Showing posts from March, 2009

#300 (Oh, and we're growing popcorn)

300 blog posts! Why fame and fortune have not found me, I've no idea. In any case, #300 seems somehow noteworthy, so I'd like to take the opportunity to thank the folks who read my blog. Without the little people, where would I be? But seriously, I appreciate all of the feedback and encouragement from my witty readers. I'd also like to thank those who link to my blog, as that's always appreciated. I generally receive 50-90 visits a day, and many of those readers found me through those referring links. For the Boo Radleys who keep visiting my blog because you did a Google search and found an innocent post about fathers kissing their children, would you sick fucks please go away? Seriously, you need medication and, probably, prison time. I should just delete the entry, but dammit - I even did research for that one! In other news, we are growing popcorn. I thought you'd like to be the first to know. It took me a while to figure out what was going on. As I was picking

How much me is too much?

Although my blog may leave the impression that nothing is sacred (poop seems to come up more often than it should), one topic I have purposely dodged lately is weight loss. Suffice it to say that I continue to fight the good fight, though I seem to lose more rounds than I win. Speaking of losing, may I share a pet peeve with you? It's the word itself. No one seems to know the difference between lose and loose. If you visit some of the message boards on the Weight Watchers site, everyone is crowing about how much weight they want to loose. These are the same people who bust out with, "I need advise!" Or even, "I should of . . . " Oh, it maketh me weep. I don't mean to be a language snob but criminy! I haven't discussed my weight battle recently because, well, after a while the whole thing gets a tad embarrassing. I should've slain this demon a long time ago, right? Alas, no. I may stab it, tie it up, and throw it under my bed, but it lives on. It come

Kids say the . . .

My daughter knows that when I take a bath, I'd really like to be alone (she can't comprehend why I would not want the company of a three-year-old during moments of attempted relaxation, but I believe she at least understands the concept). I want to read a book and sip some wine - and I'd like to do these things all by myself. Sunday night was bath night for the kid. As I stood in the doorway, she gave me a serious sort of look and repeated what she had heard me say so many times. "I'm taking a bath and I need to be alone." She jutted out her chin for emphasis. I should add that she was not exactly lounging in the warm water and reading a novel. Instead, she was sitting on Uniqua from the Backyardigans, wearing her Little Mermaid washcloth on her head, and feeding purple foam soap to Gretchen. "I can't leave you alone," I replied. "You could slip and hit your head and then you might fall into the water. I don't want you to die, I want to


My husband earned a prize of sorts at work. He was invited to choose a piece of crap from a catalog. He received a similar invitation a few years ago, which is how we ended up with our Dustbuster (AKA cat-litter-sucker-upper - its sole use in our home). While AIG executives enjoy their bajillion dollar bonuses, our little clan makes do with small household appliances. What did he choose from the catalog du crap this time, you ask? A set of walkie -talkies. The package arrived in the mail a couple days ago. P opened it, inserted batteries in the hatch of each unit, and handed one walkie -talkie to the kid. I don't know which of them was more excited about this little prize. I never saw the catalog myself, but I'm hard-pressed to believe that there was nothing even vaguely useful in there. I questioned the wisdom of his selection. He just kept repeating, "But it's got an eleven-mile range!" Him: We can use these if we get separated at the state fair! Me: Or, we

She's got your eyelashes

I took the kid to my Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday morning. She's reached the age where she is actually capable of being reasonably quiet for thirty minutes while the members chat about the almighty struggle. The ladies at Weight Watchers adore the kid. There is nothing that gets a group of women (mostly middle-aged) going like a little girl with a head full of ringlets. Moreover, a little girlie-girl who refuses to wear anything but dresses - some of them all but eat her alive. A woman I've known for a few years happened to be sitting next to us. A climbed onto my lap and I rubbed her back as I listened to the group leader speak. Connie leaned over and said, "She's got your eyelashes!" I'm assuming she doesn't know that my daughter is not the fruit of my loin, so I simply smiled and nodded. This daughter of mine . . . she is my sharp-witted pistol, my wee companion, the fulfillment of a dream. I can shape who she is in many ways, but one thing I ca

Let me just say THIS about THAT

I typically don't use my blog as a platform for discussing current events. In most cases, there isn't much I can say that hasn't already been uttered by a thousand other bloggers. As such, I have not mentioned the much-maligned "Octu Mom." Until now, anyway. Nadya Suleman continues to be in the news, ad nauseum, so it's hard to avoid her. It's like trying to avoid oxygen or McDonald's. The truth is, my seven-year struggle to become a mom left me with the complete inability to be fair to this woman. My perspective is colored by the loss of four babies. I have two beefs with her (well, probably more than two if you want to get all technical about it). The first is her comments regarding her life as an only child. Nadya Suleman has repeated several times in various interviews that because she was an only child, she did not get enough love growing up. I cannot wrap my brain around this at all. My daughter is an only child (at least in our home - she does h

Beef fat? WTF?!

As a vegetarian, I am accustomed to reading labels. The ubiquitous chicken is snuck into a lot of products where you'd hardly expect to find it. Canned soups are a literal minefield; vegetable soup is seldom vegetarian. I love black-eyed peas but I know to check the can to ensure that bacon has not been added. Refried beans are often married to lard. The list goes on and on. One aisle at the grocery store where I thought I was off the hook, however, was the bakery section. No one is sneaking chicken parts into brownies, or at least logic would seem to dictate that they shouldn't be doing so. Nonetheless, I recently learned that I cannot eat Hostess' 100 Calorie Packs. I had purchased them several times and it never occurred to me to read the label. I like to have a small snack midway through the morning at work, and this seemed to be the perfect option. They're sweet, and most varieties are only one point on the Weight Watchers plan. My favorite was the chocolate. But o

The stuff I put in my mouth

The mystery began in the fall of 2007. I was having lunch with my pastor at a vegetarian cafe downtown. It was a weekday and I had blocked off 90 minutes on my calendar at work. I was looking forward to chatting with Reverend Sandy and getting to know her better. I ordered a black bean burger, something I had eaten many times at other restaurants, though not at this cafe as far as I could recall. I took a few bites of my burger and as Reverend Sandy and I continued to chat about one's spiritual journey through life, I started to realize that my tongue was sort of burning. And then my throat followed suit. I then realized that the left side of my lower lip was starting to swell. The pastor was not looking at me oddly or anything, so I came to the conclusion that whatever was going on, it must not be TOO bad. Now, a sensible person would probably stop eating the sandwich at this point. A hungry person who didn't realize she was having an allergic reaction, however, would keep eat

The Daddy Mac Will Make You Jump Jump

You won't find anyone so grateful for a meal as a dog who's been starved. My current Boxers, Gideon and Gretchen, were around 40 pounds each they came into rescue. They both weigh in the low 60's now, which gives you an idea of just how emaciated my sweet pooches were. Though healthy now, neither has forgotten the hungry days that came before. Therefore, each meal is met with much fanfare and theatrics. As I prepare their breakfast each morning, Gideon stands at the edge of the kitchen and leaps into the air. Straight up, several feet off the ground. I decided to attempt to capture it on video this morning. He only leaps once during this clip, but here 'tis: In the background, you can hear Gretchen tap dancing on the kitchen floor. She dances while Gideon leaps. This scenario is repeated twice a day, every day. I should add that my nine-year-old foster dog, Fritz, is not in the video, because he refuses to get up early. You should see the dirty look he gives me when my


My daughter and I went to the grocery store after work yesterday. After some intense negotiations, we settled on a bribe. She would agree to accept a small bag of Cheetos in exchange for staying in the shopping cart. I navigated up and down the aisles as quickly as I could, crossing items off my list as I sped along. My daughter crunched loudly on her snack and sang "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" at the top of her lungs for everyone's shopping entertainment. ("PUT 'EM TOGETHER AND WHAT HAVE YOU GOT?!") Have you ever noticed how no one else at the grocery store is EVER in a hurry? I watched a woman carry out an intensive comparison of three different types of salad dressing. She read the labels, she made notes - she did everything except juggle them. And I watched her because I had no choice. She would not move. Finally, we made it to the register and I started loading our stuff onto the belt. Just then, there was a commotion at the next register. I saw white-shirted

Burning a hole in my pocket

So, you may be thinking to yourself, "Self, did Claudia find all the songs she wanted to buy with her iTune gift cards ?" I am here to report that I have $12.43 left (out of the fitty-five with which I started) and I can't seem to part with it. You know how when you're at the mall and you have no money to spend, suddenly you see everything you've ever wanted? The perfect pair of jeans, the bra that lifts and separates like no other, the most fabulous pair of shoes ever manufactured? And then when you're at the mall and you have a gift card from your birthday, suddenly nothing is good enough for you? It's kinda like that. I did check out the songs that were recommended to me via my blog and on Facebook (And by "check out" I mean that I listened to the thirty-second snippet that iTunes doles out.) I bought a few of the suggested songs. Others appeared to have the makings of a practical joke. ("She really bought that one? No shit?!") The s

Undue Influence

In the photo above, my daughter is wearing a hair implement that she picked out herself. It's essentially a ponytail holder with four sheer strips of fabric attached. There are a few rhinestones thrown in for good measure. It's cute. She digs it. But then: "Kylie said I look like I have a paper towel on my head." I told her that Kylie (a girl in A's class at Kindercare) has no fashion sense and that she can just ignore what she says. This Kylie character probably wears white shoes after Labor Day and mixes pink and red. This little exchange did get me thinking about the rising tide of external influences in my daughter's life, though. I've been able to hold much of it at bay for a long time. At home, she does not watch a lot of network television. Before bedtime she will often watch one of her Disney DVDs or one of her favorite shows on Noggin. Noggin is commercial-free (proof that there is a God, I think), which is nice because she isn't being pounded

20 years

I don't eat my dogs . . . or their friends I am celebrating a bit of a milestone this year: 20 years of vegetarianism! I don't recall the precise date when I turned that corner, but I know I was 19 and that it was right after my first year of college. I had talked about becoming a vegetarian through most of high school, but my mom was worried that my health would suffer. (She is now a vegetarian also, as is my youngest sister.) So, I had to wait until I was an adult, or at least some close facsimile. I did not immediately give up all forms of meat. I retained my right to eat seafood for a few months because I felt it would be easier to make the transition that way. I am from Maryland originally (and lived in Virginia from the ages of 8 to 25), and with the Chesapeake Bay being relatively close by, the blue crab often figures prominently in one's diet. I remember sitting at crab feasts with my father's family, the scent of Old Bay seasoning hanging in the air. There were

Wee Little Nerd

I'm going to tell you a secret about my husband. Come closer. No, closer. Okay. He reads comic books. Our basement is full of them. Boxes and boxes of comics, each slender book sitting contentedly in its own little plastic baggie. Our basement flooded once, but don't fret - the comics live on their own shelving system, out of harm's way. You can imagine my joy and relief when I learned that my Christmas decorations were ruined but that the comic books were juuuuuust fine. But wait, it gets worse. He also reads D&D books. For the uninitiated, D&D stands for Dungeons & Dragons, a game that was in vogue in the late 70s and early 80s. My husband does not play D&D, but he does read the books. He also reads Sci-Fi novels with titles like "The Crystal Shard" (I wish I were making that up, but that is an actual title.) The characters in the books always have names like Mordara and Jalara. The women, as far as I can tell, have elven ears and heaving bosoms.

He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake

I squeezed as much mileage as I could out of Santa during the Christmas season. "You know how Santa feels about dirty teeth," I would tell my daughter in as ominous a tone as I could manage. It was pretty effective because even now she will often exclaim, "Santa loves sparkling teeth!" Since it's now March, I figured it was safe to start using this guy as ammunition: I've been conjuring images of empty Easter baskets, of eggs left undyed and unhidden, of candy undelivered. When I picked her up from school today, A asked me, "Would you please tell the Easter Bunny that I'm being a good girl?" "Sure," I replied. "As soon as you can pull it off for more than eight consecutive minutes." Between now and April 12th, I expect there will be several instances of inappropriate marker usage, water purposely poured out of the bathtub, and at least one dog-related incident. "Ohhhhh, I don't think the Easter Bunny wants you doing