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Instructions: Mike’s Way

10 Mar

So I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a triathlon bike. My friend, JP, found it on Craigslist (most awesome friend ever) and it was a great deal. So we head down to West Hollywood to pick it up. The neighborhood was a little scary…I’m not going to lie. But the guy I bought the bike from was really nice and the deal was made. I present my super-awesome new bike that I’m terrified to ride:

Pretty, isn’t it? So the bike didn’t come with pedals. For those who may not know, these bikes don’t have normal pedals like my beach cruiser. The pedals on this type of bike you actually clip your shoe into. Here’s the bottom of my shoe and the pedal I have to clip into. This is important. And I promise the story gets more interesting.

Now…I had the shoes and the pedals and Mike put everything together. Bless that man. So he hands me my helmet and says, “Let’s go outside and practice clipping in and out.” I say, “Fine. But I don’t want to try riding yet. I just want to practice clipping.” He says, “Fine.” What he really means is, “You’re going to practice riding but I’ll say ‘fine’ to get you outside.”

I practice clipping in and out. No problem. This is easy. I can do this. Then of course he drags the bike out to the street and says, “Okay…let’s try riding.” I’m hesitant because I’ve heard how everyone falls over at some point because they can’t clip out. But he’s all confident, “You’ll be fine. I’ll be right here.”

So. This is what happens next:

Mike: Okay. So clip your first foot in.
Me: (Click) Okay. Left foot is in. Go up ahead to catch me when I stop so that if I fall over you can save me.
Mike: (Starts walking) Okay. Now clip your other foot in.
Me: (Click) (Tipping over) Oh no! Oh shit! I’m gonna…F*&K!!! OUCH!!! (TEARS)

I fell over. Right in the middle of the street, in the middle of the day, like a jackass. As soon as I could get my damn feet out of those pedals I stormed up the driveway…crying and clutching my behind. And when I say I was crying…I. WAS. CRYING! Ugly crying. Ladies you know this cry. Face all scrunched up. I left my bike in the middle of street I was so mad. I can hear Mike yelling after me, “Are you okay?” I keep on stomping, up the driveway, through the garage and straight to the couch where I plop down and cry some more. He gets inside and…

Mike: Are you hurt or embarrassed?
Me: Both.
Mike: Everyone falls Janice. It’s part of learning.
Me: I just don’t think this is for me. (bratty, much?)
Mike: Janice. Get your ass back outside.
Me: I don’t want to. I don’t want to fall over again.
Mike: I will hold the seat of your bike while you ride.
Me: Okay. Fine.

So on the way out he says to me, “What were you thinking? If you have both feet clipped in and you’re not moving, what did you think was going to happen?”

Well, gee babe, I don’t remember you saying, “Clip your first foot in, start pedaling and clip your second foot in.” THAT would have been helpful, right? And he’s like, “Well, of course you have to pedal.” And in hindsight I get that should have been common sense but I was a bit overwhelmed and I’m an extremely literal person. I was relying on him to coach me.

All in all, I got my butt kicked the first day. But I am proud to say that once I got back on I did fine. No more falling over and a little more confident. List of injuries:

  1. Road rash on elbow
  2. Overextended wrist
  3. Scraped knee
  4. Bruise on my behind the size of an oddly shaped watermelon
  5. Bruise on my inner thigh from the seat
  6. Imprint of the chain on my calf
  7. Bruised calf from where the pedal hit me

Bike: 7  Janice: 0

Everybody Toots: Part 1

29 Oct

I cannot promise the laughter of yesterday or the same level of ickiness. But I can assure you that by the end of this post, my husband will be embarrassed. Sorry babe.

Day Two of parent/teacher conferences I show up to the school right around 4pm. Today it’s just Tricia (Amanda’s mom) who was there to witness what happened. Thankfully Tricia also has an almost 4 yo little girl, Amanda, and gets that kids say, well, whatever is on their mind. So we’re standing there chatting and Ava farts.

On a side note…when your kid farts in public, which is often, it’s embarrassing. I know it’s a normal bodily function but still they don’t do the silent ones…they are loud and command attention. So she farts and starts laughing hysterically and says, “I farted!”

Me: Ava, what do you say?
Ava: Excuse me.
Me: Thank you.
Ava: (to Tricia) My daddy likes to fart. He farts alot. He farts in my bed!
Me: Ummm….well, he doesn’t really fart in your bed Ava. He just says it when you’re taking too long to get into bed so you’ll hurry up.
Amanda: My daddy likes to fart too!

Thankfully at this point Tricia is laughing. I’m embarrassed…what kind of parents tell their kid they are going to fart in their bed if they don’t hurry up and get into it? So now, not only does my kid play with her poop, invite friends to play with her poop, but she also has parents who threaten to fart in her bed as a motivation. If anyone is giving out parent of the year awards, I’ll be the mom who’s hiding her face in her hands giggling…because….well…frankly…in our house the majority rules that farting is funny.

(And for all you gasping about it being funny…it is…but it’s also something we try to teach her she should excuse herself for…we do believe in manners most days)

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…


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.”

Donating Dreams…Kinda

23 Jul

In preparation for the impending move, I’ve decided it’s best to get a head start on cleaning out my closet. The top shelf of my closet is reserved for all the jeans that no longer fit but that I hope and dream will fit again. They are my pre-baby jeans. If you know me well, you know I’m a jean whore. I have close to 50 pairs of jeans in my closet. I love jeans like a fat kid loves cake. So last weekend I donated my hopes and dreams to Goodwill. I pulled all of them down, folded them up and gave up. Almost.

Before I got pregnant with Ava I was 125 lbs. Six months after I had her I was 128 lbs. Three pounds is not alot of weight by any means, but my body changed. My hips changed and as much as I didn’t want to admit it, I finally have. No matter how skinny I get, my hips (that I love) will never be as narrow as they once were. These hips have birthed a child and there is no getting around that. And I’m okay. I really am. My body did an amazing thing and my hips serve as my reminder of that.

Remember that “almost” up there in that first paragraph? Well, there are one pair of jeans I couldn’t part with. They are my first pair of designer jeans. The first, but not last, time I was silly enough to drop $200 on a pair of jeans. I loved those jeans. I wore them every damn weekend for five years! The jeans have been on dates with Mike. They have been to San Francisco, Austin, Houston, San Diego, Vegas, Florida, Mexico and places in between. They have been wine tasting with friends. I have karaoke’d in them. There’s even a picture of me doing cartwheels in those jeans…really…cartwheels. I wore the jeans when Mike proposed and again at our engagement party.

After I had Ava I hung the jeans on the bedroom door to keep myself motivated to fit back into them. Thee jeans made my ass look fabulous. So no, I will not part with them. We have been through too much together for someone else to wear them…for someone else to take my memories with them. So even though I know I will never button them again, they will always stay with me. I simply can’t part with them.

I Like Big Butts and I Cannot Lie…

12 Jun
I really hope I got the song stuck in your head suckers! It is one of my favorite songs to dance to…it’s just a true booty shakin song and one of the songs we played at our wedding. Someone told me later that my grandma just kept saying, “I don’t get this song.” I thought that was awesome.

So really here’s the deal…my husband likes my butt. I don’t get it. I look in the mirror and I see all sorts of unsightly things. I think my butt is good in jeans, but bare…ummm…well, excuse me while I do a few squats. So when I was pregnant I was a little worried. My hips aren’t big…but they aren’t tiny either. I’m a little curvy and I like that about me. I truly embrace that part of my body. So anyway I was worried my butt was getting wide but I couldn’t really tell what was going on back there. Have you ever tried to check out your butt in the mirror? It’s a weird angle and you can’t get a great view. Bonus points if you got up from reading this to go check out your butt in the mirror! You also can’t lick your own elbow. I’ll wait while you try….didn’t work, did it?
So I asked Mike at 21 weeks pregant, “Baby, is my butt getting big?” Loaded question, right? He’s like, “It’s bigger but it’s not big.” Dude should’ve just gone with no but I appreciate his honesty but wasn’t sure what that meant exactly. Was he being nice with the “bigger but not big” comment? So I pulled out the camera and made him take a picture of my butt.
As I look at this picture now I think, “Crap my butt looks so small compared to how it looks today.” But I guess it’s all relative right? So he shows me the picture and I’m like, “Holy mother of God…does my butt really look like that?” And he answered in the best possible way in order to continue living. He said, “Honey…just look at the picture. Pictures don’t lie.”

Blog Name Change

13 Apr
Mike calls me this morning and says, “Babe, you should change the name of the blog to Life With Ava at Starbucks” Why would he say this, you ask? Well, Ava provides alot of material for this blog during our trips to Starbucks.

I’m not sure if everyone knows who Weeman is, so I’ll just say that he was on Jackass and here’s his picture:

He’s a really nice guy and frequents the same Starbucks I do. One day I heard him in there talking about how he was opening this taco shop: Wee-man’s Chronic Tacos. We decided to try it out on Sunday, took Ava and got her a quesadilla. Anyway, this morning Ava and I are in Starbucks and we’re walking out and he’s coming across the parking lot. I KNOW my child and I’m thinking, please don’t say anything about his size…please wait until we’re in the car. Of course she’s staring him down and she’s got this curious look on her face. He walks past us and she turns around and is watching him walk into Starbucks. This is what happens next:

Ava: Mom, did you see that little boy?
Me: Ava, he’s not a little boy. He’s a little person, but he is a man, not a boy. Remember where we had a quesadilla on Sunday…that was his restaurant.
Ava: Mom, he is a little person but he has a big, fat butt!

You guys, I almost died. I don’t think he heard her…I really don’t but I felt horrible. And I tried to explain to her that we don’t use the word fat, just like we don’t use the word ugly. I was really embarrassed and I wish I could censor her on things but I’ve realized that every time something like this happens, it’s my opportunity to teach her better.

Another Moment Brought To You Courtesy of Starbucks

7 Apr

Ava and I took our daily trip to Starbucks this morning. She does some pretty funny and also embarrassing things at Starbucks. So every night Ava gets a piggy-back ride down the stairs from daddy and I’ll go down behind them and say, “I’m gonna get your hiney, hiney, hiney!” She thinks it’s really funny and will yell for Mike to go faster so I can’t get her.

So today we’re exiting Starbucks and this guy holds the door open for us and then follows up out. She starts running and yelling, “He’s gonna get my hiney! He’s gonna get my hiney!” All the while holding her little butt cheeks as she runs as if he’s a real threat. I was so embarrassed you guys. This poor guy just comes to get coffee and is kind enough to hold the door for us on the way out and has to deal with a three-year-old accusing him of trying to get her hiney.

Proud Mama

17 Sep

There are certain moments that make me so proud to be Ava’s mommy. A lovely example of a shining moment in our household is when SHE farts. She’ll look at me or Mike, wave her hand in front of her nose and she’ll say one of two things:

  1. “Fart. Pee-woo (instead of pee-eww) Daddy.”
  2. “Fart. Stinky Daddy.”

Who taught her that, you ask? Her proud mama did!