Culver City is an odd little place. I love it, but it has some definite eccentricities. The smallest Main Street in America is often used in film shoots and even more often, those "after school special" type movies. It can look quite quaint. There are not many homeless people in downtown CC and I recognize both of them-a harmless guy and his girlfriend who panhandle by Bank of America. Which is why, one day a few years back, I was surprised to see an unfamiliar homeless man walking towards me in rags, with smudges on his face, looking quite unkempt. Something was off, though, and I didn't put it together until I rounded the corner and saw the film crew and at the same moment realized what the giveaway was. He smelled really good, like expensive cologne. He was an actor in a movie!
Some not so good stuff has been happening lately. We found out, within 24 hours, that Ryan's car has a blown head gasket and will only last about another 6 months, and worse news about Jake. That bloody nose he had? Since I last wrote, he had to visit the emergency vet, then his regular vet, then back the next day for surgery on what they found to be a tumor. And then we found out yesterday that he has cancer, a kind called lymphangeo carcoma. The vet is pretty confident that he got all of the tumor, but still, we need to have him checked and x-rayed and make sure it didn't spread internally. We already spent $800 on the current tumor, on top of the $500 last month (when he threw up and we didn't know why, then $500 later we still didn't find out why). Then he might have to go on anti-cancer drugs or somesuch thing. We find out more at his 2 week checkup.
Anyway, the cancer is the worst news, the car is not good either but as my mom says "it's only money." Money which we seem to be giving away faster than we earn these days, but still, only money which we can always earn more of. I'm starting to fear, though, that our Jake days are limited. So I'm sure I have been spoiling him a little more lately. He's been so good throughout this. Even the vet's office commented on how sweet he'd been. If you don't know what I mean, ask Ryan to tell you the story of what Jake did when he picked him up from surgery a few years ago...
Yes, you read that right. And this was in Westwood (somewhat close to the ocean), late in the afternoon today! It was a little cooler in our part of town (surprisingly) but only by a few degrees. Doesn't the climate know it's still April?!
Tonight we went to the Padres game vs. the Rockies at the new Petco stadium, with my parents & aunt & uncle & cousin who were visiting from out of town. None of us had been there before. I don't usually get too excited over baseball except when the Yankees are in the World Series as usual, but this game was and I should say, *is* exciting because...we left before the game was over, got our money's worth and had seen 9 full innings. As I type this, they are going into the bottom of the 20TH INNING!! This is the 6th hour of the game! And again, I'm no baseball expert but from hearing the commenators, 21 innings is the record or at least the one of recent memory so this is kind of a big deal. I am the only one still awake in the house watching this as the others dropped off like flies. We'll see how long we all (me, and the Padres and Rockies) can last!
Oh, and for the other big news of the game that you won't read in the Sports section tomorrow, Lauren & I (she dancing the Twist on my shoulders) were on the Jumbo-tron!
Jake the dog has had a bloody nose for the past few days. What does this mean around my house? Lots and lots of laundry. Lauren woke up at 5:00 a.m. today (I know, fun) and when we went downstairs to play (so that Daddy could sleep longer), Jake jumped his bloody self onto the bed and managed to bleed on the blanket, comforter and top layer thingee...I don't know what they're called but we have the kind of comforter that's in two pieces. It has a thick layer and then a thinner one, kind of the thickness of a tablecloth, that you throw on top. Anyway, there is blood on every. single. layer. So in addition to getting ready today for the visit of Lawyer Dave (for the mediation hearing for my lawsuit), I will be doing lots and lots of laundry. The same items that were all freshly laundered two days ago due to the same bloody dog.
But it could be worse, at least I have a working dryer. A few days ago, Lauren shoved her plastic Mr. Noodle and Elmo figurines down the lint trap and then, luckily, told me about it right away or I shudder to think of the melted plastic mess that would have ensued. I spent an hour trying to fish them out with various kitchen utensils, then gave up and line-dried everything (or since we don't have a line, threw things over the railing.) Finally bent a hanger to get them out later in the day.
And yes, I do still also have a "real job" to do. In my "free time" between 12-2 a.m.
Went to the doctor yesterday and Lauren is (with heavy cloth diaper on) 32 pounds, 9 ounces. She is 35 1/2 inches tall. According to the doctor's projections, she will: outgrow her car seat by age 3, and be 5' 11" tall as an adult! And everytime I tell anyone the height thing, the first question I get is "how tall are you, anyway?". Truthfully, 5 foot 8 and one half inches, but my license says 5' 9" because the DMV rounds up. And Ryan is 5' 11". No, you're not getting our weights! :)
Today I was on the phone with my lawyer, who called with some questions at the moment when Lauren & I were putting on her shoes to go outside & play. She said "outside, outside!" (which sounds like "outshyeed, outshyeed") and I told her "not now, I'm talking to Davey, we'll go outside in a few minutes". Then she got down, I thought she was reading her books or something, and I proceeded to talk to Dave while looking up dates in my calendar, phone #s, etc. So I wasn't given her much attention.
After I hung up, I looked over and found her sitting on the couch, watching Elmo! She had gone over, figured out how to turn everything on and hit play, and then climbed back on the couch and was sitting there watching by herself! I asked her about it and she was nonchalant. "Yeah, I turn it on."
I'm wondering how long I should do this blog about Lauren & her adventures. As it happens, the most interesting stuff can later become the most embarrassing things to her. And even the sweet, touching moments, I feel myself wanting to keep to myself. When she wakes up all warm and cuddly and says "my momma, my honey" it just makes my heart melt and it's great, but not in a way that other people necessarily want to read about. In the same way that I don't share "Ryan wrote me this really sweet email today..." and then the contents.
I could go on and on about how cute it is that she says "twoc late" instead of "chocolate" and she thinks that she should say "yes" in "Don't Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus" because after all, he did say "pweas". And that "pink makes me happy, I wuv pink". So maybe I will still write some of it, I almost can't not. But you don't get to know about some of the little private sweet stuff that she comes up with, like, okay, here's one one last time. Today we were lying down and she started talking about how she has, according to her, "Daddy's eyes, no, but brown eyes, I have brown eyes, Daddy's hair, Daddy's hair blonde, Daddy's lips, Daddy's nose." I asked her if she looked like anyone else and she thought about it for a minute and said, "Nonna's knees, Papa's feet." And then I asked her if she had anything like Mama, and she said "Ummm...Mama's ears" and then, thinking she might have hurt my feelings, she quickly added, "Pretty ears. Pretty Mama ears."
Today Lauren & I & Kate & Mina were outside of Starbucks when these 2 old ladies were admiring the babies. They were about 80 years old. One of them fussed over Mina and then reached out and touched Lauren's ringlets. Her response? She jerked back, swatted the lady's hand away and said "Bye-bye! Bye-bye!"
Then later tonight she tried to stick something into the VCR while Ryan was watching TV. He shouted out "Lauren, NO!" and she replied, "I don't need parents."
2 years ago to the minute, I was heading off to the hospital with contractions. And now we have a happy, vivacious toddler running around. She is up to so much, I barely know which things to pick to write about. She's saying everything now and coming up with the funniest stuff. At my parents' house, she said "sweet dreams, Bert" to the cat before she took her nap. We don't say that to her (well, especially the Bert part!) so we don't know where she gets this from. And a few weeks ago when we were driving out of the parking lot at Vons, she said "Lets hit the road, Mom!". One day she said "My papa, what a funny guy! My guy! My funny guy, my papa!"and she made up a rhyme about Jake that went something like this "Jake, bake a cake! Wakey, wake, Jakey's cakey!"
She is very ticklish, and what's funny about that is she doesn't mind being tickled, and she'll even ask for more. If you're tickling one foot, she's been known to say "other foot. My new foot". She likes to make people feel good and she's discovered compliments in a big way. I am "pretty Momma" with "pretty hair, pretty eyes, pretty nose" and today, even "pretty toes".
She's been sick with a cough (she caught it from me) and we're taking her to the doctor tomorrow. On Friday when she first got sick, she took 2 chewable Tylenol which helped. The next morning, she informed me "I all better, no fever." (She's not all better, though, and has a barking cough which I'd feel better having her doctor check out tomorrow.)
She had a nice little party on Saturday at my parents' house, attended by the grandparents, Uncle Peach, and my parents' next-door neighbors, Bob and Trudy. Also our friend June came later on. I made the requested chocolate cake with strawberries and vanilla ice cream. My mom made pizza and there was a salad with lots of black olives (her favorite) and even some potato chips (a bad habit she's picked up).
She got a lot of gifts, let's see if I can remember them all-a big stuffed Elmo taller than her, a big stuffed St. Bernard, an inflatable chair and a...what are they called? the big ball you sit and bounce on, with a handle...a real soccer ball, a bathtub art set (from me & Ryan), a set of toy golf clubs, a stuffed animal puppy, a toy Elmo purse with accessories, a monkey backpack, a dress, someElmo & Zoe big-girl panties (for the eventual potty training, we hope!) and probably some other things that I'm too tired to think of.
Frequently tired mother to a happy 7 year old daughter and 2 year old son. Wife to a worthsmith who argues for a living. Employee to a really cool un-Lumberg boss at a large Office-space-esque institution of higher learning. Currently stationed at home, working from my laptop. Condo dweller in the heart of screenland who misses NY & snow.