Wednesday, December 31, 2008

a few things

Just a few things to round out 2008:

I have so much enjoyed spending the past week with Jane. I know you're probably thinking - duh! - but seriously. I haven't had this much time with her for over six months, and it makes me realize that a lot of the time I do have with her is basically upkeep - get her up in the morning, fed, ready for daycare, drop her off, pick her up, feed her, clean up, play for a bit, bath, bed. Then on the weekends, it's chores, and obligations, and we don't very often just sit and hang. Having the chance to do that this week has been so awesome. She is developing into quite a charming (and mischievous) little girl. The baby days are well and truly behind us now.

My lovely friend Audrey has started up a fancy new blog! I encourage you to go check it out - this will force her to keep updating it.

I hope everyone has a fabulous New Year's Eve, and an even more spectacular 2009. I will be hanging on my couch with Greg and the pups, most likely eating takeout and watching a movie, desperately trying to keep my eyes open 'til midnight. Hope your plans are a bit more...sparkly. Alas, this is the life with a toddler. We'll party when we're 50.

See you next year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

end of year questionnaire! (or: can I possibly remember what I did this year?)

Linda over at All & Sundry put the challenge out to her readers to answer this New Year's quiz - so I'm going to take a stab at it.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? Took an overnight trip w/Jane. Two actually - we went to New Jersey to see Greg's old college roommate, and we went to Cape Cod for a few days. The amount of packing needed was astounding. I also co-directed a musical. Although I'd done just about everything else in theater, I hadn't done that. It was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to doing it again this summer.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Yes. I made a resolution to get my ass to the dentist. I hadn't gone in a long, long time. And I did. And I survived. In 2009, I have to get a mammogram. I was supposed to go three months ago, but I've been putting it off (can't imagine why; they're SO FUN). I'd also like to chill the hell out a bit this year. I seem to have made an unsaid resolution for 2008 to become a high-strung maniac; I'd like NOT to be in 2009.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? A couple of good friends gave birth this year. It was strange seeing newborns again - I couldn't remember Jane being so small, even though it was just a few months prior that she was.

4. Did anyone close to you die? An old editor and friend from my newspaper days died this year. It was a real shocker. I hadn't talked to him in a while, but he was such a huge part of my early days as a writer.

5. What countries did you visit? Um, the United States? It was not a big year for travel.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? As for material goods, none, really. That's not really my thing. I would like to have a calmer mindset in 2009.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? July 23 - Jane's first birthday. November 4 - the Presidential election. Both days made me cry. September 23 - I turned 35. This was my "scary, real adult" age. Funnily enough, I still don't feel like an adult. Hey, maybe that's what being an adult is all about!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? This year it was all about survival. Creating a managable work/life balance. It's something I struggle with almost every day.

9. What was your biggest failure? My biggest failure was my ability to internally freak out so easily. When you go for months and months (and months) of not getting real quality sleep, your wick tends to be very short.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing major, tap wood.

11. What was the best thing you bought? The In the Heights soundtrack. And the best thing Greg bought this year was tickets for us to see In the Heights. And, in conclusion - go see In the Heights on Broadway!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? I think the behavior of everyone in my department at work merited celebration. We all worked tremendously hard this year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Sarah Palin's.

14. Where did most of your money go? Babies R Us and Target.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Seeing Jane turn into a real person. It amazes me how different a 17-month-old is compared to the five-month-old she was a year ago. That girl cracks me up.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008? All of the stupid songs that Jane's toys play. They are burned into my brain, no matter how much I don't want them to be there.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:a) happier or sadder?b) thinner or fatter?c) richer or poorer? Happier, thinner, poorer (thanks, daycare!)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Chilled out. Took solo trips to the beach in the summer. Used more babysitters.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Worrying about Jane. But that said, I'm a first-time mom and a natural worrier to boot. So I don't think it was really controllable. Motherhood is made for worriers. I also wish I felt guilty less. But again, that's a motherhood thing. Unavoidable.

20. How did you spend Christmas? Hung out at home with Greg and Jane in the morning, then went to my sister's in the afternoon.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008? Ha! I thought this question said "Did you fall in love with 2008?" to which I would have said, "Well, I liked 2008, but I don't know if I liked liked it." No, I didn't fall in love in 2008. I think that would have made Greg very upset!

22. What was your favorite TV program? LOST. Season premiere Jan 21, baby!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I don't really waste a lot of energy actively hating people. I sure don't like a lot of people, which you know, if you've spent any amount of time actually talking to me.

24. What was the best book you read? I thought "Moo Baa La La La" was quite intriguing. "The Best Friends Book" was also very enjoyable. Oh, you mean adult books? I always have a hard time answering questions like this. "Nineteen Minutes" really stuck with me for a long time.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? I am ashamed of my musical knowledge these days. I'm not even going to pretend like I made a great musical discovery, except that I heart In the Heights and [title of show], but I could not even begin to claim that I discovered them. OK, maybe [tos], a little.

26. What did you want and get? I got to see a bunch of shows in New York, including Rent (twice this year), In the Heights, Legally Blonde the Musical, [title of show], and Jersey Boys.

27. What did you want and not get? MORE SLEEP. I cannot stress this enough.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? I saw exactly one film this year, Sex and the City: The Movie. So I guess that would be my favorite.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? My birthday was fairly lame, although I did have tasty cupcakes at work. I went to work, came home and took care of a sick Jane, probably went to bed early. Hells to the yeah. I know how to party. I turned 35.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? MORE SLEEP (are you noticing a theme here?).

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? Is there spit-up on this? No? OK, I'm good to go.

32. What kept you sane? I have started taking a couple of hours to myself on either Saturday or Sunday mornings. I usually go to the bookstore or Starbucks. It has helped keep me sane, although I hardly think I'm sane.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I fancy Mark Ruffalo now and forever, and I am so sad about his brother.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? This is a pretty obvious one - the whole election, the euphoria of November 4, Barack Obama in general.

35. Who did you miss? I always miss my dad, but particularly this year, because I think he would have gotten a real kick out of Jane.

36. Who was the best new person you met? I met a lot of talented young performers during the show I directed this summer, who I am sure I will work with over and over.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. A valuable life lesson would be "chill the [bleep] out, Amanda" - but I'm still learning that one.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. "There are some people in the world who say that writing stories or composing music or dancing sparkly dances is easy for them. Nothing interferes with their ability to create. And while I celebrate their creative freedom, a little part of me wants to punch those motherf***ers in the face."

OK, your turn!

Friday, December 26, 2008

on the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me..












....a kid who managed to survive the whole holiday thing with very few meltdowns.

Our Christmas Eve/Christmas had all the ingredients for a complete disaster - bad double ear infection, the croup, very little sleep for any of us - but we managed to pull ourselves together and have a nice holiday. Tuesday and Tuesday night were rough going for Miss Jane - her fever didn't break until sometime between midnight and 6 a.m. on Wednesday, but by later Wednesday morning, she was ready to go. So we headed to the in-laws, had a nice visit (with lots o' presents for Jane - a theme that carried through both days), then went to my mother's for Christmas Eve dinner and board games (Scattegories, to be specific). I had this grand plan that Jane would eat dinner with us, then I would put her to sleep in her Pack n Play, and I would get to eat, drink and be merry for the rest of the night like a real adult. Then, I would put sleeping Jane in the car, and transport her to her crib with no problem, and she'd sleep through the night, despite being moved around so much. And I knew, by making this grand plan, that everything would be shot to hell.

Miraculously, it wasn't. Everything went nearly exactly as planned. And because my mom forgot to put the lasagna in the oven, we ended up eating late - so I ate a meal sans child, with both hands and everything. I even had time to chew!

Christmas Day was fun. It was great opening presents with Jane (and the dogs, of course. Santa never forgets how nice it is to have distracted dogs when you're trying to open your own presents!). Jane isn't into the whole Santa thing yet - she's too young to understand - but she had definitely gotten the hang of ripping off the wrapping paper, and like every toddler cliche, she played with the boxes and paper more than her actual gifts. We went over my sister's house in the afternoon, and Jane had a nice time helping herself to all the breakables that were at eye-level. Luckily nothing actually broke, but it felt like I didn't sit down for a second. Holidays and parties, with a toddler, are the opposite of relaxing.
I have until January 5 off from work, which is so fabulous I can't stand it. I haven't had any real length of time off since my hellish vacation in July, so I'm hoping for many low-key days. I'm going to be getting together with friends here and there, and I'm having a New Year's Day thang, but that's about it. And although some people might think that's a lame way to spend precious time off, right now, I can't think of a better way.
Hope your Christmas was merry!
PS Jane got a Cabbage Patch Kid newborn from my mom. If you were a girl who grew up in the 70s/80s, you know HOW AWESOME that is. I was so excited! I mean, Jane was so excited!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

happy holidays, and all that





Merry Christmas, from Casa de Sick.

I knew this was going to happen. I predicted it, way back when my Christmas Eve became crammed with plans. "Jane will be sick," I said. "There's no way it won't happen."


Sure enough. She has a double ear infection and croup (a wicked, wicked, wickedly bad cough/breathing sickness). She currently has a fever bouncing between 101-104. So, you know, Merry effing Christmas.

That said, I wanted to say Merry Merry to all of you. I hope your holidays are merry and bright (but not as bright as poor Jane's cheeks are right now). I'm a little apprehensive of the next 12 days, i.e. my fun holiday break, because it's not starting out so great. We'll see. I'll try to remain optimistic(ish).

Have a great holiday!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

oh, the weather outside is frightful











But we're keeping ourselves busy. (Have I mentioned I want to move to San Diego?)

Friday, December 19, 2008

good stuff friday

Well, it's been a busy week of socializing and good stuff! Here's my list:

Went to a fabulous holiday concert by Broadway Inspirational Voices on Monday night. It was the perfect balm for my crabby self. (I know, I know, you're surprised that I am referring to myself as crabby .... but it's true!) The talent was through-the-roof fantastic, and I got to see Eliseo Roman (who is in the chorus, and also in In the Heights). He's so cute!

Went to my theater group's holiday potluck on Tuesday night. We made actual plans to do an actual show in the spring...we've been on a bit of a hiatus lately, so I'm excited that we're actually going to DO something, instead of just having board meetings. Stay tuned for details...

Had our holiday potluck extravaganza work, and had Secret Santa festivities all week. I was lucky with Secret Santa this year, as I had someone good to give to, and someone good was giving to me. I got a plastic reindeer that poops brown jellybeans as one of my gifts. What's better that that?

Went out to happy hour with work people last night. I never go out for this stuff anymore, and it was nice to be able to socialize and know that Jane was home with Greg, and I didn't have to worry about rushing back to a babysitter.

Am KIND OF looking forward to the first big snow, which is supposed to hit any minute and dump 7-14 inches of the white stuff. This will be the ONLY snow I look forward to this year, because I hate winter, but the first storm is always kind of exciting. That is, as long as it doesn't mess up my hair appointment tomorrow morning.

What good stuff happened to you this week? Have a great weekend, all!

Monday, December 15, 2008

I need to do more sit ups

One of Jane's party tricks is that if you ask to see her belly, she pulls up her shirt and shows you her vast, pudgealicious, beer-gut-esque belly. And, thanks to my mom, if you ask where her "toot toot" is, she'll point to her belly button.

This is all very cute, but recently, she's become very interested in seeing our bellies and toot toots as well. I have never been one to wear belly-exposing shirts, even when they were all the rage in the 90s and I was 10+ years younger than I am now. The only time I wore a two-piece bathing suit was when I was on my honeymoon, starved down to a weight I have not-and never will be-again.

So you can imagine my delight when, in the middle of Christmas shopping at WestFarms the other day, Jane decided to pull up my shirt to make sure everything was still in place. It was nice knowing you, dignity.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

all together now..."awwww"

If you know me at all, you know I'm not really a gushy mom. As much as I think my kid is super-duper-awesome, if I'm talking to someone about her, I am much more likely to be complaining about her latest sickness or worrying about some developmental milestone or something. I'm not usually one of those "my kid is so perfect my kid is the best" type of people. Because, let's face it, those people are annoying.

But two things happened in the past few days that were super cute and I had to share. The other night, Jane and I came up with the game "Give Mommy a Hug." Basically this entailed Jane running full force at me, me giving her a hug, smooching her face, and her running back across the room, only to turn around and run at me again. We did this many, many times. IT WAS AWESOME.

Today, we took Jane to Barnes and Noble. She really didn't want to be in her stroller, so I walked around the store with her. She has never been much of a hand-holder because she was too small, but today she and I walked around holding hands, and let me tell ya, I felt like an honest-to-goodness parent with a real kid. Again, IT WAS AWESOME.

So, there you go. I shall return to my previously scheduled snarkiness in my next post, no doubt.

Friday, December 12, 2008

good stuff friday

Sorry for the pathetically light blogging lately (although I hope you all took the time to watch the Neti Pot video...over and over and over...like I did). This work week was one for the record books (or so it felt). So, with that, here is my very short, but very sweet list of what good I can say about this week:

*it's over.


Have a great weekend!

Monday, December 08, 2008

do not get this for me for Christmas

I cannot stop watching this (courtesy of Beth).


Thursday, December 04, 2008

good stuff friday

It's Friday! About damn time. This week has seemed very long to me, I don't know about you. And while there were some pitfalls this week, there were some highlights:

*I went out to dinner with three of my theater peeps on Tuesday. Not only did I have a huge and very nicely-priced meal, I also had a festive caramel apple martini. Wish I had another one right now.

*I have a fun lunch planned today with a woman I work with on a regular basis but don't see a lot. There is nothing better than getting out of the office on a Friday for lunch. Unless you're leaving for the day - even better!

*Got a decent amount of Christmas shopping done over the past week, but I have so much more to do. I have a plan of action - now I just have to do it!

*Check out my snazzy new banner. 'Nuff said. Thanks, Lisa!

*My Christmas cards arrived yesterday

*Going to my sister's huge bonfire party on Saturday - this thing gets bigger and bigger every year. She told me yesterday that 130 people are coming. Better her house than mine!

What good stuff is going on with you?

PS You know what else would be a good thing? If you people would VOTE IN MY POLL up there!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

thanksgiving weekend, redux







Is it possible that this four day weekend is already over? Bah, humbug.

We had a very nice weekend. Thanksgiving went pretty well. Jane was in such a festive mood that she refused to take an afternoon nap, which really blew by the end of the day, but otherwise it was fun, despite the fact that I didn't win any money during our games of LCR. Do you know this game? Left Right Center? Oh it's great. A monkey could play it (as long as said monkey could roll dice), and there's cash prizes involved. Except it wasn't so great this year, when, like I said, I didn't win.

Friday we decided, very spontaneously, to go to the mall at around 8 a.m. I know this wasn't the 4 a.m. madness that some shoppers thrive on - you know, like those freaks who tramped a Wal-Mart employee to death in Long Island - but still, it was really early. I've never done the Black Friday thing, and truthfully, I had no idea what to expect. I thought a couple of the stores would be open - Macy's and Nordstroms and what not - but not ALL the stores, including, of all things, Sbarros. Who the hell wants pizza at 8 a.m.? I got a little bit of shopping done, but mostly we just enjoyed watching the crowds.

Saturday Todd and Alan came over for the 2008 holiday card photo shoot extravaganza. My asshat dogs were out of control, which was fairly humiliating, but we got some good shots of the three kids (not all together, of course. I don't think that will happen for several years, at least.).
And today was just a laying low kind of day. We saw the first snow of the year, which morphed into rain pretty quickly, thank God. Despite my lifetime in Connecticut, I am no hurry to have the snow piling up. We also did a major purge of one of our bedroom closets. I bid adieu to a ginormous pile of clothes that I finally had to admit would NEVER FIT ME AGAIN, no matter how many miles I log on that *(*&!*(& treadmill. My pre-Jane body days are over, not that they were so great to begin with.
I hope everyone else had a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

do something good

Every day, I visit The Hunger Site, and by clicking through the various links on that site (The Hunger Site, The Breast Cancer Site, The Literacy Site, etc) I have the chance to help people every day. And I don't even have to move my lazy ass! You should do it too. I have helpfully added a link over there on the right. DO IT!

Friday, November 21, 2008

good stuff friday

I'm writing this quick, but here's some good stuff that happened this week:

*Got to make an ass out of myself on the radio on Thursday (it was fun)

*I have an interesting blog project that I will share with you at a later date

*Jane has started dancing, and while her moves resembles Elaine's from Seinfeld (a full-body dry heave), it's just about the most awesome thing ever

*Found out we have two extra days off during the holidays in December

*Had lunch with my BBCS gals today

*Thanksgiving is coming up! Short work week, PLUS lots o' food!

*I managed to not eat like a moron AND go on the wretched treadmill all but one day this week

What good stuff happened to you this week?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

good reads

Lisa has decided that this week we're writing about our five favorite magazines. Being a huge magazine junkie, this is easy.

In no particular order:

1) New York. Not to be confused with the New Yorker, which is much more literary. New York is about politics, culture, and the arts, and much of it is New York-centric, although some of it has a more national bent. I have a subscription to this magazine, and it's my weekly homework, because it's not a magazine you can just flip through. I (heart) New York.

2) US Weekly. Yeah, whatever, I love it. I used to read A LOT more gossip mags, but this is still the one I manage to read weekly. I prefer to read it by myself at Borders with a mocha, but it doesn't always turn out that way. Sometimes I just stand it front of the magazine rack and look at the pictures while Jane pulls on my leg. I'm not the expert I used to be on all of Britney's comings and goings, but I still have a pretty firm grasp on what's going on with Heidi and Lauren and Spencer and Brangelina and whatnot.

3) Cookie. This is a pretty cool upscale parenting magazine. It has a celebrity factor as well, which you know I'm a sucker for. It's always good for a couple of interesting features, and I always laugh at how much they expect me to pay for children's clothing.

4) People. Perhaps this falls in the gossip magazine category as well. It certainly has gotten more gossipy in recent years. A friend of mine subscribes to this so he passes it on to me. It's one of those oldies but goodies I think I'll always like.

5) Glamour. I've always loved this magazine. First of all, who doesn't love the Glamour Do's and Don'ts? From fashion to features to health news and love advice, it's my fave women's magazine, and I've been reading it since I was a teenager (obviously a zillion years ago.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

good stuff friday


Well, Jane decided to get a little stomach thing yesterday, so I wasn't so much with the sleeping last night - so I'm having a hard time remembering my name, nevermind the good stuff that happened this week! Let's see...

Got a very complimentary letter regarding a project I did at work

Went out to dinner with a friend who I haven't seen in a long time, who is newly-pregnant, so I got to feel like a baby expert for a while, which was nice, since I usually feel like a baby idiot

Went out to lunch with Todd and Alan, and had quite a marvelous time - but probably not as marvelous as Jane, who loves herself some Todd and Alan (see how happy she in in the pic)

Going to see some friends I haven't seen in a while at DIP NIGHT tonight!
Am loving that this effort is happening - www.jointheimpact.com

What good stuff happened to you this week?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

vacation all I ever wanted

Lisa called me out on my last post about being a lazy blogger. And it's true - I think after my 31 day marathon, I feel like I don't have that much more to say! I know I'm supposed to be posting about my five favorite vacations and five favorite holiday movies, but truthfully - I kinda HATE holiday movies! They are always sad to me for some reason. So instead I will attempt to write about vacations.

I haven't been on too many fabulous vacations. Lately, the bulk of my vacations have taken place right at home. But here is my list:

1) Hawaii, 2004. Greg and I went here for our honeymoon. We went for 12 days and split the time up between the islands of Kauai, Hawaii (the Big Island), and Maui. Each island was wonderful in its own way - Kauai was very lush and serene, Hawaii was super cool because of the volcanoes, and Maui was fun in a touristy kind of way. It was like being on another planet, honestly.

2) San Diego, 2005. Greg and I went here because U2 fanboy Greg wanted to see U2 kick off their Vertigo world tour, and San Diego was the first stop. Considering it was gross March, it was the perfect time to go. This trip was when I decided that San Diego was the most perfect place on earth, and not because Bono was in town either. But between the concert, the San Diego Zoo, La Jolla and the sea lions, I never wanted to leave.

3) San Diego, 2007. This is what dorky parenting websites call a "babymoon" (GAG). I was about six months pregnant, and my doctor said that if we were going to take a trip, we'd better take one now. So we basically replayed the previous vacation because we both loved it so very much (without the U2, of course). Once again, I never wanted to leave.

4) Ireland, 1999. I went to Ireland for a trip with three of my friends. We went all over the country and, like Hawaii, it was like being on another planet (in a much less tropical way). I would love to go back again to spend more time in the Dublin area, because I loved it so much and I wish we had more time there.

5) Family summer vacations at Connecticut shoreline, all through my childhood. Since my parents owned a Dairy Queen, there wasn't really opportunity to take far-away summer vacations, because they had to be relatively close to the business, in case there was an issue. But each summer, we rented a cottage with my grandfather down in Old Lyme, and spent our days at the beach, getting Italian ice, and having cookouts. When I think of my father, my mind instantly shoots to these vacations, because like me, he absolutely loved the beach.

Friday, November 07, 2008

good stuff fridays

So, in honor (that's "honour" to you, Alan) of my previous posting about trying to be a better person, I'm going to try to make this post a little less complain-ey (that's a word) and a little more...oh, I don't know...happy? Optimistic? Words I'm not always familiar with, at least in blogdom, but I'll try.

So that said, I bring you"Good Stuff Fridays," where I mention some good stuff that happened during the past week. This week:

*The excitement, anticipation, and ultimate elation of Tuesday night

*My friend got an extremely well-deserved promotion

*My rad new blog banner, created by the one and only Lisa (I have to say I was slightly worried, when I saw it on Tuesday morning, that it would jinx the election - but Jane's endorsement obviously helped!)

*Jane learned a new word (up) (or, in her words, "upaupaupaupaupa")

*the delightful and unseasonable warmer temperatures

*the new Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate at Starbucks. Hello deliciousness. I have found you.

What has been the good stuff in your week?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

OK, I know I'm totally contradicting my last post, but....


...this guy is such an ass.
OK, now back to my regularly-scheduled trying to be a better person.


the chance for us to make that change


I'm still thinking, like most of us, about last night. There is already so much anger from certain segments of the right about the results of the election, already rallying how things will change in two years, then four years. But what I am hoping, instead, is that we decide to focus some of the monumental amounts of energy we directed at this election towards a new cause. Wouldn't it be great if everyone who so desperately wanted this candidate for change decided to work towards making some sort of positive change in their community? Say you spent an hour a day thinking about, talking about, and reading about the election. Imagine if you used that hour to help a neighbor, volunteer, be a better friend - something? All that positive energy would certainly amount to something palpable, perhaps something even more powerful than what many of us felt last night.

Just something I'm thinking about.

"This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you. So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other."

"while we breathe, we hope"

What I took away from last night was this:

The problems we had yesterday we most certainly still have today. But now we can approach the solutions with dignity, grace, and a glow of hope that has been absent for at least the last eight years.

It was a day I wasn't certain I'd see in my lifetime.

Yes, as it turns out - we can.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

yes we can




I have voted in every presidential election since I turned 18 years old. I voted for the winner twice and the loser twice. I think it's time for another win.
I had a big, fat grin on my face when I filled out my ballot this morning. My anxiety has been building all day. I'm about to put Jane to bed, crack open a bottle of wine, and watch the results with very very guarded optimism.

This was the first presidential election I wasn't just voting for myself. I voted for Obama for a lot of reasons today. Here are three very important ones:

It means her rights as a female won't be compromised anytime soon.

The idea of an African-American president won't be a special thing to her. It will be a normal thing.

Her country, while facing some incredibly difficult challenges, will have an aura of hope, rather than fear.

Here we go....

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Boo!




Well, Halloween was festive for one and all. Jane dressed up as a flower, I dressed up as a hockey player, and everyone ate lots of candy. Here's some pics for your enjoyment.

Friday, October 31, 2008

31 for 21

Yeah! I did it! 31 days, 31 blog entries (I know SOME PEOPLE don't think Noel's blog counted, but the majority did, so nah nah nah). Hope you enjoyed my non-stop complaining. But hey, give me some credit - 31 days of blogging is pretty major for me. I truly hope you clicked over to some of those blogs by parents of children with Down syndrome, because they really are wonderfully written.

I promise that I will post Halloween pics this weekend, but my camera died and I need to recharge it before I download the pics. So instead, I really really really want you to watch this video. Because it's hilarious, yet so so right, and Samantha Bee's commentary, while funny, also completely hits the nail on the head on why I will never, never, not ever vote for John McCain. I know some of you (Dwayne) don't like it when I post videos, but you must watch this.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

can you hear me now?




My day today started at 3:30 a.m. Actually, it started before that - I was woken up, on and off, by Jimmy's frantic head shaking. See, Jimmy has chronic ear problems. Because he has floppy ears, he tends to get yeast infections (yeah, that's right) in his ears because of food allergies. And because we are sometimes lazy dog owners, we don't always buy the super expensive food, and we don't always keep up on his ear cleanings, which should take place at least three times a week.

But the thing is, cleaning Jimmy's ears sucks. I used to do it all the time, but since Jane, I have more or less unceremoneously passed on that duty to Greg. But it's gross. Surprising, I know - digging dirt and yuck out of your dog's ears is not the best way to spend your free time.

Which leads us to last night. Greg had cleaned Jimmy's ears before he went to bed, but it did no good. It was too late and it had gotten too bad. Jimmy was shaking and shaking and shaking his head, so much so that we were thinking maybe something was stuck in there. So, many many hours before dawn, Greg decided to take young James to the 24-hour vet to get the situation checked out. I thought we could wait it out; he just wanted to get it over with.

Although I was exhausted, I couldn't go back to sleep. When I started to drift off, either Jane would start wimpering or Junior would start whining to go out. Then I would start thinking about work. I was up for the day before 5 a.m. And the bonus was, Jane decided to sleep until 7:30 a.m. today - WHICH SHE NEVER DOES. This was like, world-record late sleeping for her. The rest of us were up hours before.

Because Jimmy is Jimmy, his triumphant return home featured a slew of medications and a large bill. This is his ear regimin now:

  • 3/4 of a pill three times a day. That's right. Three Quarters Of A Pill. Meaning I need to break the tiniest of pills into quarters. Luckily the pills already come in halves, so I only have to halve the half, but good Lord if I don't want to do that three times a day


  • Ear drops twice a day


  • Foaming ear cleanser followed by foaming ear drying lotion every three days
Does anyone want a free dog?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

and the heavyweight champion is....



Jane!

This is a bit of a cop-out post but I'm tired and I just got home. So I will update her stats for you after her 15 month appointment yesterday:

Weight: 22.4 lbs
Height: 31 inches

New skills since last appointment:
Walking
Babbling/talking
Not sleeping

Things to work on:
Sleeping
Getting beers for Mommy

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lisa made me do it

OK, Lisa challenged those of us who have been struggling with coming up with things to write about to compose a "10 things" entry every week. This week she wants us to write about our 10 favorite websites.


The list below reflects the websites, AT THIS MOMENT, that I visit the most. This could change at any given moment. Any second, really. Like the internets, it's always changing. Here we go:


Babble - This website is "the magazine and community for a new generation of parents." See, we parents like to pretend like we're still cool, so we visit websites like this. I LOVE this site - lots of entertainment news, fun blogs, great product suggestions - plus, it's all done with a sense of humor that is lacking in so many parenting sites. It doesn't take itself too seriously.

Facebook - Ah, Facebook. You're killing me, with the way you suck up time. But I love it, because how else am I going to broadcast to all of my friends that I'm tired, or hungry, or bored? And no doubt everyone wants to know!

Dooce - Dooce is the giant amongst parenting blogs. Written by Heather Armstrong, it's a fairly irreverent look at parenting, family life, and her emergence as a blogging celebrity. Also, she posts daily pics of her dogs Chuck and Coco. What's better that that?

New York Times/CNN/Yahoo/MSN - The sources of my political angst. These sites will be hit the hardest in the next few days, and then hopefully I can give them a rest.

The Weather Channel - Are you going on vacation? I'd be happy to look up the forecast for you! In the winter, I have no better internet friend than weather.com. I'll refresh that 10-day forecast until the cows come home. Or the snow comes down. Or whatever.

Broadway.com/Playbill - I am a theater nerd. This is a huge surprise to all, I'm sure. These two sites make me sound smart when I'm talking about theater stuff. 'Nuff said.

Finnian's Journey - Since I've been blogging like a maniac as part of "31 for 21," I thought I'd recommend a fairly new blog written by a woman who recently had a baby with Down syndrome. Lisa has six children, and this past summer gave birth to her son Finnian. Her blog is a brutally honest look at the unexpected journey she is taking with her new son. It's very compelling reading.

Gawker - Snark to the max - this is why I love Gawker. For all the news in the New York media world, Gawker is one-stop shopping.

Sweet Juniper!
- This is a blog from a stay-at-home-dad's perspective, and it's great. Really smart writing from a guy who left his job as a lawyer to stay home with his daughter Juniper a few months after she was born. Since then, he and his wife (who is also a lawyer) have had another child, a son. It's an interesting perspective from a family raising children in one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, Detroit. As a bonus he is a phenomenal photographer.


Cry It Out: Adventures of a stay-at-home dad - Another blog from a stay-at-home-dad. Mike Adamick does a really hilarious, sometimes cringeworthy job of connecting his life growing up to that of his daughter's, Emmeline. Read this post for an example. He doesn't post very often, but when he does, it's always excellent. Unlike most of my posts these days!

Monday, October 27, 2008

CT vote NO!

I know we're all fired up about the election next Tuesday - or is it just me? - anyway, don't forget to VOTE NO on the first question, which will ask you if you think there should be a Constitutional Convention to amend or revise the state Constitution. Because this is just a vehicle of people who want to take away gay marriage, ban abortion, and other rights that are so, so important.

Click here for more info.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

good morning

I am not what you would call a morning person. I never really have been. These days I roll out of bed around 5 a.m., rush to get ready for work before Jane wakes up (these days she's been getting up so early that Greg often has to get up too, so he can watch her while I finish getting ready), get Jane ready for the day, feed her, play with her, drop her off at daycare (although Greg often does this), then go to work. By the time I'm at my desk between 8 and 8:15 a.m., I feel like I've already lived an entire day. I've also already usually consumed a decent amount of Diet Pepsi by this point, because that's how I get my caffeine. I can't even imagine getting through the morning without a chemical boost of energy.

On the other hand, when Jane gets up, she cannot wait to start the day. I've barely picked her up out of her crib when she wants to get down and get going. She usually first heads over to her bookcase and starts flinging out books, chattering away. Then she starts with the imaginary phone calls on her play phone. She doesn't even want to waste time getting her diaper changed. She's got STUFF TO DO.

I want that. I want to wake up, ready to go. I want to have Jane's super-enthusiasm that another day has begun. If she could talk, I think she'd say "Holy crap! We get to do this again! We get a whole new day! Whoo hooo!!!!!!!!!"

I wonder if it's even possible. Is it possible for a 35-year-old who hasn't gotten a decent night's sleep in a berzillion months to wake up with that kind zest for life? I don't want to be cranky. I don't want to need the caffeine. I want to be psyched that it's a new day. I AM psyched that it's a new day - it's just that my brain doesn't know it so early in the morning.

I'm going to work on this.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I cant take this anymore


I figured I'd throw the old lady a bone and share some of my thoughts with you blog people, I understand all this yammering is for some type of charity. So much has happened since last time I chimed in a year ago. Frankly, I've been so disgusted with all that's been happening round here that I've found it hard to get out of bed.


First off, the little brat is walking, and her parents are all a ga ga over this. HELLO MOST EVERYONE CAN WALK. They are really setting the bar low for this kid. If you ask them they will say "Jane is talking". That is a load of crap. Waving while uttering ba ba and pointing to the old man and saying da, is not talking. She points at everything and says da, the dog, the sink, her breakfast, the couch, come on people, give it up. They think she is saying goodbye, but she waves and says ba ba to her diaper champ, I've seen it. By the way, who are they kidding with that thing. Suffice is to say, the Daiper Champ is by no way airtight.


The kid is the least of my problems. The old man is way worse, Sundays have really gone down hill since Tim Russert passed away. Now all he watches is Star Trek. Star Trek is like 50 years old, why can't he just watch football like everyone else? I hoped they might use the boat more often and get the hell out of the house, but miss Jane, being 14 months old can't exactly hang out on the docks without ultra-close supervision. You don't have to be Einstein to figure that out, but the old man hasn't gotten that one down yet. You would think after Jimmy jumped into the water last month the old man would get it. James spent a few minutes trying to figure out if he should hang himself or drown, before the old man lugged him out of the water. Maybe I should get the old man to tie me up on the dock, "where it's safe".


Junior is actually ok, but has some how reverse-sinked his clock with Jane. If Jane is asleep at 3AM, Junior is awake. Have you ever had a great dane, who hasn't brushed his teeth in 5 years, breath on you at 3AM? We're sure this is why the old lady is such a basket case, on the off chance Jane doesn't require supositories, rocking, soothing or diaper changing at 3AM, it's a sure bet that numb nuts dog will want to go out.


So lets see, have I touched on every one of our glamorous characters? Why yes, I have. Isn't it shocking I don't blog much?








Friday, October 24, 2008

I'm in a bad mood

so I am cheesing out today and posting a link to another video. But it's pretty awesome, so there's that.

Will Ferrell and Tina Fey. What's better than that?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

four years







I got hitched four years ago today. In my memory, it was probably the most perfect day of my life.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

in response to your comments


Yes, [title of show] is a great show. Yes, it was on Broadway. Yes, it closed after three months.


BUT hey, at least it made it to Broadway. And with the style of the show the way it is, and the economy the way it is, I'm surprised it lasted that long. It's just not the type of show that was ever destined to live a long Broadway life. It's only four people, it doesn't have the bells and whistles that your Wickeds or Lion Kings have - and for $100 a ticket for the best seats, people really want the bells and whistles. (Or, as we say in the biz, "they went away humming the sets.") Lots of shows are closing now, including Legally Blonde the Musical, Spamalot, Hairspray..so at least [title of show] is in good company.


Junior keeps on keepin' on. I have NO good Junior stories for you right now! And since he is the Number One Pup Of All Time (tm), the fact that he keeps himself out of trouble doesn't surprise me. He is currently taking a well-deserved nap, after a long day of napping. But here's a pic instead.


What is the definition of a "meme"? Is it basically just a quiz or something? Anyway, I checked out that link you sent, Lisa, and I will definitely attempt it in the future. But writing about ten things I'm loving right now would only come across snarky or something, especially after the day I've had. So I'll hold that for a future date, where I can be more sincere.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

21 for 21

Whew! I've made it through 21 days of blogging so far - only 10 days left! I know you've all be glued to your computer screens, wondering when my next enthralling entry will pop up.

I regret to inform you that it won't be today, because I am drawing a blank on blog topics. I think we've covered all that is on my mind these days:

*The Election (check)
*Jane's various sicknesses (check)

Yup, those are the two top things that keep me up at night.

So, anything else you want to know?

Monday, October 20, 2008

the great pumpkin





Way back BR (Before Roseola), we went out to Lyman Orchards to pick out a pumpkin for Halloween. Jane was pretty weird and exhausted that morning, and just a few hours later, she would be in the throes of sickness. But, hey, at least that morning was nice.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

this made me LOL for reals

Seriously, I had tears running down my face during the moose part. I think I've watched that part ten times now.


Amy Poehler does Sarah Palin.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

buh-bye

(aka sick day, part 6)

Yeah, Jane's still sick. Well, actually she seems to be feeling better, but that rash is still all over.

But today's blog posting is not going to be about Jane's sickness. Instead, I will tell you something really cute she did today. Recently, she has been building up some words - "ah duh (all done)" when she's done with a meal, "uh oh" when she drops something, and now "buh bye" which she has been doing frequently lately, complete with frenetic waving.

So this afternoon, while we were walking out of Target, she started waving and yelling "buh bye" - which I thought was just about the best thing that has happened all week.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

bonus post for today

I didn't watch the debate last night, as there was no way I could possibly stay up that late after the day I'd had. But of course I read up on what happened first thing this morning, and of course heard about McCain's "zinger" about how he's "not George Bush." And the second I read that, I thought to myself, "it's like he spoon-fed an ad to the Obama campaign."

And here it is.

SICK DAY, PART FIVE.

Yes, I'm shouting a bit in the subject line of this post.

I was able to go in to work at the ass-crack of dawn to get some much-needed stuff done, and got home at 12:20 (Greg has meetings this afternoon and tonight, so I had to come home to take over Jane duty). I noticed Jane's rash had definitely intestified and spread since last night. So I made a call to the ped's office and they squeezed us in at 12:30, right before their lunch break (yup, I had 10 minutes to make an at least 15 minute drive - that crazy lady with the baby you saw literally running through WHC? that was me). The doc looked her over and determined - or at least, made his best guess based on the timing of her symptoms - that she has roseola, which is basically a common ailment for babies that features high fever, high fever, high fever, no fever...then RASH. Sounds familiar, huh? Not sure about the puking, because that's not typical of roseola.

Anywho, she has this horrible rash from head to toe. He gave her some Zyrtec (sp?) and said it should go away in a few days. Of course the bonus is, when he checked her ears he thought they looked a little pink. Not red enough to give her the drugs and make it go away - just pink enough to suggest that an ear infection MAY be on its way. He said if the fever comes back in the next couple of days, to call him and he'll call in the prescription.

But, hey! Remember when all of my blogging was supposed to help support Down Syndrome Awareness Month? And how, instead, all my posts have been all "woe is me" and shit? Well, I have another site to recommend to you. Days with Dylan is written by mom Laurie, whose son was born almost four months ago. He was diagnosed with Down syndrome and also has to have heart surgery in November. Despite this unexpected news, Laurie writes a very optimistic and entertaining blog about her family, which also includes a two-year-old daughter. Worth checking out, I promise!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

sick day, part 4.

Jane stayed home with Greg today because I absolutely had to go in to work. When I got home I found that she was covered with a full body rash. A last-minute call to the doctor told me that it was probably the end part of her virus; that it sometimes manifests into a rash like this. It was too late to bring her in, so it's not an official diagnosis, but that's what he thought. She is, understandably, completely miserable still.

Me? Yeah, me too.

Words kind of fail me at this point.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

sick day, part 3

I don't even want to write about this anymore. Last night was a complete disaster - Jane seems to have a perfect storm of stomach bug, fever, and big-time teething (molars coming in). This all resulted in SCREAMING - non-stop, nerve-shredding screaming - throughout the day today. I ended up working from home and not going in, and I was only able to do this because the other girls in my department were able to pick up my slack. I HATE the fact that I couldn't go in - after many years of working for my parents, I have a pretty strong work ethic, and hate leaving people hanging. This is the worst part of being a working parent - the choice is extreme guilt for staying home with a sick kid and not being at work, or extreme guilt for going to work and not being at home with the sick kid. Today she was in way too much agony for me to go in, and luckily, I was able to make that choice.

I feel pretty beaten down, though. It's frustrating never feeling like I'm doing enough, in one part of my life or another. Of course, the massive lack of sleep over the past few nights isn't helping either.

Aren't you glad I decided to blog for 31 days?

Monday, October 13, 2008

sick day part 2

So, Day Two of Jane's sick-o-rama was just delightful. It started at around midnight with her waking up and throwing up, then repeated again at 3:30 a.m., and then 5:30 a.m. Her temp has gone up and down from 99 to 102 all day, and she's been so clingy and sad. Her mood seemed to be better this afternoon, but then she crashed again tonight, and her temp went up again to 102, which is scary to me. We went to the doctor's office today and they basically just said it was a viral thing, no ear infection, thank God. But still, I have no idea when she's going to get better, and as mentioned before, I really cannot miss any work this week, if it can be at all avoided.

I'm going to stay with her until about noon tomorrow and then go into work, and Greg will handle the rest of the day. But nothing gives you a dose of major mommy-guilt than heading out the door when your baby is sick. It just makes me feel like crap.

And the week goes on...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

sick day.

So Jane has some sort of bug which has given her a pretty decent fever, stomach sickness, lethargy, etc. Poor thing woke up miserable and it has continued all day. Just put her to bed, still with a fever and overall yuck. I feel so badly for her. I don't know why it is I look forward to the weekends; something like this always happens.

In the back of my head I am getting steadily concerned for the upcoming week. Although I have tomorrow off because of the holiday (and will no doubt end up in the pediatrician's office), this work week coming up is one of the busiest I've had in months, and it's not the kind of week where I can work from home - it'd be totally impossible, in fact. And knowing that it usually takes a couple of days to catch a stomach bug, that would mean it would hit for me on......Tuesday.

My primary concern is, of course, for poor Jane. I hate that I'm thinking of myself at all. But as a working mom, this is just how my brain works. The balance seems impossible, sometimes.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

this one's for Shane.



It was "Sports Day" at daycare on Friday. Jane wore a shirt from Shane's favorite team. Except totally NOT his favorite team. Dare I say, the opposite of his favorite team?


Friday, October 10, 2008

Bonus post for today

Wow. I have to say good for McCain. His crowds are out of control at this point.

Read this.

'til death do us part

Connecticut has many, many faults (the impending asstasatic winter weather being one major one). But today's news put a big fat check in the "pros" column about our fair state. It's about damn time.

I will now anxiously await the invitations to arrive in my mailbox!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

the porcelain throne


Last night I went to a "Toilet Training from the Trenches" class at Jane's daycare. I can truly say there is nothing as enjoyable - read, torturous - as the idea of going BACK to Jane's daycare after picking her up, giving her dinner, and shoving some food down my own throat, but off I went last night, with Greg getting the lucky duty of dealing with Jane's bedtime ritual. And I truly do mean he was lucky.
The class took place in the 3-4 year olds room, which was interesting to see. It looks like all sorts of fun up there, with art projects, a science center, and other cool stuff. I would have much preferred checking out Jane's future digs than sitting in a chair designated for someone 32 years younger than me (not good for my back, which has already been in agony these past couple of weeks-woe is me!).
Anyway, the lady teaching the (mercifully short) class was from the United Way, and was perfectly lovely, and she gave a little talk, and people asked questions, and we all got a handout detailing what and when we need to do in regards to the almighty transition from diaper to crapper.
I have to tell you, I could barely keep a straight face. There was so much sincere talk about "poopie" and "pee pee" and "BMs" and something called "pee targets" (did you know such a thing exists? for boys? you float little targets in the toilet? HA!) that I could hardly contain my laughter. And I felt bad, because while the whole conversation was very theoretical for me because Jane is only 14 months, but all the other parents had more age-appropriate kids (between 2 and 4) and some of them were having real problems with the whole process.
The next step, in a few months, is for us to start identifying to Jane what it is she's doing in her diaper. But I'm already doing that! I have a song called "There's a Poop in Your Butt and Your Mama's Gonna Get It Out" and everything! We also get to start going to the bathroom in front of her. What a supreme treat for everyone!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

this election needs to get over with so I can go back to my regularly scheduled life



It was Debate Night in America again last night, and once again, I was glued to my TV, simultanously watching the big show while also monitoring various websites and liveblogs covering the event. Although I've always been interested in politics, I find I've become positively obsessed over the past 12 months (as I am sure you have noticed).

My mother demanded that I register to vote the instant I turned 18 – her mantra being, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.” I’ve voted in nearly every election since, only missing one or two local elections. And, Lord, have I complained.

As for presidential elections, I’ve voted Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Kerry…and now Obama. I voted for the winner twice, then the loser twice…time for a win again, I say.

Although I do clearly remember screaming in misery during the last presidential election in 2004 when it became clear that Bush had somehow won again – while on my honeymoon in Hawaii (how dare he muck up my escape to paradise!) – I don’t think I’ve ever been as invested in an election as I am this year. When I start thinking about November 4, my heart starts beating faster, with a combination of terror and tentative excitement. If Obama loses, I will cry big, fat, "we have failed" tears.

The other night, my friend remarked the same thing, and said that although she fears that underneath his sheen of hope and change Obama is the same sort of sleazy politician we have all come to detest, she finds herself really wanting to believe that he’s one of the good ones. That the things he says are true. She commented that “this must have been what people felt like about JFK.”

Indeed.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

you should see the other guy




I had this whole post worked up in my head about the election (yes, I know, surprising), but then I picked up Jane from daycare today, and immediately changed my blog topic for today.



You can't see it too clearly in these pictures, but she is all scraped up under and above her left eye. I got the dreaded "accident report" (we've gotten three of these in the past couple of weeks!) when I picked her up, which detailed how she slipped and fell out on the playground today, basically giving herself a rug burn on her face (yes, they have a rug in the playground, I'm not sure why). She took it like a champ though, and didn't even cry. I wanted to cry when I saw her, however!

You must admit, it gives her a bit of that "don't mess with me" aura, though.


Monday, October 06, 2008

zen

As I was pushing through rush hour traffic this afternoon, on the way to pick up Jane at daycare and start the craziness that is my evening schedule, I started to think of where I would rather be. Right away, I thought of two places that instantly put me at peace: the bookstore and the beach.

I LOVE going to the bookstore. This past Sunday morning, I abandoned Jane and Greg at home for an hour and headed to Borders BY MYSELF. Prior to Jane, Greg and I would go every Saturday morning to read magazines and drink mochas. I don't know if it's the smell of the books or the coffee or a mixture of both, but the minute I walk in, I can feel myself physically calming down. Since having Jane, and especially now that she's older, it's not really easy to have a relaxing morning at the bookstore. Sure, I take her there all the time, but disassembling and reassembling the children's section isn't quite the same. And now that I don't get to go as often - at least not without a kid in tow - it's even more of a treat.

Even more so, I love going to the beach. Some of my favorite memories with my family, and especially my father, are from our family vacations that we took at the Connecticut shoreline every summer. I don't know whether I'm much of a spiritual person, but I know that I positively feel my dad when I'm at the beach. I just have to go down to the water, stand at the edge, and stare out - and all the memories come flooding back. On top of that, there is just nothing better than going to the beach alone, finding a perfect spot (preferably next to a group of college kids, so I can hear all the good gossip) and reading for the day in the sun.

So, in conclusion: sun + books = Zen Amanda. What's your formula?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

sigh.

Let's face it, Sarah. You wanted to talk about what you had written on your notecards. I love how she says she was "annoyed" instead of just "completely unprepared to answer fairly simple questions." Hell, I can answer the question of what magazines and newspapers I read. And, yes Sarah, you are going to get clobbered for everything you say. Just like Obama, McCain, and Biden have been. You are running for national office. Is there something about that you don't understand?



PS YES - I did actually get to out last night! Like a real person who goes out! On the weekend!

Friday, October 03, 2008

rock the vote!

No, no, not THAT vote. I am exhausted by last night's election - not just that it was late, but that some people think Palin did SO WELL - why? WHY, PEOPLE? Because she didn't completely choke? Because she didn't start crying? Because what I saw was someone who was prepared on SOME questions, and who evaded other, direct questions to funnel back to the topics on which she felt most comfortable. Also, I can't stand her. Especially the cutesy shit. I DO in fact want someone MUCH smarter than me to be President, not someone who is just like me, or, God forbid, not as smart as me. See? I can't write about this election anymore, because it makes me all rageish.

No, the topic to vote on is about tonight. See, I actually have plans tonight to go out with one of my friends from my newspaper days. We are supposed to eat, drink and be merry - so what will happen to make me have to cancel? Your choices are:

A) Jane gets sick (the obvious choice)
B) Jimmy has some highly unusual medical problem that has to be seen by a vet immediately, if not sooner
C) Something happens to the boat and Greg has to go down to Old Saybrook
D) I get sick

Or perhaps a lovely combination of a couple of those choices! Vote now!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

you can see into the future with those glasses

That is what my brother says about my glasses.

I am a blind mofo. Not really, but probaby as close as anyone you know who isn't actually blind. So you can imagine my shock - nay, HORROR - yesterday morning when I heard the "snap" as I was cleaning off my glasses. Yup. Right. In. Half.

I freaked. I truly cannot see without my glasses. It's not that I just need them to drive, or read, or work - I need them to walk across the room. I don't have a backup pair, because, if you all remember, Jimmy chewed those up a couple of years ago. I do have contact lenses, but, ever since I was about 22, my eyes have completely rejected them.

However, yesterday offered me no other option. Greg had a very early morning meeting so I had to get Jane ready for the day, to daycare, and myself to work before I could even deal with trying to get in touch with my eye doctor to schedule an exam (oh, yeah - I was two years overdue for an eye exam). I plopped the contacts in my eyes, braced myself for eyeball agony, and went on my way.

I was able to get a doctor's appointment at noon (my eye doctor is in an office at LensCrafters). All was well, so I brought my prescription to the store and picked out some new frames (but I didn't really wanna - I loved my old frames!). Now, I know you're thinking - LensCrafters is great! They can make glasses in about an hour! Not with my suck-ass eyes, they can't. They have to order special lenses that are ground down so they're not super thick, with the special non-glare coating, blah diddy blah blah blah - and I was given the bad news that it would take a week for them to come in.

The very nice optomitrist suggested I pick out some discount frames, and they could put the thicker, glare-y lenses that they can make on the spot in that afternoon. That way, I would have a backup pair for the week, and then in the future, when I inevitably break my nice ones again.

There was really no other option. I couldn't bear to wear contacts for a whole week - at that point I just wanted to rip my eyeballs out as it was - so I picked out some (fugly) frames and got my (fuglier) lenses and now I'm walking around with what looks to me like laboratory glasses. A face shield, if you will. People have been nice to say that they look OK, but they are lying liars.

The whole experience cost me over $600. Six hundred dollars. I hope everyone's looking forward to their framed pictures of Jimmy pict for Christmas this year, because that's going to be about all I can afford. And that's only if I make the frames with popsicle sticks.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

31 for 21

You'll see a new link on the right side of this page called "31 for 21." October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and there is a campaign being led by Trish at Unringing the Bell for all bloggers to try to blog for 31 days (in a row)(I know!!) to help raise awareness about Down Syndrome. Here's the paragraph that got me:

Why should I do it?
This is the one question I can be unambiguous about. I propose you do it in honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month. One thing I can say certainly, is that writing--blogging specifically--has helped me in numerous ways as the mother of a child with Down syndrome. I value the people I have met, the friends I have made, and the information I have gathered on blogs. Wouldn't it be wonderful if new parents googled Down syndrome and our blogs came up? What a welcome wagon that would be!

But that doesn’t mean you HAVE to write about Down syndrome. I think it’s beneficial for folks to read about people who are affected by Down syndrome and see that our lives are just the same as anyone else’s!

I propose whether or not you personally know someone affected by DS that you do it in honor of those living with DS as a part of their lives; to raise awareness of Down syndrome. (And, well, it WOULD be nice if you mentioned that's why you're doing it in at least ONE of your blog entries.)


I have talked about it on here a decent amount, so you all know that when I was pregnant with Jane, we were given 1/77 odds of her having Down syndrome, and while she did not end up being born with Down syndrome, it's a topic that has become close to my heart. Although people told me over and over that "she'll be fine" or "don't worry" or "blah blah blah" (that's how it sounded to me) I knew I needed to educate myself on what exactly Down syndrome is. My search led to me some scary, outdated medical sites, and to some wonderful, amazingly-written blogs, several of which I continue to read, because as it turns out, much, if not most, of parenting is a universal experience, no matter what issues your child confronts. I plan to recommend some of those blogs to you throughout the month, the first being Jennifer Graf Gronberg's Pinwheels. She writes beautifully about her life with her three sons, one of which has Down syndrome. She wrote a very compelling book, Road Map to Holland, about the early years with her son Avery, who has Ds - it is truly a book you can't put down. Take the time to check her out.

So - yeah. I plan to blog for 31 days in a row. HELP! I need suggestions. Is there anything pressing you feel like you must know about my life? Tomorrow I will blog about my glasses adventure today, titled "How You Know Your Wednesday Is Going to Suck - An Adventure in Snapping Your Glasses in Half First Thing in the Morning."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

what a week

Well, my birthday week left a little bit to be desired. Jane had a bad ear infection which resulted in throwing up (in one particular instance, on me, in Target), no sleeping, and general misery. We had some trouble throwing together a roster of babysitters for Jane to cover our day in New York yesterday, but it managed to work out. Greg and I were able to go in to see IN THE HEIGHTS yesterday - FINALLY - and I truly fell in love with this show. I was so psyched to have the opportunity to see the whole original Broadway cast, and, in particular, Beth's boyfriend and the show's creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda. It was such an amazing show and I cannot wait to see it again, because I know there was tons of stuff I missed. This show absolutely shot to my top five best shows ever, and possibly the top three.

Someday, when I get enough sleep, I will actually write more interesting blog entries, like how fascinated I was that John McCain plans to cut all spending except for his favorite hobby, the war. How fast this country is going even deeper into the shitter.

Instead, I leave you with this, to entice you to go see IN THE HEIGHTS! Go! Now! I insist!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Letterman love

I used to have a bit of an intellectual crush on David Letterman. I think it's back.

Monday, September 22, 2008

thirty five

It could have been as early as 15 - but definitely by 20 - that I decided that 35 was my scary "real adult" age. That it didn't matter how much I screwed up throughout my late teens, entire twenties, and early thirties, I really had to have my life together by the time I turned 35.

Lord, how those years flew by. I remember thinking, "I've got 15 years left 'til then" or "I've got 5 years left 'til then" and now I'm thinking "I've got eight hours left 'til then."

I don't see any major maturing going on between now and midnight, especially since I'll be having some cocktails with friends later this evening.

I mentioned this whole life theory to a friend who basically asked what it was I didn't think I had - I'm married, I've got the house, dogs, kid, good job. Health insurance. I pay my bills. I stayed home today with a sick kid and got puked on by her in Target. I actual squealed with delight when I realized the first presidential debate was on this Friday night. I claimed to Greg that watching it would be a "hot date." The other day, when checking the mailbox for birthday cards, I was even more excited to find a jury duty notice addressed to me - a first-ever. There is a part of me that thinks not only am I a real adult, I'm a lame-ass real adult to boot.

I suppose I expected to feel more grown-up at this point. As mentioned, I've got all the trappings of an adult. I definitely don't care what people think of me as much as I used to. I don't feel comfortable shopping in Abercrombie & Fitch anymore. I feel weird if I wear t-shirts with "funny" sayings on them. Clearly, there is some degree of growing up that has happened. But deep down, I just don't feel like an adult. Let's face it, my primary hobby, theater, is rooted in make-believe. I spent time today pondering if I should watch the first season of "Gossip Girl." I cannot wait until "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2" comes out on DVD.

The thing of it is, I really don't think most of my peers are that much more together than I am. I don't look around and think, look at all of these adults! To me, there is a level of humor that my generation - Gen X - is now retro, that I graduated from high school 17 years ago, that Sarah Palin is a mere 9 years older than me, that I have to go to a potty training seminar in a couple of weeks, that the same friends I have playdates with now are the ones who I drank myself sick with in college.

Here's the good news. I love being in my 30s leaps and bounds more than my 20s, and so to celebrate another birthday in this decade is a good thing. And while I still might think the word "poop" is funny, I am otherwise proud of all that I've accompished so far. And there's nothing scary about that.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

with apologies to the gentlemen who read this blog.

I'm officially old.

Because I'm turning 35 in a couple of weeks, I have to get a baseline mammogram this year.

Happy freakin' Birthday to me.

Yeah, what he said.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cape Cod, and other adventures



We took Jane on her first vacation last week - we went to Cape Cod with Greg's whole family (on his mother's side). Although Jane really didn't sleep well in her pack and play, it was otherwise a wonderful trip - the weather held, except for some rain during Saturday and Hannah blowing through Saturday night, and we had a lot of nice time to spend at the beach and hanging out on the boardwalk outside our rooms. We stayed in oceanfront rooms at this resort we go to every other year. It's really pretty nice and I just love being at the beach, so anytime I can open my door and look at the ocean, I'm a happy gal.


Greg's mother took over with Jane for a couple of hours a day, so I actually managed to get some time to myself as well, and nothing makes Amanda happier than sitting on the beach with a frozen drink in one hand and a book in the other. I didn't expect to get any Jane-free time so it was an unexpected and awesome bonus.


Jane really enjoyed herself. She had been having herself a cranky-a-thon for the previous week, so I was very apprehensive about the trip. Maybe it was all of the new people, maybe it was the fact that there was another baby there her own age (Greg's cousin had a baby last August), maybe it was all of the opportunity to be outside - I don't really know. All I know is she barely cried (except several times during each night) and always seemed to have something new to explore.


A note: packing for a trip with a baby is a lot like packing for a month-long trip, in the sense that there is barely any room in the car for the actual passengers. Holy hell, did we ever bring a lot of stuff, and I can honestly say, in the end, I don't really think I overpacked. She just needs a lot of shit.


In other news, Jimmy. Ah, Jimmy. I alluded to an adventure we had last night with Jimmy on my Facebook page, and I had intended to blog about it, but honestly, it's just so gross I think that probably no one on earth would really want to read the story. So the short version is: a horrifying thing happened with Jimmy's private parts last night, Greg whisked him off to the emergency vet, the problem essentially resolved itself before he even got there, he waited for two hours, got some antibiotics, and came home. I, on the other hand, was stuck at home, Greg didn't have his cell so I couldn't call him, and I bargained with God for Jimmy's life the whole time (truly, if you had seen what I saw, you would have been fearful for his life too).


He is, in true Jimmy fashion, just fine, after completely freaking us out and costing us a lot of money.


And that's about all I'm going to say about that.

Monday, September 08, 2008

seasons of love, indeed.

It's the end of an era.

Also, read this.

And then this.

This show has meant so much to my theater self. Yesterday I was thinking about how much my life has changed since I first saw it 11 years ago. Deep inside, there's still that 23-year-old who was trying to figure out her life and used RENT as her personal sountrack.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

here's the thing.

I'm damn frightened of how much the super-conservatives are starting to embrace Palin. With her anti-gay marriage, pro-guns, anti-choice crazy-mofo agenda, she pretty much stands for everything I don't.

And, no, I don't think it's fair that young Bristol Palin gets the national spotlight thrust upon her during what is most likely the worst time of her life. I can't imagine what it is like for this teenager to have to plaster a smile on her face, and act all "yeah, I totally wanted to get pregnant now and get married now despite the fact that my life has barely begun" when she probably just wants to crawl under the covers and cry.

I don't judge her. Hell, no. Anyone who judges a pregnant teen should stop for a second and realize that there but for the grace of Trojan go most of us...it could happen to anyone, and it does happen to many, and the fact that she's keeping the baby, is, apparently, a choice that she made with her family, according to her mother.

Wait...what was that word? Was it...choice? Huh. So by giving her a choice, you're not saying she's a pro-abortion floozie, throw caution to the wind and let's get knocked up because hey, I can just go to the clinic in the morning and who cares! La dee da! She was just given a choice.

Keep the baby - hard decision. Life-altering decision. Terminate the pregnancy - hard decision. Life-altering decision. Either way you look at it, Bristol Palin - and all young women who find themselves pregnant way before they ever wanted to be - have to grow up fast, and make grown-up decisions that are best left for someone a decade older.

The fact that Palin herself had a baby just a few months ago that has Down Syndrome has further rallied the conservatives. See? She found out the baby had a chromosomal disorder and look - she kept him! Because she's pro-life! And anyone who is put in a situation where they find out during an ultrasound that something is very wrong with their child - a child they may have prayed for and hoped for -shouldn't have a choice to deal with the abnormality by terminating the pregnancy, even if it means the baby won't live outside the womb, or it will live a terribly compromised, painful life! That would be wrong! It's so black and white! Can't you see?

As we all remember, I got blood test results that indicated that there was an elevated risk that Jane had Down Syndrome. And during the three weeks between the test and the ultrasound that reassured us that everything was OK, Greg and I had to make a decision. Do we keep the baby, or terminate? 90% of Down Syndrome babies are terminated, as I read. Didn't matter. It wasn't even an option. We were keeping the baby no matter what.

So who is better? Palin, a Republican who doesn't believe in choice, and kept her baby? Or me, a Democrat who treasures choice, and would have kept her baby? See, pro-choice doesn't always mean pro-abortion. It just means pro-CHOICE. In the eyes of the socially conservative Republicans, Palin's moral ground is much higher than mine. Yet we made the same decision.

It KILLS me that Sarah Palin has a huge chance at being the next VP of our country, and possibly the next President as well. I cannot imagine that this mother does not want to ensure the fact that her daughters are given every opportunity to make the choices they want, and to dictate their own lives.