Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Corner Turned

Jack's speech is not the clearest. He is making great advances in talking and communicating, but sometimes his pronunciation still leaves much to be desired. Especially if the topic is out of context with whatever else is going on. When coupled with his hair trigger, this has made for some very frustrating, tantrumy situations as we struggle to understand what he says.

But recently he has made some major advancements in this area. Several nights now he has asked for some toy at bedtime. It will usually be out of the blue, it will usually be something totally random, and it will usually sound something like "bloh!" Given that bedtime is typically accompanied by many tired tears and miscellaneous screaming, these sudden demands can result in critical meltdowns when we can't decipher and deliver what he wants. But suddenly, the situation has changed. When I don't immediately understand what he wants, he thinks of a new way to say it. He motions with his hands. he gets up and shows me another toy that matches or goes with whatever he wants, until I reach clarity and can help. He is explaining to me instead of retreating into frustration. He stays calm, he speaks slower, you can really see him thinking about how he can best help me comprehend.

It is so wonderful. Before I would try and guess what he was saying, repeating things I thought might be right, and he would just keep saying the same word over and over until he was just screaming and angry and beyond able to communicate. Now, when I guess, he calmly says no, and then thinks of a way to help me understand. Tonight he wanted a little block that goes with a bunch of other blocks, and you could actually see him thinking of how to communicate that with me. You could almost see the light bulb going off when he thought to get the other blocks and show me "like this!" And it was such a sweet feeling to be able to understand and get him exactly what he wanted instead of having to sooth the frustrated wailing of a tired and disappointed child.

He is really growing up, my boy. I am so proud.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Blood Like Water

I have a history of anemia. Five years ago, when I first started going through the rounds of tests that would result in my colitis diagnosis, I literally had less iron in my body than they could even test for - basically zero. Basically I had been leaching nutrients and iron for the ten years I had been suffering from my digestive issues without seeing a doctor (apparently searing abdominal pain didn't seem like a big deal to me). I remember at the time my iron results came back, I was working full time and in the middle of "hell week" rehearsals for the annual dance show I performed in. Oh, and working through a lung pleurisy, which if you've never heard of it, is inflammation in the linings around the lungs and hurts like a broken rib. Pretty awesome. Anyway, I remember my doctor (who was a friend and fellow dancer) telling me the results and then commenting that she had no idea how I could even walk around much less dance. Why wasn't I exhausted?

Well, I am now. For the past few weeks I have watched as my base exertion level during my workouts has fallen. My already pretty easy elliptical workout has gotten slower and slower. I've been forced to reduce the resistance from a five all the way back down to one, and the past few times I haven't even been able to continue for my usual duration. Carrying my kids upstairs leaves me with that faint breathlessness that I associate with the early stages of pregnancy (no, I'm definitely NOT pregnant), and I've been sleepy and lethargic in increasing amounts.

I could have ignored most of this for quite awhile (as seen by the fact I've been ignoring for for several weeks already), but yesterday I felt faint while just sitting on the couch. It's time to see a doctor.

I'm assuming that I'm just very anemic again - ever since my initial test my iron levels have remained acceptable but low despite iron supplements, and I haven't really eaten any meat lately (not that I ate that much meat before). I'm assuming that I'll just have to make a few changes and things will get back to normal. But I can't help feeling discouraged and kind of betrayed by my body. I'm finally doing well with my eating. I've really reduced the amount of sugar and crap I stuff in my face. I've finally changed my habits - I go to the gym 5 days a week now instead of leading the same sedentary lifestyle I had for so long. But I'm not losing weight. I'm not getting stronger. I know I haven't pushed myself to exhaustion because I really haven't been working that hard. And yet here I am, unable to maintain even the low levels I had achieved. It feels like such a step back and it is so depressing to finally feel like I've gotten my head in the right place to actually, finally, lose this weight dragging me down, and then have something happen that prevents me from making that effort.

I hope I get this fixed easily. I'm so sick of being fat and lazy and tired all the time. This feels like such a cruel reward for finally starting to do things right.

update 8-31-10: test results are back - I am not anemic (my hemoglobin was normal) but I am severely iron deficient. Bring on the prescription iron supplements!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Say What


"Mommy, will you kiss my butt?"


"How do you like me now?"

"You're the Frankenstein monster and you stole my daughter. Do the man voice."

talking to a girl at the park: "Can I be your friend?"
little girl stares blankly
Izzy: "Can I be your friend?"
no response
Izzy (with illustrative pointing): "I ask you if I can be your friend. You say yes."

Izzy: "My head hurts."
Me: "Why does your head hurt?"
Izzy: "Maybe I have a boring life in my head. C'mon brain, work! Why can I not get this brain working?"

After pausing in her chatter to sneeze: "As I was saying..."

Izzy: "You know, the duck tries to come in my room and bite my foot while I'm asleep."
Me: "Who comes in your room?"
Izzy: "A...duck?"

"Can you make Jack not embarrass me?"

Both kids, wrestling in the living room and saying to each other "You're going down!"

As always, don't forget Saturday Say What accepts submissions! Send any funny, astute, precocious or precious statement your kids (or anyone's kids) make to practicalpablum@gmail.com and it will appear in the very next Saturday Say What post. Don't forget to include your name, your kids' names and ages, and any relevant context.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Party Crasher

The assignment this week at The Red Dress club is to write a short story with this beginning prompt:

An art opening at a lavish downtown gallery. A car crashes through the plate glass window. The driver’s door opens, and an eight-year-old girl steps out.

What I notice first is her impeccable manner. Despite the wreckage surrounding her, and the worn, threadbare dress falling from narrow shoulders, she carries herself with the bearing of a queen. Her sandy brown curls are in wild disarray as if never having known the tooth of a comb, and the patent leather mary janes on her feet have cracked and lost their shine. Nevertheless, they step delicately through the shards of glass as she makes her way around the car door and through the crowd.

What I notice second is the absolute lack of concern, alarm or even attention given by the other people attending the gallery. Granted, Pierre Tocard is known for his dramatic exhibits, once going so far as to include and actual live bull surrounded by delicate china at an opening, and this event is no exception as there are sequin clad socialites and their cigar chomping bankrolls wielding sledgehammers and spray paint cans all over the gallery invited to "participate" in the presentation of post modern destruction as art installation. Still, I would expect the arrival of a motor vehicle driven by a small child to have garnered at least a small murmur of contemplation.

But no, the jaded art critics are too busy sipping their free champagne and patting themselves on the back while proclaiming their own unique genius and self-adoration to notice the little girl at the tables of untouched hors d'oeuvres, quietly filling a napkin with over baked shrimp puffs and stale dinner rolls.

I realize I am alone in this crowd of people as I watch the silent figure making her way through a sea of pompous "glitterati." Worn and tired and world wise beyond her years, her dignity seems to shine through her delicate skin, tarnishing the pretension of the so called beauty surrounding her. She makes her way back to the car with her bundle of supplies, slipping inside with the same care she exited. As she prepares to reverse back out of the window, I see the gleam of eyes from two smaller children sitting in the backseat, and then I catch her eye. Slowly, as the wheels crunch against the grit of broken glass, we nod to each other in perfect understanding and she disappears into the night along with the car and her precious cargo.

Only then do I hear the gasps as the other guests notice the gaping hole in the building for the first time, and I wonder what artifice allowed the girl to pass unnoticed even as I smile inwardly at having been allowed to witness her infiltration.

A cold wind blows through the broken window as the attendees turn back to their drinks and innocuous conversation. I know I haven't seen the last of that mysterious little girl.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And Lose The Z

So, I've seen these ZanyBandz at checkout lines and whatnot, but I've only just become vaguely aware that they are a THING, and not just random impulse buy crap. And I don't get it. They are rubber bands in the shapes of animals or palm trees or whatever, but apparently you're supposed to wear them on your wrists or something? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of the shapes? Like, how can we see the cute little kitten shape your rubber band has been molded into if it's all stretched out on your wrist? I was confused enough by these things when I thought they were just cutesy office supplies (again, what is the purpose of having rubber bands in shapes if they are only going to be stretched out and wrapped around things, thus disguising said shape?), but now that I know they aren't even supposed to be used like normal rubber bands, I'm even more confused. Why do they have to be in shapes? Can't we just be excited to wear tons of multicolored regular rubber bands? Maybe glittery ones? What is is about these that is so special, given that once on the wrist they are just oddly lumpy?

I admit I'm am not typically up on any of the latest craze things - I've never read Twilight, I missed the whole beanie baby thing - I barely even had any snap bracelets in grade school. But this seems more bizarre than usual.

Can anyone enlighten me?

ps: I do think the molded rubber bands are cute. And in general I would totally buy them, except that the thought of stretching out the cute shapes makes me feel bad, like I'm ruining them, meaning I would never actually use them, and no one needs rubber bands just to look at.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weights And Measures

The latest issue (September) of Allure magazine has a letter from the editor in which she explains that she rarely if ever lies about anything - except her weight. She says that unless her life depends on it, she will not admit her true weight out loud. She goes on to detail how most actresses will routinely falsify their size and weight information, only to be unable to fit into the clothes provided for their photo shoots. She questions whether being truthful in the area of your weight is really a virtue, while a few sentences before she stated that under reporting of weight might have the national obesity epidemic low balled by as much as 50%.

To be honest, I'm surprised by how offended this little letter made me. Perhaps it is because I pretty much never lie myself (seriously- try me). I don't lie (or even round down) about how much money I've spent to my husband even though he thinks I do and is probably going to be mad, I don't lie to myself about how healthy or unhealthy I'm eating, and I don't lie about my weight. I think it is stupid and tacky and kind of pathetic to lie about your weight (or age for that matter- the other day at the gym some show was on: I'm going to guess Today show: and they were talking about lying about your age and how people will get really mad at you for NOT lying about your age, because it potentially reveals their own age. Pathetic).

Now, I understand that this is probably not a popular opinion. Woman often hold their true numbers close to their vest, lying with impunity because no one needs to know how old they truly are or how much they weigh. And that's fine. No one is saying that if you are asked your weight you have to answer. I see nothing wrong with simply saying you'd prefer not to share your weight or doing something else to change the subject. But lying? There is NEVER a reason to lie. Even in the trickiest situation you can usually find a truthful way around an outright lie - simply saying you can't attend a party without offering a reason as to why, or suggesting a different garment rather than addressing whether those pants do indeed make your friend look fat.

In another magazine I read recently (I've been catching up on months of back fashion mags so I'm not sure which one this was) they said that people who thought they were wearing counterfeit merchandise were more likely in the future to cheat on tests. One small transgression of ethics seemed to lead to others in the future - perhaps changing the person's perception of themselves and compromising their morality to a degree. And if this is true, I can only believe that it would be true of lying about your weight and age as well. It may seem harmless, but if it can lead to a slip in your truthfulness in other areas, then is it worth it? if you are caught in the lie, was shaving a few pounds or years off worth the potential loss of trust? I don't think so. After all, we can see you. We probably know you don't weigh 110 lbs. And honestly, if I look good enough to pass for 35, then I sure as hell look GREAT for 50. and I'd rather look great and have people know I'm 50, than look kind of sad for 35, or worse, have people know I'm a liar.

In this day and age of rampant obesity, we are always talking about education. Teaching people the right food choices so they can better manage their health. And the first step in fixing any problem is accepting that there is a problem. And there is a problem with accepting true weight in this country. Over the past few years I have noticed a change from the celebrities saying 'oh, I'm just naturally thin, I eat whatever I want" to admitting that they work hard and give up certain foods in order to keep their bodies looking like they do. I think this is a step in the right direction in terms of starting an honest dialogue about weight and body image. But if we want to continue promoting positive body image and conquering obesity, then we have to foster an atmosphere of total honesty. Lying about your weight indicates that there is something to be ashamed about. Is that really what we want to teach our children? That they should accept themselves in every way, but only if their weight is below a certain number? To be honest at all times, until you turn 30 and then lie about your age? If you are fit and healthy and making the right choices, then you have nothing to be ashamed of, and should be proud enough to be honest about what you really weigh. If you are over weight and out of shape, well, we can all see that, so shaving twenty pounds off doesn't really hurt anyone but yourself. No one is going to judge you for a number on the scale who isn't already judging you for how you look. And if you can't control what other people think about you, then you also probably don't need to worry about it. Strength to change the things I can, wisdom to know the difference and all that.

But like I said, total honesty is not for everyone. But please, don't lie. Find a way around the question or just say "I'd rather not answer that." I'm sure no one will care. As for me? I'm 32 and 8 months old, 5'7" and I weigh 159 lbs. I'm not proud of that number, but I'm working on it, and that's the truth.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday Say What

Jack, after I told him that there will be no more diapers once he's three: "That doesn't make me happy."

Last night stalling at bedtime:
Izzy: "You know when the dog comes upstairs and sneaks in my room? Sometimes that's scary."
Me: "We don't have a dog."
Izzy (sighing in exasperation): "I know, mom."
Me: ???

Talking about macaroni and cheese: "I don't like cheddar explosion. The smell makes it disgusting!"

Singing as we get in the car: "Love, and a mango, love and a mango!"

"Mom, if you ever get lost in the woods, I'll come find you."

"I like being a baby. I wish I could go back to being in your tummy."

"My armpits smell like string cheese. P U!

"I need to do yoga today."

"I'm going to be a zookeeper when I grow up. But first I need to learn my lessons."

"I knew it with my brain. My brain is pretty great."

You can say that again, kid.

And this week's submission from Izzy's cousin Elise who is two weeks older:

To her father at the dinner table:
Elise: "I'm going to marry you dad."
Dad: "But I'm married to Mommy."
Elise: "Oh, ok. But you can help me find a man."

While cleaning up the playroom:
Mom: "Girls, help me clean up."
Elise: "I can't, Mom. My back is killing me."

I especially like that one since jack always tells me he's sick when I ask him to clean up. What happened to my helpful little boy who LOVED cleaning up the toys? le sigh

As always, don't forget Saturday Say What accepts submissions! Send any funny, astute, precocious or precious statement your kids (or anyone's kids) make to practicalpablum@gmail.com and it will appear in the very next Saturday Say What post. Don't forget to include your name, your kids' names and ages, and any relevant context.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And The Purge, It Continues

Ok. I realize this is not the most riveting of topics. but I have nothing else to say, and there is a bandaid on my middle fingertip, which is my primary touchpad/mousepad moving fingertip, and I can barely navigate my laptop so this is all you get. Love it.

Today I went through my closet. I got rid of dresses that don't fit/will never fit/aren't going to be in style even if they did fit. I got rid of extra socks, shoes that will never be worn again, purses, and an obscene amount of kneesocks. Why did I even have ANY kneesocks, much less a whole drawer of them? Seriously. pantyhose kneesocks. I am apparently an 80 year old woman.

I also went through the linen closets and pared down our sheets, pillowcases and towels to the only the essentials. I have to say it was not as satisfying as the playroom because these areas didn't have quite as much extra stuff in them, and therefore what I removed didn't leave as much empty space behind (I like seeing those empty shelves!). But I did get remove three large garbage bags of stuff, and I'm confident I can add to that tally once I go through my sweater wall (yes, a WALL), and all my dresser drawers.

After that there will only be the storage shelves in the basement, which I may save for a later date since most of it is baby clothes which I have already sorted in case of a new baby, and can get rid of outright once that door is closed for good.

And then there will just be furniture to rearrange. bookshelves to build, woodwork to be painted, bathrooms to be fixed up, carpet to be replaced...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Kid Gets It

It may be less apparent over the interwebs (heh), but if you know me at all in person, you know that I have a tendency to be a wee bit sarcastic (double heh). So it should come as no surprise that I can occasionally tease my kids - yeah yeah, mom of the year, I know. Never on anything actually important, but on little stuff like, oh wouldn't they love rutabaga and broccoli for lunch. That kind of thing.

The thing is, Izzy NEVER gets it. She always thinks I'm serious, and will sometimes cry about me making them eat rutabaga or whatever, which just ruins the whole joke and sometimes makes me fell a little bad (not bad enough to stop, cause, duh). She is getting better about it, and will now just look very puzzled and worried, saying "you're just kidding mom" while also not at all looking like she's sure I'm kidding.

But Jack gets it. Last night when I was called up to change a dirty diaper for the second time that day I told him that he was only allowed to poop once a day, and that since he went twice he'd have to hold it the next day to make up. he thought it was hysterical, and just giggled and giggled the whole time I kept lecturing him on the rules of only pooping once a day. It was great. First of all, he has the single greatest laugh in the history of laughing so it's always a pleasure to hear those belly chuckles, but also, when I used the same stern voice to say "no kicking" he could tell the difference between that message and the joking message, and so there was no confusion.

Izzy probably wouldn't have known what was going on and when I was being serious and when i was joking. Which could explain why she doesn't listen to me. Huh.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Purge Of Aught Ten: It Has Begun

It has been building for months (years really); this desire to cleanse the house of all the clutter. all the extraneous items that render our house stuffed to the gills. Stuff we don't use. Stuff we don't need. Stuff we don't have room for. Stuff that is broken. But, oh, there is so much stuff. It was such a desireable task, and yet such a daunting one. How could I set aside all the time (uninterrupted by kids) to get it done? It seemed insurmountable; likely to never happen.

But then I started feeling inspired. I started feeling ruthless. I knew I could get it done, and I knew I could discard with abandon - no sentimental cringing over toys no longer played with. I could cut the cord. I WANTED to cut the cord of accumulation that was dragging us down.

So today I got started. It took 4.5 hours of sifting and sorting, and stacking and selecting, but this afternoon I turned this:

To this:

Not pictured: the 2 bags of donations and 1 bag of garbage we removed from the room.

Now, you can easily find anything you might be looking for*. Now, it won't take an hour just to pick up the playroom once my kids have messed it again. I don't know that I'm loving how I moved the furniture around - there may be some future redesigns (we need to paint and stuff anyway), but it is oh so clean, and tidy, and even the toy bins (which you can't see because they're behind the chairs on shelves) are neat and not stuffed full of junk and little bits and bobs. The books are all on the shelf. The puzzles have all been reunited with their pieces and stacked in the closet for easy access and storage. The whole thing is so wonderful and exciting.

In retrospect, choosing to sit on the floor for 4.5 hours after deciding my back already hurt enough to skip my usual gym appointment was maybe not the brightest of plans (related: ouch), but oh, it was worth it! There is still much to do - closets and bedrooms and clothes that are all just begging to be organized and gone through and given away. And so far I'm not feeling satiated. I am proud of my work today, but I don't feel like my relief at finishing the playroom has killed my momentum so maybe I can keep it going long enough to do the whole house.

Wouldn't that be something!

*the kids haven't seen it yet. No doubt they will immediately start looking for something I just gave away, thus ruining all my excitement over having finished this project.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday Say What

Jack: "Mommy I sick."
Me: "I'm sorry."
Jack: "You not sorry. You not make me sick. Daddy make me sick."

Isabelle: "I had the worst dream."
Me: "What was it about?"
Isabelle: "Dinosaurs were coming to eat the people. Stupid dinosaurs."

Isabelle: "I was trying on some of your big bras on my boobs."
Me: "When? During naptime? Where you being bad?"
Isabelle: "I don't know. I don't want to talk about it."
When we asked her if she wanted to take dance classes: "Do they have a bathroom in case I have to go pee?"

and, completely random after dinner one night: "what's up girlfriend? Ooh oooh!"

Weird kid.

Don't forget Saturday Say What accepts submissions! Send any funny, astute, precocious or precious statement your kids (or anyone's kids) make to practicalpablum@gmail.com and it will appear in the very next Saturday Say What post. Don't forget to include your name, your kids' names and ages, and any relevant context.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Fiction: The Bully Bandit (Part 1)

So, this is a little something I started writing several years ago. It will probably never be finished, but maybe posting it here will give me the pressure I need to keep working on it.

My name is Augustus Walker, and I am probably not what most people think of when they think of a superhero. First of all, I’m only 12 years old. Secondly, I am not particularly big or strong, and to be totally honest, I don’t actually have any super powers. What I do have is a time machine. So I guess most people would say I’m kind of a science geek or something, but they probably haven’t invented anything as cool as a time machine so maybe they shouldn’t call people names. Anyway, it was really just a science project I started in my spare time, but I soon found out it had uses beyond my own personal interests. I mean, sure, at first all I could think to use it for was personal gain, but being one of the less popular kids at school soon had me thinking about how I could use my invention to help other kids.

My plan was actually pretty simple. Okay, so the physics involved weren’t, but that’s all just details, right? The fact is I had invented this machine and I was trying to think of ways to use it that weren’t totally selfish and also didn’t pose much threat to the greater time space continuum, when I saw something. It was a Wednesday lunch period, and I was sitting at my usual table, by myself which unfortunately was also as usual, when I noticed Brice the school’s biggest meanest, stupidest (whoops, did I just say that? how rude) bully walking up to a table of small, intellectually oriented kids. And by intellectually oriented I mean that they are geeks like me. I figured that Brice was aiming to steal their lunch money, or their lunches, or whatever else his pea brain (my goodness, such language again) might fancy, and I wished that I could do something to help. Of course, being less than tough and burly myself, just walking over and interrupting would do no better than to divert his attention to me, and probably result in the loss of my pudding, so I just sat there and watched. But I burned with injustice the whole time. And finally that night, as I lay awake in my room, I realized I did have the ability to make a difference. All I had to do was use my time machine, go back to lunchtime and walk in a stop the bully. And because I would have to wear a disguise to avoid Brice’s retribution, I would avoid the whole complication of having two of me in one room. The biggest issue would be what to wear. I never really put much consideration into superhero costumes, other than to think tights were pretty girly but must aid in aerodynamics, but trying to put one together for myself was tricky. I of course had costumes for each superhero, but quickly decided that I didn’t want the credit to go solely to Superman or Batman, or even the Flash. I wanted to be my very own, brand new superhero, and for that I would need a unique costume. Now I don’t sew, so it would have to be made up primarily of other outfits until something better could be acquired. In the end, I put together quite he snappy costume consisting of a batman mask, superman cape and silver pajamas from a Halloween costume the year I went as a spaceman.

All that was left was to get in my machine and stop the bully. I wouldn’t say it went perfectly, but for my first foray into crime fighting I thought it went pretty well. The first issue arose when I materialized inside my room. I hadn’t really thought out the fact that while my time machine could transport me through time, it was pretty stationary, and I would end up exactly where I started, in my time machine in my room. So I had a bit of tricky escape trying to get around my mom and out of the house since she thought I was already gone. Fortunately, she was occupied doing Ashtanga yoga so I could slip relatively easily out the kitchen door. Getting into school was no problem, but as I walked down the hall I realized I really had no plan for dealing with Brice. I was certainly no match for him physically, so fighting was out. I would have to settle for humiliation. After that it all went pretty smoothly. I actually had to stifle a laugh at the look on the face of the other me sitting at my usual table watching in stunned silence as I raced around Brice throwing puddings and apples grabbed off the other kids’ lunch tables. My display was met with loud peals of laughter and raucous applause as I finished my assault, performed a deep bow and ran out the door. The rest of the operation ran smoothly, my mother was still sweating through her poses when I returned and I slipped into my room and zipped back to the middle of the night with no interruptions. I had found my calling.

BlogHer'10: What I Wore

So, originally I intended to give you all a sneak peek at what I was going to wear at BlogHer, but, um, yeah. I was kind of preoccupied figuring it out and generally spazzing about going in the first place so that never happened. But here we are with a quick recap of a few of my outfits.
Friday day:

This is what I wore to walk around NYC on Friday (minus the cardigan!). It was super comfortable, and I felt like a snazzy stylish urbanite as I walked around gaping at the city and taking photos. In fact, I have already worn it again since I’ve been home, that’s how much I like this dress.

Friday night:

This is a Diane von Furstenburg dress I got from Ebay a couple of years ago for wedding season.  I loved it then, I love it still.  Comfortable, bright and way more flattering in person because the draping gives hints of your curves underneath as you move – in photos it kind of just looks like a potato sack.

Saturday day:

This is my favorite maxi dress.  It is actually a Liz Lange maternity dress from Target, but it hangs so nicely you don’t have to be pregnant to wear it.  I’m pissed because the last time I washed it it shrank about 3 inches in length, but that just shows off my sandals better.  BTW, I’ve had those sandals two summers, wear them all the time, including walking around NYC, and the bottoms are spotless – I think I could return them to the store if I wanted.  Amazing. I am easily amazed.

Saturday night:

This is my 80′s-tastic Sparklecorn dress.  I’m not sure anyone realized I was wearing it as a tribute, and not because I think it is the height of fashion, but whatever.  I liked it.  And it was totally worth the $15 I paid for it at Marshall’s.
In general, I am proud of all the outfits I put together for my trip to the big city.  if you skip the weeks of freaking out about nothing fitting and trying things on to put outfits together, then it wasn’t that hard to do everything I wanted to do while also looking cute and stylish.  Gives me incentive and inspiration to try and continue this at home in my regular life.  (said while sitting around in dumpy t-shirt and cut off sweatpants)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Attack Of The Social Director

Isabelle is not shy. At any playground/ park/ public area/ whatnot, she will go up to any kid, or parent, and start talking. She is usually the kid leading all the other kids around in whatever make believe game they are playing, and she is pretty much always the loudest and bossiest. Today at the mall with some friends, she brought over a new little girl and introduced her ("come meet my other best friend... what's your name?"), which was so cute and surprisingly formal for a 4 year old. Basically, in any situation, you can count on Izzy to meet people (she'd be awesome at BlogHer).

She is also fairly obsessed with pregnancy.

At least once a day, Isabelle talks to me about when she was a baby in my tummy, or having a baby in her tummy when she grows up, or who was first in my tummy, her or Jack or Sophie and did they all see each other in there, or my personal favorite (NOT daddy's favorite): "mommy, you need to get another baby in your tummy." There is not much talk of how this happens, or why, it is just all very exciting and wonderful when there are babies in tummies. We even stuff things up our shirt to pretend (and by we I mean her and Jack. I only stuff my face).

So you can imagine her delight at seeing a real life pregnant woman at the park. And perhaps, all the tact and privacy given the poor woman, who may or may not have really wanted to chat about the baby in her tummy to a four year old. Repeatedly. Non stop. For 30 minutes.

Izzy would not leave her alone. Sure she'd go play and run around for a while, but within a few minutes it was right back over to talk about the baby in her tummy, and how she had another baby outside (the woman also had a son who looked about Sophie's age), and how Izzy had been a baby in my tummy, but now I didn't have any more babies in my tummy, and you're gonna have to get that baby out of there sometime, and maybe your baby is hungry in your tummy and she should come out, and on and on and on.

I of course was not much help because I found it amusing, and thankfully the woman seemed to as well. And of course, Izzy never actually said anything truly inappropriate or awkward to anyone so it was just more pestering than really being rude. But it sure was a sight to see.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Must Be The Time Of year

Contrary to expectations, I have not returned from BlogHer brimming with ideas and fervor to write. Obviously. I'm going to chalk it up to the transition of falling back into normal routines and just the need to decompress after all the excitement and experiences. I have so many pictures of New York to go through (I haven't decided if I'm going to post them all here or not - kind of boring I think), and posts for my other blogs about the clothes I wore in NY and how my weight loss efforts have been advancing (hint: not). And in general I'm just sort of having that weird adjustment period that happens any time you go out of town. My brain is just like "really? I have to clean and make food and watch children again? But I want to read and nap whenever I feel like it and stroll Central Park some more."


I am not going to let this fall back into the dire levels of posting that were evidenced earlier this summer, but clearly this week is going to be a bit of a wasteland. After all, I'm pretty busy shirking all my motherly duties onto my husband and dreaming of having a gajillion dollars so we could go live in Manhattan for a little while. You'd be surprised how much time that takes up.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Saturday Monday Say What

So, you say I should return home from a blogging conference with an intense burning desire to get back to blogging? P'SHAW I say! Do you not realize that I was galivanting around new York City? And must realistically take several days to re-adjust to being a body servant to the small children I find in my house? But I must appease the masses, and so I will delight you with the past week's bon mots (several of which have been uttered in the past two days - she is on comedic fire!)

"When I'm grown up and married, I'm going to ask you for a date. With Daddy."

Said in the sweetest voice possible: "Mom, can I tell you something? When you wear that dress? It makes you look fat."

"This is my lizard. Lizards know everything."

Getting into the car: "Let's get this party STARTED!"

As I was putting in a ponytail on top of her head: "Don't get my brain in it."

Coming downstairs mid-naptime: "Mom. I've got to ask you something. Do you know what you're doing?"

Not in the slightest, sweetie.

And as always:

Don't forget Saturday Say What accepts submissions! Send any funny, astute, precocious or precious statement your kids (or anyone's kids) make to practicalpablum@gmail.com and it will appear in the very next Saturday Say What post. Don't forget to include your name, your kids' names and ages, and any relevant context.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Friday And The Aftermath

Yesterday was better. I made the decision to not try and meet anyone, but to just make a plan of what I wanted to do and then do it. And I did.

I attended one session, and then crashed for the much needed nap I should have taken on Thursday. I slept through the next session I had planned to attend, but I felt so much better having napped that it was totally worth it. I spent the afternoon walking around the city, taking pictures and looking around and just enjoying the nice day.

I also invented my new favorite game: make people think you are a real New Yorker. The best part of this game is that no one else knows you are playing, so you totally win every time. I am super good at it. I walk really fast, typically have a crabby look on my face, and am fully capable of crossing streets when no one is coming even though the crosswalk has a stoppy hand. Gasp! I can also navigate through crowds pretty well without slowing my speed, which I think lends authenticity to my city persona, as do my snazzy sandals which I wore instead than sensible walking shoes (and they were still perfectly comfortable for walking - no blisters). I do have a few marks against me: I tend to smile and say thanks and excuse me a little more often and cheerfully, and I have this lovely layer of midwestern padding that the other locals don't have, but other than that I think I played pretty well. I never once got lost, although I did change my mind about crossing the street once and crossed right back which lost me points (an dmade me look like a mental patient), but in general I never once got asked to rent a bike or take a buggy ride or buy any of the crap out on the street so I think I had them fooled.

I returned from my walk to take the most delicious shower and relax in my room until the parties start. I missed the keynote which apparently rocked, so my record of missing all the most noteworthy stuff is intact. Phew.

The first party was on Columbus circle on the 9th floor overlooking Central Park and had the most amazing views. I took a pedicab there which was expensive but super fun so worth it I think. The party was also super fun - I met so many wonderful people, new and known to me and it was a pleasure to see how gracious and lovely some of the women whose blogs I follow are in person.

The second party was at a little bar a few blocks from the hotel, and again was populated with charming wonderful ladies. We all had a great time dancing the night away, and I think this will be the go-to party next year!

This morning ended the fun however, as I woke up to four hours of being sick and miserable. I am unsure whether it was hangover or food poisoning from my authentic NY street vendor hotdog (I was really careful with my drinking, drinking slowly and alternating every glass of wine with water) and the symptoms didn't really fully fit either one. I'm leaning towards hangover since that seems more likely, and I figure I'm just getting really sensitive to alcohol as I get older meaning I can get sick even if I don't get drunk. Fun stuff. Guess I'll have to become a teetotaler now. Whatever.

Anyway, I've rallied a bit now and am ready to hit the sponsor expo to see if there are any goodies for my kids and then another session this afternoon. And tonight I am going to get my super swank 80's inspired dress on and have some fun my last night in the city, hitting the last few parties.

I'll be drinking club soda.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day One

I cannot say that I was as successful today as I might have hoped. I had lunch with someone I didn't know/had never heard of before today, but she approached me so I can't take credit for that.

I introduced myself to one of the bloggers I like and had hoped to meet, but then I just ended up standing around awkwardly while she talked to other people she already knew. To say it was uncomfortable would be underestimating things, and eventually I drifted away to refill my drink. There were a few other horribly awkward conversations with several perfectly lovely women, and then I caved.

I went back to my room and hid.

I am not proud of my performance, but I will give myself a break on the fact that I had gotten up at 4:30 am (and been awake even longer) and had a headache all day. There was a super fun party that I was supposed to go to, but I just couldn't bear the thought of getting dressed and leaving the hotel. I think I might have done a better job in that setting because there was entertainment and stuff to talk about - and pay attention to when the conversation lagged.

So in general, I'm pretty disappointed with how today went as far as my own behavior. But I m also exhausted, so I'm hoping that I will be better able to overcome my shortcomings tomorrow when I am better rested. I have a few sessions to attend, and I would really like to walk around some and get a better look around (and take pictures, although my open/close mechanism on my camera lens broke today{the point and shoot, not my nice DSLR!} so I might just be walking around looking for a place to buy a new camera.

But there are parties tomorrow night again, and they are smaller, more planned affairs where I think I will be better at mingling and talking and possibly not be such a loser. AT the very least, I will be interested in drinking with my headache gone so that should loosen me up!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Here We Go

I am not the most socially adept person you will ever meet. I often talk too loud or fast. I usually misunderstand the general flow of a conversation and will be left standing alone at the party. I am the person that will be included in any plans made... provided I'm standing right there and you don't want to be rude. Otherwise, I get overlooked or purposely excluded, and left to my own devices. I am extremely self conscious in public situations, especially when I'm alone.

I expect to spend a large portion of this weekend uncomfortable. But I'm going to do my best to just talk to people. I can do it in small settings like waiting in line, so I can make myself do it in large settings like the cocktail parties. I am going to NY because I want to meet people. I have been reading some blogs for years now, and I would love to put a voice, or a face with the writing. Say hi, shake hands, hug the women whose lives have become such a big part of my own.

So I'm going to push myself. There are going to be times when I feel stupid, and loserish and want to go back to my room and my TV and my comfort zone. But I'm not going to do it. Ok, well, sometimes I'm going to do it because I overload really easily and there will be times I need to decompress and recharge, but in general I'm going to stay out. Talk to people. Make some friends in real life.

I am packed. I am manicured, pedicured, polished and primped and blow dry. I have prepared myself as best I can for going into a situation I can only somewhat imagine. I have never traveled by myself. I am going to New York City. I have never had a job earning more than $12.50/hr. I am going to meet women who have/had successful careers - women whose BLOGGING is their career. With this little blog. This little blog that has earned me $100 in almost three years. This little blog that has brought me so much enjoyment if not fame and fortune.

I can do this.

I just hope I can sleep tonight.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Okay, I hate to be totally annoying, especially since most of the people who read this blog aren't going to BlogHer, but can I just say that at this point my brain is pretty much like "I can't... it's all... I need to... BlogHer. Gah."

Doesn't help that every few hours my husband is like "24 hours from now you're going to be FREAKING OUT."

He's not wrong.

My little bit of (self-inflicted) excitement today came when I made my reservations for a ride to my hotel from the airport. And had to print out the voucher. But we have no printer. and because I am only ever so narrowly poised on the precipice of complete spastic anxiety because I am so excited about this trip, I of course had to have them printed RIGHT AWAY. All of my other tickets and such are printed and neatly filed in a folder ready for placing in my carry on bag and this could not be the exception because it would just throw everything off. And because I am a nice wife who would rather just go deal with it instead of being a naggy bitch until my husband went in to work to print it for me, I set off to get it done. I called Office Max which assured me that I could use a computer to print my email verification. So I went to the nearby store, which turned out to be Office Depot, because we all know those are interchangeable, except maybe in cases of when you have CALLED A SPECIFIC STORE. They ever so helpfully suggested that I email my confirmation (with who knows what personal credit card info on it) to them and they would print it out. Um, no.

So then I went to the CORRECT store, which was much further away from my house (in helpful rush hour traffic and lovely 90+ weather) and was again told that I could email them what I needed printed. I was of course very polite and said, ok thanks, but in fact I mostly wanted to grab the guy answering the phones and shout "LIAR" at him. While possibly punching him in the throat (the nerves are manifesting y'all).

ANYHOOO, in my completely sane and not at all ticked off state, I realized that the public library was only a little further down the road (don't ask me why there isn't a branch of the library in my section of town, judging from the 4th of July I'm assuming it's because I live near a bunch of illiterate hillbillies), so I could just go there and print out my confirmation. I also managed not to blow a gasket when the guy issuing me a library card (can't print without one you know!) hesitated over my CO driver's license. [Seriously? Yes, I realize I have lived here for a YEAR and haven;t gotten a local license yet (he doesn't know that), but I tried once and didn't bring enough proof of residence, plus the blood tests and dna samples or whatever the DMV requires these days so it didn't pan out. And once you've wrestled two very small children through slush and snow into the DMV only to be turned away because you didn't bring enough of your mail with you, you aren't too interested in going back until you can go alone.] So he dismally asked me if I had any other proof of residence with me, and then began this whole grudging speech about how I was on restricted membership and could only take out one book at a time all the while typing as though ...oh I can't think of anything, it was SLOW until finally I told him i just needed the card to make a copy which was cleared up all the confusion of trying to get a library card with an out of state id and here you go why didn't you say so thirty minutes ago when I was still young and we started this whole thing?

So I got my copies mad and got home and everything was delightful.

Until the post dinner/pre bedtime period when Jack went into complete meltdown and was crying about virtually everything and flopping around in dismay and despair and it was completely hysterical and we got to put them all to bed early which is always fun too.

And yes, I realize this entry is rambling and boring and very likely contains sentences that go nowhere or contain parts of other sentences but I can't... it's all... I need to... BlogHer. Gah.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Two Days

The countdown has officially begun - heck, it's almost over. In two days I will be in NYC, teetering around on heels I'm not used to wearing anymore, and trying not to get vomitous drunk (ie drink more than two drinks a night yeah right). Fun stuff.

So I'm thinking right about now is when I should start freaking out. But I'm not. Because honestly, I just can't. My basic mode of operation for any new adventure or change is to think it to death; generally drive myself to the brink of distraction planning and replanning and going over every step in my mind, days and weeks and months in advance. It's super fun. But this time, I'm just not doing it. I don't know really why, maybe because most of my outfits have been hanging all ready for packing in my closet for a few days now (it's not hard picking outfits when you literally only have four things that fit). Maybe it's because I am about to go so far off the deep end in terms of my comfort zone that I can't even freak out about it. Who knows? All I know is that I'm still getting decent night's sleep instead of the wheels turning over and over, and that is a relief.

On the other hand, it is almost all i can think of to talk or tweet about, which I am trying to hold back on because it is so overwhelming all of the #Blogher10 hashtags out there, and some of my favorite tweeps aren't going. I hate to feel like I'm rubbing it in or being boring in my excitement. I prefer to be boring just on my own, thank you very much.

Anyway, I think I am probably not totally freaking out because it doesn't seem at all real. two days? What is two days? It is almost inconceivable that the day after tomorrow I am going to be finalizing all my packing, doing my nails and hair and whatnot in preparation for traveling to a city I only know from tv and movies. Excited doesn't even cover it.

But seeing as I have to keep feeding my kids and running our usual routine until the day I actually leave, the butterflies just have to wait.

Two more days.