Wednesday, December 17, 2008

ISO a comeback


Yep, it's started already. Somewhere, somehow, Monkey learned to say the word "mine." And I can guarantee you it was not from me or my husband!

So I casually raised the question at day care this week.... "So, I'm just curious... have the older kids been saying 'mine' a lot lately? Because we noticed Monkey saying it at home, and aren't sure where he picked it up..."


On the downside, not only is this apparently the word du jour with the one-year-old set, but their teachers taught it to them! In their defense, their thought was to give the kids a word to use when another child took a toy from them. Apparently they didn't consider that the children would naturally start declaring everything to be theirs. Plan backfired.

On the one hand, I can see their thinking. But on the other hand, there's this little voice in the back of my head (actually, two voices, sounding remarkably like Seth Myers and Amy Poehler), aaying "Really? You didn't think that teaching toddlers to say 'mine' could backfire on you?? Really???" But, alas, what's done is done.

What I really want to know now is this: What, exactly, is the succinct, fail-proof comeback that a parent uses to respond to a child who declares that an object is "mine," while maintaining a death-grip on said object and refusing to turn it over (let's say, just for a crazy example, a toothbrush that said child has been sucking on for over five minutes without actually "brushing" his teeth)? Acknowledging that the object is, in fact, theirs doesn't seem to do the trick. And denying it would seem to be (a) lying, in many cases, and (b) likely to lead to a lovely debate along the lines of "is not," "is too," etc., etc.

So please, if any of you have come up with a snappy comeback to respond to this adamant declaration, the comment section is below - please use it!!

My name is klalaw, and I'm an addict...

Wow, you must be thinking, this is a pretty serious post for a relatively non-serious blog!

It's true, I'm an addict. I received official notification of it yesterday.

What kind of addict, you ask, and how does she care for Monkey in her condition?

A posting addict.

Yep, that's right - as of yesterday, I have officially received "posting addict" status on a pregnancy and parenting bulletin board that I frequent. Well, I guess I more than "frequent" it, under the circumstances - I pretty much live there! :-)

What this means is that I have made a ridiculous number of posts since shortly after learning that I was pregnant with Monkay (or about two years ago). I have to stop and wonder, do I really have THAT much to say??

Of course, some of these posts are a simple "thanks" or "oh, he/she is adorable," whereas others are mini-novels with my theories of various aspects of child-rearing, and others are dumb questions that are best asked in a semi-anonymous forum. And it's not as if I'm posting in a vacuum - there are a lot of great ladies on my board, many of whom are addicts like me, and others who are well on their way.

I doubt there's a 12-step program to cure this addiction, but that's OK, because I love my board. I'll admit, there was a bit of excitement as I neared "addict" status, but now that I'm there, I've reached the end of the line, as far as status is concerned. Once an addict, how much farther can you really go? A "serious posting addict," a "posting addict who seriously doesn't know when to stop," or perhaps a "former posting addict who is seeking help and thus doesn't really post very much anymore"? It gets kind of depressing at that point, doesn't it? So, I'll have to just be happy with my addict status, and try to live up to the name, without neglecting my real-life family and friends in the process. :-)

Hello, Goodbye...

I posted a while back about Monkey's speech development (or my concerns about the potential lack thereof), and thought it was time for an update...

Monkey is still a HUGE fan of the word "uh oh," although he refuses to recognize that it does NOT apply when he drops things on the floor on purpose. :-) In the past few weeks, however, he has definitely added a few new words to his vocabulary, words that are very clear and spoken with purpose, so that's encouraging.

Yes, Monkey has become a greeter, and also the guy in our house most likely to show you to the door. These days it's all about "hi!" and "bye-bye."

The "hi"s are adorable - they're usually spoken at a loud, enthusiastic volume, such as when I first go in to get him up in the morning, and you can't help but smile and shout "hi!" back...

The "bye-bye"s are pretty funny. Sometimes they're right on cue, like when I show up to pick Monkey up from day care, and he turns to his teacher, waves, and says "bye-bye," as in "it's been fun, but I'm outta here!"

Other times, they're a bit, um, rude? Like when my mother-in-law shows up, Monkey realizes that probably means that Daddy and I are going somewhere, and so he brings her her shoes and tells her "bye-bye," as in "take a hint - I'd rather hang with Mommy and Daddy, thanks." And our poor dog... Every time he goes out to do his business in the back yard, Monkey runs over to the open door, where either my husband or I is standing, and tries to slam the door, saying a loud "bye-bye" to the dog! He also says good bye to trash when he throws it away, food in the pantry and/or the fridge when he closes the door, clothes in the dryer when he's "helping" with laundry... you get the idea.

But he's also getting smart about when it's time to go bye-bye - if I so much as reacch for my coat, scarf, or purse, Monkey starts asking "bye-bye?" and trying to figure out if he gets to go along for the trip, or if he's going to be left behind. If he's lucky enough to go with us, he races to the freezer, where we keep our special treats for the dog when he has to be crated, and he loves carrying it over and throwing it in the crate, and then closing the door. He's also a huge fan of working the garage door opener, and is the first to race to the dog's crate and let him out when we get home (which sounds sweet, but is a bit less so when he promptly steals the dog's chew toy and begins to taunt him with it...)

Such a little personality - It's amazing!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I've got a clever one on my hands...

I'm beginning to think Monkey is a bit too smart for his own good...

Take this example from this weekend:

My mother-in-law was watching Monkey while my husband and I were out running some errands. They were playing in the family room, and Monkey would periodically go around the corner into the hallway, where we have this giant cigar-store Indian statue thing (a pre-me purchase by my husband), and would touch the statue. My mother-in-law was worried that he would knock it over and get hurt (little did she realize at the time, but that thing ways about a ton and is almost impossible to budget), so she started telling Monkey "no." Well, a simple "no" doesn't accomplish anything with Monkey anymore, so she started gently swatting him on the hand as she said it, hoping this would have more of a deterrent effect. Not so much... So on it went, with Monkey touching the statue, and Grandma telling him "no" with a little swat. Until...

Monkey reached out to touch the statue, and then, without missing a beat, held out his hand for Grandma to smack it! :-o

Needless to say, Grandma had quite a time hiding her laughter from Monkey! And I suspect we're in for a world of trouble with this little guy!

Monday, December 8, 2008

It was fun while it lasted!

I am sorry to report that my fantasy football season is over...

I blame it on my cockiness and gloating around week 4 - it seems like that's when things started going downhill. My good, high scoring players started being totally unreliable. A few players got injured, and I had to trade them for other players, when the pickings were slim. I managed to stay in the top 4 based on my record, but, sadly, I think that's only because I got the luck of the draw each week and managed to play the few teams worse than mine!

This week was the playoffs, and I got about HALF the score of my opponent. Quite sad... And, unfortunately, unless there's a miracle tonight, my husband is about to lose as well, so we won't be sharing any prize money.

Ah, well - fun while it lasted. We'll see if I decide to give it another shot next year...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Christmas Wish... The Gift of Patience!

Anyone who knows me would NOT list patience as one of my traits. I suppose I'm not the most IMpatient person in the world, but I tend to get annoyed pretty easily - more easily than I would like.

Thus, you can imagine that I am being put to the test right now as the mother of a toddler! Moreso than at any point until now, Monkey is testing my nerves on a daily basis, and I know it's not his fault, but it's hard not to get frustrated and short with him. :-(

For starters, Monkey knows what the word "no" means, but refuses to listen to it if it is spoken just once. There's some evidence that three is the magic number, but sometimes even that doesn't seem to do the trick, and he requires physical movement in his direction to get the desired behavior. Thus, he is constantly standing on his chair, standing on his Leapfrog table (which is now legless, because of prior climbing attempts), climbing on the dog's cage, running around the dining room table, shaking the stair gates, and countless other taboo, potentially unsafe activities. I'm becoming that mommy that sounds like a broken record, saying "no," "stop," "Mommy said no," and "did you hear me?" until I'm blue in the face.

Mealtimes are still a challenge as well. If I were to list every food that Monkey will eat, he'd seem like a pretty well-rounded eater (although still with his quirks). But the thing is that I can't depend on him to eat any one of them on a given day - his appetite, likes, and dislikes seem to change on a daily, if not hourly basis, and some foods are apparently ONLY appetizing if they are served on MY plate, not his...

I think my frustration has been exacerbated a bit because we've been "off" our routine for about two weeks now. We took a trip out of town, then less than a week later had family here for Thanksgiving. We've done our best to stay close to mealtimes, naptimes, and bedtime, but I think Monkey is just plain overstimulated at this point, and we need to get back into a more consistent, less overwhelming daily routine. Sadly, that won't happen this week, as we're back on the road on Thursday. But maybe the week after that, although that's only two weeks before Christmas, and more travel.... Sigh.

So, if anyone knows where I can pick up some extra patience, it would sure come in handy over the next few weeks, months, and years!! :-)

Friday, November 14, 2008

I might need to issue a retraction...

So, you may recall a few posts ago me saying The Wiggles were magical...

I may need to change that statement. The Wiggles, in fact, may be evil. They're kind of like kiddie crack.

Case in point: Monkey has decided that he MUST have a nightly does of The Wiggles. And not just ANY video - no, it must be the SAME one. Specifically, "Toot Toot."

Now, I kind of like this video. It has a couple of catchy songs and dances, and, as I've mentioned, it does a WONDERFUL job of keeping Monkey entertained, particularly when he gets fussy. And it also stops him from racing around the house, and helps calm him down before bed.

But after having him watch it several evenings in a row, I realized we were definitely creating a habit, one I wasn't sure we wanted to develop. So I decided to put my foot down. Last night, after eating dinner and playing in the family room for a while, Monkey started pointing towards the cabinet under our TV, asking for "more" and saying "I do," which is generally his way of telling me he wants to do something. And yes, he knows full well what's inside that cabinet - it's the portable DVD player with the Wiggles in it. Geez, who knew kids would have such good memories at this age??

So I said "no," and tried to induce him to do something else - find his football, bring me a book, ride his fire truck. Nope. Monkey wanted "more," and started pointing more deliberately at the cabinet. After several more rounds of this, he was in tears, banging on the cabinet door. Oy! We ended up going round and round for about 10-15 minutes, before I FINALLY distracted him with something else before giving him a bath and putting him to bed.

The thing is, I don't think I've won the battle yet. I think he's going to do the exact same thing this afternoon or tonight, and I'm not sure what to do! It's not like The Wiggles are evil (despite my opening statements), but I want him to watch them when I say so, not every time he asks. I think it's great that he knows how to tell me what he wants, but that doesn't mean he should always get his way... So, yeah, right now The Wiggles are kind of like a drug. Maybe not crack. Something good for you, but in small doses - Tylenol, maybe??

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, I still haven't formed a definitive position on the Imagination Movers!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Blizzards and Lattes

These are my two major cravings right now.

First, a bit of background. I have been seriously dieting since Labor Day. As my 40th birthday looms ever closer, I have finally, I believe, found the resolve to lose all this extra weight that keeps finding me. I lost 60 pounds about 6 years ago, and despite swearing I would never, ever, gain it back, I regained 50 of the pounds before getting pregnant, and hit a weight during my pregnancy that I thought I would never see (but pregnancy pounds don't count, right? So I never "actually" weighed that much...)

After Monkey was born, I quickly dropped a little over half of the pregnancy weight. But a few months later, I was still 15 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight. Over the next year, I yo-yo'd a bit, and managed to lose those pounds, as well as five more, but then I just sort of got stuck. Until Labor Day, when my husband and I resolved to eat healthier and drop the extra weight. (My husband, sweetheart that he is, had graciously gained some "sympathy weight" with me during my pregnancy, which, he learned to his dismay, does not drop quite as quickly and with as little effort due to the fact that he did not produce a child from his body at the end of nine months).

And it's working. My husband has lost close to 30 pounds, and I cam coming up on a 20-pound milestone, hopefully very soon. I hope to lose another 10 before year-end, and ideally another 30 (although I'll settle for 15) in the first few months of next year, before the big birthday.

But I can't say I'm entirely happy... I LOVE that my clothes are big on me, that I actually FEEL thinner, and all that good stuff. But MAN do I miss food! And that brings me to the subject of this post. Not a day goes by where I don't drive by Dairy Queen and/or Starbucks, and I can just hear those Blizzards and Lattes calling out to me, inviting me to just pull my car into the handy drive-thru lane and have a little taste. With Blizzards, it's the Oreo, Heath bar, and Reese's varieties that are calling to me. As for lattes, I'm partial to the white chocolate mocha, although it's getting to be that time of year when peppermint and peppermint white chocolate will be on the menu "for a limited time only" to make me drool.

Now, I'm doing the Weight Watchers plan, so these foods aren't totally forbidden to me. But if you know anything about WW, you know they use the "points" system, where you can only consume so many points per day (based on age, height, weight, and activity level), and once they're gone, you're out of luck (with exceptions, but I've found that the best way to lose weight is not to use those exceptions too often). In my case, I get 23 points a day. Well, my friends, a DQ Oreo Blizzard is 13 points - yep - well over half of my daily allotment. A tall white chocolate mocha isn't nearly as bad - I think 5 or 6 points? But did I mention how good it tastes with a cinnamon scone? Yeah, I think you get the picture...

And so, I now consider it a personal victory to drive past these establishments almost every day - on my way to Stroller Strides class, taking Monkey to and from preschool, traveling to and from the grocery store, Target, you name it. I'll give their real estate folks credit - they sure know how to place their stores!

Computer Overload

Maybe it's just me...

I'm new to the whole Facebook/MySpace phenomena. Sure, I'd heard of them, but I didn't see what the big deal was all about, and I didn't think that anyone I knew was using them. But eventually curiosity got the best of me, and I had to go see what it was all about...

So, I pulled together a bare-bones MySpace profile, and then basically let it sit there for a while. In the meantime, I found a bunch of on-line friends, as well as real ones, on Facebook, and I found myself checking my page constantly. It's been a cool way to check in on people, to reconnect with others, and to generally goof around. But, to be honest, some of the applications are starting to wear me down.

Today, for example, I received "good karma" from a friend of mine back home. Nice thougt - the first five times she gave it to me. Now I'm starting to feel guilty - is it rude if I don't give it back and pass it on to ten other people? Each application is starting to feel like a chain letter - I'm not being threatened with bad luck if I don't "pass it on," yet I'm constantly having to choose "skip" to move on to other things, as if my computer WANTS me to carry on the good karma/l'il green patch/gift/pumpkin patch/Christmas tree/you name it!

And then there's the matter of etiquette - how often is appropriate to post on another person's wall without seeming like a stalker? How often must one update one's status? And what is an acceptable number of pieces of flair? So many questions, so few answers...

In the meantime, I decided to revisit MySpace, as I started to hear some people express a preference for that application. I've found a few friends, but I haven't had much of a chance to dive in yet. My site is still under construction, and says very little about myself. And it contains a blog feature, presenting the question of what should go on that blog and what should go on here? Suddenly, I'm getting overwhelmed with options - bulletin boards, private messages, e-mails, text messages, blogs, Facebook, MySpace - Soon I fear I'll be spending more time trying to keep everyone adequately up-to-date on my life that I won't have time to live it!

I think I need to come up with a plan to tackle these multiple forums - a special purpose for each. And I will.... just as soon as I update my Facebook status, upload some pics to my MySpace page, check my three favorite Bulletin Boards, read a few friends' blogs, and ... what am I forgetting?? Oh yeah - WORK!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Wiggles are magical!

OK, so I feel a tiny bit guilty...

Monkey was in day care today, so I haven't spent a lot of time with him.

But when he got home, after only a single one-hour nap, I got the benefit of his fussy time... It feels so unfair sometimes that he has so much fun at school, and then I get the crankiness to finish off the day.

So we've played a bit, and I've made him laugh, but he's definitely in "high-maintenance" mode this evening. So what did I do? Turned on a Wiggles DVD (specifically, "Toot Toot," if you're taking notes...) And Monkey is completely mesmerized. I'm not sure he's even moved since I turned it on ten minutes ago!

Now, this isn't something I do all the time - I don't want him to turn into a brainwashed Wiggles zombie. But there is something about the Wiggles in particular that he just LOVES! He really enjoys a combination of music and dancing, and when he watches cartoons, he tends to tune out the narrative part of the show, and only watch the opening, closing, and other musical numbers. But with the Wiggles, it's all song and dance, almost ALL the time - It's Monkey heaven!

And I have a confession - The songs are kind of catchy, and I often catch myself singing "Fruit Salad" and other songs in random moments. :-) But I'm partial to the original Wiggles, and can't seem to accept that Greg had to quit and be replaced - the new guy just doesn't seem like a real Wiggle to me. :-( Lucky for me we have the older DVDs, so I can watch selectively.

And speaking of The Wiggles - Have any of you seen Disney's relatively new offering, The Imagination Movers? Maybe it's just me, but they seem like such a blatant Wiggles knockoff. Four guys, each of whom sings (or plays an instrument) and has some unique characteristic or quirk. On the one hand, I can't blame them for trying to piggy-back off The Wiggles success, but on the other hand, it just seems wrong. I like the history of The Wiggles - guys who wanted to be teachers and put together an act as part of their schooling. The Imagination Movers strike me more as wanna-be actor/musicians.

I have to wonder why I care about this, but there you have it.

Busy busy

I've been bad about posting lately. :-( I'm frustrated, because blogging is something I really want to do, but other things just seem to keep taking up all of my time.

On the plus side, I've started going to Stroller Strides three times a week, in an effort to keep exercising (and thus losing weight) now that the weather is turning significantly cooler, after a surprisingly warm September and early October. I don't always make it there all three days, but I'm averaging twice a week, which is definitely better than what I might otherwise do on my own! Monkey seems to enjoy it, although his favorite part is when we do ab work at the end, and the kids generally get out of their strollers and run around. Unfortunately, my ab exercises are lagging behind the rest of the group, as I have to keep jumping up and chasing Monkey, asking him to give back another little one's sippy cup, etc... He loves to run laps around the fitness center - perhaps I have a little runner in training? If so, he sure didn't get it from me!!

Work has been slow for the past couple weeks, which means I'm feeling poor this month, although that hasn't stopped me from shopping. Losing weight has several benefits, one of which is the need for some new clothes! My jeans were on the verge of falling off of me, and while that was kind of cool as a reinforcement of how I'm doing, it wasn't making a particularly impressive fashion statement. :-) And, there's the Monkey - now that we've finally worked our way through ALL of the shower and early baby gifts, most of which ended around 6 months, but a few which stretched into 9 and 12 month gear from a few forward-thinkers, we're stuck buying all of the Monkey's clothes on our own. It's such a guessing game... How fast will he outgrow the 12-month pants, and do I need to buy him a bunch of 18-month stuff? Or has his growth slowed down enough that I should hold off buying more 18-month stuff until I know whether he's gonna need it mostly in winter or spring? So, of course, I buy too much - the perfect solution.

One would think that the downturn in billable hours would allow me to catch up on some home projects - Monkey's scrapbook, my desire to do another DVD montage of Monkey's first year, printing off some of my 2 million photos and actually starting an album, or perhaps trying Publisher and making a book as a Christmas book... all still on my to-do list, untouched. And don't even get me started on Christmas shopping - I've barely given it a thought, other than to pick up a few impulse items for Monkey.

I have also had trouble making a dent in my DVD backlog, and I've had to give up on a few shows already. Probably for the best, given my couch potato tendencies, but still a little sad in the sense that I feel I have less and less time to myself. I gave up on Heroes, as it was always near the bottom of my list in terms of priorities to watch, and I felt like I was just watching it to make more room for other shows, not because I was particularly enjoying it. I'm still trying to catch some of my favorite shows on-line, given the fact that my cable company and local CBS affiliate reached a deadlock in contract negotiations almost a MONTH ago, having the nerve to deprive ME, the almighty customer, of the ability to DVR shows like Survivor, The Amazing Race, How I Met Your Mother, and Big Bang Theory - How dare they!! (And yes, I am aware that for the price of a pair of rabbit ears, I could watch these shows, but it's the principal of the thing - how can a cable company take away a major network??)

And now, with work finally picking up again, I'm actually resenting the workload, even though the money will be needed for the holidays. I have to make to trips back home for continuing legal education, which will reduce the number of days I have available to work, and will keep things hopping right around the holidays. I guess it's time to step back, take a deep breath, and get organized!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Playing Tag...

And here I was thinking I haven't had any ideas lately for an update to this blog...

Kristen [Grr, the link function doesn't appear to be working, but you can find her blog at] "tagged" me to play a blog game. I'm new to this, but willing to play along. So, to pretty much cut and paste the rules: I tell you six random things about myself, and then tag six more people to do the same. Sadly, however, two of the people I would tag are Kristen and Beverly, who Kristen has already tagged, so I'm not sure how far this will go...

OK, six random things.... Thinking, thinking... OK, here goes:

1. I was a drama geek in high school, and had hoped to get involved in community theater as an adult (not entirely out of the question yet, maybe when Monkey is a little older).
2. I took piano lessons for 8 years, and now don't even own a piano. I gave it away (along with a lot of other stuff I wish I still had) when I moved cross-country to be with my now-husband.
3. I met my husband on (but he'll deny it if you ask him)
4. I'm a terrible procrastinator.
5. I had weird seizures as an infant, and one doctor told my parents I would probably have to be institutionalized. Instead, I graduated #1 in my class at law school. Not trying to brag, but that's a pretty exciting way to defy their predictions, no?
6. I still bite my nails and pick at my cuticles incessantly - the only time my hands looked REALLY good was when I was pregnant. Maybe I should take those prenatal vitamins just for the heck of it??

So, here's the part where I'm supposed to tag six more people. Hmmmm... I'll get back to you on that part, and in the meantime, I'm accepting volunteers if I actually have any readers out there!!

And, FYI, here are the rules, for what it's worth:

1. Link to the person that tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random facts about yourself.
4.Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged.
6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It was inevitable...

Well, I'm sad to say that my fantasy football gloating has had to take a time out...

I had a pretty bad week, points-wise, but managed to win one of my two matchups. That makes me 7-1 for the season, and back to being tied for first place. Unfortunately, the guy I'm tied with had a better week points-wise, so he's now in the overall lead. The good news, however, is that it's only a 6-point lead. So there's still hope. And this week was hopefully my low point - a bunch of my players were on a bye week, so I had to put in a bunch of subs, who just didn't play particularly well. Hopefully once I get my "first string" back next week, I'll be back on fire again!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What is it they say about pride before a fall?

Yeah, so I'm pretty sure I just jinxed my fantasy football team...

But I could NOT help it - I just HAD to gloat!

I'm in first place - the only team that has an undefeated season after three weeks, and I'm 60 points ahead in overall points!

I'm pretty sure it can't last, and by bragging, I have probably just caused my luck to take a turn for the worse. But I just know that all the "boys" are cursing under the breath, or perhaps even out loud, when they're checking the standings this week, and I had to rub it in a little bit.

I wasn't TOO bad. I just asked them how it felt, let them know that I was thinking of them and their bruised male egos, and reminded them that it's OK to cry.

:-) It's been fun while it's lasted...

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's a matter of perspective

As Monkey's next well-child visit approaches (a bit on the early side, since the doctor decided to combine an ear infection follow up with an early 15-month visit), I've been a bit anxious about the fact that he still doesn't have much of a vocabulary. In my mind, he says exactly one word clearly - "uh oh" (and boy does he love that word!). He also does lots of dadada and mamama, but the former only sometimes appears to relate to my husband, and the latter is actually a string of requests for "more." He also says "baba," which I've recently figured out is his request for his sippy cup, probably a carry over from his bottle.

But my mom and sister were in town this weekend, and according to them, he's saying TONS of stuff. Am I just not hearing it? Has constant exposure caused me only to hear a string of undifferentiated babble? Are my standards for what constitutes a "word" a bit too exacting for a kid who just turned 14 months old last week?

So we talked about some of the words, and I tried to catch them when I could. It's really all in the intonation. I couldn't tell you exactly WHAT he said when I handed him his sippy cup, but the number of syllables and the intonation have mom and sis convinced he said thank you. They also heard "hi," "bye bye," "night night," "peek-a-boo," "mommy," and several others that I can't remember right now. Yet if you look Monkey in the eye and say "can you say bye?", he will most likely just smile and say nothing at all, or perhaps he'll say dadada or something else entirely. While he's big on mimicking actions, he's clearly not so much into verbal repetition yet (which I guess is something of a blessing as my husband and I struggle to clean up our language a bit!).

I guess the important lesson for me is that he's making progress, and I suspect (and hope) that the doctor will tell me on Friday that Monkey is doing just fine in terms of those milestones we all worry about. In the meantime, would it be wrong if I keep trying to coach him to repeat just one or two more words by the end of the week??

Cool Nature Lesson

My husband and I were out taking Monkey and our dog out for a walk around the neighborhood this evening, when we noticed a bunch of geese. Not an unusual sighting - they like to hang out in the various ponds spread throughout the neighborhood (and leave their droppings all over the streets and sidewalk - thanks!) As we walked past, hoping our dog wouldn't freak out, we started to notice that they were all looking in the same direction, and almost starting to get in a line, although not single file or anything, yet very deliberate looking nonetheless. Just as it occurred to me and I asked my husband - "do they have to line up to get realy to fly in formation?" - they all took off, going right into their trademark "v." Funny how I never thought about HOW they get into that arrangement, but I guess it makes perfect sense. I just found it amusing to see them all lining up, and wonder if they were complaining amongst themselves that one of the geese was holding them up as he was checking out my dog or something. :-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


This is so awesome...

I am in FIRST PLACE in my Fantasy Football league!

Now, granted, it IS only week two. Which means I have a LOT of time to fall.

But I am one of only two teams to be undefeated, and I am beating out the other team in total points. And I just know it is killing all the guys in the league that they're being beat by a "chick." :-)

And yet, perfectionist that I can be, I'm kicking myself for not playing a different kicker and tight end, which would have netted me about 11 additional points. My husband things I'm greedy.

Now the question is - Do I send out an e-mail to the boys, doing a little trash talking? Or will that jinx it? Hmmm....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Taking a moment to remember...

It took until about 11:00 this morning for me to realize/remember that it was September 11th today. Well, maybe I knew from looking at the calendar what day it was, but I didn't immediatey remember it was 9/11, and the significance of that day.

It's amazing what seven years can do. A day that consumed our lives as a nation for so long, I feel is actually beginning to fade. Not that I'll ever forget - I can't. I lived in Pittsburgh at the time, about an hour from Shanksville, the crash site of Flight 93. That flight in particular has touched me, perhaps because it was so close to home, but also because of the incredible strenth and heroism of the passengers on that flight. I often wonder if I would have had the courage to do what they did, or if, terrified as I might be, I would have clung desperately to the ever-slimming hope that the terrorists would not do what seemed inevitable. I don't think you can ever know what you'd do until put to the test - and what a horrendous test it is.

Yet in the past seven years, so much else has happened in my life. I met my husband, got married, had Monkey. I've moved across the country and back again. And two years ago, my sister-in-law gave birth to one of my nephews on this day. I now know two 9/11 babies, one born before, and one after, and it is their birthdays I have written on my calendar, not any reminder about the national significance of this day. In a way, I think that's a form of healing.

Nevertheless, I did want to take a moment from a busy workday to stop and remember. Our nation has suffered many tragedies, as have so many other nations, but this one will always be burned in my memory.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Baby, I'm Amazed

I can never remember if the name of that song by Paul McCartney is Maybe I'm Amazed or Baby I'm Amazed... I just looked it up, and it's Maybe, which kind of kills the title of this post. Although I'm pretty sure the lyrics to that Lonestar song are "baby I'm amazed by you." So let's go with that.

But I digress. The Monkey - he never ceases to amaze me.

I don't know when, and I don't know where, but Monkey has learned how to go down the stairs. I'm thinking maybe day care, but it's a one-story building. They do have steps on some of the things on the playground, so maybe that's it.

Maybe it's just intuitive. But he is SO deliberate. It's like someone taught him a process and he's following it step by step (no pun intended).

I discovered this trick last night. I took Monkey out back with me so our puppy could do his business. Monkey and I were on the deck, which is only three steps from the yard, but there's a big flagstone pad on the bottom step, so I obviously don't want him to go faling down the steps. So there I was, letting Monkey play with his water table on the deck and strategically blocking him from an accidental fall down the steps, when suddenly he got down on his hands and knees and started deliberatey backing up slowly towards the edge... I continued to spot him, but watched, facsinated, as he lowered one leg down, then the other, then moved on to the next step, backed up a bit more for the final step, and then stood up and went toddling through the grass to his car! Seriously - how did he do that without ANY prompting whatsoever from me??

Now, of course, going up and down steps is all he wants to do. Sigh... So I'm being the devoted spotter, helping him work up his confidence, since it can only make things safer for him.

I'm just so tickled that he manages to continue to find ways to surprise me like this.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hold your babies close...

Brace yourselves, for this is not an amusing or happy post...

I read this morning that a woman who posts on my birth bulletin board lost her son last night in a tragic drowning accident.

I don't know this woman, and have only communicated with her via indirect posts on our board. But I am simply gutted right now, and the tears keep coming, even after I think I've gotten them back under control. I've read stories of this woman's pregnancy, her son's birth, and the joys and trials of his first year. I feel like I know these people, and yet there is nothing I can do for them other than share my condolences, which I have done.

I cannot imagine what her family is going through right now. To lose a child at ANY age, let alone so young...? How does one cope? I don't know how a parent begins to deal with something like that - I just don't.

And part of my sadness is my own renewed fear. It's a selfish thought, but what if something like this were to happen to my family? Ever since Monkey entered our lives, my husband and I have become so much more sensitive to tragic news involving children. It's not like stories of this kind didn't touch us before - they did. But we just didn't know... We hadn't experienced the joys of parenthood, the all-encompassing love for a child, and we hadn't had to contemplate such a loss. And the mere thought alone is devastating, enough to reduce me to tears. The actuality? Simply unimaginable.

So if you're reading this, I'm posting this not to make you sad, or to make you cry. I'm posting this because I feel myself wanting to express my immense sadness, and also wanting to take some small step to memoriize this young life, ended far too soon. And I want to remind us all to hold our young ones extra close tonight, and every night, and to treasure what we have. We are so fortunate, and we should remind ourselves of this every single day.

Rest in peace, Reed.
6/17/07 - 9/8/08

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fantasy Football Week 1 Results

Well, the good news is, I didn't humiliate myself!

As much as I would have liked to have come in first place and kicked all those trash-talking anti-feminist butts, I did respectably well, and at least won't be laughed out of the league.

I'm 2-0 in my match-ups, so you can't knock a perfect winning record.

As for the overall points race, it looks like I'll be in 3rd or 4th place, depending on how the Vikings defense handles the second half of tonight's game. Not bad, not bad at all.

And my two sweetest victories?

1. I beat my husband in a head-to-head matchup. Actually, I pretty much wiped the floor with him.

2. Some poor schmuck who drafted before me got Tom Brady as his QB, who I would have picked if given the chance, since he was pretty widely viewed as the #1 fantasy QB pick. Sorry, buddy - looks like you're gonna have to find someone else. Not that I'm sitting pretty - I got Peyton Manning, who looked like he needed a lot more warming up prior to last night's game. Fortunately, he gave me a decent number of points, but nowhere near the killer numbers my husband scored with him a few years ago. And I kind of want to feel sorry for Tom Brady for missing the season, but I just dislike the Patriots so much that I just can't.... sorry.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tiny Dancer

The Monkey is finally finding his groove!

I don't know what it is about toddlers dancing that brings a smile to everyone's face, but I just can't get enough of it!

Monkey has become a big fan of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cartoon on Playhouse Disney. Well, let me revise that statement: Monkey has become a big fan of the opening and closing songs of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse - the actual cartoon, he could care less about!

If you've seen the show, it starts with Mickey Mouse inviting the kids to come to his playhouse, then cuts to an empty field. Back to Mickey Mouse, who tells the kids that first they have to say the magic words. A couple of Mickey-centric magic words later, and poof! The clubhouse begins to pop out of the ground, and all of the other characters appear. Alex watches the first part intently, right up until the clubhouse begins to appear, at which point, without fail, he turns to me with a big smile, like "here comes the good part!" Then the song starts, and his attention is 100% focused on the TV. But in the past few days, he's added a dance!

Actually, the first time he did it, I wasn't sure he was dancing, as it kind of looked like what he does when he's losing his balance - kind of one foot forward, one foot back. But then he kept going, and added some side steps as well. He's working up to hand movements, but for the most part it's just him stepping around to the music. After the song ends, he tunes out, and goes back to whatever he's doing, up until the closinig "Hot Dog Dance" comes up, at which point it's time for a reprise! I have got to get this on video...

Oh, and he's a bit of a singer, too. I'm a little worried about this, however, as we've yet to determine if he takes after me or my husband in the musical department. You see, I am somewhat musically inclined - I took piano lessons for 8 years, and was active in chorus and musicals during high school and college. My husband, on the other hand? Well, let's just say he's tone deaf and leave it at that - there's no need to get insulting, right?

Anyway, my husband will just do a "ah ah ah ah ah ah ah" sort of singing scale (kind of a "do re mi fa mi re do," minus the pitch), and Monkey has started to imitate it. So far, he's about as on pitch as his Daddy, but what can you expect when he's just mimicking what he hears? Perhaps we're raising a future musician? I may need to intervene before the musical training goes much further, to make sure we keep him on an audibly pleasing path...

In all seriousness, though, I do hope he has inherited my love of music. I'm merely an appreiative listener at this stage of my life, but I couldn't live without it. I listened to it a lot when I was pregnant with him, in the hopes that he would find it as entertaining, calming, and comforting as I do. I even have a "baby" mix on my iPod that I used to play while I waited for him to make his arrival. But I've recently noticed that I listen a lot less than I used to now that Monkey is here. We need to work on changing that, even if for now that just means some quality time listening to the Wiggles or Sesame Street CDs. :-)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mommy Guilt

They should warn us about this before we have children...

Not that it would make a difference in the decision, but still, a warning would be nice.

Before I had kids, I used to watch other people with their kids, and think about what I would do differently, better, etc. It was so easy to be a critic when we were just sitting on the sidelines, wasn't it, not having to scrutinize our OWN behavior?

Now that I'm a mother, I always wonder "how am I doing?" Monkey is generally happy and healthy, so those are good indicators, but we all have those days (or at least I hope we all do) where we're tired, frustrated, and maybe we don't enjoy our little ones as much as we think we should, and at the end of the day, after they're asleep, we feel guilty that perhaps we yelled more than we should, we didn't read our little ones a story, we didn't feed them the healthiest food, we didn't teach them anything new, etc., etc., etc.

Just one example - before Monkey was born, I was so excited to teach him sign language. I had a friend who had done it with her daughter, and it was so amazing to see her daughter asking her for milk at a young age - imagine how much easier life will be once we can communicate, the sooner the better, right??

I bought a sign language book. It sits on a shelf, still shiny and new, opened only a few times, glanced at, but not really read... Ah, the best laid plans... I always blame it on there not being enough time, but maybe, just maybe, I'm not making good enough use of our time? Should I be making a better effort to do things like this each day, focus more on trying to "teach" than just playing? Or am I being overly concerned? I do read to Monkey when he'll allow it - I try to do signs when I remember - I'm a smart person, married to another smart person, who will manage to raise a properly educated kid, right?

As luck would have it, however, Monkey has finally learned one sign - "more." He's been doing it for ages, and I didn't even know what it was at first. Turns out, he appears to have picked it up at day care, and started doing it before he even knew what it meant. But we seized on it, and tried to get him to do it with purpose, which has finally happened in the past couple of weeks. He will now reach desperately for that food item out of reach on the table, and when he gets my attention, will make the "more" sign, and even say something that sounds like "mo." And now we're working on the opposite - "all done." It helps, just a bit. When Monkey starts throwing food on the floor (which is inevitable, either as a show of his feelings toward a particular type of food, an attempt to feed the ever-present under his highchair dog, or general playfullness), I can now often stop him mid-toss, and take the food away, quizzing him as to whether he's all done or still wants more. It's a bit of a game for him, and it isn't foolproof (like when he asks for more, only to immediately turn to throw it on the floor!), but it's progress. Baby steps...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Precious moments

Tonight, I had one of those moments that I know I'll look back on one day, missing the days when Monkey was still my little baby boy...

We were just sitting on the floor in the living room, him playing with some random toys while I played him a new Sesame Street CD (a nostalgia purchase on my part, because many of the songs were on MY Sesame Street record - as in vinyl - as in "yes, I am old"). He gradually started to wind down as bedtime got closer, and walked over to me and sat down just as Kermit started singing "It's Not Easy Being Green." The Monkey leaned back against my legs, and I started playing with his hair. Thinking it might put him to sleep before I got him to his crib, I stopped, only to have him look at me like "hey, keep it coming!" So there we sat, listening to Kermit's wise words, a mother running her fingers through her son's freshly-washed hair, just relaxing and being close. No big deal, right? But at what age will he not let me do that anymore, because it's not "cool," or he's mad at me, or he doesn't have the time? When will he stop wanting to sit in his mommy's lap, or cuddle, or give hugs and kisses? I hope I can teach him to be affectionate, and that there's nothing "girly" about it, but you just never know. All I know is that tonight, it was a special moment for just the two of us, and I treasure that.

It's official...

Monkey is totally back to loving day care again. Today, after we washed his hands, I set him down on the floor, and whoosh! Off he went over to where the other kids were helping one of the teachers pick up some toys, with nary a look a back! Because we're not supposed to "sneak out" and give our kids abandonment issues, I actually had to call his name two or three times to get him to look at me so I could say goodbye, to which I believe his response, although non-verbal, was "yeah, whatever..."

I consider myself lucky that our transition to this new room really only took about two weeks, and really only about three days in "real" time, since he only goes part-time. But it's still such a weird emotion to feel so unimportant to our little ones. Such independence in a one-year old - It almost makes me teary thinking ahead to his first day of kindergarten. Sniff...

But then I reassure myself that sometime in the next, oh, two days, Monkey will inexplicably become super-clingy, wanting noone but his Momma, and I'll be wondering if there is any such thing as that perfect middle ground. I guess we need to take what we can get, in whatever form it's offered!

And on that note, it's back to work for another hour or so until I find out what today's injury report will be!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Would you rather...

You know the game, right?

Take two relatively unpleasant alternatives, and debate which one you would rather be faced with: Would you rather eat a cricket or a worm? Would you rather be blind or deaf? Would you rather have a great job but make no money, or have a lousy job and make tons of money? You get the idea...

Today I was faced with a real-life "would you rather" of sorts: Would I rather leave Monkey at day care each day in tears, missing his Mommy and not yet trusting his new teacher, or would I rather leave a happy Monkey, without a care in the world, banging off the walls? This time, however, there was a twist - I didn't get to decide, as Monkey has gone and made the decision for me!

Beginning about three weeks ago, it was all about Option A - Despite being gradually transitioned to his new room, Monkey still didn't have the same sense of security with his new teachers that he'd had in the infant room, and would all but cling to my leg when I tried to leave him for the day, leaving me in tears in the car after I would tear myself away. But then, suddently, last week, he chose Option B.

I didn't fully appreciate the switch at the time - indeed, I didn't know that there was an Option B, so to speak. All I knew was that when I set Monkey down on the floor to play last Thursday, after missing a day of day care due to a weekend trip, he looked for the briefest of moments like he was going to scrunch up his face and cry, but then he got distracted by a toy, and that was that. I was free to leave - see ya later - hasta la vista. It's as if he forgot I was there. My feelings were almost hurt for a moment, but this was what it was like in the infant roomo mere weeks earlier, and I knew, despite my hurt pride, that this was a good thing.

What I didn't know was that it was coming at a price. OK, well perhaps this is all coincidental, but with Monkey's increased happiness and confidence came a sudden string of accident reports. Out of the blue, he got THREE reports in two days, after getting maybe two EVER in the infant room, once when he was crawling around and bonked his head into a mirror, and the other I don't even recall... Now, suddenly, he's walking toys into walls and getting fat lips on the rebound, acquiring mystery bite marks on his arm (self or other-inflicted - it's anybody's guess), and, here's one to really make me proud - climbing on (and then falling off of) the lunch table. And you wonder how he got the name Monkey...

Now, I must reluctantly admit that there has been one other SMALL change during this same time period, which, if you've read my few entries to date, you already know - Monkey recently started walking. So I suspect that his impressive new injury rate is not so much a factor of him choosing Option B as it is him growing up, exploring, and learning (hopefully!) from his mistakes! But as I drove home today, two injury reports in hand, and Monkey happily jabbering away in the back seat, I couldn't help but wonder if, given the choice, I'd have kept Option A for just a wee bit longer...

Monday, August 25, 2008

My imminent addiction...

Uh oh.

It's almost that time of year again.

Fall premiere season.

You see, I have a problem. I watch WAY too much TV. And now that I have a toddler, this means I DVR way too many programs and then stay up late watching them when I should be catching up on sleep.

I'm not sure yet how bad this round is going to be. I've already started calendaring the premiere dates of some of my favorite returning shows, and I'm really, really trying to avoid finding out anything about any new shows that may inadvertently pull me under their spell. (Although, I confess that I've already heard all I need to know about "Fringe," i.e., J.J. Abrams and Joshua Jackson - yeah, that one's definitely on the list).

What's worse, I have this bizarre inability to drop a show even when I'm complaining that I'm not enjoying it as much anymore. It's like somehow I need to try to recoup my investment or something - "Well, I've already put THIS much time into it..." Huh? Like "Heroes." Last season, it was consistently the last thing I would watch on my DVR - I just couldn't get excited about it, and there was always something more compelling that I wanted to watch first, so it just kept falling to the bottom of the list. Yet eventually I watched every single episode, and I'll probably watch the season premiere as well. Although, in fairness, I did see a review somewhere suggesting that the premiere was going to make a lot of disgruntled fans happy again - how can I not tune in to find out if that's true?

It's even harder now that I'm married - I actually have to take my husband's viewing tastes into consideration, and if there's a show he doesn't like, I'll still DVR it, but then I have to find a time when he's not home or is otherwise occupied to watch it. Luckily for me, he travels for work a fair amount, but this means that I've pulled some late nights playing catch-up after the Monkey is asleep. And often my body is just not up for it, meaning that I fall asleep, wake up, rewind the DVR, find my spot, watch for five minutes, fall asleep again... it's really a vicious, ridiculous cycle. And again, if the show I'm watching isn't keeping me awake, is it really worth it? Hmmm...

Yet, in all honesty, I'm not seeking a cure for this addiction. It's a way for me to relax, and it's a source of entertainment to me. I watch a range of comedies, dramas, and tacky reality shows, each with their different appeal. Hopefully some of you out there share my addiction, and will be willing to endure my occasional critiques, rants, or "OMG did you see that"s. Stay tuned!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Are you ready for some (fantasy) football?

It's that time of year again - my husband is already salivating at the thought of watching football soon. Now, don't get me wrong - I like football. It's one of the only sports I enjoy watching on TV - others, I need to be there to stay interested for long. And, I've been associated with some great football teams. My grandmother is a lifelong resident of Green Bay, and my grandfather, when he was alive, was on the team's Board of Directors. As a result, they got to "hang" with people like Vince Lombardi back in the day - pretty cool! (I'll bite my tongue and refrain from commenting on Brett Favre - plenty has been said, and I'll just say that I'm no longer a fan of his, and leave it at that). Then, in the mid-70s, my family moved to Pittsburgh, just in time to watch the Steelers and their Iron Curtain on a great winning streak. Now, I'm in Indy, where the Colts have recently won the Super Bowl (only one year after the Steelers, even - it's been a good run!). So yeah, I'm a football fan. But I just can't get quite as excited as my husband does.

So why am I spending $100 to play in a fantasy league this year? Hmmm, good question!

My husband has been doing this for a few years, and I've watched his players with interest, asked questions about the scoring, etc. Last year was a rough year for me, because he drafted freakin' Tom Brady, who I despise, and I found myself in a moral dilemma trying to figure out whether to actually cheer for the guy! He actually did well for my husband, who didn't win overall, but came in second place for overall points.

So, a couple of years ago, one of the guys in the league had to travel to China on business on draft day, and needed someone to draft for him. Being the good sport I am, I offered to do it, with a little help from my husband. I must have done OK, because the guy I drafted for WON the whole thing that year! (I know what you're thinking - he had plenty of opportunities to decide which players to play in a given week, to make trades, etc., but can we give me the benefit of the doubt on this one and pretend he couldn't have done it without me??) I am still waiting for my cut of the winnings, however...

This year, the league started to fall apart a bit. The group which was once fairly geographically centered has spread out into multiple time zones, more children have come along to take up time, etc. So with the league in danger of beoming extinct, my husband asked if I'd be willing to take a spot. Again, being a good sport, I said I'd do it. So here I am, the only woman in a league of 12 football-a-holics, and last night was our draft.

To say the chatter in the draft room was off-color is putting in mildly, but I'm a good sport, and hard to offend, so I tried to give as good as I got. I did get a little annoyed with my husband about mid-way through, when he wasn't being particularly helpful in advising me on my picks - isn't it in his best interest to have ONE of us win the big prize, espcially since our household has twice as much at stake as everyone else? But, alas, he has to save face in front of the boys - can't make it look like he's sticking up for wifey, right? Heck, I got most of my heckling in the draft room from him - totally unfair.

So, I'll keep you posted on whether this turns out to be a money maker or a monumental failure. I did manage to snag a good QB pick, and one I can cheer for too - Peyton Manning. I got razzed big time for picking a kicker too early, but I got the top kicker (at east according to the two rankings I was relying on), and a decent backup as well. My running backs may be my great failure - we'll see. The top ten were gone by the time I got my first pick (yeah, I was #12 in the draft - wonder if that was fixed??), so I took one, then grabbed my QB, and tried to get strong guys for other positions. Time will tell. In the meantime, I'm going to try to enjoy the last few weekends where my husband doesn't have his butt glued to the recliner and his arm glued to a beer glass... :-)

Friday, August 22, 2008

My Monkey is officially a Toddler!!

My little Monkey started walking this week - such a bittersweet milestone! After watching him for what seemed like forever working up to this - pulling up, standing holding on to things, walking holding on to furniture, gradually standing for a few seconds on his own, suddenly my little guy is MOBILE, and man is he making up for lost time! He took his first official steps a week ago on Thursday - three tentative steps, then a stop (balance check), and then three more steps before dropping down onto his bum. I called my husband right away, and hoped, hoped, hoped that he would be able to see a repeat performance soon, as he was just on his way home from work. I feel guilty sometimes because I get to stay at home with the Monkey, and usually see most of the "firsts." Sure enough, there were several repeat performances that night, some a little longer - four, then five steps, but then other attempts barely getting off the ground. Of course, the more tired the Monkey gets, the more he walks like a drunken sailor, so there comes a point where further progress in one day is just NOT going to happen! But it's amazing what a week of practice will do - he's now doing circles around the house, usually heading into forbidden rooms like the dining room, which until now, has held little to no appeal for him. This, of course, means it's time for more babyproofing, or else I'm just going to be saying "no" like a broken record.

There are moments when I wish this milestone had come just a bit later, so that I could appreciate yet another fleeting aspect of babydom. Yet I can't help but just sit back and admire him as he wobbles towards me, arms extended, with the biggest, proudest, smile lighting up his face! What an amazing accomplishment this is, when you stop to think about it. Just a year ago, this little boy could only eat, sleep, and poop. Now, the world is wide open to him - amazing, yet scary at the same time. And the learning process is so fascinating - how is it that our little ones generally learn all of these skills in roughly the same order, at roughly the same time? How incredible is it to watch their brains and bodies at work? And no wonder he sleeps so well at night - he's quite the busy little guy!

An experiment...

For a while now, I've been reading other people's blogs, on a wide range of subjects, and thinking "hey, I could do that." Supposedly I'm a semi-decent writer (or at least I hope so, since it's kind of important to my career), and my brain is full of all kind of interesting (at least to me) thoughts, observations, and opinions. Plus, I work from home, so unless I want to share these thoughts with my dog or my toddler, I often have a limited audience. Thus, this experiment - putting some of my random thoughts out there for the world to see, should they choose to do so, and to comment on, should they feel so inclined. Worst case, this is a politically correct, technologically advanced way to talk to myself, right? Best case, I may actually find a theme to my thoughts, and find others interested in reading and discussing my thoughts. It's a win-win situation.

I have yet to decide, however, exactly what it is that I want to write about, hence the vague title, at least for now. I am a mother, a wife, a lawyer, a daughter, a sister, a friend... Perhaps at the forefront of my life right now is my role as a relatively new mother, and my efforts to integrate that with my other roles. So I suspect you'll hear much about my son, who I shall affectionately refer to as Monkey. (Am I a wee bit embarrassed that my choice of nickname for my offspring is the same as that chosen by Tori Spelling? Yes, but I swear I thought of it BEFORE I caught any episodes of Tori & Dean, which is another embarrassment altogether...) But I also like to talk about current events, whether it be the latest in celebrity gossip, or perhaps something more newsworthy. TV, movies, local happenings... It's so hard to pick just one. So please stay tuned, and forgive me as I navigate my way through this new medium and the cobwebs in my brain - I'm sure I'll have lots to share with you, and I hope you'll find some of it worth coming back for more.