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Archive for November, 2013

Awwwwwww, Yeahhhhhhhh

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:40 AM
Tuesday, November 26, 2013

**Cue pimped out super bass heavy music**

Picture it: A night out at the Four Seasons – with the girls!

I’ve finally lost {some of} the baby weight – at least enough so that I just look overweight but not actually still pregnant.  I put on black stretchy everything (you did read that last sentence, right?) along with my favorite leather jacket (no, I still can’t zip it closed but HELLO, THAT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, NOSEY!) and even my favorite high heeled boots.

That’s right, playahs: Mommy had the high heels on.

Awwwwwwww, yeahhhhhhhhh.

I put my favorite chunky ring and cool necklace on, grab my awesome red patent leather purse, and drive to the Four Seasons in my…

2005 Toyota Minivan.

Yes, that was the sound of an actual record scratching while you read that last bit.

So. Not. Hip.

In my mind, I’m totally hip.

In my mind, I’m like Here I am, looking good, all decked out, on my way to meet my friends, awwww yeahhhhh…

And then I arrive at the valet.

Like Dorothy’s house that fell with a THUD on the Wicked Witch of the East, my fantasies and dreams are instantly crushed.

All nearby pitying eyes avert as quickly as they glanced at me, eager to soak in the shiny apple red Ferrari that just drove up behind me so as not to leave such a dusty silly old Mom Car image stuck in their elevated Four Seasons cerebral cortex.

Awwwww….

xc/o,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

This is SO me. Just change her hair to brown & scraggly, add 50 lbs and 15 years, and change the car to an old beat up minivan. SEE!? Told ya it was me!

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Flashback Friday! (Drunk on One Beer)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:51 AM
Friday, November 22, 2013

Most Fridays, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

I know. Pathetic, right? I’m cool, I’m hip. (Oh lordy – isn’t there a universal rule that if someone has to say they are cool and hip, they automatically aren’t? Shit, when did I get so square??) Okay, fine, I’m not cool or hip. Still, I would like to think I can go out with some girlfriends and keep up with them as we have good girlie fun together.

I put this theory to the test the other night when I met three dear girlfriends out for dinner (yes, husband was out of town, future blog on my “Me-cation” coming to a theatre near you). I put on my cutest heels, LBD, got my “hair did” and went to meet them at Gjelina on Abbot Kinney.

I should have already suspected trouble when I realized I couldn’t pronounce the name of the restaurant we were going to. I mean, hip and cool kids need to be able to say the names of the places they frequent, right? For a moment, I thought the gods were smiling on me anyway, because I got ROCK STAR parking in front of the crazily crowded restaurant.

Okay, truth be told, I had to move it because it was loading only, but THEN I found ANOTHER rock star spot across the street! And granted, I had to wait almost ten minutes for the chick to leave, and wave around annoyed drivers the whole time. But I got the spot! It was mine, all mine – kismet! Fate! Divine Providence!

And then the lights went out.

No, not in my car, dear reader. On the whole block. And in the restaurant. All. The power/electricity. Out.

Which meant Geegeelina or whatever that dumb place is called wouldn’t seat anymore diners. Which meant I had to walk six blocks to meet my girlfriends at a bar/restaurant with actual power, yes, in those self-same high heels I was previously so excited to be wearing. And if you read my last blog, you know how much fun walking those six blocks was.

Oh yes, I got a ride back to my car at the end of the night. And I wouldn’t have walked the six blocks at all – I would have left my rock star parking in the dust – if only my friend hadn’t promised me the bar was only “two minutes” down the street. My friend, who bikes all over Los Angeles. My friend, who I noticed was wearing flat sandals that evening. Because her “two minutes” was my ten minutes in heels.

Here’s the rule, people: It’s like dog years. One minute in flats = 7 years in heels.

Finally I arrived, hungry, annoyed, and a little freaked out by the blackout. I drank half of my friend’s beer (at which point I wholeheartedly forgave her for making me – GASP! – walk in L.A.), and then ordered another beer, of which I drank half.

Dinner was amazing that night, and it made up for everything; there is nothing like a getaway with awesome girlfriends, even if the getaway is just to a cozy restaurant in Venice. I had gotten mildly buzzed for a few minutes off the beer minus food, but hadn’t thought anything of it, and didn’t order any more alcohol for the entirety of the dinner.

Next morning? Pounding headache, dry mouth, and sluggishness. I was hung over.

On one beer.

I am SO not hip.

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Dude - this place is freakin' da bomb. Or - er - so I've heard...

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Boyz in the Hood

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 4:00 PM
Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CAN SOMEBODY TELL ME WHY I AM ALWAYS SURROUNDED BY PEE PEE????

Oh right. I’ve got 2 boys.

Don’t get me wrong, girls also “pee pee” (urinate). But when it gets messy, it’s more like HELP MOM I’VE FALLEN INTO THE TOILET WHILE I WAS PEEING! messy – which is gross, totally, but it’s mostly gross for the girl who fell in. Okay, also for me, since I’ve got to help clean her up.

But there is a whole other level of yuckiness that happens when you live with boys. And I’m not just talking about the infant boys who, when diapers are being changed, are wont to pee exactly at the moment you’ve got the dirty diaper off and don’t yet have the new diaper on, and that pee goes either directly into your eye, or up and then into the baby’s eyes and mouth (talk about icky), and/or all over the walls and changing table that invariably you have just cleaned up and put a fresh cover on.

No, I’m not talking about that kind of “all over you” pee pee.

Baby pee pee is cute.

Don’t interrupt me! I wasn’t going to stop there, I was going to ADD that it’s cute… COMPARED WITH:

Big boy pee pee.

Which is yuk.

How would you know? ye who do not live with young boys, might ask me. For, isn’t your son at an age where he can go to the bathroom without anyone helping?

Oh, the problem isn’t him “going to the bathroom.” He can go alright. The problem, I venture, is not even necessarily with his aim, which SOMETIMES hits the toilet water squarely and fails to make a splash.

The problem, therefore, is simply with his lack of priorities. He doesn’t really care if he accidentally sprays all around the toilet, or under the toilet, or on the wall, or on the trashcan by the wall.  I mean, sure, he knows I’ll yell at him and he doesn’t particularly want that, but it’s usually WAY more important to him to race back to whatever he was doing BEFORE peeing, so he treats the actual time taken DURING the bathroom visit as just a huge nuisance which must be rushed at all costs.

So I’m left with a soggy bathroom, day after day.

Surrounded by pee pee.

Hey, what’cha doing this weekend want to come to our house? Hello..??

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

This is an actual picture of my bathroom after my son has finished with it.

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Flashback Friday! (F***ING HIGH HEELS)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:33 AM
Friday, November 15, 2013

Most Fridays, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

I know, I know. I know I said I loved high heels. And I do – I love them. High heels are fucking sexy, I believe was the phrase I used in my Ode to high heels. I’m wearing them right now, in fact.

And yet.

There exists a parallel reality where high heels are also instruments of torture. For example, remember Roxana? That con artist bitch who worked for my husband for one year and during that time managed to steal over $70,000 and almost ruin our business? Yeah, her. She’s still torturing me. In the most recent incident, she used one of my most favorite pair of high heels to do it – my sky-high (6 inch) Stuart Weitzman snakeskin peeptoes with the wicker-like heels, that were a gift to me from my high heels mentor, Betsy Davis.

How, you are probably wondering, did Roxana the Con Artist Bitch use my shoes to torture me? Did she break into my house and beat me on the head with them? Did she steal them in the dead of night, my favorite shoes? Wrong again.

No, she lured me. Lured me all the way to the downtown courthouse on a Monday morning, when my husband was laid up in bed sick and I was the only one who could leave work (in my sky-high Stuart Weitzmans), jet down to the courthouse (or 6 blocks away from the courthouse, to the parking lot, rather), in order to race those same six blocks uphill to the courthouse, in order to make it there before 10am which was the deadline.

You see, I was told by the DA that very same morning at 9:10am that either I or my husband needed to race down before 10am if we wanted to claim a money order which Roxana had supposedly gotten for us for $30,000 (towards her restitution). Nothing like giving a couple of victims of crime thirty minutes to collect a fraction of what is due to them! Way to go, government system.

In return for such diligent behavior (ie, starting to pay us back for the money she stole from us), Roxana was bargaining with the DA, hoping for a lighter sentence (something we BTW had NO say in – again, go, legal system!) Hey, I can use $30,000 as much as anyone. I ran down there. I didn’t stop to change my shoes. I even parked in the WRONG block downtown, and walked two blocks until I realized I was in the wrong place, then walked two blocks back to my car to drive “closer” to the courthouse.

By which I mean six blocks away. For any woman who is not a superhero, 16 blocks in sky-high heels (4 in the wrong location, 6 there & 6 back) is, in a word, torture.

Icing on the cake? As I arrived panting to the courthouse, at 10am on the dot, the DA called me. “You didn’t leave yet?” she asked me.

Was she joking? What did she mean by asking if I left yet? Wasn’t she the one who had called me only 40 minutes earlier and told me if I wanted my money, I’d better drop everything and get down there by 10???

“There was a mix-up. There is no check. I got the message wrong, or they left the wrong message, I don’t know. But there is no check. They are working on getting you a check. It may happen in a month.”

“Are you fucking kidding me?!?!?!” I replied (in my head).

Then very much not just in my head, I limped the six blocks back to my car, and swung by my house on the way back to work so I could change my shoes.

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Even for Miss Blond Ambition herself, walking 16 blocks would still be torture.

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And then he Spit up in my Mouth

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:11 AM
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Title is kind of a spoiler, isn’t it?

But let’s flashback a few days:

David Vaknin, age five months and three weeks, STOPPED SUFFERING FROM COLIC!

For his whole little life, up until last week (and for my whole life – at least that’s how it had begun to feel, and since I have no memory, it REALLY felt like my whole life) – David suffered greatly from an underdeveloped digestive system. The term “colic” fit: every single evening of his little life, starting at around 6pm and lasting until anywhere from 11:30pm to 2am, he would be in great pain due to stomach aches, and we would spend these witching hours together, he and I, bouncing on the yoga ball, running/walking/jiggling around the house, laughing, crying, and spitting up.

Well, we did most of those things together. The spitting up was his exclusive department. Mine was the ‘cleaning up of spitty.’

All the colic advice I read online agreed that colic was difficult and awful (for him and for me), that there was not much either of us could really do to alleviate it, and that it would certainly disappear by 3-5 months.

My little joker waited until the 5 months of that 3-5 month estimate…. and even then, when he turned 5 months and was still full-throttle into colic mode, I could just hear him be like, “Psyche! Tricked ya! I’m still colicky!” until I just surrendered completely and assumed I had the World Record holder of colic.

And then it started to get better. And better. Until finally, at around age 5 months and three weeks…

The colic was gone.

Gone!

David was sleeping well, eating well, burping normally, and spitting a little, here and there, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Which was great! IS great! Wonderful!

Did I mention I have a terrible memory?

It is possible my terrible memory is the culprit – because for some reason, last night, I was already so USED to him be done with the colic, over the crazy gas and spitting, that I got a tad toooo comfortable and complacent, and…

I played with him. In kind of an… acrobatic way. You know, I ‘flew him’ above me, smiling up at him as he laughed and giggled, and then…

He spit up.

Into my mouth.

Bananas and breast milk.

**** sigh ****

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

That's right, eco-moms, I bet you've NEVER tasted a banana milkshake quite like this before! Fresh out of your baby's mouth!

 

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Flashback Friday! (Grey’s Anatomy – AKA, Crack)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:10 AM
Friday, November 8, 2013

Most Fridays, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

Let’s get this out of the way: I’m addicted to Grey’s Anatomy.

Because what started as an eager, consensual relationship, has morphed into something uglier: a need. I’m too involved.

Every day. I must – MUST – have my fix – must satisfy that endless need, must watch another few episodes, every single day, sometimes staying up until 1, 2, yes even  3:30am at night to keep watching, despite the full cognizant knowledge that this is going to end badly.

And by that I mean, of course, that Meredith and McDreamy may not live Happily Ever After.

I’ve already Googled & Wikipedia-ed the upcoming seasons and episodes (I’m almost through Season 3 now), so I know which characters’ love will last (basically, none of them), which characters will leave the show (many of my favorites), and which new ones will join. (HER?! Come on, not her…?!)

I get angry at the cast and the writers. How COULD they make those two break up again? How can Burke just ABANDON us like that? Who cares about Private Practice, can’t Addison just STAY? But then I watch another show, forget about all that, and get sucked right back in.

Yes, I cry like a baby and laugh out loud in pretty much every single episodes. Bastards! But I also watch each episode with a smirk, silently mocking each goopy, over-dramatized scene, saying COME ONE YOU HAVE GOT TO BE F***ING KIDDING ME! to myself as Meredith Grey informs yet another dying patient that, “sometimes you really can’t predict the future” as she simultaneously shows us with her eyes that she is at that exact same moment in time teaching herself the same lesson – that same lesson that JUST SO HAPPENS to apply perfectly to her latest dilemma.

Come on! So maudlin. So never happens like that in real life – that we give advice or hear someone speak and realize at the same time how it exactly applies to that personal situation we’d been grappling with. Showing that, every episode, so obviously, it’s so writing/acting/directing 101!

And yet.

I find myself simultaneously thinking, Meredith is so right! That patient really can’t predict the future, and look, look how now she gets it, because she can’t predict the future either. SHE CAN’T EITHER!

I’m too involved.

I think about the characters of Grey’s Anatomy randomly throughout the day, daydreaming about their secret crushes and current liaisons.  I get annoyed at the writers for having the doctors drink so much alcohol, seemingly all the time on their time off. I mean, come on, really? Who drinks that much?? I don’t!

But I’m not a doctor… I mean, do doctors drink that much on their time off? Do they, Meredith? Just because they can’t predict the future?

Ha. I think not. But I have to admit, it is pretty sexy watching all those smoking hot doctors get tipsy and do things and say things that only the alcohol would make them do and say.

Shit. I’m too involved.

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

This chick is SO taking over my life right now.

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At a Loss

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:12 AM
Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Remember that old post-WWII folk song, Where Have all the Flowers Gone?

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing!
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago… 

Etc. Etc.

Well, I have a new chapter for that classic. I think it will really help the moms of today relate, since, really, who has time to pick flowers anyway, let alone notice they’ve already all been picked and are being sold at your local Trader Joe’s/Whole Foods/migrant’s rickshaw on the side of the road?

Goes like this:

Where have all the hair follicles gone? 
Long time passing!
Where have all the hair follicles gone…?
Long time ago.
Where have all the hair follicles gone? Fell out in the shower, every one!
Postpartum hair loss. Postpartum hai-ai-air loss.

Or something along those lines.

I remember reading in one of those awful but un-put-down-able “Girlfriends“ pregnancy companion books, or maybe it was in What to Suspect When You’re Suspecting..? You know, that book that tells you what to expect when you get knocked up, and every time you look up a symptom like “bloody gums” you find an answer like, “Bloody gums are another common symptom for many pregnant mothers and mean nothing except your veins are thinning a bit, OR…. IT COULD POSSIBLE MEAN THAT YOU ARE ILL AND YOUR BABY WILL DIE IN YOUR WOMB TOMORROW. SLEEP TIGHT!

Ahem.

Sorry, what was I saying?

Oh yes, I read somewhere that what you pregnant ladies think is this amazing pregnancy hormonal gift of the gods when your pregnancy hair becomes more full, luscious and shinier than the Garnier Fructisse model’s mane, what is actually happening is, for some reason, hair doesn’t fall out much during the 9 months of pregnancy, but thennnnn….

It all falls at once, after the baby is born.

This may – or may not – be true.

I can personally attest, however, that it’s a slippery slope from thick luscious hair-model pregnancy hair, to the ragged, balding-in-patches, homeless-esque hair, after you give birth. And not just for a couple of weeks. Or couple of months. My baby is already 5 and a half months old and THIS is what came out in the shower TODAY:

[Please ignore the fact that I spelled "Postpartum" wrong in my drawing. It is possible I've become overly dependent on spell check.]

I know my drawing is a mere “artist’s rendition” of the actually real hair that fell out of my head (extra quotational emphasis on the word “artist,” btw) but believe me, you don’t want to see the ACTUAL mess that fell out.

Especially if you happen to be eating, or, alternatively, prone to barfing.

So for now, I will be satisfied leaving you with that image and the “Where Have All the Flowers/Hair Follicles Gone” song stuck in your brain, and YOU can be satisfied that at least you don’t have a small round bald patch on the side of your head.

Call it even?

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

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Flashback Friday! (Amazing Grace)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:40 AM
Friday, November 1, 2013

Most Fridays, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

My mother’s office voicemail makes her sound like she is a deeply religious person.

It goes something like this:

You have reached the desk of Julie Susman. She is not here right now, but if you’d like to leave a message, please do so after the beep. If you need to reach her immediately, please dial “zero” and ask for grace.

Okay, fine, “Grace,” with a capital “G.”

My mother’s assistant’s name is Grace.

But still…

How cool is that? Her voicemail gives people the option of pushing a button and asking for grace, which is another word for forgiveness, mercy, and God’s love. And, you know… a kind, older woman who has excellent secretarial skills.

Grace has been with my mother for years and years. She helps my mother with personal and business tasks, and she does so with skill, tact, and – uh – grace.

When I helped my husband hire an assistant two years ago, I wanted him to find his own version of grace. I mean – uh, Grace.

After interviewing friends and Craig’s List candidates for the job, I focused in on one young woman in particular, Roxana Martinez. She was eager, bright, quick… she spoke Spanish, which was a plus since many of my husband’s workers/subs speak Spanish (he is a general contractor), and my husband only speaks HebrengliSpanish (speaking English in a Spanish accent is about as close he gets to speaking Spanish).

My husband’s office is in our detached converted garage, so Roxana spent one year working for us in our house. It was great to have her there, supporting the business while my husband was busy juggling three, sometimes four major clients and I was dealing with the pregnancy and then birth & health complications after birth of my third child. Roxana did bookkeeping, assisted my husband, played with our kids, took classes at The Kabbalah Centre, and, in general, got to know us – our home, our family, and of course, our business…

…and then I found out she had been stealing from us. The entire year she worked for us, she had been stealing from us. She forged checks, totaling over $30,000. She made tens of thousands of dollars worth of fraudulent credit card transactions. She had let our bills go into collections, paying them with hundreds of dollars of late fees at the last possible minute – all the while, hiding everything from us, lying about everything, covering her tracks in Quickbooks with false entries and lies.

She has plead “no contest” and will be going to jail shortly, I’m told. She will owe us restitution, though only around $40,000, which is nothing compared to what she took from us. She nearly caused our business to tank.

And then there was our nanny of four years, who was like family to me and my kids, and who somehow orchestrated a break-in, in our house, when we were out of town. The thieves made off with my jewelry – heirlooms, gifts, diamonds, engagement ring and wedding ring – and my laptop (which she subsequently returned to me). This happened just a couple months after we fired Roxana.

Apparently, I hired Decepto and Destructo to work for our business and our kids.

Why isn’t life ever as simple as dialing zero and asking for grace?

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Ed note: (“Ed” meaning me, BatSheva, not like “Mr. Ed” or “Ed Bundy” or “Editor” for you literary types) – I wrote this blog 2 years ago. Since then Roxana actually did go to jail, although I think she only served like three minutes of jail time, this being her first offense. She also actually paid us quite a bit of the restitution, I think around $20,000, and every few weeks or so we receive another check for like $15 or $20 that is taken, I’m assuming, from her current paycheck at wherever she works now. I forgive her in my heart, but my fist would still like to give her a swift punch to the jaw. Time to ask for grace again…

The crooks in our lives never look like this, do they?

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