Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A trip to Costco (Part One)

I once went to the Winchester mystery house in San Jose, California. The house itself was very very cool, but one thing for me really stood out. The furniture was tiny. Apparently, Back in Mrs. Winchester's time period, people were a lot shorter and had tiny arms and legs and such. There are a lot of explanations for this. The main one is poor nutrition, and another one is that back then, people really had to work for their food. You know, plant the seeds, growing, watering, weeding, harvesting, shucking, butchering, etc. By the time the food hit the table and continued on to the privy, the pounds just melted off. So now, we have this obesity problem in America. As always, there are many explanations for this too(i,e, the amount of mayo on a fillet o' fish sandwich) but one commonly touted explanation does not sit quite well with me. The explanation that Americans today do not work for their food. It is "allegedly" just handed to us like a bucket brigade of food right to our plate. Now, in some respects this is true. Not that we are fat people on the end of a bucket brigade, but that food is just handed to us through easily accessible drive through windows, However, while I admit to being a little "ripply", I have to say I still resent the implication that I do not work for my food.
After all, I go to Costco.
Costco is a diamond in the rough. A yet to be discovered weight loss phenomenon! Why spend a couple thousand dollars on a membership to a gym when you can get a Costco membership, and a ton of food as well? Lets crunch some numbers.

The average shopping cart weighs about 58 pounds. The Costco shopping cart probably weighs in around 75. Once I have lugged my three children into the cart, (45 pounds, 27 pounds, and 21 pounds respective to my 4 year old, 2 year old, and 7 month old) I am pushing 171 pounds before I even hit the store! Then, over the course of the next hour and a half, I take approximately 300 pounds of food off the shelves and load them into the cart. So, by the time I head for the checkout line, I am pushing 471 pounds! And I have walked at least a half mile. I then load 300 pounds of food onto the conveyor belt, pay for it, (yikes, my bank account has now lost weight) and then load same 300 pounds of food back into my cart. I push 471 pounds out to the car and, you guessed it, unload 300 pounds of food from the cart into the car, plus the 93 pounds of children into their car seats. And my workout is not over yet! When I get home, exhausted, I still get to burn some calories and move some muscles! At home, I have to unload 93 pounds of children, plus the 300 pounds of food, and carry it all into the house. Then, like a cool down after a long, long, loooooong workout, I get to put all that food into my cabinets! Pheeeeeeewww!
If you combine all the weight I have moved that day, it comes to a grand total of 1,857 pounds!!!!
So give up on the gym, America! It's expensive, doesn't reward your money with groceries, and it smells gross. Costco, the new weight loss revolution!!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Today my camera was returned to me. I had kept a light on for my sweet girl, looking anxiously for the day she would come home. In the kitchen I stood mundanely washing dishes. Sigh. Its hard to feel so empty inside.
Faster than the speed of light, I jerked that front door open so fast I scared the junk mail right out of the mailman! Within seconds, my sweet baby was home, where she belongs. With her mommy. After carefully attaching the safety strap, promising her I would never let her down again (or rather, drop her down) the moment came to snap the first picture A.D.
B.C All pictures Before Crisis
A.D All pictures After Damage
So, my husband, who is so perfect I feel sorry for all of you, is the subject of my first photo A.D.
No better subject, in my humble, hubby adoring opinion. I love you, Joe.

Poop File #2. (no pun intended)
Order reigns in the universe. Natural laws accompany most things. Murphy's Law is my particular favorite. In fact, I think from now on I will write down Murphy's Law in every baby advice book at every baby shower I go to from now on.
Whatever can go wrong, will.
This is not to depress new mothers, just prepare them. To go along with that, here is a famous quote that has been widely applied to only one demographic.
You can't take it with you.
This is a quote that is usually applied to greedy people who care more for money than mankind, or doing good things. That is a time tested application of that quote, but I have a better one. You can't take it with you should be used to comfort all mothers who are sad because their child has broken the last thing in the house. Now, when you sagely quote this to new mothers, these same mothers may say to you that if they can't take "it" with them, they can still throw "it" and then you will be in pain moments later.
But I digress from disclosing Poop File #2. Here is the natural law I have found with each file.
No matter how bad the experience is, a worse one will follow.
This philosophy has never failed me. I had terrible poop file #2 all ready, but I decided to go out of order and write the one that was worse, so that you may see the natural law of diaper poop in action.
The dollar store.
I was buying loads of dollar toys to motivate Cleve to go to the bathroom in the potty. He knows how, hes done it before, but inexplicably, Cleve decided one day to stop. So motivation was needed. A wonderful quality about children is that they think a dollar toy is just as fun as one that costs five times more, so like every other ruthless mother, I was taking full advantage of that naivete.
Suddenly, a familiar aroma filled the air. Interestingly, this aroma no longer bothers me. Its more like, a warning bell that goes off. Yes, sometimes the warning bell gets "loud" and extremely persistent, but it is just an indication that something needs to be changed. (get it? haha) A new mother of one rushes to the car the very second milk has processed through her baby's system, but a seasoned mother of three reasons that she's almost to the check out line so aromatic infant can wait a few minutes more. I got to the check out stand, and since there were many many people in the store that day (the dollar store was actually having a sale) I was assisted in unloading my cart by a very kindly woman who no habla englais. She was trying to tell me something, and this is what I heard,
"Blah blah blah blah BABY blah blah POOP blah blah blah...." I assumed she was referring to the now thick cloud of babyness that was surrounding us, so I smiled apologetically, said I was going to change him as soon as I got to the car, and continued on up to the check stand. The checker's eyes widened as she looked at me, and she asked wonderingly, "Is that mustard?" Confused, I looked down to see a gigantic dollop of what appeared to be thick and creamy mustard on my white (It had to be white) shirt. Even seasoned mothers can be incredibly dense, and the connection didn't spark for a few seconds. I dabbed the dollop, smelled it (Weirdly, the actual substance seemed to have no smell), and then I looked at my baby. Like the ending of a movie where you're shown the connecting points of a mystery, the horrifying reality unfolded before me. First, I saw this same yellow substance coating my son's legs and car seat. Then, I looked at the conveyor belt, and saw the same ghastly yellow "mustard" on the remaining toys left on the conveyor belt. Then, like a television crime scene, the worst sight was last. As though in slow motion, I slowly looked up to see the mustard all over the hands and shirts of the checker and bagger!!!!!!! Now, I know you all have figured out what this was, of course, but at the time I was in such a state of blank disconnection that it really did take me this long to have it dawn on me that this.........was................POOP! Lots, and lots of poop. Within seconds, I realized the chain of events.
I had piled many dollar toys, and my wallet in my baby son's car seat. (He likes to feel the items, and play with them). He then had a blowout all over the items and my wallet. I, of course, did not hear or see this S.B.D attack. (That's silent but deadly folks)
In taking my wallet out of the car seat, I had gobbed myself with poop, and the non english speaking employee had tried her darndest to warn me! To avoid future misery, I apparently need to learn spanish. ThisIn an effort to vacate this disgusting family from her store as soon as possible, this sweet woman had piled all my toys onto the conveyor belt, thereby coating the belt with poop. The checker and bagger had checked and bagged almost all of the toys by the time they themselves realized they were handling toxic waste. So by the time my brain had processed it, poop was everywhere. In fact, so coated was the conveyor belt that it had cycled around, and was now moving in one long continuous yellow streak! In ABJECT MORTIFICATION I took in the destruction my son (and me) had inflicted upon this poor defenseless dollar store! Holy holy holy holy cow! Red as a tomato, I choked out apology after apology to the maximumly grossed out employees (not to mention the dozens of nauseated shoppers around me), paid for my soiled goods, and fled that store as fast as a poop painted mommy could run!
Now I am really getting afraid. This file, "the worst poop experience EVER", was definitely worse than the last time, which I had also described as "the WORST poop experience EVER." Following the natural law going along with poop, it leaves me to wonder fearfully,
Holy freak, what poop evil awaits me next.

I love my camera more than chocolate!

The scene of the disaster

Yes, yes, yes, the title is shocking. To those who know me well, it is a toss up. Chocolate? Camera?An unanswerable question, much like what came first the chicken or the egg. But finally, pigs have flown, hell has frozen over, and the question has been answered.
What brought me to this thundering, momentous answer? It can be found in a simple equation.
1 Easter party with many kids screaming and running
one particularly hyper sweet little boy with my body in his trajectory
my brainless neglect of connecting the SAFETY STRAP to my camera
camera hitting pavement, resulting in a horrific event. A broken camera. Is anything sadder?
It has been a sad, and empty time in the Segalla household. I had nothing to record My son catching his first fish. I had nothing to preserve the memory of my son reading a magazine on the toilet. I had nothing to record three boys (two toddlers, one grown man) running around with underwear on their heads, nothing to record my baby growing at the speed of light!
And yet.
My camera is now fixed!
Ghirrardellis be gone! I care not for you!
now that my camera is fixed............................
I guess it is back to stealing my children's candy while they sleep.
But I still love my camera more.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The poop-files

Names have not been changed to protect the innocent, as there are none. All parties are guilty. I guess I could change my name, but as I created the poop-files, and all poop=criminals involved, I too am guilty.

All these files are gross.
All these files are horrifying.
All these files are true.

Case #1.
Whenst I became a mother in February of 2004, I was warned about all the poopie diapers I would change. While that is true, I have changed thousands of poopie diapers, no one warned me about the various other poopie things that I would change. Poopie walls. Poopie car seats. Poopie clothes. Poopie couch cushions. Poopie carpet. Hey, now that I am a seasoned mother, as long as its washable, thats fine by me. I had a bit of a hissy when I found out that white silk is not washable, but I had no business wearing white silk with a baby, so thats that. However, the night I first became a mom, all I envisioned was neat little diapers with neat little poop piles that all stayed where it was supposed to, and then it would all be neatly wrapped up, and quietly find its ultimate destiny at the bottom of a trash can. Well, the first night came and went, with no poop at all! Then the second blessed day also went by without a gastric bubble in sight. Wow, I thought. Maybe I am born under a lucky star! I might be that mythical mother who was loved so much by the Gods that she never had to change a single soiled Pamper.
As with most historic epochs, a explosion began my life as NOT that mythical mom. Most of these "explosions" are metaphorical. An explosion of creativity, an explosion of innovative fervor, an explosion of necessity crashing into invention.
Mine was an actual explosion.
Heard 'round the hospital.
As afore stated, I was getting falsely, irrationaly excited about the absence of this essential part of motherhood when the doctor smiled condenscendingly and explained, oh so kindly and patiently, that unfortnately, the baby needed to poop and we would not leave the hospital until it happened. Thus my excitement turned to anxiety and worry. To misquote a cliche, a watched bum never poops. At the end of my second day of parenthood, in the split second that my husband and I were not peering anxiously into that barbie sized diaper, my husband scoopd up our tiny 7 pound being, and. he. EXPLODED. Before I go on, I must note that at that second it did indeed occur to me that the fact that my husband happened to be holding my son meant that I had been born under a lucky star after all.
Anyway, the ensuing clamor over what to do with the bucketful of black slime that was now all over everything, and calming down the patients in the rooms around us who all thought some sick godless lunatic was actually bombing a hospital, really brought it all home.
Poop, a LOT of poop, was in our future.
And it has been a daily joy ever since. : )

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Why Parenting is like a Horror Movie

When my husband and I go out on a date, we almost always have MOVIE on the list.
Dinner and MOVIE.
Beach and MOVIE.
Pottery and MOVIE.
Give blood and MOVIE.
Climb Everest and MOVIE.
But I am very particular about the movies I spend two hours of my life on. First and foremost, I have a high expectation that the movie should have a happy ending. You go on a date to escape reality, not to relive the headlines. There is nothing I hate more than a crummy ending to an otherwise gloriously romantic/exciting/adventurous movie!
I go to the movies to ESCAPE REALITY.
I used to like horror movies. The suspense, the nervous shrieks, and then embarrassed laughter (of course that wasn't me, why are you looking over here?) and then, despite knowing the movie isn't real, leaving the theater with the absolute certainty that YOU ARE NEXT TO DIE. So this is why Horror movies have (despite other obvious reasons) stopped being in my "what should we see" list. As a mother, I have discovered that these movies now hit too close to home. Basically, Parenting IS a horror movie.
Let me build my case.
I will present to you certain key aspects of a horror movie, and then parallel my life as a Parent.

1. Horror Movie
Life is the picture of bliss. Smiling people, beautiful weather, awesome soundtrack, all is perfect.
My Life
Two gorgeous parents with the four cutest children ever born. Weather in the desert always perfect because there is no weather in the desert. Soundtrack is any 80s song.

2. Horror Movie
Something suddenly doesn't seem right. Eery silences. Weird sounds. Weird smells. The plot thickens, as they say. The plot has unexpected, and ominous developments.
My Life
Okay, do I really need to elaborate? Every day of my life entails eery silences (someone is up to something) Weird Sounds (Someone is REALLY up to something) Weird Smells (Sigh, I didn't catch the something in time) and the plot thickens. You realize this parenting thing is taking some unexpected developments, and you realize, ominously, that it will never end.

3. Horror Movie
Something HORRIBLE , and TERRIFYING is found in a seemingly harmless location!
My life
Ever hear of a diaper blowout?

4.Horror Movie
Strange Phenomenon begins to happen. Normal humans displaying superhuman abilities that cannot be explained.
My Life.
My five (now 8) year old can talk himself out of any situation. (this hasn't changed, though we now know where this superhuman ability came from) I am not kidding. When we get pulled over, we let the cop talk to our oldest child/master negotiater, not us. With him in our corner, we've never gotten a ticket.
My two year old can destroy a clean home in 17.8 seconds. (now 4, he doesn't destroy everything anymore, but see below.)My baby has more drool dripping onto her shirt than 85 Novocain numbed adult males put together. (Now 2, and she destroys everything, like a copycat killer, she became the copycat destroyer.)Strange Phenomenon.

4. Horror Movie
The evil monster/alien/rapist/mugger/terrorist/serial killer/road enraged driver/IRS agent creeps up to attack the victim while the victim sleeps peacefully, unaware....
My Life
Let me paint a picture. 3:00 am. A silent house. (Finally) Maybe a clock ticks somewhere. The heater goes on, and the fridge is humming. Suddenly...
"Joe, did you hear that?"
"I think I heard a-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
I am the victim. The monster is my toddlers HEAD suddenly EXPLODING out of nowhere into my face! Or, in my husband's case, opening his eyes to a small head already hovering a mere inch from his own. 
(Same story, different players)
5. Horror Movie
The stand off begins! Someone eventually retreats, and runs away.
My Life
With two toddlers, the noteworthy thing is not the ever present standoff, its me. Running Away. Everyday.

6.Horror Movie
The dark forces are inevitably defeated, and the victim emerges triumphantly the victor, albeit a little battle scarred.
My Life
Hey, I am the mom. I always win. And I am very battle scarred.

There you go. My life is in fact, a horror movie, therefore, to escape reality, I will never attend one again. And just in case I have not yet convinced you, here's a few more things that appear in every horror movie, and every parents life.

2. Puke
3. Blood
(two words, choking hazard)
and finally, last, but NOT least,
5. The disclaimer that comes built into both horror movies and parenting manuals. That you are NOT safe. As a victim/parent, you will always, for everything, forever, BE NEXT.

Officially blogging

Ok, so, I have not blogged since last November, but all is well. I am back. Since no one actually reads my blogs, this is just a more stylized way of talking to myself. Yes, I talk to myself, and despite being embarassing, its helpful as a mom to have a running commentary.
"Why did I put the diaper cream in the fridge, probably because Kyle got up three times last night. Oh well, its nice and chilled, and it will feel good on his heinie. Wait, whats that? What IS that?!!!! You know what Kyle? (who is drooling attentively) I think this was the leftover burrito from last month, I am not sure we should keep that...."
and on and on.
So, I had a myspace page, it was very professional and beautiful and EXTREMELY spiritual with temples everywhere, and ctr symbols, and VOTE FOR ROMNEY banners, but, sigh, the predators are out there, just waiting to hunt down a stay at home lds mom, so I took it down. But watch out blogspot world, here I come!
Melanie Segalla