Monday, December 29, 2008

Sex In My City

Are you looking for a family activity that's heavily laced with a dose of awwwwkward? Have I got the film for you! During my stay in Orygun, my sisters and I had decided that we'd establish one of the nights as a "sister night", eating lunch in town and then heading over to Granny and Papa's to watch movies, eat popcorn and chocolate and talk as sisters will. Old Man Weather decided to foil our plans, closing the road between our house and town, so Myrtle was not able to partake in the sister fun. However, my recently upgraded extended-cut version of the SATC movie would not be put on the back burner, so I decided "What the heck...let's watch it tonight after the kids go to bed."

Right. So that means my senior citizen (but not lacking in good humor) conservative parents, my aunt The Nun, J, Milly and I would be settling in for an evening with my best girls; Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte. Before starting the film, I noted that my aunt was sequestered in the back room, and would not be joining us...maybe for the best, but I'm known to always push the envelope on appropriate.

I began to put the DVD in the player and halted. I first had to explain the ground rules, because this movie is not called Chastity and the City. While there would be multiple sex scenes, they are not for the purpose of eroticism, but as tasteful exemplars of humor and relationship status. My mother impatiently retorted "Like we don't know anything about sex, Sally." Fine. Close. Menu. Play. Ahhh...the familiar sights and sounds of fashion, men and friendship began rolling across the screen.

As usual, my mom was settled on the couch with one eye glancing at her current smut novel and the other watching the TV. I made sure she knew that I wouldn't be answering her questions if she couldn't deign to give the movie her full attention. Commence the first sex mom is feigning embarrassment until I pointed out the irony that she could comfortably read about a man putting his throbbing member into some one's slick womanhood in the latest Kathleen Woodiwiss, but was not able to maturely watch a sex scene between two married people...with clothes on their top halves.

A little later into the film, my mom started picking at Miranda calling her a 'whiner' and then eventually a "snaggle-toothed brat". My dad, who was trying his darnedest not to express how much he was actually enjoying the witty banter tempered with sexual tension that is Sex and the City retorted back "Kind of like you, Mama?" As a side note, my mom has often compared herself to the Ipana toothpaste beaver, so this comment was not entirely off-base. After about the fifth such comment about the character with whom I've often identified the most, my dander was up. 'Shut! Up!' I said, to which my mom appeared wounded and said "At least you didn't use a four letter word on me." (referring to an earlier even more awkward repartee in which I let slip a question of her that included the f-word as an adjective). Milly, the English teacher, without missing a beat replied "Yes she did. Shut." Ahhh. Point two for the Little Girls.

The rest of the movie flew by with only a couple more incidences. One during the scene at the rehearsal dinner a painting on the wall is seen in the background that is Michaelangelo-esque and a Oui-Oui can be seen. Milly had to vocalize it in the form of a question, of course only to be called a "penis peeker" by my mother (now who's inappropriate?); having long since put her book down, giving the movie her full attention.

J still thinks he's hilarious for his annoying (if not a little true) comparison of the SATC characters with the cast of The Golden Girls. This first came up when he told me they had a second movie in the works. When I wouldn't believe him, he said "Yeah, The Golden Girls." Because, and only because, I couldn't pass up the chance to illustrate my wicked literary skills, I said "Ha! SATC: The Golden Years."

When it was over, I anxiously asked my dad what he thought...I know he really liked it, it is the man who

You may be appalled that I viewed the movie with my parents, but they read my blog everyday and they "knew what I was when they picked me up."

The extended version has some cute scenes in it, and is well worth the extra $10 (I think) and that doesn't even include the gems I'm sure to find on the second disc, including a downloadable digital copy and an interview with SJP.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My M&M's

Since you're most likey ready to pop from all the candy you've consumed out of your stocking...come see how it could be even more fun! M&M's have a new personalization service.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pump Up the Jam

Did you know about Safeway's PowerPump program? Earn double rewards now through Christmas Day! You can get more details, as well as information to find a participating Safeway near you, at Knitty Reviews.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Time Travel

Flying to Oregon my brain was on overdrive, so excited to finally be home again, home again jiggety jig. Traveling with two young children is decidedly easier with the husband in tow, but I did find that I had fairly well organized my little entourage to the point that all J had to do was take H for a couple walks during our four hour layover. Alex had given H some Elmer's stamps that stamp only on the pad of paper provided. Having a McDonald's and restroom within spitting distance of our gate also ensured that we would have a rather uneventful stay at Midway. Despite leaving a State of Disaster and arriving in Arctic Blast (which brought snow and ice rendering the city paralyzed), we had no delays and arrived at midnight to the hotel where we were spending our first night, ready to pass out in the comfort of the two queen beds; each manning a child.

A mere three hours later, I heard what I thought were the rumblings of a distant DV incident, but were really J explaining to H quite delicately that it was nowhere close to time to wake up. A cry of "I peed!" brought J jumping out of his bed, rushing to the bathroom with H. A quick change of the diaper and pj's and we were ready to fall back into blissful slumber.

Or not.

3am Pacific is 6am Eastern, so H had technically fulfilled his sleep quota. He was up for the day. I thought that we (and in this case I must mean the royal we, as J was already drifting back into dreamland...oh, to be a man.) may be able to eek out a few more minutes of sleep by just turning on the TV and 'resting my eyes', but C chose that moment to announce that he wasn't really all that sleepy anymore either.

I tossed back the covers and jumped in the shower, (Tag! J, you're it!) welcoming the warm spray and the sloughing away of airport grime. There's nothing like cross-country travel with kids to make you feel fresh as a daisy. After I was done getting ready, we decided to go get breakfast, and my heart sank as imagined the local IHOP when one of the things I'd been most looking forward to was all the great breakfast places; Cadillac Cafe, Mother's Bistro, Rose's Deli (just to name a few)...a far cry from the offerings of White City. When you're traveling on a budget, it just felt so sad to spend you first vacay money on airport food with a chaser of Denny's. I had a sudden resolve to not eat crap food for breakfast. Driving away from the hotel, J remarked that we were like fugitives; checking into a hotel at midnight with our little kids and then slinking out again before 6am.

After double-checking the business hours of one of our fave restaurants with no dice, we remembered The Reedville Cafe, which has a great breakfast menu, awesome french toast and other specials and is really family friendly. As providence would have it, it opened 5 minutes before we pulled in.

I loved every morsel of my eggs Florentine and three cups of coffee, then rushed to my best friend's house as it was now the every-parent decent hour of 8am. And we'd already been up for five hours.

Did I mention that I'd failed to sleep the night before leaving? Apparently, I was so excited, I forgot to go to bed. I kept looking at the mountain of clothes and diapers, the over to the three suitcases and it just seemed like too much to commence, so I knit more of the socks I'm working on, watched a little Law and Order while doing laundry and just generally procrastinated the task of packing. Before I knew it, it was 5am and I'd yet to hit my head to the pillow. Three hours of sleep is paltry on its own, but when it's all you get in 72 hours, it leaves a little to be desired.

Yesterday, I made it through a busy day of meeting with old friends, touring the new building of my old job, lunch at Burgerville (Sweet Potato Fries, yum!) and a dinner at Cafe Mingo with my best friend, her family and another couple with their kids where I was barely able to hold it together while H cried loudly after being awoken on the short walk from the car to the restaurant. Luckily, we'd had the foresight to inquire about their private room, so it was almost like having dinner at one of their homes without the work of cleaning for and preparing a meal. By the time the calamari came out, H was sleeping on a bed of coats and I was happily finishing my second glass of wine.

At home, with all the kids asleep, we got to stay up and visit hitting the sack at about midnight. It's now 5am, and I've been up for over an hour. What? What's that you're asking? Where's my husband? Right. He's upstairs. Asleep. And I'm not one bit bitter. Nor did I make any snarky comments about his level of helpfulness as I awoke. And I won't be rude to him when his well-rested ass finally makes it downstairs. Or hold it against him the rest of the day. I. am. Zen. Mother.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mirror Mirror

We made it safely to Oregon, just in time for my first 'guest post'. Check it out at GNM Parents

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hats off

I made several variations of the same hat for C, O and Milly's girls. The pattern is written for a 6-18 month old, so I just added strips of alpaca in for the older kids. Simple earflap hat, but it's warm and super cute...I'll have to take a picture with C wearing his...

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Like the Corners of My Mind

Tonight, I was baby-sitting for another mama and I was greeted by the scent of a live Christmas tree, tubes of wrapping paper stored in their Rubbermaid containers waiting to wrap gifts and the Cindy-Lou Who-esque four year old I was watching was dressed in her pj's awash in the glow of the lights and tinsel from the tree.

I was hit with a strong sense of nostalgia of being that Cindy-Lou Who in my pj's, so excited for Christmas to come I could hardly stand myself. As time marches on, the magic of Christmas gets overshadowed by the craze of buying, making, wrapping, shipping, buying some more...

After reading her a few bedtime stories, I was getting a drink in the kitchen when I spotted Baby-Sitter Kryptonite. Yes, it was the classic shirt box with tin foil peeking over the edge that could only mean one thing...cupcakes leftover from a party. As I peeled back the paper and savored the chocolate frosting and sprinkles, I started thinking more about what it was that I really loved about Christmas growing up.

My mom decorates for every holiday, so you can't help but be swept up in it; although we tease her endlessly for her lawn that is now littered with blow-mold snowmen, but really we didn't ramp it up until the nativity came home...Baby Jesus, in plastic blow mold...lit up? And you wouldn't let me watch the Like a Virgin video because it was sacrilege? hmmmm. Do as I say, not as I do, right?

We always had a wood stove in the kitchen and my mom and dad would have us write our Santa letters then they would put them in the fire so that the ashes could fly out the chimney and make their way to the North Pole for Santa to piece back together. He's really quite amazing, that jolly old guy.

Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember (save for the last couple years when I lived further away) is spent at my aunt and uncle's house where all of the aunt, uncles and cousins get together for a Waffle Feed...I have 36 first cousins on that side, and the feed is open to extended family, and really anyone who wants to come in the community. After we get fat and happy on waffles smothered in strawberries and whipped cream or maple syrup, fried eggs and sausage, it's off to Midnight Mass.

Christmas morning was the only time we got pre-sweetened cereal, so it was all about picking your own little mini box of trix or frosted flakes and then it was off to open gifts with my dad in his sweet navy velour track suit (of which J has a frightening duplicate) divying up the gifts, making sure we opened one each in order of age and the handed him the paper to be tightly wadded and promptly disposed of in the garbage bag he had at the ready. We're a 'rip and tear' family. Ironically, now my mom makes home-made sticky buns after gifts are opened, because cold cereal is the last thing we want.

The cost to fly home and spend time with family was J and my gift to each other; we agreed to doing only stockings for each other, and by that I do not mean that there will be a diamond, or whatever the male counterpart to that is, nestled in it. The harried pace at which we've been living for the last year-and-a-half, well really last five-and-a-half, is making this vacation all the more appreciated.

I've mentioned before that we agreed on a home-made Christmas this year in my family. I couldn't help myself in looking at the gifts as I'm preparing to mail them ahead of us and feeling like they're a little paltry. Nevermind that I've spent several hours making them, I keep thinking 'What else should I add to this?' 'What if it's not enough?' 'What if they get me more?' I called Milly, who was having the same internal dilemma for Sherri's gift, as that's the sister she drew. We ended the conversation with the agreement that the whole point of going handmade this year was to spend less and still have a gift that's personal.

Thanks, Cindy, for reminding me of the simple joy of being excited for Christmas' sake. Because, in the end, that's what I really want for my kids.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Provisional Cast-Ons

I found a great tutorial online via another pattern I'm working on for a cute toddler/child flapper hat by Sarah with an H that shows a ton of different versions of provisional cast-ons with great pictures! See Eunny Knit is definitely worth taking a peek!

Let Them Know It's Christamstime

Bare Naked Ladies with the Boston Pops...woot woot.

Solid Proof

I promised I'd give updates on my quest for the cloth. It has been surprisingly easy to make the transition to using g's and cloth, and I have the goal of having no disposable diapers by the end of January, which is enough time to phase out what I currently have and really get a good system for night-time wetting. After the diapers I have now are gone, if I still need them for H at night, I'll use some of the money I'm saving by using cloth on C and get Seventh Generation, Earth's Best or another brand of chlorine-free diaper. Actually, my friend in Oregon just told me that Whole Foods Private Label 365 has a chlorine-free diaper now. (As an aside, I just read a really great comparison review of the SG, WF and g's by MamaStories and she has a follow-up as well, incorporating comments from readers and the companies themselves.)

I don't even have an official diaper pail yet, as I was just using a mop bucket by the washing machine with baking soda in the bottom for a dry pail. With a potty-training toddler and a baby in cloth diapers, there's really not ever more than a day without doing laundry, so the smell that I was worried about hasn't been an issue at all. The diaper pail in our bathroom that holds H's disposables smells like something died in it, which I guess it technically did, but the cloth pail is fine.

Now that I know I can do it, I've ordered a WAHMIEs diaper pail liner, which fits in a standard garbage can and also ordered a couple of hemp/microfiber liners from Emily's Little Treasures (Which I really like, especially compared to having the bulky Chinese pre-fold in there) that fit into the g's ...the up-front investment has been pretty negligible so far.

In my slow surrender to 'becoming a dirty hippie' as Lynn at Family Style Love termed it, I've found that I'm getting kind of excited about all the positive changes. Using Earth Friendly Orange Plus for most of my cleaning, regular white vinegar and baking soda have made a happy little addition to my repertoire.

After being a complete brat about the high price of organic living, I've found that there are so many ways to go green on a budget. Full Circle has a huge natural and organic product line that is carried at Roche Bros (others as well, but Roche Bros is where I shop a lot) and is actually cheaper than a lot of the generic regular items. From free-range chicken stock to vegetarian refried beans to toasted oats, I've found a grocery brand that's inexpensive and really good. Their website also has a menu and recipe database.

So where does that catchy little title come in, you may be asking yourself? Well, because I was on an organic high from all the good I was doing by washing my little gooey breast milk poo diapers in our front-loading energy-efficient washing machine with dye and perfume-free detergent. And then, C started to eat solid food. Again, the good feelings as I spooned Earth's Best Organic Sweet Potatoes, Plum Banana Brown Rice and Pears with Blueberrry into his gaping baby bird mouth. The best part? These were all free, as another mom's baby had recently outgrown that stage in life. (When they were gone, I went to Target and found that Earth's Best was marked lower than the regular Gerber line.)

And then...yep, out came the solid poo. I tried scraping it off with a wipe because I just couldn't bring myself to dunk it in the toilet...I guess I don't see what that really solves. So, first you have a poopy diaper, then you have a wet, probably still poopy diaper? Hmmm..doesn't seem much better. The wipe route didn't work wonderfully, but it was better than nothing.

I quickly invested in the bumGenius diaper sprayer, which was highly rated on amazon, and had been talked about on several of the gDiaper and cloth diapering e-loops that I'm on. It came in the mail yesterday, and I asked J to install it last night. While I have to call the company because it leaked all over the bathroom floor, I'm confident that there's an easy fix. Out of the 20+ reviews I read, nobody mentioned it leaking; "I don't think I would be quite so excited about cloth diapering without this product. It works great on even the yuckiest poops!"

Music to my ears.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Baby Einstein

I reviewed some of the Baby Einstein Tenth Anniversary products on Knitty Reviews today!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Great Bailout

I saw this picture posted by a friend onto's so sad because we've always been a 'ford family'. The front of my parent's house looks like a car lot when we all get together; from the Focus to the F-150, we represent!

Henry Ford is probably rolling over in his grave.

Holiday Gift Guide

MC Blogger Button

Still trying to decide what to get everyone on your 'nice' list? Check out the MomCentral Holiday Gift Guide at Knitty reviews

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Something Fishy...

Yesterday, I took H to the New England Aquarium in Boston with Alex and her boys. Initially I was going to take both kids, but then realized that J would be home from work long enough that I could take just H and have a little one-on-one time. I feel like I've been pretty disconnected from him lately. Our personalities, I'm learning, are fairly similar so now that he's coming into his own, we're really butting heads.

From the Jellyfish in the bottom to the Octopus in the top, H behaved like a dream and I felt the closeness to him I've been craving. We got to watch the vet do a little surgery on a new sea turtle that had been hit by a boat, and the scuba diver (or 'screwdriver' as H kept calling her) was feeding all the fish in the big center tube...lots of fun to watch!

He used the potty twice at the aquarium, and Thomas (the Train, not John Thomas a la Trey) stayed dry the whole visit.

After the requisite hour and a half at the aquarium, it was across the street to Legal Seafood to have a nice lunch. I know, I know. It's a little weird to feel a hankering for crab cakes after spending the morning looking at ocean life, but what can I say? It's some of the best seafood in the city. We had planned to walk to Mike's Pastry for cannoli (sing. cannolo, but who ever eats just one?) afterward, but ran out of time so "had" to settle for some Boston Cream Pie at Legal.

I could tell immediately that our server had kids, as she brought crackers out right away, and when only one child ordered a Shirley Temple, she brought cherries for all three. The food was great, the service was better, and the kids sat in a booth, sans boosters or high chairs without threat of being shoved into one for bad behavior.

After lunch we took turns shuffling the kids to the bathroom before making the trek home. I don't know if I've mentioned before, but H is a little sensitive to loud noises like the vacuum cleaner and now, I've found, public toilets flushing. Luckily he was sitting on a toilet with a sensor and he's the world's wiggliest kid. Each time he'd relax enough to go potty, he'd move to the side just enough to set off the sensor and the toilet with flush with roaring water, making him tense enough to make a diamond...awesome. After happening three times, he decided he just didn't need to go, so I took my turn and gave him one last shot. No dice.

At least he liked the automatic sink and paper dispenser...we'll have to work on the toilets.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Oh my. I need to have a girl. Look at these cute, cute booties I get to knit!