Thursday, July 30, 2009

One of those...

You know that feeling when you're driving along a highway, let's say the 405 South for argument's sake, and you're feeling just swell!

You're making great time and you're so darn proud about it that you can't resist turning to your friend or loved one in the passenger seat and saying aloud,

"Wow! Traffic sure is moving better than I expected!"

Almost before the phrase has left your lips, of course, brake lights appear in front of you, stretching as far as the eye can see. You curse yourself for angering the gods of traffic, who are now punishing you for your hubris.

Well, a few Thursday nights back, I was lying in bed with my husband David when I turned to him with a self-satisfied grin and said,

"You know, honey? I think we are really getting a hang of this parenting thing!"

(Cue Disaster Sequence)

It was July 4th weekend, in fact, and since David had the rare Friday off we both decided it would be fun to take Snoodie to the beach!

We were wrong. It was not fun to take Snoodie to the beach.

This was mostly on account of the approximately ninety-four thousand other Los Angelinos who had ALSO decided the beach sounded like fun on that holiday Friday.

In fact, our outing to the beach did not, in fact, ever actually involve the beach. Instead, it would be more accurate to describe said outing as a trip to western Venice Boulevard, where we sat for forty-five minutes in 100-degree traffic with an angry baby.

The only possible upside to be found in the entire misadventure was the distinct probability that Snoodie picked up some new vocabulary words from listening to daddy and mommy interact with their fellow drivers.

After pulling over in a Marina-Dey-Ray parking lot to feed Snood an ill-advised car-seat-based lunch, we headed home, covered in sweet potatoes and hoping for a better day tomorrow.

But a better tomorrow never came.

Instead, the next afternoon we headed over to friend's house for what else? A Barbeque! What could be more fun on the 4th of July????

As it turns out, if you happen to be us, sticking sharpened bamboo under you own fingernails might be more fun than our 4th of July BBQ experience.

Let me say up front that this was NOT because there was anything wrong with my friend's lovely barbeque. The source of the trouble was that, an hour after arriving at said barbeque, we realized that we'd forgotten the diaper bag. Which meant we'd not only forgotten the diapers, but also....the Snoodie food.

Considering that, at that point, we were forty-five minutes from home with a wet angry baby, we realized that our only option was to put our baby's needs first and head immediately for home.

Oh, no wait, I'm wrong!

That's what the sane and normal parents did in that situation. David and I, on the other hand, felt the fact that we were really hungry, combined with the fact that the food was ALMOST READY, meant that we should stall Snood until after we'd eaten.

At some point I am sure that David and I are going to learn that attempting to stall the Snood is NEVER a good idea and that, in fact, once he's reached a point where he's vocalizing his frustration, IT'S TOO LATE TO STALL AT ALL!

This is how we found ourselves, ten minutes later, running for the car holding two large plates of barbeque and a wildly shrieking Snoodle.

(shrieking Snoodle file photo)

The car ride was spent trying to prevent black beans from flying off our plates as we careened down the hills yelling, "You're OK! You're OK!" in response to screams that loosely translated to:

"Are you idiots kidding me? I needed to eat like an hour ago! When are you two morons ever going to learn that when I say I'm hungry it doesn't mean try to shove some deviled eggs from the buffet into my mouth! I mean DINNER! NOW!"

Forty-five minutes later we made it home with frazzled nerves and limped inside holding a now wimpering baby, half covered in flying Barbeque, starving and disheveled. We crammed some baby food into him and were about to settle into what remained on our plates of cold BBQ when David looked around and said,

"I don't see the diaper bag."

I ask you, now, to play along with a little game I like to call the guess-a-thon!

Can you figure out the reason why David couldn't see the diaper bag?

(begin irritating game-show type music)

(end music)

If you guessed,

"because we did bring it to the Barbeque and had it there all along!!"

then buy yourself a case of Turtle Wax, because you are RIGHT!!!

Following this realization, David got back in the car, drove 45-minutes back to the BBQ, retrieved the diaper bag and then drove forty-five more minutes home, while I put an angry Snood-monster in the bath and got him ready for bed.

That night, too exhausted to even limp outside to look at the fireworks, the two of us sat shell-shocked, shoveling half-crushed plates of cold barbeque into our faces and drinking to forget.

Oh, and we also added a new amendment to our marital contract. The next time I turn to David in bed to praise our parenting skills, I asked him to immediately smother me with the nearest pillow to spare me the horrors to follow.

He agreed without a moment's hesitation that it was the only plan that made sense.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Coming Soon

Are you someone who never gets tired of empty promises and endless excuses?

Well, then this is the blog for you!

Project B has become rather all consuming of late and I travelled to New York this week, so things at are running a little behind.

But! I am currently tucking into a fridge full of beer and feel confident that the nervous condition I have developed of late will be cured once I readjust my blood alcohol level, at which point the blogs will flow like honey!

See you soon.....

Thursday, July 16, 2009


As I look at my calendar this morning it would seem that today is, in fact, Thursday. But if it is, as it appears to be, actually Thursday, that fact would suggest that I might have posted a new blog entry by now.


Have I mentioned that it's summertime and I am having a little trouble getting motivated? Also, this week I had a deadline on something else and so the blog fell to the bottom of the to-do list.

This by the way was the to-do list:

1. wake up - With the help of my angry, teething Snood-alarm this item was checked off by 5:45 a.m.

2. brush teeth - See Number 6

3. get dressed - This item surprisingly challenging. If I don't do it before my husband leaves for work there a roughly 50/50 chance I'm spending the day in my jammies. Check!

4. tend snood

5. deadline on other thing - Accomplished in the frantic five-hour stretch when Snoodie was taking out his tooth-related rage on the sitter

6. blog - What can I say? Just not gonna happen.

The good news is I will be back next week with a thrilling and woeful tale! A preview? Sure, why not! It features a forgotten diaper bag, a child-unfriendly barbeque and a whole lot of intra-marital discord!

Here's hoping it's worth the wait....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Snood on the Move

As I mentioned last week, my son is now a man on the move. The only update I have on that front, this week, is that I am beginning to suspect that I may have given birth to the world's fastest human.

Seriously, I put the kid down and turn my back for a minute and he's three rooms away, a glimpse of his disappearing bald head leaving me my only clue as to his location. And so, this week, instead of a lengthy essay on the foibles of motherhood, I am instead providing the few random observations I am able to generate before Snoodie Gonzales makes his next break for it.



When I used to picture being married as a young girl, so many wonderful images came to mind. The wedding day, a honeymoon on some tropical isle, a handsome husband coming home at the end of the day, maybe a little house with a yard and a kid or two scampering about. And, I must say, I'm lucky in that, many of these visions of my future life have been have been spot-on so far.

Ah, marriage!

One reality that I neglected to conjure in my dewy day-dreams of marital bliss, however, was the sheer number of hours that I would spend glued to the couch, watching daytime television and folding someone else's boxer shorts.

I mean, seriously, I don't understand how three people (one of them under three-feet-tall) can possibly be generating this much laundry!

The other day I did a week's worth of loads and found within it exactly 32 pairs of underwear. As Snoodie is still in diapers, this would seem to suggest that my husband and I are changing our drawers approximately 2-3 times a day (a calculation that lead to David coming home that evening to the sight of me ranting as he opened the door, "How can we be going through this much underwear! We only have two butts!").

It reminds me of a quote from my Aunt Terry's recently published "Disregard First Book". In one chapter she describes being asked by a friend to go to a Chippendales-type male review. She declined, explaining that as the mother of four boys, the only thing the sight of a nude man made her think of...was laundry.


In an attempt to distract the Snood from his obsessive quest to drink from our stored paint cans, I have continued purchasing the loudest most light-em-up toys I can find.

Using gadgets ranging from what we call the 'obnoxiously loud driving simulator' to the 'strangely shrieking bear', I have succeeded in buying myself several 15-minute intervals of freedom, during which the Snood sits still, fascinated by the bright colors and funny songs.

I use this precious time to cook dinner, do some frenzied cleaning and/or occasionally indulge in the delicious pleasure of peeing with the door closed. The downside of this system, I've found, is that by the end of the day my brain circuitry has been completely reprogrammed by the high-pitched music emitted by these toys.

As we sit over dinner, David attempts to tell me about his day as I stare off into the corners of the room in a zombie-like trance, chanting under my breath

One - two - three - four - five - six - seven - eight!
Then there's nine - counting's really great!
With numbers! When you have nu-um-bers!
Then you can count!

until he eventually hands me several beers and encourages me to drink them until I can hear him talking over the voices in my head.


Snoodie was wearing this set of recently inherited overalls the other day. The embroidery depicts three cute little animals: a zebra, a lion and a giraffe. It features the slogan "ANIMAL PARADE".

This led David and I to spend a recent dinner contemplating said animal parade. Seems like it would be a pretty short parade, no? And less of a parade, really, then just and out and out bloodbath.

An excited cheer would arise as the merry zebra and noble giraffe took their first confident strides onto the parade route, only to be replaced by shrieks of horror as these two marchers were immediately set-upon, ripped to pieces and devoured by the third member of the parade, the carnivorous lion.

David and I used to discuss things like the usefulness of the microlending model to erase 3rd world poverty at the dinner table.

Things change.


In conclusion, I have absolutely no conclusion this week other than the fact that it appears that the Snood has figured out how to climb into the garden and is eyeing my newly planted daisies hungrily, so I must away.

Until next week I leave you with strict instructions from my husband. If you come upon me wandering the streets and singing the following in a maniacal fashion:

A sunny funny storybook!
Is such a wonderful place to look!
We'll play and learn with all our friends!
And hope the fu-un never ends!

hand me a beer and point me towards home. And if you see Snoodie crawling by in a blur send him this way as well.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Anywhere But Here

Folks, as the giant, sunglass-wearing sun below clearly indicates with his saucy grin - it's summer!

Which means I've been busy relaxing, visiting friends and family, dunking Snood in the inflata-pool, and over-snacking my way out of the one final pair of my pants that used to fit! Good times!

What I haven't been doing is venturing near my computer for long enough to update the blog.

Instead I've been treating like a neglected dog - beloved like a puppy in its earlier days for it's newness and adorable-ocity, but of late left whining at the door, while I drink beer on the sofa and wonder why I ever got the thing in the first place.

But this week I'm back! And I have exciting news from the Snood-front!

People - - - we've got a crawler!

Now, if you'll indulge me for a moment, here I must compliment my Snood. For several months I have been giving him strict instructions:

"Listen to me Snoodie" I would explain with appropriate seriousness. "Because we have too much stuff for our one-bedroom apartment, I have let our home devolve into a sort of small-scale replica of Grey Gardens. But soon we will move into a lovely new house that will have much more room, so if you could just hold off on the crawling until then I would really appreciate it, OK?"

And guess what? IT WORKED LIKE A CHARM! On Sunday we moved into the house and the very next morning Snood's weeks spent rocking back and forth on hands and knees finally paid dividends. His outstretched right hand found solid ground several inches in front of his left and forward motion was achieved!

Good news, right? Well, maybe for Snoodie, but not for my husband and me.

Because now that our boy has reached the mobile stage, it seems as if there is nowhere a Snood doesn't want to be.

Gone are those dew-kissed mornings when I'd sit peacefully, enjoying my morning meal and browsing Facebook while my baby played contentedly in his exersaucer. These days breakfast means furiously gnawing at a bagel while attempting without success to contain my son in his designated and child-friendly play-area.

One might think that the half-dozen enormous, expensive, and age-appropriate toys purchased specifically for this purpose would help, but alas, this is not the case. Snood's logic appears to go a little something like this:

"Why bore myself with a Laugh and Learn table now that I can just boogie across the room and gnaw on that truly delectable looking phone cord?"

"A Winnie the Pooh book that reads itself to me as I turn the pages? Nice try, mom, but I'd far rather stick my head in the rapidly pre-heating oven!"

I've attempted to sit Snoodie down and reason with him, since it worked so well with our "no-crawling-til-house" discussions, but it appears that bit of reasonableness was the exception rather than the rule. So for the forseeable future I am running defense, chasing my merry crawler over hill and dale and attempting to reassure myself that at least it's bolstering his immune system when I come upon him busily gnawing on the bottom of a discarded pair of shoes or, say, cheerily licking the side of the garbage can.

This morning, my husband and I lay in bed trying to cuddle with the Snood as we used to in days gone by, when he was just a little baby. Back then, he would lie in between us and gaze up at us lovingly as we planned our days, occasionally cooing to remind us his was there.

This morning we might as well have invited a miniature MMA fighter to our morning cuddle session, as Snood spent the entire time kicking us repeatedly in the face, karate chopping our necks and shrieking like an angry baboon, demanding his freedom.

My husband finally relented and placed him on the floor, only to have him break for the door, forcing us to abandon our comfy covers to chase him down.

My husband called after him, "Where are you so busy going?" and Snoodie briefly turned back on his way out the door, with a glint in his eye that seemed to say...

"Anywhere but here, suckers!"