My Civil War

Hey, thanks for bearing with me. Getting vids up a little late due to spring break. A friend said to me today, “You aren’t tan.”

I don’t tan. I don’t burn. I’m like an android. I get a tad rosey, and that’s it. Anyway, part of what’s fun about a family vacation is you all get to spend time together. No going off to work or school. Just us.

Once we are home everyone falls back into their same habits. And, well…

Look, no marriage is perfect…

Another Milestone

I keep hoping Rex sleeping in a room with Vivien will stick. But he is still kind of noisy baby, and their sleep schedules are so different that most of the time I have to keep them separated. Which means Rex is either in Oliver’s room (when Oliver is elsewhere) or in the play room… a.k.a. the kitchen.

Sometimes it bums me out that he sleeps in the kitchen. Other times I think, hey Barack Obama grew up in an apartment; his wife’s whole family lived in a one-bedroom apartment, and they certainly did well for themselves. Look at Michael Douglas’s son; he is facing a 10 year prison sentence, and his mother is selling their 29 million dollar home. So, the physical structure in which a child grows up doesn’t mean that much… as long as they have some structure over their head.

I digress. This is about a crib. And here is my husband making a cameo as… my husband.

Momversation: Did You Pick the Right Co-Parent?

Did you pick the right person to have kids with? That’s the question on the Momversation I’m in today.

I used to do a bit in stand up about how, for some reason, the penny didn’t drop till after I gave birth that my husband works at least 5 nights a week. He didn’t keep it from me, but it was my naive pre-child brain that didn’t think this would bother me as a mother. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

So, I think I picked a good man to have kids with… but would have liked this person to have a little different schedule.

Oh, well.

Top Chef Judge

Tonight’s the night!  Where Rex’s dad is a judge on Top Chef (Wednesday, September 2nd). His appearance on Top Chef (not the Masters, different show) came at a provident time for us. April 30th we were loading out the last our possessions from the dream home where we had to sell. And May 1st we were being flown to Las Vegas so Mark could do the show. We were put up in a suite on the outskirts of town, but it was sweet to be sure. I left the kids for 22 hours and had such a great time. Here is where we stayed. It was actually prettier in person and wasn’t chock a block with white trash in the pool the way Vegas can be. We drank, had naked time, got massages in the beautiful spa, and saw a show. What parents away will do. The next morning MP filmed his first bit with Padma. I was a good wifeager and asked them to promote his book, which they kindly did. Then I had to get home to see my babies.

I honestly think that trip really helped me from getting the blues.

MP shot there a couple more days and had a great time. So, it will be fun to watch it.

Wow, seems like so long ago.

Our Upside Down World

Imagine saying this… “Please don’t load the dishwasher; I’ll do it.”

At 5 a.m.: “No, don’t get up; I’ve got the baby, you sleep.”

These are the kind of things coming through my abnormally kind mouth the last 24 hours as Mark recuperates from his eye surgery. We went back to UCLA this morning at the doctor told him had he not had the surgery it would have been “catastrophic.” Yikes.

Happily Mark is not in any pain. It itches but not super bad. When the nurse took off the patch at the examination he said, “How does it look, honey?”

“You know that last scene in the original Rocky where he is screaming for Adrian? Like that.”

So he can’t leave the house for a week. He can move around, but no lifting, straining, bending over, gardening (there goes that herb garden I was looking forward to).

I was pretty freaked looking at his eye. Our vulnerability can hit us at times and make me shaky. Then you get over your fear and the other self takes over.

We had some nice, mellow moments at home today. Since he has to slow the pace down I said he better be careful ’cause without activity he could blimp up, and I’m not into being married to a big fattie.

He has been watching a lot of TV, and he did make some applesauce for Rex, which he loved. Ahhh.


Okay, is he better yet?

Yes, he did coach me on how to make a sauce for the petrale sole I was making, but I am so used to him not being here. We just had a fight about the appropriate way to reprimand Vivien, or not at all… which was my vote. And Nosy Nellie decided to update my software thus causing me to lose things I had open on my computer.

I felt like a teenager in a sense saying, “Leave my stuff alone!!” He thinks if the software update thing is bouncing it means immediate action.

Okay, watching “Top Chef: Masters” finale with him was fun. He was really intense. We were both glad that Rick Bayless won. His food is incredible, and we personally really like him.

“I wish I could email him and congratulate him” Mark said.

“You can.” I said without thinking

“But I can’t read.” Oh, right.

I can do it for you. Group hug.

I Married a Pirate

SO it’s a good thing Top Chef isn’t taping this month, ’cause my poor husband has some gnarly eye surgery awaiting him. He had a floater a few weeks ago. When he went to the doctor they said he had a retinal tear. They shot 600 laser blasts to contain it, but a blood vessel popped. The blood drips down into the jelly of the inside of the eyeball, and thus his left eye’s vision looks like a Jackson Pollack painting.

He has gone back to the doctor several times, had second opinions, and the upshot is the eye doctors at UCLA and USC agree he needs surgery. They are going to extract the jelly… suck it out as it were, then refill the eye ball… the vitreous with a substitute… some saline solution. You can see I didn’t go to medical school.

He has to be TOTALLY chill for 48 hours and for several weeks is not even suppose to be in a car unless it’s to go to the doctor. He can’t pick Vivien up at all and must be careful about lifting Rex. So obviously I am concerned about what he has to go through. He is being very brave. I’d be flipping out. And I’m bracing for being in charge of the whole shooting match. I’ll be the Kate Gosselin as it were… except instead of my husband being AWOL with a 22 year old, he’ll be sitting quietly with an eye patch. One that he has to wear for weeks. I’m clearing the decks next week so I can be a good nurse… I fear I’ll be like Kathy Bates in Misery.

Has anyone dealt with this kind of eye surgery before? It seems very scary to me, but Dr. Dean Edell (my mentor) said it’s pretty routine, though serious. Wondering what to expect in helping him and what I won’t get help with.

He has such nice shoulders. Maybe I should get him a parrot?

Distract Him While I Run to the Trash Bin

When I met my husband I could see he was a fixer upper. That doesn’t bother him when I say that. He was like that adorable 1930’s Spanish home with great bones, but someone did a bad stucco job, and the garden was overgrown. But you can see that with a little TLC it could be great. No foundation work needed.

After I ordered him to get a gay man to cut his hair, made him shave, and had him buy a pair of cute glasses, the James Whitmore look lifted, and there was handsome guy. That took a few days. I work fast when I want something. He was mid-divorce, so I think he liked having someone take an interest. He even let me purge his closet.

Not just once… where I found many relics from the ’80’s. No Thriller Jackets, but yes, Hammer pants.

I went into the closet again with two of the most studly gay men handy. They picked away another layer. Then with a visit to Target and J Crew, my gay stylist friend outfitted him with some new duds.

Now, it’s years later and I am wondering, why, oh why are these still in his drawer?

We were on our way to Yosemite, and he realized he forgot his swim trunks. So we popped into a grocery store in Oakhurst and bought these. The long board shorts dangling from his very white legs.

He thinks they are funny.

I’m not laughing. Quick, distract him… I have to get them out of the house before they can embarrass further!

What item are you overdue in purging?

Mrs. Top Chef: Masters

Okay, so for you Top Chef fans, for which there seems to be a considerable amount, this Wednesday is the start of Top Chef: Masters where, instead of lowly rubes trying to win the prize, established chefs compete to be the Top, Top Chef. Well, my sweet husband Mark Peel is one of them. He taped it a couple of months ago. A long grueling production day from what he said.

Scary chef
Creative Commons License photo credit: kevingessner

“We had to sit around and wait forever; it was so boring.” That’s production work for you. He is used to the go-go of restaurant work. I think he enjoyed some of the game of the show. He couldn’t tell me much, or they come and find you!

I’m happy he is going to be on the show. Each week, it’s a different foursome. I don’t think he will be on this week; his is in a few weeks. These “master” chefs don’t compete for money; they compete for charity. Apparently no one told the producers that unless you are Wolfgang Puck, a chef doesn’t make that much money. Mark’s charity was Doctors Without Borders.

What I’m even happier about is that Bravo is having a premiere party at Campanile. There will be some press, lots of chefs, supposedly some celebs, which means I am getting my hair done! And it means I have to find something to wear. My one ace in the hole fab dress I can’t wear a bra with, and at this point in my son’s life, that is NOT an option.

If it’s a good party I’ll blog about it on Thursday.  If it’s not, I’ll just show you what dress I wore.

Mommy’s on the Phone!

So this video was about how kids talk to you when you are on the phone, but what’s the deal with husbands? I was talking to a girlfriend recently, and we both found our husbands started chatting with us when we were on the phone. Not a quick, “Is the rice done?” but long statements, and then they get a little bent when we look at them like, “Dude, shut up. I’m on the phone.” She said, “My husband can go hours without speaking to me, but as soon as a friend calls I’m his new best friend.” Are they insecure that we are yucking it up more with our friends than with them?

Sometimes my husband wants in on the phone conversation. After one of my “No ways!!” to a friend, he’ll say, “What?  What?!” I can’t recount this story when I’m on the phone. If it’s good I’ll tell him later, or it’s nothing that he would care about anyway.