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Friday, February 29, 2008

Oprah made me do it

I saw an Oprah the other day that made me think I could be on the road to Shlumpadinka-ville!

Where is Shlumpadinka-ville and why do we not want to live there?

It’s a word Oprah made up. She says a Shlumpadinka is a woman who has let herself go. On the show they featured moms who go pick up their kids from school in their plaid pajama pants. While I would never even go to the mailbox in my PJs, I do have some Shlumpadinka characteristics.



My worst offense is wearing sneakers. Everywhere. Oprah and her team say that sneakers only belong on your feet when you’re working out, not at the grocery store. They said, instead, to try ballet flats.

I’m not kidding, the very next day I went to Target in search for said shoes. And I wasn’t alone. There were at least six other women combing the ballet flats aisle with me. I so badly wanted to say, “Did you girls watch Oprah yesterday?” But I didn’t know them. And I hadn’t been drinking. I settled on these shiny silver ones:



Another tip they gave was to always wear lip gloss. I never wear lip gloss! Tack that on to my Shlumpadinka tally. So while at Target I also invested in some teenage brand, strawberry flavored gloss.


I mean, look what a pair of flats and a little lip gloss did for the Shlumpadinka above?




While it may seem like I’m a total Oprah-disciple, you should know that I refrained from purchasing anything else on the list of things the stylist expert said all non-Shlumpadinkas should have:

-A bright gauzy scarf: don’t like things touching my neck
-A trench coat (preferably in bright color): considering, but it’s almost spring anyway
-Black or white turtleneck: again with the neck thing
-Black pants: check
-Tunic: Seems very Talbot’s to me and I’m 31, not 41
-Black dress: check
-Black skirt: check
-Cashmere sweater: again, almost spring
-White Jeans: This is tricky. If I were to wear these would it look like I was ahead of the fashion curve or really far behind? I’m not sure I could pull it off.
-White Jean jacket: See above. Plus, I really think the stylist should have clarified that these two items should not be worn together under any circumstances.

When Frank got home I showed him my new non-Shlumpadinka look: “Why are your lips so shiny?” he asked. “And why are your feet so shiny?” I explained that I was trying to not let myself go. I shouldn’t wear sneakers everywhere. He saw right through me.

“Wait a second. Did Oprah make you do this?”

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

More Pregnancy Perplexers


I never ask other moms, “So how was your labor? Was it long and painful? Could you pretty please give me a step-by-step account of it?”

I don’t have to. They always offer it up.

The birth stories perplex me because it’s almost as if the moms of the world have this “misery loves company” attitude. “If I suffered, you should also suffer. And you should all know about my suffering.” And if you don’t flinch (or it’s via phone and they can’t tell if you’re flinching), they try to add in more graphic imagery. They want to see you cringe. They want to see you squirm. I think they get extra points if their stories induce vomiting.

Here’s what I like to say after a particularly gruesome account: “Well it couldn’t have been that bad. I mean, you did it again. And again. (And in some cases) and again.”

My doctor asked me if people have been sharing their gross birth stories with me and when I told him yes, he had this funny analogy:

“If you said, ‘I’m having surgery for ovarian cancer’ that same person wouldn’t say, ‘Oh, my mother had ovarian cancer surgery and it was horrible! It was so painful! Here are the gory details.’”

And it is impossible for a mom to tell a birth story without using this one awful word, even if unsaid word didn’t play a part in their labor. They still have to work it into the story. I’ve refrained from using the word on my blog even though someone utters it to me just about every other day. I was going to use it here but you know what? If I subject you to it I’m just as bad as them. So I won’t use it. I’ll just tell you that it rhymes with this fruit and let you figure it out:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Conversations with Car Salesmen

Last summer, when Frank’s 1994 Honda Accord died we considered replacing it. But then it came back to life. A few days later, when it died again, we were left with no choice.

Our hesitation to buy a car is only partly because we’re cheap. It’s mostly because we hate car shopping. I, personally, don’t like any kind of shopping but car shopping, that’s the worst.

It’s shopping without price tags—a Simcik nightmare. You can’t possibly just look around on your own. You HAVE to talk to someone. And it’s really hard when they speak a different language. We, English. The Car Salesmen, Cheese.

Here are some samples of conversations we had with the Honda salesman, who, even though his name was Frank, was nothing like Husband Frank:

Husband Frank: “So how much is this one?”
Car Salesman Frank: “Let’s not worry about price right now.”
Me: “Sir, ALL we’re worried about is price.”

Husband Frank, after test-driving two cars: “We’d like to see the prices for these two.”
Car Salesman Frank: “Okay, let’s go inside and talk numbers. We want to make your dreams come true!”
Me, to Husband Frank: “Yes, a used Honda Accord is our dream car.”

So we start with the newer of the used cars—the 2007. We don’t even talk about the ’06 yet. We do the whole back-and-forth with the car salesman. He writes down a big number, we write down a smaller number. He goes back to talk to his manager. We wait. So when he came back from supposedly running the numbers by his boss he did this:

Dangling keys in front of our faces he said, “Congratulations!”
We were excited and a little surprised. We thought we had sent him back there with a kinda low number. And just as I was thinking we should have gone lower he added, “The 2006 is yours!”

Huh?

“But we weren’t talking about the ’06. We were talking about the ’07,” Husband Frank said.
“Oh, we can’t give you the ’07 for that price,” Car Salesman Frank said.

We should have walked out. Instead, we found ourselves fighting for the ’07. And when CS Frank went back to fake manager with our latest offer, H Frank said, “I think this was all part of their plan.”

In the end we got the ’07. It’s a dream come true.




______________________________________________________________________




This weekend we went to a Toyota dealership to look at Rav4s. We ended up with a jokester:

Me: “We’d like to test drive this Rav4.”
Jokester: “No…hahahahahahahahaha.”

Me: “Could you tell me where the restroom is?”
Jokester: “Sorry. You can’t use the restroom. Hahahahahahahaha.”

Frank: “So what’s the price difference between the base models and the limited editions?”
Jokester: “18 million, 457 dollars and 58 cents. Hahahahahahahahahaha. That 58 cents always throws everybody off!!”

Frank: “What is this extra charge here for the enviro-guard?”
Jokester: “That’s this protection shield. It’s already on the car so you have to pay for it.”
Me: “Then why isn’t it included in the sticker price?”
Jokester: “Look, that’s how we got you in the door. Am I right?!!”

Again, we probably should have walked out. But the thing is, we hate to go to these places so much that we just end up buying something so that we never have to go again. And really, would it have been different anywhere else?
Luckily, we Simciks typically keep cars for a long time so we shouldn’t have to face CS Frank or the Jokester or any of their pals until at least 2021.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bye-bye, Bug

Sure, I could have kept the Beetle. I mean, a two-door convertible with a tiny backseat and an even tinier trunk wouldn’t be that terrible for a baby, right? BS probably would have liked the wind in his/her hair. Britney’s kids seem to enjoy it.


But I kept imagining people saying, “A BABY? In a BUG?” I knew that these people, however hypothetical and imaginary they were, were right.

I tried to convince Frank to just trade me cars:

“I’ll drive the Accord and you can drive the Bug.”

“The Bug is a girl’s car. It has a flower in it,” he said.

“But we can take out the flower.”

“But then I would be driving the Bug and you wouldn’t be…and you’re the one who wants to drive it so what’s the point of keeping it?”

He was right. And how could I be the Super Mom to his Super Dad if I didn’t mommy up and get an appropriate vehicle?

Yesterday we went car shopping. I told the Bug before we left, “Don’t worry. We’re not giving you up just yet. You’ve still got a few more weeks.”

But then there was this car we liked and rumblings of a good deal on our trade-in and the next thing I knew, we were back at home, rounding up the Bug.

The Bug looked totally betrayed. In fact, if it could talk, it would have said, “Et tu, Writinggal?” And then as we drove back to the dealership that really awesome Taylor Swift song, “Tears on my Guitar” was playing. It made me have tears on my Bug. It’s just like when we test drove the Bug and my fave song of the moment, “Pieces of Me” by Ashlee Simpson was on.

The tears would have been heavier had it been a sunny day and we had been driving with the top down. I was grateful for the gloom.

I was sad for me but mostly I was sad for the Bug. We just left it there at this car dealership. It was Toyota so there weren’t even other Bugs there for it to hang out with. When they moved it from the customer parking lot, I asked the guy where they were going to take it. He said, “To the back.” I said, “With the dented and totaled cars??!!” tears forming again.

And here I am crying again as I write this blog. We’re going to blame it on hormones. Cut to the blog slideshow!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Parents Say the Darndest Things

Between the two of us, Frank and I have a lot of parental clich├ęs we’ve accumulated from our own upbringings. We are excited to share these with BS:

Well who told you life was fair?

If you’re bored, you’re boring.

If I find it, can I hit you?

Does your face hurt? Cause it’s killing me.

Because I’m the mommy, that’s why.

Don’t sit around in your bathing suit. You’ll get a bladder infection.

I just want you to try it.

Eat it. It’ll put hair on your chest.

I wish you’d eat something green.

You can’t wear that. It will look like we don’t know how to dress you.

Ladies don’t sit like that.

You’re cold? Well put some clothes on!

If you lie down with dogs, you come up with fleas.

Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about.

Conversations with BS:

BS: Me and my friend went to this park and…
Me: My friend and I…
BS: You weren’t there, mom!

BS: But Sally has one!
Frank: If Sally jumped off a bridge, would you?

BS: Can I have this toy? It’s only $40.
Me: Sure. Do you have $40?

BS: Can we go shopping for new school clothes?
Me: What’s wrong with the clothes you wore last year?

BS: I need this video game.
Frank: Do you need it or do you just want it?


BS: I got all A’s…how much money do I get?
Us: Money? You’re supposed to get good grades!
BS: But Sally gets $20 for As, $10 for Bs…
Frank: If Sally jumped-
BS: I know, I know. If Sally jumped off a bridge…

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Have you met my cousins?

When I worked at the driving school my boss called me “cuz.” As in cousin. I always wanted to say, “I’m not your cousin! I’m not related to you in any way, football coach/history teacher/driving school owner.”

But I don’t know why I was against it. I mean, I only have one first cousin of my own:

Cousin Claire, age 18:



Frank, on the other hand, has 21 FIRST cousins! And they’re still making more. There’s another one due in a few weeks. Then he’ll have 22. Cousins are great because they’re sort of like siblings but you don’t live with them. You’re related so you’re permitted to fight but you don’t really have a reason to fight with them since you’re not sharing a bathroom.

The cool thing about Frank’s cousins is that most of them are around his age. The other cool thing is that they’re all cool people. Like if I met these 21 cousins another way, I would be friends with them. Frank’s got 21 built-in friends.

The other day I was on the phone with one of Frank’s cousins and I heard her say to a friend in the room, “I’m talking to my cousin.”

I thought that was sweet. She didn’t say, “I’m talking to my cousin’s wife” or “I’m talking to some random girl who I’m sort of related to.” She thinks of me as her cousin.

And Frank’s other cousins do the same thing. When they introduce me they say, “This is my cousin, Elsa.” And they never clarify that I’m not actually their cousin. In fact, sometimes people say, “Oh, I can see that. You look alike!” Then I feel the need to clarify.

You’d think that with all those cousins they would say, “No more. We’re full.” But they’re a quite accepting group. In fact, if you count spouses, Frank’s got (I mean, we’ve got) 27 cousins! If you are intrigued and want to be one of Frank's cousins, you probably can be. Just as long as you like to drink. And you let us call you "cuz."



Fun with my cousins:

















Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I have a dream

I’ve heard it all when it comes to guessing the baby’s sex: the way you’re carrying, the way your back looks, how sick you are during pregnancy, whether or not you have heartburn, the way a ring swings when it’s held in front of your belly on a string and some trick involving pee and Drano.

I don’t buy any of those.

But then my neighbor told me about dreams. She said that she heard that the mother’s dreams are 90% accurate. It happened to her. She dreamt she was having a girl and she did. Another neighbor said she dreamt that she had the baby and everyone was saying, “It’s a boy!” and she kept insisting that it was girl. And in real life she had a girl.

So even though I don’t want to know what BS is, I’ve been hoping to have one of these dreams. A couple of weeks ago I had one that went like this:

Me: “Hey, there’s my baby and it’s a girl!”
Random dream person: “No, that’s not your baby.”
Me: “Oh, then there’s my baby and it’s a boy!”
Random dream person: “That’s not your baby either.”

Confusing.

I told my friend Jaime about my dream. She said, “I’ve always heard that you dream the opposite of what you’re having.” She dreamed about boys and had three girls.

Well, at this rate I might as well get out the Drano.

But then last night I had an interesting dream. I’ll detail it here and let you decide what to make of it:

Me: “Oh, look, a box came in the mail.”
Enter some girl who said she was my neighbor in my dream but I’ve never seen her before. She said she used to be a nurse so she knows a lot about babies. Oh, and she wore her pants up really high. So this stranger/neighbor/nurse/high-waisted-girl says, “That’s your baby. It’s not exactly born yet but it’s what you get in the mail right before the baby is born.”

So I open the box and there’s a baby in there! But it’s more like a doll. She said, “You don’t have to feed it yet but you probably should change it.”

“But I don’t want to know the sex,” I insisted.

“The hospital knows if you don’t want to know so they will have covered all that up with a blue paste.” She then checked the baby and said, “Yep, it’s got the blue paste.”

I remember distinctly saying this in the dream: “So that blue paste could potentially cover up a baby penis?”

“Yes,” she assured me.

I looked down at the baby and it was wrapped in a pink blanket. I said, “This baby totally looks like a boy to me. I’m almost positive it’s a boy.”

Then Frank got home and I had put the baby back in the box. I told him the situation and the stranger/neighbor/nurse girl backed me up.

He said, “I don’t think we should look at the baby before it’s born. Let’s keep it in the box.”

And that’s what we did.

So this dream could mean that BS is a boy since I was very certain about it. Or is Jaime’s theory right and the mom dreams the opposite of what she’s having? And what’s up with that pink blanket?

I’m pretty sure none of it means anything since BS also had a full head of black hair.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cookinggal’s Chops

I haven’t told you about the adventures of Cookinggal in awhile but let me assure you I’m still a force in the kitchen.

Whenever Frank comes home and I’m preparing a meal he stands there and says things like, “Did you ever know you’d be so into cooking?” and “Who would have thought the girl who only liked sandwiches is making THIS?” and “Remember when you didn’t know how to brown meat? Look at you now!”

But even though I cook some sort of fabulous dinner about five nights a week, my repertoire was getting stale. My main ingredients were always chicken, ground turkey and every now and then shrimp.

So I branched out. Where did I branch off to? The land of pork. As in pork chops. I had probably only eaten pork chops two other times in my life. Once was at book club and I had to ask, “What are these? They’re so good!” Although that might have been pork tenderloin. I don’t have my porks down just yet.

I found this recipe and decided it would be my pork guinea pig. (Even though it called for PT and I used PC Frank said that was okay because PC was cheaper.)

Making pork is just like making chicken. In fact, it even tasted like chicken. But I still got big props from Frank:

“I can’t believe you made pork chops!”
“This is so good! Don’t you think it’s good?”
“How did you learn how to make pork chops?”

I think he gave it an eight.

Yep, Cookinggal’s still got it. But I can’t neglect my mainstays or I’m liable to forget how to brown meat.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Better than a manger

We got our nursery furniture on Saturday and Frank put it together Saturday night ("I should not have started doing this after a few beers") and continued into Sunday.

Here is my first attempt at posting a video to my blog. As you will see in this short film, the furniture is all put together and all we need now are curtains, bedding, a glider and stuff to hang on the walls. Oh, and a baby.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Which is weirder?

A card from a pet or a card from a fetus?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Big 3-0

They may both be milestones but I'm quickly learning that 30 weeks of pregnancy...

is very different from a 30th birthday:

Bring Back the Home Tour





If you come into my house I’ll offer you food, drink and a tour. The tour is not my way of saying, “My house is so awesome; you have to check it out” but rather “I know you are probably curious about what is beyond the kitchen, living room and half-bath and I’ve got nothing to hide. Let’s have a look.”

I’ll show you the laundry room, the bedrooms, the other bathrooms and even the closets. So you better be ready for a thorough tour. Most people are delighted to go on a tour. They enthusiastically say, “Sure!” when I offer it up and what I think they’re really saying is, “I thought you’d never ask.”

But I’ll tell you who never does ask: the rest of you. Rarely do I go into a house and get a tour. I realize people aren’t being rude; they just don’t think about it. They’re sort of over their house so they can’t imagine why anyone would want to see it. Well I want to see it. I want to see everybody’s house. I don’t care if you live in a duplex! I used to give tours of my duplex all the time. It didn’t take very long but I still gave them.

Sometimes, depending on the situation and the homeowner, I’ll ask: “So are we gonna get a tour?” Other times I’ll have to sneak in my own tour: “Your half-bath is occupied. Is there another one I could use?”

But just so I don’t have to resort to self-guided snooping tours, I’m trying to spread the word. That’s one of the reasons I offer the tour, so when I come to your house you’ll return the favor. Plus, what’s the point of having all those other rooms (and decorating them and keeping them clean) if nobody ever sees them?

Of course, if you’re a secret hoarder we can skip the tour. And the food.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ice cream craving (minus the pickles)

I thought I had experienced pregnancy cravings before (like with the pancakes on a Thursday morning) but on Saturday I found out what a real craving was all about.

It started with a picture of ice cream at Chick Fil-la. Next we passed a McDonald's and I thought about their soft serve cones. I said to Frank, "I kinda feel like ice cream." He said, "Really? I don't."

Darn.

After that, I couldn't get that ice cream out of my head:


Yummmm....ice cream.

Ice cream with chocolate chunks.

Ice cream with chocolate syrup.

Stop it. Stop thinking about ice cream. Think about something else like...umbrellas...I need a new umbrella for when it rains...lately we've had some ice...yummm...ice cream.

If I could just have a little taste of ice cream. That's all I need. Maybe one of those little pints. We're going right by a store. Would Frank stop? Would he think I was crazy?

Yes, that's crazy. You've got good-tasting things at home. What about that peanut butter cookie? Will that work? Peanut butter cookie crumbled up in ice cream...yum.

MUST HAVE ICE CREAM!!

"Um, Frank...I really feel like ice cream. Could we stop somewhere and get some?"

"We could stop at Wendy's and get a Frosty."

"That's not ice cream!"

Soon we were pulling into the grocery store. I got mint chocolate chip.

"There. You got your ice cream. Feeling better?" Frank asked.

"Not until I eat it. Can I open it in the car?"

Finally we got home where my ice cream and I could be together. It was heavenly:









Luckily, we got a half gallon so the next day I crumbled up the peanut butter cookie in my ice cream. Dreams really do come true (if you whine enough).

Friday, February 08, 2008

Horrified by Hoarders

Oprah keeps doing these shows on hoarders, a topic that fascinates me and disgusts me at the same time. These are people who keep buying things and saving things until they all pile up and they can’t even find their cat anymore.

Perhaps I am intrigued because I am the exact opposite of a hoarder. Now you might think the exact opposite of a hoarder is a minimalist. I, too, used to think I was a minimalist. But I don’t think that’s what I am. A minimalist likes almost-empty rooms with modern-looking, uncomfortable furniture. That’s not me.

Instead, I have my own little OCD issue:

I LOVE to throw things away. Putting things in the trash makes me giddy. It’s become somewhat of an addiction. I know it’s an addiction because I hide my throwing away from others. That’s like an alcoholic who drinks alone or an overeater who binges in the closet or a compulsive eyebrow plucker who plucks in private (another habit I don’t get ). I actually throw things away and hope Frank won’t find out. Whenever he can’t find something the first thing he says is, “Did you throw that away?” Usually I did. Sometimes I’m not sure.

I throw away things that other people think you have to save. You don’t have to save birthday cards, birth announcements or even birth certificates. (That last one’s not true; I just wanted to stick with my whole “birth” theme.) Now don’t go thinking you shouldn’t send me those things. I do save them for up to a week after the event (for birthdays) and until the next one arrives (for birth announcements).

You can throw away appliances. Yesterday our dust buster wasn’t sucking as well as I would have liked so I plan to chuck it. I can’t wait. It will free up shelf space. You can throw away shoes. You don’t have to save seven pairs of shoes because “you might need them for tubing.” (Frank!)

When I find a coupon lying around, I go over to it, pick it up and secretly pray that it’s expired. If it is, I can throw it away. I’m actually pleased about that. I would rather throw away a coupon than save money. It’s like a rush for me.

So what I’m saying is that I’m no better than the hoarders. I just have the opposite problem. But it’s not opposite in a “one-is-pretty-one-is-ugly” sort of way. It’s opposite in that both are screwed up. Although their problem is pretty ugly, not to mention unsanitary. I couldn’t even post a picture of it here on my blog. And I can’t watch the latest hoarding episode of Oprah while I’m eating.

To sum it up, I have my problems, they have their problems but I’d rather be trashy than be a hoarder.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

It’s Lent: Can’t be Late



Here’s what I’m giving up for Lent: running late. It’s the first time I’ve given up something that’s not edible (or drinkable). One year it was caffeine and carbonated beverages, one year it was meat, one year it was alcohol. So this year, when I thought of what I could give up, all I could come up with were things that go in my mouth.

But let’s be honest, don’t we just give up those things in hopes that we’ll shed a few pounds and say it’s in the name of religion? I mean, do you think that’s what Jesus was doing when he fasted for 40 days/40 nights?

Plus, I’ve already had to give up a lot of food and beverages because of the pregnancy: alcohol, deli meat, sushi, soft cheeses…it’s like Lent every day around here.

So back to my Lenten promise: I’m going to get places on time, even early. I don’t know when it happened, but in the last couple of years I’ve become one of those annoying people who’s late to everything. It’s not that often that I actually show up late; I just run late and therefore show up exactly on time but frazzled and hyperventilating.

I just always push it. Like if I decide I need fifteen minutes to get somewhere, I’ll START to leave 15 minutes prior. So that means I still have to go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, grab my purse, get into the car, realize I forgot my phone, go back into the house to get my phone, realize that I’m thirsty, grab some water, go to the bathroom again…by the time I actually drive out of the driveway, I only have eight minutes to get to my destination.

Frank called me out on it: “Are you going to be ready on time?” he asked one day.

“Of course,” I said. “I’m ready to go now. I just need to finish putting on my make-up.”

“That’s not ready to go,” he informed me.

“Well I won’t be late,” I insisted.

“Yes, you will be. You’re always late.”

“I am?”

“Yes. Like to the doctor’s office. To spin class. Everywhere. You’re that girl who’s always late.”

“Oh my gosh. I AM that girl! I hate that girl!”

He even had to implement trickery to get me to be somewhere on time the other day. I had a massage appointment at 5:15pm and since that would be during rush hour, Frank told me, “If I were you, I would leave an hour before.” I assured him that I would.

I called him when I was on my way, 30 minutes before the appointment. “I’m leaving the house,” I told him, ready for my scolding. To my surprise he said, “Good. You should get there on time.”

“But you said I should leave an hour before. It’s only half an hour before.”

“I know. I said that so that you would leave a half an hour before.”

Sneaky. I got there right at 5:15 on the nose.

So here is how I’m going to attack my tardy problem during Lent:




  1. When I calculate how long it will take to get somewhere, I will increase that time 25%. So, for instance, if I think it will take me 15 minutes to get somewhere, I will plan to leave…getting the calculator…18.75 minutes prior.

  2. I will plan ahead so that I can take care of any problems that may hinder my punctuality. For instance, rather than getting dressed and prepared for spin class right before it’s time to leave, I will do it earlier so I won’t have to run back in to get my heart rate monitor or water bottle.

  3. I will post a sign in my office reminding myself, “Plan Ahead so you Don’t Run Late!” (Done)
It may be my biggest challenge (after the sober Lent of ’05) but I have resolved to fix my sluggish ways…at least until Easter.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

BS and the Boys



These are my fellow pregnant neighbors. Claire (left) is having a boy in May. Debbie is having a boy in March. The last four women to give birth in our neighborhood had boys. In fact, Debbie’s daughter was the last girl to be born and that was almost three years ago.

So does that mean we’re having a boy since that seems to be the trend in the neighborhood? Or does it mean we’re having a girl because too many other people are having boys?

This is how I calculate statistics. Frank explained to me, though, that whatever happens in the neighborhood has nothing to do with the sex of our baby, statistically. “It’s still a 50/50 chance,” he told me for the 427th time.

But we women like to think there’s more than statistics that goes into all this. Like when Claire told me on the phone that she was having a boy and BS kicked me, she said maybe BS was telling her baby, “I’m your girlfriend!” But then I speculated that BS might have just been saying, “Cool! I’m a boy too!” Frank chimed in again with his statistical savviness.

Really, the sex of BS could change the dynamic of the whole neighborhood:

If BS is a girl, she’ll have no built in girlfriends. But maybe she’ll play with all the boys and be into boy-stuff like climbing trees and going to the emergency room. And come prom time, she could have her pick of dates.

If BS is a boy then I guess he’ll just be one of the boys. But Frank and I aren’t all that athletic so I fear for BS in this department. Plus, the other pregnant girls have probably already registered their sons for tee ball! We might be too late.

But for the first time here on Writinggal-Expanding I see that the vote has shifted to favor BS as a girl. What could this mean? Will BS be the hottie on the block? The current vote is 52% girl, 47% boy. But as Frank reminded me, “That’s still basically 50/50.”

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Red Couch Incident of 2002

When I moved into an apartment on my own about six years ago, I had to get a couch. I had always mooched off of roommates for places to rest my butt while watching TV but now I was on my own.

Frank came with me and we looked for several weekends. I wanted to spend about $300. I learned one thing very quickly: couches were more than $300. This one store had a sign outside, advertising an attic sale. I wasn’t sure what that meant but learned that very quickly as well. An attic sale is literally in the attic of the store. We were climbing around on rafters and beams and probably asbestos.

There was only one couch in my price range in that attic. It was blue checkered and it had a giant stain on one of the cushions. The price tag had a note: “slightly soiled.” Frank said, “You could turn the cushion over!”

A pee couch? I wasn’t that desperate. Besides, even if it was free of a suspicious substance, I didn’t like it. I told Frank, “You couldn’t pay me to take it out of this attic!”

I guess after a few weekends of couch searching I started getting delirious because here’s what happened:

“Oh, this red couch is so cute, don’t you think, Frank?”

“I’m sure it’s out of your price range.”

“Maybe not,” I said as I sat on the couch.

“It’s so comfortable and look, here’s the price tag…$320? Oh my gosh! This is an awesome price! I can’t believe it! Does it have a pee stain too? Or is this just a really cheap store?”

“Wow, that IS a good price.”

“Go flag down a salesperson—quick! Tell him I’ll take it! Oh, and tell him that I’ll take the love seat too!”

Now giddy over my excellent find and satisfied for having held out for this perfect, affordable red couch, I plopped down on the soon-to-be-mine loveseat, already positioning it in my living room. I glanced at the price tag: It was like $1,000.

Wait a second. How could the love seat be more than the sofa? I went back to the couch. Yep. It said $320. It was right there on that…pillow.

Luckily, I stopped Frank before he found a salesperson and I didn’t have to walk out of there with an overpriced pillow. So I didn’t get my red couch. But eventually I did get a green couch for $300. We still have it.

Now we’re looking for a glider for the baby’s room. I’ve learned something in that search too: gliders are more than $300. But luckily, I found one at Target that was $180. I emailed it to Frank and he immediately called me:

“Remember the red couch incident?”

“Yep, where I thought that couch was $300 but it was actually just the pillow…Oops, did I do that with the glider?”

“Yes.”

“It’s just the slipcover isn’t it?”

“Yes.”

Shoot. I’m gonna have to look in the slightly soiled section.

Friday, February 01, 2008

WG Talks Politics



I don't like to talk about politics, much less write about it.

But lately, Frank and I are totally into the presidential race. We're like junkies. We watch it like a sporting event. We watch the cable shows where the anchors yell at each other; we watch the polls on the morning news programs; we read about it on the internet and we even watch all the debates (well, most of them). I think we may have even watched the State of the Union address which isn't really about the presidential race but still in the same genre.

When the whole thing started I thought, "I don't like anybody. There's nobody good to choose from."

Now I kinda like everybody and I'll tell you why:

They're all quite charming. And they're very convincing when they talk. Huckabee's funny. Obama's inspirational. McCain's impressive. Romney's smooth. Hillary's determined.

And is it just me or do they all sound really, really smart? Like during the Republican debates the other night, when they were talking about the environment, Romney said:

"Nuclear power, biodiesel, biofuel, all the renewables, liquefied coal, where you sequester the carbon dioxide, those things make all the sense in the world."

"Did you hear that?" I said to Frank. "That thing he said about sequestering the carbon dioxide? I don't know what that means or if it's a good idea but that sounded really smart."

And the numbers! They know these numbers right off the tops of their heads. Huckabee said,

"Every billion dollars we spend on highway construction results in 47,500 jobs. But the fact is the average American is sitting in traffic 38 hours a year."

"How did they get to be so smart?" I asked Frank.

And while I'm sure some is a little bit rehearsed, they're still basically talking off the cuff. So that makes their final statements even more impressive. I mean, these words from Obama are better than anything I've heard in a prepared speech:

"But you know, it is really important, I think, for us also to give the American people this sense, as they are struggling with their mortgages and struggling with their health care and trying to figure out how to get their kids in a school that will teach them and prepare them and equip them for this century, that they get a sense that government's on their side, that government is listening to them, that it's carrying their voices into the White House...That's the reason I'm running for president of the United States of America."

Wow. If I were him, I'd be like, "Did somebody write that down? That's a tombstone contender right there."

And check out Huckabee:

"What made Ronald Reagan a great president was not just the intricacies of his policies, though they were good policies. It was that he loved America and saw it as a good nation and a great nation because of the greatness of its people.And if we can recapture that, that's when we recapture the Reagan spirit. It's that spirit that has a can-do attitude about America's futures and that makes us love our country whether we're Democrats or Republicans. And that's what I believe Ronald Reagan did -- he brought this country back together and made us believe in ourselves. And whether he believes in us, I hope we still believe in those things which made him a great leader and a great American."

I'm telling you, they just come up with this stuff! And Anderson Cooper says that none of them even sweat. I would be sweating, stuttering and probably run off the stage crying. But that's why I'm not running for president. That, and I don't know what it means to sequester carbon dioxide.
Are you like Frank and me and don't know which of these smarty pants to vote for? Or just want to see if who you plan to vote for is in line with what you really think?

Check out this quiz sent to us by our favorite political guru-Richard Zientek (who will probably be one of these non-sweating, show-offs one day).
You might be surprised!

Cabbage Patch Kid


Remember when BS was just a little avocado?





They grow up so fast, don't they?


To me, though, this Chinese cabbage looks bigger than a newborn.