Thursday, July 31, 2008


Harriet was itching to get outside around midnight. We'd been smelling skunks and she was doing the crazy huntress dance, so I refused to let her out. But we'd also recently gotten burgled (fishing poles, tricycle,) and Greg is charmed by the fact that she wants to protect the family so he let the maniac out. After a couple of seconds, Harriet yelped and came running back smelling like burning rubber with garlic. Not the perfume of the season in case you were perfume shopping. It actually hurts your nose.

Internet, you have saved us once again. Turns out there's a peroxide, baking soda, dish soap mixture that detoxes the dog, and ground coffee and candles are helping with the residual smell in the house. It also turns out that a lot of people have worse skunk stories than us--where the dogs got sprayed in the garage or the dog immediately ran in and rubbed itself on the living room carpet. Did you know skunk smell can last for years?

Aldo woke up to the sounds of the dog being bathed against her will. And then Owen woke up to see what was going on too. Owen seemed bemused by the idea of Harriet meeting a skunk. Harriet did not go blonde, despite her two applications of peroxide. She's still her naturally orangey brown.

I'm going to get some coffee ground for next to my bed and then try sleeping again. What a night.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Online Mommyverse

I check 3 online mommy boards throughout the day.

I've got the San Diego Toddler's Playgroup which is Owen's primary playgroup. We meet up with them about once a week and all the kids are friends. I even go when Owen's in school (at his office) so Aldo can play and Mommy can catch up. We have Mom's Night's Out, though not enough, and our kids have the best times together--birthday parties, Sea World, zoo trips, water play, and dress-up playdates.

Another is the newest one, Aldo's playgroup, a massive group of 500 moms called Moms and Tots. Theirs is an active message board where there's always someone asking for advice and a lot of answers or at least commiseration. We sometimes make it to their Monday music class where Owen and Aldo get to race around, wear mardi gras beads, and pound on the piano.

And the last one goes all the way back to pregnancy. It used to be called December Expecting Club because we all joined through iVillage as soon as the pink stripe appeared to compare weight gain and other symptoms together--and then have big debates about circumcision and formula vs. breastfeeding and then have big "Can't we all get along" make up threads. Not everyone got along so we've moved to a different site and are now called the Hot Mamas.

All the kids are three and a half and we're more secure in our parenting, so it's less about feeding and sleep issues and more about extended families, getting back in shape at the gym or in our heads, going back to work, considering a second or third baby, discussing our menfolk (though not nearly as much as they would guess,) and exchanging recipes and fashion ideas. It's pretty cool.

One Hot Mama lives in San Diego, so we've met at a Chuck E Cheese. She works during the week and we try to reserve the weekends for Daddy adventures, so we haven't seen very much of her. But our kids are friends now. Yesterday I met my second Hot Mama. She came with her husband on a business trip, so we met for lunch at Seaport Village. It was fun and so unlikely. It's like meeting your penpal.

Don't you just love the Internet?

Grandma Phyllis teaches Owen African dance

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Owen's favorite story

Um, can you tell me the story about get married?

Owen loves to hear about how we got married. Actually, he doesn't like too many details about the wedding itself, flower arrangements or monogrammed chocolates, but he likes to hear that people he knows were there. And then we get to the good part--when we had a baby and it was Owen.

And I was little?

Owen was very little and we took him home from the hospital. And then 2 years later we went to the hospital because it was time for Aldo to come out. And Grandma Doris came to take care of Owen. And then Owen went to the hospital to meet Aldo for the first time and gave him a hug.

And that's the end of that story.

But now Owen's asking about the future. He asked if we were going to go away. Where did this come from? Was it a mistake to let him watch Star Wars and Wall-E?

I told him that he will be going to summer camps when he's bigger and then he'll come back home. And then after he graduates high school, he'll choose a college and we'll drive him there with all of his clothes and he'll come back home for vacations. And then when he graduates college, he'll find his own house and we'll help him move in and we'll still visit just like his grandparents visit us.

So far, that's satisfied him. I wonder what question are going on in there, what fears or ambitions I could help with.

I've asked him if he wants to have kids when he grows up. He says he wants 5 kids and 5 dogs. I think he'll be wanting us to visit a lot.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

C is for Crazy

My sons are so helpful, it's incredible. Right now, for example, Aldo is bringing me one panty liner at a time from the storage closet (which he has recently learned to open )and is carefully putting each one in a different place in the dining room. I know I should stop him, but it's keeping him quiet.

Okay, I draw the line at chewing on tampons. Why are these things so darn interesting? I've heard of one mom whose kid was super excited when he found the tampons because she paid for the brand that put them in shiny colored plastic wraps and he was sure they were POPSICLES!

I was reading about the 10 healthiest foods you're not eating and I'm pleased to say we have 7 in the house. Momdom is full of these little quizzes. Maybe because we're desperate to know that we're doing okay. Nobody gives you performance reviews unless you really mess up and then you talk to CPS (or so I'm told.) There are quizzes to tell you what kind of mom you are--are you a Helicopter parent? Are you a bitch? Is your child above or below average for milestones, height and weight, or is s/he gifted?

I don't really take quizzes because I know what kind of parent I am--not so much helicopter as shuttle bus driver and only bitchy if we run out of chocolate. And my kids are great, smaller than average, but charismatic climbers. But I do feel the need to try to get a report card from my husband. You know, subtle things like, "I cleaned the cabinet doors today. Look how clear they are. I used a cloth diaper. Those things make the best glass cleaner."

Greg plays along, "It looks like we have new cabinets," but I know he doesn't really care. Why should he?

The truth is I'll never win an award for housecleaning because I don't care enough, but I'll tell you what the current braggable prize is: Owen tells me at least once a day of his own volition, "Mommy, I soooooo love you."