Tuesday, September 29, 2009

discover your personality today!

so, facebook.

you know what i mean, it's practically the center of the internet. and i really have a strong love-hate thing with it. i love the opportunity to see everyone and "catch up" with whatever they're putting out there, but i hate the way it's like this big empty pit and i can just open the door and heave whatever time i had that afternoon right into it. so i avoid it as much as i can. except the other day i was on and i noticed a photographer i've been following offer a 6-month mentorship for free. all you had to do was write a little essay of sorts telling her why she should pick you. so i wrote one. i figured i'd give it a shot.

well guess what? she picked me. so, after some extreme fist pumping and white-girl booty shaking (improved slightly due to the bellydancing classes i've been taking), i sat down and did the first thing she asked me to do: take a personality test.

i used to think personality tests were really lame until ryan went to some training thing for work and took one and came home and showed me the results. at first i only really glanced at the results until i read, "this type of personality can sometimes be frustrating due to the fact that they like to think about things so long" and then i was like, DUDE. YOUR PERSONALITY TEST JUST DESCRIBED YOU TO ME. and i kept reading and it said, "when dealing with this type of personality it helps to let them think things through and come to their own conclusions" and THEN it added, "this type of personality tends to be very meticulous. this can frustrate the partners of this personality type. it is best to encourage them gently to stop thinking and take action" and then when ryan came into the room i was weeping softly and hugging the book and he asked what was wrong and i was all, this BOOK is like the manual that you never came with! no one understands the frustrations that i experienced when buying a washing machine with you like this book does. NO ONE COULD POSSIBLY KNOW HOW AWFUL IT IS TO SIT DOWN AND DO OUR FINANCES WITH YOU EVERY WEEK LIKE THIS BOOK CAN!!

seriously, let me desrcibe a secenario to you: we're going to run errands on a saturday morning. i want to go to target to get some batteries and an iphone cover, the bank to deposit some checks, the drycleaners to get ryan's work clothes and the gap for a white polo shirt for seth. we get in the car. and then, we sit there. why? BECAUSE RYAN WANTS TO PLOT OUT OUR DRIVE THAT'S WHY. the man CRAVES efficiency. and i just want to get our errands done so we can be done with it and move on to the fun stuff.

"but don't you see?" ryan says (and i swear he said the next part), "IT'S FUN TO BE EFFICIENT."

and then i pretend to be dead. because that is the best coping mechanism i have been able to think of so far.

so you can bet i kept that notebook that was filled with ryan's personality. and sometimes, when all hope is lost, i slink over to the bookshelf, bring it down and describe how ryan made me categorize and sub-categorize my latest receipt from the grocery store and i was like, are you serious? and he was like, HOW DO YOU EXPECT ME TO KEEP OUR FINANCES IN ORDER, WOMAN? (plus, don't you remember that efficiency is FUN?)

and that notebook is like, DUDE, I KNOW.

so i show ryan my personality and he read it and his eyes got wide and he was all, THAT'S WHY! and then he heaved a great sigh of relief, held me at arm's length and told me that i was a good person.

well, thank goodness for that. i only hope my ways are not frustrating enough for him that i have to walk in and find him holding the computer screen and weeping softly, exclaiming about how this computer understands him better than any computer has ever understood him. because if you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you can only guess what that poor man has to put up with on a daily basis (example: CHICKENS IN OUR BACKYARD). so let me add now, here, publicly for ALL to see: i LOVE him. i do. more than anyone will ever love him. really.

this mentee-ship is going to be amazing. it's more than helping with the selection of business cards it's someone holding your hand and asking you, why do you want to be a photographer? and you sitting there thinking about it until your head hurts and then saying, I DON'T KNOW and then they say, wrong answer. try again.

lesson 1: i am an ENFP, or an Extroverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving. and, after reading my personality description i can only conclude this one thing: i am AWESOME. also, no wonder i have, as late, been completely bored with the thought of cleaning the house ONE MORE freakin' time. it's my personality. it can't be stopped.

Monday, September 28, 2009


obviously seth isn't impressed. he's seen better. he told me.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


every once in awhile i stop to read the titles of the emails i receive in my spam box which is quite amusing. up until yesterday, the favorite title was "dirty flea bitten hookers" which i found hilarious, but last night i found a new contender. it said, "read this if you're fat". not as graphic, but still funny.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

this is mostly for tara, but others may apply

so, fringe. anybody watch the season premier? don't worry, i'll totally ruin it for you.

because that season premier just may have ruined the show for me.

seriously? shape shifters? isn't that a little too sci-fi channel? okay, whatever. but what about the shape shifter shifting so quickly into charlie and then magically getting rid of the body and stripping it of its clothing and producing the body of the nurse? and what about the fact that when shot directly in the back, the shape shifter didn't even flinch, but kept running with obvious super human strength? or the fact that the shape shifter has super human strength and yet was working really hard on choking olivia dunham? and it didn't even work.



peter's still on the show: +5
walter's still on the show and he wants to make custard while performing an autopsy: +5
new girl is sneaky and can break into the fbi's top secret website with a mere moments pause and a secret code she has somehow managed to get: -3
the car crashes and olivia's nowhere to be seen, then she suddenly flies through the windshield as if from nowhere: +9
broyles (i have no idea why i like him. to be honest, it's his creepy face i imagine when i'm up in the middle of the night tending to children and it's that face that makes me turn on all the lights as i go): +3
astrid's new hair: -1
the fact that walter called her "asteroid": +2
lame shape shifter: -7
extra body that no one can explain: -10
the fact that real charlie has no clothes on when shape shifter charlie goes to burn him: -7
there's a bad guy in the fringe science ranks: +6
the speech charlie gives olivia: +5
charlie's dead: -10
broyles and redhead kissing: -4

total: -7

anyone else?

altogether, i give it one, big, grumpy BOO!! i've been WAITING for that show all summer long! naturally, i'll be watching it this week. it had better improve or i just might have to do another one of these entries.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

let's face it

weekly mouse

"a-tato-head" has changed our lives forever.

weekly guy

and then seth was all, "maybe you could put that camera away? and put real food on my tray? yeah, that'd be great."

Monday, September 21, 2009


Friday, September 18, 2009

beach boys

sometimes ryan has business meetings in malibu, so after work we all meet at the beach and spend some time together. this is a favorite. i'm so glad one of my children will go near the water.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

a month of birthdays

ava and seth's birthdays fall two weeks apart and, two weeks after that, my parents birthdays fall only a week apart. so for about a month, we are chin-high in birthdays. this means that at dinners end, when we begin to pull out the birthday candles (or, in my parent's situation, the matches since we ran out of birthday candles), ava climbs into the lap of the birthday person and prepares herself for the blowing out of candles. lucky for her, the birthday people are also her grandparents. i can't think of anyone else who would be more willing to hand over a birthday than ava's grandparents. oh wait: i can: her other grandparents.

want to hear the story of my dad's birthday cake? i was comissioned to make it and looked for something with lemons since i somehow had a million lining the walls of my fridge. i have no idea why that happened, it just did. so i settled on a lemon pound cake with a cream cheese glaze. and then i made it. and it looked (smelled) really good. so i put one on a plate for presentation purposes and put the second in a tupperware container for backup purposes. then we got in the car to head to my parent's house. miraculously, i remembered the cakes, my camera, pajamas, extra diapers, camera battery, the proper lens, blah, blah, blah. . .as we turned the corner to exit our street something made an awful scraping noise and then there was a dull thud on the street behind our little care.

great, i thought. my engine just fell out.

now that i think about it, that was a very drastic thought to have. do you want to know what it was? the cake in tupperware of course. do you want to know what's sad? i lost the keys to my mother's suburban on the freeway the EXACT SAME WAY only a month ago.


let's just all be grateful that it wasn't seth that i stuck on the roof of the car and forgot to take down.

so i arrived with one lovely lemon cake presented nicely on a plate and one ugly cake that looked like someone had thrown it from a moving car. . .which is sort of (exactly) what happened. good thing i have a really cute daughter. the way to make that situation a good one is simply this: give the 3-year-old the cake and have her carry it in. worked like a charm when i brought home two chickens without discussing it with ryan first. what? i was perfectly willing to take them back just in case he thought it was a terrible idea! don't judge me.

the following is what happens when you don't get your way at grandma and grandpa's house:

happy birthday, mom and dad.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

guess what? people take me for granted

it was a loooong day. and i was going to get ava into bed if it killed me. we began with the teeth brushing, moved onto the overnight diaper (i asked, "do you need to go potty before we put this on?" ava replied, "no!" with extra sugar on top), read two stories, avoided being roped into reading two more, sang some songs, said some prayers, climbed into bed, snuggled with sixteen stuffed animals, discussed the day's events and, just when i was about to turn off the light and skip down the hallway, ava said, "mom? i have to go to the bathroom."

and i deflated into thin air just like that.

"what?" i protested, my voice rising with panic. "but you have a diaper on! and i just asked you if you needed to go potty and you said you didn't!"

my mouth felt a little dry as i thought, "mother of freaking pearl, i just might have to do that whole awful bedtime routine AGAIN."

ava seemed to take my protests into consideration. i considered begging her to go in her diaper, despite the fact that i specifically trained her not to do that. "well," she said, calmly, having just reached a conclusion, "ask me again."

i did it. i don't know why. i knew the answer. "ava" i asked her weakly, "do you have to go potty?"

"yes, mom," she said as she slid out of bed and out of her pajama bottoms, "i do."

so i washed my hands of the situation, stomped down the hall and drowned my sorrows in a chocolate cupcake and some sherlock holmes via my iphone. dude, did you know the guy was a serious cocaine addict? i know, right?

ryan ended up taking pity on me and wrapping up the whole ava into bed thing. thank goodness.

please, someone remind me why we have children.

also, doesn't that show flash forward on abc look amazing? i'm so ready for good tv again. it's been too long.

Monday, September 14, 2009


met up with ryan and the kids at the park. they were all playing together when i snuck up with them, camera in hand. i love this picture. i love it so much, i want to marry it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

weekly guy

when ava was but a young lass, i refused her sugar like any self respecting, over-protective, mother-of-one would do. and she didn't have any until she was about a year-and-a-half. then i had seth. and i tried again. and i was doing pretty good, too. until one day i saw ava offer her popsicle to her younger sibling. he took a lick and you could see the exclamation point form over his head.

"WHAT IS THAT? WHERE DID YOU GET IT? WHERE'S MINE? CAN I HAVE ONE? GIVE ME ANOTHER LICK!!!" and then he was jumping and clawing and attacking ava ferociously and then she was screaming.

"MOM!! SETH'S BUGGING ME!!!" but i can't say that i responded quickly because she's always saying that. always.

now boy child is getting his own popsicles these days. granted, i break off a major portion of it, but still, he's holding it all by himself and this pleases him.

weekly mouse

ava's first birthday party for someone else was this last weekend. it was little greer's princess party, where ava was allowed to attend in her princess garb. obviously she was so excited she over accessorized.
it was a good party, with princess crown making and princess necklace making, both of which ava took very seriously. very seriously. but the best part about this party is that greer is a hambly offspring. and hamblys are many things that i really love, but the best part about hamblys is this: their food. when you are born a hambly you are born with many gifts. you are funny. you enjoy good music. but best of all, you can make good food. and i think it transfers over when you marry a hambly, because jenn is a hambly by name and she's got it. oh boy, does she got it.

so i ate. and ate and ate and ate. and then i had a cupcake which was so good i had to close my eyes while i ate it. . .

ava doesn't really know about all of that. she mostly just concentrated on making a necklace and eating the frosting off of her cupcake. and i know that this "weekly mouse" post has deviated from the usual ava talk and has landed somewhere in the midst of praising to high heaven some people you don't even know, but she looked really cute, don't you think?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

the labor day wherein i did not labor

this is going to be a long one. i just wanted you to recognize that before you committed to reading this post that really only serves as a journal entry and is neither interesting or funny. consider yourself warned.

it has been SO LONG since we all piled into the car (the four of us) and did something fun. it seems like for the last few months we've had things going on, or we've had errands to run, or SOMETHING has kept us from just letting our hair down and having a good time. ryan was the genius who proposed venice beach and for that i will be eternally grateful to him.

the weather was amazing. the beach was beautiful. the children were happy. there was a little girl selling lemonade with her parents for fifty cents. it was lovely. plus, ryan managed to squeeze my car into the smallest parking spot ever. which turned out interesting. as the parking was so intense (for example, the parking lot where you paid to park was $25), there were lots of people lined up and waiting for our spot when we came back. this girl had her boyfriend swing their car out in front of everyone who had been waiting and snag our spot. this meant that as i stood outside the car and helped ryan pull out in a way that meant we didn't have to contact our insurance company, she and five other drivers all yelled at each other. then she tried to get me to agree with her that her large suv would totally fit into the spot my tiny nissan was just in. i refused to agree. i also did not disagree. this is a lesson my grandmother taught me. i use it often.

so hooray for labor day, for summer, for the amazing state of california and for the habit which, and i know this is going to be considered "stirring the pot", but i'll say it anyway: is WAY BETTER THAN IN N OUT. want to know why? REAL BACON. AND AVOCADO. and those just could be my two favorite food items. and also, ryan really likes their shakes.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Friday, September 4, 2009

happy birthday to my dad

that strapping young man is none other than my father, carlisle, the man seth (carlisle) is named after. and today is his birthday. which means that i will share a story that will be potentially embarassing to him. . .let me think. . .

got one!

i know my mother must have put me to sleep at night, but i really only remember my dad doing it. this meant that he sang me a few songs, told me a few stories and tried to stay my many attempts at postponing bedtime. one time i whined for a drink of water. my father replied:

"open your mouth and pretend that it's raining and the rain is pouring into your mouth and you're drinking it up and now you're not thirsty anymore."

do you know what i did? I TRIED HIS RIDICULOUS IDEA!! and guess what? it didn't work. i tried to inform him of this, but i'm pretty sure he did what i do to ava almost every night, which is this: the moment i offer my final idea and am finally completely deflated from the day's events and my child is of course not, she starts her rebuttal and i hop up suddenly and high tail i for the door, offering all of my best and most loving fareweel's for the day.

"good night! see you in the morning! i love you!"

before ava can protest, the door is shut and i am in the living room, panting and ready for a mug of ice cream. i can only imagine my father and i shared the same experience.

so dad, happy birthday!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


ava is three now. and i have to admit, that i am greatly surprised to see the amount of change that has occurred in the little bit overnight. one might say that her flair for the dramatic has, uh, increased. suddenly, ava will straighten in her chair as though possessed and exclaim with great feeling, "I will NEVER see her again! NEVER!" and then dramatically stomp out of the room, flinging herself through the doorway. it is impressive.

and odd.

it seems to me that these changes should occur more gradually, that i should be noticing her flair for eloquent paragraphs emerge. instead it seems as though she goes to bed stating simply what she needs at that moment, or what she observes and waking with a story or two to tell, a request to make and a plea for a kitten (included in this plea was a "please, daddy? pleeaaassseee?" so sweet it nearly broke our hearts to hear it. somehow, SOMEHOW ryan's spine was intact at the end of this and he managed a, "we'll talk about this later". to him i say, well done. and also, can we, ryan? can we have a kitten? oh please?)

it is odd having a daughter who isn't a baby, or a budding toddler. i feel like, with all of this communicating going on, that i have a real child. and, with the start of preschool, i have a real child that needs to be hurried along for a class where she comes home repeating, "ah-ah-apple," and, "ah-ah-airplane" (sort of) and, "ah-ah-ava," (okay, not at all, but at least she's got some of the concept down, right?) and a carefully drawn letter A that made my heart swell with pride and i just had to show someone, i had to tell someone MY DAUGHTER CAN WRITE THE LETTER A. and then i would shake them and shout, ISN'T SHE THE MOST AMAZING 3-YEAR-OLD YOU'VE EVER HEARD OF? and they'd have to agree. not out of fear, but because just one glance at that letter would prove me right. SHE IS AMAZING.

i told ryan. i told him and i was excited and i ran out to the car to fetch the paper that clearly had her carefully written letter A on it and i brought it to ryan and then. . .i couldn't find the letter A. because guess what? she's 3. and it was her first written anything. and it didn't look all that much like an A unless some crazy super-proud mother told you it was an A.

regardless, it's on the fridge. and it's still awesome.