January 31, 2006

It's only Tuesday?

Yesterday felt like the longest day ever. I didn't think I would want to blog this week, but actually find that "something" is missing if I don't post at least a few times during the week. Despite the obvious therapautic benefits to writing, there is a good feeling about getting a post out that makes me feel as if I accomplished something.

I still haven't seen J., although I spoke with her yesterday morning and then later with her mother. Her mother and I agreed that the critical time is coming in the next few weeks and months. I am "hanging back" a bit from rushing over to her parent's house because she is surrounded with a good support group, she is still in shock, and very busy making all of the arrangements. I will call later today to see how things are going and to see if I can visit her. I am still a little weirded out by the "Big Chill" factor - we seem too young for this. It feels too early in life for me to be calling college friends and relating this sort of news. But again, this shows how lucky I have been in my life to have not had to face this sort of thing before.

J. and I have been friends for over 16 years now - her boyfriend at the time was Asshole #1's roommate, so our friendship not only runs long, but it runs DEEP. We both knew very well how incredibly fortunate we were to have found our husbands - in fact, I met X through J, when she was working for his company. Our personalities are very different and at times, we have driven each crazy. However, she is one of those friends that after awhile, is pretty much tantamount to family.

This morning I woke up and emotionally felt better - like, I think I can go outside the house without crying in front of people now. (Yesterday, I was so weepy in the checkout lane in the grocery store, it was embarrassing, but fortunately, the checkout gal knows me well enough by now to realize I am not a freak). At first, I felt guilty for feeling better and being able to forget for a whole 5 minutes that her husband has died. However, I quickly realized this is a GOOD thing. Everyone around J. is going to have to be strong for her because she has a rough road ahead of her.

January 30, 2006

Mondays always bite, don't they?

I don't think I will be posting this week. My friend J's husband died in a horrific car accident over the weekend - they have two small children (ages 2 and 4).

Frankly, I am shaken to the core and there isn't much more to say. All I ask is that everyone give their loved ones an extra hug today.

January 26, 2006

What's up, Doc?

I am having another one of those days where I am capable of stringing meaningful sentences together, but am having trouble doing so with paragraphs. I can’t even come up with titles.

I’ll confess that I want a dog so badly that when I’m at PetSmart, I wistfully peruse the dog toy section. During my latest trip, as I scanned the holiday sale section, I came across a stuffed MENORAH. Since I am not Jewish, I ask you gentle readers - is it really appropriate to give a dog a stuffed version of something as sacred as that for his chewing pleasure?

I’m all for breastfeeding. Really. It's easy, cheap, relaxing and I am hoping to nurse Arun until he is a year old. However, recently I read the most idiotic thing ever purporting to be a “little known benefit” for it. The text read like this:

”Unlike the stinky stools of a formula-fed baby, the stools of a breastfed infant have a less offensive buttermilk-like odor. Changing the diaper of a breastfed infant is not an unpleasant task--which is fortunate, because most breastfed babies have several bowel movements a day. When the baby looks at the face of the diaper-changing caregiver and sees happiness rather than disgust, he picks up a good message about himself - perhaps a perk for building self-esteem.”

What the fuck? Have YOU taken a a good, long whiff of buttermilk lately? Furthermore, is wiping my kid's ass with a goofy grin on my face REALLY going to give him a healthy self-esteem?? I'd say it would be more likely to give him good excuses for therapy or at least a shot on Oprah's couch. All I have to say to the writer is this: PASS THE PEACE PIPE, DUDE.

Speaking of breastfeeding, I met Normal Olathe Grandma for lunch the other day at Applebee’s (don’t mock - I had to steer her AWAY from Bob Evans). Anyway, I warned her that Arun would probably get hungry and she said “Oh, you can feed him in the restroom, right?”. I looked her square in the eye and laughed, “Would YOU want to eat YOUR lunch while sitting on a toilet?” She immediately realized how utterly disgusting her suggestion was and agreed that YES, eating in a bathroom is GROSS. This is why I love NOG so much - she will back down when she realizes she is dead wrong.

GOOD GOD - help my friends and family and in particular, MY SON. I finally figured out how to get the footage from the digital camcorder to my COMPUTER. I have footage on there since before Arun was even born. I am quickly realizing that I might have missed my calling as a member of the golden paparazzi. With my cheesy, obnoxious commentary, I have this amazing propensity to goad my subjects into getting pissed and walking away from the camara.

Recently, I just picked up an entire DVD chock full of old footage from all those Super 8 and Max 8 films of my own youth - I had taken over 40 films to be converted. I have discovered that while endless footage of the NEIGHBOR kids playing in my baby pool is NOT so interesting, repeated footage of my hippie, John Lennon-esque dad sticking his finger up his nose IS. There was a good 10 years worth of that action recorded for prosperity!

Not So Great Clips - Um, let me be clear that the pics of Arun’s haircut were supposed to showcase what a CRAPPY job I had done - all the complimentary comments were nice, but I felt that I had gravely mislead my blogging public. However, I will admit that I like the shortness of the hair, if not the style. It SO much easier to wash and comb, something I am required to do frequently as cradle cap is the sworn enemy of babies with DARK hair. Even though I did a crappy job the first time, I can foresee much more shearing practice in my future. I am still hoping to perfect my barber skills before the kid realizes what sort of scam I have been pulling on him and is able to vocally express his "concerns".

Well, I made my reservation for BlogHer 2006 ! I am SO excited - I attended last year’s conference and it was an incredible and inspiring experience. I still haven’t figured out who will do Monkey Duty while I am there, but I have a wide range of choices - X, my mom, 2 sisters and maybe even Cousin J. It’s tricky because I won’t want to leave the little guy back home since I am nursing, but luckily I should be able to bribe SOMEONE to come with me. It’s amazing what the lure of a free plane ride to the San Francisco area can do for you.

Well, it’s that time of year when my husband miraculously becomes a tax accountant. He is already “predicting” what we will owe and beginning to pester me about starting our return. Damn you, TurboTax, for your stupid little “calculator” that shows what I owe in the corner of the screen. As I pound out numbers for our return, X loves to shoulder surf and watch the numbers go up and down - making comments the entire time. Every year, I promise myself that I am going to just dump the whole sheaf of papers in Someone Else's lap, but I always back down because I can’t bear the thought of that very Someone Else touching my taxes.

I just booked my ticket to for my trip to DC/VA in a few weeks. I am flying into DC, but will schlep the monkey and I to Fairfax where X’s apartment is located. I had hoped to fly into Dulles instead of DC because I am more familiar with that area, but who knows? Maybe my driving around DC will make for an interesting post for a change. Anyway, I am very excited. I haven’t traveled anywhere since July, so I was getting antsy to get going again. I will have a day to myself while X is working, so for this trip, I am thinking that I will focus on “house tours”. Since I am only taking the Baby Bjorn with me I’d rather do things that aren’t stroller friendly anyway. I’ve always wanted to see Mt. Vernon and Monticello - plus, I will try to find something that is less touristy. If it’s nicer weather, I would definitely like to visit Teddy Roosevelt’s memorial - my very favorite of all the memorials.

On Saturday, I am hosting a dinner for some of X’s business associates/clients. Oddly enough, of all the social venues I have hosted the past few months, this is the least stressful of them all. Why? Because I get to cook Indian food! Having to deal with American food or appetizers is actually very difficult for me - I feel much more comfortable making huge pots of curry and saying “Come and get it!” The last party I hosted was such a disappointment to me - I didn’t feel very good about the event because 1) I didn’t make the food myself and 2) I spent much of the evening in the kitchen carefully staging food so that items didn’t get cold. Anyway, on Saturday, I am making a variety of things - some traditional north Indian things such as tandoori chicken, dhal, and chickpeas but I am also throwing in some Keralite specialties like green bean thoren and fish with red curry.

And finally - a Rancid Rant regarding baby clothes.....
WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH BABY SIZES???? My kid is just barely 3 months, just under 15 lbs and is ALREADY gunning for the 6-9 month size. I wasn't aware that I had given birth to Andre the Giant, but SCREW YOU Carter's, Gymboree, and Baby Gap - apparently you think I did. I carefully scoured clearance racks to try and save money on baby clothes THEN kept receiving thoughtful gift after thoughtful gift from loving friends and family. Now, my kid has a closet full of clothes that he is quickly outgrowing. Every week or so, I carefully measure clothes up to his ever lengthening body to just try and keep up with the madness. I have already enountered several outfits that he outgrew before I could even get to them. Why? WHY?

January 24, 2006

Should old acquaintances be forgotten?

The neat thing about being sick is that apparently, it’s a great way to jumpstart weight loss. I am now BELOW my pre-pregnancy weight (Watch out, Favorite Black Jeans - you’re in my sights.) . While it totally sucks donkey butt to be hacking up my innards while MonkeyBoy continues along his way merrily filling diapers left and right, I would still rather deal with HIM than with Not So Supervisor from the Fed. Anyway, all this "laying around" between diaper changes has allowed me to ruminate on my Friendship Situation.............

Last week, I spent a lovely afternoon with R and her daughter . She lives just 2 doors down from all the shops in Brookside and it was a GORGEOUS day to join the Buggy Brigade. We didn’t even need to wear coats as we walked around the neighborohood. The relationship with R is a newly resurrected one. We used to do raku together years ago. She stopped doing raku several years before me and we kept in touch, but only very sporadically . Last summer, we started gradually phoning each other with the intent of getting together, but only just managed to do so in December. It’s been cool to reconnect with her - so much has happened. We both got married, both had babies and both picked up knitting. Furthermore, she is a very relaxed mom and that is the type I like to surround myself with since this job is hard enough without getting all paranoid over it. Anyway, after my afternoon with her, I had to think “What other friendships have I let go that maybe should be reconsidered?”

Over the years, I let several friendships fall by the wayside. 2001 through 2003, I worked at a HR Block in software development - a job that consumed more than its fair share of my waking hours and at times, it seemed my very SOUL. I changed jobs in late 2003 to do data security for the Federal Reserve with the promise of a “regular” work week. 2004’s “regular” work weeks consisted of being on call 24/7 and traveling to more than 15 other Feds. Furthermore, X and I sold and bought 3 houses all while being newlyweds. New husbands and houses, timesuckers they are. Finally, in 2005, I grew a baby. So, while I have ample excuses for losing friends, it still makes me sad.

Last year, while on my way to theBlogHer conference, I ran into my friend D at the San Jose airport of all places. I felt very foolish - not only was I pregnant, but I was VERY pregnant and I had never even told her*. My friend CS and his wife called shortly before Arun was born to get the baby status - I have yet to call back and say “hey, I gave birth” (I did send cards, etc, but still no actual call was made). The same goes for my friend BI. There are countless other friends of whom I can relate similar fates, but these are the three that really tug at my heart. So, my goal this week is to make an effort to get in touch with each of them. My effort will include a heartfelt, honest “Hey, I am sorry we have lost touch” and I'll see what comes of it.**

So, do you have any friends you have lost touch with that you regret? If so, what is holding you back from reaching out?

*This was not entirely unusual for me - last year when I showed up at a friend's wedding they were also very shocked to discover I was pregnant. It led to the awkward questioning of "Is she or isn't she?" oops.

** I have two particular friends, T and M, that these rules don't apply. Over the past 15+ years, with both of these friends, months and even a year (in T's case) can go by. All it ever takes is a phone call to catch up on the lost time. It is nice to have these treasured friendships where the "pressure is off". I know that no matter how much time has passed, the friendship is still there.

January 22, 2006

Surely, shearing sheep is easier, no?

My marriage has passed another Test - giving our son his first haircut.
In a small confined space known as “the bathroom”.
With a sharp object, no less.

The whole episode was fraught with more tension than if Angelina and Jennifer had arrived at the same premiere.

Fear of the Unknown.

The trepid look is the best part of this snap. Also, may I point out the appropriately placed rubber ducky?

Ignorance is bliss.

All I can do is hope he will forgive me someday for being such a cheap ass that I didn’t take him to a proper barber. The ears? He’ll have to look to his father for blame on that one.

January 18, 2006

What’s holding me back?

Since the kid was born, I have liked to joke that he needed a haircut. Um, the laughing has died down and it is time for X and I to face the inevitable. Our 3 month old baby actually NEEDS A HAIRCUT, as evidenced by the lack of ear flappage below:

The Hair is to the point that even after a fresh washing and combing - it’s outta control. Then, it quickly becomes matted and knotted with drool and such and THEN his fingers get tangled in it which leads to SCREECHING which is PAINFUL (to me, anyway. Don't know about HIM). I am not sure why, but I am really dreading this first haircut. WHY? Can anyone explain this to me?

In other news, I am fighting a cold that X left behind as he sneezed and coughed his merry way to DC/VA on Sunday. I can’t tell yet if the kid is going to get it or not - he was pretty fussy last night, but that could have been due to the hot sauce I generously dabbed on my lunch. I guess today will be a perfect day to curl up on the couch and finally watch the FOUR hour premiere of Season 5 of 24. Speaking of which, damn the producers that thought FOUR freakin’* hours was a great idea for a premiere. I haven’t gotten through it yet and thanks to bloggers that don’t bother to shout Spoiler! before proceeding with juicy tidbits, there isn’t much left to surprise. Okay, so maybe I do have the time to watch a FOUR premiere. However, when the baby is awake, I’d much rather sit on the floor to play with him, listen to him fill yet another diaper, observe him wrestling the Blue Bunny to the ground, witness his hair grow even longer, and hear his mad screeching for his Lamaze multi-sensory cube ( the ugliest toy known to man), Conversely, when the monkey is ASLEEP, I’d rather rush around like a madwoman getting things done so that I can sit with him and watch all those activities previously mentioned.

Anyway, I hope this cold doesn't interfere with what I refer to as my "J Time". Cousin J comes Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays to sit with MonkeyBoy - I use that time to work out at the gym and run errands. If I have any spare time left, I sometimes go to a nearby Starbucks** to knit. The 2nd and 3rd Wednesdays of the month, I go to a knitting group at Urban Arts and Crafts down in the RiverMarket area. Interestingly enough, X was the one to insist on not only having J come in, but also to increasing her time to 3 hour shifts.*** Genius, that X, pure genius. Sometimes, I actually don't want to leave the kid and really, 3 hours is a bit too much (2 hours was not quite enough, though). The beauty of it all is that it makes me get out of the house and away from the kid so that in the end, I LOOK FORWARD TO COMING HOME.

*LOOKIE! I didn’t ACTUALLY drop the F-Bomb and merely alluded to it. Yes sirree, THAT’S what motherhood will do to you. Before you know it, I’ll be saying “passing gas” instead of “farting”.

**Let me state here that not only is coffee at Starbuck "Meh", but the people-watching at a SUBURBAN branch is even more so. I really wish we had a funky coffee house nearby. Damn, I miss my college days in Lawrence.

***My mother is so jealous of Cousin J that it is becoming very UNfunny. Particularly when she discovered that MonkeyBoy will take a bottle easily from Cousin J, but not from HER. Tears were actually shed over that one last Saturday evening. Sigh.......

January 16, 2006

Where's the remote control when you need it?

After last week’s gloom and doom, I am ready to face this week with more cheer. I guess sometimes, you just need time to hunker down, feel sorry for yourself for a bit and then get over it. The lovely thing about having a baby is that you really can see past the current week. It was hard to be too sad with him cooing and smiling while X and I sorted out our bad news. Arun is 3 months old today and I am still in complete and utter awe of him.........

His sole Gymboree outfit that has managed to stay Poo Free. Stay tuned!

Give That Kid a Newspaper Already: - Rest assured, if the kid’s outfit comes from Gymboree or Baby Gap, he’s gonna take a big ole dump in it. It’s a fact of life that nary an ounce of poo will ever touch an outfit from Wal-Mart.

Hobby Lobbing: When I got pregnant last year, I knew that many of my beloved hobbies would fall by the wayside. To use some really poor metaphors, I fired raku, cut the cord with jewelry making, and turned off several TV shows (The Carver? I hardly knew ye.) The survivors include knitting, reading, and blogging. While I miss my old hobbies, I appreciate the ones I kept even more. I’ve noticed I really cherish the time I get to knit, I relish every book I read and I am now only watching TV shows that I am really interested in (as opposed to having something play for "background noise").

Vocal Yokel: “The Baby” has discovered his vocal cords. He has been cooing for the longest time, but as of late, has been playing with the volume control. At times, it is difficult to tell if the screeching is due to some sort of unhappiness or just extreme excitement that he was able to strong-arm his blue bunny to the ground. Kinda cute. Kinda not.

Pride is an Underrated Virtue: With all the bad news last week, I had one thing to look forward to - Wino Book Club on Saturday night. A book club where we have a wine tasting and then discuss the book. All week long, I looked forward to Saturday. You see, it was going to be my first social outing without the kid. Sure, I have Cousin J coming in 3 times a week for babysitting, but I use that time to workout at the gym and run errands. Anyway - last week, I carefully pumped bottles of breastmilk so that I could drink to my leisure. Unfortunately, I ended up “leisuring away” the evening hovered over a toilet bowl and calling X to come and pick up my sorry, puking ass ASAP. Apparently, I had forgotten about that little known concept called “pacing oneself”. To make matters worse, Arun had trouble taking a bottle that evening - he takes a bottle all the time from Cousin J but doesn’t take bottles that often from my mom or X. I felt like the world’s WORST mother EVER. There I was - drunk and puking with a crying baby desperate to nurse. I haven’t decided yet whether I will be returning to Wino Book Club or not - but I do know THIS: I never, ever want to be in a position again where I can’t take care of my son. That feeling made me more sick to my stomach than the wine itself.

January 11, 2006

Which shoe is this?

As mentioned previously, 2005 was a really good year for us and I mentioned how good of a year it was FREQUENTLY. To the casual observer, this may have seemed tantamount to bragging, but actually, it was merely my pathetic attempt to keep the gods of Misfortune at bay. All of 2005, I had the lingering suspicion that Something Really Bad was going to happen that would nullify all the Somethings Really Good. And I was nearly correct. Earlier this week, Something Not Really Great happened. It’s the sort of event that will result in a total life change for X. At least it wasn’t Really Bad and therefore, no one is going to die and we can deal with it, but as the title implies, it’s Not Really Great, either.

The oddest part is that I am somewhat relieved. In the back of my mind, I was dreading SOMETHING, but just wasn’t sure what it was going to be. Now, I feel like I know what that Something is and I can move forward and just be happy with what I have got for a change.

Anyway, think good thoughts for us, please. Things will be okay, but we have some adjustments coming.

January 9, 2006

What’s wrong with this picture?

Bad Heir Day

Yes, I live in Kansas. A state where we are so busy worrying about evolution and beer being sold on Sundays, that we don’t have time to tend our progeny properly. Bah. A little humility is good for a kid. In my defense, I DO brush my kid’s hair. In fact, it was freshly washed and beautifully coiffed as we headed out the door to my dad’s 60th birthday party. However, a few rounds of Pass the Baby, two nursing sessions, one diaper change and an extended nap on his grandpa’s shoulder left the kid’s mop a little, shall we say, unkempt.

Tickle Me Stink

Internet, I present for you the Holy Grail of Gift Returns. My sister and I both received one of these atrocities for our newborns this Christmas - Arun's is even worse since his has that stupid skater boy haircut. We can’t figure out for the life of us where in the hell my grandma got them. Now, don’t get me wrong - I am not opposed to my son playing with dolls. I am really trying to avoid gender stereotyping when possible and am not all into that "man's kinda man" crapola. No, I won’t be dressing him up in little Princess outfits, but I wouldn’t have a problem with it if he turned into a Queen, either. Hell, he can be a gay cowboy for all I care. But playing with Cabbage Patch Kids? A mother has her limits.

January 6, 2006

Don't you just hate gushing new mommies that coo and preen over their little FleshBlobs like anyone else in the world really cares??

Yeah. So do I.

Sweetness Incarnate, no?

Look closely and you can see a glimmer of a dimple. It will match quite nicely the ones on his knees, thighs and KNUCKLES.

Aren’t Bug Eyes the new pink?

I hope he gets over this awkward relationship with the red eye flash on my camara. Bug eyes are cute on a baby, not so much on a teenager.


Never, ever piss off The Baby.

To the moon, Mama.

QUIT taking my picture, dammit. And while you’re at it - for the LOVE OF GOD do something about my HAIR. Do the letters W, A, H, and L mean anything to ya???

January 4, 2006

What's wrong with fruitcake anyway?

It’s a sad state of affairs when I wake up before the Time Vacuum and my first thought is a peaceful cup of coffee and my second thought is “Now I can clean the cats’ litter boxes!”

Holidays Unwrapped: The holidays totally and utterly kicked my ass, but they were peaceful. Mostly because I didn’t “get” to see my Mom’s insane, high-maintenance family (Crazy Leavenworth Grandma is the matriarch - that should enlighten you a bit.). They are all pissed at X and I because on the day of our Christmas gathering on an earlier non-Christmas weekend, they changed the location AND the time by TWO hours because of weather (that didn’t even arrive as predicted). We already had an appointment to pick up the RidiculousCar with Silly Features. My aunt actually questioned whether we needed to pick up the car that day - which, yes we DID need to get the car that day since X was flying back to DC/Virginia the very next day. Sigh.... Anyway - I was very happy with how the rest of the holidays went AND the kid didn’t get too much crep. I was pretty happy with the amount of toys MonkeyBoy got. I was SO afraid he was going to get alot of crep, but having 2 nephews and a niece vying equally for the grandparents' attention helped stem the flow. THANK GOD. I really pushed the "ONE nice toy, ONE cheapie toy" partyline and they listened. Well, except for MY OWN grandma who got him some stupid giggling Cabbage Patch kid that may make me finally figure out how to become an eBay seller.

Cagey Wanna Cookie? : In the past, I wasn’t that much into sweets. Yes, I enjoyed a piece of fine chocolate every now and then, but when I craved something, I usually reached for something spicy. During the pregnancy, I noticed that my sweet tooth kicked into gear - after giving birth, it shifted into HIGH gear. Example: In the past, I looked forward to Average Jane’s cookie exchange for the spiced cider, holiday movies and social atmosphere. THIS year, I looked forward to the cookies. I even BAKED. In the past, to satisfy the entrance requirement to the cookie exchange, I would sneak in something that required a minimal amount of melting. This year, I baked FOUR different kinds of cookies - including a complicated rolled Hungarian cookie - they were was so yummy that they didn’t even last long enough to make it to the cookie exchange. I have also taken to trolling for holiday fruitcakes on clearance. It’s out of control! I will say it is a testament to the powers of breastfeeding that I am just UNDER my pre-pregnancy weight. Which leads me to the...............

Slim Gym: I have been going to the gym 3-4 times a week since I was given clearance by the doctor. What a relief - I had missed it SO MUCH. However, I loathe going in January. As I noted last year , the dumbbells with the New Year’s Resolutions ruin it for everyone else. What’s even worse, is that with all the crowds at the gym, I definitely don’t feel comfortable taking the MonkeyBoy to the gym nursery. NO, I am not a germophobe, but when the nursery is packed with the regulars, it’s a zoo anyway - it’s only gotten worse with all the newbies. It’s tough, because with X traveling, I have to really schedule my workouts carefully. I can’t wait until February, the traditional month when resolutions scatter to the wind in a haze of carbs and cigarettes.

Consumption Junction: In our house, since 2005 will go down as the Year of Consumption, then 2006 will be the Year of Conservation. Granted, many of our purchases in 2005 were out of our control - when your futon literally falls apart, you buy a couch. When you are about to give birth, you buy a crib. However, many of our purchases in 2005 were just plain OUT OF control. So, this is the year that X and I are going to have to get the savings back into order. Not exactly a resolution, but really a life change, of sorts. For the first time in our marriage, we actually put together a BUDGET. Egads.


Sock it to me!

My first sock! Unfortunately, this means there must be a SECOND sock to make this whole "knitting socks" thing work.

Staying out of trouble.

Original Baby and New Baby sleeping peacefully after a crazy day.