Saturday, January 30, 2010

Smacksy Sunday Link: My First Fail

This is not my child. Yet. Thank you, Jesus.

Thank you to my friend Wendy for alerting me to the delight that is the photo blog My First Fail. I can not get enough of photos of small children doing weird and/or ill-advised things so that I can feel better about my own parenting skills.

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Fort 2.0

Try to locate the smiling keeper of this citadel.

Another day, another fort.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ready to Party

"Mama, is it my birthday yet?"

"No. Your birthday's in May. We have a ways to go yet."

"So it's after this day? When I wake up, after breakfast?"

"It's more than three months away, but it'll be here before you know it."

"But I do know it and it takes a long time."

"Sorry, babe. There are other holidays to celebrate between now and then."

"Oh! I have a super great idea! Do you want to know it?"

"Yes I do."

"We can celebrate my birthday everyday! It would be super great to do that."

"If we had your birthday everyday, then it wouldn't be special any more, now would it?

"Yes it would. It very, very would."

That's A No For Me

I’ve never fancied myself anything close to an amazing singer but on most days I can sort of carry a tune. When driving with Bob in the car recently I sang along with the radio, belting out Little Red Corvette. A classic. After the chorus, Bob interrupted me.

“Mama? Mama! Stop that nasty noise!”

"What did you say?"

"Please, Mama. I'm saying please."

I know Bob’s a Prince fan so he was not talking about the song choice.

I heard Simon’s leaving Idol after this season so I guess there's an opening. I think Bob might have a future in television.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


11:30 AM

“Bob? I have given you my complete and undivided attention for the last two and half hours and I’ve loved every minute of the puzzles and books and being eaten by dinosaurs and freeze tag and helicopter launching and that part where you ate my sandwich, but now I really need five minutes to myself. I need five minutes where you are not pulling on me or whining or climbing me or demanding candy. Please go in your room, just for five minutes without writing on the walls or breaking things on purpose or trying to ride the dog like a horse or wailing. Five minutes. I beg you."

“But mom?”

“Just Five minutes, Bob.”

“No, Mama! Not five minutes! Nine minutes!”

“Fine. We’ll do nine, if you must.”


“Deal. Let’s hug on it.”

“OK, but nine. I said nine, Mama, not five.”

“I will try.”

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In a Galaxy Far, Far Away...

My husband Jeff is a musical/mathematical/computer genius-type. He fostered his nerdishness as many of his fellow nerd-men do, with an early obsession with Star Wars. In order to ensure that his genetic code for inverse hyperbolic trigonometry gets passed down to the next generation, Jeff has gifted Bob with his childhood collection of Star Wars action figures circa 1979.

Bob is still too young to see the Star Wars movie, but he loves the action figures which he affectionately refers to as his "robots." He is intent on learning all of their names and recently checked out a book from the library that lists of all the characters and their resumes. Bob has now chosen his career path.

"Mama, when I grow up I am going to be a robot teacher at Star Wars School. I'm going to teach Darth Vader not to be bad anymore. He was good before but now he's bad but I can help him remember the way to be good. I am going to teach Busk not to be so greedy anymore and only need his share and also I will teach the bounty hunter robots to only work for the good side. Oh and "Chee-backa" is just a nice guy so he won't need robot school because he is a Wookie. See this picture of R2D2? I think they took the picture in the Star Wars bathroom. It looks like that. So, also after I teach all of the robots to be good, then they can move out of Star Wars and into our neighborhood. That will be excellent. Super excellent."

Next stop, calculus.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sawing Logs

For the first 18 months of his life, Bob woke up 8 - 12 times a night and could only get back to sleep with my help. This was hell for all involved. When I finally became so sleep deprived that I:
1. Fell asleep at a stoplight while driving
2. Could not form a full sentence
3. Hallucinated,
Jeff took over and did a gentle type of sleep training with Bob that he found in a book (Good Night, Sleep Tight by Kim West). I got to re-enter the long forgotten world of Rapid Eye Movement slumber. Because of that rough year and a half, this sound is like a sweet, sweet lullaby.

*Note: I am not being paid to promote or endorse the Good Night, Sleep Tight book although it was life changing and if I could meet Kim West, I would give her such a big, long, hug, she would be scared, and it might be awkward but she saved me and I'm a hugger. Ms. West, you have been warned.

Smacksy Sunday Link: Betty, Please

This is the latest reason that I love YouTube. I have found my favorite scene from my favorite sitcom, circa 1980. Please note that my undying love for this scene resulted in my high school nickname "Betty Please." (At least I hope that's why they called me that.) I went on to work in many restaurants in my waitressing career and there were many shifts that went down just like this.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Delivery Guys

I was going through my December iphoto file and realized that we took a few nice pictures over the holidays. Some good stuff with Santa, some gift opening, and some treat eating, but this one is my favorite. On Christmas morning, Jeff left cranberry bread on the doorsteps of all the neighbors on our street. Bob followed behind wearing pajamas, heralding the arrival of each loaf with a few notes on his new trumpet. I think St. Nick would be proud.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wild Parrots and Wood Floors

When my mom moved last year, I got custody of a number of large plastic bins containing artifacts from my childhood. Handling the toys and books and records belonging to much-younger-me, so many childhood memories resurfaced. My first hazy recollections are from my third and fourth year.

Bob will be four years-old in May and I wonder what he will remember from this time in his life.

Bob, will you remember…

…the sound of the flock of wild parrots that flies over our house everyday around four o’clock?

…playing the drums with your father?

…the weight of my bracelets that you like to pull out of the jewelry dish and line up on the windowsill?

… this week’s preferred reading: Llama Llama Misses Mama?

…the sweet dog that follows you around the house?


…the fish mobile that swims in the air above your room?

…the words to the Wonder Pets theme song?

…chasing waves on the empty beach?

...the Enchanted Railroad at Descanso Gardens?

…your great grandmother Sylvia playing the violin in our living room?

...rainy day hot cocoa?

...our secret handshake?

…falling asleep during dinner in a booth at the coffee shop?

Will you remember the feel of your quilts, the sound my shoes make on the wood floors, the smell of the redwood tree near the driveway?

I realize I have no say in this matter, and you really don’t either, but I hope they are all good things. I really do.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Everyone Has Their "Thing"

You may have heard me mention my husband's deep affection for animals, specifically, puppies and kittens and tiny hedgehogs and any of the above wearing an outfit. While some guys might spend an evening surfing internet porn, this evening I found my husband watching The Chewing Hedgehog for the hundredth time.

Also caught him here: The Catorialist

He also found live streaming video of puppies here: SF Shiba
The puppies were sleeping. He watched this for a good six minutes, intermittently providing them with voice over.

And of course, the old standby: Cute Overload

If I ever want to see my husband again, I may have to put a parental control setting on Animal Planet.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Welcome Home

Shortly after this photo was taken, the following events occurred.
As told by Bob Rosenberg:

"Daddy got in the door and I was doing my happy crazy dance and dancing with my feet and crazy arms and then Daisy came from all directions and she was at my chair and then also at the front door and she was excited and then she knocked me right over and right there I hit my toe right here no this one you can kiss it for me and then I also was crying because of the falling and then Daisy jumped on the couch and I didn't want to do dancing anymore only the crying and then I needed to sit on you on the couch and stop all of the crying and everything."

And yes, Bob did climb on to my lap and then he did a weird hump-y move on my leg and then farted and then said, "I love you, Mama."

Daddy's home.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How To Impress the Junior High Girls On Our Block; A Tutorial by Bob Rosenberg

1. Wear the blue rain boots.

2. Go in the super giant puddle in the street in front of our house, while wearing the blue rain boots.

3. Look for worms in the super giant puddle in front of our house, while wearing the blue rain boots.

4. Systematically rescue worms from drowning in the super giant puddle in front of our house by picking them up and throwing them on to our lawn. (Also throw some on Miss Belva’s lawn as a present.) Worms like lawns but not puddles so much because of the drowning.

5. When the junior high girls on our block ride up on their bikes to look at the super giant puddle, wade up to them in the blue rain boots. Present them with two handfuls of squirmy worms and explain that you are a worm rescuer.

6. When the junior high girls on our block scream and ride away on their bikes, it means that they like you.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Make A Wish

It's a day off from school and a day off from work. It's a day to remember a wise man and his birthday. It's a day to think about where we've been and plan how to get to where we still need to go. It's a day for gratitude and a day for dreaming large. It's a day for blowing out candles and making a wish. It's a day to eat cake.

Happy Birthday Dr. King.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Smacksy Sunday Link: Julie Adore Dimanche

A link for parent-types or those who enjoy construction paper and glue sticks. (I am both.)

I don't speak French. But I get the gist of the craft projects for kids on this swell French-y site Julie Adore Dimanche. When I get confused (I think "tampon" must have another meaning en Français ) Jeff can usually come through with a translation. I can't remember where I heard about this site. Erin? Dera? Marija? Anyway, merci.

Note: I took three years of high school Spanish so, I may not be très chic, but I do totally understand this.

De nada.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Rubber Lizard

Bob told me that his rubber lizard is named Lisa. I was flattered. He then informed me that, "The good thing about this Lisa is that he is a boy and he doesn't talk." Alrighty then.

Friday, January 15, 2010


My money is on one of these guys.

We have white sheets on our bed which, save for 10 minutes every Tuesday, are covered in pet hair, sand and dirt clods brought into the house from various mammals. I leaned back against the sort of white pillows today with Bob, who pulled on the raggedy pop-up pages of The New Yellow Bulldozer. Bob stopped suddenly and pointed to a dirt smear on the bed.

"Is that poop?'

"I don't think so, honey. It's probably dirt. Did you smell it?" Bob leaned down to the sheet and took a big whiff. Then the hollering began.

"It's poop! There's poop in the bed! It smells like poop here! Our house is all poo-ed! It's stinky in the house and bed! Everywhere is poops! Poop!" He took off, waving his arms and ran through the living room.

Because taking him at his word would have been too easy, I leaned down and smelled the sheet for myself. He was right. I gagged a little. I lifted Jeff's pillow. More poop smeared there. Who was responsible? As usual with situations of this nature in our house, it could have been anyone. (You know who you are.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010


It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little.
-Sydney Smith, writer and clergyman (1771-1845)

Yele is an organization founded by Haitian musician and activist Wyclef Jean and all donations will go directly to where there is the most need. Thanks to Ilene for this information and the quote. Or text YELE to 501 501 to donate $5 via your cellphone

Text HAITI to 90999 and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.

Here is a list of charitable organizations active in Haiti.

Thinking of the heartbreaking tragedy in Haiti and holding my loves close.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Robot Plans: A One Act

Robot Schematic Diagram; First Draft by Bob and Daddy

BOB and DADDY sit on the floor of Bob's room loading blocks, Legos and assorted finger-puppets into the back of a battery operated dump truck.


Daddy? I need to build a robot.




I want to make a robot today. 

You know Uncle Andy builds robots. That’s his job.

What kinds of robots?

Well, he builds robots for rocket ships.

OK but I don't need the rocket ship yet. Just the robot. Can we build a robot with him? I want one.

Let's call Uncle Andy.

(DADDY presses speed dial 5.)



It’s your brother-in-law and also your nephew. You're on speaker.


Uncle Andy! I need to build a robot with you now.

Hi Bob. 
What kind of robot?


A good robot, not a bad one. I want a nice robot that does not break things. And it brings snacks. I want a nice robot that will bring snacks.


NOTE: Later that evening, Daddy Googled "snack robot" and finds the following image on a site called Technabob. I think Bob's on to something.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Night Passport: A One Act


I am sitting on the edge of BOB'S bed, tucking him in for the night. I kiss him on the forehead.

Night night, sweetheart. Now, close your eyes.

I don't want to close my eyes.

Why, Poops?

Because I'll go to another country.

Other countries are nice. You've been to other countries before.

When I was a baby?

When you were younger.

Where? What countries?

Well... you went to England and Germany and Mexico. You were in the Netherlands and Austria...

Oh. Those are good countries.

So close your eyes and have sweet dreams.

Maybe I can dream about ice skating except if the water isn't freezing yet it's just water and then you can't walk on it.

Why don't you dream about birthdays and cake?

Oh. That's a good idea. I really like cake. Cake would be a great country.

(BOB closes his eyes.)


Monday, January 11, 2010

Answer #8

I've been answering these questions from Dera's meme for the past week and the one I've had the most difficulty with is this one: If Santa could bring you something this year, what would that special something be? I'm not trying to be difficult here and I don't want to be a dick about this but, Santa - I can't really come up with anything. I am set up. I want what I have.

I've got faith and adventure, friends and family and the waves of highs and lows that come with having a full life. I have some empty pockets in my heart where I miss certain people, and animals and places but the emptiness is a result of the great fortune of having once known and loved them all. There is sunshine and clouds and the smell of fireplaces burning.

I have an education and enough to eat and a place to live and so very much more than many people in this world, especially many women. There is health here and hope and help and purpose. I enjoy companionship and laughter and understanding and tears and the time to enjoy it all. There are books and movies and poetry and television, the internet and travel and people who like swapping stories. I have memories and photographs and home movies and friends who will fill in the gaps when I can't remember all the details. I am on a first name basis with many dogs. I have the sweetest husband. I have an astonishing son. There are fresh peaches here, even in the winter.

So, I'm good, Santa. Thanks for asking.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Smacksy Sunday Link: My Cousin Rocks Hard

My cousin Kim is an Associate Professor at the University of San Francisco at the Center for Aids Prevention Studies. In addition to being a mom of three fantastic boys, she's been working as an AIDS researcher for the past 20 years. She's also fluent in a bunch of languages, has a beautiful singing voice and is an excellent cook but don't hate her for how easy she makes it look, she's just all awesome like that. She can't help it. Oh and she's nice. And gifted in the looks department. And way more modest about all of this than I would be. OK, you can hate her just a little.

This June, the gorgeous and kick-ass Dr. Page will be participating in the AIDS LifeCycle 9, where she will ride 545 miles on a bicycle to raise money and awareness to fight HIV/AIDS and support those living with the disease. This is a link to her LifeCycle page where you can learn more about Kim and her upcoming ride.

While I will not be riding, (too much exercise makes me crabby) I am pledging some dough because using a credit card is something I do really well. We all have our strengths.

This is my answer to question #7 of Dera's darling meme over at la bonita Casablanca.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Unsolved Mysteries

Today, once again, I came upon this familiar scene: The thrice-weekly whodunit. The dog? The kid? The cat? The husband? They all look guilty and nobody's talking.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas Dinner 1955

I want to go back in time to December 25 1955, dinner at Sophie's Cafe in Borger Texas. This was my paternal grandmother's restaurant. The family had made the move to Texas from New Mexico less than 10 years prior to this. My grandma cooked magnificent Mexican food, the best ever.

I'll have the green chili with sopapillas please, and a sweet tea.

Sitting at the table, my young grandparents, my Aunt Dolores, her baby daughter, and adorable 15 year-old Eddie, the boy who would grow up to be my dad. Perhaps the 11 year-old girl who would become my mother, stops in with her folks to say hello. I could table hop.

I want to to hear what they're saying, eat what they're eating. And take pictures of the whole thing.

This is the answer to question #6 of Dera's meme at Casablanca.
More good trips in the time machine over at Christopher and Tia's Flashback Friday.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Anatomy 105: A One Act

My mom (Meemee) stayed with Bob this evening while Jeff and I went out for a few hours. To delay the actual sleeping part of bedtime, Bob engaged Meemee in conversation.


BOB is laying in bed. MEEMEE rubs his back .

Time to close your eyes.

Your skin is there to hold in your bones.

That’s right, and your blood, and your muscles, and organs.


That’s why when you cut yourself you bleed. Your skin gets a little break in it and then you have to use a BandAid.

(lifting his shirt)
These are my bones.

Those are your ribs.

They hold everything inside together.


Yes, they do.

Let me show you my balls.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Be Afraid Then Do It Anyway And Then Possibly Throw Up

Fact: Jumping out of a plane was less scary than starting the blog. Trust me.

I started this blog on May 16, 2009. I was petrified. It’s been a number of years since I had written anything other than rather dry information-y articles and when I had written in my previous TV life it was always with Jennifer, my hugely talented then writing/producing partner. My confidence was lacking and hitting publish on my first post triggered an anxiety attack that lasted a number of days. I was horrified of sucking and then would console myself by thinking that it wouldn’t matter because no one would be reading it anyway. Self obsession shame spiral, anyone?

I had decided to start my blog after some attempts to get rolling on a book had been frustrating. I realized that I was out of practice with getting my thoughts on paper. (I’m aware that there is no paper involved here but “screen” doesn’t sound right.) I thought that getting into the daily habit of posting would help get that part of my brain back in shape. I had no idea what to expect.

From the start, my friends and family have come to the rescue and have been supportive readers because they are just stuffed with awesome like that. My husband has written code, proof-read, offered great topic ideas, and talked me down from my adorable obsessive compulsive blog ledge many times. There is also a magic at work where anytime I write about him as the main topic, my viewer numbers for the day skyrocket. I guess he’s not just helpful but also fascinating.

The thing I have been most surprised with is the number of other bloggers I have gotten to know and adore. People I think of as friends, although most I have never met. If I had known that this particular party was out here waiting for me, I may have gotten my whole thing together sooner.

Thanks everybody. I like it here.

This was my answer to the question: How long have you been blogging?
From Dera's meme over at Casablanca.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's Pronounced Yool Hoose

This was my answer to the question: Do you have Christmas lights up outside?
From Dera's meme at Casablanca.

I credit my green-milk-on-St.Patrick’s-Day mother for instilling me with a love of all things seasonal and holiday. My collection of holiday decorations (Christmas/Halloween/Easter/Haunkkah/Thanksgiving) is somewhat restrained (4 large plastic bins) considering what it could be.

I am the one hanging out with all the grandmas in places like Jule House of Solvang. In my other life, I’m one of the people on those HGTV Christmas specials with a different themed tree in every room of the house.

I took down our Christmas tree and outside lights on New Year’s Day, as I do every year. I missed them immediately. There are houses on our block that have up the house lights year round. I’ve heard of funny old ladies who keep up a Christmas tree all year too. I don’t believe that this Mrs. Rosenberg will be one of those old ladies, but never say never.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Shadow

That coffee cup looks desperately empty.

My friend Jennifer is an early adapter of technology. Over breakfast at Jerry’s Deli sometime in 1992, she was explaining to a few of us how drastically our lives were about to change with the advent of the home computer. I could understand using computers for work but the idea of everyone I knew having one in their home was hard to wrap my mind around.

“You’ll have one in your house. Everyone you know will.”

“For what, though?” I asked.

“You’ll talk to people. Share information. Shop. You’ll read books. Watch movies…”

“But I already do all of those things. Why do I need a computer for that? Plus, I can’t even type.” I was skeptical and thick and thought this all sounded like a very expensive fad. The cordless new phone thing was cool, but all of this computer lifestyle stuff seemed a little far-fetched.

’92 me would simply not have accepted the reality of today’s me. Of course, I do all of the things on the computer that Jennifer had told me I would. I also met my husband online. When we eloped to Vegas, our friends and family were able to watch our wedding ceremony, live streaming on their computers. My laptop follows me around the house like a dog, to the front porch, the bed, the backyard. I often keep it set up in the kitchen during the day. I check in with you guys and wave hello above the intermittent isolation that comes from being a stay-at-home-mom. Often, you guys wave back. And I still can't type.

This was my answer to the question: What room is your computer in? From Dera’s meme at Casablanca.

Smacksy Sunday Link: What I'm Looking At

Question: What are you looking at right now?
Answer: I'm looking at this video of one of my favorite people, at one of our favorite places, telling me to, "Look at the clouds, Mama!"
The Favorite Person and I try to look at The Favorite Place as often as possible.

This is Day 2 of my answers for another Favorite Person's (Dera's) bloggy-Casablanca- meme thingy.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Smacksy Saturday Photo: What I'm Listening To

Question: What are you listening to right now?
Answer: I am listening to pants-free piano right now. And yesterday. And I'm betting tomorrow too.

My separated at birth blog sister Dera at Casablanca tagged me in a meme* over at her place. I'm in and taking it a question a day over here.

* Mom - A meme is one of those things like we email each other sometimes where you have to answer a list of questions like, "What did you have for breakfast this morning?" They're fun, right? It's pronounced meem. Oh, and coffee, a banana, and a Snickers Fun Size. You?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Everything Starts Right Now

You guys? It's going to be really great. Trust me. I know people. Really great. For real.