before they went on sale. I've made stupid money mistakes, but I've never lost 40,000 in one day...

until Saturday.

I received a letter from the County of San Diego about my house:

"Based on recent sales in your area, we have reassessed the value of your home. Your home has DECREASED in value by $40,000. Due to this large DECREASE in value, we are adjusting your property taxes accordingly."

First off, a hearty thanks to the county for writing DECREASE in all caps. The kicking me while I'm down thing is nice.

Second, this is the fourth letter I have received since I bought the house in 2007. The grand total DECREASE to date?


That's not a pie in the sky 'oh, the neighbors sold their house for cheap so I think my house value has dropped'. This is a solid 'the city has it on paper that I flushed $150,000 in four years'.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to suck my thumb and rock in a corner until the market bounces back.

This could be a while.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

You Boys Like Mexico?!?

The dogs escaped our yard on Thursday. I guess the biggest problem with having dogs the size of rodents is the fact they only need a hole slightly smaller than a rodent to escape.

This wasn't the first time.

About 3 years ago, when I was childless and had significantly more discretionary funds, they escaped. In a panic, I considered calling the police and asking if they'd bust out the reverse 911 system to call all my neighbors and ask if they'd seen my 4 legged children.

I was able to track them down in a shelter 20 miles south. Excited to find them, I didn't blink when they announced the fee to jail break the tiny terrors - $600.

I know hotel rooms in Malibu that cost less than my dog's two night shelter stay but I was getting my babies back and I didn't care.

When I opened my back gate and found them to be missing last Thursday, I tried not to crumble into a ball of tears. Nope. Not because I was worried about the dogs, but because $600 means a whole lot more in my world now than it did then. I called the same shelter and, surprise surprise, they were there again.

I'm annoyed, but not surprised, my dog ran for the Mexican border. He's a Chihuahua. He was probably looking to visit a cousin in Tijuana. My other dog, a boston terrier, likely followed on the promise of cheap margaritas and warm sandy beaches.

I'm guessing the terrier got close to the border, watched the locals make a taco out of a street dog, and turned himself in to the closest US animal shelter.

The shelter quoted me a 'good deal' this time since it took me less than 24 hours to locate them. $300. But, they'd let me out for $175 if I'd let them cut the cajones off the non-neutered terrier.

Looks like Hutch will be walking sideways for a few days because I don't have 300 bucks.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I DID ask!

"Hey babe, did you ask Lindsey to go to the fair with us?" Chris asked after he got home from work yesterday.

"Yeah" I replied.

He started to walk down the hallway then backtracked, "What exactly did you say?"

"I said we were going to the fair Thursday" I said.


"And what?"

"Where's the invitation in that?"

"Isn't it implied?" I asked.

"There needs to be an actual invitation."

"Why would I say we were going to the fair and there be no implied invitation?!? That would be rude." I said.

"You still need to ask. Ok. Let's try this another way. Let's say your sister calls and says she's stopping at the grocery store..."

"I'd ask her for milk" I say quickly.

"But she didn't ask if you needed anything"

"Why else would she say she was going to the store?!?"

"Because she's being conversational. That's what normal people do."

"That doesn't make sense. We aren't conversational. She'd say 'store' I'd say 'milk'. Bam. Phone call over" I said matter-of-factly.

"Like me, Lindsey married into this nut-job family. We need translators. I think learning Klingon would be easier than trying to understand the way your family communicates." he said eyeing our dining room wall as if debating whether or not to start hitting his head against it.

"I'll prove you wrong. Guaranteed she knows she was invited. I'll put 10 bucks on it." I said, cocky.

This morning I am $10 poorer.

But! When asked the same question, my brother looked at me confused. "Well, yeah. You said you were going to the fair. Isn't the invitation implied?!?"

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Budget Smudget...

I'm great at frugality but not so great at budgeting. Sure, I can make fancy multi-colored self-calculating spreadsheets but accuracy isn't my strong point.

I'm guessing accuracy would be a good thing when dealing with finances.

I downloaded an app called thinking it would solve all my problems. The app pulls every transaction from your checking account and classifies them. At the end of the month, you can see how much you spent in each category and set budgets or goals based on your spending habits.

The app produced a pie chart of my spending. My 'pie' wasn't so much a sliced pie as it was a giant cheese wheel with the word 'MORTGAGE' stamped across it.

I set my budget working timidly around the mortgage cheese wheel. $10 for food this month? Sure! I've survived on $8 before!

Satisfied, I clicked 'finished'.

I picked up groceries and diapers for the kidlet only to get a loud DING of an incoming e-mail on my cell phone.

"You are $47 over your grocery budget"


"You are $13 over your gasoline budget"


"You are $27 over your childcare budget"

What I didn't know? The stupid app harasses you EVERY TIME you use your debit card and go over budget.


"Do you really need that Nestle bar? It puts you over budget and we don't even want to get into your caloric budget"

It's like my mother... but with access to my checking account... requires more time and attention...and slightly less guilt.

No more grocery trips this week.


Monday, June 25, 2012


I was forced to purchase a suit for a formal meeting at work this week. I hate shopping but even more, I hate clothes shopping.

Being cheap and having a poor body image has done wonders at creating the frugal person I am today. My husband doesn't appreciate my frugality nearly as much as he should. In fact, he should encourage it. When I ask the age old question, 'Does this make my butt look big?', he should respond 'Yes'.

I'd never go shopping again.

Instead, he grabs my butt, says 'Best butt on the planet!' and well.. other things I can't repeat. Some of us just can't catch a break.

I had spent hours at the mall trying on every suit in every store. Frustrated, I finally bought one on the clearance rack. Dejected from seeing my nearly naked body in the worst lighting, I moped as I left the shopping mall.

Walking to my car, a man walking toward me stopped suddenly, looked me up and down, and said, 'De-Li-Cious!' as if ogling a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model.

Shocked, I stopped walking and he continued forward past me saying, 'MMMMMMmmmmmmMMMMMmm' still staring.

I could say how much I hate it when men 'objectify women' or say inappropriate things but....

every once in a while, it's nice to be called delicious.

Friday, June 22, 2012


My sister-in-law cleaned out her closet and donated her clothes to me. It was a nice thought with one minor problem - we aren't exactly the same size.

She's 5" taller and 20 pounds thinner.

Comparatively, she's young hot Cameron Diaz. I'm... current age Liza Minnelli.

So when she brought me the basket, I looked down and said, "Uh. Thanks?"

I went home, and after much debate, tried the clothes on. Remarkably, some things fit while others sent me into fits of laughter at the thought of squeezing my large round butt into the tiny square shorts.

I ran outside to Chris working in the yard and said, "Look hon! Lindsey gave me these shorts and they fit!"

He squinted up into the sunshine to look at me from the hole he was digging for a retaining wall and said, "They seem kinda tight."

Good thing he already had a hole started, it made it easy to bury his body.

I wore one of the cute dresses up to mom and dad's on Sunday and cringed every time I walked past Lindsey. I was terrified she'd say, "So glad you could fit into my maternity dress" or "So glad you found my obese cousin's dress in the pile!"

I checked as soon as I got home. No maternity and there isn't an 'X' after the size. Whew!

Thanks for the clothes Lindsey *wink*

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I Married a Used Car Salesman…

After some rough negotiations, Chris and I agreed on an amount to spend on the swing set.  Chris convinced me a bigger set would be better ‘for our future’ (and the whole wine argument was a pretty good one) and I figured that would be the end of it…

That amount?

THAT amount?

… was the ‘base’ price.  Options are extra.

According to Chris, you “can’t JUST buy the swing set.”  You need sand for the base, a retaining wall to level off the area, and rental equipment to put it all together.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” I said throwing my hands forward.  “You didn’t say all those were necessary BEFORE we bought the set.  Isn’t all that stuff optional?”

He looked at me as if I had just said steering wheels in cars were ‘optional’.

“Can’t we build it as is?  Isn’t a 90 degree slide every kid’s dream?  Plus, at that angle, we could convert the monkey bars into a ladder.” I said in all seriousness.

He rolled his eyes and gave me a list of ‘non-optional’ necessities.

“How many yards of sand for HOW much?!?!” I asked.  “Why don’t we buy a couple camels too?  They’ll feel right at home!”

The swing set is going to be mighty nice… which is good, because as soon as it’s built, Chris will be sleeping in it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

THE Playset...

My brothers, sister, their kids, and my parents are congregating at our house on the 4th of July.  My brother will be making his famous sushi rolls while we watch the fireworks from our backyard.

Sure, our backyard is 'sketchy'.

'Sketchy' meaning... mowed weeds since we can't afford landscaping... and even if we could afford to plant something green, we couldn't afford to water it at the California premium water prices.

Chris asked what we planned to do for the kids to keep them entertained.

"Give them sugar and send them home?" I said.

"I'm thinking we should put a swing set in the backyard.  Cash is going to need one anyway so let's put it in a little earlier so your nieces and nephews can enjoy it" he said sincerely.

This is exactly why I can't divorce him.  He'd win my parents in a custody battle. 

"Yeah.  That would be OK.  We both get an extra paycheck this month so let's save most of it and pull a little out for some swings" I said.

I was thinking we'd go on Craigslist and buy some cheap swings for 50 bucks.

Chris... well... he was thinking more along the lines of this:

"Honey.  We live less than a mile from a really nice park.  Why would we invest in anything grand for our yard?" I asked.

"Because you can't take wine to the park" he said.

...And that's the story of why we have a huge playset in our backyard.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Do you have this in a 4?

Chris and I have been taking Cash outdoors a lot since the weather has been beautiful lately.  I don't have a lot of non-business attire and asked Chris if he wouldn't mind if I bought a few cheap sundresses from a shop down the street since they were on sale for $15.

Chris walked Cash around the outdoor mall while I went inside to try the clothes on.  I usually pull a 6 and an 8 and pray (sometimes out loud ) that the 6 will fit. 

I found an adorable dress and put on the 6 in the fitting room only to discover it was too large.  Excitedly, I threw open the fitting room door and asked the attendant, "EXCUSE ME.  THIS 6 IS TOO LARGE.  DO YOU HAVE A 4?"

"Sure.  I'll grab one for ya." she said, staring at me oddly.

"YEAH.  THE 6 IS JUST HUGE!!!" I say, nearly screaming for all to hear.

She brought it back and sure enough, it fit perfectly.

"I'LL TAKE THE 4." I say to her as if she were going deaf.

At the cash register, I tell the cashier, "THIS DRESS IS ADORABLE.  I'M SURE GLAD THE 4 FIT!"

"Uh yeah.  Cute." He responded quietly.

Made a total fool of myself.  But...


**To be fair, the dress had elastic, was fitted in my small parts and poofy on my big parts - it's not like I've actually lost weight... I'm still putting it in the win column though.**

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Mom bought me a jogging stroller before I had the kidlet.  I was really into running before I got pregnant, then I got pregnant and stopped, then...

used the kid as an excuse to avoid all physical activity.

Even though I weigh the same as I did pre-pregnancy, I'm unhappy with my newly misshapen body.  Rather than sit around and complain (even though I'm awesome at it), I decided it was time to dust off the jogging stroller and take up running again.

I've never used a jogging stroller but assumed any idiot can figure out how to use one right?

I started lightly jogging down a hill.  "This is so easy!  Who knew it would come back so fast?!?" I thought to myself.

As I reached the bottom of the steep hill, I realized... um.  I can't stop.

Turns out, I wasn't so much running as being dragged by the jogging stroller... and the end of the street was coming fast.

"AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!"  I screamed running out of control. 

"AHHHHHH.  HEEEAHHHH!" Cash screamed with joy.

I slammed my feet to the concrete and pinched the brakes (I no longer wondered why they were there at this point) and slid to the edge of the sidewalk.  I heard the air escape Cash's lungs as his body slammed against the  5-point harness... then I heard him erupt with laughter.  Glad he thinks this is funny.

Taking a few deep breaths to regain my composure, I tried to turn toward the walking trail.  I discover the front tire doesn't move... at all.  A friendly passing jogging mother informs me the front tire on jogging strollers doesn't move to prevent you from hitting a rock and falling.

I don't run that fast so this stationery tire thing is hardly necessary.  It only prevents me from being able to turn which is NOT helpful considering this is my trail...

Unwilling to give up, I run straight.  Bouncing between sidewalk and grass, I discovered two more problems.  First, our dear Lord didn't bless me with a lot in the chestal area.  Sports bras have always been more decorative than functional.  Things have changed a lot since my body morphed.   I was wishing I had a bra way more functional and way less decorative. 

The second problem?  My post pregnancy bladder.

I'll leave it at that.

I powered through an hour and arrived home a sweaty, smelly, heaving mess.  Hubby was puttering around the garage, drinking a high calorie beer, enjoying every sip.  He didn't gain an ounce during my pregnancy and hasn't had to worry about losing anything.

I have no doubt God is a man.  Because if God were a woman, I'd weight 110 pounds and could drink a Guinness while my fat husband fought the jogging stroller.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Trade-In Value...

I was watching tv last night and an ad for the new Infiniti SUV came on.

"Wow hon. Remember the days when buying a car like that was actually an option?" I asked. He smiled and nodded.

Ever since we had the kidlet, our finances have been stretched - which is why I cringe every time Dave Ramsey says, "Kids are cheap!"

Obviously he hasn't had a baby under the roof for a long time and must not remember how much a pack of diapers costs... or daycare...or food...or health insurance.

Dear Dave, kids are FAR from cheap.

Anyway, as someone who was used to having a little fun money at all times, it's been an adjustment.

I stared at the car. Watched it's sleek black finish crawl across the screen. And sighed.

Cash chose that moment to pull himself up on my knees, look up, and smile.

I can't remember a time in my past when I had so many moments like this. Moments I take a deep breath and smile because it feels like all is right with the world. I had money in the bank, but I was missing these moments.

The moments that make you feel whole.

Screw the car. My little boy is the best trade-in I ever had.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Healthy Punishment...

"What are we having for dinner" Chris asked as I pulled a bottle of wine from the fridge.

"Seasoned Tilapia, broccoli, and rice. Sound good?" I asked.

"Yeah that sounds...."


Bowls, books, and cooking tools came crashing down on me as I opened the fridge to put the bottle back in.

Chris, out of room in the cupboards, stacks his large bowls, his cooking magazines, and other miscellaneous cooking junk on top of the fridge like a bad game of Jenga.

He looked at me. Terror crossed his face at my angry stare.

I thrust my hand into the air, still firmly grasping the bottle of wine despite the landslide of garbage.

"VICTORY!" I shouted.

Chris laughed uneasily.

"Sorry honey" he whispered.

"No problemo. But, um, hey. Scratch the rice. We're having quinoa."

"But I hate quinoa!" he whined.

"This... is for.... the bowlllllllsssssssssss!!!" I shouted with all the vigor of Mel Gibson in Braveheart.

That's what I call a great day. I get to eat healthy and punish hubsters at the same time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

He's Alive!

I'm still working on mastering the whole 'mom' thing. I've only got one kid but somehow, that kid takes every single ounce of energy I have... and he's only 10 months old.

Things are not looking promising for my future.

The problem? Other than my eternal exhaustion and diminishing sanity? Chris.

Chris works a lot. Days, nights, weekends, holidays. All of it.

He works hard and gets a lot accomplished at his projects. He starts with nothing, and by the end of the day, he's rebuilt an entire kitchen.

I, on the other hand, start with a clean house, and by the end of the day... have hiroshima in my living room and nagasaki in my kitchen.

He's nice. He never actually says anything. But when he opens the door, his look says it all.

After a very frustrating, teething, crying Saturday, Chris got home after working 11 hours, looked at the house, and sighed.

Tired and disheveled, I walked over, sat on his lap, glanced at our son who was happily chewing bug remnants, and said, "I kept him alive today. That's kind of a big deal."

I don't think he thinks I'm funny.

Cash did stay entertained for a hour in his exersaucer Monday morning and...

I cleaned the house, organized the pantry and the office, and sorted his clothes for storage. Pre-baby days, that would have been an all weekend long event. I'm so proud of myself.

I'm no Michelle Dugger but I'm getting further and further from Octomom crazy each day.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Glass Ceiling

After 6 very long, overdue months, my boss gave me my performance evaluation. Thanks to my 'above average' performance, I received a merit increase putting me two solid figures above Chris' salary.

Sure, both digits are firmly on the right side of the decimal point, but I'm marking a large 'W' for myself in the win column.

That's right.

I make 86 cents more than hubsters*.

Now if that ain't shattering the glass ceiling, I don't know what is.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm headed to 7-11 to spend my 86 cents.

*86 cents above his base salary. Overall, his salary still kills mine. But we don't need to go there.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Thanks to the ever mounting expenses from bonding, insurance, and licensing for Chris' Contractor's License, our checking account is barely in the black. I didn't realize how dire the situation was until I balanced the checkbook over the weekend and found we had just over $200 to last two weeks.

Sure, we could have made it work if hubby and I weren't both on 'E' and refueling his car is $96 and mine is $57.

Survive on $58? Painful but I've done worse....

until the bill came for Cash's ER hand debacle.


Yes, in the whole scheme of things, $50 is a deal, but $50 when all you have to your name is $58? It had me wishing I had done one of two things while at the ER:

Stolen a whole lot of diapers since we can no longer afford them OR
Inquired about the black market value of my kidneys. Or is it the liver? Or lungs? Whatever body part you can live without and DOESN'T filter alcohol. I need that one.

Now we're 'going green' and wrapping kidlet's butt in old t-shirts until we can afford diapers again.

Since we can't afford to buy groceries, we are currently playing what I like to call, "Freezer Roulette". Freezer roulette is a 'game' in which you blindly reach into the depths of your freezer and cook whatever it is. You spend the entire time hoping the 12-08 on that chicken wrapped in foil means December 8th... not December 2008.

If you read about a young family that died from a weird food borne illness... you'll know it must have been December 2008.

Now, you may be wondering, "Wait? Didn't she say she was remodeling her house one wall at a time? How can she afford that and not food?!?"

We use leftover materials from Chris' construction jobs. That man can do amazing things with 47 pieces of scrap crown molding. If you turn off the lights and squint just right, it totally looks like one piece...kinda.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Chris is in the process of remodeling one of our kitchen walls. Why one wall? Because that's how we poor folks remodel - one wall at a time.

He knocked out a large area for a new pantry. Because the new pantry extends the kitchen into the garage, he had to re-organize his tool bench area. Since he's trying to finish the wall before vermin start to invade, he temporarily moved much of the stuff from that wall to an area directly in front of my filing cabinets and my chest freezer.

I'm trying to be nice. He is fulfilling my wildest dreams - a pantry large enough to store my cake pop maker, my mixer, and the fine china we got as wedding gifts and have yet to use after 8 years. I don't come home and scream, "GET THIS JUNK OUT OF MY WAY!!! CAN I PULEEASE GET TO MY FREEZER!!"

Well, not out loud anyway. I say A LOT inside my head.

Before leaving for the trade show last week, I needed to get to my filing area to find software. Problem? There was 6 horizontal feet and 3 vertical feet of pesticides, paint cans, and copper pipe between me and those precious file drawers.

I tried to move things around. Tried to wedge myself between things but... I fell.

I'm sporting a 3" x 3" scrape and bruise on my calf, and a bruise I'm too terrified to measure on my upper thigh.

Tears immediately sprung to my eyes as I walked in and showed Chris my mangled legs. I verbally assaulted him then proceeded to give him the silent treatment for 2 days.

During those 2 days of silence, he was in a fantastic mood. He whistled while working, cracking jokes, and poking fun at the bruise on my upper thigh asking if I fell on the pile of junk or humped it.

Who knew silence from me was an amazing reward?!?!

Oh hush up!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Thanks a lot Costco...

Our HP laptop finally bit the dust after four good years. Turns out, that model had a known motherboard issue and there was a class action lawsuit I needed to partake in... three years ago.

Maybe I should actually read my mail before tossing it.

Anyway, the repair was going to cost $350 + labor. Considering I paid $600 for it 4 years ago, I wasn't about to drop a whole bunch of cash on it.

Things are a bit tight, and since we're cash only these days, I like to keep as much of it as possible. Who knew it was possible for me to get even MORE frugal?

Hubby was caught in traffic so I ran to Costco to buy the cheapest computer they had. I figured, the cheapest computer would be faster, have more space, and be nicer than the old one - no need to spring for something fancy.

Why did I rush to beat hubby to Costco? Because hubby is incapable of buying the cheapest anything. He always says, "For $100 more, we could have this!" as he points to the next best thing "And for $200 more, we could have THIS!!"

I hurriedly grabbed the request paper for the 'El Cheapo' version and ran to the registers.

I swear I heard his tires screech into the parking lot as I skidded into line.

Out of breath, he caught me just before reaching the register. "Don't you dare buy a piece of crap" he said as he wrestled the paper out of my hand.

Yup. We know each other pretty well.

I trudged back to the computer section, hubby already talking to the department manager about processor speeds and hard drives. "Which would you recommend?" he asked.

"This one or this one" the guy said, pointing at computers hundreds of dollars more than I wanted to spend "But definitely NOT that one" he said as he pointed to the one I was hurriedly trying to buy. "It's a piece of crap"

Hubby looked at me and smirked.

"We'll take this one" hubby pointed at one of the guy's recommendations.

"So sad to see our son won't be attending college" I said with an over-exaggerated frown.

Neither hubby nor computer guy heard me as they chatted about wi-fi and screen resolution.

We may be forced to live in a cardboard box and be limited to mac and cheese, but at least I can update my Facebook status on a high resolution screen.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

But There's Free Parking!!

There have been talks of moving my department to another building. The issue came up in our staff meeting, my co-workers objecting since the building had asbestos problems.

Usually quiet in our meetings, I suddenly said loudly, "Is there free parking? Because I can deal with asbestos for free parking"


Then laughter.

Lots of laughter.

Apparently they all thought I was joking.

Clearly, these folks have no idea how cheap I am.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I Love It!!

Hubby surprised me with a necklace for my very first mother's day.


As much as one can be surprised when they tell a spouse exactly what they want, the style, the color, the sku #, and the store to purchase the gift from.

I was playing with baby boy on the floor Sunday morning when hubby snuck up behind me and handed over a little white box. Inside was the most beautiful necklace I could have ever wanted. He decided to pick one out on his own (how dare he!) and did a far better job than I did.

"Do you like it?" he asked nervously.

"Oh honey! It's gorgeous! Wow. So pretty!" I said, scrambling to put it on, running to the mirror to look at it.

"Really? Are you sure?" he asked.

"Oh my. Yes. Wow. Just wow." I said smiling, while looking at the delicate etchings in the metal.

"Whew!" he said. "Because if you weren't crazy about it, I was thinking we'd go trade in your car for a new one. Just saved myself about $19,000!"




"We just had this romantic moment... and THAT'S where you went with it?" I said.

"What?" he said confused, "I was being honest!"


Hubby. Ruining perfectly good romantic moments since 2004.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

So You Want to See the 'Italy' Wall?

Turns out, after I sobered up *cough*  I mean, woke up the next morning and saw the wall reflecting the beautiful sunshine, it was still the perfect shade of Italy. 

We haven't put the switch covers or the baseboard/crown molding back up yet, but here it is...

*The specifics:  It's a Venetian Plaster finish that must be applied with a wide putty knife and requires a minimum of 3 layers plus a waterproof topcoat.  You have to sand between the layers, wipe the wall down with a towel, and.. yeah, a whole bunch of other steps.  It's labor intensive - but it's worth it.  I can say that because I'm not the one who actually did the work.  Chris may disagree with my assertion.*  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Just Might Need Therapy...

My mother wrote a blog post recently about my grandmother's difficult childhood. At the end, she said she never wanted to hear us complain about our upbringing.

In light of that, I would just like to take a moment to...


Mom's right. I lived a pretty easy childhood. The problem? When I lunch with friends or chat with folks, stories of horrible childhoods arise...

and I have to sit and listen.

I can't one up anyone. No skeevy uncles, no cold parents, no abuse. Really. No good stories at all. It's like my childhood was a total waste.

Plus, I've got a rotten personality. Overly harsh, cold, uncaring... at least that's what people tell me... and I've got NOTHING to blame it on. I find myself grasping at straws, looking for any help, any help at all, for something or someone to blame my bad behavior on. I've found that shouting, "My mother wouldn't let me have Lucky Charms or watch the Smurfs!!" only gets strange looks - absolutely no support.

I was hoping my own child wouldn't suffer the same fate - loving family, attentive parents, security - but when I catch myself hugging him saying "I love you, I love you, I love you", I realize that unfortunately... he will.

Sigh. So much for good stories.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Family Planning...

Mother's day is around the corner and hubsters asked what I wanted.

Baby boy is in daycare most days and I miss him a lot. I thought it might be nice to get a simple necklace with his birthstone so I can keep him near my heart.

I looked up his birthstone and asked hubby for a small necklace with a tiny ruby.

While I was at it, I looked at the other months to see what the birthstones were. Garnets, sapphires...

hold up...

April is DIAMOND?!?!?

I am now plotting a future April baby.

Sure, it's not exactly the type of family planning my mother taught but... a DIAMOND?!?!?

Well honey, I HAVE to get that 2 carat diamond necklace. It's to help me remember the baby while I work. And while I'm at it, those diamond earrings, and that diamond ring, and....

Friday, May 4, 2012

Flashback Friday...

My grandparents lived in the great state of Oregon during my early teen years. Mom, in an what I'm quite sure was an effort to keep her sanity, regularly shipped me and my brothers to spend the summer with them. They had a beautiful house surrounded by a forest (whether or not it's an actual forest, I'm not sure. We San Diegan's qualify more than two trees in a five mile radius a forest) on a street full of kids our age (and my older, cooler brother lived in the area too).

On our first full day in Seattle, hubby and I drove around, enjoying the beauty of Washington state. It started to rain a little and we pulled off the road at our destination. I opened the car door, took a deep breath of the fresh Seattle air and...

I smelled summers by the pool, freshly picked blueberries for my Captn Crunch cereal, unlimited laser tag, the hot neighborhood boy who cycled by grandma and grandpa's house every night, tanned feet, McMinimins, swimming in the river, hiking to Wally's dam, and praying the raspberries we ate off the bushes on the side of the road weren't poisonous.

I saw their minivan parked with a tennis ball resting on the glass, the woodworking garage, their perfectly obedient poodle, and the wood roof that required work every summer.

I saw my childhood flash before my eyes in one sniff. Turns out, following a light rain, Washington state smells just like Oregon circa 1993.

Chris, oblivious to my flashback, walked around the car holding our son, "You ready to go?"

"I wanphsti meu seuthiws" SNIFFFF "eurhw suhtgi euhiuih" (which in blubbering cry language is "I miss my grandma and grandpa and their house in Oregon!!")

Fortunately we were at one of the most soothing places known to woman (a chocolate factory). Hubby ordered a milk chocolate covered white chocolate peanut butter square stat.

Had it not been for the IV drip of chocolate to my veins, it would have been a rough day.

Here's to some of the best summers of my life. Thanks grams and gramps (and my brother who funded all those laser tag games).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Designing Italy...

When hubby and I went to Italy, we were constantly enamored by the beautifully painted buildings. Unlike San Diego's blah beige buildings, Italy's were painted the warm colors of sunset. Yellows, pinks, purples, and deep reds scattered the landscape.

After returning home, we decided we wanted to capture the 'essence of Italy' on our dining room wall. We took our photos of the best colors and matched them under the fluorescent lit swatches at the hardware store.

We watched the colors drip from the machine into the creamy white paint, barely containing our excitement.

"This is going to be awesome" my husband said smiling. "Let's paint the walls, cook the italian pasta we brought home, and drink a nice bottle of Chianti."

On the car ride home, we held hands and reminisced about our unforgettable trip. But this, THIS paint, would bring back floods of memories every time we saw it.

Hubby painted the walls while I cooked the pasta and uncorked the wine. A few rolled brush strokes in, we stood in front of the wall, our heads tilted sideways.

"Hmm. It seems off... but paint changes color when it dries right?" Chris said.

"Uh. Yeah. Let's let it dry." I said.

So we did.

And uh... there is no other way to describe the color than...

the color of puke after drinking pepto bismol.

Not willing to admit defeat, Chris and I sat at the kitchen bar, eating our pasta, silently staring at the wall.

"Well hon, the only memory this is reviving is the one where I barfed after the luau in Hawaii. While that trip was a great one... that's not the part I want to remember" I said taking a swig of the expensive Chianti.

We stared more in silence.

"Yup. Barf. Pepto barf. Gotta go." Chris said.

Off went Chris to the hardware store to re-tint the paint. I cleaned the kitchen and poured another glass of wine.

Paint, paint, paint.

"Looks like the Barbie Dream House" I said.

Off to re-tint the paint - taking a stab at yellow this time.

I poured more wine.
Paint, paint, paint.

"I think we may have captured the color of urine" I said, gulping wine.

Paint, paint, paint. Glug, glug, glug.

"Looks like blood."

Paint, paint, paint. Glug, glug, glug.

"Looks like Barney the dinosaur" I said, swirling the wine in my glass.

"Are you shooting these all down so you can polish off the Chianti by yourself?" Chris accused.

"Meeee??? Nooooooooooo" I slurred.

Paint, paint, paint. Glug, glug, glug... bottle empty.

"That'szp itz!" I screamed, "That'sz Ishaly!!"

"Convenient. Italy appears when Chianti disappears." He said.

Whatever. We found the color of Italy... and it's lovely.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


My husband played water polo in high school. Each year, the school puts on an alumni vs current student game and my husband played in it this weekend.

Hubby and I attended different high schools and graduated two years apart (let's pretend he graduated first - well.. ok... if you must know, I'm the cradle robber) so our circle of school friends rarely crosses. But as I stood on the sidelines, cheering at my drowning husband (turns out, he's far more out of shape than he thought), the father of a long-time friend came up to me.

"Hey you!" he said, "Long time no see. How long has it been? 10? 15 years? Is this your little guy?" he pointed at baby boy.

"Oh hi!! Yes, this is my son!" I said proudly.

We chatted about old memories and old friends when all of the sudden, baby boy opens his mouth as wide as he can and blows his version of a raspberry on my cheek.

Spit flys everywhere.

"Heh. Kids" I say embarrassed.

Baby boy, clearly sensing his duty to continue to embarrass his mother, bites onto my neck and starts growling.

My friend's father remained silent, staring intently at my rabid child.

"Hm. Well. I'm gonna... um... change his diaper. See you later" I say over my growling child who has now started to slip in barks.

So. Here's a lesson to all the folks out there who will one day have children. Don't blow raspberries on your child's stomach... and it's not a good idea to let him or her play with the dog either.

He will be fully capable of returning the favor at precisely 9 months old...

and he will want an audience.