Monday, August 17, 2009

Last Saturday I was a tagalong. Not a luscious peanut butter cookie, though you may call me that if you would like. I went along with Nonnie and Chicken for breakfast and toga shopping. Yeah, you read it right. I eat breakfast. It’s true. We ate at the Chik-Fil-A along with the rest of the town apparently. They offer a breakfast buffet, though I was the only one to partake, as Nonnie and Chicken were having a Thrive breakfast. The Thrive breakfast at CFA consists of scrambled egg whites, Double Fiber wheat bread toast, grits, and tomato. I’m not sure where that tomato came from.

We all ordered and waited. I didn’t realize that having ordered the buffet I could pretty much go eat at any time. Then the food arrived accompanied by the waitress and I kept waiting for the buffet line to go down. I finally realized that the line was never going to be completely empty so I had to go. There weren’t a whole lot of options but what they had was surprisingly good.

Afterwards we journeyed to the fabric store. This is the part where I prepare you to enter a fabric store. Leave your humor at the door. Put it in the coat check with your energy. Both are highly frowned upon, quite literally, in this store. We were there to seek out white fabric with which to fashion togas. Togas for Rome’s upcoming 175th anniversary, which apparently is a banner year of sorts because they’re also going for a world record. That would be for the most people in togas, I guess.

We walk in and see a lovely white satin type stuff. It’s something like $11.00 a yard. We need six yards per person. There are three of us. Even without doing the exact math I can tell that is more than we want to spend. Especially when only one of us is paying. So we walked up and down the rows of cloth bolts going straight for every white we found. Somehow along the way I managed to completely unravel an entire bolt of white polyester-like material. Luckily, there was only about a yard on it. I stuffed it between some brocades and kept walking.

Nonnie went to discover that the lock on the bathroom door was somewhat poorly affixed, having been nailed to the wrong side of the door. Meanwhile, The Chicken and myself looked at rickrack and the other absurd types of trim. What is the trim with the little pompoms on it for, I ask you? I continued on while The Chicken went to roll in what appeared to be genuine Muppet skin hung up in a big bunch. Again, what are these things for?



By the time Nonnie found us we were wearing a pink foam rubber visor (me) and a little princess tiara (Chicken). Needless to say, the other shoppers and employees were none too thrilled with us. Then we took a picture. We removed our hats and kept looking for a white fabric that wouldn’t make us or our (Nonnie’s) wallet chafe. There weren’t many. However, I did find a lovely white leather but if $11 is too pricey you can bet $18 is as well.

We moved around the other side of the store to the d├ęcor/clearance section where we found ceramic birds. Then there were the clearance chickens. They were what they sound like. Little ceramic chickens that were about a foot tall, and on clearance. Christmas is just around the corner. Don’t you wish you knew whose name I drew?

While Nonnie was getting the chosen fabric cut and explaining 43 times to the octogenarian clerk what it was for, The Chicken and I perused patterns and decided that we are going to learn how to sew. Even though it was said lightly, I think it was serious. Then we saw the $899 price tag on the sewing machine. Ha! $18 a yard doesn’t sound so bad now does it? Either way, be prepared in the coming weeks for pictures of amateur couture. That rhymes.

In hindsight, I’m not really very sure what was so funny. Perhaps it was me. I am the human equivalent of a two drink minimum. And it was good.

Next we went to Paula’s on Broad Street. I don’t know what we were looking for, but The Chicken got new sunglasses. Then we went to a place called Ginger’s Dollings and Caddywags. Now, I’m not sure what a Caddywag is and no one there is eager to tell you. I was hoping someone would point me to one in the hopes that it might be what I was looking for. Alas, no. But there is an extra creepy baby sounds/yowling cat soundtrack being played on a loop through the sound system. It is disturbing.

We ate at Harvest Moon who has a Thrive menu and then went to look in Honeymoon Bakery who does not have a Thrive menu. Actually they do, but I prefer all the stuff that is not on it. So with cream horns in hand we left.

The whole day went from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. That’s a lot of time to look for toga gear.

And I still don’t know what the crap a Caddywag is.
I am by no means an expert on writing. I have my opinion and my opinion, to me, is right. That’s what I go by. Surely, you have noticed that there really is no theme to this blog. And despite the catchy title, yodeling has not, as of yet, made its debut. Sorry about that. I don’t know that I want to confine myself to a subject. But I’m pretty sure that I don’t. Because what happens when I want to share about my expedition to Trader Joe’s or proclaim my love of fried pickles in a predetermined Mommy theme blog? Both you and I are out of luck. Though it does kinda seem that pickles and Mommy do go together.

My point in this case is not actually about my blog. It is about the blogs that I personally like to read. First up is one Mr. Neal Pollack, author of Alternadad: The True Story of One Family’s Struggle to Raise a Cool Kid in America (yes, that’s the actual title). Neal Pollack is an urban hipster kind of guy who digs Star Wars and has a serious aversion for sweets that feature cartoon characters. I stumbled upon Alternadad as I was perusing the Epi-log on Epicurious.com. Between the post about some Bacon Festival and Retro Food Nostalgia there was Pollack’s amusing entry detailing his son Elijah’s affection for frozen green beans. From then on I checked back daily to see what was new.

Then I went on maternity leave. When I came back. Neal Pollack was no longer writing for the Epi-log but his previous posts remain on the site. Luckily, I then found him writing a blog for Parents.com. No longer food related, his writing was now primarily about Elijah. So Parents.com replaced Epicurious.com in my website rotation.

Then I went on maternity leave. Again. Can you guess what’s coming? That’s right. When I came back Pollack was no longer writing his Parents.com blog. He does have a website, but the steel bear trap that is this firewall won’t let me see it, filing it under ‘Web Logs/Personal Pages’. God forbid. You can probably see it on your computer. Easy to remember NealPollack.com. I like it, I think. It would help if I could see it, but I like Neal Pollack and his writing so I’m pretty sure it’s a winner.

My very favorite blog writer, though, is Christine Coppa. And not just because she keeps her writing in one place so I don’t have to chase it through the blogosphere. Christine Coppa is the creator of the blog Storked! which is found on the Glamour.com website. I found her blog while I was pregnant with Connor. She herself was also pregnant, hence the blog title Storked!. Her baby daddy ran out on her and left her to navigate the choppy waters of single motherhood. Luckily, though, she has a slew of family and friends supporting her.

I love the way Christine writes. She parlayed her blog into a book and named it Rattled!. It is available on Amazon and was recently made named a Breakout Book at Target.

See how excited she is about it here http://www.glamour.com/sex-love-life/blogs/storked/2009/08/target-names-rattled-a-breakou.html

There is a new post to her blog just about every week day, chronicling her life as single mother to the two-year-old Jack Domenic (J.D.) who is an absolute doll. Coppa has a new post almost every day and as a mother and the writer of a blog, I can say, that is no easy feat. Sometimes I think she’s doing a better job as a single parent than I am as a non-single parent. She seems like she’d be a lot of fun to be friends with. Check out her blog on the Glamour.com blog page.

I know I usually don’t review things, but this was more of a check-this-out-cause-I-like-it kind of thing. My initial paragraph was my way to segue into that. I know I took a brief break from the funny, but stay tuned and there will be more. While you’re waiting go check out the aforementioned blogs!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Have you ever been to a Mary Kay party? Well, I can now say that I have. Mary Kay and Avon are the sell-it-yourself-companies for bored yet enterprising housewives. Mary Kay has the pink stuff (well, all that’s pink now is the Cadillac you aspire to, but the cases used to be pink) and Avon has, well, “Avon calling!” I don’t know if Avon has parties or not, but I’ve never heard of someone going to one. Mary Kay parties are my topic at hand, though. My sister, the Chicken, sells the Mary Kay. That was the party I went to.

I don’t know if one could really label this a party. There’s no dancing, cocktails, or pin the tail on the donkey. At least not at this one. My family has had a few Mary Kay parties over the years, one of which yielded at least one picture. Nothing says ‘buy this cleanser’ quite like a bow-bedecked 80’s headband, right Susan? (I can’t guarantee that the picture won’t be posted.)

This party was the first for Mary Kay Super Seller Chicken. We were not only consumerist prey, but cosmetic test bunnies of sorts. Someone alert PETA! Now you would think, the pitch would be pretty easy; “Hey, buy this makeup stuff. It’s good.” But the good people at Mary Kay don’t trust you to be able to say much more than your name so they provide you a script. It even includes such helpful hints as ‘point to your hostess’ and ‘entice with promise of a free gift.’ That last one’s kind of unwritten, though.

Also in this script is the life and times of Mary Kay...Ash. I had to look it up on the website. The only name coming to mind was Schnitzel and I was doubtful that it was right. If you are selling the Mary Kay and are a by-the-book type of person, by all means go ahead and tell everyone about the company’s founder. If you are normal, however, maybe pick out a few highlights, otherwise, skip it. If you haven’t inferred yet, the script is really goofy. I say goofy because stupid may be a bit too harsh. It almost seems like there should be a skit involved. Though, thankfully, there’s not.

So the seller, in this case The Chicken, has all the makeup and the master containers of the face goosh (moisturizers, makeup remover, and such). You have a lovely little palette and mirror before you and everyone gets a squirt of stuff. At this time I think it’s best to say that you’d be better off not wearing any makeup to a Mary Kay party. I say this because while it works well for some, the eye makeup remover sizzled and smoked upon my lids and I would have cried if my tear ducts had not already been protesting from the chemicals. I’m just saying. Perhaps I have overly sensitive corneas, who knows. Well, they’re sensitive now.

So everyone (Nonnie, aunts Dodie and Donna, and myself) has to determine what shade of foundation they are. Everybody had a pretty normal color...until it got to me.

This may be a good time to mention that my skin has not seen prolonged sunlight in twelve years or so if not longer. So you can imagine just how pale I am. When each of my kids were born they were darker than me already. I’m so pale I am almost see through. Not only am I avoiding skin cancer as best I can, I think that classic old Hollywood look is better than the crispy St. Tropez burnt sienna skin tone of people today. An entire generation whose spokesperson is George Hamilton. So long story short, I’m white.

Now, back to foundation shades. When my time came to find my shade, I couldn’t find one. I had to resort to the palest color they have because there isn’t anything lighter. I feel so unrepresented. It’s almost like Mary Kay doesn’t want to sell to vampires. Not that I’m a vampire but that’s the closest skin tone to mine.

So then we all do our best to apply makeup samples with our fingers. Finger painting for adults. There were the little cards with sample eyeshadows on them that are supposed to coordinate. Most of them did. But let me just say that NAVY and BROWN do not go together! Oh, it was terrible.

Everyone picked out something to order and it was on to the food. Conversation touched on several things, including Nonnie’s flower garden, as we were at her house. Nonnie informed us all that her peonies are enormous. Well, now we know. Don’t ask. It was dark already but she wanted someone to go and look, to confirm.

Dodie and Donna, having eaten their fill of Mary Kay food, said goodbye and departed. As I was polishing off the last of the cookies and such, Donna called. Before they left she had gone to peruse the garden. She was calling to agree that Nonnie’s peonies were, in fact, enormous.
This entry was purloined from my Runner’s World blog. This happened in May but it should enhance the humor of my falling at the Y.

This is a public service announcement for anyone who may end up running near me.
If you happen to run near me, do be careful. Here's why.
Walking home from work yesterday afternoon I had an incident (accident?). I was walking along, bag over my shoulder, sunglasses on. The sidewalk I was treading was apparently uneven. It wasn't so apparent at the time. One minute I'm walking and the next I'm sprawled all over the sidewalk, aviators slid down perched on the end of my nose. I quickly assessed the damage as I put myself upright. My jeans were torn at the knee and I had already bled through the fabric. There was rocks and dirt embedded under the skin of my palms. Luckily no one saw so I got up and continued as though nothing had happened.
When I got home I changed into shorts to discover I was missing the skin that previously covered my left knee. Hmm. Perhaps I should check the inside of my jeans? Well, it wasn't there. It must've slipped out through the new hole in my jeans. Maybe I left it on the sidewalk. Oh well, it's probably stripped and sold for parts by now.
To add insult to injury, my husband told me if I did all that just walking then I probably didn't need to run, as my one year old gleefully slapped my bloody knees. Thanks, kid.
So I am evidently not coordinated enough to be trusted holding a bag while I walk. God knows what might happen if I had a fuel belt. So beware running near me; I don't wanna take you down with me.
I drove to work today.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I am like you. It’s true. Like so many of you, I have family. In fact, a select few of you actually ARE my family. And like so many families we celebrate birthdays as we did this past weekend. (This is the part where my actual family is saying “Oh, no” because they’re afraid they did something I can make into funny.)

(Aren’t ya?)

The standard practice for the celebration of family birthdays consists of a meal at a restaurant and piling up at Granny’s house where we have cake and do our best to bribe someone into turning down the thermostat before one of us spontaneously combusts. It’s a little warm. When you have to go OUTSIDE in August to cool off, it may be time to bump down the temp a notch or two. Anyway, that’s what we do for adult birthdays. Kid birthdays usually involve a few hyperactive hours at the bowling alley or some establishment that specializes in blow-up playgrounds. Then of course the adults will accompany the children to the top of the massive bouncy, rubbery slide under the guise of helping them. However, in my family that ends up being my father, aka Great Uncle Pow-Pow aka PeePaw, and my uncle Dean ever-so-gently knocking the kids at the top down the slide as they line up one by one to be pushed. That’s also my mother, Nonnie, bouncing down the slide with one solitary yip, not unlike a Chihuahua, as she hits the surface the first time. Every time she slides.

This birthday, though, was an adult birthday. My aunt Dodie was turning 34*. We opted out of the meal, but did make a cameo afterwards at Granny’s. As soon as we got there Sully got passed off and Connor went in search of the bowl of cat food and/or Daniel, which could be either of his cousins. (To his credit, though, one of them is actually named Daniel; David is the other one, but we think Connor is calling for David when he says Daniel.)

Ordinarily, most of the men break off to watch whatever sport may be on. Everyone else, which I guess would be the women in this case, sit and chatter about whatever comes up. Some of our topics this past Saturday included but were not limited to who’s pregnant, the inappropriate words we may have inadvertently taught our children, class reunions, local goings-on (this time, Rome’s 175th anniversary/toga party), and the occasional bawdy topic that may sneak in. (I don’t wanna say.)

My very own blog was also mentioned. (Tell your friends.) Shortly thereafter, the lightbulb popped up over a few heads that anything good that was discussed may just make it to the internet. So even with the knowledge that no one wants to tell me anything interesting now, I continue to write. Damn you. See, I can even write about what you DIDN’T say to me! Ha ha! You’ll never keep me down. (Link to my blog.)

Two things remain true at these gatherings. Even with so many conversations going on at one time, you can still hear your name if it’s said across the house. And then you will yell and ask what is being said. The other thing is, again with so many conversations going, if two people lower their voices in an attempt to speak privately, everyone else will stop talking, look, and try to hear what is being said. If you’re lucky, you’ll notice in time and stop yourself from continuing. How my family can notice the quietest conversation amidst the chicken coop’s worth of talking, cluckery if you will, is beyond me. For the record, that was me and Kelli, and trust me, you don’t want to know.

We also began the Christmas season. We start early so we can get done early, but we don’t. Everyone buys for the kids, the adults draw names. It is a time-honored tradition. Forgetting whose name you have is another part of the tradition. It’s supposed to be a secret whose name you’ve drawn, but we pretty much all have it figured out by Thanksgiving. Just in time for the day after Thanksgiving shopping trip. Yes, we’re one of those families. We are not, however, one of those families who gets neon yellow shirts printed up saying “The Jablonsky Family Black Friday 2007.” I hate those people.

Yes, the day after Thanksgiving we trek to a shopping mall, usually Town Center, before daylight to buy three presents before noon and eat at whatever generic restaurant is in the mall, only to find out that they don’t have the quiche that I like. Man, why do we always eat there? Outback, for once, I’m just saying. We are not a ‘bistro’ type family; we don’t wear berets.

If you find yourself at Town Center this year, ask for Tomasi. And remind my aunt Diane that’s the name we’re under; she’ll be the one standing there looking around for someone she knows.

Also attending the birthday soirez was a dude that I don’t personally know, as it was his family debut at Granny’s. He was quiet, he was sitting, he was my cousin Sarah’s boyfriend. Now, I never caught his name and I believe he may be a mute, but for all intents and purposes I’m going to refer to him as Ace. Ace learned a very important lesson that day; my family is loud and intimidating. He also learned that from now on he needs to reciprocate when someone waves at him. It’s all right; my husband had a panic attack when he met the whole family.

So that’s how we roll. And to whoever got my name, don’t let this blog sway your purchases in any way.







* I don’t know how old she actually is, but I thought 34 was a good number to go with. Unless you’re actually younger than that.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Body modification has become a popular and mainstream concept. Where once only bikers, sailors, and ex-cons had tattoos (though, often, those were all the same people) now it’s not unheard of for grandparents to sport them. Body modification is, of course, tattoos and piercings mainly.

I’ve had my fair share of piercings, though I have no ink at present. Recently I decided that it was time for a new piercing or two. I loaded up the boys and met my mother, Nonnie, and sister, the Illustrious Chicken, at the local mod shop, Body Canvas. Incidentally, I highly recommend Body Canvas over other similar businesses, if you’re looking here in Rome. You can tell immediately upon entering Body Canvas that it is a quality establishment and doesn’t have a three-person-per-needle policy. Ew. Now, I’m not saying that other places are unclean, but I will say that it is definitely off-putting to go into a tattoo parlor that smells like blood and rubbing alcohol. I’m just saying.

Moving on...

I invited Nonnie and The Chicken to my piercing party so that they could cull the babies for me. As we walked in we were met with a whole herd of people in the waiting area. The girl behind the counter stuck her head around them to ask what I was wanting done. I told her and she gave me a waiver to sign as she took one of the flock into the back for a tongue piercing. I signed the paper, declaring that I was not a hemophiliac nor had I had hepatitis in the last 12 months, and left it on the counter.

So we all waited in this room. Looking around we noticed that all the people ricocheting from one counter to another were children. Big children, but children. The Chicken, who was holding four month old Sully, was perusing the tattoo pictures when one of these kids informs her that she shouldn’t be letting him look at such things. Now, as I was not standing there, I could not comment, but seriously? This child is doing good to know what an arm is, let alone a drawing on one.

Then it registered that there were no adults with these kids. The only two adults had meandered down the hall, one to be pierced and one to watch. Perhaps it’s just my opinion but I’m pretty sure that that woman’s tongue would take care of itself; the baker’s dozen of children would not. As it was I had to tackle Connor twice as he was making a break for the hallway. Then he started walking in circles around a counter and I had to chase him back out one side. Then a couple of the heathen kids started to kind of follow him and once I swear they were trying to pen him behind the counter. I guess parenting really is overrated.

I think I may have made this sound somewhat calmer than it was. To me, it had the ambiance of an ant bed that had been stomped.

Shortly thereafter, though not shortly enough, the two adults emerged and all the kids began to file out of the shop. Connor almost went right along with them, but I caught him and stuck him with Nonnie. The piercer girl came back to the front and took the form, asking for my driver’s license. I told her not to get too jealous of the picture. She laughed when she saw it. The best way I can describe the look on my face is a disgusted smirk. She said all I was missing was the finger. I was six months pregnant when it was taken, not looking my best let’s say. She gave it back to me and told me to follow her. Yes, Connor could have come back but I don’t know how he would react to seeing a needle shoved through his mother’s flesh. So Nonnie and Connor went for a walk while Sully and The Chicken accompanied me to the room.

Sitting on the table, I asked if it would hurt. I have had two kids and I’m asking if a piercing would hurt. She said not really. All I could do was take her word for it. I laid down and gazed at all the posters plastered on the walls. And, no, it didn’t really hurt but for a second. Although, the second one hurt more than the first. It’s always like that when you get a pair. I wonder why that is. Piercer Girl didn’t know why either. So it was done and I laid there a minute before attempting to get up, because passing out after a piercing is not what I would call the height of cool.

I successfully got up and headed for the door. Nonnie and Connor were just coming back in. So, with my new piercings, we left the building. We all loaded back up in the cars to leave.

At this point, I’m sure you’re wondering what it was I got pierced. I could keep it a secret, but it’ll be seen eventually. I have a new set of...earrings. Yeah, boring, isn’t it? But I’ll bet now you know of all the pairs of body parts you can pierce, just from wondering.

I had my ears pierced once when I was eight, at some place in the mall called the Earring Tree. It’s not a real tree, I checked. They used a piercing gun. Later on, with another piercing that I am not going to elaborate on, I was informed that no self-respecting piercer would ever use a gun. It’s needles or nothing. So I have adhered to that ever since, not that I am a piercer or anything.

Earrings at eight weren’t right for me. There’s photographic evidence. Apparently I had a penchant for long, dangly earrings. With anything. Even contrasting striped outfits. Somehow in my mind a shirt with wide blue and purple horizontal stripes paired well with red and gray pinstripe shorts, especially with the blue and silver feather earrings. Dear God. Add in that bowl cut and you’ve got a fashion hangover, my friend.

I wonder where those earrings are.
Any one with children can tell you precisely how difficult it is to take them to a restaurant. Before you have kids it’s different. Some people, if there are kids dining nearby, turn a blind eye. Some roll their eyes and act disgusted in general. Then you have things and kids change. You can no longer order margaritas to go with your steak. Because the kids might think it’s juice, insist on having some, get told no and a tantrum ensues. Also due to the fact that you can’t order steak anymore because you have to order chicken fingers or something else that your child won’t spit out half-chewed.

If you aren’t watchful, when you redirect your gaze, you will turn back to find a naked salad because your child has managed to suck the dressing off of all the lettuce and thoughtfully replace that lettuce. You really have to pay close attention. If you don’t, you may end up battling for control of the fork that your kid swiped from your plate, inevitably getting stabbed in the arm.

Regardless of all the pitfalls of taking kids out to eat, it could be worse. It could be near bedtime and they could be tired. Then it really gets fun. That’s what happened the last time my family went out.

We went to eat at your ordinary bucolic steakhouse. While we were waiting we realized that it was about 15 minutes until Connor (16 months) was to go to bed. I wanted to leave but Dave insisted that we stay and eat. He did regret saying this, mind you.

Once we were seated, Connor began voicing his dissatisfaction with the high chair. While I would have liked to have heard “Mother, I am not comfortable sitting on this stool being restrained by a seat belt. I would like to run and frolic”, that’s not what came out. What came out was not English, but whatever he said he definitely meant it. He then proceeded to try to snatch the tablecloth off the table.

Desperate for a distraction, I opened the child’s menu/coloring book. I pulled out the crayons and handed one to him. At this point I disregard the fact that Connor has never come in contact with a crayon before. I place the red crayon in his hand and curl his chubby little digits around it, moving it back and forth on the paper, scribbling. And true to form, he promptly took a chunk out of it and proceeded to chew. Dave stuck a finger in Connor’s mouth and raked out the wax.

Drinks were ordered, drinks arrived followed by bread. Dave is touchy about Connor drinking from his glass, even though he has mastered the straw. The issue here is a little phenomenon we refer to as baby backwash. This is not normal backwash. With children this can contain entire bites of food and, in Connor’s case, usually does. This makes Dave squeamish apparently. It doesn’t bother me so I have to share my drink. Not to say that I enjoy getting grains of rice mixed in with my tea, but I won’t make a big deal of it.

I pulled off little bites from the bread and rubbed them on the accompanying ramekin of butter. Connor’s mouth was open before it had even gotten to him, bits of red crayon still stuck in his teeth. After putting the bread in his mouth, I perused the crayon wrapper looking for the magic words ‘non-toxic’, which I found.

It was about this time that Sully, previously quiet and docile in his car seat, decided that he wanted to be held. Right then. Dave picked him up as he started to cry. Connor then began to get upset. He no longer wanted anything to do with bread or tasty crayons, and began to come unhinged. We had already ordered but the food had not yet come. Dave, Sully in hand, trekked back to the kitchen to find our waitress to tell her to box up the food. On the way, he passed the guy carrying our food. So we had to try to keep everybody happy as we waited for the boxes.

Half an hour past his bedtime, Connor was freaking out. Then Dave started to lose it. I told him to load up the babies and I would take care of everything else. So Dave, with Sully and Connor in hand, exited the building, somewhat relieved. The boxes and check came at the same time. I sent the payment with her before she could even leave the table. I scraped all the food into the boxes, eradicating the plating and sighing. Oh, to eat a whole meal in a restaurant with no crayon appetizers or baby backwash.

The things we take for granted.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

(This was written while I was pregnant with my first kid. I am going to update in italics after each statement, just to see how we’re doing.)

As a burgeoning mother-to-be I find myself reflecting on parenting and the many nuances thereof. Occasionally something will pop into my head and I tell myself how I will handle it when it applies to me and my newest littl’un. So I have composed the following to help myself remember what I am and am not supposed to do as a parent…or as a good laugh when I realize that I do none of this.

I vow never to use the phrase “Because I said so” if a rational and understandable answer exists or at least only to resort to it if the real answer backfires. (So far, so good but he is only 18 months)

I vow to still be a person and be capable of speaking of things other than my family and not to only ever speak of what is spewing forth from one end or another of my child. (I think I’m pretty oblivious to this one, although I did talk about the news yesterday.)

I vow to never give unsolicited advice to a deer-in-the-headlights pregnant woman as I truly hate it when they do it to me now. (None have really talked to me; I seem to always be the pregnant one.)

I vow never to intentionally scare a pregnant woman with highly exaggerated pregnancy/labor stories of my own as it seems others are doing to me now. (Granted, I was on a mood acid trip for a good part of that first pregnancy and was pretty sure everyone was out to get me somehow. In hindsight, though, it did seem like mother-people were just trying to say the worst things they could think of.)

I vow to not rule out the possibility of using formula especially if I end up stuck in the bathroom at work for hours on end trying to pump only to find out that I had it backwards or something. (I did and do pump in the bathroom at work, and it’s hard to get it backwards but somehow...I did.)

I vow to try and refer to my disobedient child as sparingly as possible as “your child” to my husband. (Ooooh...moving on)

I vow not to use television as a last resort for entertaining my child…depending upon what’s on. (He likes Blue’s Clues and the Wonder Pets, though I hardly see it as using the TV as a babysitter because I’m sitting there watching it with him. And singing.)

I vow to consider having another baby even though this is no picnic and I’d rather be on a diet. On some level, at least. (I did consider it and now I have Sully, too. Although while pregnant with him I desperately wanted to go running.)

I vow not to succumb to my picky eater’s not so finely tuned palate and serve him only hot dogs, chicken fingers, and macaroni and cheese. Even if that’s what Daddy is eating. (Connor eats all kinds of things regardless of where they are. I caught him recently with his head on the floor, chewing something out of the carpet.)

I vow not to try to force my child to eat olive tapenade or pesto in an attempt to be a modern up-to-date mother of a would-be foodie child. Sometimes hot dogs aren’t so bad. (You will not find tapenade or pesto on my grocery receipts. That’s mostly because I won’t eat it. I guess I’m the picky one)

I vow not to give my child a mohawk if he genuinely likes his normal, everyday, boring haircut even though Angelina Jolie’s kid can pull it off. Not to mention some two year old I saw at the market the other day, but I think his mom just got distracted with the clippers at home. Not so much intentional. (He still doesn’t have a whole lot of hair, but what he has is blonde and curly. I’m not cutting that.)

I vow to try never to leave the car seat on top of the car with the baby still in it while I’m driving. (Even through two kids, I have yet to do this.)

(To leave the carseat on the car.)

I vow not to make myself feel bad by reminding myself that as much as I want to scrapbook, I have nothing to put in one. (I didn’t feel bad until I just re-read it.)

I vow to take enough pictures of my child so that I remember what he looks like later on when he is no longer bald. Maybe that shouldn’t be a vow. Yes, that’s just an “I’ll try”. (I did. Mission accomplished.)

I vow not to let myself go broke because I refuse to give my child any baby food that isn’t organic (which probably tastes like the kid’s already eaten it). (No worries there. I did buy some but he spit it out just like he would the cheap stuff. I’d rather he spit out the cheap stuff.)

I vow not to be afraid to give my child refined sugar before he’s a teenager. There’s a lot of it out there; gotta get ‘em ready somehow. Like the Spartans training their kids for war when they’re toddlers. It’s out there so ya gotta be prepared. (Unfortunately, Connor was introduced to Coke at an early age by someone who shall remain nameless. So now every time we pass a McDonald’s I hear from the backseat “Co-Co”. Great. He’s also a big fan of ice cream, cookies, and chocolate. Always keep a firm grasp on your dessert, or it will be gone.)

(‘Nameless’ is spelled D-A-V-E)


I tried to make these resolutions sensible and some even doable. I know, though, that in a few years on Christmas morning my tow-headed toddler will be bouncing around the living room full of milk chocolate and candy canes, wearing a bow on his head, clutching the box to a new toy as the toy lies forgotten, and my husband will be laughing, and I will not remember this list at all. It won’t even matter.

(That Christmas thing hasn’t quite happened yet as he was too young to really understand what was going on. But he did have a bow on his tushie.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Like so many before me, I love food. I love everything about it. For as long as I can remember I have enjoyed reading cookbooks, menus, even passages in books that describe food. I even find that a little weird myself.

I also tend to float more towards the finer things in life. I have always wanted to be one of those wives who throw fabulous dinner parties for all of the couple friends, full of wines and platters heaped with exotic cheeses and grapes and then finally some monstrous crown rack of lamb.

One thing stands in my way.

(Well, actually more than one, but only one is relevant to this story.)

I am alcoholically challenged. Either that or liquorly retarded.

There I said it. I’m Darci and I am alcoholically challenged.

Hi, Darci.

I know certain wines are supposed to pair with certain dishes. I know all sorts of wine names; Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Pinot Noir. I even know how to pronounce them, which is something to boast about if you live where I live. I know of cities famous for winemaking. I know, if not just have a good idea, what a sommelier does.

Unfortunately, I just can’t manage to bring myself to pair wine at home or even drink it at a restaurant. Shamefully, in public I prefer something classic or one of those brazenly slutty mixed drinks that are so colorful and tasty. The kind that men are tormented for ordering, and, perhaps equally shamefully for my husband, the kind that he now enjoys because of me.

I have always wanted an excuse to buy wine glass charms. I guess that’s so my imaginary dinner party guests won’t get their imaginary glasses of Chardonnay mixed up while they’re mingling and eating shards of Stilton.

I know that different wines require different glasses in polite society. I even have both kinds of said stemware, albeit fewer since I moved in with my husband and he started washing dishes. And oddly, when the first glass broke, with it shattered my heart. Partially because now I had an odd number of glasses, but also because I just love my wine glasses.

I subscribe to Food and Wine magazine and feel I’m somehow cheating not only myself but F&W and their staff. The reason for this is that I simply cannot bring myself to read the articles about wine or, as the magazine’s website home touts today, America’s Best Regional Beers. And if I do give in to my guilt and begin reading one of these articles it somehow just won’t appeal to me and then I feel even worse.

When speaking out loud of my problem I blame it on the disappointing wine selection in this region of the country. Or that I can’t afford to go around buying multiple bottles of wine all the time. I could not use that as a reason, though, if I actually drank the wine; it would seem worth it.

My husband is the Master of Meat Grilling. He knows all there is to know about beef and the cooking thereof. We cannot even bring ourselves to order steak in restaurants because they just aren’t as good as what my honey can do at home. Once that gorgeously browned piece of meat, complete with the accompanying much sought after diamond shaped grill marks, is placed on the table I can’t help but wonder what wine is supposed to go with it. Even if I did know it wouldn’t matter because we will not have it at hand. I, then with shoulders slumped, opt for whatever might be in the refrigerator.

As my husband polishes off a can of Coke, I pour my own beverage into my glass.

Mountain Dew in a champagne flute.

What can I say? I’m pregnant. I can’t even HAVE alcohol right now.


(This was not written recently, just so you know. Just in case, some of you out there have a pool going to see when I’ll announce my next pregnancy.)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

In keeping with Phobia Tuesday’s reference to gravity and as an encore to my Runner’s World blog, I present to you Don’t Hurry In Your Mother’s Flip Flops.

Ever have the Murphy’s Law of days? Let me make you feel better about yours. I had planned a kickboxing class at 5:15 AM one Friday. Planned to go to it, not to teach it. So in order to get there in time, I set my alarm for 4:30. I know it seems awfully early just to go and sweat for an hour. Like I don’t do that at work as it is. Well, my alarm went off and I hit snooze. I didn’t hear it again and by the time I woke up on my own the class was just about over. I still had to get a shower so I began gathering towels and various other shower accoutrement. Then I noticed that I was out of shampoo. So I had to borrow my husband’s. I insist on washing my hair at the gym because the house that we live in now doesn’t have a shower, only a claw foot bathtub. Plus, the water pressure there is great and it’s always hot. It really isn’t easy to wash uber-long hair in a tub anyway. So I pulled all my workout stuff out of my bag and loaded it up with shampoo and conditioner, clothes, and my hair dryer. There are two dryers mounted in the locker room, but they’re similar to the ones in hotel rooms now. So really it would be faster if I were to get someone to blow on my head themselves. That’s why I bring my own hair dryer. I drove to the gym. I was about to get out of the car when I noticed my lotion was missing. It had been in the car. Now it was gone. Of course. I hurried up the steps wearing my purple floral flip-flops (previously my mother’s and now the only pair I own) which double as my shower shoes. The last three steps left and my shoe gets caught on a step and I go crashing down onto my knee. Half the contents of my bag go flying and now I understand my husband’s obsession with zipping bags. So I start laughing. A gym staff member was coming up behind me, luckily the only person in sight, and starts freaking out. “Oh, are you ok?! You skinned your knee! You’re bleeding!!” You would’ve thought my arm had flown off and splattered against the glass door the way this woman was carrying on. Only a flesh wound, though. I kept laughing and saying I was fine, that this happens pretty regularly as of late. Then she started crowing about Neosporin and I told her I was about to go take a shower anyway. I’m fine. So still laughing I made my way to the locker room. I don’t know whose idea it was to smother the women in the locker room with a cloying strawberry scent. That’s every day though. The locker I usually use was already taken so I had to find another one. I tried to get organized and then I changed. Luckily nothing bad happened as I showered, like the entire stall falling in or me being blinded by the complimentary soap dispenser having gone terribly awry. I dried off and went to get dressed. Now the last time I got dressed in that locker room I was stung on the toe by a wasp that happened to be crawling around on the floor, as wasps so commonly do (note sarcasm). So needless to say I was stepping more than gingerly. I hung my towels on the locker door to dry; they fell off. I put the shampoo and conditioner bottles on top of the lockers; they fell off. I pulled my shirt off the shelf in the locker; my keys fell out. I am still laughing, but it’s starting to sound a little maniacal in my head now. I dried my hair and put my make-up on uneventfully. So I went to work bleeding and smelling like man shampoo. Awesome.