29 July 2005

Who Knew Hi-5?

During our recent visit to Sesame Place I noticed on their calendar of events that Hi-5 would be performing there in October. This was very exciting news because Zoë loves Hi-5 so we decided we would definitely come back in October for the show.

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.

Big Bird

28 July 2005

The Worst and The Best

Why does it always seem like the worst moments I experience as a parent are followed by some of the best? It can be an exhausting rollercoaster.

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

How to defeat the purpose of light ice cream:

Eat the entire pint, of course.

(Thank you to Haagen-Dazs dulce de leche light for quite an enjoyable night.)

25 July 2005

I even wore a suit!

I was so close to not coming in to work today. The weekend was a good one and I really wanted to continue the feeling for one more day. This was especially tempting because my husband is off on Mondays so he was leisurely drinking coffee while sitting with Zoë as I was leaving this morning. Also, the swimming pool was so delightful this weekend.

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

My Night with Harold and Kumar

I really thought I would watch and episode or two of Six Feet Under and then fall asleep to the Nick Hornby book I am still trying to trudge through.

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

Sesame Place hangover

We spent the weekend at Sesame Place -- frolicking in record-breaking hot and humid temperatures. Actually, it was a lot of fun, but I am just completely exhausted today. Strange muscles are feeling achy and I basically could barely concentrate on anything for more than 5 minutes in a row all day.

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


Yesterday I had an amazing Targasm! What's a targasm, you ask? A targasm is an intense, highly pleasurable shopping experience had at a Target store. It was truly the best shopping I have ever done there and believe me, I am an experienced Target shopper.

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
bubble bath
movie size boxes of candy (Mike & Ikes, Junior Mints, Good & Plenty, Hot Tamales, and Raisinettes)
Tositos Gold Tortilla chips
juice boxes
skim milk

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

One of those mornings

Did you ever have one of those mornings when every little thing pissed you right off? Yeah, me too. This morning, in fact. Husband and child could do no right and things are not much better at the office.

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

Hopes dashed by the NY Times

I just read the New York Times review of John Irving's new book, "Until I Find You." It's not good. The second paragraph starts:
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

Not all time wasted is bad...

At least according to this Reuters article. Turns out, I am not alone in the time wasting. Too bad I exceed the average 2 hours per day by about another X hours...

One fine summer Sunday

Despite waking up with a slight hangover (or maybe because of it) yesterday was an excellent day. It was relaxing and filled with good news. The morning was spent eating my husband's pancakes and drinking multiple cups of coffee while recovering from drinking my neighbor's drink creation of Twisted Tea over ice with a shot of Stoli Orange. (This is an excellent drink, but highly potent.)

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

Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips

Anyone who knows me even a little knows what a candy-holic I am. Not to be confused with a choco-holic. I like chocolate, but I also gotta have my pure sugar like Mike & Ikes or Good & Plenty or Circus Peanuts. And I gotta have it on a daily basis.

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...


"Indeed, we all just lost a little freedom yesterday." (Thomas Friedman in his editorial for the New York Times today. If It's a Muslim Problem, It Needs a Muslim Solution.)

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

My new goal...

If you read The New Yorker then you may have noticed that they have started running the cartoon caption contest as a regular feature. I have submitted a caption every week of the contest so far and although I have not yet won or even made it to the final three I am officially obsessed and determined to win someday. Here is an example of one of my captions:

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

Moisturizer madness

In the last week I have purchased 3 bottles of moisturizer. Yes, I do have dry skin, but its not that bad. Seems like the world of moisturizers has really expanded lately and its not just about scents anymore. It started with the bottle of Lubriderm with SPF15. This is a fantastic idea. I use moisturizer every morning and now just like the stuff I put on my face (Oil of Olay), my bod gets some sun protection too. And it is so easy to re-apply -- easier than sunscreen for some reason. Probably because it is thicker and doesn't smell like sunscreen -- it is fairly odorless.

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.