Saturday, September 29, 2007

It's about health

Technically, my father's cousin would be my first cousin once removed. But she is like a sister to my aunt, and therefore more of an aunt to me than a cousin at all. I care about her a lot, and it was hard for me growing up because she was a smoker and very over-weight. I was concerned about the choices she was making with her life because I loved her very much and wanted her to stick around for a long time to come, you know?

When she told me a few years ago that she had quit smoking, I was thrilled! This was a huge step for her and I couldn't have been happier. Unfortionately, she already struggled with her weight and quitting smoking was not helping things. After another year or two, she decided to have obesity surgery, which kind of took me off guard. I had always thought that was for people who were horribly vain (like movie stars) or people who were so obese that they couldn't even walk.

My cousin was neither of these, but her doctor agreed it would be in her best interests to do something about her weight. Extra weight creates a ton of health problems and risks, like heart trouble and such.

It was another year before I saw her again (we were living in Idaho when all this happened) and I couldn't believe how amazing she looked! Not model skinny, but huggable and rounded, instead of well, fat. I hate that word, but that's where she was headed before she decided to take charge of her health. It's now been several years more and I'm so impressed at how healthy she looks and how she's managed to keep the weight off.

Trust me, I learned from my cousin, the doctors can give you the starting point you need, but YOU are the one who has to do the hard work. Watching what you eat becomes vital when overeating causes you to throw up and get really sick. This is not something you want to be trying to do on your own. So if you're obese and are looking into getting surgery, check out this Web site, which offers support boards, insurance information, recipes and more.

A head start

After writing about holiday shopping yesterday, I got to thinking. The holidays hit us so hard financially because we have to pay for like 25+ presents all in one month. And every January, I tell myself, "that's it. I'm starting my shopping super early this year. Surely we can afford two presents per month. We'll just work them into our budget and then we won't go broke."

And then of course, its November before I realize that yes, the holidays are the same time this year that they are every year, and we haven't done any shopping yet and we'd better get started. So then we have the time crunch problem too. The later in the season it gets, the more likely we are to just grab something stupid or lame or OUT OF OUR PRICE RANGE, because there's just not enough time left to keep looking.

Add all of this in with the fact that a liquidation store at our mall is going out of business (we're sad, cause we love it there) I decided that we should do some holiday shopping today. Yes, in September. So now, we've spent about $50 and we have about 1/3 to 1/2 of our shopping done. I am so totally not kidding. Wouldn't it be awesome if I could spend my Black Friday wrapping instead of shopping? Horray for not procrastinating!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Pingo phone home

I've had my cell phone for about four years now, and have been land-line free for about two of them. It definitely works well with our lifestyle. There's just no reason to pay $30 a month for a landline when we can make all of the calls we need to on our cells, and they don't even charge for long distance. The only problem we've run into is that you can't make international call on a cell phone. At least not without paying like $5 a minute or something horrible like that.

So, when we've had to make international calls (usually to Canada, but once or twice to France and Australia as well) we've gone out and purchased international calling cards. Previously, I bought them at grocery stores, as I didn't really know where else to get them. But I just found out about Pingo, which has some great deals on all sorts of calling cards.

One of the things I thought was really generous of them is that they are offering a special discount for my readers! They are already selling their $25 calling card for just $17, but if you guys are interested in buying a Pingo card, just follow the links and put in the code ppp3 for and extra $3 off. That means you can get a $25 card for just $14. Plus, Pingo is going to give you five hours for free just for signing up. That's a lot of talk time. They don't have any hidden fees, and their rates are quite competitive. They do charge $1 per month to maintain your account, but if you talk on the phone like I do, you'll still be saving money.

Even if you don't know anyone in another country, you can get a long distance phone card for your home phone. Or, keep one in your wallet for an emergency. If you ever end up stuck somewhere without your cell (or the battery is dead) you will have a way to call home or maybe a tow truck. :-)

Seems like a great present for a teenager. Then you don't have to worry about "I would have called, I swear, but couldn't get any reception on my cell!"

Time to relax

I can't believe it's Friday night and I'm done with work and our house is clean (OK, mostly clean) and we're not going out of town or expecting overnight guests from out of town or anything!

We are actually going to RENT A MOVIE tonight, which is something we used to enjoy doing a lot but had significantly cut back on to save on the $$$. But this is a celebration of my great day. I even finally talked to my boss about a raise!!!! He said it was already in the works, as was my very tardy review, but did not give me an acutal number. Oh well. At least he didn't laugh :-)

Black Friday without the lines!

I don't know about you guys, but I am absolutely allergic to going shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. It's true that you can get some great deals, but I seriously just can't handle that kind of crowd! Two years ago my husband made us get up at the horrible hour of 5 a.m. so we could hit all the sales. I was nearly 34 weeks pregnant then and swore at him the whole time we were shopping. But he pointed out to me that we couldn't really afford the holidays if we didn't shop the sales.

Unfortunately, that's still true. But I recently learned that you can still get good deals by looking at thanksgiving ads online! I'm all for saving the kind of money that you do by shopping on Black Friday, yet not having to go out into the chaos at the mall. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what kind of Target deals I can get, because Target is one of my favorite stores ever! And if I shop online, I don't even have to worry about the fact that the nearest Target is about an hour away.

Another cool thing about this Web site, is that if you can get email alerts to let you know when new Black Friday ads have been posted. They feature a lot more stores too, like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Old Navy and Kohls.

Poor and perfect

When we were at Baskin Robbins a few weeks ago, I didn't pay much attention to who else was there. I did remember the family with the beautiful children who reminded me of my friend, but no one else really stuck out. A couple days after that trip, I was working late and the janitor asked me if Ben had liked his ice cream cone. Well, I had to think fast, because at first I thought maybe I had written about it in a Mama Talk. But no, I hadn't. And then, to my horror, I wondered if this woman had been reading my blog? No, that's too crazy for words. Couldn't be that. So she must have been there. And, bless her heart, she was kind to me when I admitted I hadn't remembered seeing her. She told me where she was sitting and that Ben had walked right up to her kid and said "Ice cream peeese" and thankfully, I remembered that.

Well, I was in here working late again last night and she came by with her daughter in tow. Little girl of maybe 4 or 5, very shy. She smiled at me when I talked to her but hid behind her mom. She was yawning and rubbing her eyes a lot, but she still helped her mom collect garbages. By the looks of how good she was, she's been doing this for awhile. It was all I could do not to start crying then and there. Can you imagine supporting your family on janitor's wages? Being so poor that you can't afford anyone to watch your kid, so you have to bring her along to work with you? It was very late and this girl was very little, but what else was she going to do? And though it may be against child labor laws to have her help, I understand that too. The sooner they're done, the sooner they can get home so said little girl can go to bed. It reminded me of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, except that Katie quit the school janitor job and changed to one in her apartment building so that she wouldn't have to have a baby-sitter.

Poverty is so poignant when you put a face to it. Much more so than reading in the paper a percentage of people in our county who live below the poverty line. I don't care about them. They are just numbers to me. But I care about this sweet little girl with long black curly hair and a missing tooth.

For some reason, the fact that her mom took her to Baskin Robbins even though she clearly can't afford it is what is resonating the most with me right now. I'm so glad. She's been working hard, she deserves it.

Share and share alike

A few weeks ago, someone I didn't know contacted me after reading my post about the Joss Stone concert, because he wanted a copy. Well, I made him jump through a lot of hoops first because I didn't want to get in trouble or anything. But once I chatted with him for awhile and established that he was a real person and not looking to sell the concert for personal gain, I decided, hey, why not? I can do a nice thing for someone I've just met. How else are you going to make new friends, right?

Well, luckily he knew what he was doing, because it was, of course, too big of a file for me to email to him. So he told me about file sharing, which is where you put your file up on the internet and then tell the other person where to go to download it. It's kind of like hosting your photos on photobucket or flickr, but for large files such as a Joss Stone concert. I really appreciated that he taught me about this, because now I can share files with all my friends. is a really easy site to use, and its free! You can get up to 2GB of storage and even install a widget on your blog. I really liked using this service. Trust me if I can figure out how to work it, anyone can figure out how to work it.


Nearly a month, to the day, after I thought this blog would be approved for ppp, it finally is! I'm so excited because I will either be making even more money, or spliting posts up between two blogs, as to uncrowd things a little. Logically, the next step would be to go trolling for links again, as we all know that a PR0 blog isn't really all that profitable. But part of me thinks that the immense effort it takes to get a 0 up to a 1 would be better spent trying to get thesynergizer up to a 2 instead. It is my main blog and something tells me it will be easier to get it to a 2 than to get this one to a 1. Or maybe I'll just relax and leave things as they are for the time being. Anyway, regardless, this is a financially exiciting day.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ben's room!!!

So while I was at my in-laws this weekend, I uploaded a ton of photos. But rather than bombblast them all up at once in a day-in-the-life kind of post (not that I didn't think it was a cool idea, just that the ones I took don't really tell one long coherant story) I'm going to put them up in smaller groups over a longer amount of time. Since I've spent a lot of time on this blog writing about Ben's room, I figured those ones should go here.

Oh, and Ben slept through the night on Friday night while I was working. All the way from 8:30 p.m. until 6 a.m. Wow! Of course, we couldn't get him back to bed at 6, but that's OK. Saturday night, he slept until 6 a.m. again, even at my MIL's house while sharing the bed with us. We weren't quiet either. We came in, we moved him, we got up again, we talked, and he slept through it all. AND he went back to sleep after he nursed at 6 a.m.

Yesterday night he only slept until 3:30, but still, I never thought I'd be saying he only slept until 3:30, you know? I mean, prior to moving him to his own room, I pretty much expected him to wake up before midnight (usually before 11 p.m.!) every single night. For months. Possibly even for the last YEAR. And now, he is sleeping so well! Yay. The only thing is he's still having trouble making it all the way to our room. He's suceeded at this only once, the first time he slept til 6 a.m. All the other days, he cries at the gate. And strangly, he usually cries for Papa. Once he gets in the room he wants to nurse and says "Mama otherside peeeese" but out in the hall it's "PAPA!!!" Weird.

Pictures, yay!!!!
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Here is Ben asleep on Friday afternoon during his nap.

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Here is what Ben looked like when he heard me enter the room and take his picture. He was not thrilled to be woken up. (Don't worry, it was time for him to get up anyway.)

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Here is what Ben looked like after he settled down to some Mama otherside, which always improves his mood greatly. Notice the firehose leg in the air. This is clearly because the milk comes out so fast that it shoots all the way down to his toes and makes them fly around all crazy-like.

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Here is how cute and happy we are after he is done having his otherside. Yum yum yummers. Note how ugly the wooden dresser now looks next to the painkasaurus brown walls. We tried shopping around for something to replace it with, but everything either wouldnt' work or was way too expensive. So even though its nice wood and hearing this would probably give my mom (who is a big fan of nice wood) a heart attack, we're probably just going to paint it white. It's quite old anyway, and has several stains on it. So I'm not too sad about it.

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Here are a few more shots of the rest of the room. The walls used to be white and the doors used to be wood-colored.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Finally Thursday

Sadly, I am working tomorrow night, instead of driving to Kent to hang out with family like I'd prefer. Extra sadly, this means I will get home at 1:30 a.m., get to bed at 3 a.m. and then have to get up at 8 a.m. to spend two hours in the car with a toddler who just loves car trips. I can feel my enthusiasm building by the second. We have so much crap that we need to remember to bring too! $60 worth of stuff to return to Target, games and tools borrowed from my in-laws, outfits for all three of us that are nice enough to go to dinner at my grandma's in, and a bunch of baby stuff for Amy, which I've yet to sort through and decide what I should give her and what I should keep for our future second child.

Who wants to bet I spent this whole evening lying around reading or hanging out with my husband instead of cleaning and/or packing? Anyone?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Losing my roots

When I was pregnant, and when Ben was a new baby, I was like, no over-commercialized crappy Americana for my baby!

Now, I'm like, "OMG, Ben would look SOOOOOO cute in that Elmo Halloween costume from Mal-Wart." (Yes, we call it Mal-Wart!)

Reread that. Now take a blunt object and hit me over the head a few times.

We're meeting up with some potential new friends on Sunday, and she's all like, "My baby will never even know what Elmo is" and I laughed and laughed and laughed some more. (She knows this. I told her I thought it was funny that she was saying that.) But the truth is, I'm kind of hoping she rubs off on us somewhat. We're going out to a vegetarian lunch, which I'm pretty nostalgic for. I know I could just stop eating meat again if I wanted to, but it would be such an inconvenience to everyone around me that I just haven't. It's not that the meat is bad. It's just that there's a lot of it and I miss the creative things I used to eat when I wasn't eating meat.

At least I still drink organic milk. That's like the only crunchy thing I've got left going for me. Well, OK, that and breastfeeding my toddler. :-)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

dreaming of new stuff

it's pretty sad when blogging starts to feel like work. i know things aren't going well when i think of my subject and then can't make myself sit down and write about it. i figured out today that if that's how i'm feeling, then i should keep thinking until i come up with something i actually want to/feel like writing about. once i've thought of something that i'm excited about, the words fly off my fingers and it doesn't feel like work at all.

today's subject: Ben's birthday list! yes, my birthday is before Ben's. but his is so much more exciting. :-)

1. a goldfish.

2. new books that are of a slightly older interest level than the baby ones that he's long since memorized. with interesting subjects, like fish.

3. winterish clothes in a 2T size. He has some jeans that fit, but all his 2T shirts are T-shirts or tank tops. No long sleeve stuff, no coats that fit.

4. sesame street dvds of actual sesame street. (not just elmo's world!) preferably OLD SCHOOL sesame street, when it was just muppets and people. no computerized graphics and cartoon craziness.

5. more stuff for his room. decorations, furniture, etc.

6. more art supplies. an easel. fingerpaints. oil pastels. other fun stuff.

7. fun disney movies that i approve of (maybe. we'll see how much more his attention-span develops over the next few months) like finding nemo or the incredibles or monsters inc.

8. some sort of baby-powered vehicle. a trike or a big wheels or something. he is OBSESSED with bikes.

9. a soccer ball. he is also obsessed with soccer.

10. More wooden puzzles. I got him one of those at Ross too, a jungle safari puzzle meant for ages 24 months + and he absolutely loves it. he does a good job with it too, gets a little frustrated now and then, but just says "mama help peese" and doesn't do anything rash like throw the pieces across the room.

Oh and speaking of Ross, while I was there, I saw Ben's exact dinosaur bed set for HALF THE PRICE!!!!!!! OMG, $20 for a comforter, sheets, bedskirt, and two pillowcases?!?!?!?! I never would have believe you could do that! I was happy for the $41 I found at Target. Well you better believe I snatched it right up and when we're in town this weekend we will be returning the $41 one to Target. That means not only did Ben get a free Elmo DVD and a free wooden puzzle and a free haircut (it was only $5) we still came out $5 ahead! It was like the most profitable morning of shopping ever. :-)

PS: this birthday list is not a list of requests or anything. I'm just journaling, this is not a I WANT I WANT I WANT, GIMME GIMME GIMME type of thing. A lot of these things are things I'd like to get him myself (like the fish and room decorations) and a lot of it is pretty expensive. i mean, if you WANT to get ben a present, that's very nice. i just want to make sure its really clear that i'm not begging for handouts or whatever. (i'm being oversensitive again, aren't i? OK, shutting up now.)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I am Balance

My boss talked to me about branching out and said he appreciated that my last profile (on the pilot kid) wasn't about babies or families or moms. I said, "I try to do every other ..." and he interuptted me. "The newsman in me says you're overdoing it. That your your personal beliefs need to be kept in check for you to remain professional. But then I stopped and thought ... aren't we all parents? Aren't half of us moms? The newMAN in me, I think needs to shut up some, because moms are definitely an underserved part of our readership. You have brought a voice to our paper that it was sorely missing before. So I hate for you to start to second guess yourself since I've said something. But I decided you'd probably rather have the feedback than not. I really liked your pilot kid profile, I felt like I had a real sense of who he was after reading it. ... (goes on to nitpick a few things in it, and is right about two of three of them) ... I sit there, dumbfounded.

Complemented? You bet. But also confuzzled. Not counted Mama Talk, which is duh, supossed to be about babies, I've done like six profiles in the year that I've been here. Only two were about babies.

first one: LLL leader
second one: musician, guy who won Grays Harbor Idol
third one: Jewish dude who saves oceans and made up stories so he could feel important
fourth one: blind guy with guide dog
fifth one: midwife
sixth one: pilot kid.

Seriously, you think I'm overdoing babies/families/motherhood? huh? there was a profile about a woman who invented a baby safety product (the baby bath gate) that wasn't even BY me, but everyone thought it was, just because it had to do with babies. Is it that hard to read the byline? Apparently, yes.

Friday, September 14, 2007

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

How much are those birdies at the beach?

We went to the beach yesterday, one last time before fall came in full force. It was sunny, but cold when we left. When we got there, it was cloudy and the ocean was freezing! Thankfully, Benjamin agreed and though he really loves the ocean, he didn't go in much past his ankles. We're talking so cold that it actually stung when it touched your feet. So we decided to wrangle him in and leave when he plopped his butt down in the sand and started using half a sand dollar as a shovel and digging in the muck. We let him for awhile, because it was ultra-cute, but the tide was coming in and each wave was getting a little closer to where he was sitting. Finally, we scooped him up and we were headed toward the car when we saw a young couple with a big bag of Wonderbread.

OH NO! They wouldn't! No one is that stupid ... never mind. Yes. They are feeding the seagulls. Ten seagulls become 50 in like three seconds. More are coming from who knows where. Ben is amazed. We let him barrel toward the mass of them, thinking it will help this couple to have a toddler scatter the birds. They look like they're in over their heads. Some of the gulls are standing on their car.

"Nice hood ornament!" my husband shouts to the guy. He glaces over, sees the birds on the car and laughs. We were just about close enough to tell them that feeding the birds is stupid when they GIVE BENJAMIN A PIECE OF BREAD.

OMFG. He doesn't know to throw it. He looks at it quizzically, and the birds are swarming around him, some hovering in midair at his eye level and just above his head. I run to him, start grabbing pinches of bread off of the slice and chucking them really really far away from him. Thankfully, he doesn't seem traumatized. Actually, he's kinda sad when the birds aren't so close anymore. I mean, isn't that a toddler's dream, to actually CATCH the birds you've been chasing for so long? Ha ha ha. I'm glad there were no injuries though. Seagulls are unpredictable, you know?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

That day between Sept. 10 and Sept. 12

I hate 9/11. Not just that one, everyone hates that one. I hate all of them. This is only (I think) the second one I've had to work since 9/11 became a date to remember. I think I worked 9/11 in 2003, the year of my internship in Pennsylvania. The only reason I could think that I wouldn't have been working is if it happened to fall on one of my days off. Since then, I've spent quite a few 9/11s with Jessi, but not really on purpose. It's not as if I was specifically calling her up and saying, "Hey, it's 9/11, we should hang out." She just happened to be visiting Idaho at that time of year for a couple years. I'm trying to remember what I did last year. I think I might have actually been working last year too ... or maybe not because it was a Monday, so I could have had it off from working the weekend.

Regardless, the whole day gives me the heebie jeebies. I know its dumb to be nervous. I mean really, if you were a modern-day bad guy, wouldn't you plan your plot for some other day? Not the day where security is heightened and everybody is paranoid already? Of course you would. You'd pick some random day like Christmas or June 16, or any other time when people aren't expecting it. The chances of another bad thing happening on 9/11 are I'm sure, very low. But I still have trouble getting through the day. I hate being at work. I hate reading the wire. I hate listening to the radio or reading the interwebz or going anywhere near a TV. I want to get in a car and drive to Boise and go to the art festival thing. Or paint pottery at Robin's shop and go to the hotsprings. Or take my son on a little picnic in the park. Anything but being here, stuck with my head buried in the media, working.

Here's one good thing about the fact that it's 9/11. Happy 21 months to Benjamin. Big boy room switch looking likely for sometime this week. Tomorrow possibly. I can't believe that he's now closer to 2 than to 18 months. Soon I have to stop giving his age in months at all. Even now, I tend to say that he'll be 2 in December. I can hardly believe he's growing up so fast! Soon it's my birthday and then Thanksgiving then holidays galore then before I know it I'll be stressing over weaning and the terrible twos and TTC and looking forward to a new, and very different (G-d willing) life.

Here's hoping everyone's 9/11 is uneventful and over with quickly. :-)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Painkasaurus brown

Due to Ben's fever we didn't get started with the painting until last night. It still needs another coat and the doors need to be painted too, so it will probably be awhile still before he gets moved. Anyway, my husband, who wasn't going to help me because it was my project and I'd put my foot down about the color and he had a whole deck to paint/stain before the weather turned, changed his mind last night. I don't know if he missed me or felt left out or just realized he'd been a little harsh, but he asked me for a 10-minute massage in trade for helping me paint. I said sure. (I'm no dummy!)

When we opened the can of paint and started, he said, "Well, I have to admit, this is absolutely, positively the least adult brown I've ever seen in my life." Ha ha. (He'd fussed about the color because he felt I was selfishly choosing it for me instead of Ben. "Brown is a color we'd put in the living room! It's not a kid color." Anyway, I won the argument and he got huffy about the whole thing.) But once we started putting it on the wall, he agreed that it looked good and that it was very kiddish in tone. It looked like chocolate milk, or maybe melted Hershey's chocolate. After it started to dry, it darked to solid Hershey's chocolate. But really, it was a muddy, boyish medium brown. Not at all the color you envision as an adult when you say "chocolate brown" as that's more of a dark chocolate color. Not a cheap chocolate milk color.

It was Stephen who named it "Painkasaurus Brown." And for some reason that made me giggle for a very long time. We laughed about Ben being like 8 or 9 and asking us why we called the walls in his room "Painkasaurus Brown" and me started to tell him and him saying, "MOM!! Is this another story about when I was a baby? Nevermind, I don't want to know ..."

The color is going to look so good with his new sheets. And I really think it will dress up nicely with some colorful accents. As for paying for a bunch of kid furnature? Well, maybe we'll put it on his birthday list :-)

PS: I found out "Fi-day" means French Fries. Ha ha ha. And I had all these holier-than-thou asperations about him eating tofu and spinach and kale and not even knowing what junk food/fast food was until he was a lot older. Oh well. At least we haven't crossed the pop threshhold yet. After that, all will be lost.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Guilt, the ultimate motivator

My boss just asked me if I could work night instead of morning on Friday the 21st. There really wasn't anyone else to do it, so I said OK, but I am sad about it. We're going to my grandma's house on Saturday for Yom Kippur and I really wanted to drive to town after work on Friday and have Saturday during the day to hang out. Working Friday night (during football season, yipes!) until 1:30 a.m. and then turning around and getting up on Saturday morning to drive to Kent and then going to a very, very late dinner at the least child-proof place on the planet is not my idea of fun.

Sometimes, its really nice to live near family. Other times, I wish we didn't have to go to this stuff. I guess my sense of duty wins again. I really do like some of my family. And I'm getting better at not letting the other ones give me ulcers. Deep breath. It's only one night. It's the worst night of the year, and I've managed to avoid going for the last EIGHT years. I can suck it up just this once. Right?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Brown paink

I have the hardest time not talking like Ben all the freaking time. It's just so darn cute that he says "paink" instead of "paint." Anyway, I chose a nice dark brown color that matched the tree trunks on his dinosaur blanets. I decided brown was a boyish color that would grow up with him. Stephen agreeed until we got to the paint store (Ace, not Home Depot, as they have been mean to us recently) and he wigged out on me and started showing me bright blue samples. Uh, NO!

I can't handle neon blue walls, and there are already blue curtains in there and brown is a nice color that Ben will like just fine. Is it the most kidish color in the world? No, but it can be dressed up. We can get him an orange bean bag and a bright blue rug and some brightly colored dinosaur accessories. But trust me, by the time he's 9, he's going to think that dinosaurs are for babies anyway. This way, when he decides he needs a surfing theme or something, the brown walls will still be OK.

Plus I hear kids have a hard time settling down for bed in a room with brightly colored walls. Ha ha ha. Just what we need. More stuff keeping him awake. :-)

Assuming I get the painting done tonight, he'll be sleeping for the very first time in his very own room on Friday. (Which, interestingly enough, is his favorite day. He likes to shout "Fi-day!!! a lot. Why? No one knows.)

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Find out what it means to me

I absolutely hate it when I'm in a professional situation, like on the phone with someone at work, and they call me "dear" or "honey." From elderly gentlemen, I can be somewhat forgiving, as that sort of thing was the polite thing to do in their day. I don't fault them for not knowing that things have changed since then. But when its a younger guy, in his early 30s? Where the hell did he grow up thinking its OK to call a woman you only have a professional relationship with that you haven't even met "dear?" I mean, its 2007! How about a little respect? It makes me angry to no end.

Some of the other young women who work here have trouble with this too, and they all just don't say anything and then bitch about it when they get off the phone. I hate that. I don't want to be fake like that. If somebody bothers me, I like to say something about it. But is it even worth it with someone that you only talk to for like five minutes once or twice a month? And how would you even go about saying something anyway? "Excuse me, but I'm not your 'honey' "? Nope, that's not going to work.

Whatever. I'm sure this is why no one does anything about it. Nobody ever died from being called "hon" a few times.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


We went shopping again this morning, and finally found a place that has kids sheets for a decent price. (That would be Target if you were curious.) I found about five that I thought were nice, and my husband narrowed it down to the two he liked best. We then let Ben choose sheets for his new bed.

There were sheets with red and blue stripes and sheets with dinosaurs. The red and blue striped ones were not only classier (as in, he wouldn't be embarrassed by them at age 11) but also a little cheaper. But that wasn't really the point. I wanted Ben to feel pride and ownership in his bedding, to help him transition to thinking that HIS room is his room, rather than that OUR room is his room. So I specifically said that I wanted him to make the final decision, and that characters or something fun that he would enjoy would be a good idea.

The thing I was worrried about though was that he would not be able to choose. Sometimes when you offer him two choices, especially if they are both nice, he will just repeat what you say right after you say it. Ben, do you want cheese "cheese" or apple "apple" for a snack? No, Ben choose! Cheese? ("cheese") or apple? ("apple") The only way you can get a real choice out of him when he's doing that is to phrase the question so that the thing you want him to pick is second and ask it really quickly. Ben, doyouwantcheeseor apple? "Apple." ha ha ha.

But I wanted this to really be his choice, so we phrased the question carefully and as neutrally as possible. We asked twice, one time listing stripes first and the other time listing dinosaurs first. We also put both sheets in front of him so he could point if he wanted. (Normally we discourage this and ask him to use his words.) All three ways, pointing and answering both questions, we got an enthusiastic "DINOSAURS!!!!"

I have to admit, the sheets are pretty cute. Much better than football or construction vehicles. And though there are some orange dinosaurs, the sheets themselves (the background) are a nice neutral tanish. So my nightmares of having his entire room be neon orange are unfounded. It's actually a decent orange. Kinda rustic. There are also blue dinosaurs (they match the curtains that are already in there) and red dinosaurs and green dinosaurs. All in all, I'm very happy with it, espcially considering the bed in a bag (sheets, pillowcases, comforter, sham and bedskirt) was on sale for $41.

Yes, that's right, $41.

I love Target.