Archive for August, 2014

29 Aug 2014

August 29th, 2014 (Who G-Man is Today)

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In June of last year I posted this blog post about who Garrett was, at the time.

It’s fourteen months later. And, just as I suspected, many things have changed.

He walks five paces behind me now on our way into school. Sometime he switches it up by running 90 paces ahead. But (thankfully) he still doesn’t want me to leave before the last bell rings. I usually get a small hug, but there are no more public kisses. And our ritual of  yelling things to each other as he walks into class has been replaced with knowing glances and small smiles.

He hasn’t mentioned squid or the ocean in months, except to say how much he enjoyed running between the waves at the beach this summer.

He now only listens to popular music on the radio, no longer Big Time Rush. He knows the words to many a Bruno Mars song, Kelly Clarkson, Katey Perry, and One Direction… Just to name a few. He insists that the radio be on in the car and chooses his stations by yelling “NO” or “YES” from the backseat, as I toggle between them.

He holds doors open for people at the mall or at restaurants, and LOVES it when they tell him what a gentleman he is.

He is into every sport imaginable, and excels at basketball.

He seems to have a giant bucket of confidence at the ready.

He is obsessed with a show called “Jessie” and watches it whenever he gets the chance.

He loves school unless he’s exhausted. And even then, he seems to really like it.

He is incredibly kind.

He doesn’t hear anything I say until the fifth or sixth time I say it.

He calls his best friend his “brother”, and desperately wishes he had an actual sibling.

He is more independent at 6 (almost seven), than I was at 26.

He cares very deeply about being “cool”.

He is a little “too” into who does or doesn’t have crushes on him and whether or not he’ll have a girlfriend soon. But oh, how he likes the ladies.

He loves American Ninja Warrior.

He still doesn’t eat any vegetables except carrots and the occasional raw broccoli.

He is growing faster than I can keep up with. At the end of the summer I got rid of eight pairs of pants that fit him a couple months ago.

He is also maturing faster than I can take.

Today, his “brother’s” mom came to pick him up for a play date get-together. He left the house wearing black pants, black shoes, a black shirt, and a black suit jacket. He’s apparently a detective now, and this is how he must dress. Even though it’s 100 degrees outside.

I am ever in awe of this little man. That, at least,  is still unchanged.




16 Aug 2014

Flawless Saturday Question

20 Comments Flawless Saturday Question

For those of you who’ve known me and my blog for a while, you also know that I haven’t posted a Flawless Saturday Question in years. Well, here it is (and most of you will be reading this on Sunday.)

How do you feel about gift certificates as gifts? 

Personally, I freaking love them. I rarely spend money on myself because it makes me feel guilty. So, giving me a gift certificate to one of my favorite stores is like giving me an anxiety-free trip to fun town.

I know a lot of people, my husband included, who think gift certificates are cop outs and lazy gift-giving. Although I sincerely think his mind has changed since the advent of the iTunes gift card. So maybe he just didn’t like them until they made one that made sense for him.

What do you think? Lazy? Awesome? Lame? PERFECT?

I really need to know. I have a couple of very important birthdays coming up.


15 Aug 2014

You May Be Cool, But I’m Cooler

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It’s the last day of the first week of first grade and, if the rest of the school year can go anywhere NEAR as smoothly as this week has gone… It’s going to be a good year.

One of the reasons it’s been such a great transition is that I took the time to make ten lunch menus that I will rotate throughout the year (unless one or two get horrible reviews from the little gentleman who will be eating them). Last year was an endless cycle of me freaking out, trying to figure out what to make, and ending up with a lame sandwich and some packaged sides. We also would scramble to get out of the house in time, partly due to my lunch issues.

Yes, I know bagged lunches were good enough for all of us. Yes, I ate the exact same PB&J, apple, and a bag of chips for YEARS. And I loved it. But G is a boy with discerning taste. And he ain’t happy with the same ol’ sammy every single day.

Moving on. The first day of school, G came home with only 1/4 of his lunch eaten. Upon my inquiry, he informed me that they have to keep their lunches outside on a table, so by lunchtime everything was warm and sad. Side note: It’s 90 degrees where we live. Well, I didn’t spend hours slaving over index cards with different lunch items on them to have him not eat his food!! I immediately got on line and researched Good Housekeeping’s best lunch bags. Not one of them kept kids’ lunches at safe temperatures for more that one hour. I had to come up with my own solution. I marched that kid into Target, where we purchased a cooler. I now pack his lunch per usual, with an ice pack inside the box. Then I pack the lunchbox inside the cooler, with an ice pack on either side.

I’m proud to say all of the food is being ingested. And the ice packs are still cold by the time school is over!! I believe I’ll earn a Michelin Star before the school year ends. Or whatever the elementary-school equivalent of a Michelin Star is. Probably just a gold star, right?

My husband thinks it’s overkill. But he doesn’t understand us. And when I say us, I mean you and me. Because you’re in on this now, too.

Lunch Cooler

13 Aug 2014

My Dishwasher Has A Lot to Say

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Yesterday, G and I were at the mall after school to pick up some snazzy new Nikes we had ordered. The bathrooms at the mall have those automated-flushing-toilets, or AFTS, and G wanted to know if I used to get scared when the toilets would flush before I was finished, when I was a kid.

I had to explain that we didn’t have automated toilets when I was a kid, and that I would get MORE scared by having to touch the flusher that thousands of other people has already touched. (I didn’t tell him that part. Only that those toilets didn’t exist when I was a kid.)

He was amazed.

Well, can you imagine if I would’ve told 6-year-old me that 42-year-old me would be on the phone with LG Electronics 36 years in the future, holding my PHONE up to a speaker on the dishwasher so the LG operator could do a diagnostic test to see why there is a residue on my dishes when the cycle is done???

Did you get that? I called LG. They put a Smart Appliance Diagnostician on the phone. This diagnostician had me hold down the rinse button for three seconds, while holding the mouthpiece of my phone up to a small speaker on the side of the dishwasher door. A loud buzzing sound happened, and when that was done I picked the phone back up. At this point I was pretty sure I was being punked.

The diagnostician said I have hard water. Come on. I’m in Los Angeles. Obviously I have hard water. There’s no way my machine told you that. And sure, I should clean the filters, but it’s a NEW machine! And, okay… I’ll run hot water into the sink for a minute before I run the dishwasher, and I’ll use the power wash setting to see if that helps. This is all information you could have told me without the humiliation of tricking me into holding my phone up to my dishwasher.

The call ended and I went about my business. Then the phone rang.

“Hello, Mrs. Arch. Your dishwasher sent us some information that I neglected to tell you.”

Oh, really? What? That I haven’t been keeping the house as tidy as I’d like to? That I really have to make those doctor’s appointments before my secondary insurance runs out? That I need to get back to the gym? Come on! I don’t need ANOTHER person, er machine, on my back!!

“Yes. The water that is being used for your dishes is only 86 degrees. According to page five of your owner’s manual, it should be 120 degrees. This water is clearly not hot enough for the dishwasher to do its job. Please turn up the water heater a little bit.”

I walked out to the water heater and saw that it was on warm. I turned it up a bit. She also informed me that if all of these things don’t work, I might need to install a water softener. I told her we had been thinking of doing that.

Then she told me to make my doctor’s appointments.

The future. We’re living in it.

12 Aug 2014

First Day. First Grade.

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In the car as we pulled up to school, to first grade today, I swallowed my tears as I turned to look at G, unbuckling his seat belt in the backseat.

“I had a great time with you this summer.”

He saw his friend up the street. “CHASE!” He was already opening the car door. “CHASE!” Chase turned and waved, continuing to walk. We crossed the street, holding hands, seeing the familiar faces that were absent the last two months. “I”m gonna catch up to him”, he said already in a jog.

I said hello to several families as I sprinted up the sidewalk, trying to catch up so I could watch him walk into school for the first time this year.

As we headed to the handball courts to find out his classroom, more and more kids showed up. G was saying hello to them, anxious to get it all started. He had shot out of bed this morning proclaiming, “FIRST GRADE!” He had gotten dressed, eaten, brushed his teeth, graciously sat through pictures, reminded me to pack his snack. And now he was here, beginning again.

He got in the line for his class, noting the unusually large number of girls compared to boys (which probably makes him very, secretly happy). He was excited about his amazing teacher, who happens to be a close friend and who I am over the moon about. I saw more and more parents, gave more and more hugs, and could not stop sweating. It’s hot here, and I had run after Garrett, and I am not kidding about the sweat. I kept apologizing for my disgustingness as the sweat kept pouring. But G? Cool as a cucumber. I was the picture of nerves. He was the opposite.

I asked what our “goodbye situation” was. Was I allowed to give him a kiss? I was not. But, as the line started moving he quickly hugged me and gave me a familiar signal, a private one, that I didn’t think I would get. And the smile. He is so ready for this.

As I watched him head to class, proud Oregon backpack on his shoulders, I noticed he was not glancing back. Not even a little. He was looking forward. Straight ahead. I didn’t follow to see him put away his things in his new closet. I wanted to, but I didn’t. He is teaching me always about who he is. And I am learning, always, about who I want to be, as his mom.



11 Aug 2014

August 11, 2014

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It’s officially the last day of summer and I can’t believe how fast it has gone. Tomorrow starts the hustle and bustle of homework, lunches, PTA meetings, volunteering, fitting auditions in when I can, fitting work it when it comes, hitting the gym, and trying to start making dinners at home again. I’m going to miss Summer break.

The last two months has been a flurry of incredible fun, adventures, and dining out. And, after 10 straight months of daily workouts, it was also a flurry of exercise inactivity.

I gained weight. More than I thought I could gain in eight weeks. It was a lesson in how quickly I can undo everything I worked so hard to do in the first place.

I would change nothing about this summer except for showing some self-control and fitting in workouts at home. Everything would have been exactly the same but I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in now. That position mostly involves sitting on my extra-cushioned ass and mentally smacking myself for eating so many tortilla chips.

I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to get back on track, but I AM GOING TO GET BACK ON TRACK.

In the mean time, I’ve got a super fantastic first grader to think about. FIRST GRADE!! Unreal.

10 Aug 2014

What Just Happened

No Comments Cooking/Baking, Family, Nutrition

All I know is Summer Break just started, and now it’s over. And a lot of shit happened in between.

Garrett became even more confident, more independent, and more sassy than I thought he ever could (before turning seven).

I had six days to myself when G went to Oregon to stay with Grandma Farm.

I got about 1/4 of the things done that I wanted to get done in the six days I had to myself.

Russ and I drove to Oregon to spend some time with the fam, and grab our boy. The drive up was amazing and reaffirmed everything I already knew about my marriage: It’s awesome. I’m lucky. My husband is the coolest dude ever. We kick ass on a road trip.

Oregon was lovely as always.

Russ, G and I drove to San Francisco to spend four nights in the city by the bay, where I had never been. I managed to bust my foot so bad that after the first day I needed crutches to walk, and my boys spent the last day without me. They went to Fisherman’s Wharf and a freaking Giants/Dodgers game. I lay in the hotel room, my foot up on pillows, eating car snacks for dinner. We were out $100 for my seat at the game.

G decided to spend the last week of his break at gymnastics camp, improving his grip strength, flip ability, and foam pit technique. I caught up on doctor’s appointments and paperwork, then I started to freak out about school starting and how unprepared I feel (again), and how much I feel like I have to do before we’re back on the hamster wheel and I officially become the PTA Treasurer. (Really, really bad idea.)

Last school year, G complained that I was making too many sandwiches. All of the sudden he was sick of them. That came crashing back to me a few nights ago, so I made a list of 10 lunches I can make for him, only two of which involve “sandwiches”. I’m hoping it will help me be more organized and less “WHAT AM I MAKING MY KID FOR LUNCH?” And I’m counting on it making him happier at lunch time.

I posted the fact that I was making menus on Facebook and Twitter and everyone laughed at me. A few people private messaged me asking for my menus. So, I’m going to post them here for those people. And… When I say “a few”, I mean “two”.

This will give you all a chance to laugh at me openly by leaving a comment here, or to secretly print these menus to accomplish the same thing I hope to accomplish this year.  The choice is yours! Either way, we all know I’m a nut bag.

Hope your summer has been wonderful. Mine truly was. I’m sad it’s over, but looking forward to the adventure of First Grade. And I’m GOING to blog this school year. Because if I can make a 10 day rotating lunch menu… I can write a few sentences each day. Right?? RIGHT????


PITA PIZZA, carrots, individual hummus cup, pretzels, grapes

HOT DOGS, string cheese, baked snap peas, dried fruit, trail mix

CHICKEN SALAD, wheat thins, cucumber, banana muffin, raisins

PB&J SUSHI, celery & ranch, cheddar cheese, apple sauce, graham crackers

SALAMI & CHEESE, ritz crackers, carrots, popcorn, cantaloupe

WONTONS, crispy rice roll, cucumber & ranch, banana muffin, grapes

MAC & CHEESE, celery & cream cheese, dried fruit, baked snap peas, animal cookies

CHICKEN NUGGETS, carrots, hummus, goldfish, cantaloupe

TURKEY SANDWICH, pretzels, apple sauce, muffin, celery & ranch

BAGEL W/ CREAM CHEESE, CINNAMON & HONEY, raisins, cucumber, trail mix, animal cookies