Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reminder to Myself

You don't need to do it all.

Our office halloween party is tomorrow and I signed up to bring a kitty little cake. I've been DYING to make one of these ever since I came across it on a blog a few years ago. I also want to make sugar cookies to give to Baby C's little cul-de-sac buddies for trick-or-treating. I made the dough on Saturday and figured I would cut the cookies and bake them Wednesday night (which I did), make the kitty litter cake for work tonight, and then frost the sugar cookies tomorrow. I went to kroger at lunch to buy the ingredients for the kitty litter cake, and as I was standing in the aisle I began to wonder how much I really cared. Do I really want to spend the evening baking cakes? Not really. So I put the butter back on the shelf and picked up a gallon of pumpkin ice cream, instead.

Sugar cookies will be plenty for this halloween.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wish List Wednesday

I've decided to get more involved with the ladies on the national mom community I belong to, so I'm going to participate in my first ever Wish List Wednesday!

This activity is hosted by The Foster Family Blog

If you could meet anyone, who would you like to meet?

Right now, my mind is on all things baseball-related. No surprise there, since the World Series starts in just 8 hours! My Yankees are back again, looking to win their 27th World Championship. In honor of that, my list is definitely pinstripe-heavy :)

Of course, I'd love to meet all of the 2009 Yankees, but in the interest of narrowing the list here are my top three.

1. Derek Jeter

Of course he would top the list! While he might not be the most interesting Yankee, I love his appreciation for the history of the game and the approach he takes to playing every day.

2. Joe Torre

Torre will certainly go down in history as one of the greatest managers ever. I would love to hear his stories about managing the greatest sports franchise ever.

3. Billy Beane

So he's not a Yankee, but I would love to sit down with him and pick his brain about all things Sabermetric. Maybe he could even get me a job as an assistant GM :)

4. Mike and Mike

My two favorite entertainment personalities! I would love love love to be a statistician for ESPN and come up with all of the random facts they share over the airwaves. Mike & Mike have provided me with morning entertainment for years, including serving as a fantastic distraction when I was in labor.

5. Barack Obama

This one is very much a cliche, but I would be honored to meet our current president. It takes a certain kind of charisma to inspire that much hope in so many people.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kids are Weird

I posted a few weeks ago about how bathtime had become such a horrific event in our house - the minute Baby C heard the water running he would throw a complete tantrum and scream and flail and stiffen his arms and legs so we couldn't easily get him into the tub, and refuse to sit down once he was actually in the tub, and scream throughout the entire ordeal.

Last night he ran over to the side of the tub when he heard the water running, tried to climb in on his own, splashed and played the whole time he was in there, and whined when it was time to get out.

How weird is that?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Another H1N1 Thought

I keep hearing and seeing people complaining "If you're sick, you should stay home from work." While yes, that's true, you shouldn't be out and about spreading germs to the rest of the healthy people in your world, it's really just not that simple.

I'm incredibly lucky in that I have a good full-time job that offers paid vacation and personal days to use when I'm sick. I think those of us who are lucky enough to have that security tend to forget that there are millions of others who don't have that same luxury. The latest figures from the U.S. Labor Department show that, on a national level, 40% of private-sector full-time employees do not get paid for sick days. More than 77% of all part-time workers don't have paid sick days. So, while it seems intuitive enough to say "if you're sick, stay home," it's really not that easy for a large portion of our workforce.

I'm sure a lot of us have been in that position. Hell, it wasn't even that long ago for me, when I was in college (both undergrad and grad school!), having to make the decision between going to work sick and staying home in bed when I wasn't feeling well but forfeiting an entire day's paycheck. Not everyone has a savings account that they can fall back on, especially with today's economy, when so many are living paycheck-to-paycheck to support their households.

Unfortunately, there's no easy solution to this problem. Companies need to make changes to their policies. Paid time off for illness needs to be made available to the entire population, and sadly, that's not likely to happen any time soon. While not perfect, the Healthy Families Act is a step in the right direction. It's been sitting around since 2005, but has been resurrected. Let's hope that our lawmakers can come together and work something out that will benefit everyone.

For more information on this issue and similar issues affecting women and families, you can also visit the National Partnership for Women and Families.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Speaking of Hysteria

What's that in my Pocket?

A handful of broken Annie's Graham bunnies and a snot-covered tissue. How the hell did those get there?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Dilemma

This is not a life-or-death situation, but it's a mini-crisis of conscience nonetheless. I'm a big advocate of "voting with your wallet." If you don't like a product, don't buy it. If you don't like a company's business practices or social agenda, don't buy from them. Even though as individuals we have small voices, as consumers we can make those voices heard. I hear people complaining day after day about the evils of wal*mart, how they mistreat their employees, how they sell inferior products, how they circumvent the system and import goods from countries who don't have the same EPA standards. These people do a fair amount of bitching, yet they still continue to shop there. Why? Because they "don't have a choice." That's BS, there's ALWAYS a choice.

Anyway, I'm usually pretty good about where I choose to put my money, but now I'm up against a difficult situation. It took a lot of searching for us to find a daycare that we were completely happy with. 99% of the time I'm very happy with our center. I know Baby C is treated well and is in a caring and stimulating environment. I believe he's happy there, at least he's always smiley and engrossed in some activity when I go to pick him up. This is all well and good, but over the last few months I've begun to question their business practices. First I learned that they don't provide health insurance to their employees. I thought maybe this was the norm for care centers, but when I started asking around I realized that it's one of the only ones that doesn't. Care work (and, by default, care workers) has been de-valued in our society. I'm sad that these girls who care for my son every day don't have access to affordable health care. In addition to the health care issue, I've started to notice rumblings among the teachers about internal drama. I'm sure things like this are pretty much unavoidable when you have a building full of women, and I hope it's nothing serious, but I hate to think that infighting like this could spill over and affect the care that our kids receive. The third issue is pay-related. Again, I know that we don't place a high value on care work, but it's really sad that so many of these women (some of whom have children of their own, most of whom have college degrees) have to work two jobs because their primary job doesn't pay the bills.

So I have two choices:

1. Leave Baby C where he is and pretend I don't have a problem with these business practices

2. Find another center that aligns better with my belief system (unfortunately the organic/environmentally conscious/cloth-diapering center is too far away!)

On one hand I'd like to be able to say that I stand by my values, but on the other hand what good is pulling him out going to do? He would quickly be replaced by someone else, probably at a higher tuition rate once yearly increases are added.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Handmaid's Tale

It's been a long time since I've picked up a book to read and not been able to put it down. I borrowed this one from a friend a few weeks ago but didn't have time to start it until Thursday morning at the dentist. I was hooked after the first two pages. I stayed up well into the night so that I could keep reading and made it just over halfway through. I used it as a distraction while the Twins batted in their half of the inning, and finished it around 1:30 this morning. Oh. My. God. Why didn't I read this sooner?

It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.
Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control.
I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe. The entire government, gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen?
That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on.
Look out, said Moira to me, over the phone. Here it comes.
Here what comes? I said.
You wait, she said. They've been building up to this. It's you and me up against the wall, baby. She was quoting an expression of my mother's, but she wasn't intending to be funny.

The last time I devoured a book like this was when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out, so that should tell you something.

Maybe it's because I just read two other dystopian novels for book club last month, but it definitely made me consider what track we're really on, and where our society will be 100 years from now. I kept wondering if this is what they felt like back when 1984 came out - knowing that it's a fictional work, knowing that the author went for the extremes, but still wondering in the back of their heads if it could, in fact, be possible. In fact, the most chilling part about this particular vision is that it's really almost a reversion to the past, when women were seen as property.

Parts of it were particularly heart-wrenching, especially having a child, myself, and knowing what the experience of labor and delivery is like. The thought of having to then hand my child over to someone else gives me an awful pit in my stomach. I want to go read everything else she's ever written! If you're looking for an excellent read (and if you're female, I suppose), then you should definitely check this one out.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


This is a few days overdue, but I didn't had time to get Charlie's awesome UC picture off the camera until now.

The impossible has happened!

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Your eyes do not deceive you, UC is ranked AHEAD OF ohio state!

Baby C celebrated by wearing his new Bearcats jersey to daycare on Monday.

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I'm just trying to enjoy it while it lasts :)

Cheese Muffins

I'm not a loyal follower of the Pioneer Woman, but every so often I'll re-stumble across her page and find something I really like. A few weeks ago I happened to come across her recipe for cheese muffins. I love cheese, and I love muffins, so I figured I would love cheese muffins. I printed out her recipe, dubbed "Fig's Cheese Muffins," after the blogger DIZZLEFIG, who originally submitted it.

Fig’s Cheese Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (plus 1/8 tsp if using unsalted butter)
3 cups shredded colby-jack cheese (I used cheddar for
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter (original recipe calls for salted, I used unsalted and added 1/8 tsp of salt to the dry ingredients)

Whisk together dry ingredients, then stir in cheese.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg, milk, and butter together.

Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients and stir with a spoon to combine.

Bake in greased muffin tins at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. (Instead of using muffin tins I made them like drop biscuits. They spread a bit on the pan, but it actually made them easier to dip in my soup.)

Makes 12.

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Another immediate hit with Baby C! He really enjoys these muffins, as do the rest of us. They went over really well with Husband C, too, who would happily eat half the pan for dinner if I'd let him. It's hard to restrain yourself around these!

Friday, October 2, 2009

It's October!

You know what that means! Halloween decorations, costume-making, pumpkin picking, and apple cider. I love fall! It's always been my favorite season, even more so now that I'm past school-age and no longer have to balance my love of fall with my love of summer vacation.

All of the traditional fall treats are great and all, but the best part about fall is October baseball!

I'm so glad to see my New York Yankees back atop the American League East where they belong. Now we just have to sit back and wait for the Division Series to start next week. I know a good buddy of mine is still rooting on those Tigers to win the AL Central. She's pregnant, so for her blood pressure's sake it would be a good thing if they managed to clinch, but for my stress level's sake I'd much rather face the Twins in the ALDS.

If everything goes as expected it very well could be another Yankees / red sux ALCS this year. I don't know if I could handle the stress. Of course, games are played on the field, not on paper, so we'll just have to wait and see :)


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