Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Santa Pic

When Brakes saw this picture he said, “Looks like a certain little girl is pretty excited about Santa!  The Weez looks slightly amused too.”

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Life of Crime

I think the pressures of homeownership are beginning to get to Brakes.  He’s been acting out.  It started with a lower tolerance to noise.  He would snap at the dogs more easily and startle if the doorbell rang (before it broke- but that is whole other story).   He sometimes cringes when I talk.  Hmmm.  Anyways, these issues really culminated last week at Old Navy.  (Remember my big spree?  I got $20 in Old Navy bonus bucks!  Holla- whaaat?!)  Never one to let a coupon expire, I hauled Brakes and Baby out to battle the pre-Christmas crowds.  I also had to exchange a pair of pants that were apparently too edgy for Brakes ( you knew Old Navy is the new Hot Topic, right?).  I chose a pair of shoes (adorable bronze flats with a fab ruffle along the toe), that were exactly $20 with tax.  (I am so good.) 

Shoes in hand, we joined the line.  It was a long one, and I settled in for the wait.  Brakes and Babe do not have the shopping stamina I enjoy so within minutes, Weezy was grabbing socks off the rack and cramming them into her mouth.  Brakes was perseverating on the lights in the ceiling.  When the muscle in his jaw began to clench and unclench, I suggested he take the baby and meet me at Home-Depot (or as we affectionately call it: our vacation home, as all our free-time and the equivalent of a second mortgage are spent there each weekend).  He grabbed Weezy’s stroller and hightailed it out of ON.  When I got to the front I had Brakes’ edgy pants to return but no shoes.  “Where’d my shoes go? I had them right here.” Then my mind flashed to them hanging from the back of the stroller.  The stroller Brakes was happily wheeling around the Depot by now. 

I said, without thinking, “My husband took them…”

Realizing how that sounded and picturing security torturing me until I ratted him out, I lamely finished up, “… and put them back on the rack.  He is always doing that. Ha. Ha-ha.  What a wacky guy.  Ha.  Ha-ha.  He sure does some crazy things.  Yes-sir-e-bobby.  Wacky. Waaa-cky! W-to-the-A-to-the-c-k-y!  Whoo! Wacky!  Anyways.” Just. Stop. Talking.  My mind yelled.  I bit my tongue, signed the return receipt, and booked it out the door, squeezing my eyes shut tight as I passed through the metal detector and obscuring my face with my purse as I passed by the video camera.  I added a limp too, so as to further disguise my identity.  

In a panic, I combed every aisle of Home Depot until I spotted Brakes.  Still attached to my innocent baby’s stroller was the evidence of his crime.  It was true.  Brakes had shop-lifted a pair of shoes.   I slowly approached the criminal and warned him not to do anything rash.  He pretended shock at his deed and tried to use reverse psychology to distract from his error.  After gazing at our sweet girl, happily munching on a paint-brush (which we paid for, I’ll have you know), we knew what we had to do; we had to return the shoes.  I suggested Brakes launch them through the front door than dive into the get-away car but he insisted on doing it the old fashioned way.  He marched us up to the counter, intent on explaining the situation.  Before the words were out of his mouth, the cashier said, “You must be the husband that stole the shoes.”  I started to babble incoherently again, but Brakes shot me a look.  He gave the cashier a charming smile (Sigh.) and said, “That's me; but I’ve seen the light, and I would like to pay for the shoes now.”  The 16 year-old employee just about swooned and happily ran our card. (I wonder if I earn bonus bucks on the bonus bucks?)

As we drove away, a contemplative Brakes confessed, “I have tasted a life of crime and it was bitter. Just bitter.”  Something tells me I’ll get the old Brakes back soon.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Brake’s Big Secret

The following is a transcript of a conversation Brakes and I had over the weekend: (what?  Its not like you don’t keep a log of every interaction between you and your spouse. Anyways.)

Brakes: Umm, Bug (Usage of charming nick-name.  I grow suspicious.)  In the interest of full-disclosure, I should probably tell you something.

Gas: (Crap!  He got fired!  He cheated on me! He ate my left-over 1/2 a burrito!!!) What? (Stay calm- there will be other burritos.)

Brakes: You know last week when I was throwing up and had a sore throat? 

Gas: (Oh God!  Its cancer!  I am going to be a single mother!  How am I going to make the mortgage!  Shit!  I am going to have to date again.  I had better loose weight.)  Yes?

Brakes:  Well, when I said I was going to the hardware store, I really went to the doctor. 

Gas: (YOU LIED TO ME!  YOU ARE A LIAR!  OH GOD!  WHO ARE YOU!)  Uh hunh.  And?

Brakes: They gave me a test.  It wasn’t just a cold and food poisoning.  I totally had swine flu-  But I am fine now.

Gas: (What?  Swine flu?  But people die from swine flu?  Brakes looks pretty healthy to me.)  Really?  No you didn’t!  How do I know you’re not lying?  (Once a liar…)

Brakes: No seriously, I did. 

Gas: (Still suspect.) Well, why didn’t you tell me?

Brakes: I didn’t want you to worry.

Gas: (Likely story!) Why didn’t you really tell me?

Brakes: (Looks abashed.) Umm… if you knew I had it, then you would talk yourself into getting it and then who would watch the Weez? 

Gas: (Grudgingly decides that is probably true.) Okay, but never lie to me again, or keep secrets like that from me.  Capice? (Okay, I did not really say capice.)

Brakes: (Looking relieved.) Yeah.  XOXO. (He did not really say XOXO, but he did give me a hug and cop a little feel.)

Lessons Learned:

1.  My husband thinks I am a big enough hypochondriac that I can talk myself into swine flu.

2.  My husband is probably right.

3.  Swine flu is not always the demon I have been staying up nights worrying about.  Thank God.

4.  I may have a tendency towards jumping to conclusions, imagining wild scenarios, and experiencing irrational thoughts.  You should be wary.

5.  Brakes is a terrible secret-keeper. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Hello Cortisol,

         My old friend!  Once I tricked my hubby into quitting  my job you and me had to part ways for a spell.  The baby weight melted off my hips and belly (those who said I was “all baby” when I was pregnant are liars. Bless your hearts.) thanks to my daughter’s healthy appetite, Jillian Michaels, and coordinated running ensembles (stroller matches the baby, matches the shoes!  Genius!  The only reason I was motivated to take up running.)  I had all the time in the world to gaze lovingly at my sweetie, embark on an ambitious personal hygiene and maintenance routine, and enjoy the occasional mood-boosting lunch with the girls.  My biggest concern was which play-group to frequent this week and whether or not I was adequately stimulating my husband intellectually now that I was out of the “real world” (obviously that last concern is a joke).

       But then Weezy gained mobility and I realized that I am not really the play-group type.  So I decided to go back to work.  It started slow; an edible art class here, a life-skills coaching client there, but soon opportunities began to fall into my lap.  Good opportunities.  Opportunities that I would have killed for a year ago.  So after much discussion and soul-searching, Brakes and I decided to put Weezy in daycare part time so that I could pursue some more professional interests.  Honestly, it was totally the best choice to make.  After the initial first day of leaving Weezy at the sitters (who is amazing BTW) and seeing how well she did, as well as getting a little bit of personal satisfaction beyond wearing matching hair-styles with my daughter, I know that we made the right decision. 

        Unfortunately that decision came at sort of an already stressful time.  In the last six weeks I have, researched, found, and put Eloise in daycare.  Started two new jobs.  Bought a house, moved, and began major renovations.  Battled family illness and death.  And finally, made preparations for a giant triple family Christmas celebration.  Most of the stuff going on has been good stuff, but even good stuff can cause stress.

         Which leads me back to you, Cortisol.  I feel you inhabiting the stomach fat I had worked moderately so very hard to loose during my low-stress months.  I know you are settling in for a long stay.  I  just wanted to give you fair-warning; don’t get too comfy in those abs of mine.  Come New Years, you are banished! Do you hear me?  BANISHED!!!  Once the holidays are over, hard-wood floors are in, and the routine in the new house is cemented, you and I are going to seriously part ways.  I’ll do my best to hold you at bay with a modicum of self-control and bargain shopping exercise until then, but lets be real;  I love me some pie.  And eggnog.  And peanut brittle.  Did I already say pie?

So consider yourself warned.

Your frenemie,


PS:  Am I the only one who starts worrying about New Years resolutions at the beginning of December?

PPS: Do you like how my biggest concern about my current stress level is the evil cortisol.  I seriously have a phobia.  I picture little cortisol guys taking up residence in my chub, kind of like in the

Mucinex commercials.  It grosses me out.  When I start to feel pressure in my chest (maybe I should have that looked at?) I take deep breaths and think to myself: “Now calm down, Gas.  We don’t want any cortisol lodging in your belly do we?”  I think I might be a freak.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Excuses, Excuses…

Sorry for the long absence, folks.  I have a variety of excuses.  Please read the following and pick your favorite (feel free to refrain from choosing until you’ve digested all of the follow-up posts with more details on the various excuses.  Coming soon.)

  • We are hip-deep in wall-paper peelings, paint splatter, and wood paneling.  The computer got buried among the wreckage.
  • Weezy caught her first social disease.
  • Brakes has resorted to a life of crime.
  • Gas has discovered she does not really care for manual labor after-all.  Hmm.  That’s a pity.
  • Gas decided to go back to work half-time (because I wasn’t busy enough?  I crave stress and think cortisol adds an attractive layer of chub to my belly?  I am insane.  PS: Did I mention I am hosting three families at Christmas.
  • Brakes kept a major secret from Gas.  (He won’t be doing that again.)

And on a serious note:

A week ago Thursday our blog lost its favorite reader.  My Grandma joined my Grandpa in that great big dance floor in the sky.  She passed away peacefully, in her sleep, in her own home, with her dignity intact.  She was about to turn 86 and she was still as sharp as a tack and enjoyed a full and active lifestyle.  My grandma was one of the smartest, classiest, and most loved ladies I’ve ever known.  She had a great sense of humor and loads of style and panache.  She epitomized what was great about her generation and she will be so missed by everyone who knew her.  I am grateful for the memories, legacy, and education she gave to me and I hope that I can grow up to be half the woman she was. 

Here is a recent picture taken of my beautiful Grandmother meeting Weezy, her 16th great-grandchild.

Grandma and the Weez

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Weezy Wednesday; A Hairy Renovation

As you know, we are all about reno in the B&G household and Weezy got caught up in the spirit too!  Everybody loves a good makeover!

PS: Did anyone else watch “A Makeover Story” on TLC like 8 years ago?  I think it was the first of the makeover shows… it was so pure too; no surgery, no zoom whiting, no hellish turns in a three-way-mirror.  Hmmm.  Anyways. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Commemorative One Week Anniversary Edition of B&G News

Today is the one week anniversary of home ownership! We loved celebrating our first Thanksgiving in our own house… and I’ll have you know, we did not sit on boxes as we gorged on turkey and pie.  The house was almost completely unpacked by Thursday evening.  Given that the moving truck did not even start loading until 3:15 PM on Wednesday, that is pretty impressive.  Want to know my secret weapon?  Child labor. Our little sisters, Sabrina and Chelsea, had boundless energy!  I pretty much threw objects out of boxes and barked its destined location and the girls rushed to put it away.  All it cost me was a few tootsie rolls and a pack of gum!  Nice!

Our family drove up to the Bay Area to help us move (the sisters), watch the baby (the grandma), and school us in the joys of homeownership (the grandpa).   Chris, Brakes’ dad, crossed so many of our to-do’s off the list and he brought us a whole van-full of tools and knowledge to get us started in our quest to DIY-dom.  Plus, he is coming back next weekend to tile the kitchen!  LOVE THAT MAN!

It has not been all glory though… there have been some casualties on our home front.  The paneling and wallpaper in the bedrooms and dining room suffered a crushing loss last Tuesday, when it was yanked from its locale with wild abandon and shoved into the dumpster down the street. 

My previously manicured nails are now mangled shreds of their former glorious selves and the skin on Brakes’ arms and hands is striped with angry, red scratches; the result of his epic battle with the black-berry bushes out back.

Lastly, I am sorry to report: the fancy-pants toilet seat went missing after the home inspection.  Alas I will never uncover the mystery that lurked beneath that potty’s still waters, nor what strange and unusual purpose the plethora of buttons served.  A monumental disappointment, but I must carry on.

 Eloise 8 months and Moving to Hazel 300                                                                  


PS: Because no post is complete without a picture of the Weez; here is ole’moneybags (Weez not me) signing the closing papers on her new house.

(***disclaimer***                                                       This is not a posed shot.  We do not stoop to manufactured adorableness. Yet.)