Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I live close enough to South Street to tell you one thing: the city is freaking crazy right now.

I expect to see my husband some time shortly before sunrise. Two years ago, I would have been filing out to Broad Street (probably not South Street), partying. But now, I sit home, with a sleeping baby, different responsibilities, listening to the crowds outside instead. I'd be lying if I said I didn't wish I was out there too.

But I am giving my office a couple of hours off Friday to see the parade.

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It's a Sad Story

And Michele Davis-Balfour should probably stop talking.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Five Days and Counting

For the last week, I've dropped Rolo off at day care and he hasn't cried. I'm sure now that I've typed that I've completely jinxed it. But for the last two months, Rolo has cried more days than not when I drop him off. Last Monday, he was so hysterical I seriously considered calling out of work and taking him back home. Only, I figure that's not a very good precedent, since I can't do it every time he's upset and also, I should save my days off for when he's sick.

So I decided that since he retains and understands what we're saying now, I would start talking to him about his teachers and other "friends" at school. That night I had a "conversation" with him, much like you would with an older child, asking him how his day was, who he played with, what songs his teachers sang. And then the next morning, as we were getting dressed, I told him all about his teachers, naming them, naming his classmates, talking about going to school. And that next day, last Tuesday began this streak where he didn't freak out when I dropped him off. Around the same time, I decided when I dropped him off I would talk him through my leaving. I tell him I've got to go to work, that I'll come back after work, he will stay here and play with his friends and then I'll come back. And I always tell him bye-bye. Versus me trying to sneak out of the room when he's not looking. I read somewhere that sneaking out can increase separation anxiety because the child may believe that mommy just "disappears" without warning.

I have no idea if any of this helped, but Rolo seems to finally have adjusted to his new classroom. And that makes the mornings so much more pleasant.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Reward for a Job Well Done is Having Done It

In the last 5 weeks, Ron will have been away 20 days. Ten days late last month and we're at the tail end of another 10 day stint. Conferences, classes, it'll all a good time.

We've known about both these trips since last fall and whenever I would thinkg about them over last year, it went a little something like this: OH MY GOD NO, how on earth will I handle days on end with the kid... ALONE??? Not that I don't love spending time with Rolo but most days I can barely keep my head on straight and that's WITH Ron's help. So how would I fare without it?

Just fine as it turns out. I love my husband, he's a great husband and a wonderful father. But he's not...super helpful around the house. And while he doesn't work nearly as much as the stereotypical workaholic physician, he's often left for work before Rolo wakes up and home less than an hour before Rolo goes to bed. So, to an extent, I sort of already do the single parenting thing.

There's a strange relief in these twenty days not being nearly as hard as I thought. Despite a pesky molar that's taking forever and six days to make its way though his gums, the kid is fine, the laundry is done, toys (mostly) found their way back to the toybox. I can handle this mothering thing. But I'm still pretty happy I don't have to handle it by myself. Ron's home on Sunday!

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Pushing the Race Card

This morning, I watched an interview on CNN that outlined how McCain's ancestors owned slaves. Ouch. McCain denied it, but then presented with evidence, he claimed it wasn't something he knew about. Maybe. Maybe not.

But is it relevent? At the time of this post, I can't find a link to this morning's story.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A New Perspective on Blogs

Thanks, Jen.


Oh Joe

“Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America.” he told a fundraising crowd in the Pacific Northwest on Sunday. “Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.” You can read about it here and here.

Good going, Joe. You just reinforced the Republicans fears that our enemies think they can walk all over Obama.

And for the record, I think Palin is right. Biden isn't getting a whole lot of press about this comment (unless you're watching Fox News), but if Palin said something similiar about McCain, it would be the lead story of the day.



I find it absurd that police in Nowheresville, Massachusetts are demanding September 11th off when NYPD don't get it as a holiday. I'm not opposed to September 11th eventually being a holiday per se, but the idea that it would begin in Massachusetts is completely ridiculous.

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Monday, October 20, 2008


By the way, it's impossible to find any toddler-size Phillies gear in the city or immediate suburbs. Or further out suburbs, like Exton. I know, I've tried.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Song of the Day

Because it's stuck in my head is "Unsustainable" by Eliza Gilkyson.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Weekend v. Weekend

Last Saturday, we dropped Rolo off at my parents' house and headed up to Manhattan for a much-anticipated overnight trip with Ron's friends. There were 6 of us, 3 couples and I very much like these people. So I thought what could be better than hanging out with great people in NYC?

Well. Well, when we got to our hotel, we found out we didn't have a reservation. I thought I had made a reservation online, but it turns out that their online reservation system is too complicated for me to handle. So, there we were in the middle of Times Square, of all places, with no hotel reservation for that night. This did not seem to me to be an ideal situation.

Luckily, the hotel that we did not have reservations at helped us book a room across the street here. I was totally dreading this, figuring it would be some fleabag dive, but guess what? It was really nice. Small. Very small room. But very clean, modern decor with H20 Plus toiletries that I just loved. So things weren't looking too bad.

Then we met up with the friends, and the NYC-resident friend insisted that we all go to Brooklyn. I like Brooklyn, my whole family was raised in Brooklyn, but it was already late in the day, and if I wanted to stay in Brooklyn I would have gotten a hotel room in Brooklyn. So we all traipse to Brooklyn, go to a brewery only to learn the tours are over and it closes in 30 minutes. So we go in search of a pub where we can watch the Phillies game. We find one, but it's not super-fun and the Phillies are losing. We decide to move on and come upon a Mexican restaurant with the Phillies on a big screen. We watch them lose and eat some of the most God-awful guacamole I've ever had.

No one's really having any fun and so we decide we'll head back into Manhattan. At the subway station, I use my "all-day" MetroCard with no problem. But then most of the group does have a problem with their all-day cards. The card reader keeps telling them "swipe again" and won't let them through the turnstile for several minutes. So some random stranger opens the adjacent door to the turnstile to let them through and I turn to the only other person in our group that successfully got through the turnstile and joked, "Well, we could have done that for them, but I guess we just like watching them struggle."

And then all of a sudden two men who had been loitering around the turnstile, watching our group unsuccessfully swipe their metro cards, start flashing badges. Two undercover cops. Did you know that it's illegal to go through the doors at the subways station instead of the turnstile?

I mean it makes sense and I'm sure fare evasion is a big problem in the city. A 45 minute ordeal ensued that resulted in tickets for each person in our party who walked through the door and also one for the guy who opened the door. The guy who opened the door seemed really nice and said he did it because someone did it for him when his MetroCard didn't work one day. His Russian wife was NOT PLEASED about this ticket he was receiving for "being a good Samaritan" and she made the entire situation worse by yelling at the cops. Things almost got out of hand when she pulled out the ol' "my taxes pay your salary" line.

Here's the thing, and I know this first hand: NYC cops don't fuck around. They have a low tolerance for back-talk and since they deal with the worst of the worst, they don't distinguish one type of crime from another. We're all scumbags. They don't really have the luxury of sorting out shades of gray, so everything is black and white. So when the Russian lady was getting in the cop's face, I had visions of us all getting arrested. And frankly, I don't need to get arrested ever again, but that's a story for another day.

In the end, the three offenders in our group walked away with $100 tickets. They're going to try to appeal these by demonstrating that they each had valid all day MetroCards and therefore, regardless of whether they walked through a door or not, no "fare evasion" took place.

Anyway, so all this sort of bummed us out and we (finally) arrived back in Manhattan for a drink, except no one was really in the mood and we headed back to our hotels.

This weekend, Ron, Rolo and I are headed to New England for our annual fall trip. Specifically, we're going to Portsmouth, NH and Newport, RI. This is our 3rd year of at least dropping by Newport on our trip because we really like the town. Last night I decided to use Priceline to find a hotel in Newport, but I assumed my price would be rejected because that's how things usually go on Priceline. I put in for a 3.5 star hotel in Newport for $175, because I was feeling generous and also because the median price for a hotel of that rating in Newport is $375.00. Well, they accepted it right away and now 1) I am kicking myself for not putting in $125.00 instead and 2) I'm alittle nervous about staying in a non-chain, swanky hotel with a toddler.

But there's probably very little chance that we'll have a run in with police officers on this trip, but I'm thinking this will be a better weekend.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Months 13 & 14

Rolo turned 14 months old last week. Now he's walking, running even, albeit a little like Frankenstein, so it looks like I've got a full blown toddler on my hands. I'm sort of amazed that he started walking at 13 months old, because several of his other gross motor skills, while not "delayed", have occurred on the later side of the spectrum. I'm thrilled that he decided not to wait until I had a panic attack about my he wasn't walking to start doing it. Most of the time, he walks around without any big hoopla, but if you crouch down low across from him and put your arms out, gesturing that you'd like him to walk towards you, he beams, claps and proudly shows off his new walking skills.

His fine motor skills, which have always been somewhat advanced, continue to develop. He loves taking things apart and trying to put them back together. He loves puzzles, buttons, and LORD KNOWS any sort of electronics.

Rolo's big into mimicking right now. He'll copy us as we blow on his food to cool it, or he'll copy a face we're making. His language skills aren't so great yet, he basically only says "mama", "dada", "baba" and "DAT" (everything is "DAT"). If you ask him to say something, he'll "sort of" repeat it. He'll get the tone right, but not the sounds. Like if you ask him what sound the cow makes, he'll say "Oooo" in the same tone that I previously said "Mooo" a couple of days earlier. We've been working on "please" and "thank you", but of course, he just looks at us like we're nuts.

Rolo seems to be a lot like me when I was his age, according to my mom. He's able to entertain himself for periods of time. When he wakes up in the morning, he doesn't cry; instead he talks to himself, sometimes for 45 minutes or so. He loves, LOVES, books. He'll page through a book (and I don't know how he know this, but he always knows which way to hold the book--if he ever picks one up upside-down, he immediately turns it rightside-up) for a good 15 minutes. He's able to point to any babies, dogs, cats, monkeys or frogs in any book upon request. I have a feeling, with the right guidance, he may be a fairly bright kid. I hope so.

In the last two months he's gotten big into stuffed animals. He never paid any attention to them before, but recently he seeks a few of them out. He loves tackling them and giving them hugs. So far we're kept all his new "friends" out of his crib, although it may only be a matter of time before he wants to sleep with one.

Next up is Operation: Kill Binky. I'm not sure exactly when, but we'd like to cease the use of his pacifier soon. He only gets it at naptime or when he's going to bed. Actually, they discontinued using it at daycare entirely, so really, he's only getting a binky when he's with us. I'll feel kind of mean, taking it away from him but I know it'll only get harder as he gets older.

Speaking of harder, with toddlerdom, the attitude problem is beginning to emerge. He does things just to see my reaction. The other day, I took something away from him, a course of action he did not like, and he pinched me in retailation. Fresh, that boy. So far, I've spoken nicely but firmly to him each time he does something he's not supposed to, but I definitely need to read up on discipling a toddler.

There have been several times when I've quickly looked at Rolo, walking around, wearing jeans and a polo shirt and thought "Wow, I have a little boy now."


Monday, October 06, 2008

Random Thoughts

I'm putting this here for no other reason than I want to be able to look back and see if I was right. And no, I'm not pregnant.

Since Rolo was born, I've felt that if we had another child, it will be another boy. We have a girl named picked out and in a way, I think I always envisioned having a boy and a girl. But it will be another boy. He will be named for his father, and he will have brown squinty eyes, dark skin and darker hair. In other words, he would look Italian, unlike my little Irish-looking Rolo. And so there would be Rolo and a new baby, brothers who look nothing alike. It always strikes me, when siblings look nothing alike, with different eye and hair color. Both my parents had light hair, skin and blue eyes. My brother and I don't think we look very similar but the reality is you can only look but so different when your parents have similar features to each other. Not the case with Ron and I.

Other random premonitions? That pregnancy number #2 wouldn't be nearly as pleasant as #1. While I loved being pregnant, my body was in good shape when I got pregnant. I've suffered from all sorts of bizarro aches and pains since then. And I can only imagine that being pregnant when you have nothing else to think about is a lot nicer than being pregnant while chasing a toddler around. This is my main argument for waiting to have a kid until Rolo is older. Plus, I'm probably due for some morning sickness or something.

Also, Rolo was an excellent baby. He was sick a lot but he had a great temperament. very pleasant. Good sleeper, good eater. I likely won't be as lucky next time. Whenever next time might be. Sometime in the next 5 years.

What do you think the next five years holds for you?

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Friday, October 03, 2008


I need a new TV stand. I need one with doors on it. Doors to hide all the electronic devices from Rolo, who nearly swallowed my iPod the other day. And who has taken to turning on the DVD player randomly. He does this while the TV is on but not on the right setting for a DVD. So the DVD starts playing in audio, like a CD. And it's alarming. You'll be sitting there, watching House Hunters, minding your own business, not realizing that Rolo turned on the DVD player. And then WHAM! All of a sudden, the Baby Einstein, or some other nonsense, music comes on AT TOP VOLUME on the surround sound system. It can make you jump out of your skin.

Because we have a flat screen, and can no longer balance the cable box on top of the TV, I was initially thinking a TV stand with glass panels. You know so the cable box can be in the TV stand and still work with the remote. I love the look of this one. I love me craftman style anything. But large, unreinforced glass panels + toddler = emergency room trip waiting to happen. At least for my kid who loves to bang on any piece of glass he can find.

So now I'm thinking smaller glass panes for smaller risk of breakage, like this one. I love that it's red, but it's not very deep. And have I mentioned that our entire apartment is on a slant? It is, and boy, what a challenge that makes everything. So I'm not sure putting our top-heavy ginormous TV on top of a skinny media stand on a slope is the answer.

Of course I could get a large media center, but that's a large-ass piece of furniture for not a very big space. And interestingly, a piece that large would make the slope that much more noticeable. Because I'd have a large-ass piece of furniture which would look all slant-y. I know this would be an issue, because I have several large bookcases in the same area that I have on wedges to make them look less slant-y.

Oy. It's never easy.

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More on Sarah

In case you thought I hadn't noticed, I'm aware that Sarah Palin has sounded like someone with a lobotomy during recent interviews. I can't say for sure, but she'd probably do a bit better if the McCain campaign would just let her speak, but I think they're keeping her on a short leash.

Her debate was okay, although you could tell she was nervous. Not as good as her speech at the convention. Joe Biden, who's typically a total windbag, did a really good job too.

Anyway, the way Palin pronounces "Ameer-i-can" (over and over again) gets on my nerves and yet I can't stop mimicking her.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Some Things from the 80s Can Stay There

And I think limp neck bows are among them.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Vaccine, Schmaccine

I've been listening a lot to Jenny McCarthy. Specifically about vaccines.

Rolo is fully vaccinated to date. Let's just get that out of the way.

I don't really question the idea of vaccines; I think kids should be vaccinated. But I have begun to question the timelines for vaccination. Rolo's first vaccination occurred when he was about 30 hours old for hepatitis B. At the time, I thought this was odd, but since the doctors were recommending it and I was planning on vaccinating him anyway, I okay'd it. Most hospitals offer the vaccine to newborns. According the the CDC, hep B is transmitted by "contact with infectious blood, semen, and other body fluids from having sex with an infected person, sharing contaminated needles to inject drugs, or from an infected mother to her newborn." It was already known that I didn't have hep B, so I wouldn't be transmitting it. So looking back, and given that the chance of my newborn having sex or shooting drugs was fairly small, I could have passed on that vaccine for now.

I know, I know. They offer the vaccine at birth because it can be given to a baby that young and because it ensures that children who will almost never be brought to a doctor again will have at least that vaccine.

I know, from our lovely genetic sequencing escapades, that each person can have any number genetic hiccups that they don't even know about. Would never know about unless they had extensive genetic testing. Things that don't effect anyone's day-to-day life. Variants and mutations that live outside the world of exhaustive research and studies. So, do I think it's possible that a vaccine could effect a genetic mutation or variant? Maybe jump-start something that was already there? Yeah, I do. I mean, yeah.

I can almost see at least one of you rolling your eyes. People point to the case I linked to above and cry "See?!?!?! Vaccines DO cause autism." I'm not ready to jump to that conclusion. But I do think there are ways in which vaccines could aggravate some existing thing. It seems to be the consensus that genetics and environmental factors play a part in autism. Depending on which statistics you look at, one in every 150 to 500 births, results in an autistic child. According to some, it's the fast-growing disability in the U.S.

I'm not just pointing to vaccines themselves either. There are other environmental factors. Take a look again at the chemicals in half of the things we eat or products we use. Do we know how any of them might effect an underlying condition?

I don't mean to get all apocalyptic here. All I'm saying is that never questioned the safety or the timeline in which vaccines were given before Rolo was born. I never questioned a lot of things before Rolo. Find out about the timelines. Do babies need to be given 3 vaccines every 3 months for essentially their first year or two of life? Are there delayed timetables for giving vaccines? When, or do, children "have to" have vaccines? I already researched the answers to these questions.

Ask questions, do your research, make decision based on what you think is right.

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