Thursday, August 20, 2009

Two going on 16

Mom, can I suck my thumb, D whines pleadingly like a teenager desperate to stay out late with her friends.
No, I reply firmly and authoritatively.
Why, she asks me earnestly and with a hint of defiance.
Because, it will give you a boo boo and that will hurt. So don't suck it, please!
Then in just one word, she communicates so much understanding and maturity. In the cutest, most compliant, resigned and wisest voice ever she replies, "O-tay", which is her cute way of pronouncing, OK.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dinner conversation

I like your hair, Mom says S.
I like yours too, I reply.
Maybe because you like me, says S wisely.
You're just like me, Mommy, D chimes in.

Who's a baby?

Sometimes I tell D she's a baby and she mocks cry for me. Or other times, she defends herself, "I AM NOT BABY! I AM BIG GIRL!!!" she screeches defiantly.
The other day, she smacked S in the back. S started crying and I told S to suck it up because D is just a baby and doesn't really know what she's doing.
D said to S in a mocking tone, "Yeah, I'm just a baby!"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Starting the day

My children are so different. When S wakes up, we never know if she's going to be in a good or bad mood. J peeked into her room and she was banging her foot repeatedly against the mattress - a sure sign of discontentment, irritability and her general state of blase. He played his cards right by giving her a trinket, which immediately lifted her mood.
D, on the other hand, I observed to be stirring on the bed by her stretching and soft grunts. So I start rubbing her forehead. She opens her eyes slightly. She then turns her whole body with great force, makes herself erect and shrieks at me with great delight, "MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY!"
She grabs my hand, "Come me!" and motions for me to go downstairs. I lose our grip and she yells at me, Hold my hand!
She is smiling the whole time.

Google food

Yesterday, the same generous Googler treated me and my husband to all the free food we could stuff in our face (and purse) at Google.
On the way over there, we were starving. I told J my stomach was growling. He was very excited that we would soon maximize our physical state.
When we got out of the subway, we were debating whether to exit on the NW or SW side. I saw a geeky guy make a beeline for the left and told J we should follow this obvious Googler. He thought it was ridiculous but I turned out to be right! We saw him scoot right into the Google building.
So in the media it was discussed that Google had cut down on employee perks. It was not obvious to me at all. But if you want specifics, here's what I observed to be changes this time vs. the heyday - the first point was told to me.
1. They've cut the hours slightly. Lunch is half an hour later at 11:30 and ends half an hour earlier. Dinner starts at 6:30, which seems reasonable.
2. I saw a sign by the Kosher food case that informed us that this food is intended for those on a Kosher diet. If you'd like to give it a try, wait until after dinner.
3. Exotic fruits like rambutan were not available this time. I did see lychee and possibly an ugli fruit. Otherwise, it was plain old bananas, apples and oranges.
4. Drinks were really cut down - instead of 3 dozen choices, you get 2 dozen.
Other than these minor changes, I did not see any other obvious cutbacks. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal. I ate: sushi, vegan lo mein, and other vegan delights (curried seitan, lentils, tofu, beans).
Right before I left, I swiped gum, fruit leather and a bag of Pirate Booty. J made out with a roll of lifesavers.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mixed message

This morning, I got out of bed late. It was a delicious and indulgent, because during the half hour of light sleep before one decides to get out of bed, I was cuddling with a thumb-sucking Daizy.

As soon as I got out of bed, she immediately popped out too. She ran to the bathroom and grabbed a cup. As she ran back to me, she asked for some water. I gave her some water and she thanked me in a sweet voice.

I gave her a big tight hug with a squeeze and she squealed with delight. I then asked her, "Do you want mommy to go to work or stay at home?" She said, "Stay home with me!" But seconds later she blurted out loudly and gleefully, "I WANT MONEY!!!!"

Monday, July 27, 2009

How to treat honkers?

Adding to my commuting woes is having to crossing a busy street to get to the train station. There's an official crosswalk, but waiting for the actual green light could mean waiting 2 full minutes or so, which is far too long for any commuter.
Many of us walk a few feet away from the crosswalk to the middle of the street and try our luck there. Some of the braver of us find an opening and then boldly walk to the middle of the street and stand on the double yellow line, waiting for the other side of the traffic to clear. Often times the on-coming traffic will slow down or stop. Today, I was one of the bold ones.
I crossed in the middle of street, away from the crosswalk and then waited at the double yellow lines. When there was a slight opening, a man and I decided to run across. I mostly made it safely across before I heard the horn honking and saw that the other guy almost got hit by the car who didn't slow down. He got really upset and looked like he wanted to throw his paper against the car. I'm not sure what the right thing to do is. I don't think it's right to spook crossers by honking or not slowing down. But I didn't think I should throw a rock or curse either.
All of this would probably go away if I lived in a small town. A friend of mine once remarked that he had spread open a road map in the middle of his steering wheel while stopped at a light in a small town. A few minutes later, he looked up and realized that the light had changed a few times. What shocked him was that the cars in the back of him did not honk.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fermat

Last night, I stayed up super late, past 1AM reading a book that recounted how Wiles, a Princeton University professor solved Fermat's last theorem.
Believe it or not, it was a quick and entertaining read. Of course I skipped most of the math parts and didn't try to do any of the equations myself.
Any way, it is a wonderful story. Fermat's last theorem was unsolvable for over 300 years. The theorem itself is really easy to understand but the proof is over 100 pages long and requires years of training, luck and genius. Wiles studied math for many years and sequested himself for 7 years before producing the bulk of the proof.

I found it hilarious that the mathematical community is gossip-y and political just like the rest of the world.
I felt bad for Galois, a math genius who tragically died in a duel at the tender age of 20! I'm glad that duels are now illegal.
Finally, I felt depressed that I'm pretty much washed up. If I was supposed to accomplish any good, it would've been done a while ago. Oh well.
And it was really cool to learn that infinity - whatever = infinity. Infinity / whatever = infinity. Infinity * whatever = infinity, blah blah blah.

Commuting anger, drama and etiquette

One of the shitty things about living in Scarsdale is overcrowded trains.
This morning like all weekday mornings, a large group of us wait for the train to arrive. When the doors open, we rush to file in like herded cows into the crowded train heading for Grand Central. Once you are standing in the train, the immediate task at hand is to find a seat. There's no guarantee that you'll get a seat but most likely you'll get something, even if it's one of those miserable and undesirable seats where you sit facing a complete stranger and your knees knock into each other's. (Maybe that should be a Craigslist section for singles looking to meet other singles.)
Any way, the woman in front of me requested to sit in an empty middle seat of a three seat arrangement that already had occupants in the "aisle" and "window" seat. Usually when this happens, the person on the "aisle" seat will get up and the seat requester can scoot into the middle seat. Sometimes, on rare occasions, the person in the aisle seat may actually scoot over and you can sit in the coveted aisle seat even though you were the last to the party. (Actually I'm bummed when this happens because I hate the aisle seat. The height of the aisle seat is low and I like to sink my whole body into the seat and lean my head and neck against it and fall into a drool-y sleep. This is not possible in the low back aisle seats - you have to sit up straight).

So anyway, this guy does not do one of the two possible options - doesn't get up to let her into the middle seat or scoot over. Instead he kinds of makes a fuss, which is nerve wracking. For whatever reason, every nano-second counts towards some kind of weird efficiency we're all striving after. Plus, any delay, no matter how minute, will only add to the waiting time of the person behind you who's trying to do the same thing, get a seat. And New Yorkers, even though we have a reputation for being rude, we are actually very polite when it comes to other people's time - we try very hard not to waste it. A few excrutiating nano-seconds pass and this guy still hasn't done the appropriate thing. He then scoots over like 3 inches - essentially taking up 1 3/4 seats. She decides to give up on this seat and probably feels humiliated. She passes him and walks further back to secure another seat.

I wanted to confront him. "Did you pay for two seats?" I wanted to say. Of course I said nothing but I've been seething since.

Anyway, what are you supposed to say to someone when you want the seat that they're blocking? It feels like a strange power dynamic. Why do I have to ask, as if to request permission to get an available seat? There should be a non-verbal sign like a cock to one side of the head that stands for move over, bacon. Instead I have to mumble, "Excuse me" or "Can I sit there?", etc. Oh and once somebody didn't move over, but motioned for me to cross over them to get into the seat. That's weird too. As I squeeze in this way, I'm sure to graze or touch them in some way. Hmmm..maybe that's a part of the ploy. Anyway, what's more polite, to face this rude person from the front or back? Or yell, "please us get up from that seat to save us from some uncomfortable social touching" or "do you really want me to bump into you? i have a communicable disease". It's really not fair and extremely rude for anyone blocking an empty seat next to them to have a power trip. Also hate the people who spread all of their belongings on empty seats.

Another shitty thing is being a petite woman. The chances are slim that I will be sitting next to an empty seat. An empty seat next to a small woman who doesn't smell is like sitting in first class but without the extra charges. If there's an empty seat next to me, I can almost feel the glee of any guy who ends up snagging it. Oh well. It can help for securing a seat for me...sometimes I'm really desperate and have to squeeze in between two fat people that only make 3/4 of a seat available.

Once when I was wearing a leg brace, I couldn't get someone to give up one of the handicapped seats on the bus. I felt so humiliated, I almost burst out into big sobbing tears right then and there.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

D as Goldilocks

About a week ago, I was lying down with D as she was going to sleep. She will always suck her left thumb furiously before going to bed. In fact, she probably sucks it all the time, which is why it's calloused, blistered and just really gross. So I've been trying to discourage her from doing it. For some reason, even though it's cracked, red and peeling, she still gets satisfaction from sucking it.

Anyway, I told her to try my thumb instead. I gave her my thumb and she started sucking on it. She thought it was really funny so she burst out laughing. After a few seconds she said to me, "No, this is not the right thumb, I need your left thumb." So I gave her my left thumb. She gave that a try for a few sucks and then concluded, "Your thumb's too big!" She promptly went back to sucking her bulbous, diseased left thumb.

Monday, July 6, 2009

American and Japanese genius

I discovered a brand new tasty snack today at the local Duane Reade - Pringles Stix (pictured above).

They're basically a genius knock-off of not one but two popular Japanese snacks, Pocky and Pretz. Glico should probably sue P&G for infringement. "Stix" even has the same "roasted" on a "grill" markings as Pretz!


Trivia - So Pocky and Pretz is made by the Japanese company Glico. They derived this name from the word glycogen. How cool is that? To name your company after the chemical name of sugar. I wonder if there's a company named after MSG?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

D is 2 years and one and a half months old.

D is growing, maturing and changing every day by leaps and bounds. That sounds so cliche but it's true.

The other day, in the morning, she was sitting on my lap and we were watching Blue Clues. I whispered softly to her that I had to go to work. Immediately, she bolted off my lap and ran towards the front door. I had no idea why she did this. I looked over and saw that she had quickly put on her shoes and then she said to me, "Mommy, I go work with you." It just broke my heart.

Last night, she was being difficult about going to bed. She said in rapid succession, "Don't wanna go sleep. Want to go downstairs and eat cereal." Wow, that's like three concepts in one utterance.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mystery solved!

If you don't want to spoil the surprise, then don't read this blog until you read the post before it.




My fairy godmother turned out to be a cute little thief that I work with. She was craving a bag of Doritos that was sitting on my desk so she decided to take the bag and replace it with Pocky. I was none the wiser, having totally forgotten about the Doritos.

I'm still glowing from winning Beyonce concert tickets for this Sunday! Woo hoo!

Sugar Daddy!

I don't know who my mysterious fairy godparent is but thank you and I love you.


This morning, when I got into the office, someone left a wonderful surprise for me.
It was a package of strawberry Pocky sitting coyly on top of my desk. No note, nothing but good yummy pink stuff. My favorite flavor. How did she/he know?




I was going to have oatmeal and fruit for breakfast but instead, I ripped right into my Pocky. I am now happy and fully satisfied with my palm oil, artificial flavors, trisodium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate. In all seriousness though, I am surprised that Pocky isn't so bad for you. Only 60 mg of sodium and 11g of sugar. The surprise fact is that each serving has 10% your daily value of calcium and it actually contains real strawberry in the ingredients!

HURRAY!




Monday, June 8, 2009

Isn't this so typical?

Josh taking what he wants, despite any opposition.

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Daisy Monroe


S Money




Ears and eyes behind my head even while sleeping

Why aren't you wearing your pants, I ask my daughter even though I know the answer.
Because Daisy wet them she said.
I knew she was lying.
S, I know you wet your pants, didn't you, I confronted her.
Mom, you heard that?! she said shocked but also with a smile.
Even though I was taking a nap, I was someone awake for the part when she wet herself.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Quintessential Josh

"Why don't you have an umbrella!" I chastise my husband as we stand under a canopy in front of a store.
"My jacket's waterproof," he shrugs nonchalantly and starts pulling on his hood.
I am fretting like crazy because the rain is coming down moderately hard and I know how I hate for my feet to get soaked. I always feel so poor and pitiful when I'm caught in the rain without an umbrella.
"Come back with me to the office," I beg. "I have another umbrella and you can take this one."
He's pretty stubborn and refuses.
I rack my brain for strategies and then what I come up with is just pure genius.
"Look," I said. "My umbrella is pretty shitty." I point to the space where there should be a handle but it's missing.
All of a sudden he's like a kid in a candy store. He gets really giddy and agrees that my umbrella is shitty. Ultimately he agrees to take my shitty umbrella.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Kids say the darndest things...

Last night I asked if J could give the kids a bath because I felt so exhausted. It was tough for him because they're used to me doing it. Both girls crawled into bed with me. J decided to drag poor D first into the bath by her feet. As she screamed and cried down the hall and into the bathroom, I tried to encourage S to follow her. "Go take a bath with D" I said.

"Why?" asked S. Then she answered her own question. "Because you might trowed up on me?"

This totally shocked me and I hope she doesn't repeat it to anyone else but I simply replied, "Yea". She rushed out of that bed into the tub in a split second.

I relayed her bizarre statement to J and he told me another bizarre statement made by S. He asked her to do something or whatever and she of course asked why. And then proceeded to answer her own question, "Because you might hit me?"

J and I have never hit or threw up on our kids, I don't even know how they come up with this stuff.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

More swine flu please

I gingerly walk in to my husband's old room to check on my daughter. I find her head resting on her grandfather's lap as he tenderly strokes her hair.

"I don't think she has a fever anymore," he tells me.

And I guess because she's been given so many treats and lots of special attention when we discovered she had a fever, she responds with, "Mom, may I have a fever?"

Saturday, May 16, 2009

These made me chuckle

This morning, I groggily and grudgingly walk downstairs from my bedroom, even though my kids have been awake for 45 minutes.

I say good morning to them. D gives me a grin and is obviously happy to see me. S doesn't really pay any attention to me.

I go into the living room and start sitting down. "I'm sitting down," I announce to them.

"Why?" asks S.

"Because I want to relax, " I tell her.

"From all that sleeping?" S says super sarcastically.

Last night, during bedtime, I waited for S outside of her room. D was sitting on my lap. As usual, she was noisy and I had to quiet her down so that S doesn't get riled up. Shhhh! I say sternly to her. She continues with her babbling and loudly. So I put my hand over her mouth.

She starts licking my hand! Yuck!

I shush her again, still no desired results. I put my hand over her mouth again, this time a little more cautiously. I guess this must be some kind of undocumented toddler reflex, because she licks it again, as if on cue.

Shhhhhhh! This time I'm getting really angry. Her response? She starts chanting a soft mantra, in a whisper, "Beee quuuuiet. Beee quuuuiet. Beee quuuuiet."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Why?!

"Oh, S, it looks like you lost your earring, " I remark.
"Why, Mom?" she asked. She's in this period of asking why about everything and every situation.
"I guess it must've fallon off and you didn't notice."
"Oh" She was kind of crestfallen.
"Yea, I'm sorry, we're not going to find it."
"I want to be a grown up!" she exclaims.
This time, I'm the one asking, why. "Why?" I said.
"So I won't lose things." she said wisely.

Here's another conversation where any response from me gets a "why?" from her, without missing a beat.
"I want some water," she yelled from the back.
"Want some wader!" her sister chimes in, equally loud and rude sounding.
"Ask nicely...and it would be nice if you gave it to your sister, D first." we remind her.
"Why?"
"Because it would be a nice thing to do."
"Why?"
"Because you're a nice person."
"Why?"
"Because it makes the world a better place."
"Why?"
"Because people appreciate kindness"
"Why?"
"Because it makes them feel good."
"Why?"
At this point, I'm running out of ideas so I start repeating myself.
"Because being nice is good for the world."
"Why am I asking why a lot?" she said an introspective but also comical kind of way.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dirty money

Wow, my hypochondriac, germ-phobic mother was right about money being dirty. Read this short article, Can You Catch Swine Flu From Money?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Trouble

"What are the rules of Kidz Club?" I prod S.
Kidz Club is an activity we send her to twice a week and they work on social skills - like turn taking and being polite, etc.

"No hitting!" she says. I don't remember this as one of the official rules, but I play along as definitely I agree you shouldn't hit.

"And..." I reply. "What are the other rules of Kidz Club?" I'm waiting for S to say something like Look into someone's eyes when you talk to them. Or use the person's name when you're talking to them.

Instead I get this...

"No biting!"
"Right...and what else S....what are the other rules?" I'm getting a little exasperated now by these outbursts of obvious social no-no's. So, of course she has to take me over the edge with a societal no-no:

"And no killing!" she yells.

Sheesh. I'm raising a complete punk. Hopefully not a socio-path though....

More time for returns

I just bought $5 worth of Mega Millions tickets. The drawing is late tomorrow night and the jackpot is a whopping $220 mil!

If I win, I guess I wouldn't have to work and would have more time to do returns from my bad decision making from online shopping or from impulsive brick and mortar purchases.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sesame Tofu

I made a dish that seemed to be popular among a few vegetarians and a baby at our Seder gathering. I was asked for a recipe and here it is, although I'm totally winging it. If you're going to try it, feel free to contact me with any questions, as I'm an intuitive cook and don't measure anything. This recipe is really easy, delicious and hard to mess up.

Ingredients:
Tofu (you can even mix firm with semi firm or soft or even silken (perfect for babies and old folks with no teeth!)-- whatever works, personally, I prefer the softer - these are easier found in Asian markets, as I've noticed places like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods often stocks firm or extra firm.)
Soy sauce (I prefer Kikoman brand)
Sugar (white granulated)
Sesame oil (you can substitute any vegetable oil (corn, canola, veg, etc.), I don't recommend olive but in a pinch I'm sure it's fine)
Sesame seeds (optional - seriously it is even though it's called "sesame" tofu. Sesame to me is kinda of like a flavor and color - ppl are expecting a sweetish kind of brown sauce.)
Scallions (optional)
Corn starch
Onions
Water

Cut up the tofu in cubes and set aside. Cut up the onions in small pieces and set aside. Finely dice the scallions if you're using as a garnish (makes it look a little nicer, otherwise tofu in brown sauce tends to look like you know what) and set that aside. Heat the oil in a pan. Stir fry the chopped onions for a few minutes. Then put in the tofu, stir fry a litle and then add in the sesame seeds. Keep stirring the whole time (makes me feel useful). Add some soy sauce and sugar to taste - season it a little too much as you will then add water to create some liquid. In a small finger bowl, use mix together cornstarch (2 tsp?) and a little water, making sure the cornstarch is "melted" and mixed well with the water by using your fingers. When the liquid and tofu is super hot (boiling over), slowly add in the cornstarch and water mixture and stir as you add. Continue until you run out of the mixture. You can turn off the heat after it's all cooked and mixed through - the cornstarch mixture simply thickens it so it becomes gravy/sauce like.

When you're all done, sprinkle the finely diced scallions on top, if you're using that.

If you want, you can add ground meat to it. Cook the ground meat first with the onions. And if you want something spicy, forget the tofu, use ground meat, all else being the same and then add in Korean Hot bean paste (and other chopped veggies if you want), serve on hot white rice and a fried egg - it's kind of like bi bim bap.

Instant gratification for some

Last night I bought myself some Mother's day presents from Josh. I'm looking forward to when they come in the mail.

When it comes to consumption, my husband and I are definitely not two peas in the pod. For one, anything new I get, I want to use right away. I become a deranged individual, looking for ways to remove the tag and even thinking of biting as a solution, if scissors are not available at the counter so that walk out of stores with the item on, be it shoes, clothes or accessories.

My dear hubby on the other hand will keep items in his closet for months, weeks or even years, "preserving" them. He once pulled out a really ratty looking and probably smelly (everything he owns is musty) t-shirt when I requested that he put on something better. I gave a disapproving look and sneered. "What?!" is his response. "This is brand new!" Then he adds gleefully, "I've had it for 14 years!" And before I can continue with verbal attacks he beams, full of pride, "And it's Calvin Klein!"

At which point, I have to burst out laughing. CK was maybe exclusive in the 80s, but in today's world, you can get CK at Costco and it's all made it China anyway!

Friday, April 24, 2009

4 grandparents?!

"That's right. So you have 4 grandparents. 2 grandmas and 2 grandpas," I said to S as we were riding in the car, on the way to tot shabbat.
"Who's my other grandma? There's one at home," she replied.
"Well, Baba is your grandma too, even though you don't call her grandma. And Pa is your grandfather. And your other grandfather lives in Thailand."
A moment of silence follows my explanations as she mulls these facts.
"Who's my other mom?!" she asked.
I chuckle..."You only have one mom and one dad," I told her.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It wouldn've been enough if she just went to school

S has been out of school for a week and a half now and I think we were all looking forward to her going back. This morning, I was woken up by a lovely rendition of a verse from Dayenu.
Her sweet voice softly sang:
Ilu ho-tsi, ho-tsi-a-nu, Ho-tsi-a-nu mi-Mitz-ra-yim, Ho-tsi-a-nu mi-Mitz-ra-yim, Da-ye-nu!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Life, death and lies x2

Poor S! Yesterday when I got home from work she told me in a terrified voice that she didn't want to die. I tried to comfort her with the truth ... that it happens to everyone and that it's nothing to be afraid of or to think about. And that it wouldn't happen to her in a very long time. But none of that worked, so I resorted to lies.

Then it happend again. Just before getting into bed, she broke out into big sad tears and sobbed that she didn't want me to die because then she'll have no mommy. And that "I don't want my family to die". And then she started naming everyone she could think of, D, me, J, her grandparents, etc. and that she didn't want them to die either.

She only calmed down after I told her once again that no one was going to die.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Kiddie quotes

The other morning, when I got out of bed, I got a very funny surprise. D pulled my pants away from my waist and asked, "Poopy in diaper?" I felt the draft and started laughing...she imitated something I subject her to all the time - viewing her backside and checking for poop!

My friend James is really ingratiating himself with my kids. He appeals to all their desires and demands, like picking them up and throwing them around as often as they ask. Both S and D are totally in love. The other night, before J left, S said to him, "I'm going to keep you". "Don't go home, James." This morning D wouldn't let me put her diaper on. She's been struggling with the simplest of tasks like that, it's really been a pain. So I said to her, "Can James put your diaper on?" She said, "Yah!" But of course, I ended up putting it on, since James was nowhere in sight. Every parent needs a fun and energetic James to play with their kids.

Last night, D was giving me the hardest time about going to sleep. She kept whining and crying for no reason. So I resorted to one of the few tricks that often work. I asked her in a baby talk voice in Thai, "Gow lung?", which means, "Scratch your back?". Usually, even if she's screaming at the top of her lungs, asking her this question will make her stop in her tracks and say, "Yah!" in a normal voice without a hint of whininess. It's pretty incredible to see the quick transition in action. So after she said Yah!, I started to scratch her back, then she would command, "Again, again!" if I slowed down or stopped. Then when I start again, she'd express her approval, "I like it, I like it." It's so funny!

New project - toddler haggadah

I can't find any good and free haggadahs suitable for toddlers on the Internet. I'm going to make it my two year project.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Things I hate paying for

Shipping
Handling
Parking
Late fees
Credit card surcharge
Registration fees
Anything non-refundable
Drinks (includes alcoholic, soft ones and water)
Dinner when lunch specials are available
Bowling shoes rental
Gum at retail (instead of warehouse/club price)

And I wish I didn't have to pay extra for lactose free milk. I think it was priced more competitively in Hawaii where there are more of my lactose-intolerant brethen.

What's good for the goose

"I have to poop!" S announces loudly. So begins a frantic rush to the bathroom to help her on the potty. After she is safely ensconced on the throne, she will look at me and say firmly, "I need some privacy, please." That's my cue to close the door and wait outside for her.
"I'm done!" she yells. That's my cue to go back in and wipe her.

Last night, I was using the bathroom and S barges in, something frequently done by both S and D. "S," I said. "I need some privacy, please close the door."

"I promise I won't look, Mom. I will turn around," she says, as she starts walking away. Since there were guests milling about in the house, I yelled after her. "No, please come back and close the door!" But my request fell on deaf ears.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

When the man is in charge

"Can you feed D at 11:30 and put her down for a nap at 12 so I can continue my workout?" I ask my husband a little frantically from coatroom in the gym. I'm a little nervous because I don't know if he can do it or maybe I won't be satisfied with how he does it.
"Yea, sure," he says a little dismissively like, I don't need instructions from you for such routine stuff.

I had a super great workout, sore everywhere. I get home and walk in the door at 11:50. Both children are crying, one of them is completely bottomless and both of them tell me that they're hungry. Poor little D is crying and her nose is runny. Of course my husband is nowhere in sight. I wipe D's nose and assure her that I'm going to make her lunch. She tries to calm down but she's hysterically hungry.

In a mad haze, I start assembling the ingredients for both their lunches. They are crying the whole time and that makes me both nervous and motivated. Within 5 furious minutes, I'm less frazzled. It's peaceful again as both girls begin to eat their lunch.

After D is done, I put her down for a nap. Then I eat my lunch. The husband asks if I can cook up some chicken for him and I agree to do it. He was a big help in cutting up the onions and slicing the chicken, albeit into pieces a little too thick for my taste.

While cooking up the chicken S interrupts me a minimum of 4 times for something or other. Eventually I can enjoy the fruits of my labor. 4 lbs of mexican inspired chicken cooked up that he can add some pepper jack cheese and either make a nice wrap or have it with some chips. I make up my mind to donate at least 1.5lb of it to a friend I'll see tomorrow morning.

Then I noticed that the door off the cabinet in the island is hanging off and away from its hinge. It's completely broken! It looked like a 300lb gorilla ripped it off in one fell swoop or... the signature work of Dazee Starr.

A few minutes later, I go over to the dining table and notice that two of the leather chairs have big crayon circles all over them. "Did you even watch these kids?!" I question the husband. With a sigh, I clean it up. I could feel my sore triceps working as I work to scrub off the stains. Luckily they come off reasonably easily.

Friday, March 27, 2009

More quotes

It's very dark and I'm trying to get my kids to bed. "Shhhh!" I shush S in a stern voice.
She replies with a mantra that I've heard before in a very earnest voice, "I have to work in college".

"Wow!" I remark to S. "I think that's the best tattoo ever!"
"Yes," she agreed. "Sometimes the others are bad. This one is the goodest."

"S, let me wash your hands!" For some strange reason, she held back one of her hands. I got very annoyed and didn't understand why she recoiled. Then she explained that washing that hand would wash her tattoo away.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quotes from the evening

"Dis! Dis!" D tells at me and points towards a pile of papers on the desk. I have no idea what she wants and totally dismiss her request. I try to distract her with something else. "This?" I ask, giving her something clearly not in her field of vision. "Dis! Dis!" she yells louder, clearly distressed that I'm not going to give her what she asked for. "What?!" I said. "What do you want?!"
"Dis, dis, dis! Mommy! Mommy!" she repeats.
I look carefully at the pile of random pieces of papers. Among it is an old university ID card with my picture! Hence, "Mommy!"
It's so funny to see will and purpose expressed at a young age. And I thought I didn't look like that any more but if an almost 2 year old knows it's me, I guess it is what I look like still. Big hair and a terrible smile!


"Are you an alligator again? Your arms are so dry!"
"No, I'm not an alligator," she whines. "I don't wanna be an alligator! If I be an alligator, I'm going to eat you. Then I will have no mommy!"

After we've said our goodnights and we're lying in the dark, S keeps talking and blathering on. "Shhhh!" I shush her. "Stay quiet or I have to leave!" I threatened.
In a few moments, I adjust my position and S brags, "I fall asleep already."
I'm about to say something to contradict her but she preempts me by continuing to talk. "Don't talk to me Mom," she warns. Then she lectured me, "If you talk to me, you might be boddering me."

Soon all was quiet on the home front. I had two peacefully sleeping children. So I snuck out of the room and came downstairs and started this blog. What I really should do now is go to the gym.......

In total awe

S's therapist had me in total awe and admiration. He got S to put on her shoes, pants, shirt, brush her teeth and open the front door all by herself. And really fast, in a quick manner as if she was running a race to save her life. All because she wanted to put her hands into a sticky cornstarch and water mixture that he had dumped pieces of plastic tchotkes in. Brilliant!
I was so proud of S. I didn't even know she was capable of doing those things, the way she would complain and resist, dragging on getting dressed in the morning. Guess we need to bribe her with cornstarch, water and plastic. Works so much better than M&M's or chocolate balls!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Get this child away from porclean

I'm so amused and impressed by what D did today. In less than about 15 seconds she:
1. Opened up more than twenty windows on my computer. Some of the windows hung and a few hours later, they are still hung and it seems like the only way to solve this problem is a reboot.
2. She took a pen and started banging really hard on the keyboard, if I didn't take it away, something was definitely going to break. After I took away her weapon, she started banging with all her might all over the keyboard, like a non-stop-gone-hay-wire jackhammer.
3. She pushed all the contents off the table - papers, pen, binder clips, etc. on the floor.
4. She grabbed a lens holder and dumped out the lenses again and again.
5. She found a packet of seeds and I saved her from dumping them out in the nick of time.

All this in 15 seconds!

I'm totally astounded by how she breaks everything.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Elated and depressed

I was so elated today because the hubby and I decided to join Equinox together. And we had a great workout tonight.
Right before I left I went on the scale. Egads! That was a stupid thing to do.
I am still 126. I don't get it.
Two weeks into my diet and I haven't lost any weight yet.
Confession: I had two lunches and two dinners today.

Kids say the darndest things

It's so amazing how capable kids are at a young age to repeat words and actions.

I remember S at 8 months went around saying, "Bullshit" for a full day because she heard me say it to her dad.

The other day, little D was holding her lovie and said, "I love you, Teddy". She then proceeded to kiss her toy. Awwww....Or she runs up to me, wraps her chubby arms as tight as she can around my leg and says with a big grin, "I gonna put you in gulag!".

S has been known to say, "I'm going to kill you" or "Stupid" or "Shut up" or the ever popular "Poopy" and the sinister "You can't come to my house". That last one I think she made up herself. As well as "I'm going to throw a fire on you!"

And then the sweet side of S, "You're my best friend" etc.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

No one to blame

It's 8:30 and dark, as we leave a friend's house with the kids. It's been a long day of fun and eating, especially for S, who indulged in all kinds of sweets.
"My tummy hurts," she says. "Take my cookies away so I don't eat them," she tells Josh in a mature voice, handing over her goody bag.
"Tomorrow I'm not going to eat junky food," she promises. Then she tries to find a scapegoat. "Who gave me all this junky food?" she asks.
"It doesn't matter who gave it to you, you ate it, so it's your fault," I said.
"Did myself give me the treats?" she questions.

Yogi baby

D is lying down on the bed while I'm fumbling with the diaper. "Help, help, help," she says. As I am about to put her diaper on, she lifts up her hips and tush into the air as if she's doing "bridge".
"Wow! Thanks!" I said. "That was a big help!"
She weighs about 28 lbs, 3 lbs less than her sister, who's 2 years older.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Carrot soup and the AIG tax

I found this email in my inbox this morning from the hubby.

Subject: "The people are finding their voice"

Body: "I think. A blog might be in order:

We're closer to a revolution than I've ever seen in this country. The people are angry, and politicians will look to appease them. Whether rational or not, they will need some appeasement. Hopefully some good comes of it like the historically politically difficult healthcare reform.
The people are angry, and are starting to care enough to demand some of what they felt powerless to effect in the past. They are finding their voice."

My response: "U wrote this?"

His response: "yes I did. Now I'm going to heat up a quart of your carrot soup for breakfast. "

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I did it again

Made 6 qts of delicious carrot soup!
I froze one quart. I think my family can eat 2-3 quarts. So I need to give away 1-2 quarts.

Good things

This blog post is my mini-version of a favorite Martha Stewart Living magazine feature, a collection of random tips. Although this version is only about cooking.

1. The typical meatballs (for spaghetti and meatballs) recipe calls for meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, seasonings (salt, pepper, oregano, basil, majoram, etc.), etc. I don't always use eggs - I can take it or leave it, it doesn't make or break a recipe. My best secrets for meatballs: use a little brown sugar (or even plain white granulated will do), put in a little tomato sauce and food process tons of garlic and onions into a watery pulp and combine ingredients in a large bowl well. Once combined, form them into balls. THIS YIELDS THE MOST DELICIOUS AND BEST MEATBALLS EVER, after 8 years of experimentation. Any ground meat will do, turkey and chicken will yield more tender meatballs than beef, but they are also hard to keep together and form into a ball. You can also mix meats. Turkey with beef or beef with ground chicken works well and taste good.
2. Before having that navel orange, grab your peeler, make some zest and then freeze. I find navel oranges make the best zest. I got really mad at myself tonight for eating a navel orange without making zest - a lost opportunity!
3. I learned this from a Rachel Ray magazine - to easily peel garlic, microwave it for 10 seconds. Works like a charm, peel comes right off! I wonder if any nutrients are lost though...
4. The best roast chicken ever: combine tons of grated ginger, finely chopped garlic, orange zest a little brown sugar and soy sauce. Take a whole chicken, separate the skin from it and rub some butter between the breasts and skin. Salt between the breasts and skin and all over the outside. Peel a tangerine and squeeze the juice over and inside the chicken. Put the leftover tangerine (with mashed flesh and peel) inside the cavity. Spread your sauce of ginger et. all between the breasts and skin. And then all over and under the chicken. Bake at 500 for 20 minutes. And then 350 for 40 minutes. This yielded the most delicious and tender 4lb chicken for me. I just had it tonight. YUMMMMM!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Give me a break!

A few snippets from the NEW YORK AP:
"Federal prosecutors have notified a New York court that they also want the assets of Bernard Madoff's wife. In a court filing, the government said it will seek the $7 million Manhattan penthouse as well as another $62 million that Ruth Madoff had sought to keep.
Madoff's lawyers had indicated earlier that they planned to claim Ruth Madoff was entitled to keep as much as $69 million in assets.
They said the assets were not part of Madoff's fraud and that they were in her name."

Doh, where do you think she got those assets from?! I'm pretty sure there's a high probability they were ill-gotten from the scheme they were running.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Diet update

Yesterday was a pathetic performance for my diet. I ate two lunches, two dinners and didn't work out (even though it was time to). I blamed it on D for staying up late, thus throwing my timing off, causing me to eat late which prevented me from working out.
I'm not off to a good start this morning either. We just ran out of my favorite breakfast cereal so I have nothing (healthy) for breakfast. When I got to work, I started eating the only nourishment I could find, Saltines. I had two of them, ick!
Wish me luck that I don't go across the street for a decadent sausage, eggs, cheese and hash browns.
But then again, it is Shabbat. I know when I get home tonight, I will tear into that deliciously dough-y and sweet challah.
J says in order to be on a diet you have to cut out carbs. But I won't even try to do that. I think reducing all portions is more manageable and hopefully, reasonably efficient.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sharing is caring

"Heah..." S says, handing over a small handful of found booty (cheerios) to her sister.
"You can have some. But that's it. Or else you will get diarrhea," she warns her sister.

Conversation at Trader Joe's

I told S to let me wear her pink plastic ring bc I was afraid she
might lose it in the store. Surprisingly she handed over her ring
agreeably and remarked, "You wear my ring cuz you're married to me."

In the parking lot S said to me, I like cheese so much, like mice. "

I feel like I have to go around with a tape recorder. Gems are
frequently dropping left and right.

Wonder what goes on in their heads

Last night before she went to bed, S says to me, "Mom, wanna know why I love you?"
"Why?"
"Cuz you're my friend."
So I tell her, "Do you want to know why I love you? Because you're my daughter and you're very special to me."
Not to be outdone, she replies, "You're my daughter too, Mom!"

This morning, she was so excited as she jumped into me and said, "Mom, I love you in the world!"
And I said, "Aren't you missing something in that sentence?"
Then she exuberantly replied, "Mom, I love you on the top of the world!"

Day two

Day 2 of the diet and I think I only need to undo two buttons instead of the buttons and the zipper on my size 6 pants. YAY!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Couple that loses together stays together

Or 300 lbs of looooooooooooooooooove...............

My husband has agreed to go on a diet and weight loss plan with me. The first step is the dreaded weigh-in. So we got on the scale together, held hands and closed our eyes briefly.

294.6
296.5
299.3
295.6

We did it 4 times and those were the results. I guess our scale is a little funky.

Any way, we're going to work as a team so we won't know how much each member is pulling their weight, hehehehehe.

I think we're going to try to eat less, eat healthier and exercise more. I haven't decided how frequently to do the weighings. Two co-workers told me that they weigh themselves daily, it was the only way to stay disciplined. When I heard that, I scoffed. But look where I am now.

Sadie's husband, Haman

Last night, before she went to sleep, she told me again she loved her husband, Haman.
And she was going to work on turning him good. But if that didn't work, then she was going to get a whale to eat him up. And then with her mouth wide open, she made a loud, grunting eating sound.

Extra Recession Pounds (but not the good, ie monetary kind)

It's 3:30 and I'm dying for a snack but I have to control myself and find other ways to stave off my pre-conditioned all-day hunger because as of now, I'm on the first diet of my life. How did I get here? I don't normally like to talk about my weight but tough times call for super transparency, so here goes.

Starting around last year, every time I saw a picture of myself, it was unusually unflattering or let me blunt, I thought I looked fat. Either my face seemed puffy or my behind looked rather large. I kept thinking it was a bad angle, or poor sleep, or a poorly planned outfit, or blamed some other temporary, external factor. I was really so creative and generous with myself! And the few times I got myself on a scale, it was somewhat of a surprise. First it was 118lbs. I thought, hey not bad, 5lbs above my pre-pregnant/wedding weight, I can live with that and wear it respectably. Then it climbed up to 122. And I thought, oh I'm getting my period, it's all this water. In my mind, I really weighed 118, the "acceptable" weight. So the scale must be broken and my dear husband corroborated with this story (if you're reading honey, I hate to tell you but our scale is not broken). I totally ignored all the signs that I had fallen into a fat trap and believe me there were plenty. Just the other week, I weighed myself on the "broken" scale again and it read "126". Whoa, I thought. The scale is super wrong, we have to find some way to return it. I was in complete denial. Then yesterday, I took my kids to the doctor and did a weigh in for myself. 126. Whoa, that must be wrong I thought. I was still in denial. My dear husband also corroborated with this story, thinking it said he was heavier than he thought he was too. But sometime after the doctor visit, it started hitting me like a ton of bricks. Two scales gave the same weight reading and I think I look fat from recent photos... So I went through some old photographs from 2 years ago until now. I couldn't deny that starting around mid/late last year, I started to look like the Stay-puft marshmallow man. I must have known on some level because I didn't put up photos of myself on Facebook. And then I remembered that my size 4 pants were getting tight so I moved up to my size 6's. When this happened, I blithely told myself that my pants had shrunken from poor washing/drying techniques (*begin rant or wrath on poor mother or husband*). Then, I couldn't fit into my skinny jeans. Damn them for shrinking, I thought, casting them to the back of the closet without nary a thought that I was actually expanding. And alas and alack, now, the final blow, even my size 6's have gotten really snug...after lunch today, I wanted to unbutton them so badly. I may have to move to size 8 or maybe even (God forbid!) my maternity clothes!
I don't know how I'm going to do this, but I need to lose the extra 8lbs. I'm eating 5 large meals a day and like Pavlov's dog or a drug addict, I NEED all those meals. I can't believe I was totally blindsided by the 8lbs. Do I cut down to 5 smaller meals or 3 large meals? Any advice? Haaaalp!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Cause of and medicine for pain

I think one of the signs that my children are getting older will be a full day without a single spill. At the end of today, before we start to brush our teeth, take a bath and begin our nighttime routine, a whole cup of milk is spilled. It's all over the place and I get so frustrated. I grab a dish towel that I think is ready for the wash anyway and begin to vigorously wipe up the floor. And of course, my children think it's so funny. They're trying to foil me as they walk all over the spills, spreading the wetness and creating an even bigger mess. I have to keep them away as I try to get the floor clean. The whole time I'm gritting my teeth with annoyance. And then, I feel some wiggly bodies jumping, pounding and kind of sliding off me. Because I'm down on my hands and knees, my children take the opportunity to play "horsey" with me. I can't help but burst out laughing and my bad mood is lifted.

And probably another sign that my children are growing up is the moment I don't have to worry about pens or markers left unattended on low surfaces.

Only so much she can take

"My tummy!" Sadie yells a little louder, repeating what she said earlier to her grandfather, who's a little hard of hearing.
"Your cousin?!" says Pa.
"No, my tummy!" she yells even louder.
"What?" says Pa, asking for more clarification.
Now she yells at the top of her lungs, "MY TUMMY!!!!"
And he says, "Your cousin?"
She's finally had it with him and gives her a piece of her mind, reprimanding him with the ultimate conversation killer, "Pa, you're poopy!"

A real sense of humor

"Who do you love?" asks my sister. My sister often likes to ask for validation from my children.
"My mom only!" says Sadie defiantly, fully aware of what my sister is soliciting.
"Who else?" prods my sister.
"And my dad, too," she says with a mischievous look.
"And who else?"...my sister is not going to give up.
And of course, my daughter is a total punk so she declares, "Haman"
My in laws are at the table and they're shocked.
What did Haman do, Sadie, someone asks.
She replies matter of factly, "He killed the Jews."
And decides she's going to one up herself.
"I love my mommy, my daddy and Haman, my husband."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Random quotes from today

"Mom, pick me up!" commands my daughter.
"Why?"
"Cuz I'm the boss!" she responds.

At midnight, Sadie wakes up to tell us she has to pee. We are so proud that she didn't wet her pull up so we whoop it up and tell her so. Her face is all scrunched up because she's really tired and her eyes haven't made the adjustment to the change in lighting yet.
"I want to give you a high five!" she blurts loudly, even though she's obviously drowsy, and her face is still all scrunched up.

Right before she goes back to sleep, she turns to me and says, "Mom, every day I love you cuz you're my best friend."

Awwww...she just melts my heart and fills it with joy.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Midtown lunch joys and woes

I work on 47th and 5th. I don't like to venture far for lunch. Unless I'm meeting someone for lunch, I try to keep the transaction brisk. So I restrict my lunch options to the businesses clustered on 47th st. between 5th and Madison.
I usually end up going to Blue Flowers, which is only across the street. The short review: fast, lots of choices, tasty, generous portions and cheap(ish) - can't compare to Chinatown, of course.
The long review: They have excellent breakfast and lunch options. Plus they are very quick and efficient. For breakfast, they do lovely made to order eggs and they have a good choice of breads, rolls, etc. For lunch, my hubby likes their burritos (a good deal at $6.95, and way better tasting than the yuckier ones at Qdoba and Cavonberry. Hubby gets the vegetarian version, while I highly recommend the spicy beef. No extra charge for guac. *Doing victory dance*.) while I generally go for the hot entrees. As far as hot entrees goes - the roasted 1/2 chicken is to die for, jerk chicken pretty good (kind of lemony), pecan encrusted chicken awesome (but very salty, I get extremely thirsty after but it's generally worth the torture), teriyaki beef brisket, salmon, sesame chicken and chicken with broccoli very good. I've nevered tried the always-available chicken cutlet, chicken parm and cajun chicken (which looks like the chicken cutlet with orange-colored cheese melted on it). So on a daily basis, I get one of the hot entrees mentioned and add two sides (usually rice with steamed vegetables) and the price is 7.95 for chicken, 8.95 for beef and 9.95 for salmon dishes. Oh how can I forget that for the days my hot entrees aren't available, there are a few other choices. There's a neat little section in the back where you can get Korean and Japanese inspired fare that's decent. The bi bim bap (don't order it if you're Korean) is good - request it with brown rice and get the beef version, so are so soba noodle soups (don't ever order shrimp tempura, you will be hungry, sad and definitely regretting paying extra for only 2 pieces of floured covered skinny-ass previously frozen shrimps) and the "sushi" is OK (good deal on the cooked salmon roll - only $4.95 for a big portion). Finally, they make a delicious whole wheat brick oven pizza. Mmmmm.
Now for the complaints. I cannot believe how bad service is here. From the middle (as the Asian guy in the back of the store who prepares the "Asian" fare is really nice and friendly) of the store to the front, only assholes work there. (This probably doesn't need any mentioning, but I'm sure this wouldn't apply to any well-endowed, friendly, provocatively-dressed women.) I've gotten into a few verbal altercations with all of them about the stupidest things and have many times stopped myself from getting into more hostile confrontations. And this is coming from a person who doesn't like to speak up about these things. Any way, if I had better options, I'd drop them like a hot flaming potato. I cannot believe how terrible the customer service is and how clueless the employees are about what service means.
Today, I re-discovered Cafe Metro. This will become my new go-to place when I can't deal with bad service. But I'll have to eat less...
They don't rush you like their Type-A-got-ants-in-my-pants-and-I'm-going-to-give-them-to-you-too counterparts - the Blue Flowers and Hale+Hearty ilk (BTW, it usually costs me $9 or more for lunch there and I'm still hungry). The fare is leaning towards being marketed as "gourmet". I deeply enjoyed my organic black bean soup with spicy cajun chicken pressini (heated/toasted, yum!) for $7.49, including a bottle of water or soda. Best of all, I discovered that you can order online for today, tomorrow and the next day and it's cheaper than going in the store!. The website is http://www.cafemetryny.com/ My only complaint is that my lunch was kind of small compared to my regular gorge of gluttony at Blue Flowers.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wanted: Chatty husband

Can't believe I didn't win the lottery! I was so sure it was going to be me.

On another note, I'm about to embark on a litany of complaints.
I don't like it when my husband stays out late - I'm always suspicious he's doing something he's not supposed to be doing. But I can get over that, what really annoys me is that when he comes home, he makes no comments about his outing. All I get are silence and maybe some smiles. I'm interested to hear all the details, the feelings, the opinions or whatever about the experience. I know he must have chatted while he was out, it's not fair to be all chatted out when you come home. I wish he could be more expressive. He is above chatting, complimenting, bad-mouthing or gossiping. He doesn't Facebook. He has no blog. He doesn't talk about other people's motivations in life or how egos get into the way...etc. etc. What up with that?!

Now if I were to ask him the best way to solve an equation or some brain teaser, he'd probably keep talking until I fall asleep. I just don't get it. I'm interested in talking about every day life, feelings and people but he gets excited by logic, facts and figures.

Back to his reticence after late social outings, it only adds to the suspicion that he was doing something he wasn't supposed to be doing! Oh and I hate it when I overhear him or someone else that's usually not chatty being chatty with someone else. I think, why isn't this person chatty with me?!

And the ultimate complaint that I have -- I have to admit that I love jumping to conclusions and making accusations. I like it when the person I've accused, gets all riled up and denies the accusations, going into a heated outpouring of reasons or justifications. My husband, what does he do when he's accused of vile things? He might smile at you. He might ask for clarification of an irrelevant detail (this has to me the most irritating of all - totally ignoring the accusation and the point of the diatribe altogether). Most likely he would just be silent. It's so aggravating! I think it's totally disrespectful to remain calm when someone in your presence is excited. He did say to me once that the person who hotly denies is most likely guilty. I still think that remaining mum doesn't reek of innocence to me.

Finally, when I go out, I always come home flush, eager and excited to share stories. What a fun, lovely, humble, chatty and loyal wife I am. :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mo money mo problems

Two articles on how winning the lottery can bring all sorts of issues and anecdotal tales of people who ended up in debt or in jail after winning the lottery:
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/SaveMoney/8lotteryWinnersWhoLostTheirMillions.aspx
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_146760.html

In one of the anecdotes, an ex-girlfriend came out of the woodwork to sue for money (and won), a brother hired a hit man, really sordid stuff.
I don't think this would happen to me - jail or debt (but first let me win the lottery, to prove it you, hehehe).

I do think it's terrible to publish the winner's name and address. Before coming forward to claim your ticket, I think the winner should get security guards and systems for their homes. Maybe even change your names! Maybe to Cassandra Jupiter.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Second chance

No winner for the $171 megamillions jackpot. Prize is up to $212MM now! Drawing is tomorrow.
I'm going to buy a few more tickets.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Alert: Hubby in the kitchen!!!!


(Picture of gigantic mixing bowl - >13" in diameter!)

My husband is exploding everything in the kitchen to make his vegetable lasagna. I interviewed him about the ingredients....
I found out that he used 2 lbs of dry pasta, about 6lbs of tomato sauce, 6 lbs of cheese and 2lbs of broccoli!!!!
Excluding the pan, about 17.5lbs of ingredients went into the oven!

He would like to make a PSA/share a secret for my dear readers: Use more noodles than you think you need.

Egads, I have waaaay too many things on the counter that needs to be cleaned up. Nice smile, Josh.

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Too cute and funny!

Sometimes I can't believe the things that come out of my children's mouths and how they cn possibly and appropriately apply to a situation. Today as I finished buckling Dazy in her car seat, she says in a heavy accent - O dat hurt me. I'm so shocked I can't even believe that I heard. Did that really hurt her? So I swiggle the buckle around, thinking she means it feels tight or it bunched up with her pants. And then I said, Is that OK now? And seemingly older than all her years of 20 months she succinctly replies in another heavy accent - O dat bedder.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Taking burning the midnight oil concept tooo far

It's 10:30 PM, the mega millions numbers haven't come out yet. What gives? What time do they do this drawing? I want to know with certainty if I'm going to be a gazillionaire.

[UPDATE] It's quarter to midnight, I'm practically a pumpkin. A still poor one. My mega ball number was not a match so no winnings.

Tough questions

May God bless and keep you
Every moment every day,

May God smile at you,
And fill your heart in every way

May God help you find the goodness in everything you do,

May you be blessed with peace from above, may you be blessed with peace from above.

Every time we sing this song at Tot Shabbat, it is so heartwarming and uplifting. All the children are sitting under the tallit, so innocent and sweet - from ages 9 months to about 5 years, as the adults stand above them, holding the tallit. Like we're watching over and protecting all of them...twenty or so little ones, in all sizes, shapes and colors.

Tonight was no different, after the rendition, I felt so filled with joy. And then a few seconds after, a 3 year old or so boy looks at me solemnly and asks, "Why did God create bad guys?"

A moment ago the world was so good and perfect...then this boy pops me out of my bubble.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Which odds are better?

Playing the same lotto numbers over and over again or selecting new
ones each time?

On another note, it is so weird that lotto is not only legal, but is
run by our govt. Isn't it kind of like a giant pyramid scheme?

Joking like Josh

Following a long string of bizarre behavior (at least from my husband's perspective), including a lot of shopping and even getting ashes (egads!) on Ash Wednesday, I've picked up yet more items he would never approve. This time, it's $5 worth of lottery tickets for mega millions. The jackpot is $117 million, results come out this Friday...wish me luck. And honey, if I win, I'd like to buy a few more things before I give you the money to refinance our mortgage.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Need job at army canteen

What's wrong with me? I can never cook just for a few people or enough for my family, but I have to go way overboard. Today, I made 6.5 quarts of carrot soup! I think it tastes pretty good. Any takers?

Part of my problem might be the enormous cookware I've demanded from my husband. I think I'm the only one I know who owns not one but two 14" frying pans!

The soup was a product of using a 12 quart stock pot, probably the largest one in most kitchens. But I go one further. I own a behemoth, 20 quart stock pot! Sometimes I make a ridiculous amount of chili in it. 4 lbs of beef, 2 lbs of sausage, 4 lbs of dry beans, an insane amount of peppers, and onions, and various sundry. This chili can swallow up any ingredients. Once, I chopped up an entire bunch of cilantro and the chili swallowed all of it up, the cilantro all but disappeared.

I chuckle at recipes that say, this can be doubled. Pfshaw!!! What I'd like to know is can your recipe be octupled?!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Good laughs

I come home from work today and my older daughter is not her usual rambunctious self. She's lying down on the couch. I feel her all around and conclude that she has a fever.
"I think you're sick, Sadee," I say to her.
"Are you sick, Mom?" she replies.
"Only a little," I say.
"Well, you're little sick and I'm big sick," she responds. Heehehehe.

Then after I give her some Tylenol, I notice sweat beads on her nose.
"I think her fever's breaking," I say to Josh.
"Yeah, I'm losing my fever, " she chimes in. "I can't find it."

Hahahahahah!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Youthful thinking

My daughter is fascinated by foreign languages. She's always asking to hear her favorite Disney songs in other languages on Youtube. She can actually sing "A Whole New World" in a few languages. But I think she might think that foreign languages are gobbedy gook because she will make random sounds and insist she's speaking or singing in Japanese.
The other day, a Japanese person and her child was at our house and I thought it would be a good opportunity to show her that Japanese is a real language and not non-sense sounds. I pointed out to Sadie when she spoke Japanese. She told Sadie about how to say goodbye, 'sayonara'.
I think she got very confused. She kept asking me, "Mom why are they talking like that?" as if the only reason to "talk like that" was for amusement. It perplexed her to witness two people, who were clearly communicating and exchanging thoughts with each other, but she had no idea what was being said.
It is reminiscent of my own experience from childhood. I remembered that when I first came to America, it was so confusing that nobody spoke or understood Thai. I remember being told things like dog means 'ma', etc. I kept thinking, well if dog means 'ma', then why don't we all just cut to the chase and say 'ma'. My frame of reference was so self-centered.
I think it's interesting to think about the thoughts we had as children that we couldn't verbalize or understand. And it feels really good to remember the ones that used to stump us in our youth and answer our own unanswered or previously thought unanswerable questions. I wonder how much of my daughter's experience with that I witness but won't be able to appreciate until she grows up and points them out to me.
Right now the days are always full of why this and why that. Which ones are the ones that are truly memorable, that she will recall later in life, and answer her own questions with great amusement and pleasure? Give herself the same joy she gives me everyday!

Little gator

"Your skin is so dry! Like an alligator!"
"Are you scared?"
"No, what is there to be scared of?"
"Are you scared of me?!"
"No, why would I be scared of you?"
"Because I'm an alligator!"
"No, sweetie, people often compare dry skin to an alligator's. You're not an alligator."
"You're not scared I gonna eat you? Cuz I'm an alligator?"
"No, you're not an alligator. Your dry skin is LIKE an alligator's."

Ups and downs

Every time I wash Saydee's hair, it's a battle. She doesn't want me to rinse her hair; she doesn't like the feeling of water over her ears or face. It's really a nuisance for me because I can't finish the task at hand and I worry that when she takes swim lessons, she will be at a disadvantage. A friend of mine told me that her daughter was the same way and she had the same concerns, but had a success story. She decided on the tough love route and poured water over her daughter's face. For some time, her daughter screamed bloody murder but after a bit of time, she got used to it.
I've been taking the patient, gentle coddling route - putting up with her and finding creative ways to rinse shampoo off her head. The other day, my patience ran really thin. I threatened to pour water over her head if she wasn't going to tilt her head back for me. I repeated the threat a few times, to give her ample opportunity to cooperate with me. In the end, I poured water over her head, the whole time wretched with guilt, knowing how she would react. But I really wanted to rinse all the shampoo off and get the bath done. Any way, it was worse than I thought....she jumped out of the tub in absolute fear and terror. She cried and cried for at least ten minutes. I felt terrible. Through her screams and tears, I apologized profusely and tried explaining that if she cooperated next time, this won't happen again.
About twenty minutes later, she had fully settled down and we were in our bedtime routine, which is always very special to me. We often cuddle and exchange some nice words. I apologized again for pouring water over her face. She tells me, "That's OK mom, you don't have to say sorry." Her tone is so wise and mature, she had communicated so clearly to me that she had moved on and didn't even need any apologies. Amazing. Twenty minutes ago, I was dealing with a whiny 3 year old and now she's wiser than me.

Ranting and Raving

If someone were to start a stop watch and ask me to either start verbalizing all of my complaints or things I want, I could get really excited and go on for a long time before pausing even for a breath. However, give the same challenge to my husband and you'd practically have to start and stop the watch at the same time. "What? Did you say something?" you might ask. "No, nothing," he would respond. Then in an annoyingly chirpy and cheerful tone, he might say, "I want nothing. And I have nothing to complain about."

What gives?!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Keys to the city

So Bloomberg has awarded "keys to the city" to Captain Sullenberger
and his crew for their heroics and amazing feat of landing Flight 549
beautifully with no lives lost or major injuries. What the heck are
"keys to the city"?! Is this literal or figurative or both? Can the
Cpt unlock the doors to Gracie Mansion? Go to the Bronx zoo after
hours? Get to the head of a line at the DMV? Get into a Yankee game
for free? Etc. I'd like to know exactly what is proffered by this
privilege and why every journalist assumes I know because I have no
clue.

UPDATE - I found this website defining keys to the city.
Still pretty murky to me. Says that "...the recipient is as free to come and go at will." When, where, what, how?!

Listen up Chinese takeout establishments

What's up with hot oil? Why not just "hot" and no "oil"? It'll save you money and I'll like it more.

Friday, February 6, 2009

If only life were so simple

"Are you going to come to my house tomorrow?" my daughter asks me last night as she's going to bed.
"Yes, I'm going to stay home with you tomorrow. I'm taking the day off work." I reply.
"Mom, do you like to go to work?" she asks.
"No," I reply.
"Stay home then, OK? Mom why don't you stay home with me?"

Kaju Katli - All Natural

reads the box of snack food that looks like pieces of gilded cookies that and Indian guest brought over to our house. Ingredients: Kaju, sugar, desi ghee.

There is other "English" writing on the box but I don't understand a word. I'm too full to give it a taste right now, but I will try it tomorrow. It can't be bad if sugar is the second ingredient.

Unless sugar means something else I'm not aware of...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Worse Valentine Gift Ever

I was really amused by the entries to Talbot's Worst Valentine's Day Gift ever contest. I'd like to enter this contest but I never got a gift for V-day. I did receive a bag of nuts and an iron on my birthday - and not together, because that budget would be too over the top. They were for two different years. Hehehehe.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Limited Express

I was waiting for a city bus today and when it arrived, it pulled sharply to the curb like a drunken sailor as waiter-bys like me jump from the curb fearing for our dear lives. As people were boarding, I shouted a question to the driver. "Is this express?" He grufflyreplies, "No!" Sadly, I walk away but it occurred me, for clarity, I should have said Is this limited? Why the MTA uses two words for the same concept is beyond me.

Mixed feelings - Material delights and frugal tendencies

Yesterday, a few packages from Williams Sonoma arrive for me. They wait patiently for my kids to go to bed and then the fun begins. First off, they arrive in what appears to be your run-of-the-mill corrugated cardboard boxes. But a closer examination reveals that they don't have the conventional perforated two flaps that are taped up in the middle, but an entire fold-over flap that tucks inside the box, ie. the box opens like a giant hinged gift box - very elegant and reminiscent of origami. Then, when you lift up the flap to open the box, the inside is lined in white paper and the Williams Sonoma logo in giant print "greets" you.
I've ordered stuff from other retailers before and never have they elevated or refined the humble and hum-drum corrugated cardboard box, so hats off to WS. Definitely not environmental to be creating, designing and using boxes that are non-standard, but boy are they delightful.
Finally, the throw that I ordered was tied up to look like a present in white grosgrain ribbon.At first I decided it was too nice to even open, but that created an economic dilemma because I wanted to use the throw. In the end, I settled with saving the ribbon and using the throw.
But, the biggest surprise of all was that, tucked inside one of the boxes was a complimentary round petite soap, wrapped in finely pleated tissue paper. I felt so giddy, it was like finding a luxe chocolate mint tucked in your bed, a top off to "turned down" service at a nice hotel. Except it's even better, because I don't eat mints but I do use soap.
Finally, I am so sad to recycle these delightful cardboard boxes and throw them out on the curb, because without closer examination, they look exactly like their regular, unrefined, with-no-family-crest cardboard box cousins, at least thrice removed and definitely from the wrong side of the tracks. It would be much better and more efficient for the world if my delight could be recyled to other people.
In sum, I have to give WS a lot of credit for stirring and bundling these emotions in me - both delight and a weird sense of Depressionesque-World-War-II-rationing-frugal-must-save-everything mentality.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Harvard wants my money and they're gonna get it

Just when I was lamenting for someone to curry favor with me, the latest issue of Harvard's publication, "The Yard" is addressed to both me and Josh. I don't know how or why this happened, but we're both perplexed over it.
Looks like I'll be giving money to Harvard and not Cornell....

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Looking for a new (and cheap and clean) nail salon

I was at the nail salon this weekend, trying to explain to the owner that I had lost my loyalty card. (If you get 10 services, you get a free manicure.) I've easily been to this place at least ten times but have never cashed out on the free manicure. So I told her about how I got my purse stolen and that the thief took the contents of it, including my loyalty card. I was interested in getting about 5-7 stamps from the owner. I thought it was a reasonable request given that we can both agree that I've frequented the salon more than 5-7 times in the past year. She flatly denied my request (and moreover, didn't even sympathize or make one comment about my stolen purse). So I boldly looked her in the eyes and said, I probably won't be coming back here anymore then. I don't like frequenting service oriented places that pretend you've never been there before. I don't want to be treated like a number or a twenty dollar bill. I'm so annoyed that she wouldn't give me the stamps and made zero attempt at currying my favor. When I get my nails done, I want a pleasant obsequious chatty owner. Not a money-focused tight-lipped shrew. Is that too much to ask?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Free magazine!

Just when I was lamenting how lame it was that my husband gets the excellent Harvard magazine for free as well as another goodies from his Alma mater, Cornell decides to delight me. I just found out I can get Cornell magazine for free online! This is just so thrilling. I will consider it a one-upmanship of Harvard, since we're sensible about not killing any trees. Go Big Red!!! Rah Rah. Well not really. The writing is a lot worse and there's virtually nothing research worthy or academic, but it is fun, reads like a blog and hey it's free. Oh and I just read that Cornell doesn't rely as much on their endowment for expenses like other universities and that they made be taking loans if they needed to bridge any gaps. That sounds like a winning bet. How do I loan money to Cornell? Will they put Willard Straight Hall down as collateral? Personally, I would prefer the Statler Hotel.

Also, I was sad to read that the founder/owner of Hot Truck died in December 08.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Don't hate me

A few weeks ago, I was at Pam Real Thai (one of my favorite Thai restaurants in the city). It was a very cold day and predictably, there were many people crammed at the entry way, waiting for a table. Instead of faithfully and blindly taking a spot behind the last person waiting, I decided to charge my way through the crowd to inquire about a table. I was immediately seated with my companion. The hostess had muttered something about a table for two being available. I assumed that the throng of people waiting were one big party - more difficult to seat.
As soon as we were ensconced in the warmth and comfort of having a table inside the restaurant, I thought I saw some nasty looks from the waiting crowd.
I remarked to my companion - You know, there's no reason for them to be pissed at me. Yes, it's true they arrived before me but I'm sitting here and they're not but they shouldn't be mad at me but at the hostess. I just happen to be the person she seated but it could've been anyone else.
My companion agreed and added, Yes, you should always get pissed at the wish granter, not the wish receiver.
This is an apparently less novel concept than I thought, as the other day, I was watching a Chris Rock show and he appropriately summed up my sentiments, "Don't hate the player, hate the game." I wish I had shouted that to the mad crowd.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pubescent thrills

I once read a book written by a psychologist about people reuniting with a love from the past. It was full of anecdotes penned by people who re-connected with a grade school or high school sweetheart. These reunited lovers all seemed to share a few characteristics:
1. The time that separated them (before they were re-united) was very long. Minimally 10 years, with some spanning 50+ years!
2. They can't remember why they even separated in the first place.
3. When they were reunited, they felt the same feelings as they did in their youth and it was if time had stood still.

Any way, I had an experience that felt just like the so-called reunited love.
When I was 12-14 years old, I often shopped at a store that sold women's clothes called Limited Express. I liked the form-fitting Euro-inspired fashions. And it felt good to buy size XS, any time there was a sale, I could find plenty of cast-offs in the smallest size. And then for 20 years, I totally forgot about them. Fast forward to now, the store is now called Express, I think they've made their sizing a bit more generous (though I've grown to an S now and in some truly form-fitting styles, I feel best in an L) and of course, I'm a lot more generous (in terms of my figure) now than I was at 13. But the fashions are still great and form-fitting, though I'm not sure how much Euro-inspired any more... And for the life of me, I don't know why I ever "separated" from them for 20 years. Nevertheless, it's like my mid-life crisis thrill to buy these clothes. I feel as if time stood still and I feel all glow-y and 13 years old. Minus pimples and certain insecurities. I can't wait for weekends, I'm going to live in tights and long, form-fitting tops. Hurray!

Colorstrology

This was shared to me by a co-worker, AKA "Giggles".
It is so cool. Http://www.colorstrology.com/
Read about your birthday and those around you. Be sure to select the month and then the date of your birthday to get the full story.
I found it incredibly entertaining and scarily true/insightful. But I'm a sucker for such things. Predictably, my hubby thought it was D U M B . Oh well, his loss. And it will be hard to convince him to paint each of our bedrooms the respective pantone color that brings each of us mental peace and a sense of well-being.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Express Radio - I love it

http://www.express.com/custserv/custserv_popup.jsp?pageName=Radio
Is there a way to get this while I'm commuting on the train? Alas, my Blackberry has no sound.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Million dollar idea - 24oz "big gulp" bottle?

7:40 PM and I walk sleepily down the stairs; I am so happy that the noisy twosome are finally asleep. My mind races with all the activities I can do - such as putting away the items from the suitcase from our Vermont trip, clearing the clutter on our desk and kitchen, cooking Sadie's lunch for tomorrow, maybe even go to bed early and other boring thoughts a suburban mom might have.

Daisee decides to ruin all of my fun and games. She wakes up screaming at the top of her lungs. She's acting like a crazy and pissed drug addicted junkie. I have no idea what she wants or how to calm her down. One tactic that usually works in a moment like this is to pick her up and walk around with her, but she's getting too heavy and I'm too tired to indulge her. I try a modified version of that by holding her close while I lie down. No dice. So I sit up and do the same thing, but she's still pissed. Then I asked my loving husband to make her 8oz. of milk in a bottle. Lots of thoughts are racing in my head - she's too old to be using a bottle and I'm afraid that after she finishes the 8oz, she will scream her head off, but 8 oz is the limit that a bottle will hold. Finally (probably only 90 seconds, but it felt a lot longer because she's screaming the entire time), Josh comes back with the bottle. I try to give it to her but she resists. So I force it into her mouth. Miraculously, she shuts up and peacefully begins to drink the milk. As she's drinking, I tell Josh about my fear that she will scream as soon as the bottle is finished and why don't they make a 24oz "big gulp" bottle for infants. I know it sounds silly but in moments of desperation and when you want to calm a screaming baby, all sorts of implausibilities start to make sense.
So my prediction comes true -- she finishes the 8oz in no time flat and starts to scream in fits of anger. I asked Josh to fill the bottle again. We agreed on 4oz. We repeat the entire cycle, ending with her screaming her head off after she finishes the second round of milk. Make another one, I command my husband - 8oz! He thinks 6 is enough so he comes back with 6. This time, her angry outbursts seem to be filled with more vim and vigor, probably fueled by 12oz of whole fat milk.
Then it occurs to me that she's pissed because she wants to play. We go downstairs and she immediately stops crying and is full of smiles. How can I take this sentient, moody, willful human being seriously?!