Friday, December 19, 2008

I am in IT after all, cut me some slack

I will freely admit to have a geeky streak [in fact I think I just did that yesterday, but anyway]. Holy hell if this little guy didn't just knock my socks off. Well, I don't actually wear socks, but you know what I mean.

I love this. SRSLY.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Meme: Things I love A-Z

So I read a site where they were doing a meme wherein you list 10 things you love that begin with one letter and since I’m SUCH a loser that no one will ever tag me for a meme I thought I would just tag myself. But screw that one letter crap; I could never decide which one. So, one thing for each letter, plus I have little ones and the alphabet seems good and learny.

A) Austin. My boy, not the city. Not that there’s anything wrong with the city it’s a very nice city, I just, oh forget it. Moving on.

B) Bananas. I really, really love bananas. Eat one every day with breakfast. And I mean EVERY DAY. If I miss a day, or gods forbid two, I start to go a little buggy and have to get my ass to the grocery store.

C) Curry. Loves me some Indian food. I actually prefer Chicken Mahkni but I already have something for M. Wait chicken starts with C. Um, I’m not very good at this. Oh, I need to change my answer to chocolate. No, cupcakes! Fuck, why is everything about food?

D) Disneyland. You either agree or you don’t. Let’s not get into the Great Disney Discussion.

E) Enlightenment. I just realized I should have said Buddha for B.

F) Food. This is actually more of a love/hate kinda thing [cringe], but that’s a post for another day. I have issues.

G) Gnarls Barkley. Smiley Faces, The Last Time, Crazy and Charity Case to name a few.

H) Houseplants. I can’t explain this one without sounding like a pathetic Martha wannabe, so, yeah.

I) Internet. Seems obvious, but I honestly can’t imagine my life without it. I mean the other day at dinner we were arguing about whether Bobby Hatfield was still alive, only we couldn’t remember his name, so we kept calling him the guy from the Righteous Brothers that isn’t Bill Medley. I got frustrated and left the table to go to the computer to look it up and settle it once and for all. [He’s dead.] Another possible answer for I is Ikea. See D above if you disagree, same concept holds true here.

J) Johnny Depp. I don’t have to explain this one do I? Jack Johnson, too. I can’t possibly pick just one here.

K) KT Tunstall. THAT CHICK ROCKS!!!

L) Lady of the Lake. A great store in Temecula, CA. Lots of spiritual books and new agey paraphernalia.

M) Maya. My first born, named in part for Maya Angelou who always inspires me to be a better person.

N) Nightmare Before Christmas. [sigh] Once again, if you don’t agree, let’s just agree to disagree.

O) Orange Blossoms. The smell and the memories it brings back. Maybe someday I’ll post a picture of my tattoo.

P) Pineapple. This is one of those foods that can make me orgasm a little bit. Unfortunately it also gives me diarrhea. [Sorry, you probably would have preferred I said Pearl Jam or pandas.]

Q) Quilts. My mom and I used to sew together and we were on a quilt kick for a while. Now I just buy ‘em.

R) Ray LaMontagne. Wow I’m really taking the easy way out listing singers I like. But this guy is awesome. I swear. This list is all music and food. I obviously have my priorities in order. My food related answer for R would be rice. [The following is not an official video.]

S) Squirrel Nut Zippers. The best of the 90’s swing bands. This is the last music reference, I think, maybe.

T) Tattoos. I have three. My husband has too many to count.

U) Uh...

V) Varekai. Okay, I’m cheating here; I really like Cirque du Soleil in general. Some of these are really freaking hard.

W) Working. Not working itself so much. But having benefits and a paycheck is not to be taken for granted these days.

X) Xylophone. Oh come on, you try to think of something else that starts with X.

Y) Yoga. I’m too fat now, but I did it when I was younger and hope to go back to it someday. [Yes, I just claimed to be too fat to exercise. Don’t even try to argue with my brand of logic.]

Z) Zoo. Specifically the San Diego Zoo. I love that place as much for their amazing plants and trees as the pandas.

About the Meme: If you read this and like the idea consider yourself tagged. There are no rules.

Only 7 days 'til Christmas

...or so I've been told about a thousand times by the girlchild.

Cementing my geek status I hereby proclaim my love for BnL. And since we seem to be all music all the time over here at Unsweet Mama this week I submit for your listening pleasure a selection from their Barenaked for the Holidays CD/MP3 thingy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My shoes are making that squishy sound when I walk

Raining again today. The college campus I work at is getting a bit swimmy. I wear crocs with no socks everyday of the world but now my tootsies are half froze. Maybe tomorrow I'll actually wear boots or something. I do have a pair. They are older than my daughter, and half as old as me come to think of it.

.::.

I tend to get fixated on songs I like a lot. Today it's this Jason Mraz number. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Maybe, just maybe, I spend too much time watching Noggin and PBS Kids with the boy, but I really, really enjoy this song.


Are you Scared? Join the Afraid Parade! from Kelsey Friday on Vimeo.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rain, Rain Go Away

It’s raining. A LOT. This is likely insignificant to a good portion of the world but here in Southern California it happens rarely enough that I could not find my umbrella. Okay, maybe that just proves I’m a slob more than it proves how rarely it rains, but nonetheless, it’s raining, a lot, and has been all night and morning. What the hell?

The dirt road we live on turns into a river of mud in the rain, so I’m over it already. I try to find a positive angle and the best I can come up with is that at least I won’t have to water the trees for a few days. It only occurred to me a few years ago that it’s odd that I live in a place where trees only live long and prosper if they are tended by humans. If a tree dies, it usually means the property owner has left and stopped watering it. When my aunt in Montana said something about a tree in her backyard dying because it had exhausted its life expectancy (she didn’t use those exact words), the concept all but knocked me over. A tree could die of old age.

But back to the rain... Like I said, it doesn’t happen a hell of a lot around here. In fact in Austin’s 2.5 years of life it has probably only rained a handful of times. This morning on the way to school/work he was saying things like “there’s water EVERYWHERE!” and “Sun, where ARE you?” The second being very sing-songy and adorable.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Like Chocolate for Presents

TODAY’s fortune cookie reads:

YOU WILL INHERIT A LARGE SUM OF MONEY.

It fails to mention that said inheritance won’t occur until I’m 65 or so. My parents are very healthy. Damn it. Kidding! Hi mom. Love you.

Speaking of mom, the woman has everything and room for nothing, so she’s usually difficult to buy for. But this year I lucked out and found three wonderful things for her. I’m so excited! Problem is my step-dad is still hard to buy for and I’ve only gotten him one thing so far. Is buying nice chocolate that I know he will like enough to even things up?

Monday, December 1, 2008

And so it begins...

Sunday night was time for the annual Torture the Children with a Christmas Card Photo Shoot.




Sometimes, like their mother for some unknown reason, my kids look stoned in photos.





This one would have been the winner, but uh, yeah.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Die Another Day

Today’s fortune cookie reads:

BE AS WILLING TO TAKE ADVICE AS TO GIVE IT.

I advised the fortune cookie to stick it.

.::.

At 5 AM this morning I had decided to delete this blog. I’ve started and then deleted no less than three (maybe four) of these things in the last year and a half or so. I love blogs. I’m just not always sure whether I’m a blogger. Mostly I’m not crazy about the person reflected back at me here. For instance, I claim not to spend money on anything other than necessities, but admit to ordering earrings on Etsy. I don’t want to face the truth of my own weaknesses, so I’d rather delete them.

The wannabe vegetarian-yogi-hippie in me says “whoa, that ain’t right.” So here I am. If I wasn’t sure what purpose this serves for me, I just landed on it. Personal Growth. bleck.

I mean, I haven’t really been using this as a space to update distant relatives about my children. I don’t even write about them a heck of a lot. I’m certainly no aspiring writer looking for a book deal. I can’t even finish a cross-word puzzle. Write a book? please.

So Unsweet Mama lives to see another day. For now.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Proof of the Crazy

I read a blog post yesterday that used the word layer when they meant lair. I can’t find it today. This is bothering me.

I go through long spells when I get the Brian Adams song “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman,” stuck in my head EVERY FREAKING DAY.

I have enough matching dishes and silver wear to seat 24 people.

When I was a child I was convinced that I was retarded, but that my family had opted not to tell me so they could see whether my not knowing would affect the degree to which I would be retarded.

Once, when my mother-in-law asked why the dogs were barking, I told her “because it’s Friday.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Etsy Strikes Again

Freaking Etsy. Really, I should know by now to JUST STAY AWAY. I have no head for money and really like to spend what I don't have. If my bank account wasn't already all kinds of negative I would have ordered the calavera [skull thingy] above the second I saw it. It's my color*. And I have a weird thing for skulls. I don't know how I'll ever be any kind of Buddhist with my fascination with all things Dias de los Muertos. I'm pretty sure those aren't parts to the same puzzle. Oh well, I blame it on growing up in California and the constant Mexican and Asian influences coming at me from all sides.

Me want.

* I would have named my son Cyan if my husband would have let me. Course I also suggested Url (pronounced like Earl). Oh, and Inca, to go with Maya. I really am a geek. Maya suggested naming him Truck, so she wins in the weird name suggestions department. Maybe.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Party Pooper

I’m still at the party; I’m just hiding in the corner. While everyone else is trying to have fun paying off debt, I’m walking away from mine. I think. We haven’t actually filed for bankruptcy yet, but we’ve met with a lawyer and he doesn’t foresee any barriers. The only barrier I see is the 4-figure lawyer’s fee. As in, if I had that kind of money, I wouldn’t be in this situation to begin with.

.::.

Even when I omit the credit card payments, the budget doesn’t add up. Being so strapped wears me down. It makes me be not as nice as I want to be, bitchier than I need to be. It makes my body feel heavier, slower to move.

There’s too much month at the end of the money, and I blame myself. The only things I buy outside of necessities [food, gas, clothes for the kids] are DVDs and CDs and I admit to feeling entitled to that. I work full time at a good job and deserve some entertainment. We never go out. This trip to the zoo is a rarity, and I got the tickets at a discount through my union.

.::.

I got some “I’m so sorry,” type comments last time I wrote about this which was sweet and kind of surprizing. I know there are lighter days ahead. We always manage to get through these things.

I feel no shame in filing for bankruptcy; I only wish it were more affordable.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Let the Sun Shine In

I’m not sure how it happened, but I became aware of something I’ve been denying to myself for some time now. I suddenly admitted to myself that I tend to shut my daughter out, emotionally speaking.

The relationship my daughter and I have is little to nothing like the relationship my mother and I have/had. My mother was a single, working mother most of my life and I was an only child (dad’s other kids don’t count). My mom is my confidant, my older sister, my partner in crime, my disciplinarian and my guiding light. She was a teacher at the elementary school I went to, so I hardly ever had a babysitter; we went home together in the afternoon and had vacations together in the summer. We spoke the same language and enjoyed the same things.

My daughter and I on the other hand share one another with a husband/father and son/brother. I don’t know how to navigate this more traditional mother-daughter relationship. It’s more than that though, I know it is. She has had developmental issues that affect her communication skills, so we have to be more creative in our attempts to relate to one another. Also, she and I are not as similar in temperament as my mother and I. I can see already that my son is more like me, as young as he is. He and I speak the same language.

I can’t be lackadaisical about this though. I can not, will not, let my daughter grow up without ever letting her in. Don’t get me wrong, I love her more than life itself, I just don’t let people in all that easily. How is it possible she didn’t get a free pass at birth? Am I that damaged? Was I just too young when she was born? I’d blame it on my father, but I figure blaming him for my inability to trust and love easily and the effect that has had in the past on my marriage is enough. I can’t blame everything on an absent father. Can I?

I’m hopeful that this awareness will be the most important step. That now I will have clearer vision and I will see and seize opportunities to let my daughter know me as a person.

Everyone who knows her speaks about how special she is. The light and warmth that radiate from her are nothing short of miraculous. She is merely burdened with a mother who is less gifted. I need to learn from her the way I have already begun to learn from her father.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Days


I am so freaking happy today. Not only did the old U. S. of A. successfully Barack the Vote, but [perhaps somewhat less importantly] the [entire] family will be celebrating the girl-child's birthday at the San Diego Zoo in less than 10 days! I will be within mere dozens-of-feet of my beloved pandas!!! I am beside myself with joy.

Great Ape Awareness Days, whatever those are, coincide with our visit. Perhaps we need to be aware that the apes will rip our ever-luvin faces off if we get too close? That’s cool. I love the monkeys. The boy-child is a monkey.


Speaking of offspring, I have been consumed with the baby fever lately. I blame it almost entirely on this gorgeous child. Okay, her and my freaking baby-making hormones. Of course my husband thinks I’m bat-shit crazy because we are broke nearly bankrupt and our house is significantly somewhat overpopulated. Phooey! I say there’s no time like the present. So I ask teh Internets… shall I have another?

Anyone? Anyone?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hope Realized


I had been afraid to hope. Afraid that this country wasn't ready. I'm so glad I was wrong.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Mixed Signals

WTF people? There is this commonly known guideline wherein if you are not handing out candy on Halloween, TURN YOUR PORCH LIGHT OFF. How hard is that? Don't decorate with zombies and jack-o-lanterns, leave your lights on, and then NOT answer the door! My feet hurt from walking past 40 empty, foreclosed houses and when I see a door that should be putting out I don't want to waste steps to it just for a tease.

Not to mention the way all the churches are screwing up a perfectly good holiday. Harvest? No thanks. I want skeletons and Oingo Boingo and chocolate.

Monday, October 27, 2008

You know you're getting old when...

You know you're getting old when the editions of children's books you read as a child are listed as "vintage" on Etsy.


When working on a video for my son's school the other day, we decided to use Whitney Houston's Greatest Love of All as the soundtrack. One of the assistant teachers didn't know what we were talking about. Uggh.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

To File or Not to File

In my first Poverty Party post I mentioned that my husband and I may [have to] decide to file for bankruptcy. The need to make a decision is pressing down upon us more and more every day.

Without getting into specifics of my income and the amounts of my bills, the remainder of said income after all the bills that should be paid are paid is $220.00. The operative word in that sentence is “should.” I juggle which bills to pay each month in order to hang onto about $1000 for groceries and gas during the month. Whether that is enough for a month's worth of food and gas for a family of 4 is another conversation all together. I have a unique living arrangement that allows me, when absolutely necessary, to skip my rent. However this is not a good long term solution and is terribly unfair to my landlord.

So, it looks like the decision is to file for bankruptcy. Now to look for a lawyer.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Toddler-isms

Deedee = DVD

What doing? [with shoulder shrug, hands out, palms facing up] = What are you doing?

Shoose = either juice or shoes depending on context; it's impossible to tell which based solely on pronunciation and the child is obsessed with both!

Core = pen, crayon or marker, but usually marker

Nobook = notebook

Boos Coos = Blues Clues; there is no combination of letters in the alphabet that could illustrate the way he says Curious George.

I you = I love you

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I shall call him Gunther and he shall be mine and he shall be my Gunther. Come on, Gunther. Come on, little Gunther… Ow. Bad Gunther, bad Gunther!

This may be the most depressing thing I’ve ever read, or rather the fact that I am a [less than] proud owner of one is depressing.

I toyed with the idea of repeating the word silently to myself as a deterrent every time I wanted to eat something I shouldn’t, but I think that might make me want to kill myself. So instead I will name it and repeat that name to myself as a slightly gentler reminder. Starting tomorrow. Today I need chocolate.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Party with Bossy

Georgia from I am Bossy is throwing a year-long Poverty Party in the spirit of getting out of debt. Now this is a party I can get into. My current credit card debt stands at about $27,687. HELLO!

This mountain of debt was created through years of using credit cards as life preservers toward the end of the month. And maybe one or two impulse buys. I’ve mentioned my Etsy weakness already.

With the high cost of childcare and painful credit card payments, I’m barely scraping by. The husband and I have actually started discussing bankruptcy. On that issue we are torn, each of us switching sides on the argument every time it comes up.

Very appropriately, today’s fortune cookie said “A problem clearly stated is a problem half solved.” Cool, so here’s my problem. I don’t have enough money to pay my bills. Now what?

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Time for Everything

My father-in-law, Don, passed away at 1:20 AM on October 4 at 77 years old. He is survived by his wife, three children, five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and their respective spouses.

I've been asked to speak at the funeral. Here's draft one. Imagine it in my best Tina Fey as Sarah Palin voice.

This man, who I have the privilege to call my father in law,
This man could teach a MULE a thing or two about stubborn.

He could teach a fish to drink and teach a sailor to swear.

He also taught us all about dedication. Honor. And Hard Work.

And when I say dedication and hard work, I mean when you break your pelvis or cut off your finger on the job, you don’t leave until someone is there to cover your post. Tough as nails? No, tough as Don.

He could fix just about anything around the house himself; and I’m personally grateful that he taught his son to do the same.

As a fellow Libra, he taught me that it’s okay to want what I want, the way I want it. Let it never be said that Don wasn’t particular.

He taught me to stand my ground, even when standing up to him.

He taught my children that they are loved no matter what. Even when they get into trouble.

He taught us that love and family can weather any storm.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Update: Give me strength.

I failed. I am weak.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Give me strength.

I will not buy anything on Etsy this month.
I will not buy anything on Etsy this month.
I will not buy anything on Etsy this month.
I will not buy anything on Etsy this month.
I will not buy anything on Etsy this month.
I will not buy anything on Etsy this month.
I will not buy anything on Etsy this month.
I will not buy anything on Etsy this month.
I will not buy anything on Etsy this month.
I will not buy anything on Etsy this month.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bring on the Two Buck Chuck. Oh wait, never mind. I only have 60 cents.

Only four more days ‘til payday, which means maybe 11 more days until I’m overdrawn all over again. Yippee! Getting paid once a month sucks sweaty goat balls. (Sorry mom.) Being a one income family sucks pretty hard too sometimes. (Sorry babe.) And don’t even get me started on The Debt. If Hells Cargo calls me one more time, I might just… I might just… Oh, let’s face it, I’ll probably just pout and go eat a ding dong. Yay for ineffectual passivity! I’ll hit the 300 lb. mark in no time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I don't really beat him

He is being too aggressive with the other kids. The daycare teacher tells me this and all I can think is that she’s looking at me like this is my only problem right now. Why shouldn’t I be able to apply all of my energy to my two-year-old’s current behavior issues? I’ll tell you why. Because I have a full-time job that I’m late for, again. Because my in-laws moved into my house and THERE IS STUFF EVERYWHERE. Because my in-laws brought their dog with them and my son is jealous of any attention that my husband gives the dog. Because he is being equally aggressive at home with the damn dog and we haven’t gotten him to stop there. How am I supposed to control his behavior at school? I’m not even there to beat him.

Monday, September 22, 2008

First Day of Fall

Thank Jeebus. I thought this summer might not ever end. Not that it was bad, just a long broken record of broke-ness. Fall means less a/c, less water. More holidays. Ack!

But fall also brings SoCal’s lovely Santa Ana winds. Most natives complain about Santa Anas. The hay fever! The dust! And of course wildfires are awful. But there is something about the change in the air that I love. Something about fall makes me feel like I’m awake again after too long of a sleep. Like when you wake up after a late afternoon nap and the light is all golden, shadows are long and the sun is about to set. And someone else is already cooking dinner. Wait, that part may have been a dream.

Maybe it’s just because I never go outside in the heat of the summer, and fall means outside, fresh air, vibrant sunsets. Seriously, October sunsets in the chaparral are nothing short of a miracle. A big pink and orange explosion of color.

I have to hold on to fall while I can. Because I’m going to blink and just like that it will be Christmas.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Music Man


What are you supposed to be?

Last year, when my daughter asked me what I was going to be for Halloween, I told her I was going to be a mean mom. She said I should try being a nice mom for a change.