Friday, November 2, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Contrary to popular belief, Halloween is not a holiday designed for kids. It's not even for teenage rapscallions. Halloween, I've discovered, is made for the parents of young children. Parents like me, who enjoy putting their kids into ridiculous costumes because, whether or not you hate, hate, HATE Anne Geddes and all she stands for, small children wearing costumes are cute.

So, without further ado, here is Olivia as Olivia.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Blogging with Olivia

I am writing this while holdint Olivia on my lap to show how she dqlikes 4to play 2with the keyvoa4rd while I am typing, making the outpu2t 32qqvery strange.

Sometimqes she `gets he r` h1an`d 1on1 the s1ide of the `keyboard and st`arts `press`ing th`e con`troll and alt `butTONS AN D THE C APs lock ``, which makes w e`ird thing s happen on the scree n. Other `ti mes s h`e ``1bumps my hand so that I push the wrong buttons. All in all, it makes for 2a very interest`ing typing experience.

Here she is practicing a "look." What a really, really, ridiculously good looking baby.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Beauty and the Beast: As it Should Have Been

Once upon a time there was a beautiful young woman named Belle. Belle was so beautiful, in fact, that she was considered by some to be “the hottest Disney heroine.” One stormy night, Belle’s eccentric inventor father got lost on his way home from the fair and stumbled on an old enchanted castle. He went inside for warmth and shelter, and was cared for by the castle’s staff-turned-appliances. Unfortunately, he was discovered by the master of the castle: a huge, savage beast. For trespassing, the beast locked him up in a dungeon.

When her father failed to come home, Belle went looking for him, and in her search found the beast’s castle. She discovered her father there and arranged a deal with the beast whereby he would set her father free and take her prisoner instead. Belle was allowed to roam free in the castle and given tasty food and gorgeous clothing; in return, the beast asked only that she not venture into the castle’s west wing.

Well, one day Belle’s curiosity got the better of her, and she broke the only rule she had been given: she went into the west wing. There, she discovered the magical rose that, unknown to her, held the secret to the beast returning to his original human form. Unless he learned to love and be loved in return before the last petal fell, he would remain a beast forever. Belle reached out to touch the rose—but just then, the beast came back and caught her there. He was very angry.

Belle gasped, and tried to use her apparent sweetness to escape the consequences of her actions. She even tried to place blame on the beast, scolding, “You should learn to control your temper!”

Although he’d hoped that perhaps Belle might be the one to break his spell, the beast realized he could never love someone so dishonest, manipulative, and lacking in responsibility. So he reached down and gobbled her up.

A few months later, another young woman named Honnete, who was perhaps not quite as pretty as Belle but certainly had more integrity, came across the castle while performing charitable landscaping and gardening in the area. She offered her services to the beast, and over time he learned from her example not to act so beastly, and they became friends and eventually fell in love. Since there were still plenty of petals on the rose, the beast turned back into a human, and he and Honnete got married and lived happily, honestly, and responsibly ever after.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Cuteness overload

What do you get when you combine one unwearably large, one-time-event-specific free t-shirt...

with one very thrifty and crafty mommy?

A baby hoodie for the game tonight!

Gah! Somebody save me from this cuteness!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Long week

You know when you try your best at something and don’t really understand it and there’s no one else who can do it for you or even help you and you end up mucking it up and looking and feeling really stupid?


In good news, I get to sew tonight (I’ve given myself an edict that I cannot work on any sewing projects until my work is done.) At least I know what I’m doing there. I will have to post some of my newest projects; I’m pretty excited about them.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

On success

I have two adult sisters. One of them, Brook, is a third-year law student at Harvard, and has had internships with two impressive law firms. I am proud of her.

The other, Crystal, has a BA in philosophy, but is a stay-at-home mom with a new little baby. I am proud of her, too.

This week, I realized that my being proud of my sisters really doesn’t have as much to do with their occupations as the fact that they are doing good, honorable things that they enjoy, and doing their best at it. Brook goes to law school because that’s what she wants to do, and she really likes it and is a good student. Crystal has started her family and stays home and takes care of Abby because that’s what she wants to do, and she really likes it and is a good mom.

Success, I think, is making the best decisions you can based on your situation, and then working to do your best and be happy at what you are doing.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hush Little Baby - Updated

Hush little baby, don’t cry at all,
Papa’s gonna buy you a new Bratz doll
And if that Bratz doll looks too skinny
Papa’s gonna buy you a souped-up Mini
And if that Mini runs over a cone
Papa’s gonna buy you a new iPhone
And if that new iPhone gets dropped
Papa’s gonna buy you a new laptop
And if that laptop loses a key
Papa’s gonna buy you a Nintendo Wii
And if that Wii flies across the room
Papa’s gonna buy you a brand-new Zune
And if that brand-new Zune gets wet
Papa’s gonna buy you an electric pet
And if you’re not happy after that
Then go on and cry, you spoiled brat!

Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm cuddly, too

In light of scientific findings, anyone who wants to play with my baby will have to hug me first.

And just to tempt you all:

Who's first?

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Some people have expressed concern over my last post. Just to clarify, Steven and I (and Olivia, too) are good. My parents are good, his parents are good—we’re good. My sadness was for another family that we love, that is breaking apart.

I’ve dealt with divorce before—not in my immediate family, but with aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends. It’s horrible. In the past, though, it always seemed that the person I was closest to wasn’t as culpable a party in the divorce. Yes, there are always two sides to every story, and you never know the whole story, blah blah—but take, for example, my aunt Edith,* whose husband decided after two kids that he was gay. Or my extended family member Frank,* whose wife left him with 4 kids because she decided she didn’t love him after all. Or my friend Hyacinth,* whose husband developed an uncontrollable addiction to pornography. Yes, it was sad that their family was breaking up, but it was easy for me to just blame everything on Edith’s and Frank’s and Hyacinth’s spouses, since I knew I would never see them again, and I didn’t care too much for them, anyway. Being able to simply dismiss the opposing party and blame the divorce on them helped me to compartmentalize my feelings quite nicely.

With this new situation, however, I can’t do that. In this case, probably more than any of the others, one person is pretty indisputably more responsible than the other, and has done things that I find repulsive. Unfortunately, though, my ties to him are stronger than to his wronged wife—meaning that, while I feel defensive of her, I have a greater duty to be loyal to him.

For days, I seethed about this. I hurt for the wife. I hurt for their kids. I hurt for myself. I was indescribably angry at him. I couldn’t believe that he was doing this. I found his actions absolutely unjustifiable. I was angry and apprehensive in advance for when I knew I would see him again. I thought up angry things to say to him, angry ways to treat him. I justified my feelings by saying that what he had done was indisputably wrong, by anyone’s standards.

One night, while practicing angry snubs while I was getting ready for bed, the thought came to me: What is it going to take for you to forgive him?

I’m not going to write here all that happened after that. It would take paragraphs of things that I don’t have the ability to adequately describe, and things that are probably too personal to post anyway. But what I came to realize—not for the first time, probably—is that forgiving someone is not the same thing as condoning their actions. And loving someone does not mean rejecting the people they’ve hurt. And it’s possible to love people who are willfully imperfect.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Personal Note

As a child, the sounds I most feared were the pop of a balloon and the shattering of glass. They were loud, and they were associated with hurt or destruction—but more than anything, they were the sounds of things being broken that could never be put back together.

There’s a burning numbness that circles over my shoulders and the back of my head, moving down and resting just before my stomach. I both want and fear its departure—I hate feeling this way, but at the same time I’m afraid that if I stop it will mean that I’ve accepted what’s happening, and that will mean that it really is happening.

I wish that every family in the world could understand what a precious gift it is to be a family. That every person could appreciate that being fiercely loyal to their spouse and children is a more fulfilling ambition than any other. That actively loving the person they chose is an infinitely greater factor to make a marriage happy than being with someone who is their ideal.

I am uncommonly blessed, I guess, in that the person I chose several years ago also chose me, and given the choice again, I would gladly, anxiously, everlastingly make the same choice. Not because he’s perfect. But because we’re willing and wanting to live together, love each other, and be happy. While I generally don’t like to inflict my own decisions on other people, I can’t help but think that this is the way it’s supposed to be—and that it can be this way for everyone.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Read the Funnies

Am I a jerk for making fun of the grammatical errors of others? I try to think of it in the same sense as "Thou Shalt Not Judge": I don't think that the people who made these errors are bad or dumb. But the errors themselves are funny.

These are all from one afternoon of proofreading. Some have been edited to protect the guilty (grammatical errors have been preserved, of course.)

Our tech support can help save time and money when used in conjunction with our compatible toner cartridges.

In my position as Chief Information Officer I deal with a large number of vendors and consider [company] to be one of the best based on of their level of service and quality of products offered at excellent rate.

(Okay, that one is funny partially because the guy's touting his credentials.)

Office coffee, filtered water and bottled water beverge services. We offer a full menu of itmes and sizes.

We over national Brands which are listed below..
[misspelled brands listed]
We conveniently delivery a variety of sizes to your business and maintain a delivery frequency insuring needs are meet.

Savings of course will vary, but it should almost reduce their spend by 50%.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tee hee

We’re about due for some more funny sentences I’ve encountered lately. Oh, tee hee:

Sometimes referred to as a summary of public records relating to title to a specific parcel of land, an abstract typically is delivered to the seller or buyer under certificate and seal as to its content.

Why would anyone refer to an abstract as “a summary of public records relating to title to a specific parcel of land”?

Our products are unsurpassed by none.


We will go live with the new vendor in March.

Ah, homonyms…

You probably don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about our credit score.

Um…should I? I think they’re missing a “y.”

(from an email):

Hi Amber,
I have request more information on this job.
Is it for both products?
Can we use the copy that isn't crossed out.
I did find out they want to used the tech copy.
More to come.

This was in response to a question on my part: “What is this job for?” It’s all clear now.

Brooke was in my wife’s freshmen ward, and she took her disappearance very personally.
She still has a Google Alert to keep track of developments.

Well, I think I would take my disappearance very personally, too.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Warrior for Civil Rights

So, yesterday I was looking at my box of nursing pads, and I noticed that they were endorsed by several breastfeeding organizations. One of them stuck out to me: the African-American Breastfeeding Alliance (AABA).

I immediately thought, “What is this? A bunch of African-American women got together and decided that La Leche League wasn’t good enough for them, and they needed their own little exclusive club?” I resolved to make my own exclusive breastfeeding organization to mock the ridiculous premise that anyone of a differing racial background could not possibly understand or meet my breastfeeding needs. After much thought, I decided to call it the European-American Lactation Society, or EALS. Our cause would be to empower breastfeeding women of our particular “race”—since all Europeans, like all Africans, are of the same race. I hoped to inspire all other people who did not qualify for either AABA or EALS to start their own organizations: BAAL (the Breastfeeding Asian-American League), NAGGS (Native-American Glandular Giving Society), PIBS (Pacific Islander Breastfeeding Society), etc. The vast differences in our breastmilk and breastfeeding methods would make such organizations essential!

Then, of course, I looked online to see what AABA actually does. Turns out, they are actually geared at increasing breastfeeding among African-American women, as there is apparently a decided percentage gap between them and other races. I’m confused as to why that is, but the cause is one I support, so I might even join AABA, if they would let me in.

So, it looks like someone else will have to pick up the cause for EALS. Although if you need someone to come up with a logo, I have a couple of ideas.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm feeling it.

People have asked me sometimes if I feel like a mom yet.

I consider it an accomplishment to take a shower.

I have learned to type, and eat, one-handed.

When getting a gift for a friend, I immediately think of Hooter Hiders and diaper bouquets…until I realize that they don't have kids.

I take pictures of myself covered with barf so that I can put them in a scrapbook.

I have not done my hair for approximately 4 months.

I have Googled the lyrics for “The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night” and “Froggy Went A’courting.”

I used my 40 bucks’ worth of Barnes and Noble Christmas gift cards on children’s books.

I eat not because I want to or because I’m hungry, but because I know that she has to eat. I also refrain from eating certain foods I like because she does not like them in lactic form.

I breastfeed during conference calls.

I breastfeed in restaurants.

I breastfeed in parking lots.

Today, a few minutes after I left to go to the bank, I realized that there was a large orange smear on my pants. After a minute, I realized what it was. Rather than turn around and go home, I found a shady spot on the library lawn to change a diaper in the nice open air. I walked the rest of the way to the bank with a poopy diaper in the stroller’s cupholder. I am still wearing the poopy pants.

So, yes. I do.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bad dream

Last night I had a weird dream. In it, I was part of a family where each of us had either dark or blonde hair, and there was a stern and overbearing patriarch who had somehow repressed or abused everyone. And someone had killed Olivia, and for some reason I just knew that it was one of my light-haired brothers. So I tried to kill him with sharp objects, but he kept managing to be unharmed and sneered at me, and then one of my dark-haired siblings threw a dagger at him and it killed him. This made me realize three things: 1) in order to kill someone, you had to have the opposite hair color of that person; 2) I must have been light-haired, because I was unable to kill the light-haired brother; and 3) the light-haired brother did not actually kill Olivia: it was actually the overbearing patriarch (I knew this through dream omniscience.)

So, it was a tragedy that the light-haired brother was killed, and then I had to team up with the rest of the siblings so that we could get one of them to kill the light-haired patriarch. (I had the greatest feeling of despair when I realized that I myself would not be able to kill the patriarch.) And I was also trying to do it while in the middle of a European street carnival.

The whole thing was so disturbing that I was very relieved to wake up.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Last week, I fell asleep for an hour during a conference call...and nobody noticed.

However, today one of the other people who was on the call asked me to review her notes and add mine to them so that we could send them over to the client as a review of the call.

I was pretty nervous about doing so...until I read over her notes, and realized that she didn't have much more than I did.

Did she fall asleep too? Or did people really say nothing of significance for an entire hour?


Today was pretty hard for me. But good.

I found us a house for the next 4 months, and signed a contract for it.
I got a cookbook laid out and printed.
I started cleaning the living room.
I did 4 days' worth of dishes.
I emptied all the trash cans.
I went grocery shopping.
I took care of my baby.

I did all this while trying simultaneously to perform a full-time job. And being sick.

And lest anyone think that I am trying to paint myself as a superwoman, or even one who aspires to be so, let me emphasize the word "trying."

The best thing that happened today was that, while I was driving home from the printer's, I had to stop in the middle of the road for a duck. He was waddling straight across the road to his pond, and his little steps seemed so purposeful and, although I couldn't hear him, I could see his beak moving as he pleasantly quacked along his way.

Oh, and artichokes were 89 cents each at the grocery store. That was a good thing.

You know, altogether, it's a good day when you can look back and see the sparkling embellishments of ducks and artichokes.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Silly sentences

Here are some favorites that I've encountered lately:

"Here some the endorsements the station has received."

"Also, an attorney’s liability is restricted by his ability to pay and is his life span."

"As a client of mine, my goal is to develop a lasting relationship."


Thursday, August 2, 2007

3 months

My sweet little girl is 3 months old today!

Other things that took 3 months:

None of those things are as cute and fun to snuggle with, though. I love my baby girl.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Courtesy of Googlism

While brainstorming for a tagline for a product featuring "exclusive" traits, I came across this valuable insight:

"exclusive is still a must have since you can't get the super god sword unless you win in one of the campaigns identified in various japanese anime"

Who knew?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


A couple of weeks ago, I was at Wal-mart to pick up some chocolate milk for lunch (yes, lunch was to be just that: some thick, creamy, exploding-with-calories chocolate milk). This choco-blast was all husband wanted, and while I like chocolate milk, I wanted something more along smoothie lines. But maybe not a smoothie.

I discovered this:
Yup, nothing says "Pure" like "flavored blend of 5 juices from concentrate with other natural flavors and ingredients."

In spite of this, I really liked it. I bought the pomegranate blueberry flavor. I will list its virtues here:

1) I could taste both the pomegranate and the blueberry juice (in spite of there probably being minimal amounts of each...pure pomegranate juice is the price of liquid gold)

2) The juice was really thick, so it is satisfying - more so than regular apple juice, and certainly more so than soda (or worse, diet soda)

3) The 33.8 oz. bottle cost less than $3 (I have since discovered that this may only be at Wal-Mart, as Smith's prices it at over $4)

4) Because of how thick the juice is, the 33.8 oz. bottle is actually enough for several servings - even 4, as the bottle indicates

In short, Tropicana Pure (TM) is a good buy.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Blog resurrected

For the past couple of weeks, I've been thinking that I'd like to have a blog again. Last week, my sister revealed that she has been keeping one, and that did it. Here it is!

My mom she has always encouraged me to sing to my little baby, even while I was pregnant. Despite not being incredibly vocally gifted, I do enjoy singing, and while I felt awfully silly singing to a big belly, singing to a big-eyed, cooing baby girl is fun.

Some of my favorite lullabies include "Puff the Magic Dragon" (which always, always makes me cry...poor Puff), all the songs from Mary Poppins and Oklahoma, "Crazy Love," "Landslide," "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay," "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly," "Hush Little Baby," and "You've Got a Friend."

While I've brushed up on a lot of lyrics in order to be able to sing them, more often than not, our bedtime songs turn out to be parodies with very predictable themes: sleep, milk, bodily fluids and/or functions, fat, crying, etc.

And so, I am pleased to present the most recent rendition of "You've Got a Friend":

You've Got a Mom

When you’re tired and fussy
And you need a boob to suck
And your tummy, your tummy ain’t feeling right
Just bawl my name and scream at me
And soon, you’ll be in luck
In whatever hour of day or night

You just bawl out my name
And you know, wherever I am,
I’ll come running
To feed you again
When your diaper’s full of poop or pee
All you have to do is call for me
And I’ll be there, yes I will
You’ve got a mom

When your tummy’s rumbling
And your guts are churning ‘round
And digestion, digestion ain’t going well
Just concentrate, and squirt it out
Make that squishy, familiar sound
And I’ll change you, regardless of the smell


Ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a mom
To change your diapes when you wet them?
When they’re poopy
They get droopy
They’ll contain your poop if you let them
But don’t you let them…