June 27, 2007

Anyone got a postage stamp that I can borrow?

Dear Mom,
This post is not about you. Well, THIS part of the post is about you, but really, this post is not about you.

Your favorite daughter (only because J doesn't read this!),

P.S. You better visit me in the hospital!


Dear Anjali,
Oh baby girl, we are so very excited to meet you. In fact, we've consulted our calendars and it appears that this Saturday would really work out best for us. If you could arrange your schedule accordingly, it would be most appreciated.



Dear Arun,
Remember all those kicks and head butts you've been delivering to your baby sister all these months? The gig is up and I have to warn you that revenge is a dish best served cold. A revolution is coming, my little friend.

Good luck!


Dear Vanessa, Pearson and Harry,
After all your patience with the addition of one kid, I regret to inform you that another one will be arriving shortly. I hope you find it in your fuzzy little hearts to forgive us someday.



Dear Blue,
Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps Steve might be a little slow?

Reluctant Fan


Dear Drunken Northside Neighbor,
What sort of Heartless Whore doesn't return a little boy's ball when it happens to bounce over the fence into her yard? Oh right, that Heartless Whore would be you.

Yours truly,
The Southside Neighbor Who Hates You


Dear Producers of Big Love,
Since you've already brought on board half the cast of Veronica Mars, why don't you just go ahead and bring on the lovely Miss Mars herself? I bet she can figure out why the hell ALL the women in Juniper Creek are wearing that ONE freaky assed hairstyle.

Faithful Fan


Dear Pregnancy Hormones,
Make a choice. Oily face OR itchy elbows. BOTH are not options. While you're at it, tell that renegade cousin of your Post-Natal Hormones to not bother showing up, his services won't be needed.

Faithfully yours,
Cranky Pregnant Bitch


Dear Cashier at Kinko's,
When you asked what sort of baby I was having and I replied "A girl" and you said "Oh, I bet you are grateful" as you clucked towards my SON, I bet you didn't realize how much I wanted to smack you. Get a fucking clue.

Pissed off,
Cranky Pregnant Bitch


My Dearest X,
Your son puts his shoes back in the shoe basket, throws his trash away, grabs a napkin when he spills his water, closes cabinet doors, and in general, likes things to be in place. He's only 20 months old.

Hint, hint....
The Love of Your Life

Where are the Popular Kids?

I've noticed a disturbing trend in the Blogosphere. Apparently, we have no Prom Queens or Homecoming Queens in our midst. Time after time, when referring to their high school years, you will see bloggers ruefully declare "I was such a nobody!" or the classic "I was such a geek!". I've never, ever seen a blogger admit they were a Popular Kid. Have you?

I was thinking about this last week because a friend of mine my high school was in town, but we didn't get to meet. She's my one, last "current" friend from high school, but truthfully, we weren't even friends in school - we became friends afterwards, when we went to college.

I've talked often about how much I dislike the town of Tonganoxie. To be fair, the town didn't like me very much, either. I moved there mid-year during 6th grade, just after my parents' divorce. It was not a good time in my life anyway, plus I was coming on that tender of age of 12. I suspect I had an attitude when I arrived. I never, ever felt that I fit in while I lived there. Ever. I was always on the edge, looking in. However, while I may not have been a Somebody, I wasn't a Nobody, either. I was very active and the Popular Kids couldn't exactly pretend I didn't exist - I was in volleyball, cross country, track, Science Club, Knowledge Bowl, stage band, marching band, regular band, etc. etc. I even did one year as a cheerleader, although I certainly wasn't the cheerleader "type". And let me be clear -- I didn't really excel at any of these activities (a trend that seems to be the story of my life and contributed to the tagline of this blog). I merely enjoyed doing the activities, but was far more likely to come in 2nd or 3rd place- rarely 1st (I have a stack of silver and bronze track medals to prove it.) And really, I was okay with that - I've never been a superstar. Whatever.

So, I was much relieved to get the hell outta high school. It was stifling for me. Shortly after graduation, I moved to my dad and step-mom's in Lawrence, then got an apartment when I started KU that fall. I never looked back and never felt an iota of homesickness. In fact, when my sister graduated from Tonganoxie 5 years later, I celebrated the fact that I would never have to go back there. She later moved back and I'll admit that I was petty enough to be resentful of it. It's only been since Arun was born that I am comfortable going there now - I want him to know his cousins and as a testament to what a Mother's Love will do for a person, I make the trek out to Leavenworth County far more frequently than I ever thought I'd be doing.

Where was I? Ah, "not belonging". Bloggers often joke that the Blogosphere is like high school. Sometimes, it is. But usually, it's more like college to me. When I went to college I felt so free of the social anxieties that had plagued me during high school. In college, I easily found a group that I liked to hang with and never looked back. I loved college and while I still wasn't cool, it didn't matter by then. I had a group in which I belonged. And, so it is with blogging. I will never be a Power Blogger, I will never be a Popular Kid, I will never have throngs of readers hanging on to my every post. At one point, I think I did harbor grand visions of having hordes of readers (don't we all in the beginning?) but I discovered along the way that's not what I actually need from blogging. I just need to belong somewhere. That's all.

Anyway, back to the title - where are the Popular Kids in the blogosphere? Do Prom Queens not have Internet access or something? Come on - admit it if you were a Popular Kid.

We'll still hang out with you.

I wasn't kidding.
This picture was taken at Olathe Grandma's house. I think I wore this outfit only ONCE to school - I felt too self-conscious to wear it otherwise. With good reason. Don't even get me started on the big-honkin' glasses. Good grief.

June 25, 2007

If there's an exception to every rule, is there
an exception to that rule as well?

Breaking News!
NO, I am not having that baby yet. It's even better!! A new James Lileks book, Gastroanomalies: Questionable Culinary Creations from the Golden Age of American Cookery, will be coming out this fall. I am SO exited by this new development. The only really sucky thing is that it doesn't come out until NOVEMBER and to pre-order now is just taunting me. I was extremely grateful that he released Mommy Knows Worst shortly after my 1st child was born (i.e. JUST when I needed such a book), but Lileks just burnt all his goodwill with this one. Because I'm sure he had a say in the publish date, right?


It's official - The Cerebral Venus Online Book Club will be discussing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on Monday, August 6th. The post itself will be spoiler-free, but the comments will be ROTTEN. Yee haw!

So, Goofy Girl and I have been discussing the whole "visiting a new mother in the hospital" thing. We were both of the opinion that a new mother would rather be left alone in the hospital. My sister, on the other hand, actually wanted visitors. The question is - why aren't people asking the new mother if she wants visitors? There seems to be some sort of decorum where folks think they must visit and the mother thinks she can't say no. I wonder if it extends from the "olden" days when a mother was in the hospital for an extended period of time - visitors would have made more sense. However, with Arun, he was born on a Sunday evening and we were home by late Tuesday afternoon. This left Monday as pretty much the only day for visiting. Don't get me wrong - I've been incredibly touched by all the folks promising to visit me in the hospital with Anjali, but honestly? I would be completely exhausted if everyone who said they were going to come by actually came by. The scary thing is that all these years, I've assumed new mothers didn't want visitors - I tended to wait until the mother got home. Now, I am left wondering how many friends I have offended over the years by not visiting them in the hospital. Yikes! Am I over-thinking this??

Snappity Snap, Snap.

Arun Bob
Official Redneck Nickname, courtesy of my dad.
Official Baby Belly, courtesy of YoYo Baby Yogurt.
Official Farmer's Tan, courtesy of X.

Gemstone Eyes

June 24, 2007

Is this some bizarre form of nesting?

I just fertilized, watered, and weeded all the landscaping in my backyard.

But only after I had completely trimmed my rose and hydrangea bushes, of course. Otherwise, that would just be CRAZY.

June 22, 2007

Care to dip a toe in my baby pool?

Baby Pool
I know, I know........I keep mentioning this whole “I’m having a baby thing” like a tiresome broken record - I'm obsessed. I am due to give birth in less than 2 weeks and by 7/13, at the very latest, I should have a wee one exacting her revenge. As such, I thought it would be fun to have a Baby Pool, so I have set one up over at the BoobLog - details are over there. I apologize for the fact that I am WAY too lazy to set up a 2nd contest over here.

I did very well this weekend - I sent out a slew of emails and made quite a few phone calls. I read quite a bit and even knitted a bit on the NewKid's blanket. I also caught up with a TON of family, so I feel pretty good. It was a Great Aunt and Uncle Bonanza, let me tell you. Although, I have to admit it made me a little sad to think of us potentially moving. Here I was with my Resolve All Stiffened Up, and then I watch Arun gleefully hugging and kissing my great aunts and uncles - to their sheer delight, of course. It made me a little sad to think of my children not knowing my grandma's siblings as well as I do. My great aunts and uncles were very important to me growing up and Arun's middle name is that of my oldest great uncle.

A Magically Delicious Cerebral Venus Book Club Meeting?
Um, I had a CRAZY idea over the weekend. What would everyone think of discussing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for our next book club meeting? I was thinking this - the book is released July 21st, we could discuss it Monday, August 6th. That is a little over 2 week's worth of reading time which even includes 3 weekends. What do you think? Be honest if you are not down with it.

June 21, 2007

What more could a girl ask for?

My Big Fat Behind
I heard through the grapevine that Friend 1 told Friend 2 that she thought I was depressed. No, I'm not angry, just irritated with this statement because then I had to field "Inquiring Minds Wanna Know" questions from Friend 2. No, I am not depressed - quite the opposite. I am SO excited about this little girl and I am READY. I suspect Friend 1 simply misunderstood my current state of feeling overwhelmed. I feel as if I am drowning in Social Obligation. Let me tread lightly, though - I am NOT complaining. How lucky am I to have so many friends and family members with whom I need to catch up? Right? However, the theme of my life is Behind. I am behind on phone calls. I am WAY behind on emails. I am behind on some social calls I need to make. I am behind on a few household projects. It doesn't help that I am pretty dog tired these days and would rather just hunker down with X and Arun. I'd rather save my energy for taking Arun to the park or chasing him around the house or lying on the floor crashing cars together. Truthfully? That's pretty much what I've been doing lately. The bad part is that I am truly failing some of my friends and family right now. I know what the answer is, though.

The State of Our Union
X and I got married 4 years ago on this day. The longest day of the year. I like that our anniversary is on the summer solstice. For no particular reason - I just like it. While it would be easy to wax melodramatic about this past year with an unexpected pregnancy, with X leaving a company that we both poured our hearts and souls into and with us now starting up a new business - I'd rather not. Life is life. You know? Like any marriage, we have our ups and downs, but at the end of the day, I'd rather be with no one else but him. Damned straight - no one else can drive me to a white hot fury like he can. No one. But no one inspires me like him, either. No one. His incredible strength of character continues to blow me away. And that's what it's all about.

The Results of our Union Aren't So Bad Either

I took Arun to a local park to try and get some good, "print-worthy, send 'em to the family" snaps. I mostly ended up with this:


The Incredible Hunk

It's a Bug's Life


June 19, 2007

What happened?

Unfortunately, nothing dramatic actually occurred this weekend - certainly nothing interesting enough that I could cobble together an interesting blog post out of it. No, indeed. The facts are quite simple. I am a fucking idiot who after years of "practice" can exhibit a stellar ability to grossly mismanage her time. Bah.

My ass! Dude, it's the ROCKER.
This past weekend, X and I put together a piece of furniture. A rocker. Yes, Innernets, once again, we pushed our marriage to very brink of divorce but walked away victorious. When we were done, there was a brief squabble as to who would sit in it first. I pointed out that I am 9 months pregnant thereby putting TWO lives at risk. I am delighted to report that X sat in the chair and emerged injury-free. However. My toes barely touch the ground when sitting in it. The seat does not quite fit properly. In fact, MY seat doesn't fit properly. At first, I thought it was my big, fat pregnant ass that could barely squeeze in it. Seriously - I was ashamed that I couldn't fit in this chair, so I didn't SAY ANYTHING. Because, you know, THE SHAME. Just today, I noticed the arms are on fucking backwards thus decreasing the amount of space in which one's ass, ANYONE'S ASS (e.g. not just MY ass), could squeeze on by to make it in this fucking rocking chair. Backwards, I shit you not.

Apparently, an iPod shuffle can be washed once, but woe to the poor sap who thinks it can be washed twice. Is this where I point out that I am not the poor sap? You get only one guess as to who the culprit was in this case.

A is for Amiable, Affable, Adorable, Arun and apparently, "Bap-Pull"

Arun is in Unabashed Adorable Mode these days. Full blast, no holding back. If he keeps it up, I could almost be convinced that we might need a EvenNewerKid eventually. Maybe. Probably not. Anyway, lest I neglect my duties as a mommyblogger who has nothing to talk about other than her precious progeny, let me talk about my kid for awhile............
  1. The words are exploding from his mouth now! Although, it's hard to get the gist of what he wants when he's doing his Toddler Babble in Pidgin. Fortunately, he's very good at leading us to what he wants and pointing. For sure, though - he's got "apple" down pat and has no issues with asking for his beloved "bap-pull" while gesturing to the refrigerator.
  2. We are still tantrum-free, although he is prone to lying prostrate on the floor in Silent Protest at times. Come on, admit it. You'd laugh, too. I say, give the boy some chains and point him to the nearest endangered tree. He's got a career as a Professional Protestor.
  3. He's in the this total "Carry me!" mode which has me worried. It's hard enough to carry a newborn in that damned Baby Bucket, but to sling along a toddler, too?
  4. The kid loves, LOVES his alphabet and numbers - he learned about 6-7 shapes but quickly abandoned those when we started letters and numbers. He recognizes his name when written and often will proclaim "Ahhh-ooooo" if you ask what it is. Regardless, writing his name down will get you some killer dimples. Little egoist. We have his name on his wall and a train with his name on it. We also have the I See Me! book which blows his hairy noggin to bits. His little bug eyes get even buggier when spying his very own name in a BOOK.
  5. Also, counting to 20 has an amazing, calming effect on him and is actually part of our night-time routine. He's got 1, 2, 6, 7 and the "teens" (dah-deen!) down pat. Forget the rest of those stupid numbers - they're useless, I tell you. Useless. The bonus is that while in a grocery store waiting in the checkout lane you feel far less stupid counting to 20 than say, breaking into a routine with the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" as your score. I think the sweetest ever was the other day when we were in the car and he started getting antsy. Literally, "counting cars" made his day and saved my sanity. And no, I don't think he's some little prodigy who really understands the concept of numbers, he's just imitating the cadence, which for some reason he likes.
  6. He yelled for me a few weeks ago for the very first time. I was upstairs rummaging around and I heard him yelling from the bottom of the stairs "Mama! Mama! Mama!". I melted immediately. I may play the Bitch role online, but in Real Life I'm a totally fool for Toddler Babble. And when that babble includes "Mama"? Sigh. The sweetest word in the English language. Now I understand why X is such a total fool for our kid - Arun's been saying "Daddy" forEVER. Smart boy.

Designing on MY Dime, Yo
I am not a designer or decorator or anything even resembling the two. I throw shit up on my walls that I like. I do try to keep only original art downstairs and I keep reproductions and prints upstairs. Yep, I LOVE Renoir, but I don't think hanging prints of him does much to make a statement, so Renoir hangs out in my bedroom. Anyway, my style of decorating could best be referred to as Early Attic. Whatever. Even with Arun's room, I could not get excited about it. For me, decorating a nursery was a waste of money - I'd rather save that money for when he is older and can choose what he wants in his room. The same goes for NewKid. Since they are sharing a room for awhile, the point was moot anyway. One thing I did do was paint the letters for their names for the walls. I HIGHLY recommend this - I take Arun's letters down quite frequently so that we can play with them - it provides for a nice tactile experience while he's learning his letters.

I bought the letters at Hobby Lobby for $2.49 a piece, painted them myself with acrylic craft paint I already had lying around from prior projects. I've seen letters like these selling for at least $10 per letter - that's criminal! Do it yourself! It was fun AND I saved some money. I also painted a name train for Arun - I bought the cars at Michael's for 99 cents a piece. Again, I've seen these name trains go for big bucks, yet Arun's cost less than $7.


When I told him this says "Anjali", he tried to say it but garbled out "Ahhn-jee" instead. We'll probably have to give up on "Anjali" for now and go with "Anju" in the beginning, since that will most likely be her nickname anyway.

This thing is already showing some wear and tear because he plays with it so much - which is fine with me. I'd rather he have something he loves and uses, than something meant to be an "heirloom". I can repaint it if need be.

Just a silly snap. He's gotten VERY goofy these days. It's hard to remember those days when he such a serious, crabby, bug-eyed baby.

Um, look at all the Goat Shit in the background. Can you even IMAGINE what that looks like to a toddler? Imagine it. Go ahead. I'll wait. Feel my pain, now?

June 18, 2007


Yes. Better. I will return late Wednesday/Thursday with your regularly scheduled Lamentations of My Exceedingly Sheltered Existence (Subtitle: I Am Spoiled, Hear Me Whine.)

So.... for June, we are discussing Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi! I found this book a little difficult to read. Some of the discussions of various novels were way too troublesome to sort through. I wanted to know more about the author herself and her experiences navigating such troubled waters during a time of political, religious and social upheaval. And those sections? Did not disappoint and made this a worthwhile read.

Oddly enough - despite the fact that I went to grade school in a teeny Kansas town (population 1,000 and I could ride my bike easily from one end of town to the other) and only had 40 students in my class, during the Iran Hostage Crisis I had a classmate of Iranian heritage (her father was Persian, her mother American). Despite everything going on with the hostages, despite the letters my 3rd grade class painstakingly wrote to the hostages, I knew that Iranians were not evil, cold people that the newspaper depicted. I knew this because Jennifer H. wasn't evil - she was a sweet girl and I still remember her goofy grin and laugh to this day. And I knew she loved her father. And she told fun stories about her visits to Iran (they ate their meals on the floor! How cool was that?). Over the years in college, I had the opportunity to meet many more Persians from many, many different stances and religions and I learned that the Persians have a colorful history and mix of personalities. For me, reading this book set during such a volatile time was simply fascinating.

Here are the "standard" reader's guide questions I came across for the book. Please feel free to add YOUR own as well. I don't think it is necessary that each and every question be answered, I would consider these to be "starters".
  1. On her first day teaching at the University of Tehran, Azar Nafisi began class with the questions, "What should fiction accomplish? Why should anyone read at all?" What are your own answers? How does fiction force us to question what we often take for granted?

  2. Yassi adores playing with words, particularly with Nabokov’s fanciful linguistic creation upsilamba (18). What does the word upsilamba mean to you?

  3. In what ways had Ayatollah Khomeini "turned himself into a myth" for the people of Iran (246)? Also, discuss the recurrent theme of complicity in the book: that the Ayatollah, the stern philosopher-king, "did to us what we allowed him to do" (28).

  4. Compare attitudes toward the veil held by men, women and the government in the Islamic Republic of Iran. How was Nafisi’s grandmother’s choice to wear the chador marred by the political significance it had gained? (192) Also, describe Mahshid’s conflicted feelings as a Muslim who already observed the veil but who nevertheless objected to its political enforcement.

  5. In discussing the frame story of A Thousand and One Nights, Nafisi mentions three types of women who fell victim to the king’s "unreasonable rule" (19). How relevant are the actions and decisions of these fictional women to the lives of the women in Nafisi’s private class?

  6. Explain what Nafisi means when she calls herself and her beliefs increasingly "irrelevant" in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Compare her way of dealing with her irrelevance to her magician’s self-imposed exile. What do people who "lose their place in the world" do to survive, both physically and creatively?

  7. During the Gatsby trial Zarrin charges Mr. Nyazi with the inability to "distinguish fiction from reality" (128). How does Mr. Nyazi’s conflation of the fictional and the real relate to theme of the blind censor? Describe similar instances within a democracy like the United States when art was censored for its "dangerous" impact upon society.

  8. Nafisi writes: "It was not until I had reached home that I realized the true meaning of exile" (145). How do her conceptions of home conflict with those of her husband, Bijan, who is reluctant to leave Tehran? Also, compare Mahshid’s feeling that she "owes" something to Tehran and belongs there to Mitra and Nassrin’s desires for freedom and escape. Discuss how the changing and often discordant influences of memory, family, safety, freedom, opportunity and duty define our sense of home and belonging.

  9. Fanatics like Mr. Ghomi, Mr. Nyazi and Mr. Bahri consistently surprised Azar by displaying absolute hatred for Western literature — a reaction she describes as a "venom uncalled for in relation to works of fiction." (195) What are their motivations? Do you, like Nafisi, think that people like Mr. Ghomi attack because they are afraid of what they don’t understand? Why is ambiguity such a dangerous weapon to them?

  10. The confiscation of one’s life by another is the root of Humbert’s sin against Lolita. How did Khomeini become Iran’s solipsizer? Discuss how Sanaz, Nassrin, Azin and the rest of the girls are part of a "generation with no past." (76)

  11. Nafisi teaches that the novel is a sensual experience of another world which appeals to the reader’s capacity for compassion. Do you agree that "empathy is at the heart of the novel"?

  12. How has this book affected your understanding of the impact of the novel?

June 17, 2007


This weekend exploded on me and I am still left scrambling to catch up on some deadlines. I need to postpone the book club until tomorrow. Nope, nothing is going on with the NewKid, it's only me straggling behind, per usual.

I am really, really sorry.

June 13, 2007

How can you hear yourself think?

Cerebral Venus Bookclub
Reminder: On Monday, June 18th, we will be discussing Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. I am loving this book, although I am struggling with some of the in-depth discussion that covers novels I have never read. However, I can't wait for the Austen section!

The Veg-O-Matic
Before I had kids, I had this total stereotype that kids hate veggies. However, my kid LOVES veggies - coleslaw, salads, roasted cauliflower and various Indian curries such as green beans, spinach, cabbage, beets. Is this normal?

Speaking of the Gits
Last week, I let Arun play with my Wallace and Gromit dolls, er... collectibles. I've also let him play with my treasured Mr. Bean car. See, I can do this mothering gig!

Cinnamon Roll Ho
X went to Whole Foods today for some cheese and did not bring me back a cinnamon roll. For those in the back, I repeat, he did NOT bring me back a cinnamon roll. What the fuck? Does the man not listen to my incessant whining about how badly I have been craving cinnamon rolls with this kid??? He pulls this sort of shit right before FATHER'S DAY? Has the world gone mad?

June 12, 2007

Are you ready to Rumble?

Ready or Not, We're Ready

I'm ready. X is ready. Arun will never be ready, so he doesn't count. I've done what I can to ease the transition, but there's not much you can do to prepare a 20 month old for a new sibling. Anyway, teeny-tiny, postage stamp sized diapers have been purchased, clothes have been organized, bouncy seat has been dusted, car seat installed.

I've started the paperwork for Arun's nursery school that he will start in September and am already pondering what the hell I will send with him for lunch (if nuts are out, I am back to the drawing board). I've had several people ask about why we are sending him and a few comments that were along the lines of "Wow, nursery school already?". No, there's nothing I've perceived as judgmental, so this isn't a rant. In the past few months, it's become increasingly obvious that playgroups and cousins are not enough for him and he needs more social interaction - 2 mornings a week for a total of 9 hours seems just about right for all of us involved. If I wasn't having a baby, I'd look into Gymboree or something like that, but it's difficult to find activities where you can take both of your children at once when they are in such differing age groups (besides, paying for a newborn is ridiculous). Anyway, Arun is ready for pre-school. That's all. His doctor has said so. The Parents as Teacher lady has said so. X and I say so. Most importantly, Arun said so. At least I am pretty sure that's what he was saying when he began bawling as we left the school the day we visited.

Moooooving (Maybe. Perhaps. Es posible.)
I mentioned recently that we may have to move when/if this Big Idea takes off (potential investors are already asking about it). You may have heard the collective rolling of the eyes as all my Real Life friends muttered "Whatever." You see, until late last year, I was the girl who cried "Virginia!". I had been proclaiming for years, that we would be moving to the DC/VA area "next year!" In my defense, when I began dating X in 2000, he did warn me that his company was actually based in the DC/VA area. Then, as if to prove his point, he bought a house there in 2001. Fortunately, it turned out that the Kansas City office had enough going on that X could run the company from here and we never had to actually move (which was nice because as if to prove my ownpoint, I also bought a house before we were married. HERE.) While the DC/VA area is fun to visit and I really liked some of X's friends there, I never felt at home or at peace there. So, where would we have to move? At this point, it's anyone's guess and it will probably depend on where the investors are located. My #1 choice would be Boston - I feel so at home there and would LOVE to live there. While Boston was briefly in the running, it now appears that San Francisco area is occupying the Top Spot. And I actually cried when X told me. Listen, I love visiting the area, but haven't felt particularly comfortable enough there that I would want to live there. And don't get even me started on the ridonkulous housing market in the Bay Area. It's outrageous. Outrageous. I mean, I'm totally cool with downsizing our living situation - our house here is too large for us anyway. But I do insist on living in something that doesn't have require a parking permit.

When Arun was teeny-tiny and it looked like we most certainly have to move to Virginia, we talked about jury-rigging the system and just getting a condo there so we could all commute between the 2 cities. We briefly talked about doing the same in Boston, San Francisco, wherever. However, in the past few months, I'm at a point where I just want us to all be together, all the time in one place. I'm not excited about moving away from the life that I've worked hard to create here, but in the end, I have to focus on my family. And as such, have even started researching the Bay area and what is around there. The other night, X was driving from San Mateo into the City and needed directions to the area we usually hang out. I was able to tell him how to get there fairly easily by referring to the map I have from our trips. So yeah, I guess I'm ready.

Or not.

June 11, 2007

Why does your OB-GYN leave the room while you undress when she is going to be "all up in your business" anyway?

New Kid Status
I had my 36 Week OB appointment on Friday - I'm 2 cm dilated, 0% effaced. NewKid is definitely in the launch position, head down, so that is awesome, but nothing else is really going on. I am definitely in some varying degrees of pain, which is WAY earlier than with Arun, so I am suspicious as to whether this kid might show her face earlier than expected. The one saving grace is that except for stumbling to the bathroom all night long, I am able to sleep like a rock at night. Also, I've only gained 16 lbs thus far, so Whole Foods cinnamon rolls?? BRING. IT. ON.


I haven't pimped my BoobLog lately - yes, my breasts still reign supreme, they just aren't up to much yet. I posted there today about X for Father's Day. As a special bonus, he granted me a One Day Only, Get Out of Jail Free card to use his Real Life name. I've had a few folks ask why I call him "X". It actually started out as Mr. X and was a play on those Victorian novels where the author wouldn't use real names and instead, referred to people as Mr. and Mrs. X (Anna Sewell's Black Beauty comes to mind). That always mystified me and I thought it was silly. After awhile, I got too damned lazy to type "Mr." and just started calling him X. A few of my Real Life friends actually refer to him as X all the time now. Anyway, these past few months have been stressful - the Big Idea has been a lot of work for both of us and this pregnancy has been harder than with Arun. I just wanted to remind X that I DO appreciate him and that post is dedicated to him. Life is so fucking difficult and scary, it's nice to know I picked the right guy to face it with.

Partners in Crime
Okay, as much as I adore X, the one thing we agree on is that we don't work well together. I have a deadline this week to get something done for the Big Idea and I dread it. I know that whatever I submit will get nitpicked, I will get mad and we will bicker. Are we the only couple that can't work well together??

Treading Water
It still cracks me up that Arun is a total fish when it comes to pools, but not so much with the baths. We did give him a shower yesterday and he handled that a tad better. I have to say, I've really enjoyed swimming. My pregnant joints relishes the water and being weightless. Joy! I actually forget I'm pregnant until I bend a certain way and realize "Oh CRAP. Shouldn't have done that." Also, it is sweet that I can hold Arun for so long with little effort. I really, really miss holding him so close and carrying him like that. The one thing I hate about swimming is actually not about the whole "body image in a swimsuit" issue. I think cellulite is a Human Condition, so folks who mock it can kiss my Cottage Cheesed Ass. No, what I despise most about swimming is the MUCH required mowing down of acres upon acres of pelt on my legs, only to discover a 9 o'clock shadow shortly thereafter. ACK.

As much as I've been craving cinnamon rolls and Coca-Cola, I've also been craving weird shit like cantaloupe and tomatoes. Lately, Arun and I have been mawing down a cantaloupe per day between the two of us (in the grocery store, he tries to bite into the damned thing). Furthermore, rumor has it that last week I spent $5/lb for some heirloom tomatoes and ate them immediately upon arriving at home - - liberally sprinkled with salt and pepper, of course. However, that rumor has not been confirmed and all receipts have been destroyed. Any applicable witnesses aren't able to form complete, grammatically-correct sentences regarding the matter and should not, I repeat, should NOT be considered reliable. ahem

June 10, 2007

Isn't water just water?

Housekeeping Note
I'm going to try and do shorter posts this week, but will try to post more often. I thought by posting longer posts a few times a week would save me time, but I am so obsessed with proofreading that I fear I am spending MORE time with longer posts. We'll see, I guess. Also, I've noticed my banner is gone, gone, gone. Apparently, the sheep have fled their flock. Am working on it.

I don't get it. Arun loves the wading pool at the park and the "big" pool at the gym - he splashes happily and screams with joy. But a bath? Makes him quiver and shake. WTF?

The Sopranos
Wow. WOW.
Be sure to check out Throwing Things - there's some good discussion going on there. Sepinwall has a stellar post up as well. (If you mention the Sopranos here, just indicate that it's a spoiler. But seriously - you should check out the Big Guns - those guys will have some great discussions going.)

Harry Potter

Okay. Book is ordered, sticker proclaiming my faith that Snape is to be Trusted has been displayed prominently on my fridge. I did the special, fancy book and am considering it my Gift for Birthin' a New Daughter. Actually, I'm going to work on making that entire weekend about my Birthin' Gift. I am planning on schlepping Anjali to the Border's release party to pick up my copy. Then, I am thinking the next day X can whisk Arun far, far away somewhere so that Anjali and I can rest in peace while we try to read as much as possible before the inevitable spoilers start popping up everywhere. If any of this book gets spoiled for me by all the bloggers and websites that will be discussing the ending, I will be furious. (Reminder: Use your Spoiler Alerts!!) The movie release is a different story and could be dicey. My due date is 7/6 and if I were to go a week late, I may have difficulty fitting in the movie. Ahem. Although, honestly, I think this kid is going to come early. Doesn't she know I have a life??

Pregnancy Brain Strikes Again
I was really pissed this morning when my chairside lamp apparently broke. I've had the lamp forever, my grandma used it even before that when she passed it along to me. I was not relishing buying another lamp when we are trying to save money, but I dutifully added it to my shopping list for Target. This evening, it occurred to me that maybe the lamp wasn't broken and that perhaps the bulb was burned out instead.

Because I'm a genius like that.

June 7, 2007

Why are red buttons always the most important??

Apparently, there is some thinking going around that blogs are lame and narcissistic - who knew?? Of course, my blog is egotistical -- it's MY blog and it's pretty clear it's about ME. Seriously, I'm all over that concept known as "self-love" (batteries not included). Anyway, with perfect timing, Marilyn tagged me with a meme and you KNOW how I love a good meme.

Therefore, to celebrate the narcissism that is The Blog here's a meme that's all about ME. Who cares about you?

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was working for a public accounting firm in St. Louis. I moved there in March of '97 and hightailed it back to Kansas City by November of that year. It was the most miserable 9 months of my life. Some dark days were to be had during that time that I lived in St. Louis and it has made me leery of moving again.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Apparently, cursing like a sailor while eating at fine dining establishments. I'm a classy broad like that.

Five Snacks You Enjoy
1. Sunflower seeds
2. apples (Braeburn or Cameo) and cheese (gouda, parrano or manchego)
3. Cadbury Fruit n' Nut bar
4. Kashi granola bar
5. raw, unroasted, unsalted cashews

Five Things You Would Do If You Were a Millionaire
1. Set up trust funds for my kids, nephews and niece.
2. Find some libraries in need and set them up with new/more books.
3. Travel!
4. Totally revamp my ancient baby Steinway that needs muchos dineros for repairs.
5. Fix our house the way I would like it. I'd totally go HGTV all over its ass.

Five bad habits
1. Coca-Cola
2. Too much coffee
4. Procratination
5. Letting the clutter take over. One of these days, I'm going to lose a child or a cat to it.

Five Things You Like To Do

1. Cracking the spine on a newly purchased book
2. Sitting in my yard - front or back. Literally. I LOVE the feel of cool, green grass.
3. Traveling (I haven't been on a plane since January and I think I'm getting hives)
4. Browsing in a bookstore - new or used. No purchase necessary, just being there is enough.
5. Trying out new restaurants.

Five Things You Would Never Wear Again
1. purple and red velour. Maybe red. Maybe purple. But never, ever purple AND red again.
2. a wedding dress. Bleh. Over-rated.
3. bikini
4. short shorts
5. maternity clothes! Countin' the days.....countin' the days.....

Five Favorite Toys
1. My computers (do I have to choose which one? They are both special in their unique ways!)
2. My DVR
3. My Treo
4. My car
5. My knitting needles

I'm not tagging anyone, but if you decide to do this, let me know in the comments! See? I really do care!!

June 6, 2007

Sometimes, you simply run out of questions.

I didn't intend for my previous post to become about Kelsey Smith, but I am getting a lot of traffic because of some unforeseen linkage, so I do feel compelled to "finish the story". My previous post was really supposed to be about pushing back our fears and trudging ahead. I still stand by that post.

Unfortunately, Kelsey's family did have to face their fears in the worst possible way since Kelsey's body was found today. There's a TON of obnoxious invective flowing on some local sites about the case - crazy hatred spewing forth that has erupted into profane accusations. In the end, it doesn't matter whether Kelsey was white or black, rich or poor, from Kansas or Missouri. She was human. That's all.

May she rest in peace now.

June 5, 2007

At which point do you just become too afraid to even live?

I love my Olathe Grandma dearly. Hands down, without a doubt, she has been one of the most influential persons in my life and when she is gone for good, there will be a gaping hole in my heart and life that will never fully close. Never. I don't write about her much here and often, my stories are cute ones that poke gentle fun at her. I'm aware of how this blog has never done her justice for what an incredibly important person she has been in my life - it's something I have in my head to rectify (i.e. a post all about her and what she has done for me). Nearly everything I post about her are things that I have already said to her in person, so I don't feel dishonest in my writings of her. Writings such as this one.

My grandma is a very fearful person. She gave me roller skates, but I could only use them in her basement or 6x6 patio. Sidewalks? HELL NO. I wasn't allowed to play in her front yard because "someone might steal me". I still always, ALWAYS stop for railroad crossings even if there is a light - a legacy passed on to me by my grandma. I've been told countless horror stories over the years and have received yards upon yards of newspaper clippings in my mail. Folks, the world is a dangerous place and this has been drilled into my head since I can remember.

Those of you who live in Kansas City have probably heard of the Kelsey Smith abduction. Saturday evening, around 7:10 pm 18 year old Kelsey Smith went into a suburban area Target, made a purchase, then went to her car. There is a grainy surveillance video of a brief struggle at her car, then the car drives off. Her car was discovered 2 hours later at a nearby shopping mall and no sign has been seen of her since. Of course, this horrifies me. I am sure nearly every one of my Kansas City readers has frequented that particular Target and the nearby shopping mall. This story reeks of "there but for the grace of God go I" --- it is every mother's AND woman's worst nightmare. I don't watch the local news, but I do read it online and I've been checking it throughout the day in hopes she has been found. So, yes. I'm pretty shaken by such a seemingly random abduction.

This evening I received the ubiquitous call from my grandma that immediately starts off with "have you been reading in the paper about that little girl that got abducted?". And yes, I had. Per usual, I got the usual dire warnings from my grandma about how I shouldn't be "taking that baby anywhere." Meaning, according to her, Arun and I should just hole up in our house for the rest of our natural lives.

I still can't help but shake my head when I get firmly admonished by my grandma over the fact that I refuse to be ruled by fear and "brazenly" jet around Kansas City. Just Sunday, as I was driving into Brookside (a very nice urban neighborhood of Kansas City), she got very agitated that I would go into such a "dangerous" area where she reads all the time in the newspaper that they are "shooting people up there" (the same phrase she uses when I "confess" we have gone to the zoo. The zoo!) Okay, yes - there were some carjackings in the Brookside area, but guess what? Carjackings are not limited to Brookside! I do realize that I am going into some dicey areas by hanging out in Westport, Midtown, the Rivermarket, SW Blvd, 39th street, etc. but Kansas City has some very neat, historical areas where my favorite restaurants just happen to be. Am I really supposed to just hang out in my cushy cookie-cutter suburb on the mere chance that I may get mugged? Am I supposed to pass this fear along to my kids? And no, I don't just gallivant around the city. Where ever I go - suburbs or the city, I am careful. I make sure my doors are locked while driving. I try to keep tabs on where folks are when I'm at a stoplight. I rarely talk on my cell phone when walking on the street or in parking lots. When leaving spots where I am using the stroller, I make sure the wheels are locked and the stroller is ready to be immediately folded when I hit the car. I don't dawdle and I take precautions. I didn't work in downtown Kansas City for nearly 10 years for nothing and I ain't nobody's fool.

It's true that my grandma comes by her fears honestly and I can't fault her for them. She grew up dirt poor during the Depression and then later was widowed at the tender age of 24 when my firefighter grandpa died in the line of duty. It was 1947 and she was left with the task of raising 2 children under the age of 3 and half. She didn't have the luxury of taking risks because her children were all she had. I totally get that and respect it. However, I want to LIVE and most importantly, I want to teach my children to take life by the tail. That's all. Or is it?

June 2, 2007

What's faster than a speeding bullet?

These days, I can waddle my way to the nearest restroom quicker than you can say "kryptonite" only to dribble out a tablespoon's worth of piss. Bah.

Idiot Girl

One thing I love about this whole "no paycheck" business, is that it keeps me from buying Stupid Shit. Any of you who live for trips to Target, KNOW very well what I am talking about when I say "Stupid Shit". For example, I hate my paper towel holder. For no particular reason other than it is beechwood and I'm SO over my Beechwood Phase now. I've had it since before I even knew X. However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this stupid towel holder other than I am tired of it. This whole No Paycheck business is going a long, long way in helping me to resist the allure of the nice, cast-iron towel holder I've been lusting over.

Spice Girl
Watching some HGTV over the weekend, I observed YET AGAIN a couple displaying their fancy-smancy kitchen with granite counter tops and ridiculously priced appliances proudly show off their spices stored ABOVE their stove. It's only appropriate to store your spices near a heat source if you actually use them frequently - say, within 6 months, MAX!! Heat destroys spices over time. Furthermore, teeny plastic containers of McCormick's spices are going to render you some pretty bland food - the flavor of your spices will seep through the plastic. I save glass jars with the metal lids and keep my spices in those instead. Yep, it ain't pretty, but you can keep spices for up to a year in glass, just keep them away from the stove. For example, I do keep spices such as chili, turmeric, coriander, fenugreek, cumin, and mustard seed near the stove because I use them nearly every single time I cook. Everything else, is kept in a separate cabinet. I do have a pretty spice rack (beechwood, of course!) but need to get rid of it because it useless.

Dirty Girl
We got our dishwasher fixed over the weekend. The same one that broke back in March. See?? I wasn't lying. I truly do like to wash dirty dishes!! However, it eventually had to be fixed and letting those things sit for too long can dry out parts, so I needed to suck it up and just get it done. Sigh.

Flower Girl
I feel good. Over the weekend, X and I spread 50 bags of mulch and still ran out of mulch, that's how much freakin' landscaping is here. I am not such a big fan of excessive landscaping. Personally, I love seeing a lawn full of green grass, but we are stuck with the Previous Owner's asinine horticultural travesties. Also, I finally got all of my flowers planted! I'm not excited that I had to do so many geraniums, but I needed some easy flowers this year - I also leaned heavy on marigolds, portulaca and chicks n' hens. I'm just grateful that I can finally enjoy my yard without all that stuff hanging over my head. It's very peaceful outside now, which is the point of my yard. Anyway, I am exhausted. As much as I would love to complain, realistically I know that women the world over are doing far more physical labor than I. It's hard to gripe about spreading overpriced chips of cypress over one's overpriced plot of land when I know that my life is super cushy compared to others.

Working Girl
This weekend, I had to chuckle thinking of yet another article about that silly book The Feminine Mistake. The book that tells women they are making a mistake by staying home full-time with their children and are putting their financial futures at risk by "depending on a man". It's sorta like when I chuckle at the gals who proclaim that they work because they want their kids to know they are capable of more than "just being a mother". Friday, I spent some late hours working on a PowerPoint presentation for X and proofreading a document that I think I've read at least 50 times by now. And we bickered a bit because I thought he was wrong on some points on both documents. Last week, I hauled Arun into an auto parts store to get an air filter for my car because I REFUSE to pay someone to do it when an air filter is so easy to install myself. Arun has been into Lowe's so many times now, yet only went in with X for the first time just this past weekend. Furthermore, my kids are going to grow up watching their parents argue/debate over such topics such as politics and business tactics. Regardless if I never "work" again, I am not afraid of what my children will think of me because it will be clear to them that I am more "than just a mother".

Bad Girl
I have officially passed the "hair cutting" reins to X. I got tired of the being "bad one" holding Arun as he screamed bloody murder because I had the sheer nerve on insisting his mushroom cloud of hair be pruned. For whatever reason, the last 3 or so haircuts have been miserable and I finally told X that he was going to have to take over. I am always the one insisting on diaper changes, good behaviour, baths, hair washing, and finishing his dinner before dessert while X is always the Fun One. So, yes - it's his turn to be the bad guy. One more reason to be excited about having a girl. Until NewKid can beg for a haircut in complete, grammatically sentences and then be able to actually instruct the stylist on exactly what she wants - that little girl is not getting her hair cut.

Good Girl
I hate the term "Nesting". It's a cutesy, demeaning term that doesn't give credit where credit is due. Actually, I prefer to call it Gittin' Thy Shit DONE as the follow pics shall demonstrate.

Last week, X took my Arun to my mom's house and then went to a coffee shop to work while there in Lawrence. I had 4 blissful, uninterrupted hours in which to Git Thy Shit DONE. I have not been alone in my house for such an extended period of time since Arun was BORN. Oh sure, I get out all the time, but rarely do I get to just be at home with no one around. It worked out quite well - X still got to work, Arun got to hang out with my mom, and I had some time to piddle around the house. Now, I just need to totally clean and vacuum my car and then I can sleep at night. Well, after I organize the basement a bit, clean off the dining room table and put my tools in the garage in order. THEN, I can relax.