27 August 2006

Website of the Week: labelitorloseit

Someone I used to work with turned me on to this website when I was complaining about having to constantly write Zoë's name on all her sippy cups and tupperware for lunch and snacks at daycare.

The good people at labelitorloseit.com make waterproof stick-on labels. You can have your child's name or anything else you want printed on them plus you can pick a little icon to add some pizazz. They are essentially an amazing sticker. The best part about these labels is they survive many, many trips through the dishwasher and the microwave, but when you want to remove the label, they come off easily and don't leave any sticky mess behind. You get a set of 60 labels for $13.95. 60 labels could last you for years so it is definitely money well spent.

I haven't tried the iron-on labels yet, but if they are half as good as the stick-on kind, I am sure they are excellent.

25 August 2006

A Galactic Goodnight

Just the other day Zoë was telling me about how there are 9 planets in our solar system. She was singing about it as well. Where did she get this information, you ask? From Disney's new kids show Little Einsteins, of course. The episode is called "A Galactic Goodnight" and in it the Little Einsteins take a tour of the solar system. It's the kind of thing you hope for when you let your kids watch TV, right?

However, I hope they plan to make a part 2 where the Little Einsteins explain that Pluto is no longer a planet because I know Zoë is not going to believe it when it comes from me.

24 August 2006


I love the fact that Zoë's view of the world is quite utopian. Whenever we have any kind of race or contest (as in: who can get upstairs the fastest) in her view we all always win. It's so sweet that she would rather not declare herself the winner over anyone.

Today I had the good fortune to attend the Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament being held in New Haven and I was telling Zoë about it when I got home. I told her that the winner gets a trophy and she wanted to know why only the winner gets it. I tried to explain. Then she said, "Mommy, if I never win a trophy, will you make me one?"

What do you think?

22 August 2006

Rockstar: Supernova

Out of total desperation because I just cannot watch another episode of Law and Order and there is nothing else on I have been watching Rockstar: Supernova tonight.

Is it just me or is the best part of this show watching Tommy Lee and Dave Navarro lounging on their Rockstar thrones and jamming along to the performances?

Unless you're a straight male -- then the best part is Brook Burke.

20 August 2006

Website of the Week: jacksonpollock.org

Bring out your inner artist with this fun and addictive site -- jacksonpollock.org You can create your very own Pollock-esque art with a few clicks and strokes of the mouse. When you're done, just print it out and voila!

17 August 2006

First chocolate and now...

COFFEE! The NYTimes has an article about health benefits from drinking 1 to 6 cups a coffee per day. Hooray! To think I've been limiting myself to only 2 to 3 cups. Dunkin Donuts, here I come!

So You Think You Won't Have Anything to Watch

Last night's finale of So You Think You Can Dance was quite bittersweet for me. It was a great 2 hours filled with incredible dancing and my almost favorite dancer won. (I really thought Heidi was the best, but I would have bet money on Benji.) But is it just me, or were you also incredibly taken off guard when she performed her solo and then was suddenly told she was not the winner? It almost seemed like they were going to end up announcing the winner by default. I hope they re-think that for next year's finale.

Although I haven't been a big fan of the musical guests throughout the season, I thought Fergie rocked the house. Ciara's lip-syncing was disappointing even though her dancing was great. Chris Brown was by far the best of all the guests they had.

OK, so now that this show is wrapped up for the summer, what am I going to watch? It is at least another month before the regular season starts up and being somewhat Ticketmaster inept I didn't even manage to get tickets for the tour. The New York performance was sold out in 11 minutes! So unfair.

Celebrity Duets here I come...

15 August 2006

Corn on the Cape

We've just returned from a long weekend of beautiful weather and relaxation on the Cape. We try to go for at least a weekend every year and last year when we went Zoë insisted that we were going to "Cape Calm." There was no convincing her otherwise.

On Saturday morning I jokingly said "we're off to Cape Calm!" She immediately corrected me. I then told her that Daddy was looking forward to eating some cod when get there. Surprisingly, she said she was too so I asked her if she knew what a cod was and she said, "Yes, cod, like corn on the cod."

We could not correct her because we were laughing too hard.

This conversation was bookended on they way home when I tried to explain that the word "cape" is what Superman wears, but it is also a piece of land that sticks out into the ocean. I'm not sure I ever got that across so I believe Zoë now thinks of Cape Cod as a place for eating corn and wearing Superman capes.

11 August 2006

Get a Bangalogue out of life

My smart and talented brother has somehow been shanghaied to Bangalore, India. Read his blog to find out more about it. Especially if you're a Star Wars fan.

Of course, given the news in the last day or so, I mostly look forward to his safe return (with souvenirs).

10 August 2006

Hats off to Single Parents

For the past several weeks my husband has been leaving for work at 6 AM and very often getting home after 9 PM or later. While I'm not complaining about the additional income this is bringing in, this means that I am in charge of all things Zoë. I get her up, make sure she gets dressed, brushes teeth and hair, and feed her breakfast before I drop her off at daycare. Then I go to work all day. At the end of the day I pick her up from daycare, spend some time playing with her when we get home, make her dinner (admittedly nothing elaborate), get her into pajamas, brush teeth, read stories, and then bedtime. After she's in bed I pack up her bag for the next day of daycare. By the time I actually sat down last night it was almost 9:30 PM.

It is an exhausting schedule. And I haven't even mentioned all the other things that need doing in a day or a week like going to the supermarket and laundry plus I try to get in gym visits.

I imagine this is how single parents live every day of every week of every year, therefore my hat is off to all of them. Especially the ones who don't have any and can't afford to hire any extra help.

07 August 2006

Website of the Week: Monk-e-mail

Are you looking for just the right way to send that special message or party invitation? Or perhaps you just want to give a friend a giggle? Then check out Monk-e-Mail.

I received my first Monk-e-mail the other day from my good friend Heather and I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. Thank you Heather!

Here's how it works: You are given a selection of chimps to choose from. After that choice is made you make all sorts of selections about what the chimp is wearing, accessorized with and where he/she is. Finally you choose a voice -- there are pre-recorded messages, you can enter text that is converted to speech, or you can record your own. Then you send the message off to all your loved ones.

I really think I am going to have to use this for my next party invites.

06 August 2006

Check, please

Why don't waiters find it necessary to write down your order anymore? Is it some code among wait staff across the country that if you have to write it down, you're not a professional or you're not cool?

Well, if any waiters out there are reading (especially my waiter from Joe's American tonight) -- restaurant patrons are far more impressed when you get their order right and offer good service than when you take an order without writing anything down. I'd actually prefer that you wrote down that I want my dressing on the side -- or whatever other special requests I have -- because that will save me the trouble and embarrassment of having to send it back later. Please, there is nothing wrong with doing things the old fashioned way and writing it down.

04 August 2006

Dear Nigel,

I know I am a day late on this letter, but I was out on Wednesday night so I didn't catch up with my TiVo until last night. You are, I am sure, happy to know that So You Think You Can Dance is currently my number one season pass.

I was delighted by more fabulous dancing and I was not disappointed by the judging or the voting results. These dancers really look professional. The show is as sleek as it ever has been and it seems you've finally hired directors who know good camera angles for filming dance. I love the show and think you're a fabulous executive producer, but there's just one thing...

Why are you still making the dancers wear costumes that look like they came from Party City or last year's recital at the local ballet school? Donyelle's flapper style dress in her Swinging Broadway number with Benji was incredibly unflattering and it got in the way. You couldn't really see how she was moving because that darn dress was all over her. And while Donyelle's dress made her look heavier, all white on Benji made him look even more like toothpick. Their hip hop costumes weren't any better -- they were also totally unflattering and completely lacking in cool. Shane Sparks at least deserves better than that.

I can't comment on the contemporary/lyrical pajama dance outfits because I never like those, but definitely worst of all was the dress Heidi wore for her waltz. The girl has a perfect 10 body and she was covered her up in grandma's formal dress from her cruise.

So, dear Nigel, I am pleading with you to please hire a really good costume designer for next year's show (which I was thrilled to hear has already been picked up). I'm sure there are tons of really talented people out there that would kill for the job and given all your success with this show and American Idol, I think you can afford it.


03 August 2006

Have the driver bring the car around

My brother is traveling to Bangalore, India even as I type. In his last email to me he told me that the when you rent a car at Hertz in Bangalore the car comes with a driver. That got me wondering how exactly that works. Is it the same driver the entire time you have the car? What if you want to go somewhere at 2 AM -- will the driver be available 24/7? And what exactly does it cost to rent a car and driver?

I visited Hertz.com in the hopes of finding some more information, but the only facts I could ascertain are that there is, in fact, a Hertz outlet at the airport in Bangalore and that renting a mid-size car with air conditioning costs 3,135 INR per day. They don't mention anywhere that the car comes with a driver.

3,135 INR (Rupees) is about 67.40 US dollars per day.

Can you imagine being able to rent a car and a driver for $67.40 per day? Around where I live it costs at least $150 for a ride to the airport which is only about an hour away. From the little bit of googling I did on the subject, it looks like it costs upwards or $65/hour to rent a limo in NYC.

I am anxiously awaiting more details from my brother and will be sure to post an update as soon as possible. In the meantime I must share this video that my brother sent of traffic in Bangalore which clearly explains why you absolutely do need a driver.

01 August 2006

Is it Okay to Spank?

There is an article in this month's issue of Parenting titled "Is it Okay to Spank?" The very first sentence says:

94% of 3- and 4-year-olds have been spanked at least once during the past
year, according to one study.

Really??? It goes on to say that a majority of parents say they spank their kids. I was really surprised by this. Shocked, actually.

I only know of one friend who openly admits to spanking their child and while I prefer not to judge other people (well, maybe just their clothes and shoes) I really can't believe spanking is ever a good idea. When I say spanking, I'm talking about deliberately smacking a child's bottom (or whatever) as a form of punishment for some wrong-doing or misbehavior on their part.

I was spanked as a child and those are my most terrifying and vivid childhood memories. Don't get me wrong, I don't hold a grudge -- I have a great relationship with both my parents and I honestly believe they were doing what they thought was right. But now there has been a lot of research and many studies about the affects of spanking and I haven't heard of one that says spanking is a good thing.

I admit there have been moments of incredible frustration with my daughter where I was more than a little tempted to spank her or inflict some other kind of physical pain like a good pinch (something my first grade teacher was good at), but I held back because I am an adult and ultimately in control of and responsible for my actions. Just as I could never hit my husband or my friends, or really anyone unless it was self-defense, I could never hit my child. But I can see how it could happen by mistake and I think in those cases an apology to the child is warranted after the storm passes. An apology and an explanation.

However, most of my disciplining moments are fairly calm and rational. I think about the punishment I want to hand out and I simply cannot imagine deliberately spanking my child in one of those moments.

According to Parenting I am in the minority. To be fair, the article ultimately answers it's own question with a resounding "no."
The question of whether spanking works, or is safe, is beside the point.
Maybe the question should be "Is it really, absolutely necessary?" And, given
the moral Pandora's box that it unlocks, the less fraught options at your
disposal for addressing childish misbehavior, and the fact that your child is
watching, waiting, and learning from your decision, the answer seems clearly to
just be no.