January 30, 2009

Adventures in Tucson




Let’s just hit the highlights, shall we?

Airport Men’s Rooms. It’s not just for politicians.

The Toddler was a Holy Terror at each of the airports. She wouldn’t sit or stand or be held or eat or drink or just breathe in and out. It was as if the very nature of the airport and it’s miles of walkways and rows of seats and $2.79 small bags of M&Ms just made her act like a crazed animal that couldn’t decide WHAT to do, another than that she didn’t want to do anything that anyone else wanted her to do.

The other travelers waiting for the boarding shifted uncomfortably in their chairs while Kory, The Teen and I took turns chasing her down and trying to calm her. We gave each other grave looks and sighed audibly.

You know what isn’t cute?

A giant, pissed off pregnant woman run/waddling behind a lightening fast toddler with little yellow piggy tails — who barely catches her in a clothesline/strangle-hold by grabbing the collar of her shirt as she rounds the bend to run full tilt into the airport Men’s Room.

Flying through the air. So yummy! So yummy!

Both ways, not bad at all. The Toddler was shockingly good and slept at least ½ of each way. When she was awake, she was happy and quiet.

Good parenting?


“Yo! Gabba Gabba” on my cellphone and endless sticker books. Also, gummy worms.

The Bastard Toaster Oven that looks like it’s set to 250, when it’s really on BROIL.

We happened to arrive the week that my mother and grandmother’s stove was out of commission. This was fine with us because our laundry list of places we HAD TO EAT was lengthy and diverse. However, on the 3rd day, I decided that I not only had to have granola… but I needed to MAKE MY OWN. Not the easiest task without a stove.

My mom suggested I use the toaster oven and while it meant halving my recipe and baking it in small batches, I was game.

I turned the oven on at 250 (the lowest temp) and sat back contentedly as the house filled with the warm and sweet odors of almonds and toasting oats.  Incidentally, if you aren’t paying SUPER CLOSE ATTENTION, setting it to 250 (straight up and down) looks remarkably the same as setting it to broil. (500 degrees)

The yelling started about 5 minutes after that.

FIRE! FIRE! IT’S ON FIRE!”, yelled Kory.

I waddle into the kitchen to find Kory running in little circles, holding The Toddler.

The toaster oven looked like a tiny fireplace with large flames shooting up and out the door…. Black smoke pouring out…

I pulled the electrical wire out of the wall and armed only with a dishrag, I yank the door open and pull out the flaming pan of granola. Kory throws open the back door and opens the garage door as I run through the kitchen, into the garage, and out into the driveway holding a pan of granola with 2 foot flames coming off it and fling the entire thing onto the asphalt.

The house now smells like a giant oaty ashtray and the Seniors home-owners association are already preparing to cite my grandmother for disorderly fire-throwing.

My face, the spider nursery. Maybe.

I woke up on the 2nd day with a giant red swelling on my upper lip. It didn’t hurt. It was just big and red and puffy. The next day, it looked exactly the same. The day after that it was same, except seemed to be spreading. You could also clearly see a bug bite/chewed area in the middle. The day after that, I attacked it in the bathroom with fingers and Q-tips and tried to squeeze it into submission, deciding that I must need to get some venom out or it would never heal.

Anyone remember how sensitive that particular area of your face is?


Go tease a cat until it’s growling and then stick your lip in it’s face and see how that turns out. Or better yet, go stick your upper lip in a wasp’s nest.

Are you with me on this journey now?

Ok, raise your hand if you know this one…. What happens when you attack a giant bump on your face and squeeze the living shit out of it?? Anyone? Anyone?

Correct! GIANT SCAB! Excellent!

What? Are you telling me that no foundation or powder on the face of the earth can cover a giant scab the size of a dime? Seriously? Oh…

Day 13… scab on face still present and accounted for.

A special thank you goes out to my friend Tanya who suggested that perhaps I should be worried about baby spiders being laid in my face.

Another to my husband, whom I forced to research the terms, “Arizona” “Spider Bite” and “Lays eggs in face” on WebMD.

And to my friend Rob, who also brought up the baby spiders gestating in my face theory and then engaged in a “The Believers” or “The Serpent or The Rainbow” argument with me over lunch.

It’s important to have this kind of support during times of crisis.

The Mountain Lion that could have eaten the Toddler, but didn’t.

We went to Sabino Canyon and took the tram all the way up to the top of the canyon and back down again. We didn’t get out because they’d given us a giant pamphlet about WHAT NOT TO DO IF YOU MEET A MOUNTAIN LION… and the numero uno on that list what not to bend down to pick up a small child if you encounter one… and also, point of fact, small children are like little walking Quarter Pounders with Cheese to Mountain Lions… just FYI.

Since Kory and I couldn’t figure out how to make The Toddler levitate into our arms if we came across a mountain lion, we just stayed on the tram and I pointed out the cacti and the desert mistletoe and mentally catalogued the truly amazing array of hemp and puka shell jewelry on the gay couple on the bench behind me.

It’s just to be expected…

· The fight with my mom over the TV remote that was on the wrong setting for a moment, but was fine minutes later. Jokingly, I told her she was being a troublemaker. She didn’t find that one bit funny.

· Forgetting the laptop and both our phone chargers in Arizona.

· The Toddler sick the entire time… 78 degrees out and we are smearing her with Vicks and running the humidifier

· The bored, bored, bored Teenager.

And surprises…

· Being in Arizona when the Cards win the NFC Championship and go the Superbowl for the first time in 30 years.

· Standing in my grandmother’s kitchen… 4 generations of us… hugging… holding hands.. tears in our eyes watching President Obama make his inaugural speech.

· I think I’m kind of over Carl’s Jr. I really think I am.


It was great to be there. Great to see my mom and my grandmother and have them spend time with my kids. Both of them were amazed by how mature and lovely The Teen has become and blown away by how funny and smart The Toddler is.

It was worth the time, expense and foibles… every bit.

Even if spiders hatch out of my face.

Of course, if that happens I’ll certainly fall into a state of catatonic stupor, which would be a little worse then living without our laptop and cells phones for 5 days. But not much.


  1. Holy crap…flaming granola?!?!? WoW

    Comment by Dani D — January 30, 2009 @ 3:40 pm

  2. This is about forty kinds of funny!

    And awesome, and good granola, I loved it.

    Comment by ms picket to you — February 1, 2009 @ 7:12 pm

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