Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Asking for it

You know, the only reason I like reading articles like this is because they make me feel superior to others. It's petty, and I know it's petty.

I also know that, because of this ridiculous feeling of superiority, even though my first-born is a relatively adventurous eater, my second-born will refuse to eat anything but white bread (no crusts).

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Jinxed it

By blogging about how awesome AB was yesterday, I was asking for it, I guess. Today he was a terror.

My day was made slightly better by this.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Lazy Saturday*

I am trying my best not to have this baby before being "full term." (Which I will be in less than half an hour.) I hardly slept at all last night. In a span of 7 hours, I got up to pee 6 times. Everytime I closed my eyes, I kept flashing back to a recent court appearance, and imagining it going differently... even though, in reality, everything went fine. Whenever I woke up to pee, I'd think to myself, "Stop reliving it--you won, dummy." But it was to no avail.

So this morning I was hating life. However, I was able to put my feet up and read the paper. Also read a few books to AB, who enjoyed doing his puzzles on the living room floor. Around 10:30 a.m., we decided to watch The Muppet Movie. I fixed him a good lunch, and after lunch he went right to sleep.

During his nap, I finished the paper, paid my bills and balanced my checkbook. Then I put my feet up and chilled with NSAH in the basement for a while, watching some college football. (Stupid Buckeyes.)

AB was sweet when I finally woke him up from his nap, and we read some more and played with all of his animal toys. I watched him re-enact his birthday party using various critters (Grandma was a T-Rex, my friend's daughter O. was a triceratops, and Muffin Man was, I believe, a beaver, etc.). NSAH and I sang "Happy Birthday" to him again, and he pantomimed blowing out the candles on his cake.

I asked AB what he wanted to do for dinner, and he said McDonald's. Meh, what the hell, right? So I took him there for a Happy Meal ("...with a toy," he informed me).

As we walked in, we looked at the toy display. He could either get a Little Mermaid-themed toy or a Bionicle-themed toy. I asked him which he wanted, and he said he wanted the Little Mermaid (one of the Little Mermaid toys did appear to be Ariel herself). Cool with me. But when I peered into the Happy Meal box of another child ahead of us in line, I saw that the Little Mermaid-themed toy this week is a cheap-o green plastic tiara. I pointed it out to him and asked him if he wanted the crown. He said, "No, I want the Little Mermaid." I told him that, apparently, they're not actually giving out Little Mermaid dolls this week; it's either the crown or a "robot."

"I want the robot," he decided firmly. And I can't really blame him. I would've wanted the robot, too. So I ordered his Happy Meal and asked for the Bionicle toy.

"The boy toy?" the woman behind the counter asked.

Feeling as though I'd had this conversation before, I repeated, "The Bionicle toy." The woman behind the counter wasn't very good at her job and--despite this back and forth--initially gave me the tiara... as well as giving AB fries instead of the apple slices he wanted. I pointed these things out to her, and AB and I eventually enjoyed a nice meal at McDonald's. (I am really digging the Asian chicken salad they have. Edamame...yum.)

After dinner, we went home and played with his "robot," which is actually kind of cool. It shoots little paper discs from one of its hands, so we made a game of trying to shoot the discs into the Happy Meal box. It was pretty fun for both of us, I have to admit. Eventually, it was AB's bedtime, and he whined about it but quieted fairly quickly. He was sooo good today, he really was. And I told him that as I kissed him goodnight.

Then I went downstairs and watched a video CLE (that's continuing legal education, for all you normal, non-lawyer people reading this), meaning I'm all set for my requirements this year. Then my awesome husband brought me donuts. Not doughnuts, but donuts. They were excellent.

I gotta say it was a good day.

* Not to be confused with Lazy Sunday.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Trial Prep Random 10

Very little posting from me because it's been a busy couple weeks. Here's something just to prove I'm still around:

  1. "A Stroke of Luck" by Garbage

  2. "Deadbeat Club" by B-52s

  3. "I Gotcha" by Joe Tex

  4. "Call Me" by Blondie

  5. "So Long Jimmy" by James Blunt

  6. "Mercy Mercy Me" by Marvin Gaye

  7. "How You've Grown" by 10,000 Maniacs

  8. "Today's the Day" by America

  9. "Porcelain" by Moby

  10. "Female of the Species" by Space

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The "dumbening" of DJs

Was listening to the classic rock station with NSAH and AB in the car today, and the DJ said she was going to play a "deep cut." She introduced the song, and it began to play. It was Steely Dan's "Kid Charlemagne." Ordinarily, I would have griped at length about the fact that I do not consider "Kid Charlemagne" to be a "deep cut." In my book, if it's been released and has received substantial airtime, it's not a "deep cut."

I was temporarily put off from my "deep cut" griping, however, by this fact:

When the DJ introduced the song, she said, "Here's Steely Dan's 'Kid Shar-ma-lane.'"

Shar-ma-lane?! My high school French history teacher is rolling over in her grave. (If she's dead, that is.) I know all DJs can't be as knowledgeable as Weasel or Cerphe, but still. I expect correct pronunciation of song titles--is that too much to ask?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thursday randomness

So happy to have a book of federal criminal statutes opened next to me. So much more interesting than, well, non-criminal statutes. I wish I had more criminal work.

Also enjoying watching the Mountaineers beat up on the Terps.

Except now I've switched over to "ER" (NBC is showing last season's finale). Because I just can't help myself. Maybe I really just want to hear Snow Patrol's "Open Your Eyes" again. Or maybe I'm going through Goran withdrawal.

I feel like this.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Blogging meme

Bernie tagged me for a blogging meme. Normally, I'd cringe at the pressure, but my mind is mush and so I'm happy to have this meme to do (thanks, Bernie).

Why do you blog?

I started my first blog (not on Blogger) as a means of making myself keep track of the progress I was making on a screenplay. I also thought it was good if I was writing anything, even if I wasn't writing the screenplay. That blog kind of devolved into a site for personal and political rantings, quiz results, etc. You know, like this blog.

How long have you been blogging?
Since October 2002 (and you can see from the Archives, right, how long I've been with Blogger).

Um, no.

Why do readers read your blog?
I don't know. I mean, I guess the obvious answer is that some of them like what I write and/or how I write it. I don't like to analyze it, because... well, as you know, I don't handle praise well. The interesting thing is that I can never predict which posts will get the most traffic or comments. I can post something quasi-political or quasi-cultural and get maybe 6 or 7 comments, and then I'll post something about the grooming oddities of my son and get 20 comments. I really like the fact that it's unpredictable.

What was the last search phrase someone used to get to your site?
"Fresh mozzarella pregnant." I get a lot of people searching for what they can and cannot consume while pregnant (feta, lunchmeat, wine, beer, sushi). The folks wondering whether Maura Tierney is pregnant must have realized by now that the answer is "no." (I was sorry to read that she and her husband split after more than 10 years together.)

Which of your entries unjustly gets too little attention?
I have no idea. I figure the customer is always right. If one of my blog entries isn't getting much attention, then it probably didn't resonate with people. My fault, not theirs.

Your current favorite blogs?
Pretty much the same as they've always been. But I'd like to use this opportunity to point folks to a blog that I recently added to my blogroll (though I've been reading it off and on for a looong time now): Blog on the Run. He's a dad, he's a journalist, he's funny, he's veddy, veddy smart. Everybody start reading it. Now. I mean it. Go. I'll wait.

What blog did you read most recently?
Well, Bernie's for one. But right before that, I read Frogs and Ravens and was saddened by what I read.

Which feeds do you subscribe to?
The blogroll, right, as well as a few others.

What blogs are you tagging with this meme and why?
It's my policy not to tag people for memes, but please take it upon yourself if you'd like to.

Friday, September 08, 2006

You've got to measure up

Sometimes is never quite enough
If you're flawless, then you'll win my love
Don't forget to win first place
Don't forget to keep that smile on your face

Be a good boy
Try a little harder
You've got to measure up
And make me prouder

How long before you screw it up
How many times do I have to tell you to hurry up
With everything I do for you
The least you can do is keep quiet

Be a good girl
You've gotta try a little harder
That simply wasn't good enough
To make us proud

I'll live through you
I'll make you what I never was
If you're the best, then maybe so am I
Compared to him, compared to her
I'm doing this for your own damn good
You'll make up for what I blew
What's the problem...why are you crying

Be a good boy
Push a little farther now
That wasn't fast enough
To make us happy
We'll love you just the way you are if you're perfect

--"Perfect," Alanis

This article in Newsweek frightens me a little. OK, more than a little. It's basically yet another story about how, especially since No Child Left Behind, our schools are turning into drill-running, rote-memorization-requiring, art-less, music-less, gym-less, recess-less factories. (Scrivener wrote about this a little while back here.) As someone who loved school, this really saddens me.

Of course, not all of the blame can be placed at the feet of NCLB.* There are parents making unfortunate choices, too:

Like many of his friends, Robert Cloud, a president of an engineering company in suburban Chicago, had the Ivy League in mind when he enrolled his sons, ages 5 and 8, in a weekly after-school tutoring program. "To get into a good school, you need to have good grades," he says.

If a 5-year-old needs tutoring to keep up in kindergarten, that's one thing. But to send a 5-year-old to a tutor to increase his odds of getting into an Ivy League school?! KLee, my favorite kindergarten teacher, tell me how damned crazy that is.

Principal Ron Montaquila says kids of all ages are affected. Last year, says Montaquila, one dad wanted to know how his son stacked up against his classmates. "I told him we didn't do class ranking in kindergarten," recalls Montaquila. But the father persisted. If they did do rankings, the dad asked, would the boy be in the top 10th?

Wish I'd been the principal. I would've turned coldly to the father, smiled and said, "No."

In wealthier communities, where parents can afford an extra year of day care or preschool, they are holding their kids out of kindergarten a year—a practice known in sports circles as red-shirting—so their kids can get a jump on the competition. Clemmons parent Mary DeLucia did it. When her son, Austin, was 5, he was mature, capable, social and ready for school. But the word around the local Starbucks was that kindergarten was a killer. "Other parents said, 'Send him. He'll do just fine'," says DeLucia. "But we didn't want him to do fine, we wanted him to do great!"

This is just horrific, I think. I have no problem with parents delaying kindergarten because their kids aren't socially or academically ready for it. But holding back a perfectly ready child for purely competitive reasons is sickening.

I know that in my upper middle-class community, I'm going to come into contact with parents like this. I am not looking forward to it.

* This summer, in speaking with my mother the teacher, I discovered for the first time that NCLB does not test grammar. Hence, most schools have stopped teaching it. This disturbs me, a lover of language, profoundly. No wonder freshmen nationwide are packed into the remedial composition courses on college campuses. They never learned to write well because they never learned elementary grammar.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Healthy boy

Angry Boy was actually a very good boy at his doctor's appointment today (annual checkup). Nothing that happened freaked him out--I think it helped that I'd been talking to him about what to expect at his appointment for at least 24 hours. For the first time ever, he stepped onto the scale without freaking out (don't ask me why that used to freak him out, but it did, even though he loves our scale at home and always wants to know "how much" he is). He also let them measure his height without freaking out (another first). Although he's fairly high above the 50th percentile for height, he's waaaay above for weight. But our lovely doctor said, and I quote, "Oh, God, don't put him on a diet or anything!" (As if I would...)

She said to cut back on the junk food. And I didn't know what to say to that. I didn't say anything. I just nodded my head. But except for our foray to McD's this morning for a biscuit and a hash brown, I can't remember the last time AB had junk food. This is a boy who eschews cookies for tomatoes, who would rather eat carrots and zucchini than chicken fingers, who snacks on raisins instead of crackers. We are going to go ahead and switch his 2% milk to 1% (NSAH and I drink skim). That might make a difference.

The thing is, compared to how chubby he was as a baby and as a pre-walking toddler, I think AB is actually starting to look quite slim. He's definitely got meat on his bones (he's still got linebacker thighs, my boy), but his tummy's almost gone. I was looking at pictures of him from our beach trip earlier this summer, and marvelling that his pre-toddler tummy is now the tummy of a young boy.

Anyway... Other highlights from the doctor's office included his ability to tell the doctor all the colors in his shirt, his telling her what kind of dinosaur he was holding (velociraptor, naturally), and his helping her hold the little light as she peered into his mouth.

When we gave his daddy the report later tonight, I asked AB, "Did you get a shot?" "No," he answered. He then stated, "I want a shot." Hey, flu season's not far away, right?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

This tropical depression is making me sleepy

So Ernesto wasn't even a hurricane, yet we lost power at home for more than 24 hours. It makes no sense. We retained power through the winds of Friday night. We lost power during the lackadasical misting of Saturday morning.

I spent last night with AB at my parents' house. (NSAH stayed home so that Small Dog wouldn't be scared or lonely in the dark house alone.) AB and I were sharing a bedroom, my old bedroom: him on his little Nemo mattress on the floor, me in the bed. At 4 in the morning, my boy woke me up because he couldn't find his velociraptor. I found it for him, under his pillow, and he said, "OK, I can get up now." Um, no. You need to sleep for at least 3 more hours. "OK, I sleep in mommy and daddy's bed." And he proceeded to try to climb up into the high bed. Out of exhaustion, I let safety be damned and helped him up there. Then I maneuvered some other furniture to one side of the bed so that if he knocked into it, maybe he'd at least roll the other way back toward the center of the bed.

I needn't have worried. For the next hour and a half, he tapped, prodded, kicked, patted and talked to me as I tried to sleep all the way on the edge of my side of the bed. I don't know how cosleepers do it.

I think he finally must've fallen asleep at 5:30, and so did I. I woke a little at 7, realized my boy was passed out next to me, and rolled over and went right back to sleep. I finally woke up for real at 8, and woke him up, too. The first thing he said to me when he opened his eyes and saw me lying next to him: "Mommy, where is my velociraptor?"