Monthly Archives: February 2009

fresh tiny boy videos!

I have just uploaded several Ben videos to my YouTube page.

Here’s an especially adorable video of Paul playing with Ben – and Ben playing back. Ben is now INTERACTIVE!

to new york & back

I went to NYC for the first time this week, on a whirlwind business trip. I had client meetings on Thursday. But I was only in the city for 21h, from the time I landed at JFK until takeoff the next day. During that time, all I was able to see was:

– the parts of Queens along the parkways from the airport to the city
– the parts of Manhattan along the route to the hotel
– Time Square, as seen from a few blocks south on Broadway
– the three long blocks from the hotel to the offices where meetings were held
– a few blocks of Fifth Avenue from the car on the way back to JFK

And no, I did not eat a real NYC bagel while there. I prefer Montreal style bagels. Nor did I eat any pizza. This was not a trip to visit the city – it was a trip to present a client campaign strategy.

But it did start me thinking about what I would want to see if I did go to NYC as a tourist. I am a huge history nerd, after all. But Manhattan has been built & re-built so many times that it seems the only intact historical areas are the parts of the city built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Are there that many historical areas left to visit & study, above ground? I know that the city is constantly finding history below the ground – a wall dating to 1760 was just unearthed during a subway expansion, and a British seawall was discovered in 2005, below the financial district. But as for what’s left from the Revolutionary War, it seems minimal, and mostly in Brooklyn.

So. Where does a history nerd want to go in New York City? I will keep it in mind for the next time I am there.


  • 21:07 back at LAX after whirlwind overnit to NYC for client meetings. cannot wait to get home + take off client meeting heels #

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mommy & me movie review: confessions of a shopaholic

Um. Let’s put in “alcoholism” for “shopaholism” in this movie, and suddenly, it’s no longer funny. And really, the symptoms are the same. “The world gets better, for a little while,” says Isla Fisher, “And then I have to do it again, and again, and again.” So she remains in denial about her addiction, refusing to see the destruction it wreaks on her life. If it was vodka instead of Prada, this would be a tragedy. But because it’s clothes, it’s a comedy!

I actually had to explain to Ben that this was a twisted representation of 2007. “You see, monkey,” I said, “before you were born, there was NOT a credit crunch in effect. Everyone could get all the credit they wanted, and they were encouraged to buy as much as possible. In fact, the general cultural sentiment seemed to be that people deserved all these nice things. It just seemed to be implicit, that people should trade their money for happiness, and that these items would bring them joy. And in order to buy things, they were offered all sorts of credit – credit cards, store cards, home refinancing, bank overdrafts, etc. The credit issuers made money on the exorbitant interest, and kept telling consumers that it was normal to have thousand of dollars of debt. And the fact that this all-too-common problem, the need to develop an addiction to commercial shopping habits to counter a lack of joy in everyday life, was made into a COMEDY, says that we are not looking deeply enough at the REASONS that people turn to shopping. Maybe we need more joy that doesn’t come from addictive substances like shopping, or drinking.”

Ben gave me a quizzical look, and stuck his tongue out. I took that to mean that he agreed – this movie was one of the worst I’ve ever seen, on MANY levels. Badly written, bad subject, badly handled, and poorly timed release. Good physical comedy on the part of the actors; bad scriptwriting. This was the biggest pile of crap I’ve seen in a while – and I include National Treasure 2 and Ben’s diaper this morning in that category.

my son is a bottomless pit

We keep feeding Ben more – but not more ENOUGH. Ben is a growing boy. And, although he is a solid little guy, he is also not a very chubby baby. He only has one chin most of the time, and never developed any rolls of chub. I have always had to supplement with formula, and now that he is on solid food, we are finding that we keep having to add more and more to keep up with demand.

Today, Ben consumed:

– a wake-up nursing session
– a 4oz jar of banana-apricot-mixed grain baby food
– a mommy & me movie time nursing session
– a 4oz jar of peas-rice-turkey baby food
– a 4oz bottle of formula (I was at the office & couldn’t whip out a boob)
– an upon-return-home nursing session
– a 4oz jar of sweet potatoes
– half an avocado (he usually gets 1/4, but he has been waking up hungry at midnight, so I wanted to try giving him a calorie-dense dinner)
– miscellaneous rice rusks and puffs
– a bedtime nursing session

I am trying to replace the formula with foods where possible. We have also fed Ben baby yogurt before, but ran out & kept forgetting to buy more. And one of my other challenges is to start preparing dinner earlier so we can all eat as a family. Then we can start sharing whatever we are eating with Ben – provided it is pureed.

I also bought a RIDICULOUS amount of baby food on this month. The Earth’s Best brand was on sale, and when you add in the subscription discount, it works out to about 30% off grocery store prices. I was planning to be one of those moms who actually makes their kids baby food, but right now, I can only handle taking care of Paul and myself, plus my work, keeping the house clean, and being Ben’s mommy. I consider spending the extra cash on jarred food to be just fine because it saves me time & stress. Perhaps I will start making more Ben food when he is bigger.

Still, it seems like just yesterday that Ben was a little baby who only consumed liquids, or, at most, a little rice cereal. Now he is a big boy who eats like a champ. We are planning to roll yogurt back in tomorrow, so he will get three big-boy meals a day. I will try giving him (or having his daycare give him) his fruit and cereal (usually a 4oz jar plus 2oz of cereal) in the morning, a baby meal at lunch (ie. one of the ones with chicken in it) and a vegetable plus more fat at night (avocado, full-fat baby yogurt, etc). All this plus his nursing, and formula supplementation when necessary, and the dissolve-in-mouth rice snacks we give him to gnaw on. He must be a quickly growing boy.


  • 12:09 amazed that on Twitter has NO tweets. wtf? how does a company miss that much potential? #
  • 13:17 I find ways to integrate as many types of advertising as possible on the Interwebs. #whatido #

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how to amuse an eight month old

Somehow, I found out that the word “banana”, and similar sounding words, highly amuse Ben. Especially if yelled. So, to amuse him, I will often find myself saying things like:

“Hey, Mr Ben! Later today, you will have some…BANANAS!
And in two more weeks, we’re going to…SAVANNAH!
On the way there, we’ll have to stop in…ATLANTA!*
And someday we’ll go to Yellowstone and visit…MONTANA!
And in six more weeks, you get to see…YOUR NANA!”

*”Atlanta” is pronounced the Texan way: “Atlanna”

Ben has also figured out that when we start removing his clothes at night, it’s bedtime – and he hates bedtime. So he immediately starts yelling when we put him on the change table after dinner. In order to distract him, I will whip his pants off, wave them around and yell, “I’VE GOT YOUR PANTS!! I STOLE YOUR PANTS!! I HAVE TAKEN…YOUR PANTS!!” This is considered hilarious enough that he stops crying to chortle at me and grab at said pants.

Also, Ben LOVES it when we sing this song to him:

Again, bananas. BANANAS!

Mommy & Me Movie Review: He’s Just Not That Into You

I’d never see this movie ordinarily, but when it’s Mommy & Me Movie Time, I take advantage to go do something with my baby. Which is why Ben and I went to see “He’s Just Not That Into You” a week ago, for the Mommy & Me Movie. Ben says that he felt that the movie was cliched, trite, and populated entirely by one-dimensional characters. He also remarked that if everyone was as stupid about relationships as these people in the movie, there wouldn’t be enough babies to populate that theater. He did, however, appreciate that the movie was just long enough for him to get a quality nap in, on one of the huge Grove theater chairs. Here he is napping:

From January 25th Ben Download

I felt more like the characters were written as archetypes than as actual people: the Desperate Single Gal, the Selectively Desperate Cock Tease, the Dick of a Husband, etc. Jennifer Aniston, surprisingly, created one of the more vibrant characters in the movie, as the Woman Whose Boyfriend Was Too Scared To Propose, who returns to her family, and holds her head up high despite their backwards attitudes towards a single woman in the midst. I was impressed by her performance, as I was by Ben Affleck’s. The rest of the movie was just actors who didn’t really have to Make An Effort, because their own personalities were so similar to the character they were playing.

The movie also felt strangely dated to me. Since the book came out a few years ago, or even since Sex & The City went mainstream, isn’t the need for these kind of “he’s just not that into you” revelations kind of over? Don’t we all GET IT already? These may be applicable lessons for 22 year olds, but real, grown up women seem to know how the system works.

I think this is a rapidly eroding idea, that women have to be told, “he’s just not that info you.” It can be argued that, since feminism is only a fifty year old phenomenon, and since marriage was an accepted & a given even in our parents’ generation, it may just be that society is still catching up to women’s new role outside the home. I think it’s just going to take a little while for marriage to be less of a central focus and a goal for women. I think once all women are able to balance everything they want, and the glass ceiling is eliminated, and all options are truly open to us, then relationships will be equal partnerships, men will hold less power, and we will all be able to get over this kind of petty crap.

The movie did scare me enough that I had to immediately call my husband and tell him I love him and I am glad to have him. I think Paul is awesome, and I love and appreciate him more every day of our lives. And we DO have an equal partnership marriage, which is important to me.

I think that someone needs to write a book that is made into a movie that is more positive. Not so much how to recognize when a man isn’t into you, but how to start and nurture a relationship where he is. I think about how I met my husband a lot, because so much of this seems to be just finding that person who is a good fit for you. I met my husband at a goth club, after all, after I said, to hell with it, I’m going to go be as weird and scary and spooky as I want, because that is who I am. And as soon as I embraced that again, and launched myself back into listening to Combichrist and the Birthday Massacre and Depeche Mode, presto, husband!

So here’s another flaw in HJNTIY: none of these women seemed to have anything particularly interesting about them. The Ginnifer Goodwin character’s main personality trait seemed to be that she was neurotic about men. The Jennifer Connelly character seemed to just be wrapped up in the redecoration of their house. The only one who had a scrap of personality OUTSIDE of husband-related territory was the ScarJo character, who was a singer-songwriter and a yoga instructor and at the end of the movie, said she was going to take some time to be introspective and go to India. None of the other characters seemed to care about anything other than getting a boyfriend/husband and then making a home with him. These are important things, of course. I care quite a bit about making a nice home with my husband. But did any of them care about art, or reading, or music? Did they have hobbies? Did they travel? WHO WERE THEY? This is what I want to know. Maybe this is what the men wanted to know as well, which is why they just weren’t into them.

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