Friday, December 12, 2008

Maybe the Packages are Heavier This Year?

On my way to work (and to the kids' daycare) we pass a house with an old-style display of Santa and his reindeer on the porch roof. You know, those molded plastic decorations with the light inside? Classic. Yesterday, I happened to look more closely at the display and realized that something was wrong. My caffeine-deprived brain finally saw the problem.

It appeared that the homeowner had somehow mistaken eight tiny with eighteen. Yes, there were eighteen reindeer (plus Rudolph!) up on that roof.

This morning on the way to work, when Mr. Moo saw the display he started yelling, "Santa--you have too many deers! Send some of them home, Santa. You have too many deers!" I about died laughing.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Gifting

New post at the other place with some gift ideas for those that want something a little different. I thought you all might like the list, too.

Other than that, I'm neck deep and beyond in grant editing, so posting will be short and sweet.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008


From today through December 20, you can enter a daily giveaway at the Savvy Source and make your holidays a little brighter. Go ahead, click on the *other* new shiny button to the right and you'll go straight to the giveaways. Grab a shiny button for your own blog and be entered in the December 22 grand prize giveaway. And, while you're over at the holiday site, check out what a lot of Savvy bloggers have to say about how their families spend the holidays. You might see a certain someone's take on the holidays (mine!) on December 10.

Ho, Ho, Hope you win!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Gigs N'at

I'm back from my turkey-induced coma for about five minutes while my brain rests from grant editing. You may have noticed a new, shiny button in the sidebar. I have picked up a new blogging gig where I actually get paid to tell people what I think. Who agreed to that? Just kidding. I am serving as the Savvy Source city editor for my hometown, which has been great and slightly unnerving. The great part is that I love to tell people about the place I call home and about all the fab things you can find here. It is also focused at the preschool set and with two kids, I am definitely qualified. No self-doubt from this mommy blogger. The slightly unnerving part is that in order to tell you all about the gig, I have to reveal my location. I know I could have kept a psudonym or not told you about the new blog (but I totally love it and it's cool and all), but I think most of you who actually stop by to see what's going on in the Dish know where I live. So, it's not all that scary I suppose (lifts veil of anonymity). I'm still going to blog here as Jenn (dish), because that's who I am when I'm here, but if you decide to check out the other site, you'll get the (dun, dun, DUUUUUUUUN) rest of the story.

Of course, I also have the Savvy gig linked back to this blog because it seems natural to share and all the other Savvy moms were doing it and, well, I just did. I did a quick read to make sure I didn't rant about anyone (didn't find anything) but have decided to go back through all of my old posts and make my kids anonymous in name. Given that the other blog has been around for a month (sorry--slow on the draw around here), it's a bit of the ol' cow and barn door thing. But I also have little if any traffic at the new site (yet...yet...), so I think I'm ok. But, for those who have been around here a while, I will now refer to my son as Mr. Moo and my daughter as Boudica. It's just what we call them to be funny--Mr. Moo is not particularly into cows, it just became a name. Boudica has its history in the fact that she is a little warrior princess with Celtic roots (via mommy), so it seemed appropriate.

Anyway, if you feel like stopping by the new place, I'll see you there. But I'll still be here as (in)frequently as ever. You can't get me to stop spewing to the internets that easily. Hah.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Wishes

I wanted to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to any American folk tuning in and Happy Thursday to everyone else. Hey, you can have a happy Thursday now and then, right?

Today we will dine at my parent's house with the usual menu, and I wouldn't change a thing. I love that I am back in my hometown so that I can share the holidays with family. I wish that it were easier for Mr. D's parents to come here because then we would see them more often and they wouldn't miss out on all of the amazing stuff their grandkids do every day. But I am glad for the times we do see them, and they just sent us a lovely package of homemade cookies to enjoy. Yum!

And as much as I may have grumbled about my mommy stress last week, I love my kids with every ounce of my soul. I am so thankful that they are part of our lives and make each day a new and exciting adventure. I am also thankful for Mr. D, who loves me whether I'm glad or mad; I wouldn't want to share this crazy ride with anyone else.

May your blessings be many and your heartaches few.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Reason #732 that I am not a SAHM

I have just spent the last five days visiting my cousin and her family whilst Mr. D attended a conference (that I normally attend, too, and all*). However, since he was headed off to DC, I decided that we should invade my cousin's home and tour the museums all week. Mission #1 was accomplished. Mission #2? Well, not so much. Yesterday we were scheduled to meet a friend for lunch and hit the Smithsonian. Grand plan, no? And the late meeting time (noon, of course) ensured that any child-related mishaps would not impinge on our dining, right?

I am such a fool.

G decided that yesterday morning was the perfect time to master the art of whine-like-a-banshee-until-mommy-wants-to-completely-lose-her-shit. I believe his mentor will be quite thrilled that he reached a level orange state of crisis. Translation: I yelled at him and then locked myself in the bathroom for a moment of peace. I know. Very mature. But I did not throw him out a window--definitely good.

There are days when I am at work wondering what the kids are doing and wishing that I could be there to experience every moment of discovery with them. And then there are days like yesterday where I am reminded why it is that I must get some time away. At the moment, as a WOHM. I wouldn't mind a WAHM opportunity, but there would definitely be daycare involved. Definitely.

*In case anyone is thinking that it is completely sexist of Mr. D to attend the conference and leave me with the kids, the conference is far more applicable to his current job, making him the better person to attend. I'll get back to it soon enough.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Bob couldn't have said it better

I love that the motto of our president elect is "Yes We Can." It's simple, it's appropriate, and it's motivational. It makes one believe that anything is possible, and I think yesterday's election results are evidence that it's true. And I love most of all that "Yes WE Can" implies that we're in this together, working as a team. I am truly excited about an Obama presidency.

Now where did I leave my hard hat?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It's your turn

I voted this morning. How about you? Go out and make your voice heard.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Political Humor

If you notice, I avoid discussing politics around here for the most part. It's not that I don't have an opinion, I just don't feel compelled to put it to a post. I've shared with IRL friends my trepidation about the running mate without a penis. Many other bloggers have said their piece on the matter, and most have said it better than I could.

But, this little number HAD to be posted on my blog. Because I am a huge gamer geek.

We're definitely going to roll a crit on Nov 4--what remains to be seen is whether it's a success or failure.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Holding Pattern

Just a quick hello and apology for the blog silence. Between getting a big grant out the door and attacking my laundry monster, life has been busy. I need to keep this short but promise to be back soon with a long overdue cookbook review. I baked. And took pictures. And I will share it with you. Soon.

In the meantime, I leave you with a big hug from SC:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Belated Birthday Post

For those keeping score, SC turned one two Saturdays ago. You may also notice that date being within the blog blackout period I experienced, so no big celebratory post for the little girl. We actually had her birthday bash on Labor Day weekend to allow some out of town family members to attend more easily. But I had decided to wait and post everything on the actual day. I'm only 10 days late...what do you want?

Mr. D's parents came to town for the party and since we won't be making the trip up there any time soon (Mr. D has no vacation time with his new job), they decided to stay for a week. We relaxed a bunch and took a trip to the museum one day (we have one of the best dinosaur collections in the world) and fun was had by all. And I made it through the week with my sanity mostly intact, which is always a good thing. I actually like having my in-laws around. I just can't relax. My MIL won't sit still for two seconds, and I am not comfortable having my guest run around cleaning my house while I sit there. And my FIL likes to complain about everything. Oh, and he chews as though it is very important for deaf people in the next town to feel the vibrations of his mastication so that they, too, will know that he is chewing. I have mentioned before my feelings about loud chewing.

The party was great except that it was one of the hottest days of the summer, so people were melting a bit on the deck. But having a bunch of family and friends around when your little girls turns one is awesome. Especially when they bring really strange looking presents (it was a stuffed alligator). She got her first baby doll, and she just adores it. She'll drag the poor thing all over the house with her. Of course, because she still crawls, the doll gets slammed down on the ground with every motion. She's a loving mommy, I'll say...

We also had a party at her school (daycare). The kids "help" to make the cake, which is free from white sugar and is almost healthy. SC wasn't too keen on it, especially after the gastronomic delight she had at her home party, but then she started shoveling in a bunch of fruit. She does love to eat, and now that she has two bottom teeth, she shoves the food to the front of her mouth to take advantage of them. She looks like a little old lady trying to eat corn. She might not have the teeth for long, though, if she keeps instigating wrestling matches with her brother. But they do really love each other, which melts my heart completely.

Happy birthday sweetie!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Blog Review: Dangerous Days of Daniel X (Finally)

I am not quite certain why, but this is the first time I have been able to access my blog since, well, my last post. So, I first must send my apologies to MotherTalk because they asked me to review this book back on September 11. I had everything read, written, and ready. Luckily, I have not missed the entire tour...just my scheduled day.

On to the book!

I have been drawn in repeatedly to James Patterson's books aimed at adults. Titles like Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, and First to Die have had their moments on my bedside table. And each of those books has left me satisfied and anxious to see the next in the series. If you recall, however, I wasn't as happy with my first introduction to one of Patterson's books aimed at a younger audience. My main complaint with Maximum Ride III, besides a strong dislike for the main character's name, was the lack of detail to draw me into the story. The plot was an interesting concept. The story unfolded well. But I was left wanting a lot more because there was a considerable lack of detail.

Unfortunately, I was left with a similar impression after reading the The Dangerous Days of Daniel X. I loved the idea behind the story. In a nutshell (as so as not to spoil the book for potential readers), Daniel X is an alien hunter. As the book opens, his parents are killed by an alien, yet he survives (very Harry Potter-esque, no?). The book then jumps ahead to his life as a teen and some of his wondrous special abilities, like being able to recreate his entire family from nothing (an illusion but, as told, a terribly impressive illusion). The unfolding of the story, the underlying concepts, and even the general pace were good. But, again, I was left wanting a lot more detail. I realize that Patterson was aiming at an audience that isn't fond of reading. Perhaps kids that don't like reading hate to slog through lots of extra words in the form of plot detail. For those kids, this would be a great story told in a simple form. And, for them, it may hit the mark exactly. But I know that for me, even as a 10-year-old, I would have found the story lacking (but I also read voraciously).

One thing I wished I had been able to do with this book was share it with a 10-year-old and get his or her opinion. As I thought through the collection of families in my little circle, it dawned on me that the kids were all either way too young (five and younger) or were too old already (13+). I almost gave it to one of the 13-year-olds anyway, but she started reading the HP books in first grade, so this would probably garner a similar reaction from her.

But don't just take my word for the book. Here is a nice writeup from the New York Times. According to that piece, Patterson's heart is in the right place, so I give him credit for that. If I find a willing young reader, I do want to hear from someone in the target audience. And when that happens, I will definitely post an update to give you, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received a copy of the book in exchange for writing this blog review.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Pedestrian PSA

When walking on a street with no sidewalks, you should walk facing traffic. So, in the United States, that would be on the left. It is also best if you walk single file instead of spread out into the lane of traffic that you cannot see because it is behind you.

Seriously. Does no one teach this any more?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gotta Watch My Words

In the car this morning:

Me: Gabriel, please stop chewing with your mouth open. You sound like a friggin' animal! (I normally hold back using even the "nice" swear words, but chewing noises make me lose my cool)

Gabe: {indignantly} Mommy, I am not a friggin' animal!

Said, of course, clear as day. Yeah, I'm that mom. Go ahead. Shun me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Hope Their Car is Stinky

Last night just as I was drifting off, I was yanked from the verge of peaceful slumber by the telltale sound of squealing tires, impact, glass breaking, and a speedy departure. Fearing a hit and run in front of our house, I ran to the front window to see that someone had swerved through our front yard and distributed our trash and recycling bin (full of glass, of course) all over the yard and street. Lovely. I called the local police who were lovely as pie and came out to check the situation. My main concern was to avoid any other accidents from the detritus on the street (and there is no way we were going to stand in a dark street and sweep). The officer and Mr. D got the larger bits off to the side (with the cruiser as a barricade), and we were told that they would send a crew in the morning to clean up the mess.

Given that you need to exert a bit of effort to jump the curbs in our area, the driver must have either been drinking, sleeping, or driving so fast that they overcompensated the turn. In any case...scary.

This morning, as I left the driveway, a public works truck was pulling up to our house, and Mr. D informed me that they cleaned the street and our yard of the whole mess. Our tax dollars at work! Seriously, though- I was impressed and grateful for the service. I guess that’s an advantage of living in a small suburban community.

And is it terrible of me to hope that one of the poopy baby diapers lodged in the undercarriage of the offender’s car...and that it is parked in the sun today getting nice and ripe?

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I'm short on time, but I thought I'd tickle you with some Gabe-isms.

Latte = milk (Yes, I know that most of you realize this, but you'd be surprised how many people think the kid is asking for coffee.)

Has no words = doesn't talk ("Mommy, the squirrel has no words.")

Cheesy bread = grilled cheese

Monster, Donkey, and Lady = Shrek movie

10, 9 ...... 3, 2, 1, BLASTOFF! = the microwave is done

Pack-pack = backpack

I made a snake = I pooped in the potty (yes, we've had some success...halleluiah!)

Back to cleaning...I have houseguests coming in eight days. Gah!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Green Wednesdays

I have decided that I need a bit of structure in the blogginess to keep me posting on a regular basis. And something that has been on my mind a lot more in the last year is being "green." How green am I? What can I do to be a little greener? Is it really making a difference to the planet?

Let me say up front that I am far from the greenest person you will meet. But I'm also not the, um, purplest (what is opposite of green anyway?). It's something I keep in mind, it's something that I'm not radical about, but I do try to take small steps as I can. I think that probably sums up the green state of a lot of people, which is part of why I wanted to share. Maybe one of you will give me a good idea of something else to greenify a piece of my life.

With all of that in mind, I have decided to make Wednesdays a theme day, and green it is. Because Wednesday is green. What? Your days of the week are not colors? No, I'm not synesthesic, I've just always thought of the days of the week as colors. Monday is red, Tuesday is yellow, Wednesday is green, Thursday is turquoise, and Friday is orange. Saturday is black and Sunday is white. Maybe it has something to do with notebooks in school when I was little. Maybe it was a book I read as a kid. Who knows?

So, I thought I would start with a question. What is your greenest habit? What is your most purple?

Most of my green habits are really little things, so I'm not sure which one is actually the greenest. I'm going to just pick one and say using my own dishes at work. I avoid the disposable plates, cups, and plasticware and just use the "real" thing for meals. And since I eat breakfast and lunch at work, that's more than half of my meals. I'm sure that the water and soap to wash the plates offsets the landfill volume a bit, but I still feel good about it.

My most purple activity has to be the disposable diapers. I thought long and hard about using cloth. And then I took a realistic look at how many hours I work, how many Mr. D works, and realized that we would literally be drowning in dirty diapers and would be miserable. Not to mention that we would likely negate any benefit of using cloth by ordering takeout all the time, spraying nasty chemicals around our house which would be littered with dirty cloth diapers, and going to the store to buy more cloth diapers because we were out and they were all dirty and scattered around the house.

How about you?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I'm fine...mostly

Many thanks for the support the other day. I probably made Mr. D sound like a monster, but, to his defense, I really was being a bit of a pain in the butt. I was getting quite overwhelmed with work and ended up taking out my stress on the people closest to me. I know that's totally normal, but I still feel bad for doing it. So, don't send hate vibes to Mr. D. He needs all the help he can get--he's married to me after all. :-)

I was finally able to relax a little (only a little) and so we went on Friday night to see an outdoor concert at a local park. We took a picnic dinner with us, which excited Gabriel to no end (he is lately obsessed with the idea of having picnics). Because I was operating on squishy brain Thursday night, I forgot to buy lunchmeat for sandwiches. So, we had cold sesame noodles and cucumbers. I also brought some little cans of peaches for the kids and some homemade banana muffins for dessert. The kids loved it, although it was a bit messier than I had wanted for an outing. Oh well. We decided when we arrived to sit in the area where most of the families seem to gather. As I sat there and people-watched, I realized that the audience was almost enirely yuppies and hippies (well, old hippies with money- what the heck do you call those?). Everyone (including us) had their dinner packed in a wicker picnic basket. Most people had wine with them (not us- poor planning). And our entire section was chock full of kids and pregnant women (all of whom were wearing black dresses on a really hot day...I was sweating just looking at them).

Because the neighboring blankets were so close, I was able to overhear a lot of conversations, and one comment captured the flavor of the crowd so well that I thought to myself--I must blog this. A young girl asked her mom if she could have some butter on her bread. The mom replied, "Sorry, honey, I didn't bring any butter. Here, have some pate."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Is it Friday yet?

You know you are having a bad morning (and rubbing it off all over your family) when your spouse turns to you and says, "Hey, when are you going to be done nursing so that you can start taking antidepressants?"

Friday, July 18, 2008

An Original Title, at least

Can you tell that I read Barren Mare? I didn't realize that I totally stole her blog entry title. Oops. Sorry, Mare! I know that bloggers are generally pretty good about sharing words (especially when it's a title for a bunch of thoughts strung together...). My brain has just been so mushy that I didn't realize I had used the exact title until I clicked over there this morning to see what was new.

I am looking forward to this weekend. First, we will pick up our new car tomorrow (it got delayed from Wednesday). And we got a great rate on the loan (woot!). Then, tomorrow afternoon we will be heading over to a party to celebrate the engagement of an old friend. She has lived far, far away for such a long time that I hardly ever get to see her. But you know how sometimes you find those people in life that you can be out of touch with for a VERY long time, and then when you talk again it's as if no time has passed? No one asks, "why didn't you call?". She is that kind of friend. I can't wait to see her and meet her man.

Sunday, I plan to do a little laundry (I know, too exciting.) and work on SC's birthday invitations. I found a bunch of small rose colored cards with matching envelopes on clearance. I'm just going to print the innards (perhaps right on the card- I need to run one through the printer to see if I like it) and then do something simple on the outside. But I do feel the need to create the cards. Yes, I'm crazy.

Ok- too much to do today and it's already after 10. Gah! Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I have been so lax about posting and so much has been happening that I feel like I could never quite catch up. So, to bring everyone up to speed, I figured I’d do another one of those bit and pieces posts.

  • Gabriel will be moving up to the preschool room at his daycare at the end of the month. Preschool! It completely boggles my mind (but he is also completely ready for it...I have been worried that his verbal skills are suffering as he becomes the oldest kid in his room).

  • SC, speaking of verbal skills, has been talking for the past two months. Yes, that means that she said her first words at eight months. We now have dada, mama, dog, Gabriel (as gay-bwel), and va (which is her word for nursing...not sure why, but it’s definitely a consistent, meaningful word for her). She also signs “more” or will bang on the table like a barbarian when food is not being presented quickly enough. And she parrots lots of things in conversation. Gabriel was saying, “Stop that!” the other day and when he stopped, I could hear her saying, “top daa, top daa.”

  • She is also crawling and cruising, pulling up on every surface in the house. Oh, and stairs are no biggie. She went from the back room to the kitchen (only two stairs, but still) without even blinking.

  • Mr. D’s new job seems to be going well, so far. He really likes the people and the place. The commuting is still a bit rough around the edges, but it’s coming into place. I drop off and pick up the kids and he gets home before us to start dinner and do household stuff (except laundry- he’s not allowed to touch the laundry).

  • We finally went car shopping this past weekend and, to our surprise, made a purchase. We got a Kia Rondo. It looks just like a really tiny minivan and was obviously created by Mary Poppins’ bag designers (small outside and huge inside). We opted for the five-passenger configuration because the third row seating would be completely useless for us (it’s only good for kids or adult amputees, and in the interest of saving gas, why tote around extra weight unnecessarily?). The gas mileage is not as high as we would have liked, but it was the best we could get for the space we needed and the price we were able to pay. But we are quite satisfied (I’ll give you a better report after we get the car on Wednesday).

Those are the highlights du jour. Toodles!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My Kid, the Sculptor

This is one of those posts that I can pull out when Gabe is going on his first date. Or to the prom. Or some other teen-angst inspiring event.

We are still working (slowly) on the potty training. So, on the weekends we tend to run a pants-free household. And 99% of the time, the pee goes in the potty. That other stuff? Well, someone (and I won't name names) tends to save that until nap time when the diaper is donned again. Small steps. Small steps.

This past weekend, the weather was lovely (unlike the previous weekend when psychotic storms ripped the freakin' roof off of the screen gazebo--yikes). So, pants-free Saturday began. As I sipped my coffee, Gabe found that the Candyland board made a perfect Sodor Island, with many multicolored tracks for Thomas and all of his friends. He was sooooo terribly excited. I was almost done imbibing the nectar of the gawds when I noticed that Gabe sounded a bit frantic--more whiny than normal (don't get me started on the whine levels lately...they peel paint). I looked over and noticed something along these lines on the Candyland board:
Except in three dimensions. Yeah, that was on the board and also on the hands of my lovely, sensitive son who tried to clean up a bit before sounding the alarm.

It really would have been a shitty morning except that it was so incredibly funny.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

My first mistake...

...was trusting the bus schedule.

I had one of the most horrific mornings on record. I had high hopes that it would be a good one when I actually felt rested upon waking. I haven't felt that way in a long time. Really long. I promptly found an outfit that (a) fit and (b) was clean. I even went so far as to iron my pants, a task I normally ignore fervently. Then, I left the house for work, sans kids (Mr.D was dealing with them today- one less obstacle in my path).

Traffic was a bit heavy but not terrible. I made it to my new parking lot by 8:10 and considered my options for the bus to work. I decided that since the bus on the quiet, scenic back street is scheduled to come at 8:15 (and had done so the previous day) that I would wait for that one. I had plenty of time to get to my office.

A quick glance at my watch at 8:18 left me wondering where the bus might be. Should I proceed to the stop two blocks away where many buses pass? No, I knew that as soon as I walked away, this bus would pass. A few more minutes ticked away. At 8:29, I saw a broken bus limping down the road with "GARAGE" displayed overhead. Well, I thought, that must be the 8:15 bus. I'm not crazy, it obviously broke down.

Please note that most other people would have LONG AGO left this bus stop for an alternate.

I decided upon seeing the broken bus that I would, in fact, go to the alternate stop. About halfway there, guess what passed me? Go on. Guess.

I managed to catch the %$#!&% bus two stops later because the traffic was a bit congested. The bus was packed to the gills, and I was left standing right next to the driver. No matter--I thought--I'm only going a mile (and here is where you get to ask my sorry ass why I didn't just walk to work). When we were just two blocks shy of my stop? The bus broke down.

I silently screamed, stepped off of the bus, and walked to my office. In the time it took me to stand around and ride a broken bus, I could have walked there twice.

I am an idiot.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blog Tour: The Pregnancy Journal

When I received my copy of The Pregnancy Journal by A. Christine Harris, Ph.D., I was skeptical that a book with a day to day format would appeal to me. I am not someone who does well with too rigorous a routine. If I were to classify my routine, "routine" would be far from accurate. But I really enjoyed having the opportunity to review this book. And had I known about it when I was pregnant, I would have loved following the little daily facts, quips, and quotes. Of course, knowing me, I would have read the whole thing at once. And then again. And again.

The Pregnancy Journal is set up to provide information day by day throughout your pregnancy. Each day has some general information about the baby, about you, and then at least one item from a variety of categories like "Food Facts", "Childbirth Then and Now", "Childbirth in Other Cultures", and "For Your Health." The short entries are informative, interesting, and often amusing. And they are just the right bite-size amount for when you are suffering from pregnancy brain. And each page includes a relevant quote at the bottom. Here is one of my favorite tidbits, filed under Childbirth Then and Now:

"In colonial America, it was common to have the laboring woman seated on her husband's lap, he being seated on a chair. He would hold on to the woman around the top of her abdomen or under her arms. As a male writer commented in 1882:
The position was certainly not a bad one for all parties with the exception of the husband who, in tedious cases, suffered rather severely; but then this little tax on his affectionate nature was, in those days, considered the very least return he could make for the mischief he had occasioned."

That is actually one of the longer entries, but I loved the last little part about "mischief." Oh, those wacky colonials!

Having nothing to do with the great content, I also liked that the book was study and spiral bound. If a woman were to record thoughts, facts, and milestones throughout the book as it indicates, there is nothing worse than not being able to write on the left hand page because the book won't open properly. The spiral binding lets one lay the book flat and turn pages easily. Good for both writing and reading, and a great way to keep the record of pregnancy intact long after.

Other than the fact that I would never have recorded my weight or waist size throughout the journey, I fully embraced the rest of the book. Kudos to Harris for pulling together this clever book and many thanks to Mother Talk for asking me to write a review.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Is this thing on?

Hello? Hello?

Yes- I'm still here. Can't seem to form a coherent thought to save my life and, what, with the writing-as-a-career thing going on that's not so good. So, I've been spending time at work banging my head against a wall trying to finish my projects and then coming up with exactly how to word something late in the evening. To harness the productivity, I've taken to working after the kids go to sleep at night. I won't even mention to you the size of my laundry monster (it tried to eat the dog) and things like dust, iron, and sweep are considered four-letter words in our house, and we don't use language like that (yes, I know that sweep has five letters...go with me on this, ok?).

Here's what's been keeping me busy when I'm not working:

Mr. D will be starting a new job on July 1. Right now, we commute together, which is lovely because he loves me so much and drops me off at the door of my building and then takes the kids to daycare, and I have to just sleepily stumble up a few stairs and voila! I'm at work. After July 1, all child transporting and self transporting will fall to me. Bleh. The least evil of all the solutions (because we opted to ignore Cthulhu's ideas) was to get a new parking lease near the daycare (about a mile from my office) and transport myself via foot or bus to and from that location. No problem. My concern, however, is that I am NOT a morning person, I have never been a morning person, and if I can't leave the house at least 30 minutes earlier than we do right now, I will never make it to work on time. I know- wah, wah. I have to start being freakin' organized, and get the kids clothes together the night before, and my clothes the night before (I spent 15 minutes looking for a belt this morning before I said screw it and then had to get dressed all over again), and use the crock pot a lot more so that we are not eating dog kibble for dinner.* I am so thrilled for him to have this new job, but I am terrified that my little world is going to crumble in on itself. How the hell do single moms do it? I am completely serious. They deserve medals.

Before the end of the month we have to replace one car with something that probably won't die at a moment's notice. Our earlier plans for stimulus check = minivan downpayment are being trumped by the new fact that we will be driving to work separately and have no intentions of feeding two gas guzzlers (the gas sipping car is the one dying). So, we will get something little and cute (and not too pricey because the big one is likely to go bye-bye within a couple of's old) but it has to have enough room in the back seat for the kids just in case. I have never bought a new car in my life. I have always been blessed with good car karma. I am not looking forward to this because I keep thinking that we're going to get screwed or hate the car in a month or something else terrible.

I have agreed to again chair fundraising for my chorus (but insisted that there be three of us to share the burden). I must be insane. Any fundraising ideas that have worked for groups you know are welcome. Keep in mind that we are a mixed-age group (early 20's to early 80's), spread out over a pretty large geographic area (about a two-hour's drive diameter), and have a sizeable collection of nay-sayers (so helpful!). But I'm coming up empty at the moment.

Ok- back to work. Maybe if I pretend I'm just about to go to sleep the writing will come to me more easily.

*Actually, Mr. D has said that he will go to work early and get home in time to have dinner ready by the time we get there (6:30-ish). I hope that it works out.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

But Can We Still Wear White?

If you've been following my musings for long enough, you probably read all about the fact that I am a Sweet Adeline, and that my chorus goes to competition each year. Last year, we marched on to the stage ready to make a name for ourselves. Ready to own the competition. And, once again, we came home as bridesmaids. Although the many years of getting screwed by the judges made us far from virginal.

I believe, in all, our chorus has won eight second-place medals in the last nine years. The odd year was a third place medal, and I just won't talk about that one (actually, I wasn't on stage that year...Gabe's arrival was imminent).

This past weekend was chorus competition again. I didn't mention it because we have worked so hard each year and been so disappointed each year, that I'm getting tired of taking up bandwidth to even mention it. Ok, now that I've mentioned it, I guess you want to know how it went, huh? Well, all I have to say is...


I like to give credit where due, and I lifted this photo from the Great Lakes Chorus Web site (not my chorus) because I didn't take a picture of my own medal. But mine is also shiny and BLUE. BLUE BLUE BLUE!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Blog Tour: Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book

When I received the Working Woman's Pregnancy Book in the mail from MotherTalk, I decided that the best time to read it would be over lunch at work. After all, I'm a busy working mom who used to be a working pregnant woman. Context is everything. Then, it quickly dawned on me that if I were reading a pregnancy book at work I would have to first explain that, no, I’m not pregnant. Then, I would have to get into why I am reading the book, which might reveal my bloggity nature, and I do not want those I work with to have that much information about what goes on inside my head. So, instead, I read the book before bed at night (with a cup of tea and a cookie...or two).

The Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book, by Marjorie Greenfield, M.D., comes across as a meld between a “what to expect” type book (although not at all like WTEWYE) and a pregnancy message board (minus the cutesy stuff and babydust). The many stages of getting pregnant, being pregnant, birthing, and life with a newborn are covered in a factual, straightforward way. Along with each subheading, the author provides quotes from various working women who contributed their thoughts to the book. The combination gives the reader a good factual foundation along with some real life instances of when a pregnancy did (or did not) follow the book.

Overall, I will say that I liked the book as a pregnancy resource. The real question, though, is did it take the extra step to become a working woman’s pregnancy resource? I would say that yes, it did. I liked very much that the book addressed issues specific to the working woman. Dr. Greenfield covered when to tell your boss and coworkers you are pregnant, how to deal with feeling not so great while at work, FMLA and other maternity leave issues, when (and whether) to return to work, daycare options, and dealing with special circumstances (like sick kids, appointments, etc.). The factual information was presented clearly, but did stay at a fairly basic level. Those women wanting more detail on either general pregnancy information or work-specific pregnancy information will want to include other resources in their repertoire. I am an information hound, so when I was pregnant with my son, I think I read at least six or seven pregnancy books. Each one had something to offer me that was different from the rest. Had the Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book been available when I was expecting Gabe, it would have been on my must-read list. At the time, I found the other pregnancy books definitely lacking in how to approach being at work and going back to work. Most books were a throwback to the days when women stayed home after having children. This book, on the other hand, assumes that you are working and will continue to work. It makes me feel less like a second-class mom.

That being said, I am not 100% sold on the “flavor” quotes throughout the book. At first, I liked the way they nicely balanced the factual information. I thought that they became a bit overdone by the end, though. And I especially disliked when there were more than two quotes used to offset a particular piece of factual information. But this book is not about quotes and snippets. It’s about getting a bit of practical advice to help the working woman with the ups and downs of pregnancy. And on that count, the Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book delivers as promised (sorry…couldn’t resist).

In the interest of full disclosure, in exchange for my review, I received a free copy of the book and a gift certificate.

Monday, May 05, 2008

What a week

My life has gone from busy to super duper uber busy in a matter of a week. It's throwing me for a bit of a loop, if you must know the truth. And I know that you must know the truth. Essentially, a lot of work projects are happening in tandem, I have a few more projects on my plate because we just lost a member of our team (no, she didn't die...she's just moving on to greener pastures. Oh, wait- that still makes it sound like she died), and my chorus' competition is in two weeks. By the end of May, two major elements of my stress will be complete, and I will only have another dozen or so looming. Ha. Only.

In the meantime, I am reading another book for Mother Talk, and the review will be posted on May 13. If I weren't so busy at work, I'd leave the book lying around on my desk purely for the freak-out factor (it's a pregnancy book). But, given that we're all at the end of our rope to begin with, providing even the slightest hint that I have a "hidden agenda" would send a few good folk over the edge. I'm not going to do that. Well, not today at least.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


I'm in the middle of work deadlines. Wait; when am I not? Anyway, only time for a quick note today.

First, I reread my review from Monday and realized that I may not have been entirely clear on this fact, but I did like the book. I was in a bit of a mood and was coming down off of a high-carb weekend, so the detox was making me a bit more snarky than usual. I expect that the author appreciates a good bit of snark, but I also wanted to be less obtuse in my review.

Second, I was thrilled to drop another 0.8lb today at my weigh in (see aforementioned high-carb weekend). I was going to mark it a success if did not gain. Losing was just the icing on the cake (mmmmmm, icing).

Third, when you are grocery shopping with your toddler and he says, "Oh, mommy, please buy the mushrooms. They are so delicious," please be warned that your head will explode from the cuteness and you may cause collateral damage (aka, tell everyone in the store what he said).

Finally,...hmmm, I'm out of stuff for the moment. Maybe if I get a full night of sleep (hint, hint you hear me, I said HINT, HINT) I'll have something clever to say.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Blog Tour: Naptime is the New Happy Hour

Have you ever met someone and your first impression was, “Holy crap, chica- could you tone it down a notch?” Then, of course, you find that you are crossing paths with said chica at least daily. At first, you want to hide when you see her. Then, you chat a bit more, overhear her talking to others, and maybe even get to meet her kids. And slowly, you realize that not only does she not grate on your nerves, but that you might even want to be her BFF. Ok, maybe not that last one- but you definitely want to make sure that you do cross paths with her on a regular basis. She’s a hoot!

Such was my experience with Stefanie Wilder-Taylor’s new book, Naptime is the New Happy Hour- and Other Ways Toddlers Turn Your Life Upside Down. I had missed the boat on her first mommy book, Sippy Cups are not for Chardonnay, but was introduced to it during the explosion of media coverage on moms who have a drink at playdates via Melissa’s blog. So, given the chance to review her book on the ups and downs of having a toddler in the house? Yes please, sign me up! And bring me a glass of wine while you’re at it.

As soon as the book arrived, I cracked it open and prepared myself to be amused. I was not. In fact, I kept thinking that Wilder-Taylor was trying way too hard to make me laugh. I must be a Brit at heart because I like subtle, dry humor. I’m not much for in-your-face-without-a-break type humor. But, the good folks at MotherTalk had asked me to write a review, so I continued turning pages.

And I am so glad that I did.

After the first couple of chapters, I really started to warm up to Stefanie. I laughed along with her descriptions of playdates, outings, and gatherings with a toddler (and other parents- my gawd the other parents). And I found myself nodding and reliving my own experiences as the pages continued to turn. I’m not sure if it was an acclimation to her comedy style, a change in delivery, or divine intervention, but by the end of the book I was almost wishing that I lived in LA again so that she and I could do coffee.

I even found myself stopping to revisit places where we disagreed. Stefanie can’t stomach Thomas the Tank Engine. In our house, however, Thomas is king. So, when she started in on Thomas being a snore, and stuffy, and pretentiously British, I took offense. How dare she criticize my son’s favorite character? But then I stopped to realize that I, too, find things about the show to be ridiculous. Like the way that many episodes have the engines getting lost. How exactly do these engines get lost on the tiny island of Sodor? Trains, on tracks, in a geographically limited space getting lost. I believe that makes them completely daft, not stuffy. But I started to realize that Stefanie and I are more alike than I thought. We both spend way too much time analyzing our kids' shows.

Wilder-Taylor is one opinionated mamma. But I admire that. Sure, I disagreed with her on some stuff, but do you actually agree with your friends 100% of the time? If so, then you need to grow a spine and form some opinions of your own. Bottom line, if you like a bit of snarky mommy humor to get you through the day, read the book. If people being brutally (but comically) honest rocks your boat, you might want to skip it.

And if you’re in the snark-loving camp (like me), make sure to follow her blog.

In the interest of full disclosure, in exchange for agreeing to write this review, I was provided with a copy of the book and a gift certificate.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Drip, Drip, Drip

That sound you hear is my weight loss bucket slowly filling. Or emptying. Or...gah...whatever it is supposed to do when you're losing weight. Today's weigh in showed another 0.8 pounds lost. A small amount but moving in the right direction. I'll take it. Our WW leader said that with the nursing, I should only aim to lose about a pound a week. But we are also working on a slight step-back of my points because the more the girl is eating, the less she drinks, and the less I need to produce (and the less points need to go into my pie hole). I removed one point last week and I think I will do that again this week. I am still nursing, afterall. And there's no way I'm going to let go of more than a point a week. So, the weight melts off slowly...drip, drip, drip.

Are you now picturing me standing in a puddle of melted fat? Yeah, I got that image after reading the last line, too. Sorry 'bout that.

The other thing that goes drip in our house is the sound of Gabe peeing in the potty! Yay Gabe! It has happened all of once but that is more times than none. We have all the rewards in the world, and the kid just doesn't want to do it. And I'm not going to force the issue. But we did make sure to celebrate that one time.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Heartfelt and Heartbreak


My little girl turned six months last Thursday, and she's as pleasant a kid as ever. Everyone who meets her asks if she really smiles like that all the time. And I can truthfully say, yes- she does- unless she's hungry. Then it's all about the food and the food must happen NOW. She is babbling constantly and it ranges from an almost growl to a shriek to a string of syllables that sound exactly like language but with no discernable meaning whatsoever. Yesterday she went for a while saying a two-syllable "word" that sounded exactly like bruh-ver and I decided that she was saying "brother" over and over. Gabe liked that idea. And she is one strong baby. And hungry. Did I mention hungry?

And Gabe is becoming a new child every day with the things he says and does, thus amazing the socks off of me. He'll be three in May and already recognizes written words (not sure if he's technically reading), does 60 piece puzzles with ease and asks for more, and will talk the ear off of anyone in range. That is if you want to hear everything and anything about Th*mas the T*ank Engine or eggs. He is still fascinated about baby birds coming out of eggs and so Easter is just the holiday of all holidays in his book. Eggs? Everywhere? And bunnies? Wow!!!!!!! In fact, today at grandma's house, he decided that the basket full of (non-breakable) eggs was a duck's nest and that he would sit on the nest to hatch the eggs.


On a sad note, I'd like to ask for prayers for my friends D and D. Last June, they adopted a sweet little boy, B, and this weekend he passed away unexpectedly. It turned out he had a medical condition that had escaped detection. Needless to say, D and D are devastated and everyone who knows them is in shock. B was only 9.5 months old. If you could stop for a moment to say a prayer, send a thought, or whatever you might do in such situations, please do. I couldn't make the viewing, and I'm not sure that I would have been strong enough for it anyway, but I have been thinking about them all day and can't wait to leave here and go hug my kids really, really tight.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Is it wrong?

...that I like to eat dessert while watching The Biggest Loser?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Eating Machine

My little girl has turned into an eating machine of mythic proportions. I know that periodically kids get into an eating frenzy of sorts when they hit a growth spurt. For Gabe, the frenzy would last a couple of days, and then he'd be back to his old self. As of today, SC has been feasting like a mad woman for four days. It's like she can't possibly be filled. A bottomless pit. All the cereal and milk in the world is just not quite enough. She is typically a good eater, but everyone has noticed the dramatic increase (I thought perhaps I was imagining things). She may soon eat the dog if we're not careful.

On the other hand, I have gotten quite into the groove of WW and have been finding it pretty easy to stay within my daily allotment. Yes, I am aided by the nursing (10 extra points per day- yee haw!), but I am still trying to make sure those extra points go into something nutritious and not just into a killer ice cream sundae. (As a side note, a float made with low fat ice cream and diet root beer totally rocks my world.) This week I was even able to bump up the weight loss a little. I had been losing exactly 1.6 pounds per week for the last three weeks. This week I lost 2.2 pounds. It feels good to be past the five-pound mark (finally). The only sad part is that I need to lose another 22.4 pounds to have my BMI qualify as "overweight" instead of "obese." Well, that's just my current total loss times three-ish. Can I do it? YES I CAN (we watch a lot of Bob the Builder). I can already feel the difference in my clothing with seven pounds gone. Ten more and I might just be able to get into those 16s!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

R.I.P. Gary

If you understand this image, you may be interested to know that Gary Gygax has died.

I did not embrace the RPG world until graduate school, but I have taken many a fantastic journey through the realm of "creative group storytelling with dice," (how I describe gaming to non-gamers).

May all your hits be crits, Gary.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Patience, my dear Watson

So, um, yes- I may have been delerious when I wrote that last post. Sorry 'bout that. Really.

Anyway, we're into a new week that, so far, has been illness free. Ok, puking free. I still have a cough that is taking up squatters rights in my lungs. Mr. D keeps telling me to go to the doc's, but I'm not listening (laa, laa, laa...can't hear you). I guess I just don't feel sick enough to (a) take the time from my schedule to go to the doctor's office and (b) bug the doctor. I know that it's their job to see sick people, but I like to be, oh, dying or at least limping or something (the last time I went for a sick visit was the day Mr. D ran over my foot with the car).

Today was my WW@work meeting and I am down another 1.6 pounds for a total of 4.8 in three weeks. It's a good number and I'm moving in the right direction, but I keep thinking back to when I started WW a few years ago. The first week I managed to lose 5.6 pounds. Shazaa! Then I lost almost five the second week. In other words, I got that initial "bonus" weight loss that typically happens when you start a new eating plan. But this time, I'm seeing a consistent 1.6 pounds/week. No bonus. No shazaa. Hmmm. I know that the loss has to be slow to maintain my milk, and I know that a nursing mom gets to eat a whole 10 points per day more than a non-nursing mom. But I am, of course, getting antsy about the pace of the loss. Forget that I put a freakin' turtle as my ticker on purpose because I know it's a slow process. Forget that I am actually losing more than a pound a week. I'm just fixated on the fact that it's been three weeks and I'm not yet at five pounds. I just have to remind myself that the slower it comes off, the more likely it will stay off. And this mamma is going to keep it off, darnit!

The other factor contributing to the apparent slowness is that when I last weighed what I do now, I was in a smaller size. But I was also pre-kid#2. My body shifted around a lot more in my second pregnancy, and I need to remind myself of that fact, too. The size 16 pants are hanging there waiting patiently. I just wish I could be a bit more patient about wearing them.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Welcome to the festival that really rocks the house! We got it all, I tell ya. Not only are you gonna feel the heat baby--like a fever, oh yeah--but then you're gonna hit the flipside with some monsta' chills. You be illin' if you be chillin', right? And then...oh, yeah, when you don't think you can take no're gonna take a wild ride on the porcelain express! Heck, you'll be so messel won't know which end to be pointin' in the vessel. Oh, yeah.

Share it with all the family, too. 'Cause I know yo' mamma taught you to share.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Note to Self: milk = milk

SC had her first bout of vomitus maximus last night at bedtime. I’m not sure what triggered it, but she was eating cereal like crazy yesterday, so it could have been either the sheer volume of food, the fact that I added a small spoon of sweet potatoes for flavor on the last feeding, or a tummy bug thingy. I was ruling out the last one merely based on the fact that after she threw everything up all over her crib, she was all happy and giggles and coos. The most upsetting part for her was confusion about why the food was coming back out and why it had to be so forceful.

Then she was just so darn pleasant about the whole thing that I decided to cuddle up with her in the chair and just sleep that way in case she needed me again.

Well, at about 2am, she woke for a bit and seemed to be a little peckish (of course), and I decided that I should at least keep her hydrated so a little drink would be a good thing. So, I let her nurse because, of course, at 2am one’s brain doesn’t process that milk, in any form, is probably not the best idea for a kid that threw up a few hours prior. ‘Cause, you know, it’s it’s not really milk.

30 minutes later...baaaaaaaaaaaaaarf.

Yeah, ok. Logic at 2am is not logic- it’s a recipe for more laundry.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Small bites

Well, I managed to lose 1.6 pounds in the last week (please note the decimal- I'm not that good). I had hoped it would be more, but I also messed up by not drinking enough water. Every time I have a slow loss week, it's the water. So, have I had a lot of water today? No. I am a slow learner. But I am down a WW point for my daily total, which means that the middle number in my weight changed. That always feels nice.

Tired today...more later.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

In again, begin again

Today, as promised, I went to my first WW at work session in about a year and a half. It felt good to see a lot of the same faces (lifetime members- and those still working) and it felt good to be taking charge of my waistline again.

True, knowing how the system works, I could just as easily track my eating and such on my own. But something about the accountability makes me that much more motivated to stick with the plan. Knowing that next week a person I don't know well at all will be looking at the scale and then writing down that number (which makes it real, of course) keeps me on track. Will I have that person weighing me for the rest of my life? No. But I have already proven to myself that I can maintain. It's the losing part where I need a bit of help.

I posted a weight loss tracker on the right because it will help me to see that I am making progress. I like the idea of the turtle both for the aesthetic alignment with my blog design and also to remind me that slow and steady wins the race. For some reason the tracker wants to appear and then disappear, so it may be a ticky ticker for a while. I'm guessing that it doesn't like that I am posting it on day one. Maybe next week it will resolve itself.

Until then, I have buckets o' points to eat. Nursing a baby really boosts up your daily allotment, I have to say.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I'm home today with a mix of germs attacking my body. It's not all that surprising considering that in the last two weeks I have been juggling sick kids, deadlines, and dual funerals. That's a whole lot of opportunities for exposure. I actually feel better just having slept in today, so I am on the road to recovery.

Tomorrow I start back with Wei*ght Wat*chers. There will be an "at work" session in the building next to mine (conveniently connected by a bridge- no snow or rain for me) and when I was a member a couple of years ago, it did wonders for my waistline. In fact, after a short break from the meetings to accommodate a hectic schedule, I was planning to return to them in January 2007. The day I was to go back I peed on a stick and found out that there was a little surprise for us in the form of two lines. So, the whole WW thing had to wait. Now that our little surprise has arrived and my milk is doing well, I am back to the place that helped me to lose 55 pounds.

Right now, I still have about 20 pounds of pregnancy to lose. I had gained 5 pounds in the six months prior to getting pregnant. So, I'm up 25 pounds from where I ended last time. My goal, then, for this first 17-week session is to get back to where I was before (aka, lose 25 pounds). It is doable if I work hard. I plan to use a ticker like Sherry (Horkin' Ramblings) to keep myself accountable to not only myself, but to the internets in general. I'll post it tomorrow when I know my official starting weight.

Catch you tomorrow with the official start of the new me.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Things are a bit harried right now, so this will be short. In brief, kids keep having real or mystery* illnesses, my aunt passed away on Friday**, and work continues along at a good clip. Which is why this post is about nothing but fun! I present to you the clothing item of SC's that I completely covet:

Yes, I am a shoe whore. To be more accurate, I am a comfy, funky shoe whore. And these fit the bill. It seems that the little one might be on to me, though, because as I was taking these pics, she struck a pose that, to me, says, "Go ahead, make my day."

*SC had to come home from daycare on Friday with a high fever (103.2) that magically disappeared by the time we got home. Yeah, I need to miss more work.

**We are, of course, sad, but she was 92 and her health had been failing, so it was far from a surprise.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I decided on Sunday that we would try a little rice cereal for SC. She was officially four months old and by even the most casual observation one could tell that she wanted FOOD and she wanted it NOW NOW NOW. Outcome? Well, she gobbled up every bit of the half-ounce of milk with cereal, had no trouble with the spoon, and by the end had grabbed the spoon out of my hands so that she could put it in her mouth by herself. Yes, folks, my girl fed herself at her very first feeding! That’s my little barbarian.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Week's Wrap-up

I have lots of random thoughts and nothing terribly blog-worthy this week, sorry. But, because I'm a sharing kind of person, I'll empty my brain for you.

*Monday I got a battery for my new toy, and I am completely smitten. It does me good like no other, and I love it even more because I wooted it. (BTW- its AFW content. What were you thinking I bought?)

*Monday night I slept in my own bed. All night. Wow.

*Tuesday night I slept in the rocker recliner. All night. Erg.

*Wednesday I played the "Bad Mom or Resourceful?" game as I stored the pumped breastmilk in an empty (and washed) Diet Pepsi bottle.

*Thursday morning SC rolled over for the first time. Cool.

*Thursday night I slept in my own bed for most of the night. Good.

*Friday morning I was told, "Mommy, I need a kiss" as I got out of the car for work. That starts any day off right.

*And throughout the week, if the princess is not hungry, I get to see this face:

*Life is good.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Me me me meme

Dawn posted an interesting privilege meme on Wednesday, and I decided to see how many of the items apply to me. In the same style as Dawn, I have bolded the ones that apply to me and made comments where appropriate. Then, just because I noticed a striking difference, I posted the meme again but answered it from the perspective of my children. Obviously, some items for them cannot be answered at this time, but I’ve done my best to guess.

It’s interesting that I answered yes to 14/34 and my kids will be able to answer yes to at least 21/34. How do you score?

The meme from MY perspective:
1. Father went to college
2. Father finished college
3. Mother went to college
4. Mother finished college
5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor (This one is tough because technically, I do have a relative who is an attorney. But he is a distant cousin I barely know, so does that really count?)
6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers.
7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home. (Children’s books- and the collection grew along with my interest in reading)
8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home.
9. Were read children’s books by a parent.
10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
(I took dance lessons—tap, ballet, and jazz—and also learned to play the violin and the organ)
12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively.
13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18.
14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs.
15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
16. Went to a private high school
17. Went to summer camp
18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18.
19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels
20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them.
(When I was 19 and in college, my parents bought me a car to get to and from school. Prior to that, I took the Greyhound bus, and I think it made them nervous.)
22. There was original art in your house when you were a child.
23. You and your family lived in a single-family house
24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
25. You had your own room as a child
26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18.
27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course.
28. Had your own TV in your room in high school.
29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college.
30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 (All of our vacations were car trips, a habit I still prefer.)
31. Went on a cruise with your family.
32. Went on more than one cruise with your family.
33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up.
34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family.

Now here it is again from my CHILDREN’S perspective:
1. Father went to college
2. Father finished college
3. Mother went to college
4. Mother finished college
5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers.
7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home.
8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home.
9. Were read children’s books by a parent.
10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
(I assume that this will be true)
11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18 (Again- probably true)
12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively.
13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18.
14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs.
15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
16. Went to a private high school
17. Went to summer camp (Summer daycare for kids ages 8-12 is pretty much nonexistent, so I expect that both kids will eventually be spending time at camps)
18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18.
19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels (Actually, most family trips involve visiting friends and family, and then once a year we stay at a discount hotel for the gaming convention. So I should probably answer this as “sort of.”)
20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them.
22. There was original art in your house when you were a child.
23. You and your family lived in a single-family house
24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
(If we maintain status quo, the house will be ours in 2016, and Gabe will be 11)
25. You had your own room as a child
26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18.
27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course.
28. Had your own TV in your room in high school.
29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college.
30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 (Gabe has already flown, but I still prefer the car trips.)
31. Went on a cruise with your family.
32. Went on more than one cruise with your family.
33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up.
34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family. (I plan to educate the kids on the cost of living in the process of teaching them how to save money, budget, and be responsible citizens. But is the fact that they will know this as a teaching tool another sign of privilege?)

(From What Privileges Do You Have?, based on an exercise about class and privilege developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. If you participate in this blog game, they ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright.)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Sorry for the extended silence, but with all of the preholiday chaos at work (huge deadline on December 21), in our house (houseguests arriving on Dec 21 and baptism for SC on the 22nd), with travel (headed off to see the in-laws on the 23rd...with a 12.5 hour drive each way), and the postholiday lack of internet access, I haven’t really had a chance to catch up. I am still attempting to regain control (and do the laundry).

There is so much talk about resolutions at this time of year that it seems as commonplace as breathing. Will I be working on weight loss in 2008? Absolutely. But the only reason that it waited until 2008 is that the new WW@Work session only begins at the end of January. I don’t view that as a resolution, because it is just a life process that took a hiatus while I was pregnant and subsequently establishing my milk supply. What I do resolve to do in 2008, however, is declutter. We started the process in December as outgrown/outdated/outlived clothing went into boxes and bags. The whole clothing purge is still not over. Mr. D and I have a habit of only buying “classic” styles and then keeping them forever and ever. We are also pretty easy on our clothes, so they tend to stay in pretty good shape. The problem is that we still buy more clothes as if we need to freshen our wardrobes. Capitalist pigs are we. We have, therefore, decided to nip the bud on both ends of the problem. Stop buying new clothes and get rid of clothes that we haven’t used in a while because of size, style, or any other reason.

Once we finish the clothes, we need to tackle books and papers. Given that we are both Ph.D.s, we have a LOT of books and a LOT of papers cluttering our house. Too many. For us, getting rid of a book is like cutting off a limb- something we don’t take lightly. I’m certain that this process will be the slowest and most painful of all.

And I won’t start talking about our hobbies, because those alone are a great source of clutter. We have decided that the hobbies can stay if they are organized and we only add to the hobby stash when absolutely necessary (to finish a project, play a game, give a gift, etc.).

The thing about The Great Cleanup of 2008TM that makes us sure to succeed is that we are approaching it in baby steps. None of this “we’ll finish clearing out the attic tomorrow for sure” type mentality. Too large a job in too small a time. But promising to fill a box with trash from a particular room or clear out a drawer in the file cabinet? Those tasks are completely manageable. And if you do enough small tasks, the large task is accomplished.

So, what’s on your list this year?