I went to the Knott’s Brunch thingie today.

All was delicious.

I’m pretty sure I consumed about 7-8,000 calories in one sitting. It was both embarrassing and impressive…. and oh-so-deliciously worth it. 

But you know what?  I’m going to share all that stuff with you later, because that’s not what this post is about.

This post is about being sad.

After the brunch we got to wander around the Knott’s Berry Farm shops and spend our $25 gift certificate.

There was a lot of neat stuff.

There was a lot of cute stuff.

There was a lot of stuff that I wanted to bring home with me.

Brace yourself – this is where it gets sad.

I’m sorry to inform you that, no matter how I tried to work it into the budget, I wasn’t able to bring home the agonized, screaming Basketball Player of Doom.

It was a beautiful piece, and I just knew it would be the focal point of our new living room in Portland.

What a conversation piece he would have been.  Can’t you just see it?  We could have sat there in our new living room, politely perched on the ends of our visiting room sofa, bonding with our new neighbors as we discussed him in muted tones, taking small sips of our coffee out of our matching coffee cups.

Okay, yeah.  We all know that wouldn’t have happened.  The House of Bean doesn’t have a “visiting room”, much less matching coffee cups.  Also, we have two kids, so if you sit down you’re probably going to get crawled on… or, in this house, peed on. 

Still, he would have been so stinking cool. 

Is the agonized, screaming Basketball Player of Doom angry?  Is he in pain?

Is he mad that his ball is broken?  Maybe some jerk just stepped in front of him and stole his taxi at the last second, making him late for his doctor’s appointment?

Perhaps he is giving birth?

We’ll never know.  I didn’t have $300 cash on hand to buy him, and The Bean wouldn’t let me put him on my credit card.

Do you see how hard my life is?



World’s Most Boring Post – Stroller Suggestions?


I suck.

I haven’t written anything in forever.

I’ve got several posts halfway finished, but between packing, and work, and the two kids, and stomach flu (Yay! I lost a pound!), and blah, blah, blah, nothing is really getting finished.

Don’t worry – The Bean won’t let me forget about this blog.

“When are we going to see a new post?”

“Got any posts in the works?”

“You know, you haven’t updated in awhile….”

Anyways, I’ll get something out soon.  Pinky swear.

Meanwhile, I have a question – and I apologize in advance to all you people without kids, because this is gong to be one of those boring mom questions.

It’s okay – you can click away now.  Maybe there’s something interesting on Youtube?  Have you logged onto Facebook lately?  Maybe one of your friends has posted something funny over there?


I need to find a good double jogging stroller. I don’t really run, so I don’t want a fixed front wheel.   I just want to find something a little more rugged than my Sit-and-Stand so it can go over grass or lumpy sidewalks. I have a Honda Civic, so it needs to be able to fit in a smallish trunk.  Got any suggestions?  Pretend money’s not an issue – Well, okay, it is a little bit of an issue (have you seen some of the prices out there? $700 for a STROLLER?!  I’ve bought cars that were cheaper than that!), but I’m addicted to Craigslist and can probably find a good deal, so don’t let price stop your suggestions.

Okay.  I’m done with the mundane, boring questions.  Sorry ’bout that.

Here’s a funny XKCD comic for putting up with it:

Invite to Knotts Mothers Day Brunch Pre-Celebration

Knott’s Berry Farm considers you a VIP mom

Well, sweet!  Who cares if thirty minutes ago I was letting the DragonMonkey pee on a tree in front of Wells Fargo because we couldn’t find a bathroom in time…… I’m a VIP mom!  And I’ve got proof!

Join us on April 29th for what will be a wonderful and calming ‘Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch’ at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant at Knott’s Marketplace…..In addition to a brunch that offers a variety of delicious choices, Knott’s will also like to give you a special Gift Certificate to pick a gift at selected Marketplace Shops like Virginia’s Gift Shop & Berry Market.


I scanned the rest of the way down and was a little disappointed not to see a reference to park admission.

Well, drat.

I mean, I am not upset. In fact, I feel petty for even feeling disappointed.  I’m going to get a free meal and a gift certificate.  They called me a “VIP mom” even though I let my kid pee on trees in public.  This is the second invitation they’ve been gracious enough to extend, and they’re promoting their restaurant’s Mother’s Day brunch, not the roller coasters.

Still.  I’m going to be within a stone’s through of Colossus…. and instead of throwing my hands up in the air and screaming my heart out as I plummet down the track, I’m going to be nibbling from a buffet and doing a little light shopping in the marketplace.

Well, okay, let me be honest:  I’m not going to be nibbling.  I’m going to be piling a plate high and going back for seconds and thirds while trying to ignore the single serving, gorgeous, size two Orange County moms around me. 

I hate buffets.  I always feel obligated to eat more than I would otherwise, just to “get my money’s worth”. 

I wonder— if I were a guy blogger, would I get invitations to all-you-can-eat-steak-buffets followed by laser tag tournaments and bull riding competitions?

Probably not, but it’s still fun to imagine.

Actually, now that I think about it, that just sounds like a recipe for puking.  Never mind.

Anyways, one of the things Knott’s ask you to do in exchange for accepting is to share the news with other people.

You know what?  No problem.  I’m happy to do that.

After bragging about announcing it on Facebook I blew off my dusty Twitter password and logged on.

I’ve never been able to get into Twitter.  I like the idea of it, but I dunno… something about it makes me feel like a grandma.  I feel like everyone is sitting on the sidelines, snickering at me ignorance, while I’m fumbling with the Twitter mic, wincing at its squeal and muttering, “Is this thing on?  Hello?  You know, back in my day we just passed good ol’ fashioned notes to each other… mumble, mumble…”

Besides, I’m long-winded.  It’s hard for me to say what I want to say in only 140 characters.

It took a few tries, but I finally came up with what I felt was an appropriate response:

“Wonderful! I’m so excited about #KnottsBurnch. I would have been excited anyways, but you really got me at ‘no cooking/cleaning’.Thank you!”

I was trying to echo the whole “You had me at hello” scene from Jerry McGuire, but I ran out of room to make it apparent.  Like I said, I really don’t care for the whole 140 characters thing.  Still, I’d managed to make it obvious that I was grateful, and I’d even worked in a mention to the most exciting part of the invitation… Yaaay!  FREE FOOD!

Free food that I don’t have to make or clean up after is by far my favorite kind of food.  It’s so much tastier than any other kind, wouldn’t you agree?

Pleased with myself, I decided I’d take a look at what the other bloggers had said.

“Couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate Mother’s Day early than @Knott’s for a #KnottsBrunch alongside family & friends!

Can’t wait to see everyone at #KnottsBrunch! All the mamacitas are going to love it! (: Gracias

Looking forward to seeing you…

@Knotts offers a fab-Brunch! Get 10% when u make reservations, mention “MOM BLOGGERS DISCOUNT”….

etc, etc, etc.

Well, crap.

Apparently you’re supposed to say thank you for the invitation and market the product… not pounce on the fact that you’ve been given free food, like it’s some kind of upscale homeless shelter soup kitchen that was kind enough to invite you along.

I swear, why do people invite me to these things?

Embarrassed, I went back and read the invitation again. Alright, alright, I admit it, I didn’t actually read all the way through the first time.  It was long.  It had a whole bunch of details and a lot of words, and as far as I can tell, none of those words were actually dialogue, so I kind of got distracted midway through. 

No, I don’t have ADD.  In order to have ADD you have to have a diagnosis.  Shut up.

Anyways, when I finally went back and checked out all the pertinent details:

Imagine our All You Can Eat Buffet during the holiday seasons with our expanded menu and fantastic holiday-themed decor! Snoopy will be dressed for occasion! Join us on Mother’s Day.

Oooh!  Snoopy will be there.  Cool!  Even better, I won’t have a three year old trailing along beside me, trying to bolt for the door and insisting in shrill panicked tones that Snoopy is actually a large monkey trying to suck his brains out.  Maybe I’ll even get a picture with him (Snoopy – not the non-existant, flesh-eating monkey.)

Book early for our Mothers Day Champagne Brunch on Sunday, May 13, 2012 from 9am-4pm at Mrs. Knotts Chicken Dinner Restaurant. With our expanded menu and unlimited champagne this is a memorable Mothers Day that your loved ones won’t forget!

Wait… what was that?

…With our expanded menu and unlimited champagne…
 …. and unlimited champagne….
  …..unlimited champagne….

Oh.   Oh, my. 

Champagne’s a sneaky drink.  It tastes delicious – it doesn’t taste like alcohol at all.  It’s just kind of dry, fizzy apple juice.  Also, they tend to serve it in delicate little champagne flutes.  Have you seen those ridiculous glasses?  Who invented those things?  Whose bright idea was it to create a tiny, snappable, breakable little fragile glass and then serve a beverage in it known for impairing your motor abilities?

I get nervous holding champagne glasses.   I get even more nervous trying to set them down on the table.  I just know if I set the glass down it’s going to topple over and break… and everyone knows that if you a break a glass that has an alcoholic drink in it that you might as well trumpet to the entire world “I”m a big fat drunk!  You all should keep an eye out on me, because any second now I’m going to vomit and then spin around and fall off a stage!”  It doesn’t matter if you haven’t actually had a sip of alcohol or not—- once you break that glass, you’re a drunk.

That’s why I think it’s just a lot safer never to put the champagne glass down.

I mean, I guess it would be safest if I never even picked it up… but c’mon.  It’s champagne.  You can’t resist the lure of the bubblies.

Anyways, since I can’t seem to avoid picking it up… and I’m too socially awkward to put it down, I usually just end up trying to look nonchalant.

Everyone knows the best way to look nonchalant is to take tiny, “I’m a feminine young lady who never gulps her drinks” type sips from the glass in your hand.

Are you guys following the math here?  I’ll have a glass in my hand I can’t put down… it will full of alcoholic liquid… and the only way I can try to blend in is to constantly drink out of it.

Well.  That could be interesting.

On second that, maybe I’ll skip the champagne.

Happy Anniversary, Bean

Dear Bean,

See, this is the problem I have with anniversaries.  I should be getting ready for a wonderful, romantic evening with you, where we go out to dinner, or a movie, or something anniversary-ish like that.  It would be really fun to go out and celebrate the fact that four years ago we were exchanging our vows inside of a too-hot courthouse while my mom channeled her inner paparazzi and took pictures of your ear wax. 

Unfortunately, life is too busy.

I’ve got tons of stuff to do work today – I don’t think I’m going to get it all done in time before my boss comes back, and that’s stressing me out.  I suppose I could try to make a big, fancy dinner to show you my love, but I made plans with a friend to meet up at Westminster Mall and let the boys run around and get their energy out.  Besides, I’m not really in the mood to cook, and you’re going to be stuck sitting through whatever boring class it is you have on Wednesday nights (Strategy and Policy, I think?) and you won’t be home until late. 

If this were a movie, when you came home from class I’d be there to greet you at the door in some kind of filmy negligee, my hair shiny and straight, my mouth quirking at the corners as I lead you into the bedroom by your tie (I know you don’t actually wear a tie to work, but just work with me here.) 

Unfortunately, I’m not a night person – I’m a morning person.  By the time you get home, probably after 10:00 pm, if I am still awake I will be tired and grumpy.  My hair will be in a messy ponytail, and I won’t be wearing a negligee.

In fact, come to think of it, I don’t even own a negligee.  I look stupid in them – they don’t make them for women who are tall, so they don’t fit quite right and just look awkward on me.  I’m sure if I bought an expensive one it might fit better, but  I can’t see wasting that much money on something I’m barely going to wear.  I could get a decent pair of jeans for that price, you know.  I guess I could go buy it at Walmart…. But honestly, lingerie from Walmart just sounds kind of gross.  Besides, if I told you where I bought it from you’d probably get angry at me “supporting the Chinese”, and the mood would be ruined.

Where was I?

Oh, yeah.  So, it doesn’t really matter whether I have anything sexy to wear or not, because I’m going to be too tired by the time you come home, and you know I get grumpy when I get tired.  In the interest of honesty, though, if you were to come home early from class it probably wouldn’t get much better.  I’m in a grumpy mood today.  It doesn’t seem right to be grumpy on our anniversary, but there you have it.  I’ve been waiting for my grumpiness to lift so I could write you a sweet, loving, heartfelt note, but it doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

It’s not for lack of trying—I’ve actually been trying to come up with sweet nothings all day long.  You’re really good at writing love notes—- me?  Not so much. 

What, do you don’t believe that I’ve been trying?  Well, I have. After almost eight hours at work, here is what I have come up with:

Dear Joe,
I don’t like you at all today.  But I do I love you, even though you really got on my nerves when you wouldn’t let me use your cell phone last night.  Still, we’re married, and we’re stuck with each other through good, bad and annoying, so here’s to another year.


PS:  Heat up the rest of the cold spaghetti in the fridge when you come home tonight.  We need to eat it before it goes bad. 

I also came up with a couple of poems:

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
It’s our anniversary
I’m irritated with you

Roses are red,
The boys’ boogers are green
Now leave me alone
I’ve had too much Bean

Violets are Blue
Roses are Red
Hooray.  We’re still married
Now I’m going to bed

Yeah.  Sorry.  I did warn you that I was grumpy.

Anyways, that’s all I’ve got today…. I know it kind of sucks as far as love notes go, so here are a couple of pictures of things you like to make it a little better:

Happy last-anniversary-spent-living-in-California.

I love you,

Knives Make The Best Baby Spoons

The DragonMonkey’s sitting on the kitchen counter, eating popcorn.

Our counter tops are pretty tall.  I’m not really sure how he even got up there.  I guess I’m a little impressed.

And come to think of it, where the heck did he find popcorn, anyways? I don’t remember making any recently. And yet, there he is, with a bag of popcorn in his lap, legs dangling lazily over the edge of the countertop, happily munching away.

This is a drastic improvement over the scene I walked into five minutes ago.

Five minutes ago I walked into him shoving a knife into his brother’s mouth.

“Here ya go, Squid! Peanuh buttuh! Yum!”

“STOP!” I screech.

“No, mama,” he says, annoyed at my obvious ignorance. “No ‘stop’. Yook.” If he knew how to physically roll his eyes at me, he’d be doing it.  He has an open jar of peanut butter under one arm and in his other hand is a butter knife with a glob of peanut butter on the end.

The Squid stands patiently in front of him, mouth gaping like a tiny, peanut-butter smeared baby bird. It’s on his cheeks, it’s in his hair, it’s on his shirt, and it’s smeared liberally around his open mouth.

“Yook,” he continues patiently.  “I feed da Squid peanuh buttuh.” His hand comes up and he starts to shove the knife into his brother’s mouth again.

My heart stops. Admittedly, it’s only a butter knife, but still.

“NO! STOP!” I swoop in and grab both the knife and the jar out of his hand and place them on the computer desk, out of reach.

“Nooooooo!” howls the DragonMonkey, heartbroken and screaming in frustration.

“MWEEEEEEEEHHHHHH!!!!” shrieks the Squid, suddenly inconsolable.

“I don’t care,” I say coldly.  “No, I’m not giving it back.”

I am an evil, heartless woman, and from the sound of their desolate howls, they both know it.

I do the best I can to explain why shove-the-knife-into-your-brother’s-mouth isn’t an appropriate game, but they’re both too upset to really listen.  I clean them up as best I can, and then leave them alone for a few moments so they can get over their broken hearts.

I pick up my Nook and perch on the edge of the computer chair, trying to get to the end of the chapter before they heal from their sorrow and I need to monitor them again.  We have the house kid-proofed… how much trouble can they get into? Besides, if I’m not really sitting in the chair, but just kind of leaning on the edge of it, so it doesn’t really count.

It’s a good book and a good chapter, and it sucks me in.

I’m brought back to reality when Squid tugs at my knee.  I glance up suddenly, taking in the DragonMonkey’s new perch, the mystery bag of popcorn, and then the Squid, who is patiently watching me.

I look at him for a moment, and silently he points to the peanut butter on the desk in front of me.  I look at the still-open jar, then back at him.

“Da.”  It’s his version of please. 

I glance at the peanut butter, the silverware drawer (which is in a completely different room), and then at the DragonMonkey, who is oddly quiet, lulled into a brief moment of inactivity by the novelty of sitting on a forbidden surface.  If I move, I’ll have to tell him to get off the counter, and the brief, rare moment of peace will be broken.

“Da,” repeats the Squid quietly, staring at me with equal parts patience and hunger.

I glance again at the DragonMonkey, but he’s calmly staring off into the distance in another direction, absorbed in his thoughts.

I pick up the jar of peanut butter, and then the knife.  The Squid opens his mouth and waits, eyes locked on mine.

Oh-so-carefully, using only the rounded tip,  I feed him a scoop of peanut butter.  He slides it easily off the knife with his lips, with a practiced ease that unnerves me, and in that moment I realize I will never, ever be able to judge another parent for the rest of my life.

But you know what?  Those three minutes of still, quiet peace were so worth it.

In other news… have you guys seen the countdown-to-Oregon clock?  It seems like we just broke triple digits, and now we’re only 52 days away.  Craziness.  
In preparation for the big day I’ve been reading up thunderjackets, and calming collars, and medicines and whatnot…  we will be traveling for two days with a nervous/neurotic dog and two cats who have never really been in a car before.  What kind of drugs/medicines/goodies do you recommend we get to make it go smoother?

Things I Never Thought I’d Say: Part Three

“Don’t pee on the dog.”
“You pick that up off the floor and you eat that…..right now, mister!”
“Don’t lick that.  It has pee on it.”
“Don’t choke your brother!”
“NO.  You may not pee on me.  We don’t pee on Mama.  I don’t care if you said please.”
“If you do that one more time I’m going to let your brother bite you.”
“Get your hands out of…. Eww!  Don’t drink the fish water!”
“I said put that away!  For the last time, we do NOT PEE ON THE DOG!”
Parenting:  it’s not for the faint of heart.