New Employee

Costco is always an adventure. For me at least.

Rule 1 of Shopping with Toddler Club - Do not talk about shopping with toddler club.
Rule 2 of Shopping with Toddler Club - Come well equipped. I'm talking a Mary-freaking-Poppins like bag full of bribes distractions.
Rule 3 of Shopping with Toddler Club - Be prepared to evacuate. Full shopping carts may be left behind.
Rule 4 of Shopping with Toddler Club - If you still have any, be prepared to dismiss all preconceived notions of pride and dignity. There is no dignity when your toddler is having a knock down, drag out tantrum or screaming fit. Which brings me to today...

We're at the checkout line. G-Rex is in the cart, surrounded by two new books, his blankie and his snack trap full of crackers. I don't travel lightly when it comes to child entertainment in public - see Rule 2.

He had done amazingly well throughout the excursion. I was hopeful, but like most cases where your children are unusally quiet, there's usually a storm a-brewing.

The latest trick in his arsenal is screaming like a banshee when strangers talk to him. And by stranger, I mean anyone he hasn't seen in 24 hours.

So, the sweet checker lady says 'Oh look, a Thomas book? Do you like Thomas?'


'George, we've talked about screaming. We don't scream. It's not nice.' I'm leaning across the checking area, trying to get his attention. Not working.

'AIeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEE! Mommeeeeeeee! AieeeeeeeEEEEEEE!'

I'm turning about 12 shades of red, trying to catch his attention. Not working. Not working.

About two rows down, I hear this very thick Eastern European accent. 'YES! Keep screaming! Mommy loves it.'

G-Rex stops mid-screech and wheels around.

'Yes, yes. Good job. Keep screaming.'


The man, I'm guessing in his late-50's, gave me a wink and said 'Reverse psychology.'

And for the rest of checkout and all the way to the car, by child sat in stunned silence.

Now I want to know where I can find this guy and hire him. For reals. I have never had someone silence my child so swiftly and effectively. He is the Screaming Toddler Whisperer.

Rule 5 of Shopping with Toddler Club: Find a gruff sounding Eastern European man who will mess with your child's head. Hire him.


Never a Dull Moment

I suppose I get my fill of touching moments around here, but for the most part, I pick up my camera and weird stuff happens.

Like my toddler having a total freak out over 'sticky' chocolate ice cream. He was screaming 'BATH! BATH!'.

Or catching him mid-yawn. But he looks totally angry. Snarling. Probably because I made him get his hair cut and it kind of looks like Lloyd Christmas (Google it, kids).

And finally, my nut job cat, Boris, who at one point had to be on kitty Prozac (yes, they make it). He has decided the bathroom sink is a great place to sleep.

Till I turn the water on.

And you know I did.

For more moments, click on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry. Don't forget to wish Beth luck - she's having a baby in a few days!


Tales from the Hometown

I feel like I haven't been here forever. I have opened up my Blogger account multiple times, stared at the computer, and then closed down wistfully.

Not that I haven't been busy. I have. Mostly mundane, everyday stuff. But also, I had some fun. Like this weekend, for instance.

My brother, his girlfriend (H) and her son are visiting. This weekend, we all headed up to the parents house - some highlights:

* Friday night I accompanied my bro and H to dinner with his friends. At Olive Garden (A side note? I don't think I've ever consumed that much salt in one sitting, ever). Dinner conversation included stories of people pooping themselves. Funny. Even funnier? All recent stories and all said boys men are 28. But I laughed till I cried. I think the margarita helped.

* Later that night I was lectured by one of the guys about how unfair it is that hot chicks are immediately judged as bitches by normal women - like me. He was so fired up about it, I swear he had TEARS in his eyes. Ouch. I'll take it with a grain of salt as he arrived on the back of a SCOOTER, not even a motorcycle, all Dumb & Dumber style.

* Saturday morning I went for a run - my weekly long run for Team in Training. My parents live out in the country - I was SO looking forward to fresh air. I didn't take into account that THEY LIVE IN THE COUNTRY, so I instead enjoyed the stench of freshly sprayed manure. Oh shit, indeed.

* Before said run, I nearly had a nervous breakdown because my GPS watch battery was dead (it turned on in my bag and drained), and I had no charger. I didn't realize I was so dependent on that thing, but I was pretty much rendered helpless. How can I run if I don't have a timer, know my distance, and my speed? Breathe. Breathe. Then I remembered my brother had his iPhone, and there was, thank goodness, an APP FOR THAT. I wrestled the phone out of his hands and took off.

* I ran 6.5 miles. I completely misjudged my distance and by the time I hit the 6 mile marker I was AT LEAST two miles from home. I considered cutting through a field and the woods, but then I remembered where I was, that people have guns, and that I'd probably either sprain my ankle in the field or run into barbed wire or get attacked by a rabid raccoon in the woods. So I called for a bailout. Again, good thing I stole my brother's phone.

* H needed to return some stuff to Old Navy. Upon walking into the oh-so-flattering fluorescent light of the local mall, my darling little bro says ' WHOA! When did you get so gray?' I bought two new scarves and some cardis to make myself feel better. It worked.

* We got pedicures. When I say we, I'm including my brother. I think he *might* have enjoyed it the most considering he nearly fell asleep during the foot/leg massage. P.S. My pedicure is purple for Team in Training (GO TEAM! Even my toenails are on board!).

* Later, on Saturday night, I took H to my girlfriend Rachel's for Rachel's birthday party, an all ladies affair which she entitled 'The Real Housewives of Whatcom County". There was lots of booze, lots of food, and the best part? A Tarot card reader. Oh yes. She was amazing - doesn't do scary readings - tends to make whatever you draw, even death, a potentially positive thing (such as, death can mean you will have your first baby, which is 'death' to your childless self). I won't go too much into it, but my birth and year cards are Emperor/Emperor, which basically means I am bossy and in charge. And I am a 'leader'. And my card for the year is the Hermit, which could mean this should be an introspective year for me. I should write a lot. INTERESTING.

* At the party, I got to catch up with so many friends, some of whom I haven't seen in almost 10 years. Loved it.

* When I told my mom we did Tarot her eyes got really big and I assured her that I wasn't worshipping the Devil or even worse, considering becoming Mormon. (Bless her, she is so cute).

That's what I've been up to, at least some of it...still trying to fit in all my running and desperately clinging onto my sanity (it's a slippery little sucker).


Team Shrinking Jeans Bash!

For the next 2 weeks over at the Sisterhood, we are having a Team Shrinking Jeans Bash! What is this Bash I speak of, you might be asking? It's a HUGE party with door prizes and an awesome Grand Prize of $400 cash! Yes, cash!

What is Team Shrinking Jeans anyway? Well, a group of 16 Sisters and one Brother are training to run the San Diego Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team in Training Program (TNT). Through TNT, Team Shrinking Jeans will be training for the race AND raising $48,900 for LLS. Isn't that amazing?

You can read more about our amazing team here, and find out why each of us is doing this here.

How can you join the Bash? Simple! Donate to Team Shrinking Jeans through our secure online team fundraising page. For every $5 you donate, you'll be entered to win one of over 30 fabulous door prizes. If you donate $25, not only will you get 5 chances to win door prizes, but you'll also be entered to win the granddaddy of all prizes: CASH!

Did you know?

Every 4 minutes one person is diagnosed with a blood cancer.

An estimated 139,860 people in the United States will be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma in 2009. New cases of leukemia, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma account for 9.5 percent of the 1,479,350 new cancer cases diagnosed in the United States this year*.

Overall incidence rates per 100,000 population for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma are almost identical for data reported in 2008 and 2009 [(leukemia 12.2, 2009 vs.12.3, 2008); (NHL, 19.5, each year); (Hodgkin lymphoma, 2.8, each year); (myeloma, 5.6, each year)].

Leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma will cause the deaths of an estimated 53,240 people in the United States this year. These blood cancers will account for nearly 9.5 percent of the deaths from cancer in 2009 based on the 562,340 total cancer-related deaths.

Every ten minutes, someone dies from a blood cancer. This statistic represents nearly 146 people each day, or more than six people every hour. Leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among children and young adults under the age of 20. In general, the likelihood of dying from most types of leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma decreased from 1996 to 2005 (the most recent data available).

*Facts and statistics from Leukemia, Lymphoma, Myeloma Facts 2009-2010, June 2009.

Those are some pretty eye-opening statistics, huh?

So head on over and join in the Bash! Check out the fabulous prizes, click on over and donate, and be sure to check in everyday for Happy Hour!


Mix Tape (Ok, CD)

Last weekend, I met up for lunch with my girlfriend Rachel. Sans kids. It was so nice - refreshing. We don't get to see each other much so when we do, I savor it. We've been close friends since we were both duped into playing the baritone horn in junior high band. Seriously, we must have both been pretty stupid. Because I really don't know how you get convinced that playing a miniature tuba is cool.

At the end of lunch, she pulled a mix cd out of her purse - that our other friend, Megan, had made me for Christmas. Megan lives in San Diego, and I wasn't able to meet up with her when she was up over the holidays. I instantly knew I would love it - she has great taste in music, and always has introduced me to new stuff. Okay, new to me.

I was listening to the compilation on the way home, and these lyrics jumped out at me:

Don't push so hard against the world.
You can't do it all alone
and if you could, would you really want to?
Even though you're a big strong girl,
come on, come on, lay it down,
the best made plans,
come on, come on, lay it down,
are your open hands.

[From Deb Talan's Big Strong Girl]

I don't get all sappy about music very often, but damn. Megan knows me really well. So well, in fact, that she knew that three months from when she made that cd, I'd need to hear that song. That exact song.

I am really bad at taking on too much. Internalizing too much. Feeling overwhelmed. Taking things personally. Getting wrapped up into impossible situations that I can't, no matter how hard I try, fix.

You know when a song makes you cry, well, maybe something. somebody, is trying to tell you something.

And you'd best listen.


I Hope

I hope, today, I can make it through my training run, swift and strong.

I hope the sky is blue and the sun shines on my face.

I hope my running partner will allow me to finish my training without a tantrum (I think I'll bring some bribery cookies).

I hope I can make it up this one last hill.

(I did it. A sweaty, happy mess.)

I hope that Team Shrinking Jeans raises colossal, record breaking amounts of money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The LLS brings so much hope to so many that feel hopeless.

I hope that my hope blossoms and grows into something bigger and more wonderful than I ever imagined.

For more hope, head on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry.

For more information on The LLS, Team Shrinking Jeans and how you can help give hope, click on over to our Team Page.


Does This Make Me a Cougar?

I'm not even sure I want to admit this in writing, but the way I see it, maybe my massive embarrassment/confusion will help somebody else. Somebody else who is struggling.

So, after totally berating a friend of mine (I do have to add this is a MALE friend) about six months back for watching and enjoying 17 Again, I found myself sitting on the couch this last Sunday, flipping through HBO and there it was. My husband was deeply entrenched in World of Warcraft, so I was like, hey, why not? I never get to watch chick flicks (okay, I never get to watch anything besides Sci Fi or Action - blurgh).

I settled in and after a while, I realized I was entranced. And not with the fine filmmaking (even though admittedly, it was pretty funny).

No, I was entranced with the FINE boy.

Are you kidding me? Is he real? I realize I am about five years behind here, but I never had the misfortune to watch any of that High School Musical tomfoolery, so this is my first Efron experience.

It kind of hurts my eyes to look at him, he is so perfect. I can even get past his painfully tousled hair. And the fact that I'm pretty sure he's wearing makeup.

He's that strange kind of good looking where he's almost TOO pretty. Like Rob Lowe. In the 80's.

I mean, really, Rob Lowe? Your beauty is searing my retinas.

And now that I think about it, he bears a striking resemblance to Jordan Catalano Jared Leto. Oh my goodness, how I swooned while I watched My So Called Life. I really GOT how Angela kept going after him, no matter how douchey he was. I mean, HELLO?

Okay, so clearly, I have a type. Which is prettier than me. Dark hair, brooding eyes. I was told, back in the day, my husband strongly resembled Freddie Prize, Jr. By my mother.

How does my mom know who Freddie Prinze, Jr. is? That is something to ponder. Or maybe not.