Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Yes, it's all fun and games when it's only a song.
Remember that list of things you said you'd never do when you had kids? Yeeeeah, well, I don't know about all of you, but I swore I'd never have a bed full of people that weren't either my husband or myself.
Well, when it came time to choose between getting enough rest to be coherent the next day at work, or enforcing the law of the land, I chose sleep. While H did not sleep with us every night, there have been definite co-sleeping periods...one of which we seem to be entering yet again.
Between waking up to nurse C and allaying H's fears, I finally said fuhgedaboutit. As we've entered the potty training phase, we can't so much gate H in his room at night anymore. So, for those of you thinking a gate?! Yes, a gate...love it or leave it, sister. That brings us to the last two nights when his sweet self smashes in the middle of J and I.
It's fine until I wake up to take C to the other room to nurse. I return to find my side taken over by Mr. sweaty-two-year old, and have to heft him over only to be left with about 10 inches of space...no, that's no sufficient for me, even when laying on my side. Why, I continually ask, does this child not desire the sharing of his father's pillow? It's a good thing the co-sleeper's there so that my ass can lop over the side of the bed without me worrying about falling.
I see those huge king-sized beds and I think in my head about those who are sleeping peacefully in them all. night. long. I feel the envy that Napoleon felt about the bike...
Saturday, July 26, 2008
H's command of "build!" (he's capable of, and practices, far more complex sentences, but has recently decided that dictatorial utterances get more attention) took J into H's bedroom to play with Lego's. Their general routine is that one of them will build a tower, the other knocks it down and then they re-build, ultimately making a 'house' for all of H's animals that they can leave up.
Later that night, after the kids were tucked away and I was contemplating whether to have a Sam's Summer or cookies, J piped up with a smiley/smirk, the interpretation of which I'm still not clear, that H had said something he'd repeated at a time before I started really monitoring my words (and stopped watching The Sopranos and Sex and the City with him in the room) 'and he definitely knows the context now.'
It seems J knocked down the tower, as was the practice, and H blurted "Don't ever do that again! That is not nice! That is mean! Be Gentle! (and then, almost as an after thought...) God Dammit."
Ah, Shite...I did what any respectable person would do when caught red handed. 'Well, he didn't get that from me because when I say it, I just happen to blurt it and then I launch into the explanation of why he shouldn't throw sand/sweep a glass off the table/throw objects at neighboring diners.'
Yeeeeeeees, I'm sure I cleared that right up. J just rolled his eyes, and I called my mom to relay the story, laughing, because what else can you do? ...she's the only person who would appreciate my position as Marv certainly didn't teach us to exclaim 'Jesus, Mary and Joseph!'. I still can't recall a single time my dad cussed in front of me, that includes the time he was using a table saw and something got jammed causing the wood to come back and hit him in the crotch America's Funniest Home Video's style. His response; "YYYYYYYYowee!"
H, I thought we had a deal...I buy you Munchkins on demand and you don't tell Daddy my shortfalls. J, I warned you that I was way more qualified to protect other people's children.
Congratulations to Alisa and Sherri for winning the Starbucks cards and Preserve Toothbrushes!
Friday, July 25, 2008
I love to read, am in a book club, but still can't get enough...it's great to have a list to build from.
The full list of 'New Classics' is here, and following in bold are those I've already read along with the six in italics that I've chosen to read and review by January 2009. As I read them, I'll review them on Knitty Reviews and then in January I'll write a post about the one that I liked the most. Lost in a Good Story will mail to a random winner a copy of their favorite book. I found it really hard to narrow it down to the six I'll review.
This is going to be such a fun challenge! Come join the fun.
3. Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)
6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)
9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)
11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)
16. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)
20. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding (1998)
25. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan (1989)
28. Naked, David Sedaris (1997)
30. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (2004)
34. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (2002)
36. Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)
48. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
55. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls (2006)
60. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)
67. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003)
71. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Ann Fadiman (1997)
78. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
88. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995)
92. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)
93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991)
94. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (2001)
95. Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman (1998)
96. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003)
99. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (1995)
100. America (the Book), Jon Stewart/Daily Show (2004)
This is cross posted at Knitty Reviews.
If anyone knows how to create a button, Joanna has requested help, so contact her about it.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
While there was a point when I was looking at the directions thinking I'd never figure out how to attach neck and make it all work, I did! It's done, my head goes through the neck hole and my arms go through the arm-holes...all in all, a success. I even bought different fabric to make a second one!
My only recommendation is to not get discouraged in reading the directions. Once you're actually doing it, they make much more sense. Also, true to my nature, I didn't put in a single basting stitch...isn't that just double the work for the same effect? Silliness.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
I'll steal from Alex Elliot and do a little 'lesson learned'; Cool effects in clothing usually aren't so cool to create.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Turns out, she didn't have to buy any fancy schmancy software, you can just go to 'the cartoonizer' on the befunky website. There aren't a ton of options, but you can cartoonize pictures and video for free, so it's fun to play around with.
Now you might see me on the streets, but you won't know for sure...you'll just think 'Doesn't she look like the human version of the A-Ha video-esque picture I saw on that knitty something or other blog the other day?'
Wait, was I the only one who started humming the tune to Take On Me as soon as I saw myself in cartoon? Yet another sweet by-product of having an eight year age gap between the two sets of children...MTv viewing beyond my years.
And now for your viewing and listening pleasure....
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Also, when I had already pinned most of the pieces, only to find it told me to pin right sides together I first hesitated to undo it...but then I did. Lastly, I had pinned most pieces and couldn't figure out why the last ones wouldn't fit until I looked closer and realized that there was only a portion of the fabric that was double-folded and the rest was single thickness...argh...out came the pins.
As you can see, however, it's finally all cut out and waiting for me to start piecing together and sewing...that's the simple part, right?! (I'm very excited about the fabric. It has a chocolate background with blue bubbles...my current hip color combo, but you can't tell, because as it's supposed to...the wrong side is facing out.)
Monday, July 14, 2008
It's a little disheartening when you look down and still feel about 5 months pregnant, even though you gave birth a week ago. I saw a shirt recently that said "Not Pregnant. Just had a baby."
When I first had H, my sister and I were walking into Target and she started to push the stroller. I yelled out "No!" and took over the helm. She looked at me oddly, and I explained that it was not some crazy protective maternal instinct, it was just that if I was pushing the stroller, people would know why I was so chubby. She looked a little relieved as I'd reacted as though she would snatch my baby, and then burst out laughing because, well, because it was just out of control.
Now that I've hit the six-week mark with baby C, I'm very glad that my friend turned me onto a new (and completely free) website called SparkPeople. It's a lot like WeightWatchers, in that it has you log your food, but there are a TON of resources on the site and it's, did I say this yet, completely free! I stepped on the scale at the doctor's office this morning and breathed a sigh of relief...my bathroom scale had not just randomly been 20 pounds light, I really have lost just over 30 pounds since having C!
Thanks to the push from the ole stomach bug, I was able to take a break from my love-hate relationship with sugar and get back on track with my eating habits. It's amazing how quickly you can lose weight when you're breastfeeding and eating a sensible diet...what a concept! I've definitely got a long way to go, since I started out the pregnancy already overweight, but I'm now about 8 pounds from my starting weight, with about 60 to go until I'm at my goal.
Don't worry, this won't turn into a Chicken Soup for the Fatty's Soul blog, but the work it will take to reasonably lose this weight (and keep it off...no Atkin's diet for me) will be a big part of my life, so it may sneak into my posts now and then.
Speaking of Fattys, I am reading a great book right now; Slow Fat Tri-Athlete: Live Your Athletic Dreams in the Body You Have Now and it's HILARIOUS! She's at a size that is not petite, but she's fit and happy after several years of training for, and participating in triathlons upon realizing that her larger self was not making her happy or healthy. She has a great voice, and it's always encouraging to see people who are embracing the size they are now in order to get out there and make the difference they want to see in themselves.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
It was fated to happen as I have a newborn and rambunctious toddler to deal with at the same time. I am happy to say, however, that I can take back everything I've said about H's adjustment recently because he was an angel. I laid on the couch under a blanket...which if you know my Sweaty Betty self, that is cause for concern in itself, and H entertained himself until J got home in the mid-afternoon.
The next morning, after showering off my fever-breaking sweat, I decided to step on the scale to see if my lack of caloric intake had any positive pay-offs. As I had consumed only hot tea and ginger ale the day before (even the b.r.a.t. diet made me queasy on sight), it was not surprising that I'd lost a little weight. From an admittedly unhealthy standpoint, I can disclose that I was more than a little excited to see that I'd lost four pounds...even with a wet towel on my head. Hey, when you're trying to lose about 80 pounds of pre and post-baby weight, you'll take it how you can get it.
Fast forward to today, I still hadn't regained my appetite, and it was only mid-way through the day that I realized what the new weirdness in my stomach was...it was hunger pains. I don't mean when your tummy gets a little grumbly, but genuine pain...hmmm I guess there's a reason I have so much weight to lose, I'd never experienced these before that I can recall.
If you're wondering about the arm-wrestling connection...just you wait...
Well, after eating a couple small, easy meals; a slice of cheese here, some grapes there, I felt ready to make a real dinner for the fam tonight. As I was broiling the pork chops, I glanced over the counter to see on the TV in the living room (yes, I know, small apartment) the still image of a dvd's menu screen, along with the words Over the Top. I looked at J incredulously. I knew that this was not just a Netflix pick, as I'd just put our three allotted envelopes in the mail that morning.
That means that my husband bought this horribly cheesy Stallone movie about an arm wrestler/truck driver fighting to get custody of his son. Okay, you may think I'm just as bad for knowing what the movie was about without having to consult J, but it's only because I was subjected to it in 7th grade at my friend's house because her dad was watching it and she was a fan as well; it burned its way into my impressionable mind.
As I began to tease J, he rolled his eyes and said a la Napoleon Dynamite 'You just don't understand or appreciate the arm-wrestling trucker population. You shouldn't be so close-minded to segments of our culture.' Uhhh sure, that's exactly what it is.
Wow, and this is from the man who was going to walk out on the season finale of The Bachelorette? Ugh, maybe I am starting to feel nauseated again after all!
Friday, July 11, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
In that vein of thought, I realized recently that my outward facade, if found at a time and place where I was not available for questioning, would leave no doubt in the investigator's minds that I am a mother. They would not need to look at the names of H and C on the custom stamped sterling silver necklace and wonder if they were my children; my National Geographic boobs and Rand McNally Road Atlas-esque stomach would answer that for them.
I don't say these things because I regret that I have stretch marks or breasts that aren't quite 'youthful' looking anymore, it's just the reality of where I am. I was prepared for all of these changes when I decided I wanted to have kids. I've been around enough other women who've had babies and are close to me that I didn't have delusions I'd fit into my pre-baby clothes for the ride home from the hospital, nor that I would look like a pin-up in the chest area after the initial nursing phase was over. What I wasn't prepared for, however, are some of the more personal changes that happen to your body. So personal, apparently, that your friends don't think it necessary to bother warning you about them.
Which brings me to what happened in the restroom at the new play center in the mall the other day. After my friends had taken me to lunch, we all decided to head over to let the kids get out their wiggles before heading home.
I was in the private family bathroom changing C's diaper when I felt like maybe I'd need to use the potty myself. Within, literally, half a second the urge was uncontrollable and I started to pee my pants. Yes, you read that correctly. Never have I been more grateful that the stars aligned to make several things happen; a) I was wearing drawstring pants that could be pulled down without delay, b) I was still wearing the post-partum 'diaper', and c) I was at a changing table that was directly across from the toilet so that I could pull down my pants and sit while still having a hand on my baby so I didn't have to make the choice of leaving my child unattended or peeing my pants, leaving me to face public humiliation.
I walked out of the restroom in a state of shock, and immediately told my friend Alex that I had pretty much just peed my pants. I have NEVER had that happen past the age of, say, four. I have a bladder of steel. I worked in a field where I was so busy that I often held it for hours. WHAT had just happened? Pair that with the raging hemorrhoids and the other 'swelling' that's going on down there and I am feeling dy-no-mite about my current self!
Later that night, when I told J about it, he just smiled kindly and said "It's just going to take awhile to get everything back as it should be." Somehow that was not reassuring. I was hoping for a horrified look and the confirmation that, yes, that was very alarming, circumstantial and would most hopefully never happen again.
Oh, and Happy Independence Day, America!
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
I was shopping at the grocery store the other day, looking for a good dessert as I was hosting the board meeting for my mom's group that night. When I first entered the store, the produce section was calling to me with brightly colored sale signs. The first stand I came to had strawberries; buy one get TWO free! Sweet, strawberry shortcake it is!
I had recently received an email about the plentiful harvest that California growers are experiencing this year, so glanced at the package and noted that, sure enough, they were grown in sunny California. I got home and started slicing away, placing the pretty berries in my prized brightly colored nesting bowl from Crate & Barrel. After adding a tiny bit of sugar and stirring them to get a little juice going, I covered the berries and left them on the counter to 'mellow' until the meeting started.
When everyone came, I had a store-bought pound cake arranged in pretty slices on my Fiestaware bread plate, the bowl o' berries and a can of whipped cream. How is it that something so simple tastes so good? I love that summer is all about simplicity, and when you start with something yummy and sweet like a strawberry, you really don't have to add much more.
Never one to forget about the kiddies, the California Strawberry Commission has a section of their site called Strawberryville full of games, facts and fun. The strawberry 'school' has sections designated to kids aged 5-7 and 8-12.
This post can also be seen at Knitty Reviews
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
I liked that the segment wasn't alarmist, but was a gentle reminder that we need to keep our eyes on the sand as well as the water when our kids are playing. It was good timing because I know that sometimes I'm content to just let H play while I visit with the other moms and when there are several kids together, digging a hole can quickly lead to digging a large crater.
In that same vein, I was checking out the MommyDocs website, which has a ton of great information, including a featured article sponsored by Clorox; Five Simple Summer Safety Tips. They all were fairly common sense, but I guess that's the point. In an era where common sense isn't so common (a la 3rd degree sun burns when a parent or caregiver neglects to apply sunscreen to a child in the scorching sun) it never hurts to be reminded.
According to MommyDocs, a lot of summer woes can be avoided by following these five tips :
1. Have a Sun Protection Strategy
2. Keep Pests off Your Little One
3. Keep the Pool Cool and Clean (with the added Safety must: Always supervise children regardless of age when they are around any water; whether it's a bucket, a small backyard plastic pool, or the local community pool.)
4. High Heat Means Hydrate
5. Rid Rashes and Relieve Itchies
With just a little bit of preparation, you can have hours of fun in the sun, while at the same time establishing good habits for your kids. The days of slathering yourself in Crisco and laying on tin foil are g-o-n-e gone, and it's important for kids to be in the routine of applying sunscreen before leaving the house and during their activity in the hopes that they won't have to (obsessively, anyway) inspect their bodies in 20 years, looking for moles and other signs of skin cancer.
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