Sunday, December 30, 2007

I'm back

Came back this evening from the wedding to a baby with a stomach virus, a toddler running wild half an hour after bedtime, and a very tired daddy.

The wedding was very nice, though, very intimate and pretty. Congrats Katie and Mark!!

This morning we had some time, and since we were staying 6 blocks from Temple Square in Salt Lake City, I requested that we go see the Temple. What else do you do in SLC on Sunday morning? Aside from being accosted by several Stepford Mormon Sisters who clearly wanted to discuss their close personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the square was really beautiful and quiet in the snow. Some of the architecture was quite pretty.


However, it's nice to be home, even to a pukey baby, wound toddler, and cranky husband. Wouldn't trade it for anything.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

You, too, can now own a piece of Toast.

Rock on, Mike.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I am so over...

Katherine Heigl. Holier-than-thou much?

Thank god it's over.

I am sitting here, on the couch in my jammies in front of the TV, just really basking in the fact that Christmas is over.

As if it wasn't enough that we were going through two full Christmases today, plus our own, I came down with a wicked stomach virus Sunday night that pretty much took me out of commission all of Christmas Eve. I spent the entire day moaning on the couch, praying for a swifter death.

Last night, I got up around 9 p.m. and wrapped the presents for the girls and tried to finish some of the other stuff. And I ate some toast.

This morning we got up with the kids and opened presents. We then scrambled around to get everything else ready so we could start the day. Went to MIL's, spent way too long due to unexplained hour-long absence of SIL's boyfriend while picking up his kids, and went way late to my dad's. Dad gets the shaft again.

Went through third round of presents while children are on sugar-crash. Finally get through and get to dinner and Kitten (Kitten!) eats 4 lbs. of ham. I can barely eat because my stomach feels like crap again.

We hang out for awhile and finally leave (kids are back to normal due to real food) at about 8:15. Way past bedtime. Meimei sleeps, but traffic is backed up and we end up on back roads.

Next year will be different. Mark my words.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

What should I read

Next weekend, I will be going to Utah for a wedding. Alone. Well, with my parents, but without my children. You know what I mean.

Although I will be out of the state for less than 48 hours, I am looking for a good read for the flight. Any suggestions?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Things we never thought we'd say before we had kids

"We're going to have to teach her that banging her head against the wall hurts."

On completing lists

I can never seem to complete a list - mine was pretty ambitious, but I get so close and stop.

I have been wrapping the presents here piecemeal and I'm almost done, just have the kids' left and one for a niece.

I have been dreading the sock monkeys because I think I will screw them up, but I will have to get down to it soon. This weekend, my pretties, this weekend.

The caulking and putting up plastic must be done, but it won't get done until after Christmas, I'm afraid. Several of the rooms still feel very cold without the plastic.

But all else is done. Phew!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Through children's eyes

I have removed Christmas lights from my list of things to do so I can get them after Christmas on sale. And my ideas of lights have changed after seeing them through my kid's eyes.

I used to like the simplicity of white lights. Only white.

But now I love the multi-colored icicle lights, sprinkled like candy from the eaves and porch railings. I love the white and red alternating lights one of the neighbors has on their evergreen. I love the mixture of blue and white icicle lights in one of the neighborhoods on the way home. I have fallen in love with colors and combinations and more is better. Because in the eyes of my children, those are the prettiest houses around.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Random Thoughts

Now, I'm a reality show fan, but I watched Crowned this week and even I must draw the line. I wanted to post about it Wednesday, but I've been showering since then. Can't even begin to tell you how grossly stereotypical 3/4 of the women are. But could not stop laughing when Shanna Moakler asked one of the teams to pick up the "de-sashing scissors."

"What happens in a lady's vagina should stay in a lady's vagina." -Nancy Grace

We actually got our bed off the basement floor and into our new bedroom tonight. That'll be weird. We're getting the house sorted out finally, though.

Constantin Maroulis is quite possibly the ugliest "good-looking" guy I've ever seen.

Hey Shari Sheppard - take a clue from Hannah Montana: "And remember, nicer to people. And then a globe."

And yes, I'm watching The Soup's Best of the Worst Daytime Television.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Turn back time

I've been kicking this around for awhile, but Dooce's post today has prompted me to finally post it.

Dear 19-year-old self:

You will begin a period in which you have horrible insomnia, and yet can't stay awake for anything. AKJ will have to wake you up because you are snoring in class. You will miss many events and appointments because you take a nap and can't get up. You will be tested several times for mono.

After many months of this, you will go through a whole battery of medical tests, and the idea will be presented to you, however incompetently, that you might be experiencing depression. Before you dismiss this idea as a suggestion that you are crazy, or that all of this is in your head, stop and listen for a minute.

Although this idea is presented to you as if it actually means you are crazy, or are just wasting everyone's time, hold this diagnosis tight. Hold onto it so tightly that you refuse to listen to anything else and insist that you get help for it.

Even though you hate this idea, let someone who knows what it is explain it to you, explain what it's doing to you, and explain that they can help. Get medicated. Go to therapy and let some of those demons out for a walk. They're not so bad when you can see them in the daylight.

So take my advice and go get treated. This is a disease like anything else and you've been suffering long enough. You're desperate for a name for what is ailing you, and now you have one: dysthymia. You have depression.

Treat it now and you'll get 10 years of your life that I missed out on.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Why I need to be fully medicated at all times

I've been very good at taking my meds, but ran out Friday and didn't rush right back to get more. I went over to Walgreen's Saturday and had them refill them, but didn't pick them up until tonight.
And here's why I went over there tonight:
  • I have been crying at every TV show in the last 24 hours - including Cold Case when they solved the crime.
  • I got to the point that every time I turned my head this evening, I was suddenly very lightheaded. I have heard of this before, but it never happened to me until today.
  • I cried because MIL is still mad about Christmas because we told her yesterday we were spending it with my dad (original title of tonight's post? "Why I fucking hate Christmas")
  • Had one of the worst days I've had in a long time at work. On a full snoot of Sertraline, it would have been long and busy, but doable. And I wouldn't have bitten Jay's head off at 3:00.
Oh, and here's why I fucking hate Christmas:
  • In the old days ("Little House on the Prarie" old or when-we-were-on-welfare old, take your pick), Christmas was a time when you got things you needed but didn't have the money for - fruit, socks, shoes, church clothes. Sometimes, they were luxuries - a new doll, toy, book, or something special that you couldn't expect any other time of year. It was one or two items at the most and you were thrilled to get it. Today, however, we get the kids toys and clothes all year long and buy ourselves whatever we need. Christmas isn't special anymore because we don't want for anything, we don't need anything we can't have.
  • Buying presents for people is a real downer when it's done out of obligation, not because you saw something you thought would be perfect for someone. On the flip side, trying to live with someone else's expectations that they bought you something you just had to have, but you hate it and are pretty sure they just bought it out of obligation to you. If we're shopping out of obligation, let's just include gift receipts, folks.
  • One of the few people I see things for all the time that I would like to get, I am not allowed to buy for because we don't have the money to spend on each other. Also sorta takes the fun out of the holiday.
  • Expectations that Christmas can only happen on the 25th - don't we all have our own families now? Can we start spreading out the joy and love for chrissakes?
  • Other people thinking Christmas is all about them. Get over yourself and your little picture of how things should be, already.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Late to the party

I read about the Catsouras accident scene photos that were leaked by the California police to the internet and then sent to the girls parents. Apparently, many of them were extremely gruesome, showing her nearly decapitated body still strapped into the car.

So, naturally, I went online this morning to look up the photos. Of course, now there's litigation, so no one is posting them any longer. I am equal parts horror that I even looked for them and anger that they've all been removed.

And so it goes with all of the photos I hear about and try to look up. Vanessa Hudgens' nude photos (removed because her publicist had the brilliant idea to charge sites for posting them - far more effective than a court injunction). Tara Reid's boob. Janet Jackson's boob. If the internet picture has made headlines, I'm already too late.

Serves me right for using the internet to pay my bills instead of endlessly, aimlessly surfing for the most graphic news du jour.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Pondering pizza delivery

Haven't eaten, but am pondering pizza delivery. Is it wrong to order pizza when entirely alone?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tis the Season to be Guilty

So here we are, smack in the middle of the holidays again, and Pants and I are smack in the middle of our annual guilt trip about where we spend the holidays.

As a caveat to those reading who might be part of this decision - the guilt is solely our own and you should not feel guilty for inviting us. You are doing something nice and we are the schmucks who can't say no when we want to.

That being said, does anyone else have this dilemma around the holidays?

We have three immediately families and some extended family, and all want us to come to their house at some point around Christmas. We already dealt with the Thanksgiving debacle and our current decision to spend the day at one place and no longer drive from house to house to appease everyone. Someone always gets the short end anyway, no matter how hard you try. So I guess we're switching off on Thanksgiving and trying to hit the other groups some other time during the weekend.

So, back to Christmas. We have put Christmas morning until at least noon off limits, as this is our time at home with the kids. We invited MIL and SIL over for cheap coffee and cinnamon rolls from a can, and anyone else who wants to partake is welcome. You know where we live.

The problem is Christmas afternoon. We were spending Christmas Eve with Pants' family, but then BIL's wife said her parents would not give up Christmas Eve this year, so it got moved to Christmas afternoon. That same day, my dad called and wanted to have everyone over at the same time. So who do we say no to? The person who scheduled last, or the person who changed their mind after the date was set? With Pants' family we draw names, so it might be awkward to split up the party. But my dad always get the shaft with the holidays and I want that to change.

Maybe this is why I'm so conflicted about Christmas. What happened to families staying home and grandparents doing the traveling? Isn't that what happened when we were kids?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

More holiday commercial fun

Love it:

Wendy's commercial where burger is singing "Making Love Outta Nothin At All"
Credit Card commercial where son gets his mom what she really wants for Christmas - he gets a nice suit and shows up to Christmas dinner in it. I so dig that she has to tear the tags off the back as he walks past her to the table.
The classics - the penguin and polar bear Coke commercials. Yes, we all know the penguins would have been chomped within 20 seconds, but isn't this the season where the lion lays down with the lamb? Maybe penguins can disco with polar bears. That's all I'm saying.


Hate it:

Creepy car commercial where dealer does a full Flashdance to "Maniac" on the showroom floor. Complete with the water splash bit. Ew.
The massive amounts of car commercials, second only in my burning ire to Christmas jewelry commercials.

Warning!

From the snowblower manual:

Warning! If running this engine in temperatures over 80 degrees Fahrenheit, use of 10w30 motor oil could cause the engine to require more oil than usual.

Um, if it's 80 degrees, I think I'll just let it melt off the driveway. Thanks for the tip.

One down...


Kitten's room, formerly ours, has been cleared, painted (ceiling and walls) and moved in. A huge shout out to the dude giving away 5 unopened gallons of paint on Craig's List in Sherwin Williams's Innocent. Now we have enough to do Meimei's room too. Also a huge thanks to MIL for being so excited about the switch that it nearly forced us to just get it done already (and who helped immensely and kept us going when we wanted to be done for the day), and to SIL for bringing pizza and watching the kids while Pants finished adjusting the new snowblower and got the driveway done. And to both of them for bathing the kids afterward.

Of course, Kitten is losing IQ points as we speak from sleeping in a freshly painted room, but we can discuss that when she fails 1st grade.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Waiting for Godot

Finally called DirecTV today about the HD problem, and of course, it can only be fixed by a technician. So we have to wait for Dec. 15 for our service appointment.

The local channels come off a different satellite, so that's why we get them. And he's not sure the installation was done correctly, so they might have to do some of that as well.

IF THEY SHOW UP.

Remember when?

...I spent the whole week letting Meimei cry it out so she would sleep through the night?

Oh, wait, that was this week. Meimei's back at it, getting up for 2 hours every night and screaming the entire time when we won't let her out.

Dead

I think the digital camera's had it.

Kitten was turning around and walking with her milk cup pinched between her knees, so clearly, I had to turn on the camera and get a picture.

I turned it on and opened the flash, but the display didn't turn on. Okay, so then I took off the lens cap, but still nothing.

I'm charging the battery in case that fixes it, but I'm not hopeful. If the display is dead, the camera is less than useful - it has no viewing window.

And here are the top three reasons I have already been looking at new digital cameras:
  • The current one is only 4 megapixels. It's pretty standard to get 8 these days, and I've dabbled in digital scrapbooking and 8 is much better for blowing up pictures to a full page.
  • Our camera takes far too long from the time I push the button to when the picture snaps. With two toddlers, it means most of my pictures end up blurry, or they have weird faces, aren't looking, or have disappeared from the photo completely.
  • It's honkin', and not in a good way. I don't mind a larger camera if it's an SLR or something, but this has a handle that swivels down so you have to hold it like a radar gun. I'm just not steady enough for that.
Oh, and I grabbed the regular camera, which is still so fabulous I don't mind using it, but the battery was dead in that too. So no picture of Kitten and the milk. Boo.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Growing up

Meimei is walking. Over Thanksgiving weekend, she went from taking a few steps on her own to walking across the room and walking to most places (with the occasional plop! onto her butt because she lost her balance).

She's also in a growth spurt and some of her 18 month clothes no longer fit. Even the ones I just bought three weeks ago. We had to come up with something because she keeps getting her pants off, so we tend to dress her in coveralls or dresses with thick cotton tights.

And she's starting to talk to us and get some words. Here's what she's got:
  • Hi/Hello
  • Bye (or BYE!!!!)
  • Mommy and Daddy
  • Cheese
  • Num num
So we're getting all grown up here at el Casa del Pants.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

So close...

They came. DirecTV. They came. The guy called at 11:15 and said he'd be here in about 45 minutes. It was an hour and fifteen, but hey, he came.

He proceeded to spend over 3 hours switching out the dish. Apparently the guy who hooked us up was a hack, which we knew. But really, we kinda had places to go.

Anyway, so the guy leaves like his pants are ablaze because he is hours late for his next appointment in FARMINGTON already (for out-of-towners, this is at least a good hour from my house) and I turn the channel from the annoying DirecTV informational channel to an HD channel.

And... nothing. They did the whole install, but did something wrong. We get local HD channels, but none of the cable channels.

So now we have to wait for another service appointment for them to come fix it. Aargh.

Wrong:
  • Being half an hour later than you quoted, which was outside of the service appointment time we had anyway. I distinctly remember Orlando saying we were to be the first appointment.
  • Taking so damn long to do it.
  • Not checking the channels before you left.
  • Leaving the old dish for us to throw in the trash.
Right:
  • I guess you get a pass for actually coming. It's sad that service should sink this low that this is the best you can do.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Waitin on DirecTV

When we last saw our intrepid heroes, they had been denied 2 (3?) times for an upgrade to HD service. Can they overcome the satellite giant to live an HD life?

So I called Premier after the last post to get my appointment "pushed", or moved up to a closer date, as the best DirecTV could give me was December 3. Premier informed me that they were so busy that they weren't "pushing" any appointments for any reason. And the girl informed me she just had a customer yesterday that had been screwed over even worse than me, and they wouldn't push their appointment either. Yes, thanks, I feel so much better. Oh, and Premier can't give me a credit, I have to go through DirecTV.

And Dec 3? Not on a Saturday. I called back to get my appointment moved to the next available Saturday. I tell the operator, "If I take a day off and you stand me up again, that's a whole new kind of mad." I get scheduled on Dec. 15. And they submit a claim for the "On-time guarantee credit" and someone will call me in 48-72 hours about it when it's been reviewed.

Cut to Thanksgiving. It's been 10 days and I have not heard anything. I'm figuring I will have to call tomorrow to start the complaint process back in motion, when lo, the phone rings. It's DirecTV and they want to come this weekend. They want to come tomorrow (I'm on the cancellation list). Yes, I say, we will be here tomorrow between 8 and 12. Please come and upgrade my dish.

And no, they didn't come. They called at 3 and rescheduled me back to the Saturday I had before.

So I called DirecTV again and this time I actually got to speak to a supervisor. The kid who answered was so scared of me he got a supervisor immediately. I wasn't even being mean! I was actually laughing.

The supervisor offered me $10 off monthly for the next year and Showtime for 90 days for free, which I took. There was some technicality under which I could not get the On Time guarantee, but the money off is even better.

And then something strange happened. At 5:30, the doorbell rang. ("Pizza, mommy, pizza!) It was DirecTV! They're here!

"What seems to be the problem, ma'am?"
"Uh, no problem, we just need an upgrade to HD."
"We were told there was a service problem. You don't have a service problem?"
"No, just an upgrade."
"Oh, we're really sorry, we were told this was a service call that had been rescheduled 5 times, so we don't have the equipment for an upgrade. Let me see if we can get someone out tomorrow."
They call around and say someone is coming tomorrow.

This morning. 8 or 9. It is 9:06 as I write this and no one has come yet. I really thought they would come this time.

So let's go over what went wrong this time:
  • Refusing to push my appointment after they messed it up.
  • Not calling me back after my complaint was registered for the On-Time guarantee.
  • Coming out for a "service problem" when I just need an upgrade.
And here's what went right:
  • Getting me to a supervisor immediately.
  • Giving me the discount when it was clear I couldn't get the On-Time guarantee money. Also giving me the free movies.
  • Giving me a number to call if it happens again - personal voicemail!
  • Having someone come out, even if it was for the wrong thing.
  • Them calling around to get someone to come for today - although this will move into the "wrong" list if they don't come.
So, it's starting to go better. Even the Showtime will just drop off the account after the 90 days, we don't have to call to cancel.

The saga continues in our quest for... HDTV.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Scenes from a Walmart

Mom and 2-year-old in Children's Clothing. "Get over here now, Destiny, get back in the cart! You need to get back in this cart little girl, what if you got lost?"

5 minutes later in Bed & Bath. Destiny is still not in the cart.

"Elmo!"
"Destiny, you already have an Elmo just like that at home." Waits 2 beats. "If you hold Elmo, you'll have to sit down. Elmo needs to sit down. You should get in the cart together."

I turn the corner to see the 2-year-old, walking in front of the cart, holding a very large Elmo doll.

I wonder if Destiny knew as well as I did that her mother was not going to make her get into the cart. You think?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Conversations on Thanksgiving

"Are you cooking tomorrow?"
"I'm bringing the jello."

"I don't want to step on your toes if you want to have Thanksgiving this year at your house."
"I never want to have Thanksgiving at my house any year."

"Do we have everything?"
"Have the pickles and olives, just need to get the wine."
"It says Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Riesling, Chardonnay. I think I'll get a red and a white."
"Just remember your audience. You know..."
"I know, I'll get my mom some cheap wine and some good wine for anyone else who cares."
"Yeah, I didn't want to say it that way, but yeah."
"The nice thing is, my mom's wine will only cost about $4."

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tragedy

I'm sure you all have heard about the college girls who were hit by a car in Mankato, killing one and injuring in the other. Both girls were in the road, one lying down, when the car struck them.

It's tragic for the family that lost a daughter, and for the family who is trying to pull the other girl through.

But I feel for the 17-year-old boy who was driving legally, on the road, and killed someone through what appears to be no fault of his own. Although no one is commenting on whether or not alcohol had been consumed by the girls, they are saying everything but. It's pretty clear that the girl who was killed had tripped and was lying in the road, and the other girl had returned to pick her up.

Now, I'm no athlete, so I can understand klutziness. I have been known to fall off the sidewalk, although I was pregnant at the time. But Lord help me if I get a couple of drinks in me.

And now there are two families changed forever, and a young kid who will live with the fact that he killed someone for the rest of his life. That boy has to go home to his family, to his friends, and to his life with the questions and the guilt. What if he had been quicker to brake? What if he had seen them sooner? What if his high-beams were on? This boy will have to wonder for the rest of his life if he could have done more, even though the person he killed was laying in the street.

Best Holiday Commercials

Four kids with headlamps sitting in front of the fireplace waiting for Santa - inevitably falling asleep. -LL Bean

Guy painting wife's toenails, and voiceover comes on and says, "Because you're not that guy..." -Pants laughed so hard at this one he made me laugh. It's some jewelry company.

Nostalgia:
The little girl wakes up to the coffee brewing, and the college-aged son has come home to surprise the family for the holidays. Makes me cry every year. -Maxwell House? Folgers?

Friday, November 16, 2007

50 more

1. Do you like cheese?
Not obsessively, if that's what you're asking.

2. Have you ever smoked heroin?
No. I am remarkably straight.

3. Do you own a gun?
No, and I refuse to have guns in the house.

4. Your favorite song?


5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
No. Doctors don't make me nervous.

6. What do you think of hot dogs?
Necessary evil.

7. What's your favorite Christmas song?
"I'll be home for Christmas" So sad.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?

Sweet, sweet coffee.

9. Can you do push ups?
No, can you?

10. If you were stranded on a desert island and could have 1 person
with you:
My husband. Or someone who could build a usable boat from palm fronds.

11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry?
My wedding ring. I knew it was the one - it sang to me in the store.

12. Favorite hobby?
Internetting?

13. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex?

Huh?

14. Do you have A.D.D.?

Maybe, mildly? Probably not.

15. What one trait do you hate about yourself?
If anything comes close to hate, it's the depression. I'm really angry with it lately.

16. Middle Name:

June.

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment:
Why are The Soup and Best Week Ever still running during the WGA strike?
Am I getting some weird form of carpal tunnel?
Please don't puke on my head, cat.

18. Name the last 3 things you have bought?

tea and a new cup for work
Real Simple - Christmas edition
lunch and parking?

19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink:

Coffee, water, tea

20. Current worry right now?

Removing the nukkies from this house. Or rather, the ensuing chaos.

21. Current hate?
Still Debbie Matenopoulous. And people who don't use blinkers.

22. Favorite place to be?

I'm digging my couch.

23. How did you bring in the New Year?
Don't even remember.

24. Where would you like to go?

China.

25. What is your best Kashka memory?
Laughing so hard at night freshman year that the neighbors thought we were being killed. It was like a 6th grade sleepover that lasted three years.

26. Do you own slippers?

Several pair.

27. What color shirt are you wearing?
Pink/brown/white stripe.

28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
I wouldn't know. I'm more of a flannel girl.

29. Can you whistle?
On the exhale and the inhale.

30. Favorite color?
Used to be green, but I think I've moved to the purple end of the blue spectrum.

31. Would you be a pirate?
No, I'm way too much of a rule-follower.

32. What songs do you sing in the shower?

I don't sing much in the shower anymore. Pity.

33. Favorite girl's name?
My kid's names.

34. Favorite boy's name?

Leighton.

35. What's in your pocket right now?
I'm wearing sweatpants.

36. Last thing that made you laugh?
Just now on The Soup, the clip was of a guy saying he was appalled. "Wait. That don't mean nothing good, do it?"

37. Best bed sheets as a child?
I had this super-cool blanket with a harlequin on it.

38. Worst injury you've ever had?
Do gall bladder attacks count.

39. Do you love where you live?

Love it. Love it. Love it.

40. How many TVs do you have in your house?
2 in the house. 1 in the garage.

41. Who is your loudest friend?

No idea, but I did know this girl once who was so loud everyone on the floor could hear the entire conversation when she was on the phone. With their doors shut.

42. Who is your most silent friend?

I think we've all known each other long enough to speak in each other's presence.

43. Does someone have a crush on you?
My husband, I hope.

44. Do you wish on shooting stars?
If given the chance.

45. What is your favorite book?

Beach Music by Pat Conroy.

46. What is your favorite candy?

Sweet Tarts. Chewy.

47. Favorite Sports Team?
Do ice skaters count? Then it would have to the Timberwolves for facilitating my courtship.

48. What song do you want played at your funeral?
I'll Cover You from Rent - the slower version

49. What were you doing 12 AM last night?

Sleeping.

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?
I'm sure I can make it just one more Snooze.

7 Things

I was tagged, so here goes.

1. I want to set the record straight. When Pants and I were going through the process of adoption, I was asked if I harbored any ill will towards women who had abortions, given my new situation. I said no, but that I had a problem with women who abandoned babies into the trash.

I want to take that back, and I'm not even sure I meant it at the time. Women don't abandon babies in the trash out of malice or because they or sociopathic. They do it because they are in what they feel is a hopeless situation and someone has shamed them so much that they can't even admit they had a child. It makes me sad that anything could seem so hopeless that a woman would abandon a child without ensuring it will be cared for.

Also, regarding the abortion issue: it takes a hell of a lot of nerve to be angry with someone who is making the choice not to carry a child they will place in someone else's home. I hated absolutely every second of being pregnant and I would never presume that someone else had to take on that burden simply to fulfill my wish to have a child. We always considered it a huge gift that someone would ever consider this option, not an expectation that they should.

2. If I had it to do over again, I would be a pathologist. Except I probably wouldn't have made it through the Chem classes.

3. I have two pregnancy tests in the linen closet that expire in January. If anyone wants them, email me. I am very discreet and I hate to see $20 expire.

4. I have a refrigerator full of bad food that desperately needs cleaning/purging.

5. I don't know why, but these "tell us something we don't know about you" things always turn out as dirty laundry for me. I'm looking for every bad thing I can expose to the internet. Perhaps I need to go to confession.

6. So here's something good. I am awesome at my job. Of course, I make mistakes all the time, but I love my boss, and she doesn't hold a grudge unless you repeatedly screw up really bad. And I love what I do. I get to feel like I help people, get to interact when I want to, and get to hole up in my cube if I need to. And I actually get to use my college degree and get somewhat well paid for it.

7. I secretly think we're doing a really good job raising our kids. They're happy, they're funny, they're well-behaved, and they're smart. Kitten is so considerate, she says "thank you" and "excuse me" when needed. You can have all the theories in the world about raising kids, but the rubber has met the road, the chicken has crossed the street, and I have good kids. I really think we're doing some things right.

I tag...
No one. I don't really know anyone besides those who have already been tagged.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lest ye be

Judge not... except for those hateful fags. They're sinning against God.

Judge not... except for poor people. Get a job!

Judge not... except for those who don't believe as you do. They must be misguided infidels and need to be converted.

Judge not... except for abortion doctors and those who choose it. They have no right to participate in something that's entirely legal.

Judge not... except for that asshole who cut me off this morning.

Judge not...

Judge not.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I am so into...

Big Bang Theory

"Will you see her again?"
"Why would I? I already have a dentist."
"I wonder when someone's going to tell your parents they're not going to have grandchildren."

I am so over...

The Christmas diamond commercials. Don't you blood-suckers make enough money without making men feel inadequate if they don't purchase something shiny for their spouse/partner/loved one?

Christmas is not about supporting African drug lords so you can prove you're the best husband on the block. Could you just do a couple loads of laundry instead?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bevy of new stuff

Meimei went from 8 to 12 teeth. And took her first steps today that were deliberately unassisted, and not just an attempt to get from one piece of furniture to another by taking a step and falling into it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Screwed again

So, we have a new BF TV. Which is lovely. But we want digital satellite to go with it, because you should get to enjoy the quality, right.

We made an appointment for an upgrade of our dish, and we waited 3 weeks because we needed a Saturday appointment.

Then, last Saturday, when our appointment time (8-12) we by, we got a call just after 12 saying they were still so busy with calls they didn't finish from Friday that they wouldn't be able to get to us. They would reschedule us for this week. Seethe.

They were supposed to be here between 8 and noon this morning. Pants and I both called separately to confirm our appointment. At about 1:00, I called DirecTV to complain and was transferred to Premier Communications, their outsourced tech company, where they "left the tech a message" and said they would get back to me when he checked back in.

I called them again at 4:00 because I had heard nothing back. They apologized profusely and said the tech would call me and let me know when he would be coming. They said I had an appointment "today". I confirmed it was supposed to be this morning and that they had not called or shown up. I think they said something about crediting my account, but I'm not entirely sure.

I received a call from the tech at a little after 7:00 tonight, telling me if he can finish the job he is on in 20 minutes he will come. If he can't, he will call. Again, I get nothing.

I called DirecTV again this evening after 10 p.m. to complain and to set up another service appointment, since clearly this one wasn't working out. Apparently, there is a $100 service guarantee that says if they aren't on time, we get paid $100. But then the guy tonight also said the tech was coming in the morning at 7:30, that he had confirmed that with me. I think he's trying to get out of the guarantee, so he's lying about confirming 7:30 in the morning, hoping I will think I misheard him.

And here's how we stand now - I am supposed to call Premier early in the morning and verify if the tech is coming tomorrow or not. I will also be verifying when my $100 will appear. We might get hooked up this weekend still, but I'm not betting anything on it, at this point.

Let's go over the service errors in this one -
  • Calling at noon when they are supposed to be here between 8 and 12. If they are so busy from Friday, didn't they know that at 8?
  • Not calling either week the day before to confirm the appointment, as they were supposed to do.
  • Not calling and not showing up today for the appointment.
  • Not calling me back as promised, even when the tech did not return their call.
  • Not calling me back again as promised.
  • Promising me to come or call in 20 minutes, and not doing either.
  • Asking me to call the tech company prior to 7:30 in the morning tomorrow, as if that's how I would like to spend my time on Sunday.
  • Not telling me about the On-time guarantee until my 5th call to the company today.
  • Not offering me credit on my account (I think?)
  • Routing all of my calls to India (oh, and they were definitely routed to a call center in India. Cyril, my ass. The calls kept cutting out and it was hard to understand them everytime I called.)
  • Sticking me in a voice recognition system that kept deciding I wanted to make a payment.
They still haven't completely gotten this one right. We'll see what happens.

Thwarted

As I suspected, Macy's did not have the dress I wanted at the store. So now I am either back to the drawing board, or I am ordering that dress blind.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Until it hurts

According to Target, Christmas is here! I'm a bit conflicted about Christmas. I don't know if everyone gets this way, or if it's just me, but I'm having issues with how to make the holiday more meaningful and less materialistic.

So to start, here's a list of things you can do this holiday season to bring some joy:

If you know a family who has lost someone:
  • Make copies of all of the pictures you have of that someone and give them to the family. It will cost you very little and will be priceless to the family.
  • Secretly adopt the family - anonymously leave them food, gifts, and mementos of their loved one. The last thing any family wants is to forget, or to think that others have forgotten.
If you know a family that is doing without:
  • One of the problems I have with Christmas is that my family doesn't really do without. So why should we receive gifts when we already have what we need? If you know a family that is going without, give them a grocery card to make a Christmas meal. Leave them some presents. Do something nice that will help them out this season. It means so much more to have something special when you usually don't.
If you know a single parent:
  • Offer to watch the kid(s) while they get out of the house. They'll probably do something practical, but encourage them to go sit at a coffee shop with a good book.
  • Anonymously leave a gift card for Target or Toys 'R' Us. Kids are expensive and I can't imagine how parents do it on one income.
  • Anonymously leave a bag of clothes in the child's size - hopefully you can free the parent up to buy them a special toy for Christmas instead of just the necessities.
If you go to a restaurant, shop, or store:
  • Leave a decent tip, especially if you live in a state where they aren't required to pay restaurant servers minimum wage.
  • Be nice. If your server or cashier is flustered, imagine how crappy a day they must be having. A few kind words could turn that around.
If you are planning to give toys for children:
  • Don't forget babies and teenagers. They need items too.
  • For each toy, buy a winter hat. Kids may want toys, but they need hats. Go crazy and venture into mittens, scarves, and socks, too.
If you are a big spender:
  • There's a great program that will donate a nearly indestructible laptop to a third world country if you buy one for someone - approximately $400. If you don't have a kid to give it to, donate it. You can save the world and the country with one purchase.
You're all smart people. Come up with some more.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The search continues...

If you're bored hearing about my dress woes, you probably want to tune out and come back next week - I'm on a mission and I have a mental disease.

Per AKJ's suggestion, I tried Torrid and that other one, but didn't see anything specific that I liked. I also looked at Alight and Jessica London and found that I had been to both of them already and selected some favorites off them. I absolutely adore alight, but nothing seemed to be quite what I now have my heart set on. I might go back for other dresses, though, because there were so many I loved.

So here's what I'm looking for: a babydoll dress or tunic top that has a black base (not brown, my boots are black and I don't want to have to buy another pair). I want something with a large, colorful pattern. Paisleys are a plus (I just have a thing for them). I'm very drawn to the colors and design of traditional Pucci fabrics. I can't afford Pucci, but anything Pucci-inspired gets an A in my book.

I am going to try to get to Macy's tomorrow to see if they have my dress. I tried one on tonight at JC Penney's, but the cut and fabric were awful.

And thanks to Pusher for correcting my math - I feel so much taller now.

But I'll have to wait an see about the bustline. Bill and Ted are bad surfer-dude noises in disgust, but maybe they can be swayed to make an appearance.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Amazon women from hell

So, I found a print I like better on a Baby Phat dress but I have a couple of concerns.

1. The information says the dress hits mid-though, which is perfect, but it also says the dress is 36" from the neckline. That's 3 feet. I am 5'3". That's 15 inches left over, which has to include my head. Who the hell does this dress hit mid-thigh on? Is it reasonable to think I could hem this dress if it hits mid-calf instead of mid-thigh? Is it reasonable to think I actually would?

2. I have two triple-D buddies, Bill and Ted, who are terrified of the neckline on this dress. Suggestions?


I'm being a bit obsessive here, but I get one dress for Pants's Christmas party and this wedding, I want to be comfortable, and I don't want to look fat. Last year at the Christmas party, I not only felt fat, but I felt like I was 65. I want to feel at least sorta young and hip. Maybe I can try it on at Macy's. The problem is, they never have this stuff in the store - only online. Like fat chicks can't shop in public, we just sit on our couches in mumus with bags over our heads and order more mumus, hoping they come wrapped in brown paper with the size obscured.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Appropriate?

I'm truly asking, so here goes:

1. Loud print babydoll dress with black tights and boots for a wedding? What if it was a softer print? Winter wedding, afternoon. Does Utah matter? They're not mormon.
2. Small bottle of my favorite green cleaning product, Mrs. Meyer's dishwashing liquid, as a hostess gift? It would be pretty.
3. Hand-sewing sock monkeys for my kids for Christmas?
4. Giving breakfast basket (pankcake mix, syrup, coffee, jam) AGAIN to step-sibling and family, although they specifically ask for suggestions (and purchase) off our list every year?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Acrocyanosis

False cyanosis.
-cardiologist

K, so Kitten is not truly going cyanotic. Turning blue, yes. Oxygen-poor blood, no. They said everything came back normal and it appears she has what some toddlers get, especially those with fair skin, which is that the veins are just growing and configuring themselves and they are showing up closer to the skin. She'll grow out of it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cyanotic

A bluish coloration of the skin due to the presence of deoxygenated hemoglobin in blood vessels near the skin surface. It occurs when the oxygen saturation of arterial blood falls below 85%.
-Wikipedia

Where to start. Kitten has turned blue three times in the last week. Hands and feet are apparently of little concern, but blue lips are a problem. An emergency room problem. Blue lips can be a sign of heart problems, lung problems. All sorts of bad things.

So we went to the clinic today and Kitten got a chest x-ray and blood drawn. And tomorrow we have an echocardiogram and an appointment with a pediatric cardiologist.

Nothing like taking your 2-year-old to the cardiologist.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pants's new bumper sticker

My man's superpower? Coming up with incredibly funny bumper stickers. Not exactly invisibility, but mine is the ability to hear my boss calling me before the phone rings at my desk, so his still ranks as cooler.

His new one? I told him I wanted the bumper sticker that says, "In case of Rapture, this vehicle will be unoccupied." because I just find the concept so utterly ridiculous. His response?

In case of Rapture, leave your keys. I want to try out your car.

[For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, or who have not watched Kirk Cameron's Left Behind for the entertainment value, the Rapture is the second coming, in which true believers will be whisked away to heaven while all of the non-believers will be... Left Behind.]

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Match Game

Match the weekend movie to the Cable Channel:

a. Bravo
b. Logo
c. Lifetime
d. USA
e. TBS
f. A&E

1. Adam & Steve
2. Leprechaun 4 in Space
3. Old School
4. Cries in the Dark
5. More Haunted Houses: Tortured Souls and Restless Spirits
6. Bad Boys II

Thursday, October 25, 2007

PSA from the 70s

This cracks me up! I actually remember it airing originally.

Why I'm not even considering NaNo

  • The kids both have raving colds - and Pants and I are both coming down with it too.
  • I am training this week and the week after next, so I have to be at work by 8. Traffic is so bad that leaving by 7:15 doesn't guarantee it.
  • My house is a mess again and we haven't gotten our room cleaned out yet, either.
  • Have you met my children?
  • We have tons of mature trees - and haven't raked once yet.
  • Kitten is out of pants, and Pants is out of shirts.
  • I only have 6 pages left to go in one of my scrapbook albums - and if we can get our rooms switched, I can actually clean out my scrapbook area and finish.
  • Christmas is coming and much shopping and crafting needs to be done.
  • The Christmas cards are in and need to be addressed and sent.
  • I've started digital scrapbooking and might need to do more for presents.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The oath was written for times like these

So, I had a discussion today with my trainees regarding the integrity of my company when we were taking a beating during the years when we couldn't match the numbers other companies were putting on the board. When it came out later they were cheating, we were certainly vindicated, but we spent a lot of years with our stock in the toilet at least partially because of it.

Then this evening, L&O SVU had a case regarding a psychiatrist who participated in "torture-lite" in Iraq and didn't think it really conflicted with her Hippocratic Oath.

So, the question is, when do you abandon some principles for others when they conflict? When do you just abandon your principles? If you find a wallet with $1000, do you return it? Return it empty? Take the money and send the wallet back anonymously? Take the money and chuck the wallet?

If you're against war, is it ever okay? What about the US entrance into WWII? Is it okay if you try everything else first?

If you're against hate, is it okay to hate a racist? Is it okay to judge the whole person based on the fact that they are a racist?

If you're against murder, do you convict the parent that kills a child's killer? Is murder ever justifiable? Are you against the death penalty, even if it's only given out when someone is convicted of murder?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fantastic

"Gween! Gween wight! Iss gween! Iss gween, mommy, iss gween!"
"Great, I needed another backseat driver."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Random Thoughts

So, if I pled guilty to a crime that I was arrested for, and then people found out and I was embarrassed, I could appeal my plea? 4 months later? Would I have to wait until everyone found out, or could I change my mind about my guilty plea if it was still just my (guilty) little secret?

I was cut off by the same green Blazer no less than THREE TIMES this morning on the way to work. And do you know what really irks me? His flagrant lack of blinkers? His sudden darting into my and various other lanes? His 2-inch proximity to my front bumper on several occasions? No, it's the fact that, even with all the lane changes and cutting me off over a 7 mile stretch of freeway, he still ended up RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME at the end of the journey. Excellent plan, dude. Endanger everyone's life for, um, getting to work no earlier than if you drove legally.

And then, when I got downtown, a very large van ahead of me pulled over to the curb in front of the Target office building. Now, I hate these people - the drop-off-ers, who back up traffic waiting for a spot so they can pull over to the curb (or worse, they stop traffic and don't pull over at all), and they don't get over far enough, and then they try to pull some asshole move when they are pulling away from the curb 2 seconds later, cutting everyone off and stopping traffic again. But this van was not dropping someone off - he just pulled to the side. But his van was too large for the designated parking area next to the curb, so he already stuck out into my lane. AND THEN HE OPENED THE DOOR. AND GOT OUT. INTO THE STREET. WHERE IT WAS NEARLY INEVITABLE THAT I WOULD HAVE HIM AND HIS DOOR DRAPED ACROSS THE HOOD OF MY BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER. How dumb are you? It comes equipped with side mirrors, pal. Use them to save your life.

Great. That's all my PTSD needs is a horror film about a parking ramp.

I really don't like the Sarah Silverman Show. Is that so wrong?

Sign of the Times

I am watching Gossip Girl and am suddenly horrified that they're at a club drinking. These girls are in high school! And they are aiming this show at high school girls! They are making it look like this is just what high school kids do. Like it's cool and this is what rich people do, and shouldn't we be like them? What are they teaching impressionable girls in their early teens who watch this crap like it's real?

Ack! I feel like such a mom.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Stop me if this sounds crazy...

So, MIL mentioned that we should move Kitten upstairs into our room and we would take her room. Both of us kind of brushed her off, as usual.

We're actually considering it. It solves a couple of issues - Kitten's room being so cold and not wanting to set up the space heater now that she's free to roam around. Taking down the hall gate and just closing the bathroom door and letting them roam in and out of their rooms (which we can't do today because the cat's food is in our room). Getting the toys out of the livingroom. My reservation was the closets, but duh, we can just get a $20 rack from Target.

Because moving into Kitten's room would not be the final destination. We talked tonight about building the downstairs into another bedroom, so it would basically be a hallway, Kitten's room (which would open into the hall instead of the half room), the office, the master bedroom, and the laundry/bathroom. The master would be built around the fireplace and would encompass the area under the stairs as one closet and the area created by the hallway as the second closet. We would tear out the bench to give us more room. And because it's stupid.

We could use the downstairs space that never gets used today. We could have a guest room. We could have a toy-free living room. We could dress Kitten in something less than a parka for bed.

And we could have a bedroom away from the TV, away from the kids, with a fireplace.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

You're fluin' yourself

Have you seen that new commercial where they encourage you to get a flu shot so you don't give it to your kids? Because, "You're not just fluin' yourself?"

That's bullshit. You know why I get a flu shot? Because my kids are in daycare and they would bring home the plague if it was going around.

I get the flu shot so I don't get infected. BY THEM. Now, that's a commercial.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pumpkins

Gorgeous day. Perfect weather. A field full of pumpkins. Oh, happy day!


I do more laundry by 10 a.m. than you do all day

Yes, this weekend is laundry. I want to fix up my bedroom, but we decided we should wait until we could see the floor first. And now that my closet rack is fixed, I have a place to put the clothes when they are clean.

There are also various other small projects I want to finish. Among other things, I want to get a little wicker stand painted for the front hall and get the sidelight window frosted. I feel a little exposed when the neighbors can just look right in, as I occasionally need to run downstairs in my underpants. I think a little artful frost can clear it right up and keep the hallway light.

On the downside, I am starting to consider having to purchase a new door since the one we have is so poorly sealed. Apparently, you can't just buy a new frame for your gorgeous, solid wood, hand-carved door. Boo.

As for the rest of the day, I am attempting to unclog the bathtub drain, after which I will need to attempt to rethread the plug back down into the drain, since MIL pulled it out for some reason after she gave the kids a bath Thursday. It's one of those old ones that is actually connected to the whole contraption, but can be pulled out far enough to clear the drain. It's just a real bitch to get back in.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The frenzy continues...

Ok, I put up the rack in the shower to hold the shampoo and stuff, and fixed my closet tonight.

Am I exhibiting signs of bipolar disorder? Is this a manic phase? Or is this how normal people act? Spending a few minutes during commercials in the evening to work a couple of simple projects? Or clean?

Ewww. I'm coming down with Normal Disorder.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

In which I rock the house...

So, apparently if you can crow bar my butt off the couch for a few hours of cleaning, sometimes I can't stop.

I cleaned and organized the junk drawer in the kitchen.

I cleaned off the side counter, which normally just collects crap.

I moved all the garage sale stuff into the well area, and organized the extra stuff on the shelf under the stairs.

I cleaned and reorganized the linen closet in the bathroom, using one of those plastic shoe pocket door hangers on the inside of the door. AWESOME.

I vacuumed upstairs. This may not sound like much, but it's a lot in this house, as one of the children is afraid of the vacuum.

I moved about half the toys out of the livingroom and swapped some of the others out. We were getting overrun.

I got through all of the dishes. And cleaned the counters and stove.

And my crowning achievement? Check it out:

If you haven't been here, you might not know what this is. What this means. You might think I just went out and got a new shower curtain. But oh, it's so much more.

Those of you who have been here might know what I'm talking about. This morning, my bathtub had shower doors. Icky, dated, moldy, rusty shower doors. I took them off. And then went shopping.

Bath time was so much easier with those doors out of the way!

P.S. - don't the fabulous, retro pattern and the great colors almost make it look like I should have lime green bathroom fixtures?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Where are those fucking fairies?

So, I've been waiting for a week and a half for the cleaning fairies to come while I was sleeping, but they must be going to the wrong house.

We've been cleaning today, Pants in the garage, me upstairs. In between the few moments when the children slept today, we started getting some fall cleaning (and just regular cleaning) done. It was very enlightening.

This is why we need a larger shed, for example. And this. And this. And this. And this and this. And this.

I once again purchased the wrong size brackets for my kitchen shelves at IKEA. Suckage, although it means I may be going back tomorrow.

I found the source of that smell in the car.

Someone pulled the open bottle of infant Motrin onto the kitchen floor. Then put the bottle back up on the counter.

If laundry were water, I would have to claim my house a loss for insurance purposes.

Friday, October 05, 2007

I am so into... Fall TV Edition

Pushing Daisies - thanks AKJ! By the way, the narrator is the same guy who read the Harry Potter books.

Gossip Girl - it's so wrong, yet so right.

Survivor China - I rooting for James, the gravedigger. Dude's massive.

House - 40 new interns. It's 13 and 1/3 times the fun.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I am so over...

Kimora Lee Simmons - what are you, other than the rich trophy wife of Russel? He BOUGHT you.

Heather Locklear - I'm just done.

Dancing With the Stars - no one I want to see this season.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Precocious

Doorbell rings at 10:00 a.m.
Kitten: "Ooh, pizza!"

Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Kick

I decided today that I am banned from Target for 21 days. And for each business day during that 21 days that I don't bring my lunch to work, my Target ban is extended an additional day.

Exception: Thursday People. In and out.

Zip it up

Another tidbit of Crazy Syl's Mothering Advice - take with a grain of salt and a glass of Shiraz.

Everyone told me how they had zipped up their kid's skin in their jammies at least once while I was pregnant with Kitten, and I swore I was a better mother. I would NEVER do that. I would be more careful.

And when I had an infant, I developed the first finger system, where I run the zipper with my thumb and middle finger and crook my first finger in behind the zipper. Brilliance! I could never zip my kid's skin with this system. I am the smartest mother in history.

But pride goeth before the fall, and an infant is a far cry from a toddler. I am lucky to get the jammies zipped without performing wresting moves on the kids, much less utilizing the first finger system. Now I know that moms who zipped their kids were just trying to get the zipper up while their toddler was turning away and wriggling to get your grip off their ankle.

So, be careful with the thoughts of being better and coming up with the ingenious systems - the kids change from day to day and what may have worked yesterday doesn't work tomorrow.

And don't judge your mother until you have walked a mile in her footie jammies.

Why I would lose Survivor

"Oh my god, are these people really having a bitch fight over this?"
"Well, you have to remember they haven't eaten in 4 days. Imagine trying to have a civil conversation with me if I hadn't eaten in 4 days."
Yeah, but they would have killed you days ago."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Homage

This time on Seconds from Disaster, we'll go deep into the investigation of a tragic closet collapse. Our investigators will use cutting edge technology to find out what left a whole rack of clothes... Seconds From Disaster.

Our investigator, arriving on the scene, immediately noticed an anomaly in the closet wall - one of the sheetrock anchors was folded over, presumably by the force of the drill, showing that the associated screw in the middle support was never properly connected.

The investigation of the closet collapse has been seriously delayed by the piles of rubble that had yet to be cleared. Rescue and recovery led to another intriguing discovery however - several of the original bolts, all with threads covered in sheetrock dust. Could improperly anchored connectors be the cause of the devastating crash?

And then, while nearing the end of clearing the scene of the tragedy, the investigator discovered a final clue: a final screw with a wall anchor still attached.

So now, using high-tech instruments to reconstruct the accident, we can recreate the collapse that left all those clothes... Seconds From Disaster.

1 day to disaster: laundry kicks into high gear and several loads are completed. The homeowner hangs all clothes, some still damp, in the newly-constructed closet.

5 minutes to disaster: The final load is hung on the rack, which has reached critical capacity. Slowly, the wall supports begin to give and pull away from the sheetrock.

3 seconds to disaster: The right side support, completely unanchored, gives under the load of the clothing. The rod then pulls down the middle support, where the bottom screw has not connected to the anchor. The final failure is the left support, where the anchor is torn from the wall from the force of the collapse.

All in all, there are at least 30 survivors of the tragedy. Sadly, at least 10 outfits are too badly damaged to escape the washer, and one pair of pants remains in critical condition, covered in cat hair.

Join us next time as we discover the hidden causes that leave us... Seconds From Disaster.

Too Funny

Big Bang Theory:

"We should invite her to dinner."
"But we were going to watch the second season of Battlestar Galactica."
"We already watched Season 2."
"Not with the commentary."

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sheer brilliance

Instead of a horrible customer service experience, I actually have a really good one.

I went to Lane Bryant last weekend to buy bras and I ended up trying on a couple of other things. They were having a trouser sale and if you bought three pair, you got $20 off each pair. But one of the pairs didn't fit and they didn't have it in my size.

"Do you want to try them on in brown or gray? If they fit, we'll just have the black ones shipped to you." And they shipped them to me free. Of charge. Free.

Lane Bryant has instituted this new program, LB2ME, and if you want anything they don't have in stock in the store, you pay for it with your purchase and they ship it right to your door for free. Clearly this is a bonus for me, the customer, meaning they will always "have" what I need. I also always get the sale price that's going on at the time. Like the pants deal, I still got the $20 off the pants they had to ship because they were the third pair.

But if you think about it from the company's perspective, this is so genius it's amazing all stores don't do it. The company's benefits:
  • They get a guaranteed sale - you pay for it right away, in the moment, so there's no changing your mind on the way to the other store to buy your merchandise.
  • The store you are in gets credit for the sale. This is big in retail, since the stores compete against each other in sales for a region. And they really did the work to sell it.
  • Headquarters can track what items and sizes sell out in each store, which can help them stock appropriately.
Plus, they get more business because, who doesn't want to go to that store? Where they appreciate that you came out so they're going to promise their stock or ship it to you direct.

I want to give that store my money.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Big girl steps

We put Kitten in a toddler bed tonight. It was used, so it was missing one pair of bolts and the side rail that they usually come with, but I think I'm going to get a safety rail tomorrow. We've already had a little crisis tonight because Baby fell out of bed and Kitten couldn't find her.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Worst. Tragedy. Ever.

Pants told me about an email today that said it was everyone's duty to fly a flag on 9/11 to commemorate the worst tragedy in American History.

Huh?

I'm not saying it wasn't bad, and it was certainly the worst American tragedy in my lifetime. But come on. Um, Pearl Harbor? The World Wars? The Civil War, where we suffered the worst losses of any war? Ok, we were on both sides and sustained ALL the losses, but hey. Much worse tragedy.

So it's different because it was aimed at civilians?

Let's ask a Native American if 9/11 was the worst American tragedy visited upon civilians. Or how about an African American, whose ancestors were kidnapped and shipped here into slavery. Hmmm. That sounds like a tragedy.

So, let's not be so short-sighted. If we put this into the timeline of American history, I'm not sure this incidence even ranks in the top 10. It was bad, and those of us who were alive when it happened will always remember where we were when we heard. But ask your parents where they were when they found out Kennedy was shot. That was a pretty big tragedy to them and now it barely rates. Perspective.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

We hit the wall

Meimei finally pushed matters too far last night.

She's been crying in the evenings this week and refusing to go to sleep. She was refusing a bottle. And last night, at 12:30, she woke up and pulled it. In the middle of the night. Well, mama will take a lot of getting up, and mama will take a lot of late-night bottle feeding, but there is a line. And it was crossed.

I will not feed a meal in the middle of the frickin' night.

So now, Miss Meimei can cry it out at night until she starts sleeping through. No bottles, no getting up. We let her cry last night, and I was able to go back to sleep, so I don't know how long it was. Pants had to go sleep downstairs. It should only take another night or two to work it out.

Point is: She got greedy, so she got cut off.

That is Crazy Syl's advice - cut 'em off when you can't take anymore. Take with a grain of salt and a glass of Shiraz.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I am so over... Fashion Edition

Giant "tote" handbags. What are you carrying in there, your mother-in-law?

Toe cleavage. Wear 'em strappy or don't show 'em at all. Peep-toe is acceptable, but only if it's sling-back. Otherwise it's just weird.

"Women's" clothing departments that suck - I'm not 85, 6'7", or trying to blind anyone. Nor am I interested in using cleavage to deflect attention. And straight-leg pants that look like you could smuggle refugees at the bottom? Not slimming.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Men in Trees

There is a man in my tree. And apparently, he is nuts. But we're keeping his number.

One the neighbors from behind us (so we don't know them) came out in her granny nightgown at about 8:30 and chewed out the guy in the tree for being so loud, so early. We kept going anyway. We're already going to spend the whole day cleaning up our yard and the neighbor's. And pardon us for cutting down the dead tree so it doesn't fall onto your house, bitch.

The man also said we need to cut some arms off the silver maple in the back to keep from losing that one, too. So we might call again next year so as not to kill the neighbor's fence in the process.

And lo, there will be firewood for the winter.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Goal Setting

Ok, it's September already, winter is coming, and it's time to get serious about some of the things I need to do.

Before 2008 rolls in, I will:

Caulk my windows. ($20-30)
Line the well with insulation, set it up for storage so the items are labeled, in bins, and off the ground. Apparently, this is the thing to use. ($640)
Complete the home inventory. Or, at least the upstairs. ($0)
Fix my closet. ($10-20, depending)
Get flood insurance. In light of recent flooding (like, the last 10 years worth), I think it's appropriate.

You want to come here when?

Pants called a guy for an estimate on the tree and when it came in at only slightly more than it would cost to rent the crane, he jumped.

And the guy is coming tomorrow to cut down the tree.

At 7:30.

In the morning.

a.m.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The GreenSwitch

Beware, when you click on the link, Ed Begley Jr. will begin talking immediately.

Unfortunately, I was a bit misled by Ed on the cost of the GreenSwitch. The basic kit is $1125, which comes with the master switch, a thermostat, 4 wall switches, and 4 outlets. Additional outlets and switches are $88.75 each.

It's pretty easy to install, though, if you can do very basic electric work (and even I can do very basic electric work). You swap out the outlets wherever you want appliances or electrical stuff to shut off when you leave. You swap out switches wherever you want lights to shut off when you leave. The master switch gets swapped out for the switch by your point of exit/entry - it has a switch with a slider button next to it, so you keep the functionality of the switch and use the slider to shut off the power. You can also get a remote for exiting from other areas of the house.

When you leave the house, you turn off the main switch. A signal is sent to all of the switches and outlets that shuts them off, stopping all electrical "seepage". Many people don't know that most items still draw power while plugged in, even if they are turned off. Televisions, computers, and entertainment equipment are big offenders. GreenSwitch also has outlets that are half-enabled, so you can leave your Tivo powered up, but your TV, DVD, and cable box shut off completely. You can set up switches in your kitchen so the stove and microwave shut off, but the fridge continues to run.

They (the website selling the product) say the cost will be recouped in 1-2 years, but that you should expect 2. They also say that shutting down the power completely will extend the life of your appliances, electronics, and heating and air, but I imagine that's difficult to quantify.

Although the product is 3 times more expensive than I was led to believe on the show, I am still considering it. It does require some planning to stay within the 4 switches/4 outlets thing, and I might require one of those half switches for my Tivo, due to outlet restrictions. I also have to do some research on what I can have off and what I can't - can a gas range be off? Can my wireless internet, if it's running the Tivo? And which 4 light switches get turned off? The bathrooms, kitchen, and livingroom? The bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen?

And then there's that issue of $1200 just lying around...

She's NOT FAT

I, too, saw all the sites calling Brit fat after the VMAs, which is a sick representation of our society. When that's fat, it's no wonder girls get eating disorders.

And I'm sorta starting to feel bad for the kid, you know? I heard someone hypothesize that she's bipolar and it's starting to make more and more sense. Crazy highs, impulsive and/or dangerous behavior, self-medication, and shutting out anyone trying to crash her mood (her mom?). This is the part we see, the crazy stuff. The part we don't see is the depression, when she disappears for days, weeks, when she is too tired to put on shoes to go into a public restroom. Bipolar disorder most often expresses itself in late adolescence to early adulthood.

Imagine if you had a disease that is widely misdiagnosed because no one asks the right questions and you don't know the symptoms of the highs and lows are related. The average bipolar person exhibits symptoms for 10 years before diagnosis. Plus, you have enough money to shut out anyone who disagrees with you during the highs, which makes the lows even worse. When you only have "yes" people around you that are hanging on for the next party, no one is interested in getting you well.

And if you're misdiagnosed because you only complain of the depressive symptoms, you might end up taking antidepressants, which will make the mania worse without a mood stabilizer. Brit could have been put on an antidepressants in treatment as part of her recovery. That would explain her increasingly bizarre behavior since then.

An additional note: The correlation between bipolar disorder and creativity is startlingly high. Feel free to begin the snide comments.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Random Thoughts

Did you see the Brit stank-fest on the VMAs? I'm sure you can google it, but, um, yuck. It was like watching Madonna in the 90s. Except she didn't care at all, didn't even have the dancing, and seemed a bit confused. She definitely didn't commit. I was promised a disappearing act - hence, her liaison with Criss Angel - and I kinda wish it had happened. Permanently. Helloooo, train crash.

The bed and stroller solutions - my parents brought a 4 ft. bedrail and another smaller one - we put the smaller one on the inside of the bed so Kitten would leave the window alone and the 4 ft one on the outside to keep her in bed. She thought she was the queen bee in that bed - she was SO proud. We will be moving her to her toddler bed soon. For the strollers, we brought our ($100) umbrella stroller and MIL's Kolcraft umbrella ($3 at Salvation Army) because it folded so small. Result: we trashed our $100 because it couldn't handle the terrain, but I just bought a match today for the Kolcraft ($20 new) so we now have two small strollers that we will use. The kids loved them, it held up really well, even when gate-checked onto the plane, and it's cheap and comes in several colors. Plus, they fold up SUPER small, so even with 2 in my hatch, I can still fit bags and such. YAY!

New show I'm trying - Living with Ed on HGTV. All about green living (with Ed Begley, Jr.), although it appears to be green living for the rich. So we'll see. (Ok, Ed's got a "gardener", but has almost no lawn. He has a ton of hardscape and very specific plants. Hmmm. What does the gardener do?) They did just do a "whole house" switch that looked pretty cool, though. They said it was $400, but it's a switch at the exit of the house that shuts off every non-essential item (that you've set up, I assume) completely, as opposed to leaving it in "standby" mode, even though you turned it off. So your TV doesn't keep sucking power, but your fridge stays on. It might actually recover its own cost in 6-8 months if it truly reduces power consumption 25-40%.

I don't know if it's the weather change, or a simultaneous growth spurt or teething, or just a gift from the gods, but both children are extremely tired very early and have been going to bed before or at 7:00 p.m. Weird. Anyone else's kids dog tired?

You are on the list

I am looking at you, Northwest.

The plan for getting there was to fly into Boston, then drive up to Maine with my parents. This went pretty well, actually.

The plan for getting home was the same in reverse: drive down to Boston with my parents and fly back home. We set off at 9:00 to ensure we got to the airport with enough time to check in, get through security, etc. Didn't want anything to go wrong, you know?

But as soon as we got there and got in line to check in, we found out the flight was delayed 1:15. Maintenance issues. We get down to the gate (after driving the strollers down a flight of stairs because we could find no elevator to the lower level of gates) and set the children free - free-range children. Wear them out before the flight. Get them some food, milk, etc. We wait out the delay and board the flight.

We wait aboard the plane and try to keep the children occupied until we begin to taxi. We start moving, and miraculously, the children both doze off. We taxi, and taxi, and keep going, making at least two rounds of the runways in Boston. At one point, I ask Pants if they are driving us home. And then we pull back up to the gate. The children are still asleep and we don't know what's going on yet. We wait, the kids wake up, and we wait some more. At least 45 minutes.

The pilot comes on and says there is a maintenance issue with the landing gear that is more complicated than they thought. They are going to have to replace a tire and a rotor and it will take around an hour, give or take. If we get off, we should bring our boarding passes.

We get off and head straight to the bar. We get some milk for the kids and Jack and Cokes for ourselves, and we take the kids back to the gate and let them loose. After about another hour, I get in line to find out what's going on. While in line, I start hearing that the flight is canceled until the morning. Someone in line says their mother just called and sees this flight online as taking off tomorrow. And the gate attendants, talking to each other like we either aren't there or are all deaf and blind, are saying there are only enough seats on the next flight for half the passengers on this one. I get booked on the 6:00 p.m. flight because I am already in line. The original flight was supposed to have left at 1:15. We have been at the airport since 11:30.

We go upstairs, sans strollers because they are on the plane that is not taking off (gate-checked), and the upstairs is not nearly as nice, new, clean, or carpeted. So Pants holds Meimei and walks in circles while I take Kitten for a walk. We find a McDonald's and get some food and go back. We all sit down and have some dinner, as it is now 5:30-ish. My phone is dead, so we find a plug-in to set next to on the floor while I charge it. During our little meal, the airport announces that the jetway is inoperable for our new flight, so there has been a gate change. Back to where we were. So we finish our meal, gather up our bags and our munchkins, and head back downstairs. The flight leaves late and we are all completely done by the time it takes off.

Everything goes downhill from there. The kids try to keep it together, but the last half hour of the flight is a complete melt-down. Kitten just starts crying uncontrollably during landing that Pants justs unbuckles her and holds her. It doesn't stop, but we feel better. It takes about 3 years to put the plane on the ground and I have these irrational thoughts of standing up and yelling at the pilot to just land on the freeway, for crying out loud.

We finally get down and we have to wait to taxi into the gate, and we're way in the back, so we have to wait forever to get off. And apparently they have driven us home, but we have to walk all the way back through the airport to get our luggage. This must have been why it took so long to taxi. And we wait for our baggage, but the baggage coming out isn't even for our flight - right carousel, but apparently they can't use any of the other 7 open carousels for our flight, they have to wait for this one to be done. So we decide to take the kids to the car, and we know we are in the green ramp, but there is a green ramp for short term and a green ramp for general parking, which is about the dumbest thing I ever heard. So we end up in the wrong green ramp and we just turn on each other.

Now, it takes a lot for the two of us to really go at each other, but we hit the end and went for each other's throats. It only lasts about two sentences and we just stop speaking after that. We both know it's all the tension, that neither of us meant any of it, so we try to pick up and go on, stop the madness and try to be nice to each other. We apologize later.

We find the car eventually, Pants takes off to get the luggage, I get the kids and carry-ons into the car, pick up Pants, and we finally get home. Kids go into bed as is, Meimei gets a bottle, and we sit down and have a beer.

This isn't even all of it. I skipped some of the other insults, like one of the beers on the plane getting kicked off the seat-back tray and falling into Pants's lap, and the same partial beer getting somehow kicked out of the seat pocket and dousing several toys. When I went back onto our old flight to get our carryons, after we got booked onto the new flight, there were several people waiting to get off that weren't being allowed off by the flight crew, who apparently had gotten a different story than the gate crew.

And the reason the flight got canceled completely? Not because they couldn't fix it. The pilots were at the end of their "flight day", meaning they had started too early to complete the late flight, according to federal regulations. Which is all fine and everything, you don't want a pilot falling asleep on you, but didn't they know that an hour before? When they announced it was going to take an hour to fix the plane?

Friday, September 07, 2007

And now for the lowlights...

The day after our trip to Maine, someone told me something that might have helped me through our week of "vacation." She said, "Well, it's not really a vacation, is it? It's an experience for the children."

Meimei teethed like a fiend the entire week and popped three teeth the day after we got home. Fun. She was medicated most of the week and it still wasn't even really enough.

Meimei also decided she was terrified of the large, claw-foot bathtub, as well as the playpen she was supposed to sleep in. So she screamed through two baths and ended up in the sink. And the bed? Oh, the bed.

We folded up the playpen after two nights of Meimei sleeping with us anyway and put a mattress on the floor. But you can't just put her on the mattress and close the door like dropping her in the crib at home - she's not contained. So she needed to be asleep before we left her in bed. And every night and before every nap, we had to figure out how to get her to sleep. This child who is used to sleeping alone and falling asleep alone, this 20-lb. toddler who is strong as hell, had to be rocked and walked and jiggled and patted to sleep every night. By the end I could do it in about 20 minutes, but there were several nights when it took hours. HOURS.

We take for granted our setup at home. We have baby gates on the steps and the hallway and keep the children mostly contained in the kitchen, living, and dining area, which is mostly baby-proof and toy-filled and safe. We can relax. But elsewhere, there is no relaxing. Everyone was terrified that Kitten was going to fall down the stairs because they were wood and sharp, so of course, this is all Kitten wanted to do - up and down and up and down. Until she discovered the old-style screen door that you just push open and it slams back shut with a very satisfying smack! But when it was tired time, fingers and toes and a couple of heads get slammed in the screen door, but this is what we want to do.

And little sister wants to follow where big sister goes, so although Meimei has no access to stairs and we don't think she can do them, she pops right up the two steps to the kitchen and we spend the rest of the week jumping up out of chairs every three microseconds to ensure she doesn't fall down the steps. Because the going down is much more advanced than the going up. And the screen porch has several rockers, which are apparently bad for little crawling fingers, and many decorative shells and authentic fishing boat paraphernalia, all of which must be placed on the tongue for the optimal viewing. So the screen porch was off-limits to Meimei. Plus, the screen door kept getting slammed on her, so it was a bad experience for all.

In Maine, I am used to hanging out, reading, shopping, napping, just being quiet and letting the world go by. But this is not so much fun for 1 and 2 year olds. On day 3, they have thoroughly explored the grounds we have provided them and are ready to move on. But we don't realize this for at least another day, so things start to get a little dicey. Eventually we figure out they are getting a bit stir crazy and we have to get them out and running - hence the beach. See previous post.

And then the flight. Egad, the flight home. That is another post altogether.

I will not be sending Northwest a Christmas card.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thug Life


I didn't have to use my AK - I must say it was a good day.



Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Highlights from vacation

"I eyes you!" Translation: I've got my eyes on you, said with two fingers stuck into one eye.

Meimei pushing off the table with her feet and tipping the entire chair she was strapped to backwards, landing on the floor. Miraculously, she didn't smash her head on the ginormous wood beam or through the pane of non-safety glass she barely cleared, and succeeded in merely scaring the crap out of herself.

Playing in the ocean. Kitten played the run-away-and-scream game with the waves and we couldn't keep Meimei away from the water - she kept crawling back to the surf.

A free pink and purple Jeep ride-on, found at the dump and brought back to the cabin for Kitten to enjoy on the deck. "Truck!"

A new book, "That's Not My Pony", with touchy-feely stuff on each page.

Stacking cups. Fun for all, even on the beach!

I'll cover the lowlights another time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Poor kitty

Yes, Joey, packing is hard work.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Toy!

Yesterday we had a birthday party for Meimei. It's been one year already (if you have a strong stomach, take a look back at the birth).

So, we got a little toy that we already had, so I returned it last night after the girls went to bed and got this little play table. Figured it would encourage Meimei's standing, have fun stuff right at her height, yada yada. So I put the table together while Pants and I watched a Firefly episode. We went to bed and I forgot about it.

When we got up this morning, we dragged the girls out into the livingroom to change them and get them dressed. Meimei immediately turns and tries to wriggle away from me. Almost at the same time, Kitten looks over Pants's shoulder and yells, "Toy! Toy Meimei! Yook, toy!"

Saturday, August 18, 2007

BPA Update

Going through my kitchen I have discovered the following:

NOT POLYCARBONATE:
Ikea cups and bowls
Take n' Toss cups
High Chair Tray
Weight Watcher's water cup

POLYCARBONATE:
Pampered Chef Pitchers
Pampered Chef Chopper
Crappy cup from church bazaar
All remaining small sippy cups
2 larger sippy cups
Sippy that came with Ikea meal set

So all in all, we didn't fare too badly, although we have to get off bottles ASAP. I might buy 1, just to get us through. I have a few items to return from my mad purchase the other night, but it shouldn't be too big a deal. I'm curious about some of my tupperware, but most of it's pliable, so I doubt it. The Rock N' Serve might have to go, though.

Starts to make you take stock of just how much plastic you really own...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Happy Birthday! We're going to stop poisoning you!

So, yesterday, the Baby Bargains and Baby 411 people put out a notice that the scientists pulled together to study the leaching of BPA from polycarbonate plastic raised "some concerns." Polycarbonate is the hard, clear plastic (#7) that the vast majority of baby bottles and some sippy cups are made of.

So I spent much of my evening yesterday reading websites and ordering replacement cups for the children. We're going to get Meimei off the bottle post-haste and just use cups going forward. I am debating if I want to start moving Kitten from sippy cups to regular cups, but we'll see.

I'm also concerned about the nuks, as they have a clear plastic shield that is most likely polycarbonate. We may have to ditch those too, not that it isn't already time anyway. And some of the spoons appear to be the bad plastic too.

Please, if you are using Avent, Dr. Brown's, Second Nature, Soothie, or any other clear, hard plastic bottle or cup, throw them out and buy new ones. If you're going for bottles, try Born Free, a new polyamide plastic with no BPA. As for cups, the Born Free are a bit expensive, but try Nalgene (which I understand is ok), Avent Magic, Sigg aluminum bottles - there are a couple more options, keep looking. Any plastic with a recycle number of 1, 2, 4, or 5 is ok. Avoid 3, 6, and of course 7, the polycarbonate plastic.

This is Meimei's birthday present this year.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The return of infant leprosy

Some of you may recall, from my other (now defunct) website, that Kitten went through a few days about a year and a half ago where she developed a very funky rash - so bad it was the only time we were ever called to come pick her up from daycare. And if we hadn't taken her to the clinic that night, I certainly would have rushed her in the next morning - it got even worse.

This rash was what is know as a "fever rash", which apparently is a way for a virus to be expelled through the body. But it looks diseased. Illin'. Leprous.

Meimei had a fever over 101 Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and today, when we picked her up - there they were. The beginnings of the leprosy that panicked me last year. On the back of her neck, her forehead, starting on her arms. My kid will look plague-ridden for days.

I'm so getting pictures this time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What's the capital of Somalia?

Don't give it away, just raise your hand if you know the answer (without looking it up). This is an informal poll.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Greening the Bathroom

It's time for the next installment of how to green your life without spending a killing. Today, we'll take a stroll through the john.

The nice thing about the bathroom is that you don't even have to remodel to make it more efficient. In fact, when people remodel this room, it usually becomes phenomenally less efficient (huge, jetted tubs, multiple shower heads). The higher the luxury factor, the lower the efficiency rating. So, to make myself feel somewhat better about my horrendously 70s bathroom, here goes.

  • Change out your toilet so it's low-flow, or fill plastic bottles (reuse!) with water and rocks to displace some of the water in your tank. A high-efficiency bowl and tank can cost less than $200, or just replace the tank portion for $75. 2-3 hours for tank replacement, 4-5 for full replacement.
  • Place aerators on your sink and shower head. For your shower head, consider a chlorine remover as well. For both, a shut-off switch can save even more. Shower head: $88, 30 minutes. Faucet aerator w/ switch: $4.99, 10 minutes.
  • If replacing shower fixtures, put in a faucet that has temperature adjustment separate from the on and off function. This allows you to turn on the water and have it ready without extra time wasted on getting the water to the right temp. Approximately $150, 1 weekend installation.
  • Take shorter showers. If taking a bath, don't fill the tub so full.
  • When replacing bathroom accessories, towel racks, etc., buy antique, used, or try recycled iron.
  • Use bar soap instead of liquid soap - there is far less packaging and usually no plastic. Try the soap rock next to your sink.
  • When buying towels, check out alternatives to cotton - organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and linen. They might be more expensive, but they will last longer than regular cotton and take less of a toll on the earth. Often, they will also be quite a bit more luxurious. They also make alternative rugs, robes, shower curtains, and shower scrubs.
  • If you have a shower rod instead of doors, opt for a fabric shower curtain instead of plastic, which may contain dangerous PVCs anyway. Hemp is naturally anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and does not require a liner - the curtain will get wet, but the water won't spray through the curtain. As with every shower curtain, pull it closed after the shower to ensure it dries out between uses.
  • Clean with natural products that are earth-friendly. There is a great Minnesota company called Restore that actually allows you to refill your empty bottles at specified sites in the area. They make toilet bowl cleaner, lime scale remover, glass cleaner, and general cleaners too. They even make a safer cleaner for kids with asthma and allergies.
  • Use more natural personal products - soaps, toothpaste, hair products, anti-perspirant - and use products with less packaging. Don't use anti-bacterial product, they aren't necessary. Tom's of Maine actually makes floss that's naturally waxed. Look for hair and body products online, or try Daisy Blue Naturals, a home-based sales product (like Pampered Chef). Or use Minnesota's own Aveda products.