March 31, 2006

What’s your Mac and Cheese?

Just when I started to like my kid again, he commenced with The Screeching again. Folks, I’ve got my own personal Shrieking Shack going on here. We’re just missing The Dark Lord - but give Arun enough time, I am sure he'll be stepping up to the plate on that one soon enough. The part of me that is fascinated with language development thinks it really cool to hear him experimenting with the different volumes, pitches and octaves of The Screeching. To boot, he gets this incredibly adorable impish grin on his face while he’s doing it. However, the part of me that hates loud noises thinks it would be really cool to put him in the basement for awhile. Seriously - I HATE loud noises. The only loud noise I like is music blasting when I am ALONE in the car. If I am trying to hold any sort of conversation, forget it. I blame it on my dysfunctional eustachian tube - I’m like a little old lady now when there is background noise. Yes, yes - I have had many people warn me about the Noisy Toys coming my way now that I have a kid, but seriously, if the toy is annoying, it’s going to Goodwill. My family has been warned. There is a reason why we have maxed out the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders theme here in the Rancid le manse - the noise those toys make are not irritating. Actually, I am starting to dig the bubbly calypso music.

Anyway, my friend R and her daughter K are coming over for lunch today and I am MUY excited. I love cooking for people that appreciate something different. Frankly, X just doesn’t get excited over my curries anymore because we eat them all the time. I think normal families eat things like mac/cheese, steak, hamburgers, spaghetti, right? If I am wrong, correct me, but that is my stereotype of what American families eat. My own family? When my parents were married I remember a lot of Mexican food and pork chops (my dad would make the refried beans from scratch - YUM). After my parents divorced, I remember a lot of sandwiches scraped together with mostly bread and condiments. My mother hated cooking and when she left my dad, that was the end of her culinary pretenses. My dad and step-mom do cook, but it is usually some sort of roast (I don’t think my step-mom really enjoys cooking, either). Therefore, when I went to college, Asshole #1 taught me how to cook and this is why I don’t really know many American dishes. X and I eat a TON of fish curry and eggs. If we cook at home, these are our 2 dishes that often solve the Food Fight of “What’s for dinner?”. If we do takeout, it's usually Thai. If I do decide to put forth the effort into a meal, I’ll make a chicken curry, a keema (with ground turkey, though), a thoren of some sort, chickpeas or dhal. Also, don’t get me wrong, I love a good, juicy chicken n’ noodles or even a creamy tuna casserole. However, I would have a better chance of getting X to eat a live chicken. Once in a while, I can coax X to eat some Mexican and Pizza (two of my VERY favorite food groups), but it is few and far between. So, curries and Thai takeout it is.

In other news, I feel the Funk waning a bit so hopefully I will be in the mood to write more next week.

March 29, 2006

Could this be a new trend?

Last night, I am sitting there, working on my Fair Isle hat and the damned thing is going from bad to REALLY BAD. And I hadn’t even hit the “Fair Isle” part. In fact, I was still on the complicated braided TRIM. So I stopped. And thought about it. And decided that FOR ONCE, I was going to do something RIGHT. So, this afternoon, I frogged it (rip it, rip it, rip it) so that tonight I can walk into class proudly and START OVER. It’s convenient that the gal who hosts the Wednesday night knitting group I belong to is also the teacher of the Fair Isle hat class. I can easily work on this project for quite awhile but still, I am proud of myself. Too often, I half-ass things and just carry on - not only in knitting, either. So, it’s refreshing to do something correctly for once.

There has been so much going on lately. Believe it or not, I actually do things that don’t involve my kid. Sometimes........ I have been blogging about him so much lately for a few reasons. 1) It’s fun. 2) It’s easy material. 3) It’s nice to have the “documentation” for later since I suck ass at updating his baby book. Hey, I didn’t promise you a rose garden. Or a particularly clever blog, for that matter.

Last weekend was pretty nice, Friday night X and I went out for dinner at Lillie’s - I have posted about it over at Kansas City Kitty . Oddly enough, X and I don't sit at home that much since we had a baby. Normally, X and I are huge homebodies. We love snuggling up after a good meal and just hanging out - either reading, watching TV, me knitting, X tapping away at his laptop. However, Arun would find this pretty boring, so these days, we venture out a lot looking for local coffee houses or just picking up a meal somewhere. While I love being in Olathe, living in the suburbs is not “all that” when it comes to LOCAL restaurants and coffeehouses. Fortunately, X and I are very familiar with Kansas City, so we drive there quite often - even if we don’t eat out, we like to pick up some coffee, then meander through the city starting with downtown, heading south through Crown Center, then Midtown, the Westport, then the Plaza.

On Saturday, I took a temari ball class at Urban Arts and Crafts . I wanted to take the class because I know the teacher so well, but hadn't taken a class from her before. The process of doing a temari ball is actually pretty interesting - you take a styrofoam ball, wrap it completely in yarn, then in thread, then you carefully measure out your “points” to create the guides for the decorations - which are sewn on using embroidery thread. I am not done with my ball yet, so I can’t report whether this will officially become a new hobby or not. However, it definitely gets high marks for being something that is easy to start and put down. For sure, I bet I can get several months of Procrastination outta this thing. Oh, and yes, we sniggered in class every time the teacher said “balls”.

Yesterday, I started stocking up on scrapbooking supplies. I have over 180 pics of the kid coming in from PhotoWorks (and I paid less than $30! That site ROCKS.) No, no, NO, I don’t do REAL scrapbooking. I do the “slap a snap on a page, then write the date below it” sort of scrapbooking. I just don’t subscribe to the theory that my kid will appreciate my slaving for hours slicing and dicing cardboard cut-outs. It’s fine that other folks do scrapbooking, but me? Not so much - it would drive me crazy to have such a hobby - I would end up trying to papercut my wrists. For me, a hobby must be relaxing, conveniently transportable, and most importantly -- easily stopped whenever my kid wakes up from a nap. Scrapbooking fulfills none of those qualifications for me. I was debating whether to just create a slideshow of all the Simian Snaps (over 600 now and counting), but admittedly, it is still easier in this day and age to just drag out a hardcopy book to show folks.

In other Rancid news, I completed our sign-up for the Fair Share Farm . It’s a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and we tried to join last year, but were too late. I am SO excited about this. In short, you pay a set amount up front and then starting about May 15th, you get fresh veggies and fruits throughout the summer. Our weekly pickup will be Wednesdays in the Rivermarket, so I am looking forward to this being a part of our routine. Besides, I need to create precious, precious memories in pursuit of that Perfect Childhood so my kid doesn’t become a juvenile delinquent.

I have had a hard time writing this week - I just couldn't really pull anything meaningful together. In fact, this week has been pretty hard, period. I have been in a weird place lately and I can't pinpoint why. It pisses me off when I feel like this because the logical part in me is furious that I am taking life for granted and letting it pass me by. I have it pretty damned good and I HATE that feeling of inappreciation. I am hoping with the weather starting to get better that it will help pull me outta The Funk. I am so tired of brown grass and brown trees. I am so tired of the freakin' mall. It's a great place to walk and is convenient, but I am so over it now. I want leafy trees and flowers. I want to have my morning coffee on my deck, with the birds chattering and cats circling my ankles. Hey..... and THIS YEAR, my kid sitting on his blanket playing with his toys.

Hmmm, I feel a little better already.

March 28, 2006

Can I report how much more I love my kid now that he can sit upright in a shopping cart?

Seriously. Life is so much easier now.

Anyway, I need to take a quick break from Taxation Vexation to also report that I used the words “tummy” and “wummy” in a sentence. Together. Like, DUDE, at the SAME TIME. Wash my mouth out with soap already. The minute those words left my mouth, I stood there for a minute wishing fervently I could TAKE THEM BACK. Even Arun went quiet for a millisecond. Maybe I should reconsider this whole “stay at home” thing if this is how quickly my language skills are going to regress.

Anyway, back to Uncle Sam. I will probably have something posted tomorrow, but in the meantime, April 15th looms large on my horizon. Actually, I already did our taxes over a month ago, but now must pay TurboTax for the privilige of having done so, print the forms out, review them, THEN e-file them. When I worked for Block’s Online Tax Program, it killed me how many people would e-file without checking their forms first. Unless you really want details as to how mind boggling our tax situation is, you should be grateful I am throwing out crap about my kid instead.

As a peace offering, I present for you pics from the Great Cereal Event. I have claimed that I took my time coming to this particular milestone because the doctor said there was no hurry. However, honestly? I am just a lazy ass. The kid is enough work as it is and now I HAVE TO PREPARE FOOD FOR HIM? Anyway, except for the fact that X wouldn’t let me get out the digital camcorder for the event, everything went fine ( Rancid Tangent: X and I are constantly at odds over this issue. I want to record every potential scrap of Precious Memory, whereas, X thinks it is silly. In fact, he refused to participate in the Cereal Event unless I agreed to put the tripod away. Grrr...). I think Arun either really liked the cereal or the spoon itself as evidenced by the way he kept lunging with his open mouth after every spoonful even while CEREAL WAS STREAMING OUT of his gaping maw.


Greedy Fly:

March 27, 2006

Does it bother anyone else? A Redux

Call me a picky bitch (you won't be the first).........the hungry little caterpillar didn’t snuggle up in his cocoon, but rather his Chrysalis .......Good grief, no wonder SAT scores are going down.

Wow - there is so much going on right now, I am not sure where to start. All of it is boring to everyone except me, which is probably a good thing since it is MY life, after all. At a minimum, I need to be the one happy with it, right? Anyway, we’ve got farming, temari balls, fair isle hats, breastfeeding support groups with cool gals, taxation vexation, rice cereal, purging (not related to the cereal, thank goodness), and finally, pondering Life’s Choices. And I have no time to write about any of it.

Before I dash off, I leave you with this - Arun’s first shopping expedition in the cart. He was very concerned about it the entire time, which I guess would be normal for any 5 month old riding for the first time suspended way up in some metal contraption with your feet dangling in the air. I am just so excited that I won’t have to drag out the damned infant carrier anymore. Damn, I am SO damned tired of that damned carrier. The kid weighs more than 17 lbs as it is, adding the damned carrier makes it even damned worse AND Arun won’t even stay in the damned thing unless the damned car is actually moving. Damn it! I try to leave the damned carrier in the damned car as much as damned possible and often, I don’t bother to bring it in the house. But, before Friday, I had to take the damned thing out to do shopping. I often used up my precious, precious babysitting time doing shopping just so I wouldn't have to drag the damned carrier around. Which was a damned shame. NOW, I can use my precious, precious babysitting time for more important things, like fair isle hats.

Hot damn.

March 23, 2006

Does it bother anyone else?

Bananas: Curious George wasn’t really a good little monkey, but rather a good little APE? Don’t get me wrong, but how the hell am I supposed to teach my kid about evolution when the venerable classic can’t even get it right?

Signs: Just when I thought I knew it all, I found out I knew NOTHING. For months, I was convinced that my kid was turning out to be a fussy personality. But I was puzzled because this fussiness was mixed with curious bravado. When faced with new and interesting situations (new people, airports, animals, etc), Arun’s eyes would just get widen while drinking it all in. He rarely exhibits fright. But the fussy behavior was puzzling. It turns out my kid was simply sleep deprived since his Idiot Mother completely and utterly misread his “sleepy cues”. The Screeching did not mean he was tired. No, NO indeed. It meant he was way PAST tired and don’t expect your $200, either. Criminey! I thought the original fussiness meant Hunger or Boredom, not knowing in the least that a tired baby can easily be distracted with some boobage or toys. I had no freakin’ idea that after commencing with The Screeching, the Tired Baby would morph into Overtired Baby where everything would quickly unravel into Chucky-style oblivion. In short, I had misgauged Arun’s optimal naptimes by about an hour and half and OH. MY. GOD. What a difference our lives are now that I have figured that out. I look at my college diplomas and just SHAKE MY HEAD IN GRIEF for all the good they are doing me right now. I need a license to sign off on financial statements, but good GOD, the state of Kansas still allowed me to reproduce.

Caged Wisdom: So, last week, Arun decided that yes, he might be open to sleeping in his CRIB. But only if the planets are aligned just so. And only if his Idiot Mother could figure out that he was tired ALREADY. Like, an hour and half ago. Anyway, previously, the most he had ever slept in the crib was 2 hours - and it was only on two separate, earth shattering occasions at that. It’s downright amazing to me to be able to set him in his crib at 8:00pmish, close the door, and WALK AWAY. I have been so giddy with the luxury of free time that the first few days this happened, I was back to Sleep Deprivation days because I stayed up well past midnight frolicking around the house, catching up on the DVR backlog, watching college basketball, knitting, and farting around on the Internet. I’ll admit, it was very hard to not drag him into bed with me when I finally went to bed myself, but I was curious how long he would stay in there. One night, he stayed there until 4:00amish - at that point, I brought him to bed, nursed him, then just left him in bed with me. I admit I would rather wake up to the sounds of my sweet boy babbling away while practicing his Bs and Ls. Beats an alarm clock, for sure. So, yes, YES - I do like co-sleeping, but realize that eventually he will need to move out. If this it, then I will accept it graciously. Sob.

Enemy at the Gates: Arun has been mobile for some time now, but he’s not crawling. He does this weird backwards scooting thing while on his back. He’s not at the point where he can exactly plan where he is going, but at this point, the baby blanket on the floor is really serving as a launch pad site of sorts. Basically, it’s high time I start babyproofing before he begins Mapquesting the house. He’s reaching cabinets and banging on the doors - it’s just a matter of time before he figures out there are all sorts of evil things behind those very doors (crack pipes, our stash of gin, the Origin of Species, whatnot). This babyproofing thing is actually harder than I thought it would be - all the decisions that must be made. I am not the sort to lock up everything in my house, put corner guards on every table and turn this new house into our version of “gated property”. I will lock up about half the cabinets and just make the sure the other half includes friendly objects such as DVDs or Tupperware. I just wish remote controls came with some sort of babyproofing device because the kid is already expressing his desire for the sixty squillion remotes we have laying around. Since I don’t even know what half the buttons are used for, he must not be allowed access at any cost.

The Prince of Tides: I used to hate bathtime. Truth be known, Arun didn’t actually get that many baths because I was afraid of his skin drying out. Besides, I wash his hair every other day and he frequently gets a Full Body Wipe Down down due to the fact that he is STILL craps his pants (what’s up with THAT? can't he just toilet train himself already?). So, I wasn’t too worried about it. However, he has outgrown the baby bathtub. I tried just putting him directly IN the tub, but he was too buoyant and kept tipping over. So I bought a small inflatable tub that fits in the regular tub. He LOVED it - he cried and reached for the tub when I finally dragged his pruned-up little body out of it. Even when he tipped over in it, he would get a shocked looked on his face, then continue grasping at his toys. It also made washing his hair a helluva lot easier because now I can dunk him directly into the water. This is much more efficient than using cup after cup after cup AFTER CUP of water to rinse his hair (when I wash it in the sink, I just stick his head directly under the faucet). The best part? I was using an extra snot sucker (I got THREE as gifts) as a bath toy to squirt water on him. I have never heard him giggle so deep and so loud - his whole body got into the act. Thank goodness for camcorders, because I never want to forget that. Never. There’s also great footage of me scrambling to grab him every time he tipped over. Must save that for the SRS hearings.

Million Dollar Baby: Now that Arun is taking proper naps, surprise, SUPRISE, he is not so crabby anymore and I am starting to actually LIKE the little turd. I always loved him, of course, but DAMN, he was so freain’ cranky until recently. However, I am finding that I really enjoy just hanging out with him NOW. I love lazy moments where I can just sit with on the floor and watch him play. Because surprise, surprise, now that he is getting adequate sleep, he has more patience for playing. His very favorite position is to sit and hunker down with his toys. I just set him down at the various Entertainment Kiosks we have established throughout the house and he gets right to work.

Gone in 60 Seconds: Now that Arun can sit fairly well, life is getting easier. He won’t stay in his carseat anymore, so restaurants were getting to be painful - now he can do the high chair. Next up? TARGET. Yes, Internet, I think my boy is ready for the shopping cart and yep, he's going commando and doing it without a shopping cart condom. My boy? He'd be livin' on the wild side.

Artificial Intelligence: I will say, it is just fascinating to watch Arun progress and grow. Not that I am proud, because as much as I hate to admit, I have little to do with it. Even the breastfeeding - it is amazing to me that Arun has completely gotten to his 17.3 lbs based soley on what my boobage provided him, but I can’t really take credit for that - my body and hormones just happened to work right. It’s nothing that I did “correctly”. In that vein, Arun doesn’t want to explore his world just because I am Good Mommy. He’s not scooting around on his back because I am a Good Mommy. He’s not babbling and working on his consonant “blends” because I am a Good Mommy. This is Intelligently Designed Evolution and as much as I would LOVE to take credit for it, Arun is simply doing what he is SUPPOSED to do. Somewhere, buried deep into the DNA of humans is this inate and insatiable desire to learn, grow, and succeed. It leaves me to wonder - where do we lose it? I'm sure all of us know at least one Loser. At what point does a human push his cards in and declare “I’m out.”? Certainly, most of us start out the same. So, as much as I would like to declare my little bundle of boy a genius, I can’t. He’s normal.

Regardless, I am still absolutely, positively captivated while watching his progress.

Picture Perfect:
Look closely for the drool.

Again, the drool. Behold the viscosity.

Nope. No drool. I just love how intent he is on his toy.

March 21, 2006

Have you ever seen a snot bubble?

Note: Despite the recent Blogger outage, I refuse to bash ‘em. This is FREE, after all, and you know what they say about beggars and their choices. Hands down, blogging is the cheapest hobby I have. Which sorta helps to make up for how much I blow on yarn and books.

Monumental Mucus: DUDE. I had heard of the rare, elusive snot bubble, but to behold it in PERSON. Dear God, it was HUGE. Like, “Steve Fossett could hitch a ride on it” HUGE.

Green is the New Black: Like most folks, I am Irish a few days of the year - St. Pat’s day and any other days that include a nice frothy Guinness or Colin Farrell (both are equally yummy in my book). My father, however, is Irish (and intermittently Scottish) every day of the year. He lives for St. Pat’s day and the various Irish/Scottish festivals that happen throughout the year. He usually marches in Lawrence’s parade wearing his kilt, joins the pub crawl for awhile and then goes home to where my step-mom has put together some corned beef and cabbage. The entire family takes the day off work and they pull the younger kids out of school. Since I have had to always work in the past, I was very excited to be able to join in the festivites. So, Friday, Arun and I went to his house to partake in the Guiness, corned beef and cabbage, Irish music and my dad’s generally obnoxious Irish excitement. Fun was had by all. And next year, Arun will be old enough for his first Guinness, no?

Scour Power: I have been doing a deep clean of my blog archives. It has become evident that the chances of folks in my Real Life finding this site are growing stronger and stronger with each stream of Google Juice heading my way. While I will still keep in tune with the original sarcastic nature of this blog, I am doing a clean sweep of anything that is exceptionally venomous. Also, I thought long and hard about it, but decided to keep my filthy voice as is. I actually don’t curse that much in Real Life and am trying to tone THAT down anyway because of the MonkeyBoy. However, I still need someplace to keep my Inner Sailor alive and kicking. Finally, please refer to the new Rancid Regulations Regarding Relational Rants in my sidebar. While it won’t serve as a “Get out of Jail Free” card, I hope it does explain that while I do indeed love my family, they simple provide too much irresistable fodder for posting material. And that would be their fault anyway, no?

Knockers: I am still not used to having cleavage. Particularly, when I nearly knocked my cereal bowl off the table this morning with them.

HBO Schmo: First, for some excellent conversations, links, and comments regarding the Sopranos be sure to check out Throwing Things . Said it before, will say it again - these guys have some of the best contributors and comments around - they don’t waste their time covering all the TV shows - just the ones THEY like, which adds to the value of their content. Damn - Sopranos has just blown me away so far. Also, if you aren’t Edie Falco, you can just forget about an Emmy or Golden Globe in the Best Dramatic Actress next year. I’d like to add that I am hooked on Big Love - it’s actually VERY interesting, well written, and excellently casted. Damn. It’s great to have Sunday nights back.

Tulips? Bah....: Warm weather must be around the corner as evidenced by the fresh bunny bits our kitty H. thoughtfully left on our front porch Sunday night. Ah! Nothing says “Spring”like hot steaming entrails and matted fur.

Littermaid Loser: We own one of those fancy kitty litter boxes - the Littermaid and before you write us off as those sort of folks that spend billions on their pets, let it be known that this fancy box is just as much as for US as it is for the cats. It is well worth the money spent. Except when you throw away a full receptacle and forget to replace it thus ensuring that a week’s worth of kitty poo is emptied directly onto your CARPET.

Bauer Power: Is anyone else disturbed by the fact that Jack Bauer is saving the world one terrorist at a time armed with his Palm Treo? At first, I was worried. After all, this is the very phone I own myself and I can’t even carry a conversation on it if I dare to descend into the nether regions of my basement. Apparently, I vastly underestimated the power that Palm’s Memo Pad and an SD memory card bestows upon a person in possession of this phone.

To Kill a Jayhawk Bird

Arun says “Boo, Bradley!”

March 16, 2006

Ever been blasted by the past before?

Yesterday was one of those days that knocks the wind out of you. I ran into a very old and dear friend from my college crowd (the Indian/Pakistani/Sri Lankan one). The same one that I was a part of while dating Asshole #1. In fact, this friend, R.W., was high school buddies with Asshole #1 back in Pakistan. Anyway, I was walking with a group of friends at the mall and as I passed by a store, I noticed someone waving at me. I instantly realized it was R.W. , told my friends I would meet up with them later and walked into the store (which I found out later he owns). After a good, long hug, we started catching up on our lives while still in amazement at having seen each other - R.W. had the goods on everyone I used to know - even their various relatives. We were all such an extended family in those days that we did know each other’s relatives as well. In fact, when I went to Pakistan in 1993, I visited and stayed with all those families.

The rest of the day was a weird mix of wistfulness and gratefulness. I don’t miss Asshole #1 - not by a long shot. My official definition of love is any situation where the 2 parts thrive together more so than they ever would have alone. That is certainly X and I - that was never, ever Asshole #1 and I. However, I DO miss my friends and it was lovely to hear how they were doing. After I broke up with Asshole #1, I kept in touch with them, but after we all graduated and moved all over the country, it became easier to lose touch and move on with my life. So while I certainly didn’t spend the day pondering “what ifs?”, I can’t deny that dating Asshole #1 led to my current happiness. For one, back in 1989, I met my friend J while she was dating Asshole #1’s roommate. J later introduced me to X in 2000. Also, because of my experiences with my college crowd, I came to know, understand, and love the cultures, foods, languages, and customs of the sub-continent of India. It became a part of who was and I was never able to shake it - much to Asshole #2’s chagrin and frustration because he never understood who I was and what I was about. However, when I met X, we clicked from the beginning and knew early on that it was going to work. X is just Western enough and I am just Indian enough.........

So, yesterday was nice. It was nice to see an old friend and leave the meeting knowing that I am in a fucking good place in my life. It was nice to see an old friend and have no regrets and know that all the pain and frustration of my 20s was worth it because I am with X now. Someone who could not be more perfect for me. And it was also nice to see an old friend and learn that the Indian bitch of a former roommate of mine got finally got what she deserved.
Whoo Hoo!!

Come on, you didn’t REALLY think I would end this post on a maudlin note, eh?

Sock it to me

All hail the first sock! Of course, these means I have to do ANOTHER sock in keeping with that whole “pair of socks” concept. It was actually really cool and I am happy with the results. I turned an excellent heel, but need to work a bit on getting the arch part down better - I wasn’t pulling enough between the needles and there are a few teeny holes because of it. Anyway - do you think I should make the stripes match on the second pair? I think it would be kinda funky-like to have the stripes NOT match. Not sure..... Anyway, I would definitely like to do another few pairs for my sisters because they would appreciate having some funky socks. My younger sister is also a knitter, to boot. However, when I do their pairs, I won’t be doing the fancy lacy ribbing ever again - it wasn’t worth the extra time and tears when a plain ribbing would do just fine. I will say that socks are definitely the Rodney Dangerfield of the knitting community. Even other knitters declare “why would I knit socks when I can buy them at Target?” With that thinking why would anyone knit a sweater? Those are also found at Target. Same goes for hats, baby blankets, and gloves. To question knitting a sock goes against the whole allure of knitting. Why? Because it is supposed to be fuh-reakin’ FUN. That’s why.

He keeps going and going and going.......

FIVE freakin’ months. I am SO glad that I decided to continue the pics in the same chair. This is the first month where he can sit unassisted. It’s pretty cool to see tangible milestones like that. As of late, I can report he has progressed from cooing to actual babbling - with consonants and everything! Genius, I tell ya. He’s got his Bs and Ds down pat and every now then will let loose an M and an L. I swear to God he said “Bob Boblaw” this morning. THAT’s my Arrested Development boy!

March 14, 2006

That’s all you got?

There isn’t much going on right now, unless you would like to hear an exciting recap of my recent Costco visit. I could also recount my recent successes with getting Arun to take proper naps and the fact that I discovered I wasn’t putting him to bed early enough, which was affecting his ability to take the proper naps in the first place. No?

Instead, I present for you photos of our first Park Outing. I didn’t think to bring the camera, but luckily was able to take these snaps on the phone. Of course, considering how crappy the pics I take on the regular camera come out anyway, I didn’t notice too much of a loss in quality.


Inaugural Ride on the Slide

He LOVED the slide, even though his mama is so redneck she didn’t bother putting pants NOR socks on him. Again, another pic that must be hidden from my Olathe Grandma so she doesn’t KICK MY ASS. She wields a mean cane, folks. Trust me on this.

First Fling with the Swing

Indeed, we’ve got some serious Trucker Hat going on here. The cutest part was how hard it was to get a pic of him facing forward. He was fascinated with the baby swinging NEXT to him and didn’t really seem to get into the fact that HE was also swinging.

March 13, 2006

I wasn't exaggerating, was I?

GOD, I am a righteous asshole. Just as I always suspected.

The visit with Leavenworth Grandma went absolutely FINE and to top off my sheepish feelings, she gave me her lovely, AUTOGRAPHED copy of a book of DeGrazia prints for my birthday. Gulp. DeGrazia is a southwestern artist who we both love (I am not a big fan of the southwestern motif, but I do like this guy and have visited his gallery near Tucson - with my grandma.) Furthermore, even though Arun didn’t get in a proper nap because of the schedule change, he did get in some catnaps and wasn’t too fussy. It was such a delightful visit that it slapped all the snark right out of me.

Oh, who the fuck am I kidding?

Here’s a pic of one small corner of Leavenworth Grandma’s house. Imagine, oh say, about FIFTEEN such corners. Include about TWENTY such crannies and throw in a few nooks and only THEN have you successfully conjured up the vision of the southwest horror that is Leavenworth Grandma’s house. Yep, she likes her some prickly pears, buffalos, chili peppers, and howling coyotes. A fuckin' LOT. Kokopelli is indeed the god of fertility because that dude has reproduced about 100 times over in her house. I think the worst moment came when Arun was fascinated with her cow hide pillows and of course, as all babies are wont to do, proceeded to try and STICK IT IN HIS MOUTH. Ew. Anyway, we made it out of there with nary a trace of Mad Cow or even a migraine, so overall not too shabby.

Okay, speaking of snark - I get to totally bag on someone not related to me for a change. Leavenworth Grandma is BFF with Famous Actor’s* mother (I am not hip on actually naming the guy because frankly, I don't want the Google Juice.) As I am leaving her house today, I notice there is a 10x14 picture of this Famous Actor’s mother framed and hanging up in a place of honor. So, not only did this woman send a huge photo of herself to my grandma, my grandma then proceeded to FRAME it. Does that strike anyone as weird? The best part is that every time grandma mentions this woman, it always comes out as “I had lunch with my friend, M.C. You know, she’s Famous Actor’s mother” or “I went shopping with my friend, M.C. You know, she’s Famous Actor’s mother”. The very best part is that when she had first met this woman, she didn't even know who Famous Actor was until my mother pointed out that the guy was not only an Actor, but was also an Oscar-winning one - which raised his value substantially in my grandma's eyes.

Anyway.......... in a double bout with familial bliss, Olathe Grandma was waiting on my doorstep when I pulled into the driveway. That visit was fairly unstressful except that I had to tell Olathe Grandma to never, EVER tell my mother that “Arun doesn’t like her” again. Backstory: On Friday, X and I went to dinner in Lawrence and dropped Arun off at my mother’s. It had already been a difficult day for him - he hadn’t had a proper nap and was fighting a cold. We probably shouldn’t have taken him, but we were hoping the nice long car ride would put him to sleep. Even though he did get a nap in on the way to Lawrence, he was still a little pill for my mom. The next day, I mention to Olathe Grandma that Arun had been fussy at my mother’s. Later, when Olathe Grandma was talking to my mom, she made the offending comment. Um, my mother was already reduced to tears on Friday because Arun was "crying while on HER watch" - can you imagine how upset she was that my Olathe Grandma inferred that Arun just plain didn’t like her? Do you understand NOW the bullshit I have to deal with here? Of course, Olathe Grandma, said she was just teasing but GOOD GOD, I have to pay out the fucking nose now for that comment. My mother will hold fast to that comment for at least a week or two while I try to convince her in vain that I did not make any such remarks to Olathe Grandma as to Arun’s affection for her.

Ridiculous Snaps

This picture is deceptive because what it is actually illustrating is NOT how my sweet boy loves to play with his tasty feet, but rather how fucking stupid his mother is. Folks, I am drunk on Gymboree and there is no 12 Step program to be found. Rest assured that I will be taking picture after picture after picture of him in this outfit to gain the maximum mileage possible AND that he will be wearing said outfit until the pants fit like SHORTS. Thank God, he likes to play with his feet because at least THOSE ARE FREE.

To add to all things Ridiculous in our household, I present for you, O Internet, The Purse. It has turned out to be perfect for what I needed. It fits in the diaper bag and is easy to pop into the Combi travel stroller as well. I was pretty stressed in San Francisco because the diaper bag doesn’t fit in the travel stroller so I was endlessly taking my wallet, phone, keys and such in and out and in and out...... It makes me nervous to have to keep constant track of such important things - particularly when I am traveling. I feel pretty lame posting a pic of this, but enough people asked - EVEN FRIENDS IN REAL LIFE - so I felt I should oblige. But, as you can see, the purse was nothing but an over-priced, black clutch. I apologize for the groan of disappointment emanating from all 4 of my reading public.

Which Grandma?

That's Cuh-razy Leavenworth Grandma to you, mistah.

I am heading out to her house in an hour. It's a 45 minute drive. It will be a frantic morning trip to get there and back by Arun's 11:00 nap (or at a minimum, on the road BY 11:00 because he can nap in the carseat still). I've already gotten the exasperated "why can't he just nap here?" spiel.

Later today, I will post pictures as to why that isn't possible.

March 10, 2006

How low will I go for posting material?

I found The Purse.

Unfortunately, my new darling was at the mall, rather than Target.
Fortunately, it is black, goes with everything and was exactly what I was looking for after having trudged through so many stores for the past 2 months.

Unfortunately, it was three times as much as I had wanted to pay for such a purse.
Fortunately, it is a designer brand that is pretty classic, not trendy and won’t go out of style. I can use it until it either falls apart or I am done with the diaper bag business.

Unfortunately, it was still damned expensive.
Fortunately, my traitorous son chose my lunchtime for his naptime thus ensuring I can pay for the purse with all those savings from not going out to eat.
Unfortunately, this means I can’t buy a new breastpump because fashion is more important than food.

Fortunately, X has better fashion sense than I do and at least appreciated my choice.
Unfortunately, since X has better fashion sense than I do, he knew the exact cost of said purchase.
Fortunately, my birthday is right around that corner. And Mother’s Day. And Christmas.

Finally.............Unfortunately, save for the looming creeping crud in our house*, the purchase of The Purse is the most exciting thing going on in my life. And for that, you should pity me. Or not.

*Arun's first cold! That's my boy! Get out the camara! Get out the baby book! Get out the weird snot sucker thingiemabob!

March 9, 2006

Would you like to see my bits?

Apparently, I’ve been reading a tad too much of Brit Lit these days.

I have a post regarding my family rambling around in my brain, but can’t really write it out right now because it would come out very hateful-like and full of venom. It’s my mother’s family. They are so fucking dysfunctional it makes my head spin. It also explains every reason why I still have a relationship with my mother - I know that she simply did the best she could given the sort of role models SHE grew up with and for that, I feel sorry for her.
Anyway - in the meantime, I present bits and pieces.......

Whose Shoos? In my post regarding Robeez, Goofy Girl commented with a link to Shoo Shoos - a great alternative to Robeez. While they don’t have the Robot shoes Arun desperately wants, he does like their sandals even better than Robeez. I see some Shoo Shoos in his future, but only if he asks nicely.

Not Without My Handbag! I am having a handbag crisis. I’ve mentioned before that I LOVE* purses - even more than shoes (which is why the Robeez obsession took me by such surprise). This whole “diaper bag” thing is breaking my heart. Don’t get me wrong - I like my diaper bag - it’s just a mini-tote from Eddie Bauer but I have pared everything down to the bare minimum so I am not lugging around a suitcase (unfortunately, that’s not the case when I travel where I have to break out the stupid diaper BACKPACK). However, I miss my cute little black purse but it’s just not practical for me to carry a purse AND a diaper bag. Now, I find myself noticing everyone ELSE’S purse (it’s like that scene in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure after his bike is stolen and everyone around him suddenly has a bike). Anyway, I may invest in a nice Crutch Clutch sort of purse to get me through this tough time, but it won’t be the SAME, dammit.

Isn’t the 1st Step Admitting the Problem? I am finally breaking down and getting an US Weekly subscription. I buy the damned thing every week and even X agreed that it would just be better to give it up and subscribe. This whole thing reminds of when I used to be a smoker way back when. I would never, ever buy an entire carton even though it was cheaper because that was like a major COMMITMENT. If I just bought the cigs a pack or two at a time, then I could quit at any time, right? RIGHT? Like this very week! Really!

Little Manscaping: I noticed that my hairy little monkey was growing a crazy eyebrow hair that needed attention - STAT. Yes, you are reading that correctly - I HAVE ALREADY HAD TO PLUCK MY BABY’S EYEBROW. Okay, it was just ONE hair, but good gravy. Anyway, I did pluck it and Arun's big ole bug eyes got REALLY HUGE in surprise - although, to his credit, he didn't cry. Unfortunately, he better get used to it because I see much pluckage in the poor kid’s Tweezing Future.

Rancid Read: I finished Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity last week and LOVED it. I had to read How to Be Good for a book club last year and while I didn’t care for it, I did like his writing style - which led me to choose High Fidelity for another one of my book clubs. In High Fidelity, Hornby does a great take on dating and relationships - sometimes sad (albeit true to life) and other times, just downright hilarious. I will definitely be reading his other books. I am almost done with The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant - after that, I will be starting up About a Boy - one of my favorite movies. I have high hopes for it because of course, the book is ALWAYS better than the movie, right?

Forget Me. NOT..... I am an anal-retentive bitch when it comes to thank you cards. During the whirlwind of baby gifts last fall, I was very fastidious about keeping careful track of who sent what and ensuring a proper thank you was given. Imagine my dismay when I was sifting through a stack of old junk mail last week and I came across an unopened, sweet, thoughtful card and gift from my friends S and M. The card was dated back to OCTOBER. I was horrified - no, make that HORRIFIED.

Why? Over at Amalah's site I've noticed a curious, curious trend. There seems to be a Gold Rush-esque push to comment first and then denote it as such with a triumphant "First!". Am I missing something? Is she giving out prizes? All I've got to say is if she's offering up purses, I'm in.

*Notice the bolding which denotes strong emotion and indicates just how much I LOVE PURSES. Wah!


Where’s the remote, DUDE?

Exhibit A: Cute kid, teeny recliner. Just missing a nice smoking jacket.
Exhibit B: Ugly-smugly diaper bag at 2 o'clock, yo.

Mine All Mine

Even though I am fast asleep and hunched over much like my great-grandpa used to do after many a meal at the dining room table, I.Will.Not.Let.Go.Of.The.Plastic.Links.

March 7, 2006

No Cable Cars? No Fisherman’s Wharf? NOT EVEN CHINATOWN?

Back from San Francisco. Let me start by saying that if you are the sort of parent who is scared of germs, hates not keeping to a strict itinerary, and loathes people staring at you, wellllllll, you may not want to hop on a plane with little Johnny or Susie just yet. Actually, this trip went pretty well - after all the lessons learned during the DC trip, I was able to put them to good use for this newest trip. Primarily, I learned that Arun is the Boss, O Holy One, and the Godfather - all rolled into one little bundle of boy. If I just follow his lead, life is grand. And boy, oh boy did we do a tour of San Francisco and the environs that you won’t find in Frommer’s.

We arrived Wednesday evening and got settled into our hotel - the Hotel Carlton - a small establishment smack dab in the middle of nowhere, yet right in the city. However, the neighborhood was very ethnic where English was yet another language being spoken. So, we all quickly crashed (another pro of co-sleeping - the kid sleeps where you sleep! No complaints from Arun as long as we are nearby which is one less stressor of traveling with him). Thursday morning we all got up bright and early, had breakfast and went our separate ways - X off to his conference, Arun and I off to walk around. I left the hotel at 9:00 am and came back around 12:00pm hoping to get Arun to nap. No can do, so off again we went and I didn’t return until after 3:30pm. Basically, I WALKED THE ENTIRE DAY. I strolled through Union Square, the Financial District, the South of Market area, Japantown, the Western Addition and Alamo Square. Arun slept through much of it because as long as there is motion, the kid will sleep (which makes for great plane trips, car trips, stroller trips). It was so exhilarating to get out and about and see how the folks in San Francisco live since I mostly walked through residential areas.

That evening ended up being the star of the trip. X found out about a great Pakistani dive 6 blocks from our hotel that served haleem (a spicy, slow-cooked meat and lentil mixture). Now, I love me some haleem and it is such a delicacy that it is hard to find except in cities where there is a large Indian/Pakistani population. In fact, I love haleem so much I have carted around precious, precious leftovers after a trip to Divan street in Chicago to bring back to Kansas City with me. Food poisoning be damned! I am alive to tell that tale. While I was tempted to cart back some leftovers to Kansas City again, I am now a MOTHER and must be more responsible. Damn ...........

Anyway, Friday we again got up at the butt crack of dawn and ate breakfast. X went to his conference and Arun and I headed out to Muir Woods and see some redwoods (double bonus: we had to drive over the Golden Gate bridge to get there). I have always wanted to see the redwoods from the time I first read about them as a little girl in one of my many amazing facts books. Can I just say that it always gives me goosebumps to realize a life long dream? (I felt the same way when I finally made it to Pompeii a few years ago and similarly when I went to the Winchester House last year). Since I had taken the time to drive all the way to Muir Woods, I took advantage of the time spent and headed on to Stinson Beach - it was virtually deserted save for a few hardcore surfers - it was pretty cold and had started to rain off and on to boot. On my way back, I cruised through Sausalito. Since I still had more time to kill before I needed to pick up X from his conference, when I got back to San Francisco, I meandered around Golden State Park and through Haight-Ashbury (frankly, I was disappointed to see a freakin’ GAP store at the corner of Haight and Ashbury. Come on!). I picked up X to take him back to the Oakland airport (long story VERY short - X and I had to go back different days because he needed to go on up to Seattle). That evening, Arun and I had a little adventure I like to call Paranoid Mommy (more about that later). The next morning, we walked around the neighborhood some more, had some great coffee and then headed back to the Oakland airport to catch our flight to Kansas City.

My Favorite sighting? A Yemeni mosque down the street was located just across the way from a clothing store called Felicity’s Fetiche (specializing in “sexy costumes and shoes”). I didn’t know who to feel more sorry for - the muslims or Felicity.

My Favorite WTF? moment? Arriving at the Museum of Modern Art at 9:55 am eagerly anticipating it to be open at 10:00am and finding out it didn’t open until 11:00am. Seriously - What the Fuck?

My Favorite storefront? I passed by a place called "Play Date - Doggy Style ". It took me more than a few moments to realize that it was a DOGGY DAY CARE and NOT some sort of adult entertainment venue.

My Favorite Feat of Motherhood? Nursing Arun while STANDING UP in the middle of Muir Woods. It had been raining, there was NO PLACE to sit and we were a good 45 minute walk into the forest. Eek.

My #2 Not-So Favorite Frightening Moment? While going to the airport on Friday to drop X off for his flight, Arun fell asleep in the car. He promptly woke up as soon as X exited the vehicle then proceeded to whimper and cry the entire drive back to San Francisco. I was patting his head and noticed he seemed awfully hot. Furthermore, he was whimpering, not screaming (his usual mode of communication). I convince myself that he must have a fever and spend the entire drive back to San Francisco in a panic. I finally get to the hotel, drop off the carseat at the front desk and hightail with Arun in my arms to a nearby drugstore. Of course, by this time, Arun is happy because I am holding him and we are out on the sidewalk (his favorite place) but NO, I am still convinced he is going to DIE with me by myself in strange city. Back in the hotel room, I take his temperature with our brand spankin' new thermometer and of course, he is just fine, albeit slightly pissed that we are back in the hotel room where it is BORING and not on the sidewalk where it is EXCITING. In my defense, Arun hasn't been sick yet so how the hell do I know what a fever feels like? Also, I discovered that when you think your baby is sick, you don't comparison shop and just grab shit off the shelves. I am now the owner of an expensive thermometor - which will nicely set off the other TWO I already own.

My #1 Not-So Favorite Frightening Moment? Lest you think I am some Kansas yokel in the Big City, let me preface this by stating that I was in the middle of an actual BIG CITY. There were sirens going off ALL THE TIME. While you don't exactly tune them out, you do become accustomed to them. So, I am crossing a crosswalk that has 3 lanes of traffic full of trucks, cars, etc. I am in a crowd. There are sirens going on - per usual. Suddenly, the crowd in front of me RUNS to the other side, I stop and a police car zooms past just mere feet away from my BABY. I was so FURIOUS AND FRIGHTENED at the same time. Because of the trucks and such, we couldn't even see the police car coming. The thought of it still makes my stomach queasy.

All in all, it was EXACTLY the trip I wanted. I wasn’t in the mood for touristy stuff - once, a cable car passed by crammed full of tourists and I was grateful I went off the beaten track. I wanted to just meander around with no agenda, take the time to sample some great coffee dives, AWESOME Pakistani food, and browse through some local shops. I must not have looked too out of place because someone actually stopped to ask me directions - as a tourist, I ALWAYS take that as a compliment. In a way, I needed to just wander around aimlessly without an agenda. It was comforting to sort out all the Crummy Crap that has happened these past 2 months. No, nothing devastating happened, but I think the fact that so many crummy things happened in such rapid succession that it left me reeling a bit. While I didn’t need to do any soul-searching, per se, I did need to gain a new perspective. Could I have done it in Kansas City? Of course! But going to San Francisco made it a bit easier. While my body is still SORE as hell from all the walking, packing, carrying, pushing, lugging, and rocking, overall I feel pretty good and ready to face Life again. I guess I just needed the fresh air and the fresh attitude.

Anyway - here are some snaps from the trip. I am going to title all the pics from our trips The Stroller Series, then sell the collection for millions. You just wait. Pure genius, I can feel it. No? I almost feel sorry for Arun that he has a childhood to look forward to that is chock full of cheesy, crappy pictures like these. Almost.

Yerba Buena Gardens

Alamo Square

Muir Woods

March 1, 2006

Do those come in Bose?

Censor myself????............. Commence with the maniacal laughter ........... What was I THINKING???

The great thing about having Cousin J come to monkeysit a few days a week is that I get a different perspective on the family gossip. J's great-grandmother is Normal Olathe Grandma’s sister so it's been pretty cool getting information coming down a different familial branch and it often comes with a different slant than how my own grandma delivers the news - it’s like hearing everything in Surround Sound. Furthermore, J is a high-schooler and isn't yet quite schooled in the fine arts of "knowing what she should not say" - to my benefit, no doubt. So, yesterday she mentions that the family was talking about how spoiled Arun is and how I should send him to my sister’s for some discipline. I suspected my Mothering Stereotype was going in this vein, so I wasn’t surprised. However, since I am in my 30s, I am certainly not devastated (in my 20s? I’d be a piled up in a ball of weepy mush right now). After all, I have spent my 20s, watching all my cousins mess THEIR kids up royally, right?? Anyway, the REAL irony is that 1) Arun is FOUR months old and 2) my sister has been criticized for being TOO HARD on her own kids. Bah. Whatever.

Are all families like this? My family seems particularly bad in this area and the summary judgements are primarily directed at the MOTHERS. The fathers only get criticized when delivered in terms of “they” (i.e. “They” let that kid run around too much. “They” don’t feed that kid enough.) Specific criticisms are always directed at the mothers.

Okay, on the funner side of family..............I finally went to visit my great-Aunt P yesterday in the nursing home. I have not been there for awhile because Normal Olathe Grandma kept telling me of dire diseases percolating in the halls. When I questioned my Aunt P on everything going on, she looked at me blankly. I suspect my grandma may have exaggerated the situation “just in case”. Besides, I “run my kid around too much” anyway, right? One thing I noticed, going through a nursing home with a baby in your arms must be what it feels like to stride through a casino with a rockstar. It’s hard enough to get through the grocery store and Target without getting stopped by all the Baby Stalkers, but the nursing home? I had to tell more than one person “I am sorry, but we are in a hurry”. It was very sweet, but we actually were in a time crunch. I may have to limit Arun’s visits there lest he get a major ego.

Eek, I had more on the Family Front, but I must head out the door.