31 March 2009

Need a smile?

Then watch this...

27 March 2009


Part of Emily's "Your blog is fabulous" post included a list of her current obsessions. I didn't include my list with my Fabulous blogs post, but her list did get me thinking so now I present you with a list of obsessions -- some long-standing and some new:

1. Lipwear. I am on the constant lookout for the perfect color and texture lipwear. This includes the perfect lip balm (still the original Chapstick in my book), the perfect lip gloss, and the perfect lipstick. I own a ridiculous number of each. Any trip to Sephora or other cosmetics store includes the purchase of some kind of lip wear. Recent purchase include: Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss in Tangerine, Neutrogena LipSheer in Peach Sorbet, and Chapstick True Shimmer in Botanical Berry. I'm not a big lip liner fan though.

2. Twitter. To me Twitter is one of the most fun things to come out of the whole "social networking" web stuff. I love keeping up with my friends. I love keeping up with those who tweet informative stuff in the news and sites like makeuseof.com (MakeUseOf) -- they find the most interesting things on the web. And I love the fun stuff like the National History Museum Whale (NatHistoryWhale). I check Twitter frequently and I tweet frequently. If you want to follow me, I am marcyjill.

3. Mayfair Jelly Eggs. These are the cheap Easter jelly beans they sell at Stop & Shop. They are so bad they're good and I am sure they are the reason I am not losing weight like I would like to be despite trying.

4. My iPhone. When all the crazy stuff happened at work back in December my work-supplied Blackberry was taken away. I decided that having lived with a "Smart" phone for so long, I could no longer do without one and decided to replace it with an iPhone. A gadget I had long been coveting. I cannot go anywhere without it now. It is my everything device where I get email, text messages, twitter, internet, facebook, train schedules, , GPS, camera/photos, games, notes, calendar, to-do lists, shopping lists, ebooks, music, audiobooks, movies, TV show episodes, and, um, oh yeah, phone calls! In my book it is the perfect gadget.

5. Hotels.com Ever since I planned our trip to Dallas in the Fall I have been really into this website. I know the need for hotels doesn't come up that often, but even just fantasizing about getting away can be fun and this site makes it easy to explore hotel options just about anywhere. The ratings and reviews are generally on target and I have not been disappointed with any of the hotels I have found through the site.

6. Pandora This is the coolest music site out there. I am completely obsessed with fine-tuning my station which I have tried to make into my personalized version of the Sirius satellite radio station, The Spectrum. Which basically means just like The Spectrum, but no U2 or Bruce Springsteen. If you haven't tried out this site, you should. I can even share my station with you -- just let me know if you're interested.

I am sure there are other obsessions currently crowding my brain, but there you have my top 6.

25 March 2009

Your Blog is Fabulous

The wonderful Emily has selected me for a "Your blog is fabulous" award. And considering the other bloggers she chose, I am extremely flattered to be in such good company. If you haven't read her post about this award you should and then you should check out the other bloggers on her list. But, back to me, I feel I must share what she wrote:
Few people in the world make me think, "Well, maybe having a child isn't such a bad thing after all." (Of course, if I could guarantee having a child like Zoe...) I'm pretty sure it's because she is so incredibly honest about the whole "motherhood experience." Oh, and despite what you might think, she isn't all about Zoe. She gives you plenty of other hilarious (and sometimes poignant) observations about this thing we call life.

Wow. Thanks again!

OK, so now I get to give out the award myself. My awards go to the blogs that inspire me. Here we go...

1. traciedesigns -- I love the design inspiration she shares regularly along with her down to earth view on life. Tracie is just all around fabulous from blog to friend to shoes!

2. It's Sara with no H -- I've never met Sara in real life, but I am sure that if I did we'd be instant friends talking endlessly over coffee or drinks or something. I feel like we share a similar point of view on marriage and motherhood.

3. Musings from the sofa -- The musings range from books to husbands to England and back again and they are all excellent posts with an independent point of view that I admire. I've learned a lot about Ms. Musings and a lot of English-speak and English spelling along the way. I always look forward to her posts. She also has the best tags for her posts!

4. Noble Savage -- Again, I've never met her, but I am sure we would be fast friends and have much to discuss. Her adventures in motherhood and as a strong feminist woman are inspirational. Her rough patches remind me I am not alone, her good times make me smile, and her strong point of view motivates me.

5. Telecommuter Talk -- I guess it is cheating to award the person who awarded you, but I simply could not leave Emily off this list. Her blog makes me laugh out loud, inspires me to action, inspires me to read, inspires me think, and of course inspires me to memes. Emily is not only Queen O' Memes, she is Queen O' Blogs! I love that our blogs have brought us closer together as friends too.

Thank you all for the regular inspiration! My awardees are welcome to pass along the award.

23 March 2009

Fashion Innocent

Among Zoe's many lovely birthday presents from family and friends was a grey DKNY zip up sweatshirt. It is a cute hoodie that has the big DKNY logo on the front. (Honestly, I didn't know DKNY even had a children's line. License of the name maybe?)

When Zoe pulled it out of the wrapping paper she held it up, examined it and said, "Those aren't my initials."

21 March 2009

It was 7 years ago today...

Zoe was born!

This picture was taken just minutes after she was born. The first of thousands and thousands.

19 March 2009

25 Most Influential Authors

I was tagged by Emily for this one and was therefore compelled ...

Here are the instructions:

"Name 25 writers who have influenced you. These are not necessarily your favorite writers or those you most admire, but writers who have influenced you. Then you tag 25 people.”

I don't think I will tag 25 people because Emily tagged just about everyone I know already, but if you weren't tagged and you want to do this, consider yourself tagged.

Children's authors
1. Beverly Cleary -- The Mouse and the Motorcycle was one of the first books I really loved.
2. Laura Ingalls Wilder -- I think I read them all multiple times.
3. Judy Blume -- Loved her! Even read Forever and can't wait until Zoe is ready for some of her books.
4. Francine Pascal -- I admit it, I read a lot of the Sweet Valley High books.

The classics
5. Harper Lee -- To Kill a Mockingbird really moved me.
6. Jane Austen
7. Goethe -- That Faust guy shows up everywhere!
8. Fyodor Dostoevsky -- because I thought I kind of liked Russian authors -- or should like them -- until I read Crime and Punishment and then I realized I hate them.

The playwrights & poets
9. William Shakespeare (also a classic, of course)
10. Edward Albee
11. Sam Shepard -- yes he's an actor, but he is a much better playwright.
12. Walt Whitman
13. Henrik Ibsen

Short stories
14. Raymond Carver -- After reading Cathedral I understood just how incredible a short story could be.
15. Lorrie Moore -- if you haven't read her and like short stories, start with Birds of America.
16. Flannery O'Connor -- hated her the first time around in school, but I have grown to really appreciate her work.

Modern Fiction
17. Tom Robbins -- I think I've read all of his books except the latest. He's so weird and wonderful.
18. John Irving -- I read The Hotel New Hampshire at around age 11. I was kind of freaked out, but I never stopped going back for more.
19. Anne Tyler
20. Jay McInerney
21. John Krakauer
22. Milan Kundera

23. Maureen Dowd
24. Steve Martin
25. Malcolm Gladwell

16 March 2009

Race Day

Sunday morning Zoe ran in her first race. It was a 1/2 mile kid's "fun run." She was pretty nervous about it, but when it came down to it she ran her heart out and was really happy with herself after. It was so much fun to watch and even better to see her feeling so proud of herself when the run was over.

Here she is just seconds from the finish line:

15 March 2009

Butterflies are free

Butterflies are free , originally uploaded by Marcyjill.

We had a family field trip to the Museum of Natural History this weekend. My favorite exhibit is usually the Hall of Ocean Life where my friend NatHistoryWhale hangs out, but we managed to catch the butterfly exhibit this time (something I always seem to miss) and I have to say it was pretty darn cool.

12 March 2009

The Pants 180

For the last year, maybe longer, Zoe has almost exclusively worn "soft pants" or their shorts equivalent. "Soft pants" are stretch pants, but they are not as tight as leggings. They are like yoga pants, but they are not wide-legged either. I know this because of all the "soft pant" rejects that crowd the bottom drawer of Zoe's dresser. This fall Old Navy was good enough to produce the perfect "soft pants" and for once I was smart and I bought them in every color except pink. Pink anything went the way of skirts, dresses and all other pants at that same moment last year.

For the most part I let Zoe pick out what she is going to wear each day. I let her pick her pants and then help her choose a shirt that matches. On Thursdays I get to select her outfit and as long as it is not a skirt or a dress she usually wears the outfit I select. I almost always choose the one pair of jeans that she owns and a shirt she rarely wears. Every week since school started she has complained about these jeans and sometimes has even managed to talk me out of selecting them.

This week on Tuesday night when we were picking out clothes for Wednesday Zoe said I should pick and that would mean I wouldn't get to choose for Thursday. I agreed to that and immediately reached for the jeans. She happily wore her jeans to school on Wednesday and then on Wednesday night when we were getting ready for bed and about to choose Thursday's clothes she informed me that she wanted to wear jeans every day from now on. Excuse me? Did I hear that correctly? Apparently so because when I explained to her that her one pair of jeans was dirty she asked me to please wash them so she could wear them again. I agreed because I am sick of the "soft pants" and what is one more load of laundry anyway. At the risk of her changing her mind, I had to ask her why, after all these months and months of wanting to wear nothing but soft pants, did she suddenly decide it had to be jeans?

Her answer: Because I am an artist and all artists wear jeans everyday.

I have absolutely no idea where that came from and I didn't even ask.

10 March 2009

Reading Material

My husband tends to use our bathroom as a mini library where he stores an assortment of reading material. Every time I use the bathroom I am then subjected to a microcosm of his reading tastes and proclivities and I wonder how 2 such opposite people share the same living space. We both love books and magazines, but that is where the similarities end.

I usually read only one book and one magazine at a time. I don't like to be reading too many things at once. This is not the case for Rob. I tend to treat my books quite well. I would never dream of dog-earring a page unless it was an extreme emergency. The other day when Zoe fell out of the tree she was climbing at the playground I still put my bookmark in place before rushing over to her. (She was fine and did not fall from very high.) I would never ever leave a book in the bathroom and subject it to the humidity of days of showers and the curious fingers of the child who shares our bathroom. I couldn't. I also tend to buy mostly one genre of book -- fiction. Occasionally I dip into biography and history, but I generally stick with fiction.

When I get a magazine I read it (or at least skim it) and then pass it to someone else or recycle it. I do not leave magazines lolling about for months at a time nor do I ever re-read them. Once in a blue moon I will save a particular issue of a magazine, but that is so rare that I only have 4 magazines (3 New Yorkers and one New York Times Magazine) saved and I have never re-read any of them.

Rob's reading material in our bathroom includes:

A Life Decoded: My Genome: My Life -- warped hardcover with every 3rd page dog-eared
Latin Can Be Fun -- Seriously. And with the "Bargain" sticker still on it, of course
The February 2008 issue of Cigar Aficionado -- which has been in the bathroom since February 2008 and is barely holding together as a magazine anymore
The November 2008 issue of Outside Magazine -- see above
The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook with Zoe's drawings added to some of the illustrations
The most recent issue of Cook's Illustrated -- a magazine he subscribes to and yet I have never seen him cook one recipe from it.
The American Van Catalog -- also dog-eared which scares me since he is supposed to be getting rid of the van next month
The Selected Poems of D. H. Lawrence -- no complaints with that one

Interesting portrait of the man, isn't it?

09 March 2009

A Broken Promise

One year ago I promised that I would not write and complain about my braces in this blog ever again, but I lied. I have decided that one full year of braces wearing entitles me to one more post complaining about them.

It seems like ever since I hit that one year mark last week (February 27) I realized just how much longer I have to go. I know I should be thinking that I am halfway there. Woo hoo! But, no. Another year feels like a really long time to have to deal with the following:

  • Concern for what food particles are lodged in my teeth after every single meal. This is particularly exacerbated when eating out at a restaurant where I often spend post-eating time either not smiling or covering my mouth with my hand when I do.
  • Awkward smiling. Almost every time I do smile my lips have to navigate their way around these things in my mouth.
  • Seeing them on my smile in pictures. Yuck.
  • Waking up every morning with the insides of my mouth dried onto the braces and gently having to peel them apart.
  • Rubber bands. No one told me about the rubber bands. Miserable little things.
  • The random moments when the inside of my cheek catches on part of the brace. Ouch!
  • The never ending string of orthodontist appointments. Seems like every time I turn around I have to go back there. I like my doctor and most of the people who work at the office, but every 3rd time or so I get the assistant who takes at least twice as long as the others to but the bands back on and it is like torture.
  • The smell of popcorn that I cannot have. I don't miss most of the other banned foods, but popcorn is really tough especially when I am at the movies.
OK, I think that is it for my complaints. I can no longer promise, but I do hope that my next post about braces will be when I get them off!

05 March 2009

Questions for Mom

Seems like lately Zoe speaks in questions and they all tend to start with "Mom?" Heard in a typical day:

"Mom? Can I watch TV?"

"Mom? Can I have a snack?"

"Mom? What's 23+23?"

"Mom? Did you see what I made?"

"Mom? What does this say?"

"Mom? Can I mail this letter to Sophia?"

"Mom? Can I have a playdate with Hannah?"

"Mom? Can I have more milk?"

"Mom? Can I be done?"

"Mom? What is your favorite color?"

"Mom? Can I have dessert?"

"Mom? How do you spell airplane?"

"Mom? Where's my journal?"

"Mom? Can we get that?"

"Mom? Can you take me to the bathroom?"

"Mom? When is my birthday?"

"Mom? Did you know that a baby kangaroo is called a Joey?"

"Mom? Can I have 5 more minutes?"

"Mom? Where's Daddy?"

"Mom? Can I have some more?"

"Mom? Can you tuck me in?"

"Mom? When are we going to be there?"

"Mom? When can we go?"

Luckily, just when I am getting exasperated I get this:

"Mom? I love you."

03 March 2009

Pictures of Puerto Rico

Zoe in the surf, originally uploaded by Marcyjill.

We're just home from Puerto Rico one day late as Mother Nature thoughtfully provided us with a snow storm on Monday and forcing us to prolong our stay. That extra day was a really nice treat. Coming home to 25 degree weather, but looking at the pictures tonight has brought back all the sun, warmth, and relaxation.

I have a bunch of pictures, but some of my favorite are here.