July 31, 2006

Can you get cornered in a Round Room?

Part II of My Rancid Wrap-Up of BlogHer 2006
In honor of the Patron Saint of Carmel, the Venerable But Wrinkly Clint Eastwood Who Is Beginning to Look Suspiciously Like Lord Voldemort , I present a “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly” version of my experience at BlogHer 2006.

    The Good
  • Have I already mentioned all the Free Shit? Yes? Good Lord, it was impressive. And heavy.
  • The Free Booze, which led to some of The Ugly.
  • Meeting so many very, very cool people. Particularly, getting to hang with Surrender Dorothy and Average Jane - two of my Real Life friends that I just don't get to see nearly enough these days.
  • Coming away feeling more inspired about my blog than ever. Nah, nothing is going to change, but I have a new fondness for the Underappreciated Status Quo. I don't care if my readership ever rises substantially in numbers. Not to say that I wouldn't love to get MORE readers (who wouldn't?? Be honest!), BUT in my little obscure speck of the Blogosphere, I adore the current readers I have, I still enjoy writing posts and I have yet to attract any trolls. The important things to Blogging.
  • Getting Incredibly Inspired watching Miss Zoot with her children. In particular, her son, who I declare to be one of the most polite tween boys I have met in a long time. In a day and age where we are bombarded with negative mainstream media reports as to how "bad" kids are getting, it was great to see that it doesn't HAVE to be that way. My mom was impressed with LilZ, too.
  • This MommyBlogger brought her OWN Mommy, which worked out spectacularly because my Snooty Kid wouldn't have done well in daycare. Nope, not the daycare's fault, but my kid just isn't used to being left with strangers yet. Anyway, as of today, my mom is even reading my blog. gulp.

    The Bad
  • This MommyBlogger brought her own KID. Okay, this was by Choice and I am not really Complaining because I just couldn't leave him yet. Still, it was difficult because I just didn't get to meet as many people as I would have liked. It was very hard to network at times when I was trying to satisfy my Kid's Boob Needs.
  • I went into this knowing that nobody reads my blog and I am okay with that. However, it became quite clear to me that I am not very “well read” MYSELF when it comes to the Power Bloggers. It was the literary equivalent of being raised on Mad and Cracked Magazines and attempting to pass yourself off at the Harvard Book Review. After awhile, I felt stupid. This is precisely why I didn't introduce myself to Dooce. No, NO, I am not dissing Dooce, she is a great and entertaining writer! However, I don't read her frequently because I just don't have the time. So, I would have felt like a Huge Phony introducing myself to a Power Blogger that I don't even read on a regular basis. What would I have said? "Uh, Hi. I don't actually READ you that much, but Jeepers! I just luv ya anyway!" Oh well. Maybe next year.
  • Not getting to meet the Waxed Glory that is Monkey. Every time I saw a desi chick saunter by, I peered closely. Finally, an email arrived confirming what I already knew deep in my heart..... sniff.......
  • Not getting to meet Arianna Huffington. I had a prime opportunity by the pool in the mid-afternoon before everyone realized she was even there. I was sitting RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER. However, I blew it because I got a total attack of Shyness. After her keynote speech, it was too late because she was always surrounded by someone or being interviewed.

    The Ugly
  • The Hotel Room. The Decor? Four pictures, mostly not lined up with anything, all non-matching in theme. The Lighting? I blame it for all the nasty photos of me lurking around. The Bathroom? NO BATHTUB. The Temperature? At times, it was cooler OUTSIDE.
  • The Water. WTF? I drink loads of water and this conference ended up being very stressful for me in that area. First, they try to pass of this weird Contrex shit. THEN, half the time, the "regular" water pitchers would be empty. I was so tired of drinking Pepsi (bleh!) by the end of the conference, but I was SO desperate to re-hydrate my Pathetic Liver that it was worth over-working my Pathetic Pancreas with all the high fructose corn syrup.
  • Mid-Day Outdoor Activities. I am a Sweatly Kinda Gal. I sweat BUCKETS. Too much of this conference was OUTSIDE.
  • In the same vein of Sweat, the conference rooms were too fucking HOT.
  • 4:45 AM Sunday Morning. Enough said about that. However, it was sorta Good because we did get an early morning, direct flight which meant I was home by about 2:00 PM on Sunday.

July 30, 2006

Where should I Begin? How about the End?

Note to all the Fine Folks at the Kansas City airport patiently waiting on Sunday at Gate 34 for their 12:45 pm. flight to Baltimore: After my baby boy has deplaned, he does not usually reach for just any Indian guy that happens to be hanging out in the B Group near the gate. You see, in a sweet moment of Southwest Serendipity, the plane that had just arrived from Oakland bearing my son and I happened to be the very plane that my Baby Daddy was waiting to board for HIS flight on to Baltimore.

Actually, it was pretty cool to be able to see X as he headed out to Virginia. I was missing him even though when he called me as we were still on the runway, he was smirking as he informed me that he was waiting for my ass to arrive so that he could leave. Funny guy. Hee-larious.

Anyway - where was I???? Ah, yes, that thing about blogs, blogging, and bloggers. I guess they call it BlogHer or something like that. The trip going out to the West Coast on Thursday started out very stressfully because it turned out that I had NOT purchased the option for the Friday cocktail hour. I made so many frantic calls to Dorothy and Average Jane regarding this debacle that I fear they will never answer my calls again. It ended up working out okay, but by the time we had reached Carmel, even my mom wanted to throw out my damned Treo because I was so obsessed with checking my Gmail and Voicemail. Thursday, we found a hotel, checked in and walked around Carmel. I have always wanted to go there and am glad we went, but honestly? I was very underwhelmed. It was block after block of Crazy Expensive Shit. We did enjoy walking to the beach and seeing all the cute houses with cool gardens, so it was not a lost cause.

Friday, we got up, went back to the beach to walk around, then drove through Pebble Beach (beautiful), Pacific Grove (sweetly quaint), Monterey’s Cannery Row (freakin’ touristy). In particular, Pebble Beach was spectacular. Arun slept the whole time, so at several lookout points, we drove up, rolled down the windows and just enjoyed the view and sounds of the waves. We even saw some seals - or it could have been a couple of guys in wetsuits fending off sharks, but we’re pretty certain they were seals. Or something with flipperish appendages. Seal barks or cries for help? Whatever.

As we meandered back to San Jose, we happened across the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Seriously - how could we resist a festival of garlic?? And these people mean BUSINESS. Apparently, about 180,000 folks attend this stinky shindig. Fortunately, we went on Friday which is the slowest day and even then, it was still crowded and we had to park over a mile away from the grounds. OMIGOD, in all it’s garlicky goodness, it was totally worth it.

Where else can you get garlic ice cream?

Where else would snails be considered appropriate Fair Food?

Nowhere but Gilroy, that’s for fucking sure.

Okay - on to BlogHer we go........ The rest of Friday was a bit of a haze involving wine (red), slurpy hugs (not naming names), more wine (white), tattoos (temporary), spilled wine (?) and stumbling back to my room so that my very own mommy could take care of MY ass for change and Thank GOD, she was already taking care of my kid's ass. The whole evening harkened back to the decade I like to refer to as My Roaring 20s - all that was missing was a rousing game of "I Never", a couple of pole dances using a pool cue and a Night Ending round of Mind Erasers.

Saturday, I got up hanging like a cheap of curtains (apparently, I didn’t Spill enough). What’s the first thing I did after registering? I promptly walked over to the GM area and test drove the Saturn Sky because they were offering an awesome goodie bag. Folks, it’s official, I am a total Swag Bag Hag. I LOVE me some free shit. I would have left my kid back at the Hyatt and stuffed his diaper bag full of more freebies if it was socially acceptable. Which, last I heard it's not, so you can just mark that off as yet another way the kid is cramping my style. ANYWAY, I test drove the car, picked up my goodie bag, THEN figured out which sessions I needed to be attending. Because I have priorities...........

I have many more compelling ideas and thoughts regarding the conference because as ya'll are most certainly well aware, this blog just happens to be world-renowned for its Thought Provoking posts and I am just one measly paragraph away from being the next Jane Austen. HOWEVER, I really need to get UNpacked so that I can get the clothes washed so that I can turn around and REpack them for our trip to Boston on Wednesday. I will have more later. Hey, it's not called Rancid Raves for nothing. As a peace offering, I offer up Real Life photos including ME. I am putting my Vanity on the shelf for the next few posts. bah.

To Be Continued........
In the meantime, here's some Slapdashed Snappage.................

Cagey and Zoot with their Precious Tots

Not a drop of ass or boob sweat was to be found. I think I love her.

Cagey and Dorothy with their Prison Tats

MommyBloggers can totally KICK your ass while WIPING your ass.

We Rock like that.

July 25, 2006

How many times can I use the word “Excited” before it loses its punch?

Not much is going on as I sit in feverish anticipation of going to BlogHer. I am really excited about this year’s conference. I am particularly excited about WALKING into the conference, instead of WADDLING. I am excited that THIS year, I HAVE ANKLES. Yee haw! I even get to drink (a little) this time around. Score! I hope this time around, to have the courage to introduce myself to Heather Armstrong. I hope this time around, to have the confidence to actually try and TALK to Alice Bradley, instead of blathering on about how much I love her. I hope this time to meet more people instead of sheepishly hiding behind my big ole baby belly. I am excited about seeing Amy again. I am excited to finally meet Miss Zoot! I am REALLY excited about hanging around with Average Jane and Dorothy. In short, I am way EXCITED, folks.

However, I have to appreciate the irony that the very week I am going to a blogging conference that is about blogs, blogging and bloggers, I have nothing to actually blog ABOUT. There I’ll be at BlogHer saying “Hi, I’m Cagey from RancidRaves. Er, just don’t read my blog THIS week. Come back NEXT week, ‘kay?” How lame is that?

Seriously - not much else has been going on lately. Just attempting to keep the kid entertained at ALL COSTS which requires a careful balance of going to the park, switching toys from room to room to keep them interesting, going to play groups, visiting Target and conducting supervised tours of the stairs.

The most interesting thing to have happened lately is the following tale of woe, which only serves as a reminder to how base my blogging character can get. Every day, my living room is completely strewn with toys. Every evening, I crawl around on all fours to clean it up so that everything is fresh for the next morning. It seems, half the fun is pulling everything OUT. Anyway, as I was crawling around doing a sweep for the Small toys while clambering over the Big toys, I heard Baby Tad chirp “Hi, I’m Baby Tad! That’s the YELLOW star. ” before realizing with more than a little horror that I was STRADDLING the little green fuck. ACK

However, fear not, gentle reader. All is not lost on the Blogging Front. I have a luncheon later today with Normal Olathe Grandma and my great-aunts and uncles. It's even at a Chinese buffet - my Grandma's family version of "ethnic". Surely, something snarkastically delicious will come out of THAT.

Updated to Add:
Bah. The only "delicious" thing at that Chinese buffet was my soda. When my grandma asked why X didn't come to lunch, it was all I could do to refrain from saying that I didn't want to risk my marriage by making him attend. X HATES Chinese buffets. In true form, even ARUN wouldn't eat any of the food. He CRIED and he never does that when trying new food.

And yes, his daddy was proud when I told him later.

July 22, 2006

Can I Ask A Question?

On of my very favorites of all Questions Rhetorical. Anyway, in preparation for BlogHer, I've been tagged by Average Jane.............


1. When did you start blogging and why? Or Talk about your blog. What can I learn about you in under 5 minutes? I began blogging in 2004 as something fun to do - a new hobby. At the time, little did I know how important and integral that blogging would become for me as a way of expressing myself. I have never considered myself a writer yet have been pleasantly surprised with how much I have enjoyed writing as a creative outlet. In particular, it has been nice to document my recent transition from Working In An Office to the new gig I like to call Staying Home With My Son. Previously, Working was everything to me and I was worried that Staying would put a dent in my Identity. Blogging has definitely filled a void and given a "Mon-Fri" feel to my days since I don’t post on the weekends. I just need to get over my obsessive need to proofread and this would be the Perfect Hobby!
2. Who do you read every day, rain or shine? I read most of my Blogroll, which is always a “work in progress”. I would prefer to keep it up to date, but have been quite lazy with it lately. Sometimes I am in the mood for Blogger A, but maybe other days I need a little bit of Blogger B. Then, there’s Blogger C, who hasn’t updated in weeks and dammit, Blogger D is not EVEN on my Blogroll, yet I read her EVERYDAY and sometimes, I repeatedly hit Refresh while feeling like a Total Stalker.

 3. How do you feel about meeting bloggers in real life? Are you nervous? Will you have great expectations? What do you hope to take away from the BlogHer experience? I am very excited about meeting other bloggers! I am not usually all about Girl Power, but last year at BlogHer, I thought it was wonderful to be in a room buzzing with such ENERGY. However, last year, I was what can only be delicately referred to as “heavily pregnant”. I felt like a total outcast because I wasn’t a Mommy, but wasn’t really part of the other folks, either. I wasn’t Working and was just preparing for my son’s birth at that time - for sure, I was smack dab in the middle of a Blogging Purgatory. To boot, I came back very disheartened with some of the negativity and sneering surrounding the genre of Mommy Blogging. However, THIS year? It's a different ballgame, babycakes. I have made several new friends in the past year and I can’t wait to meet them. Although, I am a little worried. Now people will discover this delicate house of cards that I have created. Will they still love me when they discover the Rancid le Manse is really just a cardboard box, the RidiculousCar is actually a Vespa and that my baby is an artfully photoshopped cat?
4. Are you and your blogging persona the same person? I like to think so, although I am probably a little more passive-aggressive in Real Life. On my blog, I tend to say the things I wish I would have said in Real Life. However, I try to be unapologetic about the differences between “Cagey” and “Kelli” because frankly, blogging is therapeutic. In fact, that has always been my unofficial tagline “Blogging is virtually free, therapy is not.” In that vein, I wish my Mom would read my blog.
5.  Soon everyone's going to meet each other at BlogHer. Important question. How do you party? With a glass of vino in my hand, friends at my side and my mouth running astray. I think all my Real Life friends can attest to the fact that I become a chatterbox when drinking.
6. So, what shoes will you be wearing??  Most probably my Favorite Black Slides. Since I have never been a Shoe Girl, the more important question is “Which PURSE will you be bringing?” I haven’t decided THAT yet and haven’t even completely talked myself out of buying a new one. Yikes.

Anyway - I am VERY excited about BlogHer. If you happen to notice a D-Lister skulking around on the fringe snapping furtive pics of the A-Listers, don’t fret. That’s just me.

Simian Snappage

Most of the gas for this blog depends on the cat, er, KID.

As you can see, I won't be winning any Mother of the Year awards anytime ever. What sort of mother lets her precious progeny suck on diving sticks?

July 20, 2006

Will I be there for you?

Before becoming a mother, I knew that my friendship structure would Change. I also knew that I would make NEW friends - friends that I call my Mommy Friends since we specifically meet and hang out because we have children so close in age - we have enough in common to want to see each other, but in reality, are hanging out because of our kids. Along the way of Mommy Blogging, I made even more new friends (just to name a few. A very few.) As a Sweet Bonus, I didn’t plan on resurrecting OLD friendships - such as R, and that has been such a cool surprise - we already knew we had loads in common and similar idealogies - having babies so close in age was simply the Icing.

Over the years, I have went through more friends than Tommy Lee has gone through tattoo artists. However, several are notable. My Childhood Best Friend drifted away when her marriage went up in a spectacular ball of fire after she left her husband for her AOL LoverBoy. I actually had to Fire a Work Friend after all the negative comments she kept making- the pinnacle being when she whined “Oh, you’re going to get married before me!” when she discovered I had a new boyfriend. That was in 1999 - last I heard, she is still “single and bitter with baggage, seeking same”. Most recently, I Lost a College Friend who pretty much had nothing to do with me after I was in her wedding in May 2005. She dropped off the planet - I saw her once or twice that entire summer. She blew off my baby shower and didn’t acknowledge Arun’s birth. Then, to make things super-gooeylicious and awkward, she miscarried her own baby just a week after Arun was born. X was out of town and I was alone - so I dragged Arun and myself to a flower store because I wanted to personally pick out something AND in particular, I wanted to personally send a card saying that I understood that she would need time and that I would be there for her when she was ready. I will never forget how physically painful it was to get in and out of the car dragging Arun around, but I wanted it all to be from ME, not my computer. However, save for one voicemail, which I returned, I haven’t heard from her since. I am still pretty hurt by that, particularly considering that my friend J who lost her husband in January hasn’t Fired ME just because I have still have a husband and she doesn’t anymore. Not to sound harsh, but I still have dreams about my College Friend and it still hurts.

However, none of the stupid baby books warn you that having a baby CHANGES your friendships. Now that I DO have a kid, I do feel some of my friendships taking on different flavors. For my friends WITH children, having kids that interact WITH each other certainly adds a new dimension. I have to be careful of the awkwardness that arises when they have children that are pretty aggressive. I also have to be sensitive to different parenting styles and I DO try to keep judgements to myself, but DAMN! its hard when you are just trying to protect your sweet boy's eyeballs. Then, there are the Friends With Kids that I am closer to than ever before - our friendship has transcended a new level built solidly on Common Fears, Hopes and Dreams. Conversely, I have to be cognizant of my friends WITHOUT children - they probably don’t want to hear the nitty gritty of Diaper Details and despite their polite nods, they probably really don't care that Arun is getting pretty fucking good with the fine motor skills and seriously? They probably aren't interested in hearing he is OBSESSED with climbing the stairs. However, most importantly, it might be harder for them to understand if I have to cancel plans at the last minute or when I don’t respond to emails promptly. Friends With Kids?? ALWAYS understand Doing Things On The Fly. (Average Jane , I salute you, the most understanding of my NonKid Friends!)

But, of all these friends, I think the ones that affect me most are the ones that simply Slip Through My Fingers. There is a reason why I have become a more diligent blogger AFTER becoming a mother. I have so many Real Life friends reading this blog now, that I know keeping up on the blog helps with the friendship. On the rare occasion we meet up via lunch, phone or email, they already know what is going on and we can focus on the Most Recent instead of the What's Happened (I’m talkin’ ‘bout YOU -- M and T!) But the friends who DON’T read my blog? The ones I haven't emailed, phoned or even SEEN since Arun was born? Those are the ones that I regret.

I wish I had a new paragraph for you, full of Valid Excuses why friends are Slipping Through My Fingers and how I Am Going to Rectify It, but I don't and I can't. These days, I am just not able to be there for my friends like I used to be pre-Arun when My Time was 100% under MY control. A part of me is sad to realize this, but a part of me has accepted that this is simply what happens when you sign for this Gig.

It is what it is.

July 19, 2006

Attention, Internet. Can you hear me?

Tapping microphone...

I have an announcement of great importance. I laid my baby in his crib for a nap, walked away and he was there for nearly TWO HOURS. Did you get that?



Towards the end of the two hours, I started to get antsy because I am not used to having that much uninterrupted time that doesn't involve Cousin J or X helping out. You see, whenever I complain about sleep issues, I am really grousing about NAP issues. Nighttime is golden around here and Arun sleeps like a rock. But, Naptime? These past few weeks, it has been a desperate exercise using the devices of Cars, Arms, Walking, Strolling, Rocking, Swinging, Whatever the Fuck Will Get Him to Sleep Because I GIVE UP.

In the beginning of his Life, I was hoping that Arun would eventually learn how to suck his thumb and that would help him towards self-soothing. No doing. I have tried to foist various objects onto him in the hopes that he would latch onto one of them for a transitional object (AKA "lovey", or "comfort object") - I tried one of my old shirts, a teddy bear, my beloved Dr. Seuss puppy, and a stuffed monkey - even BOOKS, because he loves his books so much. What does my sweet boy choose instead?


Yes, my boy chooses DIVING STICKS. He cries if I take them away when he is trying to relax or snooze. And yes, I KNOW what they look like. Is this a weird comfort object or what?? Keep your dirty comments to yourself, please. This is a Family Blog, after all. HA.

Attention Would-Be Trolls: I have already attempted to tear and chew these things apart myself, I don't think they are a safety hazard. I fed him pizza today - judge for me that, instead.

July 18, 2006

If heat rises, why isn’t hell cold?

It is mother fucking hot here in Kansas City - hitting near 100. Ironically, I was just in Vegas last week where it was easily 105. Pshaw, you say? Vegas is a dry heat? I am still not sure what is worse, but I would lean towards arguing that humidity is worse. When it is this hot, it feels as if you are Smothering In Your Skin, as opposed to just being Baked Alive.

Folks, my Blogging Engine has no gas and there ain't no BeelzeBush coming to “liberate” me. Everyone throughout the Blogosphere is posting about their own writing woes and ever the lemming, I am jumping right in. These days are filled by playing with Arun, catching up on my ragazine cache of celebrity gossip, watching movies and trying to beat the mother flippin’ heat. Unfortunately, none of these activities provide for very compelling blog fodder and as such, I shall have to rely on my mediocre attempts at photography.

Simian Snappage
Arun loves to crawl to the front door and squash his face into the glass. How could a mother resist snapping THAT? More to follow, because I am now on the quest to get the Perfect Squashed Nose Snap. I am determined to teach my boy the fine art of Self-Deprecating Humor.

Slapdashed Snappage

There I was, innocently minding my own business while Doing My Business and THIS about caused me a heart attack.* Don’t get me wrong, I think spiders are really cool BUT only when they are OUTSIDE or in an EXHIBIT of some sort.

Doesn’t every marriage have some sort of Foul Odor every now and then? Why doesn’t the stupid Billion Dollar Wedding Industry prepare the newlywed couple for THAT, instead of foisting ridiculous china patterns on them? This stupid 20 year old, Crumb Pooping Toaster caused one of the biggest blowouts EVER in the Rancid le Manse. No attorneys were consulted, no papers were drafted, no pre-nups perused**, but Holy! Shit! it was a very tense day.

*Which actually would have been embarrassing, if you really think about it. Maybe cool on the Sopranos, but not so much in Real Life.

**We could only BE so lucky to have a need for pre-nups.

July 17, 2006

Can I Confess?

That I am an obsessive proofreader? A normal blog post is proofread at least 5 times. It takes me FOREVER to post sometimes because I keep thinking ”Just one more time. THEN, I’ll hit publish”. Am I the only one? This proofreading obsession also applies to emails which explains why I am hideously behind on emails. I need to LET IT GO, because then I could email and blog more frequently. (and of course, I just added that last sentence on like the 6th proofreading.... sigh)

That I have been watching more TV lately? In the Switching One Habit for Another category, I have been watching more TV than sitting online. It is easiest to sit downstairs in the living room while Arun plays. He does NOT like sitting in the office, despite my best efforts to make it a play room for him - in the vain hope that I could sit online while he happily plays amongst himself. That plan is quickly foiled as he crawls over to me and starts grabbing at the keyboard and mouse. We really need a laptop. sigh.

That I think that Joe on Blue’s Clues is a bit of a Hottie? I have been watching Blue’s Clues because Arun will watch it for a whole 15!!! minutes!!, but then I finish out the episode because let’s face it, gals. That Joe? He’s pretty easy on the eyes. In fact, I just caught the landmark episode where Steve heads off to college and passes the Thinking Chair to Joe. Steve? Not so hot.

That I've considered buying a few more remotes just for Arun to play with? We have a few old ones already for him, but it would be nice to just scatter them throughout the house. Those things are worth fucking GOLD in the Entertainment Olympics.

That I fed my 9 month old baby chili the other day? These days, the moment Arun realizes that I am consuming food or drink, he immediately drops to all fours and scampers over to tackle me. So, I was eating a Boca Chili thingie and the problem was that I had liberally doused it with hot sauce. But Arun would NOT leave me alone, so I gave him a taste thinking he would go away but instead HE CAME BACK FOR MORE. In this same vein, we have discovered that Arun is not allegic to strawberries, mangos, trace cashews and sunflower seeds (which are SEEDS, not nuts, right??). I am sorta over the whole allergies thing at this point. I will hold tight to the peanuts thing, of course, but everything else is fair game now.

That Arun crawled off the bed the other day? CRAWLED safely, not FELL dangerously. Like, he did it the same way he crawls off the step from our foyer to the living room. Don’t get me wrong, I am not happy about it, but I was pretty impressed that he figured out how to do it. I am so grateful we have one of those low, platform beds. Yikes.

That my mother is driving me a bit crazy and I am a little worried about our trip to BlogHer? She keeps making little, needling comments about the co-sleeping which PISS ME OFF. If I want to co-sleep it’s MY FUCKING BUSINESS. I am tired of tackling all the stupid myths, false propoganda, misconceptions and urban legends about co-sleeping, folks. TIRED OF IT. She also made comments about my obsessivly taking pictures of Arun. And she always brushes his hair off his forehead. I LIKE bangs, otherwise, he looks like an egg-headed, bug-eyed freak. Also, she was starting to get mad at my sarcastic comments - like when I make the "beautiful people" comments and that I hope Arun isn't one of them and that instead, he is ugly-smugly, but smart. OF COURSE , I am joking - what mother wouldn't actually hope that her son is drop dead gorgeous AND brainy?

That after having put Arun in his carseat, I hopped into the driver’s seat and started to back out of the garage with the rear passenger door fucking OPEN? Did you read that? OPEN. Fortunately, I always creep very slowly out of the garage, so the second I hit the garage door rail thingie I stopped. There are some marks on the inner rubbery trim, but the door is okay but OH. MY. GOD. It really freaked my shit.

Haircut #5 and Counting
The hardest part about getting his haircut is keeping him from turning his head to see the action. It’s an operation best conducted with three persons - one to hold, one to cut and one to entertain/distract. He doesn’t scream or cry, but towards the end, his patience gets maxed out faster than a college student’s first piece of plastic.



July 13, 2006

BUT, does he do diapers?

Note to all the Really Nice Folks at McCarren Airport: When you offer to help and I say "Thanks, but I've got it." What I actually mean is "THANKS, BUT I'VE GOT IT." Seriously. I only pack what I can actually carry myself and I have my luggage stacked better than the most carefully constructed Jenga puzzle. In short, I have this Traveling with a Baby thing down to a science and you just fucked it all up with Your Helping. Not to sound ungrateful, but I am now dragging all my luggage with carseat unbalanced and ready to topple over and a bag with BROKEN handles because you insisted on Helping. In the future, please don't Help after I've politely declined. PLEASE.

Good god. I thought I had a problem with the digital camara, but I didn’t know how much until I FORGOT to bring it with me to Vegas. My baby boy’s first trip to my very favorite Neonopolis of Fabulous Fashion Mistakes and I forget the freakin' CAMARA? I did buy a quickie disposable, but NOW I have to get it developed. Horrors. To boot, I wasted TONS of pictures on the damned disposable thing because everytime I picked it up, out of habit I would push the button to “turn it on” like I would my digital camara. Thus, I have a dazzling array of photos displaying my thighs, the floor and probably some "artful" close-ups of my nostrils.

Anyway, let me backtrack to Saturday and our swanky soiree and my little black dress with the lovely sandals. In short, a good time was had by all. The dress was PERFECT - it is a simple, elegant dress that is still comfortable to drink, dance and most importantly, EAT IN. Also, I am definitely going to be on the hunt for more outfits to complement the sandals because they were awesome - they didn’t hurt my feet all night long - X had to literally drag me off the dance floor when it came time to leave. We did take pictures and if I wasn’t so vain, I would actually post them, but the lighting was so WRONG that even my Asian-born husband looks pretty washed out and sadly, it appears he was escorting Moaning Myrtle. I have to say, the sweet thing about the party is that it was for a business associate of X’s who had just turned 50 and the party was a great example of how a person should live his life. To be 50 years old and be able to fill a ballroom with family, old friends, new friends and colleagues goes a long way in saying something about a person. Despite the size of the party, it was still an intimate affair.

So, Monday we headed off to Vegas. On the way to the airport, I got waylaid in traffic by the rain and it is a testament to the simplicity of Kansas City’s airport that I was able to pull into my parking spot a mere 35 minutes before my flight took off and still NOT MISS IT. The flight itself was uneventful, thank goodness - Arun promptly fell asleep and I plowed my way through several ragazines. We landed in Vegas, picked up the rental car and then headed out to Henderson. We went to Ventano’s for lunch - C said they had a tuna salad sandwith to die for and omigod, she was RIGHT. It was an actual piece of grilled tuna on a bed of salad nestled between some of the most heavenly bread I have ever tasted. YUM. I can’t wait to take X there the next time we go out there. Next up - Arun desperately needed a nap, so we hopped back in the car and headed to the Aladdin to walk around the Desert Passage so that Arun could catch some shut-eye in the stroller. I have always loved shopping with C - we like the same things and it’s never stressful. There’s nothing worse than trolling a mall with someone who has the opposite taste as you. Anyway - Monday evening we went to see C’s sister, M, so that I could also see my cousin D. Also, M’s son, S, was in town with his wife and daughters. It was very cute to see the kids all playing together - a nice example of America’s Melting Pot because his daughters are part desi, also. And his daughters? Are absolutely GORGEOUS with light brown hair, blue eyes and olive skin. I almost feel sorry for S because for sure, the tomcats are going to come yowling when those girls are in high school.

On Tuesday, we went out to Lake Las Vegas - I have driven by it and have seen it from the air but had never actually driven around. We went to the Montelago and walked around a bit, but it was too hot to stay long. That place was freakin’ fabulous and so fuckin’ GREEN that you have to wonder how many commissioners are driving around in Ferraris because all that water usage seemed a tad suspicious, if you ask me. After Lake Las Vegas, we headed on into Vegas so that we could go to the Bellagio. I always try to make it a point to go there because I love the Conservatory with the side benefit of the Bellagio being my very favorite place to play craps. The current display is one of the most interesting yet, actually. It was a train/wilderness/tree theme somehow connected to our nation’s history with a tie-in to the 4th of July. Very interesting and definitely worth the trip. While there, I felt it would be unseemly to play craps while my son looked on, but I will own my White Trash Moment as I quickly threw 20 bucks into a slot machine. After all, I needed to do my part to ensure that the fine citizens of Nevada never have to pay income tax, right?

After the Bellagio, we went to a mediterranean place called Olive’s - yet another place that I MUST take X to eat. They had some of the best tzatziki sauce I have ever had and the feta was to die for. I don’t even LIKE dolmas, but I liked THEIRS. After lunch, we went to Trader Joe’s - let’s just say that I am so grateful I didn’t go there on an empty stomach because I would have done some serious damage to the available free space in my luggage.

Tuesday evening, I headed back into Vegas to hang out with my friend J and her family. We had a nice dinner and just hung out at her house catching up.

Wednesday morning, we hung around the house totally snarfing on the awesome food that C had bought FOR ME (which meant I HAD to eat it or that would be RUDE, right?) and then we headed back out for our flight. It was exactly the trip I wanted - just a casual one mostly spent eating, driving around and visiting with friends and family. I’ve said before that I love driving, and I wasn’t kidding - I had so much fun driving on this trip and trying new routes. Anyway, the next trip to Vegas will probably be a more “traditional” one - I am hoping to convince X for a trip next February where we can stay on the Strip. This is the part where I can brag at Well I Married. X doesn’t gamble and hates to stay up late. So, while he is snoozing away with Arun in our hotel room, I can throw me some dice.

I find it interesting that the very qualities that were stressing me out about Arun the past few weeks are the very qualities that make him such a good little traveler. He needs constant entertainment, it seems and traveling provides that for him. As we are running around through airports, restaurants, casinos, etc. he is happy as a freakin' CLAM watching it all go by. The constant need to be held? He is in HEAVEN as he takes nap after nap in the Baby Bjorn or in my arms. So, the next time I get frustrated after a long day of trying to keep him entertained, I will remember what a great little traveler he is and appreciate the trade-off.

Okay......Now, it's time for Today’s Subject Title which will double as a Rancid Rant. It’s interesting how often I get the question “Is X a good father?” Like, would I even say he was a Crappy Pappy if he WAS one? So, then I report that yes, he is a good father and spends all of his free time with us - if he’s not working, he’s with US. He takes Arun out all the time for walking, playing in the yard, to get groceries or coffee. So after I say that yes, I think he is a good father, I then get the Followup Question “But, does he do diapers?” which I find to be an odd question. Pun intended, I don't give a Shit if he does diapers or not. Seriously. Diaper Duty is not that bad and is usually the least of my worries. In our house, keeping our kid entertained and getting him to sleep are FAR bigger worries. X has walked as many miles in our house (if not more) trying to get our precious progeny to just sleep ALREADY, Please Dear God. Arun is not going to remember if X wiped his stinky ass or not, but he WILL remember all the hours that X has spent hanging out with him, just showing him the world. So, I am very happy with our arrangement. My only complaint would be that Arun doesn't sleep well at night without me and X is not a night owl so therefore, I can’t hang out with my girlfriends until 2am these days. While I get frustrated with turning into a pumpkin by midnight, I take the Good with the Bad. And the Good? Is pretty damned GOOD.

Puts New Meaning to "Good Taste"

In a fit of Entertainment Desperation, I made the Big Mistake of letting Arun play with my sunglasses which of course, DUH, he totally scratched all to hell. This necessitated a trip to Kohl’s because I won’t be buying another expensive pair of sunglasses until Arun heads to college. Anyway, we were shopping in the pajamas section and we turn around to find Arun had pulled down a very sexy pink bra and was chewing on it. The very best part was the two Gays who also “happened” to be shopping in the lingerie section and were laughing and pointing at him but it seemed rude to take their picture, too. I just LOVE Gays. I think next to Indians, they are my very favorite Ethnic Group.

Updated To Add:
Please note that I actually was appreciative of all the people trying to help me while I was navigating my through McCarren. However, for whatever reason, those people were the Anti-Midas of Assistance - every time they lent a hand, everything turned to shit - information was incorrect which meant I walked WAY out of the way, luggage toppled over, baggage handles were broken. Towards the end, I was getting pretty desperate in my pleas for NO HELP and had to resist the urge to slap hands away.

Arun LOVED the Bellagio conservatory. Besides all the plants, flowers and leaves for his Pulling Pleasure, there was the bonus of Other Kids.

See what I mean by the weird theme?? There was also a weird replica of the US Capitol, trains going everywhere through little weird village thingies. THEN, there was a replica consisting of several fairy tales such as the 3 Pigs, the 3 Bears, The Little Old Lady and the Shoe and Peter Rabbit.

A miracle from Above. On a lark, I put Arun down after having gotten him to sleep in the Bjorn and OMIGOD, he STAYED asleep. I knew X would never believe it, so it was worth the risk of waking him up in order to get this snap. He's in Virginia right now and he HAD to see this. (We literally ran into each at the airport last night - his flight left for VA an hour after mine arrived into KC)

This poor dog - most of the pictures I captured of her consist of nice “rear shots” such as this.

I did learn the hard way that I had not packed NEARLY enough toys, but thank god I remembered Arun’s BFF, Eric Carle.

July 7, 2006

What happens if I don’t obsessively proofread per usual?


In no particular order:

-After yesterday’s “compelling” essay highlighting my work status, I am back to the usual outdated drivel of my boring life. One more thing about yesterday’s post - it is still weird for me to realize that I haven’t held a job in over a year. The last time I wasn’t employed OR at least actively seeking employment was in May of 1987 as I headed into a McDonald’s, filled out the application and was hired on the spot.

-Question for the Internet. Is MY kid the only baby in the Universe that doesn’t watch Baby Einstein? I am so desperate for a few minute’s peace that I keep trying to plug the damned thing in. Arun immediately turns his back on it and crawls after me anyway. I want my money back. The last week with Arun has been very stressful. I am not sure if he is getting more teeth, but I suspect that is the case. Last time he got teeth, he got very clingy and that is exactly how he is right now. Fortunately, Arun is just as willing to scale X’s hairy legs as he is MINE, and X has been in town lately, so that helps. Regardless, I am getting very adept at doing things with ONE hand, since these days, I tend to have a baby on my hip ALL THE TIME.

-As blogs have a way of cross-pollinating each other, some of you may think that I accidentally “outed” myself on another blog by using my RL first name. Not the case. I used my RL first name after a little bit of thought. Why? Because in the case it was used, it just seemed more appropriate than using the blogging moniker. I merely prefer not to have my RL name on THIS blog because of the Google Juice. That’s all.

-Yesterday, I bought a Little Black Dress. At Nordstrom’s. It was totally worth it going to Nordstrom’s because I told the Nice Lady my size and within a few minutes she had a line of dresses hanging for me to try on. Again - TOTALLY worth it because Arun was screaming the entire time in the dressing room and the Nice Lady made the process go faster. I even promised Arun a pony and the WHOLE WORKS, but still, there he was, with The Screaming. Anyway, we have a fancy party to go to on Saturday and I am MUY excited. X thinks I am obsessing about the whole thing, but that is because he is a GUY. All he has to do is dig in the closet and pull out things to wear. I had to actually buy a dress, buy matching shoes, then figure out whether I had bra to go with it. Next up? I need a pedicure and I have started applying the Fake Tan. I use Estee Lauder and I swear by it - been using it for years. I always shake my head when people have bad experiences using Fake Tanning stuff. First, you MUST exfoliate and second, you have to do it a few DAYS ahead of time, in increments. Smearing gobs of the stuff all at once is always a recipe for Disaster. Always.

-Last Saturday, my mom, X, Arun and I went to our CSA farm for our “work duty” part of the membership. We pulled carrots and garlic, then washed and packed produce. The original plan was for just X and I do go, but then we decided to bring my mom and Arun. It really worked out well because then I was able to nurse Arun while there. I was worried about going over 6 hours without nursing him and pumping wasn’t really much of an option. It felt very Little House on the Prairie to plunk down by a carrot field to nurse him, but it worked out fine. Arun LOVED being out there, sitting in the grass watching us pull carrots and such. He is definitely his mother’s son because X? Didn’t enjoy the experience nearly as much as my mom and I did.

-The Drunken Northside Neighbor strikes again. NOW, she is leaving rude notes on anyone's windshield that happens to have the cahones to park in front of her house. Example? I had a friend visiting and she pulled in the driveway. When X came home, he just pulled forward and parked in front of the neighbor's yard for a few HOURS. No biggie, right? GRRR..... She has struck out at others, as well. The notes always include verbiage about "parking on your own property". Um, hello? The last I heard, the street is PUBLIC. So, a note to all my RL friends. Pleaseohpleaseohplease, park in front of her house from now on when you come to visit. There's a pony in it for you.

-It seems my little baby is getting a tan. I religiously put the sunscreen SPF2000 on him, but it wears off of the knees and the tops of his feet. I can't really put much on his hands because I don't want him to rub it in his eyes. SO, if you live in the Kansas City area and you see a hairy, bug-eyed, mushroom-headed baby with tanned knees, hands and feet, well, that would be MY KID.

Wow, the last week has been crazy, but in a good way. Lots and lots of family things going on. It’s always weird for me to do so much Living that I don’t have nearly enough time for Blogging. I miss keeping up on my blogroll and actually wonder what’s going on with everyone. I am also incredibly behind on emails. I am hoping to get caught up this weekend on that because Arun and I leave for Las Vegas on Monday. It's a short trip and probably won't involve me rolling any dice because I have to be Responsible now. Bleh. Anyway, I am pretty nervous about this trip because it is the first one in which Arun is MOBILE. All bets are off on this one. It may also be the last trip with Bjorn - I meant to research the hip carriers, but didn’t have time. I need to do that soon because BlogHer is coming in a few weeks, then after that we have yet another trip to go on in August- New Hampshire and Boston. Arun is getting too heavy for the Bjorn and will definitely be too heavy by the end of July.

Anyway, better take that shower while His Majesty slumbers.

Bed Bug

This is what I wake up to most mornings. I know when he is ready to get up because he immediately starts crawling around the bed, blowing raspberries and smiling. Fortunately, he knows to stop at the edge of the bed AND we have one of those platform beds that are low to the ground (he is taller than the bed, actually.) Anyway, as you can seen, he's not really that handsome until he's had his morning coffee.

July 6, 2006

SO, what do you do?

A year ago, I would have said “I work for the Federal Reserve doing data security”. Now? I reply, “I stay home full-time with my son”.

Last Friday marked a full year of what I like to refer to as “this Staying gig”. I can’t put my finger on it, but it still makes me chuckle when I say “I stay at home”. Why “stay”? It suggests the image of me merely sitting on my couch all day twiddling my thumbs, not "going".... just "staying". But I digress.........I have to confess that it has been Twelve Blissful months and in particular, I’d like to give a shout-out to X. Last year, I was all set to work up to a few weeks before my due date, but the Fed was getting pretty miserable after a painful re-org. My new boss was passive-aggressive and would berate me for leaving a meeting when I needed to puke OR she would pull bullshit like berating for not having sent her a file and then when I would point out that I DID send the file, she would proceed to berate me for not naming it something that she would easily recognize. In short, there was Much Berating. Bitter much? Nah, NOT ME. Anyway, X was the one to push me to quit more than 3 months before Arun’s due date and I was all “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina” as my fat pregnant ass waddled out the door past the metal detectors. Hands down - those last 3 months of my pregnancy were some of the happiest of my life. I was able to relish being pregnant and just take it easy. Whenever Arun would start kicking, often, I would just stop and enjoy the moment. I am forever grateful that I had those months to pamper myself and was able to get the house in order before Arun arrived. And then Arun DID arrive and the next few months were some of the hardest in my life. None of the baby books prepared me for a baby that wanted to be held ALL THE TIME. A fussy, high-maintenance Bundle of Boy who was all “me, me, ME”. Did I mention that he wanted to be held ALL THE FUCK TIME? Before Arun, I was all “co-sleepers are granola grained FUH-REAKS” until the Universe totally bitch-slapped me and I had a baby who slept like rock WITH me and ONLY with me. But we adjusted, came to mutual terms and life is good now. It was the hand I was dealt and I played it as best as I could. But as hard it was, I never felt I was making some huge monumental sacrifice and I am WELL AWARE that not having to worry about punching the snooze button at 6:00am had something to do with it. Believe it or not, I have tried really hard NOT to complain too much because I appreciate the perk of sleeping in late or catching a nap.

I've always known that I would want to stay home full-time, if possible. I've always known that with my slightly obsessive personality I would have always felt torn between being a Yes Woman in the Office and a Yes Mama at Home - not getting either Quite Right. Yes, I am glad that I had the years to be able to focus on my career and be The Man’s Bitch - I’ve worked a lot of hours and traveled a lot of miles. I have no regrets that I could put that kind of effort in for those years - it made it all that easier to give it up for now. Besides, my career was just ONE part of me and while Arun has come in to take its place for the time being, the other parts of me are STILL there - although some are dormant (GOD, I miss raku).

I am STILL ME, dammit - it’s only the title that has changed.

Back in February, I observed the 7 month mark of my having left the Working World. I commented then that I still felt like ME, just with less hobbies and hangovers. 5 months later and that comment still holds true. I AM still ME and really what has changed is that my Focus is different. Do I miss the “working” world? Not.One.Single.Bit. I guess since I feel as if I SHOULD miss the “working” world, a part of me feels bad that I DON’T feel bad. I LOVE staying home with Arun.

Back in June of 2005, I was so worried that I would be bored staying at home or that I would feel as if I wasn't pulling my Financial Weight. Nothing could be further from the truth. And I think this is where I need to give credit where it’s due. Again, with the X. Never, ever, not even Once, not even Implied, has he suggested that What I Do is in way, shape or form, less than What He Does. Not once. Maybe this is why I don’t think my self-esteem has suffered a single iota since I stopped bringing home any Contributory Bacon. X and I are both acutely aware that what I Do Now makes our lives easier and enjoyable. There is no question for either of us regarding the value I bring to our household. Sure, some days the biggest stress I have is getting Arun and I out the door in time for a something fun, but staying home isn't always a piece of cake, either. Ironically, TODAY is actually one of Those Days and unfortunately, I'm no longer Working for the Weekend because the NEW Boss Man never fucking LEAVES. He's always HERE and he always seems to want SOMETHING.

AnyWAY, in the same topical vein, a few months back I registered Rancid Raves on Technorati. Here are the tags I entered when I registered:
kansas city
book club
celebrity gossip
family values

And for kicks - I even entered this one: who am i?

I am not sure if those words actually portray me or this blog, but they are MY perception of how I would describe me and this blog. I think there is this notion that Motherhood should be some mind-blowing, life-altering event. In many ways, it HAS been. But I also suspect that this is yet another progression in this thing called Life.

So, to answer the question - who am I? I’m a lot of things - a proud Kansan, a Jayhawk, a mother, a wife, a reader, a knitter, an oenophile, a blogger, a LOT of things and in no particular ORDER. But most of all, I am ME and all of those characteristics come in and out of Focus dependent upon the situational facts of Spare Time and Priority. And Honestly? I certainly hope those characteristics continue to change over the years. Damned Straight- I hope to add NEW ones.

After all, I’m only 35 and God willing, I’ve got a long, long ways to go.

My Favorite Boss Man Yet

Look at the RUG on that big ole Mushroom Head. Get a decent haircut, already.

Look at that corpulent, double chin on the guy. Hello - Jenny Craig?

Look at the maniacal laughter. I'm telling you - he's INSANE. He’s working my fingers to the bone, yo. Bug-eyed freak.