Archive for October, 2010

30 Oct 2010

Flawless Saturday Question

24 Comments Flawless Saturday Question

What’s your morning or evening routine? (Or both?) I’m kind of obsessed with finding out if everyone does the same thing every morning & evening like I do?

MORNING:

Wake up with the first “Mommy!” being called from the next room, around 6:45.

Put on my turquoise robe with white polka dots. (sexy!)

Play in son’s room for a bit.

Start coffee.

Make son breakfast.

Drink a cup.

Make my cereal: Kashi Go Lean & Cheerios with Stevia, frozen blueberries, and almond milk.

Play dinosaurs on the floor with son.

Unload dishwasher.

Get son and myself dressed. (Some mornings quick shower, some mornings shower after drop off)

Brush our teeth.

Say goodbye to Daddy.

Drive son to school.

Home for second cup of coffe, shower, put on makeup and start the day.

NIGHT:

Put son to bed somewhere between 8:00 and 9:00PM.

Wash face.

Clean kitchen.

Clean Living Room.

Check emails, tweets, comments, etc.

Get a bowl of cereal (same as from morning)

Watch something on TiVo.

Brush and floss + ProActiv routine (I’ve used it for about 12 years)

Make morning coffee so I only have to turn in on when I wake up.

Get a glass of water.

Tip toe into Garrett’s room to see his lovely, sleeping face.

Bed between 10:30 and midnight.

Crossword puzzles for 15 minutes.

Sleep

Those are some EXCITING routines, no? No. What’s YOUR routine?

29 Oct 2010

Role Play

15 Comments Toddler

Garrett is three-years-old and already he has ideas about girls and boys.

When we were potty training him, he picked out all of this super-hero-themed underwear. He got Ironman, Batman, Spiderman, and a little Spongebob and Diego thrown in. I never thought of it as a “boy” thing. It was just the underwear he wanted. A couple nights ago, we were both getting in our PJ’s, and I was standing there in my underwear and a t-shirt. “Are those Princess underwear?”, he asked. “Nope”, I said, “Just regular underwear.” “Oh”, he said, “Daddy should buy you some Princess underwear.”

Now, while I found the fact that my son thought I deserve Princess Panties to be insanely adorable, I also found it a tad puzzling and odd. Where had he even heard of princess underwear? Why does he think I need them? Why does he think Daddy is the one who should buy them for me? Doesn’t he know I can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan (while wearing princess undies?) Side note: I’ve been asking my husband to buy me lingerie for 13 years. I will blog next week about the outcome of THAT!

Here’s the other part. Garrett and I were driving somewhere last week and I was “interviewing” him. “What’s your favorite color?” Green. “What’s your favorite animal?” T-Rex. “What’s your favorite food?” Pancakes.  Then he interviewed me. “What’s YOUR favorite color, Mom?” I said my favorite is orange. “No it’s NOT”, he says, “It’s PINK!” I told him I actually am not very fond of pink at all, and my favorite color is, in fact, orange. “It’s PINK!”, he said again.  I asked him if he thought every girl loves pink and he said, “Yep!”

Hmmmm…. Where is this coming from? Is this just an innate feeling that he has? Girls love pink and princesses and boys love superheroes, dinosaurs, and guns?  Am I only bothered by it because as a girl, I HATED dresses, barbies, and dolls with a PASSION?

I showed up at Garrett’s pot luck Halloween party at his preschool this morning.  (I brought along my homemade mac and cheese, but that’s not important. I just desperately want you to think I’m a very committed mom.) Guess what? All the friggin boys were superheroes, vampires, and Woody from Toy Story. The girls? Princesses, butterflies, and Jessie from Toy Story. Most of the girls were wearing some version of a pink tutu over their costumes. Do we put these labels on our kids? Or do they put them on themselves? We don’t make Garrett feel like he can’t like dolls, or watch Dora, or that he only has to drink out of blue cups. But I guess I do buy him shirts with footballs and dinosaurs all over them. And these girls are probably being bought pink shit all the time. Garrett just gravitates toward the more “rough and tumble” stuff.

So what does all this mean? Is it a bad thing? Is it normal? I like that Garrett is such a “boy”, but I don’t want him to ever feel like he can’t be sensitive, or caring, or that he can’t wear bright colors! (By the way, there’s NO SHORTAGE of him being sensitive and caring). And I don’t want him to pigeon-hole every girl into being a princess-loving damsel in distress. I guess we’ll work it out, one annoying stereotype at a time.

And I’m STILL wondering how he knows about princess underwear! It’s those preschool tramps, isn’t it? I knew it.

Tell me your gender-role stories. Are your kids falling into the typical boy/girl stereotypes? What were you like as a kid?

28 Oct 2010

Date Night

4 Comments Personal Crap

I didn’t post today and it’s 11:22PM. I can still get it in under the wire!

The Husband and I went out without the Child tonight for the first time in MONTHS. MONTHS! We got a babysitter, (which I’m terrible at being okay with), left later than we meant to, hit traffic, and showed up 20 minutes late for our reservation at an incredible restaurant which we had to leave by 7:30 to make it to the show we were seeing at 8:00.  I was trying not to bitch, but I bitched anyway. “Our one night out and it’s already stressful! I don’t want to be stressed! I want to be relaxed. That’s the whole point of this! Argh.”

I finally took some deep breaths and decided to calm it down. Traffic eased up, we showed up to eat, we ate amazing food with incredible service and delicious wine. We made it to the show and enjoyed it. We even manage to talk about some things that had nothing to do with our son. Not a lot of things, but some.

At intermission I called the babysitter to make sure all went smoothly. She didn’t answer her cell. She didn’t answer the home phone. Then her cell. Then the home phone. Then the cell, the home phone and the cell. I panicked. Russ went in to watch the second act. I went into the bathroom with the phone. She finally picked up and told me everything was great. I took a breath, and went back into the theater.

We had a great talk on the way home. We held hands. We walked in the door and heard about Garrett’s night. Then, when the babysitter left, we went into his room to let him know we were home. That’s something my folks always did, no matter how late, whenever they came back from a night out. Garrett barely opened his eyes, said “I missed you”, and went back to sleep. He’s so dreamy.

The Husband and I need to take more time together, just us. It’s so rare that I almost feel pressure for it to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be us. And one of the coolest parts about it is the coming home to our son. I love being in this family. I feel lucky that I had a good date with my man. I hope he calls me for a second date soon.

How often do you get to go out with your spouse? What do you normally do on your dates?

27 Oct 2010

Death of a Friendship

12 Comments Personal Crap

When I was 15, I met a crazy, eclectic girl who was best friends with my beautiful best friend. We hated each other. For weeks we hung out, a threesome. The beautiful best friend in the middle, and the weirdo and me on either side. For the purposes of this post, let’s call the beauty “Beth” and the eclectic one “Zoey”. Zoey and I never spoke to each other unless we absolutely had to, which was rare. She would talk to Beth. I would talk to Beth. Beth would talk to us. I shared a locker with Beth, too. To this day I’m not sure why either of us were friends with Beth. She was only good at two things: Looking incredibly hot and belittling people.

One day Zoey found me in the Drama Department. “Lisa?”, she queried. “Zoey? What the hell are you doing in the D Building?” She wanted to know if I had a minute to talk. I did. She started, “Has Beth been acting weird to you lately?” I thought about it. “Yeah. She’s kind of been ignoring me and hanging out with (fill in beautiful, popular girls’ names here).” “Me too”, says Zoey, “What do we do?” We immediately decided, this girl and I who never spoke and hated each other for no reason, to move me out of Beth’s locker and right into Zoey’s. It happened that day. It changed everything.

Over the next week we became friends. We lived only blocks from each other. We had the same sense of humor. She was neat, I was a slob. She was a dancer, I was a comedian. She was Armenian, I was Jewish. She had huge, curly hair. Mine was straight and dull. She dressed like a gypsy. I dressed like Bill Cosby. She woke up early. I slept until noon. But we loved everything about each other, and we became inseparable.

Over the 21 years of our friendship, we became family. She was my sister, and I hers. We even called each other “wife”, and on my wedding day she told my husband he better be ready for two wives. We had months, even a year once, where we didn’t speak for one reason or another. Family is like that sometimes. Growing pains. But we shared everything. We spoke daily, either in person or on the phone, for hours. We shared clothes. We spent all of our weekend nights together. We held jobs together. We worked out together. We took a spa day at least once a year. We held each other in terrible times and laughed together in celebration. We also declared frequently that we were the cutest girls ever and that whoever didn’t know it was stupid. Read more

26 Oct 2010

I’ll never be popular (A sad tale of a Twitter Dork.)

14 Comments Personal Crap, Uncategorized

I am about as popular on Twitter as I was in high school. If you time-travel back to me in high school, you’ll realize that I was not popular. Not even a little. It seems Twitter utilizes the same kind of social tests that were used back in the 80’s to make my life a living hell. I keep failing. Except this time it’s not because I have a big nose. Well, that’s not the ONLY reason at least.

Twitter is literally set up to make people like me feel terrible about themselves. The whole goal is to get as many followers as possible, and I’ve never been able to get followers in LIFE, let alone the world wide web of social disgrace.

First of all, when I first logged on I stupidly asked a hilarious woman who had her twitter shit together if she could help me get followers. I had no idea that was a “no no” because I had no idea how much work it actually is to get people to follow you.  I’m sure she was like, “Up yours, Lady! I worked my ass off to get my 35,000 followers and now YOU want me to help YOU when you’ve only been here for three freaking days??” Of course, as soon as I realized my idiotic mistake I tried to make up for it, but she has alienated me ever since. I guess I understand.

Then I’m supposed to craft the perfect “tweets” to get people to respond and follow me and love me. And I rarely do, because I’m a dork. As usual, I have no idea how to be one of the popular chicks because I’ve never been one of the cheerleaders or on student council. I’m a drama geek and only the very few people who “get” me are on my side. And, seriously… The fact that I’m whining about TWITTER is EMBARRASSING!!  A month ago I didn’t even want to know what Twitter was! I had no desire to be a part of it. But as soon as I started, I wanted to be liked. Because that, my friends, is human nature. And as much as I really don’t care if someone doesn’t like me, I care about these faceless, random Twitter people. That is pure insanity.

So, should I try to be one of the popular hot girls? Should I stick with it and figure out the ways of the Twitterverse? Should I start dressing differently and put on lipstick and high heels to get the boys (and girls) to notice me? Should I take hip-hop lessons so I can learn the dance-team cheers? Should I get contact lenses so I can lose the glasses? Should I put out? You see where I’m going here, I’m sure. Do I fight for my Twitter popularity or do I just give up? Do I stay and hang out in the corner with my loyal, awesome friends who like me for ME? Or should I log out and move on with my life?

Tweet me and let me know what you think. HA! See what I did there?

I wrote this post earlier today and here is a side note:

Today a hot, popular guy tweeted that his followers should follow me. It was a classic “super hot, popular jock who also happens to be INSANELY SWEET feels bad for the dorky girl he cares about” move. It got me 25 followers, which is a 10% jump in under 12 hours. But I just know they’re all talking behind my back, wondering what’s “so great” about me and why the hot guy is my friend. One of them probably even thinks I slept with him. Well, I DIDN’T! I just helped him write his essay about “Catcher in the Rye”.

25 Oct 2010

Rituals

12 Comments Personal Crap

I keep wondering what my son’s rituals are going to be. We all have them, and as a kid I had nothing BUT them! I know Garrett already has some, like the stuff he does before bed. But I think I created some of those, like saying goodnight to the shadows because he used to be scared of them.

But when I was a kid, it probably really got under way when I was around five or six, I had a litany of things I’d do to get through the day. I did the typical “step on a crack, break your mother’s back” stuff. I’d accidentally step on a crack and go back to the beginning to fix it. Sometimes my 5 minute walk home from elementary school took 20. I’d play basketball on my driveway at home and say things like, “If I miss this basket, Mom will die.” Then I’d miss it and say, “I have to make three baskets in a row, and she’ll be okay.” Miss again. “I have to make five baskets in a row.” This would go on until I’d get however many baskets in a row I’d need to make everything right again. I’d rush to make sure I got it done before it was time for my mom to leave work. I didn’t want her driving home before I had saved her life.

I think that’s all fairly basic stuff. I also did the constant hand-washing, checking everything 100 times, making sure doors were locked… Oh WAIT! I still do all that stuff NOW! I’m not OCD, just slightly OCD. I’m SOCD. It clearly started years ago.

So, here’s where it gets weird. Please take this all in and try not to laugh at me. Not too hard, at least.

I prayed a lot. A whole lot. I’d pray for hours. I’d cry and pray until I fell asleep. Every night. Mom, if you’re reading this I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. It was just something I had to do. I’d pray that my family would be safe. I’d pray that Russia wouldn’t get us with the nuclear bombs. (Reminder to self: Don’t watch the news with Garrett around until he’s a teenager.) (Other not to self: You don’t watch the news, remember?) (Last note to self: Watch the news occasionally. You should be more informed.) I would pray and pray and pray. I’d say the same thing over and over hundreds of times, really fast. It involved people not being raped or murdered or harmed or looked at wrong or underdressed at a fancy event. No, seriously. It was odd. I think I thought of everything bad that could happen to a person, and prayed that it wouldn’t happen to anyone in my family or friends, or any “good, god-fearing people in the whole world.” I was a very concerned little girl. And sleep deprived from all the friggin’ praying. I still pray a lot, but sleep is more important to me now.

Here’s the thing I did that I never thought I’d admit to the world. I told my sis-in-law about it years ago, and she still brings it up today. I had over 100 stuffed animals. I knew all their names and I gave them each a sip of water before bed. But that’s not the thing. The thing is, whenever I’d go out of the house I’d talk to them. Here’s what I’d do: I’d say, “Tune in, tune in, tune in”, and then all of them could hear me. I’d talk to them in my head and I’d also let them in on all of my conversations and classes, because they could hear what was going on around me. If I wanted them to stop listening I’d say, “Tune out, tune out, tune out”. Here’s where the HILARIOUS part comes in. A lot of times I’d tune them in at the beginning of the day, then hours later I’d realize, “Oh SHIT! I never said ‘tune out!'” And I’d think, “Did I say anything horrible that I wouldn’t want MY STUFFED ANIMALS to hear?” Then I’d tune them in, just in case I HAD tuned them out, and I’d apologize for anything that might have offended them.

Oh my god. I just read that back. I’m a tool.

So, Garrett will obviously not be a normal child. My husband and I are both nut-bags when it comes to locking doors, setting alarms, waking up to make sure the oven is turned off… So I’m sure some of that will be passed on. And I can only assume the other crazy shit will somehow make it into his genes as well. I hope someday he writes a blog so I can find out what his rituals are, because otherwise I’ll never know. Unless I start a new ritual: Watching and listening to every little thing Garrett does or says. Oh wait, I already do that!

Please share some of your own childhood rituals so I can feel a little less crazy.

23 Oct 2010

Shout Out to the Dads

No Comments Uncategorized

I just want to say that several men, fathers to be exact, have approached me to tell me how much they love the blog. Namely, the “Spinning” post. It’s not like strangers are coming up to me, I want to be clear. I haven’t reached the level of fame (HA!) where anyone says, “Oh my God! Lisa Arch! Your blog changes lives!” But people I know and respect have mentioned to me that they have been affected or moved by some of my posts. That means the world to me.

I realized that I use the word “Mom” a lot. Let’s face it, I’m a Mom. I’m writing about being a Mom, and I’m assuming the majority of my readers are Moms. However, there are incredible Dads reading this too. And great Dads make the world a much better place. If you’ve been a regular reader, you know how much my amazing Daddy meant to me, and means to me still. I just wanted to say that I appreciate a good Dad. And I’m grateful to any of them who are reading my words, and gleaning any meaning from them.  I also happen to live with one of the World’s greatest Dads, so I know of what I speak.

SO!  Any of you men who happen to read this blog and think, “Hey! What about me?” Just know you are included in my thoughts. All of them. Consider “Mom” to mostly mean “Mom or Dad”, unless I’m talking about pregnancy or boobs or ova or uteri. Is it uteri? You get the point. 🙂

23 Oct 2010

Flawless Saturday Question

20 Comments Flawless Saturday Question

What is your favorite childhood Halloween memory?

Mine is of my dad, MY DAD, making my Raggedy Ann costume. I don’t know exactly how old I was, but I think around six or seven. I desperately wanted to be Raggedy Ann for Halloween, and for some reason my father made me the costume. It was so perfect. I don’t remember feeling anything but great pride that he had made it for me. The hair was a shower cap with red yarn. The outfit was exactly right. I had the striped socks and everything. I remember that year I started trick-or-treating around 4:00 in the afternoon because I couldn’t wait to get my costume on. I think my dad humored me by coming out with me. No one was ready. No one had candy. Several people laughed. We went back home and went out again at dark. I remember feeling very lucky.

23 Oct 2010

What I Learned Today From My Zit

6 Comments Personal Crap, Uncategorized

It’s amazing how many lessons a person can learn every day, if they’re up for it. Since having Garrett I’ve discovered things about the world and myself that are constantly surprising. Tonight, for example, I learned the difference between a Spinosaurus and a Dimetrodon. In the last three years, I’ve learned I’m capable of bathing, clothing, feeding and loving a child in ways I never knew I could. And I’m constantly learning how to be less worried about every little stupid thing that’s wrong with me, because I’m more concerned with what’s going on with someone else now.

These last two summers were eye-openers for me. When you have a kid and you live in Los Angeles and you go places that have  pools, that kid usually wants to get into the pools and swim. Apparently it’s not okay for infants and toddlers to swim by themselves, so an adult usually has to be with them.  Guess who swims with Garrett? ME! After the age of 30, it was rare that I would ever get into a bathing suit because the thought of someone seeing me in it gave me the chills. But now, when Garrett wants to swim, Mama puts on her suit and swims! It’s a matter of me thinking about G having fun instead of who’s staring at my unbelievably white and not-very-toned upper legs.

This brings me to today. I have a zit on my chin that’s so big, a family of four could live there comfortably. I am not exaggerating. Okay, maybe a family of three. But there would be so much room for them! This thing is huge. My husband can literally not look at me without starting at IT. He doesn’t even try. It’s like my face is a hot chick and the zit is her huge boobs. “Hello!  My eyes are up HERE!” Get the point? It’s big. It’s really unfair to people for me to even leave the house because I’m putting everyone in the terrible position of having to act like they don’t see it. They DO see it. Believe me.

Years ago, there is no way I would have left the house with this thing on my face. I would have been ashamed and disgusted. I would have tried to hide it, worn my hair as huge as possible, worn a scarf too high on my neck… And this would have all been in the HOUSE. But I have a son and he had a dentist appointment and I also promised him a trip to the mall and a special pancake lunch with Daddy. And I didn’t even think for one second about anything else but getting him up and dressed and taking him all over town. We even stopped in on our friend who owns a store and said hello. I pointed out the zit (as if I even had to) and told him it was ok if he couldn’t look away. But I seriously didn’t care! I had a great day. No one pointed and laughed (to my face), no one ran screaming from any room I was in. And I wouldn’t have cared if they did because Garrett and I were having a blast, he got a great report from the dentist, and pancakes make me happy.

I know it sounds silly, but to me it’s a major victory. My stupid vanity takes a backseat now to things that are far more important. And that’s awesome. I’m not saying I no longer care about this stuff, because I do. Of course I do. But I don’t let it take over my life like it used to. I’m actually sad about all the time I wasted in my life, hiding because there were things I didn’t like about myself. It only took 38 years to stop that. Now I have the rest of my life to inflict my hideousness on the world. And I will. Because I have a son and, according to various studies, I can’t sit in the house watching Nick Jr. with him all day.

I hope you enjoyed the artist’s rendering of my zit, drawn by my darling husband, Russell Arch.

21 Oct 2010

Jesus Loves Target

5 Comments Personal Crap, Uncategorized

Yesterday I was at the Church of Target, getting my staples: cereal, bread, bunny grahams. You know the drill. Garrett and I were having a really good time, running down the aisles and eating food out of boxes we hadn’t yet purchased.
When it was time to check out, a lovely African-American woman said, “I can take you over here!” I have to be honest, I’ve never heard those words uttered at Target before. Usually the lines are long and slow, but I deal with it because I love it there. So I made my way over to her register and said, “Thanks! How are you today!” “I’m great”, she replied. “I’ve gotta keep it light and happy around here, there are so many angry people coming through.” “Oh. I bet you get a lot of jerks”, says I. “Well, that’s why I turn to Jesus. He makes it all good.”

This is where I usually stop listening. I’m Jewish and I probably am not going to be converted by a woman in a red polo scanning my Cottonelle toilet paper. But she kept talking. “I’m 56 and I’ve been married 21 years”, she continued, “Jesus transformed me. If anyone ever asks how I do it, it’s because I keep my eyes on the Lord and he transformed me. I’m happy and blessed every day.” I said, “Good for you!” And I meant it. This 56-year-old didn’t look a day over 40 and she clearly was living what she was preaching. “He cured me of Lupus.” “He did?” “Yes Ma’am, he did. I had it since I was 23 and he cleared me of it. My doctors couldn’t understand. But I knew it was Jesus.”

Well! You can not argue with those results! This woman was happy, youthful, obviously enjoying her job, and was rid of a horrible disorder. “That’s amazing”, I said as she finished bagging my stuff. “Good talking to you. Hope you continue to have a blessed day!” A BLESSED DAY???? Did that just come out of my mouth? I never say, “Have a blessed day” to anyone! But the truth is, she was awesome. I felt uplifted. I had already been in a great mood, getting to spend the day with my son, getting errands done… But she made it even better. Happy people do that. Whether they’re happy because of Jesus or chocolate cake is beside the point. However you can find that happiness, without hurting others or yourself, is good enough for me. Frankly, I wish more people would find something to believe in that makes them kind to people, makes them laugh and makes them joyful.

I’m not a huge fan of organized religion. I think a lot of it is bullshit and financially driven. But I am a huge fan of enjoying life and living it to its fullest. So if there’s a Jesus and he’s looking down on this woman, I’m very pleased for her. I pray to my own God and I pretty much keep it to myself. But my God and her Jesus have a lot in common. And they were both at Target yesterday around 11:00 AM.

UA-54344670-1