Friday, August 29, 2008

Favorite Moment

When I was a young child, my parents had hanging in my room a painting, most likely mass produced, of several girls dressed in white playing Ring Around the Rosie. In the moonlit dark of my room, those girls came to life and danced and twirled in their canvas cage. Sometimes they would form a tight huddle and point and whisper in my direction. They terrified me. I went to bed each night with the sheets pulled high above my head, and the sweat of fear mingled with the sweat of poor ventilation. My parents, thinking I was cold, added more blankets to the bed. I was too scared to tell them of the painting, but I can't remember why. Maybe I knew it was silly, maybe I didn't want the girls in the painting to know I was on to their hijinks.

So when I first saw Mikey several weeks ago covered in sweat with the sheet wrapped around his head, I knew the monster he insists lives inside of the ceiling light was keeping him up at night. At four years old, Mikey's imagination is now developing faster than his compact little body.

He is interested in the difference between good and evil, heroes and enemies. His dinosaurs hold elaborate conversations with the cars and trucks in his playroom while they wait patiently for the chocolate cake to come out of the toy oven. Superman counsels the Incredible Hulk on why it's not nice to be a bad guy.

He won't go in his room if the noon sun isn't there to blind him as he walks in. I set up a child's stepping stool next to the light switch so he can climb up and turn on the light, even in the bright light of day.

He doesn't like for me to roar loudly, and never when his back is turned. If I do, he holds up two small hands and admonishes me by saying, "Mama! Don't do that! You're a mama, not a monster."

He always sleeps with his stars on, and when he wakes up at 1:30 or 2:00 in the morning and finds them turned off, he creeps into our room and asks the Mister nicely if he could turn them back on because his room is very dark.

I remember so clearly being his age. I remember being afraid of ghosts and monsters and things that went bump in the night. I slept on my back so no one could sneak up on me. I closed my eyes during most of the Wizard of Oz.

The only thing that made me feel better was having my mom sleep with me or, even better, sleeping sandwiched between my parents in their bed. I remember that feeling of comfort and safety and warmth. And, within minutes, I wasn't afraid anymore and quickly fast asleep.

This is why I never get mad when Mikey comes in at 1:30, 2:30, 4:30 in the morning. I don't see it as a nuisance or as manipulation. In fact, I love it. I love the feel of his small, smooth arm as he pulls me in for a tight hug. I love the way he burrows his toes in the hem of my pajamas, and the way he rests his cheek on my shoulder. I love when he says wants snuggles more than stars.

So my heart did a little flip-flop in my chest when I opened my bedroom door late Wednesday night and found him and Big Bunny asleep under the tidal wave of our blankets. He was sleeping in the middle and surrounded by pillows, like I always tell him to, so he wouldn't fall out of the bed. He just couldn't wait for us to come to bed, and instead found comfort in the sheets and pillows that smelled faintly of us.

I stood there watching him for a very long time as the moon light turned his skin a milkly iridescent and the floor boards creaked softly under my feet.



I don't twitter. It's just another one of those time sucks I fall victim to, and I haven't decided whether I need another reason to be glued to my computer. But, if I did, today I would probably post something like this:

When I decide to break my diet with fried zucchini, by God there had better be ranch dressing in my bag once I get home. Because, really? Friend zucchini without the ranch dressing tastes like feet.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How I Met the Mister, Part II

(You can read How I Met the Mister, Part I right HERE)

About a week before I went to T.G.I. Fridays with Kara, my friend, Steve, and I were discussing our requirements in a boyfriend/girlfriend. Having ended a tortuous 4-year relationship two years prior, I was ready to return to the dating scene from my self-imposed sabbatical. I was smarter and more confident in what I wanted. In fact, I had it narrowed down to two requirements:

1. He had to like art and museums.
2. He had to remember I was lactose intolerant.

Steve was concerned my list of requirements couldn't weed out the riffraff, but there was a method to my madness. I felt a museum lover would be reasonably intelligent; less likely to spend Monday nights smashing beer cans against his forehead, if you will. More to the point, we would have something in common and share similar interests and hobbies. Someone who remembered I was lactose intolerant would be caring, attentive, and not self-involved. I was looking for the opposite of everyone I had ever dated.

I thought it was genius; Steve remained unconvinced. One week later, I walked into T.G.I. Fridays with Kara and unwittingly put my requirements to the test.

Kara and I were sitting at the table in the bar area debating what to eat while the Mister served drinks to the regulars sitting at the bar. I knew I had to stick with soda or water since I had class in less than an hour.

“So, ladies,” the Mister asked from his post behind the bar, “what can I get for you?”

I looked at him looking at me, opened my mouth and said, “I’ll take a shot of tequila, please.”

Kara grinned into her menu. A regular spun around in his seat, took one look at me, and chuckled.

“Well, alright,” and the Mister also chuckled. “What kind can I get you?”

I didn’t really care, so I asked for Cuervo 1800, which was on special.

“You don’t want that.” The Mister said firmly.
“Really. Is that a fact.” He had caught my eye, but not my tongue. “And why are you so sure?”

“Because it’s not good Tequila, so you’re just paying for a heavily marketed label. If you want to come over here, I can explain to you the different types of Tequila and how it’s produced.”

And that is when I left my perch in the safety zone and walked over to the bar, trying to ignore the smiles and elbowing going on by the regulars. The Mister placed several different bottles of Tequila on the bar and explained at length the production process. He explained the difference between silver and gold; aƱejo and reposado; American brands, Mexican brands; and the best climate for the agave plant. All of a sudden, the cocky, backwards-cap-wearing bartender had turned into a nerdy scientist, and I, who spent hours as a child reading the encyclopedia for fun, was immediately and hopelessly smitten.

I had one shot of tequila and maybe another drink. I never did make it to class. But, I did call Steve from the parking lot to tell him I met the man I was going to marry.

I spent the next couple of weeks going to T.G.I. Fridays with various friends, all of them curious to catch a glimpse at the first guy to ever make me gush. I made sure we sat in the dining room, far away the bar. We never saw him, until one night when I was there with my friend, Tiffany. I was walking back from the bathroom to my table, minding my own business when some rude bastard all but screamed in my ear, "MOVE IT, OR LOOSE IT!"

I turned around to watch the Mister rush past me with two arms full of hot plates.

I returned to the table and told Tiffany I saw him, but that it wasn't going to work out. "I couldn't possibly marry a guy with thighs thinner than mine." Tiffany agreed it was for the best.

A month or two later, Kara wanted to go to Fridays. I told her no way. She begged and pleaded and promised we would not go anywhere near the bar. I told her since I was wearing old jeans and a slouchy sweater plus didn't have time to do my hair or put on makeup that I would only go if she went in first and made sure the Mister was not working in the bar. Not that I was interested, but still.

To her credit, she lived up to her part of the bargain. He wasn't working in the bar and she waved me in. Almost immediately we were seated. The hostess handed us our menus, smiled sweetly and said, "Your server, The Mister, will be with you in just a minute." Our chins hit the table. I told Kara she was on her own and grabbed my purse to leave. When I looked up, there was the Mister. I could tell he recognized us immediately. I wanted to die.

I couldn't leave, so we ordered dinner and drinks. He was friendly and chatted with both us in between serving tables. Nerves kept me from eating anything more than the ice in my stiff drinks. I hadn't planned on ordering drinks, so I had to go use the ATM and get more cash. When I returned, the Mister was kneeling next to Kara talking, and it occurred to me he liked her and not me. He left immediately upon my arrival, leaving Kara grinning.

"I think that guy wants to..." Kara never got to finish her sentence because the Mister was back, and this time he sat next to me.

We had the world's most stilted conversation. Then the Mister looked at me and said, "Well, I like you. I was wondering if you would like to meet up someplace and have coffee."

To which I responded, "I don't drink coffee." What the??? That's all I could come up with? WHAT AN IDIOT!

The Mister looked a little surprised, but didn't miss a beat.

"Okay," He said, smiling. "Do you like art? Would you like to go to the LA County Museum of Art with me?"

Why, yes. Yes I would.

The Recluse Goes on a Play Date

I'm the mom who's friendly, easy going, and remembers your child's name. I'll greet you every morning, ask you about the weather, and email links and articles I think will interest you. But, unless I've known you for 20 years and you are part of my inner circle, that's as far as it goes.

I don't do lunch. I don't do parks. I don't do mom groups, Gymboree, Little Gym, or Musical Munchkins. I am a recluse. Imagine my horror, then, when this morning I received a call from a mom on Mikey's soccer team. The team that started just last week. She wanted Mikey to have a play date with her son today at 1:15. Nicholas goes down for a nap at that point, so I told her it wouldn't work...but that [gulp] Mikey would love to do a play date any time this week or next in the mid-morning.

She suggested tomorrow morning. I agreed, and started to feel woozy.

I suggested a park in the area. She said to just come over to her house. I agreed, and then passed out.

Tomorrow the boys and I are headed over to the house of a person I have known for all of 30 minutes on Saturday. Do normal people invite into their home people they don't know? Is this what social people do? I can only assume she's burned through all her friends and spotted me, fresh meat, from across a green soccer field. I picture the worst: me sitting next to a prized Precious Moments collection while 3 of 17 cats weave in and out of my trembling legs. Then, my hostess will remark casually that little Colin was up all night throwing up, but he was so excited for his play date she didn't have the heart to cancel.

Indeed, I fear my hostess tomorrow is:

  1. A swinger.
  2. A Shacklee representative.
  3. A Scientologist.
  4. A serial killer.
I called the Mister to express my concerns and remind him where I keep a copy of my life insurance policy. He wasn't as quick to make the connection between play date and fiery depths of Hell. Instead, he had the audacity to suggest my hostess could also just be a nice mom thinking about starting a book club. Yeah, right. What are the odds?

Monday, August 25, 2008


Now that the Olympics are over, what do you say we all get some work done? And maybe go to bed before midnight? While normally not a sports fan, my eyes have been glued to the TV for the last 17 days.

Some observations:

Even when happy, Nastia Liukin looks sad. Something about her eyes makes her seem like an old soul.

I will never be mistaken for 2008 Olympic Gold Medal winner (Women's Marathon), Romanian Constantina Dita.

This little troll stud (?!) bugged the crap out of me. Too much frat-boy testosterone coursing through that 5'1'' frame. Oh, and walking hunched over and pushing your shoulders forward does make you look broader, but it also makes you look like you are walking hunched over and pushing your shoulders forward to make yourself look broader.

Watching Michael Phelps win 8 gold medals was awesome.

Usain Bolt was impressive, and has a very convenient last name. But would it kill him to save the showboating until he actually crossed the finish line? I admit I would not have cried tears into my pillow at night had he tripped on his flapping, untied shoe lace two feet from the finish line.

Something tells me he likes the attention.

Did you watch the Olympics? Are you tired, behind on work, and simultaneously happy/sad it's over with, like me? What observations did you make during the Olympics? What do you think of the Chinese age controversy? (Nice collar, IOC young dude)

p.s. Since the Olympics are over, look for How I Met the Mister, Part II tomorrow!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Only the Most Perfect Thing Ever.

I suck at geography. Everyone who knows me admits it is true. In fact, my brothers like to ask me random geographical questions, knowing I will not know the answer, just so they can laugh at me and say, "Remember that one time when Jules was, like, 25 and she couldn't list the seven continents?" Then they'll drop to the floor in hysterics. Oh, and my age? It gets older every time they tell that story. Which is about twice a week.

For the record, I think I was 11. In fact, I know I was 11 because we were flying back from vacation when I innocently asked my dad in a crowded, quiet airplane, "Dad, how many states are there in Europe?" After he picked his eyeballs off the floor and took 3 blood pressure pills, he calmed down enough to be barely yelling at the top of his lungs.


Really? Not even now, with 150 strangers looking at us?

I spent the next 6 hours on a plane answering geography "pop" quizzes drawn up by my dad on cocktail napkins. My brothers, younger bastards that they are, lapped up my punishment like Cheshire cats.

Mike (9 years old): Haha. I can't believe you thought Europe had states.

Jules: Shut up.

Paul (7 year old): Yeah, Jules. I can't believe you thought Europe had states.

Jules: That's real original Polly-Want-A-Cracker.


Jules: Well it fits, Parrot Boy.

Dad: You three knock it off back there or I'm getting out of my seat!

Mike: Jules, you're so dumb I bet you don't even know the seven continents.

Jules: I said shut up, and yes I do.

Mike: Say them.

Jules: They're the ones that start with A, and I don't need to tell them to you.

{Strategy: Mike is a genius. Freakishly smart. I knew I was skating on thin ice by entertaining any sort of mental battle with him and was avoiding having to directly answer his question about the continents.}

Mike: You don't know them. How could you? You thought Europe had STATES.

And, like most battles, I lost on account of pride.

Jules: Fine. North America, South America, EUROPE...

{Starting to fade}


Mike: I KNEW IT! You don't know them! OhMyGod! DAAAAAAAAD!

And you can imagine how thrilled my Dad was to discover the names of seven continents didn't just roll of my tongue like gum balls. The next three "pop" quizzes involved continents. I think it was fill-in-the-blank.

But don't worry, I know them now. Except that I had to double check in Wikipedia because for some reason I thought there were eight and I was going crazy trying to remember the last continent. Especially since, while scanning the world in my mind's eye for the missing 8th continent, I realized suddenly I ran out of earth.

All this to say I found this on Darla's blog and thought it was the most perfect thing ever for this geographically-challenged, California girl. So perfect, in fact, I just might send it to my Dad and brothers..knowing full well one of those clowns will bring up that stupid continent story.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Scholarly Suspect

On Monday the Mister and I were watching the Olympics and marveling at the 80 pound, 10-year-old Chinese gymnasts when we were suddenly interrupted by the unmistakable crack of gunfire. Mind you, I don't live in the ghetto. I live in a nice, boring neighborhood from the 1950s filled predominately with original owners. Our neighbors to the left, Fred and Pam, are retired officers. Behind us is the ophthalmologist, Al, who recently lost his wife, Wanda, to a massive MI at the age of 83. With all the polyester around here, we were more likely to suffer a crime of fashion before a crime of passion. Or so we thought.

The first bullet to hit the air took us by surprise, and I daresay we thought it was Fred's or Al's or Eugene's or Harve's 1969 Buick LeSabre backfiring. The second, third, and fourth bullet had us ducking our heads as we ran towards the boys' bedrooms. They were sawing logs, of course, because that's what you do amidst gunfire. The Policy and Procedure Book for Children Aged 1-5 clearly states that one must wake up screaming (1) for no reason, (2) between the hours of 2:00am - 5:00am, (3) on the nights before deadlines, meetings, appointments, and school. They were off the clock in their minds.

But we were up and at attention. The Mister went outside to check on the neighbors while I stayed inside by the phone. As luck would have it, all the neighbors went outside to investigate at different times, so we all missed each other. The next day the street was abuzz with speculation and everyone recounted the story from their perspective. This was way bigger than the sale at Walgreens. In fact, this was up there with Medicare Part D. Fred swears he saw the suspect jump his fence and enter another neighbor's yard. No one really believed Fred because of his reputation for embellishment, but tonight handed me some evidence that makes me think ol' Fred may not have been spinning a yarn, after all.

We were outside playing with the boys. The Mister was checking the grass for doggie land minds, and I was his second set of eyes. I kept pointing out piles with my feet. Here's one. Here's another. You missed one right here. Oh, and here's...a book?

The Scholarly Suspect

Not two feet away, over by the boys' slide, lay a book wrinkled and beaten from the sprinklers. A Stephen King book, no less. My mind raced with criminal possibilities as I shrieked and pointed it out to the Mister, who remained unconcerned. Maybe it belongs to Fred or Pam. Maybe their son, Kevin, accidentally dropped it over the fence. Maybe, maybe, maybe. I wasn't convinced.

The Scholarly Suspect

Then the Mister found the second book, this one about a foot away from the first. At this point I remembered every episode of CSI, CSI NY, CSI Miami, Law & Order, Criminal Minds, True Detective, and Medium I have ever watched. Any number of whackos could have left those books. Remember the Urban Legend about the life-sized clown statute that turned out to be an escaped criminal from the insane asylum? What if it was that guy?!

I handed over the evidence to Fred, who immediately instructed Pam to get her CSI kit, even though as waterlogged as the books were, fingerprints were unlikely. I could hear Fred's retired wheels spinning. He is going to be up all night.

I am, too. Not just because the books suggest someone was in my backyard, most likely running. As shocked as I was 20 minutes ago, now I'm just flat confused. I'd love to speak with the suspect (behind bars) and ask about the books. Because, really? Books? Did he think he would get a break in the mayhem and madness and catch up on a few chapters? You know, in between stuffing silver candlesticks in his robber-bag he might like to read chapter 14 real fast because, let's face it, when you hit the arc in a suspense novel you have to ride it to the end. Am I right?

Clearly, my criminal is a scholar. Maybe not of fine literature, but a reader nonetheless. Hey, if anyone can appreciate the call of a good book it's me. But might I suggest that he put down the crime and suspense and read this:

Something tells me he could learn a thing or two that may be useful for his line of work.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm Here!

Sorry I've gone long between posts. I have been busy. Super busy. Not just with work, but also hanging out with friends.

Can you believe summer is almost over? I am quite sad about it, really. In a couple of weeks Mikey will be off to school. Sniff. Sniff.

Monday, August 11, 2008

How I Met the Mister, Part I.

I grew up in a strict, conservative Catholic home, the Argentine-born daughter of two immigrants. I was not allowed to speak with boys, date, or wear makeup. No daring outfits, dangling earrings, or dark nail polish. I begged, at the age of 13, to read Seventeen Magazine. I think my mom might have allowed it, but my dad flatly refused to even entertain the thought, even after I explained to him that 17 year old girls don't actually read Seventeen. After college, it was assumed I would return home. And I did. I was twenty-one years old.

I didn't even think of getting my own apartment until I was around 24 years old. By that point, I was almost done with my Masters and my dad was finding it increasingly difficult to end arguments with, "Because I said so." I found a very nice apartment in a lovely woodland-like setting. I had money saved up (living at home doesn't cost much) and I took great pleasure furnishing my new place. As I placed furniture and hung poster art, I couldn't help but fantasize of all the parties I would be hosting, late nights laughing with friends, and grilled dinners on the balcony.

Here's the rub. Sheltered Catholic girls don't have many friends, and the friends they do have lead equally dull lives. My friends from college all lived out of state. Things were not going as planned. I was now poor, bored, and lonely. I started going home to have dinner and staying until it was time to go back to my apartment to sleep. Suddenly my parents and brothers seemed infinitely more interesting.

I'm a night owl, so I would often pull into the apartment parking lot between 10:30 and 11:00pm. I am also exceedingly cautious. Morning, noon, or night--whether I was in or out of the apartment I kept everything deadbolted. On my first night there I installed a security light. So I was on my toes when I stepped out of my car just before 11:00pm. I did everything right. I scanned the area. I held my keys in my hand, and even had one extended and ready to stab any unsavory penises that dared cross my path.

I bounded up the stairs, looked around, and seeing no one, unlocked the door and quickly went inside. I immediately locked all the locks, including the deadbolt. I put on my pajamas, washed my face, and was scrutinizing my face in a magnifying mirror when I first heard the knock on my door. I had been inside my apartment for less than 10 minutes.

It was a happy knock, if knock can be happy. The kind of knock you rap on a friend's door when they are expecting you.

Knock! Knock!

Who's there?
I said without saying. I gently put down my tweezers and cocked my head, waiting for a familiar voice to call my name.

Knock! Knock!

Bill? Steve? Not Tiffany, we're fighting. Kara is already in bed. A little something inside me started to tingle. I quietly got up from my vanity stool and walked towards the knock. I didn't make a sound as I approached the door and stood before it, not knowing I was projecting my fractured image through the peephole to whoever was standing outside.

Knock! Knock! Knock!

A little more insistent. I softly pressed my fingertips against the door and looked through the peephole.

White male, or light-skinned hispanic. Early 20s. Average height, 5'8-5'10. Overweight and doughy, about 220 pounds. Dark hair slicked back, round glasses. Some acne. He must have sensed my presence or noticed movement in the peephole because he suddenly broke out in a huge smile and chuckled, like I should be happy to see a miniature version of him staring back at me. I did not say a word. I did not know him.

I reached down to release the deadbolt, and then changed my mind. Instead, I walked into the kitchen and pulled my chef's knife out of the block and walked towards the bedroom. I picked up the phone and debated calling the police.

And then he tried to kick down my door.

For a split second, I stared at the door in disbelief, wondering if perhaps I didn't imagine the deafening crash. But then the crash came again, and I knew by the way the window in front of me shook that he was rushing the door and trying to break the deadbolt. I called 911 and explained in bursts what was happening. I had to yell over my potential intruder, who was now screaming, cursing, and kicking the door, for the operator to hear me.

The operator was very nice. He took down all my information and told me someone would be there shortly. And then he said he had to go.

Please don't hang up. I'm scared. I could barely speak the words. My mouth was taking in short gasps of air like a fish out of water.

I'm sorry. I have to answer more calls.
And it occurred to me the operator didn't want to stay and hear what would happen when my intruder made his way past my locks.

We hung up, and I called every person I knew and then my dad. Only my dad was home, and by the time I reached him the pounding at the door stopped. I daresay in the deafening quiet he didn't believe me when I told him someone tried to break into my apartment and the police were on their way. He showed up as I just as I finished giving the officer my statement. He thanked the officer and as I walked down the steps towards my dad, the officer called down from my stoop.

Your daughter is very lucky. There's someone going around. She would have been the 3rd.

We didn't ask 'the 3rd what?' because we didn't want to know. My dad never said a word on the way home, and I never went back to the apartment. My mom had a family friend clear it out and put everything in storage. I canceled my lease. I resumed my boring, sheltered life, only this time with great pleasure.

Two weeks later, Kara called me and invited me to eat dinner at our favorite restaurant, T.G.I.Fridays. Now that I was at home, I had plenty of money for such luxuries, and 30 minutes later we were in the lobby of the restaurant waiting for a table. I had a night class for my masters, but if we ate fast, I could make it in time.

I know you two ladies aren't waiting for a table!

Kara and I looked over to find a bartender leaning over the bar and looking in our direction. Kara and I turned around to make sure he was talking to us.

Yeah, I'm talking to you! You're not really going to wait for a table when you can have dinner right now with me, are you?

Kara and I looked at each other. I don't really drink. I don't go clubbing or dancing or partying. I certainly don't eat dinner in bars--don't people puke in there?! My eyes said it all: I couldn't possibly do that.

Kara looked back at the bartender. Sure, why not? That sounds like a great idea.

We both walked into the bar, Kara with a more lively step. I smiled weakly at the obvious regulars and they chuckled into their bourbon. I made a point to sit at a table in the bar, not the bar itself. I wasn't going to be there long.

The bartender smiled at my passive-aggressive defiance and walked around the bar to our table. He greeted Kara first and then turned to look at me.

Hello there.

I took in his hair, dark as pitch, hiding underneath a gray Kangol hat. Two eyes the color of money stared right through me, and for the first time in my life I blinked first.

Hello there yourself, Mister.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Favorite Moment

Getting pregnant isn't always easy. For some of us, yes. A couple of months of easy work produces a team of dividing cells that bubble inside you, not unlike like happiness you feel when a second pink line suddenly appears alongside the lonely control. It was like that for me, but not like that for more than 12% of women out there, and not like that for my best friend, Kara.

She's tried things. Lots of things. They haven't worked, except one time, and it was fleeting. A few short weeks of dividing happiness before the bubble burst. So she and her husband decided she would take a break from trying lots of things. They decided to become foster parents in hopes of adopting domestically. Within a couple of short months, they were the foster parents to two girls aged 7 and 2. The youngest one had red hair, like Kara.

The girls were removed from their home because their parents were dealing and taking methamphetamines. They came with two trash bags of clothing, abandonment issues, and developmental delays. Kara and her husband were thrilled.

They went to the beach and museums and parks. They ate real, complete dinners as a family. Kara met with the oldest's teachers and both she and her husband worked around the clock to bring her up to speed academically. They put her in private school for the summer and attended her awards ceremony at the end of the term.

They were bubbling with happiness once again.

The parents, while clean, were not making the progress stipulated by the Court. They failed to secure a job. They had no place to live. The girls came back from visitations hungry, dirty, and, on three occasions, with with heads teaming with lice. Kara took off work all three times to take care of the situation because that's what moms do.

While the parent's lack of progress was unfortunate, Kara and her husband were, albeit secretly, bubbling with happiness at the prospect of adopting the girls.

And then, on an ordinary Wednesday, the social worker called Kara and her husband to let them know she would be recommending to the Court reunification. She wanted the girls placed back with their parents full time. The parents were still jobless and homeless, but she felt those were issues to overlook in light of the fact they had been clean for almost six months.

And, again, Kara and her husband's bubble burst.

Thirty days later, I attended a farewell party for the girls. The next morning, Kara dropped the girls off at the adoption agency and said goodbye for the last time. That night they received a phone call about another little girl, this one eight years old. For many reasons, they gently closed the door to their open home--temporarily. They needed to take a break from blowing bubbles.

And so that is why this week my favorite moment is not really a moment. Instead, it is a feeling of respect and admiration for those couples out there, like Kara and her husband, who open their homes to the many children out there who have no family of their own. Children out their who are alone in a world without family, without hope, and without bubbles.

If I had a magic bubble blower, I would surely blow them some. And a few for Kara, too.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Poop Stories are Funny.

Mikey: Mama, come look at my big poop in the toilet and will you wipe my bottom?

Jules: Sure thing, buddy.

... ... ...

Jules: Wow. Good job, Mikey! Um, did that hurt?

Mikey: Of course not, mama! It doesn't have any thorns, you know.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thank You

Thanks for all the well wishes. My migraine is gone. I thought it was coming back today midafternoon, but so far so good.

Also, I wanted to thank you for the fantastic book recommendations! I'm still working my way through them, but I just have to say you all have some fantastic taste in books. Right before we left for Lake Tahoe I took all your suggestions to the bookstore and planned to take them all off the shelf, read the backs, and then decide which I would bring on the trip. Then God started laughing. And Nico started crying. And Mikey had to have one of each wind-up toy. And a ball.

I ended up grabbing the first four I could find. Not the thoughtful selection process I envisioned, but the books were all excellent so it worked out.

Since late June-July I have read and loved the following:

1. The Pillars of the Earth.

2. When You Are Engulfed in Flames.

3. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.

4. Naked.

5. The Monsters of Templeton.

Next up is Middlesex after I finish a couple of outstanding projects. Then I'm going to make my way to and be completely unsurprised when not a single book I want is available. Then I will go to the bookstore and buy some more recommended reading.

How has your reading gone? And do you recommend I add any other books to the pile? It's big, but oh so pretty.

Monday, August 4, 2008


I think I'm going to take some time away from the blog. Maybe a couple (more) days, maybe a couple of more weeks. I've been having excruciating migraines (the one I'm nursing now has been around since last Tuesday) and the computer monitor isn't making things any better.

I know most of you understand the joy that is a never ending migraine. Wish me luck that this one ends soon.

And, yes, I am making an appointment with my doctor as we speak.