Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Well, it's really none of your business, is it?

Stella has crazy hair. We have established that, we have tried to fight it, we have let the crazy hair win. I'd like to get that out in the open first. But apparently, both family and strangers have not gotten this. I spoke to my Mother the other day, and commenting on the recent pictures she'd seen of Stella, she said, "do you ever use a brush on that child's hair before you take a picture?" or something to that effect. I proceeded to tell her that brushes do not work. Brushes soaked in water do not work, brushes soaked in hairspray do not work. I haven't tried glue, but I'm pretty sure it WOULDN'T WORK! I used to think Tim just didn't do a good job of brushing Stella's hair after baths. But oh, no, that is not it, I brush her hair often after the bath and it is obedient until it dries. Then we thought we were parting her hair wrong and so tried flipping her part. Nope, it still worked its way back into the familiar crazy pattern with her bangs plastered to her forehead. So a busybody at Target today, said, "oh, she's so cute, oh, poor thing with your hair in your eyes, can you see past all that hair?" I said, yeah, you try to push it out of the way, and it just goes back. And I demonstrated, sweeping Stella's bangs off to the side. They quickly fell back to the front. "Oh, your mommy has a barrette holding her hair, doesn't she?" At the time, I thought, "yeah, idiot, I do." I didn't realize until afterwards, in the car, too far past the moment that she was basically saying, "Your mommy doesn't bother to put a hair clip in your hair, which would keep it out of your eyes." And I burned, I seethed with the comeback, which was, "Well, I think having hair in your eyes is preferable to choking to death because your mom put a choking hazard in your hair to keep it out of your eyes!" It sounded better when I muttered it to myself in the car. Anyway, I think people just aren't used to seeing babies with as much hair as Stella, so they've never had to deal with babies with bangs. Maybe my baby is just getting a head start on being a sullen teenager. I've thought about cutting her bangs, but my cousin said not to do that. She did that on her baby, who also has/had crazy hair, and now that Mercedes is almost two, she wishes she hadn't and is trying to grow her bangs out to the same length as the rest of her hair. So unless someone knows of a non-choking hazard barette, we'll just have to deal with a little crazy hair for a wee bit longer!
Another funny stranger comment. The lady at the teaching supply store today said that Stella had such beautiful eyes (she does), and with that beautiful olive skin, she'll have to beat off the boys one day. Olive skin? Hmmm, I've never heard that one before. I have no problem with Stella having olive skin, but I don't think she does. I think perhaps she just looked dark compared to her paler-than-thou momma.
Stella is literally eating paper right now. I wonder if that's bad for her digestive system...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Five Pounds to go! Five pounds to go!

Not until I recover my pre-pregnancy weight, but until I can fit into some of my old jeans and capris! I actually decided to try a few of the ones I remembered being a bit more generous on this morning just to see and I was able to get them zipped and buttoned! I had to suck in and pledge not to breathe too much, but if this was the 70's and you still wore jeans so tight you needed a coat-hanger to zip them, I could totally don my trousers. Yay! This gives me hope because I'm sick of rotating the like 4 totally overworn bottoms that I've bought post-pregnancy. Well, really if you add in the dorky pants I bought strictly for more formal occassions, I've got 6 overworn bottoms, but I try to save those for church, auditions, and funerals.
Speaking of auditions, I went to my first audition in nearly two years Saturday. I rocked the socks off that material, but since I haven't heard anything yet, I'm starting to think that the love fest was not mutual. Oh, well, it felt good to get out there and they are definitely the ones who are losing out. They didn't let me read for any of the character parts, which I think I would have really impressed them with, so I'm sure that's part of the problem. And they asked MY AGE on the audition sheet! Can you believe it? I just left it blank. I mean, this is acting, you tell ME how old I am. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed since it was an awesome script. There are auditions for another play this weekend, so I'll try that if I don't hear back soon. Of course, the auditions this weekend involve a 2 minute dramatic monologue, so I'll have to see what I can dig up and polish off from my archives. Oogh, I hate monologues.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Sometimes unhappy is cute

Stella was throwing hissy fit and I just had to stop and take a picture. So cute!

Sign of the Apocalypse

I got my Spin and Rolling Stone magazines in the mail today, (don't worry, I don't pay for Rolling Stone, I got it free with my Salon subscription. I know it sucks), and they both have craptastic band Fall Out Boy on the cover. What is this world coming to?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Democracy In Action

Stella and I were a part of the power of democracy this morning. We went to the Capitol and went around to the legislator's offices asking them to support HB 703 and HB 1154 (or was it 45?). Anna roped me into doing this and we went with her and Daniel, but honestly I'm very glad we did it (thanks Anna!). HB 703 will certify and regulate lactation consultants, so mean old ladies like that bitch Anna had can't make new moms feel hopeless and helpless (she also made our friend Rachel feel the same way with her daughter). In fact, that chick was there today, but Anna did her best to avoid her and would not let me, despite repeated attempts, kick the lady's ass. Oh, well. Anyway, the second house bill supports a woman's right to breastfeed in public, and imposes penalties for business-owners who do not allow women to breastfeed in their establishment. I tried to turn that around to say that it clearly defined the law for business owners, since we all know Texans hate to tell a business owner what to do. But I hope what we said was helpful. We gave the assistants a folder of information and a little mug with candy. Stella slept for about half an hour or so in her gorgeous mai tai, made by Ashley. I couldn't believe it, as she hasn't fallen asleep in a sling since she was about 5 months old! I will definitely have to use that trick in the future. Daniel was perfectly behaved as well until the very end when he needed some Mama's milk to help him sleep. In fact, I went to the last two reps' offices by myself so Anna could nurse, and at one of them, the assistant in charge of healthcare had us step outside to talk and lo and behold, there were Anna and Daniel as the poster Mother/child for breastfeeding. It was pretty humorous. Everyone was very nice, with the exception of the first guy who was like, "I don't have a baby". He had an Aggie ring on, I happened to notice, so that probably explains it;)

Unfortunately, I think it was pretty poorly publicized, since there weren't very many moms there. Too bad, since it is such an important topic. But I hope we represented well. We were filmed and had pictures taken, so perhaps you'll see us on the 6 o'clock news!
UPDATE: Erin called to say we were on the KVUE 5pm news. At least, she saw me and Stella. Unfortunately, they do not have the video on their website and we weren't on the 6pm news. I'll keep my fingers crossed that they'll add the video online and/or we'll be on the 10pm news. My big television debut and I miss it!

Monday, February 19, 2007

And Coveting what you don't have (yet)

We are going to check out the Mueller Re-development when they announce the home types and builders on March 5th. It's going to be the coolest thing ever, this super-duper utopia where all different home types and retailers co-exist together, they're even going to have their own elementary school. Supposedly, anyway. And apparently you have to sign up for a home from March 5th through the beginning of April or else you're screwed because it's going to be so popular. It's going to have row houses, which would be so cool, and prices supposedly start from the low 100's, all the way up to half a million, so we could slum it and live there. Not! Maybe we could actually afford something there, we'll just have to see. It just would be so cool to be so close to everything and close to church. Perhaps Tim could actually sing in the choir and stuff. I'm not getting my hopes up, but we are going to check it out.

But people who move here from California shouldn't live there. Because you will make it expensive. And you will make it where we can't live there because you will be too close. You will rub your California-ness on us and smother us and we cannot have that.

I may set a new record for posting today.

Appreciatin' What You Got

So my cousin and her toddler came over this afternoon. It was a lot of fun, especially since I hadn't met Mercedes yet and she hadn't met Stella. They live about 5 hours away (6-8 hours on baby time), and last time I went out there, Mercedes had strep throat and so we couldn't meet. She's so cute! She turns 2 in April and she was just running around, totally loving on Stella and Lucy. Absolutely adorable. Mercedes is hispanic and my cousin and her husband are white, so it's obvious that she's adopted. And my cousin told me that people actually stop her all the time while she is out with Mercedes and ask her, "where's her mother?" What do you mean, where's her mother? You're talking to her, you asshat! I cannot BELIEVE people would say that. But they live in a very small town in East Texas, so there you go.

--Did you like that word? Asshat? I heard it this weekend from someone at my church, (I go to a pretty liberal church), in reference to the SXSW people. He referred to the industry people as "asshats with an expense account". I love it! It's my new favorite cuss word.--

--Crap, Stella just pulled up on her bookcase and now can get books off the top shelf. Where we put all the books we didn't want her to destroy. Guess it's time to do some reorganization.--

Anyway, my cousin kept going on and on about how much she loved our house and our neighborhood (she lives out in the country on 80 acres with horses and cows and she was jealous of having a neighborhood with sidewalks and neighbors and such). Seeing our house through someone else's eyes made me realize that it is really quite nice and cozy. I guess I knew that, but you just get tired of it, you know?

--Stella has like 5 pacifiers in here and she has one in her mouth and one in her hand and she keeps dropping the one that's in her hand on the floor and then picking it back up and putting it in her mouth and then dropping the one in her mouth and doing it again "over and over like a monkey with a miniature cymbal".--

But we did a major cleaning this weekend, both because our office/guest room had become a junk pit and because my cousin was coming and I knew she'd want a tour of our house. I'm kind of digging my house right now as a result. It helps that it is a gorgeous day outside and sunlight is streaming in and it's just beautiful. Rather than bitching and moaning about how bored we are with our house, we probably should just re-do it a little bit to get less bored. It's just you get stuck in a rut and it's hard to think of what to do differently. Especially when you get nothing but compliments on what you've done with it already.

I wanted to post a picture of Stella and Mercedes from this afternoon (crap, we totally should have gotten a picture of Stephanie and I together with our babies!), but my computer doesn't seem to be reading my memory card. So for now I'll just close off this long, rambling post!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The funniest thing I have read in a long time

I'm going through stuff in the office closet which mostly consists of boxes of crap from college and soon after. Papers, personal stuff, junk, essentially. I came across some incredibly sappy letters and cards I wrote Tim when we were separated the summer after we started dating and most of them make me sound like a stalker, but one that was written June 16, 1997 had the most hilarious passage. I will re-type it exactly for you:
"The most disgusting thing happened last night. My brother was going to the bathroom and Punky stuck her head right in the way and got pee all over her face. She is a weird duck. So my brother told me this and he was just wiping her face off with a towel. I happened to have a bathroom cup full of water, so I poured it on Punky's face. Keith thought it was just so cruel. She had piss on her face, what was I supposed to do. Anyway, Punky didn't freak out like I thought she would. I think maybe she likes water..."
I do not remember this incident at all, but now I have this image of walking into the bathroom and seeing Keith wiping Punky's face and me asking what happened and then just throwing water at her. It cracks me up.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Theatre, Theatre and the Austin Real Estate Market

Those things have nothing to do with each other by the way. One brings me great joy, the other great pain. In the joy column, I was in TWO plays this week. Tuesday night we did The Freddy Argyle Show at FronteraFest and it was such a blast. Rehearsals have been fun from a social angle, but sort of difficult from the acting one. I kept getting really directed to do stuff that I thought I was already doing and I was getting really frustrated. There was definitely a communication problem between the director(s) and me. But I think in the end, the performance was flawless from everyone involved and the audience really loved it. A lot of laughter, which is always nice. Unfortunately, no best of the week, so no best of the fest, but we had the best overall night I have ever seen at FronteraFest (and I've been seeing 1-2 nights a year for the last 11 years). There were no people reciting crappy poetry or doing some painful vanity piece or performance art. That in itself was unbelievable. So I was torn between being upset that we didn't get to advance with such a strong piece, and being excited to see so many interesting pieces. On that note, I think I was the only person from any of the pieces that watched everybody. I mean, the aisle was pretty lonely most of the time. I consider that one of the best parts of FF, how can you not watch everyone?
Then Saturday Tim and I performed his Big Box God at our church as part of FronteraFest's Mi Casa es su Teatro. I was REALLY nervous for that one, considering I'd gotten the script Thursday and had been madly memorizing its monologues, despite two days of Stella barely sleeping. But everyone in the church really enjoyed it, and our non-church friends who came to see it seemed to at least not run for their lives in fear. So I think it was successful. Even if it did raise only $23 for our church. But our pastor said she sent it to the UMC local Conference, it might be fun to do at their meetings and such.
After our performer's high on Saturday afternoon, we drove around because Stella was sleeping in the backseat and I knew that might be all the sleep we'd get out of her. So we looked around at houses, as we are want to do when we drive around to keep the baby asleep, and we realized that Austin's market is INSANE! You cannot get a house for under $180k unless you want to step over crack whores on your way in the door. If you want architectural interest or nice interiors, you're looking at $200k at the very rare low end and $350-$400k at the most likely range. Who buys these houses? People who move here from California, that's who! Bastards who sell their 500 sq ft condos for half a million and decide to spend their scratch in Austin. Investors who buy any house under $200k sight unseen, flip it, and sell it for $300k. They are screwing it up for the rest of us!
Tim found a house online that was mid-century modern for $160k in a neighborhood at Lamar and Airport and we drove over to look at the outside yesterday after church because yes, once again, the monkey was asleep. It was pretty cute, not too small, and we thought it had a lot of potential, so we actually called the real estate agent. We started dreaming of what we would do to it, looking at area schools (yes we live in a fantasy world). He called us back to say that it had had five offers, and "several" of them were over the asking price. And what do you want to bet they're all investors? So we've been a bit down. It's silly to complain when you have a nice house that you can afford and you just want a different house, (with a formal dining room, please!), but we've been here 6 years. It was supposed to be a starter house, but now we're starting to think we'll be here forever just because the market is getting so insane! It's time to shit or get off the pot: we have to decide whether we want to make this house what we want it to be and give up on our modern dream, or we need to get a real estate agent who can find a house with good modern bones that we can make our own. We both think if we wait too much longer, it will be too late.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


So Stella has been calling everything "baby" lately. Or at least saying "baby" all the time. It may be a random combination of syllables, but it sure sounds like baby. I thought perhaps she knew what it meant, since she said it while looking at the mirror she has in the car, but now I'm not sure, since she says it while engaging in all sorts of activities. She still says "bye bye", though, she just said it while waving at the cat while we were playing. So cute!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Stella and her Daddy playing Peek-a-Boo

This is just so cute! Although a bit long, but that's because I don't know how to edit video.

Stella's Newest Achievements

I've been remiss in recounting Stella's latest achievements. As you all know from earlier posts, she started crawling a couple of weeks ago, then clapping and waving bye bye pretty reliably. But a week and a half ago, she said, "Bye" as her Aunt Christine and Uncle Brian were leaving. It was adorable. She kept waving and saying, "Bye". It was clear that's what it was. Then about a week ago she said bye and waved to her Daddy as he was leaving for work. Day before yesterday, she started cruising. She actually took steps from the ottoman to the glider to the table. And then yesterday she cruised among three chairs I set up in the kitchen, and from the coffee table to my leg to the couch. Very exciting! So the girl is actually showing some interest in walking, but crawling is certainly still her first love. Well, i see she's trying to climb the very dangerous cd cases, so I better go stop her. If anybody has any suggestions for blocking off cd storage or the fireplace, let me know!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Feelin' Guilty

This may sound silly, but one of the things I feel guilty for in the mothering department is that I don't really dress Stella up all cute. In fact, I am all about ease of getting on and off. Because our newest development is that Stella screams and cries whenever I'm changing her diaper and goes "Mama, Mama, Mama" like how dare you stop me from my constant motion to get this poo or wetness off my bootie. And because it's cold outside, she mostly wears pants, which are getting increasingly difficult to get on and off over her bulky cloth diapers. And I refuse to go buy 18 month clothing, (or really any clothing for her; I'm cheap like that and her aunts, grandmothers and great-grandmothers keep her fully stocked in that department!) Snaps would make life easier but according to the above family members, they just do not make pants for baby girls with snaps. So because I cannot stand to manhandle Stella into pants, she wears 4 pairs of pants pretty much on constant rotation: two pairs that are elastic and ample enough to go over her butt and two pairs with snaps. My plan is to buy some of those baby legwarmers that you can use instead of tights and then keep her in skirts most of the time. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I almost cannot wait for summer so it's back to onesies and rompers!

I just realized what a boring paragraph that was. I didn't get at the heart of why I feel guilty. I feel guilty for not dressing Stella up because that's what every mother of every little boy dreams of doing. I have a little girl who I can use as my own private dolly and I do not take advantage of it. In fact, my friends who have boys dress their sons WAY cuter than I dress Stella normally. Their little boys always look like little miniature men, they are adorable. Stella is adorable too, but usually her outfit has almost nothing to do with it. Right now she is wearing her Michigan State sweat pants and a onesie because she went jogging with her Daddy this morning, and I'm debating leaving it on her all day because the pants go over her booty easily. But I feel like that's kind of like me going to the grocery store in my sweatsuit, which I would NEVER do. I don't even own a sweatsuit! Lazy, lazy Mama, that's me!

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Barack Obama is a smoker. That is just crazy to me. He apparently doesn't make a secret of his smoking, but as the commentator on NPR said, "I bet you won't find any pictures of him smoking on the campaign trail". This doesn't really affect my impression of him, especially since I used to smoke, but I just find it surprising.

Oh, Come on, really?!

I bought a 6 pack of Lone Star Tall Boys to make rehearsal tonight a little more interesting. Stella was with me and I went through the self-checkout line. We also bought cat food and a little cup to try and get Stella to drink water. She even chose it herself, as I gave her a choice between the blue and orange cup and she chose the blue. Very exciting. Anyway, when I scanned the Lone Star, it of course asked me to show the checker my ID. Usually they see how ancient I am and just wave me on. But this one made the little universal "ID" symbol (you know, made her thumb and forefinger like she was holding a card), so I kind of leaned over and held out my wallet with my ID in it, since I didn't want to stray too far from Stella. She said, "Take it out please?" I did, even though I was like, this is ridiculous! Then she looked at the front and the back and even bent it a little, I guess to make sure it was real! WTF? I mean, I'd understand if I was like 22, but I'm 29 for Pete's sake, and I pretty much look my age. It was unbelievable. I didn't say anything, but I really wanted to.
In other news, I thought I received the check for my 401k a month or two ago since I never rolled it over, but then today I received a report showing that I still had about 3 times what the check amount had been in my 401k. Huh? I guess I'll have to call, but the only thing I can think of is that I was still eligible for profit sharing and that's what the check was. It wasn't very big, but I guess they didn't have very many profits last year. Wish I'd known, I'd have spent it more wisely or something. As it was, it basically went toward a new china cabinet, a bookcase and some other things from IKEA.