Monday, February 28, 2011

Girl Scout Cookies!

Yesterday Natalie and I joined Daisy Scout Troop 3105 to sell Girl Scout cookies outside Wal-Mart.

By the appointed time, I had dismissed scores of excuses for not showing up and decided to just suck it up and Be The Mother. So my shy little girl and I set up shop with Natalie's friend Kalei and her lovely mom Pam.

Kalei and Natalie are perfect for each other. Quiet, sweet, unassuming. And terrible saleswomen.

Neither of them dared to make eye contact with anyone who approached our table, despite Pam and me urging the girls to at least look up, or say thank you.

Enter Christine, their fellow Daisy. Christine is not shy. She came to our table near the Garden Center from her post at the main entrance, where she had been pulling in one sale after another.

She showed the quiet girls how it was done. She even let them hold her handmade Girl Scout Cookies sign, on the corner of which she had printed: "Don't touch my poster."

After a little peer mentoring, Natalie began to come out of her shell.

After an hour, her shell was nowhere to be found.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Out of the hundreds of emails that buzzed across my iPhone this week, the one Natalie sent me this morning is by far the best. Succinct, spelled correctly, true to herself and with an enthusiastic subject line. As a communications professional, I approve.

Subject: Love,Natalie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





Snow White

Sleeping Beauty





Dear mama,
I love you

Monday, February 14, 2011

She loves me more than gum

Look what I pulled out of Natalie's folder tonight.


Not only does she love me more than gum. She loves me more than mac 'n' cheese AND dresses.

Oh, I love that little girl.

Tonight the three of us - BM, LD and BG (that's Big Mama, Lizzy Daddy and Baby Girl) - went for pizza. We got a giant pizza and a big carafe of wine and some antipasto.

When we got home, we took the dogs for a walk around the hood and LD got the hiccups. He sounded like a wino.

Then we came home and read Junie B. Jones - Natalie says "She is sooooo bad!"

A good Valentine's Day on the whole.

More than gum!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Field trip

I recently chaperoned Natalie's class on a field trip.

I don't like tight spaces with a lot of people - Costco makes me crazy - or lots of noise. I am a Highly Sensitive Person. (Are you?)

So this trip was a bit challenging for me. I recorded 15 seconds to share with Tony, so he could praise my not leaping out the window.

It was 35 minutes just like this. Can you hear the Disney music over the din?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Good help

Good help is so hard to find these days.

That is why I employ little girls in princess dresses who aspire to be Cinderella.

Here is my helper. San Diegans may recognize the orange towel. It came home from the Y in the Mister's gym bag (whoops).

Actually, I don't pay her at all. This is Natalie at play.

"Mama, can I clean the floor?"

"Hmmm. Well. All right. If you promise to eat all your dinner tonight."

Look at that shine!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

She can eat hard food now

The top front tooth that Natalie's been babying for weeks finally came out tonight. Which is really terrific because it's felt like having an old person living with us. Soft food only!

This tooth has tormented her! No apples, having to bite a PB&J with her canine and first premolar. Can you imagine her relief?

She suggested Tony and I go to bed early tonight, so we don't scare away the Tooth Fairy.

She looks like a real kid now. Not so much my baby anymore.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I'm back!

I'm baaaaack!

And it's all thanks to my two faithful readers, Thyme and Kristine, who were standing out there in the dark, holding their lighters up for me. Let me tell you, when I get complaints from 20 percent of my readership, I take it seriously.

So, the last two months, in a nutshell:

1. The new job continues to be awesome and sometimes exhausting. Some days I am literally (I hate it when people say "literally," but I want to be clear I'm not exaggerating) running from one meeting to another. But it's exhilarating and amazing to feel such purpose in my work again. Someone I admire recently told me: "This is going to be the best job you'll ever have."

2. Natalie is loving ballet (see photo above) and she has signed up for tap, following in her mother's footsteps. We plan to take a Mommy & Me tap class this summer. Between tap and Natalie and I joining Daisies (little Girl Scouts), I'm in mother heaven.

3. We went to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving. It was very cold!

4. I went skiing with my dad in Aspen - my first time on skis in 15 years!

And first time on shaped skis. We had a great time. Saw a bald eagle from the chair lift! I actually missed Natalie's ballet recital because I was on a plane to Aspen. Terrible!

5. We might get a puppy. A chocolate Labradoodle. Oh they are sooo cute! We drove up to Norco last night to see them and fell for two - a boy and a girl. Now I am tormented between them. Tony says either one will be a great dog and I won't regret whatever we choose. He is always so reasonable about these things.

The boy:

The girl:

6. Natalie is getting funnier and funnier.

The other day she asked when she'd have lunch with the principal again. Lunch With the Principal is an honor at school for kids who are doing well in class.

"I think that was just a one time deal, honey," I said.
"Though I don't know for sure. Do kids get to go back?"
"Yeah, if they left something in there."

I called the Mister right after to tell him.

There was another funny one. Recently at school, Natalie pointed out a kid to Tony.

"That's Ronnie. 'Cept his nickname is Ronald."

7. My 38th birthday is next Saturday. I feel good about it mostly because I have a wonderful job and family. Last year I had a classic birthday of self-loathing where I said to myself: I'm 37 years old and what am I &%$##@! doing with my life?? I would feel better about it if I didn't have all these gray hairs, which I suddenly see because I had the great idea to grow out my highlights. Guess who's getting highlights again?!

8. I have a new nickname here at Mill Peak Road. Big Mama. And we live at Big Mama's House. Natalie and Tony both think it's hilarious.

That's all for now. I will try to post more regularly, Thyme and Kristine. Or I will just see you at the next Kevin Faulconer event!