Lifelong Learning

Baguette has a significant language delay. We do a lot of interpretation.


She works so hard at communicating. I’m so impressed with her, and how diligent and persistent she is with any number of tasks. These are traits that are going to serve her well no matter what she chooses to do with her life.

These traits are invaluable with ABA. She makes no secret of the moments when she is bored, or frustrated. There are plenty of times when she resists completing a task or participating in an activity (to the point of banshee screams). But there are so many other times when she will Just. Keep. Trying.

She does this with speech, and I want to encourage her. So I try really hard not to tell her that she’s saying something incorrectly. Instead, I say things like this:

    “Mommy doesn’t know that one yet.”

    “Mommy still has to learn that.”

    “Maybe you and I can figure that out together.”

Because I want to let her know that communication is a two-way street, and the burden isn’t entirely hers. I want to let her know that I’m still learning, too. I want to show her that adults also struggle. I want to let her know that it’s possible to share tasks and work together.

Ultimately, I want to help her make herself understood to others. But first, I have to show her that I understand her. I have to show her that I’m going to work hard with her. I have to show her that I think hearing her, listening to her are worthwhile, even if it’s not immediately easy for me.

Oh, and Nigh You Ra? She requested it for days. I asked her ABA providers and her teacher and Bestie’s mom and a co-worker with a daughter slightly younger than Baguette. And then (as you can see above) I turned to Twitter–and I was not surprised at all when the answer came from Cloud, with an assist from one of her daughters:


Trigger warning–the discussion linked to below is replete with people’s experiences that may bring up your own. Please be prepared; my goal is not to cause you more harm, but to educate those who need to think about it more.

With that in mind, please read the #YesAllWomen discussion on Twitter.

I’m among the fortunate, because I haven’t experienced many of the traumas discussed there.

And now we all need to take a minute and look at that sentence again, because here’s what that really means:

I’m lucky, because I haven’t been raped.

That shouldn’t be lucky. It just shouldn’t happen. People just shouldn’t rape. Mass murderers shouldn’t be excused because they felt so entitled to women–and so deprived of them by their own problems–that they decide to kill women.

Read the thread. Be horrified. Question how you’ve perceived some of the things people talk about, including mine:


Mr. Sandwich says no one has ever asked him to smile, unless he was having his picture taken. People don’t accost men on the street and tell them to smile. Why do they do that to women? We have the same thoughts, the same range of emotions, the same variety of daily experiences–we’re not necessarily smiling at the moment we pass by you, and that’s okay.

The “smile!” command is just the tip of the iceberg. But it is the tip of the iceberg. And that’s why–ever since I was in my 20s–I would respond to the command with a big, beaming smile.

And also I would flip that person off.

#YesAllWomen deals with this. Please pay attention to their stories.

45 Good Things

My 45th birthday is coming up, and while I don’t think that 45 is any kind of a milestone at all, I wanted a way to mark the occasion. So between now (January 8) and my birthday (February 6), I’m going to do 45 good things. I figure these can be pretty much anything that helps someone else, be the effort large or small. I’m not saying I’m going to save anyone’s life, but maybe I can make their day a little less crummy.

So here goes:

1) January 8: Bought a sandwich and a bottle of water for the homeless woman outside of Starbucks.

I’ll keep a tally on the 45 Good Things page, and will use the hashtag #45goodthings on Twitter. Want to join me?

Oscar Surprise

I spent much of my adult life across the country from my best friend. But we still managed to watch the Oscars together–we’d just call each other 20 times during the broadcast to say, “That dress is amazing!” “That dress is horrible!”

Now that we’re in the same city (huzzah!), we not only manage to have coffee more than once a year, we’ve also watched the Oscars together! In the same living room! More than once!

Since Baguette was born, though, long stretches of TV that isn’t Sesame Street have not really been an option. So what was last night’s surprise? Not the winners–I still haven’t had time to look up who they are.

It was that Baguette entertained herself with toys and books and changing in and out of her clothes for the entire red carpet, allowing me to live-tweet the whole thing!

Tweet about Nicole Kidman's Oscar dress

Seriously, tell me I’m wrong.

Now, if I can just manage to watch the actual ceremony . . .

Food Trucks! Food Trucks!

Grill em' All truck

Ever since Food Network aired the first “Great Food Truck Race,” Mr. Sandwich and I have wanted burgers from the Grill ‘Em All truck. Unfortunately, their lines have always been enormous–not really feasible since Baguette is about as patient as you’d expect a 16-month-old to be.

Nevertheless, we headed up to Northridge Din Din a Go Go with the intention of finally consuming the “Molly Hatchet” burger. Or maybe a “Waste ‘Em All.” Or both. Hosted by the Classic Car Wash at the corner of Reseda and Devonshire, this weekly event provides a variety of food trucks–and actual seating!

We started off with a “Trailer Trash” dog (chili, nacho cheese, Fritos) and freshly fried tater tots from Dogtown Dog, as well as a maple-braised pork crepe from Crepe’n Around. Both hit the spot. The pork had a surprising kick to it; it was spicier than anything I usually associate with crepes, but I’d order it again in a heartbeat.

Next up was Lardon and their Baco Taco. This is a mixture of potatoes and cheddar cheese stuffed into a taco shell made of woven bacon strips. Decadent? Sure. Kind of ridiculous? Definitely. Tasty? For those of us who love bacon, potatoes, and cheese, it’s a sure-fire hit.

To round out the meal (and ourselves), we moved on to The Buttermilk Truck. I’ve wanted to try their morning menu with donuts and pancake bites, and maybe one of these days I will–but they had their Late Night Menu, which meant we overdid with the Buttermilk Brick–a biscuit, hash browns, eggs over easy, and chorizo gravy. It was excellent (although I would have expected a much better biscuit from a truck with “buttermilk” right there in its name), but overwhelming considering how much we’d already eaten.

So we still didn’t make it to Grill ‘Em All (or Lobsta Truck, which was there as well). And I ate so much that I’m still full this morning, which never happens. But most importantly, Baguette stayed asleep and in her stroller until just before we were ready to leave. Because otherwise we would have had to share with her, too.

Photo by standardpixel, via Flickr.

Tweet, Tweet, Tweet

You can follow me on Twitter. But you knew that, because there’s a link in the right-hand column.

Who do I follow? A variety of people and organizations, naturally. After all, it is Twitter. Included in that variety is a growing number of food trucks. While I have yet to patronize any of them (although, as you recall, I tried to last week), that’s only because they haven’t been near an area I’m in at a time that I’m in that area. If you follow my meaning.

At any rate, here are some L.A.-area food trucks that I follow on Twitter and hope to eat at soon:

Grilled Cheese Truck: this is a new entry, but what’s not to love? I mean, it’s grilled cheese!

Don Chow Tacos: Chinese food. In a taco. Will I love it or hate it? The only way to know is to try it.

Nom Nom Truck
: This is the truck that didn’t show up as expected last week. The sandwiches sound great. I hope they’ll be back soon!

Get Shaved: I found this thanks to Nom Nom Truck’s Tweets. Frankly, I’m surprised that Hawaiian shaved ice hasn’t made a bigger splash on the mainland. Sno-cones just can’t compare.

Sprinklesmobile: Cupcakes. From Sprinkles. On a truck. I’m a bigger fan of Susiecakes, but they don’t have a truck.

Kogibbq: The granddaddy of them all, the food truck that made food trucks famous. If you don’t count all of the actual taco trucks and lunch wagons that came before it. But how many of them specialized in Korean BBQ?

Calbi BBQ: Following in the footsteps of Kogi. Or not. I won’t know until I’ve tried them both. And even if I know, will I care? That’s why I need to try both. No need to set up a specious Star Trek/Babylon 5 feud when both offerings may be delightful.

Coolhaus: Looking for a dessert that isn’t a cupcake? I hear their ice cream sandwiches are fantastic. And I do love a good ice cream sandwich.

So have you tried any of these? Share your thoughts–and let me know if there are other trucks I should be following.