October 29, 2006

How about just plain old Boo? Hiss?

I met my friend R, her daughter K and my sister with her kids at the Boo at the Zoo event on Saturday. While I felt like I was totally exploiting my kid for a chance at Sugar and Red No. 40, the treats were GOOD. Like Twinkies, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and OMIGOD, Almond Joys, that veritable Sugary Trinity of chocolate, coconut and almonds. If you haven't ever done a Boo at the Zoo event, I can't recommend it enough- particularly if you are a Halloween Nut. I have gone to it even before I was a parent and it was just as much fun then. It's crazy to see all the costumes and yes, I'll admit I had fun in my Professor McGonagall outfit.

In other news, Operation Take Back the House, a venture where I attempt to gain control over the growing clutter by sorting through every closet, cabinet, drawer and storage bin in our house is going at an AWESOME rate. I finished the garage on Saturday and X's office today. The garage had gotten out of control, which started about 8 months ago when X's company's Kansas City corporate apartment was let go and someHOW, we ended up stuck with some other folk's SHIT including a set of GOLF CLUBS. WTF? This totally violated my very strict policy regarding my garage that mandates we be able to actually PARK OUR CARS in it. Yeah, I'm a picky bitch like that - expecting to park my CARS in my GARAGE - Who Am I? Anyway, my goal for Operation Take Back the House is to be completed by the end of November, but at this rate, I will be done sooner. Look for Exciting!Updates! all November because after all, I will be posting EVERY SINGLE DAY. Ya'll come back now, ya hear?

I would be remiss not to address the fact that there has been a slew of negativity emanating in the Blogiverse, particularly aimed at the Mommybloggers. I'd like to take a moment and say thank you to everyone who comes by this little neck of the Blogiverse to read or to say "hi" or to just offer encouraging words. I am not a Power Blogger and probably never will be. I do this blog primarily for ME because it's FUN. While it doesn't bother me if others accept advertisement, I specifically decided a month ago to not participate in such a venture after having a heart-to-heart with myself. I hesitate to do anything whatsoever that may make this blog feel like WORK - I did do a business once with a hobby and it was a bit of a disaster because I ended up HATING the hobby (this is also why you literally can't pay me to knit). Anyway, if blogging is only a hobby, then the minute it stops being fun, I can close shop and pull out, right?

However, that's easier said than done - it's because of everyone coming by here that this has remained fun for me. To boot, I have made some incredible friends because of blogging. So, I have a hard time seeing a future where I don't keep a blog. I also have a hard time seeing a blog where I don't share pictures of my kid and my life. I do understand why other parents may stop posting pics of their children. We all have to do only what we are comfortable with doing. I could go on and on and on stating why I don't think it is a problem to post pictures of Arun, but I am not going to. Every parent's perspective is unique to their situation. In short, I don't think I am exploiting him or exposing him to danger by posting pictures, since this blog is a way that I share what's going on in my life with my friends and family. I think Arun and I are in far greater danger every time we go to the mall, go to Target or drive in the wrong part of town. Just as we had to when we went to the Zoo on Saturday.

Anyway, I did want to thank you - all my friends and family - for reading this blog.

Give peace a chance.

October 27, 2006

What's the hurry?

I am an impatient person with a bit of a temper. My dad has loads of cute stories from my childhood demonstrating this very trait. Many of them involve stomping of feet and slamming doors - at the age of 2. While this isn't an excuse, it has always made me feel a little better that at least I was BORN that way.

I worried often during my pregnancy about this. I worried that I would have a colicky baby who would drive me to the point of shaking him. I worried that I would get frustrated being slowed down while trying to breeze through Target. I worried that my temper on the road would get me in trouble with a teeny baby in the back witnessing it. The list goes on with the extent of my worries of the effect a baby would have on my life. Damned straight, a Baby cramps your Impatient Style.

So far so good. Sure, there have been times when the No Napping has pushed me to The Edge and I've had to put Arun in his crib and close the door and go downstairs for an old fashioned remedy of Chocolate and Tears. I've let go of not being able to run errands endlessly and now follow a Rule of Three (shout out to Goofy Girl for that tip) - this helps limit ME so that I don't wear Arun out. I still have to fight my anger on the highway, but seeing Arun in the rearview mirror is ample incentive to keep my cakehole shut and my middle finger withdrawn.

Yesterday, I had an incident that would have most certainly pushed the Old Me sans Child over The Edge. I went to pick up X at the airport and the plan was we would just drive up to the terminal and he would hop into the car, per usual. We've done this loads and loads of times over the years.

As you've probably already guessed, his flight was 2 hours late.

It was pretty bad - I hadn't had my morning coffee, I had no makeup on and Arun was in his pajamas with socks on, but no shoes. I had brought few toys and no healthy snacks. I also had a lunch planned for that day which would need to be canceled. I am so utterly spoiled by Southwest, I had completely NOT prepared for the rarity that they would be so late. So, it was a little stressful keeping Arun Contained AND Entertained. The Old Me would have been furious and then would have snipped and snapped at X when he arrived (as if it was HIS fault). The irony is that the Old Me would have treated herself to a coffee and a gossip rag and thus in reality, would have spent the time RELAXING. The New Me was pretty tired and a little stressed (although not too badly, in truth). Indeed, the situation with Arun hit a fever pitch where I let him have my WALLET so he could pull ALL the contents out, including lint, and scatter them on the floor (it worked!) X finally arrived and all was well. No Snipping and Snapping, either.

Later when I thought about the morning and pondered the differences between the Old Me and the New Me, I realized I have changed. Might I have GROWN?


And this is why I love my Great Aunt P so. She was an only child and was raised by her grandparents, aunt and parents - completely doted upon, she was. Then she married my Great Uncle B, who in turn completely took care of her as well. When Great Uncle B died over 6 years ago, we were very worried about how she would get along. Damn. She totally rose to the challenege, folks. Here she was at 79, learning how to do things for herself that she had never done before. So, Great Aunt P is a beautiful lesson in that a person CAN grow, evolve and become better.

I still have a long road to hoe to go with my impatience, but she gives me hope.

And the gemstone eyes don't hurt, either.

October 25, 2006

Can I confess?

That one of the things I love most about staying home with Arun is that it actually gives me MORE time for myself? I don't know how working moms find time for themselves. If I worked in an office, I simply wouldn't have time for the Holy Trinity of my daily entertainment - Reading, Blogging, and Television. I am not sure I would be comfortable giving up too much television because it serves double duty as Knitting Time during the colder months. Some Blogging would probably have to go and that would be a damned shame because I have made some incredibly cool friends via blogging. I've always likened blogging to pen pals - just less time spent waiting around for a letter to show up, eh? The other thing about blogging that has become important to me is that it does give me some weird false sense of productivity. I mean LOGICALLY I know the Earth will continue to spin on its axis whether I post or not. However, when I don't post during my self-mandated schedule of Mon-Thur, it sets me on edge.

But Reading? Reading will never go. Never. I've always felt sorry for those of my friends that lament they've read "one book since little {insert name} was born and even that was a parenting book". That's an actual quote from a friend and it struck terror in my heart when she said it. For sure, the celebrity ragazines would be the first to bite the dust and that would NOT be a bad thing. I call 'em Brain Crack for a reason and am seriously, SERIOUSLY considering giving them up for Lent next year. That's about all I could give up, though. I can't fathom NOT reading. I do have several friends who balance the Motherhood gig with the Working gig and still manage to Keep it Real quite nicely. My hats go off to them because I don't think I could hack it.

SO, I just finished a few books that I have been mentally rolling around in my brain. They were Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce by Elizabeth Marquardt and I Hate Other People's Kids by Adrienne Frost.

First, Between Two Worlds:
I highly, HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone who is the child of divorce. First, a clarification - the author examined the effects of low-conflict, so-called "good" divorces. She states unequivocally (unequivocally!) that a high-conflict, abusive relationship must be ended and that without a doubt children are better off with a divorce in that case. Like, DUH. Instead, she examines those situations where the parents cut loose because they couldn't resolve their differences or were unhappy (for whatever reason that may be, including general unfulfillment or even adultery). This book is an excellent tool for introspection if you are a child of divorce. It forced me to reflect on many of my frustrations and disappointments surrounding the circumstances of my parents' divorce. It also allowed me to examine the lingering feelings of guilt and responsibility - emotions I realize now I had no business FEELING. I do recommend this book for a PARENT, but be warned that you will probably feel bad after reading it - I would urge a parent to still read this book because it offers a unique perspective on the effect of divorce on children without laying blame and judgement. Indeed, the author bends over backward saying that instead of feeling bad that they got divorced, the parents should take into consideration what the effects are to their children. Anyway, this book hit home for me. I remember distinctly telling people proudly that my parents had a "good" divorce. It wasn't until I hit my 20s that I understood that ALL divorces suck ass and there is no "good" divorce. Yeah, some are worse than others, but divorces are still varying shades of Suckitude. I think what frustrates me the most about my parents' divorce is that the awkwardness NEVER ENDS and now Arun is going to have to face it. For example, BOTH of my parents say "I don't have a problem with him/her", but it is still painful to have them at functions together. If they didn't have a "problem" with each other, then why the hell did they get divorced? Yowser. Tangent, much? ANYWAY, this was an excellent book that it lends itself to good discussion - I wish I would have read it for a bookclub.

Second, I Hate Other People's Kids:
I picked up this cheeky text while in Boston and immediately got a kick out of it, reading excerpts to X and our friends (who are childless). So, the book starts out funny, but the premise wears thin about halfway through. Probably, because I HAVE A KID. Um, so as a Previous Devotee to Hating Other People's Kids (well, maybe not ALL Other People's Kids, like my friends' and family's, but definitely the General Public's. That shops at Target. When I am also there.), I am acutely aware of my Newfound Prejudice. However, if you don't have kids and love Over The Top Sarcasm, this book is for you. My favorite quote is "a newborn is just an eraser with a hat". Which, um, I'll give her that one. However, this author irked me when she proclaimed mommy bloggers to be "self-indulgent". Whatever. ALL Identity Bloggers (of which mommybloggers are a subset) are self-indulgent. Anyone patiently and meticulously documenting the inane details of their lives is self-indulgent. Again, whatever.

Self Indulgent? So Be It.

October 24, 2006

Can I Clarify A Few Things?

In my earlier post......

re: The Sarcastic Jesus Comment - that was merely a feeble attempt on my part to mask my increasing paranoia that Arun is not gaining weight. Yeah, he is fine, but in accordance with the Dictums of Motherhood, #442 "Thou shalt always worry about SOMETHING", I've been concerned about his weight despite repeated assurances from the lactation consultant and despite the fact that he is perfectly healthy and on target for his developmenal milestones. So, last night, when he sucked down TWO cups of soymilk in rapid succession, I almost cried with relief. While he would sip here and there on the "no spill" sippy cups, it was slow going. He totally snarfs down on a sippy cup of the "spill" variety, but DAMN, it's messy. The straw? Perfection.

re: Gifts of Gold - I hope I didn't come off as ungrateful or blase because it's quite the opposite. I just thought it was hilarious that such a precious thing would come in the equivalent of a retainer case. I am still in complete awe of my bangles - I've always wanted some and as a little girl was completely fascinated with my step-grandmother's bangles (each one has a story). Anyway, these babies never come off (well, except for the photo). I have to be careful not to look at them too much - I'm afraid I'll drive off the road. I'm THAT mesmerized by them. I think the sweetest part is that X dug them out of his laptop bag while we were still in the airport because HE was that excited to see my reaction.

re: Plagiarism - The whole concept has been a hot topic lately and is of interest to me, of which Monkey is well aware - I've been teasing her that I was going to swipe all her cool words (look for Goblin, Frock, and Mothership coming to a blog near you! Squee!) Anyway, what really interests me is the question "Where do we draw the line?" Obviously, swiping entire paragraphs IS plagiarism, but what about words and phrases or even writing techniques? For example, I came up BeelzeBush on my own, but I find it hard to believe that no one else has thought that up, too! And what about writing techniques? I ADORE WRITING IN ALL CAPS, but the technique has often been attributed to Dooce. What about Random Capitalization and seriously.inappropriate.punctuation? I wasn't influenced by anyone on that, either, but EVERYONE is doing it now. Who's zooming who here? However, interestingly enough, I noticed while reading My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Piccoult the author used ALL three of those techniques. Anyway, food for thought.

So, yeah, my post last night was pretty punchy. I guess I was in A Mood. But Hey! I shaved my legs this morning and mysteriously, all is right with the world again now that I am Bikini Ready.


Without Hope, what else is there?

I failed to mention I am not going to DC/VA/WhatEVER this week. Contrary to all the awfully nice emails wishing me a "good trip". X has to come back to KC earlier than we thought, so it didn't work out for Arun and I visiting him. I am hoping to go in November. It has made for some nice Family Time at the airport because in a bout of Spousal Love, I offered Airport Pickup. On Friday, his flight was delayed so Arun and I hung out at the airport with him. Escalators are an underappreciated resource in the way of Entertainment Mileage, folks.

Also, I'd like to give a special shout-out to Jesus for making those nice sippy cups that come with a STRAW. My boy likes 'em and to boot, it provides a better fit for his Kirkland Smoothie/Soymilk Combo than a traditional sippy cup. Thanks, Jesus!


Because someday, somehow and somewhere, I WILL SHAVE MY PELT* AGAIN.

*I totally stole the word "pelt" from Monkey. Like DUDE, she's a real lawyer and all that shit. I don't want her suing my white ass for plagiarizing a WORD from her.

October 23, 2006

What the hell is NaBloPoMo?

So, after careful consideration, I decided to participate in NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month. How could I resist the word "NaBloPoMo"? As in "Yo, it's gonna be one bad MoFo of a month doing NaBloPoMo!" So, in the month of November you can look forward to loads of thrilling intrigue as I examine the status of my Eternal Soul (Hint: Hellbound), reports on the growing intellect of my son (Hint: certifiable ingenuity), some haikus (Hint: one of which was published in the on-line version of USA Today), lots of book reviews (Hint: sadly, I ain't no Michiko Kakatuni) and as a special bonus for Faithful Readers, details EVERY SINGLE DAY as to what I ate for lunch (Hint: Cheese. Lotsa cheese. Maybe some tostadas, too).

So, yet again, I am feeling the Urge to Purge. Fortunately, I'm talkin' Junk, not Junk Food. Great Balls of Fire, there is assorted crap in every single nook and cranny in the house. Ugh. I am almost done with the basement and have nearly finished purging the kitchen. The goal is to provide enough goods for a Monster Garage Sale next spring. Judging from the "wares" I've pilfered from my cabinets thus far, it's not going to be hard to stock the sale. I get this Urge to Purge about every 18 months to 2 years. I am descended from a long line of Packrats (Genus Specification: Packus Rattus) so I have to fight off a genetic inclination to keep EVERYTHING - you know, JUST IN CASE. My method for Purging is straight forward and fairly simple. I make a list of every room in the house and of every closet in the house. Then, I methodically and mercilessly sort through EVERYTHING. If I feel that something is sentimental, I'll do a run-down of how many other things that might have come from that person (most sentimental things relate to a Loved One, no?) For example, I have TONS of things from Olathe Grandma. If I have an object that is related to her in some way, is NOT an actual family heirloom (Example: tchotkes purchased on various vacations throughout her life), has NO monetary value and is of absolute NO use to me, then it gets designated for the Garage Sale. When we moved into this house 2 years ago, I swore I would not let things pile up in the basement unless they were designated for a Garage Sale or holiday decorations. Although I have had to add Baby Gear as an acceptable item for storage, overall, I've done a decent enough job and I'd like to keep it that way. On a Dead Serious note, I have an aunt who not only has a Hoarding problem, but also a Shopping problem. Like, "I could totally get her on Dr. Phil or Oprah" type of problem. I've seen specials on TLC that have prompted me to call my sister telling her to turn on her television !STAT! because they were showing people JUST LIKE OUR AUNT. So, yes - I am scarred and in fact, I just went to the house she lives in last week and that provided ample incentive to get my ass in gear on the situation in my own house. Anyway, I guess the short version of that paragraph is "I'm weeding through all my shit, ya'll". But honestly? Wasn't the longer version more entertaining?

So, Saturday, I went to my dad's on Saturday to celebrate Arun's birthday (my dad was sick on the day of the party). It was a great evening overall, but I finally had a Come to Jesus session with my younger sister on her table manners. She is a sophomore in college and DEAR LORD! should know how to NOT smack her lips when eating. The Smacking of the Lips is probably one of the habits that irks me the most of all the things that people do. When I am at a table with Smacking Lips, my stomach tightens and I can barely concentrate on the conversation at hand. I am aware that I am slightly Obsessive Compulsive with a hearty side of Bitchy, but give me some credit - Smacking Lips is a cardinal sin when it comes to table manners. SO, I mentioned to my younger sister that when I was in the business school I took a class on general etiquette and it was really helpful. I also casually mentioned to her that it is imperative she get out of the habit of smacking her lips because one of these days, she is going to be interviewing for jobs. Recruiters LOVE to take people to lunch because they do want to see you in action. If you are ever in a client facing situation, they don't want someone who SMACKS THEIR LIPS. I think she got the point and I think I delivered in a helpful manner.

So, overall, it went well. Also, Arun totally scored in the presents category, as evidenced below. Pictures do not include three books with "sing along" CDs and, AND a push-along circus truck thingie that plays that little Circus Diddy. You KNOW the Circus Diddy, right? It's the little tune that people play/hum whenever they want to insinuate someone is loony or crazy. Arun pushes the button over and over and over and over, then giggles. Which lends itself for an authentic air, if you ask me.

No Batteries Required

I think there should be a special place reserved in Hades for grandparents who purchase a DRUM for their grandchild.

Off Switch Not Included

And yes, he has figured out the "drumstick/cymbal" combo. Thanks for asking.

Woke Up This Morning

Kooky mugging for the camara, patent pending

October 19, 2006

Do you even care what I had for lunch?

For lunch today I had Rajma soup and cous cous left over from last night. I swear by this recipe. It's fast, easy, and requires few ingredients. It's a recipe I got from a friend and literally, she gave me the ingredients list and included instructions that consisted mostly of "to taste" (she also didn't know the English word for Anise, so we both a got a lesson that night.) Last night, I measured (measured!) as I was making it so I could include the recipe here. Oh, and rajma just means "bean/kidney bean" in Hindi.

However, be honest, isn't rajma more fun to say?

Rajma Soup Recipe

2 14 oz cans of dark red kidney beans
8 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 yellow onion
1 tsp Anise
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

1. In one pot, cook the tomatoes and onions together with maybe 1/4 cup of water (You need not use any oil). In another pot, get the rajma to cooking.

2. When the tomatoes/onions are soft, blend the mixture with a bit more water and then drain the liquid out through a strainer (I work it through with the back of a spoon).

3. Add the tomato/onion liquid to the cooked rajma.

4. Add the anise, sugar, and salt.

5. Bring the entire mixture to a boil and let simmer until the beans are thoroughly cooked.

My friend serves it with pasta, but we use rice instead. It's a very simple meal and is very satisfying to the appetite.

October 18, 2006

If Love is blind, how can we believe in Love at first sight?

So, I went to print a hard copy of the Evite from Arun's 1st Halloween party for his baby book. I'll be damned if a Victoria's Secret ad wasn't displaying. While I am not a prude, I think that would be over the top to include it, so I guess I need to wait until something more appropriate shows up. Overall, the party went very smoothly - the kids did a little pumpkin decorating, consumed plenty of sugar and ran around like lunatics. There were no temper tantrums, no screaming, no fits and as one of my friends noted "No knife fights". However, I did notice it is a bit odd to throw a party without any sort of Alcohol Parachute. Because seriously , folks- there's nothing like a little liquor to help grease the Social Wheels of a party.

So, X came back Monday and we had a lovely evening. Arun and I picked X up at the airport and that worked out quite well, since watching a baggage carousel is infinitely appealing to a toddler. Furthermore, watching his eyes bug out as airplanes took off and landed was equally entertaining for me. Fun was had by all. And as a Special Bonus, crawling around on a nasty airport floor afforded him a new set of pathogens to cram into his mouth. Whee!

So, usually for the first days when X comes back from a trip, we have what I call a Travelmoon - a brief period of Marital Bliss where every infraction is overlooked. This grace period is usually 2 days max, but international trips culminating in Gifts of Gold? Definitely garners a few extra days. I think we're good to Thursday, at least.

So, in a continuing quest for Marital Bliss, Arun and I are going to DC/VA next week to spend at least part of the week with X. Since X doesn't have the apartment any longer, we will be staying in a hotel, but I think this will actually help in the way of Entertainment since during the last trip the apartment was a bit of a disaster in that area, anyway. At least the hotel will have long hallways for Stumbling, a pool and as a bonus, is a stone's throw from Target. We don't have any plans other than hanging out with some friends, doing some sight-seeing, and eating good food. However, I am a little nervous for this trip for a few reasons. I am flying into Baltimore by myself and Arun is a bit heavier now to carry in addition to the Ridiculous Carseat, luggage, and stroller. For sure, we are pushing the limits on the Bjorn. Additionally, Arun isn't co-sleeping any longer so... well, I am not sure WHAT to say on that. Stay tuned, I guess..

Finally, Arun is in full force practicing his Frankenstein moves in his quest for progression from Stumbling to Walking. Just in time for Halloween. I should have rethought his costume, I guess............

Baby Einstein

October 16, 2006

Why do we say "Bye Bye" but not "Hi Hi"?


Project Name: Arun
Code Name: Grunts While Pooping
Start Date: Jan 18, 2005
Estimated Completion Date: Oct 16, 2023
Reporting Period: April 2006 - Oct 2006 (refer to Previous Reporting Period here)

1. Current Weight Status: 19 lb. 14 oz. (No Issues to Report this Period.)
2. Progress from Crawling to Stumbling. (Manageable Issues Exist.)
3. Strike a suitable photographic pose upon request. (Serious Issues Exist.)
4. Wake up at 8:30am sharp. (No Issues to Report this Period.)
5. Fall asleep at 8:00pm sharp. (Manageable Issues Exist.)
6. Wave greetings and goodbyes consistently and in context. (Serious Issues Exist.)
7. Resist the siren call of the trash can.(Manageable Issues Exist.)
8. Fight the temptation to consume dirt, leaves, cigarette butts and any other NON-food items within one's wily pincer grasp. (Serious Issues Exist.)
9. Work out the details for completion of the Great Feline Peace Accord of 2006. (Manageable Issues Exist.)
10.Abstain from using irresistable dimples to one's advantage. (Serious Issues Exist.)
11. Grant a "high five" upon request. (No Issues to Report this Period.)

1. Progress from Stumbling to Walking to Running. Finalize training plan for the New York Marathon.
2. Set up an anger management hotline for the Grouchy Ladybug.
3. Learn how to hold liquor like a MAN.
4. Ascertain what actually passes for appropriate Pigeon behavior.
5. Accept the unfortunate fact that cat food is actually meant for CATS.
6. Begin the sequel to Urban Babies Wear Black . Tentative title is "Suburban Babies Wear Janie and Jack."
7. Establish emergency preparedness plan for dealing with Hippos that have gone Berserk.
8. Finalize thesis for college entrance essay. Essay's provisional title is "Eric Carle: An Introspective Analysis of The Man Behind the Collage."
9. Realize that snatching toys away from playmates is not a particularly sure route to Social Harmony.
10. Compare and contrast the differentiation of qualification vs. quantification of magnetic properties using basic refrigerator magnets.

Note: Chart based upon actual data meticulously recorded after each weigh-in at the breastfeeding support group sessions. This is what happens when one's mother is a former professional who desperately misses Excel spreadsheets.

You've come a long way, Arun beda.

One Day

One Week

One Month

One Quarter

One Half Year

One Entire Year.

I wanted to be a mother for a long, long time and he is everything I could have ever hoped for in a child. And more. He's so much more than I dreamed of that it takes my breath way. To have all of one's dreams and fears encapsulated in one tiny, beautiful human being is equally daunting and awe-inspiring. And I wouldn't change a thing.

They say that "a child is God's opinion the world should go on". I finally understand that sentiment.

October 12, 2006

Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?

I don't know the answer, but my own little infant's days are numbered in that category. T minus 3 days, ya'll. Yikes. Actually, it's not that bad. Yeah, I was a little sad to put his teeny summer outfits away knowing that he will never, ever wear them again, but then he turns around and does the funniest crap. Lately? He discovered the Alphabet magnets on the fridge and screetches in joy taking them off and on. Over and over and over. But then, I turn around and catch him putting random, non-magnetic things on the fridge and watching them slide down - which apparently, can be equally entertaining. Also, because of the TMX Elmo, Arun expects the same "cause and effect" from his other toys, so I frequently catch him pummeling his other stuffed animals in the bellies expecting them to giggle as well. Anyway, as long he keeps getting more and more entertaining? He can keep growing up. That's the dealio in this Parenting Gig, I guess.

In Other News, my Romance with High Fructose Corn Syrup and Red No. 40 has officially begun. We begin our yearly Love Affair around mid-October every year, only to watch it die a in a fiery crash of blood sugar around the 1st week of November. Um, yeah.....I dug into the Halloween candy. So sue me.

In Other, Other News, I am almost done with Arun's 1st Halloween Party planning. The bad thing is that my sister totally guilted me into baking actual cupcakes. Like, you know - buying a mix, and what? MIXING it, I guess and then sticking it in the oven and leaving it to Fate......sigh...... I am NOT a baker. I like things that can be stirred and messed with which translates into " Baking is SO not for a Control Freak like me". The other thing about this party is that I am most certainly definitely getting on the ball in time next year to rent a space. It is totally weird for me that certain friends will not be there Saturday. I just didn't have the space, but it is still weird.

In Other, Other, Other News, Arun slept through the night for the first time EVER last night. From 8 pm to 7:30 am. Weird. He's been sleeping more and more in his crib for the past week or so - easily to 3:30 or 4:30 am. Before that, for the past few months, he's been making it to midnight or so. It's getting so he sleeps better in his crib than in our bed. I am fine either way. Yeah, I miss him, but I went into co-sleeping with Eyes Wide Open knowing that someday he would move out. Besides, the getting up during the night thing never bothered me since I have always been the type of sleeper that can get up and go right back down. And once I learned how to nurse in bed, I haven't been sleep deprived since about Week 3. However, I'll admit it was the NO NAPPING that was driving me slightly insane. Okay, maybe A LOT insane. Regardless, I feel compelled to report this New Turn of Sleeping Events because I think there is WAY TOO MUCH pressure on parents that they MUST do things RIGHT from early on or they will forever EVER ruin their child for Healthy Sleep Habits. Like, if you fuck it up in the first 6 months, your kid will not be able to sleep in his dorm room type of shit. Do not pass Go and do not even fucking THINK about your 200 bucks, you Parenting Idiot. I am here to report that it is NOT fucking true. Our modus operandi from Day 1 with Arun was to do Whatever Affords Us the Most Shut-Eye. This became a complicated tango involving swings, carseats, bouncey seats and walking. Loads of walking. Did I mention walking?? Anyway, we'll see if we get a Repeat Performance, but either way, I am Golden because GOOD LORD, the Boy NAPS. And that's good enough for me.

Nothing special about this snap. When I was downloading some images, I noticed this on the display screen and thought it was cute. I just lurve Mr. Bean. I have seen the episodes over and over and over but they still make me snort every time. Oh. And solid proof that I truly adore my son?? I actually LET HIM PLAY with my Beloved Mr. Bean Car. Although, I'll admit that Arun hasn't quite graduated to my Wallace and Gromit toys, er... COLLECTIBLES. ahem.

I carved a pumpkin tonight and since I bought a handy-dandy pumpkin scraper thingie, it WAS FUN. Oh. Wait. I didn't carve a pumpkin FOR MYSELF. Of course, NOT. I did it for my son so that he can file that away with all of his other Perfect Childhood Memories. No, sirree. I didn't carve that there pumpkin for MYSELF. It was for HIM. Yet another sacrifice offered up in the Name of Arun.

October 11, 2006

Why are elderly people often called "old people" but children are never called "new people"?

So, X made it to India. All along the journey, I received sweet little emails with subject titles like "Leaving Memphis", "Made it to Amsterdam", "In the Hotel". Sweet because it shows how he appreciates that I was worried about him. If you have never traveled to a place like India, it is hard to explain the black hole that sucks your Loved One up into a weird Time Vortex. At least this trip, I was getting little updates. I remember years ago there were NO updates and the trip culminated in a Hurried, Hideously Expensive phone call shouted frantically over scratchy overseas telephone lines. Yeah, THIS trip was a cakewalk. But I still worry. When your husband has brown-skin and is leaving a country where it is perfectly acceptable for someone to label His People an offensive term like "macaca" and STILL have a shot at the Presidency, I Triple Dog Dare YOU not to fret a little. Anyway.............

We went to visit Great Aunt P today since it is her birthday. She is an easy one to buy for - chocolate, cat treats for the nursing home cat that hangs out with her and Jon Stewart's America book. She is a Political News Junkie who faithfully voted Republican throughout her life until her 70s when she TURNED LIBERAL. How cool is that? Proof that a person can never stop growing, learning and changing. I think in some circles that is referred to as Evolution.

So, for the past few months I have been scouting locales for Winter Entertainment with Arun. We can do the park as long as it is at least 40-50 degrees, but for the bitterly cold days, I will need some indoor entertainment. I noticed while visiting Aunt P that the nursing home will be a PERFECT space for us to visit:

  • Great long hallways perfect for crawling and walking to his heart's content.

  • Arun adores All Things Transportations - wheelchairs, walkers, and oxygen tank carts included.

  • Fishtanks abound within the hallways. A Bonus Birdcage is in one of the lounges.

  • Eager, adoring fanbase where ever he wanders. Seriously! A baby in a nursing home is treated like a ROCKSTAR.

  • No dangers of him getting kidnapped. The "inmates" (as Aunt P calls 'em) certainly couldn't get away fast enough, certainly couldn't even LIFT Arun, and best of all, certainly don't know the Super Secret Passcode that operates the Exit door. I think I've struck Entertainment Gold, folks.

On a serious note, it was a nice visit and I know Aunt P enjoyed it. I've never understood why people are so afraid of nursing homes. Yes, a nursing home isn't my favorite place to visit, but they aren't that bad. And Old Folks? Hello! I aspire to BE one someday since a Dirt Nap Alternative isn't nearly as appealing - I'll take growing old, thankyouverymuch.

Rancid Random Rumination: Wow. Now that I am watching nearly every TV show I record in High Definition, I have to say that I am feeling some pity for some of the folks out there on TV. I suspect more than a few of them are as misty-eyed for the Days of Soft Focus Yore as much as I am. Yikes.

October 10, 2006

Would you mind if I get specifically random?

Rancid Tidbits from a Rancid Life:

  • Arun's two top teeth are coming in. Look for loads of Gummy Smile pictures this week as they will be the last EVER for my baby boy. Sob.

  • In a similar vein, have I mentioned that my BABY BOY is turning ONE year old next week? Sob.

  • I took X to the airport today for his flight to India. Sob.

  • On the way to the airport, X mentions the M-Word. The Filthy Word that always strikes terror in my heart ........MOVING..... No, it won't happen for awhile - just call me the Girl That Cried !Virginia! because I have been threatening my Friends and Family with this concept for nearly 6 years now. But still, why did he have to utter the M-Word just as he is leaving the COUNTRY for an entire week? Doesn't he understand why I am loathe to leave my Friends and Family? Oh. Right. India. Um. Okay. Sob.

  • The Faux Fair Isle hat that I knitted? Too small. The bright side is that Alliclaus now gets a new hat and it is utterly ADORABLE on her little hairy noggin but still.......Sob.

  • Yesterday, I went to Beanology and got a yummy cup of joe. Hopped out to the car, strapped Arun into his seat and took off. Almost immediately, I heard a THUMP! and noticed trickles of coffee on my window. Sob.

  • Last night, I washed my car.......ahem.....but TODAY it is raining. Sob.

  • When I was "working", I hated marching to the drum of The Man and most assuredly, prefer the cadence that "staying" home with Arun provides. I also appreciate having the ability to take little slices of time to DO THINGS and LIVE. Tonight, we took a walk outside in the rain with the umbrella. I can't remember the last time I did that in my Prior Life, I was always rushing around somewhere. We went in no particular direction - we just enjoyed the cars splashing by and hearing the rain beating on the umbrella. Absolutely beautiful. Peaceful. Sob. But in a Good Way. I might be sniffling around right now, but I haven't lost sight of the Big Picture. It's pretty damned awesome.


Lord Licorice

He looks like a gangster from Candyland.

October 9, 2006

If something "goes without saying," why do people still say it?

Dear Mommy Who Cut in Line at Rhyme Time This Morning,

It seems you think that your Precious Progeny will end up in juvie unless he experiences a Perfect Childhood Moment such as Rhyme Time at our local library. While the jury is out on that, I can report that he will probably end up in juvie ANYWAY because of YOUR piss poor attitude.

LYLAS (Not),

Dear Bitchy Dry Cleaning Lady (Morning Shift),

That’s it. You’ve snarked on my husband for the last time. When I commented that I had spaced bringing the clothes over the weekend and then you remarked that after all, they were HIS clothes, THAT was the last straw. My husband works his ass off 7 days a week - I force him to take holidays. We don’t need your shitty attitude and apparently, you sure as hell don’t need our business. Sadly, I will miss the Afternoon Shift lady because she was awesome.

Not Pressed

Dear Comcast No Speed Internet,

Starting off my Monday with no access to the Blue Nowhere pisses me off. I’ve had boyfriends more reliable than you. This is not a compliment.

Yours truly,


Yes, we made it into Rhyme Time, but there were others waiting before that gal who did not make the cutoff limit. What gets me is that there is a 11:00 am session RIGHT AFTER the 10:15 am one. And the dry cleaning lady? GRRRR.... Sure, I can gripe about my husband, but Random People CANNOT. And the thing that pisses me off the most is that I never complain about bringing the dry cleaning! I don’t know where she gets her attitude from. Sooo.... now that those Rancid Rants are outta my Pants.............

So, Kiddies, the word for today is BACKWARDS. Arun has been navigating the stairs for quite some time now (Rancid Child Safety Tip: Put your gate at the bottom of the stairs on the 3rd or 4th step, then your baby can learn how to safely go up and down.) He’s recently discovered that he can parlay this skill into just about anything now - whenever he comes to anything that has the slightest hint of Height or Slope, he works himself into a backwards position and down he goes - be it couch, bed, slide or hill. I think the best is when he works himself down the slide. You think of a slide as FUN, right? WHEE! and all that, right? Watching an 11 month old seriously work his body around to navigate to just the right position for Launch is entertainment indeed. Yeah, he giggles as he actually descends, but Assuming the Appropriate Sliding Position is WORK, folks.

So, X is in California right now. He comes back tomorrow morning and turns right around to leave for India in the afternoon. He will only be gone for a week. He’s missing the Halloween party, but will make the actual date for Arun’s birthday. I am usually okay with X traveling, but am a little anxious about this international travel. Also, I am very spoiled, X and I talk on the phone throughout the day, regardless of where he is - Telephonically Speaking, we are a Velcro Couple. So, even though he will have his Sprint phone with him while he is in India, the conversations will be limited because it will be too damned expensive to report on every little thing going on.

Before I had a kid, I use to refer to X’s travels as Husband Vacations. Now that we have a kid, it’s a different ballgame and it’s not because it’s more work. In truth, it’s maybe a little less work because Arun goes down in his crib in the evenings a lot more smoothly when X is gone. I also don’t have to worry about meals and such (as evidenced by the recently stocked freezer of Boca and Morning Star meals - my guilty pleasure has always been Frozen Food, not Fast Food). I’ve got the DVR at MY Whim’s Mercy - no compromises necessary. I can even burn incense day and night (X HATES incense. Isn’t that against the Law of the Land of Curry or something? Don’t they take away your bindi or loongi or something if you are an Indian and don’t like incense? WTF?) Anyway, I am going to really miss X - a few minutes conversation here and there isn’t going to cut it.

Speaking of TV, I am tired of Network Television breakin’ my heart. I am ever so weary of investing my heart and soul and most importantly, Precious DVR Space on a show then watching it get CANCELED a mere 3 episodes into the season. HUH? WTF? Smith got canceled? DAMN IT.

Finally...........Rancid Home Improvement Tip: Got a worn out screw hole? (I just sniggered, did you?) Anyway, I was fixing our screen door because the screws had come out of the doorframe and the holes are slightly stripped. I was going to just buy the next size up of screw, but the helpful guy at Lowe’s suggested using a small bit of TOOTHPICK for each hole. I’ll be damned if it didn’t work!

Swingin’ Single




October 6, 2006

How could I resist?

I've always known that when I had children myself, that I would take full advantage of that fact and dress up for Halloween with them. I come by it honestly since my own dad usually dressed up with us. SO, I decided that I wouldn't mind getting a nice costume with some appropriate accoutrements. And here is what I came up with:

After all, All Things Harry Potter will always be classic. A worthy investment in my Halloween Future, no?

October 5, 2006

Why do you have to "put your two cents in" but it's only a "penny for your thoughts"? Where's that extra penny going?

I think my DVR is pissed at me. It's been working SO hard lately, and here I am, just letting things pile up. It's normal for me to record WAY more than I would watch at the beginning of the TV Season because I like to try out as many shows as possible. Furthermore, this season is getting out of hand because there are quite a few good Guilty Pleasures out there. However, I can't spend every weekend catching up, so little by little, I'm giving shows the old Heave Ho. The first to go was Men in Trees. Next up was Survivor - I will try to catch this live when possible, but the Ugly Betty and the Office/My Name is Earl combo gets precedence. Thanks to Zoot, The Class gets another week's pass. I think Jericho is going to bite the dust. The frustrating part of that show is that I fast forwarded through much of last week's episode, could still follow the storyline and AM STILL curious as to what's going on. Anyway......

I've noticed something - I always say I LOVE to cook, yet I only cook a full "traditional" meal a few times a week. I think that is probably why I do love to cook because when I DO cook, it is something special and that makes it fun. If I had to cook every night, maybe I wouldn't enjoy it so much, eh? Anyway, this week I made a sweet potato erisheri - I've referred to this recipe before using pumpkin (link is here). This was my first time making it with sweet potato and I have to say I liked it better that way. Furthermore, I didn't feel like messing with the mung beans, so I left them out to no ill effect. In other words - leave out the beans if you are in a hurry. I also made a meen molee with pomfret. I've never used pomfret before and really, really liked it. It's a hearty fish that can stand on its own, but isn't too rich. With all the coconut milk in the molee a rich fish can become too much.

I've also noticed something else. Apparently, Arun doesn't like North Indian food. Whenever we eat out, he turns all White Kid on us and won't have anything to do with what we give him. I can sometimes get him to do aloo gobi, but that's about it. When we are at home? He gobbles whatever we give him - for example, he LOVED the meen molee from Monday. Of course, I primarily cook South Indian and specifically, Keralite, at home. X verily beamed with pride when I pointed this out to him. I don't know which was sweeter, the Malayalee pride bursting forth from X or watching Arun steadily shove pieces of fish in his mouth.

So, I finished the book Mommy Wars. It was a great read! However, approach this book like you would one on religion. I suspect Both Parties come away from this book believing even more fervently in their point of of view. I wanted to read it to get the perspective of women who continue to pursue careers in conjunction with motherhood. I expected that I would feel wistful towards my "working" days, but I did not. I see this time with Arun as temporary - before I know it he will be in pre-school, then kindergarten, then high-school and then just plain gone. For the first time in my life, I feel like what I am doing really matters and this is a lesson I am taking to heart. While Arun is growing up, I am viewing this time as a personal sabbatical for me to figure out what I will do next. For damned sure, I don't want to go back to software development, data security or anything accounting related. I want to do something that makes a Difference. I have some ideas, but nothing for sure and I am not in a hurry. This plan also worked out quite well for my step-mother, so I have a good example to follow. She just recently pushed her career in a new direction, finished her Master's this year and just accepted a brand-new position in this new career that she is very excited about - all after staying home for nearly 15 years. My sister is in college and my brother is almost done with high school, so the timing was right for her. I think there is a lot of negativity towards women stepping out of a career path for a long time and the attitude is "all is lost" at that point. My step-mother is a great example as to how it doesn't have to be that way. Anyway, for the most part the book was a great read, but I have to say that I am tired of women who combine a career with motherhood claiming they "have it all". Whatever. I resent the insinuation that just because I am a full-time mother, that I have somehow "given up" something. Furthermore, I have family members and friends who have chosen NOT to have children and I would consider the phrase "having it all" to be mildly insulting to them as well since it implies they can NEVER "have it all" because they won't ever have children. One other thing about this book was the viewpoint was a bit narrow since most of the "working" moms are in the writing/publishing field - it was hard for me to relate to this career path. I came from the technology/accounting field where there was not a lot of flexibility - particularly, when dealing with clients. For example, while working at the Fed, many, many times I would be packing up my laptop to head out the door and we would get a call that a server couldn't be accessed. If I had a child, this would be a bad situation because either I would have to pick up my child late OR there would be a Fed sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for me to dash home. Nobody would win in that situation. I briefly toyed with the "part-time" work situation because I could have pushed the Fed's so-called Family Friendly party line (hee hee - I canNOT type that without laughing! hee hee hee), but after I had to CANCEL a pre-natal doctor's appointment at the last minute, I knew I would never stay at the Fed for that kind of crap. But here's the thing, I can't entirely blame the Fed because that was the nature of the job - servers go down and need to be brought back up. Children or not, a job must be done. Bah. I could go on and on, but there is no point to it.

Anyway........Moving on to fun stuff.......Snappage...........

One Skein Faux Fair Isle Hat

Here is the hat. I am not convinced it fits Arun. I tried it on him before finishing and thought it was time to decrease, but YIKES. I think I misjudged. However, even if I have to knit another one, that's okay by me, because this was SO MUCH FUN to knit. I love my Addi Turbos and this yarn is just YUMMY.


You'd think I'd just handed him a martini the way his eyes lit up when he figured out the whole straw thing.


I call him Brokeback Baby because he is totally Equal Opportunity when it comes to flirting. THEN, he poses so smartly like this. He's just figured out the Effects of Gravity by pushing his car off the table for the umpteenth time. Baby Newton, he is.

Updated to Add:
In a beautiful bit of Irony, Goofy Girl sent me this old email from my first week at the Fed -- September 2003. What I love most is my sweet naïveté actually thinking I was going to get to finally work 40 hours a week. Months later when I was transferred to another department and was traveling while working odd hours due to a little project known as Check 21, the resentment rose like a bile, folks.

To: Goofy Girl
From: Cagey
Subject: Recap - First 40 Hour Week as a Federal Government Employee

Well, the first week has gone well. I am almost used to encountering high ranking females (Officers, no less!) in the bathroom - I realized on Monday that I had actually forgotten what it was like to have women to look up to. Anyway, here we go:

1. Food is a religion here and the subsidized cafeteria on the 10th floor is its temple. Nearly everyone I have encountered has expounded upon the virtues of the omelet station offered on Friday. I live in fear that someone will discover that I don't like omelets and I will be forever marked as "that girl".

2. I am almost done expecting a piece of cheese in my cube each morning after navigating 2 city blocks of footwork, a maze of metal detectors, card readers, secured turn-stiles, and a bank of 9 elevators in my daily arduous journey to the 17th floor . At least I feel safe working for an organization that has an entire department named Protection.

3. I am beginning to feel at ease with the 1970s decor on my floor and have quit expecting to see Lou Grant peek around the corner. I am even a little less resentful of the other floors that apparently had a "renovations" line item in their annual budget.

4. Our intranet rocks! Unlike Blocknet, you can actually find things on it and the color scheme is not damaging to your retinas. The daily dining menu is the first link on the right hand corner (refer to #1 above) and I have a schedule of all the TV shows that will be featuring the new $20 bill to be released on October 9th. You know you wanna know, right? I don't think they are giving out samples, though. Darn.

5. I have the unique opportunity to join the Photography Club OR the illustrious Knitting Club. Actually, the knitting club looks cool and is doing a good service - they knit caps for chemo patients. Hey, don't laugh - Julia Roberts is knitter!

6. Sadly, even here I must report the evil United Way has burrowed its head in like a Lyme disease-bearing tick.

7. Yes, it is a deadzone here after 4:30pm and the 40 Hour Week is an institution. However, these people are actually working and they come in at the buttcrack of dawn. Other than the mad dashes to the cafeteria for the daily snack special at 2:00 pm (again, refer to #1) and despite the plethora of cubicle toys that my nephew would sell his baby brother for - there is really very little goofing off. These people have jobs to do and are determined to do it in 40 hours, if possible. I was even in a meeting where there were concerns with having people to work on a project after 8pm, so they moved some tasks to the following morning. What a concept!

Anyway, jokes aside. It is pretty good here and I am learning a ton of new things and revisiting a lot of old stuff. I am so happy to be getting back into this. I am also glad to be back downtown. My first whiff of stale coffee with a hint of truck fumes brought back so many fond memories from DST and EY.

October 3, 2006

Why? Why not?

Back in the good old days of Armchair Parenting, I had a steadfast rule that mandated a child should be weaned from breastfeeding at 12 months.

....................Fast Forward to October 2006...........................

Arun will be 12 months in less than 2 weeks. At this point, it is safe to assume that he will NOT be weaned by then. Let me repeat that for those in the back - Yes, my kid will still be suckling at my breast as of October 17th because yes, YES, in Grand Hypocritical Fashion, I'm switching The Rules around for my own benefit now that I am an actual mother. Convenient, eh? (See Also: Previous dictums regarding Craptastic Plastic, Noisy Toys, Elmo, designer baby clothes, co-sleeping, the Crying It Out method of so-called sleep training and finally, previous stances on the Evils of Attachment Parenting. ) While I could point out the particulars of venerable and respected organizations such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF that recommend nursing for at least 2 years, the truth is, I'm gonna stand on this one all by my lonesome. There are the obvious nutritional elements and pretty cool antibodies that would sure be nice to continue donating to Arun - you see, Arun has yet to experience a single illness and unapologetically, I'd like to ride that Pony until it dies. Seriously! NO COLDS. NO ILLNESS. Even though we are out and about ALL the time, are exposed to kids of all ages, go to the gym nursery, attend playgroups and have been on 14, count 'em, 14 different germ-ridden airplanes in this year alone and can I repeat that Arun has yet to get a single cold?? (although X and I have had several ourselves.) Finally and most importantly, we've just established an AWESOME sleeping and nap schedule. And I'm a selfish bitch who relishes Naptime. Sue me.

I ask you, Internet, GOOD GOD, why the HELL would I mess with that? Sure, the nursing is less and less these days and he will probably be weaned by 18 months, anyway. But I certainly I don't see a purpose nor advantage to cut him off at the 12 Months Mark when there isn't a specific need for it. After all, I see LOADS of kids walking around with chunks of plastic in their mouths - what's wrong with giving my kid what nature intended anyway for just a few more months?

So, while I have no Grand Manifesto planned for nursing him through the fence during recess, I also don't think it's a big deal to continue nursing for a few more months. Why not?

Oh, and my Hypocrisy? Duly noted for future reference.

October 2, 2006

Who would YOU thank?

So, the Solution to my Crankiness "arrived" in time to save my weekend. Yeehaw...... Having lots of time with my family and gal pals certainly helped, too. On Saturday, I had Wino Book Club (Wine: Riesling..... bleh... Book: My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Piccoult. GREAT book - an easy, smeasy read that lent itself for an interesting, thought-provoking discussion). On Sunday, I had the Kansas City Stitch n' Bitch session (Project: ADORABLE hat for Arun, nearly finished). Hell's Bells - Arun even went to bed at 8:00 pm on Sunday so that X and I could watch the Wire LIVE. Like, AS IT WAS BEING AIRED.

Olathe Grandma and I went to Older Nephew's soccer game on Saturday while driving to Tonganoxie and back. I realize I knock on Olathe Grandma a lot, but really, she is your typical grandma in many ways, so it's an easy target. I should mention that much of what I poke fun at here, is already laughed and giggled over WITH HER first. However, I fear I don't give her enough credit around here for how instrumental she has been to my sister and me. Regardless of what has happened over the years, Olathe Grandma has always been a steady constant. A total ROCK. Someone we could ALWAYS turn to in need. She showed us unconditional love, but still expected that we would grow up to be Responsible. She showered us with toys and books, but still expected that we would grow up to be Responsibile. She bought us Jordache jeans and Nike shoes even when she thought they were a waste of money, but still expected that we would grow up to be Responsible. She helped us in college, but still expected that we would grow up to be Responsible. So, in many ways, my sister and I have had it easy, but we still knew there were certain Expectations of us and never, EVER did we want to disappoint her. I suffered some major angst in my 20s thinking I had disappointed her. Now that I am in my 30s, I know that I haven't.

I've had some things in the back of my mind lately concerning death, guardianship of Arun, etc. If anyone understands these things, it's my grandma. She was widowed in 1946 after my grandfather died in an accident - he was a firefighter en route to an emergency. He was 26, she was 24, my dad was 18 months, and my aunt was 3.5 years. She had a rough road ahead of her - finding a job in a age where most women did not work. She had practically no savings and very little life insurance. But she did it by working hard and watching her pennies carefully.

So, while in the car on Saturday, I was able to talk to her about some of my concerns and WOW. Talking to her really put my mind at ease and helped me come to some decisions. Now that I am in my 30s, I don't turn to her very often for help anymore because of Pride. Furthermore, it's so very easy to take people in our lives for granted and I'll be damned if that hasn't been what I have done lately with my grandma. Someone who has had such a profound impact on me as a person and frankly, even more so now that I am a mother. Would I want to do everything the way she has? No, but she did show me that Unconditional Love mixed with Expectations can still yield some good results. My sister and I could have really gone down some wrong paths, but we didn't and our grandma deserves some of the credit. Saturday, coming back from Tonganoxie, I took the opportunity to thank my grandma for all that she has done. Actually, I have done that quite often over the years either in person, or spontaneous "thank you" cards. However, I hadn't done it lately and Saturday was a good time to do so.

In fact, it was the perfect moment to do so. Besides, is there ever a bad time to thank someone for something?

Easy Rider

My mom has a bike for the Nephews and Arun was immediately drawn to it. Of course, he can't pedal yet, but he had fun just walking around with it. Little by little, he's becoming a Little Boy. Just the other day, I bought mitten clips for his Little Boy COAT. No blankets THIS year. I guess I am supposed to be weepy, but frankly, I don't have time for that because I am too busy having FUN with him. Before you know it, I'll be buying leathers for him.