Root canal #53

OK, #53 is an exaggeration, but really, I've had more dental work done than I think my 102 year old great-grandmother has had done. I went in to my dentist this morning because my gums have been hurting in one spot and the x-ray confirmed what I had suspected: I need a root canal. You know you've had a lot of root canals when you're in a bit of discomfort and think, "Hmm...this feels like a root canal is needed." Oy vey. So I'll be on antibiotics for a week until my root canal appointment. Oh goodie. What fun. I've always had problems with my teeth, and I blame all the sugar my parents and great-grandma gave me as a kid. Root canals, wisdom teeth, crowns, bridges...I'm an expert in the dentist chair by now. My husband has never had a cavity and goes to the dentist maybe once every 10 years. Go figure. Boo loves to brush his teeth. Thank goodness for that.

Happy New Year, folks! I'll be celebrating with an infection in my gums. Oh, now that's a lovely picture, isn't it? :)


I've been tagged again

Just when I thought I wouldn't have time to blog this week, I get tagged! Never one to fail my duties, here we go with my answers to the questions... then see below for the next hit list. You may be on it!

Q)What were you doing 10 years ago?

A)Ten years ago I was getting ready to go to Los Angeles for my last semester of college. I had two internships lined up: one in the news department at KABC-TV and one in the publicity department with Geffen Records. I loved Geffen mostly because they paid me. My now-husband and I had just celebrated our third anniversary together (12 years now and counting!).

Q)What were you doing 1 year ago?

A) One year ago my husband and I were enjoying Boo's first Christmas. I was planning my businesses. We had two dogs then.

Five snacks you enjoy: chocolate truffles, strawberries in summertime, fruit tarts, Cheetos, bagels with cream cheese and lox

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics: twinkle twinkle little star, the wheels on the bus, c is for cookie, ...can you tell where i am going with this? songs on the radio, i know; songs on my son's cds, i know really well...

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
pay off our mortgage and college loans, set up a trust fund for my son, buy my parents a new house and a kick ass boat, take all of our friends and family on a big vacation to Italy, France, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal, enroll my husband in race car driving school and buy him a vineyard (his dreams), and then I'd invest the rest so we could make more money.

Five bad habits:
not working out, saying yes to too much, checking email a million times a day, eating out too much, being too honest

Five things you like doing: spending time with my son and husband, writing, designing, traveling, baking

Five things you would never wear, buy or get new again: everything i ever wore in the '80s...that sums it up

Five favorite toys:
a kick ass digital SLR, wireless tablet, laptop, my son's toys

So this is the plan: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot
Ms. Mama
The Diaper Pail
the state of indiana
watching me grow
from maternity to madness

Then select five people to tag:
Ready or Not
Andi Starr
CitySlicker Mom
Deputy's Wife


Post-Christmas recovery

My husband is insane. Our house looks like a ToysRUs truck slammed into it and dumped crap everywhere. And I swear that I have gained five pounds just from one night - okay two days counting the prep time - of eating nonstop.

First things first: my husband is the best dude in the world but is insane because like always he broke our limit for gift-giving to each other. I did too, but not like he did. He went nuts. He put the gifts I got him to shame. I got awesome techno geek stuff/toys that I can use for home and business and a super cool necklace. But it's not like we can really afford the uber cool fun toys. Justify them for work, yes. Afford them, no. Ah well. Then I realized last night as he was "testing" out my gifts that they're really gifts we can both use and enjoy, and I will definitely use them every day, so I feel better about that. My husband is truly better at gift-giving than I am.

As much as I wanted to avoid the commercial toy dump at Christmastime for Boo, it was unavoidable. He has been having the time of his life playing with his new trains and books. All week last week and so far this week, he's been singing nonstop. I don't think he's stopped (except at daycare, where he is so mad that he doesn't talk at all) singing softly or talking (sometimes loudly) for about eight days now. He's a pretty happy kid. And now he's started MOCKING us. Too smart and sassy for his own good, our Boo. It's pretty amusing, actually, when he mocks us.

This Christmas meal was low key - just us, my parents, one cousin and one aunt and uncle. We had dinner at our house and opened gifts. My brother, his girlfriend and their baby came over later and we stayed up talking for a while. It was a nice Christmas indeed.

I worked a lot today. This is a busy week. I am tired already, and I think my husband is getting sick again. But overall, we had a beautiful, warm, happy Christmas. I hope you all did too!


Ode to Mama Pals

Tonight, I find myself in complete awe of other mamas. Mamas all over the world whom I have met in person and online. How do you all do it? SAHM, WOHM, WAHM, two kids, three kids, one kid...I am ever so thankful whenever I meet other mamas. So THANK YOU, mama pals - the ones I have known for years, the ones I have just met once, and the ones I have only met virtually in this great blogosphere. You have ALL touched my life, and Boo's life, more than you will know.

-saying hello. Anyone who is kind enough to acknowledge my random presence is considered my mama pal. Even if you come to hate me, I still love ya :)
-listening to my venting about mindless matters and horrific tragedies that turn out to be nothing important in the end
-listening to my constant Pollyana big smiles "I love being a mom!" crap which is all true but nonetheless annoying
-reading my very random rambling blogs
-leaving nice comments on said blogs
-helping me deal with sleep issues, feeding issues, work issues, money issues, baby gear advice, etc.
-understanding that as a mother, yes, I am crazy and losing my mind
-letting me know I am not alone in being a crazy mama and losing my mind
-being brutally honest
-being a great example of the wonderful mother I hope to be
-making me feel better about having discovered poop on my shirtsleeve because you have baby vomit on your socks...from the day before
-saying I look great even though I just ate at McD's three times in a row and haven't worked out in months
-not judging me for letting Boo have fries once in a while, and understanding why sometimes it's just gotta happen
-inviting me and Boo to super fun playdates
-having kids for Boo to play with and learn from (bad grammar, so sue me)
-commiserating about how life with hubby changes after becoming parents
-commiserating about how our role in our houseshold changes after becoming mamas
-telling me about great new kid-friendly places to visit
-keeping me up-to-date on silly yet ultra important celebrity gossip
-sharing info on where you got your cool baby/kid/mama stuff
-understanding when I am running late...by 20 minutes
-understanding a last minute cancellation or get-together
-being cool with the 5-sescond (ok, 5 minute, 5 days...) rule about our kids eating stuff off the floor
-listening to my endless and annoying chatter about work
-giving me great mama advice and ideas about work
-sharing the kid-food, diapers, wipes, snacks, etc. at playdates
-being open and supportive of my parenting style (what style?) even if it doesn't completely mesh with your own
-your ability to understand things about being a mama that no one else can, not even papas, no matter what
-being so nice to me and Boo and letting us into your lives, even if just for a day or via the internet.

Thanks mamas everywhere! We shall rule the world...or perhaps we already do???!


Pre-Mama days

There once was a girl who was an overachieving rebel. She wore black all the time, listened to The Cure and Nine Inch Nails, and stayed out really late downtown with friends drinking pots of coffee like they were filled with water. She delighted in doing things she was told that she couldn't do because she was a girl, because she was Asian, or because she was already doing too many things and she was "spreading herself too thin." She had friends from all walks of life; protested wars, corporate America, and crimes against the environment; moved 3,000 miles away from everything she knew to drink a lot and smoke a little of this and a little of that; changed her hairstyle every few months; and coveted beautiful tattoos.

Flash forward about 10-15 years later, and the mirror reflects a different sort of girl. One who is no longer a girl but in her mind not really a woman. A half girl/half woman who lives in the suburbs of all suburbs, drives a gas guzzling SUV, likes to wear high heels with jeans, and who is in her comfy flannel pajamas by 7 and in bed by 11. She hasn't had a haircut in six months and hasn't had it colored (especially a bold color) since the birth of her child, has a wardrobe that is strangely full of color, and she listens to mainstream music like The Killers and John Mayer.

This morning it just hit me: where did all of my black clothes go? Did they vanish once we moved back to the burbs, or with the birth of my child? I'm dangerously close to wearing sweats outside of the house sometimes, and instead of riveting nonfiction political, historical or womens studies books, I just found myself online ordering a mindless book by the author of the Shopaholics girly girl series. I find myself longing for a facial and singing Chicken Dance Elmo songs in my head as I work. Who IS this girly girl and what has she done with the old me?

I think I will always be a little bit of a rebel, but a more tempered and thoughtful one now, if that's not an oxymoron for you. I also think I've always had a bit of the suburbanite domestic goddess wife role always in me. I still long for a tattoo, but know that a sassy little dragon will look ridiculous when I'm a grandma, and there's no way I'm getting a stupid cutsey flower or something so tiny no one can see it. I will still fight the good fight when the cause is important to me and my family, but I now know a little more about how government and business works, and know to choose my battles wisely. I still listen to Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine, but now that Boo is getting older and understanding the words, I usually just listen to them on my iPod instead of in the car. I admit to loving being a domestic goddess, but in part because it's the antithesis of what some family members expected of me, so there.

I also admit to loving this life, this peaceful boring suburban life, because I am blessed with such amazing family and friends and am happier than I have ever been. Someday I will tell my son stories of the old me, pre-baby, once he's old enough to understand that mama was once a crazy kid too. He'll still probably think I am a lame old woman who wears lame old woman clothes and listens to old fogey music, because I'm his mom and I likely will by then be a lame old woman (I'm headed there already), but c'est la vie. I have my memories, for which I am grateful, but I love the new ones I'm making too.

PS-at least my husband will be going down Old Fogey lane with me. The once concert t-shirt-and-Doc-Marten-boots-wearing, chain-smoking, mosh-pit loving boy is now a J.Crew-wearing, smoke-free, stay-home-on-Saturday-nights-and-watch-tv proud papa. At least we're growing old and lame together, honey :)


Busy McBusy Boo

I realize today that in the past week, Boo and I have been to four playdates. That's a lot for us in one week, during a very busy work/holiday-crazy week at that! In a way, it's like I've traded in holiday office parties this year for playdates.

Today was a productive day. Drove hubby to work; went grocery shopping where Boo excitedly attempted to eat a mango, skin and all; went to a fun playgroup where Boo just happily played and played to his heart's content and then napped faithfully for just over two hours afterward, allowing me to take care of new orders, today's shipments, some boring but much-needed accounting matters, get some comps done for a Monday night meeting, and somehow miraculously make six more logs o' cookie dough to stash in my freezer for the holiday baking goodness that is to occur next week. I got all cocky thinking that I could squeeze in a few batches of truffles this afternoon too but that didn't happen. I think that will happen after Boo goes to bed tonight. Or maybe not until tomorrow... (Side note: does anyone have a good substitution for molasses? I can't believe we ran out, so I tried to do the substitution of sugar/water combo with more added ginger and cinnamon to the mix, but I don't know how those cookies are going to turn out...guess we'll find out!).

Boo update...amazing little Boo. He is speaking in sentences and having real conversations with us now, even though half the time we have no idea what he is saying or we only understand every other word. Today's phrase was "look mama I did it!" I had to shake my head and wanted to slap myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming that I heard those words come from my 18 month old son's mouth, but he said it again a little later. Unless I hallucinated twice, which is highly possible these days. His favorite phrases so far include "gotta go!" which he uses all the time now, sometimes to our embarassment if we're with friends and he decides that it's time for us to go. He also loves to say "I did it!" which is often followed by hand clapping. Sometimes he says "good job" but usually just when he's repeating us. Overall, he knows about 30+ words, although half of them he says backwards ("hat" is "tah," "up" is "puh," and "grapes" is "pags!").

He's a great little helper these days. He'll help us close doors, put his books or toys away, go get his shoes or his coat, etc. He's learning how to take his coat on and off, along with his shoes, socks and pants. Actually, he loves to take his shoes, socks and pants off and just roam free around the house, but tonight I caught him trying to put his pants back on. It was so cute, but he's just not developmentally there yet so we helped him and then of course, he clapped and said "I did it!"

Boo has been eating and sleeping more these days. I hope it's a growth spurt. Poor guy has my short genes, but hopefully his dad's taller genes will prevail in the long run!

He LOVES our dog. He hugs him all the time now. He also tries to feed him, which is not good, but it's still pretty cute.

We're having a really great, fun time with Boo right now. He's climbing all over the place, up the outside of the staircase to circumvent the gates, on top of tables and chairs, on the dog... He's seriously on the GO all day long and these days he just talks and talks all day and all night long. We're having such a crazy fun time being parents right now we can hardly contain ourselves. And he's SO cute! But of course we think that, right? :)

Someday I know there will be a bitch post in this blog about something he is doing to drive us crazy or how motherhood and work are driving me mad, but right now, he's just perfect and we're having the best time watching him grow up. How lucky we mothers and fathers are to be parents and witness these perfect little creatures become human beings.


Holy crap it's Christmas

Really, it's a little over a week away! Did you know this? It totally sneaked up on me! I've been preparing for it all year and now it's almost here. Hmm. How did that happen?

We always host Christmas meal over at our house, while my parents traditionally host Thanksgiving at theirs. This year, we ended up having Thanksgiving at ours, but we're still hosting Christmas. About two weeks ago I would have had the menu set, most of the items purchased for the meal, and cookie dough wrapped and waiting to thaw and bake in our freezer. Um, not this year. The funny thing about it is that really, I don't care. I mean, I care a LOT about Christmas and spending that special time with family and friends, but I am not worried about the meal. Maybe we'll do our traditional lobster and corn chowder with a rack of lamb. Maybe we won't. Maybe we'll make a crapload of Christmas cookies like we normally do, maybe we won't (ok, I admit I have ONE lonely log of cookie dough in the freezer). Maybe we'll just have Spam sandwiches. Just kidding. I don't know why, but I feel like it's just not a big deal this year.

Hmm. But now I am hungry and now I am thinking about the meal. Maybe I just needed to blog about it to get the culinary juices flowing and help get my ass in gear. Christmas is, after all, the following Sunday. WOOHOO! Suddenly, I am SOOO excited!!!! I LOVE Christmas!!!


Little Angel on Date Night

Tonight my husband and I treated ourselves to a fabulous dinner out by ourselves, the first we have had in what feels like years but is really just a few months. Our dear friend ASR babysat Boo, which we weren't sure how it was going to work out since Boo hasn't spent much time with her lately and he had never been alone with anyone but us, my parents, my brother and T, or his daycare. To our delight, the night went swimmingly for all. He was a little angel all night! He played and laughed, told her a bunch of his new words, ate his dinner and read, and followed ASR's directions when she asked him to lay down for a diaper change. He seemed to feel comfortable with her right away, which was a great sign. He's really a pretty fun kid to hang out with, and it sounds like they both had fun tonight. We are so proud of little Boo, and so very grateful to ASR for babysitting tonight!

Dinner was incredible. We ate at a somewhat new restaurant in town, which has gotten rave reviews from several foodie mags as well as being noted as one of the country's best new restaurants in the Nov issue of Esquire magazine. I had lobster pot pie while hubby had steak frites, both of which were absolutely delicious and which we enjoyed with a nice Oregon Pinot Noir. For dessert? molten chocolate cake. YUM. Our waitress was the best we have had in a looong time (can anyone else see the decline of customer service in the US these days? Tonight's service was MUCH appreciated). It was so nice to splurge and enjoy a few hours full of lively conversation with my favorite grownup in the world, my hubby. It's really important for us to have time to reconnect, just us, without threat of toddler interrupting. We've been together for 12 years now, and I really do love him more and more as time passes. He is an awesome husband, father, and friend. To have a child with him is the most amazing thing in the world.

We had such a great time that we're nabbing the grandparents in a couple of weeks and having another date night - two in one month! At the next we will probably not spend as much cha-ching, though...damn, we had forgotten how expensive a really nice dinner can be!


Boo's Excellent Adventure

Boo's new favorite word as of this morning: Dude.

He would just play around us exclaiming, "Dude! Duuude. DUDE! DuDe. DuuuUUUDE! DUDE! DUDE! DUDE!"

I love this age:)


DVDs and signing

I find it amazing that people are still commenting to a post I wrote back in July entitled "I know who the Doodlebops are..." What's interesting to me is that, if you read the post, it's really NOT about the Doodlebops. It's just a general post about how the world of parenting changes you. Yet read the comments - somehow readers have taken what I thought was a rather benign rambling post into a Pro- or Anti-Doodlebops, Pro or Anti-Wiggles, etc. commenting ground. Very odd, people.

Of course, shortly after writing that post, the Disney Channel changed their morning line up, so we haven't watched the Doodlebops in a while. We have instead watched DVDs like the Baby Einstein DVDs (Boo LOVEs these - the little puppets are his friends - it's so cute) and the Signing Times DVD. If you want to teach your child to sign I highly recommend these DVDs. They were recommended to me by mama pal MML. Boo has versions 1 - 3; they start with the basics and then bring in more words as the series progresses. His signing really blossomed after watching these DVDs.

It's funny to think that teaching babies sign language is still a relatively new idea in everyday parenting. Every mom I know in town has taught their kid at least some signs or has at least attempted to; it's almost a given where I live. They sign with the kids in all of the daycares we looked at. For our family, teaching Boo sign language has really helped our communication with him. He can sign for what he wants instead of throwing a fit. Oh sure, he still gets fussy and frustrated, but not very much. We noticed that once he learned to both sign and speak more words, his tantrums almost stopped. Once he learned the sign for "sleep" he could just walk up to me, use the sign, and I'd know it was time for his nap. Whereas before, I wasn't sure if he was fussy because he was tired, or hungry, or what. He gets a huge smile on his face when he signs something and then we say the word for what he is signing, as if he is sooo happy that we finally understand him. As he learns to speak more words, he just uses the sign and says the word at the same time. It's really cute.


Random ramblings

Can I just say that I LOVE my job!!!! Read more about it at my other blog. Now on to mommy madness...

It's been all about the holidays here, as I am sure it is in many of your households. We decorated our lawn with cute lighted trees and will string more lights up this weekend. We decorated our fireplace mantle and have our presents all wrapped and put high above the prying hands of our curious babe. I strung lights along with garland (which Boo now loves to say "gaaaarland!") along our staircase, but now I think our living room is just a tad too lit. Those lights may have to go, but the garland will stay. We got our tree from our neighbors just down the street on Saturday - they have a U-Cut Tree Farm. It's a beautiful tree, which we have decorated with last year's decorations, but I'm just not in the mood, nor can I justify, spending $$ to buy new ones. Next year we'll switch color schemes. Here's a pic of it so far, with little Boo standing next to it. We'll add more crap to it this weekend.

Today Boo has fluctuated between being stuffed up and having a massive runny nose of the waterfall variety. Lovely. But this balloon that we picked up from lunch today made him smile for a long time. That's our dog getting in front of the picture, as usual.

Saturday night I met some awesome new moms in the area at a really cool wine bar. About half of us were strangers, so I brought my mama pal ER for moral support. I don't know what it is, but I can attend a million work functions and talk to every stranger in the room with no problem, but if it's a personal social event I get all nervous like I'm going on a first date or something. Meeting new moms is fun, but sometimes scary - what if you don't get along or have completely different ideologies about parenting? What if you love chocolate and the other moms shun all forms of sugar? OK, that last thought was really scary... Anyway, it turned out to be a fabulous time, and what a great group of amazing women! If you are in the Portland area, check out the urbanMamas blog, where most of them blog. I truly, truly enjoyed meeting every single mama there. Mamas of the world, unite!

Other ramblings...Boo has started this sudden obsession with lining things up in an orderly fashion. Perhaps it's the Swiss German in him :). He lines his trucks up like they are forming a train, or he lines them up side by side, in a perfectly neat and tidy row. I'll walk around the house and find little collections of this odd habit. It's very weird, but fascinating. Then last night, he started picking out all of the legos that were squares and lined them up, leaving the singles and big long legos. He's figuring out how to match things!!! It's such a cool mental development that only a mama or papa could almost cry over. Here's a pic of him lining up the legos.

Enough random ramblings for tonight. I am actually going to spend the next 15 minutes just watching TV! Or at least, that's my plan. Hope everyone is surviving holiday mania out there!


Love new babies!

My little nephew is here! He was born last night, and my brother and T are just glowing. Little baby K is adorable and SOOOOO TINY!! I just held onto that adorable little new baby and didn't want to let go! He weighes two ounces more than Boo did at birth and is half an inch shorter but I honestly cannot remember Boo ever being that small. It's so weird to think him being that tiny. I love, love, love, love, love babies. I couldn't be happier for my brother and T. They're going to be great parents. I'm so proud of my little bro. He's already a great papa--a very proud, very nervous, very excited and over-caffeinated papa.

How can I do any sort of work with all of this excitement happening? Good thing all of our Christmas shopping is done. That's right, you read that correctly: our shopping list is done, folks! Most of it was done before Thanksgiving and I spent the day after wrapping everything.

Congratulations to my baby bro and the lovely miss T. I am so proud of you both. Remember that you are great parents and to just do what your heart tells you is right. Read the books and then burn them. Nod and smile politely at advice from friends and relatives and then toss it out the other ear if you don't agree. Never by shy to ask for help. Never be shy to gloat and beam about your baby's latest milestone -- it's your parental right. Never make excuses about the way you two decide to parent -- believe in yourselves and your decisions. Know that you will make some mistakes but baby K will still grow up to be a fabulous, well-adjusted, happy and healthy human being as long as you do everything with love and his best interests at heart. Know that we all love you - all three of you - dearly, and will always be here for you, anytime, for any reason.

Damn. Look at that newborn. Dontcha just LOVE babies?!!!!


Nephew on his way!

My little brother and his girlfriend are going to have their baby tomorrow! Yippee!!! They're going in at midnight so she can be induced. She was due on the 21st and is definitely ready, poor thing. My nephew is on his way! I'm so excited! I'm so excited!!!!! Please send good, healthy, happy birthing vibes their way.

Oh, and I'M SO EXCITED!!! Doin' the happy new baby dance now.


The Too Much Girl

I've always tried to do too much all at the same time, and I think my mommy hormones and instinct have kicked into super crazy gear this year because all of a sudden I feel like Supergirl and have this random sense of "Hell yeah, I CAN do anything!" even though in reality, I can do MOST of what I think I can do is more like it. The holiday season, I think, shifts me into the highest crazy let's-overdo-it gear possible. Lately, I've been trying to figure out why I want to do so much. I can't just sit. I can't just chill out. I always want to be doing more and my mind won't stop thinking of new and exciting things to do. The worst part is, once I get it in my head that I really want to do something, I will go after it like mad and won't rest until it's done.

The fact that I need to slow down really dawned on me this weekend. I was going to host a DeMarle party (the makers of Silpat, that amazing chef's invention that I cannot live without). Now that I live in the burbs I feel like it's my duty to host one of these damn silly old-lady parties, plus, I really love their products and a brunch party with mimosas always sounds good to me. I was mentioning it in the car when suddenly my normally mild-mannered, supportive husband interrupts me and says "Why are you doing this? Why do you have to take on so many projects all the time? You already have too much going on." I mumbled something about how it was really something I wanted to do... but was it? Do I NEED to do it? More importantly, I'm starting to wonder WHY I have this overwhelming urge to WANT to do everything, and to do everything a million and ten percent.

I blame my parents partly for hardwiring this inane personality flaw. When I was sent to Hawaii for work a few years ago, my coworkers just laughed at me because I got bored within five minutes of laying on the beach and had to DO something. I can't just sit back and allow what I have created with my businesses to grow, I decide out of the blue that oh hey, wouldn't it be fun to create a whole new line of stationery to market to retailers? How cool would that be? So that thought happened about a week ago, and here I sit, staring at a whole new line of stationery that I created over the week. I'm actually pretty psyched about it. But that defeats the point of this very long rambling post, in which I am trying to decipher the code to the manic inner workings of my brain.

Maybe it's because when I am with Boo, I do slow down. He makes me stop and listen and pause. And enjoy. My son has taught me to enjoy the moment, which I don't think I was ever really able to do before he was born, in all honesty. When he is nearby and not napping or having some quiet solo playtime, he is my world and all else slows down just for him. How does he do that? Even as I write this, I find my fingers slowing to type at a less-manic pace.

Maybe I'm not Supergirl; maybe my son is the real superhero. Having a child really does force you to be outside of yourself and exist for someone else. Yes, I focus on my husband too, but you moms understand the difference, right? Kids have this weird power, and I, for one, am thankful for it. Maybe it's the time I spend with Boo that energizes me and fuels me up for another round of crazy, excited, Gotta Do ideas. At least maybe now there's some balance. I CAN and I CAN'T do everything, all at the same time. Weird.

Sorry about the long rambling freeform thinking post. But I, for one, feel much calmer now than I did at the beginning of this post :)


Giving Thanks

Dear Boo,

Tis the eve of Thanksgiving, and I wanted to give you a special thanks for the magic you have brought to my life and your papa's life these past 18 months. I cannot begin to give you enough thanks, or to even write down half of what we should thank you for, but here is a short list of ways you have enriched our lives since you were conceived. Thank you for...
-your silly smile, with your eyes closed, mouth wide open exposing your nearly full set of teeth, and your nose all crinkled up
-your full belly laugh when we tickle you
-the way you pat our shoulders when you hug us
-the way you will randomly grab our faces with both hands and give us big kisses
-the way your eyes light up when you say a new word
-being so adorable every minute of every day, even when you're crying
-being our dog Thor's best pal, petting him so gently and giving him random hugs throughout the day
-all of the silly, funny faces you love to make
-making us laugh more and harder than we have ever laughed in our entire lives, like when you decided it would be fun to sit in this 6-pack cooler:

-making vroom vroom sounds when you play with all of your trucks and trains
-teaching us patience
-reminding us about the important things in life
-being such a good kid in restaurants
-the way you pretend to go up the stairs and down the stairs when you're walking and feeling silly (next we'll teach you the elevator and the canoe!)
-saying "thank you" when we give you something or someone does something for you
-playing along with our silly games
-dancing and singing with us in the living room
-the way you love to snuggle us when we need it the most
-being so curious about how things work
-loving us even though we may make many mistakes
-making every moment better and brighter
-being you -- our perfect, sweet, silly, smart, clever, shy, hyper little comedian son. Thank you, Boo.

Happy Thanksgiving, best kid in the world!


Toys and Tots

Today I bought Boo a little table and chair set at Toys R Us, but I really had to stop myself from loading up a couple of carts with Christmas presents for him before I left the store. Man, that store is pure evil! There were so many cool things I wanted to get him, because in my mind I could see his face light up as he played with all the cool stuff. But I stopped myself, and I'm glad. It's that time of year, and I'm just not buying into it this year. Sure, Boo loves playing with new shiny toys whenever we go somewhere with toys he's never played with before, but as soon as we get into the car he forgets about them and is just happy with whatever we have, wherever we go next. It's not like we leave someplace and he thinks two days later, "Geez, I really wish my parents would buy me that ride-on tractor I played with two days ago." Maybe in a couple of years we'll get to that point, but right now, he's so happy with whatever we have. I figure we should take advantage of that now, right?

We set up a college fund and we're just asking people to contribute to that for Christmas this year. Really, Boo has all of the books and toys and clothes he needs for the season. He already has a couple of presents waiting for him, and we're sure he'll have fun opening those and playing with them all day long on Christmas. We're trying hard to instill the values of family and friends and giving during the holidays. We want his memories to be of warm gatherings full of laughter and songs and cooking for others more than they are of opening presents. Maybe that's a lot to ask in this day and age, but we're going to try.

How do parents with older kids handle the "I want it!!!" tantrums during the holidays? I know I gave my own parents some good ones when I was young, especially with Barbies and Strawberry Shortcake. My poor parents. Soon I've got to figure out how to deal with it from Boo. Thanks a lot, karma!


Condoms for Christmas

That's it! I'm officially handing out condoms and birth control pills for Christmas this year to all of my pals who have one child. The stork continues to bomb my mama pal world with the dreaded Child #2! Please people - don't you know that I am asked that annoying "when are you having another?" question at least once a day these days? I'm not kidding! You obviously have not factored my feelings into this decision - how could you not? I'm truly offended.

No, in all honesty, I am very happy for all of my mama friends that are expecting kid #2! Let's see, that now makes...FIVE friends in my little world all preggo the second time around at the same time. Some of you had better wait so that your #2s are the same age as our (possible) #2 kid so they can be playfriends.

Man, what is it about the fall pregnancies? It must be really cold out, you're going stir crazy in the house, nothing else to do... :) Congrats to the two newest mamas to join the #2 bandwagon!!! You know who you are. And no, thank you for the invite, but I will not be joining you mamas on this ride. Not right now.


Sickies in da house

Well now I have two sickies in the house. Boo had been sick but then got better and then got sick again. We went to the doctor today. Now my husband is totally run down with the flu. And of course nobody is giving out flu vaccines because of stupid Bush. Three years in a row - do you think this could have been forecasted and taken care of by now? So I am trying to hold on to my health while the boys are down and out. Boo not so much anymore as my husband.

Tonight I also uttered words I never thought I would hear myself say: "No swinging from the curtains!" And yes, that was to my son, not to my husband.


Mama Calling Cards

Out of my own frustration with fumbling for pen and paper everytime I meet a cool new mom and losing contact info (and possible great new friendships and playdates), I created Mama Calling Cards through my Event Bliss business.

The first review of my Mama Calling Cards is on Mommies with Style at this link. Check it out! I'm pretty psyched. Let me know what you think!


Back on the run

Sort of. Thanks to fellow blogging mamas who have blogged about their forays back into the gym, like Cathy and Kirsten, plus my own motivation to wear pants that don't rub my thighs (damn the dryer for shrinking my jeans!), I have started to work out again. Sort of. Ok, I only hit the treadmill once so far this week, BUT it was an awesome workout and I felt so alive afterward. I don't really enjoy working out on any type of schedule, so I hope that I can just fit in little bouts of workouts here and there. I don't like workout videos, going to gyms, working out with workout buddies (except going running with my husband), playing team sports like indoor soccer or joining the local kickball teams - basically, anything with structure I run away from. Which makes working out difficult. Those of you with regular workout schedules, I applaud you. I don't know how you do it!

Boo didn't sleep well at all last night. Which means we didn't sleep well at all either. Is it just me, or do all mommies feel perpetually tired? Like, ALL... THE... TIME...? I am hoping working out more will help give me more energy. I need it right now.


Update on Boo's first day at "school"

So now we're home and Boo has been talkative ever since we left daycare, or "school" as so many of us like to call it :). He was outside playing when I came to get him. He cried a little but not too much, refused to eat his lunch (is this MY child, refusing food?) but napped well and played a bit. He really likes the teachers, I think he just needs to get used to the other kids. Like Look at Me girl, who is about to move to the bigger kids room since she just turned two. She's a little princess brat, biting another kid, demanding attention nonstop and pushing kids...and I only got to witness behavior for about 40 minutes. Aren't I terrible, already being annoyed by the other kids? But he has other friends his age who are perfectly wonderful kids and none as annoying as Look at Me girl. Oy. And, I am pretty sure he's going to get sick within the next month. There were some snot-nosed kids there, literally. Builds immunity, right?

So we have survived Day One of daycare, and I am pretty sure that this will be great for both of us. He seems like a pretty happy camper. Whew!

Daycare, Day One and Ann Curry sighting

OK mamas and papas, here is my first day of daycare saga. I went to daycare with Boo this morning for a trial day, and stayed with him for the first 40 minutes. For the first 20 minutes he just stayed next to me while watching the other kids intently. Then he started to play with the toys, smiling a little, dancing to the music. So as I saw he was growing more comfortable, I got up to leave. Then the waterworks started. He bawled like mad and looked so pissed off as I walked out the door. He hates me, I know it, and felt it as I heard him cry through the door for the next few minutes. But as I sat with the director and went over paperwork I didn't hear him crying anymore. I really hope he has a good day. He seemed quietly excited to be there when I was there. They keep them busy there, with the constant reading and painting and singing and dancing and learning their colors, their ABCs, counting. I know they will take good care of my son. That didn't stop me from almost bawling myself as soon as I got into the car.

But I didn't cry. And here I am, two hours later, desperately trying to work in an empty, quiet house. Even our dog is eerily quiet. I'm sure he's wondering where his miniature hyper little boss man is.

So since this working-in-quiet is still unnerving to me, I'm taking a break to blog. Saturday we had a fabulous girly girl brunch, save the hostess fiasco at the restaurant. I don't even want to talk about how ridiculous the initial service was. We did have a celebrity sighting at brunch though. Ann Curry, of the Today Show, was there at the restaurant! She looks amazing in person! I love her. She started out in broadcasting in the same market that I did, and she's from Oregon. I think she was having brunch with her parents. I normally could care less about celebrities, but I'm an idiot when I meet newscasters in person.

Anyway, the girls and I had a fun chat over truly yummy eats that morning, and afterward, like true girly girls, we went shopping. I was so good and didn't buy a thing.

Ugh, and we visited my great grandmother yesterday, who is slowly slipping away from us. It is hard to see her like that, but it's even harder to think about her unable to be herself because her body won't keep up with her mind. I honestly don't know if I would want to live to 101 as she has...is that a life anymore? I don't know. She now seems resigned to slip away...

Now I have to get back to work. Right after I call the daycare to see how Boo's doing...


Girly girl time and Boo goes to daycare

Tis Friday evening and I am eagerly awaiting hubby's arrival with our take out dinner so I have a few minutes to blog. Tomorrow I'm meeting the girls for a much needed girly girl brunch which will promptly begin with a round of mimosas and hopefully some good girly girl bitching and also some you-go-girl talk. I may even...(wait for it)...wear a skirt. I wore one on Tuesday to my meetings and remembered that I really do like wearing them with my tall black boots. I love fall clothes.

Boo has had a fantastic week. He's really been extra super sweet and loving, as well as perfecting the art of funny-face-making and silly-sound making. Perhaps he has blessed me with this heavenly week because he knows next week will be a bitch. Next week will be his first week of part-time daycare. That's right. I finally made a decision on this matter and we found a center that is great, comes with high accolades, and teachers who have been there for several years. He also took to his teacher right away so hopefully that will only mean a few days of crying. I am prepared for weeks of it, just in case - both him and me crying. I'm also prepared for him to get sick more and to learn all sorts of wonderful habits from other kids like biting and hitting. It will only be for a total of 12 hours each week which I think will give me enough time to work like a maniac and get a million things done, and give him time to socialize with other kida, learn new songs and dances, do fun art projects, and maybe learn how to use a spoon like his pal Miss E did from daycare. Will I be a mess next week? I predict a resounding Yes, but we shall see. It's only temporary...I just keep telling myself that.


Halloween madness, blogging baby and look who's my neighbor!

Thanks to Nicole for mentioning my post about the dreaded "when to have child #2" situation on the Blogging Baby website. Very cool! Thanks Nicole! Although, even though I am writing about it now, some people have been asking me about it from Boo's second day on earth!

So on to Halloween ramblings...Boo wore his Red Baron costume all day today. Well, except for the hat with aviator goggles - that only stayed on for a total of about 4 minutes throughout the day.
He enjoyed a playdate with his pals L, E, and C at Peanut Butter & Ellie's this morning. Love that place. Every town should have a kids cafe like this. Then he kindly took his nap while I met with a PR client of mine, who hooked me up with so many beautiful candles I could die. If you love candles and don't have a Bistro Candles candle in your home, you are missing the best candles in the world. (note:we're working on updating their website right now, so if you are interested in finding a retailer near you, feel free to email me: info@schotlandpr.com).

Anyway...then we played at home before picking hubby up from work and then switched on our porch lights and kaboom! Trick or treating fun ensued. (should mention that in the car ride on the way home Boo was cracking himself up by gagging himself...until he quietly threw up a little on his costume...what a BOY he is! God, I love him). We now live in a neighborhood with a TON of kids, of all ages. It is a magical, beautiful thing. In our old neighborhood I think our doorbell rang three times the whole night. Tonight, for about two hours, it didn't stop. Boo LOVED it!

One set of trick-or-treaters was a pair of 17 month old twin boys who lived two doors down and it was our first time to meet these neighbors. They leave after chatting a bit. The doorbell rings again. The mom is back and asks "Did you go to XYZ high school?" Why, as a matter of fact, I did. Holy crap. This woman was on my cheerleading team senior year! (shut up, I know, don't hate me for being one). She now lives two doors down! We also both lived in Boston. And now here we are, two houses apart, with 17 month old boys. Small, tiny, miniscule world. How random is that?

Boo conked out about 15 minutes before his normal bedtime. What a big day he's had. My husband and I used to really not give a dime about Halloween. Now we look forward to it. I love being a parent. You get to be a kid again.


Our son the nonstop babbling speed train

Our little Boo has turned into the little dude from the Incredibles whose name I sadly cannot remember at this moment because all I remember is Jack Jack. He's zooming all over the place faster than we can get up, and we're getting old but we're not quite THAT old yet. For crap's sake this kid is everywhere, FAST! He's climbing, jumping, dancing, swinging, pounding, up up up on top of everything. So tonight, we disassembled the baker's rack in our kitchen that he was using for a climbing tree (leftover from the old house - we really weren't using it anyway in the new house) and said bye bye. Within a couple of minutes of sending out an email to pals that we're giving it away my mother promptly snatched it up. And our old futon. We're in our thirties - the futon has to go. It's been hiding in my office away from our real furniture and it just can't hide anymore.

Anyway, Boo is most hyper first thing in the morning and about an hour before bedtime. He's insane, and honestly we can't keep up. He's up and running, laughing hysterically and talking all along the way. Babble babble babble. He's stringing words together now and playing around with different sounds. Including screaming. Yeah, he likes to hear his vocal cords hit the ceiling from time to time. Usually in between running around the kitchen and the living room, during that two second pause. I think he came with neverending batteries in his feet and the doctors didn't want to scare me.

He's getting tall too. He's a kid. Oh my god, he's a kid. He even starts trying to squirm away now when I hug him for too long. He can't be kept down by mama's hugging - there's too much to do! Just thinking about it makes me tired.

Tomorrow is Halloween and he's going to be the Red Baron. I'm going to dress up as a tired but happy mama in need of new shoes. And maybe a massage. And a nice Oregon Pinot Noir. Tonight Boo kept trying to put the hat part of his costume on my head instead of his. He thought it was the funniest thing in the world. We'll see how long it stays on his head tomorrow.

Happy Halloween everyone!


Sort of like an Englishman in New York

It is an odd and complicated skin to wear at times, being born into one nationality and being raised in another. For most of my life, I rarely thought about who I was in terms of my ethnicity. Now that I have a son and he's growing up faster than I can say his name, it's been on my mind a lot lately. My son is half Filipino American, half Swiss American. He is the most gorgeous baby on the planet, no offense to all of the other most gorgeos babies out there according to their mothers. He is the perfect blend of me and my husband, in face and in spirit.

Our heritage is his heritage, and we want to make sure he is proud of every part of his soul. We want to teach him Tagalog and Visayan (Filipino languages) as well as Swiss German. I can understand most of Tagalog and Visayan and some Swiss German but have a hard time speaking any language other than English. We also want to teach him French, Spanish, Italian and Japanese, but those are beyond our own ancestries (except we have a little bit of Spanish blood on my side).

So today I met with two other Filipinas and their darling sons. We're going to try to start a Filipino playgroup, and in the end, as much as it is for my son, it is also for me. I am hoping that he and I can connect (for me, reconnect) with this part of our lives and sustain it throughout the rest of our lives. We can learn this language together, as a team. I feel good about this, and I'm excited about it.

Plus, you know there's always going to be good food around if a bunch of Filipinas get together. Oh yeah - we love to cook, baby, and we love to eat. If I can't understand anyone I figure I can just shove food in my mouth and nod.


Read Any Good Books Lately?

I need good book recommendations. Something seriously thoughtful yet light and fast, with emphasis on character development and relationships, but no silly romance novels. Please help me read a book again before my brain melts!

Stork Bombs Neighborhood with Baby #2, Mama M Ducks for Cover

It's that time. Now that Boo and many of his play friends, cousins, etc. are about a year and a half, the hot topic of the season: Child #2. If, when, how, why, what. All around me, the mamas are talking about it, thinking about it, agonizing over it, pondering how to plan.

When I started this post a few weeks back (forgot about it-oops!), two pals in my mama circle were already expecting child #2, and now there are THREE expecting again! And the rest of the mamas are all discussing. Including moi. That's right. I'm talking about having another, and believe it or not, so is my husband. We're leaning toward having a second child, we just don't know when. I hope to God my mother isn't reading this and any relatives that are will be severely punished for repeating even a peep of this to my mother!!! You know I am serious. As much as I love her, my mother's insane baby madness is the last thing I need right now.

This is where the delicate dance gets dizzy. You don't want the kids to be too close in age (or to have your body go through pregnancy too soon again), but how soon is too soon? You don't want to wait too long, and my pals and relatives in their late 30s are feeling this more than others, because you don't want to miss that mythical "window" and then end up not being able to have more. You worry about the specific age differences between #1 and #2, about birthdays being too close together or too close to holidays, about the time of year you will be pregnant again...all issues that in the end, we really have no control over. You could start trying now and get pregnant next month...or in ten months.

Let me take this opportunity to spout a little...what the hell kind of world do we live in where we can forecast storms, cure diseases, function with ultra modern technology backed by decades of research and billions of dollars, when we still cannot control when we get pregnant and when we don't (invitro aside), and more so, why can't doctors get better about predicting due dates?!! With everything we are able to do, THIS is still a mystery. Science, you suck.

Ok, back to non-ranting. Boo has recently become fascinated by babies. He loves them all of a sudden, out of nowhere.

Baby #2. I am happy for my friends who are expecting again, and for those that are TTC. My husband and I are excited and nervous and anxious about the thought of the stork paying our house another visit, perhaps in another year or two, or so... Sssshhh! Don't tell anyone, esp. my mom. :)


The family

My in-laws are in town and we've just spent the past few days winetasting and relaxing at the beach. Isn't that sunset gorgeous? That was our view from our room! It's been great having them here, and my husband and I feel very fortunate that both sets of grandparents are able to enjoy time with our little Boo. Hubby's parents are here for a few more days, and I only hope the weather is nice during their last few days here.


F*#! it

Like my title? Thought that would catch your attention. I need to blog about the issue that eats me up at night with indecisiveness and back and forth and procrastination...childcare. We were very fortunate to have my brother's girlfriend be Boo's live-out nanny since I had to go back to work after three months. Since I was allowed to work from home twice a week (sometimes once), she would watch him at our place from about 7:30 am until about 6pm on the full days and about 10am until about 3pm on the days I worked from home. Since quitting my corporate job she has been nice enough to work whatever days and hours I needed so I could get work done for my new businesses and go to meetings, usually around 6-10 hours a week. Not a lot, but it helps so much.

Well, she's pregnant and due any day now. And I have yet to find temporary childcare. I look almost every day, and have visited one center, but have yet to make any headway. The center scared me. Yes, it's all fine and good and a couple of kids who went there are now teachers there (really, it's a nice place where both teachers and kids stay and seem happy), but it didn't feel right, you know? And I hate to say it, but there are some crazy, unstable, unqualified people out there that are trying to get part-time nanny jobs. Sadly, they frighten me away from the good ones that do exist.

I suck at this. Mostly because I really don't want to be doing it. I just want Mary Poppins to arrive and magically take care of things. Or rather, I would love to BE Mary Poppins and be able to run two full-time businesses AND take care of my almost 17-month-old son all at the same time without any help. That's not going to happen, but the guilty mother in me secretly is trying with all her might to fight it. This is what keeps me up at night and plagues me throughout the day as I plug away on my computer or as Boo and I explore new places in the city. I want to do it all, and I can't. It's not fair to my business clients and it's not fair to Boo.

Our friends and family all say "oh, you know your mother would quit her job and watch Boo if she could." Uh no, folks, she wouldn't. My mother is a workaholic who has notified my dad that she doesn't plan on retiring until she's 70. I would like to retire at 50, thank you very much.

Why is this so stressful? It is the stress of finding temporary, part-time childcare that caused the title of today's post.

Countdown to arrival of the in-laws. They will be the shining light to avert my attention away from this stress source!


Mr. Hilarious

Boo right now is Mr. Hilarious. Everything is funny to him, and he tries to play jokes, make funny faces and silly noises to make others laugh ALL THE TIME. He's always shown this side of him, but suddenly, it's all day, everyday - funny, funny, ha ha. He laughs in the car if we go up or down a hill or take a sharp curve. He laughed hysterically while watching the photo slideshow his aunt and uncle sent of his cousins latest photos. He laughs and makes faces while he is eating. He tries new funny noises while we're talking with friends and then doubles over while cracking up. He laughs as he tries to get onto the couch, and he laughs as he runs from the living room to the kitchen and back again. He wakes up doing funny things and cracking up at himself, and he goes to sleep doing funny things to make himself laugh.

Seriously - who needs to go out for fun? We have all the entertainment we need right here with our little Boo. His paternal grandparents are coming for a visit this week. We hope they're bringing a supply of endless energy with them because they're going to need it! They're in for a real treat!



and now for my useless celebrity post of the week: THIS is the new James Bond? No. I don't think so. Come on ladies, you must agree - this is no Bond worthy actor. What happened to Clive Owen?

I've been Portland Picked!

This morning I woke up to a beautiful review of my Event Bliss business in Portland Picks, the coolest local newsletter for stylish Portland women. Thanks to Kathi and the staff at Portland Picks for making me #5 on this week's list! Truly an honor. Check it out at Portland Picks.

Also, I have secretly been logging my foray into the entrepreneurial world and have uploaded my entries into a new blog: New Biz Mama. More for my own sanity than anything else, feel free to visit it as well on your blogging journeys.

Happy Friday!!! I will try to check out childcare options today. I will try to check out childcare options today. Really, I will...but maybe Boo and I will hit the Old Navy sale first...


No witty title tonight

...just straight talk. All the things I keep meaning to write but forget.

About a month ago, Boo said his first phrase, which was "Go Go Car." Sometimes he just says "Go Car." So cute. He says it when he wants to, obviously, go to the car and drive somewhere. He also says it when we're in the car and stopped, and he wants to car to Go.

Boo now has a million teeth. I stopped counting at 12, but maybe he has 15 by now. Who knows. He seems to know when I am trying to count and doesn't keep his mouth open long enough for me to get an accurate number.

The in-laws are coming next week! We're all very excited here. I'm trying to get as much work done as possible so I will have to work as little as possible while they are here with us. I love my in-laws. They're the greatest.

Boo has also started following other commands like "Please get the guerilla book" or "please bring this to Daddy." It's great! Very useful for when I want to be a lazy ass.

He's starting to mimic more words, but not saying them quite yet. I don't think he's added a work in a couple of weeks. He has started signing even more though, which is nice.

OK. That's the most boring post EVER, but it's really for me and Boo. Perhaps interesting thoughts will flow in a post over the weekend.


True/False answers

So I was on the local morning show AM Northwest this morning ever so briefly talking about my blog. It was fun, and Boo actually sat on my lap like a seasoned tv kid. He even laughed at the right moments. That's my boy!

Here are the answers to the true/false meme. Some of you did very well!

1. I am a mere 4'11" short. FALSE - I shrank an inch after giving birth, so I am now 4'10" - Mother Nature is cruel to moms!

2. I was politely kicked out of Sunday school in the second grade. TRUE - Sort of. I was not very well-behaved, asked way too many questions, and tried to get all of the other kids to convince the teacher we should have class outside all the time since the weather was so nice (I just wanted to play on the merry-go-round). It was suggested that perhaps I would be happier elsewhere. They were right.

3. I have never eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. TRUE - yes, it's true. I will pause as you take a moment to gasp in horror. (pause). OK, my mom always made me turkey and cheese sandwiches for lunch, and now I refuse to eat a PB & J just for the principle of it all. My son, however, loves them.

4. My husband is two years older than me. FALSE - he is one year older.

5. I had my first child when I was 29 years old. FALSE- Boo was born when I was 30 years old.

6. When I was a little girl I knew every word to every song in "Annie," as well as all of the play's lines, and I would act out the entire play in my living room every day during summer breaks. TRUE - I wanted to be the first Asian Annie on Broadway. Couldn't understand why the producers never came calling...

7. My favorite ice cream is Mint Chocolate Chip from Baskin Robbins. TRUE - oh yeah, this is the best.

8. My first Hollywood crush was Mackenzie Astin from Facts of Life (Sean Astin's brother). TRUE - oh, those sweet blue eyes of his... I once wrote him a letter...where is he now?

9. I am not a shy person. SOMETIMES TRUE/SOMETIMES FALSE - depends. In some social situations I am a total wallflower, but in others I am not shy at all. Honestly. Sometimes I AM shy.

10. My favorite colors are pink and red. FALSE, although I do like these colors, they are not my favorites.

11. My first car was a Toyota Tercel hatchback/wagon named Chewy. TRUE - Chewy was the greatest. Chewy also hated living in Los Angeles and died at least once a day on a freeway there (oh so fun), but then was revived when we moved back to Portland. The air IS cleaner here! I hope you are continuing to putt putt along, Chewy, wherever you are.

12. I have a lot of houseplants because they help keep the air clean and, living in Portland, I need to bring a little of the outdoors in with our grey weather. FALSE - I have five houseplants. I (and my mother) am amazed they are still alive.

13. I've been stuck in elevators twice, each for at least half an hour long: once with sorority sisters, so we held our meeting in the elevator; the second time with a co-worker who really had to pee. TRUE

14. I participated in two big anti-war, No Blood for Oil-type rallies while I was in high school... TRUE - don't tell my mom. She would have been downtown in a flash screaming, "where's my daughter, you crazy people?!"

15....although I was a Republican up until the last two years of high school. TRUE - I grew up in a family of Republicans. Then I started reading about the issues for myself and learned more about how government really worked, and I saw the light.

16. I once had a pet frog. TRUE - I forgot his name, but one weekend we returned from a trip to see family in WA and Mr. Frog was not in his home. We searched everywhere to no avail. A funny smell took over my room for a while. I knew it was Mr. Frog. Even when we moved, I found no trace of him... :(

17. I used to trade racer snakes with the neighborhood boys in the 5th grade. TRUE - only one summer. I had friends keep them at their houses and then I'd trade them with different people for different snakes. Racer snakes were cool.

18. In the first grade, I won second place in a contest to have my book published. TRUE - damn you, Brandon Martine for taking first place. I was convinced he won because he was a boy, but really, his illustration skills were much more advanced than my stick figure drawings on swings back then.

19. I love the show Desperate Housewives. FALSE - OK, I like the show, but don't love it. I can live without it. Now LOST - there's a show I have to watch!

20. In college my friends and I would always go to M.I.T. and Harvard frat parties. TRUE - thank you Jules for giving the answer away so quickly :) We met many interesting people at those parties. I shudder to think of the powerful positions those smart drunkards are in today.

So there you go. Now that you know more about me do you still love me? How did you do?


I've been tagged

Thanks to Princssis for tagging me on this true/false meme. I am really bad at these, but here we go...! These are 20 statements that may be true or false about me. You pick which ones you think are false and then list them when you leave a comment. ADDED NOTE: Please only list the #s of the ones you think are FALSE, making it faster to check answers later. Have fun! I will leave the answers in a post on Tuesday or Wednesday.

1. I am a mere 4'11" short.

2. I was politely kicked out of Sunday school in the second grade.

3. I have never eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

4. My husband is two years older than me.

5. I had my first child when I was 29 years old.

6. When I was a little girl I knew every word to every song in "Annie," as well as all of the play's lines, and I would act out the entire play in my living room every day during summer breaks.

7. My favorite ice cream is Mint Chocolate Chip from Baskin Robbins.

8. My first Hollywood crush was Mackenzie Astin from Facts of Life (Sean Astin's brother)

9. I am not a shy person.

10. My favorite colors are pink and red.

11. My first car was a Toyota Tercel hatchback/wagon named Chewy.

12. I have a lot of houseplants because they help keep the air clean and, living in Portland, I need to bring a little of the outdoors in with our grey weather.

13. I've been stuck in elevators twice, each for at least half an hour long: once with sorority sisters, so we held our meeting in the elevator; the second time with a co-worker who really had to pee.

14. I participated in two big anti-war, No Blood for Oil-type rallies while I was in high school...

15....although I was a Republican up until the last two years of high school.

16. I once had a pet frog.

17. I used to trade racer snakes with the neighborhood boys in the 5th grade.

18. In the first grade, I won second place in a contest to have my book published.

19. I love the show Desperate Housewives.

20. In college my friends and I would always go to M.I.T. and Harvard frat parties.

OK, there you go - which statements are false? Leave me a comment with your guesses. I am curious to see which ones people pick!


Someone get me a martini before suburban mommyhood swallows me whole

Here are more signs that I am getting older and entrenched in suburban life. These are photos of Boo and the front door decorations I put together today. I almost gave in to those cheesy scarecrow decorations...almost. Is a minivan next?

Martini, please. Straight up.


Wheel of Responsibility

This is too funny. On WryBaby.com, the site that offers cool modern tees for your wee babe, you can now purchase the Wheel of Responsibility. Can't decide whose turn it is to empty the Diaper Genie? Spin the wheel and let fate make the decision. We could use this at my house. Fate seems to spin the metaphorical wheel of responsibility toward Mom most of the time...hmmm...


Eat your veggies, for crying out loud!

Boo once loved veggies. Squash was his favorite, along with peas, carrots - you name it, he wolfed it down. Now, not so much. So I have become one of those Moms who resort to hiding the veggies. I must say, I'm becoming quite successful at this. A cookbook is life goal #4105 on the list.

Boo is not easily fooled, you see. I used to stick a piece of cooked carrot in with a couple of pieces of pasta and he would be fooled. No longer. Now if I grate broccoli in with pasta sauce, he actually eats the pasta and everything else he likes but somehow manages to collect all the tiny little pieces of green into one lump and politely stick his tongue out so I can recollect the offending veggie. Therefore, I've had to hide veggies even more: shredded carrots in whole wheat blueberry muffins, zucchini bread, pasta with pureed red and yellow bell pepper sauce. He loves this stuff. Oh, he did have a fluke moment of actually enjoying peas the other night. I don't know what happened there. Must have been a full moon.

I'd say having a child definitely ups the creativity factor. I'm becoming a more creative problem-solver by the minute. At least the boy loves fruit. Oh my word, does he love fruit.


My boys

Normally I don't like to post pics of my family, but look at these photos - how could I not?! Like father, like son... :)

A cozy day inside

It's definitely autumn. The leaves are changing color, there's a chill in the air, and moisture wicks at my hair, causing the ends I work so hard to straighten in the morning curl and go every which way but straight. We're all in sweaters and the thick coats are out. I wore socks all weekend, covered by closed-toed shoes. Boo's collection of hats fill our hallway and our car. Today, instead of working like a maniac, I'm determined to just hang out and chill inside with my little Boo.

The family reunion was great fun. We ate way too much, all day long, every day...Including fried chicken at 9:30 am on the morning that we checked out. We caught up with each other, reminisced, and congratulated cousin T and his wife J as they announced that they are expecting child #2 at the end of next April. Boo wanted to spend every minute out on the deck or on the beach, and whined when we couldn't do that. He also slept in the latest he has EVER SLEPT IN, ever in his life: until 7:45 am yesterday! We ate and ate and ate. We played on the beach, almost got drenched by a fast moving wave, and then were surprised by sudden rain showers. I thought I lost my keys, including some very-expensive-to-replace VW car keys along with our house and business mailbox keys, but thankfully one of my cousins ended up having it. My father tried to get us to take a different route home, convinced it would be shorter, and then was surprised to find that we were just a few exits behind him when he called us from the road -- and we had stopped to get something to eat and take a potty break, so really, we would have been in front of them if we hadn't stopped. We talked about next year's reunion, where hopefully more relatives can go. Boo will have two new cousins by then.

My great-grandmother has been released from the hospital. Turns out that afer more research, the doctors discovered her condition wasn't as bad as they initially thought, and with a few no-surgical procedures, she was cleared up. She will live to see the birth of yet another great-great-grandson in November, and to dance on her 102nd birthday. This is what we hope.

Work is going well, and I am determined to finally set some sort of schedule that creates some division between work hours and non-work hours. I don't have any clue what that schedule will look like, but for now, it's no work Monday. I shall resume business tomorrow. Today I want to relax and enjoy the change in the weather with my son and my dog. Perhaps we'll light a fire and have some hot cocoa tonight after my husband gets home. Perhaps we'll discuss how ridiculous it is that, once again, the Bush administration is determined to back someone who is completely unqualified for a high level position. Perhaps we'll just sing songs and run around the house.


Family matters

Happy birthday Dad!!!! Happy birthday cousin Stephanie!!!!

So turns out that my great-grandmother is going to have surgery after all, and things may not be as bleak as they originally seemed. Of course, I have been receiving all of the updates from my mother, who has a tendency to exaggerate and distort the actual facts from time to time based on her own outlook and opinions. Gotta love her. She also has a tendency to take way too long to get to the point, which frustrates me to no end on telephone calls, but that's an aside to the point of this post. I'm a bit PMSy right now, can ya tell? I'm just glad things seem to be looking up for my Lola.

And so, we will visit my 101-year-old great-grandmother tonight. The aunts and uncles will converge upon the city tomorrow to spend the weekend with her, while the cousins will continue with the reunion plans.

There are about eight cousins that I grew up with. I have a ton more second cousins and family friends we called cousins, but there's a core of about eight of us who really spent a lot of time growing up together as kids since we all lived either in Oregon, Washington or southwestern Canada. Now most of us have our own kids. This weekend is almost like a passing of the baton, as we are now the adults bringing our own kids together. It's a little odd, since it seems like just a moment ago we were the kids, running away from cousin T because he was trying to fart on everyone. I'm not saying that won't happen this weekend, but it's weird to think that soon enough it will be Boo and his second cousins Master S, cutie pies Miss S and Little Miss A, and cousin KNJ who is on the way... soon they'll be the ones chasing each other, playing games, making each other cry, and telling each other exaggerated stories.

I am looking forward to this weekend with my cousins. It feels really nice to be able to see them all again and catch up. It feels so good to have family like this, and to pass along these traditions and responsibilities to my own son.


The slow goodbye is here

This weekend we were supposed to go to our annual family gathering. I just got a call from my mom that it's cancelled. My great-grandmother, who is 101 and will turn 102 this December, was in the hospital earlier this week and they just found another infection that is blocking her intestines. The doc asked if she wanted to go through surgery to clear it. She's 101 for God's sake. Her heart may not survive surgery at this age. She has opted out of surgery, which means we sit and wait, as to live in her condition without surgery means an end sooner than later. So we sit, and we wait, while she is assigned a hospice worker, most likely she'll be fed through a tube, and is given what she needs to be "made comfortable." Family members are coming down this weekend instead, to join us in this wait. It could be a few days, it could be a month, knowing my Lola it could be a few months - who knows.

In many ways, it is harder for me to write about this waiting period than it was to write about my grandfather's death earlier this summer. My Lola, as we call her, helped raise me. She lived with us when my parents moved to the US when I was two years old so I never had to be in daycare. It is no surprise to me that she is still living and cracking jokes and being a wise-ass to family members she doesn't get along with at the ripe age of 101; she's the sassiest lady I've ever met. But for years we've had close calls. For years we've made trips to the hospital with her. For years, we've been with her through complications and illnesses and wondered if she would pull through. She always did, so we'd learn to breathe again and go back to life as normal.

This time is different. This time we've been told. This time we know, and I don't like it one bit.

The picture here is of my Lola with my son a little over a year ago. Before he was born, she had said she was just living so she could meet him in person. They've laughed together and played and smiled at each other and talked, without speaking the same language, for over a year now. I am so happy they have been able to know each other, and I just want more time.

I know she's 101. But that doesn't make it any easier, and that doesn't make it all make sense. So on we wait...


Since I am all about dessert...

It's time for a new poll and this one is about my favorite topic: dessert.
If you had to choose one, which would you choose?
Tiramisu or cannoli, chocolate chip cookie or sugar cookie, apple pie, vanilla ice cream, fruit tart, all of the above, none - something else, or you don't eat dessert. Vote now on the poll down the right side of the blog!

The last poll drew mixed opinions. If you had to choose to trade lives with one of these celebrity moms, this is how the poll panned out:
31% - Reese Witherspoon
17% - Julia Roberts
14% - Courtney Cox Arquette
11% - Demi Moore
11% - Sarah Jessica Parker
9% - Madonna
6% - Angelina Jolie

Interesting results! Sorry it took so long to change polls...I almost forgot I had them! Hope everyone is having a great weekend!



I really don't watch as much TV as I seem to based on my blog, but we watched the premiere of the new NBC show My Name Is Earl, and I have to say, this show rocks. I didn't even plan to watch it, but somehow it was on and there I was. It's actually funny. The writing is quick and smart, and I just love Jason Lee, ever since he was in Chasing Amy. As Earl, he's a lovable lower class, former house robbing, very simple dude who suddenly realizes the power of kharma and makes it his mission to right all of the wrongs he has done in his life. A sweet premise built into a twisted comedy. A show about decent people trying to do good things. I love it. This may have to be a show that, along with Lost, I must watch each week. If you missed it, catch it on Tuesdays at 9/8central.


Cookie monster - me, not my son

Tomorrow is the start of autumn, which means the holidays are right around the corner. I LOVE the fall and winter holidays. These cookies are just one reason. I love making cookies because they are so easy to make, and you can make tons of them. I would like to have some right now, in fact. If anyone out there is baking some cookies, please send them my way. Or if you have a great cookie recipe, please send it my way also - I'm always on the lookout for new cookies to make!

Superman and his books

First, happy birthday to my mother-in-law, Rosemary, who is sadly a million miles and countries away, and to my pal Andrea, who is a new mom herself!

Boo thinks he is Superman, and sometimes Spiderman. He is all over the place. Climbing, jumping, dancing, running, climbing again, running again. Always running. He's getting really good at building himself a makeshift step stool in order to get to what he wants, whether it's to see out a window or to just, well, climb up on something. Right this moment, he is taking turns walking back and forth on our sectional and sneaking up on me and playing with my hair. This kid is non-stop GO. He actually tried to climb the walls yesterday, and to my dismay, was actually doing a pretty good job.

When he's not climbing the walls or creating his own step stools, he's engrossed in reading and trying to figure out how things work. Take his trucks, for instance. Not only does this kid LOVE his trucks, but in addition to rolling them about making engine noises (so damn cute), he's started rolling them slowly on the couch and bending down to check out underneath the truck. You can almost see the wheels turning in his head: "what makes the wheels turn like that?" "what happens if I do this?"

He has always loved his books, but yesterday after he changed out of his pjs, I left him in his room for a minute to go get something from his bathroom. When I returned, he was just sitting there, flipping slowly through his caterpillar book as if he were actually reading it. He sat there like that, uninterrupted, for several minutes (which, at his age, is more like about four minutes). I just watched him from outside his door (which is probably the longest I have been able to stand still since he has been born!). He's been doing that a lot more this week, and today I caught him "reading" one of his baby sign books, which is a black and white book with more words than pictures - there are no nice big illustrations in this book - and he just sat there and flipped page after page. Quietly, seriously, with a stillness seemingly miles away from his Superman/Spiderman hyperactive constant babbling self.

As always, I am amazed. What a trip it is to be a parent. We get to watch our kids do cool things every day. I wish somebody would pay me for this. As fun and incredible and rewarding as it is, it's hard work, damn it! Oh, but that's a topic for another day...


The sickies in the house

Last Sunday, for the first time in his near 16-months of life, our son had his first real cold. He had a runny nose way back when last year, but Sunday he had a cough, a runny nose, and he was just run down. Poor kid. He took three naps that day. The night before he had a hard time sleeping because his nose kept getting clogged up. It really is sad to watch your baby not feel well.

Then Monday late afternoon, BAM! He was back to his old happy self, running around the house, making funny noises, laughing at little things, trying to be silly and get laughs out of us, talking up a storm. It's so funny how one day can change everything.

So of course today I was the one who woke up with a sore throat and felt run down all day. I had deadlines to meet so I couldn't sit around and luckily my brother's girlfriend came over during the day so I could go to a meeting and also get some press kits out in time. Tonight I feel crummy. I am going to turn off the computer and go snuggle up on the couch with my husband and watch some TV now.

Tomorrow night I have declared to be NO WORK NIGHT, as the season premiere of Lost is tomorrow! And, I have to admit, I am curious to watch Martha's version of The Apprentice. I'm done with the regular Apprentice- so old and stale and ridiculously pedestrian now, with its overt product placement and fourth string wanna be Donalds. I expect to see some good outwitting and cat fights on Martha's Apprentice show. But Lost is the one show I will drop everything for. It has resurrected my faith in the possibility for good television shows to be born again, and makes me think that television writers are actually getting paid to, well, write again.

Off to the couch.


Worth a Thousand Words

For once, the caption is correct.

Our fearless leader must raise his hand to go potty?

Saturday night excitement

Is it just me online blogging (and working a little) on a Saturday night? Am I the only loser that does this on Saturday nights? Suddenly this realization just hit me. I am emailing people and returning emails and no one is replying. Oh, that's right, it's because they have lives! Meanwhile, my boys (baby and his papa, and our dog) are all sleeping already. What exciting lives we lead, eh? :)


Too tired to think straight & breaking the pacifier cycle

and too unimaginative to write a witty post. I am dead tired and I think I've hit that brick wall, the metaphoric one that smacks you in the face and makes you stop and, well, just stop. Today I think I need to stop. No work for at least the next two hours. My printer is driving me crazy. Why does it print perfectly on my test paper and then so horribly crappily and off on my expensive paper? Argh. So for the next two hours, until I have to go on a press check, I will forego work and try to relax. Before I hit another brick wall. Perhaps I should be wearing a helmet for all of these walls I am battling.

Boo is the shining light of all my days. Yes, he was driving me crazy just an hour ago because he decided to resist all attempts to nap (and is still awake, but I'm too tired to care anymore. Will try to get him to nap again in a bit). He is growing so damn fast! He's so heavy now and taller. Granted, he's still a little guy and probably in the 10th percentile or something, but he's changing every single day and it still shocks me.

The one thing we cannot break him from yet is his beloved pacifier. Everyone has The Thing that they have trouble with, right? Whether it's getting your child to stop nursing, getting your baby to stop depending on a lovey like a blanket or stuffed animal, getting your toddler to stop sucking his or her thumb, getting your baby to sleep without fussing at night, getting your toddler to use the potty. Well, ours is getting our son to stop using his pacifier.

We've been told that now is not the best time to try to take it away because he is teething, he finds comfort in it, and he's more apt to strong resistance right now. That we should wait a few months, and really, there's no harm in him using it until he's almost three. Well, we will definitely NOT be having this problem when he is three if I can help it, but I do wonder about how we'll wean him from it. Right now he mainly has it in his mouth to go to sleep for naps and bedtime. It doesn't stop him from developing his speech - he's got a nice vocabulary, and just takes it out of his mouth to talk when he wants to (which is all the time). I don't know how we'll do this though. It was easy to get him to do so many other things that could have been much harder, but this is the toughest battle I see coming so far. Right now it's just a social nuisance, but as long as he's not 3 or 4 running around with a paci I guess we're not in terrible shape.

Five minutes later: the Boo napeth at last. What a good baby :)


Blogging, Napping, Working, Playing, Flaming Napkins

I am blogging about blogging today, at least for the first paragraph or two. I find my chaotic life leading me further away from maintaining this blog, this outlet for random spewing of thoughts/Boo's online baby book. I used to write every day or every other day. Now maybe I am down to once or twice a week. I feel like I have neglected this dear blog when I don't write as much. Poor blog. I do love you like the rest of my daily must-do's I just have been struggling with balancing responsibilities. Like right now, when I should be completing some copy for something that will actually help me get paid in cash instead of you, dear blog, who pays me in kind and reassuring comments and sometimes evil spam comments.

Boo is down to one nap a day now. At 15-1/2 months, he sleeps in the middle of the day for about an hour and a half. On the couch, not his crib, mind you. He seems to have transitioned fairly well. Of course, this puts a wrench in our playdate scheduling. One of his pals has also transitioned to one nap a day while the others are at two. I'm hosting this week's playdate, and figuring out a time when all babies and mamas could meet was rather interesting. I hope everyone can make it! I think this means I have to clean my house... I can get a heck of a lot of work done in the hour and a half that Boo naps, both housework and work-work. Which is good, because I desperately need to get a ton of work done in the next month.

I'm working every minute Boo isn't awake, or at least that's what I feel like. I'm trying to get my businesses off the ground, which requires a million hours of work, while simultaneously helping others with their businesses. It's seriously a lot of fun and challenging in an exciting, adrenaline-rush kind of way, but still challenging nonetheless.

My husband and I actually took some time out this weekend to play a bit more than usual. Yesterday we went to a concert and then went to a bar/restaurant we used to frequent a lot. The night before that we went to a friend's party, but we brought Boo. He loves our friends parties. We just change him into his jammies toward the end of the night and he falls asleep in the car on the way home. But the combined festivities kicked our old, creaky boned, lame asses. I think my husband slept most of the day today, when he wasn't watching football. I worked and played with Boo most of the day, but this morning I was in a world of hurt. Oh, we also went on a jog with Boo yesterday, which could have added to the ass-kicking we felt today. I have been on possibly three, maybe four jogs since giving birth. I'm down with the walks around the huge-hill-infested neighborhood every once in a while, but it's taking me a while to get back into jogging. Not that I'm a Jogger, mind you, but I like to do so every now and then. So we did a lot of stuff in one weekend for us, in addition to the usual housework and errand running we do, and our sad bodies are tired. I need to work out more. My jelly belly is screaming for a regular workout and so is my bubble butt.

Highlight of last night: we were at the bar with my dear pal and her co-worker (who is secretly in love with her and she had an interesting night before last with him, which is more interesting seeing as how he is almost 10 years younger than she...and if you are reading this, relax, dear friend, nobody who reads this knows it is you :) So we're having some beers and suddenly I smelled something burning and saw that the napkin in front of my husband and my friend's co-worker was on fire. I don't know how I did this so casually, but I just said "oh, your napkin is on fire. Here, use my water glass" and there you have it. The guys jumped a little, but maybe that's because they realized it was only a short matter of seconds before their shirtsleevescaight on fire too. The waitress came over and asked if something was on fire, and when we told her it was a cloth napkin she just as casually said, "oh, okay" and then walked away.