Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Yesterday I wore a cute little twin set. I knew I hadn't worn it in a while because it was still wrapped up from the dry cleaner. So not only was it safe to assume I had not worn it the day before, but it was also fresh and clean. I get to my office, get out of the car and start talking to the woman parked next to me. I notice her looking at my shirt funny. I look down and see that my nice light blue shell is covered in black lint. While we discuss the possibilities she offers that perhaps I rubbed against something in the car. You know, because I rub my boobs on things as I drive into the office. Fortunately I am able to rub the lint right off with a spare lint brush I keep in my desk drawer.
Fast forward to me going out to lunch. As I get out of the car and look down I notice that the freaking lint is back. I look accusingly at my quilted purse, which is not linty to say the least. When I return to my car I inspect the seats; cloth, but not fuzzy. Frustrated I get in and pull my seat belt on - only to notice that the entire length of the seat belt is covered in black lint! So, my colleague was right, I was rubbing my chest on something as I drove into the office. Smooth move, ex-lax!
My stupidity did not end there. I do not usually go into the office on Mondays, my but I went in this week because I will be out on Thursday and Friday and wanted to get in some extra hours. So yesterday, Tuesday, was my second day in the office this week. That honor usually goes to Wednesdays. Wednesdays also happen to be garbage night in my neighborhood. I was so proud of myself for taking out all of the garbage and recycling - with LP's assistance of course - before the Hoos got home. He then complained that I had thrown everything out (e.g., the leftover challah and angel food cake from Friday night). When I explained to him that we only have garbage one night a week and since we are going away I didn't want to leave those items around to get moldy, it suddenly dawned on me that we were the only house on our block with the garbage cans out. I rushed out to put them back into our garage in an attempt to spare myself any further embarrassment.
Man, do I need a vacation.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
(a) Find the covariance of X and Y, i.e. Cov(X,Y).
(b) Find the correlation of X and Y, i.e. ρ(X,Y).
(c) Are X and Y independent variables?
This fall I am taking Financial Management. Reading the description I figured it would be something about reading financial statements and maybe doing some basic calculations. The course did have some accounting and statistics pre-reqs that I completed sometime in the past few years, but I wasn't really worried about the content. Then I was emailed our first quiz. We didn't actually have a class before receiving the quiz, this little test was meant to gear us up for what was coming, I think. If that is the case, suffice it to say I am either 1. screwed or 2. really lucky that the tests are all take-home.
Here is an example:
8. Solve for n:
(a) 275 (1.04)n = 440.28
Of course, upon seeing this, I did what every other self-respecting marketing /communications professional would do - I looked for help. I emailed my brother, a computer engineer, to ask for some advice. He sent me back some answers (this is a direct lift from his email):
n ln (1.04) = ln (1.60102)
n ( 0.039221) = 0.47064
n = 12
8b) same way as 8a
Umm...okay. Hopefully most of you are just as confused as I was upon seeing this. So I call him up at his office out in California and say, "Thanks, I really appreciate it, but what the heck is 'ln'?" He goes on to explain that this is natural log a function used with exponents and that I should remember it from my calculus courses. I remind him that the last time I took a math class was my freshman year of college - THIRTEEN YEARS AGO.
Anyway, all I have to say now is thank goodness for big brothers. I know I will be leaning on mine quite a bit over the coming months.
Monday, August 27, 2007
This will be our longest car trip since welcoming LP to the world. We are already starting to cringe at the thought of a bad car trip. We have no basis for this fear; LP is always excellent in the car, at least as long as she isn't hungry. However, in the months since we turned her around to be forward-facing in the car seat, we have noticed that she does not sleep as long in the car as she used to. This is both a blessing and a curse. While we no longer have to plan car trips around nap time so that she doesn't sleep the entire day away, she likes to be up and active and interactive. There isn't much you can do that is "active" with a one year old in the car; it is not as if geography or the license plate game will really entice her. We do play CDs and sing-along, but there is really only so much Raffi one can handle and I get a headache from turning around in my seat (not to mention the occasional burst blood vessel).
So far the plan is to leave about an hour before her regular nap time and hopefully make it down to lower NJ before stopping for lunch and some running around time. Hopefully expending some energy will help make the car ride more tolerable for everyone. Our next stop will be at Bass Pro Shops in Maryland ('ya, you pegged it, I am the one who wants to stop here' she says, her voice dripping with sarcasm); fortunately, Bass Pro is in an outlet mall that LP and I can explore (e.g., run around like crazy people).
Anyone have experience hitting the road with munchkins? Have any advice to offer for car ride bliss?
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Unfortunately, the login I used to purchase the book was associated with a long-ago job. I haven't worked there for five or six years. I only noticed this when I was attempting to contact the seller for confirmation that she received my order. I was not able to change the email address associated with the account, because apparently in my old age I have created alternate accounts with my current work and hotmail email addresses and I can't remember those logins. Don't ask why I remember the ancient one and not the new ones.
Half.com does not have customer service on the weekends. eBay never offers telephone customer service, instead forcing you to suffer through LiveChat. I have nothing against LiveChat and I have nothing against outsourcing client service overseas - except when I actually have to make use of it. Here are some excerpts from my conversation:
- 2:41:09 PM Steven S. S. : I am afraid, but you will not be able to use a email address which is already existing on another account.
......(TIME ELAPSES/DISAPPEARS IN A VACUUM)
- 3:16:37 PM Steven S. S.: In this situation you'll need to contact the eMerge Team.
- 3:16:49 PM AmyBow: can you out me in touch with them?
3:17:57 PM Steven S. S.: You'll need to send them a message from the following link and they will help you get the issue resolved: http://pages.ebay.com/help/account/...
- 3:18:23 PM AmyBow: NO. I WANT TO FIX THIS IMMEDIATELY. sending an email and waiting for a response is NOT ACCEPTABLE
- 3:20:43 PM Steven S. S.: I understand this Amy. I would really be glad to personally assist you with this issue as much as you expect me to. However, your concern will need to be taken care of by the eMerge Team which is specialized in handling this kind of issues.
I hung up at 3:43.
Friday, August 24, 2007
You would think she hadn't just eaten four mini-pancakes, some watermelon and some of my cereal for breakfast. I assure you, my baby girl is not starving...
UPDATE: 1 PM
LP just finished lunch, which included chunks cut from a fresh peach. She kept pointing to something on the counter. I asked what it was and carried her over, she picked up the rest of the peach and dove in. At least it is healthy...
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Today's NY Times has an article about people remaining sexually active as they get older. Nearly 38% of men and 17% of women over the age of 75 interviewed reported having had sexual contact with another person in the last year.
A few items are of interest here, methinks.
- Good for them! I would still like to be in this category when I am over 75.
- Then again, maybe not. Don't parts start to fall off or not feel so great as you get older? I already feel creaky at times and I am not even middle-aged yet.
- The disparity between the numbers. Who are these guys hitting? Are there 10 women like "Blanche" from the Golden Girls that put out for everyone?
- Why did they feel the need to add in "with another person"? That just makes it sound sad.
There should be a joke - What is worse than walking in on your parents being intimate? Walking in on your grandparents being intimate. More likely, being the old people getting walked in on.
No amount of tooth brushing (she actually lets me do this) or scraping (she is a little less enthusiastic about this approach) will dislodge the detritus. I just hope the thing doesn't grow as she grows - because it might be there a while. You can't really use dental floss on a one-year-old - can you?
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Not that anyone is really asking for my advice, but at the very least I would like to offer some of my insights in retrospect:
- To Find Out or Not to Find Out? The Hoos and I decided not to find out our baby's gender. While I am usually horribly impatient, I really relished discovering that the person we had been calling "Bump" was a little girl. There is nothing quite like the thrill of hearing "It's a Girl!" in the delivery room. Of course, to each his own. I don't begrudge people that want to find out, we just opted not to.
- Nope, No Modesty. I have blogged about the lack of modesty associated with giving birth before. It is true, at the point that you are finally going to meet the angel you have carried for 40 weeks, you don't really care who sees what.
- Vanity - Also Forgotten. I don't remember exactly when my belly got too big for me to see anything below it, but I have to guess it was somewhere around 8 months. At that point shaving becomes impossible (and occasionally dangerous). And around the same time you will no longer care about hiking up your pants constantly, picking your wedgie, or, as discretely as possible, passing gas in your prenatal yoga class.
- The Anesthesiologist: Friend or Foe? Most of the women I know (myself included) think that they are strong enough to handle the pain of labor. And you know what, most of them are. However, the pull of the epidural is just as strong. I really didn't want to take the drug route. I wanted to prove I could do it naturally (okay, as long as you consider having my water broken with a hook and a pitocin drip to regulate the contractions still within the realm of natural). And then I turned onto my side. And there was a horrible pain in my lower back like a foot putting constant pressure on a nerve. And the nurse said my contractions "weren't productive" and I was probably going to have a few more hours. Maybe next time will be different...or maybe not.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
For instance, yesterday my little bunny was expanding her pantry- opening skills. She can now remove the box of Cheerios and open them herself and even shove a few handfuls into her mouth before I can remove the box from her hand. She has removed each item from the pantry and inspected it individually to rate its "fun quotient". For example the (plastic) bottle of oil was picked up and quickly moved out of the way; the container of sprinkles on the spice rack/door was found to be infinitely more interesting and she struggled to get it open (thankfully without success) to taste the morsels inside. In the accompanying photo she is attempting to remove the plastic from the outside of a box of tea. Don't ask me why.
Also, for months now I have been reading LP a book called Busy Monkeys. Every page has a picture of a monkey doing something different. She has always loved this book and often carries it over to the Hoos or me and plops down in our laps so we can read it to her. As I read I try to act out the activity the monkey is engaged in, i.e., Monkey Oohing, Monkey Chewing. Last week the Hoos noticed that she would anticipate which page was coming up and would start to make the appropriate facial expression before he had a chance to. We don't know if she has memorized the order or if she is really understanding the words, but it is really cute to hear and see her "sniffing" when we get to Monkey smelling.
I am learning that my little girl is adorable, rambunctious, funny, silly, loving, smart, beautiful, wonderful...the list can go on and on...
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Our most recent "green" transition was actually inadvertent. We needed to replace our dishwasher. It wasn't broken per say, but it was 20 years old and it only held about four of our plates at one time. I am thrilled to say that our new Kenmore Elite dishwasher not only fits more than four plates, it uses way less energy and water. Apparently, our old dishwasher used 26 gallons of water per washing; the new one uses eight. And it does a better job. And because it fits more than one place setting at a time, we only have to do dishes once a week!
Of course, we recycle and we have switched out several of our light bulbs and light fixtures to convert to more energy-efficient fluorescent lighting. But still, we would like to be doing more. What do you do to be a more responsible citizen?
Friday, August 17, 2007
I was sitting in the office taking care of some work and LP wandered away. No big deal, I could still hear her. Suddenly she turns up at my side holding a box of Cheerios (the Cheerios live on the bottom shelf of the pantry, the tallest space). In her other hand are my cupcake "cups". Once again I think to myself - why didn't I close the pantry all the way?
We go back into the kitchen together and I carefully place the items back in the pantry and shut the door. Not to be outdone, LP opens the door and takes the Cheerios back out and hands them to me, imploring me to open them.
When we walked in from day care yesterday, I set LP down on the kitchen floor with her school bag and my pocketbook. I went about putting stuff away and when I turned around I noticed that items from my pocketbook were scattered across the floor. I mentally chastised myself for not zippering my pocketbook. I purposely use this bag because it has a zipper to seal stuff in, away from prying fingers.
I gather everything back up, put it in the purse and zipper it; and, for some reason, I put it back on the floor with the munchkin. I return to going about my business. Two seconds later when I turn back around, LP is holding up my wallet, taunting me. Yes, my little angel has learned how to open zippers. Yet another milestone that will have a significant impact on my life. The good news is that I can start using any purse I want since it doesn't matter anyway...
Thursday, August 16, 2007
For some reason when I think of the word "husband" I picture it with an umlaut over the U:
I have no idea what sound this is supposed to make in practice, but to me it makes the sound of a double oo (as in hoot). Therefore, in my twisted, non-linguistically-trained mind the word becomes Hoosband.I never promised that the explanation would be interesting or fact based. And it is still better than referring to him as "dh" or "dear husband" - the common web parlance for your spouse.
If Drew Carey were to ask on The Power of 10, "What percentage of Americans think they are smarter than average?" I am betting the answer would be on the high side - maybe even more than 80%. I don't really know this is possible since at least 80% of the people I interact with (in the store, at work, on the street...) do not impress me as "smart" let alone "smarter than average".
This is not to say that you can not learn something from everyone that you encounter in life (Lori MacBlogger had a post on this earlier this week), because you can. Everyone is good at something, everyone has something to learn and everyone has something to teach. However, chances are not all of these people would be considered "smart" in the traditional sense. And, yes, it is okay not to be smart in the traditional sense, as long as you know it.
I know, you are all thinking either 1.) What a beotch this AmyBow chick is or 2.) She is right and obviously not talking about me.
Of course, this is coming from a woman that just got muffin crumbs down her cleavage and is trying to figure out how to extricate them without drawing attention to herself.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I accept the blame for the odd locale. Let me explain.
As usual, LP ate dinner before the Hoos and me. When it was time for us to eat, LP wanted something to much on as well in order to be social. After looking in my bowl and not deeming the contents worthy, she moved on to the Hoos and surveyed his meal. Considering we were both eating homemade stir fry over white rice, it should not come as a shock that she her nose up at his meal as well.
I then gave LP some freeze dried apples in her little plastic bowl. They have no nutritional value, but I figured she didn't need more cheerios. Typically when I give her snack in the bowl she eats in the kitchen because I am usually washing dishes or preparing a meal while she snacks. Apparently I have trained her well, because she refused to eat her apples anywhere but in the kitchen. And she refused to let go of the bowl.
Eventually, LP decided that the rice in the bottom of my dinner bowl looked appetizing and she climbed up into my lap and scooped the residual grains out with her hands. Turns out it was a good thing that we were sitting on the easy-to-clean tile floor.
As we neared the apex of our walk - the furthest possible point from our house, the sky darkened considerably. Unconvinced that this was due to the increasingly earlier sunset (it was almost 8pm, after all) we picked up the pace a bit and pulled the shade down on the stroller. A quarter mile later rain drops caused steam to rise up from the pavement. This lasted a minute or two and the precipitation abated, or at least it let up enough for us to let our guard down and slow down the pace.
A half mile later, about a quarter of a mile from out house, the sky really opened up and huge drops splashed down. The Hoos and I started to run. This was easier for me, since the Hoos was pushing a not-so-happy LP in the stroller. Of course, our house is at the top of an incline, which makes the last couple of blocks pretty miserable even when it isn't raining. Since I wasn't wearing a white t-shirt, it didn't much matter to me if I got wet. It actually felt nice and the Hoos and I laughed while LP shouted miserably.
It is amazing how small activities like this remind me why I love my husband so much. We had a great time running in the rain and even LP giggled a bit once we got her into the house.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Of course, with the good, comes the not-so-good. We were playing outside this morning. I was weeding and LP was gathering acorns on the driveway. At some point we both walked to the front of the house and were playing on the stoop. LP was carefully picking up handfuls of mulch and piling them up on the steps. All of a sudden, and very purposely, she started rubbing handfuls of mulch on her head. At first I thought maybe she had an itch and just happened to have a full hand when she went to scratch (similar to how she occasionally tries to eat when her pacifier is in her mouth). But no, she did it again, and then got upset when I tried to stop her as if Mommy was not clued in to the benefits of dirt in your hair.
I guess this is just the beginning of my daughter thinking she is smarter than me. Why should she be any different than the rest of us?
Thursday, August 9, 2007
- Last evening when we returned home from the grocery store, I was putting the milk away and she searched the bags, found a container of strawberries, opened it, and proceeded to munch away... when I heard her doing something and turned around to look, she hid her hands behind her back to obscure the evidence. She hasn't realized yet that strawberry juice all over her face is a tell tale sign...
- In the mornings, when the Hoos wakes the munchkin up, she gives him these huge, wonderful hugs, knowing that if she just squeezes Daddy tight, he will put off changing her diaper.
- Cheerios are among LP's favorite things on the planet. She has figured out how to open the zipper on the diaper bag, seek out the container holding the Cheerios, and bring it to whomever is nearby to open for her.
- This is nothing new, but LP has learned how to endear herself to people. If someone picks her up, she immediately rests her fuzzy little head on their shoulder, triggering the grown-up's "awwwww" instinct and pretty much guaranteeing she will get anything she wants.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
I have since read two other titles from Weiner - In Her Shoes (I am told the movie pales significantly in comparison - don't they always?) and Little Earthquakes. I could see adding her to my list of regular authors because I can relate to her characters on a very human level. The protagonists are typically overweight Jewish women going through a crisis.
Good in Bed focuses on a break-up, In Her Shoes talks about family relationships and Little Earthquakes has to do with having babies. All places that I have been. Plus, with my over-active sense of empathy (I can't watch movies where people go through embarrassing situations a la Meet the Parents or American Pie without physically cringing or leaving the room at the "worst parts") even if I haven't been in these situations, I feel as though I am right there with the character.
Next up on the nightstand - Harry Potter 7. Anyone else have recommendations for good reads?
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Mealtime with a toddler is always a challenge. You are trying to balance their nutritional needs, with their likes and dislikes, all within the context of the amount of time you actually have available to prepare the meal. I try to have fresh fruit and vegetables on hand as side dishes, but these are the easy things to fake. Frozen fruit or veggies are easy stand-ins and a sweet potato can be thrown in the microwave and ready in no time flat. Protein, however, is much more difficult to fake.
Recently I have taken to making and individually freezing a tray of homemade meatballs on the weekends to make my life easier when I am in a pinch for a weeknight meal for LP. These items are meant to bridge the gap on those nights that we don't have appropriate leftovers or when LP refuses the intended dinner. More often then not they are becoming a nightly meal.
In addition to figuring out what to feed my precious little angel, how much is another challenge. The Hoos usually gets home some time after 7pm. I have no problem waiting to eat dinner until he gets home; LP on the other hand, needs to be fed earlier. Typically she eats around 6:30 and runs around the kitchen while I prepare the grown-up dinner; this works out just fine and hopefully she will pick up some of my standard recipes. Of course, she is not content to entertain herself while we actually eat the meal. She wants to sit at the table with us and check out what we are eating. Even if she has already turned away the elements of our dinner at her own mealtime. She usually finds something she wants to munch on while we attempt to quickly shovel food in our mouths. LP: 2 Meals; Mommy and Daddy: 3/4 meal.
It is not like she is really eating that much. Dinner number one may consist of a few chunks of melon (cut into bite-sized pieces), two meatballs and a half ear of corn. Dinner number two might be a couple of table spoons of rice (probably even less because it is hard to pick up rice with your fingers and get it to your mouth, so a lot of it ends up on her bib or on the seat of the highchair) and some more veggies. My concern is that she is picking up bad habits - i.e., anytime there is food, you should eat.
I certainly do not want to start giving my daughter a complex about her weight or eating habits in the short or long term. I want her to be healthy and happy and confident about who she is. I also know that even at this early age we are laying the foundation for who she will become. Being a mommy is hard.
Monday, August 6, 2007
I read today that the Transportation Security Administration has finally revised its policy regarding breast milk.
"Mothers flying with, and now without, their child will be permitted to bring breast milk in quantities greater than three ounces as long as it is declared for inspection at the security checkpoint.
Breast milk is in the same category as liquid medications. Now, a mother flying without her child will be able to bring breast milk through the checkpoint, provided it is declared prior to screening."
It doesn't impact me right now, although the horrible previous policy is one of the key reasons I had sworn off travelling for work. I am glad that the government has finally reconsidered its unfriendly and ridiculous policy. It will be interesting to see how this works in practice. Can't you just see some idiot making you throw out your breast milk bags because they are frozen and therefore not liquid?
As for how important the TSA felt the policy change is, it is relegated to a few short sentences buried below the new rules for lighters and game show consoles. Glad someone's priorities are straight.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
When we went out to dinner, it didn't seem so odd. We have gone out to dinner before and left LP with her grandparents. Browsing at the book store also felt normal. Grabbing some ice cream and slowly walking along the river in Westport also did not seem so out of the ordinary. Picking up a movie and relaxing on the couch also wasn't much of a stretch from our normal weekend. Even staying up later than usual (12!!) to watch the movie seemed like a potential thing we might do with LP home.
As I walked up the stairs after watching The Prestige, an intriguing movie with an excellent ending, the Hoos called out a question about the plot. When I responded in my regular voice, THAT felt odd. I wasn't whispering to avoid waking the baby. I was acting as if LP wasn't upstairs splayed out in her crib, sleeping nicely. Because she wasn't.
As I write this at 1:30 on Sunday afternoon, LP has finished her nap and is enjoying lunch. At least, that is what my mother-in-law told me when she called a short time ago. She will be returning home soon, and I did accomplish quite a bit this morning (after rolling out of bed at 9!) but I am struggling to feel comfortable not being with LP. She was well taken care of, she behaved wonderfully, and she is having a great time. Me too, except I do know that I miss my cute little muffin... a lot.
Friday, August 3, 2007
When we moved up north in 2002 we were doing so for two key reasons, 1.) so the Hoos could go to law school and 2.) so we could be closer to our families. We also did so knowing that we would be leaving the community of friends we had grown into adulthood with (so to speak).
While we were moving back closer to where we had each grown up, we didn't really know many people. I still keep in touch with some friends from high school, and my best friend is still on Long Island with her family, but she is still a good three hour drive or so away. Besides, leaving high school, I was pretty confident that I wasn't really interested in seeing most of those people again...doesn't everyone say that?
Five years later the Hoos and I still have a relatively small community of local friends. Two of which are our neighbors, a married couple around our age - and they are in the process of moving. We have met a few families through LP's day care and we are slowly building friendships with them., but haven't reach the point of a weekend phone call, "Hey, we're ordering in, you guys want to come over and hang out and eat some pizza."
As you get older, I guess it is harder to meet people. For a while you can make your own friends. Then you make couple friends - which is more difficult because all four of you have to get along and be somewhat compatible. Now we either have to look for families similar to ours, or people who don't mind that we have a munchkin as our fifth wheel...
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Well, this evening I hit something soft all right...
Word to the wise - be careful what you wish for.
First, LP was making not-so-pleasant sound at 6 this morning, conveniently only a half hour before my alarm would have woken me. This left me with not enough time to fall back to sleep but too much time to actually want to get out of bed early. When the Hoos offered to go in and give her the pacifier I jumped at his offer. Of course, as soon as he went in the noise stopped and she was sound asleep again.
Then I get in and "reply-all" to an email regarding a party invitation by mistake. Shortly thereafter I get a snide IM from a colleague asking if I have been drinking and emailing. Of course I get more message recall failures than successes.
I have more emails than I care to deal with, not to mention several outstanding projects and problems that I would rather push off than address. Is it too late to call in sick?