Monday, February 28, 2005

Being Completely Stupid, or Why I'm a Bad Mom

This evening I had one of those situations that just makes you feel like the biggest pile of crap ever. The other day, Will went up to Ryan and said he had hiccups and needed to be scared. I have no idea of Ryan yelling "BOO!!!" at him a few seconds later actually made his hiccups go away, but for some reason when I was going upstairs this evening I was thinking about that and I decided to sneak up on Will and give him a scare. I determined he was in the "new room" with the door closed, listening to Beatles music, and even maybe dancing around some, so I burst in and yelled "BOO!!!" as loud as I could.

At which point my sweet baby spun around with a horrified expression on his face and burst into tears.

Now, I know better than this. It wasn't too long ago that we were watching a Kings' game and when Mike Bibby sank a three-pointer to tie the game right at the buzzer, Ryan and I both yelled "YES!!!" so loud that Will, who'd been sitting there playing with his K'Nex and minding his own business, shrieked in terror and sobbed. (And then they still lost in overtime.) So it's not like this sort of thing is without precedent, and I really don't know what I was thinking.

Of course I went right in and hugged him and apologized profusely, but I wasn't quite done trying to get myself off the hook, so I explained that I thought he might have hiccups so I decided to scare them out of him. He pointed out, through his tears, that you really need to check and make sure someone has hiccups before you do that too them, which of course is absolutely true and made me feel worse. I kept rubbing his back and finally said that I was just trying to be funny, and I realized that it was a mistake and apologized again, which he seemed to accept. Then I told him the great thing was that he got to pay me back and scare me sometime. Mr. Finesse that he is, he proceeded to do so three times within 10 minutes -- only once with much success -- at which point I told him he'd probably paid me back, and he agreed and seemed cheerful.

Anyway, another lesson learned. The kid is a little fragile. I won't mess with him like that again.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Soccer, or Why I'm a Bad Mom

My name is Tracie, and *sob*... my children don't play soccer!

We live in one of those towns where youth soccer is not just an activity -- it's a way of life. I suppose most suburban American cities like this anymore, but here in Davis, we don't do anything halfway. Therefore, it's pretty much expected that once a kid gets to be 5 or so years old, Mom is going to sign that kid up to play soccer. I managed to avoid this with Rachel due to her autism -- no one questioned it -- but now that William has been of soccer-playing age for two falls and I have yet to sign him up, I seem to get called on it more and more. My reasons for not signing him up are these:
1) I hate soccer.
2) My husband, who loves all sports, hates soccer.
3) Will hasn't asked to play.

I think these are good reasons. I think they are the only reasons I should need to get myself off the hook for not signing him up, and most people let it go with that, but on increasingly frequent occasions, parents I'm conversing with on the subject behave as though not signing my son up for soccer is a subtle form of child abuse, and I'm forced to trot out the rest of my reasons:
4) We don't, as a family, care to take time out of our weekends to go to soccer games and such. I don't mind weekday commitments and the occasional weekend event for Girl Scouts or Little League or something, but I just really don't want to have to plan every Saturday for several months around soccer games.
5) I played soccer as a kid and detested it, so it's not like my loathing of soccer just comes out of nowhere. I do seriously hate it, with reason.
6) Although Will is not really much of an athlete, he does play tee ball, and has asked to take gymnastics and tennis as well. If he wanted to play soccer, I'm sure he would ask to do so, but he hasn't. I have to assume that means he doesn't want to. Trust me, the kid is not shy about asking for what he wants.

Believe it or not, this still isn't enough to satisfy some of the people I've talked to. One mom completely blew off everything I had to say and kept arguing about how great it was. Well, I guess that's wonderful for her family and her kids, who I assume enjoy playing soccer. And if Will was chomping at the bit to play, I promise, I would sign him up. But for God's sake, I simply refuse to buy that there is something essential about playing soccer for any kid growing up in the suburbs, something so important that he or she is going to get out of it that the need to expend time, energy and money on it overrides things like the fact that the kid has no interest in playing and his parents don't really care to go there, all things being equal. It's a pair of cleats, a ball, and a net. I think he can learn just as much about sportsmanship and all that other good stuff playing some other sport that he's actually excited about playing.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

I feel like rambling this morning, probably largely because none of my friends are online for me to ramble to. That's probably a good thing since I'm in this rambly mood.

Lots of stuff happened this week. In addition to me getting a bike and riding it all over the place, I also got my first ever traffic ticket, for failure to yield. I've been trying to decide if that's some kind of metaphor for my life. Anyway, I think it was kind of a BS ticket, as do all (three) of the people I've told about it so far. Ryan thinks I should fight it, and offered to go with me and argue my case. I gave that about 2 seconds of consideration, especially since he followed up his offer by telling me we probably wouldn't win. And what exactly would the point of that be?

My grandma is evidently in the hospital again, which is not good, of course. I need to call my mom and find out what's happening on that front, but I keep putting it off.

In much less important news -- the Kings traded Webber. Yee-haw! He's an excellent player for another team, but his presence has been throwing off the Kings' chemistry for close to a year now, and that amazing teamwork they have is what makes them great. I hope he goes and kicks butt for Sixers (not against the Kings) but sorry, I'm glad to see him go. Now our awesome guys like Bibby and Miller and Songaila and of course, my baby Peja, can really shine :-)

The sun is trying to come out today and I'm glad. Ryan was supposed to go to San Diego this weekend and he cancelled for a couple of work-related reasons that I didn't agree with and I was kind of annoyed about it, but I told him he needed to go play 18 holes of golf and he's planning to do that. I also promised the kids I would take them on a long bike ride and I'm going to do that too. I'd said Borders, but who knows -- depending on how well they do with it, maybe we'll go all the way to campus and hang out at the Coffee House for a while instead. That would be fun.

Tonight I'm going to Mom's Night In and will get to hang out with some friends I haven't seen much of lately, so that will be nice. Not sure about the concept of staying in rather than going out and why it would be superior, but I don't have little kids anymore so maybe that's part of it. And that's pretty much the whole agenda for this weekend. As opposed to next weekend, which is ridiculous (scrapbooking with my aunt Ann and the Girl Scout cookie site sale Friday, helping to set up for the Montgomery Auction, the Auction before-party and the Auction itself on Saturday, going bridesmaids dress shopping on Sunday) and the following weekend, when the Hens will be here (yay! I heart that!). I really have a tremendous amount to do in the next two weeks and I should probably wrap my brain around that, but at this point I'm mostly thinking about going shopping for something to wear to the Auction next weekend and other silly things like that.

Speaking of the Auction, I've got paperwork to do and I suppose it's time to make myself useful so I should really get to it...

The Dog

Everyone should have a creature who loves them as much as Buster loves me. This morning he whined at our door and woke us up, which was fine and made sense, since it was after 8:30 and we certainly prefer him coming to ask to be let out to decorating the carpet and he probably had to go pretty bad by then. I came downstairs and let him out, then went back upstairs to put on some sweats and slippers. The kids let him back in and he bounded back upstairs. Ryan was going back downstairs by then, but he came in demanded attention from me, so I had to sit down for a minute and rub his head and tell him he was a good boy before I changed my clothes. Then he sat at the top of the stairs waiting impatiently for me to come with him, went downstairs just ahead of me, looking back no fewer than three times to make sure I was following, then sat and waited for me on the couch, ears perked and looking somewhat forlorn while I made coffee. Now he is settled in against my thigh here on the couch and I really don't have the slightest doubt he would stay here all day, without moving, if I didn't move either. I find this all a bit weird because it seems like he's become somewhat clingier lately for not apparent reason. I mean, I know I'm his favorite -- there has been no doubt in my mind since the incident where he stole several pairs of my underpants out of the dirty laundry pile I left on the floor and absconded to his bed with them -- but we've had him for nearly five years and he used to be able to go up and down the stairs without making sure I was right behind.

He drives me crazy and I complain about it him all the time, but geez, it's hard not to respond to this kind of devotion. Sure, he barks, and he has the worst breath in dog history, and he acts pathetic, and we can't take him anywhere, and in the last few days he's unloaded such lethal gas that I worried my eyelashes might be singed off, but he's cute and cuddly, and recently when I was bitching about him in a chat room, my friend Judy said "you know you love that little shit." Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

Sorry my new bike has been keeping me from updating my blog the last few days

Yeah, I know, I was lousy about updating even before I got the bike, but that's my excuse this week. Anyway, other than picking the kids up from school yesterday because I didn't want to listen to Rachel whining, I have maintained a strict policy of riding my bike anyplace I want to go in South Davis for the last few days, and yesterday I even ventured to the other side of the freeway into town. Had coffee and bought a couple of books at Borders, then came home. I love have a basket to carry things in! I love the ache I get in my thighs when I've ridden a ways! I love my bike! Yep, I'm seven years old again...

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I've often thought I was enjoying a delayed adolescence in the last few years, but today I experienced a return to something more like the age of ten, when I got a bike and rode down the street. A couple of weeks ago, I taught my son how to ride without training wheels, and since then I've been enjoying him ride as fast as he can up and down our street. Ryan and I have dallied with the idea of getting an adult bike for the two of us to share since Rachel learned how to ride two years ago, just so we'd be able to go on rides with the kids sometimes, but we never got serious about it. One of the carrots I dangled in front of Will when he was learning a couple of weeks ago was that I would get a bike so we could ride togther too. Till now I've made do with getting on my rollerblades and getting out there with them when they've wanted to go for a spin. But Ryan won't do that, and I know he didn't enjoy running behind them to the park yesterday. Plus today is such a beautiful day. So I decided to go to the bike shop downtown where I've been admiring cruiser-style bikes for the past two years, and when I got there, this big purple one caught my eye. The bike store guy said I could take it for a spin around the block if I was so inclined, so I thought, what the hell? And I climbed on it and took off down the street.

Wheee! Why did I ever stop riding a bike? Well, I do remember that none of them were ever as comfortable as this one, which has a nice wide seat and those big handlebars that make it so you don't have to lean forward when you're riding. There is also the fact that I have mostly lived places a lot hillier than Davis in 13 or so years since I rode a bike much. Still, I was surprised as how quickly I returned to that feeling that I know my son has when he's zooming up and down our street on his little bike these last couple of weeks. It's the kind of feeling you just don't get driving a car. Well, not after the first couple of weeks you have your license, anyway.

I did take one more bike -- a less expensive blue cruiser with the boy-bar across the frame -- out for a test-ride, but it just wasn't the same as the purple one. So I brought it home, and took it for a ride around the neighborhood before I put it away. Hopefully the kids will be up for a ride when they get home too...

I sure hope Ryan doesn't mind riding a purple girl-bike!
The sun is shining here today. I am thinking about walking to school to pick up the kids this afternoon, though I know that decision is likely to meet with nothing but complaints from my charges (little ingrates). We should enjoy this weather to the fullest, if only in appreciation of the fact that we don't live where there is snow on the ground and the mommies have to write to their e-friends for advice on what lotions will keeps their kids' skin from cracking and bleeding. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know -- you guys love the snow. Well, you can keep it. I'll take short-sleeves weather in February, thank you very much!

Good news

MCI hasn't called in several days. Maybe they read my blog!

Coolness, Pt II

Some interesting (to me) tidbits about coolness:

1. I've recently become acquainted with a high school classmate (I don't say re-acquainted because I actually didn't really know him in high school)who lives nearby and we've become friends. A few weeks ago we had lunch, and it was interesting talking about high school because his concept of who was popular back then was completely different than mine. I tend to remember the cheerleaders and jocks and all those people, while he kept talking about his advanced-placement classmates, the people who ran student government and all that. It had never occurred to me that other people would have a completely different perspective on who all got all the attention back then. Incidentally, this guy who is my friend now was quite cool himself. He probably didn't think so, but I remember

2. A couple of months ago, a friend of mine told me her 15-year-old daughter had told her, "Tracie's so cool! I wish she was my mom!" Sad how happy that made me. The experience of it was tempered somewhat by the fact that my friend told me this right in front of her daughter, and her daughter and I avoided eye contact after that.

3. The rules of coolness have definitely changed since I was an adolescent.
A lot of people probably think the fact that I drive a minivan is uncool. I know driving one doesn't make me cool, but I think the fact that I fully acknowledge that minivans aren't cool and I still love driving mine makes me cool. I have my nose pierced because I think it's cool, not in hopes of having other people think I'm cool. And so on. Overall, at the ripe age of 34, I think I have achieved a level of detachment about these kinds of things that would have made me seem extremely cool at 16.

4. I enjoy my life a lot more now than I did when I used to worry about trying to be cool. I should probably not be devoting so much thought to coolness right now -- it's likely to harsh my mellow pretty soon.


Since I started writing this blog, I have been thinking about degrees of coolness. I read other people's blogs sometimes, and I've discovered from that exploration as well as having read a few other kinds of sites that there is some kind of legion of coolness in the blogging world to which I (and most of the millions of other blog-owners online) do not belong. I've only come across one -- it's entirely possible that I'm not cool enough to have come across the others. The people who are part of this legion all seem to have connections to one or both of the following websites: and I enjoy both of these sites and I honestly don't mean to disparage anyone connected with them in this post (or any subsequent posts on this topic). I am just really intrigued by the idea of people becoming prominent online, and having others come to think they're cool, based on what they write. Let's face it: I'm jealous.

The idea of being the author of a "famous" blog appeals to me for so many reasons! Just writing down my random thoughts and experiences, couched in what I imagine to be my rapier wit, and have people bookmark me and check my site regularly for new pearls of my wisdom? Receiving actual entries to my guestbook, frequently hearing how awesome I am? Referring to all my other hip blog-community friends by their online names, and the cool places we go and interesting, blog-entry-worthy experiences we have? Does it get any better than this?

I don't expect it to happen though. Largely for the same reason I keep not doing anything to get my novels published -- I'm scared. I'm scared of drawing attention to myself, and I'm scared of making people angry or offending them with something I've written. For me, it's always been this way. Question: how much does cool have to do with a) not caring if you make people mad, and b) willingness to draw attention to oneself? The number of people I've even told that I have this blog is pretty small. My own husband didn't know I had it for two months. I give out my daughter's blog address more readily than I give out my own. But really -- I didn't start this blog to remain anonymous or maintain my privacy, and anyone who uses that reasoning really needs to think about it some more. I have never been one to keep a journal -- it's always bored me. The fact that people might read what I have to say here is the entire reason I'm writing. The fact that not many do is probably one of the things that keeps me from posting more regularly. Overall, I'm kind of disgusted with myself on the whole blog-front. The whole idea of seeking prominence is, in the end, just too scary. Woe is me.

Enough of my pity party. Time to use the blow dryer before my hair is lost cause for the day. Don't ever say I don't have my priorities in order!

Friday, February 18, 2005


Hi, you've reached the Bezerras. If you're someone we might actually want to speak to, please leave us a message. If you're a telemarketer calling from a business like MCI, please take us off your list and don't ever call again. If we were interested in what you want to sell us, we wouldn't have used our Caller ID to avoid talking to you the first 87 times you called. We will continue to do so until you get it through your thick skulls that we do not want to to talk to you. Ever. That's why we have Caller ID -- so we can avoid talking to telemarketers. Guess what, MCI? You've called us, like, 20 times in the last week. You're up there with stalker ex-boyfriends and people to whom we owe money. Save yourself some time and effort and just erase our number from your list already. Really. You'll sleep better for it tonight, and so will we. Good-bye forever. Really. Go away.

Monday, February 07, 2005

This is why you shouldn't have my family over to your house for dinner

Saturday evening, we went to the home of some new friends for dinner. They live in a huge, beautiful house with white carpetting and expensive electronics. From the moment we walked in, I was a little worried one or both of my children would damage or destroy something. But we went on to have a pleasant evening. Our friends' son is as into the Beatles as our kids currently are, so they watched "Yellow Submarine" on DVD and were enjoying it so much and being so good that we adults decided to retire to the dining room to eat without them. We had a very nice, peaceful dinner, and the kids continued to be occupied by the movie.

After dinner we went into the kitchen and were having some dessert when disaster finally struck. Will wandered into their home office (where they keep their DVD collection and some cool Beatles figures) and proceeded to deposit the contents of his stomach on the off-white carpetting. It was, quite simply, a heart-stopping amount of vomit. How it all came out of a 6-year-old boy, I do not know. Our friends were very kind about it, but needless to say, we were utterly mortified. Ryan and I cleaned up the bulk of it and then our hostess got out a little steam cleaner thing and proceeded to make the entire spot fade away while the rest of us stood around and made jokes about what they would do to our carpet when they came over to our house for dinner. Nevertheless, the event brought the evening to a bit of a subdued conclusion.

At last report, the carpet came completely clean, our friends are somewhat amused over the incident, and we still don't know why Will threw up -- though he did so again at home approximately 24 hours after the first incident. In the toilet, of course. It figures!