Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Piggy Pudding

2008 has been a pretty good year around here, and we're grateful. (I feel I can speak for Pronto now that he doesn't maintain a web presence.)

We're happy about the new guy, with his adorable Obama ears:

And, we're happy about the big kid, who seems to be imitating gang signs in this photo:

And we're happy to have a roof over our heads, food to eat, a new president, and other great blogs to read.

Last year, I made a resolution to try my best to blog ten times per month. I didn't make it all twelve months, but I did keep my average up. I'm going to call that a resounding victory.

And, I'm planning to write some more in '09. I'll be doing a long-distance triathlon. That'll probably be good for at least a couple of "I fell off my bike" entries. Plus, I think November will be my five-year blogiversary, so it seems a shame to quit now.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rocks, Hills, and Plains

Christmas was wonderful this year, as usual. I've had fun being excited with Shef about making cookies, the gingerbread house, wrapping presents, playing with the nativity sets, discussing Santa, and watching The Grinch. As for the actual celebration, all of our family gatherings were enjoyable, and we all received many thoughtful and delightful gifts.

And now that it's the 27th, I'm especially glad that my annual bout of Holiday Anxiety is giving way to the other, more manageable types of neuroses I usually entertain. You know, like social anxiety, career anxiety, perfectionism, concerns about the future, endless rehashing of events past, and crippling inability to make even the smallest of decisions. (Dan: Do you want Thai or Japanese? Me: WHAT?! I don't know! What do YOU want?! I can't decide!! Just stop talking!! Let me think!! LET ME THINK!!!)


Last year for Christmas, I got this book called Prescription for Nutritional Healing, which lists the vitamins, minerals, dietary and lifestyle modifications that can be helpful for different ailments. I looked in it today because I've mostly been medicating this year's Holiday Anxiety with alcohol, which even I know is probably not recommended.

After a little reading, I think I've discovered why Holiday Anxiety is worse than my general state. It seems that, if you're anxious, you're supposed to limit caffeine and sources of refined sugar while increasing your intake of calcium and magnesium. You're also supposed to be sure to get enough rest and exercise regularly.

I, on the other hand, been taking high daily doses of high fructose corn syrup and Diet Coke since Thanksgiving. I'm on a no-dairy diet, and my daily multivitamin contains no magnesium. Further, I haven't had a workout in about three weeks, and I haven't slept through the night regularly in about five years.

Some of this stuff is just the harsh reality of being in my current life stage and situation, but I'd say there's a good chance I can at least do something about the calcium and magnesium.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm Rob Base And I Came to Get Down

I've recently started to miss my job a bit.

"WHAT?!" Dan said when I told him. "Are you inSANE?!"

It's true I didn't really like my job at all last year. I dreaded going to it, and I was treated terribly by some administrators and parents.

But it's been six months since the baby was born, so I'm predictably under-stimulated. This is true even though I'm incredibly busy and helpful to my family in my current capacity.

I talked to my teaching friend Rachel about it on the phone this morning. She was between classes, sitting at her desk in her classroom.

"Oh, Kace,!" she said, when I confessed a certain wistfulness about educating the youth of America. "You cannot POSSIBLY be thinking of returning to THIS PLACE!"

Then, she regaled me with an appalling story about cheating. Today at 3:15 she'll have to meet with the dad of the cheater, who is an attorney and is staunchly defending the red-handed student, before the start of winter break. While she was telling me about it, she had to take a break to yell, "STOP WALKING ON THE DESKS!!!" to her sophomore class.

So, okay. Household Managing seems preferable to THAT.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Holly and the Ivy

Mac is six months old now. Here he is rocking the scoop neck:

He's generally mellow and cheerful. His favorite song is "The Itsy Bitsy Spider." He makes the clearest "ah choo" sneezing sound I've ever heard. He does hate getting his diapers changed, but really, who wouldn't?

And he's a mere 19 pounds and 7 ounces. What a peanut! He only made the 82nd percentile! His doctor said she wouldn't use the term "peanut" herself and suggested it's because I'm used to "plump" that this is my impression. But, still! Under twenty! Hasn't doubled his birth weight! This is new territory.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I had dinner with Stylish Emily last night and a couple of other pals from my years as a Camp Foley counselor. It was a blast catching up with these friends. It's a cliche about camp, but totally true in this case, that even if you haven't seen each other for years, you can just go right back to complete familiarity. Anne and Cara, who rounded out our foursome, are both successful and also stylish.

The good news for me is that Emily has been pondering the personal shopping that she agreed to do for me.

"Kace," she said on the way into the restaurant, "here's what we'll do. Day One is a jeans shop. That's our priority, and also a couple of tops. So, Banana, Gap, maybe Ann Taylor. Not too much, so we don't get overwhelmed."

"Ok," I said, "I love that you have a plan."

"And then Day TWO, and this is where you can really hit the mother lode, we'll do the Salvation Army."

"Ok," I said. Really, I have to agree to everything she says. My situation is obviously that dire.

"Now they don't have dressing rooms, so you need to wear a tank-top," she began. "Well, I mean, you need your BRA, and then a tank top, then a shirt and a zip-up thing." She did a pantomime here to make sure I understood the concept of a hoodie. And I love that she really thought I might leave the house without undergarments. It's kind of like the time she asked me if I owned any brushes.

Once during dinner, I had to leave the table to check for Cara, who was running late, and I am happy to report that Emily checked me out as I walked away and was nice enough to remark that the jeans I was wearing were much better than the ones I wore for our last visit.

"Your butt isn't even saggy!" she said encouragingly. I knew she'd be pleased.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hello, World

Mac started waving last week. He's really into it. He waves at the computer, the tv, furniture, and the Christmas tree, as well as at people.

Very friendly, that kid. He also says, "Ba ba ba," which is a sure sign of genius, don't you think?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

We're Supposed to Be Following His Interests

The kids in Shef's class are investigating animals. We got a letter about the project from his teacher:

Dear Parents, it said, and I'm paraphrasing, PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS PROJECT FOR YOUR CHILD. Help your child find an animal HE would like to study. DO NOT force your child to look at websites or books on the animal if he doesn't want to. Again, LET THE CHILD TAKE THE LEAD. DO NOT make your child do a poster or a diorama. There is no required homework. So, please don't do this project for your child. And please, for the love of God, DO NOT DO THIS PROJECT FOR YOUR CHILD. Thank you. And p.s. HANDS OFF THE ANIMAL PROJECT!!

So, Dan and I were committed to helping Shef find an animal he really liked. We reminded him of the many exciting species we've seen on our frequent visits to the Minnesota Zoo. Tapir! Komodo Dragon! Amur Tiger! Prairie Dog!

Or, he could have chosen an exciting animal featured in one of the many animated features we've viewed on multiple occasions. Sea turtle! Panda Bear! Lion! Penguin!

Do you know what he chose? After many weeks of consideration?

The duck.

Like, a mallard.

A duck!

Thank goodness I've been forbidden from making any dioramas.