Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Might Be Insane

I have months upon months until I'll be dealing with diapers, but I'm already considering which dipes and covers that I'd like to use for the baby.  I never did sell any of my son's old diapers so I'm pretty well set to use cloth part-time.  Thanks to the wealth of knowledge (and the healthy dose of paranoia as it relates to paper & plastic disposable diapers) on the internet, I want to use cloth full-time with this baby as soon as my existing diapers fit.  I know that this will mean waiting several weeks, possibly months, because I don't have any newborn sizes and I have only a few small sized diapers and covers.  I guess I don't buy all the paranoia about those dangerous disposable diapers since I'm okay with using them in the beginning.

I don't really have any diapers I'd like to buy for the new baby, but I do have one thing I'd like to try.  I never used wool with my son and I'd like to with the new baby.  The idea of picking up a wool sweater from a thrift shop and upcycling it into wool shorties or longies is terribly appealing.  There is a big obstacle to me doing this:  I don't sew.  However, I do know how to crochet and I might be insane because I want to try my hand at making my own wool shorties or longies.  Note that I do not, and probably can no longer, follow a crochet pattern.

I'm not all that crafty, but surely it can't be that hard to make shorts or pants.  I'm willing to bet that most yarny-type stores have wool yarn available for reasonable prices.  I'm not exactly sure what a yarny-type store is though.  Maybe Michaels or Jo-Ann Fabrics?  Trip down memory lane time:  There used to be a Yarn Store on Beach Blvd., right next door to a XXX theater, and my Grandmother used to park as faaaaar away from that theater as possible whenever she was shopping for yarn - haha.  Anyway, a soft cashmere or merino yarn seems like it would make an awesomely soft diaper cover.

What's your verdict?  Am I insane?  Have you crocheted wool shorties or longies?  Can you offer any tips or advice?

Monday, November 29, 2010

There's a First Time for Everything

I had a remarkably easy and uneventful pregnancy with my son until he flipped breech at the very end.  Most notably, I never experienced any morning sickness.  Seriously, none whatsoever.  Well, I guess there's a first time for everything.

I spent the day fighting crippling nausea.  I had a couple of good hours late in the morning and again late in the afternoon, but I've been positively green the rest of the day.  I was able to choke down 1/2-cup mashed potatoes and a few bites of a somewhat sour apple, but food is otherwise entirely unappealing.  Even strong smells (hairspray, Sriracha hot sauce, and coffee in particular) are enough to send me running to the bathroom to empty the meager contents of my belly.

Don't think I'm complaining because, near-constant vomit or not, I'm completely thrilled to experience this joy once again.  What are your winning tips to quell queasiness?  Please share below!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Preparing an Only to Become an Older

This pregnancy has been 19-months in the making.  I would have never expected it to take this long to conceive our second child, but it did.  If all had gone according to my plan, I would have delivered our second child before our son turned two.  As it stands, our son will be 3 1/4-years old when this baby is born.

My son, for the most part, is not excited at the prospect of a new member joining our family.  He specifically says, "No" when asked if he'd like a little brother/sister or if he wants mama to have another baby.   He tentatively likes the idea of having a playmate to live with us.  Of course, it will be 36-weeks before this child shows up and baby won't be able to play for quite some time after arriving.

Months upon months ago, I purchased a few books about becoming a big brother.  I kept them set aside and I think I'll give them to him now that I'm pregnant.  I sure hope that these books are a hit with him and become a part of our regular reading rotation.

I'm very concerned about the impact that a new baby might have on my son.  He is my sweet, darling boy and I'd prefer that becoming an older brother makes him happy rather than sad, angry, or insecure.  As I've often done in the past, I'm asking my readership for advice and suggestions to help my family make this a smooth transition.

Do you have more than one child?  What is the age difference between children?  Have your children experienced a lot of sibling rivalry or jealousy?  How did you prepare your "only" to become an "older?"  Do you have any other advice that you can share?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things - Part III

It's been a long time since I've put together a post of the things my son says (see Part I and Part II), so here you go:

Me:  Do you want to have a little brother or sister?
Toot:  No.
Me:  Do you want mommy to have a baby?
Toot:  No.
Uh-oh, we have 36-weeks to change his tune!

After a sweaty workout, I sat down beside my son on the couch and put my arm around him. 
Toot:  Pew. 
Me:  Do I need a shower?
Toot:  Yes.  Shower. 
Gee, thanks for the subtlety kid.

Me:  Since when are you allowed to (fill in the blank)?
Toot:  Daddy.
Me:  No, your father did not say you could do that.

Me:  You're not just going to eat cookies for lunch.
Toot:  Daddy?
Me:  No, your father does not let you eat cookies instead of meals.
Toot:  Ama.  (Grandma)
Me:  Well, Grandma might, but I'm Mama.

The family was watching a football game on television and, when they showed a close up of the players, he said, "Oh, hi guys!"

Whenever he sees a "W"
Toot:  W says Pets!
(as in, W stands for Wonder Pets)

Toot:  Tie-tie (tired).
Me:  Are you tired, honey?
Toot:  No.
Me:  Of course not.

My son fell down in front of our house several weeks ago and he skinned his elbow enough that I gave him a bandage.  He woke up the next morning saying that he got a boo-boo because he fell near the house.  The actual quote was, "boo-boo fall house," but I thought it would be handy to give the translation.  Anyway, I called my husband so that our son could tell his father about the boo-boo.  I asked the boy how he got his boo-boo and he said, "Daddy."  He still talks about his boo-boo every once in awhile and he alternately blames my car, my husband's car, and one of his Aunts.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Busy Couple of Days

I am beat!  It seems a little soon to be hit with early pregnancy exhaustion, but I've been a busy little Bloggy.

We hosted Thanksgiving for nine at our house yesterday and, in typical fashion, I refused most help so I did much of it myself.  I did relent and allow my husband and MIL to sweep and pick up the house.  I also had my parents bring corn and salad.  My BIL brought mashed potatoes and my SIL & mother did a significant amount of clean up.

As if the Thanksgiving party wasn't enough, we're having a bunch of friends over this evening.  I started two crock pots of chili (one top sirloin, one ground beef) this morning and I also have a fridge full of snacks.  I have a friend bringing dessert and another friend bringing her special guacamole.

This has been a busy couple of days, but we have been having a great time with our friends and family.  Of course, we're also pretty tickled to share our special baby news.  I still have prep to do (chili toppings) so I'm cutting this short, but I hope that you've had a lovely Thanksgiving with your loved ones!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

I had quite the productive day.  I roasted and carved a 19.5 pound turkey, I assembled a green bean casserole, I prepped all the veggies that I add to my gravy, I readied stuffing for baking tomorrow, I made a several quarts of turkey stock with the turkey carcass, and I made a few dips and snack trays.  Somewhere in there, I even found the energy to make a quick trip to Costco. . .of course, trips to Costco are never exactly quick. 

I'm exhausted from all my Thanksgiving prep so this will be a short post tonight.  I thought it might be nice to write down things for which I give thanks.  I'm thankful for:

My God - This has been a horribly difficult year, but I have still been tremendously blessed because my needs are met and my wants are few.  For that, I give all the thanks to God.
My marriage - This year would have been impossible to handle if my marriage weren't solid as a rock; I believe that my marriage is a gift from God.
My husband - He is the most wonderful and spectacular man; I'm so lucky that he chose to marry me.
My son - He is a true joy; I'm so lucky that God chose me to be my son's mother.
My family - It has been a rough year for my family; we almost lost one family member on two different occasions and we did lose my only brother, but we are still together and I'm so thankful that we're clinging together instead of scattering apart.
My friends - I have been blessed with the kindest and most loving group of friends.  They have been a tremendous support to me through my father's medical problems and, especially, during my darkest days after my brother's passing.

I have so many that I'll have to limit myself, but these are my top blessings. . .stay tuned tomorrow, there may be more to come!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Restrictions Rooted in Racism

My son was vomiting through much of the early morning hours today and I thought I'd quickly toss out this post so I can care for him.  I drafted this post right after the election, but chose not to publish it because I didn't want to take the time to complete the research.  For the record, I do not and will not smoke pot whether or not it's legal.

The California voters are darn near impossible to understand.  We are a state who consistently favors liberal politicians (indeed, true conservatives stand no chance and that's why we end up with a Democrat or a squishy Republican In Name Only), but we inexplicably also voted to outlaw same sex marriages.  Half of the state wants every tax-payer funded social program and heavily subsidized transportation boondoggle under the sun, but the other half (the ones who fund unicorns and rainbows it would seem) will not stand for paying any more in taxes than we already do.  There is one thing that California is fairly consistent about and that is creating and keeping worthless legislation.

I blogged about Prop 19 back in September and my feelings haven't changed on the matter.  The electorate disagreed, however, and Prop 19 was defeated on November 2.  Many years ago, the voters of this state approved marijuana usage for medicinal purposes.  Though a 20-year old who suffers "migraines" can choose to use pot instead of a medication actually designed and proved to relieve migraines, virtually no one has a problem with medical mary jane. 

Why do people have a problem with just getting high because it's a day that ends in Y?  It might be that we like wasting tax dollars arresting, prosecuting (and defending!), and housing potheads and petty dealers.  It could also be that we like dictating what substances other consenting adults can choose to use.  A big part of it is that we vote against whatever it is that we don't do - think of motorcycle helmet laws and even the cigarette legislation of the 90s:  "I don't smoke/ride motorcycles, so I don't care."  See, we have to save others from themselves.  I think a little bit of all of the above is correct, but I'll toss in that although we claim to want change, we fear change.

Who were the main groups against Prop 19? 

The deep pockets of the liquor lobby for one.  I guess this isn't shocking since some might choose to smoke weed instead of drink booze if there were no legal risks.  I think that most drinkers aren't going to become smokers, but young adults might be likely to choose one over the other.  Though both impair brain function, modern marijuana is damn near hallucinogenic, it doesn't taste good, and you tend to pass out after just a couple of hours.  I like to party, therefore, I drink.

Hypocrites who may have smoked at one time or who currently do smoke weed were also against Prop 19.  These people have no problem indulging in the very thing that is supposed to be so dangerous, but they want to restrict your access to the fun.  These also tend to be people who are concerned, "for the children," but that excuse is disingenuous.  After all, we have age restrictions and advertising restrictions on alcohol and cigarettes and there is no reason to believe that this legislation-happy state wouldn't do the same thing for pot.

At first glance, it seems bizarre that current pot growers were against outright legalization.  Okay, so these peaceful hippies don't want to comply with excessive regulations.  As if any business does like government oversight, but the reason it isn't really that easy and it is far more despicable.  The current pot producers in this state are selfish pricks who would rather risk criminalizing themselves and their users than risk messing with their bottom line.  Keep pot illegal keeps more money in their pockets.  Funny, they sound just as bad as Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Whatever-Industry-We're-Supposed-to-Hate-Today. . .only looking out for their own interests, even if that means flouting laws and injuring consumers.  Peaceful hippies, my foot.  More like the greedy capitalists everyone detests and blames for everything these days, eh?

* * *

I was watching an interesting program the other night about cocaine and how the first widespread drug prohibitions against it were racially motivated.  It's laughably stupid today, but the specific theory was that black men would get coked up and attack white women.  Oh, Lawdy, not that!  The show was fascinating and I wonder how many other laws are passed or defeated thanks to bad intentions. 

Did some people vote down Prop 19 because they carry the mistaken belief that only other races succumb to drug use?  There is definitely a racist root in cocaine restrictions, is there one for marijuana too?  And, if there wasn't a racist element at work when the pot laws were first established, is there one now?

Monday, November 22, 2010

What's In a Name?

I tried in vain for a nap yesterday afternoon.  My son had other ideas and he protested his nap long enough that I eventually gave up on one for myself.  He, however, did fall asleep shortly after I left my bedroom.  That figures, right?

I had an interesting dream in the few minutes that I drifted somewhere been sleep and wakefulness.  Well, it wasn't exactly a dream.  A name came to me.  It was very clear to me that this is the name that I should give my next child.

When I was totally awake, I was filled with joy.  Call me crazy if you want, but I'd been feeling doubtful that I would have another baby and now I am sure that I will because I believe that God has already named this child for me.  I'm as sure of this as I am that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West.

When I was pregnant with my son, I agonized over his name.  As is my typical way of doing things, I over thought the process and spent weeks coming up a name that had the perfect meaning and that flowed pleasantly when spoken, but that didn't spell anything funny when represented by only initials.  Add in that I wanted to include a family name and perhaps you can understand why it was so difficult.  I do love my son's full name, so I think I did a pretty good job.

This name that came to me yesterday isn't a name that I would ever consider.  It's not a bad name or anything, it just wouldn't occur to me to choose it.  I already knew the meaning of this name, but I looked it up anyway to be sure.  See what I mean about overdoing everything?  Anyway, I cried when I read the meaning because I think this is the most perfect name and there is no way I could have come up with it on my own.  God will give me another baby and He has already named this child.

If you are a parent, how did you come up the names of your children?  Did you use a family name?  A popular name?  Or did you just make one up?  Was the meaning important to you?

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I almost forgot to make a post today!
It's been a long weekend and it was a terribly long day
so I'm off to hit the hay. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

Another post for you crunchy-ish feminine types out there. . .

When I first announced that I was looking at purchasing mama cloth, a friend suggested that I hold off on buying an entire stash and just buy one or two styles from a few different vendors.  She wisely counseled that I would surely like one style or one brand more than others.  I initially disregarded the advice, but I am so glad that I ultimately did listen to her - thank you, Jenny!

I hate shopping (I know, I know, am I really a girl?) so my first instinct was to simply purchase an insta-stash from one vendor.  All the pads necessary for one price through one WAHM.  Shopping doesn't get much easier than that.  They were flannel topped, PUL protected pads that weren't all that cute, but I figured it wouldn't matter what I was wearing in my underpants.  I had the purchase all lined up and ready to add to my Etsy cart.

Thankfully, I remembered my friend's advice and began looking half-heartedly at other pads.  I found offerings that I visually liked a good deal better with pretty prints, tie-dye, even gorgeous swirly patterns.  Of course, appearance was the only way I could judge the pads because I hadn't used any yet. 

I also began to ponder which materials would feel better against my lady parts:  flannel, cotton velour, OBV, or Minkee.  Here's a hint:  flannel is my least favorite because, well, I prefer a softer fabric.  Along with the topper material, I started considering the backing.  In the interest of maintaining a healthy airflow downstairs, I chose to avoid PUL for the most part and focused on fleece and wool backed pads.

I guess I prefer pretty things. . .even pretty menstrual pads.  I mean, why choose an ugly and utilitarian one if you can have a really pretty one made with luxe fabrics?  Appearance is important to me, but performance trumps appearance for me.  This is where I began to learn about what materials are better for an absorbent, yet trim, core.  Terry, hemp, and microfiber might be nice, but Zorb rocks!  Seriously it ROCKS!

I ended up buying pads from several different vendors and I also purchased one pad from that first vendor I found, just in case it would out-perform the other heavy pads I picked up.  Interestingly enough, it is a pad that I really hate.  Hate, hate, hate!  In fact, it's the last pad that I grab.

How can you mess up a cloth pad?  I don't know, but this one sucks for a couple of different reasons.  I don't like flannel pads at all.  They aren't soft and they just don't wash & dry as well as other pads.  Also, thanks to the PUL (I guess), it noisily crinkles.  Flannel wraps around the single layer of PUL, but it sounds like a plasticky disposable pad - noisy and obnoxious.  I don't remember PUL being so noisy when I used PUL diaper covers for the my son.  How in the world does this cloth pad make such a racket?  It also has the male and female snaps on what I consider to be the "wrong" side.  Maybe it was created by a lefty?  And I don't like the metal snaps because they seem harder to snap together than KAM polyresin plastic snaps.

I won't disclose the vendor's name in this blog because my opinion might not be yours and I don't think it's fair to slam a WAHM's product for no real reason.  I mean, the pad does work.  I just don't like it for my own persnickety reasons. 

My point in sharing this story isn't to illustrate that I over analyze every freaking decision I make, though I think I did a good job of doing just that.  It's to illustrate why you really should pick up a variety of cloth pads to find what you like.  There definitely will be things that you like about some pads and things that you won't like about others.  I guarantee that you'll have one that you LOVE (and, dare I say, you'll look forward to using!) and one that you always keep at the bottom of your stash.

Have fun shopping and I hope you get a truly happy period!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I Hate Selfies!

Though I often experience lighting difficulties, I love taking photos.  I like staged photos.  I like candids.  I like action shots.  I like nature shots.  I like all photography. . .all photography, that is, except selfies. 

I spent an hour trying to take my own photograph yesterday.  An hour!  An hour of my time trying to get a stupid picture.  I realize that it does take time to set up my tripod, change my camera lens, and scope out decent backgrounds, but an hour seems pretty excessive when I realize just how many photos were taken only to be deleted upon viewing.

Why is it so danged impossible for me to get a good self-portrait?  I don't know, but here are the ways that I screwed up the shot as the shutter clicked:
~ I was in a dark part of my house and I was too far away from the flash.
~ I stood too close to a mirror and ended up with horrible a flash reflection.
~ My dog started barking and I looked away.
~ My glasses weren't high enough or low enough and the frames cut my eyes in half.
~ My son whirled around to get his face in the shot. . .this from the kid who never sits still for a photo.
~ I turned at an awkward angle and it looked like my son's arms were growing from my back.
~ My son apparently moved the camera down after I adjusted it and I ended up with a photo of my boobs.
~ I tried several times to focus manually and ended up with fuzzy photos each time.

Of course, I also pulled this all-time classic move:
~ I blinked.

It's hard to believe, but the picture on the left represents my very best effort.  Do you ever take selfies?  What tips or advice can you share?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How Much is Too Much?

The act of tithing recently came up in passing with a family member.  They expressed surprise at the percentage of my income that I tithed when I worked for wages.  No, not just surprise.  Their mouth actually hung agape for a moment at my revelation.  Feeling somewhat uncomfortable, I shut my trap on the topic and changed the subject.  And it wasn't even an outrageously high percentage!

Tithing, for those of you not in the know, is cheerful giving to God.  It most likely is given to a church that the believer attends, but I have also heard of others who give tithes to charities they support.  A Christian doesn't necessarily tithe and a giver isn't necessarily a Christian.

The percentage of income historically tossed out as an appropriate tithe is only 10%.  In my research for this post, I've seen it suggested that most Christians only tithe 3% of their income. 

My theory on tithing has always been this:  Everything I have is a gift from God.  I might have worked hard and hustled my buns, but He ultimately can take it all away in the blink of an eye.  Additionally, I might be frugal in a lot of ways, but I can never be cheap with the One who has given me the gift of eternal life, the One who has blessed me with all that I have been given.

Here are some common questions I've heard (and asked in my pre-Christian days) about tithing:
~ Does tithing buy your way to Heaven?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Only faith in Jesus as the only payment for our sins is required to join the Heavenly Host. 
~ Does tithing make one Christian better than another?  Absolutely not!  Frankly, a Christian should not make a big deal about whatever amount they happen to tithe because tithing is between the giver and God.
~ Does your church rely on your tithing to operate?  Absolutely YES!
~ My "god" doesn't need cash, why does yours?  and  Is tithing an obligation?  Tithing isn't required for salvation, but a churched Christian will recognize that their church does not operate by prayer alone and most would want to give in order to support their pastors, building operations, any missions offerings, and other outreach programs.
~ Don't preachers just fleece their flock and rip off the tithes?  If you even remotely suspect your church leaders of financial impropriety, you really must find a new church.  It has been my experience that most men of God lead fiscally responsible lives since they have to rely upon the donations of the church membership for their salary.
~ I don't like some of the things my church supports so why should I give a tithe?  I might suggest that you either find a church that you 100% agree with philosophically or you simply accept that you will never find 100% agreement with any organization.
~ Do church visitors have to pay?  No, though they may donate whatever they'd like.  Supporting the church is the sole responsibility of the church membership.

Prior to my son's birth, I was on the financial committee for my church and I can attest that some very good Bible-teaching churches operate on a shoestring budget.  The widow's mite doesn't just bless the widow, it blesses her church.  That's not to say that the church expects to have all that you can offer, it's to say that offering all that you can will bless you and your church.  Here's to being cheerful givers!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sadness in My Mailbox

I broke down in tears yesterday when I received the mail.  What arrived in my mailbox to make me cry like a little baby?  A catalog.  To be specific, it was a Hickory Farms catalog.

Why did a Hickory Farms catalog make me cry?  Was it because I'm back on Weight Watchers, but those fatty summer sausages and cheese logs are so darned delicious?  Was it because I love their candy baskets?  No, it was because I sent Hickory Farms offerings to my brother for Christmas for the last several years.

I had been enjoying a couple of weeks without any tears, so I guess that I was due to have a crying jag.  I stared at that stupid catalog, bitter tears streaming down my cheeks, and longed to make a purchase that I thought he'd like.  I'm afraid that the holiday season will be terribly difficult this year and it just hit me that I'll never make a purchase for my brother ever again.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Did you hear a loud BOOM this afternoon?  It was my head exploding over my crazy good fortune.  Let me explain:

A friend recently blogged about a giveaway that she recently won.  I don't often win giveaways so I was pretty excited about her major award.  It doesn't take much to impress me, does it?

I received an e-mail today and I can proudly proclaim that I'm also a WINNER!  I entered a giveaway and I actually won something!  I won a $25 gift certificate for Del Monte, courtesy of Del Monte and Airplanes and Dragonflies.

So far this month I haven't had to attend any funerals, I was able to visit my sister for a few days, and I won a giveaway!  The only way this month can get any better is if I finally conceive.  You can expect an update on that front in a couple of weeks. 

Actually, this month would also get a lot better if my followers finally start "Following" this blog - hint, hint!

Bento Bargain!

My friends and family know that I love bento-style lunches.  I've even blogged about my bento obsession at least once.  It doesn't matter if they are filled with traditional Japanese fare or not, it makes me giddy to see the tiny compartments filled with cute snacks.  Today our, admittedly American, bento lunch consisted of green salad, turkey sandwich, and yogurt.

A friend forwarded me a fantastic link and I want to share it with my readers.  See that Goodbyn in the Amazon link?  It is dishwasher-safe, comes with a water bottle, and doesn't have any small parts/lids to lose.  Would you be interested in purchasing one?

I bet you would if it were under $3, including shipping!  Click here for details and, yes, I ordered too!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Home Sweet Home

My family and I spent the last several days in Utah visiting with my sister and her family.  My son and her youngest are about two months apart in age and it was a real treat to see our sweet little boys playing together.  My son was so tired from the non-stop fun that he actually slept for a couple of hours on the road home and he even went to bed early tonight.

I made a tasty pasta dinner this evening and included my sister's delicious garlic bread.  Our bags are unpacked and laundry is tumbling in the dryer.  I'm currently relaxing while catching up on a missed episode of Boardwalk Empire

I'm looking forward to bedtime tonight as my bed is impossibly cozy & comfy.  As lovely as it is to visit family, and it is very enjoyable, it is always a joy to return to my own home.  "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pop Tarts & Snow Suits

I've been on vacation in Utah for the last several days and I've learned a couple of things:

1.  I know nothing about cold climate clothing.
2.  My son thinks he has been deprived.

* * *

While roaming around a Wal-Mart, I noted that there were a lot of odd clothes on display.  I realize that different areas of the country like different fashions than other areas of the country, but these were really bizarre clothes.  They were weird puffy nylon jumpsuits and I couldn't imagine they were considered cool anywhere. 

I finally asked, "What's the deal with all these jumpsuits?"  Um, apparently they were snow suits.  I guess it's obvious that I grew up in a warm and sunny climate.

* * *

My son eats a pretty good diet and he doesn't eat a lot of sugary snacks, but he has just discovered the existence of Pop-Tarts.  He was hooked after the first bite and he has been begging my sister for Pop-Tarts every morning.  He's such a Pop-Tart fiend that he actually stole his cousin's Pop-Tart today.  Shortly afterward, I walked by him in the hallway and he cried for more "Pop-Tarts!" 

You know, it's a darn shame that they don't sell Pop-Tarts in California.  Sorry kid, yes, I'm that mom.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"A" and "An" Are Not Interchangeable

I'm not a grammar or spelling Nazi, goodness knows I make plenty of mistakes on a daily basis, but I do get worked up when people continue to make obvious language errors.  I try to avoid correcting people because I have found that it isn't appreciated and it makes me look like a total douche.  However, I'm free to rail against poor grammar all I want in this venue as this is my blog. 

What verbal screw-ups get under my skin?  The following are like nails on chalkboard:

~ Double negatives absolutely make me mental.  I have to grit my teeth to avoid correcting this all too common grammatical error.
~ Saying "axe" instead of "ask."
~ Using "how come" when "why" is correct and saves a word.
~ "Expecially" is not a word.  It never has been, it never will be and I'm assuming the word meant by the user is "especially."
~ The "lay" and "lie" confusion that is so widespread, I can't help but wonder if any English teacher has ever been able to educate their students on the correct usage.  My MIL is the notable exception and her sons definitely learned that lesson. . .yes, my husband had to explain it to me because I kept screwing it up too.
~ The gross language abuse that is found in music.  I'm almost on the fence about this because I understand that sometimes proper grammar doesn't lend itself to a catchy chorus.  Ultimately, I roll my eyes and sing along while hoping my son doesn't pick up poor language habits.
~ Children's toys and shows that use incorrect grammar.  Is it really necessary to expose children to worse grammatical skills than they might be exposed to at home or on the playground?  There are several culprits in my son's toy boxes that would have been in the garbage a long time ago if my son didn't love those cuddly toys.

I've railed about a particular pet peeve a time or two and, by far, my biggest gripe lately is hearing newscasters and politicians using "an" when they really should be using "a."  I have heard this many times in the last several years a la "an historic election."  AN HISTORIC ELECTION?!

Are you freaking kidding me?!  I'm a college drop out and even I know that is wrong!  Who is programming the teleprompter for these, ahem, educated people?  Sometimes I feel like it's an epic prank being played and I'm the only one getting the joke.

In the event that any readers find themselves writing speeches for candidates, let me give a quick explanation of this rule.

Use "a" when the following word begins with a consonant sound.  A hotel, a university, etc.
Use "an" when the following word begins with a vowel sound.  An hourly employee, an umbrella, etc.

An historic election is absolutely wrong because the "h" is pronounced!  Why do I get my panties in a bunch over this sort of crap?  I don't know!  But I do and it drives me totally cuckoo.

Note that I do not use correct grammar throughout this blog.  My reason is that I want my posts to sound breezy and chatty.  I write as though I'm having a conversation with my readership.  That's why I frequently begin sentences with "but" or "and."  I'm also very generous in my use of ellipses (. . .) because they indicate a pause.  I'm aware that this is incorrect usage, but it does mirror common conversation. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Politics Can Be Civil

I had an interesting volley with my Aunt the other day on Facebook.  We have a difference of opinion on most political topics, but we remained respectful toward each other and thoughtful of the other person's political philosophy.  How refreshing!

I think the ability to enjoy a debate, even spirited debates, without resorting to personal attacks is becoming a lost art.  I suspect that's because most people don't have a very good reason for their beliefs so they have to belittle the other person in an attempt to make themselves feel superior.  This isn't a very effective method of educating or enlightening others about your message, but it does seem to be the way that most people engage in political discourse on-line.

I'm not a master debater (heh!) though I do enjoy hearing other viewpoints and sharing my own.  Calling the other person names does nothing to strengthen your position and it often only serves to make you sound immature and inarticulate.  Sure, sometimes we all get hot under the collar and call the other person a big poopy-pants, but this is a poor way to debate.

I feel this rude style is far more common when debating over the internet and I suspect that it's because we enjoy relative anonymity while on-line.  Do you agree or disagree?  Share your thoughts below!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Under the Boardwalk

My husband was intrigued by the previews for HBOs newest show, Boardwalk Empire.  Though we usually agree on television programming, I thought it looked overdone and somewhat campy.  He persisted and I finally caved.

Thanks to OnDemand, we were able to watch all eight episodes that had already aired.  I am very glad that I decided to give it a look!  Like a gin-soaked buddy, the pilot grabbed me by the lapel, knocked the fedora off my head, and dragged me on a wild bootleggy ride. 

Here are the Bs, Bs, and Bs of Boardwalk Empire:

Boardwalk - It's about the sordid underbelly of Atlantic City.
Buscemi - I think it's an interesting casting move to put Steve Buscemi in not only a lead role, but one that is also a romantic lead.  I have to admit that he's a good choice for the role.
Booze - It's 1920 and Prohibition has recently passed, but booze is still an important character on the show. . .I might even argue that liquor is the most important character, but that's just the alcoholism talking!
Beer - Yes, beer was illegal too and green beer was already an important part of St. Patrick's Day celebrations.
Bootleggers - Prohibition's biggest fans help to keep the city nice & wet.
Bullets - The natural companion to a prohibition is crime and the bullets frequently fly.
Bodies - Don't be surprised by a sky-high body count when watching a show about gangsters.
Balls - These characters are impossibly bold:  openly drinking, moving barrels of beer in broad daylight, knocking off and rubbing out crime bosses.
Bromance - See Jimmy & Al and tell me if you agree.
Broads - The sheer quantity of Nucky's nookie illustrates that dames have always flocked to money and power over youthful looks and enthusiasm.
Boobs - I'm a little disappointed that fake tits have managed to show up in a 1920s period piece, but I suppose it's nearly impossible to find actresses without augmentation these days.  In any event, several actresses flash their boobies.
Bush - Let's just say that the Brazilian wasn't found in Atlantic City in 1920.
Butts - It may be historically accurate, but I think every character smokes cigarettes on this show.  Perhaps the children too.
Babies - Nucky clearly has a soft spot for babies and I suspect that Mrs. Schroeder's miscarriage is what primarily triggered his overly protective response.
Baseball - You've certainly heard of the Black Sox scandal and the show contains a subplot with a rival New York gangster involved in fixing the 1919 World Series.

The Roaring Twenties were certainly not boring and neither is Boardwalk Empire!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3

I heard about Little Luxuries a few months ago from a friend.  By the time that I investigated the company a little further, I was disappointed to find that the owner was closing down operations.  However, another work at home mom (WAHM) picked up the reigns and Little Luxuries is back in business. 

The new owner was looking for some testers and yours truly will be doing testing for them.  I figured that I'd be a perfect candidate for testing since I'm willing to try new things, I'm very open when it comes to giving my opinion, and I obsess over the most minute details.  Even better, I don't even have to come up with my own opinion because the owner will be sending out a questionnaire to use for forming my review.

I recently received my set of tester pads from Little Luxuries.  My set consists of a 13" overnighter/post-partum, an 11" heavy, a 9" regular, and an 8" liner.  The overnighter/post-partum pad seems a little too long because I don't have a lot of, ahem, real estate to cover down there, but the rest seem like they'd work well lengthwise.  They are a little thicker than the other pads that I'd normally prefer, but they are still thinner than a disposable so it's not that big of a deal.

I was blown away by how soft and pretty they are - they are unbelievably soft and so very pretty!  I'm not a sewer, but even I can tell that these are beautifully constructed.  Even the wings seem more substantial than most of the other pads I've tried; I suspect they have three layers of fabric.  They all have different prints and colors:  bright pink velour topper with whimsical butterflies, pink velour topper with brown & pink argyle print, royal blue velour topper with a bold tropical floral print, and chocolate brown velour topper with a retro-looking owl print. 

As I've said about other pads in the past, these are almost too pretty to use for their intended purpose.  But I can't wait for my next period so I can use these little luxuries!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

No Wonder I Switched!

Blah, blah, blah. . .you've been warned that this is about my period so do yourself a favor and stop reading if you aren't interested.

I consulted my special notes the other day and I realized that I have had twelve periods this year.  Twelve!  And I had a couple of very long, hope-building & dashing, cycles this year!  I can't believe that November isn't even over yet and I've already had twelve periods for the year. 

I'm dumbfounded further that my doctor didn't seem to think there was anything wrong with this schedule.  Somehow I have to believe that he would think it was highly disturbing  if he suddenly began bleeding out of his privates every 20 days or so, but he isn't ham-handed so I guess that I'm willing to put up with his dismissive attitude.

More depressing than the knowledge that I've had twelve periods in less than eleven full months is the realization that I will likely have two more periods before the year is over.  Of course, this is assuming that my body doesn't suddenly start flowing like an average woman.  I'm also assuming at this point that I won't end the year with a bun in my oven.

I did the math and discovered that I would have spent around $100 on disposable products if I hadn't gone the reusable route earlier this year.  One hundred dollars for something that would just end up in the garbage. . .no wonder I made the switch to reusable products!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Would You Press the Button?

Don't you hate getting sucked in by a lousy movie?  I had the misfortune of seeing the movie The Box last month.  Though it started off promising with a fantastically interesting premise, it ended up taking two hours of my life that I will never get back.

SPOILERS AHEAD:  If you haven't seen the movie, you should probably stop reading now. 

Is the promise of one million dollars worth the death of another human being who you do not know?  I say no because it is unconscionable to profit so mightily at the expense and suffering of another.  I think it's a no-brainer that nothing happens without consequence and you would not press the button. 

Who could live with the knowledge that they caused the death of another human being just so they could have some money?  Who could ever use or enjoy such blood money anyway?  Who would press that freaking button???  The simple answer is the characters portrayed by Cameron Diaz and James Marsden.

They press the button, get their money, and someone they do not know dies.  In a twist that anyone who wasn't blind or deaf knew was coming, the mysterious stranger who delivered the box and the money tosses out that he'll be giving the box to someone who they do not know.  The implication, of course, is that one of them will die if the next couple chooses the money.

Ta-da!  It's like an O. Henry retread, but it works and it was entertaining.  Had they stopped the movie there, it would have been perfect.  But, in typical Hollywood fashion, they stretch it out to two hours and make a delightful twist take a lametastic turn.  I won't even get into the silliest parts of the movie, but the ending itself was pretty terrible.

The ending got a little, okay a lot, convoluted and their son ended up being blind and deaf.  He was also locked in a bathroom for some reason.  Apparently a side effect of blindness and deafness is that you can't stand, but that's just me being snarky. 

If the father kills the mother, the child's senses would be restored.  If the father does not kill the mother, their son will be forever blind and deaf.  Pretty ugly choices, sure, but the family was together and those aren't the worst disabilities one could face.

What do these dolts decide to do?  Kill the mother.

Before delivering a shot to the heart, the father tries to break down the bathroom door to get to their son, who is understandably freaked out.  The mother, who was going to die, stopped him and mentioned that she didn't want to see her son in that state.  Er, what?!

The movie was preposterous enough, but I think that it was incredibly unbelievable that the mother did not ache to see and hold her child while he was confused and hurting.  He may not have been able to see or hear her, but he could certainly feel her arms wrapped around him and her lips covering his face with kisses.  He'd know she was there for him. 

The greedy b*tch not only pressed a button to receive money knowing that someone else would die due to her actions, but she chose to die without holding her son one last time.  I can see being greedy, we're all greedy about certain things, but I can't see a mother being so heartless.

I didn't feel bad for either of the main characters, but I felt bad for their son.  He was innocent and being punished for the transgressions of his parents.  He wasn't given any love and compassion at an incredibly frightening time.  Worse, his own mother rejected him - going so far as to die without saying goodbye - due to a physical problem.

More than my annoyance with the entire movie, I was quite irritated at the underlying message that I feel the ending conveyed.  It's better to die than have a handicapped child?  It's better to be orphaned than to be handicapped?  Money is worth more than family?  I don't look to Hollywood to send a moral message that I agree with, but this movie was so far off the mark it was just ridiculous.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Good Ol' Days, Really?

I actually meant to post this before the election, but I forgot that I had it ready to go.  Oh well, I hope it's thought provoking anyway.

Nostalgia is a funny thing, right?  We often look back on the past with great fondness.  We remember our youth and young adulthood as a simpler time.  We tend to only recall the good things, but never the shameful episodes of yesteryear.

What is defined as "the good ol' days" depends on your age.  My parents were born in the 1940s and they feel that the 50s were the good ol' days.  My husband was born in the 1950s and he came of age in the 70s.  I was born at some point in the last century (ha!) and I feel that the 80s and even parts of the 90s were the good ol' days.

How is it possible that the 1950s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s were all "the good ol' days?"  It's really in the eye of the beholder, isn't it?  I think that the good ol' days were when I was young and carefree. . .don't we all feel the same?  But were the good ol' days really all that great?  I humbly submit that they might have been good for you, but they sucked for someone else.

My parents tend to idealize the 1950s.  Though shows like "Leave it to Beaver" or "The Donna Reed Show" depicted a highly idealized version of that decade, I think the 50s sound like they sucked for a lot of people.  It was still a segregated world.  Whites fraternized with whites, hispanics with hispanics, blacks with blacks, asians with asians, and so on.  That homogenized existence sounds incredibly boring to me and, when I consider that segregation was actively enforced, I think it sounds painfully sad too.

My husband came of age in the 1970s.  Segregation, though forced, had already occurred.  It was believed that the worst case of VD (this is what we used to call STDs for you young 'uns out there!) you could possibly catch was easily cured with a quick, if embarrassing, trip to the doctor.  Sex was fairly free, but AIDS (of course, this term hadn't even been coined yet) was quietly simmering, unnoticed by society, because it was only killing gays and IV drug users.  Did you catch what I just said?  Since only gays and druggies were sick, no one cared.  Indeed, the general public didn't pay much attention to AIDS at all until the 80s when Rock Hudson admitted his diagnosis and the Surgeon General indicated that it would also start voraciously killing those in the heterosexual, non-drug using community.

I long for the simpler times of the 1980s and 90s.  Civil rights struggles were already like ancient history and AIDS has been a part of my vocabulary since well before my tenth birthday so two of society's ills that I mentioned have been addressed with varying degrees of effectiveness.  The 80s and 90s were a time where political correctness began to run amok, yet it inexplicably was also a time where it was socially acceptable to abort babies who had Down's Syndrome or other so-called defects.  So you couldn't say someone was a "retard" because it's not PC, but it would have been okay to stop their beating heart in utero.  This not only still occurs today, but I'd even go so far as to suggest that society expects mothers to abort "defective" children.

I guess my point is that no matter how fondly you might recall a certain period of time, there is always someone who was wounded or injured by society during that same period.  Think about who might be marginalized in your community, in your state, in your country.  Consider what you might be able to do to improve their existence. 

Americans are blessed with the right to vote and we are doubly blessed that we don't have to fear violence or other repercussions when exercising that right.  Use your vote wisely and stand up against racism, bigotry, and evil.  If you can't manage to get down to the polls, you can always start to use absentee ballots and never miss another election again.  No matter who wins on November 2nd, let's be happy and hopeful for this country's future!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Giveaway Fever II - Amber Jewelry

On September 1st, I shamelessly plugged a giveaway on my "old" blog.  I did not win that giveaway, but hope you had fun entering too.  Be aware that this is a plug for another giveaway for a different type of product.

Remember when I wrote about therapeutic jewelry last month?  Well, a couple of weeks ago I actually purchased two amber necklaces of different length & style and a hazelwood necklace because the vendor I was looking at had a phenomenal sale.  I received my purchase in short order and was blown away by the natural beauty.  Seriously, it is stunningly lovely.

I've been wearing one necklace nearly nonstop because I feel so dressed when it's around my neck - even if I'm just wearing sloppy sweats.  Since I've been sick this last week, I've been wearing those sweats fairly frequently lately.  Okay, okay, I wear sloppy sweats a lot whether or not I'm sick!

I came across a giveaway at a blog called Shady Lady.  Clicky this linky to check out the giveaway and enter to win your own amber necklace.  Of course, I've entered too!  I hope you do too and, in the spirit of good sportsmanship (though this isn't a competition), I wish you luck.

In case you're interested, the necklaces I purchased and the necklace featured in the giveaway are from Inspired by Finn.  The linky goes to their Hyena Cart store.

Sandwich Bag Alternatives

I somewhat joked about it in a recent blog post, but I'm most definitely becoming one of "them."  I actively look for ways to avoid flagrant waste.  I use cloth towels and napkins instead of disposable paper towels or napkins.  I use a Diva Cup and cloth menstrual pads instead of disposable tampons or disposable paper & plastic menstrual pads.  And, yes, I've considered using family cloth for pee-pee instead of using toilet paper. . .of course, I haven't embarked on such an experiment or else you'd know it by now!

I choose to use reusable products over disposable nearly every single time that I have a choice.  I also tend to wonder if I can repurpose an item or use the last little bit of product prior to throwing it away.  For example, my son's old & worn out washcloths make pretty good dust rags or add a little water to "empty" ketchup or salsa containers and add the mix to red pasta sauce or chili.

At the moment, I'm looking at plastic sandwich bag alternatives.  I love those little Ziploc bags and I use them so often that I purchase them in mass quantities at Costco or Sam's Club.  I've been using plastic containers in our lunches as much as possible, but I wonder if there are non-plastic alternatives that I should know about.

I acknowledge that it will be hard to break my addiction to Ziploc bags.  I personally threw away three paper napkins each day prior to my switch over to cloth napkins.  I tossed out at least one box of tampons every 20 days or so prior to my Diva Cup and mama cloth conversion, to say nothing about the liners I threw in the garbage.  I shudder to think about how many Ziploc bags I end up 86ing in a given week. 

Do my thrown away Ziploc bags make a difference?  No, probably not.  Does recycling those plastic bags really matter?  No, not really.  But I still don't feel that my effort is fruitless.  My thought processes or my decisions might impact others to consider how much they waste.  I might be the spark that makes a flame of difference in terms of resources.

I haven't been all that concerned with Ziploc bags since I have a ton left from my last trip to Costco, but I know that I will view my Ziploc usage with a hard eye at some point and I'm looking for feedback.  Do you use non-plastic alternatives to tote your lunches and snacks?  If so, what are the pros and cons?  And please share your favorite vendors!

Friday, November 5, 2010

My Favorite Scents

Once upon a time, I wore fragrance every single day.  I delighted in covering my mirrored vanity tray in an assortment of lovely glass flacons and atomizers.  However, I haven't worn a store-bought scent regularly in many years.

I don't know exactly when I stopped wearing scents.  I seem to recall that my ex-husband didn't care for perfume. . .big surprise, eh?  So I'm guessing that it was around the year 2000 when I stopped covering up or enhancing my natural scent with something that I could purchase.

Oh, how I adored wearing scent!  I was really all about the perfume at certain times in my life.  And I would do my best to layer the scent if at all possible by acquiring the body wash, lotion, powder, whatever was available.

What scents have I loved in my life?  As a young girl, I loved Baby Soft.  Though my Grandma consistently gave me Windsong for gifts, I never really warmed up to the scent.  Navy was a fragrance that I rocked in my high school years.  Samsara and, to a lesser degree, Shalimar by Guerlain fueled my college-lite days.  Actually, add in Vanilla Fields and my young adult line up will be complete.  Imari by Avon was a favorite for nearly a decade.

Some people like floral and sweet honeyed scents, but I clearly prefer Sandalwood, Musk, Amber, and sometimes Vanilla scents.  I used to burn incense way back when and I really liked patchouli at that time too.  Heavy and earthy scents are impossibly sexy to me and I regularly sought them out when I made my purchases.

Somehow I lost my way and I started using the body sprays and lotions that popped up at The Body Shop, Bath & Body Works, and darn near every other retailer on the planet.  I guess that I wanted to smell edible. . .like a juicy peach.  Or a ripe pear.  Sometimes a delicious pineapple.  That's nice and all, but it doesn't exactly have the heady sexiness of the ambered and woody notes that I prefer to wear.

I've noted that people don't wear fragrance very often these days, but I'm considering using it again and want to hear your opinions on the matter.  Do you like it?  Does it bother you?  Do you wear fragrance?  What fragrances do you like?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Don't Make Me Beg

I had nearly 100 readers when this blog's settings were private.  Readers had to sign in to access my posts and it was a total pain for everyone involved, including Bloggy McBloggerstein.  I ultimately removed the privacy settings and made this blog public.

What happened to my readership?  As you can see on the right, I have currently have eleven followers.  This means that I lost most of my readership when I made this blog viewable to the general public.  Whiskey.  Tango.  Foxtrot.

I don't want to go back to making this blog viewable by Invitation Only, but I want my readers to return!  See that "Follow" button on the right?  Please click it and officially follow this blog.

What's that?  You want me to beg?  Um, okay.  Please, please, please click the "Follow" button on the right.

Huh?  That's not good enough?  You want me to do some major begging?  You're a sick puppy, but this is for you:  Here I am on my hands and knees (tough position for typing!), looking all submissive and beggar-like.  Please. . .?

Ah, man!  That plea wasn't nerdy enough?  Does this work?  "Help me, (insert your name here), you're my only hope!"

Now that I've sufficiently embarrassed myself and lost my pride, I wonder what I'll do if my begging doesn't yield any additional Followers.  Perhaps I should try making threats?!  Aw, come on.  Don't make me resort to such lametastic methods.  Just click the "Follow" button on the right. . .pretty please with sugar on top!  :-)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Still Sick

I feel like I can barely string words together to make a sentence today, so accept my apologies if this doesn't make much sense. 

I'm sure every other mother on the planet can agree that being sick sucks bad enough, but it is infinitely more sucky when you're home sick with a sick toddler.  The days of staying in bed when I don't feel good are long gone.  He needs help every time he goes to the toilet.  He needs his water cup refilled.  He needs to eat and have snacks.  Between caring for him and trying to care for myself, I'm lucky if I can rest for five solid minutes.

I've lost count of how many days we've been sick and I'd like to drag us out of the house.  I'm sure we'll end up staying home today since I feel so weak that I don't think I could handle my rambunctious kidlet in public by myself.

My son's cough has significantly improved, but his nose is still dripping.  Snot creeps me out, but I'd rather deal with that than the horrible cough he had the last few days.  My head feels heavy, my ears are clogged, my nose started running this morning, my eyes are watery, and my throat still hurts.  My husband still hasn't been bit by the bug and I'm hoping that he escapes unscathed.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Crunchy Questions

I would have liked to write a post about politics, but my son and I are even more sick today.  My head is still stuffy and now my throat feels like it's lined with barbed wire & razor blades.  My son has picked up a runny nose in addition to that terrible cough.  I can handle all kinds of gross bodily functions, but there is nearly nothing on the planet that creeps me out more than snot; I can't wait until he learns how to blow his nose!  So instead of a deep and meaningful post, this is a short one that probably won't make any sense to most of the readership.  I have a few questions on two different topics for my more crunchy readers.

Amber Jewelry
I know that the lighter colored amber contains more succinic acid, but is there a difference in the style of amber?  What I mean is, are chips or beads better if you're using the necklace for therapeutic purposes?  Does necklace length make any difference?

Mama Cloth
I've started another cycle (yes, another period already!) and I absolutely love mama cloth.  I'm totally sold on how comfortable cloth is compared to any disposable products.  I want to pick up more pads for my heavy day, but I'm seeking some feedback before making a purchase.  I love, love, love my heavy-flow pads from Mother Moon Pads, but do you have any vendors who you particularly like for heavy-flow mama cloth?

Other than price, what's the primary difference between fleece-backed pads and wool-backed pads?  What are the main differences between cotton velour and OBV?  Have you ever tried a minkee-topped pad?  If so, does it feel gross once it's used?  Are there any drawbacks to using pads with serged edges versus zig-zagging or topstitching?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Beets & Broccoli

Not only is my son sick, but I woke up with a definite cold.  So here's a real quick post for the day.

I don't often give myself a parental pat on the back. . .oh, I do?  Well, okay then.  Here's another one. . .pat, pat!

My son begs, begs, for beets and broccoli.  I've never heard of such a thing.  What 2 1/2-year old on the planet does that? 

He's so in love with "wockly broccoli" that I have bribed him with it.  Yes, I just admitted that I occasionally resort to bribing a toddler.  Go ahead and judge me if you must.

A toddler begging for broccoli and beets. . .that's just crazy, right?