Friday, December 21, 2007

Signing Off.

Mama has quite a few little ditties to compose, and Mikey's tango this week with gastroenteritis hasn't exactly inspired anything worth showing to my clients. So, with Christmas Eve on Monday, I figured this was as good a time as any to sign off until the new year. I may come back sooner, just because I love to talk and I have an open audience. It's like talking to The Mr., but without the remote control and thinly veiled exasperation at my inability to tell a story in under 45 minutes.

So, until we meet again next year (or next week) I want to wish you and yours a very healthy, happy, and safe holiday and new year!

All the best,

p.s. Don't drink and drive. That's what celebrities are for.


Favorite Moment

I thought for sure my favorite moment would when Mikey woke up this morning and said, "Mama, I am really hungry." This was music to my ears after trying for 3 days to get him to eat even the smallest amount of food. But, no. My favorite moment had to be when this hunk of burning love waltzed through the door after running errands with The Mr. and asked nonchalantly, "Oh. Hi, mama. Did you have a nice day?"

I can almost hear his mental check list before leaving the house wearing this little number.

Mickey Mouse hat? Check.

Mickey Mouse glasses? Check.

Mickey Mouse sweat shirt? Check.

Three feet and 29.5 pounds of sizzle? Oh yeah. Check, check, check.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Just in case you were wondering.

I am an inquisitive person. I love to hear the story behind it all--the inner machinations that inspired whatever it is that currently has my fancy. I especially like to hear how people narrowed down career paths; selected business names; or decided which area of medicine or law to practice. Decisions of permanence enthrall me, even when they occur by happenstance.

My blog design doesn’t count as one of those life forming decisions, but my life did form the design. If you are inquisitive like I am, you might enjoy this entry detailing the ideas behind the design. At the very least, it should be an interesting read on a rainy Thursday evening. If you’re not into this sort of thing, well, there’s always CSI.

I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina but soon immigrated to the US with my parents. I consider myself an American, but still value and hold fast to the traditions and customs of a country I left before I was old enough to understand its existence. The design reflects my fondness for this hearsay-culture; one I’ve mostly heard about and never experienced firsthand for more than a few weeks every decade. At times, I feel guilty for being so American; for so quickly abandoning parts of my original culture. Perhaps this is my way of saying, “I know where I am from, and I will take it where I am going.”

Buenos Aires translated to English means “fair winds” or “good air.” The national flag colors are, accordingly, a pale sky blue and white. So much for the mystery behind the color scheme of my blog.

This part really depends on the resolution of your monitor, but the white should appear rough like torn paper. This represents the texture of a city over 5 centuries old: still elegant and refined, if just a bit worn around the edges.

The font used in my banner is La Portenia by the Sudtipos font foundry based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The font comes in two variations: La Portenia de la Boca and La Portenia de La Recoleta. I used the former in my banner. “La Portenia” is a title reserved for a woman who resides in Buenos Aires. A city girl, if you will. La Boca and La Recoleta are barrios in Buenos Aires. La Boca is mainly an artist community with bright houses and streets not safe for tourists after dusk. This version of the font is looser, and the flourishes are larger.

La Recoleta is more refined. It is comprised of a predominately wealthy population and is home to one of the world’s finest cemeteries. I visited the cemetery as a disgruntled 13-year-old and even then, fully immersed in teen-ridden angst, I couldn’t help but marvel at its beauty. This is tighter version of the same font, and the flourishes are more restrained.

The colors. The texture. The font. Now you know my secret. My blog design pays homage to a shabby, loose, city girl from the wrong part of town. I kid, I kid.


Now that I went first and shared the inspiration behind my blog design, I'd love to hear how your past has inspired you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Poor Baby

I'll say one thing about Mikey: he's a valiant little fellow. All through out the night, despite the 103 degree fever and nonstop vomiting, he held on to his role as family leader with tenacious dignity.

At 2:00 in the morning, when it looked like he was going to be sick again:

"No, daddy. No bowl. I'm am done with this fro-up. I don't want it."

At 3:30 in the morning, attempting to give him a suppository to bring down his fever (103!) since he couldn't even keep down sips of water:

"No, mama. No medicine in my bottom. I don't need it and I feel much better."

At 4:30 in the morning, when Mikey decided he needed his space:

"Thank you Mama, but go sleep in your bed now."

His refusal to relinquish his post as supreme ruler carried on through the day, as well.

At 1:30 in the afternoon, as a happy and vocal Nicholas discovered the nuances of a bucket:

"I'm not sick, mama. I can play with Nicholas."

At 1:35 in the afternoon still laying on the couch, after I told him "no" and he realized maybe he didn't feel so great after all:

"Nicholas, please be quiet. I need my rest."

Even when sick he manages to make us chuckle. He still doesn't realize that he missed his first ever Christmas Pageant today. The whole "no concept of time" thing really is coming in handy. I think I'll respond as my friend, Kara, suggested if he asks about it:

"Your pageant is coming, Mikey! Only 12 more months!"

Turns out two other little girls in his class were up all night with the same thing, so as selfish as it sounds, at least I'm not Mikey isn't the only one crushed about missing the performance.

Bah. The performance was probably lame, anyway. All that really matters is that he is healthy.

Sleeping it off.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

No More French Fries

Mikey seems to have met a rogue plate of French fries. We went Christmas shopping and had lunch out without incident, but less than 6 hours later he either has the stomach flu or food poisoning. Can you get food poisoning from French fries? One slip cover, two pajamas, two sets of sheets, and three bowl cleans later and all we know for sure is that processed food doesn't digest well.


Uh, oh. Make that three pajamas, three sets of sheets, and four bowl cleans later.

I'll resume my posting schedule when things settle down. Literally and figuratively.

Monday, December 17, 2007

About Those Christmas Cards

I finished them last night, shortly after 2:00 am, and was at the post office today by 9:00 am ready to mail them and a Christmas present for The Mr.'s sister in Florida. Whew! Just under the wire. What can I say? That's how I roll: fast and dangerous. "Take Chances" is my middle name.

Now, if you would care to step back into reality with me, I'd like to share something special that occurred while I was working on the previously mentioned Christmas cards. I started to really enjoy myself. As a creative writer, I had a blast thinking of different ways to incorporate the phrase "milk and cookies" in each of the Christmas cards.

"Hope your holidays are filled with all the good stuff--like milk and cookies."

"Wishing you a warm holiday season filled with peace, joy, and plenty of milk and cookies."

"We hope you Christmas is as sweet as milk and cookies with someone you love."

And so on. (Of course, I also signed off with all our names)

I not only enjoyed myself immensely playing with words, I started to really pay attention to whom I was sending cards. Hand writing something personal in each card allowed me to take stock of how many insincere cards I send every year. There were a few people where I picked up my pen and thought, "So-and-so?! But he's an ass and I hate his wife! Why the heck does he get a card?" At least 10 people were trimmed from the list, and it felt really good. If they didn't inspire me to write, they didn't get a card. I think this is a good rule to go by in the future, as well. I mean, really, why wouldn't you want to surround yourself exclusively by people who inspire you? I found the whole process very cathartic, even though I was tired and it was the dead-ass of night.

I think somewhere along the way I forgot what Christmas cards are really about. It's an opportunity to extend a warm wish to someone you care about during what is supposed to be one of the most benevolent times of the year. It's not about the best card, or the best picture. In my zeal to have both, I lost the spirit of Christmas. I'm so glad I found it this year, even if it meant having to lose those cursed cards.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Favorite Moment

This one's pretty easy.

Buh-bye, Color Resistant Gray Hair. You've been evicted.

My hair before (3 weeks after professionally applied, 100% gray coverage)

Color Resistant Gray

My hair today. Lightened ever so slightly. Highlights applied, but they didn't take very well (stupid hair).

New Hair, New Plan

The plan (since my hair isn't going to magically start accepting color anytime soon) is to gradually lighten my hair (via color and highlights) until I am a medium brown (level 6 for you pros out there). I am currently dark brown (level 3) and while going so light makes me nervous, I have a better chance of hiding the gray with light hair and therefore can hopefully get away with color appointments spread 5-6 weeks apart. Otherwise, according to the very fabulous Toni, I'll have to color my hair every 2-3 weeks. Um, in that case, lighter it is!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dear Guy in Black Lexus Talking on the Phone,

Screw you.

I’m the mother of the infant you almost ran over today in the parking lot. The mother who threw herself on top of the stroller as you came tearing into a parking space from the wrong direction while talking on your cell phone. The mother who picked herself up in disbelief and stared, mouth agape, at the purring engine no more than 18 inches from her baby. The mother who didn’t say a word as you slithered out of the parking space and waved an untroubled apology with one hand while you continued to talk on your phone with other. Remember me, now?

Good. Now saddle up, cowboy. You and I are going for a ride.

First of all, I think I read in Etiquette by Emily Post that when you almost commit vehicular manslaughter you should get out of the car and formally apologize to your victim(s). I’m pretty sure it’s in the same chapter as “Always Taste Everything Your Host Prepares for You” and “Don’t Date Your Sister.” Hey, I’m easy! I don’t even need a card. To be honest, just getting out of your car and exclaiming, “Holy cow, I am so sorry!” would have been enough. TIP: A simple gesture of kindness and concern for human life can do much to smooth the ruffled feathers. What can I say? It’s the little things.

Sure, apologizing to someone you almost killed can be awkward, you know, with the whole acknowledging responsibility thing. But, please, indulge me. If you don’t have the guts to own up to your egregious mistake and apologize, at least have the decency to put down that $300 phone and pretend my son’s life is more important than the shallow conversation that had your attention so decidedly transfixed. Tell Mary Sue you’ll have to get back to her on the intricacies of her crunchy California Roll order (hold the rice) because you almost killed a mother and child and you think that putting down the phone might convey a smidge of remorse.

You see, Black Lexus Guy, I talk on the phone while I drive more than I should. I should wear an ear piece, but I lost it over a year ago. Even worse, I haven’t made the time to buy a new one. I, too, have entered parking spaces from the opposite direction, especially in busy malls during lunch hour. Spaces are few and far between, and if you take the time to turn around and approach from the correct direction you will, most likely, lose the parking space. I am human, and I imagine I will continue to make mistakes in the future—even the easily avoidable ones. But I can not ever, ever, imagine almost hitting a child with my car without throwing myself at the mercy of the terrified parent. I believe this how you and I are different. Me = human. You = schmuck. Next time you nearly plow into an innocent victim, try being more human and less of a schmuck.

One last thing, Black Lexus Guy: nice glasses. They looked as expensive as your cell phone. You carry all the trappings of success, and you are, what, maybe 27 years old? I can only assume from your Lexus, iPhone, and Gucci sunglasses that you are making up for a minuscule member, if you catch my drift. Good luck with that.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Twinkle-Kids

I may have lost my Christmas cards, but at least my kids looked pretty darn cute. And really, appearances are all that matter. Kidding.

I'd been lusting over the shirts at Twinkle Kids for some time, and when I saw the cookies and milk twin-set I had to email them and ask if they would let me buy them in different sizes. They did! Check out my little fellows on their website. Scroll down to the bottom of the page. I just want to gobble them up!

OK. Shameless mom bragging moment over.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Cursed Christmas Cards

I'm pretty sure my Christmas cards are trying to kill me.

Three years ago I bought blank Christmas photo cards for Mikey's first Christmas. I had every intention of sending our inaugural family picture to everyone unfortunate enough to cross my path during the last 32 years. I spent hours picking out the perfect coordinating outfits (wouldn't want to look too matchy!) and scheduled our portrait appointment with glee. I even had the brilliant idea of including our two beagles, Buddy and Buster. These were going to be the best pictures ever!


We arrived at the 8:00 am appointment on time and were positioned on a stage about 3 feet off the ground. The rest is a horrifying blur. Another family brought their mastiff for pictures and the beast wouldn't stop barking. Buddy and Buster took that as open invitation to slobber, yelp, and fart uncontrollably. When that didn't stop the barking, they attempted to crash through the make-shift walls separating them from Cujo. The Mr., in charge of reigning in the now-hysterical dogs, started to show cracks in his veneer. "Did you take the picture? Take the! No, wait. Now!" His face was slick with perspiration and his eyes wide and frenzied. I was losing him fast, but I had my own problems. Mikey was doing the slither maneuver to get off my lap, but since we were 3 feet off the ground I wasn't giving him any wiggle room. I tried entertaining him by bouncing him on my knee, which worked out great until he figured out how to bounce himself. I could not get. him. to. stop. There we were: The Mr. sweating buckets, the dogs squirming and farting, Mikey bouncing, and me still trying to get my picture, damn it.

Photographer: "OK. Everybody ready?"
The Mr.: "Take the! No, wait. Now!"
Jules: "Maybe if you just start taking pictures..."
Photographer: "Can you get the baby to stop bouncing?"
The Mr.: "Can you take the picture?"
Jules: "I'm trying to but he won't stop!"
The Mr.: Buddy! Buster! Sit! Stay! Freaking dogs--"
Jules: "Maybe if you just start taking pictures we can catch him after a bounce?"
Photographer: "Daddy needs to smile!"
The Mr.: "OK, let's go!"
Jules: "Seriously, you need to smile. Just think of something funny!"
The Mr.: "The dogs are going crazy!"
Photographer: "Uh, oh! Where's your smile, Daddy?"
The Mr.: "Oh. My. God."
Jules: "Ow ow ow ow. Mikey-has-my-hair! Mikey-has-my-hair! Mikey-has-my-hair!"
Photographer: "Are we ready? Everybody say cheese!"
Jules: "Cheeeeeeese."
The Mr.: "Cheeeeeeese."

Twenty minutes later I'm looking at the most horrifying family pictures I have ever seen. The Mr.'s smile looked more like bared teeth, Mikey was in mid-bounce, Buddy was looking up, Buster was looking left, and I looked like something living under a bridge. And that was the best of the bunch!

Two days later I was at Sam's Club with a picture of Mikey I took on the lawn ten minutes prior.

Jules: "Can I get 75 of these in G-12 'Pine Cone Christmas'?"
Clerk: "That will be $32.75 and they'll be ready in an hour. Next."

When I got home I told The Mr., "We'll use the cards next year."

The next year we finally got decent family pictures, but I didn't realize I had to use the studio's photo cards. Foiled again! Last year I was 8 months pregnant and felt the picture would be missing something if The Mr. wasn't holding a harpoon, so we opted for a picture of Mikey on a simple Shutterfly card. Yet again, the cards win.

This year was supposed to be different. I found the cursed Christmas cards while cleaning out one of the closets and decided to schedule an appointment for our first family picture with Nico as part of the clan. I also purchased the most adorable shirts for Mikey and Nico and started writing rough drafts for the inside of the card. The day of the appointment came and the pictures actually came out well. They came in ahead of schedule so I picked them up and put them in a safe spot at home. On Friday I went to the closet to grab the box of cards and take them to the printer. Except they weren't there.

I opened the drawers. I pulled open the doors. I looked under the beds and in each of the closets. I searched the car and checked the studio in the backyard. In a final fit of desperation I started moving furniture. They. Were. Gone.

See?! My cards are trying to kill me.

Over the last four days, I checked every possible online and brick-and-mortar vendor in search of an alternative that didn't leave us without money for Christmas. I finally found a reasonably priced set of photo cards at my local Hallmark. They are so lame. Not only are they completely ordinary, I already know people are going to think we are cheap bastards when they see our professional picture in a Hallmark photo card. The pictures cost 3 times what the cards did! I can hear them now, "Whoa. Check out the Kendalls. Couldn't spring for the in-studio photo cards, eh?" Ouch.

I know I'm going to find those cards. Most likely the day after I put the stupid Hallmark ones in the mail. These cards are evil like that. Well, I have news for them. The second I find them they're going in the fireplace. And I'm wearing a crucifix and holding a bottle of Holy Water while I do it.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Oh, Christmas Tree

Our Christmas tree isn’t the fanciest I have ever seen. I have seen trees that spin, play songs, and hang upside down. Our tree is crooked. It is too narrow. The boughs are sparse and cheaply made.

Our Christmas tree isn’t the prettiest I have ever seen. I have seen trees festooned with glorious, sparkling ornaments and lights that twinkle so perfectly that it all but takes your breath away. Our tree is quite empty. There are pockets of space in the front and the back has few, if any, ornaments.

Our Christmas tree isn’t the tallest I have ever seen. I have seen trees so tall they seem a never-ending fountain of light, percolating dreams and wishes. Our tree is short. At just under 6 feet, I can just stretch high enough to put on the star. The star is too heavy for our cheap, little tree so it frequently topples over and I use physics to keep from toppling to the ground.

No, our tree isn’t the fanciest, or prettiest, or tallest I have ever seen. Our tree is crooked, narrow, cheap, bare, and short. Our tree is a really bad blind date.

Until you get to know him.

You see, something happens to our tree after the first couple of ornaments. He begins to speak and suddenly takes on a beautiful glow. He grabs me and tells me a story and after it is over, I can’t help but love him. I’m a sucker for a good tale, and he gets me every year.

Our tree recounts the history of two people who, while dating, loved to visit museums. Their first date, in fact, was at LACMA.

Pinkie & The Blue Boy

She is creative, flighty, and thinks elephants are brilliant.


He is quiet, analytical, and a man of science.


She loves books.

Mouse and Books

He loves to play golf.

Golf Tee

They live in California.

Summer Santa

A couple of years go by, and they decide to get married.


They celebrate their first Christmas.


She is getting ready for law school and he is straightening his tie for work when the first plane crashes into the World Trade Center.

Fireman Santa

They have one son.


Then, another.

From Colleen

Here the story stops, because that’s as far as they’ve gone. Don’t you want to hear more? I do.

Each delicate, glass ornament captures a moment in our life. Not every moment is represented in our little tree but, hey, these ornaments don’t come cheap. We have time to add them as we can, so the Mr. reminds me.

It’s funny. Of all the ornaments we own, only one did I purchase on a whim. Every other ornament, including those we received as gifts, have a special memory behind it. As Mikey handed me the ornaments, this “no memory” ornament slipped from his fingers and fell to the ground with a crash. The irony did not escape me. Or, at least it didn’t escape me an hour later after I had cooled down. It’s as if the little ornament couldn’t handle the guilt of it’s own insincerity.

Uh oh, Kermi

Our tree isn’t perfect and doesn’t look exactly how I wish it would, but that’s ok. I imagine one day it will be fancy, pretty, tall and perfect. When that happens we’ll know we lived a long and full life and our ornaments will soon find new homes sprinkled among the crooked, narrow, cheap, bare, and short trees of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

Provided we don’t drop any more.

Oh, Christmas Tree 2007

Friday, December 7, 2007

Favorite Moment

*Each Friday I try to post an essay and picture of my favorite moment of the week. If the week sucked beyond all comprehension, I might post my favorite "worst moment" of the week. Someway, somehow, you're getting my favorite moment.

Sometimes life is very busy and you get overwhelmed. Adults know this, and deal with the chaos accordingly. Friends, I’m a whiny, little 3-year old.

In the last two weeks, I have attended two baby showers (one of which I hosted), one rehearsal dinner, one wedding, one post-wedding brunch, two birthday parties, 6 doctor appointments for the boys, and hosted Thanksgiving. I also had a birthday, but it sucked so magnificently that it doesn’t even warrant an honorable mention on my “Holy Crap, I’ve Been Busy!” list. In between all of this I worked on Paper SoufflĂ© and wrote a few pieces for clients. So, yeah, I’ve been feeling over scheduled, unappreciated, and really, really bitchy.

Did I mention I’m a whiny, little 3-year old?

Well, recently an act of kindness from across the country restored my faith in humanity. When I became pregnant with Nico both my best friend and my sister-in-law were struggling to get pregnant. I felt guilty talking about anything pregnancy related and, understandably, I doubted they wanted to hear me complain about my morning sickness. So, I went and did something crazy: I joined an online group for pregnant women due in February 2007. We were a large group of 50+ women who quickly bonded over cravings, mood swings, and all things baby. Fast-forward 18 months later and only a tight knit group of 10 remain. Since the babies will soon celebrate their first Christmas, we decided to do a small ornament exchange. I received my package on Monday from the lovely Colleen, and I am touched beyond words.

Not only did she include a glass ornament for Nico knowing that I collect glass ornaments, she also remembered that big brother Mikey is obsessed with Mickey Mouse. What do you think I found, carefully wrapped up and sitting snuggly next to Nico’s ornament? That’s right. Nothing less than a Micky Mouse ornament, personalized by Colleen herself for Mickey’s biggest fan.

The fact that someone whom I have never met in person remembered that my oldest loves Mickey Mouse and was generous enough to include him in the ornament exchange was so very kind. And what did Mikey think of his very own Mickey Mouse ornament? I think I can comfortably say he was over the moon with excitement.

Mickey Mouse Ornament

Oh, yeah.

It's on like Donkey Kong.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Dear Target,

Screw you, too.

We've been friends for a long time. I loved you when you were Gemco, and if that doesn't speak of my loyalty I don't know what does. But, lately you've been letting me down.

Take today as a prime example. Last week I dutifully entered your red den of commercialism looking for wrapping paper. This wrapping paper had to wrap presents for my brother-in-law's 40th birthday and my own brother's wedding. I didn't like much of what I saw (we'll talk about your selection later), but decided on a metallic ring pattern against a white background. I also found some brown ribbon that complemented nicely the copper in the paper. I gave you my money and went home to wrap brother-in-law's one present. I used ribbon from my own collection for the birthday present, choosing to save your brown ribbon for my brother's three wedding presents.

Well, low and behold today I sit down to wrap my brother's three measly, little presents and guess who runs out of paper after wrapping only one present? Now, I'm not a mathematician, but if I wrapped brother-in-law's present last week, and one of my brother's presents this week that means the wrapping paper lasted for all of two presents. What the Hell is that?! I was in some sort of denial at first, quickly unwrapping the first present to see if there was a more efficient way to wrap all three presents without having to go out and buy more paper. But, alas, no amount of inventive geometry could hide the fact that I had to go buy more wrapping paper because you are a cheap bastard. And so I did.

And you know what?

By God, if I take the time, with a migraine, to pack up my two sniffling boys and head over to buy more wrapping paper you could at least have the decency to have said wrapping paper in stock! OK, fine. Popular paper is frequently out of stock. Sure, it happens. But how do you explain the 17 rolls of ugly you have in its place? Pink and purple hearts with swirls?! Really? That's the best you can do? Unacceptable, Target. Unacceptable.

Having no choice but to find something that worked, I settled on a roll of ecru paper. Ecru, which we all know is code for "cream with way too much yellow in it." Ecru, which is nowhere to be found in my original wrapping paper selection. Ecru, Target. Ecru.

My hands were tied. I had to start combining papers, like some color-blind MacGyver, in hopes of having something presentable to give to my brother and his new wife. You might be wondering, Target, why I didn't just use the new roll to wrap all three presents. I would have, but your paper is so extraordinarily cheap and thin it kept tearing on the corners of my packages (the ones apparently made of razor blades) leaving me with just enough paper to wrap everything. Thanks, Target. You manged to be both cheap and ugly. Way to go. Behold Exhibit A:


(I added ecru bands around the other packages to keep the fabulousness consistent)

Target II

I thought, "at least I have the brown ribbon!"

Well played, Target. Well played.

Why did I think a three inch spool would contain more than a yard of ribbon? You think I would have learned from the wrapping paper debacle, but no. I remain an optimist to the end. I have to hand it to you, at least you're consistent. One roll = two presents. One spool = two presents. Beautiful math, but you still suck.

So there I was, searching the house for a way to multiple ribbon like loaves and fishes except, you know, I'm not Jesus so I can't perform miracles. Twenty minutes later, I decided what the brown, silver, copper, white, and ecru presents needed was a little gold tulle. I mean, how obvious! Doesn't that sound lovely? I didn't think so. At least the lighting today was poor enough that in this picture it actually looks like it all matches. It doesn't. Behold Exhibit B:

Done, no thanks to Target

Yeah, it doesn't look that bad in the picture. We're dealing with a case of "good from afar, but far from good." I blame you entirely, Target. If these presents look good, you get none of the credit.

Frankly (you know I'm upset when I start sentences with adverbs), you're getting cocky. I think all this Isaac Mizrahi, Thomas O'Brien, and now Jessie Randall is going to your head. I hate to be the one to break it to you, Target, but you're not so hot. Sure, I can walk into my neighborhood bullseye and pick up a nifty wool coat for the season. But I can also pick up a tube of Preparation H. (So I hear.) In my mind, any store where I can simultaneously buy something "fabuless" and something to "soothe the itch" shouldn't press their luck with wrapping paper subterfuge.

I can't quit you just yet, so consider this a warning. Lose the ugly paper, keep the good ones in stock, and package it all so I can wrap more than two A5-sized presents at a time. I don't think I'm asking much. Remember, K-Mart has Martha. And a pharmacy section.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Hello Migraine, My Old Friend

Mickey love
Originally uploaded by poem gal
I've had a headache since last Wednesday, and it's all my fault. I haven't had a consistent run of headaches like this since I was pregnant. The brief respite was wonderful and due to eating a predominately raw diet (lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, salads, etc.). I discovered my body functions best on whole, unprocessed foods, and really the results were miraculous. On top of living headache free, my stomach pains and heartburn disappeared and I lost 12 pounds in a matter of 3 weeks. Amazing!

So why did I stop? Several reasons. The primary reason is financial. Why does 1lb of raw macadamia nuts cost $12? That's a rhetorical question. I know why it costs so much, but it doesn't stop the sting of injustice when that 1lb of nuts lasts me a couple of days. Meanwhile, over on aisle 10 I can take my $12 and buy 7 packs of 5 Shrek-shaped Macaroni & Cheese. That's 35 boxes, people. 35! I could eat Macaroni & Cheese exclusively in December and still have enough to carry me into the middle of January. Eating healthy is expensive, and this year we had several thousand dollars worth of medical expenses that forced me to modify our food budget. Yes, I'm bitter.

The second reason is that I am a variety kind of gal, and while I love salads, they wear thin after a couple of months. There are loads and loads of delicious raw recipes out there, and that would certainly remove the monotony of the diet, but I just can't seem to find the time to make anything. Now I'm just whining.

The last excuse reason I'm not currently following my diet is the weather. Salads, fruits, smoothies, and the like are a blessed relief in the summer. Now that it's cold, though, I find myself craving something warm and cozy.

I can't help but look over my list and think these are some pretty lame excuses for not following a diet that makes me feel so healthy. The money one is pretty valid, but I can just skip the nuts for the time being. Headaches? Heartburn? Lethargy? Stomachaches? I don't get it. What am I doing?

Surely I'm not the only one who defies logic by eating or doing things they shouldn't?


The Mickeys were a gift from Mikey. (In case you were wondering about the Mickey Love picture above) Yesterday I spent the afternoon on the couch in agony. I pretty much let Mikey run amok and put Nico in his jumper so he was at least contained and safe from any choking hazards Mikey may have left on the ground. I must have looked pretty bad, because Mikey came up to me with his beloved Mickey crew and said, "Here, Mama. This will make you feel better." He was right, it did.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Dear Gray Hair,

Screw you.

You are hereby given notice that the undersigned is terminating your tenancy of the premises located at front hairline, where you are a tenant from month to month under the lease dated January 01, 1992 between Jules as unwilling landlord and Nasty-Ass-Gray-Hair as tenant. This termination is to be effective on December 14, 2007. You must continue to make landlord suffer mercilessly until this date.

You are required to vacate and surrender possession of the premises to the undersigned on or before the above date, free of all occupants and personal possessions, e.g., grotesque two inch baby hairs and maroon spots of faded color. Upon termination, the security deposit in the amount of $100.00, or any remaining balance, will be used to repair any damage to the premises and ego and otherwise applied according to law.

If you fail to vacate the premises by the above date, the undersigned may commence eviction proceedings against you and/or exercise other available rights and remedies under the law. Landlord is willing and able to use any and all coloring techniques to ensure your timely demise.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation, bitch.

Very truly yours,



Anyone else suffer from premature gray hair resistant to color? My color doesn't last more than one month before my hairline is 50%-75% gray. It used to hold color well, but not anymore. I've been told I'll probably need to go lighter to hide it or color my hair every 3 weeks. I'm not thrilled with either option. Option A may not look so hot with my dark hair and eyes, and Option B doesn't work with my budget.


Monday, December 3, 2007

Pancakes & French Fries?


I was 14 years old and staying the night at Kara's house. At around 2:00 am in the morning, still bushy tailed and bright eyed after a night of boy talk, movies, and Saturday Night Live, we decided to make ourselves a little snack. The problem? We couldn't decide if we wanted something sweet or something savory. Pancakes or French fries. Of course, at 14 years of age, that wasn't exactly a deterrent. No, instead we did what any enterprising teenage girls would do: we made both. At 2:00 am.

The next morning(ish) we had a bit of explaining to do (it takes a lot of dishes to make pancakes and French fries, especially when you don't really know what you are doing). The utter confusion our menu selection induced was just enough to deflect attention away from the grease and syrup stains peppering the kitchen. To this day that late night snack lives on in infamy with Kara's family.

So what does this have to do with my blog?

I've toyed with the idea of starting a blog for the better part of a year, but the thought of committing to one focus gave me the vapors. You hear it time and time again that great blogs have focus. Focus?! I usually skip lunch just to avoid the hassle of making a decision. Finally, though, I decided to be true to myself and write about whatever suits me. Every day (?! it's like I don't know my own self!) I'll try to write about nothing. Or everything. Just not something. Consider this blog an homage to the indecisive. Those creative individuals out there who love fashion, and design, and cooking, and art, and science, and math, and crafting and are looking for someone else out there who loves it all, too.

I guess if I had to sum it up, I like to think Pancakes & French Fries, the blog, is a bit like the story that inspired it's name. Spontaneous. Irreverent. A little bit sweet, a little bit savory. Like my life. Like your life.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Favorite Moment

My Birthday
Originally uploaded by poem gal
Birthdays certainly aren’t for the timid.

Today I turned 35, seemingly out of nowhere. It didn’t go exactly as planned, but it ended sweetly with Mikey singing Happy Birthday at the top of his lungs. Without a doubt, my favorite moment of the day.

Hi, Mom.

It's just you and me right now. I decided to start a blog. Before you ask (because I know you will even though I've already explained it to you a million times) a blog is short for “weblog,” which is essentially a website where one or more people post brief articles on their topic of choice.

No, I haven’t decided what I will write about.

No, I don’t get paid.

You’ll just have to trust me.

Back to my blog. I’ll explain the title later, but for now I just want you to know that you can actually subscribe to my feed! Please don’t ask me to explain a feed. All you need to remember is that you can subscribe to "it" and receive notices each time I post something new. The easiest way to do this is by creating an account at a site like Bloglines. Once you get to the Bloglines homepage, click on “Sign Up” and…

Sigh. Whom am I kidding? I’ll be over later tonight to set everything up for you, ok?

your daughter.

p.s. If you could babysit the boys for my hair appointment on the 14th, that would be great.