Blog a la Cart

Month: August, 2009

Fagged out.

I know, you’re thinking “My GOD that’s an offensive subject title!” I was going to go with “NOT ANOTHER POST ABOUT MY CRAZY ASS DOG,” but I didn’t want to give her antics anymore time in the spotlight. Instead, I chose a rather provocative header, because I’m obviously trying to piss off all my gay, liberal readership (of which there are many. *coughnategilliloveyoucough*).

What you need to understand is that in utilizing the term “fagged out” I am referring to the British usage that indicates being tired, exhausted or worn out. Although, given that Sunny is my budding activist, it wouldn’t be beyond me to deck her our in rainbows and pink triangles and hit up the streets of WeHo. We are raising her in an open-minded household people! James and I already inform her that she may love whomever she desires and that we will love her dearly, free from judgment. Like when James insinuated that a boy couldn’t take off her pants for AT LEAST 10 years, I was quick to correct him and include the female gender as well.


But my liberal-left-minded-I-want-to-live-in-a-socialist-commune tendencies are neither here nor there. They are not the essence of this post, although I’ve clearly just lost the gays and the conservatives in one fell intro. <tear>


Fagged out. Right.

It’s true. The Bug and I are fagged out from this damn heat. It’s been almost a full week of 90+ degree temperatures, with fires aflame in the hillsides, and no central air. We are done. DONE! Cranky, sweaty. Done. We define hot mess in both the metaphorical and literal sense. And we define fagged out in a capacity I thought of which only my mother was capable.

In my household growing up, my mom used this term constantly. Then I hit middle school and the word “fag” was thrown around in quite a different context and boy, did we think we were cool (read: ignorant) saying it. By high school, it was jockey douche-bags who understood the meaning of the term, but continued to use it disparagingly anyway because well, they were jockey douche-bags. And by college, it was generally gone from conversation thanks to the PC-ifying of language (oh, and learning that you not only sound like but are a total asshat if you toss this around blithely in conversation). I had a tough time using the phrase during these stages of development because of how loaded and volatile the word had become, but now that I am a mommy, I’ve entered the ranks where “fagged out” (when used appropriately) is a brilliant descriptor of one’s state of being.

Quick frankly, I find the phrase hysterical, especially because it conjures images of my mother saying it in a lather of sweat, with her hair an epic frizz as though she’s stuck her finger in a light socket, while demanding a FROSTY drink. Damn it, someone get that woman a FROSTY beverage. And DON’T TOUCH HER FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, you’re sticky! And she’s hot and fagged out from this heat! JEEZ!

So yeah, that is what my life and the Bug’s life has looked like for going on seven days. The little one gets thrown in her cool bath tub at least three times a day because it is one of the only places that brings her joy and quells her screams of sweaty discomfort. She’s become quite adept at splashing and kicking in the water, so my kitchen gets a nice shower thrice daily as well. The other 22 hours of the day, she rocks a greasy mullet due to the perspiration accumulating in her long, flowing locks. Reason #312 why most babies are bald.

Essentially, we’ve spent the past week in the following state:


Because PEEING YOUR PANTS IS COOL (again, literally and metaphorically speaking).

Years off my life.

Yeah, so, that post about the heat? Still. Not. Done. Why, you ask?


It has been 48 hours of hell. And by hell, I mean ugly crying, fear-induced nausea more powerful than any winter flu, obsessive cleaning and cooking and baking to distract (or attempt anyway) my worried, anxious mind. It has been a period of ZERO intellectual productivity, save the millions of horrendous deaths I’ve envisioned for my dear, sweet puppy. Like say, for example, drowning in the neighborhood “pond” (which, on a good day, holds barely 4 inches of water) or being captured by an evil doggie-snatcher who would force her to repeatedly chase tennis balls until she died of exhaustion or tennis-ball-fuzz-clogging-of-the-lower-intestine. Yes, that is a real medical condition. And yes, this is where my mind was yesterday. FOR TEN HOURS!

How on earth did this happen on the heals of such an already traumatic escape?! Because our team of gardeners (literally, an army of 20 men that descend on our yard every Saturday morning, as paid for by our landlord to ensure the upkeep of his land in his absence) “accidentally” left the side gate open. I place accidentally in quotations, as I know that they harbor a deep-seated hatred for our lawn coated in doggie poop and doggie stuffed animals (granted, she has over 20 of these fuzzy critters that she strews about our yard. But NBD, there are TWENTY of the gardening battalion to cast them aside so that they may garden to their hearts’ content). ANYWAY. I think they figured, loose the dog, loose the poop and toys.

In our sleep-deprived haze, we did not realize that the side gate was ajar until hours after the infantry had departed. And then we went into panic-mode, when we determined that this “mistake” had left our house void of our canine companion. Again. Fortunately, we had fliers a bounty from Thursday’s scare, and we knew that she was capable of finding her way home based on Thursday’s return. James scoured the neighborhood, talked to neighbors, posted fliers, visited the local animal control shelter, while I, between heave-sobbing and hysterical, unintelligible rants of despair, re-initiated the “Lost Dog” alert and promptly laundered and cleaned and tended to all of Ursa’s toys, towels, bedding, bowls, etc. Because, OBVIOUSLY, she would be more inclined to return home if all of her worldly possessions were freshly sanitized. Dog’s totally care about immaculate living conditions.

Note: Please remember that “rational” is not an adjective one would ever utter in describing my personality.

After hours of worry, I was ready to hit my doctor up for a prescription of Prozac, or at least self-medicate with a bottle of wine, when a call came through on my cell from a lovely, little old lady that lived mere minutes from our home. She had found Ursa earlier that day playing in the park, and because she seemed like such a sweet, well-behaved dog, she just KNEW she had to have a family missing her dearly. (Or twitching, and flipping out to such a degree that a straight jacket was in order). A neighbor of hers had brought our lost dog poster to her home, so she called us up as soon as she’d made the connection. Apparently, Ursa had been blissfully playing at her home with her dog all day long; watered, fed, and happy. I guess Ursa  just wanted to eat spaghetti with a golden retriever rather than a tramp. Meanwhile, her parents had had significant years shaved off their lives with worry. Totally fair.

James went to pick her up and I couldn’t help but laugh when he informed me that the woman had the following assessment of our dog:

We let her play in the back with Jack (name of the Goldie) and a few tennis balls, but eventually Jack just got totally worn out. We separated the two of them thinking that that would calm her down, but she continued to race around the back yard. I even hid the tennis balls in the trees, but she managed to find them anyway. She sure does have a lot of energy. Is she a puppy?

AH Ursa. So fucking predictable. And FOUR YEARS OLD! She came home just a lather of pants and drool, clearly pleased with her day of adventure.

Despite the triple-digit temperatures, I cradled that dog against my bosom for a solid hour, overwhelmed with love and gratitude. I cannot be more grateful for that stranger’s kindness toward my furry baby. That woman reinspired my faith in humanity. For now, anyway, it seems that our luck has not run out and that there are good and caring people in the world. I’m reminded of just how quickly it can all be taken away, and to treasure it dearly in the meantime.

And today, I may have installed a few new “enhancements” to our home; namely a GPS tracking system in Ursa’s collar and The Guardian Fence System around our yard. Appropriate measures given the circumstance, I think.

One person in particular was thrilled to have the furry beast that loves to lick her toes return.



I started a blog post yesterday that I had every intention of finishing last night regarding the oppressive heat and nuclear fall out (i.e. LA’s BURNING!) and the Bug’s general disposition of discontent thanks to these conditions. She needs to SUCK IT UP- this is one of the trade offs of living in the land of perpetual sunshine. The post shall be finished, but was disrupted when Ursa, my first child and my darling puppy, decided to pull a Lady and the Tramp and RUN AWAY!

James had left the front door open with the stroller in front of it to try and get some cool air circulating in the stuffy house, and apparently Ursa overcame her fear of the stroller, because that was undoubtedly her escape route. To say the least, last night was filled with ugly crying. Lots and lots of ugly crying. That dog is like my blood. I love her more than I love most humans. And I’m serious. I’m one of THOSE dog people. My heart was crumbling.

James walked the neighborhood for hours, despite a searing sore throat from the ash filling his lungs (did I mention? LA’s BURNING!!!), and I wept to the police, and animal control, and my parents (because clearly my father is capable of solving any and all problems, even at 3am EST on the other side of the country). At 2am we called it quits, printed out LOST DOG posters and tried to go to sleep. I kid you not, my incredible hubs slept curled up on the floor with his pillow next to the front door, with the hopes that she would make her way home in the middle of the night.

I, of course, had horrific visions of her flat as a pancake on the road somewhere. She’s BLACK, running around AT NIGHT, with a million fire trucks flooding the streets. And she’s a moron. She was a goner. I mostly heave-cried into my pillow, teaching the Bug an appropriate display of emotion for when she’s an angst-filled sixteen year old and I’m RUINING HER LIFE! An important lesson for any future teenage girl.

Astoundingly, at inappropriate o’clock, I hear the click click click of paws on the hard wood floor, as Ursa wiggles and wags her way into my bedroom. James comes in beaming, and there is our gorgeous, crazy, wonderful, STUPID dog, happily greeting her exhausted, terrified, relieved parents. She came home and she’s all:

Yeah, try neglecting me again because of that damn baby, and next time I’ll take off to eat spaghetti in an alley with a tramp, BITCHES!

I counted 5 gray hairs on my head today. Such is the life of a parent.

James, being the ridiculously wonderful man that he is, surprised me today by coming home from work early to hang with the baby and give me some time to relax.  I’m supposed to be using this free time to read 500 pages of Public Sphere Theory, but blogging’s kinda the same. Right?

Looks like someone loves when daddy’s home to put her down for her afternoon nap.


I am filled with an overwhelming sense of relief and gratitude. My beautiful family is together and safe, and while we may be contracting cancer as we breath, for now, we’re healthy and happy. And who says life by the beach isn’t worth a little tumor, eh?

Way to blow a sentimental moment.

Priceless? Not so much.

In my first week back to school, I have tallied the following:

Number of times my milk has flooded my bra during class: 4

Number of times I have texted the babysitter out of anxiety: 27

Number of times I have wept because of leaving the Bug: 6

Number of times I have dabbled as a flasher (i.e. publicly pumped breast milk): 2

Number of times “mommy brain” has afflicted my ability to speak coherently: 76

Number of times I have inappropriately referenced my boobs, baby poop, and vaginas: 1,238

Number of times I have felt like I no longer belong and wanted to peace the fuck out: 8,000,001


Returning to school after three months of domesticity and mommyhood: Awkward.

Let’s hope it gets easier.

The Thinker.

The Bug is much more content sitting upright, so the BUMBO (yes, that is the name of the little seat contraption) has been put into rotation. Makes photographing her a helluva lot easier!

Today I fashioned a lil green photo shoot of my budding environmentalist.


Sweet eco-baby.

Multitasking fail.

The Bug takes after her father in almost every possible way, save the crazy hair, the monstrous feet AND her absolute, passionate, deep-seated hatred for waking up. Rousing her from slumber is akin to clubbing baby seals or throwing me in an enclosed space with a room full of Teletubbies. Evil. Pure and simple.

Watching her wake from a nap is a truly painful process, as she screams and writhes and throws an utter tantrum, all while her eyes are tightly sealed shut like that of a naked mole rat. She fights the forces of consciousness with all her might, struggling to remain in a restful state despite a hungry belly or wet diaper ripping her from such peace. It reminds me of a typical morning when I need to be awake before, say, 10am. I groan, grumble, weep, fitfully wrestle with the sheets and pound on my alarm clock as though it were a time machine that can magically rewind the hours so that I may remain in bed. I, too, hate the forces of a hungry belly and wet diaper. I mean… what?

It ain’t pretty folks.

We both have similar tendencies in the evening hours. too. I am a night owl. My best, most productive hours are between 10pm and 2am. I love the still, the peace, the quite of that time of day. Nothing distracts me or deters me from my course of action. While I don’t think that the Bug perceives this hour in quite the same fashion, she certainly adores being awake during this time. And LORD, if you try to make us go to sleep at a decent, acceptable, humane hour,  you shall pay a hefty fee. We will toss and turn and moan and groan and generally lie awake miserable for hours on end. In the Bug’s case, that means lots of singing and pacing the house for James, and in my case, that means James has to listen to an earful of complaints as I fight with my insomnia. Because clearly I should not have to cope with my sleep issues alone. NO! James must be alerted of every awful, miserable, restless moment. How fun for him!

No amount of Nyquil, Tylenol PM, or shots of whiskey seem to cure my wakeful state. And Sunny hasn’t taken to those remedies either. DRAT! You’d think they’d have a stronger effect on her wee, infant system.

Moving on…

The upside of all this is that the Bug and I are on the same page. And so our mornings are always slow to start, as we prefer to lounge around in bed, napping here and there, slowly bringing ourselves to face the day. There are some mornings, like today for instance, where it takes until noon to fully rouse us into functioning members of society. While at the time these hours of snuggling and resting are utterly glorious, they inevitably come back to bite me in the ass.

This is what I get for staying in bed until noon like I’m a 16 year old boy recovering from my first hang over (or just any day from my collegiate career).

See, when we stay in bed for over 12 hours at a time, even if it is interspersed with many a wakeful moment, the Bug REFUSES to nap. I mean, she’ll dose off during our 20 minute jaunt at the park, and maybe zonk out for 15 minutes in her swing, but the usual 2 hour period of rest and thus productive time for moi is OUT.

What I’m saying is: Today was essentially a wash. During the brief 15 minutes Addison slept, I managed to shower and clothe myself. Granted, that’s more progress than some days, but still, no pumping (as we know that THAT doesn’t go smoothly when the wee one is awake), no blogging, no uploading photos, no reading for school, no preparation for James’ birthday and our anniversary that fall back to back and occur in less than two weeks (WHY OH WHY did I think it was a smart idea to fuse the two?! WHY!? This problem is forever. F-O-R-E-V-E-R).

But when she awoke, I HAD to finish prepping dinner for a gathering this evening, and I needed to eat lunch and manage a few other things before getting on the road to said gathering. So I decided to multitask, because women have super human powers in that regard.

Today, not so much.

I’d read about women who breastfeed their babies in the Sleepy Wrap, and while I failed to believe such a feat possible, I decided it was high time to try it. I could feed the Bug, hands free, and be mobile to boot. After tangling wrapping myself up in the 8 million feet of fabric that is the Sleepy Wrap, topless (because the babe needed access to the boobs, obv), I awkwardly side-saddled Sunny into the contraption, somehow slid the nipple shield in as well and waited for the magic to occur.


The Bug just glared at me in horror as if to say: No way, no how are you dangling me above the ground in a sheet of fabric and expecting me to eat while you go about your daily business.

I gazed in the mirror and we did, in fact, look ridiculous. Her limbs and my boobs were sticking out every which way, and the wrap was draped around me like a kid in a toilet paper mummy contest at a 13 year old’s Bar Mitzvah. I thought about documenting such an image, but decided that that shit did NOT need to be immortalized in the world of the Interweb.

And of course, because that’s just how karma likes to play me, in the middle of this nonsense, a UPS man appeared at my door to deliver a package for which I needed to sign. It would have taken far too long to untangle the mess I’d created, so I begrudgingly answered the door with a traumatized baby hanging off my topless person all while swaddled like an ungraceful Gwyneth Paltrow a la Shakespeare in Love. I tried to avoid eye contact with the man, and signed as quickly as possible, before cursing any and all nimble, able-bodied women who have successfully multitasked thanks to breastfeeding-with-babe-in-wrap and made claims that a person like myself might similarly accomplish such a feat.

I did, however, polish off my evening milking myself like a cow WHILE reading about the missing feminist revolution in sociology.(The irony does not escape me, thank you.) This task was out of necessity, as classes begin tomorrow, but it goes to show that I have not completely lost my ability to multitask.

Unfortunately, I have lost my mind.

It wasn’t until a rowdy group of teenagers walked past the front of our house and I heard one of them gasp in horror, “Oh my God, do you see that chick in the window. EW! What the hell is she doing?!” that I realized I was pumping in a very well-lit room at the front of our home by a window, that while obscured by a lacy cover, was not entirely opaque to the outside world.

Multitask fail AND brain fail. Today was a doozy.

punkIt’s okay mom, I still love you.

Green Monstah!

I am putting in a little love for my hometown. Here the Bug is reppin’ Beantown with a onesie gifted to us from a fellow BoSox fan.

I’m just waiting for her to be able to say: Pahk the cah in Hahvid yahd! and Yankees SUCK!


Thoughts on yesterday’s outing

1. La Brea Tarpits= the anticlimax.

2. While it is perfectly acceptable to throw “the” in front of all California highway routes (the 405, the 101, the 10), if I hear one more person say “The La Brea Tarpits,” I’m going to run them over with my overloaded stroller and my breast milk will blot out the sun. No Angeleno could fight in the shade.

3. I want to vomit all over my failed witty allusion to 300.

4.  Taking an infant to an art museum? Not my most brilliant moment.

5. Taking my husband to an art museum? Least brilliant moment in the history of least brilliant moments.

6. The descriptor “Farmer’s Market” is misleading when in reference to LA’s original: “THE Farmer’s Market”.

7. Californians love to throw “THE” around like it’s going outta style.

8. THE Farmer’s Market in LA is wildly overwhelming. Not due to the sheer amount of people and delectable sugar-ridden, grease-filled food stands; rather, because despite the food selections catering to the obese of our nation, everyone there is a tanned, toned size 0, with long-flowing bleached locks, aggressive designer sunglasses, and wrinkle-free skin. Not great for the postpartum ego. I’m going to go drown my sorrows in a plate of nachos the size of Alaska and a caramel apple the size of my engorged breasts. The apple may rival the nachos in size. And no, I will not share.

9.  I need to find me a good colorist, plastic surgeon, personal trainer and shades. STAT.

10. While it may be tempting to purchase 10 grapefruits, each sized like that of a human cranium, you will come to regret this decision when you realize no bowl in your house could possibly accommodate this purchase.

Overall, an educational and eventful Saturday afternoon in LA LA.

Warning: Questionable ethical decisions abound

So I suppose, technically, these are all questionable LEGAL decisions too. Semantics.

My first chance at alienating all my readers:

Growing up my mother would occasionally throw out her back. Such an event would render her, essentially, paralyzed. Silly things, like say, bending over to pick up the morning paper on a chilly day, would often be the root cause of this debilitating state. As I’ve grown older, and my joints and limbs no longer function as nimbly as they once did, I’ve come to understand the utter horror and pain of having one’s body rendered useless. As I child, however, I could not comprehend the magnitude of such occurrences. Just as I failed to understand why whenever this event happened, I would come home from school to find a series of plastic baggies filled with little white pills on the kitchen table, accompanied by notes from my mother’s friends that read: “Hope this takes the edge off!”

Now, I’m not trying to paint my mother as some sort of prescription-pill junkie. NAY! She’s anything but. That woman was a genius! She had whatever prescription pain meds she might require available at the drop of a hat. How jealous am I! What I wouldn’t have given to have a Xanax at my fingertips today when I left my sweet baby girl ALONE with our hired STRANGER for FIVE WHOLE HOURS.

Instead, I wept for the first 30 minutes of my drive away from the house, coating my steering wheel in salty, anxiety-filled tears and guilt-ridden snot, and then spent the remaining time with my phone anxiously strapped to my hip, fearing that my child was starving (despite four FULL bottles in the fridge and a stomach the size of a grape) or crying herself to DEATH (because that totally happens. ALL THE TIME!). I may have needed two cocktails to take the edge off, and even so, nervously texted the sitter from the bathroom to ensure everything was going smoothly. It felt like drunk-dialing, except I wasn’t drunk, just irrationally and obsessively set on initiating communication with an unassuming individual.

Of course, I returned home to a joyously happy baby, and equally fresh and put-together looking sitter.

The explanation: Prozac. I mean, how ELSE could they be so at EASE, so laissez-faire, so BLISSFUL!? Why would my child leave me out of the loop?!

I’m already uncool. DAMN IT!

Lesson: Find me some friends suffering from chronic pain, anxiety issues, and depressive tendencies.

Attempt #2:

I drove today in the carpool lane.

With the baby seat in the car.

Covered with a blanket.

What is worth mentioning is that the baby was not with me during this journey.

Strategic? Yes. Questionable ethical decision? Probably. But if you had to face the 405 on a Friday afternoon during your first day sans adorable pooping, whining, hungry little Bug, you’d understand the risk and lapse in judgement. Those five hours were my freedom and I was not going to waste such precious minutes stuck in a smog-filled traffic jam with LA drivers on a CLOUDY day. (If you live in So’Cal, you SO know what I mean). The 405 IS the 7th circle of hell, so I couldn’t sink much lower. Am I right?! <cricket cricket> Bueller?

And third times a charm:

The Bug’s gone and hit the bottle. Hard. Look at her, all wasted off breast milk. And James had that one Coronita and look at him! Some role model. Passed out by 8:30pm. Rocking Friday night chez Cart, folks.


First Day of School

When one returns to her first day of graduate studies, with a wee babe in tow, the following with undoubtedly occur:

1. While meeting a new professor with whom said student is to serve as a Teaching Assistant, the babe will experience a flatulence unmatched by an orchestra of tubas, french horns and trombones. This cacophony of toots shall end with a blow out that coats both baby and mother in a slick film of yellow baby poop, abruptly halting the rendez-vous with the student’s new employer.

2. While speaking with one’s male adviser, her milk will come raging into the nipples with such force that the student feels as though she is going to rocket across the room and fears hosing her adviser in the eye with the class 4 rapids of milk gushing through her ducts. And to top it all off, she will have forgotten to place breast pads in her brazier, causing this river to drip like a leaky faucet and puddle at her feet mid-conversation. En route to the bathroom to tend to the flood, she will leave a trail of her presence like Hansel & Gretel, except it shall be milky, rather than crumby, in nature.

3. While braving the quiet, studious peace of the library to retrieve a book for one’s first reading assignment of the new semester, the babe will awake from her deep slumber with a fury and rage that shakes the entire building of books, lap tops and intellectual rigor. So much so, that a librarian requests that said student and baby exit the premises, and quickly.

4. While feeding the babe in solitude in the student lounge, the building’s maintenance man will strut in the door right as her boob is out in broad daylight with the SUPER NIPPLE being placed to the skin, screaming like a neon sign PAY ATTENTION TO ME! The poor man will never be able to look said student in the eye. Ever. Again.

But this little one wouldn’t know anything about such experiences.