Archive for June, 2014

Car beans

June 23rd, 2014

Welcome to another episode of The Housewife Files.

I think I have more work to do now than when I had an office job. Notice how I did not say just "job"? Raising a child and tending the domestics is a J-O-B!

I went to the grocery store to buy supplies. Dinner + pantry items + snacks for Olivia's day + random sundry items people need to stock up on. I returned to the car with many, many bags of groceries.

In the spirit of my housewife agreement to spend all my husband's money now, I also ended up buying more things than I had on the shopping list. You know how that goes.

One three-digit-receipt later and I was back home carrying all the bags in the house. Apparently, a bag of edamame beans fell out and under Olivia's seat. I didn't see it because my car has a fair amount of other things in it (her toys, her shoes, her extra clothes, spare pool towels, my yoga mat and towel, my gym bag... blah blah)


A short while later, the family was headed out in my car. Olivia got into her car seat and asked, "Mommy, what should I do with the car beans?"

"Car beans? What are you talking about?" I asked, rushing around as I so often am.

"These green things. In the car. Car beans," she answered. "Should I bring it in the house?"

Thanks for specifics. I finally walked over to see what she was talking about.

Her little finger was pointing to a bag on the car mat, slightly hidden under the car seat. "OH! Car beans! The edamame beans! I wondered where they went!" I exclaimed, grabbing them and putting them in the freezer.

This is so not the first time this has happened to me. I have more spaced out moments as a mother than I have ever had in my pre-child life. Sometimes I think I might lose my head if it wasn't attached!


Pencil sharpener

June 18th, 2014

Olivia's seventh birthday brought her a clutch of a dozen gifts from her dad and me, her grandparents, and some family friends. This doesn't include the birthday party that followed the weekend after the actual birth date.


She got up in the morning to a special breakfast cooked for her (we never do pancakes on a weekday), and then dove into her pile of presents. Honestly, some were bought expressly for her birthday, but some were items we've intended to give her for a few weeks and just decided to stick a bow on it and give her some joy in opening it.

Things she received:
2 jewelry boxes


Pierced ears! (favorite gift)


Hello Kitty hairbrush

Purple Japanese scrubby bath cloth (that she actually requested!)


Tote bag

Sticker set

Electric pencil sharpener

As she opened it if it was NOT from us, I would tell her who it was from. So, grandparents, Aunty Jen, Aunty Lea.

She opened all the gifts and uttered the appropriate gratitude noises... until the pencil sharpener, which was met with a flat and simple, "Oh."

I asked her which one was her favorite. Typical seven year old- she never distinguishes just one. If she likes it, she likes it and lists it. She doesn't get what "favorite" means.


"I like the stickers, the backpack, I love that you let me pierce my ears, the jewelry, the jewelry box, the wash cloth, the brush, and I love the kendama too. So pretty much everything but the pencil sharpener," answered Olivia.

The pencil sharpener. Of course. "Oh, that one's from your daddy," I smirked as I totally threw Claus under the gift bus. He stared at me then rushed over to pick up the package.

"Look! It's Titanium bonded! It has an auto-sensor shut off! An ergonomic space saving design! Any second grader needs a great pencil sharpener!" he pathetically tried to sell. Luckily his day job doesn't involve sales.

Nobody was listening. Olivia was playing kendama. I laughed at my poor husband. "Office supplies are not the most exciting gift for anyone, much less a seven year old," I reminded.

Lucky for Claus, part of the birthday day included me taking her to the mall to spend $30 on whatever thing(s) she wanted to pick out. I made sure to say the money came from Daddy. Saved!

She's just not that into you

June 16th, 2014

I coincidentally have two girlfriends going through love life changes at the same time, and I'm talking them both through it. One is breaking in a new relationship, one is breaking up.

My text message alert is dinging off the hook. That is, unless I have the phone glued to my ear like I'm in eighth grade again. Husband thinks I/ we are amusing/ridiculous.

One afternoon he came home and caught snippets of these parallel conversations. Then, he went to jujitsu, and when he came home, I was still responding to texts about these men.

You know, questions like: "I texted him and he texted me back with just 'OK.' What do you think that means? What should I text back now? If he liked me wouldn't he have texted back something more? Should I text next or should I call? Should it be tomorrow or the day after? Would that scare him off? Or should I wait for him to call?"

People, don't even act like you haven't been there. You can be all Ivy League- President & CEO- award winning- PhD- Nobel Prize candidate material and you know it's all out the window when it comes to matters of the heart. The game's all different.

I'm always sympathetic to friends in crisis, so I hear it all.

Five hours had elapsed since he first happened on our conversations. "Are you STILL talking about the same things?" he asked in disbelief.

I looked at him disdainfully. "Um. Yes? What's so odd about that?"

"You are grown women. Address the issue once and move on," he suggested, as if this was a line item on a business agenda.

"I don't think you understand," I explained. "We are women. That means we take the temperature of a relationship every seven minutes and analyze it to death, then start the cycle all over. I'm here for them. This is what girlfriends do. Don't even try to understand girl-talk."

"Are all women like this?" he asked.

"Sure. For the right guy, they are," I said.

"Were you like this?" he continued.

"At some point in my life, yes," I answered.

"No, about me," he clarified. Since we have never broken up, he meant during the getting-together phase.

"Oh! No. I wasn't into you," I said honestly and immediately.

Face frown. Not by me.

"Well, sorry. It's just that, you asked me out and I didn't really care if we went out or not," I elaborated.

"That is not helping me feel better," he said flatly.

First photo together, when we finally did go out.

First photo together, when we finally did go out.

I laughed. "I bore you a child. We're even by now."

The next thing I knew I was being rolled off the bed and onto the floor. Honesty isn't always the best policy!

Pierced ears

June 11th, 2014

For her 7th birthday, Claus and I let Olivia pierce her ears. It all came up rather spontaneously.

We were walking around Ward Center and passed the Merle Norman that my friend Gina manages. "Come in!" she ushered, asking me to help her with something.

While inside, Olivia started playing with makeup, and Gina, who has two boys, noticed how girly my daughter is. "I'm surprised she doesn't have pierced ears," commented Gina. "Does she want it?"

"Yes, she's been nagging for about three years," I said. "I haven't let her because she's so young it'll be me who has to take care of her ears."

"We do it here," Gina offered. "Seven is a good age."

Olivia's eyes popped open with hope. "Mommy! Yes! Can I? Please?!?"

I looked at Gina. "It's not that bad," she said. "You just have to sanitize the ears twice a day and make sure she twirls the post." She gave me written directions.

I got my ears pierced when I was 14. I nagged my mother for what seemed like a decade. Oh, did I ever want pierced ears.

I asked Claus, "Well, should we?"

"No," he said. "She's too young."

"We get girls as young as four. If they're ready, they're ready," Gina said.

"Can you do all the things Aunty Gina described for taking care of your own ears?" I asked, meaning the not taking it out for a month part.

"Yes! Yes! Yes!" Olivia nodded.

"It might hurt a little because it's poking through your ear. Are you OK with that?" I warned.

"Yes! Yes! Yes!" she replied.

"OK, why not. Daddy? What do you think?" I relented.

Claus looked at me with a look of betrayal for making him the bad guy if he were to say no. 'Cuz girly Aunty Gina who loves to play with makeup and Mommy are all on board with this, and now his daughter is looking at him expectantly. He said nothing.

"OK, do it," I confirmed.

Olivia picked out a pair of studs so fast, Gina commented it was the fastest she'd ever seen a child make a decision on that.

Then, Olivia opted to get both ears pierced at once to get the pain over with sooner. Gina thought that was unusual and brave for a little girl.

She didn't even cry! She was so excited to have it done.

I was very excited for Olivia because I'm into accessories and I love earrings. I always knew she'd get them pierced, I just thought she'd be a lot older - ten or 12. Somehow it just felt right on this day.

After it was over, I asked her how she felt. She said she was so excited she could tolerate the pain. She is thrilled, ecstatic.

"What do you think, Daddy?" I asked Claus, who simply stared at me for a few seconds.

"There are two new holes in my daughter," he responded.

I kissed his cheek. "You'll get used to it," I consoled.

If this is his attitude today, I feel sorry for him for when she starts wearing makeup or gets asked to the prom!

Math skills

June 9th, 2014

Olivia is great with reading but not very great with math. Yet. At least, that's what I like to end the sentence with.

Every night Claus works with her on math. I don't like math either. He's such a good dad. She usually gives him a hard time and he plods forward patiently.

One weekend, her neighborhood best friend Kira decided they should create their own business selling crafty items. They invented bookmarks by picking hibiscus leaves and inserting a few beads around the stem, secured by a rubber band.


The girls spent hours making the leaves and then going door-to-door selling them for a quarter. I now have a dozen dead, beaded hibiscus leaves somewhere in my house, while my wallet is 12 quarters lighter.

To encourage her about real-life application for math skills, I told her, "This is why you need to learn to add quickly. This way, you can add up all the money you two earned, then split the pile in half."

"I don't need math," she insisted.

"How will you figure out how much money you got?" I asked.

"Kira will do that," she said.

"Well, at some point in life it might be nice to be able to figure that out for yourself," I pointed out.

"I don't care about my half. She'll just give me what she gives me," Olivia countered.

Oh, the innocence of children. If only life was always like that!

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