March 30, 2007

For better or for worse?

Caution! Melodramatic Detour ahead.
I am worse. SO much worse. This cold is kicking my ass. Furthermore, my Desperately Seeking Pollyanna post from last night was in vain and I am ever so grateful I did not go to Vegas this morning. I spent 11pm-2am and then 5am-6am fervently trying to get Arun to sleep. Anywhere. In his crib, in my bed, in my arms. There was much flailing and sobbing involved. I am ashamed to say, on both our parts. Today's Nap was met with the same resistance. Flailing, sobbing?? Rinse, repeat.

The great twist was that our Parents as Teachers lady came yesterday and totally complimented me on my sMothering Skillz when she watched me head off a few tantrums at the pass. She agreed that my approach was working and was reasonable - then she gave some more awesome suggestions. Around 1:00am, I couldn't help but think wryly that it was a damned shame that she couldn't watch my Ironic Descent into the Darkness as I paced our hallway for the 1000th time.

I always say with perkiness that my sMothering Mantra is "This is temporary, this will pass." I am holding onto that for dear life right now. It has to pass. Dear God, it has to because I feel like I am drowning and clawing for air.

Right this very minute, we are in the back yard. I am bleary-eyed . He is giggling, splashing in water and batting his adorable eye fringe at me. Where the hell is HE getting the energy? He even deigned to cheerfully say "Hi! Hi!" over and over on the phone today with X. It's as if he knows his cushy gig is on the line and he better shape up.

There's hope.

Desperately Seeking a Haircut

Good God, woman. How do you expect me to sleep at night with hair like THIS?

March 29, 2007

Stick it where?

I actually feel okay. Not better, but not worse. And you know what? I will stick that in my pipe and smoke it. Gratefully.

Arun took a 3.5 hour nap today. I've noticed a trend where I bitterly complain on my blog about things and then magically everything rights itself - as if Life is trying to make me out to be the grumpy hypocrite I am (I'm not an optimist, but I play one online). It makes me want to grouse about how in the hell does one get a roofer to call you back - maybe that will yield some sort of return call.

Anyway, I realize not going to Vegas was a good move. It probably would have made my cold worse and besides, Arun still isn't 100% himself. Pre-Kid, I would have sucked it up and went, but I have to be responsible now as it's no longer All About Me. Oh sure, all the Wise Baby Tomes warn you, but nothing actually prepares you, eh??

Oh - I'd like Monkey to know that I touched up my roots just for her. They are definitely not going to be as purty by the time I see her in a few weeks, but dammit - I still want credit.

Can I borrow your shoulder for awhile?

Updated: Fortunately, the excavators left in the nick of time for The Nap. However, my little eyes spy two Jehovah's Witnesses going door to door peddling Eternal Salvation. It's a good thing they've got God on their side because if they wake the Slumbering Giant from his nap by ringing the doorbell in hopes of luring me to the Dark Side, there's gonna be Hell to pay.

I am sick.

X is out of town, returning on Saturday.

Trip to Vegas has been postponed for a few weeks.

Neighbors across the street are having major excavation work done to their front yard.

The same front yard that Arun's bedroom window overlooks.

Refer to previous posts about Napping Issues.

Hold me, please.

March 28, 2007

Why do I blog?

I blog, therefore I am. No, actually it's because sometimes, you have Really Sucky Days. Then, you decide to glean what little humor you can and post about it. THEN, you savor each and every Thoughtful, Sympathetic Me!Too! Comment that comes your way. Sometimes, I pump up the volume on the I'm a Shitty Mother Stereo and this blog helps keep me sane. Thank you, from the bottomless pit of my Recently Thawed Heart. THIS is why I blog. I'm curious - why do you blog? If you don't blog, why not? What's holding you back?

Today went really, really well - like, I totally love my son again, which is pretty convenient. Last night, I managed to sleep the whole night through, Arun got up at 8:30 and even took a nap! For the most part, Arun is a good night-time sleeper, barring no teething, illness or an in-town father who picks him up at the slightest squawk. I am glad that X is such a hands-on father, but sometimes, I wish he would let Arun cry for at least a few minutes before rushing in to get him. The plus side, is that X usually takes Nighttime Duty these days. The negative side is that I suspect the kid has figured out how this all works. When X is OUT of town, Arun sleeps the night through. When X is IN town, Arun mysteriously begins waking up in the middle of the night. Suspicious, don't you think??

While Arun is a pretty good nighttime sleeper, Naptime has always been our struggle. It only started to get bearable around 11 months when the Afternoon Nap did a hostile takeover of the Morning Nap and thus, became The Nap. Then, the next few months were Blissful. However. The past month? Not so awesome - just before the time change, it all started to crumble and I am still at a loss as to why. We go to Vegas this weekend, so it's all going to be screwed with anyway - I figure I will start to deal with it next week.

So, this weekend, it appears I will get to meet the luscious Monkey in a Suit in all her pelted glory (FYI, Monkey's blog is on haitus - soon to return with a new n' improved URL). It was difficult convincing my step-grandma that Monkey is not an axe-murderer and that it is not usually life-threatening to meet a BlogFriend in Real Life. Although, I'll admit I am anxious to verify that Monkey is indeed a female lawyer in her 20s and not a 15 year old male with an impressive falsetto. However, if "she" is indeed a 15 year old male, I can only marvel at "her" incongruous expert knowledge of the real estate market and bikini waxes.

This is the last post for the week since I'll need to finish some things before heading out. Next week, I'll have two book reviews to post - The Guy Not Taken by Jennifer Weiner and Rules of the Wild: A Novel of Africa by Francesca Marciano. I mean, don't get me wrong - it's not like I'm Michiko Kakutani by any means, but it is fun to write about books.

Finally, some Linky Love. If you are interested in the stay-at-home-mom vs. working mom discussion, check this thought-provoking post out over at the Soccer Mom Vote. The post is titled SAHM vs WAHM vs WOHM vs WTF? Enjoy!

March 27, 2007

When does a Bad Day begin?

How about 1:00am?

Say, perhaps, you wake up at 1:00am. You give up on the Sandman's lazy ass and start puttering around your house - reading a book, surfing the Internet, raiding the fridge for soymilk, petting the cats. You finally get back to sleep at 4:00am. His Royal Highness (HRH) wakes up TWO hours early at 6:30am to much crabbiness. The rest of the morning is fretful with you holding on for dear life (aka The Nap). The Nap turns into an illicit affair to the sweet melody of No Way, No How, You Crazy Woman. Finally, you give up on The Nap and pack HRH up to head into Kansas City to eat at Manny's. Sometimes, Life simply requires a Monterrey burrito (and when you're not gestating, a margarita). Your heart threatens to thaw as HRH carefully dips his chips into his salsa to ensure his Sweet, Precious Fingers don't get dirty. However, when HRH begins to wantonly throw salsa-laden chips onto the floor, your heart realizes it was a False Alarm. During dinner, Your Husband, who is out of town, calls and as you recount your Tale of Woe, he replies "Well, somedays he's just not going to take a nap". You frantically try to recall where you saw that ad for a $50 Quickie Divorce and ponder how rapidly you can get the locks changed.

On your way home, you do a Driveby through Gymboree because Hello! It's For the Baby, Not For YOU which is the very best kind of Guilt Free Retail Therapy.

Of course, you know deep in your soul that your daughter will be just as much of a pill as her brother. Sugar and spice, my ASS. Gender Stereotypes are SO last century.

March 26, 2007

Who's next?

Last week, I had a Sick Husband. This weekend, a Sick Toddler was added to the mix for some Gooey Delicious Fun. YUM. Basically, I feel like a ticking bomb at this point. Last night, I frantically ran around like the Tasmanian Devil washing dishes, cleaning, trying to wrap up loose household ends while screeching "I'm going to be sick! I'm going to be sick!" I really hope I turn out to be the Chicken Little on this. Wish me luck.

We are very spoiled - Arun has been a Sniffly Whiner before, but never a Feverish Ragdoll. And man, OH MAN. Your priorities zoom into razor sharp focus when your baby becomes a Raggedy Andy. You cease caring that your #1 Ranked basketball team is trailing to a #7 Ranked Team with still a good 8 minutes left in the game. You scoop your Raggedy Andy up and hop in your car to Just Get Home. Game Schmame. Fuck it. It's just basketball. You listen to the resulting loss on the radio but only feel a distracted sadness as you are far more preoccupied with checking the rearview mirror to see how your Raggedy Andy is doing . Later, you could care less that your precious progeny is dribbling juice all over your couch - you are so grateful he is drinking clear liquids. Fuck it. It's just furniture. And even though your Already Infected Husband takes care of the kid all night long in hopes of minimizing your own exposure, you still toss and turn the whole night because you are worried. You'll even sneak in to the spare bedroom where the two very most important men in your life are sleeping so you can feel both of them for fevers. Fuck it. It's just sleep.

Anyway - everything is fine now - Arun is his normal goofy self this morning and X is on the mend. However, we were pretty worried because we are complete and utter novices when it comes to fevers - and yes, we are extremely appreciative of our ignorance in this area. Fortunately, the fevers this weekend were never Emergency Room Worthy, but they still had us on edge because they were high grade. (Sidenote: I'd like to give a special shout out to Toddler 411 by Denise Fields. I've mentioned Baby 411 before and the Toddler 411 sequel is its worthy successor. If I could only own one Wise Baby Tome it would be the 411 series. It is an invaluable resource, particularly when you aren't sure what to do, it's 10pm on a Saturday night and you need answers FAST. It's easily referenced, reasonable, always reassuring and never, ever condescending or judgemental. It has absolutely all the basics you need for baby and toddler care.)

On the NewKid front, we have decided on a name (a 2 second discussion, really) and her name will be Anjali (pronounced ahn-ja-lee). The "j" is pronounced like "j"as in "jill" or "jack" and NOT a "zh" sound like Zsa Zsa Gabor- because Anjali is a Hindi name, not a French one. Poor X has a "j" in his name and folks are always pronouncing it with a "zh" which makes it sound suspiciously like a tawdry sex act. AnyWAY......I've always adored the name Anjali (long before I had met X) and it was quite convenient to marry an Indian just so I could use that name. Later, I will have a post coming titled "Is that your name or a doctor's eye chart" (title totally stolen from the wickedly hilarious Monkey in a Suit, whose own blog is on a brief work-related hiatus.) Awhile back, Stephanie had a completely valid point on Monkey's blog when she said it wasn't fair to expect people to automatically know how to pronounce names they haven't seen before. And you know what? She's right - so I'll put the post on my sidebar as a sort of "primer" on the Indian Name Game. It's true, I certainly don't expect folks to know how to say my kids' names on the first go around. But I do expect people to politely listen and not get squinty-eyed on me. I really hope to not witness anymore Driveby Sneerings on other blogs about my kids' names. That's reasonable, right?

So, Baby Clothes Confession time. Um. Yeah. This might need a new label. This wasn't an issue when I was pregnant with Arun, I didn't start having a "problem" with baby clothes until he was about 3 months old or so. With NewKid? Gulp. I've already bought an outfit. The problem is fucking Target! It's not my fault! I swear! I was always able to resist Target for boys' clothes because their stuff never appealed to me much, but the girls' clothes are more difficult. Dammit. I've already gone through all of Arun's baby clothes and the biggest problem will be the seasons are different. I really don't care if my baby girl wears dinosaurs and Other Animals of a Predatory Nature - and besides, wouldn't any little girl be honored to wear the Shirt of Impending Doom? However, she can't wear shorts in December and fleece in July. I have to put my foot down somewhere. One side note: what the fuck is up with all the Hoochie Mama clothes for little girls and babies? And why is everything pink? Tickle me STINK, I say.

So, I am really going to try and lay low this week blogwise. Arun and I are leaving for Vegas this Friday anyway (X will stay behind to protect the cats and our valuables), so this week will be hectic (assuming I don't get sick and if if I DO get sick, then Hectic won't begin to describe this week). I am not sure why, but I have this compulsion about documenting my incredibly boring life for an audience (which is mostly imagined, I'm sure). Let's see if I can stay away. I would like to get a post out about The Guy Not Taken by Jennifer Weiner this week, though. I'm now reading Rules of the Wild: A Novel of Africa by Francesca Marciano which is so beautifully written, I am starting to carry it around the house with me so I can sneak pages in here and there. I've been having flashbacks to those blissful Kid Free Afternoons where I could finish a book in one sitting - something I desperately wish I could do with this particular read. Anyway.....

March 23, 2007

How many?

Got back from the ultrasound........There was only one single solitary kid in there. I can't even begin to express exactly how relieved we were. Whew.

Sooooooo...... um... yeah.... NewKid has plenty of space to practice her moves for the Bend it Like Beckham sequel in her rent-controlled flat all by her lonesome. As I told Arun this morning, "Don't worry babycakes, you're still the Alpha Male, after all." I can't even begin to describe how incredibly excited I am or how blessed I feel that I get to have a son AND a daughter.... Wow....Wow.....Wow.

Sidenote: If you wandered over this way from the Kansas City Star article - welcome! And please. I beg of you. Don't tell my grandma. Thank GOD, only the URL was provided. Faster than you can say "disinherited" my grandma would have been on the phone with her Internet-savvy sister saying "Looky here, Cagey's apparently got herself one of those Internet thingies on the computer!!! Can you check it out for me, print it and send me some copies?? And just this very morning, my grandma was telling me that I needed to be writing down all the cute things that Arun has been doing. Make that a Double Gulp, please.

Anyway, here's some Snappily Snapped Snappage for you...........

I'm Ready

Considering Arun was way overdue for a haircut by 3 months, I best be stocking up NOW. Somebody may do well to warn X that he needs to block this site ASAP. The unbearable cuteness is already threatening to suck me in like a tractor beam.

March Madness

None of the Wise Baby Tomes warn you that you will totally let your kid destroy your living room for a few moments of peace while you snort some lines and settle down to watch some College Basketball.

Helmet Head

Actually, he could use a barrette or two himself.

March 22, 2007

Can memories be built?

Earlier this month, the lovely Scribbit brought up the topic of "childhood memories" and the challenge was to write about "....your favorite childhood memory, your earliest childhood memory, ways you're working to build memories for your own children... ". While I was too lazy to actually write an entry-worthy post myself, the topic did spur some pondering of my own.......

My favorite childhood memories are pretty simple - reading, riding my bike all over when we lived in town (scary to think of a 7-8 year old allowed such freedom!), exploring our property when we lived in the country (all 40 acres of it- AGAIN, very scary to think that a 9-10 year old was allowed such freedom!), and I remember fun times such as playing boardgames and cardgames with my parents and spending time at Perry Lake with them.

Now, for the "ways I'm working to build memories for my own children"...... This is where I turn pretty cynical. Perhaps it's all the December posts from harried parents trying to cram in every holiday-themed activity they can muster (posts usually accompanied by snaps of crying kids sitting on Santa's lap). Or maybe it was watching my very married former best friend do things like plan the perfect tea party for her daughter while she was also making plans to meet her lover she had met through an AOL chat room. It could be hearing stories of folks saving for years or incurring massive credit card to afford the Disney Dream of a Lifetime trip for their child. Sure, when I was 9 years old, I went to Disneyland when I was 9 years old when we visited my grandpa and step-grandma C in LA, but I actually remember very little of the Disneyland trip itself. What I remember most from that LA trip is the actual airplane trip itself, swimming in my grandpa and step-grandma's pool, dancing to records, making fortune cookies with C and visiting Venice Beach (because GAWD, how do you forget Venice Beach for the first time??).

So, um. I don't think memories can be created. They just happen. My parents probably don't even know that one of my favorite moments from when they were married was the result of a practical joke they played on each other. Our driveway was 1/4 mile long and we could see when one parent was coming home. We would rush around, turning off all the lights to the house so that the arriving parent would come home to a darkened house, knowing full well that we were hiding in the shadows waiting to scare the crap out of them - they had seen all the lights in the house get turned off, after all. I remember the delicious part was to let the parent walk by several times, THEN jump out just when they felt safe (my mom was particularly vulnerable to this strategy). It was basically a joke my parents were playing on each other, but they included us in on the punchline. And to this day, it's probably one of my sweetest memories as a family. Which may lay light into what sort of person I've become. But, whatever.

I've posted before about what I call Life's Perfect Moments. Those sweet times that Life pitches your way that you would love to capture in a bottle and save for a later - although, a digital camera certainly does well in a pinch. Of course, I'm not the Tinman - I definitely hope that Arun and NewKid will want to play canasta and cribbage with me. And if they don't like Monopoly, Sorry or God Forbid - PayDay, I think I will cry. But I am not counting on those being their favorite childhood memories (although they may very well be MY favorite memories from their childhoods). All I can do is provide lots of experiences and hope that something pans out. Right?

Simian Snappage
Recent Snaps from one of those Life's Perfect Moments. Nothing particular awe-inspiring or special about it. It was a mild day, partly cloudy and we were just hanging out in the backyard. But it was very peaceful to just sit in the grass, listen to the birds and watch Arun gleefully walk the fence line and play with the leaves.

This Hawk totally rawks.

Although, this Hawk is in desperate want of a haircut.

SIU, we're gunnin' for YOU.

Although, objects are smaller than they appear.


Pure, Unadulterated Glee.

Isn't this what Life is really about?

March 21, 2007

How big? SO big!

Today, I nearly blew chunks of Kung Pao chicken all over my computer screen when I read Traci's comment from yesterday's post:
I have been lurking for a while, following to get some tips on how to handle kid number 2. I have a 17 month old and am due end of August. Just found out it is kid number 2 AND 3 in there. yikes! Maybe you'll have the same surprise!

I had my 24 week appointment today. I've still only gained 4 lbs, yet my doctor observed that I am "measuring big" (and she even measured twice because she thought she got it wrong). Realistically, I am not having twins, but I did tell X that maybe he should bring a wheelbarrow to the ultrasound on Friday because if they happen to discover that NewKid does indeed have a partner in crime, we could sure use all those bricks emanating from my ass. I've been wanting to lay brick over our patio for awhile anyway. I'd like to send special laser-darted smooches to Traci for sending bad twin karma my way. Bad Traci! Bad Traci! But I jest.......

Oh and also, regarding today's appointment? It's difficult enough to dispense Ye Olde Urine Sample while 24 weeks pregnant. For extra kicks, try doing so while vigorously swatting away a 17 month old's "helping hand". Go ahead!! As Traci can probably attest, someone's coming outta the bathroom a bit pissed*.

Anyway, I am sorry to disappoint Traci as I feel like the very last soul on earth right now who should be offering advice on how to handle more than one child. It's been a very rough week and for no particular reason. My life is really easy. I keep reminding myself of that fact in the hopes that I start to believe it. I'm really, really tired and Arun is a 21.5 ton... er, pound....17- month old toddler who veers between running around like a banshee to all of a sudden wanting to be carried, needing a snuggle or demanding to sit on my rapidly disappearing lap. All of these things are little more taxing to do when you are already lumbering around. But I wouldn't want it any other way. I am glad my children will be so close in age. There's a reason why my sister had her children so close in age as well. I am 5 years older than my sister (15 older than my younger sister, 17 older than my brother). When my sister was born, I thought she was cool for all of like 10 minutes, then the shiny new coat wore off. Quickly. I came to the rapid realization that I had been dethroned. I was no longer the Special One and my sister had replaced me. I grew into a bitter, mean, jealous little girl. I made it a personal mission to reject her as I felt my mom and beloved Olathe Grandma had rejected me (for the record, my dad even acknowledges this favoritism was a problem and this is not something I creatively made up all on my own). Sadly, the effects of this favoritism still linger to this day in various ways. I still feel guilty for being such a shitty older sister. My sister harbors her own little issues of having grown up with someone she adored, but from whom she could never gain acceptance. Fortunately, when I went away to college, we started growing closer and now, she is one of my very best friends. I would do just about anything for her (including, but not limited to, drunkenly confronting military police on a base in Hawaii by loudly questioning the fact that they are "fucking in charge of national security but they can't fucking tell me where my sister is?" Nope, I wasn't arrested, thankfully and miraculously. Ahem.) Anyway, now that we are adults, we can confront our childhood for what it was and move on. We have many, many years left to be sisters and we both don't want to waste any time on the past. So, no. I don't regret having my children so close in age.

I hear consistently from other mothers who are ahead of me in this Wham!Bam! Game of Procreation that it is really, really* rough in the beginning, but that it pays off when they are a little older. And that in general, follows my sMothering Mantra of "this is temporary". It helps knowing that someday there won't be a weepy toddler clinging to my pant leg. A thought that simultaneously inspires me and saddens me. And THAT is what gets me through the really crappy weeks.

*Pun actually intended.
**Notice how many "really"s are there? Add a few more.

March 20, 2007

What was I thinking?

Innernets, I Have an Announcement.
A few weeks back, I added Rancid Raves to X's Google Reader. Big mistake because FUCK, now he's reading my blog on regular basis. Anyway, he was um, "concerned" that I gave the vibe that we have no money for all the recent home-related calamities that have befallen us. Rest assured, Innernets, we do have the money to pay not only for a roof over our head, but also a floor underneath our feet and an appliance to wash our dishes. It just sucks to have to pay for such crapola when we are trying to tighten our purse strings. Bah. So, I apologize profusely for any mistaken impressions that I may given that alluded to any states of destitution that in reality, don't exist. Ahem.

Actually, it's you. Not me.
Well, Cousin J has been marked for elimination. She has been very flaky in the past few months, but since I know her situation and she is family, I've given her a lot of leeway. Too much, actually. Last week was the last straw. She came on Monday and I paid her for the week - then she blew me off for the rest of the week with very little notice or on a few days NO notice. It was the worst week possible because I had lined up a TON of errands, household chores and some yardwork that I was going to slam out during those precious, precious hours of babysitting. And this week, she hasn't shown up at all - I suspect she is out of town on spring break, but hello? Some notice, maybe? Am I just being picky? I've had mixed feelings about her coming for awhile because the babysitting wasn't as necessary as when Arun was younger and for many afternoons, the past few months have found me just wandering around Target, trying to think of useful shit to do during that 2 hour timeslot. However, I wanted to keep her around for the options when NewKid arrives and also, it looks like I will be doing some work with X on the Big Idea. I am very disappointed in her, quite frankly.

Boy, Girl, Kung Fu Fighting Hamster?
This Friday is the ultrasound and we'll verify a variety of things - like making sure that the NewKid doesn't have a partner in crime. Hopefully, we'll find out the gender, too. If it's a girl, I hope she likes dinosaurs and wild critter themes, because I have an ADORABLE wardrobe all ready to go. As soon as her brother is done with it. And if it's a boy? I can promise he'll get a kick ASS train set for Christmas because then I will combine Christmas budgets. Or truthfully, even if it's a girl, there'll still be a train set because I loved playing with trains as a girl. Anyway.......I mean, I've got the important things all figured out, right?? People, it's all about priorities. Anyway, I'll definitely post on Friday the results. Also, my dad, step-mom, mom, sister, and X will all be crammed into that tiny room with the technician and me - hell's bells. You'd think I'd be able to scrape together some sort of post from that trainwreck. It KILLS me whenever my parents insist they "don't have a problem" with each other and that everything is A-okay. Um, yeah. When they utter such crap, I feel like asking, "Then why the hell did you get divorced?" Good divorce, my ass. What an oxymoron. Whatever. Good for them, maybe. And don't even get me started on why they ALL are going to be there. It involved hefty doses of Potential Guilt. The worst kind.

Let's Go Clubbing!
Well, the votes for the Online Book Club's April selection are in and the winner is Tripping the Prom Queen by Susan Shapiro Barash. I am very excited about this read. I will update my sidebar in the next few days to include a section for the Club. Again, this is open to ANYONE. We will be discussing this book via the comments section on April 30th. Yippee!

It's been reported that Cagey is suffering from "dehydration and exhaustion".
Okay, maybe not the dehydration but I am absolutely exhausted this week and I am not sure why. Oh sure, I've done some yardwork and God Almighty, I'm washing dishes by hand these days, but it's not like those things are particularly taxing. I feel like I've been run over by a truck so posting may be light this week.

March 16, 2007

Why do we thank God on Fridays? Shouldn't we be thanking Him on Sundays?

Let's Go Clubbing: So, as promised, I am doing the online book club thingiemabob. This came about because I noticed a trend when I'd mention that I am in several book clubs and I would receive wistful comments from folks wishing they were in a book club. Well, here's your chance. This how it will work. I am throwing out 3 book suggestions - the one the gets the most votes by Midnight, Central Time, Monday, March 19th is the selection. We will discuss the book via comments April 30th (I will throw out a post that day with some questions to get things going). I'd like this to be a No Holds Barred discussion - except for flaming or name calling, everyone should feel free to express themselves. And I do mean "everyone" - this is open to anyone who wants to join. I've seen other online book clubs before but, they've always seemed to be compromised of people who actually belonged to the blog itself. For this one, all you have to do is leave a comment. So, here are the selections:
  1. Tripping the Prom Queen by Susan Shapiro Barash
  2. The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
  3. Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture by Ariel Levy
After the selection is made, I'll update my sidebar with details. I am a little nervous about this - Average Jane has posted before regarding her Limited Influence, which I completely relate to. I've never been one to throw a party and have hundreds of people show up. But I figure I'll try this once, if no one "shows up", then I just won't do it again. No harm, no foul - right? Well, except for my Priceless Pride, which is quite sensitive. .... sniff.....

Gooooooooooals: I've often been asked how I find time to read. Not to sound obnoxious or obvious, but I make time for books. Since Arun began his coup d' tat on our lives, several of my hobbies flew out the window. I don't make jewelry any longer. I don't do raku or pottery. I don't watch as much TV (which I don't miss because seriously? How many people can Jack Bauer torture before it becomes ho hum?) I don't knit nearly as much as I used to. I really don't read as much, either. But I still do read. I would feel stagnant, if I didn't and I don't know how else to explain that. I suspect once NewKid joins forces with Arun in obtaining complete World Domination, I will have even less time to read - at least for awhile until we work out some sort of Peace Treaty (aka Nap Schedule). So, to make myself feel better that I won't have as much time for books, I've compiled my list of books to read before the NewKid arriveth. They are:
The Guy Not Taken by Jennifer Weiner (started last night)
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Rules of the Wild: A Novel of Africa by Francesca Marciano
Bookends by Jane Green
Daughter of Destiny: An Autobiography, by Benazir Bhutto (I just realized this is an autobiography, so I am not counting on any impartiality from this. Very disappointed, actually)
Waiting by Ha Jin
The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult
Portrait in Sepia by Isabelle Allende
Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler
The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell
The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman

For me, this list is pretty ambitious because it doesn't include spontaneous reads I'll pick up along the way nor does it doesn't include any book club selections. I guess I am hoping by putting this in print, that will spur me to keep my nose to the grindstone and not get lazy. Also, I noticed that quite a few of these had "A Novel" in their titles. Why? What's the point? What's the difference between a book and a novel? And how did I come by these titles? I have a revolving door built just for me at the Dusty Bookshelf in Lawrence KS - I read books, sell them there, then buy some more. Most of these selections are ones I had lying around and most of them are authors that I have read before and particularly enjoyed.

A Fine Balance, A Fine Read: I just finished A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry last night. Wow. Let me rephrase that. WOW. Beautiful. Haunting. Sad. Compelling. Interesting. Educational. This book covers the stories of four characters living in India during the mid-70s during a time in which Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declares a State of Emergency and in its name, countless human rights violations were committed. I am not sure I can say much that would do this book proper justice. It certainly had what I refer to as The Linger Factor. After I finished it, I sat thinking about it for awhile. When I woke up at 5 am and couldn't get back to sleep, I thought about it some more. I thought about it AGAIN while in the shower. Then later, while I was doing my hair and makeup, I pondered even more points, turn of events and the title (which had so much meaning). This book was not an easy read. The author delves into deep detail on each of the main characters back stories. It was tough going because these people did not live happy lives. However, it was important to the overall theme of the book that you truly get inside each of the characters heads so that you fully understand the reasoning and the extent of their actions and choices. To not give the full history on each of them would have made some of the events appear to be melodramatic and it would have been all too easy to paint certain characters as selfish or even villainous in their choices. Instead, it was heartbreaking, because you understood and could feel the humanity of these characters. You knew them and your heart sank and soared with each various plot point. As in life, nothing was black and white with this book. Again with the "wow".

March 15, 2007

Has the world gone mad?

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World: I just adore March Madness. As a SAHM, I consider it a special perk that comes with the job in which I get to sit at home and watch the games all day (Arun will have to wait until next week to find out the thrilling conclusion to the game of "1...2....3....???"). Too bad I can't have beer, though. My tourney brackets are all submitted to the pool I am in - this year, I merely selected teams I liked. In the past, I would carefully peruse what all the sportscasters had to say, but this year, I didn't have the time or inclination. It's just fun to play, I most certainly will not win and in the end, it doesn't matter. Doing a bracket just makes it more enjoyable to watch - particular the first few rounds. I did select KU to go all the way - I couldn't help myself.

Online Book Club: I have NOT forgotten about this! I am putting together a list of 3-4 books to vote on and will give a 6 week lead time for reading. Then, we can discuss Round Robin style in the comments. I am definitely open to suggestions - I am currently thinking of The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, but need other suggestions for voting on.

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe: Thanks for all the comments about the floor. I should have mentioned that I had already spoken to my insurance agent. We are going to see what the extent of the damage is before starting any sort of claim. For our company, once a claim is started, it counts.

The Name Game: Regarding the whole "my kid has an odd, uneek name" thing - I do not get frustrated, angry or insulted when people don't get Arun's name right away or don't know it right off-hand. I don't expect people to automatically know how to pronounce his name. What I get upset about are the squinty-eyed looks and the inability for folks to listen. It's a very simple name with only 2 syllables - both of which exist in the English language. And I always take the time to carefully pronounce both syllables - "ahhh-roooon" because I realize it is a different name for most folks.

Paying It Forward: Today, I am going to pass around some Linky Love. I've been the beneficiary of some awesome Linky Love myself these past few months - it's time to pass the Love around. My blogroll is a very, very small subset of the blogs I enjoy. I tend not to update the Blogroll for various reasons. For one, if I find that I no longer have a connection with a blogger or need to pare my list down, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. The blogroll thing can get so political and I do hate to hurt people's feelings. This is the primary reason why I keep the blogroll so small. If you're not on it, it doesn't really mean anything and is most likely just a factor of how lazy I am about updating my sidebar. However, I am reading some really awesome blogs and feel like I should be spreading the word. Blogs are viral and I have found some awesome blogs (and even new BFFs) via the blogroll thingie.

Anyway, enjoy - and feel free to leave some of your own favorites in the comments or on your own blog!
Cakerwakers - I got hooked on this blog from the start. I really relate to so many of her experiences as a new mother and especially, her relationship with her own mother.

Md. Macaca - This is such a fun blog - she is constantly bringing up fun topics to ponder and discuss. Currently, she is talking about her favorite children's books. Earlier this week, she discussed Eastern marriages vs. Western marriages. Why are you still here? Go check her out!

Indexed - OMIGOD, this is one of my very favorite new sites and I may have to totally do the archives. This blogger does a variety of graphs, ven diagrams, charts - all to hilarious effect. Brings back all the haunting memories from my statistics classes.

Lakelines - I think we're still friends even after my professed love for foie gras and veal. Right?

Meno's Blog - I really enjoy this blog for all the little "slice of life" observations. Damn, she must be older than the hills, though since she's retired and all. (Hint: She's NOT.)

Metalia - Had the courage to admit she's afraid of Oprah. Gotta love that.

Ms. Congeniality - Another great "slice of life" blogger. Her food list today cracked me up! Mangos? Really??

Mommy Tracks - A lawyer on the partner track goes off-roading on the mommy track after giving birth to 3 children in 4 years. Hilarity ensues.

Multiply Life by the Power of Three: She has done some great introspective posts. Plus, I think I may have discovered Arun's doppelganger.

Am only partway through my Bloglines list - will continue next week.

March 14, 2007

What if you're happy and you don't know it? Can you still clap your hands?

Ironically, all the crap that I have been grousing about lately is actually on the periphery of my Life. Really. Things have actually been going well. Since last week, I have felt up to 90% my usual, which is about as good as it gets when I am pregnant (meaning, for a Pregnant Chick, I feel FANTASTIC!) As such, I have been getting so many things done around the house, my head is spinning. We have our neighborhood garage sale coming up in April, so I have plenty of incentive to view all my clutter with a cold-hearted eye and a ruthless hand. Furthermore, if we do have to move next year, that will be one less thing to pack, right? So, there you have it.

In the home front, I haven't lost sight of the fact that we are so very lucky to even own a home. And it's not like it is falling down around our heads. Yet. Furthermore, last night I just received the county's appraiser letter telling us our home's value jumped up quite a bit. Gulp. As it was, I suspected our house had been under appraised when we bought it. I knew it for sure when shortly after, the house across the street sold for a helluva lot more than the appraised value of ours. Double Gulp. Last fall, I found out why all this had happened when the county inspector came by with a questionnaire and at the point, discovered we had a full, finished basement. Something the Previous Owner had neglected to tell them. So, um, yeah. Don't cry for me Argentina.

New topic: I watched a special regarding the paparazzi in Hollywood the other day and was left feeling quite disturbed. What bothered me is this - I remembered seeing tons of pictures of Britany Spears carrying her older son while out and about shopping with Paris Hilton. I only saw the printed pictures and they seemed pretty harmless. The documentary I watched showed live footage of the situation and I have to say, I was pretty upset by what I saw. Britany was clearly trying to cover her son, flashbulbs were going crazy and people were right in her face. Her son was terrified. Hmmm..... They didn't show THAT in the printed media. Probably what bothered me most is my own part in this whole thing. I do read a few gossip sites. I do subscribe to US Weekly. It's a subscription that comes due soon and I was debating it anyway, but this adds to my dilemma. It's very easy to claim that celebrities choose that kind of life. But do they really? Do they choose to be followed into grocery stores and then have their purchases sneered at because they have a predilection for Cheetos? Shouldn't they be able to just go shopping, get gas for their cars, pick up a coffee, take their kids to the park, go for a jog without a throng of flashbulbs and strobe lights (used to thwart other photographers)? Oh sure, there are some celebrities that are clearly aping for the cameras, but then there are others who obviously want their privacy. And they have no rights. None, whatsoever in Los Angeles.

Okay, I do enjoy US Weekly - I like perusing the red carpet coverage and seeing all the different designers unveil their creations. However, I don't enjoy reading the articles because clearly, the stories are complete bullshit. I do read some gossip blog sites, but find them a tad tiresome because when one of them becomes fodder for mockery, folks get upset and cry foul. That seems ironic to me somehow.

So, I have become increasingly uncomfortable with my participation in the whole paparazzi thing. Maybe, since I've become a blogger, I can see how vulnerable it can become for a person after witnessing some of the madness. But at least I have options, if I ever felt like something got out of hand, I'd close shop faster than you can say "Thank GOD, I don't have ads". Celebrities don't have that option.

Mock Me If You Can


Fig Balsamic-Glazed Duck Breast

Or something like that.

Hope in a Can

Best laid plans.

March 13, 2007

What's next?

Our roof is shedding shingles and our dishwasher is spitting water, much to the chagrin of the hardwood floor surrounding it..... sigh.... Welcome to the world of No Paychecks For You, Entrepreneurial Suckers. I am most upset about the hardwood floor - I can live without a dishwasher and don't mind washing dishes by hand (Nay, I actually enjoy it), but the floor is bad. Seriously, Innernets - anytime you use the word "buckle" in reference to your flooring rather than your pants, it's B-A-D. Of course, this is happening while X is currently on a freeway heading towards Boston as he moves our car from DC/Virginia so of course, OF COURSE, he thinks I am freaking out for no good reason courtesy of Pregnancy Hormones. Hello Marriage Counseling! Nice to meet ya!

Oh well. At least the dead squirrel hasn't began to stink. It's the small things that keep me going.

March 12, 2007

What's that they say about Mondays?

Updated: A mere 30 minutes after I posted this childish, churlish invective, Arun proceeds to wake up to the best mood ever. Giggling and happily batting away the Eye Fringe, he's laying the groundwork for a fairly good day. Ahh.... Motherhood. Just when I thought I was out-- it pulls me back in.

Entertainment Note: I was so incredibly disappointed by last night's episode of The Amazing Race, it actually shocked me how much I cared. I was SO bummed. The leg itself was a GREAT leg. If you made mistakes, you PAID and there was no irritating, artificial bunching. But still, my favorite team lost and I am left wondering who to root for now. sniff....

So, I met Flybunny yesterday - she came over to check out some Baby Goods I have skulking in my basement. Innernets, the gig is up and she's onto me. She knows that my so-called le manse is actually just a suburban cookie-cutter, the Ridiculous Car is just an Acura (although, it's still Ridiculous to me), and that Arun is really just a carefully coiffed Cabbage Patch Kid. Meeting bloggers is always an awkward affair (I'm meeting another one when I go to Vegas in two weeks! Squee!). You are seeing someone face-to-face for the first time who, in reality, you know an awful fuck A LOT about for only having just met in person. However, it's a great way to jump start a friendship because you can immediately sit down and start chatting without all the nasty Background Business. We talked for quite awhile before Flybunny's 9 year old daughter insisted they leave for a Very! Important! Errand involving a magazine purchase. Damn, her daughter was absolutely adorable - the media portrays kids these days as mindless, resource-sucking brats. Meeting Flybunny's daughter was an inspiration that there a few nice kids out there to continue the species. Hope for the future! Anyway, hopefully I will be seeing more of them because I am pushing Flybunny to join my Tuesday Kiddie Cult when she is staying home during maternity leave. We are having special initiation rites complete with ritualistic hazing to be conducted at the Deanna Rose Farmstead the end of April. Most definitely, goats will be involved.

Um......yesterday marked Day #3 of the No Naps for Me, No Way, No How Showdown currently being waged by my otherwise fairly tolerable little boy. This comes after nearly a week of inconsistent night time sleeping. My Higher Brain Function feels sorry for him because it's obvious that life is just WAY too exciting for him right now and it's hard to settle down to sleep when he's had a fucking V8 and is all "WTF? The world doesn't stop when I go to bed?? The outside temperature is at its Playtime Optimum during the hours of 2-4pm? WTF? "

However. My Lower Brain Function is very, very angry. Very, Very frustrated. Very, Very frightened because HOLY SHIT, I'm staring down a shotgun barrel that's going off in July - Independence Day? MY ASS. I mean, sure. My life is easy peasy and when X is here, it's even easier - in truth, he's been taking night time duty these days because it's easier for Arun to sleep with him than me. Furthermore, let's say this afternoon Arun is a little pill again -- I know that I get to hand him off to Cousin J and then head for the hills to peruse the aisles of Costco in leisure. Besides, it's not like we are Prairie People - I'm not sweeping a dirt floor, using a washboard or lugging water from a well. But still. X is going to be basically living in Boston part-time from this week on. sniff......

[/Pathetic Whining via Overindulged Hausefrau]

I'd like to see more of this......

and less of THIS.

March 8, 2007

If humans evolved from apes, why are they still here?

So.... not much has been going lately - not in the way of blog fodder, anyway. Just living my usual glamorous existence as the Personal Nose Picker to the Stars. Actually, what I am closer to being is a chambermaid because let me tell you - Arun is living the life of Royalty. Let us count the ways, shall we? HRH gets his ass gently wiped throughout the day, warm baths with a fragrant hint of "California Baby" are drawn especially for him, his hair is carefully coiffed, color coordinated clothes are laid out for him each morning, and food is liberally transferred to his gaping maw via silver spoon. Hell's Bells - I even apply the toothpaste on his toothbrush.

Anyway, things are going pretty well right now. Arun is still Pre-Tantrums and isn't collapsing into weepy balls of fury yet, so I have no complaints. You did see that I added the important adverb "yet", didn't you? I will say it fascinating to watch him developmentally getting closer to those tantrums. I can see clearly where his little brain is becoming overloaded with conflicting desires and emotions. Thus far, I've been able to circumvent any tantrums by using good old-fashioned Compelling Distractions (Look! Kitty!) or Cheerily Dispensed 5 Minute Warnings (Okay, we need to go back inside soon! Woo hoo!). Of course, I am not really banking on those handy dandy tools working forever.

Also, these days it's sorta like living with a wee-sized foreigner - his big thing is to point to various objects around the house so that I can inform him of the proper term. He's still all Cro-Magnon about it with the pointing and grunting, but at least he's now got Mental Vocabulary to go with that hulking brow. Actually, the kid loves being outside so much, he'd probably be perfectly content with us just building him his own little cave in the backyard and throwing his crib in there. Seriously, he loves being outside SO MUCH that often, he asks for it first thing in the morning and other times, carries his shoes and socks to us. My money is on "not getting to go outside" being the first catalyst for tantrum. Mark my words.

So, I finally finished Next by Michael Crichton. It was very unsatisfying, frankly. I am really interested in the topical matter of genetic engineering and such, but Crichton really hacked this story up too much. The central focus didn't become clear until over halfway through and the manner in which he tied all the stories together rang very false and contrived. Next week, I am determined to finish up A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. I've had a hard time with it because it is such a very sad story. As I've been fighting pregnancy hormones and various minor illnesses anyway, it's difficult to get excited about reading a sad story where no one is happy. After I'm done with A Fine Balance, I am going to get going on my book list I've compiled. It's a list that I want to have completed before NewKid makes HisHer arrival since I know it will be difficult to get in a lot of reading in the first few months. I'm selecting 9 books from my To Be Read stack, but will leave space open for some book club selections and random purchases as well. I'll publish the final list next week.

Finally, I really appreciated all of your comments about the subject of bone marrow donors. I appreciated even the contradictory comments because for the most part, I don't mind comments that disagree with me. In fact, I think the blogosphere is completely becoming stifled and in some cases, boring, because of this weird "group think" that commenters feel must be followed. I find it disheartening that so many dissenters end up getting flamed by commenters rushing to defend their beloved blogger. I am a very opinionated person - I'm well aware of it and if I wasn't, I have friends and family more than willing to let me know. However, I still welcome hearing viewpoints that differ than mine. That's the only way one can learn new ideas and fresh approaches, right?

March 6, 2007

It's not that easy, is it?

Last fall, I read My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult - in short, it's about a girl who was conceived to provide a donor match for her older sister who had leukemia. The book was an excellent, compelling read and provided for a good, thought-provoking book club discussion. It's always easy to roll abstract ideas in your brain isn't it? Even when the questions AND the answers are in varied shades of grey, it doesn't matter, because it's still just theoretical, right? Bring on more wine! Let's discuss! Until a collegemate's son is diagnosed with a rare - wait - make that a very, very rare blood disorder and needs a bone marrow transplant, that is.

My collegemate's sister told me about a week ago what was going on. This boy is 20 months old and has a disorder that renders his immune system fairly useless. After the age of 7, his rates of survival start going down, down, DOWN if he doesn't get a bone marrow transplant. Also, this collegemate is Indian, so her son's chances of a match are even further reduced. Last Saturday, they held a Donor Drive at the Indian temple and we went to it so that X could sign up for the testing. But we didn't do the swabs for Arun. For X, the decision was simple - absolutely not. For me, it was a little trickier because obviously, I have a loose connection to the boy's mother (we weren't good friends as such while in college, but had classes together and saw each other socially). However. I am also a mother and when confronted with the question "What if Arun was a match?". My immediate, heartfelt internal response was "No one's sticking needles in my baby for a bone marrow harvest. No one." I am still oddly ashamed of my initial, gut reaction because of course, my Higher Brain Function started to take over and ponder the selfishness of my reaction - a little boy's life is at stake here, after all. I've even hesitated to post about it, even though it's been weighing on my mind for well over a week now. I guess if Arun were older, say at least 8 or so, and I could actually talk to him about what was going on, maybe it would be a different story. Damn. I wish I were some grandiose writer that could make heads or tails of this and could finish off with a Wham!Bam! Conclusion.

Unfortunately, I can't.

March 5, 2007

Boy, your body really goes with 2nd one, eh?

An actual quote from Nice Checker Woman at our grocery store. She asked me when NewKid was due and after I answered, she came up with the little gem that has become today's post title. We go to the store about 2-3 times a week (yes, we're Fresh Produce Snobs), so this woman really knows us by now. I realize this woman was just trying to be friendly and she is very sweet, but GOOD GOD, you don't ever use the words "body" and "go" when speaking to a pregnant woman. In fact, for future reference, the only acceptable words regarding a pregnant woman's body are "Wow - you look GREAT!!". Additionally, the handy little alternative in the form of "What? You're pregnant?" will probably garner you bonus points, if not a new BFF. The truth is most definitely not a safe or sure path in cases where Pregnancy meets Body Image.

Another great quote from this weekend is from a friend who asked X if he was going to "take a few months off". hahahahahahaha. Seriously. We both LAUGHED. X will still be traveling and working harder than ever before. That little Soup Nazi concept known as No Paycheck For You goes a long, long way in Motivation. Oh, sure, we've planned for X to always be able to do what he wants in Things Entrepreneurial - this is why we live a lifestyle comprised primarily of what I call "disposable expenses". When the Shit Hits the Fan, we can tighten our belts quite easily - our only debt is one car payment and a very reasonable house payment - throw in a few utilities and we're done. While I feel sorta sorry for Thai Place, Garozzo's Italian Ristorante, Holyland Cafe, Borders, Target, Amazon, Aspen Lawncare and Molly Maid, I won't be shedding many tears for them, either. They've had a good run on our dime.

Also.....I loved, LOVED doing the book meme over the weekend. I am still catching up on comments, so if you do the meme, let me know so I can check yours out. Oh, I love memes, the Rodney Dangerfield of blog fodder, but doing that one was particularly enjoyable. The list was interesting because it included such a nice variety including such books that I refer to as Brain Candy - reads such as Dan Brown. I love inhaling tripe such as the Da Vinci Code. LOVE IT. Do people really think his stuff should be taken seriously? HELL NO. Read it for the fiction that it IS. Much as I don't eat fruits and veggies all the time, I don't like reading Wise and Serious Shit all the time, either. People, the brain needs some SUGAR. Currently, I am slogging through A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry and Next by Michael Crichton. Both are serving their purposes for providing my brain with a Main, Nutritious Course and a Dessert.

Life is too short to only read Wise and Serious Shit.

March 1, 2007

What have you read?

A fun, literary-themed meme, courtesy of Pantalones del Fuego.

In the list of books below:
- blue the ones you’ve read
- purple the ones that are your personal favorites (I added this category)
- italicize the ones you want to read
- red the ones you won’t touch with a ten-foot pole (I didn't do do this - never say never, right?)
- put a cross (+) in front of the ones on your book shelf
- and asterisk (*) the ones you’ve never heard of.

If you decide to join the fun and play along, let me know in the comments!

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. +Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. +To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. +Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)--
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. +Anne of Green Gables (L. M. Montgomery)
9. *Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. +A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry) Currently, slogging through this one.
11. +Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. +Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. +Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. *Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. +Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. +The Catcher in the Rye (J. D. Salinger)
23. +Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. +1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. *The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. *The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. *The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. +Bible Haven't finished it and probably never will.
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. +The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)-I keep thinking I must read this, but honestly, I can't stand Steinbeck's writing style. Bleh.
50. +She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. *Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. *The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. +Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. +Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) -
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview with the Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. *Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. +One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. +Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. +Shogun (James Clavell)-I own this, but haven't ever been able to get past page 50. May give up.
74. +The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. +The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. *The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. +A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith) One of my very, very favorites. EVER.
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving) - My goal in life is to read all of his works.
79. *The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. +Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. *Not Wanted On the Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbecck)
83. *Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)-- LOVED the movie, didn't realize it was a book so now I must read it!
84. *Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. +Emma (Jane Austen)--
86. +Watership Down (Richard Adams)--
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. *The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. *Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. *In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. +Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)--
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S. E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. +The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)--

Great Scott, where will it end up next?

So, Nasty Headcold has migrated into Nasty Chestcold.... sigh..... or more precisely..... hack...hack...... I don't feel like going on and on about how I feel like a deflated balloon and am frustrated that I am wasting my all-too-important 2nd Trimester of Getting Things Done on being freakin' sick and how my sense of smell is SO out of whack that I can't smell a dirty diaper much less a dead rodent and that I'm getting slightly depressed from lying around all the time and I'm out of breath by the time I reach the top of the stairs and how I'd like to totally bitch slap Steve from Blue Clue's from being such a big pussy and how I feel like Arun is raising himself at this point.

SO, I will just move directly to posting some fun pictures and call it a week. I will say that I really appreciated all the positive comments from the Big Idea post. We are very positive ourselves about this, actually - about 10% Nervous, 90% Excited. This will be X's 2nd company that he has started, so I have faith in him that he knows what he is doing. Anyway, on to the snappage......

Vanessa's Binkit
One of the reasons I love reading Crazy Aunt Purl is that she posts pictures of her cats all the time. Had I been doing pictures on my blog pre-Arun, this blog would have been chock FULL of Kitty Litter. I still take a crazy amount of snappage of our kitties, aka the Original Babies. Anyway, in this snap, if you look closely, you can see that blanket is still on the needles. This picture is particularly sweet to us because Vanessa tends to stay upstairs most of the time. To see her all cozy on the kitchen table, out in the open, was pretty cool.

Lounging Around in High Style
Everytime I open the piano, Pearson jumps up there. It doesn't matter whether I am playing or not.

Cattin' Around
We expected the cats would eventually tolerate Arun. I did not expect the cats to co-sleep with us and I certainly, most definitely did not expect that Harry and Arun would become little playmates. Harry even follows Arun around in the yard for attention.

What a Nancy Boy.
Who says a boy can't enjoy a little Nancy Drew?