Sunday, April 27, 2008

And the project continues...

New tile behind the stove!
Near the window, see little orchid peaking out from the left...

So we finally got the tile sort of done in the kitchen. At the end of it all, what have I learned? A) Always trust my instincts when I think I can do it myself and B) you truly do get what you pay for. We had a referral to a "tile guy" from the woman from Sears who sold us the counter tops. The guy was local, and a reasonable price. Turns out his attention to detail leaves a little to be desired. I am pretty sure he doesn't do much in a sober state of existence. Unlike my former neighbor, who I liked to call Drunk Ed, who would do the most meticulous work possible while being a constate state of near spontaneous combustion from a combination of the scotch he consumed and the cigarette that was never out of his mouth, this guy was not as careful. Some of the cuts are downright TERRIBLE. The tile, as you can see in the picture, is 1 inch by 1 inch glass tile. This is harder to install than your basic 4 X 4 or 6 X 6 ceramic tile. Cutting it is a bear. With the exception of having the equipment to cut the tile however, I could have done this job. I have installed tile before. I did the floor in the upstairs bathroom in my previous house and did the wall at one end of my shower in the same house. But the Bob felt it would be good to hire someone this time, mostly because of having Cooper. He knew it would take me longer, which it would have, and it was going to be a lot of work, which is also true. But in the end, he said he was sorry he didn't let me do it. The guy didn't do too much that I can't fix, but there are some things that need fixing.

All in all though, I love the tile. I love the look of it when you turn on the lights and it almost glows. And I discovered when I went to make a drink the other night that while the tile company calls the color simply "green", I am going to call it "Tanqueray Green" as it is exactly the color of the gin bottle.

The next task is to get new outlet and switchplate covers. Did you know that Home Depot and Lowe's are almost USELESS for this task? I started out wanting something pretty reasonable - ivory or almost colored powder coated steel covers. Not plastic, metal. You would think I was looking for them made out of platinum. I ended up buying some online that are brushed nickel instead. More pictures to come when they arrive!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Rant warning...

I am starting out today's entry with a very cute picture of Cooper to set happy tone before I rant.

Rant: I hate when people use the wrong words or mispronounce words and get catch phrases wrong. I don't mean made up words like 'gajillion' which are obvious in both their made-up-ness and their meaning. I mean when a person THINKS they are using the right word, but they are not. For example, I have a coworker, a college educated woman, who says 'supposubly' when she means to say 'supposedly'. It makes my brain itch.

How about 'I could care less'. Well, then I assume you could, in fact, care less. What I think you mean is you COULDN'T care less. You care so little that there is no less to care. Could not, not could.

I once had a boss who used to say we were being 'unindated' by paperwork. AND she truly thought the phrase was 'least but not last'. At first I thought oh she is just being funny, she thinks that is so very clever. Nope. She really thought that was the way it was said.

Then there is the totally accepted in society but STILL WRONG 'I feel so nauseous'. What the person should be saying is he or she feels nauseated. Saying you feel nauseous means that you feel you are yourself causing others to feel nauseated in some manner, like by wearing too much perfume or cologne. That is a hard one though. So many people use 'nauseous' that it is the accepted use of the word. And it is a bit more esoteric in nature.

But it makes me absolutely BATTY that even in the dictionary now, they list as one of the accepted pronunciations of the word 'nuclear' to be that which our esteemed president insists on using - 'nuke yoo ler'. Because apparently not even a Yale education can get a person to pronounce it correctly. NUKE LEE ER. Is it REALLY that hard? REALLY?

There are so many words that are perfectly lovely words that do the job, yet we insist on making up new ones that eventually, because of popular usage, get into the common vernacular. This is inevitable, but I hate 'functionality' when 'function' functions so...functionally. Or phrases like 'value-added'. Grrrrr.

Okay, I think I am done. Ooops, nope, I am not. I can't figure out how to address the problem of 'supposubly' with my coworker, since I don't want her to feel self conscious about it, but then she admits she has issues with spelling and grammar, so maybe she is open to be corrected. In some non-ranty way. But when it is my husband, all bets are off. I think I have finally broken him of saying 'we should have went' when he should be saying 'we should have gone'. My itchy brain couldn't take it any longer.

I also admit that I am not perfect when it comes to grammar and spelling and all. I use spell check regularly, and even grammar check. I make mistakes all the time in my life. I own them, I laugh at them and try not to make them again. So if you find me mispronouncing a word or misusing a phrase, let me know!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spring has sprung!

The doggie door - Cooper has been checking this out recently. I fully expect to find my child has escaped out onto the deck through the door in the next few months. We will have to be super vigilent!
Poncho the little Schnauzer
The big grow bed
The little grow bed - ZUCCINI! I hope...
BUSTER B. Beagle, super Beagle, Butterbean, Fat Boy. And yes, he is supposed to be that color, it is called Lemon and White thank you very much.
The Gus - the first born Schnauzer - my first baby.

This weekend - Happy EarthDay by the way - we spent a LOT of time outside. Cooper did get to go to a concert held at his school - and may I say my child is a dancing fool. He was the first one out there when he couldn't stand it any longer and had to get out there and dance. He cannot be controlled. He loves all music with a beat - country, jazz, alternative, hard rock, folk, klezmer, you name it if you can dance to it, he does. We also gardened. Well, I did. The Bob helped me get the dirt and the grow beds ready.

It seems we live on a rock. A hill made of stone. You dig three inches down and you find rock. When they dug the pool, some 20 years ago I think, they must have had a backhoe in the yard and dug out the giant rock that is under our deck. So I have resorted to raised beds. 12 cubic feet of dirt later I have gardens. I have planted, and hope to grow the following: beans, three kinds of lettuce, cabbage, carrots, zuccini, and pygmy sunflowers. I also planted herbs in boxes on my deck. That is so the DOGS don't widdle on them. I feel like I can wash off veggies, but the herbs I would rather they don't wiz on. I will be planting tomatoes in these hanging things called Topsy Turvey planters, where they hang upside down from the deck. I did this last year and was moderately successful. We will see how this year goes.

My problem is now how to keep the Schnauzers from digging in the beds. They think I provided this giant box of dirt for their personal benefit. They are not doing their business in it, they are eating the dirt. WEIRD. Buster is our other dog, the ancient and recently diagnosed hypothyroidic Beagle. We have spent a LOT on this dog recently to find this out. But of all the dogs he is best with Cooper. As long as Cooper doesn't come between him and food!
I will expound upon the virtues of the non shedding schnauzer and the evils of the breed known as BEAGLE another time, but suffice to say I cannot leave the house without looking like I did a roll in the hay with Buster. I have hair removing devices in most rooms in the house, in my car and in my office.
Ooo - brushes with fame! I was HOT baby HOT this past week. First I was interviewed and quoted AND had my picture on the front of the Boston Business Journal. I won't bore anyone with the sordid details of the subject - suffice to say it had to do with financial aid at colleges - but the big deal was I WAS ON THE 6PM NEWS. No, I was not arrested or found wandering blathering gibberish in the North End. Again, it was a rather boring subject, but it is my job and they interviewed me and some students. Very exciting. So officially I am famous, if only in my own mind.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Who you gonna call...

I will start today's entry by sharing how someone once described me. If you were to choose a character from Winnie the Pooh, I am Christopher Robin. The voice of reason as it were. I have almost no phobias, although when I see centipedes I swear I hear that sound from the shower scene in the movie Psycho. Those things are creepie. I am not a person who thinks in worse case scenarios, I prefer to conjur up the most positive result of a situation first, working on the theory that the universe is listening and will produce the thing you ask for so put the good stuff out there first.

Anyway, I say all this because I don't want you to think I am crazy when I tell you I think my house is haunted. Not in an Amityville Horror kind of way, the walls are not bleeding and no major infestestion of flies are appearing. But in the last few weeks odd things have happened. Like when I woke up early in the morning to what I would swear was a womans laughter coming over the monitor from Cooper's room. Then there is the fact that Cooper has been waking up in the middle of the night, between 1 and 3 am, to play. He is in there laughing, chatting, i.e. blathering toddler babble. Over the weekend when this happened, I went in to see him, and he was sitting in his crib. He pointed past me, as if pointing at someone behind me. We went downstairs to have a cup of milk and hang out for a bit before he decided he was tired and wanted to go back to sleep. While I sat on the couch, he stood in front of me, with his side to me, facing the room to my right, and reached up and smiled as if there were a person standing there in front of him, and he wanted that person to pick him up.

HEEBIE JEEBIES Batman, there may be spook about. He has acted like he was looking at something I couldn't see before, but this is the first time he truly acted like there was a PERSON I couldn't see. Wooga booga. When I found out I was pregnant I said "It is this house. It wants a baby in it" because the last two couples to live in the house both got pregnant while living there and then moved out either right before or right after the baby arrived. I could make a mint selling my house if I could advertise it was freaking fertility central. How else do you explain a 41 year old woman with no other pregnancies in her history getting knocked up within 8 months of living in the house? Maybe the sperm donor has something to do with it, but I am going with the supernatural explanation. More interesting.

My brother, the handsome, intelligent and slightly insane brother, has had experience with seeing or sensing spirits. Like that dude John Edward, not the one who can't get himself elected as vice president or president but the one who does Crossing Over and talks to spirits. Except my brother is reluctant to embrace this "talent" if you will. But he says he found a spirit living in my last house, and based on his description, it may have been Margaret, the woman whose family built that house, where she lived her entire life and where she died. He told her to move along, cross over and be on her way. But he is freaked out by being able to sense spirits, and thus is not making millions like that Edwards dude.

If he didn't live in Oregon I would have him over in a flash to use his spook-o-scope and check out my current home. I don't mind that there might be a spirit hanging around. What I do mind is that he or she seems to be waking my kid up at 3am to play. Mamma needs her beauty sleep dagnabbit, leave the kid alone. Dad gets up sometimes too, and he isn't any happier about it.

I might have to spring for a plane ticket to get the sibling spookometer out here. Either that or try having a heart to heart with him or her, I am inclined to think her, myself. But frankly, I am glad I am not able to sense them. I have enough on my plate dealing with the living. The dead need to take care of themselves.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

One is the loneliest number...or is it?

Cooper is not technically an only child. The Bob, his father, was married once before and has two children by that marriage. They are 17 and 19 year old boys. Soooo, they are NOT into babysitting (and even if they were, the younger one dropped one of our dogs on its head on the concrete around the pool, AND has actually accidentally fallen in the pool fully clothed, so I am not inclined to put him in charge of much) and they are teenagers, so they are by definition, self absorbed. They don't have any interest in visiting us, and adding a baby to the scenario does not entice them more.

The pool - it was one of the selling points for us when we were looking at this house, in our not yet married, pre-baby days when thoughts of small children falling in the pool and drowning were not even close to the surface of my consciousness. Now it is one of those double edged swords. I LOVED swimming as a child. I could not wait to be able to swim without any assistance. At that time the floatation device of choice was a styrofoam bubble that was strapped to the back of the child with one little strap. They were eventually deemed more dangerous than helpful since if a child was knocked unconscious, while the bubble would keep the child afloat, it would, by virtue of being on the back, keep the child face down in the water and thus assist in the drowing of said child. But all that aside, I am hoping Cooper will want to swim and will enjoy being in the water as much as I did. In the meantime, I need to figure out a way to keep him safe around the pool.

But back to the original point of today's blog. Cooper has brothers, but they don't even know him. It is not for the lack of trying, but they can't see the value of interacting with him right now. So with the age difference, and relative indifference of his relatives, he may well be considered an only child. I know several people who are only children, and several people who have siblings but wish they didn't. I think the answer is very subjective, depending on your own experiences. I have one brother, who is three years younger than I am. He is one of the funniest and most intelligent people I know and I cherish having him in my life. It is hard to have him live 3000 miles away. He is also a person with issues. My family has a history of learning disabilities, mood disorders and migraine headaches. When it comes to genetic bullets, every one of them hit my brother. None of the got me. I am eternally grateful for that by the way, universe. But I value having grown up with a sibling, and also value that he lives two blocks from our parents, so that when things are needed, he is there to help out.

I should at this point clarify that having a second child is not on the agenda. Having the first one wasn't either, but if my doctor did her job when delivering Cooper by c-section, I should not be able have more. I am over 40, and having the first child almost killed me so having a second one is definitely not advised. Although, apparently 1 in 250 tubal ligations fail. It is not outside of the realm of possibility I could end up knocked up again, and I suspect I am married to Fertile Fred. I think that if you are going to be surgically sterilized it should have better odds since I don't want to have to be worrying about whether it worked ever month until I go through menopause.

But if I am NOT the 1 in 250, Cooper is not going to have any siblings provided by me. Will he be missing out on something? Will he resent having to tend to me in my dotage, which is not as far off as it would have been had I had him 20 years ago. Will he wish he had other siblings to share the joys and burdens of life with? Or will he be grateful that he doesn't have to share his room, his stuff, his clothes, bikes, food, dogs, etc. with another person. Will he be grateful that he won't have to be that persons' protector, dragging them out of bars they are too young to be in late at night like my ex-husband had to do for his sister back in their 20's? He is in the camp of people who have siblings but wish they didn't.

I don't think I will know the answer at this time. We are just going to have to the best job we can raising him and hope that by the time we are in our later years, which hopefully is at least 40 years away, Cooper will be in a position in his life to manage on his own. And maybe by then his older brothers will have figured out what a funny and incredible person he is.

Friday, April 11, 2008

I salute you Adam Carolla

So, my not so secret obsession is Dancing with the Stars on ABC. I didn't catch on to this bizarre show with a train wreck like allure until the second season. It absolutely fascinates me that people with absolutely no experience with, and in some cases, no business doing, formal ballroom dancing will go on the show. This season Adam Carolla was one of those people. I don't know what inspired him to go on, and he did manage to last longer than some - Penn Gillette and Steve Gutenberg to name two. But this week was his week to be eliminated. But if you have to be eliminated on live television in front of millions of viewers, at least it was a week where you were dressed like Zorro and rode a unicycle while doing the Paso Doble. You ROCK.

I particularly liked what he said at the end of the show after he had been eliminated - Not everyone gets to be on Dancing with the Stars, but everyone has that thing that terrifies them. And everyone should try at least once to do that thing that scares the bejesus out of them. You won't regret it.

I agree. Having a child was terrifying for me. It has been a series of terrifying moments actually. The moment I saw the two lines on the pregnancy test was the first. I am fairly sure the bathroom shifted around me. Then came the moment to tell The Bob, aka my husband. Then came telling my parents, my boss, my friends and coworkers, all of whom knew that this was NOT how I had planned things would go. Having kids was not on what minimal agenda for my life I had. Then came shopping for baby. I was so overwhelmed the first time I went to register at BabiesRus I walked right back out again for fear of being found huddled in a pack and play rocking and moaning.

And is it wrong to wish that they would make adult sized baby swings? The cushy lining, the reclining seat, the motorized is all good.

Then came the morning I was spotting and cramping, 2 full months before his due date. The trip to the doctor, the news they were admitting me, and possibly putting me on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. And the doctor waking me up at midnight to say my labs came back and I was not improving but getting worse so they had decided to deliver me now. Fortunately the Bob had taken his phone to bed with him. Then there was Cooper in the special care nursery for 18 days, looking sooooo tiny and yet getting stronger every day. Super scary was the fact my blood pressure never went back to normal and I ended up staying in the hospital a full week after he was born so they could watch me. Now I am on medication for the rest of my life, but at least I am here.

And each day it is better, it isn't so scary, but there are new things to worry about that crop up. Like potty training. I have house trained dogs, but that is VERY different. I think. Maybe it isn't. I can't use the crating method on Cooper, but taking him to the potty every two hours to see if he has to go and reinforce that is where you go might work. Ugh. And school. I mean REAL school. The kind where there are big kids who pick on little kids, and lockers and cafeterias with awful food. Whimper. I really liked learning, but I hated school sometimes.

But I have to stop projecting my old baggage onto what is a totally new and full of potential life for Cooper. And help him realize that every day he might find something scary in front of him, but that if he can face it and deal with it, even if he ends up not totally succeeding, at least dress like Zorro and ride a unicycle - do it in style.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fun on the weekend

Some of these are pictures from this weekend when Cooper got to see a fire truck up close and personal. There was no crisis involved, just the local fire department doing a stop by at our neighbors house because one of the kids was turning 3 and his grandfather volunteers with the department, so he arranged for a truck to come by, barring any fire related disasters in Waltham.

The third one is of Cooper and I doing the thing he loves more than almost anything, reading. Which thrills me as I am a HUGE fan of reading, although I don't get to do as much of it for myself now that he is around, but I love reading to him.

Coop was rather unimpressed with the truck, but was fascinated by all the kids that were there. Ty the birthday boy was THRILLED however, and that is what counts.

As for today, Coop and I are home because he is banned from school for 24 hours. Seems he yakked at the end of the day yesterday. Of course the first thought is STOMACH BUG.
SF I was about to curse you for some sort of Vulcan mind meld through the internet sharing of the plague, but since he has not yakked again I think he is not sick. Rather I think he gagged himself at school and they didn't see him do it. If he doesn't have a binky in his mouth, he sticks his whole hand in there these days because he is growing MORE teeth. Big ones at the back of his mouth. He was in WAY too good a mood when I went to pick him up too. Last time he had the bug he was a giant snuggly lump of kid for 12 hours. This is not the same at all.

But that means mommy and Cooper bonding time. We have taken a walk around the neighborhood, harrassed the dogs, had snacks and lunch, and he is currently taking the second of his two daily naps. He only naps like this at home. At school, they are lucky to get one out of him. It is much more peaceful here I guess. Or boring. I am not nearly as entertaining as having 8 other infants and a dozen or so toddlers to run around with. Later mommy gets to go hang out with some friends and go to a book reading at a great bookstore Newtonville Books. They have great readings and an opportunity to meet and talk to the authors afterward. I haven't been to one in almost a year. Alice Hoffman is reading tonight. I have read one of her books, Practical Magic. This new one got a fairly good review in a magazine I was reading recently. I am really going for the bonding and the snacks and adult beverages afterward!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Yoga nazi

I have been doing yoga with some regularity for 8 or so years. It started when I was working at Boston College, and life was more stressful work-wise. My coworker got us certificates to try a class. We went, and while I enjoyed the experience, she complained about how loudly one of the other participants was breathing. Loud breathing is encouraged during yoga. Not porn or lude phone call breathing, but loud from the back of your throat yogic breathing. My coworker NEEDED yoga badly as you might imagine. After I left BC I found yoga improved my life, and since I carry a lot of stress in my shoulders, I found a class to take. It was on campus at my current place of employment, and was billed as a gentle yoga class. It was perfect for winding down from a day of telling parents why I needed their tax returns and why they didn't qualify for more financial aid. Then that instructor left to start a new life in Maine with a new man. Those of us who wanted to continue taking a class found a new instructor. She came from a different methodolgy of yoga - the first one practiced Kripalu yoga which is more spiritual and centered in my experience. The new one was an Iyengar practitioner. They seem to focus more on the physiological experience. She was very intent on proper positioning, which I appreciate since you can hurt yourself if you don't pay attention to your knees in yoga. There is less focus on the quiet spirituality of the moment, where you can work on not just the stretching and strengthening of yoga, but the letting go of the busy thoughts and intensity of the day. The class was still fulfilling, and because the instructor is Australian, it was entertaining when she instructed us to "blossom your bottoms" while doing downward facing dog.

All of that was fine until she started insisting on doing inversions. I am not a gymnastic kind of gal. I mastered the summersault as a kid, but never figured out how to do hand stands, head stands, or even cart wheels. I am VERY grounded person. Even when my butt was half the size it is now, I didn't enjoy trying to haul it into the air. The earth belongs under my feet. If I couldn't master that at age 10 what do you think the likelihood is I will even begin to be proficient at the ripe old age of 43? I can tell you - ZIP. NADA. ZILCH. We are more likely to see an Obama/Clinton joint ticket than that happening.

I began by going with the flow, thinking sure, I have learned to do things in yoga I never thought I would be doing, bending in ways that my husband would find encouraging if he ever saw me do them, so maybe a head stand isn't out of the question. But the more I tried them the more I resented the fact that she was making us do this. I expressed to her that while I appreciated that she wanted us to challenge ourselves, to try new things, if I did try it and ultimately deemed them not only not enjoyable but perhaps dangerous for someone with my lack of coordination to even attempt, that at this point in my life, with all that I have experienced and survived and learned, I think that I should be able to say no, I am not going to try to stand on my head, flinging my feet up in the air hoping that they will land against the wall and I will stay upright, rather than flop sideways and cause a domino effect of falling bodies down the row. I am a grown up and have the right to decline to torture myself in a yoga class as much as I have the right to decline to eat things I don't like. I am not into people pleasing any more. I am not 14 and worried about being asked to the prom.

But in true Aussie fashion, this instructor turned yoga nazi, who has been so supportive in other ways, especially when I found myself pregnant just before she gave birth to her first son, kept telling me that I just need to try. She insisted that I at least work on the positioning for the head stand/hand stand/shoulder stand. I have argued I would rather take that 15 minutes and begin the stretching that eventually leads to my favorite position, Savasana, or corpse pose. This is the last pose in your routine, where you lay on your back, and literally, like a corpse, release all your muscles and try to make your brain think of nothing. Leave it to yoga to make even laying down work. But no, this instructor wouldn't let me off the hook. So now I have stopped going to this class. I have begun doing yoga at home, but that is not as easy as I would like it to be as I have to do it where I can spread out a bit, and with three dogs, a baby and a husband, who predictably was quite fascinated by some of the poses, I have to schedule it for early in the morning when I can be alone. I did find a DVD that I enjoy, Yoga for Weight Loss with Suzanne Deason. I can't say that by itself this work out will result in actual weight loss, but it does give me a lovely energizing and stretching workout without requiring me to haul my part Italian part German part Scottish toushee over my head.

I will probably investigate other classes, but I have discovered that yoga instructors are from the same planet as the people who work at natural food stores and are not all of the same caliber. The first instructor I liked so much was a fund manager for an investment firm by day and an earthy crunchy yoga instructor by night. That dichotomy appeals to me. I am unlikely to find such a fabulously balanced and interesting replacement. Til then I will be fending off my husband's amourour advances and dogs sticking their noses where they don't belong - "hey that's what we do to say hello whenever one of our kind sticks their butt in the air" - and continue to do yoga in my living room.

Friday, April 4, 2008

A collar bone, a collar bone, my kingdom for a collar bone

You know what I have noticed - I can't see my collar bones. I have also noticed that the word bone wants to be written as "boan" for some reason. Ah phonetics. Anyway, sometime in the last 5 years I lost my collar bones. Those two lovely wings of bone that gracefully lay right below your neck. It appears I have padded them with, well, fat. It isn't a lot, I can feel them there, but they are hiding under this bizarre, dare I say, matronly layer of flesh. And it bugs me. I have pictures of me where you can see them, and I want them back. I have been on a campaign to lose weight anyway. I have lost most of what I gained during my pregnancy, but I was a good 20lbs heavier than I should have been before I got knocked up. So I am on a campaign. But is it possible the crafty little beggars will stay hidden? Can you lose weight in your shoulders and upper chest area? Will the cardio work or do I need to add weights to my regimen?

I noticed this because I have to go to a fancy schmancy event this weekend - the new president of the college I work for is being inaugurated - and I was trying on a dress I have had that I finally fit into again, but wait a second, something looks odd...what is missing...what the...where are my collar bones? And it makes a difference. Check any picture in any magazine for a beauty product, clothing, heck, even a cleaning product featuring a woman. There they are, those signifiers of femininity, collar bones.

So now I add to my campaign the additional quest to rediscover my collar bones. I don't want to achieve Ethiopian famine victim skinny status, just enough that I don't look like I have my great aunt Helen's shoulders.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

To eat or not to eat...

My new sink and faucet!

You can't tell but this is beige with fun flecks of brown and maroon quarts in it.

Curley headed pensiveness...

I have decided I will keep naming my posts using takes on famous literary phrases. Makes me sound educated or something. Anyway, what to do about a child who is fussy about eating? Cooper has always been a bit slow about transitioning to new food. When he was good with eating baby food, he didn't want anything to do with food that had chunks in it. He finally got over that, but wanted NOTHING to do with table food. He still doesn't want to eat our food for the most part. He will eat almost any fruit you put in front of him, which is great. He rejected cheese for a long time, which made me question whether I had been perhaps impregnated by aliens. I mean, seriously, he is part Italian, we don't turn down CHEESE. And even now, the cheese he will eat is almost not cheese. It is that Kraft American cheese food product bizarrely individually wrapped slice stuff. The good part is that it is packed with calcium. He eats yogurt with abandone. He also likes those Beech Nut Graduate meals. If I try to feed him grown up ravioli, he won't have it. But he will eat that ravioli. I guess I should be grateful he will eat those. But I am jealous. I see other kids his age eating table food. My neighborhood mama's talk about their toddlers eating FISH! The only fish Cooper has an interest in are the Pepperidge Farm kind. And it better be the regular flavor, none of this pizza flavored crap.

I find it hard to serve him dinner at the same time we eat. We get home right around 5pm. He is ready to eat NOW. Bob, the father unit, is not home at this time, and I am in no position to produce a full, healthy, balanced meal for us in 10 minutes even if he was. So part of this problem is certainly a product of that. He sees us eat together on weekends, and has begun showing some interest in what we are eating, but during the week it is easier to pull something out that doesn't need much preparation. There is a very short window of opportunity to get Cooper interested in eating dinner before he succumbs to being very tired - he usually hits the sack around 6:30 most nights.

I should note he is not wasting away. He was, at his last doctor's appointment, totally in line with where he should be. He is fine and healthy. But I worry about him being open new food. How long can a child survive eating oatmeal, yogurt and fruit? Although I should be glad those are the things he will eat. It is healthy and good for you.

And on the topic of food preparation, we have been doing work on our kitchen. It all started because we realized that water was getting in from the vent for the over the stove fan. When we decided we were going to take the tile off, since it was NASTY anyway, we decided it was time to do the counters. They were also NASTY. They were laminate on top, with wooden trim. Just the thing for a kitchen where the counters are getting wet and being cleaned. So we had the counters replaced with this quartz composite product called Zodiac. It is BEAUTIFUL. We didn't go with the ubiquitous granite. Apparently it takes a lot of maintenance, it needs to be sealed and cleaned all the time. No thank you. This was cheaper and is beautiful. I took really hard to see pictures of the end result. We still need to have the tile work done, but it is so much better than before.

So now I have a new counters to prepare food on, if only Coop would provide the motivation!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A rose by any other name...

My latest delimma is if I should change my name. I have been married twice, the second time to my current husband and father of my child. Neither time did I change my name to my husbands. The first time I didn't want to have a name that rhymed, and it would have. In fact my name would have rhymed with the college I work for too. I could have created my own limerick. As it turned out, not changing it made getting divorced a whole lot easier. That is NOT why I haven't changed it this time. It is a BIG PAIN IN THE BUTT changing your name. There is the Social Security Administration to start with, the DMV, all of your bank and credit card and other accounts. Then there is my sense of identity. I have had this name for almost 44 years. It is just a name, but it is MY name. And while I am not on the stage or screen, it is how I am known professionally as well. I have been in my industry for almost 20 years, so I have a history.

My child has my husband's last name. Which is good because I would not have named him Cooper if he was going to have mine. There would have been alliteration, and I am not a fan of alliteration in names. I am wondering if he will be perplexed by us having different last names, if it will bother him at all. And god forbid anything happened by way of medical emergency with Cooper, or his father for that matter, would someone question my connection to them and prevent me from being there until I could prove I am the parent or spouse of the individual?

Ugh. I don't know. I really don't want the hassle, but is it worth it? My husband never had an issue with me not changing my name, but occaisionally indicates that he wouldn't MIND if I changed it to his. This doesn't even begin to touch on my thoughts on why the woman changes her name and not the man. I will save that rant for a different venue. But it is highly unlikely that Bob would consider changing his name, so it is up to me - to change or not to change, does it really make a difference? Maybe I will wait until he is old enough to understand the concept and see if it matters to him and decide then.