Wednesday, October 31, 2007

More Guilty Pleasures

My main radio station, WFUV has dedicated today to only playing the DJs' guilty pleasures. FUV is one of those fancy, alternative radio stations that usually plays obscure musicians. I have picked up a lot of new favorites thanks to the station, but who doesn't have some old albums that they pull out when they are looking for comfort music? It is Halloween after all - a day dedicated to achieving and maintaining a sugar high, and what doesn't make one happier than knowing all of the words to a song on the radio?

I am not claiming to listen to these frequently, but I do actually own all of these tapes and probably lots of mix tapes with several of these artists. Sing with me now!
  • Chicago (and no, not the classics like Saturday in the Park, more like You're the Inspiration)
  • REO Speedwagon (I remember doing a performance of Can't Fight this Feeling in Jr. High)
  • Journey (Dude, if you don't know the words to Open Arms you aren't my friend)
  • Air Supply (as she mentally warbles 'I'm all out of love, what am I without you...'
  • Cabbage Patch Dreams (whatever, I admitted this in a previous post)
  • A Chorus Line (Who doesn't like to bolt out a song about T&A?)
  • Saturday Night Fever (this was more to be campy than to actually listen to...really...)
  • Tim McGraw (if Don't Take the Girl doesn't make you misty, you are just not human)
I actually own a bunch of music that other people would think I should be embarrassed about, but I love Sting, James Taylor, Willie Nelson, the Dixie Chicks.... How about you? What music do you barely admit to owning?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Yes, I Call This Work

On Sunday night the Hoos tried to persuade me to sit on the couch for a few more minutes and watch a television until 10:30 by saying, "It's not like you have to work tomorrow." Fortunately for him, this was accompanied by a smirk and laughter.

Before we had LP, the Hoos used to joke that he wanted to be a stay-at-home-dad. He pictured sleeping late, fishing in the middle of the day and having time to complete a myriad of projects he had dreamed up. Since having LP, we have both realized that we have difficulty even accomplishing simple tasks when we are both home - like raking leaves or putting away the dishes. We have to take turns doing things (and not just because we only have one rake) because one person has to constantly be on patrol, ensuring LP doesn't occupy her time with activities such as eating dirt, digging up (and considering consuming) worms, or running into the street.

Most dads and moms of every configuration - stay at home, work from home, work away from home, work part-time, etc. - know that staying at home for any amount of time (other than perhaps time that coincides with nap time) with a child is work. Hard work. Harder than being in the office work.

It takes energy to come up with events to fill up the day that don't involve television or snacking. And with any reserve energy you have after conceiving these grand plans, you have to put into not only executing the activities, but coming up with back-up plans when your child gets bored, or completes your multi-hour project in seconds, or just rejects it out of hand. (Not that I am bitter that LP didn't want to play in the fort I created in the middle of our living room, creatively strewing blankets over furniture.)

Every day is an adventure. And yes, some days the office seems like a vacation. But most of the time, LP's cheeks, laughter, and hugs make the lack of energy, sleep, and relaxation worth it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Every Day

I often remark on this blog how amazing it is to me that LP learns something new every day. For example, yesterday she was amazed by the fall leaves.
Today, it was my turn to learn something new. My a-ha moment has to do with my big brother.

I (re?)discovered that he is a great writer.

Growing up, he was the science and math expert and I was the more creative one. Or so I thought. A computer engineer by training and trade, I guess I forgot how much he used to enjoy creative writing when we were kids. My brother just started a new blog on one of his hobbies, collecting Israeli stamps. I know it doesn't sound like it would be interesting to the non-philatelists out there, but I found it compelling to read about his collecting strategies and habits. Maybe it is just because he is my brother, but I don't think so.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

ABC Meme

I was tagged by themommykelly to complete a blog post about the ABC's of me. Basically, I tell you a little about me by using the alphabet.

Shari, you said you had nothing to blog about, so consider yourself tagged after me.
  • A - A my first initial
  • B - My middle initial before I got married and my last initial now
  • C - My last initial before I got married (yes, my initials were ABC) and middle initial now
  • D - Daughter, in case you can't tell who my life revolves around
  • E - Energy and lack thereof
  • F - I had a whole blog posting about this letter
  • G - Gidget, you know the show about the girl midget. I can relate. No, I am not a little person...
  • H - Hippy. A word that has been used to describe members of my family
  • I - Itchy ears. I have this thing where the inside of my ears itch way too much...
  • J - Jumping jackal, jaybird, jaguar...thank you Sesame Street!
  • K - Kisses, one of the best gifts from my little munchkin
  • L - LP, who else?
  • M - Marriage. Number 5 in this posting will tell you how I feel about my marriage.
  • N - Now! I am making an effort to live and enjoy the moment instead of worrying about the future.
  • O - OMG! What runs through my mind when I read what some of you crazy people write on your blogs.
  • P - Peaches. What LP's gorgeous cheeks remind me of.
  • Q - Quiet. Yeah, right...
  • R - 'rithmetic. Something I absolutely don't like.
  • S - Stupid people. Man, do I hate stupid people. Why are there so many of them?
  • T - Ta-tas. Their mine, they change size and shape seemingly at will...
  • U - Ugs. A nickname from my brother growing up - short for Ugly. Nice, right?
  • V - Veggies. Now who doesn't like a fresh carrot or asparagus every once in a while?
  • W - Whatever. My response to many many things nowadays.
  • X - x. Seriously, LP has a book for every letter in the alphabet, and wouldn't you know it "x" is one of the three words listed in the "X" book.
  • Y - Yay! I say this a lot. Mostly facetiously.
  • Z - Zippitty-Doo-Da. What a great song...

Boob Tube

I figured it was time for an update on our DVR. We have now had it a couple of weeks and have been trying to put it to good use. For the most part, the Hoos uses it to save fishing and gardening shows that are on at not-so-convenient times. We have used it to tape a few new shows that we have gotten into. Below is an overview of the shows and my review. Let me know if you have any recommendations!
  • Chuck: Chuck is on Mondays at 8, when I am in class. The Hoos caught part of the first episode and thought we might enjoy it. I liked the first few episodes, about an inadvertent spy, but I am falling off the bandwagon. He is screwing up all of his personal relationships because he can't tell anyone about his spy gig. B-
  • Reaper: This show on the CW cracks me up. Basically, a guy's parents sold his soul to the devil before he was born and upon turning 21 the devil comes to collect. The poor guy is the devil's bounty hunter for escaped souls. He has two silly buddies that are in on his secret and help him out. It is on Tuesday's at 9, right about when we are putting LP into bed after her bath. We use the DVR to tape it so we can watch it commercial free. A-
  • Pushing Daisies. This Wednesday at 8 show is on when LP is still awake and playing with all of her noisy toys. Cute and eccentric, we can't hear it with the ball popper going. Ned has a special power where he can bring dead things back to life for a minute otherwise something else dies but if he touches them again after he 60 seconds they die forever. His PI buddy puts his talent to use to solve crimes and collect reward money. It has a great cast (Kristen Chenowith is really really adorable). A-
I am looking forward to using the DVR for Lost when it returns in February and Project Runway when it starts in a couple of weeks. These shows are just on too late for this little mama.

Speaking of TV, this summer my parents went to see a taping of The People's Court in NYC. My mom is a court show junkie. Yesterday they started showing some of the cases my parents were in the audience for. I didn't know and therefore didn't DVR it. Here is the only glimpse I could catch of my mom in the preview posted online.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Yes, I Run

Last night one of my colleagues was at the office until 1am. And I am pretty sure she was not at the office futzing around and doing nothing. I find this impossible to fathom. And not just because I have a daughter that I need to pick up from day care by 6pm.

My job is okay. It is stable, family friendly, and I have a few co-workers that I actually enjoy. It is flexible (I work 7:45-4:30), they pay me well, and I think, for the most part, my efforts are appreciated. It is not, however, worth staying until the wee hours. 99.9% of the time I am out the door at 4:30, exactly.

I can't remember the last time I had a job or a work project that I did whatever it took to get it done, shifting my priorities, even briefly. Are my expectations too low for a job? Should I be doing something that I really want to do enough that I work until all hours (aside from motherhood)? Do I need an attitude adjustment (okay, probably)?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Some LP Moments

Here are some email notes that I dashed off to the Hoos yesterday as well as a few additional observations.

2:00: We stopped by Stew's to visit the animals. Apparently they are already "on vacation" until spring. That was a bummer because LP loves the goats. She didn't seem to mind too much, though, since we shared an ice cream.

2:30ish: She thought the composter was a fort and crawled into it under the door (which I slightly raised so I could get a ball out that I had thrown in). She sat in there for 10 minutes playing with the grass. She didn't even care that she scratched herself up crawling in and out.

3:15: LP just dragged the kitchen chair across the floor to the sink. She started thumping on it and saying "bubbles". Apparently making bubbles is her new favorite thing in the world. This lasted until she turned the cup of soapy water over on to me.

4:40: Now she is sitting on the floor in the office coloring her hands and feet with her magic markers. Good thing the stuff comes off relatively easily, because otherwise it would take an extra 10 minutes for her bath.

Now that you have more insight into my days with LP, I will try to come up with something exciting to write about tomorrow. I have to imagine life is more stimulating that the minutiae of my day. Feel free to request topics.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Red Meat Monday

I don't eat red meat. I haven't eaten it since I was about 14. Nothing religious or noble, I just don't like it anymore. Unfortunately for the Hoos, he does eat red meat. But obviously not often, since I do the cooking just about every night. What he does it is a lot of ground turkey and chicken (and fish once a week). You name it, I can make it with one of those proteins: turkey meatloaf, turkey meatballs, turkey tacos, chicken piccata, chicken fajitas, chicken stir fry, chicken pad thai....

Because I have class on Monday nights and the Hoos and I aren't going to eat dinner together, I have started buying him steaks (and one night I left an "oven beef stew" in the oven for him following his mother's recipe). Amazingly, LP LOVES steak. She ends up eating more of the Hoos' steak than he does. Poor guy eats the grizzle to keep his little girl happy. And in case "Red Meat Monday" doesn't sound manly enough, his side dish is also a microwave baked potato (and occasionally a sweet potato).

At this point, I think the Hoos wouldn't mind not eating red meat on a Monday. BUT now that he knows LP is a fan, he wouldn't think of denying her. What a good daddy. Now I just have to come up with more options for boneless, skinless chicken breasts and ground turkey.

Last night when I got home from class, the Hoos put the kibosh on Red Meat Mondays. "Maybe once a month..." Looks like "my plan" worked and he will be more accepting of the lack of meat in our diets:)...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What a Whirlwind!

This weekend was chock full of activity. For a family that doesn't get out much, we sure did a lot of getting out.

Anticipating the need for a portable booster seat/high chair for some trips we have coming up, I went out yesterday morning and bought one. After setting it up on a kitchen chair before lunch, we were thrilled to discover that LP loves it. She now refuses to use her high chair. She looks like such an adorable little lady in it:

It was good timing for getting the booster, because LP had her first official playdate, with her friend LS from school. This also involved a light lunch, which required seats for the two toddlers. It felt nice to be prepared for once. Unfortunately, my little LP slept until 8:30 that morning, meaning she didn't nap before her buddy came over at 1. Regardless, they had a wonderful time playing next to each other while the mommies gabbed....until around 2:45 when LP started to hit a wall. The good news is, LP hitting a wall is her coming over, resting her head on my shoulder, and nodding when I ask if she is tired and wants to nap. LS and her mommy stayed a played with me a little while longer, which was nice and relaxing. Of course, as soon as they left the little munchkin woke up and was still exhausted. After much cajoling she fell back asleep and this is what the Hoos saw when he got home from an afternoon of fishing:

This morning our little family went and visited the Hoos' cousin and her partner at their lovely home in NYC. We had good conversation, great food, and a nice walk up to and around Fort Tryon Park. We don't get together very often, but when we do we always really enjoy it. And, despite the fact that their home is not child-proof, LP managed not to cause too much damage.

About 45 minutes after getting home from NY, our friends, the Nelson's came over. This was also fantastic because they have a little boy a year older than LP. After warming up to each other, they managed to make it look as if our toy bin had puked into our living room. Regardless, we all had a great time and LP kept handing her friend, the H-ster, nibbles off her plate throughout dinner. Again the booster seat was put to good use. It is nice to have two toddlers and four adults eating dinner at the same time without sharing chairs.

I am now thoroughly exhausted. And the week starts tomorrow....

Friday, October 19, 2007

All Dressed Up

We have already established that I am not one of those crafty moms. I would love to be better at arts and crafts and sewing, but either you got it or you don't. And I really don't. This means that LP will forever wear purchased costumes on Halloween.

Last year, she was the most adorable flower. She wore a costume that my mother purchased before she was even conceived (my mother was a bit...umm...eager to have a gaggle of grandchildren).

This year, the only costume my mom had on hand was a pumpkin in a size 3T. Figuring LP would not be able to move in a suit so big, I picked up a ladybug costume from Old Navy. Of course, it took half an hour to pick it out, with me on the phone to the Hoos: "Monkey, ladybug or lion." Him: "I don't know, which will she be cutest in?" Me: "Well that is a silly question. She will be cute in each and every costume. Even the skunk."

I guess I did a good job, because LP loves it. I have it hanging on the coat closet door handle and she likes to go over and pet it. This morning when I asked if she wanted to put it on, she did a happy dance. She then wore it around the house, going about her typical activities while dressed as the most adorable little bug ever.

As an aside, I should have known this would be the perfect costume. Ever since our run-in last month with the huge praying mantis, LP has been fascinated by bugs. It takes us 10 minutes to get into the house every day after school because she squats down next to our enormous hydrangea (which we saw the mantis disappear under), pointing and yelling "bug! bug!".

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Onion Responds to Child Care Challenge

Report: Many U.S. Parents Outsourcing Child Care Overseas

The infamous satire newspaper, the Onion, highlights a new way for parents to deal with the rising cost of child care. Hysterical.

Thanks to my friend Kiki for sending this on to me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Realization

I just remembered a story relevant to my previous post re: airport bathrooms.

10 or so years ago, my family took a trip to the Cancun to celebrate my graduation from college (I know, I am a very lucky girl). Our flight was at some ridiculously early hour, which, because my family is always early, meant we were at the airport before it was open. Anyway, once we finally were allowed in to the international terminal, there was a mad rush for the bathrooms.

As my mother was using the facilities, the person in the stall next to her attempted to kick her feet out from under her. My mother, being very quiet and shy, yelled out an expletive. The woman apologized saying, "Oops, I thought you were my daughter." None of us could understand why this woman would want to subject her daughter to sitting on the nasty airport toilet.

Now I am wondering if this woman was trying to have an encounter with my mother.

I am kidding. Really. But it makes you wonder what is wrong with these people...

Something Political

I was a Political Science major in college, so I still have some interest in politics. Not running for any elected position, mind you, but I do like to keep my eyes on what is happening in Washington. Sadly, I am not so interested in local politics.

Anyway, I have a question about the whole Larry Craig thing. For anyone living under a rock, this is the Senator who was arrested for lewd behavior in an airport bathroom. I am trying to figure out how it is possible to bump the foot of the person next to you when in a bathroom stall. Do men actually sit on the seat in an airport bathroom? Because most women I know squat (those toilet seat covers are just too hard to use), meaning they need both feet to support their weight. I would fall over if I kicked out (or even tapped!) with one foot. Or do we assume that hygiene is not a high priority for someone looking for an encounter in an airport bathroom?

I know, you are thinking that alluding to politics in the opening paragraph was a rude way to lure you into a conversation about bathroom habits. I apologize for any misdirection. Would you rather I talked about the sad state of affairs in the executive branch nowadays (or really for the last 7 years)? Or my concern about the direction of the Democratic Party?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Some Guilty Pleasures

Okay, I admit it, I spend too much time on the Internet. In addition to trying to keep up daily with all of the blogs listed on the right, I also have a few other guilty pleasures that I check out a few times a week.
  1. The Awful Truth. EOnline's gossip blog. I admit it, I love the Blind Vices and knowing about celebrity's business. At least I don't watch the tabloid TV shows or buy tabloids, that would be going too far, right?
  2. Chatological Humor. This is the Washington Post's weekly discussion by its humor columnist Gene Weingarten. I haven't lived in DC for a long time, but I enjoy the online discussion and every once in a while, I even post something.
  3. NY Times Weddings. I typically don't know anyone listed in the NY Times weekly wealthy people wedding round-up. But I like reading them anyway. And I keep secretly hoping that I will recognize a name from camp or somewhere else in my past.
  4. Pop Candy. I am totally not cool or hip, but I like USA Today's round-up of what is going on in the world of pop culture.
  5. Watch With Kristin. The Hoos is constantly wondering why I know so much about what is going to happen next on Lost or any of the few television shows that we actually watch. Thank you, Kristin, for keeping me informed.
  6. Washington Post, NY Times, Newsday, and the Norwalk Advocate. No, I don't only use the Internet for evil. I also use it to stay on top of news - globally and locally. (Okay, so I haven't lived on Long Island in almost 10 years, but for some reason I am drawn to the local paper).
  7. Pictures. Okay, this isn't the Internet, but I do find myself going into my My Pictures folder and looking at LP's baby pictures all too frequently. I also visit YouTube and look at the two videos I have posted of her at least a couple of times a month. I posted a few of the best pics below, after looking at them I am sure you can't blame me for this one...

Got any guilty pleasures to add to my list? Places I should check out and get lost in?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Back to Me

I am not sure of the exact rules of Blog Action Day. I don't know if I am ONLY allowed to blog about the environment or if I should at least blog once about the environment. In light of this potential loop hole, let's bring this blog back to its usual, self-centered topic - Me.

This morning, LP decided to wake up at 6:45. Not wake up in the way where she will fall back to sleep, but wake up in the way where when I go to check on her she is standing up in her crib, chucking stuff out of it. Yay for Mommy. Since today is a "work from home for three hours" day for me, I do not like to wake up before 7:15. Or even really before 8. So, I did what any desperately tired mother would do in the same circumstances, I brought her into bed with me.

Lest you think that bringing her into bed means that she will fall back asleep, let me assure you, this is not the case with LP. She likes to poke and tickle us and climb around. At least this morning she managed to stay in the bed. I think this can potentially be attributed to the Hoos threatening her with one eye open every 2 minutes, "Do you want to go back to your crib?". Actually, she probably had no idea what he was saying. And when he did make good on his threat and take her back to her crib he returned to our bed with her two minutes later. Maybe the threats become less empty when they get older?

I can sense the lack of sympathy through the Internet for all those people who have kids that get up at 6 as a rule. Yes, I understand that I am lucky that 6:45 is an exception. On Saturday LP slept until 8:30. But that doesn't make me any less tired TODAY.

Green - It's the New Black

I believe today is national "Blog About the Environment Day". I know I blogged about being green a few weeks ago but with the current state of the world, I guess you can't talk about it enough. Here are a few things I am trying to do to lessen my negative impact on the planet - and teach LP how to be a responsible citizen.
  1. Use reusable bags for grocery shopping (when I remember to bring the bags! dang it!)
  2. Pack LP's lunch in tupperware instead of tin foil or sandwich bags
  3. Replace our regular light bulbs with CFLs
  4. Refill hard plastic, reusable, water bottles instead of drinking bottled water
  5. Clean LP's face with wash cloths instead if wipes or paper towels after she eats
  6. Minimize the number of tissues we use and use burp cloths/handkerchiefs instead (this one is really hard, especially when LP has a cold like today)
  7. Recycle glass, plastic, cardboard, paper and metal
  8. Minimize food waste by freezing or reusing leftovers for use in other meals (e.g., turn today's meatloaf into meat sauce for tomorrow's dinner)
  9. Wash dishes in the dishwasher instead of by hand (dishwashers use much less water)
  10. Combine errands and car trips
  11. We bought a composter! Yay! This should help reduce the number of bags of leaves we put out for collection and it should be a fun way of making our own mulch.

Of course there is much more that we all can do - start today! And I realize that none of these are huge, exciting changes, but I like to think that even a little improvement will make the world a better place in the long run. Try it!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Look-Alike Meter

Most people say that LP is all my family, but I guess this meter knows better;) Check out the MyHeritage Look-Alike Meter to see who your kids most resemble.

Thanks to GreenStyleMom for pointing me to this cool tool.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lost in Translation?

Food for Thought

Last night I was talking to a friend about her toddler's refusal to eat. He is drinking milk by the gallon, but refuses most solids, berries being one of a few exceptions. I can relate. LP has moments where she refuses to eat whatever I prepare, no matter what it is. I have a hard time discerning if she doesn't what to eat that item at that particular time (sandwiches) or if it is never to be presented to her as a dining option again (peas). If I try several days in a row and the item still gets flung from the heights of the high-chair, I usually give up.

We also commiserated over the fact that as they get older, our babies don't like being treated likes babies when it comes to food. Chunks of banana will not suffice when a whole banana could be nabbed. Bibs are no longer tolerated and if they can in any way avoid the high-chair, they will. At this point, LP only goes to the high-chair when she is hungry and I am not yet preparing her dinner. It is her way of communicating without words.

Last night, LP took this to the nth degree. First, she refused to eat a slice of meatloaf I had cut for her. She instead wanted to pick at the whole mini-meatloaf (thank goodness I made two mini-meatloaves instead of one big one) with her little fork and fingers. Then, she insisted on eating while standing up on a kitchen chair with the meatloaf tin precariously balanced on the counter. This way if she didn't like the bit she had just picked off she could fling it into the sink (admittedly this was better for clean-up). She did end up eating more protein than I might have expected, but we both ended up wearing a lot of ketchup.

In case I wasn't jumping through enough hoops to accommodate my little munchkin, today's New York Times further lays on the guilt. Apparently, being a picky eater is genetic. I am not sure if this is better or worse than thinking it is my cooking.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Real! Live! Celebrities!

No, not really. Just the characters from Sesame Street during our visit to Sesame Place this past weekend.

LP had a great time with her cousins. She even went on some rides and waited patiently in line! I think she most enjoyed the fact that we let her run around to her heart's content since people were very aware of children moving about. I have never been to a place so packed with strollers and pregnant women. It must be the destination of choice for expecting parents to prepare the under-10 set for big brother- and sisterhood.

We don't have many pictures since our digital camera mysteriously broke last week. It appears to have been dropped on the floor. Hmm...I wonder how that happened? Anyway, we ordered a new one that arrived today, so hopefully the quality of the accompanying graphics will improve in the coming months.

Here is a picture of LP, hanging with her cousins. (From left to right: J, LP, and K and me hiding in the background). While they are all gorgeous (and smart, and well-behaved), there doesn't appear to be much of a family resemblance. This is weird especially since LP looks a lot like my side of the family and these are my brother's daughters. They all do have the same beautiful blue eyes though!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Murphy's Law: Mommy Style

Murphy's Law - anything that can go wrong, will go wrong - takes on a whole new meaning when you have children. Not only does anything go wrong that can, but somehow it finds a way of hurting mommy in the process.

Friday's example of this phenomenon was no short of an unfortunate series of events. We live in an older home and it has its original windows. They have ropes on either side, held open by counterweights within the frame itself. Since the house is 70 years old, the ropes on some windows have snapped and the windows need to be propped open. The weather on Friday was gorgeous and I had the kitchen window suspended with a Nalgene water bottle.

LP and I were enjoying the sunshine outside when it became apparent that someone needed a diaper change. After taking care of business I felt a tickle on my arm and noticed an ant had hitched a ride into the house. I put him on my left hand, while holding LP in my right, and brought him over to the window hoping to return him to his natural habitat. As I lowered my hand to create a bridge for the little guy, LP's fascination with the Nalgene bottle got the best of her and she pulled.


I had the presence of mind to put LP down and make sure that she was okay before hyper-ventilating. All I really wanted to do was cry, not that it hurt so much, but I think crying is some sort of calming reflex mechanism. The good news is that LP sensed Mommy wasn't so happy and so she sat quietly on the floor and entertained herself.

This is an extreme example of what pretty much happens every day. No matter how wide a berth LP has, if she drops something it inevitably lands on me. Is there a theory about "Mommy Magnetism" out there confirming the science behind this?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Government in Action

Earlier this week I approached the Director of LP's day care to ask if they would be getting a new, working refrigerator in LP's classroom. She claimed that the problem is not the fridge, rather it is the wiring in the building and since it is a city-owned building the City is responsible for fixing it.

Well, this answer is unacceptable. However, since it is an election year and I happen to be a resident of the City in question, I decided to write to the Mayor. I figured it would be similar to all of my experience dealing with the customer service departments of different companies.

Mayor M-
When my husband and I bought our home two years ago, we were thrilled at the opportunity it offered. It seemed to us to be the ideal place to raise a family. When our daughter arrived in May 2006, we were excited to make use of many of the facilities available for families.

For the past year, [LP] has attended...a day care center in space leased from the City. Unfortunately, I am concerned about her health and well-being due to the condition of the building. Because the structure is city-owned it is difficult to have improvements made to the facility. For example, the refrigerator in my daughter's classroom does not have a stable power supply. For some reason the fuse trips often and unexpectedly. While City Engineers have been out to inspect the wiring their standard response is that the fix is temporary and really, the entire building needs to be rewired.

Obviously this response is not acceptable. Especially considering that the Center cares for children from 3 months to 4 years old. As I am sure you are aware, milk products are vitally important to the physical development of children in this age range. It is critical that working refrigeration be available in all of the classrooms at the building.

Thank you very much for your time. I look forward to your response.


RESPONSE (half an hour later):
I am checking this out, but someone from my staff will be contacting you for more info.
Mayor M

Granted, he didn't say much, but I am still impressed that he responded at all and so quickly. I Will keep you posted.

PS - I found my keys. In my bag. Where they were supposed to be. Can you say genius?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Dim Bulb

Someone has to be the dim bulb, right? Today it is me.

So far:
  • I spent 10 minutes searching my house for my car keys. Yesterday LP was playing with my pocketbook. Typically this entails taking every freaking item out of my wallet and inspecting it to see if it passes snuff. Typically it doesn't and she tosses it. My keys must have met this fate. Fortunately, I have a back up set. And now I have a purpose for this evening - find my keys. (7 am)
  • Sitting in my cube, I keep hearing this annoying beeping every minute or so. I assume it is my neighbors blackberry and ignore it. Then it makes a sound like my cell shutting off. Yes, it was my phone warning me that it was dying. Good thing I am responsible for any one's life by picking up audible and non-audible clues! (9:50 am)
I am sure there are more brilliant moves to come. Will post as they happen.

Taking the Plunge

Okay, we did it, we entered the 21st century and ordered DVR service from our cable company. The box should arrive in 3-5 days and then away we go.

The impetus was really that the Hoos got into a new show, Chuck, on Monday night and had to miss the ending to bathe LP. The same thing happened to me last night with Pushing Daisies. In addition, a few months ago I ordered the "SportsPak" of channels, specifically so that the Hoos could watch some of his fishing shows. Unfortunately for him, the timing is never right and he misses more shows than he catches (no pun intended).

This was not a decision that we came to lightly. Both the Hoos and I wanted to be convinced that having the DVR would not have us watching MORE TV, but rather we would watch BETTER TV. We don't want to be slaves to our boob tube.

The hope is that instead of watching whatever crappy show happens to be on when we want to relax on the couch, we will now be able to watch shows that we are actually interested in. No more P. Allen Smith (a gardening show the Hoos loves and I despise), no more staying up until 11 to see the conclusion on Lost, and no more of missing the end of shows that happen to fall during LP's bath time (anything on from 8-9).

I did confirm that we can cancel at any time, just in case we find ourselves becoming lumpy...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Day Care Reflux...I Mean Redux

I am sorry to harp on the day care situation, but this blog is about what is on my mind and this is definitely taking up a big portion of my brain lately.

Almost exactly four months ago, I complained about LP's day care and decided to investigate other potential schools. Of course, inertia won out and I quickly soothed my ruffled feathers and canceled my appointments with alternate programs. At the time my reasoning was that the teachers were excellent and truly cared about my daughter and hopefully, the administration would make strides to improve.

Unfortunately, my favorite teacher has moved to a preschool classroom, new teachers have moved in and the administration still sucks (as evidenced by this and this). Recently, I have tried to limit my run-ins with the director because I am finding it more difficult to hide my disdain. The Hoos wrote her off a long time ago and pretty much avoids her.

Yesterday, I once again had cause to seek out the director. I was given a new form for Tylenol by one of LP's teachers and told that "the one we have on file is for prescription medicine and Tylenol is non-prescription, so you need a new form filled out by your doctor." That sounded funny to me, especially since the new form said "prescription" and "prescriber" on it several times. The teacher was only doing what she was told, plus she had a room full of kids, so I instead went to the office to get my questions answered.

After 10 minutes of the receptionist trying to help me to no avail, the director stepped in. I was trying to get a copy of the completed form so I could understand the differences. The director brought me over two blank forms - one for non-prescription topical medications and one for prescription medicines which was identical to the blank form I had been given. She then explained to me that Tylenol was not topical. It took a lot of will-power not to give her a dirty look (or cause her injury) at this point. I explained that I was confident that neither the doctor nor I would have filled out a topical form for Tylenol and again requested to see the completed form which should be on file.

The completed forms apparently are kept in the classroom, so the director called down and asked the teacher to bring the form to the front desk. Hello, ding-a-ling, if you have a teacher come up here, the classroom will be out of ratio - school is still in session and the room is full of kids. Finally realizing this, she sent the receptionist to get the form.

"Oh, you see what the problem is? The form says 'give the Tylenol for fever' but it doesn't say what temperature. We have this problem a lot." Are you freaking kidding me?! First, why didn't you have the teacher to tell me that in the first place, and second why don't you just give me the old form and I will fill in a temperature?!?!

A father standing behind me near the office shrugged sympathetically and intimated that they had the same problem. As I walked away I heard him ask her what was going on at the Center and if they would be getting their act together soon...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Pet Peeves

I am just not feeling "it" today. I don't have a lot of energy and I can't think of anything new and exciting to write about. Instead, I have decided to outline some of my pet peeves so that hopefully there will be fewer people committing these offenses.
  1. Incorrectly pronouncing "frustrated". The word is frustrated folks, with an "r". I can't even believe how many people say "fustrated". It kills me. Really, a bit of me dies each time I hear this.
  2. Falling down pants. I thought that the fad of wearing your pants below your underwear would have gone the way of the dodo a long time ago. If you have to hold up your pants when you run, you need pants that fit better. Also in this category, the fad of wearing one pant leg pulled up. What is that? Is it a gang sign or something?
  3. Talking in the bathroom. I hate when people talk to me while I am in a bathroom stall. Obviously I am in there for a reason and if I really have to go, I don't want to have to wait until you finish talking to me. Equally despised are the people that use the bathroom as a place to chat. Am I supposed to wait to flush until there is a polite break in their conversation so as not to drown out their voices?
  4. Callers who don't identify themselves. You know when you answer the phone and someone starts talking to you as if you know who they are? I think I am pretty good about recognizing voices, but I am not perfect. When I call someone I always say, "Hi, this is Amy, is So-and-So there?". I think of this as polite. I am calling them, my voice is out of context and I think it is only fair to give them a heads up. The only place this becomes a challenge is when you know multiple people with the same name. For example, the Hoos and I have three cousins Josh between us. We have both been caught looking silly when we get a call from "Cousin Josh" and it takes two minutes of conversation to figure out who the heck is on the line.
  5. Enforcers. Shari's comment reminded me of this one. Even though I have blogged about it before, it can't hurt to repeat. Enforcers suck. These are the people who drive 55 in the left lane and think they are doing you a favor since they are driving the speed limit. GET OUT OF THE WAY, PEOPLE!
This is a start to my list - what are some of your peeves? Enlighten us so that you too can make the world a better place...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Not to Brag

LP is a genius. I know, I am biased, but the evidence is pretty clear.

This morning I was washing the dishes and remembered that there was a sippy cup still in our living room. I turned to LP and asked her to go and get me the cup. Two seconds later she was back at my feet, cup in hand.

Then, as we were climbing the stairs, I was pulling up some lint from the carpet (fancy housekeeping, right?). When we got to the top of the stairs, LP saw the ball of dust bunnies in my hand and grabbed it. I told her it was garbage so she walked into the bathroom and dropped it into the trash can.

I know, these are not big tasks. But it is truly clear to me that she understands everything that I say. Of course, a lot of time she purposefully ignores me, but that is par for the course.