June 30, 2006

Most of these are actually VEGETABLES, right?

So, my Week of Positivity went quite well. Was it because I slapped on a pair of rose-colored spectacles on Monday? Or was it just a coincidence? Either way it doesn't matter because you know what? Being nice all week was kinda boring. I have one more meme coming up next week that will help set this blog straight again.

In other news, my #1 Mothering Tip for this week is The Shirt. I gave Arun one of my old, unwashed shirts and this thing has worked MIRACLES. I have lost count of the naps that he has taken in his crib and it helped tremendously with the Separation Psychosis when leaving him with Cousin J.

Friday is FryDay

This was the HARDEST meme because I had to pare it down. I almost expanded it to include 20 things, but that would have been embarrassing. Anyway, here are things I love that are FRIED. Sweet tooth? Nah - my weakness has always been food made better with the Glory that is Grease.

And don’t even bother telling me that you can BAKE these things. Doesn’t count. Bah.

#1 Oklahoma Joe’s French Fries

#2 Kruncher’s Jalapeno Potato Chips

#3 Jalapeno Poppers

#4 Jalebi

#5 Indian Hot Mix

#6 Crab Rangoon

#7 Samosa

#8 Krispy Kremes

#9 Calamari

#10 Onion Blossom

Mmmmm.....makes my arteries crispy just thinkin’ about this list.

My Very Favorite Small Fry

He may curse me later, but I love that I am in charge of his wardrobe for the time being and can make him wear his dorky safari cap when we are doing something as mundane as hanging out in Loose Park which is in the middle of the CITY.

June 29, 2006

Why is it called “taking a dump” when in reality, you are LEAVING one?

So, Separation Psychosis is reaching a fever pitch in the rancid le manse. I never thought the day would come that sees me on the toilet with a baby gripping my knees desperately, peering expectantly at me while I do my “bidness”. There you have it. Life’s Little Moments that I am always referring to in this blog. Not exactly Hallmark-worthy, but you take what you can get.

Thursday is MissedTVDay
Remember when Thursday was THE day you rushed home to watch TV because your VCR/TiVo combo was smokin' hot and couldn’t handle the action and you would need to watch at least ONE show that night LIVE or you would totally miss out on the watercooler scene Friday morning at the office? Not all of these shows were ever on the Must See TV lineup, but they came to mind as shows that I really liked. Most of them are obscure because I tried to choose the "loser" shows that the networks canned. Some of them never even made it past 4 episodes.

Damn. I miss Thursday night TV. Joey, I hardly knew ye and I hardly cared.

#1 Herman’s Head

#2 Three Sisters

#3 Stark Raving Mad

#4 Joan of Arcadia

#5 Love Monkey

#6 Out of Practice

#7 Committed

#8 Miss Match

#9 Cursed

#10 Arrested Development

My Own Little Love Monkey

Soon after I shot off these snaps, I told Arun that it was time to quit playing and go inside so that Mama could post the snaps to her blog. If I am going to document his babyhood, he’s just going to have to take one for the team. Priorities, you know?

June 28, 2006

Isn't Humpty Dumpty just another case for Natural Selection?

No, I got virtually nothing done on my To Do list - I should have noted that I didn’t plan to get it DONE on Tuesday and that I was really just REPORTING it for future procrastional purposes. In particular, I will be purchasing that dress/sandals combo like NEXT week Friday, the day before the event, because I might lose 10 pounds by then. What? YOU NEVER KNOW. Anyway.............

Wednesday is HumpDay
Guys I would consider to be Humpable Haute Hotties. This was another difficult list, but I had to draw a line - with the exception of #3, only live, breathing, non-AARP Hotties are included. #10 was a gimme, of course.

#1 Brad Pitt (pre-Amnesty International Days)

#2 Colin Farrell ( pre-Rehab Days)

#3 Amitabh Bachchan (granted special non-AARP exemption for his utter HOTness)

#4 Colin Firth

#5 Hugh Grant

#6 Denzel Washington

#7 Jeremy Northam

#8 Russell Crowe, ( pre-Phone Hurling Days)

#9 Johnny Depp

#10 X

In other news, I still haven’t gotten to see my dad because (negative content edited by Pollyanna-esque Blogger) and he doesn’t want me to bring Arun to the hospital. I cleared my social calendar this week thinking I would be hanging out at the hospital, so I have doing impromptu-ish sorts of things all week. FUN, actually. On Monday, I loaded up my Garage Sale Find jogger stroller in my trunk to air up the tires. After the tires were full? It would NOT GO BACK IN THE TRUNK thus lending itself for the opportunity of a total WTF? Moment replete with head-scratching and much scowling. I managed to squeeze it in the front passenger seat. Since I already had it loaded in the car and the likelihood of THAT happening anytime ever AGAIN was slim, I thought we should give it a First Run over at Deanna Rose. I LOVE the butterfly garden, so we headed straight over to it and sat in a a swing, enjoying the gorgeous weather. A gal and her son passed by and she paused. She said “I’ve seen your son somewhere.” We went through a few scenarios where she might have seen my son and then she said, quietly “I know where it is. I think I read your blog.” Yep - it was Amanda, who has commented here before. It turns out, we live very close to each other, mere blocks. We hung out together in the garden and watched her adorable son N run circles in the sprinklers. It seems she didn’t think I was too much of a freak because she did email me, so I can see us getting together again in the future. Very cool.

In other, other news, Arun has successfuly gone down in his crib for a nap TWICE this week. For the past 2 weeks, he has refused to go down in his crib for naps and it has been SO frustrating (negative content edited). I think teething and our wacky schedule contributed to this - for the past 2 weeks I have been holding tight to the nights because he sleeps like a ROCK at night - it's the damned cats waking me up these days. But naps? Were misery because (negative content edited). When I read somewhere that putting an article of your clothing in the crib with your baby can help ease their anxiety, I thought “Why not?”. So far, it has WORKED.....fingers furiously crossed....

Future Haute Hottie

Old picture, still Dead Sexy. Although, he better be the type who actually calls when he SAYS HE’S GONNA CALL. My promise to you, Future Babes of America, is that his mama will do her best to teach him RIGHT.

June 27, 2006

What's the Big To Do?

In what may go down in the Annals of Blogging History as the most boring post EVER.

Tuesday is ToDosDay
Not that I will actually get all these DONE today, but rather, this is my To Do list. Actually, just the Top 10 as the entire list is MUCH longer.

1. Read “Snow Falling on Cedars” by this Sunday. A nearly 500 page book that I only just began YESTERDAY.

2. Weed the yard.

3. Tidy up spare bedroom and wash the sheets (refer to "other news" below).

4. Pick up/Drop Off Dry cleaning.

5. Locate some curry leaves ASAP since our regular store is out of them and the guy who usually supplies them is in India for the next month and in the meantime, we are starting to literally eat our OWN curry plant alive. I'm starting to feel a little sorry for it.

6. Buy a dress and sandals for swanky soiree coming next week.

7. Organize basement - segragate all junk to one room that will be designated for the Garage Sale to End All Garage Sales of 2007.

8. Begin process of purging the house of Junk for said garage sale.

9. Back up all the Mac files as I haven’t done so since early MAY.

10. Get the garage in order. It’s driving me crazy.

In other news, my dad is back in the hospital (negative content deleted by blogger emulating Pollyanna this week) but fortunately, the Glad Game makes me see the bright side of having my step-mom staying with me again.

In other, other news - our boy has insurance! RETROACTIVELY. Meaning, they will be paying the bills. Bring on the honey roasted peanuts!

Cover your eyes, folks. That would be the sun coming out from the clouds.

Slapdashed Snaps
On my To Dos for the LONGEST time was to purchase chairs for our patio - the weird slab of cement just off our deck (it used to hold the hot tub of the Previous Owner. Bleh. We are NOT Hot Tub People). Anyway, this slab of cement needed something to perk it up and I tried in vain with plants and a reclining chair. What it REALLY needed was a pair of Adirondack chairs, but DAMN. Those things are EXPENSIVE. Unless, you find a great plastic pair at Target for $30. Score.

Now, virtually all day long there is some shady spot in my backyard for me to sit in. Which makes me very happy.

This is the view when I am sitting in them. Not bad, eh?

June 26, 2006

Why don’t people wearing rose-colored glasses ever see Red?

Cripes, last week was a DOWNER. Therefore, to assist in stemming the spate of negativity that emanates from this blog, I am going to post only Happy Thoughts this week. Like, only thoughts that are HAPPY. Furthermore, I’ve always maintained that the meme is the Rodney Dangerfield of blog fodder. Therefore, everyday this week I will do a memed theme dedicated to the particular day of the week. I may also update with actual stuff going on in between, BUT my promise to you, Dear Reader, is that this blog is going to be so light and carefree and pink and frothy and SO fucking HAPPY that you’ll wanna stick one of those teeny little umbrellas in it.

This week is dedicated to Pollyanna and Rodney Dangerfield.
She is how I wish the world was and Rodney is how the world IS. I salute both of them.

Monday is FunDay
Things I find fun, enjoyable or entertaining.

1. Naps. Namely, my kid’s. I dread that day when Naps go away, but thankfully, that means Kindergarten will be next in order. I would only be slightly exaggerating if I admitted that I love my kid MORE when he is sleeping. In fact, he is snoozing RIGHT NOW and the Love? It is flowing like the Muddy Mo right now.

2. A fresh bowl of sunflower seeds and new book. Both waiting to be cracked open. Refer to #1 because these days? #1 and #2 go hand in hand.

3. Cleaning my kitchen. Seriously. I clean the kitchen at least 2-3 times a day. It makes me feel good. If you come to my house and my kitchen is dirty? Call 911 because shit ain't RIGHT.

4. Cooking a great, 4-course meal and having loved ones over to partake. I usually only cook 1-2 courses for just X and I, so to make more is a challenge that I enjoy. Throwing out a bunch of dishes at once on the table, perfectly timed so that each has JUST finished cooking and are their freshest is a very triumphant feeling.

5. Game night. Of all the things I miss most from my Pre-Kid days, I miss Game Night the 2nd most (refer to #2 for the thing I miss MOST). I miss having girlfriends over - each one entering my home toting their favorite board game, a snack and a bottle of vino. I love mixing up my friends and seeing their personalities come out in the competiveness of something as simple as Cranium, Scattergories, Trivial Pursuit or Wit’s End.

6. Sitting on my deck or front steps. I LOVE sitting outside. One of the things I appreciate most about this house is that the back deck starts getting shady around 4pm and the front steps have a great view of the sky while the sun sets. It’s not uncommon to find me out there in late October/early November huddled under a blanket because I am just not ready to give the outdoors up.

7. Thursday nights in downtown Lawrence, KS. Many weeks I go to Lawrence on Thursday nights and grab a light dinner on Mass. St. with my mom. Then, we grab a cup of joe (Aimee’s, Milton’s, or Z’s Espresso) and sit on a bench on the sidewalk to watch the world go by. Utter bliss.

8. Driving. I enjoy driving and exploring new ways to get around. The GPS in our car has certainly added a new element to this because now, I can meander at will, secure in the knowledge that I can always find my way back home. I also enjoy driving the Ridiculous Car. I appreciate the irony that I finally got a car that “can hang”, but now I have a CARSEAT in the back. Of course, it’s probably a GOOD thing Noodle Neck al Dente is snoozing in the back because that helps my lead foot keep all the Car’s little ponies at a reasonable pace.

9. A nice, savory meal with great service. It’s not just enough to have delicious food, but to have it served with a smile? Or better yet, get a personal greeting from the owner? Cherished.

10. Any quiet moment that X and I can grab where we can just sit and watch our son at play - be it on the living room floor, out in the yard or in bed. It’s a sweet gift to have the luxury of Time to be able to sit and marvel at the simple things that Arun is figuring out right now - how to pick up a leaf, how to push a toy car, how to sneak up on a kitty, how to climb the stairs, pop a pill.....

Simian Snaps
Since snaps of the kid fulfill the Fun Requirement of this week’s postings.............

Other things I enjoy? Watching my son giggle and laugh while playing with a $5 Garage Sale Find toy. LOVE IT. Did you notice the “$5” part? That’s the BEST part. I shot off a TON of snaps of him with this and had a hard time deciding which to post. Also, notice how that Little Red Fuck Elmo not only managed to ingratiate himself into my son’s life but also into his WARDROBE. Oh, Shit - only positive stuff, right? Should I admit that the Little Red Fuck is actually not that bad and I am finding myself starting to not mind him? Nah. That would be overkill on the Smarm for this blog.

It might explode under the pressure.

June 22, 2006

Why do bullies ask "What's your problem?" when
they're obviously not going to solve it?

SO, the insurance online application thingie is off and out in the Blue Nowhere, so hopefully our boy will have insurance with an effective date of July 1st. I am still burning with helpless fury at This Person who allowed this to happen, but at this point, I should stop posting about it before I cross the Line. Yes, indeed, it is a sad, sad day in the ole Blogosphere to have such snarkastically delicious fodder at your very fingertips that you Just.Cannot.Let.Free.

SO, to boot, there is other lovely stuff going on that I really shouldn’t post about in case I ever give my URL to my mother, but suffice it to say, her family is pissing me off. Specifically, her brother-in-law also known as “Uncle”....... Ah hell, who am I kidding? I’m gonna post about it. Right now, in fact. This guy has been pissing me off nearly 20 years now and is so fucking rude to us behind our Aunt’s back. It’s obvious he only “puts up with us” because he loves my Aunt and we are part of the bargain. Anyway, I will only report the most recent transgression that happened last night. In short, when no one is around that he cares about - say, my AUNT - he speaks very rudely to my nephews and is downright mean to them. He practically barks. But does he do this around my Aunt? The same Aunt who recounts joyfully at what a good “kid person” he is? Of course not. I had heard about this behaviour before, but just witnessed it myself yesterday. The first time it happened, I was shocked - yes, Older Nephew needed to be told to quit playing with the gate, but he didn’t need to be treated like a piece of shit over it. The second time it happened, I was so furious I was shaking - and again, I was shocked because I wasn’t even sure what the Uncle was yelling at Younger Nephew about and I couldn’t discern exactly which rule had been broken. I should mention that this is the same Uncle who is all lovey-dovey playing Grandfather of the Year to my Aunt’s grandson, but when she isn’t looking he is fucking barking at that kid, too (something my sister witnessed last night). Before 10/16/2005, I would have just been irritated by this behaviour as I have been irritated by him all these years anyway. But NOW, it’s personal because if he ever barked at MY kid like that? I’d probably want to choke him. But it’s tricky, because he can argue that it’s his house. So, where is the line? Who should be disciplining the kids? Do I have a right to say that if my kid is misbehaving, let ME know and I will take care of it? It’s even trickier because my sister wasn’t around for this - she wouldn’t have even known had I not told her. All of this is exacerbated by the fact that my Aunt and Uncle have a very unfriendly, antique-filled environment for kids. For example, they have a stunning, spectacular collection of Roseville pottery . My Aunt says it is her “retirement” and she sort of isn’t joking. But as Arun started crawling at lightspeed towards a set placed a mere 6 inches off the floor and my heart stopped, I had to wonder how much time we will be spending at my Aunt’s in the future. And my Uncle’s behaviour is making that decision easy.

SO, the good side of things is that Las Vegas Grandma DID arrive in town and it’s GREAT to see her. Her 3rd leg of her Kansas Tour will be at my house tomorrow night - I am going to cook a big south Indian dinner for her and we are going to RELAX because I know my Mom and my Aunt are running her around a lot. I suspect she will be tired.

SO, in all this insurance/family jamboree of gooeylicous FUN, X and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary yesterday. I guess the first thing I learned about marriage is that the only piece of cake you’re gonna get is at the actual wedding. After that, it’s all WORK. We’re talkin’ bone-grinding, chain-gang worthy WORK. However, I am here to report that it’s totally worth it. This year has proven that point as Crummy Thing after Crummy Thing has befallen us. It’s nice to know that when Shit is raining down, there’s someone else to help hold the umbrella when you need to take a nap. And for me, that’s what marriage is all about. Finding someone to build a life with and then going about DOING THAT, regardless of what comes your way. It makes me sad how many people speak of their own marriage’s futures in ambiguous, vague terms using words like “if” and “maybe”. It makes me mad when people talk about feeling “unfulfilled” in their marriages and finding someone else that makes them "happy". HUH? Get over yourself already. Life is hard enough, why make it harder? I may not like the fact that X is a bit slobby and he may not like the fact that I am a lot picky, but we are in this for the Long Haul, no “ifs” or “maybes”.

SO, yesterday was a hard day and I had a good cry, then went to the airport to wait anxiously delayed flight while sweating profusely with a mobile, impatient child, then dealt with a family gathering, and then confirmed that my baby son does not have liver disease, angina, arthritis and a myriad of other health conditions. Last night, after the day was done, X and I laid in bed with Arun and watched our sweet boy play with a book, babble incessantly to himself, and scramble over us to grab at whichever hapless kitty meandered too close.

Yeah, Life IS Good.

Arun had just given Only Niece a kiss - a shot I was desperate to get, but was denied. Also, notice the Roseville in the background. That is a mere fraction of the Roseville in that house and only ONE of several sets displayed precariously close to curious little monkeys. Evil Uncle is hiding the mongo, uber-expernsive Roseville planter behind his legs. Bah.

Notice the blurs of Older Nephew and Younger Nephew. I'd have a better chance of getting decent shots of little Shiloh or Suri.

Fun was had by all.

June 21, 2006

Has the world gone mad?

Because sometimes I feel as if it conspiring against me. Or maybe I am just slowly going mad MYSELF. Or, perhaps, I have already arrived.

I very nearly came to tears this morning because I stepped in gum. Yes, GUM ON MY SHOE nearly made me cry. But, I sucked it up like the Big Girl I am and carried on bravely. Then, this afternoon I finally receive the email with an online link for an insurance application so that we can get a quote. X's company is going to pay for Arun's individual insurance policy until we get the company policy worked out since at this rate, we are probably going to have to appeal to the Virginia Insurance Commissioner. SO, I happily, excitedly in a great state of RELIEF start filling out the online application. I am on the last page stuck in a hopeless loop that requires me to answer Question #6 with a "Yes or a No". Which I have done a trillion times. Then, and only then, do I cry.

Updated: Hey. I feel loads better. I should have just let myself have a good sob AGES ago - there have been several stressful Family Things going on at once and this insurance thing was the Straw to my Camel. While I like to pride myself on how much I appreciate my life and its trimmings, I've had to come face to face with the stone cold fact that I do take having health insurance FOR GRANTED. I've always had a job or a parent to help out in that arena.

June 20, 2006

What’s that about saying something nice?

Well, the company picnic went fine on Saturday and I think I managed to hide my temper and ill will that I am feeling towards the very company that is neglecting to provide my son with the very basic benefit of health insurance. It probably helped that the person responsible for this mess resides in Virginia and thus, wasn’t there. In short, This Person is not returning our fucking phone calls. Since fucking THURSDAY. At this point, I should stop before I start adding descriptive adjectives to This Person. I am not sure if X could be Dooced from the very company that he founded, but why find out?

Since I am so full of venom and fury that I am tempted to unleash, I am going to end this post shortly..........

Arun turned 8 months on Friday. Someone commented a few posts back about how I must not get much done and yes, that would be the case. I would much rather sit on the floor and play with him than read email, clean house, deal with insurance, write blog posts. Speaking of which.............

Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’
He has started cruising along this step - he began near the middle. Apparently, a pair of a scissors and a National Geographic provide ample incentive. The finger-squashing door was merely a bonus.

Insurance is SO Yesterday

8 Months
The "chair snaps" are so difficult to take these days because he immediately pulls himself up. I threw him my keys and that provided enough distraction to get a few rounds off. If you look carefully in the 2nd snap, you can see that he FINALLY got teeth. Like TWO. At THE SAME TIME. I had my sister feel for teeth on Friday and she laughed as she informed me they were ALREADY there (I swear I checked on Thursday!). Also, score 1 for Co-sleeping because we have lost very little shut-eye over the whole thing. The downside was that on Thursday, he wanted to be held ALL DAY LONG and although I got very little done that day I was more than happy to oblige. Sometimes, you just need a day full of nothing but holding your baby.

Haircut #4

June 16, 2006

What happens if Something Happens?

Still no insurance for my baby. sigh....... Just as Arun and I are discovering that even when a cabinet door has locks on it, he can still manage to squash his fingers in it. Again, with the sigh. I am pretty proud of myself, I am trying really, really hard not to obsess over it and am doing an okay job with that. It still makes me sick to my stomach when I DO think about it, though.

At least things are somewhat okay with my dad. They are still figuring things out, but he is home now.

This weekend is crazy - today is wading pool, then dinner with friends and I still need to finish up some things for planning on X’s company picnic tomorrow for which I am a co-organizer. Tomorrow IS the picnic, then Average Jane’s cookout tomorrow evening which I really, REALLY hope I can make. Then, Sunday is Father’s day. Next week? Las Vegas Grandma is coming to Town! She will stay one night with us and I am very excited for Arun to finally meet his only Indian granny. The downside? I need to desperately clean our house. The upside? I needed to clean anyway.

As usual, I am going to lean heavily on some Simian Snappage for the remainder of today’s post:

But What Would His Sherpa Have to Say?
Every man has his Everest. Arun is obsessed with this step - it took him the longest time to actually hoist his chubby thighs over it and even now, he prefers to just crawl over to it, bang away for awhile, then crawl over to something else. Unless there is a cat waiting by the door to get out. Talk about grease lightening. Now, if I could just train him to OPEN the door, he could start helping out in a new capacity as Doorman to the Felines. After he gets insurance, of course.

Airing out the Dirty Laundry
I was desperate to get some laundry done, but “someone” needed to be held and cuddled all day long. Like, ALL DAY LONG. So, to distract him, I stuck him in the laundry basket and emptied the dryer load on top of him. I hit the Motherload of Entertainment Mileage - he happily sat in there ENTIRE time I put away laundry.

June 14, 2006


Regarding Yesterday’s Post, I’d like to point out that the Hypocrite in the title was supposed to refer to ME because I am sure I have a hearty serving of meaty black crow coming in my Parenting Future. Also, I would like to give a shout-out to Goofy Girl AGAIN as she relates her “successes” in toilet training. Parenting Yoda, she is, that Goofy Girl.

So, after yesterday’s sweeping indictment of parents everywhere, God said “Oh, no you didn’t and hit me with a double-whammy of admitting my dad into the hospital AND finding out that Arun isn’t and NEVER WAS covered on our health insurance.

Taking a deep breath.....

First, after a tense day yesterday with my dad in the hospital hooked up to a steady IV of morphine to help with the excruciating pain emanating from his hips on down, we found out today that he has three herniated disks. Thank goodness. Sort of. I mean, at least it isn’t life-threatening and we KNOW what it is. Not knowing was a bit frightening. So, now we need to figure out the treatment, next steps, whatnot. The only good thing to come out of all this is that my step-mom is staying with me because my dad is in a hospital here in Kansas City. Although, I wish the circumstances would have been better, it HAS been nice to spend some alone time with her and be able to talk without my brother, sisters, nephews, niece, etc around. Arun just ADORES his Grandma K so it has given them some alone time, also.

Second, I received a doctor’s bill for Arun that amounted to over $1500 and I called the insurance company. I thought I was going to throw up when I discovered that Arun has never been our insurance despite the fact that I filled out paperwork LAST FALL. Of course, the insurance is playing Asshole in all of this, although I am still leery of X’s company and the gal who administers this insurance stuff. The jury is still out and seriously? I am losing sleep over this. My baby boy has no insurance and it scares the fucking crap out of me.

New, Lighthearted Topic To Ease My Mind or Else I Will Seriously LOSE MY SHIT......................... I went to pick up a swimsuit today. I have a swimsuit, but it is the sort that you wear when you are quickly skittering from the locker room to the pool to swim laps. It is NOT the sort that you wear to just lounge around the pool and certainly, most assuredly, NOT the type you wear to BEND OVER and help your precious progeny walk about in a wading pool ...ahem..... I do realize that I have reached a point in my life where I am waving bye-bye to Dead Sexy in the rearview mirror (Enter Sarcasm, Stage Left) and have now entered the Whatever is the Least Offensive to Everybody's Eyeballs stage in my Swimsuit Life. Ah well. At least Arun is too young to be embarrassed. Yet.

The Peanut Gallery

When my step-mom began coaxing delightful tunes out of the resistant Black Elephant, Arun quickly scrambled underneath the piano to play with the cat toys. He stayed there until she was done playing.

June 13, 2006

Hypocrite much?

Hmmm, maybe this will be another week where I depend on my trusty digital camara. It’s another busy one.

The weekend was a good one - much of it was spent with Goofy Girl and her counterparts - Mr. Goofy and Goofy Junior. We had dinner Friday with an Indian couple where the husband works with X and Goofy Girl. Fun was had by all. Then, Saturday was Canasta Night. Rinse, repeat with the fun.

I finally made my plane reservations for BlogHer - I’m flying in a little early WITH MY MOM to go to Carmel. Very cool! We have both done San Francisco before, so Carmel will be something different. Since she will have Monkey Duty while I am at the conference itself, I wanted to be sure to treat her to something special beforehand. While I had Southwest on the line, I went ahead and made my reservations for Las Vegas in early July. We are just going for a quick visit to stay with my Grandma C (I still appreciate the irony that Arun’s only Indian grandma is coming from MY side, not X's since his own mother has already passed away.) I can’t explain it, but it was very important for me to get Arun out there in his first year. I am hoping, if we can afford it, that we will continue to go every year like I have been for awhile. I am VERY excited to take Arun to a place that holds so many special memories for me.

So, yesterday I had our friend S and her sons over for a playdate/lunch. S is from Singapore but is ethnically Indian. She totally ROCKS. This is a good example of her personality - when White people “compliment” her on her English by saying her “English is good”, she sweetly says “Thank you! And so is yours!” - it cracks her up that many Americans don’t understand that just because you speak with an accent, it doesn’t mean your English can’t be pitch perfect like hers. It was a nice lunch and very NONstressful for me because I knew I could throw out a nice chicken piralen and that neither her kids nor her would blink an eye. She also helped me figure out some things I can feed Arun at this stage - I pulled items out of my cabinets and she gave me different ideas for them. Also, I realized something - as I heard her discipline her children in Malayalam and Tamil, I started to think that maybe I should give more effort to this Hindi or Malayalam thing. Like, it might be useful to know how to totally kick Arun’s ass in a foreign language. It could come in handy the first time he throws a fit in Target - right? Child Protective Services THAT, be-yotch.

Which leads to a new topic. After all these outings to petting zoos, pools, malls, parks and such, I am utterly frightened by all the out of control kids running around these days. And the parents? Even MORE frightening running around AFTER the kid saying gently "No, no." Um, Hello? Your kid just bitch-slapped another kid and you're saying "No, no"? Don't get me wrong - I fully expect that my own kid is probably going to hit, bite, slap, tackle another kid sometime, somewhere. THAT'S WHAT KIDS DO. However, I have high expectations for MYSELF as to how I am going to handle it. Damn straight, "No, no" ain't gonna cut it. Do I have the answers now? No, and truthfully, I probably never will. In fact, I don't think ANYONE has the answers. Back before Arun arrived, when I was still Armchair Parenting, I always maintained that the key to Good Parenting was to have IDEAS, not Answers. I still stand by that assertion. The best parents I have seen operate like that - try, try, and try again until they figure out what works for THEIR KID. So, to that end, I am starting to look into a variety of books - I plan to read something by Brazelton, something by the Love and Logic guy, and right now I am reading Karp's The Happiest Toddler on the Block. And, since I am finally finding peace with my Inner Granola, I will even read something by Sears. Again, do I think these books will hold all the Answers? No, but I do want to be armed with IDEAS. This is why I jokingly refer to Goofy Girl and our friend L (in VA) to be tied for the Goldilocks Award of Parenting. It's not that they have it perfect or that their kids are angels, but rather they seem to have a struck a nice balance. They have lots of Ideas how to handle different situations, their kids are fairly well-behaved and they don't put up with a lot of crap. Most importantly, they ENJOY being parents and for the most part, are pretty relaxed. Because seriously, don't we all want to ENJOY this experience - otherwise, why even bother to sign up for the gig in the first place? In short, Parenting in a Pigeonhole is a dangerous business. One outing to your local zoo, park or shopping mall is proof enough.

Hypocrite Disclaimer: Print this out and stick it in my face when my kid is a raving lunatic in about 6-12 months. I am sure I will need the reminder since Ignorance is indeed, quite Blissful.

Puts New Meaning to MeatHead

How much you wanna bet this guy is only packin’ a roll a dimes?

Lean Times

When we put him in a swing, he automatically pitches forward in it despite our best efforts to get him to sit BACK. I guess it must be more exciting that way.

Spoutin’ Off

My sister has reserved the wading pool at South Park in Lawrence for her and her friends for 2 months this summer. Since I am her sister, by default she has to include me. Arun LOVED the water spouts - I could barely get him in the water and THEN, all he wanted to do was STAND, which is all he wants to do these days anyway. So, I took him to the “deep” part and he stood by the edge. It actually worked quite well because the water helped keep him upright.

I’m A Fool For Your Love
These snaps are special because they represent one of those Perfect Moments that Life pitches your way every now and then. You know, one of those moments that give you pause and you think very quietly to yourself, ”Damn. I want to remember this FOREVER.” We were just out in the yard, playing with books - nothing special, just enjoying the shade, the trees and the relatively nice weather. Arun kept crawling all over me and trying to use me as a prop to stand. At one point, he grabbed my LIP to try and hoist himself up. At another point, he sucked my NOSE. Two of our cats kept coming in and out of the scene which only served to excite Arun even more. He cracked me up so much that I was giggling really hard - REALLY HARD - which only made HIM laugh harder. I wish I could bottle these Moments up to save for later when Life throws me a Crappy Moment.

The Jayhawk Hazing in progress. He WILL like KU, dammit. Whether he likes it or not.

Ignore my grave need for a pedicure. Seriously - just move along.

Somedays, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be hanging out with a guy like this.

June 9, 2006

Why do all superheroes wear spandex?

So, I managed to make it through all the Antique Roadshows languishing on the DISH DVR before Comcast came to tear down the little Empire that Dish had built in our living room. Arun has a nice patina now from being exposed to the warm glow of the TV for all those hours, although his provenance is suspect.

Last night, X and I went for a super fancy meal with Arun at Cassis (used to be Hannah's, now in a new location at 117th and Roe in Town Centre). It seems that our boy has a thing for French desserts. He also snarfed on carefully smash scraps of beef tenderloin, bread, pearlized onions and mushrooms. I have never understood why people are afraid to take their kids to nice restaurants. I say, take them early on so they learn how to behave. We just make sure to go around 5:30ish as not to interrupt/disturb the serious diners.

I have noticed that I seem to have a Shadow these days. Yes, Separation Psychosis is at hand. I turn around to see a little Monster furiously following me wherever I go all the while proclaiming “mmmmmMAmmmmmMA”. That's his new thing - when he is crying, he says that. Nah, I don’t think he KNOWS what he is saying, although my heart is cracking from the pressure because IT sure the fuck doesn’t know. Unfortunately, Sunday shoppers at Target probably think I am the meanest mother in the world as he cried that over and over and over while I continued on my business. Anyway, I just hope he gets over himself already because I really like to “meditate” in peace and quiet (preferably, with a the latest ragazine such as US Weekly, thankyouverymuch).

Oh, speaking of The Bad Habits that Befall Babies - what the fuck is up with this "must get up at 4:00 or 5:00am and TALK and CRAWL and blow RASPBERRIES and attempt to STAND. MUST STAND. Headbooard GOOD." Yeehaw. God help me when he discovers there is a Santa Claus.

Anyway, we are off this morning to our first swimming pool excursion. This SAHM business is a hard knock life sometimes.

Spank Me Like the StoreBrand Whore I Am

Awhile back, I had admonished X for having a storebrand shampoo in his Virginia apartment. I should have been clearer - what I was criticizing was the fact that it was a SAFEWAY storebrand. Had he picked up a bottle of Target or Kirkland (Costco brand) shampoo, I would have totally high-fived him. Lately, finding Target or Kirkland replacements for my favorite brands is almost becoming like a game. The most loveliest thing about the Target storebrand is that they tell you exactly who they are knocking off. These are my latest finds.

Bad Heir Day

I keep most of the pictures I take of Arun. Even the bad ones such as this one taken right after a nap. Might come in handy if he ever becomes a celebrity and he thinks he can cut off his Kansas bred mama.

My Own Baby Jay

I couldn't think of any good snarkastic commentary for this one because I was mesmerized by his sweet babyphat face and chunky monkey thighs.

June 7, 2006

When they say “Good things come to those who wait”, aren’t they really just getting the leftovers from the people who got there first?

So, this morning, I woke up at 5 am. Yowser. The only good thing from this is that Arun slept til 8:30am and it gave me ample time to try and clear off the DVR of all the old Antique Roadshow episodes before we have to send the box back to Dish. You see, we are flipping the Bird to Dish and going with Comcast. And yesterday, the nice Comcast lady said they would be here tomorrow - except she said that YESTERDAY, which would have meant TODAY, except that she meant THURSDAY, so um, well, I guess that would really be TOMORROW. So, I wasted the ENTIRE morning waiting for the Comcast dude that would never come.

Apparently, Standing is the new Crawling
He wants to stand ALL THE FUCK TIME NOW. It reminds me of that exercise/game we did in grade school gym class where you would take turns with a partner being a Board or a Noodle. And he wants to be the Board. ALL THE FUCK TIME NOW. Thanks goodness, he can’t pull up by himself yet since I still have to help him into the standing position.

Wait. Hold on. Except NOW, he CAN pull up by himself. He crawled under the coffee table to my feet and I thought, "Let's see what he's made of". Holy Toledo. SHIT. Immediately after I shot off some snaps of this Momentous Moment, he promptly fell over, bonked his head and in my effort to “save” him, then bonked his cheek. As X says “At least his head seems fairly flexible”. Um, yeah. Whatever.

The Devil Wears Nada

June 6, 2006

Why does beer come in a can, but liquor and wine do not?

So, I actually got quite a bit done yesterday. The dealio is, I forgot to register AND insure the Acura. At least I had remembered to make the actual car payment itself, but I still felt pretty lame that as I was posting about our Ridiculous car, I had let the tags AND insurance expire. So, I took care of that yesterday. Our DMV in Olathe is actually pretty organized but this was my first trip with a MOBILE child. DAMN, he got so dirty crawling around on the floor. However, since he’s not in daycare, he must get his pathogens from somewhere.

Anyway, that little incident inspired me to take care of a slew of other paperwork that needed to be done. The next big thing left is to send off for Arun’s certified birth certificate so that we can finally get him a passport. Also, I think I am ready to face the Great Paper Project of 2006. Since October 16th, I have been pulling all the necessary mail out as it arrives, pitching the obvious junk and then throwing the rest into a heap to be sorted/filed for later. The time has come for me to face the music.

Actually, this Bud is not for me

A storm last night blew this into my yard. I am not so bothered that there is a beer box lying in my yard, but rather that people might think I drink Budlight. Good gravy, I so do not. Well, not since grad school, at least. ahem.

The Emperor Has No Clothes

June 5, 2006

What's a question with no answer called?

This may be a sparse week, I have a lot of projects to get done this week coupled with a teething monkey who wants to held. NOW, please. This week, I may just turn Rancid Raves into a MoFo MoBlog with photos, although I will resist just throwing out snaps of the Simian. Too easy.

I am glad I posted about the whole “in this day and age” thing on Thursday. It did make me think this weekend - a lot. As I rocked Arun in my $10 Garage Sale Find Rocker, I gazed lovingly at the very furniture I excitedly picked out myself from a JC Penney’s catalog back in 1980. I chuckled at the $5 Garage Sale Find Exersaucer that is missing half the toys and was “re-charged” with an empty Tucks container, empty Perrier bottle, an empty Obagi container and a few ever-trusty hangers. I remembered earlier in the day as I was putting away laundry I saw that most of his clothes actually are Carter's bought at Costco for $5 a pop. And I realized that Arun will probably be okay.

But, if he does ever get a raging ego, I’ll just have to remind of the time at his Redneck Grandpa’s house when his uncle's dog attempted to hump his diapered bootylicious butt. I have witnesses.

Look Ma, no seatbelt!

X was finishing up a business call in the driveway. Arun was pretty impressed with sitting next to him, chewing on my phone.

Silent, but Deadly

Methinks Arun has seen our life insurance applications laying around.

June 1, 2006

How much is too much?

It’s true. When you have a child, you do see the future in his eyes. But what is that future? What do I envision it to be? For sure, it’s a precarious mix of Fear and Hope. I’ve hinted towards this when I discussed the Beautiful People Quandary. The thought that my own child might join the legions of a group in which I was never allowed access does give me the heebie-jeebies. On the one hand, of COURSE I would love my son to be a Beautiful Person simply because I never got to be a Beautiful Person. On the other hand, I know from experience that NOT being Beautiful made me the person I am today - I was never that little girl that people fawned over and that probably affected me. In some good ways, at least, since I always made sure to get good grades in school as I had been pegged the “smart one” early on. Although, maybe the jury is still out on that validity of that.......

AnyWAY..... Beautiful or Not, it IS probable that my son will not have to struggle much financially if our Living Situation continues on course. For sure, he will never fondly remember HIS first pair of Much Lusted After Nikes (white with a red swoosh...sigh). Nor will he hoard the precious box they came in (am I the only one who STILL has a hard time throwing away a shoe box?) How do you raise an empathetic, well-adjusted child in this day and age?

These thoughts weigh heavily on my mind. Yes, ME - the same one who bought Ridiculous Shoes for her baby son, who has a strong predilection for Gymboree and who can’t resist buying book after book for him. However, I bought the shoes for ME because I seriously doubt that Arun really enjoys them nearly as I much as I do. And I probably bought the books for ME, as well, since he can't read. Yeah, yeah, he probably doesn't appreciate the cute monkey-themed Gymboree outfit, either. However, I appreciate the fact that I can buy those things for him. I appreciate the fact that I can chauffeur him around in the Ridiculous Car in his Ridiculous Carseat. I appreciate the fact that our TV is so Ridiculous that I have to be careful how close Arun gets to it - I actually watch LESS TV because I don’t want him just randomly exposed to it. The point is that I DON’T take all these things for granted because it wasn’t that long ago that I didn’t have this lifestyle. X and I come from pretty humble backgrounds - he being from a developing country and I having grown up in pitshit teeny Kansas towns. Even though we both never wanted for much and never went hungry, we HAVE seen poverty up close in our surroundings. India? Well, Duh, you say. But Kansas, you ask? Actually, I went to grade school in one of the poorest counties in Kansas. I grew up seeing kids with nothing. While the word “poverty” wasn’t a part of my grade school vernacular, I knew enough to realize that my friend K didn’t have it so good because she had no pillow and no sheets on her bed. No grass in her yard and peeling plaster in her house. Not many toys, for sure. And she wasn’t my only friend like this and certainly, not my only classmate in this situation. Furthermore, our town was so small, there was no class distinction - there just weren’t enough people. The one rich kid would have been playing by herself. The rest of us were pretty middle-class and then, there were a lot of poor kids as well. We all played together because there wasn’t much choice. Or maybe, we just didn’t know better.

So, while X and I are very aware that our life is pretty damned good right now, we are also equally aware that things could turn. No, we don’t live paycheck to paycheck and actually have no debt save for the house and car, but sometimes, Life Happens and we are acutely cognizant of that fact. We comfort ourselves knowing that it wouldn’t kill us to go back to watching The Sopranos on a 27 inch television. We know, from experience, having a big TV and fancy car are perks - not necessities.

So, how do X and I ensure our son grows into a empathetic world citizen? I don’t think it is as simple as not buying him a $25 pair of baby shoes. And yes, I suspect it comes down to looking in the mirror. The time is coming where it won't be enough for X and I to just cut checks in the name of Charity - we will need to put our money where our mouths are and actually DO something, for a change.

However, this question gets even bigger in this day and age of ensuring that “no kid ever feels bad” -- how do you raise a kid with humility? I mentioned earlier this week that I had read Generation Me by Jean Twenge over the weekend. I had been thinking for some time about the issue of kids being so self-centered these days - when I saw the book laying on our coffee table it was like I had hit a mental jackpot. I quickly stole the book from X and promptly inhaled it. The book covers the issue of why kids are so self-centered today and why this whole exercise of the boosting childrens' self-esteem has failed. For example, schools are having awards programs where EVERY kid gets an award. One of the gals I walk with used to be a teacher and when we discussed this issue, she related how at her school’s awards programs she had to give EVERY child 3 awards, even if it was for something like “Greatest Smile”. Schools are cutting things like dodge ball because of the competition. Schools are hesitant to publish honor rolls because the kids that don’t make it get their feelings hurt - which is SAD because things like awards that are EARNED give incentive for someone to strive towards something better. Why work hard if you know you are going to get an award anyway? I know that having an honor roll sure as hell made ME work harder in school.

So, what do I REALLY want for my son? Choices. And I’d like him to be knowledgeable AND conscientious enough to make the right ones. I realize that with our particular Living Situation as it is now, I will have to make extra efforts to ensure that he doesn't grow up taking his life for granted and that he is the sort of person who is considerate of others - regardless of THEIR Living Situation. And most importantly, in the end, the Very End, I’d like my son to know that it doesn’t really matter what sort of shoes you wear.

Arun's not even 8 months old and he's already received the “Starving Kids in India” comment from his daddy. Wait til he finds out that daddy also grew up without a bike, a TV, a refrigerator or even a CRIB. Let's not mention the cobras, either.

Already STEALING from others. See what I mean? He's outta control.


But there's hope.