April 30, 2008

Chocolate Love

My friend Nancy let me review some of her yummy chocolate. Mmm-mm! I could get used to this.

Andrea Bocelli Sings Elmo to Sleep

Erich has had a thing for Andrea Bocelli ever since we stayed at the Ritz-Carlton in Las Vegas this past Christmas. Andrea had performed a rare concert on Lake Las Vegas last summer, and the footage played constantly on one of the hotel's cable channels. And by nothing short of genius hospitality, the maids left it playing upon leaving the room. It was a delicious treat to walk into our clean room every evening, be greated by that flawless tenor, and see the breathtaking views of the desert sun setting behind him. I'm telling you, this thing was enchanting. Erich was completely entranced from the moment we walked in the room. By the time we checked out, we probably sat through that entire concert 10 times and I still wanted more. Even now when I play Bocelli on my iPod, Erich becomes completely still and stares blissfully off into the distance.

Now imagine our delight as I'm channel surfing today (yes, we watch TV on sick days, so sue me) and suddenly Elmo appears on the screen. Erich adores Elmo. He hasn't had much exposure to the little fur ball, but I can confidently say that it was love at first sight. So I pause a moment, and
wait! Who is that with him? Andrea Bocelli!! There he was singing our little buddy a bedtime version of Con Te Partiro. We both thought this song was so fabulous that I found the video on YouTube and E & I watched it several times over.

April 29, 2008

My Favorite Piece of Furniture

Erich's sweet little cousins (and Aunt Nicole!) just sent him this amazing PB Kids chair, and I have to say: it is AWESOME! It looks so cozy and stylish, and he absolutely loves having his own little space to chill and read his books. (Even though he becomes a deer in the headlights every time I lift the camera.) Did I mention I love it? I love it! Thank you, girls!!

April 28, 2008

Home Improvement and My Mom

I always love it when my mom comes to visit from Wisconsin. We get to hang out, play with Erich, go shopping, she washes my dishes.. and Marc's favorite: she fixes up our house. I'm telling you, this woman is a machine, a do-it-herself-er through and through. Unfortunately, I don't share her adeptness or desire for home repairs, but I swear I'm the best bucket and flashlight holder this side of the Mississippi! When she came out here a few weeks ago, our #1 project was the garden. It took a couple of years, but I think I've finally learned the difference between annuals and perennials. Here's finished product (I know, I'm terrible about putting the hose back!):

We then took a well deserved break to see the cherry blossoms in DC.

Then she and my dad spent a few hours digging a nail clippers out of the garbage disposal (I still call it wasn't my fault). Notice me holding the flashlight and covering my face like a pro.

Then we tore it up. The yard, that is. Because apparently dog urine kills grass. Actually, this is something we knew quite well, but laziness won us over far too often, resulting in a plot of dirt and dead, yellow crud. Marc & I finally got fed up with being the white trash of the neighborhood, so Maw & I removed all of the acidic garbage and gave the remaining dirt a good toiling.

But the sod came in a few days late, and my teacher had to go home, leaving me to finish the job.. alone*. And guess what: I DID IT! I bought and laid down the sod all by myself**. And if that isn't wild enough, I MOWED IT last week. I suppose I might have a little of my mama in me afterall.

* If you're asking why I had to do this alone, then you've never been married to a lawyer.
** Our neighbors leave a bunch of random stuff(i.e. a birdhouse, tiles, shoes..) on their front porch at all times. Please don't take that as a reflection on us.

April 26, 2008

Movie Review : I Am Legend

One word: "Blaherreguregrulah."
Translation: Creepy-nasty-grizzly-intense- yucky-yuck-yuck. Yuck.

This movie drove me out of my gourd. I'm still trying to exorcise the worms out from under my skin and the queasy knot in my gut. I've never been a fan of scary movies, and this one just barely crossed over my tolerance threshold. (I never said I was good at separating fantasy from reality.) I was literally jumping on the couch with a pillow over my face during the dog scene, and wedged into a corner during the rest of it. And in a very rare occurrence, I, the terrible woman who hates basketball, actually made Marc switch to the Jazz game about 10 times so I could relax. When it was all over, I went upstairs to cuddle with my sweet little sleeper and to feel peace again. (And to make sure he was safe!)

I'm not looking forward to my dreams tonight. And tomorrow night, I just may pack a switchblade when I take Jaeger to the bathroom.

April 22, 2008

The Most Depressing Post Ever

Does anyone else ever feel like we're living a story that is coming to it's end? I couldn't help but feel that way today as I was listening to a radio program about China's growing population and consumption of oil. The host was interviewing a scientist who believed that in 10-20 years the world would be scrambling for oil and it would cause all kinds of chaos. Frankly, I think he's right. But it's not only China that worries me, it's the culmination of everything in the media lately. It seems that all we hear about is the poor environment, global warming, melting ice, oil, wars, poverty, disease, etc. We're approaching the climax.

I think I've come to the sad realization that we can't save the Earth. We humans will never reverse our impact on the environment. We're not organized, united, or strong enough. Inevitably, our planet will capsize in our filth, and the best anyone can do is to slow things down. I only hope that we can put it off as long as possible.

So on this, our glorious Earth Day, I have to roll my eyes at the naive phrase "Save the Planet". Instead, I came up with a new motto:

Go ahead now, cry your eyes out. It'll probably make the polar ice caps melt that much faster.

April 17, 2008

i heart poop.

If you know me at all, you probably know that I have something of a poop obsession. So you understand why I have to share this post with you from my sister's blog. I've also decided that poop is funniest when it doesn't happen to you. I'm still rolling on the floor on this one!! (My sympathies are with you, C.)

p.s. - "Poopsucka" is an endearing term we call each other, created by my nephew (to the great delight of his aunts and mother) when he was learning his first words. The child is a comedic genius!

April 15, 2008

No, I'm NOT pregnant. Just hormonal.

A little while ago, I registered Erich for a weekly music class at the community REC center. I missed a chunk of the first class (although SO not my fault. It was all on Marc). Then last week, my mom was visiting and I just plain forgot. Finally, this morning, I arrived right on time for a class that I thought started at 10. We walked in to every one happily packing up their bags and strollers. I then remembered the class began at 9, and playgroup started at 10, and I - completely disgusted with myself - flipped a 180 out the door and prayed that no body saw us.

I felt like such a failure that I almost broke out in tears as we walked out to the parking lot. Seriously, is there something wrong with me that I can't make it on time to Erich's ONE weekly commitment*? Also, since this is a class I already paid for, it's just money down the toilet**. I was putting Erich in his car seat when I decided that I really didn't want to go home and admit defeat. I paused and thought about going to the store or somewhere else when I looked up and saw a playground. So off the pair of us went to climb and slide and have a pretty good time.

But here's the clincher, the real point of this boring post. On my drive home, on a narrow, two lane side street, I came across a really bad accident. Two ambulances, one fire truck, and 5 police cars all with their lights on. A smashed up truck and trailer were one side of the road, and a crumpled up sedan was on the other, surrounded by a stretcher and several men prying out the passenger. While my heart goes out to the victims and I hope they're okay, my thoughts are still pretty selfish and I can't help but wonder how long it must have taken for the response team to get there and how long they had been there before I drove past.. 20, 30 minutes? The same amount of time we spent at the park? And I know it's a long shot that Erich and I could've shared the same fate, but it still makes me wonder. And it makes me feel a whole lot better about being an airhead.

*Playgroups don't count because they're free. And everyone else is late, too!
**Sure, all the proceeds go to help fund community programs, but what about ME?

April 4, 2008

Paper... or Plastic?

Wouldn't you know it, even the lap of luxury has some dirty little secrets, and in this case, ignorance
is definitely not bliss. Where I work, there are two kinds of people: those who know... and those who don't. Those who know drink from paper cups in the cafeteria. The poor schmucks who don't know use the hard, plastic glasses.

I was one of the poor schmucks once, and I'm forever grateful to the wonderful, Columbian laundry valet who urgently whispered a grave truth to me in the recesses of the employee dining room:

"No, no, you shouldn't drink out of that cup! You see over there, how they have paper? You must drink only from the paper!" she implored in her hushed tone.


"The plastic cups, the Arabian men, they bring them to the bathroom so they can pour water on their [insert meaningful head-tilt-and-double-glance downward], you know."

Oh My...

"You see, they no use toilet paper. Only water. So they take cups into the bathroom and leave them there. Then, later, the cups are washed in here with everything else."


"So you must only use paper. If there is no more paper, you must ask for paper."

Truer words were never spoken.

I immediately switched cups and entered the club of those who know. Since that fateful day, over a year ago, I have been amazed at how this crude affair is shrouded in secrecy and always discussed in hushed voices - as though someone would be offended if they overheard. (Ooo, the nerve of someone wanting to drink from a poop-free glass!) Even more disturbing is that even now, a
random inspection of the employee cafeteria will still turn up tables littered with a sea of paper and plastic. To my knowledge, the Ritz hasn't equipped the mens room with any bidets, so either people don't know.. or they just don't care. And that, friends, is what troubles me the most.

April 2, 2008

Beware of this Binky!!

The RaZbaby Keep-It-Kleen Pacifier is a binky designed to shut closed when falling on the floor to, well, keep it clean. It's certainly a novel idea, so I bought one at CVS last year and decided it was pretty cool. Erich could pick it up off the floor, open the shields, and stick it in his own mouth with no hurried cleaning by mama. Plus it looked like Nemo and matched his hair. Suh-weet! Well, the honeymoon ended last week however, when I went to Erich's crib one morning to find his little security blanket shattered into 5 pieces... next to his head! Imagine my horror as I checked to make sure he hadn't swallowed anything.

I was unable to reach anyone by phone, but following is the email I sent to RaZbaby's customer service department.

Customer Service Agent,

I am very upset about your "Keep-it-Kleen Pacifier". When my 14-month-old son awoke in the morning a few days ago, I went to his crib and discovered your KIK Pacifier broken into 5 pieces right next to his head. I don't know how it broke, but the fact of the matter is, this product is too fragile and hazardous for children. I hate to think of what could have happened had he awoken and felt around him in the middle of the night or if I had waited longer to enter his room. This could have been a lethal situation had my son ingested any of those pieces. There were two pieces in particular that gave me tremendous cause for concern: the nipple, which would have blocked his windpipe instantly, and a small, sharp, metal ring. The ring is not much larger than a Cheerio, but the damage and internal bleeding it could cause is sickening. Hypothetically, if my son had ingested that ring and nothing else, I would have examined all other pieces and assumed that nothing was missing. If he began crying I would have had no idea what type of internal damage was occurring and may not have realized that he needed immediate medical attention.

The Keep-it-Kleen Pacifier that you have on the market is extremely dangerous and inappropriate for use by any child, especially infants. I plan to tell everyone I know not to purchase this product until the item has been recalled and all potentially hazardous parts have been removed.
Shattered Nemo:

Frankly, that email doesn't express the complete anger I felt, but I decided it would be more productive to portray myself as the diplomatic-yet-horrified parent as opposed to a psychotic enraged one. Well, one of the owners, Aida, emailed me back right away and then called me this morning. She was very nice and professional, apologizing profusely, saying they have never received a complaint like this, and went into great detail explaining their rigorous testing processes (these include stepping on, running over, and throwing the pacifiers against cement walls). She seemed to feel that my binky was defective and requested that I send it back to their company for testing in their lab, while she sends me a full refund. I told her I was still concerned that the nipple, ring and base weren't one piece, and that separately they still presented a choking hazard. Her response was that they recently updated the model and secured the ring into the shield so it wouldn't come out. But still... it's metal. And that nipple could soo easily block a windpipe. And, as sympathetic as she may be, after playing out the scenerio of 'what if's' in my head, my consumer confidence may never be regained.

Aida said she'll keep me updated on the labs findings. Overall, I'm glad she was so interested in examining the binky to figure out their mistake, but I still feel it's my duty to warn everyone I know about the possible dangers of using this pacifier. Sorry RaZbaby, but it's my responsibility; at least it's cheaper than your unlikely recall.

This is the only shot I could find of Erich sporting his KIK paci. (It also happens to be an excellent representation of his fly dance moves.)