Friday, January 26, 2007

Because I'm vain, I would like to point out that the picture of me below is AWFUL. That is just how great of a mother I am. Posting horrible photographs of myself on the interweb just so y'all can see Sweet Pea looking exceptionally adorable.

I like this picture of me much much better.

Today is just going to be a little slice of my headspace.

Songs that are on my Ipod despite having incredibly stupid and/or profane lyrics:

Shake That by Eminem

London Bridge by Fergie

Feelin’ Love by Paula Cole, specifically the line about her t**s, and the use of the word horny. Only 12 year old boys can say tits and horny and not sound stupid. And only because 12 year old boys are expected to sound kind of stupid.

Anything by the Pussycat Dolls.

*******

I was doing some research for a client yesterday, and found this incredibly cool web site belonging to a photographer that I now love named David Maisel.

I am wishing for the art fairy to leave me one of his lake photos under my pillow. (Is it weird to want to display toxic wastelands in your home?)

*******

Mr. Clover just had me listen to an audio clip, and I am laughing on the outside/crying on the inside over how closely this mirrors a conversation I had with a customer service rep at Earthlink a few weeks ago. (To listen click here and then follow the link on this poor fellow's blog.) I was cancelling an account for my parents that they were getting rid of because it didn’t work. They had already paid to have someone from the phone company come out and test the line. They had already paid to have the hardware tested. My mom was on the phone with Earthlink’s tech support on 6 different occasions. Earthlink didn’t want to cancel the account, and they sure as hell didn’t want to refund the $48 my dad already pre-paid for the month. They wanted me to keep the account open until the end of the month. I asked if they could get it to work. They said no. It was insanity.

***Addendum alert! In getting the link for this Vincent Farrari's blog I saw an article on MSN about this. Apparently he has been interviewed in national media over this incident and AOL has apologized profusely. I sure wish I had recorded my call with Earthstink.

******


I bought myself this birthday present last night. It should arrive just in time for my actual birthday.

Happy Weekend!
~Clover

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I am the world’s most craptastic blogger. Je suis très désolé. We went to Disneyland last week, and it seems the Happiest Place on Earth has sucked the life out of me.

Despite the artic temperatures in Los Angeles and our first ever public puke experience, it was a fun trip. Sweet Pea finally found a place where everyone addressed her with the proper title (Princess). Her father found a kids’ restaurant that serves red wine. And I used the bitter cold as an excuse to do a lot of shopping. Win, win, win.

Now that we’re back and telling people about our trip, I keep finding myself in the same old pickle. I say something that I think is really innocuous, like “We just got back from Disneyland.” People react much differently than I think they are going to, “Oh no you DiIn’t. That place is the Devil.” And instead of just letting it go, my inner anthropologist wants to know more…

So if anyone would like to post a comment about why you loathe Disney and all things Princess related, please do. I’m curious.

I mean, not that this is entirely lost on me. I can think of a fair number of reasons to associate Disney with Satan. I just keep finding myself thrown by who loves it and who hates it, and the reasoning that they allude to never seem to match up to their personality.

Take for example my good friend Sue. Sue is a petit blonde, athletically built, pretty face, self confidence oozing from every poor, mother of two beautiful girls, etc. She informed me that her daughters are not allowed to watch the Disney Princesses because they are all built like Barbie.

Yeah, true. Not my favorite either. But I wouldn’t have pegged this particular woman, who has probably never had to worry about her weight for one second, to be overly concerned with body image issues. Not to say that we ALL shouldn’t be concerned with how women are portrayed in the media. I’m just sayin…I thought maybe she’d go with “Jasmine is a Princess, how come she doesn’t get to hang with all the WASPy Royals at Sleeping Beauty’s castle?”

Or my friend the lipstick-wearing-crunchy-granola-stay-at-home-mom who said she wouldn’t spend a dime on Princess crap. Ok, cool. Fine by me. But I’ve seen lots of photos of her daughters in tutus and fairy wings. They all (mom included) strike me as pretty girly girls. I thought maybe she’d wave the “How come Disney always kills off the mom?” flag.

Personally, I think that “It’s a Small World” is a Dick Cheney organized conspiracy to get all the liberals so completely aggravated that they stab pencils in their eyes and forget all about The Venus Project.

And then there’s all the people who LOVE Disney that I think are going to hate it for various reasons. I’m surprised. Really.

Regardless, we had fun. I’m glad to be home, but just check out this picture of a completely ecstatic two year old in the presence of one of her idols.



I didn’t buy a sweatshirt. But I’ll probably take her to Disneyworld some day.

BUT ONLY IF IT’S WARM.

~Clover

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Let it be known that on this day my daughter stayed dry from sunup to sundown. Yipeee!

~Clover

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

In just a few moments I am going to go on and on about potty training. So for those of you who don’t care to know the intimate details of my two year old’s execratory accomplishments (and I assume that’s everyone) I offer this little tidbit. Be prepared to laugh so hard food comes out your nose. Hopefully said food is not a veggie jello mold. Then again, if you’re eating a gelatinous mass of green beans right now, you aren’t likely to find this very funny.

Ok, now on to the really important stuff. We are officially on day FIVE of big girl underpants. It has not been with out an accident. But so far there has only been one per day, and they are all of the pee pee variety. So I’m pretty stoked.

Last night, partly out of necessity and partly as a reward for excellent progress, I took Sweet Pea to the mall to buy some underpants of her choice. She chose one package of Cinderella panties (natch), one package of purple and pink polka dot panties, and one package of boy’s underpants. That last one caused me a moments pause until I realized that toddler training pants are unisex in functionality. So if she wants blue underpants with cars and frogs on them, more power to her.

I’m like REALLY excited about this. No more poopy diapers for me!! No more poopy diapers for me!!!

~Clover

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I'm digging on the Dalai Lama today.

I got one of those forwards where someone has put a bunch of well meaning drivel into an amateur power point, slapped the Dalai Lama's name on it, and ended it with an ominous warning about what will happen to me in the new year if I don't send it to all my friends. You can all be thankful that I've chosen horrific bad luck over sending this on to even 3-5 of you. Feel free to reciprocate given the opportunity. Thanks.

It did get me thinking about whether or not the Dalai Lama would have actually advised that I “Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.” (Maybe he deserves a second Nobel Prize for that?) So what is a girl in the midst of a spiritual crisis to do? GOOGLE. Duh.

I found his website – don’t you just love how Tech Savvy the spiritually enlightened are? It’s cool.

Enjoy!

~Clover

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Today feels like I’m 14, and it’s the first day back at school after a long Christmas break. I’m answering emails and getting the scoop on everyone’s holiday celebrations, but not getting much done. But I’ve got makeup on for the first time in a week and a half, so vacation is officially over. For two weeks anyway, then it’s off to Disneyland. Yippeee! Sweet Pea is beside herself. I think she may have just endured the holidays to get to the magical space of time “After Christmas” when the promised trip to “Cinerella’s house” would be taking place.

Ok, that’s not exactly true. She loved herself UP some Christmas. And how could she not have? It was obscene. It a good and fun way. < - - - How is it that I can make a description of Christmas with a two-year-old sound like a porn reference? It’s a gift I suppose.

So our madcap recap has to start with the 23rd. My dad sent Lauren a very cool retro tricycle from the LL Bean catalog. It’s a red and white Radio Flier, plastic tassles on the handlebars, little ringy bell, the whole bit. She loves it and has been tearing around the living room on it for a week, but she goes backwards because she can’t reach the pedals completely. And for some reason backwards is easier. Anyway, it came in a box. Which made me nervous because Mr. Golightly isn’t exactly what you’d call a born handyman. Not that he isn’t capable of such tasks. He just doesn’t seem to enjoy them much. And he’s an expert procrastinator. So I was having visions of red wine tipsy me having to put it together at 2 AM on Christmas Eve while he slept peacefully on the couch. So I made him put it together a couple of days early.

Brilliant, except that then, there it was. And it was too big to hide in a closet or the trunk of his car. And I was loathe to have it sit in the icy rain for a day and a half. But I was remembering how I hid in plain sight a few nights before during our marathon Hide and Peek session. So I stuck it under the counter in our laundry room, threw some stuff over the top of it, and put a laundry hamper in front. It was pretty well hidden really. Except that the next morning in my OCD cleaning frenzy I moved the hamper. And about a half hour later while I getting out of the shower I hear her say to her daddy, “Daddy, is that red bike for me?” Oops. The nice thing about her still being two is that we just said, “Yep, but it’s a Christmas present so you can’t see it until tomorrow.” Which she totally bought. And then when she saw it under the tree on Christmas morning she was just as happy and excited as she had been the first time she saw it. Sweet.

We did pause from the gift frenzy to go to Mass on Christmas Eve morning. Sweet Pea was actually thrilled to go, because of her aforementioned obsession with the Baby Jesus. They sang carols, and since we’ve been singing the Gloria part of Angels We Have Heard on High and Away in a Manger for the past few weeks, she was excited to know some of the words. When the collection plate came by I gave her the money to put in, which she did gleefully, because she knew that was a task reserved for Big Girls.

But then…when all the singing had stopped and Father was getting to the serious business of consecrating the host for Holy Communion, my girl – her father’s daughter no doubt, shouts out, “Mommy, I want my money back!” Not once, but three times. She was not pacified when I told her it was for Baby Jesus. In fact, she was not buying her role as a good steward of the church until I informed her that Daddy had “lots” more where that came from.

Christmas Eve day was spent mostly doing nothing in particular. I made crepes for Christmas brunch and Chocolate Gingerbread for the big soiree at my Sister in Law’s house the next day. My mom and dad delivered Sweet Pea’s gift – a beautiful child sized table and chairs that my dad lovingly sanded, stained, varnished, waxed and read poetry to for the last 8 weeks. My mom made chair cushions and table linens out of Elmo fabric that Sweet Pea picked out and bought a set of dishes for her to have as her very own. She loves it. She doesn’t even want me to take the napkins and table cloth off to wash them, so I have to do it at night.

For dinner we got all dolled up and joined my parents and my uncle at a fancy schmancy downtown restaurant. Sweet Pea wore her Christmas dress, bringing the cost-per-minute-worn down into the respectable range. (We were hoping to get some mileage out of it at our company party, but she stripped about 10 minutes in and spent the rest of the night in a tank top and her tights.) Dinner was excellent. Dessert back at Grandma and Grandpa’s house was even better – my mom Martha Steawarted out with a berry cobbler topped with stars made out of pie crust. Natch.

After dinner I forced everyone into the car to view Christmas lights. Lo and behold they actually obliged. And I think they may have even enjoyed themselves. Then we went home, put Sweet Pea to bed and staged the visit from the big guy. And yes, I was red wine tipsy as anticipated. Yea! M and I have this really funny tradition whereby we stake out a corner of the house to fill each others stockings. We act like the other person is desperately trying to ruin the entire holiday season by sneaking a peek that their sock. A problem compounded by the fact that we have the stupidest stockings on the planet. You can’t actually get anything into them, so you have to sort of arrange all the items around the sock. So we turn off all the lights in the living room and then bark orders at each other about where we can and cannot look so as not to spoil the annual I got tic tacs and he got underpants surprise. After that little drill we collapsed into bed.

Christmas morning I overslept and then had to creep downstairs to get quiche made quickly enough to get back into bed so that Sweet Pea could wake me up. Didn’t work. But she did drag her daddy downstairs to see what Santa brought. She loved her Cinderella dress and Little Mermaid doll, and was absolutely giddy over some Disney Princess band aids. (Note the theme.) My parents and uncle came over for brunch and presents, and this is when things start to get fuzzy. There was a lot of wrapping paper in piles. There was a flurry of tissue paper and ribbon. There was animated oohing and ahhhing. There was a two year old who got royally ticked off if anyone opened a present without her help. And there were mimosas. I got my Nano. So I can only assume that M reads my blog. Sweet Pea doubled her possessions in an hour and a half. She may not have noticed though, this was definitely the year of rip and tear and notice what was in the boxes later.

Miraculously we got her to calm down enough for a nap in there at some point so we could regroup and head to my SIL’s house for round two. Kudo’s to Q, by the way, for an excellent meal. The prime rib was perfect, and her house looked beautiful. It’s not easy to feed a gourmet meal to 20+ people, but somehow one of us manages to pull it off beautifully every year. Maybe when it’s her year I should send her to the spa afterward, and she can reciprocate when it’s my turn. Or, you know, what the hell. We can both go every year. I want to go here please and thanks.

Christmas with kids is just plain fun. My niece and nephew were already making good use of the toys they had received that morning. The kids played and played and played until they were too tired to be nice anymore. And then my 6 year old niece kicked all of our butts at Disney Trivia.

Sweet Pea got her favorite gift, and my favorite gift. My fave is a little pink rocking chair that my SIL painted with her name and a fairy Princess design. It’s darling, and so thoughtful. Her favorite gift is a Bissel electric sweeper. It wasn’t even for her, but it was the only gift that made her squeal with joy. And my kitchen floor has been spotless for a week. So I’m on board.

The rest of our vacation week was filled with lots of time together doing more of nothing in particular. Interestingly enough, I think that Sweet Pea’s vocab has increased exponentially this week. I’m trying not to think too hard about that, lest I should send myself into a working mom guilt spiral. I’m making myself feel better by noting that she didn’t sit on the potty voluntarily one time the entire break, setting back the potty training by a couple of months. So hanging out with me 24/7 is just going to make her mouthy and incontinent. Plus, she says “crap” now. Not in reference to potty training, thank God. But in perfect context. Of course. I am also not devoting a lot of brain power to analyzing how a week at home with no responsibility was so full of things to do that I couldn’t come up with a blog post the entire time, but now that I’m back at work I just churned out 3 pages.

Oh well. That’s life as we know it.

Happy 2007!
~Clover