December 31, 2007
Truly, it was not that great of a year. We had a lot of sickness around these here parts. Much mucus. Oh my god, the mucus.
And X walked away from a business that he started with his Then Life Savings to start yet another business with our Current Life Savings.
And both of our families had some pretty serious heartache this year. Things I could not write about because this blog is my story to tell. Not their story.
And this year brought us Anjali - our sweet baby girl. We are complete now.
I suppose it was a pretty damed good year, after all.
Happy New Year to you - I hope you are spending with the ones you love.
- These are my favorite past posts - it is an ongoing post that I keep mainly for myself.
- Why were our 20s so hard?
- Knitting Continental or English? Knit picking from a nitpicker
- Is it cultured or just plain shocking??
- Where have you been Bad Attitude?
- Whereâ€™s the martini in maternity?
- Where does the ending meet the beginning?
- Since when is cynical a bad thing?
- What have I learned?
- Fit to be a mother or just fit to be tied?
- Co-Sleep or Co-Weep?
- Holy Shit. Six Months. Where does time fly?
- Grizzly bear, grizzly bear, what do you taste?
- So, what do YOU do?
- Will I be there for you?
- Should I have told her?
- Isn't admitting your Hypocrisy the first step?
- What television, music, movie or book from my childhood am I excited about sharing with Arun?
- What's that FDR line about "Fear"?
- Aren't Pictures Worth a 1000 Words?
- Couldn't we ALL use a Three Martiini Playdate?
- Need Some Motivation?
- Why? Why not?
- Why do we say "Bye Bye" but not "Hi Hi"?
This doesn't necessarily mean these posts are good, it simply means that I like them and they mean something to me personally. Sadly, when I ditched Haloscan all the past comments went to BlogHeaven. I swear crickets haven't been chirping for two years over here.
December 27, 2007
Speaking of Santa, it was totally and utterly kickass to play the part. I am unapologetic and firmly in the camp of Believer now. Seriously - it was SO MUCH fun setting everything up the night before. I was so jittery with excitement that I had trouble sleeping and I even got up before Arun in the morning. Yeah - something was seriously wrong with that scenario. Ahem.
Anyway, it was a really nice Christmas. Not overly done - the kids got plenty of presents, but nothing extravagant. The past few days have been mostly about eating and hanging out with family.
As it should be.
The Glasses Are Half Full
More Stuff on My Kid
December 20, 2007
For whatever reason, whenever I mention Santa, Arun immediately pipes up with the word "trumpet". I do not know if they have one at preschool or if it is something he has picked up from Jack's Big Music Show, but the kid is associating Santa and trumpets for whatever reason. Lucky for him, I finally found one. Who knew that such a simple kid toy would be so fucking hard to find? I searched everywhere - Restoration Hardware, ToysRUs, Walmart, Target, and online..... I found one at the Toy Store in downtown Lawrence.
So, yes. We are going to do Santa with our kids. X thinks it is silly since in India, Christmas is actually about a Mass for Christ (for reals? Who woulda thunk?) However, I suspect when he sees how much fun the kids have with Believing, he will be on board with the white-bearded geezer. I will admit, I am still not sure how I will answer the inevitable questioning of the veracity of Santa from my kids. I do not remember the exact moment when I found out Santa was a fraud, so I must not have been too broken-hearted (or perhaps, I have merely repressed the trauma?) Regardless, I still found him a lovable old coot, even if he was a figment of my imagination. Besides, the concept of Santa is fun, so what is the harm?? We will not go overboard with the "naughty or nice" theme and Santa will only bring a toy or two, not the entire Yuletide Bounty. I do not see that this is a big deal.
Anyway.....in other spaces, I have posted at the FoodieBytes blog about the "one and only one" Christmas food you would choose. We are getting some really cool mentions out in the Blue Nowhere so I talk about that as well. At the BoobLog, I am talking about how useless baby cereal was for us and how I do not see myself going that route much with Anjali. Bring on the lentil soup!
December 12, 2007
Arun has really been into jumping these past few months. The past few weeks, he has taken his jumping skillz to a whole new level and is now jumping over things. Perhaps, a baby lying on the floor? The same baby who coincidentally has recently learned out to roll over onto her stomach? Good thing Arun is a damned good jumper. Be still my heart.
In other news, I went to Target YET AGAIN to get another prescription filled YET AGAIN. I also got to see my new boyfriend Greg The Pharmacist..... YET AGAIN.
SO..... I really appreciate all the comments lately - it seems opening up my comments to unregistered users helped folks. Truthfully, my unofficially announced goal for December had been to get better at replying to comments, but as you can see, I suck. However, I do feel bad that Blogger is being an ass about easily linkable commentary. SO.... here is what I will do about Making Nice. I do appreciate my readers. Many have become personal close friends that I have leaned on in hard times (oh, say, for the entire year of 2007. Gulp.) In a related note, one of the things that I regret about NaBloPoMo this year is that I did not make any new friends nor did I discover any new blogs. I was running 2 steps behind the entire month of November, so that was my fault, not NaBloPoMo's fault.
Therefore, to Make Nice, if you comment during the month of December not only with I respond in the comments section. From this post forward, I will also make a commitment to visit your blog as well through the month of December - leave your URL in the nickname field or the comments field. I will admit that I have considered and am still considering a move to Wordpress, which makes me sick to my stomach (the thought of re-doing everything? losing readers? starting over?) As I think about that, consider this my olive branch in the meantime for having the audacity to be a Blogger blogger.
Obviously, this would be the lamest post EVER to make a comment on, so I will offer up a topic for discussion. If you had one and only one piece of advice for a new mother, what would it be? And no, this is not a trick question - even if you do not have children, you can still offer up a pearl of wisdom. We have ALL been children at some point, so at least we can all offer up a advice regarding What Not To Do. Right?
My advice? Trust your Mommy Gut. No one knows your child better than you and your partner. NO ONE. Not even your doctor. I listened to my Mommy Gut on Monday morning and am so grateful I did. Anjali was not acting right, but there was nothing definable other than she had the sniffles and her eating habits had been off since the night before. However, I called the doctor and flat out said we needed to see someone. This is how we discovered her ear infections. I am new to ear infections (Arun's first was discovered just last week) so I would have had no idea otherwise.
So, what do you have to say to a new mother?
December 10, 2007
I wish I could compose a hilarious post with heartwarming tales but really all I have got is copious amounts of mucus mixed with antibiotics dispensed in florescent hues. I shall just move on - is that acceptable with you??
My baby girl turned 5 months yesterday. While Arun is the engine that put our little family on track to becoming a Family, Anjali is our caboose. To say that she completes us is an understatement. As stressful as this past week has been, I would have it no other way.
Gene Simmons Can Kiss My Ass
December 7, 2007
In the meantime, I am going to take advantage of the fact that I have opened anonymous commenting up. Two questions for you and you can comment anonymously if you do not want to 'fess up publicly.
How much do you spend on your kids for Christmas? If you do not have kids, what do you think it reasonable? I am limiting myself to $50 per kid this year and it is HARD because it is FUN to buy toys, no? However, Arun has seen a steady stream of toys since Anjali was born in our desperate attempt to keep him entertained when we were drowning. Then, he even got a Melissa & Doug train set for his birthday. I am trying to apply a tourniquet to the situation. The goal for future Christmas is one big gift and several small gifts. No matter what our financial situation is, I do want Christmas to become overblown, but I still want it to be fun. We are lucky in that not a lot of extended family buy for our kids anyway.
Also, how many outfits do your kids have? I try to limit myself to no more than 14 since I do laundry every Sunday anyway. Anymore than 14 and I feel bad that the clothes are not getting enough mileage. Am I weird?
What do you think?
December 5, 2007
Last night, I insisted to X that we needed to sit in a steamy bathroom with Arun to clear his croupy throat. X protested saying this did not make sense and that Arun would just freak out. He proclaimed that the cool mist humidifier in the bedroom was enough. He then questioned my expertise in the realm of Things Croupy. How could I explain that I had seen Debra Winger do it with her daughter during the countless times I have watched Terms of Endearment, one of my all-time favorite movies? I cannot blame him for not wanting put the fate of our son's health in Debra Wingers hands. But still. Innernets, was I wrong??
My poor baby. There is something about a feverish kid that freaks my shit out. I do not handle it well. But now, I have Perspective again. Something I had lost earlier this week when I was struggling with a big of a Funk. Holy CRAP. Nothing else matters much when your baby is sick. Nothing.
Anyway - while doing nightwatch over Arun last night, ironically, I had time to fiddle with photos on the Mac that resides in the spare bedroom. Enjoy.
Just what I always wanted. My own little sister!
I will name her George, and I will hug her, and pet her, and squeeze her.
Look at my baby girl totally rockin' those cowboy pajamas! I hope she appreciates those moose pajamas that are comin' down her Fashion Pike.
Yes, blue eyes. We are not sure whether they will eventually turn brown, but damn. We are loving them in the meantime.
December 3, 2007
In the olde days of yore, those known as "free of progeny", I lived for phone chats with my best girlfriends. My favorite time was Saturday morning - I would down a pot of coffee and a half pack of cigs while chatting the morning away. While I do not miss the nicotine-laced caffeine buzz, I do miss talking on the phone. But these days, it is hard to get a minute to talk. Wait a second. Actually, I could talk the night away, if the person on the other end does not mind Constant Interruption. The other night, while talking to Monkey, I was desperately trying to keep Arun's
Where was I?...... Oh yeah. What are the rules for beginning a textual relationship? If I want to text someone, do I need to ask permission? Do I send an email to ask permission? Or do I call them on phone? Or wait until I see them in person? Send a text, perhaps?
So yes, texting. Is new to me.
iz v. v. cool
December 2, 2007
So, as usual, folks are getting the Hate On over Blogger and the newest complaint regarding Blogger is baffling me completely. Folks are mad, nay furious, because they cannot link directly to their sites in the comments section. I did not realize this was a recent change and I was not aware that Blogger had even allowed direct linkage before - it was definitely news to me so I misunderstood it at first. Besides, just last spring, I had to turn off non-registered comments when I found myself to have acquired my first troll. I hated doing that because it did require folks to register with Blogger in order to comment. However, at the time I did not have the patience to deal with a troll or to begin moderating my comments.
So, it appears folks are suggesting Haloscan as a solution. I used Haloscan in the past and did have a great experience with it. They went through a period of time where it was exploding in mid-air, so I switched back to Blogger comments. I do not necessarily regret it because Haloscan does not keep your comments forever - if that is important to you, I cannot recommend Haloscan. Also, switching to Haloscan will blow away your previous entries' comments as well. It is just something to consider if you are going to switch.
I am not going to sit here and pretend that Blogger is perfect, but it is usable and free, to boot. I feel compelled to defend a free product that for the most part, works quite well. I have used Typepad and Wordpress for other blogs and I do not understand why folks rave about them being so superior to Blogger. Frankly, I have used Wordpress for two different blogs and both experiences were frustrating. I am still struggling with it on my food blog which is frustrating because I would rather be writing posts, then screwing around with the settings and such. And Typepad? It was okay when I used it a few years ago, but I could not justify paying for it. However, I will admit that I just want to write a blog. All I desire is to write meaningless crap about my life. I am not into site design and adding widgets and fancy stuff into this place. I realize that makes my blog fairly boring and probably contributes to my low readership. I also know that just the fact that I do not have my own URL has automatically relegated me to a lower status in some social circles. So, it is not like I count myself as serious or anything like that. But I am having fun over here and that is my #1 criteria for blogging - I need to find it fun or I cannot justify this hobby.
So, I still do not understand what the fuss is about - I have a Blogger profile set up for my FoodieBytes Wordpress blog and in that profile I have set up linkage back to the FoodieBytes site. As such, we are seeing traffic going to the FoodieBytes so it is apparent this setup works. Would it be more convenient if folks could link directly to the site from my comment? Of course, but I know lots of sites that require registration and it has not prevented me from commenting. For example, I do not see anyone bringing the Hate On at Alphamom because they require comment registration.
Since I am not willing to switch back to Haloscan and yet again, lose all my past comments, I am going to just open comments again to unregistered users. It seems that way you can enter a "nickname". If you do not wish to register with Blogger, you can use the nickname field to enter your name and url. Oh sure, we will not be able to link directly to you, but holy crap folks! It takes 2 seconds to select text and paste it into a URL field. If someone is willing to take the time to comment on my site, I am willing to take the time to cut n' paste to check out their site. That would only be fair.
November 30, 2007
First, thanks for the NaBloPoMo Survivor's Badge goes to Mrs. Fussypants.
Monkey in a Suit has tagged me for an 8 Things Post and I just cannot resist that crazy bitch. The meme, not Monkey, of course.
8 passions in my life:
X and my kids (the Core of my pathetic existence)
Reading books, magazines, cereal boxes, graffiti, blogs, the written word (wherever it may exist)
Antiques/Old Things of Interest (e.g. does need to have monetary value)
Traveling/Road Trips (Dude - driving to Wichita is exciting to me. The Flint Hills are absolutely stunning.)
Being Outside (seriously. Just sitting in my front yard is good enough.)
Go to India. Specifically to Kottyam, Kerala where X was born.
Read everything Jane Austen has ever written.
See Mount Everest (NOT climb it - just see it. I am utterly fascinated with the folks in Kathmandu who live in its "shadow")
Learn a 2nd language FLUENTLY
Learn how to play Chopin's Funeral Marche in full.
Read all the Harry Potter books with my children.
Go on a proper African safari. No touristy shit.
8 things I often say:
Do you want to watch Diego?
Get out of her face. NOW.
One more time and you are in time-out.
What the fuck?
You sexy thang. (Note: poor X. Feel pity for him. I know not what overcomes me.)
8 books I read recently
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Cane River by Lalita Tademy
Nurture the Nature: Understanding Your Child's Core Personality by Michael Gurian
Bookends by Jane Green
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
8 songs that mean something to me:
I Deserve It by Madonna
Hips Don't Lie by Shakira
Nothing Fails by Madonna
In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel
The Captain by Kasey Chambers
Bike by Pink Floyd
You by Bonnie Raitt
Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd
And yes, there is not a link for Miss Susan of the Chocolate Covered Pistachios fame. You see, Miss Susan has been all High n' Mighty about this here thing we call the Blogosphere. This is my attempt to call her shit out.
I suspect that Mojavi will support me in this.
November 29, 2007
Anyway.........The other day, I posted about Arun recognizing the word "zoo". After publishing, I felt sheepish that perhaps I was bragging so I decided to cut the paragraph out of which basically amounted to a Boast Post. However, Jenny had commented on it so it seemed silly to have her comment out there which made no sense. So, I added the paragraph back in. I hated the perception of being a braggart, but truly - I am so damned excited about the prospect of my kids reading. I have been collecting children's books for years in the fervent hope that I would someday get to share them. Last week, when Arun recognized the word "zoo", my stomach did little flips because I was so thrilled. It makes me tingle to think that in a few years, we will be reading books together.
I try to be conscientious about bragging - I feel so lucky that I have Mojavi and Chocolate Covered Susan with whom I can talk about these little things and feel okay that they know I am not trying to be competitive. Besides, I care for their daughters deeply, have seen both of them grow up since newborns and I love hearing about their accomplishments, too. In fact, over the past 2 years, Susan and I have watched our children hop scotch past each other with all the milestones. Back and forth....back and forth...... back and forth..... We have been able to see firsthand how unique a child can be in his/her development. We know that in the end, most kids wind up at the same point eventually so it does not matter who "did it first".
There was a short time in the beginning of our playgroup's life where we had a Competitive Mom in our midst- and oh God, it was miserable. There is such a fine, thin, teeny line between "comparing" and "sharing" - that mother constantly crossed the line and often hurt our feelings in the process. It was a good lesson for Susan and I - as such, we are very frank with each other now about such things. I would be utterly horrified if she ever thought I was trying to make her feel bad by my talking about something that Arun has done that maybe her daughter has not done yet.
The same applies to the Innernets. I want to use this space to share my excitement about my kids, but rest assured, my intent is to never, ever make someone feel bad if their kid had not reached the same milestone yet. I love reading about all of your kids' accomplishments. I hope you feel the same.
November 28, 2007
So....Today, I am raving about two products that are totally stylin' my baby girl's curly locks. It is an odd combination, but it is working for her. As a Straight Hair girl, I am utterly and completely fascinated with Anjali's hair. It has taken me awhile to figure out what works because it is a careful combination of scalp and hair. And most importantly - NO BRUSHES. Maybe, a comb, very lightly, before I apply everything. Overall, a light picking with my fingertips works best. If she ends up being a Curly Girl for Life and ever wants to straighten her hair on an ironing board with an iron, I may have a heart attack.
I hate my heavy, straight hair that resisted even a spiral perm. The thought that my girl may not ever have to suffer straight hair makes my heart sing with joy. And yes, I am fully aware that if she does end up with Curly Hair she will despise that. I think it is every woman's destiny to hate her hair. However, my goal in life is to teach her how to properly care for her particular type of hair and maybe, perhaps, possibly as an adult, she will grow to appreciate her hair for whatever it turns out to be, curly or not.
soap and with her curly hair, it seems best to just not wash it with anything soapy. Except that her teeny scalp needs to be washed and it gets flaky and needs to be combed while wet. Cetaphil to the rescue. It does the trick without drying out her hair to a frizz.
Okay - I open the floor to you regarding baby hair care......
November 27, 2007
Lately, I have been playing a game with Arun that I call Silly Questions. I suspect mothers have been playing it for ages, so I cannot claim to have invented it. I ask Arun a series of questions and he answers "yes" or "no". Does Arun eat cheese? Does Arun eat hay? Does the kitty eat yogurt? Does Mama drive the car? Does Anju Baby drive the car? You can guess the answers and which ones make him giggle the most. Anyway....
Arun is so much FUN these days. We still struggle mightily with sleeping and napping - the new bed lasted about two whole weeks. We now use it for hanging out on while we read books. In fact, we have a crib and twin bed in a room in which neither of my children sleep. X and I have totally invested in this co-sleeping thing at this point. Which we are all totally fine with because we are sleeping. Which is a fairly important activity in my life, this thing called "sleeping". Anyway, it is worth the struggles with sleep because other than that, things have been going fairly smooth.
This morning, we had our meeting our Parents as Teachers Educator, R. We both had a moment of "Oh. Hmmm...". At our last visit, I had mentioned that he knew most of his ABCs. This visit, I mentioned that he knows nearly all of them now, but sometimes spaces on the Q and confuses X with K sometimes. R thought on the last visit that I was talking about recitation, not reading. The most exciting thing lately is that he is also able to recognize a few words now - his name, Anju's name, zoo, and DVD (although, does DVD even count as a word? Is it not an acronym?). Anyway, he is totally on his way to Chechov, Dickens, Twain. Right? No? Whatever. It was nice to know that he is on track with that stuff at least because until recently, he had not been Rockin' the Talkin' very much.
Last night, I put the Christmas tree up sans ornaments but with the lights to get him used to it.
Me: Look! Arun, it's a Christmas tree.
Arun: No! Da green tree! GREEN tree.
The kid calls 'em like he see 'em. I am an idiot, apparently.
November 26, 2007
Although, I suppose it could be perceived that I am prejudiced in favor of the subject matter. Whatever.
November 25, 2007
And yes, I would never, ever use a crock pot, which is precisely why I do not even own one. Leave the house with something COOKING on a HEAT source???? ......shudder.......
November 24, 2007
We come to love not by finding a perfect person but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.
Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner.
Everyone is alone. It's just easier to take in a relationship.
It doesn't matter what you do in the bedroom as long as you don't do it in the street and frighten the horses.
-Mrs. Patrick Campbell
Love is like racing across the frozen tundra on a snowmobile which flips over, trapping you underneath. At night, the ice-weasels come.
And most importantly......
Nobody loves no one.
November 23, 2007
Every year, I have to remind X to avoid All Things Commercial on this day. And every year, I cringe a little inside that I live in such a country where folks go insane like this. I am hard-pressed to explain to him what the big deal is - there are still 30+ days to shop for Christmas, what is the hurry? Also - keep in mind that X was raised Catholic in India, where Christmas is actually all about a Mass for Christ.
For the most part, the holidays do not stress me out. I do not bake - I tried that one year with results that were somewhat edible, but so not worth the work. And I feel little compulsion to make this the Best Holiday EVER for my kid - sure, he is getting some toys because toys are FUN. However, I want his memories to be fuzzy ones of Christmas trees, music, and family. And yes, some toys (did you see that part about FUN?) And lights. Lots and lots of lights (I have plans to do a lot of walking and driving around in neighborhoods this year.) How hard is that? Those are my favorite memories and I know my parents did not freak out every December. I want my kids to remember hanging out and relaxing - maybe doing some special events like attending some of the little festivals around here. Not rushing around in a frenzy while I swipe my credit card to and fro....
I'll admit that it certainly helps that my family has ramped WAY back on the gift giving. I am so lucky! Despite the size of my family, my list totals 12 people. Oh wait - 13 people (Sorry 'bout that, Anjali). My sister and I agree this year to not give gifts to each other's kids (credit goes to The Other Anjali - the one at Life in the Hundred Acre Wood for this. Before her post, I would never have considered the possibility of denying children the magic of toys. However, The Other Anjali's post was compelling enough to convert me to her own level of Scrooginess. hee!) Anyway, my sister will explain to Older Nephew what is going on, but the younger kids will never know the difference. When they are a little older, we will have them draw names so they can exchange amongst each other.
Again.... this is not a rant, but an appeal to folks to be kinder to themselves. It was so hard for my sister to make the decision to not exchange gifts any longer. And I still miss getting her stuff because she was my very favorite person to buy for - she is quirky and creative and it was so much fun finding her gifts. And I still feel a little icky that I will not be giving my nephews and nieces gifts. And it was really difficult a few years back to ask my aunt if we could stop exchanging. And it was awkward to approach the subject with my cousin, too.
Regardless, now that we have done it, a huge weight was lifted off of all our shoulders. When we get together in a few weeks for our Mexican Christmas Buffet at my cousin's house, it will be nice to just focus on being together.
November 22, 2007
P.S. I ate so many cranberries today, my mouth is all tingly and sore.
November 21, 2007
Anyway over here, I am talking lips. ...............
Stuff That is Good Because I Like It
November 20, 2007
Sure, I cannot really complain that it is has been super stressful since I actually have it pretty good. The kids are easy-going, Arun will play contentedly with his bazillion toys for decent periods of time and Anjali is happy to just watch him. Also, X works from home, so we tag-team many of the Kid Duties. However, but I do have a newfound respect for WAHMs and truly, would never want to be a full-time one myself.
November 19, 2007
Also, one of my very favorite things that I look forward to every Thanksgiving and Christmas is my Great Aunt's weird, whipped cream cranberry salad that includes pecans and grapes. It is an odd confection, but it is so yummy.
Great Aunt Joan's Weird, Whipped Cream Cranberry Salad
- 12 oz fresh cranberries
- 2 cups red grapes (halved)
- 1 1/2 cups mini-marshmallows
- 2 cups pecans pieces (not chopped)
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup white sugar (divided into 1/2 cup portions)
- Wash cranberries and drain. Then, grind cranberries in food chopper until finely chopped.
- Place ground cranberries into a bowl, cover with 1/2 cup of sugar and let sit. (Optional: you can add another 1/4 cup of sugar in this step if you prefer sweeter cranberries.)Whip the cream with 1/2 cup of sugar until you get firm peaks.
- In a large bowl, add the sugared cranberries, grapes, marshmallows, pecans and whipped cream together. Stir by hand with a spatula and let it sit overnight.
- Before serving, you can add more pecan pieces for garnish and display (my great-aunt would arrange them in a circle in the center of the bowl.)
November 18, 2007
Anyway..... today marks a special day. On this day, in the year 2000, X and I had our first date. Oh sure, the state of New Hampshire legally bestowed our Love with rights and responsibilities in 2003, but I think there is something particularly poignant about the First Date. Probably even more so than a wedding date. We will not do anything special today, but I do like to remind X that his life changed drastically for the better on this day.
It is crazy to think how much our lives have changed these past 7 years. As much as I say my children are the center of my life, X is everything else. And I am not ashamed to admit that. It seems that often, women are discouraged from hanging their hopes and dreams on a man, but whatever. Our hopes and dreams are so intertwined and tangled at this point it would be a far easier task to untangle the Christmas tree lights skulking in our basement.
November 17, 2007
Reading is arguably a far more creative and imaginative process than writing; when the reader creates emotion in their head, or the colors of the sky during the setting sun, or the small of a warm summer's breeze on their face, they should reserve as much praise for themselves as they do for the writer - perhaps more.
-Jasper Fforde "the Well of Lost Plots"
I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
-Jorge Luis Borges
November 16, 2007
As an Olive Branch, this is what I propose:
All posts will be titled "Have you been bitten by FoodieBytes?". I am hoping this will help those folks that live in the likes of Ohio and Alaska so that they will not have to squander precious blogsurfing seconds weeding through yet another post about FoodieBytes.
Does that sound fair enough? Yes? Okay - moving on............
FoodieBytes is going really well. We are getting some awesome feedback - even on the big sites like Chowhound. This is so exciting.....
One of the cool things about the site is how much I have had playing around with it, finding restaurants that I love to go to when I am in the particular cities supported.
For example, Haandi holds special memories.
It was 2001....X and I went to the DC area for the first time together as a couple. X had just bought a house there and at the time, we thought that would be the place where we would eventually live. For me, it was a chance to see X's "other life" since his company was based there and technically, he was supposed to go back there eventually. I remember specifically wandering through his freshly purchased house, wondering if that would be where we would have our children together. You know - all that dreamy crap you do when first dating.
We ate at Haandi (the Falls Church location) on that trip. We met my cousin Robin there and it turned out to be the last time I saw him before he passed away unexpectedly later that year, which admittedly, makes the meal extra special to me. I still get teary-eyed when I go there and see the table we sat at with him.
So, the food was just superb - we ordered a variety of typical Indian dishes - what I remembered most was their chicken saag. But what struck me most was two things. One, the service. It was polite, respectful. And the decor. It is very difficult to find "fancy" Indian restaurants* in the United States. Sure, dives serve excellent food, but sometimes, just sometimes, you want a cloth napkin. Know what I mean? So, yeah - Haandi has a nice place with good murals and furniture. Furthermore, the service is always, always polite. We go there nearly every time we go to DC together because it is SO nice to go to a fancy desi place for a change. Furthermore, X goes there quite frequently on his own as well when he is in town. It is one of his favorites because as he has said "It is difficult to find a good Indian restaurant with a nice interior that treats you well, too". And he is right.
*No, the hideous Bombay Palace does not count. Gorgeous decor. Nasty food. I was so pissed after a meal there, I nearly asked for our money back, but X thought that would be rude. I do not care if it is a favorite amongst Capital Hill lobbyists. Bleh. That place was so over-rated.
Listen, folks. When I whined about whiners, I meant the folks who grouse about the stuff that is a result of choices.....decisions. Specifically, choices and decisions that are made over and over and over again. For years.
I most certainly did not mean folks that complain about having a juicy cold, a lousy neighbor, a nasty boss, a cranky kid or simply a bad day (Damn you, Daniel Powter). I did not mean the folks who have lost a loved one. I did not mean the gals who are pregnant and in the throes of the discomforts that usually accompany most pregnancies. And truly, if your kid as lice? Whine away. Or write a haiku for our commiseration pleasure. Even better.
No, no..... I meant folks like the person I was in my 20s. The one who made irresponsible financial decisions and wondered why she was broke all the damned time. The one who dated emotionally unavailable guys yet wondered why she was still single. The one who griped, moaned and complained, yet never did anything to better her situation.
Um. Except that I did do something. I eventually took a job that sucked my soul and social life with it. To get that job, I even LIED to the recruiter about my then current salary and then said I had another offer on my plate for 5k more. My palms were sweating during that phone call, but I ended up with the new gig that paid nearly 20k more. 20k that I deserved because I had been underpaid for years. But, like I said - at that job, I had no social life and furthermore, my boss was a backstabbing ass. However, I was so very desperate to get out of my financial situation and it was worth it. I paid off some debt and even was able to buy a house. At the same time, I had begun dating a really, really nice guy. ME! A nice! guy! Who knew?? Because for once, I had given The Nice Guy a chance (the guy's name was X, by the way. In case you were waiting in suspense) And finally.....around that same time, I tried really hard to let go of Old Grievances and I attempted to just forgive, forget and move on. Forgiving is a bit healing to wounds, quite frankly. It is still hard. A tough pill to swallow, but one that digests eventually.
Because of all those things I did, I am a happier person. Unfortunately, when one makes positive changes in her life, it can leave one a bit smug as to her circumstances. Apparently, I should work on that.
I promise I will try harder, folks.
November 15, 2007
It is a site called FoodieBytes and it is really, really cool and holy crap, this is only Phase 1. There is still more to come. My only complaint is that Kansas City is not one of the featured cities - currently, this is for those lucky folks in DC, San Francisco, Chicago, NYC, and Boston. Grrrrrr...
Okay, what the hell is FoodieBytes, you ask? The site is a unique place where you can find new restaurants serving your usual favorites. Let me give an example: When I am in Chicago, I like to eat at Sabri Nihari on Devon street. But what if I wanted to find a new place the next time I am in town or what if I did not have time to get over to Devon street for my nihari fix? I can use the FoodieBytes site to do a search on nihari and find a new place. Otherwise, I am stuck calling random Indian restaurants until I find one that serves nihari and I would have to figure out myself whether it was conveniently located to me or not. FoodieBytes provides the maps and everything.
Please check out the site and feel free to either comment here or email me at cagey333ATgmailDOTcom. I would really appreciate any of your comments, questions or criticisms on anything from the site design to the site functionality.
I feel the need to apologize in advance as I totally whore out my blog the next few days for the cause that is the Big Idea. Also, because I am a crazy woman, I agree to do the FoodieBytes blog.
November 14, 2007
Over the past week, I have had separate discussions with Mojavi, Rita and Me about folks whining even though they made choices that got them in the very situations they are whining about. I think in Me's eyes, I came across as judgmental and truly - who the hell am I to judge? Maybe so, but it is still frustrating to hear folks complain about the same old stuff for years, only to see clear as day that their situation is of their own making based on very distinct choices they had made.
I try not to whine too much. Truly. While I am writing the 2 Under 2 posts, I am well aware that it is our own damned fault we joined the Club in the first place. Sure, one kid was planned but the other was the result of a Calculated Risk Seriously Miscalculated. However, both were clearly choices made on the part of X and I. We are adults - we know what can happen when one has unprotected sex. There are no accidents to report around here.
So, if I were to whine, what would it be about?
1. I would love to whine about gas prices, but we chose to buy a Ridiculous Car that ridiculously requires premium gasoline.
2. I would love to whine about my workaholic husband, but I chose to marry a guy who told me on our first date that he likes to work.
3. I would love to whine about how our health insurance premiums are more than our mortgage payments, but we chose for X to leave his company and start a new business.
4. I would love to whine about how scared I am with this new business venture of X's, but I chose to marry a guy who will always be an entrepreneur and would be miserable marching to a corporate drum that he did not create himself.
5. I would love to whine about how much I miss TV, reading books, knitting and partying with my friends, but I chose to have kids.
6. I would love to whine about how I cannot just throw my kids into their cribs and shut the door, but we chose to be anti-Cry It Out and we chose to co-sleep instead.
I am opening the floor. What would you like to whine about? Guilt-free, no judgments. :-)
The Best Damned Choices I Have Ever Made
November 13, 2007
Anyway - Flashback Snaps will be tomorrow instead of today. Therefore, I present for you another thrilling installment of Stuff That Is Good Because I Like It.
Seriously, how could I resist a book that has the iconic Hérmes Kelly bag on the cover?? If you like purses, this book is For You. It provides a delightful telling of the history of the handbag and includes wonderful photos of purses throughout the ages. This would make for a sweet little stocking stuffer for someone who loves handbags. Just include some tissues because personally, I began drooling from page one.
depend on this stuff as a part of our Daily Snacking Routine.
November 12, 2007
And yes, this is why I am SO not a baker.
Feta Cheese Dip
1 pkg feta cheese
1 small container cottage cheese
1 32oz container plain yogurt
half yellow onion, minced
1 small cucumber, diced fine
garlic, to taste
oregano, to taste
Mix ingredients together, serve with pita bread or pita chips.
Kelli's Garlicky Goodness Seasoning Mix
1 1/2 cup dried minced garlic
1/2 cup dried minced onion
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp dried chives
Keep stored in a glass jar with a tight lid. This seasoning can be added to just about everything. When adding to dips, let sit for a few hours to let the flavors mix and to allow the dried spices to soften up a bit.
Note: This is a knock-off of Tastefully Simple's Garlic Garlic recipe for their seasoning mix!
November 11, 2007
Over the years, I have knit ONE sweater, ONE sock, ONE mitten, ONE fingerless glove, ONE cell phone case, ONE baby blanket, a few purses, a slew of hats and too many scarves to count. Knitting wise, I am a jack of many trades, master of none, save for the Hat and Scarf. To say that knitting is a creative venture for me would simply not be true, either. I always need a pattern and it must be followed meticulously or I will get hopelessly lost beyond repair. I am not even a prolific knitter these days, I only get in a few hours each week so my projects are slow going, at best. However, for me knitting is all about the Zen. And never before has it been as important.
Any few moments that can be set aside for knitting is precious. I am currently working on a blanket for Anjali and it requires counting. When I knit that blanket, I have to concentrate solely on the task at hand, I can barely listen to music because I become lost in my thoughts and get off track from the rhythm of the knitting. The blanket will consist of 4 central blocks in a reversible cable, the border will be a simple garter stitch. I am on the last of the central blocks and am so sad that I will be coming to an end with the pattern.
When I was struggling shortly after Anjali was born, knitting that blanket was a refuge of sorts. I could lose myself in the pattern and think of nothing else. I admit, I even cried a few times, feeling overwhelmed with everything going on.
.....knit, knit..... (purl, knit, purl, knit, purl, knit, purl, knit, knit, knit)4x......
I am not the first to compare knitting to meditation. It was just simply the first time I had felt it for myself.
When I am done with the blanket, I have no idea if it will become a comfort object for Anjali. She has several other blankets and a myriad of stuffed animals from which to choose. However, it does not matter because that blanket has already been such a comfort object for me.
November 10, 2007
Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out.
A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging prejudices.
In my 3 years worth of blogging, I have posted some things that have pissed people off or hurt their feelings. This is never my intent, of course, but still..... I have made mistakes. I try to not be controversial - believe it or not. Generally, if I am posting about something that could be perceived as sticky, I am only doing so because I am genuinely interested in your opinions as well. For example, the healthcare post earlier this week - I do have strong opinions on it and that post made me think all day, as well as your comments. After all, if I did not care what you think, I would not leave comments open.
A month ago, I posted about fundraisers. This topic is not something new to me - Goofy Girl and I have discussed these before over the years, as she has been thrown into the fundraising business herself with her son. Unfortunately, that particular post came on the heels of a friend's email about a fundraiser her daughter was having. And stupidly, I did not give my friend a heads up that I was posting about fundraisers. And yes, you guessed it - she was upset when she read the post. I do not blame her. One bit. It totally appeared as if I was taking a passive aggressive swipe at her. I have emailed her twice apologizing profusely. However, I do owe her a public apology as well.
In short, I should not have put that post out there without giving her a heads up beforehand. I was wrong.
I do not want to be afraid to write about things like that, but I do need to be more cognizant of others' feelings.
November 9, 2007
Anjali is 4 months old today. When did that happen? Where was I? I hope I did not forget to feed her, at least. I guess all 15 lbs, 9 oz of her is proof that I remembered at least a few times.
She is such a joy. So easy. So giggly. So snuggly. So vocal. And apparently, she has forgiven Arun for all the head butts, eye pokings and ear proddings these past months. Because he is the cat's meow these days - he gets in her face and she just smiles in amazement.
My sister said once that it does not matter if it is your first or your third child, you still enjoy all of their little accomplishments. And it is true - we take such delight in Anju as she is growing and doing such momentous things as rolling over, lifting her head, sitting upright in our laps and discovering that she has hands - which totally rocked her world, let me tell you (Whoa. Hands? Hands!) With Arun, these moments were special because there was a sparkly, shiny newness to everything he did. This time around, it is simply sweet because we know it is our last time to experience it since she is our final baby. We cherish it for what it is - simply a baby growing and discovering this big, beautiful world.
There is something to be said for that and I suspect we could all take a page from Anjali's book.
Thank you for indulging me as a I gush once again about my kids.
November 7, 2007
Today's edition of "Stuff That Is Good Because I Like It"
Curel Foot Lotion
skin, afterwards. Shocking, yet true!
I have worn more lotion in the past 6 months than in the past 6 years because of Curel. I am most grateful for them because my July baby has had such dry skin and I have had to slather loads of the goop on her already. I cannot imagine what December will do to her. Anyway, my most recent love is their foot lotion. It is not thick, creamy and overly scented with the usual peppermint. This is light-scented lotion that you can even wear during the daytime. Seriously, who wants their feet to smell like a candy cane? Not me.
FAGE Greek Yogurt
November 6, 2007
Before she was even born, I made a solemn promise to my baby girl. I will take her to a good salon the moment it becomes apparent the caterpillars are threatening a mutiny on her face.
It is the least I could do considering my part in the poor girl's Heritage of Hirsute.
November 5, 2007
While I am on the topic of TV, my little schedule quickly fell apart. On top of my usual routine, I could not keep up with all the new shows. Most were abandoned after two episodes or not even caught at all - literally it was Samantha Who? in our house and Aliens in America were not granted visas. The only new shows to survive the fallout were Reaper, Chuck, Dirty Sexy Money and Pushing Daisies. Oh, and Back to You, which is on the edge of being deleted.
Of course, none of this may matter since the WGA strike is on. Alan Sepinwall has a great primer on what the writer's strike will mean to those of that have a slight addiction to TV. Sob. Alan also provides a great link to the LA Times grid that shows exactly how your favorite shows will be affected by the WGA strike. Again, with the sobbing.
However, I will say that I do not blame the writers for striking.
Avocado Chicken Salad
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - boiled and chopped fine.
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup thinly sliced celery
3/4 cup seedless grapes, quartered
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup light mayonnaise
1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
1 tart apple - peeled, cored and chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
In a large bowl toss together the chicken, raisins, celery, grapes, pecans. Mix in the mayonnaise. Fold in the lemon juice, avocado and the apple. Chill.
Note: This can be made a few hours ahead of time -- simply hold off on the lemon juice, apple and avocado just before serving.
November 4, 2007
Holy crap. I do NOT know what has gotten into Arun these past few weeks, but he is not sleeping for anything. He fights going to sleep, is completely exhausted and then when he does go to sleep, he wakes up about every hour or so throughout the night. I feel as if I am going certifiably insane. I dread bedtime and have totally, completely given up on naptime. I cannot even stomach trying to put him down.
The oddest part is that when he is awake, he is a dream. Happy, charming, sweet. Even when he is exhausted, he gets goofy and snuggly.
Then, Jackie writes about her own son's sleeping issues and I feel so much better. It is not just us. We are not bad parents. We are not the only ones suffering. Driving around in our cars at all hours of the night. It is probably just some phase Arun is going through. Maybe it is the teeth. Maybe it is developmental milestones he has been hitting lately. Maybe it is the new sister, the new day school. I do not know. I just know that I have to grasp tightly to the knowledge that he will sleep someday. Somehow. Somewhere.
Did I mention that X has been in Boston? We are picking him up this morning, hence the need for a quickie post. I cannot WAIT until tonight, when I can snuggle into bed with only Anjali and just sleep.
November 3, 2007
Today's quotes are inspired by a situation a friend has faced this week where her so-called friends have been acting like Big Weinies.
Living a Well-Lived Life
The sum of the intelligence of the world is constant. The population is, of course, growing.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
If you are all wrapped up in yourself, you are overdressed.
Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
Live so that your friends can defend you but never have to.
-Arnold H. Glasgow
No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.
-Jerzy Lec Stanislaw
If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.
Character is much easier kept than recovered.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
November 2, 2007
Oh My God.
The Flight of the Conchords is coming out on DVD. Tuesday. Where the hell have I been that I missed this momentous occasion???
You see, the Flight of the Conchords played a special part in my labor with Anjali's birth. After the stressful morning of misunderstanding that my inducement was to be the evening and not in the morning, X and I were out of sorts. We went for some Persian buffet for lunch, put Arun down for a nap and settled into catching up on our HBO lineup from the night before. While watching the Flight of the Conchords, my labor pains began. It is SO painful to giggle while having a contraction. I will never, ever forget that weird sensation because holy crap, the Conchords are THAT funny that you cannot stop giggling even when a contraction begins. Furthermore, when I came home after Anjali's birth and was still recovering from the Baby Birthin' , I still had a hard time watching them because all the giggling made my girly business hurt.
So, yes. I must own this DVD set. The memories, people.
Monday - Rancid Recipes
Tuesday - Flashback Post In Which I Illustrate My History of Perfecting "Lame"
Wednesday - The Usual Crap Whereby I Totally Sacrifice My Kids' Rights to Privacy
Thursday - This Product is Good Because I Said So (aka Shit I Like)
Friday - Passing the Buck Where I Simply Link to Other People's Shit (aka Linky Love)
Saturday - Cheater Post Where I Simply Repeat What Others More Important Than Me Have Already Said (aka Quotes I Like)
Sunday - Knitting Posts Fraught With Suspense - Since We All Know that Posts About Yarn Are NAIL BITERS.
Average Jane is doing a similar schedule because yes, we are in Junior High. If you would like to also join us in 6th period study hall, feel free to follow along.
Many posts will contain some sort of food element, snaps of my kids, and thrilling updates on the minutiae of my life because living in the suburbs of Kansas City is ample fodder for excitement. Furthermore, I will be shamelessly whoring out my blog to promote our new business, The Big Idea. Unfortunately, The Big Idea is delayed in its release - look for it the 2nd week of November or so.
Sadly, as a telling omen, I was not savvy enough to think ahead and collect links from my favorite posts this week to compile Friday's Post. Also, I will not be linking only to NaBloPoMo victims - I plan to include links from anyone I read who happens to make me laugh, cry or think. However, Manoj is in Boston this week and I am holding down the fort. Unfortunately, the fort does not want to go to sleep AT ALL and when they do sleep, they would rather it be with me sandwiched between them. All my obnoxious posts about co-sleeping are being shoved right up my ass this week. Although, to be truthful, co-sleeping has saved my sanity since at least I am getting some shut-eye. I cannot fathom doing this sleep deprived. The one saving grace is that when the fort is awake, they are adorable and fairly agreeable. Sorta makes it worth it.
The Heir and His Hair
November 1, 2007
It is that time of year again, Innernets. Where we bloggers prove yet again we have no social lives by signing up for something so absolutely ridonkulous. Personally, my kid enjoyed being chained to the coffee table for the month of November last year. That is my story and I am sticking to it.
Anyway, this year is going to be interesting for me to participate in this MoFo NaBloPoMo thingie. Free time is at a premium, but as the tagline suggests, I have a tendency to just follow the crowd. This year, I did decide to do a "schedule" of sorts and I am definitely going light on weekends. Not only will be easier for me to post, but it will be easier for folks to read. That is probably the #1 thing that stresses me out about NaBloPoMo - my feed reader starts to bellow black clouds of smoke with all the activity. I will post my loose plan tomorrow since I am still thinking about what I want to do.
In other news, Arun so did NOT get the hang of trick or treating. Furthermore, he totally and utterly broke his mama's heart last night. Oddly, several houses gave him the choice of pulling candy himself from their baskets. I had to watch with teeth firmly gritted as sweet little bar after sweet little bar of precious, precious chocolate was passed over in lieu of LOLLIPOPS. How did I come to give life to such a traitorous soul? Also, later in the evening, back at home, I was changing a Diaper From the Bowels of Hell and could not make it to the door fast enough. As a result, some asshole kids knocked over my pumpkin - one murderous swipe sending all the ants living in it to a fiery, tragic death.
Oh, and today's title is courtesy of one of the little beggars who kept appearing on my doorstep last night. Unfortunately, I was handing out Playdoh, not brains.
Nothin' But a Sheepdog
Hip Hop Kangaroo
Sheepdog, Worn Out
A Kangaroo With a Very Bad Attitude