Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Really, I'm Not Stalking Her

A Perfect Post – January 2007
At the risk of making Bubandpie think she'll never get a moment's peace from me, I'm awarding her another Perfect Post, this time for What is Love? (Baby Don't Hurt Me).

She discusses what it means to love your baby, and how usual measures of love (euphoria, enjoyment of someone's personality) can't always apply. Conversation, the sharing of thoughts and ideas, is what fuels many of my relationships, and a baby isn't well equipped for that kind of activity. I've loved Q since he was born, but this last year has added something else.

I really like him. He's cool dude, a companion. We hang out, and he'll tell me "ok, mama" or "no, mama," while sharing his plentiful opinions. Tonight, he was prompting me with words for a Chinese song he knows better than I do, chirping away, and I looked at SwingDaddy, almost crying with joy that this little person is part of our family.

Thanks for your always thought-provoking writing, Bubandpie! My head will be bopping from the title of your post.

Visit the rest of the Perfect Posts, hosted by Lucinda and Momma K here.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Feet on the Ice, Head in the Clouds

Ekaterina Gordeeva, Ilia Kulik, Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, Kyoko Ina and John Zimmerman. If you recognized those names, you know that Stars on Ice is on tour, and SwingDaddy, Lady O, and I got to see them skate!

I always send in the Advance Ticket Form the day after the show, an entire year before their next visit, and for the third time, we've been rewarded with tickets in the very front row, right on the ice. It's worth getting a little cold to see such artists and athletes up close.

SwingDaddy brought the camera and captured some great images.

Katia, lovely in blue.


Jamie, doing a handstand on David's bicep.


We got to shake hands with Kyoko, daring as ever with her partner, hunky John Zimmerman.


One production number featured a heist at a fancy ball.



Another number was set in the 60's, with elaborate costumes. It reminds me that we should have more elaborate hair for most of our vintage dances.

All in all, an excellent show.

Updated for skating fans: More pictures here!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Reunited with the Vacuum

SwingDaddy and Q are home safely, and I am rescued from making unsupervised and exceptionally poor decisions such as buying an entire bag of Cheetos. Ick. Sadly, I've discovered that I don't even like Cheetos anymore. Too salty and overly cheesy.

SwingDaddy convinced me that it was fine to make a late run to Trader Joe's because Q need more organic YoBaby Yogurt, and happen to pick up their cheese crunchies, which look just like Cheetos but aren't as greasy. And then he took the Cheetos off my hands. What would I do without him?

Q, in the meantime, is reunited with his main vacuum and is supremely content.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Overcoming Elmo

As you may recall, Q was pretty freaked out by his first encounter with TMX Elmo and kept him in a box for days before venturing to take him out. We've left the power turned off since then, and Q's been pretty content to play with Elmo as a regular, non-speaking, non-convulsive toy.

Earlier this week, he was fiddling with the power switch on Elmo's foot and triggered the tickle-seizure fest. Q was so startled that he burst into tears. I quickly turned off Elmo, picked up the kiddo and hugged him tight.

"It's ok honey!"

I was hoping this was what Lara's classes call a "teachable moment," and got out one of his old favorites, the Mozart music cube, which has a similarly sized power switch. We practiced turning it on. The music works! We turned it off. No music. On – music. Off – no music.

That made perfect sense to him, so we moved to scarier territory. We turned Elmo on and let him thrash a bit. Q's eyes got big and watery.

"Look, it's ok! You can turn Elmo off." On. Off. He smiled weakly back at me. We'll probably need a few more practice rounds, but I think he's getting used to Elmo, and knowing he has the power to make Elmo stop by turning him off.

Wish all problems were like that.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Boy, Is it Quiet Around Here

Or more accurately, it's "No Boys, So It's Quiet Around Here."

SwingDaddy and Q are in Denver this weekend, enjoying the rest of the visit that was truncated by the crazy storms at Christmastime. This is what I've been doing since they've been gone:

1) Working like crazy. Things have exploded at the office, making it too tricky for me to take a vacation just now.

2) Eating Cheerios. Since the oat smell is annoying to SwingDaddy, I try not to indulge when he's around.

3) Leaving our home office door open, since the small person who loves buttons isn't here to attack the computers.

4) Leaving my shoes by the door with no worry that that same small person will distribute them about the house.

5) Going to musical theater with my sister and friends.

6) Attempting to clean my closets, although this is not likely to get completed.

7) Waiting anxiously to pick them up from the airport! Miss them boys.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Embracing Adventure (But Not the Cactus)

We've decided to leave the kiddo at home. Sniff. As you may recall, SwingDaddy and I must attend the same tradeshow in Orlando in March, and we were contemplating bringing Q with us. SwingDaddy's parents kindly offered to join us to watch him while we worked, and we could celebrate Q's second birthday at DisneyWorld. What fun!

I'm trying to be less fearful and spend less time worrying over what might happen – delayed flights, lost baggage, unhappy child traveler – and instead embrace adventure, believe that we can do it, just like when we used to take suitcases full of costumes and music and dance and perform in Europe, what seems like a lifetime ago.

We could have a splendid day together at Disney. I would get to show off Q at the conference, where my co-workers would admire him, as the one child out of thousands of people. That's the key though, the one child. Because it's not really a place that's set up for kids.

SwingDaddy and I are still finding out our hours, but the showroom floor is open from 9am until 8pm, which means that it's possible we wouldn't actually see Q during his waking hours for more than thirty minutes for three days running. Three days while he ate hotel food and SwingDaddy's folks searched for ways to amuse him far from the comforts of home. When you're two years old, there are limits to the charm of long lines at an amusement park.

In the end, it's a whole lot of effort to take him across the country and then neglect him while we work. Instead of adventure, it'd be like embracing the cactus that Q so adored last summer.

My parents are coming to the rescue, and they're going to watch him while we're gone that week. Q will undoubtedly arrange an elaborate dance, karaoke, and tai chi marathon to amuse them. And we, we will miss him.

But he'll have more fun, and that's what matters.

P.S. Thank God for grandparents, everyone one of 'em.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Portrait of Contentment, with Vacuum

Snuggly morning with the Q-ster, long day at work, good dance rehearsal. Bed time.

*By the way, we're not done with our taxes by any means. We're just done (we think) with submitting the W-2 and Quarterly and Annual Payroll tax forms.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Fun and Games with Following the Rules

Taxes by the numbers.

Toddler: One
College-educated, competent (although I suppose that's arguable) adults: Two
New and separate ID numbers registered for our household: Three
Phone calls to the state tax assistance help-line: Four
Forms faxed to the tax agency: Five
Hours spent reading directions and forms: A whole lot more than six

Almost being finished working out how to file our "household employer" state and federal taxes for our nanny?

Not priceless, that's for sure. Because the next thing we did was send a check.

The excellent care for Q? That's priceless.

Seriously though, it was a lot of effort to figure out how to give money to the government. It should be a little easier to follow the law.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

That's Really, Really Not What They Meant

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how I sometimes absorb the wrong, usually food related message from media. Looks like I'm in good company. Jenny, of the fabulous ljcfyi, wrote that seeing "Chicken Run" made her want chicken pot pie, and seeing "Super Size Me" made her crave a burger. Ha!

My mom has an even better one. While on hold with a hotel concierge, she listened to a long string of recorded event listings, including the game time of the San Jose Sharks. "It's Shark Season!" the ad proclaimed.

"Yum, shark," she thought absently. Later, we explained that it was the local ice hockey team. She responded, "How was I supposed to know? There's a good restaurant in the hotel, so I thought the ad was for the food."

Monday, January 22, 2007

Shake It Like a Polaroid Picture

It took a couple of weekends, but I caught up with one much-neglected duty of this digital age: Getting photos printed. It's all too common for the average camera-wielder to store thousands of pictures on the home computer, but not actually have any framed or tucked in an album to share. Does it matter? To the Millenials (formerly called Generation Y), probably not. But it's well documented that I like hard copy.

A hefty box of our prints arrived a few days ago, stuffed with hundred of examples of Q's wonderfulness, since aside from our Christmas cards, I hadn't done a print run since August. Shame! We had such a backlog that Snapfish gave us an 8x10 for free as a thank-you. I also made a backup CD of our favorite prints to send to my parents for safekeeping at the other end of California. I figure if an earthquake takes out the entire state, we'll have bigger problems than losing images if Q eating corn.

In other news, I finally feel like part of the club! I got my very first spam solicitation from Nigeria.

Compliment of the season to you, it’s my respected pleasure to bring it to your understanding that your overdue contract sum has been approved by the senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and your attention is needed to finalize this urgent matter.

Woo-hoo.

P.S. There were no Polaroids involved in our pictures, but we just finished watching Idlewild, which features Outkast in the two lead roles. So I couldn't resist. Hey, a Netflix that we watched in a mere two weeks!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Napped and Ready for More Nappage

I think that "Not getting sick" is the largest thing I accomplished this weekend. Earlier today, I was a bit grumpy, thinking I had frittered away the weekend without getting much done. But really, a collection of naps helped me recover from a tough work week, and what's not to love about getting silly baby kisses while the three of us sing endless rounds of Frere Jacques in three languages?

SwingDaddy is putting together plans for a SuperBowl party, even though sadly, his beloved Chargers are not going. We used to have alternate entertainment in the form of a costume-sewing room for those who weren't football fans, but needles and pins aren't going to cut it with toddlers running around. Instead, he's promising Tickle Me Elmo, who has quite a successful track record of fascinating our friends.

One last SuperBowl tidbit – Does anyone else think that the side view of the Indianapolis Colts helmets make them look like they've been kicked in the head by a horse?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Napping Game

It's like a somnambulist version of Red Light, Green Light. This morning, Q and I played quietly to allow SwingDaddy to catch a little extra sleep. The little dude took my hand and led me from the sofa. "Mama nap," he said.

I lay down on the play mat next to him, followed his lead and pretended to be asleep.

"Wake up!" he chirped. When did he learn that phrase? I looked up and made a silly face. He giggled and told me, "Nap!"

We both put our heads back down, and he made snoring noises. Wake up! Nap. Wake up! Nap. A truly excellent early morning game, courtesy of Q.

We had another run with the dishwasher unloading, resulting in just one casualty – a dropped bowl due to a faulty transfer from his hands to mine. No licking of or sneezing on dishes today, by either of us.

Nanny J and her husband treated Q to dinner at their new house last night while SwingDaddy, Lady O, and I went out (separate post on that – front row tickets to see our favorite ice show!). Q gave me the report, including the mystifying statement, "Baby hammer, bang, bang!" We're going to have to ask about it Monday when we see her again.

In other news, SwingDaddy and I had been separately been told our managers that we wouldn't be needed at a big tradeshow in Orlando that our company attends. Thank heavens, because it goes over Q's birthday, and it'd be a pain for either of us to operate solo for a week, but even more challenging for us to be on the road at the same time.

Well, Friday afternoon at 3pm, I was told I'd be launching a product at that show. And an hour later, SwingDaddy was told he'd be running a demo there. Looks like we might as well dress the kiddo in company colors and teach him how to pitch product. Birthday party at DisneyWorld, anyone?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Making the World Safe from Coconuts

Wanted: Coconut Safety Engineer.

Watching the DVD specials (yay, specials!) for Pirates of the Caribbean II, SwingDaddy found an Easter Egg featuring a very unusual addition to the movie crew while they were working in the tropics.

Falling coconuts can cause serious injury, so they hired a local guy who took care of the coconut trees above their film locations. He'd climb trees in the traditional way, using a rope belt to walk up them, and cut down coconuts with a machete. I love how an enormous technical production with specialists in obscure corners of computer graphics also has room for something so real-world, so practical and exotic at the same time.

It's a sign that you've really made it, if your production has a coconut guy.

Alternatively, it could be a sign that your production is spiraling out of control, if you're operating in a locale that requires a coconut guy.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Soap Soap Soap Soap

Do you remember the pair of furry space aliens on Sesame Street? They would scurry around the telephone saying, "Yip yip yip yip yip yip yip yip. Bbbrrrrring! Bbbrrrring!"

In a usually futile attempt to remember to replace the shrinking bar of soap in the shower, I say to myself, "Soap soap soap soap soap soap soap soap." Sadly, the moment I get to Ahhh, Towel, all thoughts of soap are driven from my mind, and there is no new bar of soap for the next shower.

Tonight, imitating the Yip Yips helped me to remember. Small victories.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cuteness Power

Q rallies the troops to the cause of cute.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Food on the Brain

I have a complicated relationship with food, but not for the stereotypical reasons. Mostly, I forget to eat at the right times and then get very tired. Fortunately, SwingDaddy has been in charge of our eating for the last ten years and it's worked out well. Three food-related shorts today.

A couple of nights ago, I took the last piece of quesadilla of the fridge and started heating it up.

"Are you still eating that 'dilla from Baja Fresh?" asked SwingDaddy.

"Yeah, it's fed me for three days now!"

We small eaters may get teased, but we are certainly cost efficient. Well, except for the times we have a blood sugar crash and end up spending $13.67 for a pretzel and a Coke at the airport snack bar. Not that it's happened to me or anything, I'm just saying.

~
Can I tell how much I just love my new slotted spoon? It sounds really silly, but now that we've added it to the kitchen arsenal, I can't believe the quality-of-life difference it's made in cooking dinner. You can get all the pasta out of the pot without dragging out a lot of water; you can separate soups; all kinds of excellent tasks for just $5.99.

~

Q helps me unload the dishwasher frequently, and we hit a milestone this weekend. We had a complete unload without any casualties! Usually, there is at least one glass that gets licked or plate that gets sneezed upon, and they have to go back into the wash. I never thought that saying, "Please don't lick that" would be such a part of my vocabulary.

Monday, January 15, 2007

An Exchange of Turtles

"Quack!"

Blearily, I reach over to Q's outstretched hand and take the terry cloth duck.

"Frog!"

I'm lying on the sofa in his room, hoping to catch a few more winks, but he's pretty insistent. I take the frog.

"Fish!"

Does he ever speak without exclamation points? Yes, but not in the early morning, unfortunately. I take the fish.

"Diffwent fish!"

He wants to exchange the fish he's given me for another one that he's holding. Then I get the turtle, and later the piglet rattle. The entire miniature menagerie that he keeps in his crib has been systematically evacuated. I now have a pile of creatures beside me and I know what's coming next.

"Up! Milk!"

No more stalling – it's time to get up, and another fine day begins.

We had a bunch of Q's little friends and their moms over to play, and they thoroughly enjoyed the fine collection of toys assembled by our parents and siblings. The toddlers hotly debated ridership of the bouncy horse while we parents exchanged news. I can't believe how big and sophisticated the kids are getting.





Q takes care of his mount after a busy day.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Stop Making Fun of Me, It Is Totally Freezing Here

It's not vandalism; it's called ice. My first thought was to wonder why the fountain was covered in broken glass, but when we reached it, the surface was actually frozen. My complaints that it's cold this week are not completely off base. Hrmmph.

Q and I had a good day walking around campus. I like how vivid he looks here, busting a move.

Other random tidbits.

Friday night, Q had fallen asleep in the car, so I changed the music from his much-requested Madonna album to the radio. About a minute later, a small voice pipes up from the back seat.

"A-donna?"

"No honey, this is Christina (Aguilera)."

"A-DONNA!"

We were so busted.

However, before Madonna gets all high and mighty over this preference, she has been dethroned. He now loves the Sheryl Crow tune from the movie "Cars" above all. All he needs is the opening chord, and he says, "Cars!"

~

If you're the person who did the Google search on "frozen waffle drama" and found your way here, are we sufficiently dramatic?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Organization of Worms

Gymnastics class for two and three-year-olds is like organizing worms. The good thing about having a big class is that statistically speaking, there will be a single child paying attention at any particular point. It makes the coach feel better, even if the rest of the class is exploring the fascinating window latch or removing all the beanbags in the obstacle course, one by one.

Lucinda at Suburban Turmoil wrote about how there is a lot of pressure to enroll your kids in a million different toddler programs to accelerate their development. If you don't, you are a bad, neglectful parent whose children will grow up to work the drive-through window at McDonald's. I agree that the marketing spiels have gotten pretty much out of control.

I look at gymnastics class as basically a big room where Q can run around and fling himself at nicely padded objects, and maybe pick up a few skills, like lining up to get hand-stamps at the end of class. That, the boy does very well. Listening to other directions, not so much. He loves being upside down, so the class is probably worth it just for that.

Here's his develope a la seconde. Clearly, he needs a little work on his turnout, but we're waiting until he turns two to get on his case about that. Totally kidding, guys.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Hippo Sleeps Tonight

We all know that ducks quack and pigs oink. What does a hippo say?

Q: Wimbowat, wimbowat!

Play the video to see why (although technically, it's the dog buddy that supplies that line in this version of The Lion Sleeps Tonight).

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lurking Over Brad's Shoulder

Brad Pitt is cute again! It's been nice of late to see the lack of unkempt hair and scruff that he affected for too many years. I caught the best scenes of "Mr. And Mrs. Smith" this week, and he, she, and the movie looked great. Of course, the acting chops have to be there, 'cuz it's mighty easy to get upstaged by a prettier face.

Not that long ago, I stood in Times Square as a tweeny squealed, “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!” and pointed at a massive banner displaying Brad Pitt and costars looking over his shoulder, wearing the gear of Troy. “Mommy, it’s Orlando Bloom!”

Along the pre-teen thread, my co-worker was bemoaning that her daughter has outgrown Gymboree clothes. Very sad, as they now have to shop in the skank department.


Everyone seems to be writing about North American Delurking Week (well, I've seen it written as a "National" week by both Americans and Canadians, so I can't tell if there was any centralized planning or if this is a cool, grassroots initiative/urban legend. ! (Thank you to Ewe are Here for the icon.) I understand lurking, because there are certainly sites that I read where I don't comment. Ya don't have time to get involved with every single blog.

However, if you'd like to say a quick hi, feel free! You can tell me if you've noticed that a disproportional number of Q photos seem to feature him in stripey pajamas. Really, we do dress the kid and take him out sometimes.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Severe Weather Watch of Our Very Own

I checked the weather this morning and was thrilled to see that we had a Severe Weather Warning, just like we saw before we left for Denver at Christmas. Okay, not "just like" that one, which brought 24 inches of snow to the Rockies in 24 hours.

This warning opened with the line to expect "much colder weather arriving today," perhaps reaching the 40's! There was a further alert for the evening:

A freeze watch means sub-freezing temperatures for at least two hours are possible. These conditions could kill crops and other sensitive vegetation.


For those in the world fortunate enough to be growing crops in January.

Small excitements, what can I say?

P.S. Mir (and Mayberry) identified yesterday's song title correctly as "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" by Timbuk3. Girl Con Queso – I didn’t know they were from Austin. Another reason that's a cool city!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Future's So Bright*

*10 points to Gryffindor if you can name the band and the rest of the song title without Googling.

I heard a tidbit on the radio for all you Target fans. When they cut prices, check whether the last penny is a "4." For instance, "$5.24" will be the final price and it won't be reduced further. Sadly, it's not so useful for me, because I usually can't get out to the store often enough, even if I know something will go on sale later.

Speaking of purchases, I got a new phone – a Motorola RAZR! I'm really happy with it. When I make a phone call, I can hear what the other person is saying. That's really cool in my book.

The company-assigned Treo just didn't work out. It wasn't easy to manipulate the keys, even for someone with small fingers like me. I couldn't hear the people I called and they often couldn't hear me. The keyboard unlock function required me to hit an extra button every time I needed to do something on the device, yet when it was in my purse, random movement would set off speed dials.

Worst of all, it hit me with a "stylus check" when I was on the freeway! Sometimes I'll get the phone all ready in the car – handset plugged in, phone number dialed, so that when a conference call starts, I just have to hit one button and not take my eyes off the road. One afternoon, I did just that, but the stupid thing requested that I tap my stylus in four spots on the screen to confirm input accuracy. On the freeway. Right. I think that's the only time I've ever thrown a phone on the floor in anger.

Since the IT department couldn't get the email function to work and the actual phone functionality was pretty poor, it was time to move on. I haven't even changed the generic ringtone yet, and I already like it better. The only problem is that it isn't red, but SwingDaddy is looking into some red cases for me.

Now I just have to figure out how to give the Treo back to IT. On my last help call, the agent denied knowledge of how to hand in the device. "I thought you guys support this thing! You mailed it to me."

"Actually, we don't really support it."

No kidding.

Yay, new phone!

Monday, January 08, 2007

I Would Like To Commission An Ear of Corn

We have a corn thing going in this household. As you saw from yesterday's post, Q loves to eat corn. He calls it ah-mi, his way of pronouncing the Chinese word, yu-mi.

His little plastic vegetables include an ear of corn.

For Christmas, SwingDaddy's brother gave him a Mr. Potato Head Spud Buds set that includes Ms. Corn.

I've often admired the adorable produce from My Paper Crane and am thinking about commissioning an ear of corn for Q's birthday. SwingDaddy notes that I am the one who loves anthropomorphic plush, so who is this gift for anyway? Um, Q, of course!

P.S. Three cheers for those of you who recognized yesterday's post title as an homage to Obi-Wan Kenobi's command to those oh-so-suggestible stormtroopers!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

These Are Not The Muffins You Are Looking For

The power of suggestion is strong in my family. We don't always get the "right" message from the marketers though.

Do you remember that old anti-drug TV commercial where the camera zoomed on a hand holding a chicken egg. "This is your brain." Then the egg was smashed open on a hot frying pan. "This is your brain on drugs."

After our first family viewing of that, one of us said, "I'm hungry for some eggs."
"Yeah, me too!"
And we all trooped downstairs for scrambled eggs.

Q showed signs of similar tangential food associations this morning while we were entertaining ourselves with one of his new books, featuring Dora the Explorer. Dora's mom shows up in one scene, bearing freshly baked muffins, and Q seized on the moment.

"Muffins! Muffins!" He grabbed my index finger and led me into the kitchen.

"Little Dude, we don't have any muffins. How about some toast?" He was unrelenting. I got out a box of muffin mix and showed him. "We don't have muffins. We'd have to bake them and that takes a while."

I was unable to distract him, so we started baking. He helped wholeheartedly, and surprised me with how he seemed to grasp the delayed outcome. Once we started mixing and stirring, he showed every sign of patience until I took the finished trays out of the oven and he ran over to his chair, jumping up and down. He ate six mini muffins. Yum.

Afterwards, we had an excellent outing to a farmer's market while SwingDaddy was at his bike race. We strolled, looked at the fountain, played with the giant chess set, and shared corn on the cob. It was entirely satisfying to sit on a little bench together in the sunshine, munching away.



Saturday, January 06, 2007

Contemplating Shoes

Unlike others who have composed posts about shoes for an entire month, my shoes tend to be a little dull. Functional, but not thrilling – black flats, black heels, black ankle boots, black knee high boots, black sneakers, black clogs.

When Nanny K came over to visit and play with Q yesterday, the expert herself helped me go through the closet and pack up a bunch for Goodwill. We found that not surprisingly, most of my pretty shoes are for the dance floor.

"You should do a month of dance shoe posts," she said.

I'm not sure I have enough for a month, but I'm thinking about picking a few favorites for a short series. I mean, how many people do you know with three pairs of red & white Lindy Hop shoes in increasing heel heights and five shades of satin ballet slippers that were never worn with a bridesmaid gown? It's only right to join the collection of other oddities on the wide world of the Internet.

I told SwingDaddy that he should play along as well. "You have a lot of dance shoes for a boy!" I said.

He pointed out, "One pair of dance shoes is a lot for a boy."

We'll see if we can find enough shoe polish to pull this off.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Bright Colors and Eco-Friendly, Way Late

My grandmother started the tradition in the 1940's. There weren't a lot of people celebrating Christmas where my mom and her siblings were growing up, so Grandma had to be creative. She made tree ornaments by covering empty goose eggs with the foil from chocolate wrappers and cut up old Christmas cards for decorations.

Since there was nowhere to buy gift wrap, she sewed bags out of brightly covered fabric for the presents. We've done the same ever since. I can't bear to use sheets and sheets of paper to wrap a pile of gifts, just to see them in the trash a day later.

Two exceptions: I always find pretty paper for weddings, because it somehow just seems right. And second, it is just too wonderful to see a little kid tearing into his presents with high excitement. I'll happily wrap in paper for Q, just to see that glee.

The rest of our gifts go in the soft Christmas bags, which makes the wrapping incredibly fast besides eco-friendly. I used to make a few each year to fit whatever odd sized gifts were being given and didn't fit my general bag size. I haven't sewed any new ones since Q was born and all my spare time disappeared somehow, but it's fun to bring out the same colorful bags each year, like familiar tree ornaments.

This was supposed to be a pre-Christmas post, but I guess it's better late than never. Besides, by now, holiday fabric is certainly on sale at 75% off, so consider buying a few yards. It doesn't take much skill to make bags – heck, you could do it with a stapler if you don't sew, and you might make some new Christmas memories!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

More Tongue, No Kisses

SwingDaddy captured the moment when Q decided that it would be fun to crawl over Mommy and lick her knee. Damp knees.

I finally watched my Netflix selection, which I've had since late October due to life, being busy, the holidays, and so on. This sets a record for the longest I've had a rental. I'd had the movie so long that it was looming with epic proportions in my mind – I had to get through it!

What film? Bride and Prejudice, a Bollywood take on the Jane Austen classic. The first half was decidedly cheesy and only tolerable for the colorful costumes and lots of dancing. I think I was in a softer mood tonight, when I got to the second half, so I enjoyed the romance and admired the beautiful cast. Aishwarya Rai, the Queen of Bollywood, is absolutely gorgeous. I first had qualms about Martin Henderson as Darcy, because he looked so handsome that he was almost generic, but I got over that.

The writers made clever changes for Indian culture and the modern setting, and the P&P story held up remarkably well. Darcy manages to finagle some time with the Elizabeth character by exchanging his first class seat on the airplane with her mother and sitting in coach next to his love for the ten hour flight to London. The Lydia character tries to convince her mom that she should be allowed to wear the latest in fashions – bra tops and low, low waisted pants. Notably, there are no kisses, just an adoring hug between Darcy and Elizabeth at the finish.

Netflix must love me, as their best (least expensive) customer.