January 31, 2007

Who's your daddy?

  • I didn't mean to misrepresent myself as some grand chef of South Indian cuisine. Nope, I'm just a pasty-faced white girl trying her hand at it. My stuff is pretty edible, but my dosas are not nearly thin enough (that swirly technique thingie with the back of the ladle is harder than it looks!) and my idlis are still a little soggy. Sure, it's edible, but I have a long ways to go when it comes to South Indian cooking.
  • The other day, X actually thanked me for not giving him a hard time about changing diapers. I told him that I appreciated the fact that HE appreciated me. Imagine that - a married couple appreciating each other. But I digress..... anyway, I figure he already deals with a mountainload of shit as it is at work, why would I ask him to deal with even more when he gets home?
  • It seems I have gotten a wild hair up my ass and think I can go to BlogHer. After all, my due date is 7/6 and BlogHer is not until later that month. If it wasn't in Chicago, I wouldn't even consider the possibility, but DAMN - it's only an hour, 15 minute flight from Kansas City. In a pinch, I could make a daytrip of it with NewKid and my mom in tow. Over the years, I've seen loads of co-workers and even X run there for a quick business meeting, so yes - it's possible. Marilyn is a bad influence - last year, she took her little Liam at a mere 3 weeks, so of course, she is totally egging me on in this insanity.
  • I am in final negotiations for a new purse - I've ponied up Valentine's Day and even threw in my birthday. I'm not ready to give in Mother's Day yet. (Note: This would be going on regardless if I worked outside the home or not. Except for surprise gifts purchased for each other, X and I don't make huge purchases without talking about them first. Period. Because we are a team like that.) Yes, I realized I just bought a new bag last August, but it has not worked out. The straps are too small for carrying around a toddler AND toting a tote. The bag does work well for knitting -actually, it's a PERFECT tote for knitting, so all was not lost with that purchase.
  • I was very sad to see that Sidney Sheldon died today. Sheldon has the distinction of being the only writer to have won an Oscar, a Tony, and an Edgar (he was nominated for an Emmy for I Dream of Jeannie). I started reading Sheldon at the tender age of 11 when I would sneak his books from my mom's bookshelf. Yes, I was definitely reading him at too young of an age, but I can credit Sheldon with awakening my imagination to traveling, exploring other cultures, mystery and adventure. My favorite of his books is still If Tomorrow Comes, but I still remember the shock of finishing The Other Side of Midnight. Master of the Game was fascinating and Bloodline was such a classic tale of Rags to Riches. Ahhhh, the memories. His later stuff went downhill for me, but I'll never forget his earlier stuff. Rest in Peace, Sidney.

Easy Reader

A picture like this is Pure.Gold for a book hound like me. It makes my heart SOAR that he loves books so much.

King of the Mountain

As you can see, we've progressed to climbing. I have VERY mixed feelings about this.On the one hand, you want your precious progeny to progress, climb new heights, explore their world. On the other hand, you'd rather they not.

15 Months

He ain't my baby no more. Sniff...

January 30, 2007

Are you havin' a laugh?

  • Damn. I am so in love with this season of the Extras on HBO - I really enjoyed the 1st one, but THIS one has me in stitches - I got teary-eyed with laughter at the David Bowie episode last week. I adore the new premise of Andy starring in a lame "shitcom" which has probably one of stupidest punchlines ever (refer to post title). Ricky Gervais is simply a comedic genius with that uncanny ability to quit while ahead.
  • Speaking of which.....watching the Extras has made me yearn for some BBC, a healthy cache of which I am already in possession of in my DVD collection. Towards this end, I decided not to continue with Grey's Anatomy, after all - I had a hard time getting sucked into season 2. Again, it's not a bad show and I am not knocking it. However, I can't really justify watching another show right now and I'd really like to dig back into my DVDs such as Ab Fab, The Office, Cold Feet, Coupling, etc.
  • It's official - this pregnancy is different. My desire for Mexican food has waned to a dull thud and my cravings for Indian food have reached a fever pitch. Oh sure, with Arun I could eat Indian, but didn't really crave it ferociously like now. Anyway, the problem is - we live in Kansas City. We have some okay North Indian places, but none of them are anything to write home about - Kababesh Grille is probably the best of the bunch, but it's really Pakistani more than Indian. The issue is that I am craving South Indian - an area of cuisine in which Kansas City is severely lacking. There's a so-called South Indian place here called Ruchi that ironically, isn't so "ruchi" (ruchi=tasty in Hindi). However, NewKid demanded dosas on Friday and so I strong-armed X into going there. I wanted a mysore masala dosa so bad that I ached. We hadn't been there in ages because the service had gone downhill, but the last I had remembered, their dosas weren't so bad. Um, first off......when you walk into an Indian joint and your Indian husband is a minority, you know you're in trouble. And dear Lord, were we IN TROUBLE. Except for the carrot pickle that I greedily inhaled, the entire meal was a disaster. We left there vowing never to return. So, I've moved on - to my own fucking kitchen. X even remarked on the irony that a Kansas bred n' born white chick can make a better dosa from a fucking mix than those nitwits at Ruchi's. My rava idlis weren't half bad either. Still, doesn't food always taste so much better when someone else makes it? Sob.
  • I've determined that cleaning a house in which a toddler dwells is akin to sweeping your kitchen floor with a makeup brush. Both are possible. In theory.
  • And finally, here is some knitting for you. Because nothing says Delurk!! like a blogger droning about her knitting. Squee! Anyway, I have declared 2007 The Year of the Stash - I am attempting to finish half-attempted projects and to also work on the box of stash that is lurking in my hall closet. So, I finally finished Arun's baby blanket - I used the Big Bad Baby Blanket pattern from the Stitch n' Bitch book. The pros? Easy pattern, durable yarn and the dimensions came out quite large because I used a Signature yarn instead of the one the pattern called for. Arun should be able to use this blanket for awhile. The cons? A blanket is a pain in the ASS to knit. It doesn't travel well and became so heavy at the end that it didn't help my pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome. This is why the project took so long. I also finished a backpack - one of my very first attempted projects. The biggest problem with this project is that I had no use for it until recently - once I had incentive to actually seam the damned thing together and attach the cord, it was a snap. Anyway, drool away. You know you wanna.

Backbreaking Backpack

Big Bad Baby Blanket


January 29, 2007

Are you a mess?

January is "Organizing Month". So, it seemed appropriate that I read the book A Perfect Mess by Eric Abrahamson and David Freedman. I was under the impression that this book was about actual CLUTTER - as in all the piles o' crap lounging around my house. As longtime readers of this blog know, I have a family member who has a serious hoarding problem. Serious as in "Oprah Should See Her House" SERIOUS - entire rooms of her house cannot even be accessed because of the clutter and soon, her dining room will be the next victim. So, I have a constant paranoia of getting overwhelmed with junk because I've seen how too easily it can get out of control. I thought this book would be a good way to take a different look at all my stuff. However, this book turned out to be much, much more. Oh sure, it covered good old-fashioned junk, but it also discussed messy ideas, relationships, schedules, traffic patterns, Internet search engines, business strategies, art and even music. It examined ways mess can impact our lives - good and bad.

The authors make the valid point that sometimes, we throw away too much stuff, things that we will regret later not having in our lives. I can't agree more. I have given away things that I wish I had now - things that evoked special memories from particular moments in my life. The authors also make the point that there is a discrimination against messy people and again, I can't agree more. When I look back on my professional life, I remember specifically those co-workers and clients that had atrocious desks with piles of paper teetering close to the brink of disaster - I always thought distastefully what slobs they were. However, some of those very co-workers were some of the brightest and most productive that I have ever worked with - perhaps, they spent more time working and less time procrastinating? Furthermore, the authors examine how mess can affect relationships - and that hit close to home. X is a messy guy, I would prefer things to be more tidy. When we were first married, it was a major problem that had to be worked out. Over the years, we've established ground rules, but realistically, mess sorta rules our roost now. I've learned to be okay with it for the most part and to put my foot down on the certain things that really make my stomach churn.

This book made me look at the mess in my own life and I took stock. What am I okay with? What am I not okay with? Toys littering the living room? I'll live with it. Dishes filling the sink? Never. Piles of paper on my desk? I'll live with it. Mentally keeping track of appointments or the list for the grocery store? Never.

In short (notice how I put this at the end? after the cluttered review?), I liked this book - it made me think. It also forced me reconsider all the things I had considered "messy" and "wasteful". I should note this is a great book for discussion. I highly recommend it for bookclub reading since there is a wealth of points to ponder after reading this book.

And now? I guess I better start on that stack of mail that has been growing for the past 2 weeks. Gulp.

January 26, 2007

Need I remind him?

For the most part, there is no competition between X and I when it comes to Job Satisfaction. We both like what we do and are fully cognizant that what we do brings equal value to our little family thingie that we have going on here.


X's boss man doesn't scream bloody fucking murder in Surround Sound every morning just outside his shower door. His boss doesn't beg for sips of his coffee. His boss doesn't randomly pinch his nipples throughout the day. His boss doesn't grind bits of cheese into our carpet. Hell's Bells, X doesn't even have to kiss his boss's ass, much less wipe it.

I need a pay raise.

January 25, 2007

What about it?

Random Kibble n' Bits

  • ABC 20/20 is airing a special on poverty in America tomorrow - I had already set it up on my DVR, but came across this article as well. The article makes the valid point that we see more images of poverty in other countries than in our own. I think it has do with the feeling in America that you "can achieve anything you want to, if you really want to" (aka The American Dream) and therefore, we have less sympathy for poverty-stricken folks living here, than in other countries.
  • I've confessed my anti-lotion sins here before - I just hate the way they feel on my skin. Despite this, I am a total sucker for flowery scents, hotel freebies, and department store samples, so the selection of lotion rotting in my bathroom is not scant. However, NewKid apparently is making my skin very itchy. I am here to tell you that on Tuesday I had Come to Jesus moment and the saviour was Continuous Comfort Curel. OH MY GOD. (Cue the Choir) You apply this stuff right after a shower in the morning and still by that evening your skins feels like skin as opposed to say, a strip of sandpaper. OH MY GOD. Of course, many thanks are owed to Amalah for this suggestion. Today, I even purchased another bottle for Arun's room.
  • Thank you for all the incredibly thought provoking comments this week on what could have been perceived as "controversial" topics. In particular, I was a little nervous about the whole "Moms Face Off" post but instead, all I received were totally cool comments talking about all sides of the issue. I always encourage dissenting views because that is the only to LEARN. When a blog's comment section turns into a huge Kissy Face Fan Fest, I usually stop reading them at that point. Anyway, awesome comments from awesome friends. There is so much meanness and negativity going on in the blogworld these days and I like that my own little Neck o' the Blogs has remained sane.
  • Speaking of negativity, I am a bit weary of the celebrity snark sites. When a blogger gets snarked on they get pissed off about it, but yet it is okay to snark on celebrities? I fail to see the difference when we are ALL putting ourselves out in a public forum. Oh sure, I like to read gossip rags, but more so for the random snaps and fashion photos since it's obvious the "new breaking" stories are basically lies concocted after a few rounds of martinis.
  • I did some serious, serious price comparisons today at Wal-Mart that involved pulling out Hen House AND Target receipts. For the particular purchases I made today, there was never more than a 30 cent difference and with the Curel purchase Wal-Mart was even higher. I loathe shopping at Wal-Mart, the aisles are narrow, the endcaps over-crowded and I hate how they bag your items on a little turn-stile thingie and half the time you can't be certain you got all of your purchases. I even had to remind the guy to give me my last bag. However, I had convinced myself that Wal-Mart was cheaper, so attempted to be fiscally responsible today. Bah. No More Wal-Mart.

I am going to live on the edge today and post this without a final proofing. Gulp.

January 24, 2007

What's a question with no answer called?

The headache has been really, really bad today. The sort that makes me nauseous. You'd think that I would be in bed, but really that makes it worse because then I sit and dwell on it. I've always been the type that if possible, I'd rather hobble around and do things. I think that's why morning sickness supremely kicked my ass because you can't really hobble if you think you're going to imminently puke. Fortunately, with a headache, typing and being on the Internet help distract. Playing with Arun helps take my mind off of it, too. Going to the doctor and hearing a healthy NewKid heartbeat? Definitely makes it better. MUCH better. Oddly and sadly, reading, knitting and watching TV make it worse. I am really behind on my reading now and at this point, the DVR Death Knell is sounding for Studio 60 and potentially Brothers and Sisters. The recent addition of returning favorites such as Antiques Roadshow, 24, and Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations have my DVR crying like a baby these days.

Speaking of knitting, my pregnancy induced carpal tunnel is rearing its ugly head AGAIN. It helps to have 2 different projects and to just switch back and forth, so that may help this go around. The carpal tunnel crapola SUCKS, though. It's getting to where I can't hold a coffee cup or a phone for too long before my hand goes numb. Of course, it's totally worth it and it helps to keep your eye on the prize.

Anyway, AWESOME comments yesterday! Not to belabor the point, but aw FUCK, who I am kidding?? I’m gonna belabor away here......

Regarding "fer'ners" and theirjavascript:void(0) "funny sounding" names.........One thing that is very frustrating with most Americans is that inability to “listen” - as one commenter noted. We purposely gave Arun a two syllable name that is easy to pronounce -all together now “AH ROON”. Not hard, eh? The problem is, people don’t listen, even when you take the time to pronounce slowly and carefully . Poor X has this problem, too - he has a very simple two syllable name that is comprised of sounds that all White People can say. However, no one LISTENS and often, X just gives up and lets them call him by our Curiously Christian Last Name which has resulted in one of our cars being registered with his names reversed. Stating for the record here, if Arun tries to go by the name “Aaron”, I will kick his ass. I did not sweat over list after list of Indian baby names just so he could go by the name “Aaron”, a name that is fine for a girl, but one that I do not care for with a boy.

Also, I do try to account for the fact that most white people did not grow up with an Indian in their family like I did - my grandpa married my Indian step-grandmother before I was even born, she's the same age as my aunt, so she is like an aunt to me. India has always been in my vernacular. So, I DO try to keep that in mind, that I take it for granted. However, it's hard to keep that attitude when people don't even "try" right back.

Okay new topic, since I am crabbish anyway. Oprah is killing me. Monday she had her whole Debt Diet special again (Hint for the general public - SPEND LESS. Seriously. Most of the people I know claiming Financial Fouls are not actually "hard up"). Then, yesterday she had the whole “working moms” vs “stay at home moms”. Sigh. The same old horse trotted out for beating AGAIN. Nothing new just the Same Old Same Old with moms going at it, hell bent on brow beating each into submission that THEIR way is THE way. Whatever. I stay home because I enjoy it and I am not going to pretend otherwise. This time is temporary and I don’t want to miss it. As one working mom pointed out, ”Anyone can read a book to my child”. Maybe so, but I want to be that person reading the book. Another former SAHM Turned Working Mom complained that she had “lost herself” when she stayed home. Um, that can happen regardless if you stay at home or not - I totally lost myself in a job once and found myself a year later digging furiously to discover something remotely interesting about myself that didn’t involve that job.

Anyway, the end goal of my staying home is not for my children to think idyllically of fresh baked cookies and my loving gaze in soft focus as we read Brown Bear, Brown Bear for 40 zillionth time. Rather, I just want my children to remember a childhood that was safe, secure and spent with parents that weren’t harried and actually enjoyed being married to each other. And that can be achieved regardless if you choose to stay home or not. However, for X and I, that is most easily accomplished by my staying home. Our life is easier because I don’t “work”. Damned straight, it helps that I have a husband who gratefully acknowledges that what I do adds value to our lives. So, as much as I adore Arun, I can’t really claim some great sacrifice for him. I’m doing this for our family.

Also, I think "having it all" is a total misnomer and does nothing but create unrealistic expectations that are stressful for most women to meet. Something has to give. Either time with your children, or time with your career. I axed my career, and I am okay with that. But working mothers need to acknowledge that if you are getting home at 8pm, you are giving up time with your children. It's not a judgement, it's just a fact - like the fact that my career is totally dead in the water right now - a fact that gives me no pleasure whatsoever in admitting. Probably the closest to "having it all" is an awesome, decent-paying, working part-time position which are so fucking hard to find, it makes my head spin.

So, instead of moms pounding on each other , maybe we should start pounding on the corporations that have become so family unfuckingfriendly that we HAVE to choose and then we feel compelled to beat on each other in order to justify what was really a difficult, heart-wrenching decision in the first place.

How about that?

January 23, 2007

What's in a name?

So, I just came across a post on Mamapop about celebrity adoptions where the conversation turned to celebrity baby names and a commenter said "I’ve seen some crazy kids names: “Arun,” “Gennyphyr,” etc."

Part of me was irritated, part of me got a chuckle. I wonder if the confusion didn't arise from the fact that the commenter obviously didn't know how to pronounce "Arun" and clearly doesn't have much experience with India or Indians (despite living in Chicago, oddly enough). "Arun" is a pretty common Indian name and is nothing spectacular, but we liked it. It means "the sun" and I also liked the simplicity of that - I didn't want to saddle my son with something grand like "Will conquer the world". Too much pressure. (Bonus Factoid: In Thai, it is a name for both boys AND girls . The owner of the Thai Place, a popular restaurant here, is also named Arun and she gets a special kick out of OUR Arun when we bring him in.)

However, it kills me when people act as if we got a wild hair up our asses and gave our son this huge albatross of a name. It kills me when someone squints their eyes at Arun's name after having just told me her daughter's name is "Tealey" as if that was a perfectly normal name - when in reality, it took me awhile to figure out her daughter's name was NOT "tealeaf". It kills me when people act confused over a TWO syllable name.

Anyway, when we gave our kid an Indian moniker it was for a simple reason - we liked the name. Besides, the kid will be raised Suburban White with a smoky hint of Ethnic Brown. By giving him a Desi First Name coupled with a bland, middle-class White Bread Middle Name, and then finished with a Curiously Christian Last Name, it's a sweet little reminder of where he comes from. He's a mutt, like the rest of us.

Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?

I was a little dismayed at myself for writing an entire post on the tragedy that is my wardrobe. I briefly considered deleting it but that is a wussy thing to do for a post that wasn't going to do anything except reveal my shallowness for what it really is. This morning, I had a few precious minutes to myself on the toilet which of course, usually leads to some Deep Thoughts. In a flash of genius that Toilet Contemplation often provides, I realized why I wrote it. Quite simply, it was good old-fashioned guilt. I am not a clothes horse and it makes me feel bad to be "wasting" money on clothes with a 6 month expiration date. However, I thought about it in a new light - this purchase is not going to break our budget and I haven't bought any new clothes since last July so I need to get over myself already. Also, my friend's clothes will probably fit me for the warmer months, so I should be good to go come April and beyond. Finally, there is still incentive to be financially reasonable about it so I can fit in a hangbag purchase.

Anyway, today's theme is Sweet n' Sour.

Confession time, Innernets. I wish I could act all harried and busy to use that as an excuse why I am drowning in Things That Needed to Be Done Yesterday. The truth? I use most of my Arun Free Time on the Internet, watching TV/Knitting and reading the bazillion books lining my nightstand. Furthermore, my free time has dwindled to that brief interlude known as Afternoon Nap and then a few hours after I put Arun to bed. Some nights, I put Arun to bed at 8:00pm, then head off to bed myself to read for awhile before turning out the light by 9:30pm. That's not a typo. I am really, really tired with this pregnancy. However, I am thankful that at least I don't have the work-related tension courtesy of Not So Supervisor from the Fed such as when I was carrying Arun. Bleh. I'll gratefully take "Sapped Over Stressed" for $500, Alex.

Anyway, one of the reasons that I am not getting much done these days is that Arun is so much fun to play with that well, that's exactly what I've been doing. He's constantly trying to figure out how things work - watching his little caterpillar eyebrows furrow in concentration is too cute (early mechanical engineering, no?). He's into stacking things and in particular, it's entertaining to watch him try to stack balls AND blocks together (early physics, no?). We're also learning body parts - it's too sweet that I have to save the ears for last because the boy LOVES his ears and gets easily distracted (early human physiology, no?). And my heart sings every single time he brings a book for me to read (early library science, no?) So, yeah. Watching your toddler get fascinated with the fact that you BOTH are in possession of bellybuttons is beyond compare. It places navel-gazing to a whole new level.

I finally understand the old pregnancy joke about pickles. Folks, it's not really the pickles that are the craving, it's the SOUR. So, yeah - I've been craving American pickles, Indian pickles (especially mango achar, but lime will do), lemonade (or it's little known Mexican amigo, el lemoñadé) and manchego - a Spanish cheese with a sour yet nutty aftertaste. My most recent Coup d'état on All Things Sour has been the discovery of a snack bar inside a local Indian grocer that sells pani puri. To go. So that I can make a mockery of my piggish self inside the sweet, sweet privacy of my home. I may have swooned. But you'll never prove it.

January 22, 2007

Pregnant women need new handbags, don't they?

So, I dug out some maternity clothes and am wearing a shirt today - I can still fit into my pants easily, but the shirts were Very Necessary, as evidenced by the following conversation:

Me: Look! I'm wearing a maternity shirt!
X: Yes, that's better. Now you look pregnant instead of fat.

Now, lest you think that X is a Callous Cad, actually he's not, which is why I thought the whole exchange was funny and is precisely why I laughed when he said it. You see, he had a point. I have a strict policy that while pregnant, I will not look fat. I have a friend who would not buy maternity clothes stating instead that "bigger plus-size clothes" were sufficient and cheaper. I couldn't disagree with her MORE. Maternity clothes are not necessarily more expensive, it's just a pain to have to buy a sparkly new wardrobe that you know you are only wearing temporarily. Furthermore, a pregnant shape is different than just a "bigger" size and the clothes are cut very differently. Hence, the reason for X's comment. My normal clothes weren't too tight, they just aren't cut right for me as my stomach is growing.

I'm in a bit of a maternity wardrobe quandary, though. I lent my clothes to a friend and I did get those back. However, my cousin's wife had given me some clothes, I passed those to my sister and she lent those to a pregnant friend of hers . Not only YET AGAIN, does my sister have nothing to lend me, I am now missing part of the wardrobe I wore last time including my VERY FAVORITE MATERNITY SHIRT. I can't tell you how upset I am about this - furthermore, it is my sister's friend's 2nd pregnancy. So, of course, the Snippity, Bitchy side of me (is there even another?) is asking "Didn't she already have clothes?"

In short, all this indicates that I will have to buy MORE clothes. That and the fact that save for 3 shirts, I verily Fear and Loathe the rest of the shirts from the original set I purchased myself. Argh.

Yes, a friend has lent me some clothes, but I am not certain if they will be my size and the few that I can wear now are of the "wash cold, lay flat to dry" variety. Um, I just don't do "lay flat to dry" unless it is a special occasion outfit. So, I am too paranoid to wear her clothes for fear I will forget and throw them in the dryer by accident. Anyway, off to buy more clothes I go, probably tomorrow. I hate clothes shopping. Bah.

Okay, no more grousing. Besides, X didn't blink an eye when I said I was buying more clothes, so I guess I don't have much to gripe about anyway.

January 19, 2007

If an atheist has to go to court, do they make him swear on the Bible?

Regarding Grey's Anatomy, I was disappointed that Mrs. CPA had spoiled some of the 2nd season for me, but then Md. Macaca aptly pointed out that I spoiled the 1st season for HER. Oops! Sorry about that - I guess since I am so behind and it was only a 9 episode season, I didn't even think twice about revealing some plot twists. Again, with the "Oops!". Bad me.

Regarding HFCS, Goofy Girl beat me to the punch and responded to Average Jane's comment regarding not being able to find bread without HFCS. We also use Pepperidge Farm's Whole Grains bread which does not use HFCS. We get the 15 grain hearty texture one and it is YUMMY. As Goofy Girl has seen, I've also noticed that for whatever reason, it lasts FOREVER. Also, I wish I could say we totally avoid HFCS, but we don't. I do like an occasional Coke, for example. However, I do try to avoid it whenever possible particuarly, if there are alternatives. This is why I pretty much will only buy Stonyfield Yogurt, it is the ONLY yogurt I have found that does not use HFCS.

Regarding Stephen Colbert, I watched him on the O'Reilly factor this morning via DVR and CRIED with laughter. Fortunately, I hadn't done my eye makeup yet. I haven't watched O'Reilly on the Colbert Report yet, but I expect it will be just as entertaining.

Regarding Shawn Hornbeck, the boy recently rescued in Kirkwood MO after having been missing for over 4 years, I watched the Oprah interview yesterday and was VERY disturbed by the interview itself. I did not see any redeeming qualities from that interview and am still questioning the purpose of it other than pure sensationalism. I was going to just stop watching because I felt DIRTY watching it, but realized that I did want to comment on it here and to be fair, should watch it in case I missed A Point or something. I failed to ever discover A Point, though. Did I miss it? Did you see it? There was a quality to the interview that insinuated the public "had a right to know" what was going on - I found that disturbing. Particularly, since this is a criminal case and all the facts are still yet to be revealed to a JURY in a court of LAW. I meant, no doubt, the kidnapper is guilty, but I still think things are best left for trial purposes

Regarding Consumers Reports' article on infant seats - it appears that Consumer Reports is withdrawing that article, it turns out the MPH that was tested was closer to 70 MPH. If I notice anything more about it, I will be sure to link to it here.

Regarding Me, I noticed today that I am a big fat liar. People keep asking me how I feel and I cheerily reply "Okay!". Truthfully? I haven't felt 100% since last OCTOBER. Sure, the nausea has passed, but now I am dealing with headaches every fucking day. It's starting to wear on me and my patience is Nicole Ritchie Thin, as Dorothy probably noticed today at lunch. Why do I lie? I guess I am tired of even my own damned grousing at this point, so it is easier to lie.

Regarding First Words, it appears we have Arun's First Word: More. He pronounces it more like "Maawrr" and has a special head tilt that accompanies his delivery, but yeah, it's there.

Regarding Cats and Kids, this morning, I was in the kitchen and heard Arun excitedly jabbering and laughing. I look over at him and notice our cat Harry is on the coffee table and is casually EATING FROM ARUN'S PLATE. I thought this was odd because Harry doesn't usually eat People Food. I go over there to shoo him off the table and notice there are a few bits of cat food on Arun's plate. Now, I am sure that Harry didn't scoop up some kibble in his paws and put them there. Do you?

Okay, I am going away now. I promise.

January 18, 2007

When does Grey's Anatomy get GOOD?

And here I am, yet again ignoring my friends with heartbeats in favor of those with high-speed Internet connections. You lucky bastards......

Okay, so when does Grey's Anatomy get good? I've watched the first season and at this point, could go either way with continuing onto Season 2. I think McDreamy is an asshole for leading Meredith on about waiting to get to know him when he had a fucking WIFE all along. He should be called McMeany - hello! And clearly, Christina is not going to keep the baby. Or is she? But seriously, does the show get Red Hot in the 2nd season or something? I mean, it's not a bad show so far, but I don't understand all the hype. It's a soap opera about doctors. A GOOD soap opera, but I am still not sure I want to commit to another season on DVD, then scramble to fit in Season 3 before Season 4 hits this fall. Is it worth it? Majority vote wins - Blockbuster is counting on you.

I took Arun for a haircut today and Oh, Dear God Above it was a nightmare. You may have noticed that I haven't really done many Haircut Posts despite the fact that we are well past 8 of 'em now and I've lost count at this point. Frankly, they just haven't been very interesting, save for the very first one when Arun was a scant 3 months old. Most haircuts go okay with him getting antsy towards the end. This one? He started crying as soon as we SAT IN THE CHAIR. And the Hair? Was FLYING. It was all over me, my face, my mouth, my eyes. It was all over Arun, his face, his mouth, his eyes. The barber and I were just so desperate to get the haircut over ALREADY that I told the guy to just go gangbusters. And he did.

Oh, and the cleaning of the carpets went well - I was surprised but amused by how much fun Arun had with the guys - it was hard to keep him from following them around, though. Also, I am EXHAUSTED from moving all the stuff around and the house is in a complete disarray still because I can't move everything back yet. And I am hosting Canasta on Saturday AND my sister is spending the night which means I most certainly have to get the guest bedroom in order as well. But I'm not stressed. We're talking cucumbers, folks. I'm a SAHM, what the hell else do I have to do all day but sit around and Stay?

Carpet Advice: The Carpet Guy (literally, that is the company I have been using for years and they are AWESOME) said that nylon is the best carpet for wear and stain resistance. We have polyester which is why I've struggled with staining, even though I use Spot Shot. In my last house, I spilled red wine and even paint, yet was always able to get the stains out. This house has been a struggle, but I feel better now knowing why. The Guy said that even the lowest grade nylon is better than the highest grade polyester. He also pointed out that the carpet dealer will tell you otherwise, for obvious reasons.

Bonus Carpet Advice: Since I'm on a roll..... A friend of mine whose ex-husband was a carpet layer has said that you should always buy good padding and then insist on SEEING it when they come to your house to lay the carpet. Apparently, it's one of the oldest tricks in the book to switch out good padding for cheap padding. I can also report that good padding is worth it. The previous owners had obviously gotten good padding and now, my tender piggies are pretty snobbish about the whole thing.

Some Rambledly Randomness: I did some research on the dangers of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)- I've mentioned it here before about how I try to avoid it and that basically, HFCS is just CRAP for you. In short, HFCS definitely affects your metabolism and how you process sugars. It can also lead to copper deficiencies. Anyway, once a commenter said that it was all over-hyped. I've always meant to address that comment, but Laziness overtook all my Good Intentions. Here you go......

The Weston A. Price foundation has a great article here.. An article from the Nutrition Reporter is here. Both of the these sites are great resources for other topics on nutrition as well. I also found an interesting article from the San Francisco Gate is here. Finally, it seems there has been a great conspiracy from the Corn Growers of America to drown us all in a big sugary vat of, you guessed it, high fructose corn syrup. Gasp!

I blame Iowa.

January 17, 2007

How come we say 'It's colder than hell outside' when isn't it realistically always colder than hell since hell is supposed to be fire and brimstone?

Breaking News, Hot Off the Press: I mentioned earlier that we are having our carpets steam cleaned tomorrow which means I need to move things around. As I was furiously rearranging things, I just knocked a entire glass of juice off the coffee table. A glass of RED juice, of course.

Updated to add, because I love me some updates in that
"doesn't it sound like IMPORTANT things are going on around here?" vein: Lest you think I am Heavy Duty Mama here, I am only moving the LIVING ROOM furniture. The rest of the house will remain as is save for small items such as end tables, chairs, baby grand pianos, etc. Also, I've learned this morning that you will gladly let your Dawdler rip tissues into teeny, tiny scraps in a grateful exchange for just a few precious, precious minutes of PEACE. In crystal clear hindsight, not going anywhere this morning was a colossal mistake. For sure, we will be risking frostbite and gangrene tomorrow morning.

Cold weather is manageable. If it is at least 40 degrees out, we bundle up and at a minimum, walk around in the front yard. However, the weather as of late is NOT manageable - it's bitter cold and just too damned frigid to go outside for long. This morning, as I schlepped the garbage and recycling from the garage to the curb, that short trek was enough to convince that we would stay home for at least the morning. We've already played upstairs, downstairs and are now in the dining room. The scary basement is beckoning and I suspect we'll be down there shortly.

So, my "Wow! He's so TINY!" Dawdler is officially in size 4 diapers. I spied some Baby Butt Crack yesterday and frankly, that shit just don't fly around these here parts. The only butt crack allowed in our house is that of a highly paid handyman or plumber. No babies need apply.

Bah. I get my carpets steam-cleaned tomorrow, yet scheduled the appointment not realizing that X would be out of town, which means I get to move all the furniture by myself! Because I'm smart like that. Also, I've been woefully neglectful of my Real Life Friends as evidenced by my friend Carrie telling me the other day to just send her a "damn email already". Ouch. Here I am all wrapped up in my imaginary world while ignoring friends with heartbeats. Point taken. Also, Arun keeps shoving books in my face which I can only guess indicates that he would like me to actually spend time with him. Good grief, does he think I stayed home for him? Geez, needy people piss me off sometimes.

This may be the last post this week, save for a book review that I need to get out. Rest assured that all is going well and my fascinating life is verily sizzling in drama and suspense. After all, I live in a Kansas City suburb.

January 15, 2007

Why do we say "heads up" when we actually should be ducking?

Updated to add: It would appear that I am against baby signs. Actually, I think baby signs are okay - sure, it's probably another fun thing to do with your kid. What I am really against is someone acting like they are mother of the year because they gave their kid a jumpstart on Life by teaching him how to make the sign for "more" when he is hungry.

Today, I totally had a OMIGOD Moment. When the housecleaners came today, I took off for the gym. These days, Arun loves to follow them around and basically get in their way. Normally, I am scurrying around just ahead of them since I need to the have the entire house picked up first for them to be able to do their job. Last night, I actually planned ahead for this morning and cleaned the house after Arun went to bed (what a concept!) so that allowed us to leave K and R in peace. Anyway, as I hopped into the Ridiculous Car to head for the gym, I had a very weird case of the Tingles - a moment where I realized my life is barrelling towards one big fucking suburban cliche. All that was missing from my day was a gin-soaked luncheon planning my next charity auction, an afternoon appointment to get my nails done and later in the evening, another dirty martini - all while the nanny takes care of Arun. Of course, we don't have a nanny, a charity or for that matter, even any gin so perhaps there is still hope for me.

Oh, and yes - we still have the housecleaners. It was one of the first things X and I came to agreement on during our pre-marital counseling thingie course the Catholic church requires. We talked about how to divvy up household chores and my Indian husband was the one to insist we get housecleaners. When I started staying home full-time, I was all set to cancel the service, but X felt guilty for having to travel so much and insisted we keep them. So, I can't really cancel them because if I complain even ONCE about some sort of household chore, X will remind me that he wasn't the one who wanted to cancel the service. You see how this works, right? The moral of the story is: Ladies, marry yourself an Indian. They might be mama's boys, but their mamas had housecleaners.

I haven't ranted for awhile, so I'm going to let a few rip right now. Don't mind the smell.

Rancid Rants
  • When you see my son and observe he is older than your child, even though your child is much, much bigger.... never, ever is it considered even mildy appropriate to utter the words "Wow!" and "Tiny!". Particularly, in light of the fact that I don't even know who you are and we are just hanging out waiting for our tables at a restaurant. I know you are just being thoughtless, but I still can't help but add another descriptive adjective.
  • When you come from out of town to a company dinner and see several folks eagerly volunteering to take my child, hold him, entertain him and even feed him, it is not appropriate for you to observe that "Gee, it was nice to have others taking care of your child for you". The built-in "nannies" are FRIENDS and were genuinely excited to see him. Besides, it takes a village and apparently, you are its fucking idiot.
  • It's nice that you are all into that baby sign bullshit, but I am not. Therefore, I don't need you pointing out that had I taught my precious progeny baby signs he would be able to tell me when he is sick and hungry. I also don't care that your kid knows baby sign because I saw your other kid become so dependent on it, you had to force him to use spoken words to wean his baby sign addiction because his spoken words were so delayed. When they have baby signs for more useful phrases such as "Quit poking the cat or he'll shred your face to ribbons.", only then will I consider teaching my kid baby signs.

January 12, 2007

What says "de-lurk" better than a bullet in yer face?

Loads of rambledly goodness for you.
  • I entered my "goals" post from yesterday in Scribbit's Write Away Contest (contest link is here). Check it out! The deadline is January 20th, so there's still time left.
  • While I am not a huge fan of the semi-department store Kohl's, I do love, LOVE their Kohl's Cares for Kids program - over the years, I've gotten Dr. Seuss books, Eric Carle books, etc. there for a whopping 5 bucks a pop. Now? They are having a Sandra Boynton dealio and WOW, it's worth it. They are selling Rhinoceros Tap, Philadelphia Chickens and Dog Train CDs with a nicely illustrated book, plus all the associated stuffed animals to go with them. Anyway, I had JUST researched these on iTunes last week, so to get each one for 5 bucks each is a steal. I almost felt bad. Almost.
  • The gym went very weird this morning - those of you in Kansas City know we are in the middle of a rain/ice/sleet/snow storm right now. As I headed out to the gym, I realized the roads were getting bad, but thought we would just run to the gym for a quick trip. As I pulled into the parking lot, I realized I did not even have an ice scraper in the car for the inevitable sheet of ice awaiting us when we would be done. We go into the nursery and it becomes quickly evident they are short-staffed because of the weather - the gal in charge had one crying kid in her arms and another clinging to her legs. Of course, as I was signing in, Arun started crying and I realized this was going nowhere FAST. However, while my workout was a Lost Cause, the trip overall was not. I ended up hanging out in the kid's gym with Arun while he ran around, tried to climb the slides and threw basketballs around. So, I didn't get in a workout, but Arun is definitely getting used to the gym. However, he was NOT happy when we left the gym.
  • Speaking of "not happy", Arun is getting teeth #5 and #6. My friend S and I have a long-standing joke where I have been saying that Arun is "teething" since he was six months old and all we have to show for it is a total of four teeth. Well, this time he is really teething because I see ACTUAL choppers emerging on his gum line. Take THAT, S! Anyway, it hasn't been that bad, but I do feel sorry for him because he isn't napping or sleeping at night that well. Poor kid.
  • Anyway, happy de-lurking week. I am still visiting your sites and trying to comment myself. Have a good weekend! I am going to my Wino Book Club tomorrow. A book club that has consistently had at least one pregnant member since the 2nd meeting. This time around, we have THREE pregnant members. It must be all that wine.

January 10, 2007

How about resolving not to resolve?

I had wanted to post yesterday - I even had a draft started on something I've been wanting to write about. However, by the time I put Arun to bed at 8:00pm, I was feeling mighty poorly - probably whatever I ate for dinner. I was in bed by 9:00pm, which seems to happen fairly often these days, although I usually read for an hour or so. Not last night. Eek...........

Anyway, over the past week or so, I've read some fairly sad resolutions. Broad, vague, over-reaching ones. Resolutions where the writers have clearly set themselves up for failure which leads me to wonder if that writer isn't going to beat himself/herself up later for not reaching such lofty goals. No, I am not sneering or criticizing. Quite the opposite. For example, for one to resolve that he/she is "going to be a better person" isn't really a goal - maybe it's an aspiration, but it's not a goal in the strict sense of the word. At one of my first jobs, I took a little "goal making" on-line course and they taught the system of using the acronym SMART to make goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable, and Timely (here is a useful link that goes into a detail.) I've also seen many folks make such a LONG list of goals that it wasn't clear when they were planning to sleep. I've also seen the IMPOSSIBLE goal, or to be fair, NEARLY impossible goal. Seriously, is losing 100 pounds in a year reasonable? Losing weight IS admirable, but in most cases, losing 100 pounds in a year is probably dangerous or involves some sort of surgey.

So........I had previously said that I hadn't really made any resolutions except to give or send a birthday card to everyone on my Palm calendar this year. However, I inadvertently had made another one. I am going to the gym twice a week through May, then will start up again when NewKid is around 2 months old. Actually, I had started trying to go to the gym regularly in October, but quickly got waylaid with NewKid. Going to the gym has been a struggle since Arun has been born for a variety of reasons, but recently it is has been due to the fact that Arun didn't like being left in the nursery - most trips to the gym ended up with me leaving my workout early. However, yesterday we had an astounding success! He stayed in the nursery the entire time and when I went to get him, he was running around quite contentedly. Then, we ended up staying an extra 15 minutes playing in the children's gym that is next to the nursery.

However, my goal with the gym isn't really a weight thing, but really a "let's stretch my legs, keep my pregnancy weight gain to 25 lbs and get Arun out and about" thing. Simply put, the goal THIS year is to just make going to the gym a habit. Maybe next year, I'll worry about the 30 lbs or so of "Bonus" Me that I'm schlepping around - I gained 20 lbs when I quit smoking and just haven't lost it OR the extra 10 of "insulation" of which I was already in possession when I kicked my Capri Ultra Lights to the curb. On the one hand, of course, I am not satisfied with my weight. On the other, I learned in my early 20s that ideal weight doesn't not equal happiness - I was probably at my unhappiness in my life when I was at one of my skinniest. 30 lbs Bonus Me is definitely the most contented she has ever been in her life although, admittedly, Bonus Me would like to go shopping for a smaller size after she is done with all this Baby Making Bidness. Okay, enough 3rd person - what the fuck? Do I think I am Royal or something??

Speaking of weight, I am almost at the point where I need to get out the maternity clothes - I really don't need the pants yet, since I am still about 7 lbs BELOW where I had even started with Arun, my pants are not too uncomfortable - gaining baby, just not weight. However, because I am gaining baby, my shirts look AWFUL on me now. I'm at that Is or Isn't She? stage of Frump and maternity shirts help clear the air.

Also, I've never depended on the New Year for goals. In October of last year, I started flossing regularly - I floss nearly every day now and I HIGHLY recommend the Reach Flosser. It turns out what bothered me about flossing was wrapping the floss around my fingers and cutting the circulation off to them - NOT the actual flossing. I love flossing now and my teeth have never felt better. Finally, I quit smoking June 21, 2000 and I haven't had a cigarette since.

Folks, it's never a bad time to make a positive change. Why wait til January?

January 9, 2007

Won't you be my baby?

Updated to add: In the 2nd to last picture I just noticed a BLUEBERRY skulking in the background. WTF? Do they have legs???? Argh.

Too lazy to deal with paragraphs, topics and indentedness today. Instead, I'll demonstrate how bullets can used to make friends, not enemies.......
  • Hey - this De-lurking thingie is FUN. It's not only cool to be getting comments, but also, I am really enjoying visiting new sites! Keep the comments coming because it is awesome to be adding new spots to my Bloglines. Also, I realize that I am behind on my own replies to your comments from yesterday - will get on those after I publish this.
  • I've discovered there is a direct correlation between my kid's Snuggle Factor and his diaper's Stink Factor. For sure, the higher the Stink, the higher the probability he will want to crawl into my lap. Unfortunately, this does not translate into an actual request for a diaper change. HELL NO.
  • Someone made the very valid comment that sushi being a Forbidden Food during pregnancy seems silly to those folks of the Japanese persuasion. I would agree that much of the Forbidden Food seems silly and I freely confess that I enjoyed a glass of wine here and there while pregnant with Arun (my doctor has said that Americans are puritanical when it comes to alcohol - we discussed portion sizes, but she did admit she usually tells her patients "no alcohol at all" for liability reasons.) Anyway, with Arun, I even had soft cheese, but I just can't seem to make the leap to sushi. I have been craving some home-made paneer, but am wondering where that falls. I think it's a soft cheese, but what if I am making it myself?
  • I am not a big fan of Starbucks. It's nothing personal, I just don't care for their coffee. I do like the Cinnamon Dolce with HALF the pumps of the sugary crap, but overall, I think their coffee is meh. However, they are conveniently located near to my house and they offer a cozy place to sit and relax. Lately, I've been spending more time there because Cousin J is back babysitting (it's been well over a month - we were sick, she was sick - everyone was freakin' sick.) So. Ahem. I am starting to have a little "problem" with their Iced Green Tea Lemonade. I can't tell you how much I have been craving this thing since I discovered it last week. I am even trying to scheme how I can make it at home. It is SO yummy and refreshing. I had some left in a cup tonight and X was letting Arun have some and I may have snapped at X. I may have even said something about "needing something JUST FOR ME, that I didn't have to share". Well, I may have said something to that effect, but there's no proof and besides, no jury would convict me.
  • Everyone is all abuzz about the Consumer Reports thingie about carseats - I'd like to make something clear. They were talking about INFANT CARRIERS - you know, the Baby Bucket that you put into a base that is belted/LATCHed into your car. There's a lot of misinformation out there that I think is muddling the issue and just plain causing confusion - some folks aren't making the clarification that it was only referring to infant carriers - CR was not referring to convertible carseats or booster seats. I do highly recommend buying this month's issue of Consumer Reports if you are shopping for an infant carrier or carseat in general - the article overall was very educational. We lucked out and just happened to have one of the two they recommended - the Graco Snugride. I wish I could claim some superior knowledge related to my sMothering Skillz, but nope, just pure dumb luck on my part. Obviously, since we will be filling our Baby Bucket again this summer, this issue has been on my mind. I think carseats in particular really set off fever pitch emotions for parents because unlike most Things Baby Safetyish, there is NOTHING you can do about car wrecks. Conversely, you can put up gates, lock up your knives, clamp down your toilet seats, but when it comes to carseats, you have to put your faith into it and hope some dumb ass doesn't run a red light.
  • Ugh. Speaking of little fleshblobs, I really don't like the term "the baby". I think it's the "the" part of that whole thing and it's particularly irksome when you hear people say things like "Oh, The Baby started Kindergarten today". WTF? And yes, I still hear people call Arun "the baby". Um, he's a little boy - I've even lost count of the haircuts. Oh SURE, he'll always be "MY baby", but he's never been "THE baby". Speaking of babies, I had hoped to come up with a stellar moniker for NewKid since I referred to Arun as the Freeloader throughout my pregnancy. I haven't really came up with anything I like and seriously, X and I call HimHer the NewKid. ...........New Kid on the Blog, I guess........

New Blood for the Marketing Industry

They say a sucker is born every minute - how about October 16, 2005? The Great Red One is hawking crackers and Arun TOTALLY fell for it. There is nothing special about these crackers, yet Arun will devour them and not the perfectly good store brand crackers that taste virtually the same. I was so desperate to get him to eat something, ANYTHING. So, I caved and bought these crackers when Arun saw them and began excitedly gesturing. Which of course, makes ME the ultimate sucker for marketing.

The Nose Knows

A 3rd Generation Oliver Nose, at your service. However, you should see his DADDY's big ole honker. Arun got off easy!

Charm School Dropout

Cuz Drool Ain't Cool.

The Evolution of a Snot Bubble

They have to begin somewhere.

January 8, 2007

Do Numbers Count?

Updated to say: Okay, ya'll - I'll play. In honor of De-Lurking Week, I will promise to answer every comment left this week (in honor of Rozanne and Diana, who are faithful in their Comment Replies). Also, for new commenters that I haven't visited before, I will make a special effort to visit their sites this week. I attempt to do this anyway, but sometimes get distracted by toddlers and their personal issues with errant blueberries.

So, apparently it's de-lurking week. Normally, I am totally Bandwagon Girl when it comes to such things, but frankly, I am tired. I've hit the No Appetite part of my pregnancy which makes Project Feed the Fetus stressful when all you really feel like eating are apples, beans, chips/salsa and lemonade. And sushi, I swear to God. Might as well crave a shot of tequila with a beer chaser for all the good in the world THAT particular craving garners me. sigh

AnyWAY, I am never quite sure how to take the whole "lack of comments" thing. The Geeky 8th Grader Who Still Dwells Deep in My Heart (just before she got her first pair of contacts) rears her shellacked 80s hairdo and starts with The Questions: Is it me? Is it you? What did I do? What did I NOT do? What could I have done? Sniff. Fortunately, The Self-Confident Adult in Her 30s quickly pummels the 8th Grader back into submission. I can't chew on it for long because There Is No Point and besides, Naptime is almost over. I like to blog and therefore, I am. I guess. I do find it interesting that as my numbers have gone up, up, up, comments have stayed about the same. Anyway, I cherish every comment I get - regardless if it is a few or even a handful. So, comment if you want, but no pressure. Lurk amongst yourselves.

In other news, apparently, I am pregnant because a few times I've felt something moving around, making HimselfHerself comfortable in HisHer rent-controlled flat. tap....tap.....tap.... HeShe better not be hanging pictures otherwise, the deposit will most assuredly NOT be returned. Bring on the Billy Eliot moves - I'm ready. Hold on......Let me dig up some more hot salsa and lemonade.

In other, other news, Arun can identify his nose, his foot and his tummy. Genius. Just goes to show you what happens when a University of Kansas grad and an IIT-Madras grad co-mingle their genetic matter. YOU NEVER KNOW.

In other, other, other news, Arun is definitely paying attention to the moving pictures on the funny screen thingie on the wall. The other day, Elmo had a segment on balls. Later that morning, I noticed that Arun was throwing and bouncing his balls around - he must have learned that from the Great Red One because when you have a fancy screen thingie on the wall you do not, I repeat, DO NOT teach your kid to throw around and bounce ANYTHING around except ideas. So, it would seem that my free time watching TV is definitely coming to an end if Arun is going to finally start paying attention. Otherwise, with my unfortunate luck, he'll move on to investigating crime scenes, evaluating our antiques, setting up wiretaps, reading minds, fighting terrorists and ultimately, flipping our house.

There's a fine line between Purple Barney and Legen....Wait for it....Wait for it....DARY Barney that Arun doesn't need to be learning just yet.

January 4, 2007

Would you like that on the rocks?

Last week, in honor of New Year's Eve and all the drinking that goes with it, my sister and I were discussing the subject of consuming alcohol in front of our kids. Frankly, we have alcoholics in our family history. Of course, growing up, no one ever dared to utter the word "alcoholic". Instead, furtive whispers and tsk tsks about "too much drinking" were offered instead. One relative, who on his deathbed in the hospital was drinking is still 20 years later, TO THIS DAY, never, ever referred to as an alcoholic. Because I guess that would be disrespectful? Bad? How about informative?

As an adult, I am conscious of my own alcohol consumption. I've had 2 periods of my life where I was mostly bored and lonely - either working a ton of hours or traveling or BOTH. Frankly, watching movies or TV with a beer or glass of wine was a relaxing way to spend an evening in those days. While I don't think I am an alcoholic, I do look back on those periods and see that I was drinking too much. As a result, I understand how all too easy it is to slip into that cycle.

Now that I am a parent, all of this has taken on great meaning. I do believe there is a genetic component to alcoholism. Furthermore, I've seen firsthand what a slippery slope alcohol consumption can become and it has given me a greater compassion for what an alcoholic must go through. I also have to be cognizant of the fact that alcoholism may very well linger in my own children's genes. I guess I could go the route of "no alcohol", but I'd prefer a more moderate approach by showing my children that a glass of wine can be consumed with dinner in a responsible manner.

But most importantly? When they are older and able to handle the information, I will be upfront with my children about the alcoholism that makes up their familial history. I may or may not name names, but I think my children need to know those pertinent facts as they face a world littered with images glorifying all that is alcohol. I certainly don't resent my own family for living in a sad state of denial, but I do believe I owe it to my children to offer them more than a rolling of the eyes or a sad tsk tsk.

January 3, 2007

Why is an elevator still called an "elevator" even when its going down?

Life is good right now. I'm on a steady, droll cycle of Rinse, Repeat and I have no complaints. NO COMPLAINTS. Bring on the Boring, I say.

Anyway, a LONG time ago, I was tagged for a meme by Jenny, then later again by Average Jane. Better late than never, right?

5 Weird Things About Me

  1. Once I start a collection of something, it drives me nuts until it is finished. I just recently bought the last season of Arrested Development, so I can sleep at night now. Let's not get started on the various series of book series I own - let's just say that eBay is a gift from the Collecting Gods. And it bothers me that my Harry Potter series doesn't all match - they started the fancy, deluxe versions with the 5th book.
  2. I have a slight obsession with foreign languages. I love to eavesdrop on people speaking them so that 1) I can try and identify where the speakers are from (Arabs and Israelis always trip me up because Hebrew and Arabic sound very similar) and 2) to see if I can gather what they are saying (foreigners often mix English into their conversation and you can sometimes get a lot out of context). When signs, brochures, products, etc are printed in multiple languages, I like to read ALL of them and try to identify the different words. Watching movies or TV shows with subtitles can be distracting because I will try to listen and read at the same time - I have to force myself to pay attention to the subtitles. I've given up hope of ever being fluent in a foreign language, but that won't stop me from studying them. And no, it doesn't matter if I know any of the language or not - I only know a few words in Japanese and every week I watch Heroes, I struggle to pay attention to what Hiro is saying because I'm too busy listening instead of reading (this is probably where I noticed that maybe I do have a slight tick in this area).
  3. I hate putting on lotion because it makes my skin feel yucky. I am finally at a point where I can make myself put it on night at least during the winter. Ditto with lip balm. Stupidly, I actually buy quite a bit of lotion and lip balm because I get sucked in by the nice smelling stuff. Because I can't through it fast enough, I can report that lotion only has a shelf life of about 18 months max.
  4. I have this compulsion where the last bit of drop of shampoo, soap, whatever MUST BE USED. I will leave containers tipped upside down for days so that nary a drop is wasted.It doesn't matter if it contained Estee Lauder or Dial. Leave no drop behind!
  5. I love high places and I usually ask for the highest floor possible when staying in a hotel. What I don't like is an elevator. Seriously. It's one of my recurring nightmares - different variations of being stuck in an elevator, being injured in an elevator and having it go up and down and up and down without letting me off. I've only been stuck twice in an elevator and I had a panic attack both times. Both incidences were brief but I dread the day I get stuck for a lengthy period of time. And that opening scene in the movie Speed where Keanu Reeves has to rescue an elevatorful of people? That totally FREAKED me OUT because it was as if they had put my nightmares on film JUST FOR ME. But I still love high places and therefore, will always have to deal with elevators. And yes, I wasn't bothered at all by all those stairs up to the top of St. Peter's Basilica.

January 2, 2007

Why doesn't "onomatopoeia" sound like what it is?

A bunch of randomness for you today. I'm not going to even bother with bullets and instead will meander with careless abandon from topic to topic. It's not like this blog is gunning for a Pulitzer.

Well, the 13 Week Mark has passed and yep, I'm feeling like a champ now. So far, this pregnancy is following the last pregnancy to the Tee - same timelines, same cravings (I would totally trade one of my cats for a Waldorf Salad these days). If it continues that way, I would have no complaints because far away, the worst parts of the last pregnancy were the 1st Trimester and the Last Week. I'm not holding my breath but I AM keeping my fingers crossed.

I haven't posted much about Arun lately - he's doing pretty much what most 14 months olds are doing - playing with anything that can be pushed around the house (it doesn't even need wheels), stacking blocks, sorting cups, babbling a storm and in general, exploring his world. He LIVES for going outside - when we are going "bye-bye" and I open the garage door, he grabs the nearest thing with wheels and heads on out to the garage. His favorite thing is to push his toy truck up and down the driveway and sidewalk. We've been SO lucky with this mild weather so far - if it's in the 40s or above, we go outside. He doesn't have any words yet, but what he understands is getting out of control - I've already had to start spelling things. He is becoming very adept at letting us know what HE wants by pointing and saying "Eh". He's started making choices, which is convenient because I can just SHOW him the water, milk or juice BEFORE pouring it. Lately, I've noticed that his tolerance for spice has picked WAY up. We were at Oklahoma Joe's the other night and he dunked his fry in X's "Night of the Living BBQ Sauce" before we could stop him. We waited for his reaction but he didn't blink an eye. He still fusses when he hits a jalapeno, but he's pretty much up to where I eat spice-wise now - he has a ways to go before reaching X's level, though. Also, I worried and fretted that he wouldn't like books - all for naught. He frequently brings books to us to read to him. Oh, he has finally started watching TV - a whole 5 minutes at a time. I still love the irony that he won't watch Elmo on TV, but loves to play with his various Elmo books and dolls. Overall, right now is just HEAVEN. There are no tantrums, no fussing. It's lovely - that calm before a HURRICANE (FYI, the Terrible Twos actually start around 18 months). He eats like a champ with no complaints, lets me dress him sans opinion and allows me to change his course of action with impunity.

With all that about Arun just posted, let me say that I am so glad that I did document so much of his first year. I am getting ready to update his baby book and perusing my archives will be convenient AND fun.

I mentioned during my last pregnancy that I came out with no stretch marks - I don't know if I updated that claim, but I did discover after Arun's birth a one-inch mark under my belly button, I can't find that mark now, but it was definitely there in those weeks after he was born. The thing is, everywhere you read about stretch marks, they always say you can't do anything about them and that they are hereditary. Well, both my mother and my sister got them, but I did not. A few weeks ago, I was reading about stretch marks and the book mentioned that flaxseed oil can help improve your skin's elasticity. Not only does the soymilk I drink have flaxseed oil in it, I take flaxseed oil every day - this was part of my routine even before I got pregnant. So, does flaxseed oil prevent stretch marks? I can't say for sure, but I DID get a few smallish, minor stretch marks on my hips when I gained weight after quitting cigarettes. That was years back before I "discovered" soymilk and flaxseed oil. Anyway, I will definitely report back after this 2nd pregnancy.

I generally don't make New Year's resolutions, but I do like to think about the past year and ponder the one coming. This year, I did make one resolution - to send or give a birthday card to every birthday on my Palm. Normally, I resist the nefarious greeting card industry, but this year, I am going to embrace it.

Folks, anti-bacterial soaps, Purell, and the like only kill bacteria. Despite slathering yourself in a glaze of Purell, you can still catch a cold because a cold is caused by a virus. Bonus Fact? Just because you get a flu shot, doesn't mean you won't get the flu. There are many, many diffrent flu viruses - the yearly flu shot targets only one of them for that particularly year based on a prediction of what will be the one mostly likely to hit in a given year. Sure, it's a numbers game, but it is still worth it to get your flu shot. Nope, I am not a doctor, but I play one on my blog.

A Kansas City Stitch n' Bitch Update: We are still meeting the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month from 2-4pm. We have changed the venue from Coffee Girls to the Cafe Roasterie. In short, Coffee Girls did not provide a good location for knitting, it was just too dark in there. Also, Feb 4th is Superbowl Sunday and that is basically a Holy Day around le Rancid Manse, so we will be meeting early on that day from Noon-2pm. And, AND, we are doing a Stash Swap on Feb. 18th. Bring your skeins of yarn you don't want any longer and we will do trades. One person's trash just might be ANOTHER person's stash, right? I will update the Stitch n' Bitch entry today........

Suburban Barn Cat, Rarely Seen in the Wild
I love how the cats just hang out amongst Arun's toys.

Tunnel Vision
I admit it. I bought Arun's Christmas gift #3 primarily FOR ME with the goal of hanging out in the basement or backyard - dependent upon the weather and my burgeoning belly. This Ryan's Room tunnel thingie is AWESOME - it goes indoors and outdoors. The one thing I did NOT count on was how much the cats love it, too. The cats play with each other, they even play with Arun and I'll be damned if EVERYONE isn't happy with this $25 Costco purchase (Note: Pictures only show one of the pieces of the set).

Shameless Mugging for the Camara, Patent Pending
In his continuing quest to become more human-like, Arun does little things that indicate "Hey! There's a brain in this here noggin! And the gears are crankin', yo!" The other night, he brought the camara to me and I started snapping away while he granted me goofy grins. Here is a sampling....