Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pumpkin Dress-up

While Max took his afternoon nap today, Tyler and I had some fun with the pumpkins we picked on Sunday. Check out Ty's handiwork here. Dressing up a pumpkin is way easier than carving one, I must say. :-)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bumbo Recall

Since I have several friends who use this seat, I thought I would give you all a heads up about the recall.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Time for Pumpkin Picking!

We took our annual pumpkin picking trip today. The weather was great, in my opinion...53 degrees, sunny with a nice stiff breeze. Perfect! There is finally a fall snap in the air. View the slide show on my shutterfly album, if you'd like. Loads of fall color. Gotta love it!

Friday, October 26, 2007

WeAss #189: Amuse Him...

John Scalzi says, "Amuse me!"

Um. Yeah. OK! So I've been sitting here for a while now, wracking my brain, trying to think of something that Mr. Scalzi would find amusing. Lately he seems greatly amused by clever photoshoppery that relates to his life or writing. My pal Karen (aka Mavarin) has that pretty well covered. So I started thinking about what she did. I tried to picture who would star in the epic motion picture event that Old Man's War would surely be when it comes to a silver screen near you.

The book has great characters, some kick-ass action and humor too (but it's not a Will Smith vehicle, no no.) Arnold Schwarzenegger? He's an old man. He knows his way around heavy weaponry. But that accent... He just doesn't fit that old dude from Ohio vibe that John has in the book. Jack Nicholson! He'd be great as the "old" version of John Perry...but really, that would be more like a cameo at the beginning of the film. How about the new green super soldier version? Um. Christian Slater does a killer impression of a younger Jack; but damn, he's MY age now. Too old. I'm getting too out of touch with all the young whipper-snappers out there in Hollywood.

OK, so bag the casting of OMW for now. What if it wasn't a live action film at all? What if the Japanese are the first to jump on the bandwagon and they make an Anime version of the book?! Genius! So what would that look like...

I started flipping through my vast collection of anime titles, focusing on the ones that have to do with armies and war. Narrow that down to MODERN or SPACE warfare. OK. Now we are getting warmer. Narrow it further to a space armada...with strong Naval overtones...OMG! It hit me. I think I've found a heretofore unmentioned influence in Scalzi's writing.

So tell me John, did you watch many cartoons as a kid? OMW is TOTALLY Starblazers. No doubt.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Halloween is nearly here...

Everyone dance!

I've been trying for weeks to catch Max dancing. I finally got his "spin" move. He also has this knee bounce, arm flap, and clap move that is totally adorable. I hope to catch that too. Just ignore the cheerios all over the floor. I find those darn things in the strangest places (like inside my shoes).

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hello Kitty!

Just for Chris...

I love Hello Kitty stuff...

My Hello Kitty jewelry box (with nifty removable bracelets you can wear) and my Hello Kitty toaster style note paper dispenser with toast shaped paper. I also have a Hello Kitty watch and a bunch of other stuff, but I didn't feel like combing the house for those. These were handily right on my desk.

I'd love a Hello Kitty backpack. But they don't make one with the straps long enough. They are designed for tiny little child bodies. LOL!

Book Fair Booty

I know a couple of you are curious about what I got at the school book fair...

Cell Phone Gems, Funky Pen, Clip-on Calc

There is my new clip-on calculator (purple to match my new purse), my cool pen with the feathery fiber-optic dealy-boppers (the cat goes WILD every time I use it) and my cell phone gems. I can't wait to bling up my cell with those!

See? I am sooooo a 6th grader. But Andrea, you are also right. There is the GROAN factor every time I go to stand up. *sigh* Adorable grade school girl trapped inside this aging hulk of a body. It ain't fair, I tells ya!

Thought of the Day...

I've always considered myself an optimist with pessimistic leanings. Most days the glass is half-full, but there are those times when I see half-empty instead - not to mention the times when some schmuck stole my soda or perhaps laced it with strychnine. (What? You aren't paranoid if people really ARE out to get you.)

Today it occurred to me that I really am a full blooded optimist. How do I know for sure? Easy. I am still playing the lottery AND I still think I have a shot at one of those jackpots on Pogo.com.

See? Eternal optimist.

And so concludes my thought of the day. Now for my product review of the day.

Eat these: Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Seriously. They are like frozen crack. Only 70 calories too. I've been eating one or two, every day, for a couple months now. I can't stop.

Friday, October 19, 2007

On Aging Gracefully...

Aging gracefully - I've heard that phrase frequently during my lifetime. It lead me to believe that aging is a process that occurs gradually over time. You know what? That's a crock of bull. When I turned 40, some switch in my body got flipped from the "young" setting to "old". Just like that.

1. Now when I sneeze, cough or laugh really hard; a tiny amount of pee comes out. What the hell is that?? My husband sees the look of alarm on my face when this happens and I rush out of the room. I know what he's thinking. "How many years have I got before she's wearing those sexy adult diapers..."

2. My hips and finger joints hurt. Add in my bad knees, my swollen feet, my bad back and the weird crick I keep getting in my neck and suddenly I am paying attention to those Alieve commercials with the arthritic 60-somethings...and those ads for the "Hover-round" and other personal mobility vehicles.

3. The cool little wings of gray hair that have framed my face for the last 15 years have spread, virtually overnight. As I ran to the store for hair color so I wouldn't be mistaken for Grandma at my son's first birthday party, I found myself reading the box and wondering if "more that 50%" of my hair was gray, which meant I would need permanent color instead of my usual semi-permanent. Maybe it's time for a violet rinse like my great aunt used to get. Am I ready to join the blue hair set?

4. I used to tune out those commercials for Colonial Penn and AARP supplemental life insurance. Now? I wonder if we DO have enough money for our family to pay those final expenses... Did you know the average cost of a funeral these days is $6,000???

5. I have a problem with anemia, so the husband volunteered to pick me up some new multi-vitamins at the local CVS. He called me from the store. Apparently the selection of vitamins geared toward women is massive and overwhelming. He asked, "Do you want the Geritol ones? They have extra iron..." I almost said YES.

On a brighter note... for a number of years I have been a once a day pooper, if that (joyful years I must say, after suffering from IBS). Like clockwork. Then I turned 40 and it's like my body shifted into a different gear. Now it's like 2, 3, 4, 5 times a day. Where the hell is it all coming from? My eating habits haven't really changed. Was all this just sitting up in my colon somewhere? All those years of stored red meat just waiting to come out? Oh wait. Maybe it's been that craving for Raisin Bran.

If I start drinking prune juice, I need someone to just shoot me. My granny was addicted to the stuff. She even poured it on her All Bran (or "Colon Blow" as my brother and I used to refer to it.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"I want one!"

As if I needed further evidence that I've never fully grown up... I volunteered at Tyler's new school on Monday. A small group of us did set-up for the annual book fair. It was pretty overwhelming to see all those boxes full of books and other stuff. It's amazing what we did with a few folding tables, some plastic sheeting and the empty boxes.

After we got everything organized, I spent a few minutes really looking around the room at all the stuff for sale. OMG! I was drooling over all the neat pens and pencils, the little lunch box shaped pencil sharpener with the food themed erasers and stuff inside, the cool purple clip on calculator that would go so well with my new purse, the various arts & crafts kits...I can go on and on. All that stuff is designed with your typical elementary school girl in mind. And I want one of everything!


Good thing I am a grown up with access to a credit card. Yep. Gonna come home today with one of those pens with the puffy ball googly fiber optic doo-dads on top. And that calculator. And maybe one of those glitter erasers. And that cool looking...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Monday Photo Shoot: Lounging

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Picture someone or something in the act of lounging about or slacking off. Naps, loitering, general loafing -- it all works. Show yourself, show friends, show pets. All this shoot needs is to have them not doing much at all.

Not sure where Scalzi's entry has gone. I have it in my bloglines cache, but it seems to have vanished off his AOL Journal. Ah well. I like the theme, so I am running with it.

Here we have my boys napping together. Can I hear an "awwww"?

They are so cute...when they're sleeping.

Update: Apparently AOL had a glich (so what else is new?). So I was able to come back and add a link to the original assignment.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

WeAss #187

Weekend Assignment #187: Share a story about when you were once memorably late to something. Late to a big event? To a date? To a wedding? Your wedding? If you were late, and it made for a good story, that's what we want to hear.

Extra Credit: How many times do you have to hit the alarm clock before you get up in the morning?

I haven't done one of these in quite a while, but this one struck a chord. I am one of those folks who sets an alarm with the best of intentions but always manages to be late to everything. Doesn't seem to matter how much time I leave myself to get ready. I am late.

The one incident that comes instantly to mind is the time we went all the way to Hawaii for John's cousin's wedding. This was early in our relationship and I wanted to make a good impression on his extended family. I thought we'd left plenty of time to get to the church, but we forgot how crazy traffic can be in downtown Honolulu.

Then there was the fact that our rental car was over heating and stalling every 1/4 mile or so. We finally had to run the heat full blast so the car could make it to the church. We snuck into the back of the church, all drippy with sweat, just in time to watch the bride and groom come down the isle at the END of the ceremony. Ouch.

At least we made it to the reception on time, but ohhhh were we ever the topic of mumblings and buzz. I overheard one conversation where a gaggle of gossip queens hissed about how "s.e.x." must have been more important than being on time. What in the world?? Did we give the impression that we were on some sexcapade type vacation?

As for my alarm clock... when I was working, that snooze button got one hell of a workout. I almost never got up when that clock alarm first went off. I'd hit snooze 2, 3, 4, 5 times or more. John called me a "dirty stay-up" because of my propensity to ignore a proper bed time and stay up into the wee hours.

Now? I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've even set the alarm in the last 6 years. My kids wake me up. And they don't have snooze buttons, unfortunately. I wish they did.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

School Photos

We've had pretty bad luck with "professional" photos and Tyler over the years. His first pre-school photo he had ketchup all over his face. Good thing I'm handy with PhotoShop. His baseball photo, he had a huge scratch on his nose. Hooray for PhotoShop again. I couldn't do much about the times he had the frozen CHEESE face.

Today Tyler brought home his Kindergarten class photos. And what do you know! It's actually pretty good!

Tyler's School Photo 2007

Gosh, he's getting so mature looking. *sigh*

Maximum Poundage

I sorta left my loyal reader hanging with my last post, didn't I. Sorry about that. During the first year, babies see their doctor a lot more frequently. Several months ago a red flag went up at one of Max's checkups. The doctor remarked that he was below the curve on his weight and if he didn't show significant improvement, she was going to have to do some uncomfortable metabolic tests and whatnot. She also told us to hold off on the introduction of solid foods (formula has more calories).

We were left scratching our heads on that one. Max has had a pretty great first year. He held up his own head only days after coming home from the hospital. He rolled over early. He crawled early. He stood and then took steps early. He's had 2 head colds and one minor ear infection. He eats well and often. He looks fine...in proportion, not too small or anything. No one has ever commented that he looked too skinny. What the heck?

So we started feeding him more. More bottles, at first. Then we just couldn't hold off on solids any longer. He was constantly reaching for what ever we were eating. He ate his way through stage 1, 2 and 3 baby foods in no time flat. Before I could even use up all the jars of food, he flat out refused to eat them and only wanted what I was cooking. So we gave it to him. I was amazed at what this kid could eat with only 2 teeth. I would leave snacks within his reach so he could help himself, too. He was pretty much eating all day long. He just had to gain weight, right?

At his next checkup, he'd gained a pound. It was enough to put him in the 1st percentile. Just barely on the curve. What the heck??? His doctor once again told us to focus on bottles, because that's where the calories are. But she had no idea what he'd been eating. We were not skimping on the calories.

Then we went on vacation to a resort that had a buffet restaurant on the premises. Max was in heaven! Steak tips in gravy, french fries and burgers, baby back ribs and chicken smothered in jack cheese and bacon, sausage and egg sandwiches for breakfast with home fries, french toast, roast beef, cheese and fruit platters, ice cream...

We continued to feed him anything he wanted at home. I figured his first birthday checkup would finally be the turning point. He HAD to weigh more now. There is no way he was still at the bottom of the curve.

And, thankfully, he is now in the 10th percentile. Still low, in the doctor's opinion, but a big improvement.

You know what I think? I think he just needed time to catch up. He was only 5 lbs at birth, for cryin' out loud. I just hope this healthy appetite continues. I can't tell you how nice it is to cook a meal and have one of your children stuff it in his face while making mmm mmm yummy noises. Tyler is so blasted picky! It drives us crazy!

So far, Max seems to be following in my footsteps. He loves all the same foods I do. Creamy soups, rich sauces and gravy...red meat and cheese...ice cream and cake... I just hope his good metabolism continues. I don't want his love of yummy rich foods to catch up with him later in life. One person in this family with a weight problem is enough!

Oh! And birthday party photos are in my Shutterfly album, if you're curious. Link over there to the right. :-)

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Max's birthday party isn't until Saturday, but we couldn't let his actual birthday pass unrecognized. So we sang and had cupcakes. I won't post the video of us singing (I'll spare you that one). But here is Max enjoying his first birthday cupcake:


Now we are off to the pediatrician for his annual checkup. Oh boy! Maybe we'll stop at McDonalds on the way for some pancakes. We need him to weigh as much as possible today. More on that later.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Year of Max

I haven't impulsively written about my feelings here in a very long time. It felt good to just pour out my thoughts last night. I don't like editing myself. I feel my journal is much more authentic and readable when I turn off my internal self-censors. Or I just come off sounding crazy. But hey, that's authentic too, right? ;-)

Anyway... Max is one year old today. I got an email with the subject line "For your toddler..." and about had a stroke. Holy cow, he really IS a toddler now, isn't he. No more baby. *sniff*

I should get to the point of this post. I've been thinking about Max's birth mother a lot over the last month or so. Our informal agreement with her and our agency was that we would send her photos annually using the agency as a go-between. I convinced our social worker to speak with L and subsequently got an email address. I just thought she might like to see photos a little more often. I don't know if I'm right, but I have been emailing them to her on a semi-regular basis.

Now the whole "annual" thing comes into play. I want to make a photo book through Shutterfly for L to document Max's first year. Here's my dilemma. What kinds of photos should I include?

With Tyler's birth-mom I usually just send photos of him and occasionally photos with other family in the shot. But I figure she doesn't have any interest in seeing US (or any other family members for that matter). I could be wrong, but she's never asked for any other kinds of photos and knowing B a heck of a lot better than we know L, I have a feeling if she wanted something specific, she would ask.

So what do YOU think? It's hard to put myself in L's shoes. I've never given a child up. Plus I know everyone reacts differently to emotionally charged situations. B is like the Aunt who lives far away. Our relationship is friendly and open. L is a totally different story. She has distanced herself from the whole situation. I am guessing she just wants to move on with her life and not dwell. So what kinds of photos will she want to see? I'm thinking maybe just photos of Max on his own...perhaps with Tyler a time or two to show that Max is having fun with his big brother.

Does she want to see the rest of the family? It's pretty obvious that Max is loved by everyone who meets him. It shows in every photo I take of him interacting with others. I dunno. I guess I'll just start going through pictures and put a bunch into a folder and see what I come up with.

Feeling Sad...

As is true for many of you, my time online is limited. Every day is a series of compromises because I simply don't have enough time to do everything online that I would like to. So I choose to invest some of those precious minutes in reading the blogs and journals of some of my favorite people. Some of them I have been following for YEARS.

Those people, in particular, I consider friends. It doesn't matter if I've never met many of them. I feel like I probably know them better than even some of their own family members because I've invested so much time in reading their words/thoughts and leaving supportive comments over the years.

As time goes by, I build up a certain level of expectation for my friends. When you care about someone enough to spend a few minutes "with" them every day, you sort of expect that they will reciprocate in some small fashion. My expectations aren't high. I know people are busy and I don't care if they don't visit me or comment for months at a time. People have lives and things happen.

But...and this may sound silly...it hurts my feelings when I visit a journal I've been reading for YEARS and I notice my blog isn't even listed in that person's favorites or other blogs links. There are dozens of others listed. I've noticed many times that some of those links are for blogs where the people don't even post any more.

What does that say to me? "A journal that hasn't been updated in 2 years or more is more important to me than your blog. You don't matter enough to me for me to take the time to add you to my list."


To be fair, I might have caused this same hurt in someone else. As far as I know, anyone who comments regularly in my journal is listed in my Bloglines blogroll (unless they have a private journal). If I have missed you, somehow, make sure you leave a link in comments. I want to make sure I practice what I preach. I love all my bloggy friends. I really really do.

Monday, October 01, 2007

They grow up so fast...

Newborn Max Can you belive that this little fella is now this jumpy lil monkey???

He will be One Year Old on Wednesday. Where has the time gone???