Monday, June 30, 2008

On a recent episode of "Jon and Kate Plus 8," Kate spent an afternoon making a delicious-sounding snack called "Monkey Munch." Contrary to initial assumptions, it does not contain bananas or marshmallows as the name might lead one to believe. (Well, bananas seem obvious, but I don't know why I associate marshmallows with monkeys.) I did some searching and found that she gave a different name to a Chex recipe for "Muddy Buddies." I suppose she gave it a more fun name so the kids could remember easily. I'm excited to make it for myself, since it isn't really appropriate for Baby to eat. :) I'll consider sharing some with Husband.

By the way, we did watch WALL•E. Very cute.

Friday, June 27, 2008

How sad is it that I gave myself a gift on Facebook? It was a picture of WALL•E. Opens this weekend. I'm hoping Husband and I can catch it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Of late, I have been obsessed with a certain working girl of note. (See right sidebar.) She's fascinating for no obvious reason. I downloaded and watched the UK serial based on the novel based on the blog. Loved it! The show premiered on Showtime last week (on or about), but I have yet to hear anything, positive or otherwise, about it. Since I only recently sought out her blog, I am doing a bit of fervent reading and scrolling as I catch up.

In other news of (un)import, I got a new phone today. Husband wanted a cheaper talk plan and fancier phones, which are rather fun and cute. (Mine's pink!) I busily typed in my contacts while purging those whom I have not called in the last twelve months or never plan to call again (as a result of Friday's outing).

In the rest of the country,
MINEOLA, Texas (AP) -- In the windowless front rooms of a former day care center in a tiny Texas community, children as young as 5 were fed powerful painkillers they knew as "silly pills" and forced to perform sex shows for a crowd of adults.
Only in Texas.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Frightened by news of seventeen teenage girls who allegedly made a pact to get pregnant and raise their children together. (Available from various news sources.) People in their town (Gloucester, MA) are quick to blame the media and entertainment industry for this.

Also a bit disheartening that the schools, heavily influenced by the town's religious beliefs, continue to refuse to provide condoms to students. I understand the conflict with their beliefs, but in light of recent events, do parents continue to believe their children are pure of sin? Sex education is probably non-existent, or at least only exists as a push for strict abstinence. Tsk.

Pregnancy is not glamorous. Neither is parenthood. Both involve tons of work and commitment, neither of which these girls know. Doubtful that they will be shamed for their actions. This country purports to be conservative in its religious and moral beliefs, but we seem to turn a blind eye, and oftentimes celebrate, unplanned pregnancies by unprepared young girls. (I hesitate to call them 'young women,' as they severely lack maturity, forethought, and experience.) In no way do I condemn single-motherhood. In fact, kudos to women who can balance baby and career without a man (or woman, in any case); their babies are planned, and the women are well-prepared. (Presumably.)

Don't get me wrong--I enjoyed my pregnancy. Well, I wouldn't have missed the nausea, the sore boobs, the achy pelvis.

But returning to my original point. Apparently the babies will be born soon. (Why didn't this story make headlines months ago?) I'd like to see what happens.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A day out with new friends brings new meaning to my life

I spent the day with Susanna and Dawn, which was a fun little mix of art, books, and strangers on the Metro. We browsed the National Museum of American Art, which I had never been to because it is rather removed from the other museums. We walked from the Mall up 7th Street and found the museum a hop away from the Verizon Center and across from the Spy Museum. We checked out the folk art exhibit, which was fascinating, and several of the pieces were especially intriguing, one even moving. (If you go, check out the cut-out mural of the lynch mob parade by Kara Walker--haunting.) We also checked out the modern American art upstairs. There was one work called "For SAAM," which was a tall cylindrical thing lit up with LEDs. Messages scrolled horizontally, vertically, and diagonally; we tried to stand and read them all but it got a bit tedious, although the piece itself was neat. We stumbled across one call Electronic Superhighway, which was a huge display of the United States done in neon lights and TVs. Within the neon outlines of the states, TVs large and small ran various video montages; careful observation revealed that the montages related to each state somehow (potatoes in Idaho, bright lights and casinos in Nevada, historic locations in Virginia, etc.).

Afterward, we went across to street and had lunch at Zola. The food was awesome. I had a chicken sandwich with potato-egg salad--yum!

On the way back to the Metro--we could have taken it from Gallery Place but that thought didn't seem to occur to any of us at the time--we stopped at a small bookstore that was having a liquidation sale. Susanna and Dawn bought a few; nothing struck my fancy. (We passed the Archives station as well. Dunno.) We made it back to the Mall, where it looked like some sort of folk festival was being set up. [Edit: Indeed, the Smithsonian is hosting its annual Folklife Festival on the Mall. Perhaps Husband and I can go. We haven't had a date in a while.]

I had fun hanging out, doing grown-up things. (I knew I had a point. I just had to get there.) Being with Susanna and Dawn made me realize that the people I used to associate with (but no longer find myself remotely missing) lacked curiosity and culture. They had little desire to experience new places and try unfamiliar things. I could never suggest a museum day trip--they would have scoffed. I know exactly what they would think--museums are boring, stuffy, yawn yawn yawn. I'm glad I've found two people who like the same things I do. (Not to dismiss Husband's interests. In fact, he enjoys doing quiet, grown-up things too.) With my former friends (associates? acquaintances? I'm realizing also that I was not that close to them), our activities were limited to rather silly and often mindless things; our lunches/dinners were flavorless and unadventuresome. Perhaps it was simply out of comfort that I invested so much time with them. Secretly I think it made me feel better about myself because I knew I was more cultured, more curious, more open to new things, almost as if I was doing them a favor by being with them. Let me add some intelligence to this conversation, dear. I feel like I can have meaningful conversations now, even if the topics tend to drift toward sex and all things sex. (Fun!)

I am looking forward to spending a couple more days with them. (Susanna is leaving for a trip to Serbia in July, and Dawn is getting married in July.) What to do with the rest of the summer?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pregnancy and birth: the best diet in the world

Looking at pictures from just two years ago, I didn't realize just how fat I was. (Okay, I still am, but I had a baby. Yea, yea, I weigh less than before I got pregnant, but I'm still lardy.) I just looked through our engagement pictures and thought, "Geez, I'm glad I never posted those online." I was... round. I can't describe it any other way. I did end up losing some weight in the months leading up to the wedding. Now I bet I could fit into my wedding dress and then some. (What does a girl do with her wedding dress after the wedding anyway? But I digress...)

I only gained a net twenty pounds by the end of the pregnancy, and all of it in the last three months. I have definitely lost a lot of weight since the birth, which is obvious when my pants come off with a tug. I really thought I would have trouble losing the baby weight, but it's gone away on its own. My weight has remained relatively stable since then, despite my constant grazing. (Breastfeeding takes a lot out of you. I feel hungry often.) I'd still like to lose more weight, but it will be tough. For one thing, I have the summer off with nothing to do, which means I'm prone to watching TV or reading--not conducive to weight loss. For another, I don't feel as stressed or tired as I did while I was working, so I won't be burning off what I eat as quickly as I used to. On the other hand, with the nice weather this week, I have no excuse for not taking advantage of it and taking a stroll around the neighborhood with baby in tow. She loves being outside, so it will be good for both of us.

So here's the tentative plan: After her morning feeding, we take a walk around the block. It will still be temperate enough that she and I are comfortable.

Friday, June 13, 2008

a full life

Being home for the summer may seem like a godsend, but there are drawbacks.

1. My choice of friends with whom I can hang out is limited to my coworkers. All two of them. :) I love them dearly, don't get me wrong. They just happen to have the same work schedule, so it works out nicely. Besides, it will be nice to hang out with people who have figured out what they want in life and don't act like they're still in high school.

2. My daily life revolves around my baby. She is adorable, but her needs consume my life. Of course, this is what it means to be a mother. I love that new role. Putting aside my desires is the sacrifice I willingly make. But I sure do miss being able to get up and go.

3. I have a fast-growing mental list of Things That Need to be Done Around the House: replace windows, replace blinds, install curtains, replace washer and dryer, replace shower stall, rearrange baby's room, rearrange living room... Now to figure out WHEN...

4. I get the impression my husband feels (subconsciously?) that my being at home for the summer means I take care of all household chores. Not having to go to work means I have fifty less things to accomplish in a given day, but I'm still left with fifty things to do at home and not enough sanity to go around. Dinner, laundry, cooking, cleaning, groceries, bills, on top of everything for the baby. Yeesh.

5. There is nothing on TV.


I know it was a month ago, but Mother's Day was a bummer. Being my first, I had hoped it would be more... fulfilling? Other than getting a new camera (very cool), the day passed like any other. I took care of the baby, I did some laundry, I made dinner. Granted, I didn't do anything for my own mother, which was pretty lame on my part since I didn't do anything for her birthday a few days prior. I want to excuse my husband because it was his first Mother's Day without his mom, but does he get a pass on me? Well, it's done and gone. No point in working myself up about it anymore. I do enjoy the camera, though. Lots of pictures of the baby.

Father's Day is this Sunday. I got him a gift. I need to get something for my dad. I'm hoping he (husband) has thought about, or has already gotten, a gift for his dad.