The Perfect Mother’s Day

05.14.12

Yesterday was blissful as Mother’s Day always is. Mr. G always makes a bigger fuss than necessary and I always let him. It’s my wifely duty to be a little pampered.

Saturday night we couldn’t quite agree on where to eat but we all agreed that we’d be eating out. The kids wanted Laurel Tavern but they don’t really understand that it’s a bar. So they don’t understand that on a Saturday night no one wants them there. Further the place is packed and loud and Laker-y.

So we drove past Laurel Tavern in an effort to show them why we wouldn’t be eating there, looped across the street to Lala’s which was uncomfortably crowded and finally landed at La Loteria which I was sort of angling for because I wanted a good margarita with tamarind and sour salt. Mr. G hates Mexican food and it was shitty of me to make everyone go there but I was feeling selfish on Mother’s Day Eve.

We ended up at La Loteria and the only thing worse than the food was the service. The margarita was excellent but I could have made that at home. Serves me right.

I woke up Sunday at 9ish. I just lounged in bed and padded downstairs in the most leisurely way. Alexander and Mr. G headed out for a 10am baseball lesson and I ran to the farmers market as they have an amazing blackberry vendor there and I just wanted to eat blackberries until my teeth turned an unnatural color and I looked like a hillbilly, black teeth and all.

While at the farmers market everyone kept wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day. I didn’t have any children with me. I made a mental note to step up my game, even on a Sunday Morning. I bought my blackberries, my eggs, strawberries and tamales. Everything was organic except the tamales and they’re pure crap for the kids. Fat and sugar to keep them happy. Snooty fat and sugar, but fat and sugar nonetheless.

I came home from the Farmers Market and the four of us turned around and went for a hike. I sunscreened my face and neck. It was a great hike but I’m sunburned, I even have a white mark where my ponytail was.

After the hike we rolled right into Umami Burger. Amazing burgers coupled with hideous service. If you ever go to the store in Studio City either sit in Brooklyn Carlos’ section or get your food to go. I tried to not be annoyed by the servers but it’s hard. They’re just so bad. I broke my “no grain” diet and had a half a truffle burger and I swear it was worth it. They are so amazingly delicious.

After lunch we headed home and I spent two hours floating in the pool sometimes reading sometimes dozing. The kids played in the pool and I looked at them both popping through the surface of the water together and had a striking moment where they actually looked alike and my heat swelled to the size of the moon and I felt so lucky that I love my family so much and that they love each other.

By 5 it was time for Alexander to go to baseball practice and Jane and I took a quick shower and went to see Dark Shadows. It’s a terrible movie. I wanted to leave after 30 minutes but I didn’t want to ask Jane to go in case she was enjoying it. Of course it was only after the movie ended that I realized she’d have been happy to leave too. The best parts of the movie aren’t the plot or the actors, it’s all the last scenes and some special effects that truly are special.

It sounds like I didn’t enjoy the movie. I didn’t enjoy Dark Shadows but I did enjoy just being with my daughter and relaxing. It was still a great day.

At 7.30 we headed for dinner and met up with my Mom for LA’s best lobster. There’s this divey little restaurant in Reseda that makes the most amazing ginger lobster. We waited about a half hour for a table and drank the worlds cheapest chardonnay from tiny little bottles, but I was with my Mom so it was all okay. We exchanged giggly gifts and were home by 10.

Alexander fell asleep in his baseball clothes. He’s old enough that his father needs to be the one undressing him. That felt strange and bittersweet.

Then Mr. G remembered my gift. It had been outside and I’m not sure how I didn’t see it but it was exactly what I wanted.

At 8 this morning I started by reading the assembly instructions. I realized quickly that I had to buy a socket wrench with  1/2″ and a 3/4″ socket attachments. I went to OSH and had everything unpacked and ready for assembly by 9. By 9.15 I had overenthusiastically broken the first screw. Ratcheting adds power I suppose.

 

I was back at OSH 15 minutes later trying to find a nut and bolt to replace the one I’d broken. One of the men there helped me find a 1.5 inch replacement and I thought it seemed a little short and I’d considered picking up a two inch replacement as well since it was only an extra few cents but he convinced me that he was absolutely correct and there was no way in the world the bolt would be too short.

45 minutes later I was back at OSH getting a two inch long bolt. It was getting late in the morning.

An hour after that I had this.

I’ve had compost piles and compost bins, but I’ve never had a compost tumbler and I’m so excited in part because I love my tiny little garden but also because I cringe every time I throw out scraps.

I had the perfect Mother’s Day and I had the perfect Day After Mother’s Day because I got to play with tools all morning.

 

Five Great Mother’s Day Gifts for Mom Bloggers

05.8.12

Everyone knows that my husband doesn’t love me enough to get me any of the three things I want most for mothers day.

  1. A butler
  2. A Bentley
  3. Chickens (not in my freezer either)

So I’ll have to suffer through with the small luxuries I’ve become content with.

Here are a few items every Mom Blogger is dying for.

A new computer.

I’ve been testing out the ASUS All In One PC ET2700INKS at $1500 it’s not cheap, but it’s beautiful and it’s fast and Windows 7 is a joy.

A smartphone, specifically an iPhone 4S. Three of four Gottliebs have the 4S and we’re all delighted with it (the fourth Gottlieb is just too young). I switched to Sprint recently. It’s reliable and cheap but very slow. I’m trying to decide if I care or not.

A subscription to Birchbox. Birchbox is a sampling site where for $10 a month (or $110 a year) you get samples of makeup and skincare. I bought Birchbox for myself and for my daughter and we filled out our beauty profiles. Her boxes delighted her, mine delighted me. We also got far more than $10 of value.

(thanks to Sarah Burns for the Birchbox image)

If your mom loves gardening go to your local nursey, pick out some flowers or summer fruits and veggies she might love and the appropriate potting soil and spend some time with her planting them. I love gardening and I love my family, what would be better?

 

Speed! If you can’t swing the pricetag of a new computer (or you don’t want to) there’s something that every Mom Blogger needs and few will treat themselves to. It’s SPEED.

The folks at Crucial have made RAM easy and if your computer is limping along a little extra memory may just be the shot in the arm that makes it work well. My memory was under $200, easy to find, easy to install and doubled the speed of my laptop (okay I have no numbers to back that up but it feels like it’s going 8000 times faster so I assume it’s double because I’m prone to exaggeration)

 

We Didn’t Pass All the Interviews

06.9.11

Jane’s Outward Bound application is officially complete. Yesterday she had a ten minute phone call with someone from their staff. She stood in the courtyard at school on my phone shuffling her feet, smiling, laughing and saying things like, “I’m kind of nervous about that but I’m excited too.” and after a lot of yeses and nos she kicked her heels in the air, handed the phone to me and sang out, “He said to tell you that I’ve been accepted.”

So Outward Bound is official and now I’m nervous about the flight. 10 days in the wilderness under a tarp doesn’t worry me but LAX to SEA is where I feel like things could go horribly wrong. I’m sure it’s just a feeling.

I had another interview this week with a landscaper, and it didn’t go as well. When you drive around Los Angeles there are these fabulous sun gardens that are full and bright and change with the seasons (few things change with the seasons here). Some of his most beautiful displays have little signs with a phone number on them. I called the number and was informed that I had to not let my gardener near the area, it would be a $1,200 install, $200 a month maintenance and they’d come out to examine the property and see if there was an appropriate place for the mini garden.

I shuddered a little at the cost but figured my husband would enjoy the pretty flowers  and he probably wouldn’t mind too much (although in writing this I realize he probably would). So I yes’ed my way through the phone interview and threw two very important men right under the bus. Mr G would have killed me for spending thousands of dollars a year on an annual garden, and Pedro would never be okay with another man tinkering in my garden, he gets irritated when I put in my own spring plantings.

The swank landscaper showed up and immediately looked annoyed. I have redwoods out front, and don’t I know that an English Garden requires sunlight? In the back I had something more loathsome, more appalling than redwoods. I have animals.

The interview didn’t go well. My garden and I were rejected, and we’ll have to be ordinary, non seasonal and covered in succulents, though I’ve recently discovered that Hostas love the space under the trees. At least Jane got what she wanted.