Monday, November 30, 2009


Yes, I am one of those moms. I drive a mini-van--Honda Odyssey, gold.

Let me tell you a little secret--I love that van. Do I love it enough to keep it for more than six and a half years? Not really. I often only drive myself around in that living room-sized vehicle...alone.

Sure it comes in handy for big purchases and lugging stuff home from Costco; but, I am ready to move on....kind of.

My Prius-driving, SUV-lovin' friends are high fiving me and whooping and hollerin' and celebrating the coming end of my vanhood.

I'm feeing kind of sad. Place here a sweeping montage of all the road trips, rummage sale finds and carpool runs we've experienced together. Sigh, my trusty van and I.

Ahhhhhh, the golden, stinky van. I have to start mourning you now, way before you ever disappear from my life...forever

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

birk's table

Sometimes you are thankful to be home. We just returned from a wonderful holiday in Calistoga. Although the kids had a fantastic time, they were oh so happy to be back home.

Above is a table set for Thanksgiving by Birk. She had every single stuffed animal in a circle around her room and set her own beautiful thankful, table–which of course doubles as a storage bin under her bed :)

May the happiness of the season find you! Sometimes the best thing is being in your own home and in your very own bed.

Milk Roulette

Sometimes it's good to be informed. Sometimes too much information is a burden. Take the milk carton debate.

1. One friend buys milk only in the glass containers. No nasty plastic seeping into the wholesomeness she pours for her kids.

2. One friend buys only milk in the paper carton. It is lined with plastic and wax (this is the world according to her, no scientific research have I done on this topic) and the exposure is better for her kiddies.

3. The third friend just buys the milk in the plastic and recycles the jug.

Actually I was surprised at how much plastic contains our food. I am trying to buy glass, but you can't always get what you want when you want it in the form you'd like to buy it in. Therefore, there is still a lot of plastic in my fridge, in my cupboard and in my body.

What does a busy mom of three do? Well, I play milk carton roulette. I shake it up every time I buy a new batch of milk. I'm recycling, I'm reducing, I'm drinking and taking my chances that at least one of these options reduced by one third is the less lethal.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Husband's Sneaking Around

We live in an enlightened little part of the world...some of the enlightenment is influenced by guilt.

Picture in your mind a sophisticated cocktail party: dim lights, candles, and beautiful, modern floral arrangements punctuating the landscape. Martini glasses dangle from bejeweled fingertips (both male and female) and the women's heels are expensive and high.

Skirts are short. Botox runs rampant across the faces of the thirty something plus crowd. Men wear jeans and shirts with faux holes that each sport price tags of $200.00 and up. The conversation? How to be more "ECO."

As a gas guzzling, carbon footprint the size of Big Foot, family of five, my husband and I asked ourselves, "Do we really need a 10 year old V8 Jeep AND a mini van?" After several conversations with the green enlightened, we decided to get off our duffs and adopt more eco-friendly transportation.

My husband is now the proud (?) owner of a Toyota Highlander Hybrid. It is sleek and shiny AND AS SILENT AS A STALKING PANTHER.

In the old days, I could hear him coming home from work three blocks away. The V8 would roar like a lion throughout our suburban neighborhood. I also could hear him in the morning, pulling out of the driveway sounding like a full drag race was on--though he was only just turning the key in the ignition.

Now, I have no idea where he is. I take the garbage out, BOOM, there he is finishing a conference call in the driveway. I slam the van in reverse, hit the gas to get the kids to school on time, and BOOM, his car is behind me. Turns out his morning meeting was at the coffee shop.

He is sneaking around in that shiny, black hybrid. In the old days, I could hear him coming up the street, so I could quickly get off and look like I was dusting furniture and making dinner. Now he opens the door and I jump ten feet off my computer chair. The full evidence spread on the screen before me of unbridled, online shopping.

I am getting jumpy. Those hybrids are stealth and it's freaking me out.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Where The Heck Did All Of The Halloween Candy Go?

I've always been able to brag about my kids (well, at least two of them, anyway) and their lack of sweet teeth. My son, John, usually keeps his halloween candy tucked away for almost a year. Ruth is much the same.

Birk is sleeping with a mound of wrappers under her bed as we speak. I never can count on scrounging candy from her.

But, my other two kids, they keep me in mini, snack-sized candy for a full year. At any weak moment, I can dip into their secret and forgotten reserves.

The Snickers go first. Then it's Butterfingers and Baby Ruths. I morph into Three Musketeers and Milky Way bars as the pickings get slimmer. Then it's a toss up until I'm finishing off the Sweet Tarts, usually sometime in the spring.

If I'm super desperate, I sometimes find myself eating Raisinettes in June. This is only if Easter has been a sorry candy return holiday.

But folks, I went looking for the stashes, and we are down to the BARE MINIMUM. It's only been a couple of weeks since Halloween, and the usually reserves are reaching drought level.

What is happening around here? Was this a lean trick or treating year? If that's the case, we are going to have to improve our trick or treating skills and hit it harder next October.

Or, are my kids secretly turning into candy junkies like their mother?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Aging Genralization: What The Second Nine Years Of Primary Education Can Do To You.

Me, as a preschool mom.
Me, as an 8th grade mom.

I dragged my weary carcass out of the car and ran into the grocery store. It was 7:55 am. If all went as planned, I would have 4 large bottles of sparkling water and be out the door by 8:00 am. I ran the aisles as if I were in a sprint triathlon.

Luckily, I had sat bolt upright in my bed at 3:30 am and remembered that I was supposed to bring sparkling water for our teacher celebration at school. Girls in tow with store bought bagels and juice, I raced my mini van to school and got everyone and everything there on time.

Deflated and a bit defeated, I carefully drove my car around the school parking lot.

There, in the glistening morning sunshine, were all of these cute, spunky young moms with their little kids. Both parent and offspring were skipping on their way into school.

I was crackly, old lizard mother. I used to see those 8th grade moms and stare with wonder. Why didn't those strange creatures volunteer for everything?

Face it. They were experienced. They were smarter. I was young and dumb, and now I know. The game of life, oh so bittersweet.

Monday, November 9, 2009

We Have Lice--Tra La La La La I'm Being Taking To The Cleaners

Normal kids slump in their seats with embarrassment when they have lice. My kids jump and sing and broadcast it joyfully to the world. After all, there is no shame in lice. However, people do tend to lean away from you and avoid playdates and hugs.

We discovered a local shop that de-bugs you. It's a great place to go if you're filthy full of lice and filthy rich. Birk's first visit was $200.00. Our second visit was $300.00. I've destroyed three North Face sleeping bags in the dryer on high heat. I don't even want to do the math on that one.

Sorry, kids, we were going to have Christmas, but we decided to do "Lice" instead.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Best Birthday Gift Ever

It's not diamonds, or money, or unlimited massage. Nope. The best birthday gift took 41 years to arrive--it was my dear friend, Nicole, taking my 7 year old daughter home from school and de-lousing her.

Leave it to best friends to give you the best gifts! This gift of de-lousing came wrapped with a pretty bow that included stripping the bed and starting a load of lice-killing laundry.

Where was I? My other dear friends, Paula and Pam, suggested months ago that we all go into the city and have a spa day on my birthday. I arrived out of massage bliss to a very disturbing voicemail. However, up until that point, I was having a fabulous day. I obviously have great friends all around.

Nicole, didn't want to ruin my spa day, so she kindly took Birk to the "special salon."

After a few days of personal lice battle, I've realized that lice are going to be right up there with the cock roaches in the new order of the post nuclear bomb world. Yep, 20 minutes in the dryer will melt a $200 sleeping bag, but it won't kill lice. Hmmmmm.

Well, folks that's where I've been this week. Last week I had a sick dog. The week before that I had a boy with a fractured arm. Where would any of us be without our friends???