30 December 2005
I really look forward to seeing the changes in Zoë this year. I can't believe she will be 4 in less than 3 months. By this time next year we will be registering her for kindergarten. Amazing! She is such a wonderful little girl. She has grown up a lot this year and I am sure this coming year will bring a lot of exciting things for her like learning to read and write, doing more and more for herself, and all things l look forward to doing with her for the first time like ice skating and maybe a Broadway show.
My big question is what are my New Year's resolutions and what do I want to accomplish in the year ahead of me. I don't count weight loss as a resolution this year. I am carrying that one over from last year. Yes, I have put back on a few of the pounds that I lost over the last year, but I am sure I will lose those and hope to continue and lose a few more this year.
I think my resolution for this year is going to have to be another old favorite -- I want to get my finances in order. We still have too much debt and not enough savings so we have to keep working on paying down the debt. I want to encourage Husband to find another job where he makes a somewhat more consistent and hopefully a slightly higher income. He is miserable in his current job and that really affects a lot of things. I want to try and get us on some kind of budget and I need to curtail the frivolous spending. I bought a lot of clothes and shoes in the last year -- that needs to slow down. I hope to be able to take a real vacation again someday. Maybe not this year, but hopefully by 2007.
27 December 2005
Despite my complaints, Zoë had a good Christmas and that makes me very happy. Santa brought both things on her wish list and a whole bunch more stuff. She's even been happily playing with a lot of her new toys. She's not usually that big into toys -- strange as that may sound. Santa brought a pink Doodle Bear and a bell from his sleigh (just like in the book The Polar Experss). But, I think the best present from Santa may have been the two pair of scissors (toddler scissors, of course) that were in her stocking. You may recall from my post in the spring that Husband threw out her scissors after an unfortunate hair-cutting incident. She is so happy to be allowed scissors again.
Zoë got so many toys that I actually put some away to play with at a later date. Anything that she didn't want to open immediately I put away for a rainy day.
I'm not yet sure what my best present was. I got some really nice things and I was definitely spoiled so I definitely can't complain. I have a few returns to make, but that can be fun too.
Now, I have several dozen hours to put in at the gym in order to undo all the eating damage I have done in the past week or so.
24 December 2005
That reminds me, I once lost a spelling bee because of the word chimney. Needless to say I have never misspelled it again.
Our annual Christmas Eve party has concluded and now comes the relaxation portion of the holiday. Just as my husband likes to go skiing because he looks forward to the afterward (sitting in the lodge, drinking hot chocolate, feeling flush from the exercise/outdoors), I feel the same about our annual party.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
22 December 2005
At least it gave me time to shave my legs.
20 December 2005
17 December 2005
Meanwhile, tonight must be the biggest party night of the holiday season -- with the exception of New Year's Eve, of course. We have been invited to three parties all in the same night. Husband and I are hardly social animals so this is quite the unusal occurence. We are going to do our best to attend 2 out of the 3 parties. I am looking forward to putting on my party clothes in a couple of hours and hopefully getting into the holiday spirit a bit more. Christmas Eve and our own annual bash is only a week away now. Wow. Is it just me, or does it seem like the Earth is spinning a little faster these days?
15 December 2005
Right now, I could go for a cupcake. Yellow cake, buttercream frosting, and a candle. And maybe 20 5 year-olds singing happy birthday.
12 December 2005
When we got home that afternoon and I finally had to send her to her room because her behavior was getting out of control, I realized I needed to talk to her about it. I did my best to explain to her that I love her more than anyone, but I also love Sophia and I don't get to see Sophia every day or even every week so when we're together I like to play with her. I told Zoë that didn't mean that I loved her any less. And just like she loves her Aunt, Sophia loves me too. I said, "You're my number 1, 2, and 3. Sophia is just number 4."
"I want to be number 4," was Zoë's reply.
"Then what can Sophia be?"
"I want to be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Sophia can be 7."
"OK," I agreed.
I just hope a little of what I said got through.
On the bright side, we did get a beautiful tree. It is a white pine and it is huge! Apparently white pine is a native Connecticut species of tree. I keep calling it the tree that ate our house. Husband put the lights on last night tonight we will decorate it. Zoë can't wait to put the star on top.
11 December 2005
- Keira Knightley's very obvious wig. I'm really not sure why the wig designer couldn't do a better job or why they couldn't have just given her hair extensions.
- The bite on Sixteen Candles ending. I haven't read it recently, but I don't remember that scene from the book. I'm not sure, but I think Ms. Austen would have been embarrassed and appalled.
10 December 2005
06 December 2005
...was taken to the hospital three months ago with a terrifying catalog of injuries.
Her teeth were broken, her face was swollen, her chest had old and new burns. She was extremely thin, her abdomen was sunken, she had cuts and sores, and her temperature was 81 degrees.
But the most severe injury was in Haleigh's brain: her brain stem was partly sheared, doctors said, leaving her in a vegetative state.
My question is -- how could anyone do that to a little girl? I just cannot wrap my mind around it. I don't even want to begin to understand it.
04 December 2005
02 December 2005
Given all the press that the NY Times has given Ms. Sittenfeld -- including allowing her write nasty reviews of fellow female author's work, my only conclusion can be that there is some serious nepotism here. I mean really, how can you even put "Prep" in the same room with "Saturday" by Ian McEwan or "On Beauty" by Zadie Smith? Something is rotten in New York.
29 November 2005
My guess is it was the fault of the Godiva chocolate that arrived at my office today. 3 huge golden boxes full. I had 2 or 3 pieces. I'm not a big fan of truffles -- they are too much for me, but I do flip for the cherry cordials. The Godiva ones are good, of course, but in truth I would rather have the Cello Chocolate Cherries that appear in CVS this time of year. I think I prefer the fake chocolate and the fake liquor to the real stuff. That's probably a little pathetic, but what can you do. I'm just a little white trash at heart. The Godiva caramels, however, cannot be beat.
Perhaps I better skip the grande latte tomorrow?
27 November 2005
21 November 2005
19 November 2005
Nothing makes you feel like a good mom like yelling at your child until she is shaking and crying. I guess I won't be getting that mother of the year award after all.
17 November 2005
At the same time it is hard to believe my little baby is growing into such a big girl already. I know I am hardly the first parent to say this, but it all really does go by so quickly. When you first bring home a baby everyone tells you that, but it is hard to understand -- especially when the day-to-day is so rough going. Then all of a sudden you wake up one day and your baby is turning 2 then 3 and then she isn't even a baby anymore.
16 November 2005
From their website:
The paper clip collection has become a part of the "Children's Holocaust Memorial" created by the students, staff, and community of Whitwell Middle School. The Memorial contains 11 million paper clips housed in an authentic German transport car honoring the lives of all people murdered by the Nazis. And eleven million other paper clips are contained in a monument honoring the children of Terezin. Eighteen (for chai-Hebrew for life) butterflies (the Christain symbol of renewal) enhance the grounds around the rail car. The students, staff, and community of Whitwell Middle School have transformed the car from a death car into a symbol of renewed life honoring the lives of those murdered by the Nazis. For generations of Whitwell students, a paper clip will never again be just a paper clip. Instead, the paper clip is a reminder of the importance of perseverance, empathy, tolerance, and understanding.
In addition to collecting paper clips they also received thousand of letters and at one point several Holocaust survivors came to the town to tell their stories. The whole thing is very, very moving and I highly recommend it.
15 November 2005
14 November 2005
10 November 2005
I really liked this particular pair of wedge heel suede loafers and they weren't very old and I hadn't worn them that many times so I was feeling a bit disappointed about them falling apart. When I got home from work I promptly threw them both in the trash. In the kitchen trash can.
Later on that night I told my husband what happened because he had been with me when I bought those shoes. And then he floored me when he said "Want me to drop them off at a shoemaker for you?"
Honestly, this never occurred to me. "No, they're ruined," I said.
"I'm sure they can be repaired." Husband said.
"I already threw them in the garbage." And he didn't even laugh at me when he offered to get them out of the trash for me. I told him not to bother. He let it go at that, but I am still amazed that for a change he was the voice of reason where as my behavior was utterly ridiculous. Wonders never cease.
09 November 2005
It's funny to think that this friend has known me through so much from a mutual love of Garfield to losing our virginity to college to marriage and now parenthood. She is about to become a mommy for the first time very soon so we will share that too. We both have changed so much over the years and yet in my minds eye she is the same in looks and everything else.
07 November 2005
Yes, in case you haven't guessed by now, I saw George Clooney's film, Good Night, and Good Luck this weekend. It was gripping from start to finish. And even though I already knew the story going in and how it all worked out in the end I found myself tensing up in parts. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a perfect movie. Some of the side stories and the supporting cast were a little thin and underdeveloped. And I have to admit I couldn't look at Robert Downey Jr. and not think "drug addict." But overall, it was really excellent. For sure there will Oscar nominations.
Honestly, I never would have guessed that George Clooney could direct and write let alone act as well as he did. I look forward to more from him.
04 November 2005
For the last few weeks I have been going to the gym a few mornings a week instead of just at lunch time. Up until today I haven't seen anyone I know. This morning at 6:30am (while looking my best I am sure) I ran into a colleague, Zoë's pediatrician, and a neighbor. Needless to say, I felt slightly more conspicuous than I usually do at the gym.
Let's hope that was a rare occurrence.
03 November 2005
Anyway, tonight was the night they planned to see the movie. They showed up at the movie theater at what they thought was the appropriate time only to realize the movie was not playing at that theater. Not only wasn't it playing at that theater, it wasn't playing at any theater.
My theory is that one of the guys checked the movie listings about 3 weeks ago and never checked again. Oops.
Husband and friends had to settle for burgers and beer. That would have been my preference anyway.
02 November 2005
Truth be told: it is totally worth it. I love candy. I only go to the gym to support my candy habit anyway.
01 November 2005
Of course we went out trick-or-treating and Zoë made sure to tell everyone that she was just wearing a costume. She would lift off her witch hat and say, "It's just me, Zoë I'm wearing a costume."
30 October 2005
29 October 2005
27 October 2005
Took her to the pediatrician after picking her up and the doctor handed down a terrible sentence for my poor child. No milk! No milk for at least 4 days! No milk! That is like telling most adults no coffee. When Zoë wakes up in the morning the first thing she wants is milk. The last thing she has at night is milk. She loves milk above all other food or beverages and possibly most people.
Last night at bedtime my husband tried to pass off rice milk as regular milk, but she wouldn't even drink it. Luckily, she was too tired to question why it tasted so funny. This morning my husband and I semi-argued over whether or not we should tell her why she can't have milk. I was in favor of being honest and he was inclined to just tell her we didn't have anymore. I didn't think that could hold up for 4 days. He conceded and after a short crying jag, she seemed to recover and understand. The good news is that we seem to have found a somewhat acceptable substitute in chocolate soy milk. I am calling it "filk" -- as in fake milk. Zoë likes that name too. As a matter of fact, she just asked me if she could have more filk.
I don't think she will be able to go back to school tomorrow either. She was sick again this morning and again a little bit this evening (I don't mean throwing up -- the other one). Despite the fact that she has as much energy as usual and you would never know she was the tiniest bit unwell, I wouldn't want to send her and then get another call to pick her up. That would be bad. Her class is having a Halloween party tomorrow and I had signed up to bring cookies. I don't have to still bring them, do I?
25 October 2005
OK, I don't really believe, but do you think it is possible that God is trying to tell us something? Katrina, Rita, Wilma...what's next? We must repent people! Please. The mold is growing mold around here.
6 years ago today I was luxuriating on a beach in perfectly dry, sunny, and warm Aruba -- either that or I was getting looped at the swim-up bar. Oh, how I long for that honeymoon now.
24 October 2005
21 October 2005
Good, no hands.
My question is this: Is it really a good form of protest to kill the defense attorney of someone who is on trial for crimes against humanity? OK, Hussein and his posse murdered thousands of innocents and there is no doubt in my mind that he is a criminal, but theoretically this lawyer was also an innocent so wasn't that just more of the same? I could better understand if someone had actually murdered Awad Ahmad al-Bander, the guy who this attorney was defending.
Movies movies movies-- I love the movies! I would really like to leave work right now and go see one, but I'll have to settle for reading the reviews and eating microwave popcorn.
20 October 2005
OK, I must go. My Tylenol PM are waiting for me.
18 October 2005
That seems to be the case according to a forthcoming interview with the "Material Girl." An excerpt can be read here.
Apparently young Lola and Rocco are not allowed to watch TV, read magazines or newspapers, and are punished with chores. According to Madonna "TV is trash." Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! Where would Madonna be without TV -- MTV to be specific. Give me a break!
I wonder what she really thinks goes on while she's out on tour? Do the nannies enforce these strict rule too? What do you think little Lola is going to do when she gets a little taste of freedom in her teen years? Can you say big-time rebellion??? Jeez.
17 October 2005
Overall, it was extremely disappointing. Not to mention disjointed, uneven, and utterly ridiculous (not in a good way) in parts. It was as if Cameron Crowe (writer and director) actually wrote 2 scripts for 2 different movies, cut them up into individual scenes, through in a couple of other random moments, tossed with salad dressing and filmed. The results were not so good. And there is just no getting around the fact that Kirsten Dunst is not very talented. Orlando Bloom was no tour de force himself. He wore the same hang dog expression for the entire 123 minutes -- even in the final moments of the movie when we are beat over the head with the "moral" of the story.
My advice: Don't bother, but if for some reason you feel you must see it, wait for Netflix.
16 October 2005
14 October 2005
In the words of that great and wise purple dinosaur, Barney...
Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun please shine down on me!
I know this rain is making me extra grumpy too. When I arrived at work this morning to my great irritation I saw one of my cans of Diet Coke with Lime sitting empty on a co-worker's desk. This is not the first time this has happened. Unless I was utterly desperate, I would never take someone else's diet coke (or anything else for that matter) from the community fridge. The fact that she feels so free to take it without so much as a word to me really puts me on edge. Being extra grumpy has made it very difficult to even be civil to this person today.
I would really like to go home, get under the covers and watch bad TV with the lights out until I fall asleep.
11 October 2005
I should not have been surprised when she gamely hopped on for the pony ride or dragged her father onto the dance floor like she had been doing these things all her life, but I was. When did she get so brave?
08 October 2005
Speaking of friends, I was thinking about our neighbors who are our friends last night. Their daughter and Zoë are already friends. They will start kindergarten the same year, wait at the same bus stop every day and basically go through all the steps of growing up together. If neither of us move away, it is highly likely that these two little girls will be friends for at least the next 15 years if not a lot longer. That is so funny to think about. Especially when you consider how much they will change. I will enjoy looking back on those Sesame Place pictures with them someday.
Tomorrow me and the family are headed up to Ithaca, NY to visit my alma mater -- mostly some friends from there and not really the school itself. As if in honor of that event, it has rained incessantly today. It has been one of those days where you think it can't keep raining like this and yet it does.
06 October 2005
- Replacing the toilet paper roll (you knew this one would be first -- it is cliche, but so true)
- Replacing the bar of soap in the shower
- Replacing the toothpaste tube
- Putting more Q-tips in the dispenser
- Buying more of any of the above items plus his shampoo, his hairspray, whatever that stuff is for his electric razor, and bubble bath and shampoo for Zoë
- Cleaning out the toothbrush holder
- Washing the bathroom towels and bath mats
- Emptying the garbage can
- Changing the sheets on our bed
- Bringing the tea cups and assorted dishes that migrate into our room back down to the kitchen
- Turning off the computer when done using it
- Pick up dirty clothes from floor and putting clean clothes away
- Shutting off his closet light
- Picking up or cleaning anything in Zoë's room -- this includes making her bed, putting her laundry away, shelving books, taking out the garbage, and putting toys away
- Bringing down any sippy cups left in Zoë's room
- Emptying the dishwasher
- Wiping the counter tops and stove top
- Buying groceries -- especially essentials like milk, eggs, orange juice, juice boxes and chicken nuggets
- Adding things to the shopping list when we are running low
- Making Zoë's lunch for daycare
- Washing the dishtowels
- Cleaning the floor
- Taking out the trash or the recycling
- Putting toys away
- Putting DVDs back in their boxes
- Putting CDs away
- Throwing out the old TV Guide
- Opening or closing the blinds
I am sure I am forgetting things on this list, but it sure would be nice to live like he does. Sigh. I know I can ask him to do these kinds of things and most of the time he will do it, but it is annoying that he doesn't feel any responsibility to do them on his own. Maybe that is my fault because I just do them, but what are you supposed to do when there is no soap in the shower? I'd have to spend my whole life nagging and writing out lists of things to do. A couple of years ago I went away for 4 days. I left on a Friday. I usually do the grocery shopping on Saturday mornings so it needed to be done. There was a full list on the fridge. When I got back on Monday night I was amazed to discover that he had not gone to the store for anything. When I asked him about it and pointed out the list on the fridge he said he didn't even think of it. Amazing.
03 October 2005
Actually, I just googled "L'shanah tovah" for proper spelling and learned a lot more about Rosh Hashanah from the website Judaism 101. This is a pretty good site for learning about all things Jewish.
For example; the greeting "L'shanah tovah" is a shortening of "L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem" (or to women, "L'shanah tovah tikatevi v'taihatemi"), which means "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year." In case you're wondering what you are to inscribed in, that would be the "book of life." According to Jewish belief God has "books" that he writes our names in, writing down who will live and who will die, who will have a good life and who will have a bad life, for the next year. These books are written in on Rosh Hashanah and sealed on Yom Kippur.
Another thing I learned is that the new year according to the Jewish calendar will be the year 5766.
To celebrate in my own way I will be taking the day off from work tomorrow to go and help out the NYC economy. My credit cards are already trembling!
P.S. Spell check wasn't much help with this posting!
02 October 2005
29 September 2005
27 September 2005
Here are a few others who had similar feelings:
And the list goes on here: http://www.feedster.com/search.php?q=%22louise%20story%22&q3=&offset=30&sort=date&limit=15&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
It's so nice to know I am not alone.
I was reading one of my favorite blogs today, Slave to Target, and I noticed that they used the word "Targasm." I really thought I invented that word way back in July when I wrote this post: Targasm so I sent off an email to the writers at Slave to Target. I felt a little silly immediately afterward. Surprisingly they responded almost immediately and credited me on their blog here. It definitely got me a lot of hits on my blog, which I certainly appreciate, but I then felt even sillier. I even started to doubt myself -- maybe I didn't invent the word. I emailed back thanking them for the credit, but said they didn't need to put it in such and obvious spot. They emailed back again saying it was no problem but also sent me some links they found when googling the word "targasm." My usage of the word does not show up on the google list until the bottom, but mine is the earliest dated usage. So, it very well could be that I did, in fact, invent the word. I'm still not sure. I do appreciate the graciousness of the women at Slave to Target. If you haven't checked out their blog and you love Target, you really should go there now.
26 September 2005
Next we moseyed on over to the apple picking. The first thing I see is a long line of people waiting for a tractor to take them up into the apple orchard. The next thing I see is the sign that says how much it costs to pick apples. $24 for a full bushel and $14 for a half! I found that outrageously expensive. I could go to my local super market and buy the same amount of apples for half the price. I've been apple picking before and I know it can be a lot of fun, but I also knew that we would have had to tell Zo&eml; to stop doing this or that and to come here about a thousand times before we even got into the tractor. Then, especially given the proximity to nap time, we would have pciked apples for ten minutes before she ran out of energy and then we would have had to wait again for the tractor. It just didn't seem worth spending $14 for 10 minutes of apple picking. My husband agreed, but then he also said we were cheap.
Zoë was momentarily disappointed about not going apple picking, but she felt immediately better when I let her pick out a gourd. It's her "decoration" as she calls it because when she asked me what the gourds were for I told her they're for decoration. After that she had a hot dog and apple juice that came in a red plastic apple followed by an apple cider doughnut. Next came 20 minutes of running around the pumpikin patch. All that was followed by a 3 hour nap. All-in-all I'd say it was a really good day. Anyone who knows me knows I would gladly throw $14 away if it was for something I thought Zoë would really enjoy and I just don't think I'm cheap. Do you?
22 September 2005
Before I go any further let me say that I absolutely think that stay-at-home moms work hard and there is a lot of good things about being a stay-at-home mom and I definitely don't look down on stay-at-home moms. At the same time, I don't consider myself a lesser mother because I am not a stay-at-home mom.
That being said, what women out there had a clue what they really wanted when they were a 20 something co-ed? I mean, can you really take seriously what these women are saying -- especially when they actually have no clue what either the working world or child rearing will be like? Come on Ms. Story and give us all a break. If I actually followed through with what I thought I wanted when I was a 20 something college kid I wouldn't even have a kid right now! Life is way too unpredictable to make these sweeping and potentially dangerous statements. Are we going to go back to the days when the only reason a woman went to college is to get her MRS degree? Do you really have to make this kind of decision at 19 or 20?
The other part of this article that really annoyed me was the mothers of these girls who then felt validated by the fact that their daughters want to stay at home too. Is that what you need to feel good about yourself -- for your kid to do exactly what you did? I mean these kids are students at Harvard and Yale. As far as I'm concerned that alone pretty much validates your job as a parent. How do the working mom's of these women feel about this? Ms. Story hardly represents this issue in an unbiased way adding only one quote (of about 10 or 12 quotes) where one of these college women was in favor of working full time and happy that their mother did too.
The point that was really missed here is the fact that our society still does not make it easy for women to work and be mothers. There is no support to do both. Quality daycare or a decent nanny is very expensive and a lot of women are put in the position where they would simply be working to pay the daycare or nanny. It’s hard to feel like its worthwhile in that situation -- especially given the pressure put on women to stay at home. Men never face the dilemma. No one would think a man a bad father because he worked full time. Granted it is probably not easy for a man to be a stay-at-home dad either. But that is the problem. We need to change more than the lip service on this and really change our society. Maybe if women had a longer maternity leave they would feel more ready to go back to work at the end of their leave? Maybe if daycare were a little more affordable, more women would choose to go back to work? Maybe if working part time were not looked at as a career path killer in corporate American, more women would choose that option?
20 September 2005
17 September 2005
The review, written by the very hard to please, but very often right Anthony Lane basically bashes Gwyneth Paltrow, but I suspect that Anthony Hopkins as a mad genius has grown tired too. Let's see...how many times has he played a genius gone mad (levels of madness or genius may vary):
Hearts in Atlantis
The Silence of the Lambs
And there's at least one more I can't think of where he is a writer and lives as a shut-in. Oh well.
In Proof's place on my list I will put "The Constant Gardener" which I hear is very, very good. I'm not a big fan of John Le Carre, but the reviews have been quite good and I do like Ralph Fiennes.
16 September 2005
I am so glad to see that we have finally reached the far end of the desert that was this summer's movie season. The only oasis since May was Bill Murray's "Broken Flowers." (OK and "Wedding Crashers" was funny, but hardly worth writing home about.)
Looks like lots of new and potentially good flicks are coming soon to a theater near me.
The next movie I will probably see is "The 40 Year-Old Virgin," ut here are some of the movies I am really looking forward to:
Thumbsucker A standout from Sundance.
Everything is Illuminated Liev Schrieber's directorial debut.
Proof But I will definitely hold out for the reviews before plunking down my $9.50 'cause this one could definitely go either way.
In Her Shoes Based on the book byone of my favs, Jennifer Weiner. I really enjoyed the book and the movie should prove to be an excellent "chick flick."
Elizabethtown Despite Kirsten Dunst this looks like it might be good.
Good Night, and Good Luck George Clooney directs. Could be good.
Shopgirl I really liked this book.
Pride and Prejudice Did they need to make yet another movie of this book (one of my all-time favorites)? We shall soon find out (sometime in November).
There are, of course, at least 30 other movies coming out between now and the end of 2005 and there could be some other gems in there that I am not yet aware. I am just so overjoyed that the drought is over. I better book some babysitters because I can taste the popcorn already.
15 September 2005
But don't get nervous, I'm not giving advice or anything. I volunteered to test products for them and I am this time being quoted about applesauce.
Unfortunately, its not on the website, so if you're really interested you'll have to pick up the magazine. Honestly, I think my husband is the only one who is truly impressed by this, but never-the-less it is fun to see ones name in print in a nationally distributed magazine. It's the closest to actually being published I have ever come.
I actually have quite bad luck in the getting published department. The one magazine that ever agreed to publish one of my poems and asked for more folded before I could provide more. The one website that agreed to publish a running article of mine My Inner 16 year-old) also folded before posting even one entry. Oh well. I can't say I've ever really tried that hard, but someday I hope to try harder.
14 September 2005
The most frustrating part is that when Zoë is behaving she can be the sweetest, smartest kid and so much fun! I love that side of her so much and when she is behaving that way I try to give her all kinds of positive reinforcement, but it just doesn’t seem to last.
12 September 2005
I will never forget exactly what my day was supposed to have been like. A regular work day at my office on 38th and Madison followed by dinner at my favorite West Village Chinese place -- Sammy's Noodle Shop. I was supposed to meet my mother and my aunt there. I was about 10 weeks pregnant with Zoë that day and I had hoped to stop into the Motherhood maternity store downtown on my way to dinner. Some of my clothes were getting too tight to wear, but I hadn't told anyone at work yet so I didn't want to go maternity shopping on my lunch hour. And I was sooo looking forward to Sammy's scallion pancakes! I remember flashes of actually feeling disappointed and angry about not getting to do those things and feeling like I would never be able to do them again. I felt childish and so selfish to be thinking those things at the time, but I couldn't help myself. It was something so much easier to think about. When I think about all the things that could have been, I know that I was lucky that day.
I had a similar feeling some months later when I finally visited ground zero for the first time. I had gone to see the absence of something and that was so strange. So many people lined up to look at an absence. Also to remember what was and to ponder what might have been. "What if I had been in that stairwell...?" "What if I had been on that plane...?" "What if that had been my mother...?"
09 September 2005
Alright, time to get back to packing for the big fall vacation.
06 September 2005
"I have to let you know. Things are up in the air right now."
And I broke my no blogging at work rule, but today it was like being at the library and it only took 2 minutes for that posting...OK, really, no more blogging at work.
01 September 2005
The part that confuses me about all of this is that despite the fact that I am the strict one, Zoë still wants it to be me to put her to bed, give her a bath, make her lunch for school, pick her up, drop her off, etc. All things where she could get away with so much more with her Daddy in charge. Bedtime is the best example. It is an absolute treat to Zoë if I am the one putting her to bed. I read exactly one story, put her into her bed, sit in her room for a couple of minutes, kiss her one last time and then leave the room. If I have to go back in for any reason I am outwardly annoyed with her. When my husband puts her to bed he will read a story and then some poetry and then they'll look at an astronomy book and then once she's in bed he'll tell her a story and then sit in her room until she falls asleep. Actually, he usually falls asleep first. If she wants water, he will bring it. If she calls out to go potty again, he takes her. So, why on earth would she prefer me to put her to bed??? Must be the same reason why I am the only one who can get her her milk in the mornings -- her "milky bop." ("Bop" was her word for bottle when she was just learning to talk and as soon as she was able to put two words together out came "milky bop." That one has stuck and I think probably will stick until she no longer wants a "milky bop.")
31 August 2005
Of course, I read that little editorial at work today and I managed to hold off writing about it until I got home.
28 August 2005
A novel whose principal subject is the moral, psychological, and intellectual development of a usually youthful main character.
That really is a word! I kind of thought Jay McInerney made it up for his New York Times review of Benjamin Kunkel's debut novel, Indecision. Seriously, that is a new one on me.
So is wanderjahr: a year spent wandering or travelling itinerantly; also called Wanderjahr
Etymology: the original German word meant a year taken to travel and perfect one's knowledge or skill after an apprenticeship
The only thing missing from this review was Sturm und Drang. Since when did Jay McInerney start teaching English at Frankfurt University?
OK, all that aside it does seem like Mr. McInerney liked this book so I may need to add it to my "to read" list. Also noted in the review is that a new novel by Mr. McInerney is due out soon. This struck me strange. Is it just me, or does it always seem like Jay McInerney and Brett Easton Ellis always publish around the same time? The last coincidence being the publication of Model Behavior and Glamorama within maybe months of each other. (I could look it up, but I am too lazy. All my energy for google was spent on the GermanGreman lesson. )
Are Jay and Brett locked in competition for most literary figure born out of the 80's Vintage Contemporaries scene OR are they actually the same person and deliberately publishing at the same time to throw us off the scent?
Maybe I am over thinking this...
24 August 2005
It has also struck me strange what a different baby my niece is compared to Zoë. She is quiet and timid where Zoë is boisterous and nosy. She is easily amused and a great eater and Zoë is neither. Now I think I understand what parents of more than one child mean when they talk about how different their kids are. My niece will be a big sister in about 6 more months and now I am very interested to see how that baby will be different in his or her own way.
I went to my first bookclub meeting last night and it was a lot of fun. I'm sorry I never did this sooner. It was a very informal conversation and everyone in the club is very smart and very nice and extremely well read. (I did not divulge that I was currently reading a Roasmund Pilcher novel. Although most of them are into the Harry Potter series which I don't exactly think of as high-brow.) No one was particularly argumentative or dominating. It was quite a success. The next book we read is "The Day of the Locust" by Nathanael West. It was published in 1939 and is about Hollywood. Should be interesting.
This idea of not posting during business hours is going to be hard. I was tempted today, but I managed to hold off.
P.S. Thanks for the comments from my readers. Glad you haven't given up on me. :-)
22 August 2005
At the invitation of a colleague, I recently joined a book club. The first selection I read for the club was Train by Pete Dexter. This is not at all the kind of book I would choose for myself. That can be a good thing, but unfortunately, not in this case. For reasons that are unclear to me, this book won the National Book Award. Huh? If anyone can explain to me what is so good about this book, I would be interested to hear it. Tomorrow night the book club meets. I am going to lay low on my opinions and not say that I hated it because I don't want to put everyone off right from the start, but I really hope the next selection is something different.
As an antidote to Train I am now reading Coming Home by Rosamund Pilcher. It is the literary antithesis. Say what you will, the book has 77 amazon.com reviews and four and a half stars.
And now I am off to watch the last episode ever of "Six Feet Under." I tivo'd it last night while I was at the movies seeing "Broken Flowers" with the continues to amaze me with his brilliance, Bill Murray. Its no "Lost in Translation", but it is a good movie -- definitely the best thing I've seen in a long time.
29 July 2005
A couple of days ago I called to reserve seats and all 6 shows are all sold out! I couldn't believe it. Only one other family I know has even ever heard of Hi-5. We discovered it by accident ourselves. If I wasn't such a big watcher of TLC then our bedroom TV would not have been on that channel that fateful morning that Rob brought Zoë into bed with him because he couldn't wake up yet. In an attempt to catch a few more winks he switched the TV on and there they were -- hyperactive Hi-5. It was love at first site for Zoë. The show also airs on Discovery Kids, however, they don't air the show every day. I really don't know what the schedule is, but I think one morning a week they play 5 episodes back-to-back. I have a season pass set up for the show so we always have Hi-5 on hand.
The point is, I just can't believe they are so popular. I bet if you asked 10 parents only 2 of them would say they'd even heard of them. It's very disappointing that we couldn't get tickets. The Sesame Place website says a limited number of tickets will be available the day of the show so we are going to go anyway and try to get in. Worst case is we spend another day at Sesame Place -- somehow I don't think Zoë will mind. I just wish I had some kind of Sesame Place connection.
28 July 2005
Here's the latest: Last night my father offered to babysit so my husband and I could go out. We made plans to have dinner with some friends. I was sure to give Zoë fair warning about this so it wouldn't come as a complete surprise. As a matter of fact I told her about it yesterday morning and she seemed excited about having her "Papa" babysit. Probably because he lets her have all the candy she wants.
Last night as we were trying to get ready to go and I was going over the basics (brush teeth, go potty, etc.) with my father, Zoë was swinging around these plastic beaded necklaces rather violently so I told her to stop swinging them. About two minutes later one of the necklaces went swinging by my head. I turned to Zoë and said much more sternly, "Stop swinging the necklaces around or I am going to take them away." A complete throw yourself on the floor whining, and whimpering pout ensued and it was such a show. She just kept carrying on so finally I picked her up and took her into the next room to talk to her. While I was trying to explain that she could have hurt herself or someone else with the necklace, she started playing with something else and I told her to stop and pay attention to me and when she didn't my frustration got the better of me and I yelled at her. Of course, this made her cry. And then she really dragged out the whole scene to the point that we were now running late for dinner. Finally, I had to just leave her at the door hysterically crying. I really hate that.
It took me a good hour or two to relax and start to enjoy my evening out. I know she was probably tired and weirded out by the change in routine and all of that, but it was just such a messy scene that it really left me feeling badly. Like I must be a terrible parent.
Switch to this morning: Around 6:30 am a sleepy-looking tousled-hair Zoë comes wandering into my bedroom. "Good morning Mommy. Can you get me some milk?"
"Sure," I said getting up. "Just give me a minute to wake up." Zoë then wanders out and a few minutes later I make my way downstairs to find her sitting in her Blue's Clues Thinking Chair.
"What are you doing?" I asked her.
"Sitting in my thinking chair. Thinking."
"What are you thinking about?"
"You," she said so incredibly sweetly. And I kind of felt like it was her way of apologizing. Maybe I am reading too much into it, but I really don't think so.
The rest of the morning proceeded without a hitch. She got dressed without complaint, actually ate some cereal for breakfast and when I dropped her off at daycare she gave me a big hug, a big kiss, and a big smile and then she ran off to play. It was the easiest drop-off I've had with her to date. I got back in my car feeling like I had such a good and happy kid -- like I must be doing something right.
27 July 2005
25 July 2005
Anyway, the whole reason I resisted temptation was because of this important meeting that was supposed to take place at 2:30 today. This meeting was rescheduled for tomorrow at noon today. I debuted my new suit from Target special for this meeting. I am quite disappointed that I wasted both an opportunity to take a "goof day" (as my best friend's mom used to call the days she would take us somewhere great instead of school) and the debut of my new suit. I know no one really notices, but it makes a difference to me therefore it makes a difference in how I feel in these kinds of meetings. Oh well. I'll have to think of something equally empowering to wear tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the end of the day is near and I must get ready to go because I promised Zoë I would bring home some "jewelry" for her. Our neighbor's daughter, Hannah, has all these plastic bracelets and necklaces that Zoë just loves playing with. Went to Walgreens at lunchtime and they had nothing -- very disappointing. So, I'll stop at Toy's R Us on the way home hoping to find some stuff like this.
20 July 2005
The cable gods intervened in my plans and instead I watched Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle. This is the funniest, stupid movie I have seen in a long time. The tag line for this movie:
Fast Food. High Times.
It's priceless really. The guy who plays Kumar, Kal Penn, is really cute and I don't usually go for Indian guys. I especially liked the "extreme" guys and Harold and Kumar's Jew neighbors/friends Goldstein and Rosenberg (weirdly reminiscent of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern -- could it be???) who are also affectionately nicknamed Manny and Chevitz.
If I were still 20-something I would get high and watch this again. But alas, I don't do that anymore.
Wonder if Zoë will ever imagine that I would love a movie like this one? I know I cannot picture my mother watching it.
19 July 2005
Best ride: Big Bird's Ramblin' River
Best show: Big Bird's Beach Party
Let's face it Big Bird has star power at this place. He is clearly getting the best deals. I wonder if he has a better agent than Elmo?
Pictures of the kid at Sesame Place to come tomorrow...
tonight I must nurse my hangover and catch up on Six Feet Under . I am 2 episodes behind!
16 July 2005
Here is just a choice sampling of what I walked out of the store with:
A suit. Yes, a suit. Lined jacket and everything. The only alterations needed is the pant hem.
Isaac Mizrahi for Target Madras Jacket.
khakis for husband
shorts for husband
Jaws t-shirt for husband
Hello Kitty sandals for Zoë
Rain boots for Zoë
hairbrush and comb
movie size boxes of candy (Mike & Ikes, Junior Mints, Good & Plenty, Hot Tamales, and Raisinettes)
Tositos Gold Tortilla chips
And that's not everything. That is what I call variety. Grand total for this shopping extravaganza...?
Not bad, huh? Tell me where you can even buy a women's suit for that much? It was by far the most satisfying shopping experience I have had in a long time. Even better than my spring time spree at the Palisades Mall.
Hee hee! I can't wait to go back for more.
14 July 2005
I knew I was in trouble when I wanted to smash all of the dishes in the dishwasher onto the floor because my husband's technique for loading the thing was getting to me. It's as if he throws the dishes, etc. right in there and doesn't even try for any kind of logical placement or efficiency. At least I had enough clarity to recognize the complete disproportion in my anger level to his lack of skill at loading a dish washer and kept my mouth shut thus avoiding a morning yelling match. That would not have helped my mood.
Going now to try and find solace and soothing in another cup of coffee and a cranberry-orange muffin...
12 July 2005
Certainly Jack Burns, the hero of Mr. Irving's bloated and lugubrious new novel, is a victim in spades - and then some.
Not an auspicious start for a good or even mediocre review. And the final paragraph is this brutal sentence:
Jack's "melancholic logorrhea" might yield some useful therapeutic results, but in terms of storytelling, it makes for a tedious, self-indulgent and cruelly eye-glazing read.
Now I find myself in a bit of a quandary because I have literally read every word that John Irving has every published. I am probably one of a dozen or so people who really loved "The Fourth Hand." So, do I trust in the New York Times and Michiko Kakutani and skip this book, or do I risk extreme disappointment? The book is 800 plus pages so its going to be fairly time consuming should I decide to take the risk. My gut instinct is telling me to wait for it to come out in paperback, but read it anyway. At least the financial risk will be less.
Speaking of books, I am halfway through "A Long Way Down" by Nick Hornby. So far so good. I'm not overwhelmed with loving it. I can put it down, but I do find myself wondering about the characters and I am not at all sure where they will end up, which is a good thing. Hornby is a lot like Irving in that his characters do detestable things and yet we still feel sympathy for them. They become more than just their label in his words.
11 July 2005
At naptime my brother and his wife came over with their daughter and she and Zoë went down for their nap together and the 4 of us enjoyed a calm lunch. That is when the first piece of good news was delivered -- my sister-in-law is pregnant! Unlike with their first baby, they achieved pregnancy effortlessly. Last time was a full year or fertility doctors, etc. She is due March 8 -- making yet another March baby in the family. Something about summer really brings out the baby-making in my family! I am really happy for them -- and for me too. I love being an aunt.
After the girls woke up from their nap, my neighbors (same neighbors as above) came over with their two kids and we all hung out in and by the pool for the afternoon. It was so relaxing and fun to just lounge around and play with the kids in the water and be in the sun. It was perfection in a Sunday afternoon.
Then the next piece of good news arrived in the form of a phone call. My friend Miriam had her baby on Saturday night and mother and baby are doing very well. She had a very easy delivery and sounded a little tired, but otherwise great on the phone. The only sad part is that the bris will be next Sunday and we are going to miss it because we will be in Sesame Place that day. Miriam told me she arrived at the hospital at 8:45pm and delivered at 9:03pm! That is what I call speedy delivery!
The last bit of good news came just before dinner when I checked my email and finally found mail from our friends in the U.K. All of them are safe and well. Turns out they were moving and without internet access for 4 days. It is a big relief to know they are all OK.
We rounded out the evening with take-out Thai food with the neighbors (same as above) and kids dancing to blaring Tom Weber. Nice day -- I'll take 10 more just like it.
08 July 2005
However, when I am really down there is one snack I crave -- Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips. They are good to the point of total addiction. Not only are they mood elevating, they are also helpful in relieving PMS and DMS (during ...) symptoms. I was first introduced to S&V chips by my college roommate. She changed my life when she got me to put down the pint of Ben & Jerry's Sweet Cream and Cookies and instead munch on some S&V chips. By the time I had reached the bottom of the bag my fingers were greasy, the corners of my mouth were burning, and I felt a whole lot better about being dumped or waiting for the phone to ring or something. I can't remember the crisis, but I have never forgotten the chips.
Needless to say, I am currently enjoying a bag of S&V chips now. Later I will curse myself for the grease and crumbs accumulating on my keyboard...
I am having such a hard time dealing with the recent bombings in London. So many 9/11 memories, feelings, fears all rushing back to the surface. That will just never go away. I feel so much empathy and sympathy for the people in London dealing with this. The innocent people who's lives will never be the same.
As my friend said the other day, I can't imagine how someone could think that setting off 4 bombs could affect some kind of positive change. It makes me so angry.
05 July 2005
Yes, I am sure your mother can't hear us from here.
The winning caption was:
Relax, honey—everybody gets buyer's remorse.
Is that really better? I don't know.
Anyway, its hard to believe it's already past the 4th. It was a glorious weekend and we even got to use the pool for the first time all summer. Last night we took Zoë to the beach to see the fireworks for the first time. Husband was convinced that she would hate it because of the noise, but, in fact, she loved it. She had a ball and despite the late hour, she behaved amazingly well. She was an all-around great kid all day yesterday. Here' a pic...
01 July 2005
Next came the Jergens lotion with shimmer. It was a total impulse buy because I liked the idea of it. The best part is that it really works. In addition to the moisturizing, it leaves a subtle shimmer on you skin. The shimmer doesn't last all day, but it is nice for an evening out. I like the subtle factor a lot because I was concerned it would be like a 14-year-old's body glitter. It has a nice. light scent too.
Finally the other day I happened upon another Jergen's product called Natural Glow. This is lotion with some sunless tanner in it. I've never really gone in for the sunless tanners before, but this intrigued me. I applied it yesterday morning and by the end of the day I could see that there was a change to my skin color. Again, a subtle change, which is good.
Now, my dream would be to have a lotion that has SPF 15, shimmer and a little sunless tanner all in one. That would be the ultimate summer moiturizer. If it could also be unscented that would be a bonus. Any cosmetic manufacuterers out there???
Yes, it's true, I spend an awful lot of time in CVS.
27 June 2005
This summer we have been hanging out with them more. Since I started my new job Sally and I now work close to each other so we have met for lunch a few times. And our two families have had dinner a few times. They are a lot of fun to be with and I feel lucky to have such good neighbors. The kids and the adults all get along very well.
This past Saturday was Jack's birthday party and we were invited over after the party to help try out Jack's birthday present. Ted and Sally bought him the Six Flags Banzai Falls Water Slide as a birthday present. This thing is awesome. I only wish I'd had something like that as a kid. The kids all loved it, but for me, of course, the best part was watching Zoeë.
In typical Zoë fashion she spent about an hour circling the slide. She watched the other kids go up and down, she played in the water at the bottom, and she climbed up to the top a few times and then climbed back down again. There were 3 little boys including Jack and 2 little girls -- Hannah and another. Hannah wanted no part of the slide, but all the other kids were going down repeatedly. Finally, after no special moment, just enough time spent assessing, Zoë sat herself at the top of the slide. She sat for about 5 minutes and then she went for it and at the bottom after she splashed into the freezing cold water, she had the biggest grin on her face. She ran around to the back and slid down about 50 more times until her lips were literally blue from the cold water. Despite shivering, she did not want to stop. That night all she could talk about was the slide. And the next morning she wanted to go right back to their house and slide some more. Luckily, Sally called to say they were going to set the slide up again in the afternoon if we wanted to come over. As if it were a question! It was fantastic to watch Zoë have so much fun. If I let her, I think she would keep sliding until she just dropped -- either from exhaustion or hypothermia.