Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nightstand and Other Important Updates

Our nightstand issues have been an ongoing saga on the blog. They first debuted in this post, where I detailed how I effectively demolished mine in my new-baby-sleep-deprived state. We referenced them again here, when I lamented how Eloise loves to “reorganize” my nightstand and spread our valuables all over the house. Which valuables you ask? Why these, of course; Brakes’ Best Bargain of the Year! We all know that those valuables are VERY important!

Understanding the value of our valuables, and tired of finding them hidden in often-embarrassing places, Brakes gave me the okay to go ahead and purchase some new nightstands.

After a quick debate about budget, I sped to the only store that could possibly meet my style objectives and Brakes’ financial parameters; Good Ole Salvation Army. My budget of $25 may have seemed a little ambitious even for SA, but I happened to go on 50% off furniture day so in no time at all I scooped up some savagely gently used, solid wood kindling antiques. Brakes’ was a very cool end table with rounded edges and deco accents. For me, I chose a vintage sewing table with wobbly legs, but oodles of charm. I was confident that with a little love these beauties would shine (and keep Eloise out of our crap)!

And they did!

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I love the storage solutions they provide and how well they complement the other parts of our room. Plus, with the addition of some handy-dandy baby locks, they keep our valuables protected and out of sight…

Too out of sight as it turns out…

Big SisterBig Sister - Copy

Shortly after we finished the nightstands, Brakes and I embarked on another DIY project. We call this one Take Two! II will hopefully debut at the end of April!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

HMS Turd

Last week I received a plea from my favorite Uncle Boo Boo to please start up B&G again.  I pompously informed him (via my mom) that I lacked inspiration these days: “Nothing super funny or shocking happens to me anymore”, I claimed.  “I have a toddler,” I lamented.  I even used the old standby:  “I’m tired.”  I had a plethora of excuses.  Three short days later Karma gave me a gigantic bitch slap and what do you know? Lady Inspiration sang her siren song.

Swinging with a smile Let me back track- in the six months since my last post (ouch!) quite a few things have happened to the B&G household; fantastic but time consuming things.  Progress has been made on the money-pit dream home.  I finally acquired/fashioned some decent nightstands.  And our sweet Weezy has morphed into a chatty, darling, peeing-in-the-potty (and on the bathroom floor, but whatev), toddler before our very eyes!  In all honesty, Brakes and I have had a blast watching our little monster blossom into an actual person and we’ve really soaked in every minute of surprise and development along the way.  We’ve relished this time and lately, we’ve been feeling like we’ve hit our stride with this whole parenting thing. 

Until it rained.  This past weekend we learned it is much easier being exemplaryEloise October 2010 050 parents when it is warm out and a park is just down the street.  When things start to get hairy, we toss Weez into her Cozy Coupe and roll down the hill to the sweet mercy of swings, slides, and other parents (who are hopefully willing to share a bottle of wine or at least not judge us as we swig from ours).  Our first rainy weekend with our newly (over)active girl there was still wine (lots of it) but it was more of the tantrum variety: “Oooooouuuttt!  Want waaaaallllk!  NOW!” (complete with a foot-stomp) and “NO!  NO! Nonononononononooooooo!”  Although I did catch Brakes gulping a suspicious purple liquid in the kitchen between frantic installments of “Rainy Day Activities” gleaned from my packed up preschool materials in the basement. 

By Sunday late afternoon I had resorted to locking Weezy in her highchair with finger-paints and a Skype window open with terse directions to Uncle Patrick and Aunt Jessica in Arizona to give a holler if they saw Eloise start ingesting (too much) paint or painting the dog (again).  This worked long enough for me to have a tinkle and cram a Fun Size Snickers down my throat.  Getting drunk did not seem responsible (ehhm, Brakes!) but who would begrudge me a Halloween Candy Coma?  We all cope in different ways.  Don’t judge. 

Maniac Painter Eating Paint

When Patrick and Jessica suddenly “lost their internet connection,” I knew Weezy and I had reached an impasse.  I was going to have to get real creative, real quick or we would both be careening towards a meltdown of epic proportions.    Just briefly I allowed myself to fondly remember simpler days when rainy Sundays were spent lounging in a warm bath with a good book.  Just then my (weepy) eyes alighted on my paint covered daughter and inspiration struck!

Soon we were ensconced in bubbles with rubber duckies for her and a side of chick-lit for me.  Things were going so well, I generously urged Brakes to plug into one of his fave podcasts and have a little alone time.  Weezy splashed and played and I, between pages, soaked my cuticles and marveled at Eloise’s constant stream of dialogue: “I got ducky.  Quack! Quack!  Ducky?  Doggie!  Woof,  woof, woof!  Ducky. Doggy.  Woof!  I go poo poo.  Woof!”  I thought: “Adorable!  What a sweetie.  She loves duckies and doggies and wait!  What was that?!  Poop!”  Shit. Just then I got a whiff.  I shut my eyes and said a quick prayer that the unimaginable hadn’t happened but then I had to open my eyes and face the music, or rather the turd.  Two turds to be exact.  About 3.5 inches long and of a respectable girth.   How my darling daughter somehow managed to squeeze these little shitps out without me noticing, I do not know.  She has turned into a stealthy little shitter.  

I scooped my little poopy-pants up and shouted, yelled, screamed, and howled until Brakes heard me through his ear phones and came running.  After he was done laughing and advising me to just bare-fist the offending turds, he grabbed our stinky daughter and brought me a plastic bag to scoop out the two stowaways that had ruined my nice, relaxing, rainy-day bath.  When the toilet flushed, I had one of those out-of-body experiences.  A mocking, eerie voice  (or maybe it was Brakes?) whispered:   “Gas ****** ******, this is yoooour life!”

By the time I was done scalding and scrubbing my entire body, Brakes had our sweet girl dressed in my favorite jungle animal fleece footie-pajamas and her sweet-smelling hair was combed to the side like a little banker.  She greeted me with a smile and kiss, “Hi Momeee!” she squealed.  With a giggle and another kiss, I heard that eerie voice again,  but this time it did not sound so mocking.  It was more of a gentle reminder to count my blessings.   Even on a rainy, noisy, poop-in-the-bath-tub kind of day, I am still the luckiest “Momeee” in the entire world.   

After we finally put Eloise to bed, I told Brakes, “I think I am going to start blogging again.” 

He replied, “It was the poop that did it, wasn’t it?”  I laughed.  He was right.  Who knew turds could be so inspiring?

Power Pumps

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Not up to Code!

A couple of months ago your humble blogger was out back clipping blackberry bushes from our lower deck when one of the boards gave out and I fell to my demise 4 feet below. It was only four feet, but it could have been a lot further. So I had to ask myself how many people are going to have to fall through this deck before somebody does something about it? Four? Six? I don’t know really. You tell me. We’ll actually we only know about six people, so six is the max. Will our homeowners insurance cover this many people? I don’t know. I do know that minimum code requires that the casual stroller should not fall through the structure. It looked like a lot of work to fix though, so we covered the hole with a disposable table cloth and left it alone to heal on it’s own.

Note from Gas: Brakes thinks he's Holmes on Homes. (and he does look pretty cute in his overalls)

Fast forward 3 weeks. Gas casually recommends that we work on having a fun outdoor area for when the weather gets better. Cue: The deck. So I hired a guy to get some estimates on redwood lumber (me), consulted an exterior designer (Gas), called in a deck guy (my dad), hired a painter (me), and hired a team of carpenters (us, and we use that term very loosely BTW) and started work. Don’t worry we’re going to Make it Right! Keep smiling.

Now the truth is that guys really don’t know how anything works. But we can always pop open the hood and take a look. Unfortunately sometimes once we get going tinkering with something there is no undo button. Hence this mess:


In addition to the rotted boards near the end of the deck, the joists closest to the patio were very beat up. Particularly the one on the middle was almost completely gone from dry rot:


So after a couple of hours of making a mess and a discussion with our architect (my dad), we decided it would be best to just pull up all the decking boards are replace with new.


Gas thought a white banister with redwood decking would look good since the yard is naturally pretty dark. For the paint we used a paint gun with acrylic white paint. Oh, and BTW we have a ton of firewood if anybody wants some.


This is where it got really messy. We cut back the joists beyond the dry rot and replaced some of them with treated lumber then covered the structure with wood protectant. The little carpenter on the left also helped us with odds and ends.


After getting the framing done it was easy-peasy except for a little bad weather.


The rain coming early was a bummer and we had to stop work about 1/2 way through fastening the deck boards.


Here’s a picture of the finished product (wet):


We also got a yard adornment. It’s like a mix between a garden gnome and a Chia Pet, and it does some cool stuff!


Monday, May 3, 2010

Brakes’ Riddle

After painting knobs all day (sounds diry- its not.) on Valentines day, as you can imagine, I was a wee bit irritated. I may have pouted, whined, and sulked communicated my disappointment in a completely mature and appropriate way. Like most of my lectures helpful suggestions, I assumed that Brakes would blatantly ignore most likely forget my message. So you can imagine my total surprise when I woke up the following day to this: (after he had been up for hours with the baby, letting me sleep in! I know! How could I ever complain about this man?! Just wait- it gets better!)

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(I really should stop showing off my messy night stand!)















I looked across the room and saw this:

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In this kitchen I spied these:

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The dining room bore this:

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The living room was not left out:

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Neither was Weezy’s room, both bathrooms, the garage, even the mother-in-law catacombs where the dogs sleep! Every where I went there were sweet yellow flowers clipped from our front yard (pretty sure they’re weeds but I love them just the same!) and every time I spotted a new vase Brakes and I would make out and Weezy would give me tender little kisses! It was loving, romantic, meaningful, and it made me feel adored and appreciated! A+ Brakes! I am so glad you are my little over-achiever and I apologize for underestimating your listening skills!

Monday, April 26, 2010

My Sister

Meg and Katie Camping


Today my gorgeous big sister, Meghann, turns 30.  She’s fit a lot of joy, love, experience, and accomplishment in her time on earth  thus far (and she only had my help for the last 28 years!)  I cannot wait to see what she does in the next 30! 

Love you, Bun!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Goodbye Old Friend

I’ve heard that writing can be a great way to express one’s feelings, so I thought it would be nice to share the history of a family member that Gas and I've really cherished over the last 7 years. Despite having lost a multitude of them over the years, I’ve determined that regardless of what people may tell you it’s always a traumatic experience.

The year was 2003. Gas and I had met only two years earlier and she had been wanting one for a long time. Her previous Jinksy was inherited by her brother. Needless to say, that didn’t work out so well for Jinksy. Having felt some grief over this himself, Gas’ dad started working behind the scenes to get his paws on a new one. Fortunately he had a client who was looking to pass their little darling on to one very special owner who could give her the care she needed. So after a short negotiation she was ours:

A 1991 Pontiac Grand Am LS.

Gas was thrilled. They went everywhere together. To the store, to my house, and even to Petco (to look at the puppies of course). She made the move from Arizona, to Utah, and even to California. She did misbehave on our drive back to Arizona, but you know what they say: You don’t always get the car you want, sometimes you get the car you need. For what other reason would we have spent 2 unscheduled days in Kanab (est. pop 5400) Utah? However, after a little adjustment she became our loyal friend again. Shipping her from Utah to California did make us all a bit nervous though.

A couple weeks ago on one fateful afternoon she was struck with a common illness for her breed and could not pass a smog test. We were faced with a decision. Do we keep spending money trying to keep her alive in what might be a helpless battle? Or do we “retire” her before things get worse?

The DMV conversation went about as expected:

Your humble blogger: “Is there anything that can be done?”

DMV representative: “No. (long silence with a grip of typing going on in the background) And by the way can I put you on hold just for shits and giggles. ”

Your humble blogger’s internal monologue: “It wasn’t like she had attacked anyone! When you are walking down the street who do you fear more: A 1991 Grand Am or a Prius? Those things can kill people! A 1991 Grand Am couldn’t kill a person if it tried. I mean really it couldn’t. And even if it did you’d have plenty of time to get out of the way.”'

DMV representative returns.

Your humble blogger: “This whole experience has made me feel very isolated and alone as though no one cares.”

Not one to put up a fight though we excepted our condition and headed over to the yard to said our goodbyes. We did become a bit worried after spying the sign:


“Pick-n-Pull”! "Cash for Clunkers" (how crass)?! Can we please show some respect. And the way they just pile them up there by the thousand:


After some time we discovered it really is for the best though. And her legacy will live on since we used our bounty to make some much needed improvements outside to our deck (more on that later):


Goodbye old friend.


1991 Pontiac Grand Am (1991-2010)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Weezy Wednesday: Places to go…

She is a very busy lady these days!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Its Not What it Seems!

At Weezy’s birthday, when confronted with this:


I asked Nana Eileen to grab me the pack of wipes from my nightstand in the bedroom.  She returned with this:

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Innocent enough, right? Until she opened the box and all of this sprung forth:

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For the record, this is not a dildo; it is temporal lobe thermometer:

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And this is not various tubes of lube and sensual massage oil, it is various tubes of diaper rash cream.  Hot, I know.

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And these are condoms. I guess there is no baby-friendly excuse for these.  In fact, I am pretty sure they are babies mortal enemies.

 Eloise 12 months 2 147

Why are these kept in the wipes container?  Because of this:

 Eloise 12 months 2 156

Eloise has developed a fervent interest in re-organization and it is on her daily agenda to rearrange all of the items in and around my nightstand (she will literally drag things from other rooms and put them in my lotion box!) The wipes container is our way of baby-proofing our birth-control options!

To all you who snickered and sent us pointed looks at the party, we are flattered you would assume we’ve got such an adventurous sex life, but I hope this post clarifies any misconceptions.  

Now I have to go “change a diaper” … and for the record that really means change a diaper. 

PS: Just because its funny, I am going to share with you a little Brakes trivia.  What's the largest volume of condoms Brakes has ever purchased at once?  Any guesses?

Just under 1500.  He bought them online. In bulk.  Just after Weezy was born.  Hmm.  (Do you think he is ready for numero dos?)  Here is part of his stash.  

Eloise 12 months 2 154

When they arrived in the mail, I opened the box, gave Brakes a smile and said, “My how ambitious of you!”  Bless his frugal heart.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Now This is What I Call a Mother Truckin Tablescape!

Some people are born to shop, eat chocolate, be wild, etc. (or so I read at a tee-shirt stand in Tijuana back in ‘’95… Okay, so I have never be to Tijuana.  Certainly not in ‘’95, I was 12 at the time.  I just thought it sounded tough and complemented my bad-ass title.  Thoughts?)   I was born to tablescape.  As many of you may have guessed, I’ve dabbled in tablescape architecture a time or two before with an occasional cloth napkin.  Perhaps even a pillar candle.  On special occasions, I’ve even been known to jam a post-it into a pine cone and call it a place card.  I realize now that those were just cheap imitations of the real art of tablescapery- Behold, my masterpiece:

Tabescape 2

I call it:  Ladies who Lunch

Tablecape 3


This tablescape was inspired by my dear sister-in-law, Diana.  Her best gals and I threw her a surprise ladies tea to celebrate her engagement.  She is getting married in August to the love of her life!  And I am so touched that she asked me to be her maid of honor!  (I know I should officially by called matron of honor, but yikes!  That sounds frightfully old and dour, so I think I will just stick to maid of honor, thank you very much!)  I had so much planning her fancy tea party and leapin-lizards (I mean damn-it-all-to-hell! Bad-ass theme, you understand.)  we are going to have fun at her Hen Party in May!  I am planning on riding our fat hogs up and down the coast, hitting every biker bar between here and T-town (Tijuana, my second home) and stopping for some arson and vandalism along the way… AKA: we are partaking in a lovely wine festival followed by a day at the spa!  Should be divine!  Ta ta!  I mean, perch and rotate, mother truckers!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Weezy Wednesdays: Paparazzi

Good to know that if Eloise were ever to become a star, she will handle the paparazzi and manhandling  of celebrity with aplomb! 

And how cute is Weezy’s friend, S?  She is a brand new big sister!  Congratulations, S, R, and B!  We cannot wait to meet baby I!

Monday, April 12, 2010

I Have A Famous Pachina

I know, Dad, I promised to quit talking about my pachina on public forums, but I am sorry, I simply cannot resist.  I love the attention; I am a middle child- you have only yourself to blame.



I’ve been at it again- chatting about my nether regions to anyone who’ll listen.  After scaring the crap out of a newly pregnant woman I met in line at Trader Joes (why does all my inappropriate social behavior happen at Trader Joes?) I made a resolution to get the pachina talk out of my system once and for all!  I decided to rewrite my birth story and submit it to the bump.  I figured, that if it got posted, I could go there and re-read it every time I got the itch to chat about ginas and hopefully that would meet my need and I could leave the poor pregnant public alone. 

I submitted it right before we moved last November and I recently discovered it is going to be published in The Nest magazine!  Apparently I am not the only one obsessed with my pachina, she is getting quite a fan-base.  I am thinking about setting up a Facebook page and a Twitter account for her.  She is currently interviewing publicists.

Dad, are you proud?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring Has Sprung and Weezy’s One!

On thee first day of spring,  our  sweet Weezy was born so the theme for her first birthday seemed obvious!  Bugs, gardens, flowers, and seeds!  All things spring! IMG_5234IMG_1939IMG_1940IMG_5233IMG_5235IMG_5237IMG_5237 - Copy

All decor items are from the dollar store.  I bought plastic planters and toy gardening equipment for the food and I hot glued bugs and fake flowers to spring them up a bit.  I also bought pinwheels and cloth insect finger puppets from IKEA and I scattered them around the room in vases and hidden on the shelves.  The favors were plastic bug catchers with a net and tong, and on the inside was an insect finger puppet.  For the adults we had a salad buffet with several different types of salad.  A few included: “Seed Salad” (Bean salad) “Chicken and Leaves” (Chinese Chicken Salad from Costco).  We also served various kid friendly options like slices of cheese cut into flower and butterfly shapes with a cookie cutter.  Veggie “Sticks” chips and pretzel “Twigs”.  I also found adorable build-a-bug fruit drops that were a hit with the older kids.  I ordered cupcakes from Costco.  They were huge but quite good!  I did customize them a bit with gummy worms, cookie crumbs, and Mike&Ike candy in flower designs.  I totally stole the caterpillar balloon bug idea from my friend, Michelle, who made one for her daughter’s caterpillar themed birthday the week before.  I thought she was completely brilliant!

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Lets talk wardrobe!  Michelle generously offered to loan me Maddy’s perfect buggy dress (complete with a cardigan, no less!) but I forgot to reply with a grateful yes in time to make arrangements to pop over and grab it, so instead, the night before the party I whipped up this bedazzled onesie!  Snail + Butterfly= Rhinstone-erific fun!

(Sorry, so dirty.  Did not think to take pics before cake fest!)



Me and the Unc accidently displaying the caterpillar banner I had Eloise’s classmates help me make at her school party.  Liquid watercolor on coffee-filters make beautiful party decor!  Plus it was a fun activity to do with a group of toddlers!

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For entertainment, I just put a bunch of Weezy’s toys in the living room and got a baby pool and some carnival balls at Target.  I also threw some of my favorite IKEA bugs in the ball pit.  The kids had a fun time finding them!

It was a really fun celebration befitting of the special little bug in our life!  However, next year we may go to Chuckie Cheese (Kidding.  Kind of. ) :)