April 29, 2007

What's in my pants?

A few Rancid Rants. It's been awhile.......

Sugar Mama
Clarification - I am being tested for gestational diabetes Monday morning. In truth, my blood sugar merely tested high enough to warrant further testing, but it's not clear yet whether I actually have gestational diabetes. Lest I be accused of being a drama queen, I thought I should mention that - you know?

Love and Logic - It Ain't Just for Kids Anymore.
Over the weekend, I dumped some uncooked rice into Arun's sand and water table for him to play with. So, Arun was playing with the rice outside while X worked on his laptop nearby. As Arun was gleefully showering rice on X, I kept telling X to not allow Arun to do it. However, I didn't make a big deal of it because it's hard enough to discipline a toddler, why start a fight with your spouse over it -- right? However, imagine my unabashed delight when later I spied X desperately trying to pry bits o' rice out of his keyboard. Squee!!

Rice, Rice Baby
Speaking of throwing rice, when Arun is done with his little "experiments", his hair is chock FULL of rice. Which is quite disgusting because the grains look like LICE, not rice. Specifically, obese lice that could use a good stint in Fat Camp. Bleh.

Shuffle Kerfluffle
Apparently, you can wash an iPod Shuffle in the WASHER, then run it through a hot cycle in the DRYER and it will be fine, just fine. Not that my husband left a Shuffle in his running shorts this weekend. He would never do something like THAT.

Blue, Get a Clue!
Quite frankly, Joe is just too hot for the job to even be believable. TOO HOT. When Steve furrows his eyebrows at the camera, you believe him. Joe? Too hot. I can see Joe totally getting snockered at the hottest clubs in LA, trying to play up his "gig on TV" as an actual "paid actor" while trying to score himself a nice piece of tail. Frankly, when Steve does the cabbage patch dance move in the closing song it's sweet. When Joe does the cabbage patch , it's just wrong.

If He Screams, I WILL Scream.
I despise our ice cream truck dude with his stupid clanging bell as he slowly snakes through our neighborhood during nap time. I want to grab the little fucker by his mullet, yank him through the window of his Creepy Paneled Van and just pummel the shit out of him.

I May Just Be a SAHM, But My Husband is a WAHD.
And we're running both of our little empires from our living room couch. Awesome.

Cut me some slack, at least I bought the T-Shirt

April 26, 2007

Why do we sing 'Take me out to the ball game', when we are already there?

This has been a weird week. Not necessarily bad, just weird. Arun has really, really been out of sorts and his schedule this week is all over the map. Furthermore, he veers wildly between his dual roles of Goofball and Ragdoll. Poor kid. I had wondered if this would happen - meaning, since he was such a late teether, if perhaps a ton of choppers wouldn't come in all at once.

In other news, he has progressed to "counting" in the teens. Once we get past single digits, he starts to say "dah DEEN". Unfortunately, I can't apply for his Genius License yet because he has also progressed into what's termed "over-generalizing" with the word "Ball". I could understand why he would declare that apples, lemons, and even the moon are "balls", but in his little book last night, he was claiming various articles of clothing were also "balls" and well, that shit just ain't right. Silly rabbit.

A note about the Cerebral Venus Book Club. Someone commented last week that she was relieved the date had changed to May 1st, on Tuesday because she is off early from work that day. I'd like to clarify a few things. I will throw up the book club post that Tuesday, then take a posting vacation and just leave THAT post up for a few days so that we can focus on the book club conversation. That way, you folks don't have to weed through the outdated drivel regarding my meaningless life. In short, if you can't jump in on the action on Tuesday, the action will still be gong on Wednesday. One of the points of this book club is that it is convenient for folks so for me to leave it going for a few days will ensure that anyone who wants to participate is actually able to do so.

Another very, very important point - just because you haven't read the book does not, I repeat, DOES NOT mean you can't join in the conversation! Quite the opposite. In my other 2 book clubs, frequently someone will not have read the book, yet they still want to come and see everyone. And they certainly don't sit there mutely without offering opinions on topics that aren't necessarily plot specific. The way I see it, the book itself is just a starting point for conversation. If you have a comment, but haven't read the book, feel free to just jump in and start off by clarifying "Hey, I couldn't read the book but.........

Shamefully promoting in a Shameful manner my Shameful new site:
Today, over at the BoobLog, I am discussing Isolation. Breastfeeding - it's not the big group hug you think it is.

April 25, 2007

Why isn't the word 'gullible' in the dictionary?

I think this is my favorite post title yet*

Today, I am very appreciative of my SAHM status. Arun woke up with a low-grade fever and was a ragdoll. He just needed some Motrin and lots of snuggling so I held him for about 3 hours this morning. And I was extremely grateful that I have the luxury and flexibility of being able to clear my schedule just for him. He's doing okay now, but I think we have some serious teething going on. I was wrestling with him yesterday and swinging him backwards at Deanna Rose. I got a good gander at his wide open mouth and was SHOCKED to find that he has already cut a molar even though he only has 4 front top teeth (although 2 others are being worked on). The accountant in me had thought they would just come in perfect order. Guess not. I am assuming now that all the craziness with him a few weeks back was probably due to teething. I think that is the #1 thing that just SUCKS about teething - it's always, always hindsight. Rarely, at the time of his being fussy or having sleep issues do I attribute it to teething - not until awhile later. Usually, I just chalk up his fussiness to my Bad Parenting. Bah.

I am feeling so much better, Health Wise, but DAMMIT, Pregnancy Wise I am neck deep in the throes of a 3rd Trimester Pregnancy with all of its aches, pains, breathlessness and nausea (all normal, at least). I am trying to not be too resentful that I wasted the precious 2nd Trimester with the various colds, bacterial infections, headaches and such, but it's hard. Anyway, all the things I had wanted to get done will still be there waiting even after NewKid is born. It's hard to believe I am nearly 30 weeks along - just 10 weeks or so to go. While this pregnancy has not been nearly as enjoyable as with Arun, I am just trying to focus on my immense excitement of having a new baby. I can't wait to meet her! I will say this, her movements now are SO much fun - I can discern her head now and do think it's really cool at this point when you can tell that you have a little human inside. The earlier movements are always more like little thumps and taps - these movements are pretty cool. And as with Arun, I always try to stop whatever I am doing at the moment and just enjoy them. So, yeah - it's not all bad.

Shameless Promotion
Today at my BoobLog I am discussing nursing in public - the post is titled Public Enemy #1. I am still not clear where society at large thinks nursing mothers are supposed to feed their children.

*Admit it - how many of you looked??

April 24, 2007

Do cows have calf muscles?

This week is cuh-razy, but it's good. All good.

Last week, the antibiotics kicked in and I started to feel better from the cold, but I was hesitant to post about my good fortune for fear I would jinx myself. It didn't matter anyway because on Wednesday I ate at the stupid Yardhouse at the Legends. I was sick for the next two days (thankfully, Arun had only a few bites, so he was only mildly under the weather). Honestly, it ruined my birthday. It's a damned shame when you are eating tapas for your special birthday meal and you think you are going to hurl the whole time. Anyway, the Yardhouse is OUT. Two strikes and you are OUT, baby. I had a bad experience the first time I ate there, but was willing to give it another go for the sake of a group meal. Never again.

Fortunately, by Saturday I was fairly recovered. On Sunday, we went to the zoo. It was SO much fun to take Arun. He is quite taken with animals right now - his stuffed animals, his animal toys, his animal books, animals on TV - it's all about animals right now. Oh sure, he still loves his cars - he loads his animals up into them and gives them rides around the house. To take him to the zoo was awesome - we had gone to Deanna Rose last week, but the zoo? Blew.His.Mind. He tried to scramble into the area where the kangaroos were because it's not fenced off- fortunately, he isn't that fast and we were able to get him in time. The cutest part was when he saw the zebras and proceeded to "count" them (dah...dee....dee....dah...) Counting is another big thing with him right now - nah, he can't actually count, but he likes to imitate what he has heard us doing since we've been working on his numbers.

Last week, we did have a development with Arun. He's had words for awhile now, but they were random and he wasn't necessarily repeating what WE said. Last week, it's as if he had a V8 and realized "Hey, wait a second. I don't have to come with this crap on my own and can just repeat what YOU say? Brilliant!". He hasn't morphed into a little Pete Repeat quite yet, but for sure, my Swearing Days are coming to an end. Sniff. I'll miss my little pot mouth. Fuck yeah, I will miss it. Sniff.

Anyway - like I said - this week is CRAZY. First, I started the new site or as I call it "the one with 2 breasts" - I got the offer last last week and totally wasn't planning on it for this week. We also have our neighborhood garage sale this weekend. Most of our crap has been languishing in a designated "garage sale room" in our basement. Believe me - that's the height of luxury - having so much empty space in your finished basement that your junk gets its own place of honor. So, the stuff is ready to go, but I do need to price it. Bookwise - I did finish Atonement by Ian McEwan and my review can be found at my GoodReads account. I am now working on Tripping the Prom Queen and the Thirteenth Tale, both of which are due at the end of this week. Yikes. I've been knitting a storm, but am behind on TV. Hmmm... what else? Oh, I guess I am in charge of a human being and gestating yet another one as well. That keeps me busy, I suppose.

I am trying out a new babysitter today. My neighbor is a teacher and basketball coach for one of our high schools here - this babysitter is a student of his and has babysat for them as well over the years. I am going to say it straight - having a babysitter is absolutely the KEY to keeping your sanity - particularly if you stay home full-time. It blows my mind when gals stay home full-time and don't do babysitters. I wonder if the fact that I've had a fairly consistent babysitter since Arun was 5 weeks old is why I have kept my sanity this past 18 months? Just 4 hours a week is enough to let me run out and do quick errands or even get a haircut - if I have nothing to do, I will go read or knit at a coffee shop nearby. Anyway - I am going to have to let Cousin J go. I was going to go ahead and keep her, but she flaked AGAIN last week. It really breaks my heart to let her go because 1) she is family and 2) Arun ADORES her. The last time she came, Arun and I were upstairs. I heard J come in and I told Arun to go on down and greet her. By the time I got downstairs, he was in her arms hugging her with his head on his shoulder - he hadn't seen her for awhile and it was apparent he had a missed her. I am a sucker for my kid, so I was going to relent and keep her on. Then, she proceed to flake out the very next week which is allowing me to stiffen my resolve Sorry, Arun - your first heartbreak is the worst. Suck it up, big boy.

Anyway - I have SO much more empathy for working moms who have issues with their daycare. Back in my days of Armchair Parenting, I would get all up in arms over Daycare Issues and declare that parents should say something! It's their child! They are the customer! Yeah - color me in lovely shades of Hypocrite because now I realize how hard it is to say something to the person TAKING CARE OF YOUR CHILD. You don't exactly want to piss them off, eh? Now, I can see that. Bah.

Shameless Promotion. Because I am Shamelessly Shameless.
I will probably continue to promote my new site this week. If you aren't interested in my breasts, then just ignore the shameless plugs. Although, I would have to seriously wonder why you aren't interested in my breasts. What's wrong with you? Anyway, today I am talking about how Breast IS Best but formula ain't half bad, either. It's my version of "Dude, give peace a chance".

April 23, 2007

You've always been curious about my breasts, haven't you?

Admit it. You have, haven't you??

I've been vocal in the past about being anti-ads around here. Meaning, my goal is to never do ads on Rancid Raves. It's one of the reasons why I keep the design simple, why I stay with Blogger and why I have no special URL. I don't really care if others do ads, quite frankly. For me, it just works better if I am free of advertisements. I don't want my voice diluted and I never want to feel pressure for hits. If I decide to do a book club, for example, I don't want to hear a cynic declare I am doing it for traffic. Um, no - I would be doing that because it is FUN. This blog is a hobby and it's primarily for me. I'd like to keep it that way.

However, I am not opposed to being paid for blogging - I like the sound of coins rattling in my pencil cup as much as the next guy. Therefore, when I saw that 451Press was looking for a writer on the subject of breastfeeding, I jumped on it like a duck on a June bug. Okay, actually, I applied for the position, then waited anxiously to see if I got it. Whatever. So, with much excitement and anticipation, I am proud to announce that I will be writing about my breasts and their many accomplishments over at Nursing Your Kids.

I am hoping to get a variety of readers on this new site - it seems that all too often, if a person isn't actually breastfeeding, he/she is hesitant to share an opinion. I am hoping this site will allow for a space where an open dialogue is encouraged. Perhaps, we can all learn a little bit from each other.

April 20, 2007

Can you keep quiet?

There is a movement for the Blogosphere to hold a day of silence for the VA Tech victims on April 30th (thanks for the link, Wordnerd) I have mixed feelings about this and am not sure I will participate. My question is - what will this accomplish by being silent for a whole day?

I'd rather see people pissed off and talking about gun control. As someone who grew up in a house full of firearms, I am against a complete ban, but still - gun control needs to be needs to be discussed. For sure, the current laws certainly need to be CHANGED.

I want to see more discussion about the attitudes towards the mentally ill in our country. I am very angry that high-ranking VA Tech folks knew this man was disturbed and tried to get help awhile ago by even going to the police but were powerless because our system lets the mentally ill roam free. I realize this is a backlash mentality towards some of the terribly inhumane things done to the mentally ill in the past, but now we have a situation where the individual is protected, but not society at large.

I want to see more people as angry as I am that the shooter's name and face are plastered everywhere - I do NOT want to see this guy anymore. I don't necessarily blame NBC and MSNBC - they were put into an incredibly dubious position. As someone with a business background and currently married to an entrepreneur, I know how it works. Still, I was disappointed that NBC didn't take the higher road on this one. Thanks, NBC and MSNBC, for giving all the wannabe copycats out there fuel for their fire.

So, no. I am not really down with an entire day of silence - maybe an hour, maybe a half day, but not an entire day. However, I posted this for two reasons. One, if others do want to participate, I wanted them to know about it. And two, the Cerebral Venus Online Book Club was supposed to meet on April 30th, but I am changing the date to Tuesday, May 1st.

I may not agree with silence, but I respect it. In the end, we all want the same thing, right?

April 18, 2007

What shade is your own neck?

I've been known to say that not only do X and I fulfill the Ethnic Quotient in our neighborhood, we're taking care of the Whiskey Tango element as well. And what transpired the other night only served to prove my point. When I came home from Stitch n' Bitch on Sunday afternoon and pulled into the driveway, Arun climbed into my lap while I was sitting in the driver's seat and we let him play with the steering wheel etc. Unbeknownst to us, he turned on the headlights. As you can imagine, our battery mounted a rising protest and died - which X discovered later that evening as he was headed out to the gym. He took my car to the gym and picked up some jumper cables on his way back. So, there we are in our driveway, figuring out how to jump the car. Sure, I grew up in Kansas and I've seen lots of guys jump cars, but usually it was in a pasture, near a pond and much beer was involved. I am pretty clueless when it comes to automatic transmissions (I've jumped many a stick shift car by popping the clutch, though). I sat and watched my husband, a metallurgical engineering major (IIT - Madras no less) attempt to ground the cable to a PLASTIC doohickey despite my assurances that was indeed a PLASTIC doohickey. Fortunately, my frantic histrionics convinced him that plastic is not really useful for grounding an electrical current. And where was Arun during all this? In the front yard "sweeping" the lawn with a broom that is easily twice his height. In his pajamas. In the dark. Cuz we're classy like that. As much as I claim to enjoy a fine champagne, foie gras and fancy handbags, the reality is grim. I really just prefer to get drunk while eating mashed goose liver as I am slinging a pretty, overpriced sack of leather.

Dandelion Whine
He was a little pissed that the delicate "flower" he was smelling had no scent. Ahem.

April 16, 2007


That's really all I can say about the Virginia Tech shootings. That, and a big, long sigh.

My birthday is on Friday and frankly, it is sad how many horrific events have happened near or on the 20th. Nope, I'm not going to wax dramatic on you about how my birthday!is!ruined! It's not like that. Not in the least. If anything, it makes me appreciate that I even get to celebrate another birthday, thus keeping in line with my firm credo that birthdays are MEANT to be CELEBRATED. The alternative? Not so appealing.

This week is always filled with sadness because of the inevitable remembrances of some really crappy events - is it like this throughout the year for other birthdays? Obviously, I have no frame of reference since this is the only birthday I get. But there it is - right around the 20th, some really crappy events. There was the Waco Siege on April 19th 1993, then Oklahoma City Bombing a few years later in 1995. Then, a few years later still on April 20th, 1999 there was Columbine. And now Virginia Tech.

Often, in comments directed towards posts where the blogger is having a difficult time, I'll say something to the effect of "remember to be kind to yourself". I'd like to amend that and say "remember to be kind to others". My goal this week is to just be kind. Even to the surly nurse at my doctor's office who has no business working with children with her crappy attitude. Even to the bag boy at my grocery store who obviously hates his job. Even to the guy who cut me off today when I was on my way home. Even to a few people in my life recently who have really hurt my feelings to the core.

So, I propose a "Let's be kind" motto for the rest of the week. Will it change the world? No. But it will give me Hope in my fellow man because DAMN. There's enough meanness as it is.

If quizzes are quizzical then what are tests?

Currently, we are in this sweet little epoch of toddlerhood that I refer to as the Age of Ignorance. And it's heavenly bliss. For me. The kid hasn't yet caught on to the fact that waffles are best served smothered in syrup and slathered with butter. He doesn't recognize the guilty crinkle of a Cadbury Fruit n' Nut wrapper as I surreptitiously take bites in the kitchen while he isn't looking. He's not yet aware that yogurt isn't a valid dessert option in most social circles and that creme brulee is far, far superior. And his ears haven't quite fine-tuned the sweet sound of a shameful slurp of Coca-Cola. Folks, I'm going to ride this pony until it dies. Good grief, before you know it, he'll realize that the colorful truck cheerfully ringing the off-key tune "Do Your Ears Hang Low?"while snaking slowly through our 'burb is hawking over-priced muy delicioso treats.

Over the weekend, while doing some chores, I had a song running through my head. I was trying to remember the name of the tune when I realized with a start that it was a diddy from Blue's Clues....sigh..... I suspected Arun has been watching too much TV while I've been sick, but damn....... While the Noggin channel assures me that watching Steve and Crew enhances a preschooler's skillz in "problem solving and meta cognition", I'm still a little leery of their tagline "It's like preschool on TV". So, they're saying that for the price of my cable bill, my kid doesn't even need to leave the house??

Well, we have our 18 month appointment today. At our 15 month appointment, the doctor made a comment about "getting on that" when she found out Arun couldn't use a spoon. I remember thinking "Yeah, right - are you going to come to my house and clean up the mess?". Truthfully, what bothered me about Arun not using a spoon was that it was a stark reminder that we don't eat around the table as a family - something all the Wise Parenting Tomes dictate you must do, lest your child be sentenced to a life of crime and ultimately, homemade hooch processed in a Ziploc bag. And I didn't want my doctor to know that. However, I realized over the weekend, I need to get over myself. We may eat on the floor, but hell's bells, we're doing THAT as a family and that's good enough. Anyway, I did notice over the weekend that the milestone actually is "spoon OR fork". I guess I wasted a lot of time wringing my hands about Utensil Utilization for nothing since Arun has the fork thing down pat. Anyway. Whatever.

Actually, while I'm On Topic, there was some chatter last week about developmental milestones last week in the Blogosphere. Of course, I want to weigh in, but as my tagline suggests, I'm pretty "outdated". A bit. Anyway......I don't get in a tizzy about milestones, but I do pay attention to them. Damn straight, they should NOT be used as a tool for Comparing and Competing while on playdates, but milestones aren't meant to be taken lightly, either. My brother was diagnosed at the age of 4 with a language-based pervasive developmental disorder. He is not autistic, but damn - he tested really fucking close, folks. Take it from me, if your child has a problem - you want to know as soon as possible. No messing around. And those milestones, taken as a whole, go a long, long way in helping you pinpoint problems early on. For example, Arun doesn't say a lot of words right now, but I am not overly worried because he is well on track for the other milestones. Also, there's a reason why there is a wide berth in each section - for example, the Spoon Thing is 13-20 months. In short, I don't think a mother should ever feel inadequate if her kid isn't reaching at the "top" of a milestone. In the end, most kids are going to "even out" by kindergarten, so I don't see what the big deal is in these early years.

The sad, sad thing is that, all too often, milestones are just another weapon mothers use against each other in the Mommy Wars. Life is too short for that shit. I say, let's see milestones for what they are really intended and move onto something more important.

World peace, perhaps?

April 12, 2007

Why do people tell you to stay a kid for as long as you can, yet the moment you do something childish, they tell you to grow up?

First up: Oh my - an inhaler is loads better than a bong!! I slept last night like a baby for the first time in over two weeks. Ahhh.....Bliss.

Anyway.............in my last post, Jenny made the following comment:

I must admit, my inner Type A gets the heebie-jeebies when I read about you not using the high chair. How do you keep him from running around the house smearing food on the walls? My kids were so wild though, not calm like yours...If I didn't strap them down with a five point harness to eat I would have had spaghetti allover my house!

Um, maybe I didn't make myself clear in that post because Jenny is probably my Type A Twin. I can't stand messiness and grubbiness. Thus far, I've lucked out - when Arun's mouth or hands get dirty, he often hands the napkin to me so I can wipe him up. Oh sure, he'll happily dig in the mud outside, but as soon as he's done, he motions for me to clean his hands. Anyway, we are mostly feeding Arun ourselves when it comes to messy foods. That's why he gets to use a fork, which is used for solid objects. I had an interesting moment with the Parents as Teachers lady at the last meeting. She told me how one of her other families is Indian and she mentioned how they hand feed the kid. She asked me if that was a cultural thing. I was a bit dumbfounded and didn't know how to answer - hell if I know. In short, I am one lazy bitch, folks. I don't like to clean up messes, so I'd rather feed Arun myself. Furthermore, I started getting sick with all the pregnancy stuff in early November. When Arun wouldn't sit in his highchair to eat, I refused to fight it. I was barely hanging on as it was and just couldn't handle stressing about his food, too. If it's not messy, he gets his own plate. If it's messy, we feed it to him ourselves. I'm not too worried about his fine motor skills - he holds his crayons appropriately, screws the lids on/off his yogurt bottles and is pretty adept at unscrewing the knobs off of drawers.

Basically, Arun eats what we eat. Sometimes, if it is too spicy, he fusses, but is good at knowing he needs water. I tried once to give him some Chef Boyardee - I got it in my head somehow that's what kids eat. Right?? However, he figured out that my Red Hot Patio Burrito was better tasting, so I had to eat the damned Boyardee and he ate my Patio Burrito. I've only made that mistake once because that Boyardee is some nasty shit. Also, Arun drinks his yogurt/soymilk mix for breakfast and for his afternoon snack, but otherwise he drinks water. I just leave a can of sparkling water with a straw for him on the coffee table. He quickly figured out if he tips the can over, it spills and that's the end of his goodie. So, he's pretty careful with it now. I wish I could say I had a grand plan for getting him to drink out of a straw, but really what happened is the kid refused to drink out of a sippy cup. Period. And I gave up - Mama ain't nobody's fool. So, he drinks his yogurt out of a Playtex strawed cup. Everyone's happy.

And regarding spaghetti?? Um. I think I may have made that in college a few times. The meatballs at Papa Keno's weren't too "soupy" and didn't have noodles so the mess was minimal. We also fed him the veggies off of our pizza.

These past 5 months I feel as if I've been in survival mode. I do what I have to do to get by. I am pretty happy with the results - Arun is growing and will eat just about anything. He eats the hell out of spinach, beet, and green bean curries, for example. Is that normal for a toddler? I thought it wasn't, but maybe I am overestimating my kid (wouldn't be the first time. hee!) However, I still stress about the volume of what he is eating, but try to soothe my worries because I can't complain about the variety. However, I suspect that Arun is probably behind most of his peers, if anything, with his utensil usage (the official milestone per Toddler 411 is 13-20 months). I try not to worry about it because he will learn eventually, right? Gulp. I'm just trying to keep my level of insanity to the lowest level possible these days and besides, I was out of the running for Mother of the Year ages ago. I'll worry about Arun's inevitable need for psychotherapy later.

April 11, 2007

What, me whine?

No, not I. Never.

Sometimes, bickering with your spouse can lead to good things. Oh, like say that your husband gets most persnickety all over your ass and insists you call the doctor about your cold. What a concept, I know!! But I usually don't bother with colds. So, call the doctor I did, I got an appointment right away and when I saw her, even she said I did the right thing. This cough has been lingering for 2 weeks and it looks like I have an infection. I dutifully left her office with scrips for an antibiotic and inhaler in hand. I haven't taken an antibiotic for years because I'm trying to do my part in preventing the Super Bacteria from joining forces with Bin Laden. Also, I had to snicker when the pharmacist gave instructions for how to use the inhaler because it's pretty much the same process for taking hits off a bong - even down to the "hold it for 30 seconds" part. I mean, not that I really know much about bong hits. ahem.

One thing I love about my doctor is that she dispenses great advice in other areas of life as well. I've been struggling with reading Atonement by Ian McEwan. Dr. S saw I had the book and she asked how it was. I told her that while sick, I still have to read, but struggle reading books and resort to magazines, which I am SO tired of at this point. She said she has the same issue and that she turns to children's literature when she is sick - it's often lighter fare and doesn't require the concentration of an adult novel. So, while I am still recovering, I am going to turn my attention to my Reading Past - I haven't decided - Island of the Blue Dolphins? A Wrinkle in Time? The Secret Garden? Laura Ingalls Wilder?? I may go with the most recent Harry Potter, since I need to re-read it anyway before the last one comes out this summer.

The one saving grace in all this creeping crud is that Arun has been a total Sparkle in my dreary days. Lately, he's been all snuggly and kisses and "eskimos" (nose rubs) and smiles and giggles and Utter Sweetness. We also had a Big Boy moment yesterday. We went to Papa Keno's last night for dinner and Arun settled down in his booster seat (no high chair! Sob.) Then, he got to drawing with his crayons while we waited for the food. He carefully drank his water from a regular cup and straw. Then, he proceed to eat his meatballs all by himself with forks. In each hand. X is a Southpaw and I have several family members who are Southpaws - in fact, I do quite a few things with my left hand (Every once in awhile, someone will comment and it's always a lightening bolt for me as in "What, others don't do it this way?") Anyway, we are curious which hand Arun will end up favoring (kids often don't decide until the age of 5). Also, for us, the use of utensils is pretty big. At home, X eats with his fingers South Indian style and that's how he feeds Arun (I use a fork myself because I hate turmeric-stained fingernails). We usually sit on the floor to eat and we don't use the highchair anymore - I could never get Arun to sit in there once he became mobile so I gave up. I shake my head at all the snaps of kids in their highchairs covered head to toe in food because we just don't do that. I am not sure why we don't and there's no reason for it, but we like sitting on the floor to eat. Anyway. Sometimes, I wonder what Arun is going to think of all this. Will he think it's cool that his daddy taught him how to eat rice with his fingers?? Or will he be embarrassed?? Anyway......that's enough boredom for you today.

Carry on.

April 9, 2007

What's YOUR choice of poison?

When X and I were first married, it was frustrating sharing space. Specifically, it was frustrating sharing space with someone who had a vastly differing opinion when it came to clutter and cleanliness. I frequently had to remind him that I wasn't a "maid with a Master's". It got the point across. Mind you, not that I looked down on maids. HELL NO.

Two weeks ago, I bid "adieu" to Molly Maid. It was an awkward parting when I hugged K and R goodbye. No, I'm not going to wax poetic on our beautiful friendship and how we are going to meet for coffee and hence forth, be BFFs. It wasn't like that, but it was a relationship of sorts and I will miss them. And I will call them when NewKid is born so they can come by and meet her. They were nice, honest, hard-working gals and we paid them a fair and honest wage for their services. The #1 thing that I adored about having a cleaning service was the steadfast deadline I had for doing my part in clearing my house of clutter. They arrived every other Monday at 7:45 am sharp. If I hadn't done my part yet, they couldn't do their job effectively. And while they were working hard, I took that as an opportunity to get some other things done as well. While they worked, we chatted. I will miss K's "advice" - often, it was unsolicited and usually, it was WAY off mark for my parenting style. I will miss how patient R was with Arun and how she would let him push the vacuum a bit because he LOVED it and would follow her around excited, eager and giggly.

We signed up for a cleaning service after taking a pre-marital counseling class the Church requires. It was X's idea - after all, he grew up in India, the land of moderately priced manual labor. His mother was a SAHM and always had housekeepers - for him, it was a no-brainer that we get a housecleaning service when we were both working so much and traveling as well. When I started staying home while pregnant with Arun, X insisted we keep the service. I think it helped ease his guilt for my bearing so much of the household load alone while he was out of town so frequently. X was still insisting we keep the service for as long as possible to get me through this new pregnancy, but I decided to cancel early. I really want to devote as much resources as possible to the Big Idea. If and when the Big Idea becomes an Even Bigger Idea, I will begin the cleaning service again.

In a heartbeat.

I've come a long way with that. When we first signed up for the service, I felt incredibly guilty. GUILTY. I felt downright sheepish when I started staying home full-time and we still had the service. Now, I realize that was the stupidest waste of emotion ever. Why feel guilty? Yep, it was a luxury and dammit, it was a luxury I loved having. Some girls can spend an entire day at a spa or spend oodles of money going to the salon to get their hair done or blow serious cash buying clothes they will soon discard in favor of the next season's flavor. The thought of spending a day at the spa sounds so tiresome and boring that I actually pissed off a bride once when I refused to do a day spa thing she wanted all of her bridesmaids to do with her. And I'm over the whole salon thing. And while I love reading about fashion, I don't really like buying clothes. Borders, Amazon and the Dusty Bookshelf are my choices of credit card poison. So, there you have it. My latest confession of how lame I am. I love having a clean house. Fresh vacuum tracks and a light fragrance of bleach brings me a peace of mind like no other.

So, I started cleaning the house tonight because I am determined to keep to the schedule we had with the cleaning service. I wish I could come up some grandiose post about how I gained great satisfaction from a job well done and that it was Totally!Cool! to do it myself and Gee Golly, now I'm a better, more enlightened person. But I can't and I won't. It sorta sucked. It was mostly boring.

But, it wasn't that bad either. And it will make me appreciate the cleaning service all the more when we eventually sign them back up. Nope, no more guilt the next time - that's for sure.

April 8, 2007

In which section does the Bible get
shelved in a library - fiction or non-fiction?

Updated: For some great discussion regarding last night's episode of The Sopranos, may I direct your attention to Throwing Things? They also have some links over to some other great discussions such as Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz.

re: Easter - Um, we didn't do much. We're heathens like that. I did throw some plastic eggs out onto our overgrown lawn and handed Arun his Elmo bucket from Halloween. He had a blast loading up the basket, but abandoned it halfway through in order to redirect his efforts to throwing around some mulch. Priorities. Sorry 'bout that, Jesus.

re: Injuries - Innernets, we've applied our first band aid. Arun cut himself on something. Since there were no trails of blood on the variety of shivs and razors we have laying around, I'm assuming it's a papercut. Probably, from one of the various manuscripts about that Pigeon character, don't let that bird's bug-eyed, innocent demeanor fool you - he's a nasty sort.

re: Farmer's Markets - Since I am without a soul and didn't do much to celebrate Jesus' death, I had plenty of time to research farmer's markets in the Kansas City area - check out my post on Kansas City Kitty. I've listed 17 different markets in the area - after much digging around. I rock!

re: The Sopranos - My favorite band of thugs is back! My prediction is that the Big! Bang! episode will happen in the next to last episode. Mark my words. If you look at past seasons, they NEVER had the Big! Bang! on the last episode. Instead, the last episode was always a Wind Down episode.

re: Stroller Derby 2007 - After much research, a twin stroller has been purchased. (Confession: I started researching when I found out I was pregnant. Um, like THAT week. I love, LOVE strollers and would own several if given the choice. But we are not a rich people, so I had to make a decision on ONE.) I finally decided on the Combi Twin Savvy EX - basically, the double version of the stroller we own currently. I bought it on eBay and I believe it is a last year's model (albeit new) because it is in a color that is not offered any longer. However, I didn't like the new colors anyway and the one I found is the same color as our single model. Anyway, we need a stroller that is lightweight and durable. A stroller that can be folded as I hold a baby in my arms or Baby Bjorn while keeping an eye on a toddler. A stroller that can be thrown over my shoulder in a pinch when trying to get through airports, on buses, or into subways. A stroller that is self-standing when folded. A stroller that is comfortable enough to push around a zoo, our neighborhood or on vacation. A stroller that can fit through a standard door and easily navigate aisles when shopping. The Combi met all of those requirements. The Maclaren was a close call because it's a nice ride, but frankly, it was heavier, not easily folded, had no attached shoulder strap and was simply more bulky. I am very excited about the Combi and will be sure to report back.

re: Pity Party - I am still ill. STILL ILL. And for extra gooeylicious FUN, there's New Stuff going on that I am going to have to call the doctor about because it is worrisome (I've been shaky/dizzy the entire weekend despite eating non-stop). For the record, I have been sick pretty much non-stop since mid-November. I battled morning sickness (yeah, normal, but still painful!), I've had FOUR colds (as opposed to my normal 1-2 per season), a variety of splitting headaches (thanks, Pregnancy Hormones!), a bout with food poisoning (Korma Sutra Indian Buffet, you're on notice!). And the only medicine I can take while I am pregnant is Tylenol. TYLENOL. As Dorothy aptly puts it - "that's like grabbing a rubber ducky while drowning". I am frustrated because I enjoyed the pregnancy with Arun so much and I don't feel like I've gotten to relish this one nearly as much. I am SO incredibly excited about the NewKid, but am tired of being goopy all of the time and I just can't seem to catch a break. I am weary and I suspect this blog is beginning to reflect that. Bah. Where the fuck is Julie Andrews when you need her perky ass?

April 7, 2007

What is a Cerebral Venus?

A cerebral Venus is a "brainy beauty:. And that is the official name of the Online Book Club..... The Cerebral Venus Book Club - muchos kudos goes to Goofy Girl for the moniker. She came up with an entire list to choose from! But she had me at Cerebral Venus.

So, here are the "rules" for the Cerebral Venus Book Club:

  1. There aren't really any rules! Every 6 weeks or so, I'll throw out a list of 3 books to choose from. We'll read the one that garners the most votes, then discuss amongst the comments on the set date. That's it. This is open to anyone and everyone. Dissenting opinions and comments are welcome, nay, encouraged. Just play nice.

April 4, 2007

Don't penguins have knees?

Often when I send out emails or do comments I do a little diddy with "re:" Here's an example.........

re: Penguins - Arun is a wee bit obsessed with All Things Animals these days. We've got the full complement of animal books thanks to DK publishing. We've got the puzzles. We've got a variety of videos and as a bonus, the incredible Planet Earth series has been airing, which he loves to watch with me - a show for the both of us. We've also got a variety of the animal toobs. The kid is crazy about his animals - kangaroos, elephants and pandas are his current faves (subject to change, I am sure). And I am relieved because I did not relish reading book after book about cars. I'm extremely selfish like that. But still - what's up with the penguins?? They creep me out. What? Are they trying to be kewl and uneek with all that waddling shit?? Happy feet, my ass.

re: Arun's day school - Um, we were there for nearly 45 minutes and he CRIED when we left. He also did his Noodle Move - this thing where his body goes lax to prevent me from picking him up. FUN. So, I am not exactly worried about HIM. Actually, I am excited for him because I do think he will love it. I am sad for me because I will miss him and selfishly won't be there to witness his enjoyment. One thing I love about our Tuesday playgroup is that I get to watch him having fun with other kids. However, the obvious benefit to his school thingie is that I will get alone time with NewKid.

re: the Online Book Club - Reminder, we are reading Tripping the Prom Queen by - I will throw out a post on April 30th with starter thoughts/questions and we will discuss amongst the comments. I will update my sidebar later today with deets for the Online Book Club - I wish I could come up with something more creative for a moniker. Suggestions are welcome because I tried to think of something but drew a blank.

re: Books in General - Also, I signed up for Goodreads (thanks Eek! for the link). I will probably drop off doing many book reviews here on Rancid Raves directly - I don't really like writing reviews and am not particularly good at it. I just like keeping track of what I read. Therefore, I am going to use the Goodreads site for awhile to test it out. For me, I can see that having a defined list to read is a great way to keep me on track and Goodreads provides a cool tool for that. If you sign up for Goodreads, add me as a friend (I'm "cagey" - original, I know). I'd love to check out your bookshelf as well!

re: Babyclothes - My stiff resolve that my baby girl will wear dinosaurs is rapidly dissolving (insert your own double entendre here). I'm even relaxing my strict standards against the color pink (although, I still prefer red, coral or yellow). However, I still am not a fan of the "dresses in winter coupled with tights" costume..... ACK..... I have so many painful, stressful memories associated with wearing tights as a little girl, that I am still quite scarred by the experience. They were either too tight, too loose, too holey, or the feet would get dirty....bah.... I just don't see myself forcing my baby's chubby little thighs into a pair which just leads me to WAY too many stark memories of stuffing MY chubby thighs into hose years down the road. While it's tempting to knit up some of those baby legs thingies, I'd rather just have her wear pants. While we're on the baby clothes front and you are still my captive (Wait. You haven't run away yet?) - check out the Robeez my sister and mom gave me for a gift. I remember feeling so guilty for getting Arun's first pair of Robeez, but by the time I purchased his 2nd pair, I was totally sold. Robeez totally ROCK. They are durable, soft, easy to care for (throw 'em in the wash), easy to put on, and difficult for the baby to pull off. They are an excellent, perfect shoe at that stage when your baby is going back and forth between crawling and walking. So, all of NewKid's Robeez will be purchased without guilt this time around. I did look into alternatives - Circo (Target brand) and Shoo Shoos, but I liked the styles at Robeez better. Circo is obviously the best priced but I didn't see a big savings in getting Shoo Shoos (some of the styles only had a $3 price differential). Besides, you can save on shipping on Robeez by purchasing them at a brick 'n mortar location. Anyway - that's my 2 cents. I should note, that I am not a big shoe person, so Arun usually only had 1-2 pairs of shoes per size anyway which helped justify the cost - I've seen some folks go crazy with the shoes. Yikes.

re: My Happiness - You know you wanna know. Things are going better. BETTER. I am still wont to crying for NO reason, but still. See the "better"? X goes out of town again later and is gone for a long time. I am trying to fill my dance card with fun things (zoo, Deanna Rose, outings with friends). I am also doing "little" things to try and boost my lagging spirits. An adorable baby outfit purchased from Carter's with a coupon for all of $3.49? Helps tremendously. I've discovered that a $5 bunch of tulips also goes a long, long way. A Cadbury's Fruit and Nut chocolate bar? Even further.

April 3, 2007

Why do we say we're head over heels when we're happy?
Isn't that the way we normally are?

Things are better here, folks. Much better....... My goal this week is to only post fun stuff. First up? Baby blankets. I already have some adorable blankets that I used with Arun. I am in the process of designing a blanket to knit - I researched and researched but never found one that I liked, so I am creating one of my own. Arun's blanket was the Big Bad Baby Blanket from the Stitch n' Bitch book - I LOVE the blanket. It's big enough for him to use for a quite awhile and the Signature yarn is soft, washable and durable. However, my biggest issue with Arun's blanket is that 1) it was so incredibly boring to knit towards the end 2) it was WAY too bulky to tote around towards the end and 3) because of the weight of it towards the end, it made battling the carpal tunnel even worse. It was totally worth the time and effort because the blanket has become one of Arun's comfort objects in his crib and he sleeps ON it. NewKid's blanket will be a pieced one (so I can tote it around while working on it and it won't aggravate my carpal tunnel), but it is going to be REALLY funky (Grandmas need not apply - this will be FUN to knit) and will include a reversible cable (again, with the FUN). I just adore cabling, so I am looking forward to this. I am also trying to be careful about the measurements and such so that hopefully I can replicate if need be or even submit the pattern to share with others. This will be a long time coming, my goal is to finish sometime this fall.

Also regarding blankets, during NaBloPoMo, I won a little prize by being runner-up in a contest. Javis Davis offered a full crib set to whoever announced their pregnancy first. There was some confusion in the beginning and for a brief while, it appeared I had announced NewKid first. It turned out that I had not announced first, but Javis Davis generously offered consolation prizes to those that were briefly in the running. And honestly? I was glad with the way it worked out - we already have a crib set and I am glad that someone who needed one got it instead. And the blanket that Javis Davis sent me? Oh my.

Luscious, simply LUSCIOUS:

I chose the Minkee Dots (Sage) and the Chic Mink Stripes (Yellow) from the Menagerie fabric collection My mediocre (at best) photography skillz will never, ever do this blanket justice. It is sumptuous. Snuggly. Luxurious. And I can't describe the heft - it has a nice dense weight to it - it's not bulky, light and fluffy AT ALL, which I like. It's actually thin, yet solid - it will be just perfect for toting her around in the Baby Bucket this winter. And because it's thin, it won't be a pain to lug around on airplanes and such. I suspect this will not be an heirloom blanket lovingly passed from generation to generation because this blanket is going to get used, folks. Oh and it came with a matching pillow that I really want to steal for my own bed because Anjali will NEVER know the difference, right?

SO. Yesterday, Arun and I checked out a little day school thingie. It's at my grandma's church so it's a no-brainer for me to send him there - it's the same church I attended as a little girl. I still wanted to see his reaction. And it was precisely as I suspected - he took off immediately when I set him on the ground. He totally abandoned me and left me at the complete mercy of three toddler girls who set about to rifling through my purse, attempting to relieve me of my bangles, and confiscating my keys. I wasn't surprised at Arun's defection, he usually takes off with barely a glance backwards when we do things like this. Of course, it will be a different ball game when I have to leave myself, though - he still is not thrilled when I leave him at the nursery at the gym. Anyway, I've signed him up for the fall - he'll go 2 days a week, 5 hours a pop. Gulp. Sure, I've been leaving him with Cousin J since he was 5 weeks old - usually, she was coming for about 6-9 hours a week, but it was rarely for more than 3 hours at a time. I am still a little weirded out that we are starting this school thing so early and that I will already be looking at lunchboxes and backpacks THIS fall. The original intent had been to start at the age of 3, but that was back in our days of Armchair Parenting before we were looking down the shotgun barrel of having a newborn when our oldest is just barely 20 months. If our children weren't so close in age, we would have waited until Arun was 3, but Arun is getting to the point where he needs organized activities with kids his own age. And I have been researching different things that we can do - we currently do a story time, but I've also looked into music groups, gym groups etc. However, I quickly encountered a problem - the activities are usually for specific age groups - meaning, if I try to sign up for something with Arun, I have to find someone to watch NewKid (for example, we won't be able to do a story time this fall). I just haven't seen much where I can take both kids with me. It's not fair to keep Arun out of activities, so this day school is a perfect solution. And I am actually okay with it. Overall. Sorta.

April 2, 2007

Why do Mondays always get such a bad rap?

As much negative press Mondays seem to receive, you'd think that once in awhile folks would realize that a Monday can also constitute a Fresh Start, of sorts. At least that's the way I am going to approach this particular Monday as I attempt to dig myself out of the rabbit hole into which I seem to have fallen.

By the end of last week, I was feeling quite the Negative Nellie. In a nutshell, the Sickness and the No Sleep were simply the last two pieces yanked from my personal game of Life Jenga that caused the whole damned tower to crumble. Over the past month or so, a few pieces labeled "family" have been unceremoniously jerked out as well. Believe it or not, I try not to post too much about "family" any longer since I am increasingly sacrificing my semi-anonymity, but some events have occurred over the past month that have made it increasingly difficult to bear. Frankly, my Bitter Meter is set to an all-time high. I can't go into details, but basically, I am tired of it. And the game is switched up because I am a parent now. One of these days, my own children are going to observe my reactions to all of this high drama. Oh sure, sometimes, I handle things appropriately - last Christmas when I griped about my family's comments regarding our parenting skillz, I didn't mind posting that because I didn't write much that hadn't been said in the open to their faces. However, with that particular side of the family, I can totally call their comments on the carpet for what they are - delivered in a vein of humor, of course - but, the message still gets across. My children will certainly learn a wry, sarcastic sense of humor there, but at least from that side, they won't think that you have to stuff your emotions, spear your turkey with your fork and tersely act like everything is fine....just fine.... and THEN, go home and bitterly complain about the others over the next week or so. I am tired of being a Bitter Betty and it worries me that my children will learn that from me because guess what? That sort of passive aggressive behavior translates itself into other walks of life – school, work, friends. I want my children to be the sort that stick up for themselves. And I guess that means I have to look closely at my own behavior. What example am I setting? Currently, not a positive one.

So. Yesterday, I took some positive action. A small step that said "I fold. I'm not playing this game right now." How long will it last? To what extent will I push all this? Is it even worth rocking the Good Ship Lollipop knowing that whatever I do won't change things in the big picture? I don't have the answers, but I need to think about this carefully. Fortunately, I still have time to work out the details. They always say you want more for your children. That you want better. And dammit - they're right. I don't want my own children to see this. I don't want them to be in their 30s, typing away on their blogs about how prior generations failed them.

Jeepers.......I was sliding down the rabbit hole again…….. The weekend went okay. I can see some light and having X come home bearing kifli cookies and walnut bread from a lovely little Hungarian dive we like to eat at in Manchester, NH certainly helped matters. And we got Arun a haircut. He seems to be sleeping better now, perhaps a weight has been lifted for him?

Note: I wrote this entry and then saw Scribbit's April's topic for the Write Away Contest. Eerie. Which means, of course, I must submit this entry. The prize is an Alaskan Ulu. You don't know what it is, but you know you want one!

Ohhhh... Snap.

All Ears
All Ears

All Eyes

Hard Labor

Edith Arun
Seriously. Don't you think?