A few quick takes because it's very early in the morning. Okay, it's 6:45am, but that is very early for writing a blog post.
1. I got a job. WOO. Ask and ye shall receive, yes? Very happy thoughts about all of that, and even happier thoughts at email I just received letting me know the office chair and desk I ordered yesterday will arrive today. My back thanks you, Big Box Office Store (who I won't mention by name in order to mitigate spam comments.)
(I actually started this post
yesterday two days ago, so now my desk and chair have arrived and are put together. Hallelujah! I twerked my neck a week ago and then got on an airplane, spent three nights in a hotel room, got on another airplane, moved furniture in the guest room around, pulled weeds, and then put together new furniture. I have basically been hobbling around for the last week, so I am very excited for some nice lumbar support. Aww yeah.)
2. We ran the MS 5k a couple weeks ago (with my parents) and a big thank you once again to everyone who donated. We beat our goal, so that was AWESOME. Next year will be bigger and better.
3. I just finished reading Rules Of Civility (which is my sixth book of the year, GO ME) and I cannot recommend it enough. It made me want to live in 1938 and drink gin and chain smoke without judgment or any knowledge that it was killing me slowly. If you like books about periods in history without being history-ish and also with sassy main characters, then I recommend this book. I believe it's the author's first book, but I hope he plans to write more. He has a way with words that make you occasionally laugh out loud and that is my favorite.
4. We finally watched The Campaign, which we originally tried to watch when it first came out. We went to the drive-in, thinking LG would fall asleep in the car on the way there. She most certainly did not fall asleep in the car on the way there, so we had to jump ship right as the movie was getting underway. I thought it was pretty hilarious, but I am partial to Will Ferrell and Zach ThatguyfromtheHangover. Probably my favorite part is at the beginning, when Will Ferrell's character, Rep. Cam Brady, is on the campaign trail and says, at a carnival, "Filipino Tilt-a-Whirl operators are the backbone of this community!" How many times in my life have I had to use that rhetoric? MY GOD. (A lot of things were the backbone of our community/economy/etc., let me tell you what.)
Also, there's a part where Zach G's character, who's running against Cam Brady, says, "Get a broom, because Washington...IS A MESS" and now of course we keep going around saying, "Get a broom, because _________...IS A MESS" in the Zach G accent. (If you've ever seen his hour-long comedy special thing, that's basically who he plays in The Campaign.)
5. Yesterday when I dropped LG off at school, I walked inside to put some diapers in her cubby and when I was leaving, she was standing there and all the other kids were running around like crackheads and I asked LG for a kiss goodbye and she gave me one. And then I died because that won't last forever, will it? She so rarely even acknowledges my existence when I drop her off, so it was extra special. (Don't worry, I fully expect her to flip me off when I drop her off today.)
6. Speaking of LG, she says fork like "fook" except she just started to put a different inflection on "fook" and at times when she's not saying the word fork and...Oops. I'll take the blame for that one.
7. I mentioned above that *I* put my new office furniture together. Well. I put the chair together, okay? Chris did the rest. Credit, where it's due, etc.
People often ask me when we're going to "give LG a little brother or sister" and while the jury is still out on that one, I wanted to talk about only children because I think there are some misconceptions about us onlies and I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences. Obviously this isn't everyone's -- one and done or otherwise -- thoughts and experiences, but they are things that I have heard in the wild or experienced myself, so here you go.
First misconception: Only children are spoiled. I think we all know this is not true, right? I mean, I probably haven't heard this a good 20 or so years, so I hope we're past this, but in case we're not: Only children aren't any more or less spoiled than any other children. Like almost anything else regarding child-rearing, whether or not you raise a spoiled child has to do with the parents. I got a lot as a kid, but I also had to do a lot. I started doing the whole house's laundry when I was around 10-years-old and I had a job at 16 and to this day, I still write a thank you note whenever I receive a gift. See? Not spoiled.
Second misconception: Only children can't share. Like I said above, I think this too has a lot to do with child-rearing/parenting. Does my two-year-old run around saying, "Mine mine mine mine mine!!!"? Of course she does. I probably did too, as did everyone else at that age, I'm sure. But as a 30-year-old? I can share. I have been able to share for quite some time and in fact, I love to share. Please come over to my house and I'll cook for you and share my wine and couch space and anything else you may need. Sharing is caring.
Third misconception: Only children are lonely. I think this probably has to do with genetic makeup as much as personality and preferences. Some people can be surrounded by family and be completely depressed and lonely. Some people can be only children and yet have a ton of friends to surround themselves with. Some people can be only children and just -- OMG -- like to be alone. I didn't have a ton of friends growing up (but my best friend from 20 years ago is still my best friend today, so I hold onto friendships HARD), but I wasn't really lonely. (Sure there were periods of lonesomeness, but I think that's true for anyone.) I read a lot of books, I had imaginary twin friends whose dad drove a painted VW bus and lived in San Francisco, and I talked to myself. A lot. Out loud. To this day, I still talk to myself (out loud) and I enjoy my alone time (books!) and while I don't currently have any imaginary friends, I do have a lot of real friends, so I think I have a good balance there. Point is: Only children are not lonely. Not anymore than you and you and you.
Fourth misconception: When an only child's parents die, they won't have anyone else. It had literally never occurred to me that when my parents are gone, I'll be alone, but I heard someone say this once and I got all depressed. And then I snapped the fuck out of it because dude, parents dying is hard no matter who you are or how many siblings you have and while maybe having a sibling there would make the process easier (I do not know), I do know that, for me personally, I have a husband and a child and aunts and cousins and friends-who-are-like-family and honestly, it's just something I don't like to think about and would never consider when deciding whether or not to have more kids.
Fifth misconception: I've had people ask me something along the lines of, "Don't you want to give LG a sibling? It's so special!" and I totally do not doubt that. I see Chris and his three younger brothers, so I GET IT (as much as I can get it.) But here's a little secret for you: An only child's relationship with their parents? Is awesome. Now, maybe you're an only child and your relationship with your parents sucks (I hope not!) or maybe you're one of many and your relationship with your parents is awesome (yay!), but for me? There is sort of an indescribable connection that the three of us have that I don't have with anyone else. We can basically read one another's minds and I think this really has to do with it being just the three of us for so long. When you're stuck on a desert island (or Bakersfield) with only two other people, you get to know them pretty damn well. It's not a sibling relationship -- OF COURSE -- but it's cool and different and for me, a sibling really would have compromised the relationship me and my parents had when I was growing up, as well as the relationship we have now. For better? Worse? Of course I'll never know, but I don't really want to know, either.
(I feel like this post could also be titled "Only Children: They're Just Like Us!" but it's true. We're just as happy, sad, lonely, fulfilled, spoiled or not as everyone else on the planet.)
Only children or people raising only children: Did I miss anything here?
(This information is only really applicable if you have a Costco membership; if you don't, well, then I don't know where you're buying your 20-pound pork loins and cases of wine, but I hope you're comfortable with wherever that is.)
My grandpa recently clued me in on a (little-known, I guess?) tidbit about Costco wine. He said that oftentimes, the bigger, fancier (my words) wineries have leftover wine that they sell to Costco, who then bottles it under the Kirkland label, and sells it for much cheaper than the bigger, fancier winery would.
Unfortunately there's no way to know if the bottle of Kirkland you're buying is in fact Kirkland (they have a winery here in Napa Valley -- I know nothing about it) or something bigger/fancier, but perhaps, like me, you're perusing the booze section of Costco and you see this wine for $6.89...
...So you buy two bottles (because it's $6.89!!!) and try it with very low expectations. Then you're all, WHOA! This is good! and you scurry back to Costco and buy a whole case.
I have a feeling like anything else at Costco, these wines go as quickly as they arrive, so check for new ones often and meanwhile: CHEERS!
It is that time of year again! The garden went down a couple weeks ago (except the peppers; more on that later) and it seems to be doing pretty well despite a few factors working against it.
Number one being the motherfucking wind that's been blowing through here LITERALLY since I put the tomatoes in the ground. It was touch and go for awhile there, but minus one or two tomatoes that, while still kicking, are looking pretty dire, most are growing and doing well.
Elizabeth always says she's the best person to know in March, when she starts slanging tomatoes and I must agree, except to say that she's the best person to know always. (But in March is pretty cool too.) Now that the tomatoes are starting to grow and not looking all leaned over and yellow and sad, I'm feeling pretty good about them.
Number two is the fact that the front garden has always been a bit of a problem child. I think we rushed to put in it right after LG was born and it's just been floody and uneven since then. There's grass starting to grow on the left side there, which: ARGH. But this year I decided to just make the far left side my compost area (as you can see, there are bits of coffee filters and lemon rinds and onion peels, yum), so that area can be as fucked as it wants and whatever. COMPOST AWAY.
On the right side of the front garden, where things actually grew last year, I planted one of each kind of squash and two hills of cucumbers and then planted a few more off all those things elsewhere in the front garden because I figured, who knows, maybe something will grow. (As a secondary precaution, I also planted some zucchini in that planter on the rocks, because the fact that I grew no summer squash last year seriously harshed my mellow.)
And that is pretty much all I planted! I am loosely following a northern California gardening guide the SacBee printed back in January and it says to plant peppers in May, so I shall wait until May for that. The peppers will go in front of the tomatoes in the back garden. I hope placing them in front helps them do better than last year, where they were hidden from the sun by huge tomato plants at the beginning of the day and the shadow of the house at the end of the day.
This is the year I decided to stop trying to make fetch happen and so I am only growing things I know I am good at growing. Simple simple. (Oh, I did plant eight potato eyes over in the back garden on the front right side, so I may end up with eight potatoes and I may not, but meanwhile, they're not taking up a ton of real estate.)
While I know what kind of vegetables I am good at growing, flowers are a whole different beast. This is the year I've vowed not to buy any flowers from the grocery story and just clip flowers from the yard. I have three rose bushes I planted a few years ago and they do pretty well and then this random rose bush that we did not plant, nor know about, started going crazy on the side of the house, so I've been clipping some pretty flowers from it.
As for these purple and white and yellow things, I've always considered them like weeds because they've grown abundantly at every house I've lived, but I never cared much about them. I clipped some before they bloomed and put them in my room and the next day they were open and cheery and nice, so I decided I do like these weed flowers. (It may be a very nice plant, I don't know.)
I also have a gardenia plant (sadly being suffocated by one of these weeds, what to do what to do) and I am making it my mission to nurture the shit out of that one because gardenia is my absolute most favorite scent ever.
So that is where we are with the garden. I shall report back as things start to bloom and grow and meanwhile, if you can tell me about the weed plant and also how to talk to a gardenia to make it grow big and huge and glorious, please let me know.
I mentioned my April fitness plan was to try to do a combination of cardio (running mostly) and weight-lifting, as I've never been able to keep up a good balance of the two in the past. We're over halfway through the month and I'm about equal on the days I've done cardio and weight-lifting or just weight-lifting. I still use the Nike Training Club App -- although the updated version required me to create a username and password and ugh, I hate that (but, I haven't received any spam emails from them yet, and the app was free, so whatever) -- but one of my new favorite post-run quick workouts is a body weight workout my friend got from her personal trainer.
I've been given the super-coveted clearance to post the workout here, so I thought I'd share it with you! If you're looking for a little something something to supplement your run or walk, I highly recommend this workout. It only takes about 10 minutes to complete, but I must warn you: It is hard, yo.
15 burpees (UGH)
15 sit-ups -- with legs straight and taking 3 seconds to lie back down
15x3 push-ups -- 3 push-ups and then a sort of "hop" push-up (kind of like a clap push-up but without the clap)
15 bicycle crunches (on each side, so 30 total)
30 seconds holding yoga push-up position
15 side crunches (on each side, 30 total) -- start in that sort of yoga twist position (knees bent and turned to one side) and make sure your shoulders are touching the ground before each crunch
45 seconds on each leg, holding a split squat -- keep your body upright and put one leg back like you're going to go into a lunge, but hover the leg in the air for 45 seconds; switch and hold on the other side
15 burpees (arguably the worst part of this entire thing UGH I HATE BURPEES)
And that's that! I've been trying to do this after every run and I've definitely noticed a difference in my arms. Like I said, it's hard, but it's only 10 minutes, so it's easy to talk myself into. Happy push-up-ing!
I haven't cried in my bacon or even needed to go hide myself upstairs in well over a month, so I feel like I'm doing pretty well staying at home with LG most of the time. As I mentioned last week, we went to the library (and are going again today, in fact) and the recent nice weather has meant we can go out for walks/runs, so just getting out of the confinements of four walls has been very helpful for both of our sanity.
We've also been getting out in the backyard more, watering the garden (me) and getting muddy as SHIT (not me) and playing with bubbles. I miss working, I really do, but at the same time, I spent the better part of a recent afternoon rocking and patting a stuffed rhino ("baby!") and I never did get the opportunity to do that at my day job, so...
I'm still applying and interviewing for jobs, so I'm sure that means all this "woo-hoo things are good" will be uprooted soon. Until then, I'll be here rocking a rhino to nigh' nigh'.
Whoa, did our MS walk fundraising take OFF. We're in fifth place for fundraising in our county and even though it's not about winning (yes it is) that is pretty awesome considering we've only been at it a little over a week. THANK YOU all who've donated! (And shameless ask for money right about....NOW.)
I've been making a lot of food recently (as usual), but have been doing a shit job of taking pictures or following recipes. Here are a few things we've had recently, though.
Holly's Caramelized Italian Pork Chops with Sweet Onion Jam (a long-time favorite here.)
I finally returned the favor to the neighbor who brought me daffodils awhile back and brought her roses from my garden. And then I walked over and chatted with her for a bit and if you know me, you know this is a huge deal, as I'm like the least neighborly person I know.
LG has started saying some two-word phrases ("sit down!", "no way!", "more please") which is a pretty big deal considering she didn't say many words even a few months ago.
Yesterday she was letting me sit in peace and do my crossword puzzle, so I let her have at it with her play kitchen and she kept saying "wa-wa" and pointing to the sink and I was like, "Yeah, water goes in the sink!" and she was like, "Uh-oh!" and I was like, "It's okay! Now who was Secretary of State from 1980-81?" and then I later found out she had dumped all her water into her play sink and it was all over the coffee table. Uh-oh indeed.
She used to call me Ma, but over the past few days has started calling me Mommy and I die. I JUST DIE.
I am highly suspect and a little terrified of businesses who change the first letters of their name to all be Ks. (Example: the Kountry Kafe.) It's just a little too veiled in antisemitism for me, you know? (Some people who used to live down the street from us have a company where neither word starts with a K and yet they changed both the Cs to Ks and why is that necessary? I THINK I KNOW.)
So yeah, that seems like a good place to end. Happy Wednesday, friends! What's going on with you?
- Yesterday I took LG to story-time at the local library and got my first library card in probably 20 years. (Maybe that's an exaggeration, but definitely not a big one. I only used the library in college for napping (those chairs were comfy, yo) and I think before that, I hadn't taken advantage of a public library since elementary school.)
So, anyway, we went to the library and perused the fiction stacks (only Flynn [comma] Vince, no Flynn [comma] Gillian that I could find, but I just figured out how to reserve books online, so I'm number 46 in the queue for Dark Places, woo) and then we wandered back to the kids' section and settled in for story-time, where a very animated gentleman sang some songs and read some stories and played with puppets and LG and I sat there looking at each other like, "Are you for reals, dude?" No, actually, it was fun (well, fun-ish, you know what I mean) and a fine way to waste an hour (I'm including drive time here) and I think we'll go back, and probably even sometime before my copy of Dark Places is ready to be picked up.
One more thing about story-time, then UGH, I'll shut up about it. There were some moms there who got really into the singing and the dancing portions and yeah, okay, I sang along to the ABCs and whatnot, and I raised my hands to "tickle the sky," but some of these people were just getting into it. Like, they were actually enjoying themselves and I think that's great (NO REALLY), but it is just so not ME. As I said, LG and I participated enough, but I think we both know the sky is not ticklish, you know?
- Chris and I started a team for the MS 5K we're running at the end of the month and here's the part where I shamelessly ask you to donate some CASH MONEY to the cause. If you can't, I get it, and I'll only hold it against you a little bit (kidding!) (is she?) Anyway, here is the information if you're so inclined to donate to Team Unity! (If you click that link, you'll get to see a throwback picture of LG and also note that Chris and I are wearing our matching Drinking Team t-shirts from a pub crawl we attended in San Diego years ago. CLASSY.)
- I planted my tomatoes this past weekend, so naturally the winds have been horrific the past two days and the plants are looking SUPER sad. Ugh, I am just throwing up hopes and prayers that they survive and thrive, but things are looking dire. Also, this was the year that I decided I wasn't going to keep trying to make, like, corn or beets or carrots happen and just grow what I know I'm good at growing (summer squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers), so if nothing makes it this year, I will be devastated. (I have garden worry, can you tell?)
- The other night we ran the sprinklers for the first time this season and I figured LG would get near them and then back off, but instead she ran right into them and got totally soaked and just loved it. That sort of thing isn't really my bag, but I must say, I admire her spontaneity.
- Chris's best friend Chris (and his wife) are coming to visit this weekend and we are going to go to an amusement park and it should be a good time. I don't have a fear of roller coasters or anything, but they are not my most favorite thing in the world, so I'm kind of looking forward to riding some kiddie rides with LG, or just strollering her around while I drink a beer and everyone else rides roller coasters. That sounds sort of lame, doesn't it? I will ride some rides (anything that corkscrews I like, go figure), but the weather is supposed to be in the mid-70s, so I am just really looking forward to working on my tan. And drinking beer.
- It's Wednesday, can I get an AMEN.
Parenthood has sort of forced me to be a nice and friendly person, which is certainly not my regular personality baseline. I don't think I'm mean, but I just tend to leave people alone, because I generally like to be left alone. I guess most people aren't like this, because when I'm out with LG, we get a lot of people saying hi to us and while LG continues to be skeptical of everyone (that's my girl!) I do try to teach her nice manners. Like, reciprocating when someone waves hello, things like that. Basically, I would prefer not to raise an asshole (such as myself.)
Unrelated, I was recently thinking about how being out and about with LG makes me feel safer. Take, for example, my runs around the neighborhood. The other day I got up early and ran in the dark-ish and I literally thought for the first mile or so that I was being followed. (I was not being followed.) I spent pretty much the whole run with my hand on my phone, silently cursing myself for not wearing a hat to cover my ponytail. (I did run very fast that morning, so at least there's that.)
Now, when I go out running with LG, I do not fear for my life at all. Granted, I don't take her out for runs at 6am, but still. There is something about pushing a stroller that just makes me feel safe. Like, nobody would mess with a lady with a baby! And if they did, I have zero doubt in my mind that I would seriously fuck that person up. I said I'm not a mean person, but even thinking about someone messing with my baby makes me see red and so if we ever find ourselves in a situation that requires me to kick some ass in order to save the little lady in the stroller, well, I will kick some ass.
I don't think that's a unique thought about your child (or any loved one), but just interesting to me how the presence of a baby can have me go from OMG IS SOMEONE FOLLOWING MEEEEEE I'M GOING TO DIE to I DARE YOU TO MESS WITH ME, FUCKER.
Regardless, I think I'll teach LG some roundhouse kicks, in addition to nice manners.
- I would like every piece of furniture in Roger Sterling's office, especially the mirrored credenza and his desk (but I could do without the trippy dots picture, as it gives me a headache.)
- Confidential to Matthew Weiner: MORE JOANIE, PLEASE.
- Sally continues to be my favorite ever.
- Ken Cosgrove was not his usual self and I'm intrigued to see what that is all about. Has Ben Hargrove got writer's block? Is it something to do with Peggy's move? (Didn't they have a I'll Take You With Me clause in their friendship?)
- I remember Ted Chaough being more of a dick (no...pun intended?), but he was so nice to Peggy last night. I think the move to CGC was a good one.
- What will they do about the P in SCDP? RIP Lane.
- Chris was like, "Who'd give away a random stranger at their wedding?!" and I was like, "You would. You so would."
- Linda Cardellini as a woman with a 19-year-old kid? Even with the hair and makeup, I'm not buying it.
- More Pete (okay, mostly more Trudy), please.
- WHAT WAS UP WITH THE RAPEY FOREPLAY THING OMG BETTY YOU WEIRDO.
- I totally called Roger crying over his shoe-shine guy (I'm sure you did too), which only makes me think Weiner lost his touch there.
- (He totally got it back, though, didn't he?)
*If you didn't watch last night...WHY THE HECK NOT? and also you're welcome for not spoiling anything. Now, I'm off to read the recaps! (Looks like Entertainment Weekly and Esquire have some new recappers; here's hoping they're as good as last year!)
My brain seems to only be working in tiny snippets these days. Sounds about right.
- I tend to think people are older than they are and then when I find out they're actually younger, I get worried...Do people think I'm older than I am? I mean, I hope people don't think I'm 40 (NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT), but I recently thought a girl who was 27 was in her mid-30s. She looked about 22, so I think it's more a personality/demeanor thing, but still. I would like to just look and act my age. Not younger, not older. (But when I'm older, I think it goes without saying I would be on board with looking younger.)
- I abhor baby-talk and do not/have never baby talked around LG and yet she calls water "wa-wa." I can't imagine the school calls water "wa-wa," so I guess it's just an innate thing, but still. Why not just "wa"? Anyway, every time she says "wa-wa," I say "wah-TER," in the same tone Dr. Evil asks Goldmember, "Oh, you mean FAH-THER?"
- I have a running list (in my head) of celebrity couples who I never want to break up (as well as a list of celebrity breakups I'll never get over.) It's totally silly, but whatever, I can't help but get attached to some of these people.
Never break up: Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith (although a quick perusal of Google headlines tells me they're in an open marriage?), Ken and Lisa from RHOBH, Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr., and I know there are a handful more, but of course I can't remember on the spot.
Still not over it: Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe (I know they're totally over it, but I'm still not, whatever), Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams (although I would approve of Ryan with Emma Stone, you know, in case they're looking for my approval), and again, I can't remember anymore right now.
- Mad Men starts back on Sunday, so I think I should get on planning my menu. Last year we did steak and potatoes and some sort of wedge salad or creamed green and gin martinis. I think the gin martinis should stay (obvs), but I'm on the lookout for a good '60s throwback meal. I'm thinking something with a puffed pastry?
I hope everyone has a happy Friday and happier weekend! I am sick-ish for the one millionth time in the last six months, but am going to pretend I'm not. I have tomatoes to get in the ground (thanks E!) and obviously that gin isn't going to martini itself.