Friday, February 27, 2009

the thrill is still brand new!

Can I still say how much I love Boz Scaggs? Vee downloaded our favorite album, the one we had on vinyl (ugh, that sounds so UNBEARABLY hipsterish--we didn't look for it ON VINYL, we happened upon the record one day in a thrift shop back in college and bought it), "Down Two Then Left."

I dare you to play this song:

Now, didn't you find yourself grooving back and forth in your seat?


I worked my head off on the seventeen blog last night--stay patient, devotees, it WILL return at midnight sharp on the 1st of March! I think my favorite part of writing that blog is allowing myself to return to my obsession with self during my teen years--when everything was SO IMPORTANT and SO DRAMATIC and everything that REMOTELY happened to me was SO POIGNANT AND IMPACTED ME!

That, and reviewing articles that had subconsciously found their way into my psyche, and when I read a line and realize that IT WAS THE FOUNDATION FOR WHY I THOUGHT __X__. Terrifying how strong the print media was on my developing self. OH, PRINT MEDIA! It's all going to be internet-based for Kiddokabiddo, isn't it?

So: later today, Vee, Kiddokabiddo, and I are going to be flying the snow-friendly skies to the Vee Homeland for a long weekend. Wish us luck with Kiddokabiddo's poor little ear pressure. When Vee woke her up this morning (STTN! Bless her!) for her morning feeding, she was sleeping ON HER STOMACH! This baby has been rolling like crazy for the last two days, but to find her ON HER STOMACH? Asleep?

This urban warrior's got to get back to packing. See you on Monday!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

black is the new...strike that, black is never new.

When was the last time you took a critical look at your closet?

I'm actually not on a "spring cleaning" bend here; I mean when was the last time you thought about what your closet is comprised of?

I've been packing for our trip to the Vee Homeland, and while this is PROBABLY OBVIOUS TO EVERYONE WHO KNOWS ME OFF THE INTERNET, I realized that


When I vary from my favorite shade, it's to dark grays, dark greens, dark purples, and dark blues. Good night. I didn't realize MY WARDROBE WAS AS SOMBER AS IT IS! I was trying to get together an outfit to wear to Vee's second cousin's baby shower, and everything I was trying on was SUPER SOMBER and not at all "baby shower appropriate."

To be fair, I haven't hauled out the spring stuff yet (it's not QUITE that consistently warm here), but when I do, I know I'm going to find a couple of light green sweaters, and a couple of baby pink shirts.


I don't know what I am trying to accomplish with this--Goth Mom? "Black is the new skinny"? Or, God help me, is it the old "urban sophisticate" look I tried to cultivate back in fourth grade when I wore black knit stirrup pants, a black knit turtleneck, and these godawful black faux-leather ankle boots? CAN IT BE THAT I HAVE LEARNED NOTHING FROM THAT: THAT "BLACK" ALONE CANNOT MAKE ME APPEAR TO BE A SUAVE 30-SOMETHING INDEPENDENT NEW YORK CITY WOMAN?

Or, more frighteningly, is that still my desire?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

moms at the zoo

A very late blog tonight; Kiddokabiddo and I did indeed go to the zoo, and then I hit up Ash Wednesday service, and then did my evening work.

So. The zoo. First of all, it is CRAZY to carry an almost-14-pound baby on the front of your chest, and a pack (CARRYING ESSENTIALS! Two diaper changes, wipes, a back-up carrier [ok, that was NOT essential, but it might have been], a Zone bar, a Klean Kanteen [MADE OF ALUMINUM! I thought it was supposed to be LIGHT!], a small plastic pig, and wallet/cell/keys) weighing at least 14 pounds on your back. Yee-ikes. Last time we were at the zoo, I carried the Kiddo and Vee took the diaper bag, but today I was an URBAN WARRIOR, going it alone.

I ran into a couple of moms that I know from the local babywearing board I belong to, and I also saw ABOUT 9,000 SUBURBAN MOMS TREKKIN' IT WITH HIGH-TECH STROLLERS! Holy crow. I seriously saw one that sat THREE KIDS, all in a straight line. Please, PLEASE, don't let me ever have three kids at the same age that "need" strollers.

It was kind of an interesting exhibit in mwomdom. There were a lot of moms doggin' it in gray sweats and tennis shoes, but an EQUAL number of moms doing it up FASHION STYLE with "cute" clothes. You know, "I might be pushing a baby, who might happen to be mine, but I'm lookin' so fine you can't BELIEVE I had a baby" clothes.

Not that you HAVE TO LOOK LIKE A MWOM WHEN YOU HAVE KIDS, but come ON. This is not struttin' Fifth Ave: you are at the zoo. At noon. On a Wednesday. We all know that you are here because you stay at home and you have a "kid" in that streamlined running stroller. Not that I can tell, since the shade is drawn, but I believe there is one in there since you've got a bottle of formula stuck next to the Diet Pepsi in your cupholders.

I shouldn't be judging! It's Ash Wednesday, the day for HUMILITY above all. Here, then: I was trying to look like a "hip" mom by wearing my baby in a cool baby carrier (the Beco I am still borrowing) and I was wearing dark jeans and a "cool" t-shirt. I think I looked more like a teenage mom than a "cool" mom, but Kiddo didn't know!

Anyway, by the time we got to the gorilla exhibit, Kiddokabiddo was out for the count and snoozing her head off in the carrier, so I sat on a ledge and watched myself for awhile. It was a really depressing experience. There was a group of fourth graders on a school field trip, and they kept pounding on the glass to get the big dad gorilla to react for them. Finally, Dad Gorilla pummeled the glass right against where they had pressed their snide little mugs and the kids ran delightedly screaming away.

And then ran back up and kept taunting the poor gorilla.

Dad Gorilla turned his back on them for awhile, but then he stood up, shook back and forth, and pulled a poop out (really. This is not for the fourth-grader in you--it really happened) and smeared it on the glass where the kids were. Then smacked the glass hard and walked away. But he couldn't catch a break--there were three other little monkeys hanging out with Dad Gorilla and Mom Gorilla in their environment, and one of the little monkeys started shit with Dad Gorilla, menacing after him. Dad Gorilla actually started backing up and away from Little Monkey (who was EASILY 1/8 his size).

I was glad the Kiddo slept through all that.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Shots and "TOTS!"

I had my physical today, and since I am thirteen years overdue (Really. Thirteen years. I know I have a tendency to exaggerate and toss random numbers into my stories for dramatic pause, but I really was thirteen years late) for my tetanus shot, I got the Tdap shot. A SHOT I HAVE DENIED MY DAUGHTER THUS FAR! (Actually, I have denied her the DTaP shot, which is different because the diphtheria and pertussis components in DTaP are stronger and more full-force than Tdap, and therefore more likely to overwhelm her little system)

It's on the way (probably at her 12 month appt).

Meanwhile, my UPPER ARM ACHES (typical reaction to Tdap) at the injection site! It's raw, dog! When I lift my arm over my head, I feel it! Can you believe we are supposed to get this stuff every 10 years? (OMG, I just realized that I DID exaggerate for drama--I am only THREE years overdue! DUH!)

Anyway, we also ramped up the Kiddo's 9 month appt for today since she's got a dumb rash at the back of her head that is getting worse. Poor little impetigo girl! Beyond that, she's doing great--right on HER schedule, which happens to be the FIRST PERCENTILE (on the CDC charts).

Tomorrow, we're going to THE ZOO since it's supposed to be 60 degrees and sunny! ONCE AGAIN: I LOVE MY FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULE!

Monday, February 23, 2009


Holy crow, I don't know why I dare to say I am "evading mwom," because this weekend's activities have pretty firmly pressed me into the imprint of MWOM.

On Friday night, Vee and I took Kiddokabiddo to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner. She had garbanzo beans, but I had my beloved cheese enchiladas. And a Corona. MOM LETS LOOSE ON THE WEEKEND, Y'ALL! What did I do with the rest of my night?

I WENT TO TARGET AND LOOKED FOR A CHAIR CUSHION REPLACEMENT for the janked up one I had bought earlier in the week.


We had a hoooooooooooooorrible night of non-sleep on Friday/Sat morning. Kiddokabiddo woke up SCREAMING her head off at 12:30am, 3am, 5:30am, and I had to nurse her down twice. This is only a big deal since she usually only eats at 6:30am, and the feedings were preceded by over 20 minutes of Vee trying to calm her yet NOT SUCCEEDING screaming. BRUTAL!

Yet, because we are nothing if not tenacious, Vee and I went ahead with our Saturday morning plan of GOING TO THE HOME & GARDEN EXPO!

Some HGTV dude was supposed to be there, but we left before he went on stage. We ate cut-rate BBQ, milled around up and down the aisles with the SICKEST stupid commercial crap (AMAZING GARDEN SHEARS!) and their depressing shillers ("No need to crowd, folks, step on up," WHEN THERE WAS NO ONE AT THE BOOTH. DON'T LIE TO YOURSELF OR TO ME!).

Vee was delighted when we came across the Costco booth since we've been thinking of joining and the guy there gave us a form where, if we join, we were gonna get a $20 gift card immediately! Dank deal, considering that it's $50 for the year, so it would really be $30! (This is not the case; the $20 gift card only goes with the $100/year special membership, but we would learn this later) The Costco guy mentioned he was from Seattle, so Vee decided it was time to ask him about "where to stay" since we are going there this summer for Vee's best friend's wedding.


Ok, seriously, did Costco Guy think WE DIDN'T ALREADY KNOW/DO THAT? OBVIOUSLY Vee was looking for insider information, but all Costco Guy had for us were slams on Omaha ("OH MY GOD, you guys realize Seattle is 5 times the size of Omaha!?") and misinformed details about "SeaFair."

DO WE LOOK LIKE MWOMBECILES? I think we know what a "big" city is and I think that if Vee's best friend was getting married around SeaFair time, HE WOULD HAVE WARNED US.

Anyway, we also picked up info on and later rejected a milk delivery service, found out about cabinet refacing for our kitchen, got info on Buying Local (there are some dank CSAs that we're thinking about joining for the summer) and bought our zoo membership.

I was so OVER family time that I ducked out of the house on Sat night and went to see "The Reader" by myself. I'm not going to toss any spoilers on here, but it was almost infuriating because, if you know me, you know that I have a very hard time making a distinction between "this is just a movie I am watching unfold in front of me" and "this event is actually occurring and I have the ability to affect the outcome." And almost EVERY turn that I could see coming, I was clenching my toes and saying to myself, "Please don't let this happen the way I think it is going to happen." And it always did!

Sunday was our rendition of "My Very Bourgeois Weekend: How Much Can We Spend On Furniture This Time?" since we did indeed go buy the bedroom set I blogged about earlier. And a futon for the basement. For those of you keeping track at home, we have officially blown most of our tax refund/credit on:
  • a loveseat
  • a bed frame/headboard
  • two dressers
  • a futon
  • paying off my student loan

Paying off my student loan is actually pretty amazing, and when I clicked the button to send the cash over, I felt triumphant. I had overpaid on my loan payments from day 1, and I am proud to say that (with the aid of, um, tax credit and taking out more than we needed on Vee's student loans for MA school since his were government loans) we turned a 20 year repayment plan over in less than five years!

You want numbers? We decimated over $13,500 in five years.


(we still have Vee's MA school student loans, but undergrad is ALL GONE NOW!)

Flush with delight over our deals, we went on to Costco to check it out. Neither Vee nor I had ever been in a Costco before, but we were assured that it was BETTER THAN SAM'S CLUB (much kinder to their employees!) and WITH DEALS WE WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO RESIST!

Well, we were able to resist.

Not only were the "deals" only good if you regularly consume a bag of 64 frozen taquitos (and even then, the per-piece breakdown is PRETTY EQUIVALENT to what you would pay in a normal store, esp. considering the yearly Costco joining fee), but Vee and I had an attack of conscience since we had just been reading the propaganda/discussing the joys of buying local after our visit to the CSA stand at the Home Expo.

Costco is not local, and buying at Costco felt like buying into an "American Life" we are not interested in living.

So I returned the 6 pack of orange juice to the freezer, we abandoned our cart with its giant-size box of Multi-Grain Cheerios, and walked out of the store hand-in-hand, Kiddokabiddo strapped to my chest in her Beco.

Maybe I evaded "mwom" a little bit.

Friday, February 20, 2009


CHILD UPDATE: My daughter knows how to say "Mama."

This is both an amazing feat (tot. ahead of schedule for our little preemie-by who is GESTATIONALLY SPEAKING only 7.5 months old since she joined us a month early) and a very painful one. Do you know how hard it is when the screaming cries of "I NEED MY DIAPER CHANGED" (formerly translated as "NAAAAAAA!") turns into a plaintive wail of "MAAAAAM! MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!"?

It sucks.

On Wednesday, she actually repeated "Hi ma-ma" after me, which I immediately recorded on her calendar. Brilliant child! She knows her dad is da-da and will actually call him da-da; I wish I could say she CALLS me mama, but she really just says "ma-ma-ma-ma-ma" all day.

I never thought I would be so "cool" with her knowing da-da before mama; I guess I read too many broken-hearted moms' tearful sagas of SPENDING ALL DAY WITH THEIR BABIES, and then THEY STILL CALLED OUT FOR DA-DA FIRST! It's TOTALLY FINE WITH ME, though. Kiddokabiddo is going through a strong MOMMY phase where she kind of, well, only wants to hang out with me.

Vee, she might know you as Da-Da, but when she needs a dipe change/burping, she'll always call out for MAAAAAAAAM!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I'm still kind of hung up on high school driving memories. I was participating in my favorite "Vee's got the kid, I'm out of the house" freedom activity, which is driving the 'Rage around while having a guilt-free indulgence blastout of one of my high school CDs, on my way home from having my hair cut.

What CD? You really want to know?


Hilarious. Kind of. But still kind of amazing. Sorry, but I got to give the dudes props for the inventive use of homographs in just about every song. It gets gratuitous (see: "Showerhead") but I still love it. And I will always love the line about finding a dime under the corner cushion wishing it was someplace else and SO! DO I! SO DO I!

I wonder, though, who else out there experienced that dream-filled driving in high school. You know, where you went fast because you could go fast, and you cranked up your stereo because you could crank up your stereo, because YOU were driving, you were in control, you were in a world where everything, from the sound to the movement to the temperature, happened the way YOU wanted it to. Was I the only one who drove with a purpose, an aimless purpose, finding obscure roads, trying to own time when everything felt like it was moving too fast, happening too fast, leaving me too fast?

I'm still helplessly drawn towards songs about driving, about being on the road. Am I still trying to control my life (or ESCAPE MY LIFE?) through driving? Probably. IT'S A TIME HONORED TRADITION!

See you out there on the back roads! WATCH OUT FOR A 'RAGE BLARING "Small Town Trap!"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Day in Bullets

  • Nursed the Kiddo at 6:30am; was both too early to get up, and too late to sleep in, so I laid there and pretended I was getting some REM for about twenty minutes

  • Worked and avoided coffee since I had a headache

  • Said "F THIS HEADACHE, I NEED COFFEE" and compensated by drinking extra water

  • IMed with grammagoose, looked at Seattle-area vrbos for our trip this summer

  • Got Kiddokabiddo up, nursed, read "The Nanny Diaries" again, fed her winter squash bits and reveled in her motor control as she picked each piece up between her finger and thumb

  • Met a mom friend at Whole Foods and ate a chimichanga, a slice of tomato-and-cheese quiche, and a small salad while comparing our 8.5 month old daughters favorably to one another

  • Worked, nursed, cajoled Kiddokabiddo into saying "Hi-ma-ma" and gleefully recorded said event on her calendar

  • Showered when Vee got home, changed immediately into pajamas

  • Ate steak for the fifth day in a row

  • Worked, working, will work again tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


As I was driving home from my La Leche League meeting tonight, I was listening to the local adult contemporary/glory of the 80s/90s station (very mwomy of me, I know, but adult contemporary is the soundtrack of my youth, and I was feeling nostalgic). The show being piped in was DELILAH, which made me sad.

See, for four years (the entire time I lived in Terre Haute) (and yes, this was high school), I would tune into the DELILAH show every so often, at night, and listen to the corny-ass stories people made up (or geez, some of them I HOPE they made up) to dedicate a song to someone. Delilah had the most soothing, comforting, mwomy voice, and when a letter came in explaining some obscure situation where the writer's mom's best friend just married the mom's old high school sweetheart, who was coincidentally the writer's boyfriend's dad, DELILAH ALWAYS FOUND THE RIGHT SONG (ok, ok, Delilah often failed. But it was amusing to listen to her apply "Wind Beneath My Wings" to almost every circumstance).

Anyway, I spent a lot of dark, rainy nights cruising out past the lights of the Haute, narrowly escaping deer and raccoons, my Taurus hugging the curves of the back roads, and when I needed a break from my TEEN ANGST Everclear/Stretch Princess/Stabbing Westward/other embarassing late 90s music, I'd hit it with Delilah.

Delilah, as I pictured it, was broadcasting live from the radio station over in Brazil (also known as the home to Michelle from ANTM Season 4; you know, the bisexual wrestler who got the face-eating disease). I could see her in her studio in a brokedown building on the main strip in downtown Brazil, speaking to the Wabash Valley, intimately ours.

Guys, I'm not lying when I tell you this: one night, I decided I wanted to find Delilah's email address because I just wanted to write her a short message to thank her for what she did. I was seventeen/eighteen; I was prone to romantic gestures like this (and never really grew out of them: I wrote a similar letter to one of my college professors who I admired very much for sticking to her guns and making us read 75 pages of rich text between our Tues/Thurs classes because, as I said, THAT'S WHAT I ALWAYS THOUGHT COLLEGE WAS GOING TO BE).

So I went to the local radio station website, and got linked ("Odd," I thought to myself) to some joint down in Florida.

It's true (and this is where you all KNEW it was going anyway): Delilah was syndicated.

It was honestly one of the biggest disappointments of my life. I was heartsick.

I had come to see Delilah as a Hautian woman, shopping at Walmart with the rest of us, sledding at Deming Park on the one day a year when we got enough snow, skipping I-70 for the back roads whenever possible. I KNEW her so well; I was wrecked when I realized she'd probably never even been to the Wabash Valley. She didn't know what we were going through; she knew what "America" was going through. Those soldiers making requests to their wives weren't writing letters that went through the Haute post office. Those corny boyfriends who got "Only Wanna Be With You" sent out to their girlfriends? Didn't go to West Vigo.

There have been a handful of big disappointments like that since Delilah, but she was the first. Oh, Delilah. CUT OFF MY HAIR, WHY DON'T YOU?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Food and Furniture: My Kind of V Day Fun!

My Valentine's Day weekend was awesome!

Unlike V Day weekends of yore, with glamorous dinners out and travel to exotic places, we stayed put. And bought furniture. And cleaned house. And I cooked Vee dinner.

This is actually a bigger deal than it sounds. I had not cooked a single dinner (excepting one pot of chili when we had guests, and maybe the one night we did a mac-n-cheese dinner) since we moved here. Hey, y'all, I was pregnant! And then, um, I was taking care of a baby! (and I am still am...?) Anyway, so I got out the old "Wine Lovers Cookbook" and found a recipe for Adobo-Grilled Filet with Red Bean Ragout, and went a-shopping at HyVee and Whole Foods to load up on $60 worth of groceries.


But we had a Kiddokabiddo who still has not been babysat by anyone outside our family, and since she's in a very strong 8 month "I NEED MAAAAAM! I NEED DOT-DOT!" phase, it wasn't worth trying to coerce one of our friends to take her for the evening on V Day.

So we put Kiddokabiddo down for the night around 8:30pm, and I put the dinner on our table with a flourish, and we enjoyed a successfully-cooked meal without the plaintive cries of our child. In our house, sure, but these days, ANY MEAL WITHOUT THE KIDDO AROUND IS A LUXURIOUS ONE.

I feel particularly proud of the fact that this meal was able to erase the memories of Valentine's Day Dinner 2004, which was the last time I tried to cook dinner for Vee on V Day. I spent all afternoon in the kitchen of the house, with my two GREAT COOK roommates helping me make this amazing salmon-orzo-and-tomato dinner, which I had plated and was carrying upstairs (I had set up a card table with a tablecloth and candlelight in my room) when, OF COURSE, I tripped and spilled one of the two plates on the stairs.

You REALLY had to know these stairs. Well, or you REALLY had to know the general cleanliness of that last house I lived in during college. It probably had dirt/blood/semen/tetanus from the last 50 years worth of college kids who lived there before us. The house was WRECKED, in an amazing "This is why we all only pay $210 a month for rent" way.

And I spilled my beautiful Valentine's Day dinner on THAT.

(I must be exaggerating on the tetanus part, because I scraped the middle digit on my pointer finger and got a nice scar that bears mute witness today, and I know I wasn't up to date on my shots, so maybe it was "cleaner" than I made it sound.)

But that dinner is gone! Finito! V Day Dinner 09 took its place!

I can't believe Vee and I have celebrated seven Valentine's Days together. Amazing.

Kiddokabiddo got me Valentine's Day donuts, and she got her dad a card. And then her dad and I bought ourselves the finest piece of furniture we'll probably ever own, because we bought a house last year.

What did you do for Valentine's Day?

Friday, February 13, 2009


Isn't "abnormal" really "normal" now?

This is what I thought to myself while reading an article that Vee sent me via email that applauded the "nonconformist" nature of this 43 year old woman's 11 year old daughter. You know, because said daughter thinks this pale dude from a 1984 sitcom is hot! HOW WEIRD! And she don't wear Uggs! She likes her frog-faced rain boots! ECLECTIC, AND INDIVIDUAL!

I don't mean to dog this woman's daughter--really, my problem is with HER MOM! She should know better!

The author of the article is 43. That means she's solidly part of Gen X, the generation that DEFINED THEMSELVES AGAINST "NORMALITY" and made it NORMAL TO BE "ABNORMAL."

But here she is, trotting herself out as "yep, I'm still a weird and quirky mom with weird and quirky kids!" UNABLE TO RECOGNIZE THAT THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS WEIRD OR QUIRKY ANY MORE! Weird and/or quirky is CONSIDERED NORMAL!

I was in seventh grade (and I don't know if it was just 1994, or if this is what happens to everyone in middle school) when it suddenly became REALLY COOL to JUST BE YOURSELF! "Being yourself" was defined as "having a bunch of weird tastes, like being obsessed with Snoopy or wearing scraggy corduroys from Goodwill or being really, really into Egyptology" and it became A RACE to claim "weird" attributes or interests as "who you really are."

DOES ANYONE ELSE REMEMBER THIS, or did I experience this alone?

ANYWAY, I think we can still all agree that our generation (Gen X/Gen Y) PRETTY MUCH ACCEPTS "WEIRDNESS" IN EVERYONE and, therefore, I don't really see a reason to applaud "difference" as something REALLY EXCEPTIONAL AND REALLY DIFFICULT TO DO among today's youth.

NOT THAT I THINK EVERYONE SHOULD "CONFORM" or not receive praise for being comfortable with who they are. It's just not that big of an accomplishment as it was for, say, our parents.

Furthermore, I don't like the way this author defines "conformity" by contrasting her daughter with the Uggs-wearing clones she sees out and about. WHY IS IT CONFORMITY IF IT'S JUST SOMETHING THAT'S POPULAR? The author is so quick to point out "hey, my daughter likes 'Twilight' too!" YET DOES NOT DEFINE THIS AS CONFORMITY. Why is liking something popular NOT conformity when it's a book, but when it comes to clothing, OH HELL, IT'S CONFORMIST!

It just strikes me with the same shades of ridiculousness as my teenage boyfriend and his best friend continuously asking me and my best friend, "Are we weird enough for you yet?"

When you define yourself by your "weirdness," YOU'RE NOT REALLY THAT WEIRD!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hipster Hire Hits on Helpless Hmwom

So the Kiddo had a rowdy waking night last night, and it left Vee and I exhausted. And of all days! It was 48 and sunny today, the last vestiges of spring on the horizon before we get smacked in the face with 6+ inches of snow tomorrow!

Vee came home early and we declared it "early weekend"--he stayed home with Kiddokabiddo while I went out a-thrifting (really, looking for ANY EXCUSE TO BE OUT OF THE HOUSE ALONE).

My first stop was this great thrift store called ThriftAmerica. I got 5 books for 44 cents apiece, which is the primary reason I love going to there. I can always spend $0.44 on a copy of "The Nanny Diaries!" I also love ThriftAmerica because it is NOT PART OF A THRIFT STORE CONGLOMERATE, which means they don't have those sneaky-ass kids screening the bags of stuff as they get dropped off so the "quality items" (also known as "ironic" or "adorably vintage") can get marked up.

Do you know how much I hate that? THE WHOLE POINT OF THRIFT STORES IS SO THAT POOR PEOPLE CAN BUY QUALITY ITEMS AT A REASONABLE PRICE! The second whole point of thrift stores is so that YOU CAN GET SOMETHING AWESOME FOR A RIDICULOUSLY LOW PRICE! If I wanted to pay antique store prices for an old canister set saying "flour," "sugar," and "tea," I WOULD GO TO AN ANTIQUE STORE!

You think my "sneaky-ass kids" thing is a paranoid lie, but the hipster teen who used to live in the apartment across from Vee and I back when we first lived here WORKED AT A GOODWILL. Do you SERIOUSLY think he got the job because of his work ethic, or BECAUSE, SINCE HE LOOKED LIKE CONOR OBERST (no, really: he actually did get mistaken for Obie often), THE GOODWILL MANAGER DECIDED HE WOULD KNOW HOW TO DESIGNATE ITEMS THAT HIPSTERS WOULD OVERPAY FOR?

Anyway! Locally owned thrift stores! Only way to go!

So when I was done at ThriftAmerica, I shamefully slunk across the street to (yep) Goodwill. Just to give it another look! I renounced this Goodwill back in November when I brought four bags of TOTALLY AWESOME AND USABLE STUFF to the drop-off spot and this 20-something who hated me for driving a Camry REFUSED TO MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH ME and MUTELY TOOK MY BAGS INSIDE. And did not come out! Didn't offer me the tax deduction form! Nothing!

But the cat came back, three months later!

As expected, everything was overpriced and I overpaid for a copy of AM Homes' Music for Torching ($1.99! I could have gotten four books over at ThriftAmerica and still had $0.23 towards my bean burrito at Taco Bell!). BUT! The twenty-something working the register! Said "Are you into rock music? You look like you're into rock music."


I quizzically looked at the dude (mentally doing a recall of what I was wearing: a black CASHMERE zip-up hoodie from Old Navy, some jeans that totally make me look like a mom, and my bangs were doing a skanky split-down-the-middle since I needed to shower--BUT I WAS NOT WEARING MY BABY!) and said, "I can be..." (thinking to myself "When was the last time I was able to define 'rock music' as anything other than adult contemporary?")

DUDE DECIDED THIS WAS A PEAK TIME TO TELL ME HE'S IN A BAND! And said band is "playing at Saddle Creek tonight" and "you should check us out" and then fumbled through his wallet, giving me THE ONLY COPY OF HIS BAND'S BUSINESS CARD (!!! BUSINESS CARD !!!) and boasting that "we're going to be on the radio soon."

Which radio station? Unspecified.

Dude, pirate radio DOES NOT A "MAJOR LABEL BAND" make.

FURTHERMORE! As I got home and LOOKED UP (I know) the business-card-carrying band, DUDE DID NOT MENTION THAT IT IS A METAL BAND!


I might sneak my first edition copies of Play It As It Lays by the sweet middle-aged woman at ThriftAmerica for 44 cents, but next time I need a reminder that I'm not too old to be band-picked-up, I know where I'm going!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


It seems like half the blogs on my Google Reader are doing lists lately (and no, not just the addicting and why-didn't-I-think-of-this-amazing-blog-idea Secret Society of List Addicts). Maybe because it's February and we're all out of blog topics? Because we need things to pull us through the winter?

Anyway, here's my list of things that have been delighting me lately:

  • The freshly-ground smell of coffee beans (even if it's at 10:30pm as Vee and I set up the coffee maker for the morning--I think it's the temptation of "what if I just pressed "ON" right now, knowing it would mess up my whole day" that is especially great)
  • The curl on the top of my little girl's blonde (!) head
  • SEEING MOMS THAT I KNOW OUT IN PUBLIC PLACES! You have no idea what a big deal this is for me--the first time we lived here, I probably recognized people MAYBE twice. In two years. And YET! Who knew all I had to do was ACTUALLY MEET PEOPLE and then I would recognize (and be recognized!) other women during my out-and-arout evenings?!
  • Reading "on my long-time needs-to-be-read list" classics
  • While also reading "by no means on any list I ever made, yet THOROUGHLY AWESOME" small-town-library selections
  • Lemon Zest Luna bars
  • Western sunsets

How about you?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Vitamin D

No one wants to weigh in on the bedroom set? Ok, dudes--bye bye tax refund, hello personal economic stimulus donation!

It has been another beautiful, sunny day here in the prairie West. My screen door is open, and Kiddokabiddo and I have been taking brief jaunts onto our porch to just sit and marvel at the weather. Plus she's getting her vitamin D!

As the early morning light rolled in, I announced to Vee that, while I will concede that I would get tired of all the hot weather and lack of 4 seasons if we lived somewhere like southern Arizona, I'm pretty sure that I would NEVER get tired of the constant sun.

I really don't have much for today. Vee is working late, and when he gets home, I will be heading out to pick up the following items:
  • Cheerios (the Kiddokabiddo can apparently start eating these, which should be hilarious to watch)
  • New sleepwear (the Kiddo is outgrowing her footie sleepers)
  • Teething biscuits
  • A humidifier (we murdered our last one by using our hard water; even though the directions SPECIFICALLY SAY to use distilled water and to clean it every other day, I thought THAT WAS JUST BEING RIDICULOUS. Fast forward to two nights ago when I opened the humidifier to add more water and found a gross orange film dried all around it, coupled with lime deposits. Sorry, Kiddo--hope you were breathing ok!)
  • Distilled water.
Other tasks for the evening include:
  • Washing towels
  • Washing lights
  • Dyeing my hair
Maybe I would be doing myself a disservice to live somewhere with constant sun after all if all I am going to do is to spend my time WALKING AROUND INSIDE BOX STORES SPENDING MONEY instead of getting my vitamin D.

Monday, February 9, 2009

shots and "cots"

Another late blog; long day.

I took the Kiddo to the doctor's office today for her first shots. It's true, you're reading this right: she's 8 months and getting her first shots.

"What about the CDC RECOMMENDATIONS, you child endangerer!"

I'm not going to get on a rant/defense about whether or not Jenny McCarthy's kid got autism from the MMR shot or whether herd immunity is vital to our well-being as a nation or whether unvaccinated kids should be segregated from everyone else to protect the vaccinated kids (this makes no sense to me; if the kids are vaccinated, HOW ARE THEY GOING TO GET SICK FROM SOMETHING AN UNVACCINATED CHILD "MIGHT" HAVE?). The point is: Vee and I decided not to vaccinate the Kiddo until now, and that's because we're going to be flying to the Vee Homeland at the end of the month, and we wanted her protected from the influenza variants that lead to meningitis.

So she got her HIB and Pc shots today, and my little trooper was just fine.

Until we got home, and Vee realized she was getting a second tooth. I think this one really hurts her, because she was fussy ALL NIGHT. "Fussy" isn't the right word for it--more like "petulant" because unless I was holding her, STANDING UP (this kid has a radar for the instant you sit down and starts screaming--WHY?! Her center of gravity is the EXACT SAME!). Which made it a little hard for me to get my evening work done.

Today was a rainy day, which was actually awesome since it rinsed away what was left of the snow, and all our bleached-out bare grass is belly up. CRAZY WIND TOO! I love living on the prairie, and I love our wind-whip, but I couldn't set the Kiddo's diaper bag on the trunk of the car without it BLOWING OVER when I was at the ped's today. SHEESH!

In other news, I got our TAX RETURNS DONE LAST NIGHT. Oh my effing GOD! The last two years, Vee and I have paid someone to do them because our "tax situation" was complicated. This year, after being advised otherwise by our financial advisor (who told us, straight up, that when clients ask him to do their returns, he feels bad taking money because he just plugs the numbers in TurboTax), I decided to tackle them on my own.

I used to ALWAYS do my taxes myself. I am not an econ person, but I know how to manage our budget, so I figured I CAN DO THIS!

And two state returns and one federal return later (interspersed with my cries of "WE ARE NOT PAYING MICHIGAN MORE TAXES! We only lived there for FOUR MONTHS THIS YEAR!" and then my sheepish glee when I realized I had forgotten to add an important number that wound up giving us a refund rather than owing), WE'RE DONE!

Relocating, having a bambina, and buying a house made us PRIME CANDIDATES FOR THE CASH, and we are getting such a huge refund, Vee and I decided we should go bougie-bedroom-set hunting. Mainly because OUR BED IS STILL ON THE FLOOR (not even a bed frame). It's shameful.

Here's the dank we're considering.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Bouge it up and get two of the tall dressers + the headboard/bed frame, or just get the bed frame and find "eclectic" dressers on our own time? Vee and I are split on this.

IS A BEDROOM SET TOO BOUGIE FOR US? (is THIS bedroom set bougie?)

Friday, February 6, 2009


This post might not appeal to those of you without kids, those of you who have kids and primarily used formula, or those of you who are male (so I've successfully just alienated basically my entire reader base. Humor me and keep going). But I want to take a minute to talk about nursing.

NURSING, I said. Not "breastfeeding," the verb that Vee once prepared to alarm the masses with when my supply was slowing and he felt that everyone needed to know why I had to stay home with Kiddokabiddo. Y'all don't want to deal with the fact that my baby is feeding on my breast; ok, I understand. No one says "feeding" anyway unless you're talking about animals on a farm. I don't really like the verb "nursing" because I am not an RN, but that's cool.

Anyway. Nursing. My baby. She's 8 months old now, and has been eating solids pretty consistently for two months. My littleby! Solids, for you non-parents, are the gateway drug to the end of our nursing. Kiddo starts getting her nutrients from the jars of garbanzo beans, yams, and avocado that we stock up, and she stops wanting to nurse the nutrient-rich milk from me. It's called "becoming a big girl," and I know it's a good thing. But it makes me sad.

The Kiddo and I have had a tumultuous relationship with our nursing. Not as bad as some of the stories I've heard (we haven't dealt with mastitis or thrush), but I had to pump, exclusively, for the first nine weeks of her life because she had trouble staying latched on. Nine weeks, you guys. That meant I was retiring to a room to sit with some machine squishing me for 30 minutes straight. Every 3 hours. Day or night. Setting my alarm clock to get up and pump.

And then, while I was getting squished, Vee was feeding the Kiddo with a hollow syringe (no needle; more like a medicine dropper) and having her suck his finger. Milliliter by milliliter.

But the Kiddo and I practiced every day, and as she got bigger and stronger, we retired the stupid syringe and she nursed with me full-time. Well, mostly. I still pump at night and in the morning so Vee can take care of putting her to sleep and getting her up. But I am so proud of how far we've come--eight months, and my little Kabiddo is still nursing with Mom. Successfully.

Why nursing? Because it's cheap (free), healthiest for my little smallby, and because I love our buddy time. I love our close time together that no one else can share.

I seriously used to roll my eyes at all the pungent sap of "you'll feel this way when you're a parent" and was like dude, stop trying to tell me how to feel, yo. But neither Vee or I can get through reading "Love You Forever" to the Kiddo without tearing up. TEARING UP! To the point where I have to read the last two pages in a whisper or my voice is going to crack--and if Kiddokabiddo looks up at me, like a crazy woman I assure her "Mama's ok, mama's ok" while wiping AWAY MY TEARS and trying to smile to show her IT'S OK. DUDES, IT'S EMOTIONAL WHEN THE DAD COMES HOME AND STANDS AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS BEFORE SINGING TO HIS OWN DAUGHTER! TRY READING IT NOW THAT YOU'RE AN ADULT!

Anyway, I freaked out because my normal pump sessions yesterday didn't yield hardly anything. I freaked out because I'M NOT READY TO BE DONE and I DON'T WANT TO MOVE OVER TO FORMULA. The Kiddo's not ready for cow's milk yet, and I want her to keep getting mom milk, not formula. Luckily, the issue resolved itself when I nursed her instead of pumping, but it made me realize that, at some point, whether it's in four months or in another two years, my Kiddo is going to be done nursing. She's not going to NEED me in THAT WAY any more.

So this blog is my thank you to nursing. Thank you to all the moms who've gone before me and whose advice I read on all the forums and the boards I snuck on, the moms who I hungrily listened to at La Leche League meetings, and all the chapters in the books that are dog-eared from all my referencing. We're not done yet, but I am so grateful for the time together we've had nursing, not formula-ing.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Jon "Tiffany would have married me" Knight. Oh, Jon.

During my regular morning-blog-catch-up reading, I stumbled across a story that, suddenly, made everything make sense.


("not that there's anything wrong with it")

I don't always jump on board with whatever I read on a blog, but I trust Trent. I've trusted Trent since he was living back in Detroit and back when he was poised to take over the blogosphere (before Perez "I AM A DICK" got his I-am-stealing-Trent's-signature-color-pink hair dyed and got a stupid show on VH1) because TRENT IS NICE. Trent has always been nice and doesn't blog dumb rumors.

So, Jon. After seeing NKOTB with my best friend this last fall (and fulfilling a 20 year old dream of mine), I was TRULY unable to understand why Jon even bothered SHOWING UP for the reunion. It dawned on me that even Danny gets solo time during songs, but Jon NEVER DOES. He seemed sooooo beyond the show and bored with it all. Why, Jon, why? You had a successful real estate career in Southie (on second thought, maybe THAT'S why he agreed to do it. TRY SELLING A HOUSE THESE DAYS). You didn't HAVE to be there. No one would have even noticed if you weren't!

Jon has always been "the forgotten one" of the New Kids--so much so, that every time I am listening to "Step by Step," when Jon's part comes ("Step Five: don't you know that the time has arrived?") I always interject "NOBODY REMEMBERS THIS LINE BECAUSE JON SINGS IT." (no, really, I do) I was astonished to see a homemade "I Love Jon" shirt at the concert--dude, what's there to love about him? He's quiet, doesn't sing much at all, and NOT that attractive.


Jon, my apologies for dissing you all these years!

Did anyone else hear that STUPID urban legend about the New Kids that was making the rounds in, oh, '92 or something, when they were totally UNCOOL TO LIKE, that (and I quote), "Donnie and Jordan had to get their stomachs pumped before a show, and when they did, they found each other's sperm in their stomachs"?

IT IS PROBABLY THE DUMBEST URBAN LEGEND ALIVE (except for the chain letter I once received, AS AN EMAIL, that had been "unbroken since 1888"--YOU KNOW, WHEN THE INTERNET WAS AROUND).

Why would they be getting their stomachs pumped? Why would they be TESTING THE CONTENTS FOR SPERM? Why would they be TESTING TO SEE WHOSE SPERM IT WAS?

It was totally meant to discredit Donnie and Jordan (coincidentally, my two favorite New Kids). No one would have dared to mess with Joe BECAUSE HE WAS BELOVED BY ALL, it wasn't worth it to make a joke about Danny because no one liked him anyway, and JON WAS SAFE FROM SLANDER BECAUSE HE HAD DATED TIFFANY, and so OBVIOUSLY HE WOULD NOT BE GAY.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Why I Actually Do Love my Work

The Kiddo is currently going berserk-o jumping up and down in a Rainforest jumperoo that some friends of ours were kind enough to loan us, so I don't know how long this post will be (it's almost feeding time for baby elephants: homemade garbanzo beans are on the menu).

I know I complained recently about how much I don't like working 3/4-time. But I need to STFU sometimes, because I really, really love my lifestyle. Kiddokabiddo and I met Vee at our local art museum over the lunch hour, and as we meandered through the beautiful Beaux Arts/Art Deco architecture and just hung out in the green-and-blue thunderbird-style tiled courtyard (which gave me GREAT IDEAS for our kitchen remodel), Vee said something which is so true:

We are so blessed to work somewhere that allows me the flexibility to take off in the middle of the day and allows my husband to take his lunch hour whenever he needs to so that we can get in to an art museum for free (another benefit of working where we do) and be together as a family in the middle of the day.

It's truly amazing, and something I often take for granted.

I love my employer.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On paying $20 for face wash

I swear, I am not a cosmetics girl. I am a pretty strict mascara-and-that's-it kind of person, and that's only if I'm leaving the house. Lip balm? Use it before going to bed, and occasionally during the day if I find myself biting my lips.

No eyeshadow/eyeliner (Well, not anyMORE. In high school, you could have found my nightmarish self wearing navy blue eyeshadow [applied with my fingertips, I'll have you know--NOT WITH A BRUSH] and gray liquid eyeliner...oh my GOD, next time I wonder why the boys weren't lined up outside my door, all I need to do is look at my 10th grade school picture).

No blush/lipstick/foundation (Sorry to be all "I'm only in my mid-20s," but do people under 40 wear this stuff on a regular basis? I mean, I've got blotchy-ass skin and, in the winter, my natural lip color resembles my sunless calves; not a pretty sight. But I can't even type the word "blush" without feeling like it is either 1988 or I am a middle-aged woman).

My "makeup bag" is a hilarious jumble of crap I've gotten from drugstores in the 75% bin over the last 10 years (and yes, I said TEN YEARS. I know most of this shit has gone bad/discolored, but I BOUGHT IT ONCE, and considering that I've probably only used <5% of the stuff, I can't bear to throw it out yet). And it's all pretty cheap crap. We're talking Maybelline, Cover Girl, Wet n Wild (no, actually, I think I tossed out the black Halloween Wet n Wild lipstick that I bought when I was SERIOUSLY in fourth grade). I once had an expensive $27 lipstick that I bought on my wedding day at the salon where my mother-in-law paid for me to have my makeup done.

And lost it that day, somewhere in the abyss of wedding ephemera.

So, MY POINT is that I don't pay money for cosmetics. Not real money, anyway. And I don't really use them.

But last night found me at JC Penneys (HA! HA! I said "JC Penneys!" Yes, folks, it is still in business), snaking around in the Sephora sub-store, looking for philosophy purity face wash.

Sephora is apparently suffering for business (? ? ?) and has teamed up with still-relevant Penneys (? ? ?) to use up some of that 90%-off holiday clearance rack space to create a separate little enclave, WITHIN Penneys, to peddle their overpriced cosmetics. They have their own salesgirls (who are much more attractive than your typical Penneys employee) and, NATURALLY, you can't use all those "$10 off $10" coupons Penneys ships out to drum up biz.

My mother-in-law, TWO YEARS AGO, got me a sample kit of philosophy stuff for Christmas. The purity face wash had been bumbling around in my travel bag for months and I finally started using it. And blotchy old me suddenly found A NEW BEST FRIEND! Bye bye, Dove and Neutrogena! I'm a BIG GIRL NOW!

Of course, since I DIDN'T BUY THE SAMPLE FOR MYSELF, I had no idea how expensive my new buddy was. $20 for 8 ounces. TWENTY DOLLARS! Y'all, I used to make my face wash selections at Target based on whether or not I felt "flush" enough to spend $6.09 rather than $5.50.

Gateway drug!

Monday, February 2, 2009


It was a BIG WEEKEND at our house!

We woke up on Saturday morning to SUN, SUN, SUN and the promise of 50 degree weather! So I did end-of-the-month finances and found that we had some extra money, and we went on KIDDOKABIDDO'S FIRST TRIP TO THE ZOO!

Our zoo is awesome, and Vee and I haven't been since sometime in 06. The first time we ever went to this zoo was almost seven years ago to the day--we took a Valentine's Day trip back in 02 to our current hometown (our FIRST TRIP TOGETHER AS A COUPLE--we'd been together for 4 months. This was A BIG DEAL.) and, although it snowed like mad, we went to the zoo anyway. Kinda cool to be back there now, married, with our little daughter!

Kiddokabiddo loved it. She really likes her little penguin buddies at home. We have a soft terrycloth penguin ("Penguina") who's just the right size for our little 8 monther to carry around like a little buddy, and she frequently chews on Penguina's beak (in a loving way). One of Kiddokabiddo's favorite bath buddies also happens to be a penguin ("Pengy"). This is all hilarious because Kiddo's godmother has always been an avowed penguin hater (she's scared of them because THEY CAN'T BEND IN THE MIDDLE and are silent; two facts I never really thought about, but which are actually pretty scary).

We hung out downtown afterwards and got some ice cream (it got up to 58, y'all!) and then went grocery shopping. On Saturday night. These are the things you do when you are a parent, and it seems like a perfectly reasonable "Saturday night adventure."

On Sunday, I trapped Vee into washing our filthy cars even though it was only 40 degrees outside (it was SUNNY!), and then we went to our friends' house to watch the Boss crotch-slam us at half-time. ANYONE ELSE WANT TO WEIGH IN ON THAT?
We also discovered on Sunday that Kiddokabiddo's FIRST TOOTH IS COMING IN! Sharptooth is here! Bottom left incisor! Big girl! She also fell down and bumped her nose, so she got her first boo-boo on the same day. At least she didn't break her tooth!

Anyway, all in all, it was a big weekend for sure, and surprising because I usually get stuck in the winter doldrums in February. NICE WEATHER WILL ALWAYS BRING ME BACK TO MYSELF!