Thursday, June 30, 2005

The “Anointed Womb” (as titled by the fabulous duo at www.gofugyourself.com)

Interesting… got this email today from an anonymous source.. thought I would pass it on to the internets since you know that one of my main goals in life is to keep all my readers hip and cool and “in the know”.

Obviously this a second hand email, so take from it what you choose to believe.



“A friend of mine just got back from LA and heard this scoop about Tom & Katie from someone who works at Universal. The source said that they (Tom & Katie) have a 5-year contract and he's paying her $8 million.The engagement happened so fast because Rob Thomas' (Matchbox 20) wife caught Rob and Tom in bed together and they rushed the engagement so that it would overshadow that scandal.”

Read below. This was just published.
Posted on Datalounge.com by Independent Sources
Tom Cruise and Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas are lovers!

Independent Sources has hesitated writing about Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes for many reasons. First, there are other things going on in the world that, believe it or not, rank higher on the importance scale. Second, pretty much everything that can be said is being said.However, someone (I'll call her Mistress of the Hollywood Rumor) just walked into Insider's office with the following dish that I feel compelled to pass on. I did a quick check of Technorati and it wasn't there. So even if it is not true, it is at least original.

No doubt that anyone with an Internet connection has read about Tom Cruise being gay. According to rumor lore, he has had a long-time boyfriend in Chicago who is an Asian pilot for American Airlines. This is an accusation that Cruise and more importantly Cruise's many attorneys vehemently deny.There have been many stories that supposedly corroborate his sexuality but never a smoking gun. Rumor mongers attribute this to the fact that Cruise goes to great lengths to cover his tracks. We are told that everyone around him signs extensive confidentiality contracts with enormous penalties for indiscretion. (Exhibit A: the 8-page confidentiality contract Cruise's housekeeper was forced to sign).

Such stories have been around for years and Cruise has evidently attempted to counter them with a series of high-profile heteronormative relationships. First, Nicole Kidman, then Penelope Cruz, and most recently Katie Holmes. In each instance, the "relationship" is actually a contract that gives the women a boost to their careers, a lot of money, and an elegant lifestyle.

Here is where this particular rumor gets interesting. Not long ago, Marisol, the wife of Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas (who has had to contend with his own rumors of bi-sexuality) found her husband in bed with Tom Cruise causing Cruise's people to shift into high gear.First, Mrs. Rob Thomas was bought off for an undetermined sum. Second, Cruise and his handlers set out to immediately find Cruise a girlfriend. Second-tier actresses were targeted. A list was drawn up with JessicaAlba (#1 pick) and three other girls who fell out for various reasons. Originally targeted (#3 I think) but later rejected as "undesirable" was rumor queen Lindsay Lohan. Way down at #5 on the list was Katie Holmes, but that was the one with whom they were able to strike a deal.

Once the contact was signed, photo ops were set up, leaks were made to the right places, and we've had celebrity relationship on steroids ever since.One thing I will credit this rumor for is how it nicely explains Tom's behavior this past few months-including the couch jumping episode on Oprah. Cruise simply didn't have time for the Holmes rumors to circulate at its normal speed and he couldn't allow it to be second page news while the tabloids focused on Brad, Jennifer and Angelina. No, this relationship had to immediately become the "it" topic.

Well, that's how we hear it.[A reminder to those of you reading this who have trouble differentiating truth from unsubstantiated rumor: at this point this is all conjecture. All we are doing is confirming the existence of a rumor that the Mistress tells us is all over Hollywood.] We should also add that this story is a bit of a departure for us. If you are interested in keeping up to date on it and other celebrity gossip, we suggest Defamer.

HipMamaB's disclaimer:
This is just GOSSIP! But's its SO GOOD...

and an added funny:
http://www.liquidgeneration.com/poptoons/tomcruise_katieholmes.asp

Day Four

Jay and I went back on “the beach” (South Beach Diet for those not in the know of diet slang), and today is day 4. 4 days now with out a carb or a gram of sugar. 4 days of nothing but eggs, meat, cheese, veggies, nuts and sugar free/fat free fudgsicles. I’m officially in sugar withdrawal, as I’m dizzy and have a pounding headache and I swear that my computer screen is moving side-to-side as I write this.

I was just wondering out loud to my co-workers if this “losing weight” thing would be easier the Nicole Ritchie/Lindsay Lohan way. The both looked at me and agreed that “Beth on Crack” would be really scary and if I talked any faster or was any louder they would have to shoot me.

Crack? What do you mean? Do these nice girls look like the type that would do drugs?


They aren’t doing drugs.. they are just "working out with personal trainers." Right?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

BFF

This weekend something strange happened… I was transported into the future of my 12-year old self.

When we were 12, Debbie, Annie and I used to sit around and talk about the future – what we were going to do, who we were going to be and the boys that we would be married to.

Flash forward 18 years. There we were, the three of us. Full grown adults, 2 of us with husbands, me with a baby, one a lawyer and one living an adventure in Africa. It was the strangest thing.

I’ve passed on stories before from Ann, my fan from Sudan.. so you already know about what an amazing person she is. I mean giving up the comforts of western society to live in the African bush to promote AIDS awareness and education. I mean really, it’s not something that the majority of us would ever think about doing.

Then there is Debbie. Debbie and I were best friends from like 3rd grade until 10th grade when I went to a different High School. So not only did we have the silly Barbie doll and let’s play with make-up years – we also had those formative early teen years of first kisses, firsts drinks (and first hang-overs), and first parent-free parties. Unfortunately, we drifted as late-teens, saw each other here and there through high-school and college, then totally lost touch when we were about 22 or 23. But thanks to the wonders of Google – we caught-up again.

So here we were, the 3 of us. Drinking a beer, sitting at a bar and it was totally surreal. I know I was instantly transported back in time to sitting behind the bar at Debbie’s parents house, taking sips from the Manischewitz bottle (hey! All good Jewish girls got drunk on left over Passover Manischewitz for the first time!), then refilling it with grape juice and hoping no one would notice. Or the time when Annie’s “bad influence” neighbor girl MADE us all try to smoke a cigarettes and then we got caught (really – she MADE us! None of us had even thought about it and she made us come back to her house and sit in her guest house and take a puff. She was a rich girl whose mom was a *semi-famous* radio show call-in shrinks in the 80’s) and we all had to tell our parents what we did. I sware, sitting there having a beer, I was SURE one of our parents were going to walk in and "catch us" and send us to our rooms and not let us have sleep-overs for 2 weeks.

While I think we all seemed different to each other at first, more mature, more adult, a few hours later we were right back to the giggly 12-year old girls, talking about boys and what we want to be when we (finally) grow-up. And ya’ know what? It felt really good.



Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Shameless Promotion, Part Deux

I know that by now most of you have all run over (clicked over?) to Amazon.com and bought my brother’s ep, right?

Well for those of you who are lagging, and I KNOW WHO YOU ARE, here is a little more incentive. Foreign Born was chosen last week as the Pick of the Week in the LA Weekly.

Here’s what they said:

Foreign Born, zZz at Spaceland.
Wrapping up their free Monday-night Spaceland residency, local gloom merchants Foreign Born play L.A. for the first time since last week’s release of In the Remote Woods, a five-song EP brought to you by the tastemaking New York indie StarTime International. StarTime’s got a history of being in the right place at the right time — the label issued early records by Big Apple hipsters the Walkmen and French Kicks — so don’t be surprised if you start hearing the band’s swoony, Interpol-like guitar rock in places where you may be grateful you can say you knew ’em back when. Openers zZz, from Amsterdam, play down-and-dirty garage rock on an organ and drum kit; imagine Mates of State as the children of Jon Spencer and Glenn Danzig. (Mikael Wood)


See?! What did I tell you? I told you to listen to me!

Get to know them NOW so that you can at least pretend that you are still hip and cool when they make it big and are being played at a bar or party you somehow happen to be at so that you can turn to your friends and say “Oh yea, I’ve had their album forever. I heard they were great when they used to play at Spaceland in LA.”

Your friends will be in awe at your coolness. I promise.

Monday, June 27, 2005

SALE! SALE! SALE!

I SO should be pregnant right now. Why? Because if I was, I would have the cutest freaking maternity wardrobe – ALL FROM REGULAR STORES!

The Limited started its “real sale” today – so I ran over to check it out (I always do good on t-shirts and tops for $6.99), but I swear, everything I tried on could have been a maternity shirt. It’s kinda a double edged sword for me. While I like things that hide this post baby whythehellwontyougoawaymustibepunishedforeverforlikingbread stomach, I also don’t want to look pregnant. I was there – 8 months of wearing maternity clothes while being preggers, and a month or so after in “transition” clothes.

Empire waists were my look last year – so WHY is everything in every store like that this year? So unfair. (And yes – the fashion world should revolve around me)

My mom and I were so excited to go to this store Zara in Santa Monica this weekend. I’ve heard that it’s like H&M (note to H&M peeps – PLEASE open a west coast store soon! Thanks!) as in that it has nice, stylish clothes for cheap. A Forever 21 for the over 21 and ‘not a teenage hooker’ crowd. We get there and OHMYGOD they are having a SALE! Well, between my mom and I we must have tried on a good ¼ of the store and neither of us bought ONE THING. It almost got to that point of desperation when you buy something JUST to buy something. I mean, we talked about this store for a week, planned our day around it, and the store had TWO WHOLE FLOORS of women’s clothing and did I MENTION THERE WAS A BIG FAT SALE?! And you must admit, things looks SO much better when they are 40% off the lowest marked price. Right?

One time Jason and I were at the Gap and I was making him try on a bunch of things. He came out of the dressing room empty handed and I asked him what happened. He said “Nothing looked good.” And I said “What about those shorts – they were only $14.99?” He looked at me and said “Beth, they didn’t look good. Not for $40, not for $14. I wouldn’t even buy them if they were $1”

My thought when he said this was “Really? Not even for a dollar?”

Therein lays my problem. I’m a sucker for sales. I love shopping – but I LOVE shopping for cheap. I’m telling ya’ – walking into J Crew and seeing ‘2 for $20’ t’s puts me in a better mood than Xanex washed down with a glass of Chardonnay.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

An FYI

I seem to know a lot of people that are having babies at the moment. One of my best friends in the entire world, Marina, is going to pop any day now. I’m so excited for her.. I can’t wait for her to see her baby boy for the first time, to finally get to hold him and hug him and love him. But I have piece of advice (HA! Like I really have “just” one piece…) – treasure each and every minute of it. Because it really does go by SO fast.

I know that when you are up at 3 am with an infant that has been crying for 2 hours straight and you have no idea why or how to make him stop, you will think that it can’t go by quick enough. But it will. I promise you and I warn you.

They go from:


this (Lucas, June 2004)Posted by Hello


to this (Lucas, June 2005), WAY too quickly. Enjoy each and every moment. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Shameless Promotion

I need to take a second to brag about my brother... the classically trained musician who is now in a hip, up-and-coming, LA rock band. Last week they were featured in the "download this" section of Entertainment Weekly and this week, their first EP was released.

Dowload their songs - http://www.foreignbornmusic.com/ then go buy their CD at Amazon.com . Come on, help the kids out.. it's only $6.

Plus, if they do become the next White Stripes or Coldplay, you can say that you were in on the "ground floor" of their popularity. It's really a win-win situation for all involved.

Hump Day Hate

1) ATT/Cingular Wireless – YOU SUCK. Don’t blame and CHARGE me $200 because you can’t keep your shit straight. I will get you. One way or another (and I mean by participating in one of the MANY class action law suits against your asses or by getting my friend the “carrier activist” involved) I will GET YOU BACK for the past 24 hours of madding, cell phone hatred.

2) The stupid clerk at Charlotte Russe (don’t ask) who, when asked by the nice 16-year old Indian (as in country, not native) who was probably defying her mother by even setting foot in the store for teenage prostitutes, if they had anything in the store that was black with sleeves, scrunched up her face in a total condescending smirk and replied “SLEEVES? I don’t THIN-K so..”

3) Men who try to pretend that they are macho by making STUPID ASS comments like “Yea, my wife is pregnant with her first baby. She’s all excited but I’m like, I guess my guy time goes out the window.” YOU ARE A THIRTY SOMETHING YEAR OLD MAN AND YOU ARE CREATING A WONDERFUL, AMAZING NEW LIFE! DON’T be SUCH a jackass! It’s not 1956 – It’s NO LONGER COOL to pretend like you don’t care that you are about to have a baby. In fact, it makes you look like a HUGE ASSHOLE. Especially when you say it to a woman with a sick 15-month old at home.

Tell me again, WHY is it not Friday yet?!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

There is nothing worse in the entire world than a sick baby

Here are facts that only a parent would know. The average baby has 3 ear infections by it's first birthday. Babies get mild fevers when they sprout new teeth and they say that if adults were to go through the teething process, we would go absolutely insane.

While we all think of babies as these soft headed, weak necked, fragile things - they are actually pretty resilient for all the shit that they go through.

Late last year, we used to brag about how healthy Lucas was. How he had never had a fever and one got the sniffles once. Then - JUSTBECUASEWEWERECOCKYASSHOLES - irony felt the need to slam us to the ground HARD and give Lucas Kawaskai Disease, a rare illness that is actually the #1 cause of acquired heart disease in children - YET NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD OF.

One of the hardest parts of being first time parents is being able to trust your instincts. Often time we feel our "spidy sense" tingling, but reasonable rationale pushes it aside. While your gut is telling you "This is not right, my child's eyes and lips should NOT look like this, I bet he has a rare illness that will cause him to be in the hospital for 3 days" your rational self is saying "No, its just a virus - you are just a paranoid first time mom."

I've felt like that a lot lately. Last week I was sure that Lucas was this bizarre classification called a "spirited child." I was also sure that he was in peril and about to die a few weeks ago when I rushed him into the Dr office proclaiming that HE MUST have an ear infection because he's been crying for 3 days straight. Remember that post? The one where the Doctor APOLOGIZED to me for NOT finding something wrong with him?!

So yesterday morning when Lucas gave me this sad, pathetic little look and clung to me as I dropped him at daycare, I pushed that "hmm.. is something wrong?" feeling away. When I picked Lucas up yesterday and the teacher said that he had a slight fever of 99 a bit earlier, I passed it off as teething. I mean I didn't want to be THAT MOM who is constantly rushing her child into the Dr. every time he sneezes, ya' know?

So daycare called me today at 2:45 - Lucas has a temp of 103. I rush over to get him, his little face is bright red and he is on fire. After some motrin and a bath, it finally subsides. We go to the Dr. tonight; massive ear infection in both ears. I almost started crying when the Dr. said that. The guilt of sending my baby to daycare, and not realizing he was sick, hit me like a ton of bricks.

So here is my proclamation on parenting for tonight - Parenting is pretty much the constant internal battle between your irrational fears and your "common sense". And if you are like me and have no "common sense" - you are screwed.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Bittersweet Moments

Lucas is not a cuddly baby. He is much more interested in the world around him than at snuggling with mommy. It sometimes makes me sad, makes me wonder if it’s because I didn’t breastfeed him long enough, if I encouraged independence at too early of an age by not co-sleeping.. all the angst and worry that a mom who reads too many websites on parenting may face. So I cherish those few moments when he takes a minute and actually slows down for a moment.

Today when I dropped him off at daycare he clung to me. He didn’t cry that I was leaving, but I knelt down to give him a kiss good-bye and he clutched on to me and wouldn’t let go. It was one of those moments when I wanted so much to just sit down and spend the next 30 minutes just being “needed” by him. I loved the feel of his little hands holding tight to me, the momentary feeling that this is normal, and this is how he acts all the time.

While I know that he’s doing well at daycare, and it’s SUCH a good thing for him, it’s still hard to pry myself away during that one minute of the day when he actually wants to be held.

Disappointment

I had back-to-back meetings today in Downtown and Mission Valley. However, I did manage to get to my 2:00 one about 20 minutes early. We were meeting at a Coffee Bean in a shopping plaza that houses a DSW, Marshalls, and Old Navy. Hmmm.. what to do, what to do…

I decided to do a quick walk through at DSW. Honestly, 15 minutes alone in DSW is much better than 30 minutes with baby and/or husband. I remember my first trip to DSW – it was love at first sight. All those shoes.. all those good prices – H.E.A.V.E.N!! I remember filling my blue mesh bag with 15 different pairs of shoes and crying as I whittled them down to 2. I remember calling my mom and telling her that I just found the BEST. STORE. EVER. I mean I got the same wedgie sandals there that I tried on at Nordies the day before – but for $30 LESS! Even Jason scored there – getting a $80 pair of Doc Martens for $25! I was in love.

A few months after my discovery of a lifetime, Jason’s parents came into town from Omaha. I must have told Jason’s mom about DSW 25 different times before driving us both down there in what I was SURE would be an afternoon of shoe shopping delight. We walked around there for 20 minutes and neither one of us could find anything. Nothing. Nada. And I’m telling you, I haven’t been able to find anything since.

What happened DSW? Did you get too big for your britches so now you only sell junk? You are supposed to be the designer shoe WHEREHOUSE – so why are you selling last year’s Charles David shoes for $125 – that is not a deal!!

SIGH. It hurts so bad when a store that is so good turns so bad. You know you’ve hit bottom when there are over 500 pairs of shoes, and you don’t try on ONE PAIR. Even when you really, really want to.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

A Little Father’s Day Embarrassment


While it totally verges on dorky, I just couldn�t resist.
 Posted by Hello


What would have been really bad is if I would have gotten the matching dress�
 Posted by Hello

Friday, June 17, 2005

Truth and Consequence

We all know that that the infamous DOOCE got fired for things written on her blog about her company. We all know that blogs are somewhat public and that anything that you write MAY be read by someone that you don't want to. On the other hand, we also know that these blogs are a way to vent, and are a creative outlet for our anger, depression and joy. This is in fact a private diary - just one the world can see.

Back in the beginning of our relationship, I read Jason's personal diary. It is something that I am still, 8 years later, embarrassed that I did. The thing was is that it was pages and pages about this other girl that he really liked, and one little mention of me on the last page.

I was hurt. But didn't feel that I should/could have the right to say something to him about it because I invaded his personal space. I could be hurt, but I could not be mad because these were HIS FEELINGS.I ended up asking him about it later on, and he told me the truth, that he stopped writing after dating me because he now had me to listen to his thoughts and fears. He no longer needed a spiral bound book to bounce ideas off of, or vent to, because he now had a partner in life to hear him out and share things with.

One of the company's I used to work for had a major round of lay-offs right after 9/11 and morale was pretty low around the office. So the CEO thought it would help to bring in this jackass doctor guy to help us with our feelings. While the majority of it was a bunch of corporate pycho-shit ("If we stop working we're giving the terrorists what they want! The only way we will overcome this is to work harder and show them that they can't stop us!"), one thing he talked about really hit home. He told us that "your feelings are yours, and yours alone. No one can take them from you, no one can tell you not to feel the way you do." And it's true - those are your thoughts and feelings and no one can make you feel bad for having them or tell you not to feel that way. And while others may be upset over your feelings, they can not be mad at you for having them.

The thing about the written word is that emotions can get lost in the translation. Scarcasim is misread as action or truth, frustration may seem like anger and tongue-in-cheek comments make you seem like a shallow bitch or even come across as threatening words.

So, does that mean you can't write about your feelings? Does that mean that you can never put anything down that may upset or offend ONE PERSON that may, or may not, ever read it? And can you get mad at someone for voicing thier feelings? Especially on their own website?

The funny thing with "truths", is that while many may think it - the one who actually says it outloud is the one judged the harshest.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Things not to do on a Wednesday at work

Don’t talk to your also fashion-obsessed co-worker about your irrational NEED to purchase something to make the stress of the week feel better. Don’t obsess over the black espadrille shoes that you see everyone else wearing but for the life of you can’t find in the freaking stores. Don’t decide that you and your co-worker need retail therapy and walk across the bridge directly to Nordies and make a bee-line for the MAC counter because lipstick always makes you feel better. Don’t become obsessed with needing a whole “NEW LOOK” right that very instant. Don’t look at the other girls at the counter to see what they are buying and try to copy it. Don’t decide to buy fake-eyelashes. Don’t envision yourself looking 10 lbs lighter with beautiful hair that is not overly in need of a cut and color wearing lovely fake eye-lashes and looking just naturally beautiful. Don’t insist that the MAC girl put the fake-eyelashes on you that very instant.

Because if you do, you will feel really stupid sitting at your desk at 2:00 on a Wednesday with heavy lashes and way too much black liquid eyeliner (to blend the lashes) on when you usually just wear a light brown simple eyeliner and will be wishing you can run home and wash your face.

Better to look good than feel good!

While this is a personal mantra of mine (because I am a shallow bitch), which is often repeated over and over when wearing my HOTT ASS platforms that give me about 4 more inches in height but makes me feel like a crippled ex-ballerina that danced Swan Lake on toe for 20 years, this does not work for toddlers.

Alas, the adorable Nike’s that I bought Lucas are total POS’s. The zipper instead of laces – good in theory, not in execution as it unzipps as the child walks causing the shoe to fall off said child’s foot. Not the best thing to happen as one is running full speed through the playground at daycare.

I actually felt like a bit of a degenerate mom when on Lucas’ daily report it was noted to “please put different shoes on Lucas. These ones kept falling off!”

Monday, June 13, 2005

“Whew! It’s cold tonight!! It feels like summer already!” – Craig, a San Fran native, Friday June 10, 2005

If I had to choose the picture perfect, ideal place for me to live, it would be San Francisco. I love the urban meets California feel. I love the restaurants, the shopping, the houses, the buildings, the bridges. The place oozes cool.. I even love the “not so good neighborhoods” with the funny tranies and crazy bums playing the flute in the street. Lucas even seemed to feel the vibe. He was in a wonderful mood all weekend and just took in all the action. If we could have our way, we would move there in a second. The problem? We complain about the high cost of living in San Diego – so really? How could we justify a move to a more expensive city?

But GOD – we just LOVE IT.

We went this weekend for my good friend Marina’s baby shower. Marina and I have been friends since college – 10 years this year. We were in each other’s weddings and have seen each other both really grow-up over the years. Marina was the one responsible for introducing me to the bar scene in PB when I turned 21 and the next year we shared the same drink laced with some fun date rape drug some creep dropped into it. Ahhh.. good times.

And now we are mothers. Well, she will be sometime in the next 3.5 weeks.

We had a quick, but fun weekend. After the debacle of last week’s plane ride, I was actually looking forward to the drive up. But this trip was definitely different. Gone are the trips where we eat a late dinner then hit 2-3 hip night spots. This trip was all about being in at a decent time to get Lucas, and a very preggo Mari, to bed. We spent the whole weekend fantasizing about our next trip up where we will have a babysitter watch both boys while we go out and get smashed.


Posted by Hello

Shoe Addiction

It’s not what you think. Yes, I can’t help myself. Yes, I can’t pass by without stopping to look. Yes, they are not technically “needed” – BUT THEY ARE JUST TOO DAMN CUTE.


Posted by Hello

I'm sorry - I have a soft spot in my heart for miniaturized adult things. I mean what toddler DOESN'T NEED Nike trail runners for the playground at daycare?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Literally drinking your own company’s Kool-Aid

With all the travel, stress from travel and lack of sleep over the past few days, I feel like I’m about to come down with a cold. BUT since we are going to San Francisco on Friday, I really really can’t. So I go today to get a smoothie for lunch. Just what I need – a big boost of Vitamin C and anti-oxidants.

I walk into the smoothie place and am greeted by this booming voice from somewhere behind the counter. “HELLO! WHAT YOU WANT!!” and up pops this little Asian man. I swear, he literally pops up and bounces down to the other end of the counter. I asked what is the best drink if you feel like you are coming down with something. He points to a poster for some new drink and yells “THIS ONE! THIS ONE GOOD AND TASTE GOOD! IT GIVE YOU ENERGY!!” as he’s bouncing up and down like a 3-year who needs to pee.

So I order one and when it’s done he bounces down the counter and tosses the drink at me and pipes “DRINK IT! TRY IT! IT GIVE YOU ENERGY!!” then, I kid you not, he backs away from the counter and starts running in place while shifting his head from side to side like a boxer in-between rounds.

I thank the hyper, little man and leave the store. The guy that was right behind me was parked next to me, so I look at him and say “I think that guy needs to stop drinking those energy drinks” – the guy laughed and said “Yea, ya’ think?”

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Verdict: INSANE

Or as the nice/condescending people said with a look of pity on their faces, “You are so brave!”

Lucas and I arrived back yesterday afternoon from our trip sans Jason. “Monday?” you ask. “Were you not supposed to get back on Sunday?”. Ahh, yes. We will get to that fun part of the story in a moment.

But yes, I am officially insane for thinking that it would be a good idea to take a 15-month old halfway across the country by myself. Not that it was not doable, and not that it shouldn’t be done. But I will tell you, it’s insane to really think its 100% a good idea.

The Friendly Skies – HA

I did a lot of research on the best ways to travel with a toddler. I posted questions on my message board, I read internet articles on “Baby Travel Tips!”, I asked my friends what they do. The resounding conclusion was distractions, snacks and a little drugging (i.e. – Baby Benedryl or Motrin). I was prepared, or so I thought until I got to my first challenge – SECURITY. So how the hell do I put my carry on, purse through the Xray machine while holding a wiggling toddler and trying to collapse my stroller at the same time?

We get to the gate, I let Lucas run around through the terminal to get tired. We get on the plane and were lucky enough to have an empty seat next to me – then the flight attendant actually moved the guy on the other side of me, so we have the whole row. Lucas sleeps for the first hour and a half. Wakes up, plays with toys, eats some snacks…people smile and tell me what a wonderful baby I have. I’m now cocky and thinking how good I am.


first airplane ride! Posted by Hello

Madison, WI – Cheese Curd Capital of the World

We had a great time in Madison. Great Town. Great Vibe. Lucas had tons of fun playing with Julia who’s only 2 months older than he is, but talking up a storm. We eat cheese curds, fish fry, brats – some true Sconie food. We SHOP SHOP SHOP. For the Midwest – I was impressed with the shopping. I was thrilled to be able to shop at BOP – but Murphy’s Law, Lucas had a complete meltdown upon entering the store. Sigh.


love! Posted by Hello


Lucas and Julia sitting in a tree.. Posted by Hello

We experienced our first Midwestern thunderstorm and unbelievable humidity. Kurt and Virginia spent the whole weekend singing the praises of Madison and trying to lure me into moving our family out there. People out here tell me I’m insane that I could never survive the winter out there. To be honest – I don’t think I could survive the summers. The whole 90 degrees and raining thing just doesn’t work for me. Bonus on the sweating though – I lost 4 lbs this weekend. Even after eating cheese curds… hhmmm.. something to think about.

A Comedy of Errors

Sunday was actually really nice up until about 5:45 PM. Virginia drove us back to Chicago where we spent the day with my Grandma, Cousin Jenny, her son Jack, her husband and my aunt and uncle. It was Jack’s 3rd birthday, and he was all about the Thomas the Train – it was a sight of what our lives will become one day soon. Lucas was totally digging the trains, and they had fun running around the yard together. But it was HOT. Wow. Everyone kept saying “let’s go outside, it’s so beautiful!” and I kept thinking “95 degrees with 95% humidity beautiful?!” I was sweating like a pig.


the capital Posted by Hello


The best picture that poor GiGi got with both her great grandsons Posted by Hello

Then we left for the airport. That’s when the trip took a turn took a turn.. then spiraled down into H.E.L.L.

Security at O’Hare is a mess. The whole airport is crowded and people are running and pushing. The United terminal is about 3 miles in from the entrance. I take the elevator up to our terminal and after being hit with a wall of 90 degree heat (yes, INSIDE) I notice the line of about 300 people at the United customer service desk. Then I get to the gate that my plane was assigned to, and it says “Los Angeles”. It was pretty much at that point that I knew I was not getting home that evening.

At first it didn’t seem so bad. The plane was delayed about 45 minutes, but when we boarded the flight attendant moved us to a row with an open seat and Lucas promptly fell asleep just as we were pulling away from the terminal. That’s where we hit bump #1 – there is a line-up of 30 planes trying to take off – we are #27. So we wait, and we move up an inch every few minutes. Then the plane moves a little and this horrible screeching fills the plane along with a toxic-like smell. The pilot comes on and says that it appears we have an issue, and maintenance is on its way to check us out. 15 minutes later the pilot reports that the plane has blown it’s entire hydraulic system and we were stuck and needed to wait for the tug-boat for planes to come get us. It was especially unnerving when he added “Let’s just all be thankful that this happened while we were still on the ground – we were only 3 minutes from take-off.” Nice.

So we wait. Apparently the 27 or so planes lined up behind us were the top priority. Then the little tug-boat for planes thing came out and promptly caught on fire 50 FEET FROM THE PLANE LEAKING HYDROULIC FLUID. Sooo.. 3.5 hours LATER they finally taxied us back to the terminal. Let me remind you people that the flight from Chicago to San Diego is only 4 hours. SIGH.

Then it’s the hurry up and wait thing to find out what hotel they are putting me in, what flight we are on the next morning, oh by the way did I mention that by this time it’s MIDNIGHT and I’m alone with a 15 month old who is now awake – at MIDNIGHT?!

We get to the hotel check-in and I realize a few things. Since they did not give us our luggage back - A) I don’t have enough diapers in my carry-on bag b/c I very carefully only packed enough to get me through the day
B) I don’t have any extra clothes in my carry on except for a sweatshirt for Lucas b/c my bag was overflowing with toys and snacks to distract the child on the plane and the ones I am wearing are already stained with splattered milk and goldfish cheese residue.
C) I don’t even have my contact case or glasses.
D) Last but not least, I only get to have 5 hours of sleep.

Sigh.

As we are headed back to the airport the next morning, I get a call from United saying that that changed the flight number from the boarding pass that they gave me the night before, so I have to check-in before going to the gate. At least by now, I have the security thing under control, but unfortunately Lucas had fallen asleep in the stroller during the 30 MINUTE wait to get a new boarding pass. Make the 3 mile trek through the underground fortress with the flashing neon lights that I figure are suppose to be “calming” for hopefully the last time, grab some breakfast with the food vouchers they issued the night before and camped out at our scheduled departure gate. By this time, all of us on the flight are friendly and joking with each other. I guess you really have to laugh at the situation (after swearing and cursing United’s name of course).

So I’m waiting to pre-board with Lucas. Watching the clock on the monitor as it counts down to “boarding time.” At 5 minutes to I start to pick up things around me. 4 minutes to I begin to rearrange the carry-on bag to fit all the things I just shoved in the stroller. 3 minutes to I put Lucas in the sling for easy carrying when I have to collapse the stroller by myself at the end of the walkway. 2 minutes, I move closer to the gate, because I have a baby and I get to PRE-BOARD. One minute to and I am READY. All Ready.. Yup. Standing there. Ready.

Then the lady at the gate comes on the speaker and says “Okay, I know most of you have been here since last night – so don’t shoot the messenger, but we are having some mechanical problems on the plane and the air conditioner isn’t working, so we are going to be a bit delayed..”

OH MY GOD. This is either a cruel joke or God’s way of telling us that we should not get on a plane and go back to San Diego.

After 30 minutes I go to the ticket lady and give it to her straight. I CAN NOT be stuck here in the terminal all day with a toddler. BY MYSELF. She puts me on stand-by for another flight leaving at 10:10 and I head down to the other gate. I get on the plane and, of course, have a middle seat between 2 business men. The plane is JAMMED with all the people from my other flight and there is not one empty seat on the plane. With Lucas on my lap there isn’t even enough room to have his snacks and toys out. Luckily the child fell asleep during take-off and slept for about 2 hours. Unluckily, the man in front of us reclined his seat back all the way.

I must say, that given the circumstances, Lucas was AMAZING. He did have a momentary breakdown about 3 hours into the flight, one which caused me to rush him to the back of the airplane and lock us both in a bathroom while I tried not to cry along with him. He was wiggly and restless.. but fuck. So was I.

We made it back to San Diego about 1:00 pm. About 20 hours after first arriving at O’Hare the day before. And San Diego never looked so good.

The funny part was that the week before I was talking about my anxiety over traveling with Lucas and the person I was talking to asked “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” I replied, “That Lucas would cry for 4 hours straight.” What ended up happening was FAR worse and never even crossed my mind.

Then again, had the hydraulics gone out after take off – it would have been a whole other story.


UNITED SUCKS Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

If we weren't all crazy we would go insane

Insanity flows through my veins. My brain just must not work like other's peoples do.. because surely any SANE person would never have thought that it would be a good idea to take a 4-hour plane ride with a 15-month old who can't sit still for 2 minutes and is in the process of sprouting molars. Especially when said toddler will be SITTING ON ONES LAP.

Oh, And don't call me Shirley..(tell me that wasn't the first thing that popped into your head when you read that line)

So off we go.. heading east to the mid-west. I have a duffel bag size carry on filled with books, toys, crayons (which Lucas really just eats, but what the hell, it may be good for 2 minutes of amusement) and enough "snacks" to feed a Sally Struthers starving Guatemalan child for 2 months.

I'm looking forward to girly time with Georgia (Shop Bop! In person! Not just online! The ability to TRY ON the things I drool all on my keyboard over!), seeing Madison and gorging myself on cheese curds and bratwurst. Good times. Hopefully.

If I don't throw myself- or my child- from a 747 somewhere over New Mexico.