December 27, 2006

Good Grief, am I over myself yet??

Hey!!!! Look at that!!!!! Exclamation marks!!! Which!Can!Only!Mean!One!Thing!

Look out, Innernets, happy thoughts, comin' your way.............

This morning, as I was chugging my coffee and scrumptious, authentic, "rolled on the baker's kitchen floor" povitica this morning, I realized - hey, I didn't automatically reach for a Patio Burrito right after rolling out of bed. Could it be the nausea is moving on? Could it be that all I need to conquer now is this nasty cold? COULD IT BE?

This morning, we heard NewKid's heartbeat for the first time - 156 BPM, which is AWESOME. A good, strong heartbeat is so reassuring to hear this early. To boot, I had actually LOST a few pounds since my last appointment, but my pants are still getting so tight, I'm going to need to unearth my maternity pants fairly soon (since I thought Arun was my only pregnancy, the pants were earmarked for charity, but I think I still have them. I hope. Gulp). Anyway, it's great that I am gaining weight where it NEEDS to be gained, at least. Um, I did mention I am pregnant, right?

This morning, as I read blog after blog featuring pictures of kid's toys in horrific proportions, I'd like to reiterate again how grateful I am that Arun's Christmas was understated in the toy department. I did this on purpose, though. Next summer, he will be in a new "age group" and will be ready for some more advanced things, like a tricycle, AND it will be summer, so we may want to get him some outside toys. I purposely held back on Christmas and only got him 3 toys with the plan to get him a few things next May-ish when the weather is warmer and we will be outside. It sorta sucks when your kid's birthday is so close to Christmas - I wonder what other parents do in this case?

This morning, I contemplated how grateful I was for my husband. X totally took care of Arun this past weekend while I dealt with everything else. Furthermore, Christmas Eve night for X was spent primarily walking the floor from Midnight until 6:00 am because Arun would NOT sleep.

This morning, I also contemplated how grateful I am that I am 35, fairly secure in myself and in my parenting skillz. Yeah, the comments were irritating, but I stuck up for X and I by pointing out how the comments they made didn't even make SENSE. In my family, you CAN'T WIN. If you pick your baby up at the first wail, you are spoiling him. If you let your baby cry past two wails, then you are neglecting him. I was sick, tired and worried about Arun as it was and I simply wasn't going to hear that shit. I should also mention that my sister got criticized because she doesn't "let her kids have sweets". Mean Mommies!

This morning, I was thinking again how my sister got royally screwed in the gift department by Leavenworth Grandma. This year, my sister received a spoon and fork from our crazy LG. Folks, a SPOON AND FORK. Um, the "best" part is that it was made out of animal horn. ANIMAL HORN.

This morning, I reveled in the satisfaction that I have completed a minimum of my CPE requirements - I will keep plugging away, but I have completed 30 hours so far and now I am in the clear for 2006. This means I can start knitting again - YIPPEE. I had cut myself off from knitting until I met my educational requirements. Because I am disciplined like that. Which is exactly why I waited until the last TWO weeks of the year, of course.

Snappily Snapped Snappage

My sister, being the sentimental fool that she is, thought it would be "sweet" to try and get all four rugrats in ONE picture.

As you can see, that went over well.


Far and away, the most popular of his presents, The Shin Denter. As a result of this toy, Arun will probably learn his first bits of profanity. Aw, fudge it.

What's just lovely about this photo is that the Yellow Environment Killer you see is an old Christmas Castoff left at my house by Older Nephew before Arun was even a CONCEPT - back in the days when X and I thought we'd have kids "someday". Anyway, that is Arun's favorite toy. In fact, he's busily playing with THAT instead of all the sparkly, shiny new toys he received that day.

December 26, 2006

Did you have yourself a Merry Little Christmas?

I did not.

This week will be odd. You know how it is, the week after Christmas. The inevitable conversation starter is "How was your Christmas?" This year, I am not sure what to do - paralyzed, I am. Do I lie and answer "It was good...." or do I just tell the truth?

In short, what happened is that this Nasty Head Cold took a vicious turn into my lungs on Saturday. To boot, Arun was still pretty sick himself. And I was hosting Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day. By 3:30pm Christmas Day, I was a ragdoll, sitting on the couch, totally Boo-Hooing my eyes out to the movie Rudy while using up precious, precious Puffs With Lotion tissues........ Rudy!....Rudy!......Rudy!.....

The long story is more complicated........It involves familial comments regarding X's and my parenting skillz, an underdone turkey (Hey, turkey is the new pink!), a lazy ass aunt who had me running at her beck and call even though I was clearly sick and maybe not-so-clearly pregnant (Whu? I'm pregnant??) and, and, and a mountain of food that people brought, then left for me to deal with even though I said "Oh, we won't eat that - feel free to take it home with you.", because seriously, we WON'T EAT THAT. All this was topped by an overtired, sick toddler who refused to sleep after an insane, adrenaline-infused Christmas Eve spent chasing his much adored cousins. Thus, Arun spent much of his Christmas Day snoring on X's chest - the ONLY place he would deign to sleep. Despite our best efforts to gently place him in his crib, timeaftertimeaftertime, which led to the aforementioned comments on our parenting skillz because clearly, your child's inability to sleep is a clear indication that one must totally SUCK at being a parent.

So, um, yeah.

In my family's defense, I'm guessing I wasn't very much fun this year. Big picture? I am grateful to have family, to have a cozy home, to have a cool husband, to have an adorable son.

And I'll be even MORE grateful to have dry, clear sinuses.

This morning, as I carefully navigated a minefield of sharp-cornered boxes of miniature fake food, Megablocks and tragic corpses of Little People strewn throughout our kitchen, I realized I am grateful for one other thing - nobody went overboard getting toys for Arun. The Shin Denting Shopping Cart and the Heel Splintering Mega Blocks were MY doing, but overall, Arun wasn't inandated with toys.

Rare Snaps of the Elusive Happy Toddler on Christmas Day

December 21, 2006

What's perfectly perfect?

I am really, really stressed out right now. But not because of the holidays. Oh NO, quite the contrary. Due to my superior skills in the Art of Procrastination, I am scrambling to finish up some educational requirements for maintaining my CPA license. Requirements which must be finished by Dec. 31st. gulp. So yeah, I may be an idiot, but damned straight - I'm a licensed one.

I will give my family credit - they are pretty non-stressful during the holidays. I am hosting both Christmas Eve and Christmas this year, but really - it's no big deal other than I have to make sure the house is clean. Everybody brings food to such gigs, so the most I am doing is throwing out a meat n' cheese tray on Christmas Eve and then for Christmas day, doing a turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberry relish, and my Great Aunt J's Weird Whipped Cream Salad with Grapes, Cranberries, and Pecans.

Actually, as a kid, I don't remember my parents rushing around attempting to create a "perfect" holiday for us. Perfect holidays just happened - just as sweetest childhood memories most often do. As long as the turkey isn't dried out, the reception is clear for the football game and everyone gets a gift or two (it's the thought that counts, right?), then all is good. Sure, as a kid, I got a massive amount of toys and that was fun, but what I remember most is watching my grandma with my great-aunts and uncles laughing, telling off-color jokes and reminiscing about their childhood memories. Just as they'll do this Monday. So, my goal for my own children is that they not grow up watching their mother freak out during the month of December. We'll have some sort of traditions, I'm sure, but I have no idea what they will be because I'll just let them happen. As it should be.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, too.


December 18, 2006

How about some more rambling for you?

Hmmm, the newest thing going on around here is that I am recovering from a nasty head cold that has rendered my sense of smell completely useless. I can't even detect when Arun has a dirty diaper. While in some social circles that might be considered a convenience conversely, in the Mommy Circles, it's a pain in the ass. The Nose Knows and when your proboscis is in the dark, in order to determine the need for an All Important Diaper Change, you have to go lurking where you'd rather just NOT.

Anyway, since Disagreeable Comments are not allowed on blogs these days, I am going to just skulk back here and make Passive Aggressive ones instead. Color me Bitchy. Not all of these are PA comments. Mix n' match at your discretion. I'm pretty punchy today.

  1. A new debate going around is whether the Chinese dance in the Nutcracker Suite is "racist". It had never occurred to me that it would be and still, I can't fathom how it could be considered as such. It's a ballet that includes several interpretive dances from around the world. Shaking head in confusion.....
  2. What's the dealio with "only wooden toys"? Or, only toys that did not come from a Big Box Store? Sure, Arun has a variety of those toys that I've written about before - the cheap ones, the garage sale finds, the Nephew hand-me-downs, the ones I made from old containers, old boxes, the specialty wooden European fancy toys (Hubba Hubba Haba) and yes, even the TMX Elmo (which he LOVES and I am unapologetic). However, Arun doesn't know where they came from, doesn't care how much they cost, doesn't care if other kids have them or not and in short, likes to play with them all. For sure, they all encourage his imagination in different ways and that's what I'm really gunning for, right? I mean, I guess that is fine if someone can afford to provide their progeny with only the expensive toys, but frankly, I think it's awesome that quality toys are available to everyone at a reasonable price, regardless of your socio-economic background. So, yeah, that means plastic is in - what's wrong with that? There was a time when toys were available only to the rich and it could be argued that the invention of plastic has been a great equalizer. Besides, if you're attempting to provide your child with a variety of tactile experiences you might need to consider other materials in addition to wood.
  3. I attended my final breastfeeding support group at my hospital last week - I've been attending since Arun was 3 weeks old. It is hard to quit - I enjoy going and lending support to the other new moms coming down the pike. And yes, I am still breastfeeding Arun even while pregnant, so technically, I could still attend. Although I had decided it was time to do something else in that slot in the calendar, I was a little teary-eyed last week. I really like the lactation consultant - she is very supportive, positive and encouraging to all the mothers, regardless of their situations. I will miss her and hopefully, I will see her again next July.
  4. Speaking of breastfeeding, I am hoping to wean Arun by 18 months. If I wasn't pregnant, I would rather nurse him until the age of 2, per recommendations from both WHO and Unicef. I don't believe it is any mere coincidence that a high-fat diet is recommended for children until the age of 2 (the fat is crucial for brain development) and !Gasp! breastmilk is high in fat. However, I don't relish the idea of nursing TWO children at the same time. Sure, I'll admit that I'm totally a Wannabe Granola Nut, but I have my limits. Furthermore, I don't want to wean Arun too close to when NewKid will be born for fear that Arun will remember what good stuff he is missing.
  5. My husband does not find me hot or attractive in the least when I am 9 months pregnant. I do not fault him for this. Oh no, to the contrary, I would be disturbed if he did find me attractive in that state.
  6. Thus far, I've had few issues with the Beta Blogger. I'll go out on a limb and say I even like it (Tags! Better view of Comments Received! Closing Comments while still showing the Existing!) However, I seem to be one of those rare bloggers who actually likes Blogger. I totally heart Blogger because they've made this one of my cheapest hobbies. Fuckin' A - my local yarn store wasn't handing out free skeins of yarn the last time I popped in there. However, I should point out that once you move to Beta, you can wave Bye-Bye to your Blogger account and password. Seriously, BloggerSan- you ARE DONE with that Combo - MOVE ALONG. See that light? That would Google's email application - Gmail. After you move to Beta, you are using your Full Gmail Address/Password only. It's disconcerting at first because it feels like you are logging into Gmail, but no - it works in Blogger, too.
  7. If you've come here via the search string "How to knit continental" or some variation on that theme, you've learned quickly that while I happen to be a knitter who blogs, I don't write that often about my actual knitting. I apologize for the disappointment, but !hey! Look at those sweet little sheep in the masthead! While I can't praise the continental method enough, I'm not a Teacher, only a Linker. I highly recommend the site Knitting Help for awesome instructional videos. I learned how to continental knit from this site by watching their little videos over and over (and over again!) until I got it right. It was worth the effort because I never felt comfortable with the English style of knitting. Good luck and don't hate me if your sweater comes out two sizes too small.
  8. Finally........I do not think toddlers need to know the correct anatomical names for sexual organs. I do not understand the need for a toddler being able to accurately label a vagina, labia, penis or scrotum. How about just plain old "girl parts" and "boy parts"?

Randomly Specific Snappage

Rednecked Reindeer

I call this his "Shit-Eating Grin". I can do that cuz I'm from Kansas. Git er done.

Paws for the Holidays

He's holding yet another Christmas ornament in his greedy little paws. Hot damn.

A Rose By Any Other Name

I came across this Smirk Worthy sight while gassing up my car. Boy, someone was a little pissed off - you say? Ouch.

Fruit n' Fiber

At least I bought some healthy stuff to go with all those burritos. Burp.

December 13, 2006

Where did the other Eleven Days of Christmas go?

I want them back.

  • I've noticed that insomnia at 6:00 am is infinitely more convenient than insomnia at 2:00 am.

  • Monkey keeps telling me to take it easy this holiday season and really, that hasn't been a problem this year. We couldn't do our Christmas party because of scheduling, Average Jane nixed her cookie exchange this year , I went easy on the holiday decorating this year and, AND I managed to cull 4 people from my Christmas list (aunt, uncle, cousin's two kids). In fact, I am done Christmas shopping since I kept it simple this year by buying one nice gift instead of a myriad of smaller gifts for each person. There isn't much left for me to do but lie around on the couch and feel sorry for myself.

  • From habit of spending my days with a toddler, I just tried to play Peek-a-Boo with the cat. He wasn't amused.

  • Yesterday, I got an email from Blogger saying that my blog had been detected as a spam blog. Huh? Obviously, they fixed it, but I wonder what prompted that in the first place.

  • I am very sad that Karen at the Naked Ovary is shutting down her blog - I've been reading her for so long that when I began, she was just going through her last IVF (she has since adopted her daughter from China). However, I completely understand why she is doing so. If what happened to her, happened to me, I would close shop in a heartbeart, too. Why is the blog world getting so mean? Are we really just an extended version of high school around here?

  • In my own little experience with negativity, I had a commenter get mean with me on a blog. In short, it was an advice blog and the topic was breastfeeding. The blogger made a statement that ran directly counter to what I have heard lactation consultants state consistently over the past year. So, I commented very politely what I had heard the lactation consultants say and even started my comment with a "Hey, not to be disagreeable". However, another commenter (not the blogger) took it upon herself to inform me that people were just "sharing their experiences" and frankly, she didn't do it a nice way, either. I guess I didn't "experience" much by sitting in a breastfeeding support group for over a year so who the fuck did I think I was?. I read blogs all the time where I vehemently disagree with what is said, but I rarely comment. It seems most bloggers only want Kissy Face Comments and I respect that, so I keep my mouth shut. For sure, a Troll is a Troll is a Troll. But to make a comment that disagrees with what could be bad advice or flat-out misinformation is NOT Trollish behaviour. Particularly, on an advice blog that dispenses advice and is written by a blogger who regularly encourages her readers to comment with their opinions. Anyway, that whole exchange disheartened me to the extent that I haven't felt like commenting much on people's blogs lately.

December 12, 2006

What's the dealio?

This post has been a long time coming, but for various reasons, I never got to it. I should probably just start at the beginning......

In my early 20s, I was diagnosed with a Not Serious Condition and at the time, my doctor told me I might have trouble getting pregnant (my current doctor, to her credit, never expressed doubt). Later, in my 20s, I watched a friend's marriage crash and burn over infertility (she wanted to adopt, her husband did not). So, these things weighed on my mind a bit when my relationship with X started to get serious and we began to discuss Our Future. It turned out that X, after having grown up in a 3rd world country and seeing children with no parents, wanted to adopt from the get-go. However, as a woman, I want to experience pregnancy and birth, if possible. Just once. So, we decided at that time to try and have a baby - if it didn't happen naturally within about a year, we would move right to adopting from India. We aren't against fertility treatments and such, but knew that route just wasn't for us. Regardless of how Baby #1 came to be, we planned to adopt Baby #2.

Well, I got pregnant with Arun after 2 months of trying. I am still a little stunned that it happened so easily and that here I am in 2006, a mother to a toddler. I had braced myself for so much more. SO, what happened to Baby #2, you ask? The plan for that was to start the paperwork process in the fall of 2007 - since we had a boy, we wanted to adopt a girl (we verified this was an okay idea with one of my adopted cousins). Obviously, in my current state of pregnancy, that won't be happening now.

But this is what compelled me to go ahead and write this post, even though the topic of international adoption for us is most probably moot now -- it has shocked and saddened me how many of my friends and family have hinted that adoption was a 2nd choice and a few even asked if we chose to go the pregnancy route because it was "better". Even worse, last week a friend said "Well, you can do your civic duty in other ways". I was too shocked to come back with a retort to such a ridiculous statement. Good God, X and I aren't running a charity around here! We just want a family. For us, pregnancy AND adoption are equally valid and special ways to build one - obviously, with different paths and challenges. For me, sharing chromosomes doesn't equal love. Sure, genealogy creates an interesting papertrail of familial history, but real family is built on experiences, memories, and often, good old-fashioned guilt.

So, what happened is this - X and I took risks and fooled around - because of our situation, I am fully aware that we had the luxury to do so. But, I will never, ever use the word"accident" because that indicates that an "Oops!" was involved. But, we absolutely did not "choose" pregnancy because it was a better route or that we would love a biological child more than an adopted one. Perhaps, I am just sensitive because my family has been cobbled together by so many adoptions, marriages, divorces that I learned at an early age the definition of "family" is a loose one, at best. For example, my favorite great-aunt P, is not related to me by blood as she is my great-uncle B's wife, but it doesn't make our connection any less special. Furthermore, one of my best friends from college cut me out of her life last year after she miscarried her baby right after Arun's birth. While I understand why she cut me off, honestly, I still cry over it. She was like a sister to me and our relationship had been through a lot of ups and downs. I am sure most of us can think of a friend or two who have become like family over the years.

As I just wrote about how much X and I wanted to adopt, I will admit this - I am very excited to be pregnant again. Pregnancy and birth are such a fascinating, exhilarating time (okay, except for the Hellish 1st Trimester and the Miserable Last Week). The first few days after Arun was born? I was so pumped up on adrenaline, I felt high and had trouble sleeping - I remember lying in my hospital bed wide awake in the middle of night thinking Wow....WOW....... If this pregnancy goes half as well as it did with Arun, I will be one grateful gal. Regardless of the fact that I am excited about being pregnant again, I never doubted that I would love my adopted child as much as my biological child. That was never part of the equation for me.

Anyway - I just wanted to be very clear that adoption was not a "lesser" or "2nd"choice. Yes, it was a different choice, but from what I have seen and experienced, regardless if you adopt or give birth - your hopes, fears and dreams are very much the same.

December 8, 2006

What are you craving?

Yesterday, was one of the worst days ever. The night before, Insomnia reached a fever pitch and I was up from 2am to nearly 6am. Then, during the day, I ran out of Patio Burritos, then I downed the very last can of that Life Giving Elixir known as Schweppes Ginger Ale. And X is out of town. Fortunately, Arun has been peachy keen lately - happily playing, stomping his feet with glee and going to sleep at all the regular times. Reminding me again, the woes of pregnancy are certainly for a worthy cause.

Moving on to happier topics - as tired as I am of my Bad Attitude, I can only imagine how you all are.............

The Rancid Raves Holiday Food Edition

Last week, I had posted about the things that get me in the Christmas Spirit. I thought it was interesting how many commenters noted food items. I hadn't even thought of that! While I like sweets as much as the next person, until I started breastfeeding, I had never really had cravings for sweets. My family just isn't that much into food, perhaps? I just don't have a lot of emotional tie-ins with food, other than coffee (X and I are really into coffee and trying out new shops) and Mexican food (it's the one consistent food from my childhood - from my dad making refried beans from scratch, to special meals at our favorite, now-defunct Mexican joint in Lawrence.)

AnyWAY, regarding Holiday Food, I can only think of 3 things that remind me of Christmas - Olathe Grandma's Cheese Ball, Olathe Grandma's Melt-in-Your-Mouth Peanut Brittle, and my Great Aunt J's Weird Whipped Cream Pecan, Cranberry and Grape Salad. However, I have discovered a few things in my adulthood that I look forward to each Christmas Season.

Eggnog: I love a little glass of eggnog. YUM. But, it was hard to find a good pre-made one - until just the other day at Hen House when I happened across a sample of GoodNatured Farms Egg Nog. Oh. My. It's just the perfect hint of spice, slightly sweet (but not cloyingly so) and not so thick. Heaven. All it's missing is a bit o' alcohol. sob

Peppermint Bark: I discovered this just last year, thanks to Average Jane - she brought some of her step-mother's concoction and seriously, I swooned. I bought some Ghiradelli peppermint bark this year, but it doesn't compare so I shall be forced to try and make it after all.

Fruitcake: The best I have found so far is here in Kansas City at Andre's. Hen House also sells a damned good one at a much more reasonable price - I believe the brand is called Mollie's.

Kifli: My friend J's mom is 2nd generation Romanian-American and I was introduced to the wonder of the kifli from her in my college years. Oh My God. HEAVEN. They still send gift boxes of these cookies when they get a chance during Christmas and we inhale them. I did make them myself for the first time last year and I didn't do a half-bad job, actually. They are a lot of work, but worth it.  I'll let him decide.

Almond Roca: I associate these with Las Vegas - when I was a kid, we often would go to visit my Grandpa and step-grandma C during that break right after the Big Day. They usually had a can of these lying around. I usually don't let myself buy these - I only want a few, but the can is so damned big I can't ever make it through them all. This year, I splurged and hopefully, I can give some away before they go bad. Heads up, Tuesday Playgroup! I'm gunning for you.

December 7, 2006

Where's your Christmas Miracle?

Wow. A pregnant blogger can't help but feel guilty as she starts receiving the "Whoa. Is everything okay?" emails when she fails to post for a few days. Gulp. What happened is this - I forbade myself from posting until I had accomplished a few things hanging over my head. Tonight's post is a little reward for me.

The past few days have been okay. Sunday was pretty horrific - I puked so badly that I had to change my entire wardrobe - including my socks. Still not as bad as when I was pregnant with Arun and threw up all over myself while driving in my car at 70 MPH on a major interstate known as I-35. That was still so much worse. I will say, morning sickness this time around is still bearable because of Arun - he is so damned adorable these days, it serves as a constant reminder of all the goodness this sickness will hopefully lead to. In fact, on Sunday when I went upstairs to change out of my urp-spattered clothes, I turned around while undressing to find that Arun had followed me. He chose that very moment to demonstrate his newfound skill at stomping his feet with unadulterated glee - Happy Feet, if you will. The look of pride on his face was priceless and made me feel better with Renewed Perspective.

Anyway, Innernets, I have an announcement. A Christmas Miracle! A sweater! Knitted, BY ME.

Dear God Almighty, I never thought I would finish this. I had knitted the pieces WAY back in early 2005, then started suffering the ill effects from morning sickness with Arun. Then, I sewed the collar together. Then, I sewed one arm on - badly, crookedly and just wrong, wrong, WRONG. I cried hot tears as I pulled all the seaming out. Then, I didn't touch the sweater for a good 6 months - I was paralyzed with fear. Gradually, this year, I picked it up again and again - slowly figuring it out. Anyway - I finally finished it tonight. It still needs to be washed and re-blocked. And please, if you ever encounter me on the street wearing this thing, do yourself a favor and avoid eye contact with my left armpit. Holey! Moley!

Okay, it's that time of year when people ponder their charitable donations - Dec 31st is just around the corner. We've already given our bit to Doctors Without Borders (they are near and dear to me because my eye doctor goes to Guatemala every year to give exams to kids there as a part of the program). However, we've decided to extend our charitable donation this year to something I just came across on QIR's blog.

QIR writes:
One of my friends went to the Congo and discovered that last year 2/3 of the kids treated in the hospital where she worked had been diagnosed with malaria. Because their families don''t have mosquito nets, these poor little kidlets get re-infected. Her solution? Give the kid a mosquito net upon discharge from the hospital.

First, QIR is a Real Live Person and the charity she links to Bed Nets for Kids was started by her friend, another Real Live Person. What, you say? REAL LIVE people in the blogosphere? Say it isn't so! Seriously though, I just point out that I know QIR is a REAL person because if one is going to start throwing money around, it's nice to know that someone with actual blood flowing through their veins is involved. Anyway, the upshot is this, if you go to Bed Nets for Kids and donate $5 through PayPal, that will provide 5 mosquito nets. X and I are going to donate 50 nets and I thought I would like to share this link in case anyone else is interested. I like giving my money directly to a source, and this seems like a good one. Malaria is pretty simple to prevent, yet 3000 people a day die from it. I know this site struck a chord with X because he remembered as a kid sleeping under a net himself.

Bonus Simian Snap

Just because.

December 3, 2006

Oh Dear, what can the matter be?

Dear Random Asshole Driver on I-69,
When you choose to drive like a complete asshole, it might be better for your local business if you would choose NOT to advertise said business on your van. I can't imagine that your asshole-ish behavior with cutting people off and tailgating does much in the way of garnering you more business. Did I mention that you are an asshole?


Dear Arun,
While I love you dearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, I must confess that my love for you peaks between the hours of 8:00 pm and 8:00 am AND the hours of 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm while you are sleeping. Please adjust your schedule accordingly. Shall I mention that Elmo also loves you more during the hours noted?


Dear Random Condom, Recently Found Skulking In a Drawer,
Too little, too late.


Dear Pregnancy Hormones-Induced Insomnia,
I am tired of you. Go away. Pun intended.


Dear Santa,
Baby, I believe. I've defended your honor in the past during my blissful days of Armchair Parening and solemnly vowed even then to teach my kid that you are real. Who cares if I am technically lying to my kid and furthermore, probably "threatening his relationship with God" in order to perpetuate a quaint myth surrounding a Christian saint? You're FUN and add an element of magic and mystery to the season. Damn straight, I'll be sharing that with my kids. So, Christmas Eve, don't worry your wily, whiskered hide - I've got your back.


Dear Britney,
Regarding BeaverFest 2006, don't get your panties in a twist. How about just wearing them instead?