wan-na find something?

Friday, October 31, 2008

the bean's got a star on her butt.

thank you for your kind words and condolences. i received an e-mail from my aunt with the memorial service details, which gives me hope that my presence won't be as disruptive as i feared. i still plan on remaining in the background as quietly as possible, but i'm relieved to know that i can attend and pay my respects to a wife/mother/daughter whose life was cut short far too soon.

and i'm even more sad for those two little boys who will forever associate halloween with the loss of their mommy. i hope that they'll be able to celebrate her life and their memories of her in the years to come.

now, to answer a couple of questions about the teen's halloween plans - she's wearing her costume at school today. then tonight she's going to meet up with BFF to go trick-or-treating around the neighborhood and probably meet up with some of their friends. it's most likely the last year they'll be able to get away with going house to house and scoring free candy. heh.

i managed to complete two important tasks yesterday - online traffic school and a call to the county recorder's office to verify that i'm registered to vote! whee! i was getting antsy because i wasn't receiving any election-related mail, and the online status thingy still wasn't showing any record of my registration, despite the fact that i'd mailed it in twice. and i really, really want to vote in this historic election.

so after a 15-minute wait on hold (going through that traffic school as i sat there), i finally got through to a bored-sounding government employee. i explained my dilemma, and after she put me on hold a few more times to "check on things," i heard the magic words:

"okay, you're all set. do you need your polling place information?"

sah-weet! although the hub's vote totally cancels mine out, i'm still stoked that i'll be able to take part and exercise my right as an american citizen. and i'm gonna rock that "i voted" sticker proudly come tuesday. yay!

the bean rocked some new jammies last night. how cute are these:

that little butt just cracks me up.

tomorrow is tea with my mom and the teen, and then we'll head off to that memorial service. a rather strange combination of events for one day, but hey - you take what life throws at you and go with it, right?

happy halloween and happy weekend to all!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

i'm at a loss for words

i just received news of the passing of a family member, who'd been suffering from cancer for the last year or so. it seems that halloween is a sad time for our family, as the anniversary of my uncle's passing (also from cancer) is tomorrow.

i am overcome with sadness - she was a warm, kind woman who faced her illness with strength and optimism. and she leaves behind a husband who loved her tremendously, as well as two little boys, both still in elementary school. oh, my goodness, those boys are now facing life without their mommy, who they adored. i can't even find the proper words to express how heartsick i feel over their loss. and it makes me hold the bean a little tighter as she sleeps, and look forward to giving the teen a huge hug when i pick her up in a couple of hours.

however, this leaves me facing a bit of a dilemma. you see, this lady was married to one of the sons of the man who molested me. and since that revelation and subsequent mud-slinging earlier this year, relations with my aunt have been non-existent, at least for me. i only heard the sad news because my mom forwarded me the e-mail that was sent out this morning. and i really want to pay my respects, as this has nothing to do with that family drama, not to mention that i genuinely liked and respected this woman a great deal.

but i worry that my presence will do more harm than good. the last thing i want to do is to be disruptive. i could just plan to slip in and stay in the very back, and try to sneak back out as quietly as possible afterwards, right? i just don't feel right not attending at all, and yet i fear the possibility of upsetting anyone by being there.

rest in peace, M. i know you'll be watching over your boys, and they'll always have wonderful memories of how much you loved them. and may god grant R the strength to go on without you. you were an awesome and loving mom and wife, and you will be incredibly, exceedingly missed.

houston, we have a problem.

last night, i witnessed absolute proof that the bean is totally a mommy's girl. i was treated to a demonstration of what happens when i'm gone (usually having some "me" time with the girls) at night, when it's bedtime.

i was doing some work while the hub took charge of getting her to sleep, and she was being extra squirmy - wiggling and turning to look at me with pleading eyes. she would reach out towards me, wailing and waving, and the hub would just hold her closer and try to calm her down. after a little while, the wailing and waving turned into all-out bawling.

and then came the most distressing crying that i've ever heard out of her. it was angry, screeching, screaming - so unlike the sweet, peaceful bean i'm used to - and the hub turned to me and said "this is what it's like when you're gone."

that stopped me in my tracks. the bean cried like that while i was out having a good time? i was so upset by this - you know what's coming - that it made me cry, too. of course, i tried to hide this from the hub, but with my lack of long hair to hide behind, it wasn't long before he looked over and realized that the waterworks were on in two places.

when he finally gave up and put her in my arms, she stopped. immediately. she looked up at me, touched my face, gave a few of those insanely sad shuddering breaths, and i melted. i started nursing her and she was asleep almost within seconds.

oh mah gah. i don't know how i'm going to be able to leave her behind the next time i have an evening outing. i will, of course, because i need the time away and she needs to learn how to deal without me around, but now i've seen what actually happens. yikes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

playing dress-up

so, halloween is now just a few days away. my emo, anti-pink teen, after mulling over a zillion different choices, settled on a fairy costume. a FAIRY. i love it. she already had a tutu that she'd bought at last year's l.a. county fair, and decided to build her costume around that.

after a trip to the local costume shop for wings, a wand, and a tiara, plus target for some tights, and then payless shoes for ballet slippers, she modeled part of it for me:

that knee brace is the bane of her existence right now - it doesn't fit under her super skinny jeans, and it doesn't make sense to wear it over them. so she's had to settle for wearing some of her older jeans that aren't quite as slim-cut. poor baby. heh.

and i'd said all along that the bean was going to make use of that birthday tutu and slippers and be a ballerina. and i was going to stick to it - but the other day, an idea popped into my head and i couldn't make it go away. with her new 'do, there was one costume that would be absolutely perfect for this halloween:

snow white!

so yesterday, after gymboree class, i hightailed it over to the nearest mall and headed for the disney store. i knew they had all of their costumes on sale for at least 40% off, and i danced a little happy dance when i walked in and found that they'd increased the discount to 50%! i managed to find the costume, plus matching shoes, and walked out a happy camper. unfortunately, both items are a size too big, but this way she'll have them to play with next year when she gets a little older.

at home, i decided to have her do a test run, just to see exactly how the dress would fit. and i was pleasantly surprised to see that it actually fit quite well! pardon the crappy iPhone pics. and the bedhead mop o'hair. oh, and the jammies she's rockin' under there.

all she needs now is a red headband. maybe i'll just use a red ribbon, because those plastic headbands tend to hurt after a while. and how funny are these shoes??

now, i'm off to sew the ribbons onto the teen's ballet slippers. with pink slippers and purple tights, i'm at a loss as to what color ribbon to use, but i'll come up with something.

yay, halloween is fun again!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

more teen awesomeness

i opened an envelope from the teen's school last week and found a flyer advertising space in this year's yearbook to post a baby picture and a message. she's in her last year of middle school (!) and, like lots of schools, the yearbook has a section dedicated to the graduating 8th grade class.

of course, i jumped at the opportunity to cheese it up. you know this. i dug up one of her old modeling shots from back in the day, scanned it in, and sat down to write a message. and how much do you love this picture?

i was torn - sentimental, funny, cheesy? all of the above? and then i decided to be a little silly and write something that she would crack up at in future years - a reference to her love for nick jonas. she swears up and down that that love will "neeeever die, mom," but we all know how that goes, right? like, i managed to get over my undying devotion to duran duran - simon le bon, to be specific. heh.

and i'm SO fucking proud of that girl - as i mentioned before, the first quarter of the school year ended on friday. and according to her progress reports online, i'm the uber proud parent of an honor roll student! it's the first time she's managed to get grades good enough for the honor roll, and i'm just so proud. although he's giddy and proud too, the hub balked at the idea of putting the bumper sticker on the car, but i'm going to find a way to put that shit up somehow. she worked too damn hard for me not to.

i can't wait for that report card to come in the mail. i'm totally going to frame that thing and put it up on her wall. oh! maybe i'll get a shadowbox so i can throw that "my kid is on the honor roll" sticker up in the mix, too.

ah, i can see her eyes rolling already.

Monday, October 27, 2008

weekend roundup

i met up with MommyBelle and her two mini sidekicks for a costco shopping trip and yummy, cheap lunch on friday. we strolled up and down the aisles, avoiding some areas that offered big ass displays of princess-related items (for obvious reasons), and ended at the food court for pizza and stuff. and when we were all done eating, LP dragged her mom off to the restroom, and i volunteered to keep an eye on LFM for her. i stuck the bean in the cart next to him, and busted out my trusty iPhone.


"heeeyyyyy...what's up, sweet thang?"

"you've got a little something right...there. here, let me get it for you."

"wait, is that all i get?"

"i think you two need a chaperone."


and then the long-awaited karaokefest '08 was on saturday night, organized by the one and only monkey. i'd missed it last year, with the birth of the bean, but i was bound and determined to make it this year. i'm not a great karaoke-er, as i have a pretty weak singing voice, but i sure love to participate in group singalongs.

usually, i'm all about snapping away with the camera, even if there are about half a dozen others who are doing the same thing, because i love to write my own blog recap about stuff. but i found myself having so much fun that i didn't even bother with it on saturday - and besides, there's already an awesome post about it by our hostess. yay!

sunday found us down at the beach, meeting up with my family at the folks' house for lunch. and then while the hub, my brother, and BIL took the bean for a walk down at the beach, the rest of us relaxed on the comfy couches and shot the shit for a while. it was a nice way to cap off the weekend, and we all enjoyed catching up with each other.

the bean is a sneaky little shit. we have a little area set up for her, with the tile floor covered in squishy playroom mats, with a couch on two sides, a baby gate set up along another side, and the gap between the couches closed off by the ottoman/coffee table thingy. this way, she has freedom to walk around and play with her toys, while the rest of the room is closed off (where the dog's food and water and potty pads are set up).

but she's figured me out. she climbs up onto the couch:

swings her legs over the other side:

makes her landing on the other side, grabbing ahold of the magazine rack to steady herself:


oy vey. and do you SEE that mischievous little grin on her face? when she sees that i've caught on to her little game, she squeals with laughter and makes a run for that doggy dish. it's hilarious.

every day is an adventure in the wan house, i tell ya.

Friday, October 24, 2008

what were YOU doing at 12:01 this morning?

because as for me and the teen, we were here:

standing here (behind a 50ish balding dude who was there by HIMSELF - creeeeeepy):

for this:

oh, yes. the 3rd movie in the high school musical series is out on the big screen, and we were standing in line at 11:30 last night to be among the first to see it. mm-hmmm. and there's a brand new movie theater in town that just opened last week, so i was happy to plant my ass in brand new seats and drop popcorn on a shiny new floor.

we were sort of impressed at the amount of people standing in two separate lines, waiting at that hour on a thursday night for a disney movie - and then we found out that saw V was also premiering at the same time. that explained the hordes of 20-something DUDES sporting rock concert tees and skateboarding attire. i'd been a little cornfuzzled at that one.

and lest you start ridiculing/chastising/judging me for taking the teen to a midnight movie premiere on a school night, you should know that she's kicking some
major ass at school so far this year. the first quarter ends today with report cards due next week, and with the magic of online grade/assignment tracking we already know that she's finally going to bring home one of those "my kid is on the honor roll at the teen's middle school" bumper stickers. hell yeah! the hub and i are so dang proud of her, which we've been telling her every single day. and even more fabulous, she's proud of herself. it's an awesome time in the wan house these days.

once we got inside and found the most perfectest seats that ever were, i tried to take another picture of us, but it was just too dark. heh.

and we noticed that old bald dude stroll up and take a seat behind us, way in the back corner that was the darkest section of the theater. gah-ross!

i got up to buy $25 worth of snacks (nachos, a small popcorn, a large fountain drink, a bottled lemonade, and a box of junior mints).

as the theater went dark, the hooting and hollering was damn near deafening while this flashed on the screen:

we sat through a few previews, and then the cheering and clapping got louder.

and louder.

and, yes - even louder. before she discovered the jonas brothers, the teen positively swooned over zac efron. funny, because she's not typically into the pretty boys. but she loves her some troy bolton.

sharpay evans, played by ashley tisdale, is my favorite character. shut your piehole - yes, i have a favorite. i totally grinned when she made her grand entrance.

we couldn't stop giggling every time he dramatically threw his arms out and broke into song at the most obvious, cheesetastic moments. every time there was a pause, i'd whisper "oh god, he's gonna sing again." and sure enough, he'd open his mouth and he'd be off.

there came a point in the movie for good ol' troy to break character and turn angry and rebellious, and i pumped my fist, thumped my chest, and whispered loudly "what NOW, sucka?" the teen sputtered, cracked up, threw up her arms, and answered with a hearty "SUCK it!"

after downing three-quarters of a large coke by myself, i thought i was going to pee my pants, it was so freaking funny. maybe you had to be there.

and then it was over.

and holy shit, it was after 2 am. and i hadn't even had "last call."

the teen gave me a big ol' hug and said "thanks, mom, this was so much fun."

and that alone was totally worth it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

a whole lotta randomness for terrific thursday

it's been three weeks since the teen sprained her ankle playing field hockey during p.e. class. she hobbled around on crutches for a week, per the doc's instructions, and popped advil whenever the pain hit. the ankle's better, but she told me yesterday that the pain had moved up to her knee. weird, right? so i got her a doctor's appointment for first thing this morning. she was stoked to be missing science class, and most likely part of english, too. heh.

we enjoyed a nice, leisurely morning (well, as leisurely as you can get with an extra hour) before heading down to the local kaiser clinic. there, she was weighed and measured and the usual crap they do when you see a doc. and then we were led into the same exam room that she got all those shots in.

"this room brings back bad memories, mom. i'm traumatized!" my drama queen teen said.

she was given a gown because her damn skinny jeans were too tight for the doc to be able to check her knee properly. haha! and she was thoroughly annoyed by my singing: "i see london, i see france, i see the teen's underpants!" yes, i'm 8.

while we waited to be seen, the bean squirmed and wiggled till i put her down so she could explore a bit.

more of that lovely kaiser wall decor.

the verdict: the pain in her knee has nothing to do with her ankle. apparently, it's a common condition with a long name: patellofemoral pain syndrome. basically, it's knee pain caused by overuse, weak quads, or problems with the way the kneecap moves. the doc said she thought it was most likely from overuse (i smirked, as did the teen, because it's not like she's in sports or anything), and told her to pop ibuprofen and put on one of those stretchy knee braces with a hole in it when she felt pain.

as the teen put her pants back on, the doc wrote up a note excusing her from p.e. class for another week, and that was that.

so i've never brought a camera into gymboree class with the bean. how very unlike me, right? but at tuesday's class, we found out that one of her little friends was moving out of state and that was his last class. so sad! his mom is really sweet, and this little boy was always so adorable and smiley. i'm bummed to see them go.

finding a new boy to play with (okay, actually, we've known this cutie for quite a while now, too, and his mom is also really friendly and sweet).

bubble time!

hiding from "gymbo the clown" - at the end of the class, the teacher walks around and gives all the kids kisses from gymbo. the bean is not a kissy kinda kid - not with anyone. she turns away from us when we go to kiss her, and sometimes she'll even shoo us away with her hands. gymbo is no exception.

look, it's the bean's first class picture!

i made dinner again last night, and this time it was memphis-style ribs with homemade sauce. i meant to make some coleslaw, too, but somehow managed to get home without the cabbage i could swear i'd tossed into the cart. oh, well. instead, i whipped up a batch of red lobster-style cheddar biscuits and even a batch of sweet tea, and it was all dee-lish!

i treated myself to this little set of philosophy products at sephora. i guess it's a bit of wishful thinking, as it's called "warm by the fire" - it's so damn hot right now, and it's damn near november! ugh.

anyway, inside is a 4 oz. bottle of philosophy's fab 3-in-1 shower gel/shampoo/bubble bath in "hot cocoa," a tube of body souffle in "melting marshmallow cream," and lip gloss in "ooey gooey s'mores." and it all smells divine.

lastly, the bean decided to pluck my sunglasses (yup, i'm still sporting the old, beat-up pair - haven't had the chance to scoop up the promised pair from that interview transcription yet) off of my face. i put them on her, which she seemed to think was pretty funny. and so did i:

yay for terrific thursday!

squeezing in all the sightseeing

this was our NYC home for a whole week: it was one of only a few hotels that i could find that offered two beds in a room rather than, say, ...