Showing posts from September, 2010

Not spontaneous, but fun nonetheless

We had a whirlwind weekend.  On Saturday, we went to a local orchard to pick apples.  P is the type who drags his feet when it comes to planned family events but once he gets there, he is totally into it.  We started with a walk through a farm area where one can feed fat goats and whatnot.  Then we headed over to the main building to get the scoop on the apples. A tractor-drawn cart transported us out into the orchard. The tractor driver would periodically stop and yell things like "Get off here if you want Macintosh!" We don't know one apple from another, so we just stayed on board until we got to a spot where everyone else seemed to want to get off. The trees were marked with ribbons.  White was Jonagold, red was Red Delicious, and so forth.  Well, P was bound and determined that we would find a tree with every possible ribbon color.  We did find most of them, and grabbed an apple or two from each.  However, the problem was that we tossed them all into the same bag.  Al

A big bucket of self-esteem

My daughter is learning to write bona fide English words and recently strung together her first sentence unassisted. Well, she had written phonetically-spelled phrases like “I lv u” in the past and had asked for help in spelling various words, but this was the first time I’d seen her write a fully-formed sentence with no help. What did she write, you ask? “I like me.” This short phrase is so telling of my daughter’s personality. She does like herself – quite a lot, actually. She also assumes that everyone else digs her in equal measure. I have no idea what it’s like to go through life with such high self-esteem. I step into the world every morning with the assumption that a) I look like shit, and b) everyone else agrees with my assessment. My daughter steps into the world every morning with the thought that a) it’s too frickin’ early (she’s not a morning person), b) she’s adorable, and c) everyone agrees with her assessment. She’s not just confident, though. She’s also highly soc

It's probably best if you don't ask

Every so often, I log in at Google Analytics and review the various site statistics associated with my blog. See that Google ad on the right side of my blog?  Now, I don't mean to brag here but I mean to tell you that I've earned zero dollars from that bad boy. At this rate, not only will my daughter be unable to go Ivy League or even out-of-state college, I think we are looking more along the lines of a trade she can learn in a four-hour seminar on a Saturday. Most of the traffic reports remain fairly consistent over time.  I generally receive roughly the same number of visitors each week.  Most come to the blog directly (probably via a bookmark or email notification) and some are linked via other blogs (which I very much appreciate!)  I fantasize about being chosen as a " Blog of Note " by Blogger (an instant guarantee of tons o'traffic), but I think I've used the F word too many times to qualify for that.  The most interesting report is undoubtedly the ke

Five hunnerd

Blog entry #500!  I should probably commemorate this auspicious occasion in some celebratory way, but I just attended a wine festival yesterday and my liver has asked me to take 'er easy this week.  I attended the wine festival with one of my fellow rescue volunteers.  We worked our arses off at a huge fundraiser on Saturday, so we felt justified in raising a little hell on Sunday.  There was a fine art fair held in the same park.  I bought a $10 ring.  All it took was one glass of vino and my friend was sporting a $75 necklace.  She cleared the purchase with her husband, but apparently she is gonna have to put out pretty regularly for the next month or so.  We had a lot of fun, though.  There was a grape stomp and we voted for a shirtless young guy.  He really worked for it, stomping the grapes like a pro and catering to the mostly female crowd.  Later, we actually discussed the possibility of following him into a port-a-potty and asking if we could lick his biceps.  Like I said

The Big D

Lately it seems like quite a few of my friends and acquaintances have found themselves in the middle of a life-changing but unfortunate event: divorce. On Sunday afternoon I got together with a few of my rescue friends to prepare for an upcoming fundraiser. One of them mentioned to me that she is getting divorced – it will be final in two weeks. I felt terrible for not having realized she was going through a tough time over the past few months. I gave her a call later in the evening and expressed concern that I had been an inattentive friend. “No, I just didn’t want to be that friend,” she said, “The friend who is always talking about her problems.” I didn’t want to be overly nosy, but I couldn’t help but ask what had gone wrong. They had always seemed to me like such a great couple. He is vegan and she is vegetarian – he was always cooking something or other for her, seemed attentive to her needs. Meanwhile, P once made me a pancake (sometime in the late 90s, I think). I get my sem

Thinkin' crazy thoughts here

I’m pondering the unthinkable: driving to Oklahoma to visit my muddah for Thanksgiving. My youngest sister, my brother-in-law, and two of my nephews live in the Sooner State as well. You caught the “driving” part of the first sentence, right? We’re talking about a 17-hour drive, with an unruly Kindergartner in the back seat. At first, when I brought it up, I thought P wouldn’t go for it. He’d be staying home, after all. I wondered if he might be concerned about having his only wife and only child on the road, far from home. As it turned out, though, he had no concerns about our personal safety whatsoever. I am pretty sure his head was immediately filled with visions of him playing online poker 24/7 and eating Taco Bell three times a day. And possibly not changing his underwear regularly. There is a method to my madness here. I did some math on what it would take to fly. Two plane tickets: $900.00 (no lie - I just checked) Rental car: $336.00 Baggage fees $100.00 Long-term par

Brand Awareness

When my daughter was a wee toddler, she had little to no exposure to commercials on television.  She watched "The Letter Factory" DVD (literally, hundreds of millions of times - I must admit that as a result, she knew her letters and corresponding sounds by 18 months, but I lost a little piece of my sanity) or she watched a channel called Noggin, which was commercial free.  Eventually, though, she outgrew Dora, Diego, Max, and Ruby. This summer, when we weren't at the park or at a festibul, she watched Phineas and Ferb and of course the ubiquitous Spongebob Squarepants.  The various Nickelodeon channels do have commercials aplenty.  And she absorbs their content remarkably well.  When I am making dinner, I frequently hear this sort of thing from the other room: "Mama! You have to buy the Perfect Brownie Pan !  Right away!" "Can we get a Big Top Cupcake ?" "Mama, I think you need a Mister Steamy for the dryer." If she tells me I need

I might just be a little verklempt here

A couple years ago, I received an email from a woman who had just had her third miscarriage.  A mutual friend put her in touch with me.  She was trying to decide what to do next, a common scenario for couples that encounter infertility.  Do you put money into treatments, do you put it towards an adoption, or do you decide that maybe childlessness is your fate? I responded to this grieving woman through this blog entry .   I figured, if it could help one person, maybe it could help two. Who knows who reads these things.  I visit an adoption message board on Babycenter and I know this decision is a common struggle.  Many are driven to carry on their genes, but maybe their genes won't cooperate.  On a related topic, may I pass along a pet peeve of mine?  The phrase "can't have children of my own" makes me cringe.  I see it all the time on the message board. I don't try to pretend that my daughter carries my DNA, but I have taken care of her every need since the mom

Like seeing a ghost

I hauled my carcass to Weight Watchers this morning. I have a scale at home - an accurate one - but I purposely did not weigh myself for the past two weeks.  I was afraid that if I knew how far adrift I was, I wouldn't go to the meeting, wouldn't face the music.  I feared I'd convince myself, "You can get back on track next week" and then repeat that scenario ad infinitum.  I had a good week (two strenuous workouts, one bike ride, some dog walking, and fairly decent eating habits), so I went. I was up five pounds over my last visit (in mid-July).  The kindly WW employee who weighed me in offered to make today's weight my starting weight.  "You could start over," she said.  I declined.  It's all part of my journey and I can't pretend that last year did not happen. It is what it is.  The meeting was a good one - the topic was exercise and how to fit it into one's life.  After five years as a member, I've sat through every possible mee

First Day of the Big K

My baby started Kindergarten this week. It was hard to tell if she was excited about her first day or not, in as much as she is never fully coherent until around 10:00 a.m. and I leave for work at 6:55 a.m. I just sort of dress her and then prop her up on the couch. So, it’s the same now that school has started, but with the addition of a backpack attached to her shoulders. She is going to the same school as last year, and some of her friends are in her class (for 4K you can choose to send your child to any accredited center – it does not have to be your home school, so only a few of the kids from her 4K class are in her Kindergarten class). Not that she would care much if she didn’t know anyone. My outgoing child truly lives by that old “there are no strangers, just friends you haven’t met yet” adage. Anyhow, we sent her off to Kindercare on the first day of school, where she was then bussed over to her elementary school. Her Princess Tiana backpack contained her lunch, a kitten fold

Five years ago

. . . I walked into a Weight Watchers meeting for the first time. It was early September 2005. My daughter was just four months old. Unlike most new moms, I was not overweight because I'd just given birth. It's hard to hang your hat on that particular excuse when your baby did not, in fact, live in your uterus at all. Indeed, I had reached maximum density all on my own. I had been putting on weight for a while. For most of my life, I think I've been what you'd call average-sized. I've been a size 10 for virtually all of my adult life. I've been as small as an 8 and as large as a 12, but never anything outside that range. I don't know if it was the cascade of miscarriages that caused me to give up on my body completely or if it was something else that is outside my consciousness (and yes, I'm a vegetarian and yes, you'd think that I'd be thin as a result, but let me remind you that there is no meat in brownies). Once my daughter was born, though