Archive | August, 2010

Stranger Danger

26 Aug

Given the recent event of losing my daughter in a very crowded park, I thought it might be wise to talk to her about stranger danger. She’s almost 4…she’s pretty bright and I thought she was old enough to understand it. Ummm…yeah. Here’s how that went:

Me: Not everyone in the world is good.
Ava: Is everyone bad?
Me: No honey. Remember when we lost you in the park the other day and we were scared?
Ava: Yes. I just wanted to run down the hill.
Me: I know. But you can’t just wander off without telling us. Somebody could’ve tried to steal you.
Ava: That’s okay mom. Someone would have saved me.
Me: No honey. Sometimes people can’t save you.
Ava: Yes huh mom. On Wonderpets the plane crash landed and so-and-so rescued them.
Me: Ava, that’s not the same thing. Sometimes people get taken and they don’t ever get to come home again.
Ava: I will always come home. The Wonderpets will rescue me if someone tries to steal me.
Me: Ava. Forget it. Let’s do this. If someone comes up to you and they don’t know the secret word then you run and scream, “STRANGER DANGER!”
Ava: What’s the secret word?
Me: Well, let’s come up with one together that we’ll both remember.
Ava: Okay. How about Ava?
Me: That won’t work. Too easy. How about ______?
Ava: Okay.
Me: Let’s practice. We’ll pretend I’m a stranger. I come up to you and say, “Your mommy and daddy told me to come and get you.” What do you say?
Ava: Ummm….I don’t know.
Me: You ask them what the secret word is. Let’s try again. “Your mommy and daddy told me to come and get you.” What do you say?
Ava: ______
Me: Ava…you’re not supposed to tell them the secret word!

Clearly she’s not ready for this yet. Any ideas?

Wordless Wednesday – Tiny Tutu

25 Aug


I Lost Ava

23 Aug

I think every parent’s biggest fear is that something will happen to their child. Yesterday we went to a concert in the park and it was crowded. Very crowded. We were getting ready to leave and we were packing up and Mike and I both turned to put something in the cooler and Ava was right there. Except that when we turned back around, she wasn’t.

I immediately say, “Where’s Ava?” And I should note that sometimes Mike jokes around too much so I wasn’t sure if he was serious when he said, “I don’t know.” I quickly realized he looked panicked. We start looking left to right, up and down but we don’t see her anywhere. I started panicking. There were so many people and she’s so cute and I just thought, “Oh my God…someone has taken her.” We start frantically searching and still don’t see her. I start asking people, “Have you seen my daughter. She’s wearing a purple dress.” You guys…I NEVER want to have to describe what my child is wearing to a complete stranger again. It makes me sick to my stomach. About that time I see her running down a hill that was behind where we had been sitting. I should have known to look there…she had asked three times if she could run down that hill and I’d said, “Not right now.”

When I saw her, I started laughing. I’m not sure if that was an appropriate response but I think it was relief…it was manic. I don’t really know. Then I just hugged her and I wouldn’t let go. I was afraid to let go. I actually carried her almost all the way to the car and cried the whole time. Of course I talked to her and told her why she shouldn’t run off like that. She said she was sorry and she cried too. But I couldn’t shake it…and I still can’t shake it.

I was getting her dressed for bed last night and started crying all over again. And I’m not just talking watering eyes…I’m talking can barely breathe crying. It made me realize how quickly something can happen. You hear people say all the time, “It just takes a second.” I’m so fortunate and happy that my story has a happy ending. We are and have always been pretty protective and watchful of her. We both just turned around at the same time and she disappeared just like that, but I still can’t help but feel guilty. I can’t help but feel I kind of failed yesterday as a parent. It’s my job to protect her.

Feel free to share your story of how you “misplaced” your child so you can make me feel better.

The Excuse I’m Using for Not Cooking

19 Aug

So I cooked our first meal in our new home on Sunday. It might have been our last. You see, I used the oven to make garlic bread. Simple enough. Except that now the oven has stopped working…no power to it whatsoever. It’s so dead that the clock isn’t even working. And don’t ask me if I checked to make sure the power was on…I did jerks. Don’t try to offer me a hug either. I’m good. I purchased a home warranty plan when we bought the house. I worry about everything and this time my worrying paid off. Maybe.

I called the warranty company last night…they took down my info and we have an appointment scheduled for a company to come out and look at it on Saturday. It’s an old oven and I would be lying if I said I really hope they can fix it. I don’t. I hope that oven is so broke we need a new one. I’ve even thought about suggesting to Mike to go in there and break it really good but to not make it look like we broke it really good so that we could get a new oven. But I won’t…because I’d feel guilty. That whole thing I say about doing the right thing, even when nobody is looking…I really do live by it. Plus I believe in karma. I also believe that anything you do comes back three-fold…good or bad. So I’m just going to hope that I did something good enough to get a new oven. Otherwise I won’t be able to cook and my family will starve. That last part’s a lie…if you know anything about me, you know I can use a microwave like nobody’s business.

Dear Oven God, please send me a new oven. Love, Janice

I’ve Lost It…Officially

17 Aug

I think I’ve officially lost my mind. Do you want to know what happens when I spend eight hours driving to Sonoma, four hours drinking wine, wake up the next morning at 4:30 am and watch a friend cross the Vineman finish line? I sign up for a half-marathon and a triathlon a week apart. For real.

I think I was feeling a bit inspired when I hit the “Sign up here” button. Because the problem is that it’s August 17th and I was supposed to start training two weeks ago but I decided to buy a house too. So yeah…there’s that whole moving thing getting in the way of my plan to conquer, well, everything. And then there’s that 9 mile run in there the morning after my friend Katy’s wedding. Yeah…that’s gonna happen for sure. As a matter of fact, if you’re in Michigan on September 11th and see me running just slap me because nobody should run 9 miles after attending a friend’s wedding. Running that day would mean I failed as a wedding guest.

Why Starbucks Matters

13 Aug

We are moving tomorrow. You think I would be concerned about Ava adjusting to a new house…I’m not. What is bothering me this morning is I’m worried about our new Starbucks. You see, our first Starbucks in El Segundo there was DJ and Diane, or Di-Wan, as Ava called her. They were baristas who were very much a part of Ava’s first two years. They watched her go from being a tiny, squishy baby to being a toddler. There were the customers at that Starbucks who watched as well. There were three older ladies who were there every morning that just adored Ava and Ava adored them. We called them “The Ladies”. Holidays would roll around and The Ladies would bring in little presents for Ava and show her pictures of their grandchildren. It was a sad day in Starbucks when we moved. We missed them and they missed us.

We found a new Starbucks and it took awhile but we found a new Starbucks family. There was a wonderful barista named Cathy. She took to Ava quickly because she had a granddaughter the same age. Again, Ava made friends with regular customers and the holidays rolled around and there were gifts galore. I’m telling you…this little girl can just capture people’s hearts. So on Wednesday we went in to say bye to Cathy. On the way to Starbucks Ava started crying because she doesn’t want to say goodbye and she’s going to miss Cathy so much. Her words, not mine. And I know it seems silly. You’re probably thinking, “Just take her back to visit.” And I will, but it’s still sad. This woman has been a person she sees daily for almost 2 years…she’s really gonna miss her you guys. No joke.

Not to mention there are lots of memories there….she provided alot of material for this blog on our daily visits. There were the numerous incidents with Weeman. There was the time I had to call and reserve her blueberry muffin in order to avoid a meltdown. There was the big announcement she made there and embarrassed the hell out of me. Then the time she accused a man of going after her hiney…embarrassment again. Oh and the guy she totally tried to pick up there. Lots of funny things happened at Starbucks and it really feels like we’re starting a new school.

I’ve scoped out our new Starbucks but I’m worried. Will they love Ava as much as our other baristas do, or will she simply be another kid who comes into Starbucks with her mom? Because at our previous Starbucks, she’s achieved celebrity status…everyone knows Ava and everyone who knows her, loves her. Here’s to hoping for a smooth transition…

A Look Back

11 Aug

Still going strong…

Definitely Not How The Song Ends…

9 Aug

I shot this video the day I got my iPhone 4. Ava was singing “California Girls” by Katy Perry while helping me cook dinner. She was so cute standing there singing so I grabbed the camera and started rolling. I asked her to sing it again but we got a surprise ending. You have to watch this…I promise it’s funny.

It’s Not You. It’s Me.

6 Aug

Dear Blog,

I love you. I really do. These next few weeks may be a little tough and you may feel a little neglected, so I just want to explain myself. You see, we bought this house…

It’s our first home and it has a yard. Yes…a yard. I know…no more concrete living for us…

And it has all of these wonderful rooms. These wonderful rooms need to be cleaned and painted…

Baseboards need to be removed and replaced. Counters need to be scrubbed…

Ava’s Room needs to be fit for a true princess…

We need a room prepared especially for guests. A room that will also house the place where I write to you and tell you all my thoughts and remind you you are loved…

Carpets must be replaced to create a playroom to send Ava off to while I’m trying to write those thoughts…

And then when that’s all done, I must create and decorate the space where I will lay my head at night…

So you see, I’m busy making my dreams come true. Making my family’s dreams come true. So if I take a few days off from you and neglect you, just think of the stories I’ll have to tell and the pictures I’ll have to show. Think about the parties I’ll host and memories I’ll make. You understand, don’t you?


5 Aug

So Ava is learning phonics in preschool right now. Every word, and I do mean every word, begins with her sounding out the first letter and then trying to guess the letter the word starts with. She follows me around going, “Ca-Ca-Ca-Ca-Cat” Does cat start with a C mama?” To which I say, “Very good Ava. Cat does start with a C.” This game is not getting old…no.

She keeps the game interesting. This morning I’m getting ready for work. She’s laying in bed watching cartoons and I’m getting dressed. Standing there, nude, except for my underwear she looks over and says, “Mom, your boobs are getting bigger.” God bless her. She’s fascinated with boobs right now and I’m just hoping she doesn’t remain fascinated with them forever. I say, “Thanks Ava.” Because really what am I supposed to say to that? I suppose it’s better than the day she told me I had a big, fat butt and jiggled it with her hands.

So back to the story. I walk over to the closet to pick out a shirt because I can’t decide on a bra until I decide on a shirt. I hear, “Na-Na-Na-Na-Nipples. Does nipples start with an N mama?” Only my child, “Very good Ava. Nipples start with an N.”