Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments is brought to you by Mrs4444!

Mommy's Idea

I went 5 days without the interwebs while we were on vacation. I guess that's not technically 100% accurate, since I did have my droid and used it to send around a few Charlie pictures and to search for a good place to eat. No news, no blogs, no message boards. My Google Reader has 818 unread posts :|

Since we didn't want to connect to the internet, we spent our evenings drinking wine and cider and playing board games, including a fabulously outdated version of Trivial Pursuit Junior.

How fun is that?

We also played hours worth of Uno, including a variation where you play all of your cards face-up, which was surprisingly difficult. But still fun. We ended up making our own hybrid game based on the suggestions at this site.

I made the best Pumpkin cookies EVER last night. I knew they were going to be amazing because the dough tasted pretty good and the house smelled like christmas while they were baking, but I didn't know just HOW awesome they were going to be. They're like miniature cakes and VERY tasty. Better pictures and recipe coming soon, I promise. For now you can just envy me.

I can't wait to take Charlie out trick-or-treating this week! And not just because I get to be the candy tester, either. He really "gets it" this year and had a ton of fun at the zoo's HallZOOween party.

If there's any doubt just how much he loves candy, check out his smile showing off his chocolate witch lollipop from the candy shop in Williamsburg.

Here's a sneak preview of Charlie as Brobee.

Office QOTW

Michael (asking the Ouija board): What is Daryl?
Erin (as the Ouija thingy scrolls over the letters): A-S-S-H... No! No!

I picked this one in honor of Halloween and because I was all about the Ouija board when I was little. I was 100% terrified of it, but it showed up at every slumber party, anyway. Does anyone else remember being told that it was a thing of the devil and that you couldn't throw it out? Those urban legends about the kids who broke it in half and tossed it in the trash, only to find it back in one piece and right under the bed? **shivers**

Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Did you miss me? Here I am, back in the O-hi-o. Vacation was great, but there's something so nice about finally getting home and getting to sleep in your own bed again. Home seems even sweeter when you've spent a few nights alternating between sleeping on a fold-out couch and sharing a twin bed with a leggy toddler. I don't think I slept more than two consecutive hours the entire time.

The best part about coming home is that Halloween is only a few days away, and I've been looking forward to stepping up to a very important parental responsibility - the Testing of the Halloween Candy.

The Testing of the Halloween Candy was always a big deal in our house. When I was little, the trick-or-treating rules were different. There was none of this 2-hour block from 6-8 BS. Trick-or-treating started on the way home from school at 2:45 and continued until we were too tired to take another step. We went out with our friends, then went to grandma Julie's house and hit up her neighborhood, then went to grandma Karen's house and finished up our evening on her street. Just another benefit of having the whole fam-damn-ily living in the same town.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that, as an OCD sufferer, my favorite part of Halloween came after the candy had all been collected. We would run home and dump out our overstuffed pillowcases onto the living room floor. Then the sorting and counting began. Piles of candy sorted by type and color. Milk duds over here, Reece's over there, Smarties tossed aside to be traded to the Little Sister for something better....

We counted our candy - how many Snickers did you get? How many Tootsie Rolls? And then the trading started, with each candy having a certain ratio to all other candies - three Tootsie Rolls for a Snickers, 1 Peppermint Patty for two DumDums, all the Smarties in our pile for whatever we could get from Katie.

Once the dust settled, Dad came over to survey our hauls. That's when the Candy Testing started. As kids, we knew that this was very important, for our own safety. The Milk Duds and Reece cups were the most dangerous, and thus required the largest sample size. I know it was a difficult task for him, but he performed his work admirably for the good of his children.

This year, I'm fully prepared for the task. My sources tell me that Milk Duds and Snicker bars are of top priority - they're Test-Level Orange.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments is brought to you by Mrs4444!

Mommy's Idea

Mini-vacation starts tomorrow! 3 lovely days of spending time with my sister and her fiance. I miss her constantly, so I'm really looking forward to it. The weather is supposed to be lovely.

Baseball has been a roller coaster this postseason. There was that brilliant comeback by the Yankees last Friday night (holy cow, was that a week ago?! Feels like a lifetime!), followed by three losses in a row, and then a seemingly-easy win on Wednesday. Friday night I watched the game in a bar full of Yankee-haters. It was hard to be the only one celebrating the dramatic comeback. Potential game 7 will be even worse, because I'll be stuck with my sports-hating in laws. I forsee a lot of quality time spent with my Droid.

Let's go Yankees! I want to celebrate this again.

I have a baseball crush on Tim Lincecum. True story. I think it's because he reminds me of Mitch from Dazed and Confused. I loved that movie.

He's the kind of guy I would have dated in high school. Because dating in high school means so much, and all.

Speaking of baseball crushes, my fantasy life was dealt a crushing blow when I heard Mike & Mike talking about Jeter's upcoming nuptials. I knew he was engaged, but now that they've actually set a date I guess there's no turning back. That's right, ladies, as of November 6 he will be officially off the market. Not that I'm on the market, or anything. Hopefully they'll also be celebrating the Yankees winning a 28th World Series Championship that weekend.

I have 19 Yankee shirts hanging in my closet. That's an impressive total, but it doesn't even count the ones that are folded up in my drawers. I'll have to do a full count at some point and take a picture of my awesome collection. I even have Yankee pajamas, but that shouldn't surprise anyone.

We bought our tickets to Harry Potter 7! We have a double-date planned for November 19th. As much as I wanted to go to the midnight show the night before, that whole "responsible adult" thing was getting in the way.


Office QOTW

A horse is just a bike that pedals itself.

Do you think we just met Michael's replacement?

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Baby Got Stats

World Statistics Day is over, but this is too cool not to share.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy World Statistics Day! (AKA: WTF, Girardi?)

Did you know it's World Statistics Day? Stats geeks all over the world are spending the day celebrating the power of statistics.

I'll try not to party too hard.

For real, though, people don't realize just how often statistics come into play in their every day lives. Especially for sports fans. Take Girardi's decision to intentionally walk David Murphy with one one and two out in the top of the 6th. The next batter was Bengie Molina, and we all know what happened next - he belted a three run homer and put the Rangers on top 5-3. So why did he do it? Why did he put the go ahead run on first base? He did it because Murphy was hitting .280ish against AJ Burnett, and Molina was not. Statistics were on his side. Unfortunately, there is always an outlier, and that became Molina's homer. As a Yankee fan, I hate the decision that he made. As a statistician, I understand. 9 times out of 10 you end up with an inning-ending out, a weak grounder that goes to any base and ends the jam. But that one time, the 10% chance you have that it's not going to go your way? Well, sometimes it doesn't.

Disclaimer: For the sake of talking about statistics in (mostly) black and white, I'm setting aside the fact that Girardi should have known better than to put a second base runner on while AJ was on the mound. Statistics also tell us that AJ's effectiveness plummets when there are runners on the bases. Joe Maddon for manager!

Second Disclaimer: Yes, writing about the Yankees under the guise of World Statistics Day makes me feel better about writing about it at all. I would prefer to stick my head under the couch. Dunkin coffee helps, too.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Charlie and the Potty

Watching the Yankees lose drains me of motivation to blog.

Charlie is completely potty trained at home. He's been in undies for over two months now. We go out all weekend and take long day trips without a diaper in sight. For some reason he just can't get with the program while he's at daycare. The obvious reason would be that there are too many distractions - that he's just having too much fun and doing too many things to be bothered with going. That makes sense in theory, but then wouldn't that same logic apply for the Renaissance Festival and the zoo? It just doesn't make any sense at all.

We tried the undies at school thing last month and failed miserably. I decided that this is going to be the week. Yesterday he went through four pairs of pants. I think part of the problem is that I feel bad making his teachers deal with it, but how is he ever going to learn if we don't just bite the bullet and say "hey, you have to wear big boy undies to school!" Maybe it will take a few days of wet pants and discomfort.

So wish him luck. I have a feeling I'm going to be doing a lot of laundry this week.


I'm a baseball multi-tasker. Even more so when my team is losing, especially when they're losing to Cliff Lee and have only managed to rack up two hits.

Last night's long and painful game combined with the fact that I got a new lens for my birthday and have seen some really neat photo challenge blogs lately have inspired me to resurrect my photo blog. I think where I went wrong was the whole idea of the 365-day challenge. That just isn't sustainable for me. I'm a busy person. I feel tremendous amounts of guilt when I say I'm going to do something and then let it slide. So there won't be 365 photos. Just some pictures of some things.

So far I've added up through my grandma's 75th birthday party. The colors from that particular occasion are kind of wonky, but they have to be up there anyway. I do really like the NYC pics, though. Stay tuned for some really neat shots from the Jersey Shore and some additions that actually show off some photographic skill, rather than just a cute toddler.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments is brought to you by Mrs4444!

Mommy's Idea

Vanilla Ice has a new reality show. I bet you'll never guess what channel it's on. Ready? The DIY Network! What do you mean, you don't believe me? See for yourself.

Would you still love me if I told you it was on my DVR?

Dunkin has a Caramel Apple Latte this year. It might be the best thing ever. Especially with a breakfast consisting of a mini cider donut and an apple fritter. We drove 45 minutes north to the apple farm rumored to have the best cider donuts and fritters. It felt a little funny because it was 90 degrees out and you should pick pumpkins when it's cold out, but the apple cider slushie I got made it all ok. I'm too embarrassed to tell you how much apple food we came home with.

I put together a draft marathon training schedule last night. I get butterflies in my tummy just thinking about the prospect of running a marathon.

I FINALLY got my hands on a copy of Parenting Beyond Belief. It came from Amazon Wednesday afternoon and I can hardly put it down. I wish I could just not work and stay home and read it all day. It's so nice to finally be able to sit back and read about parents and families who are like us, raising a child outside of the religious mainstream. I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief. Expect more blog posts on my religions disbeliefs coming soon. I have a lot to talk about.

ALCS starts tonight! Yankees, don't fail me now! I love baseball, and I'd like my season to be extended through the World Series.

I desperately need to go clothes shopping. I was totally spoiled wearing jeans to work. I miss the lax dress code, but not the job. Now I need winter clothes of the non-hoodie variety. So who wants to shop for me?

ONE WEEK until vacation with sister and future-brother-in-law! Can't wait to get our colonial williamsburging on.

Office QOTW:

Michael (repeating the tagline he created for a movie that doesn't exist): He had no arms or legs, he couldn't see, hear or speak. This is how he led a nation.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Statement of Accountability

Five months ago I watched some of the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon on TV, and thought "Hey, I can do that!" I think husband Charlie thought it was a phase, and that I'd forget about it within a week or two.

Five months later, I still want to do it. And I still think I can. So now I'm researching marathon training and running groups, and next month I'll be going to an information session for one of the most popular ones in our area.

And I'm going to do it. I'm going to train to run a full marathon, and if I get to race day and I feel like I can only run a half, then that will be ok.

So why am I telling you this? Because if it's on the interwebs, it has to be true. So there it is, my accountability.

I swear, that's the only thing that got me through P90X. It's going to get me through this, too. Sad, but sometimes I succeed only because I don't want to let other people down.

That and I want a bumper sticker....

Monday, October 11, 2010

On OCD, Again.

Most of the time I can handle the OCD. Most of the time it's just a little quirky problem of mine, a minor annoyance that has little bearing on my day-to-day life. After all, I attribute my love of numbers to the fact that I spent so much time counting things and enjoying the beauty of squares and the not-so-beautiful nature of prime numbers and the numbers 5 and 7 (which I hate). Do you have numbers that you strongly dislike? And numbers that you associate with colors, that you also then dislike? Like orange and brown? No? I guess it's just me. Not to worry, my dislike doesn't stop with numbers. I hate letters, too. Like the letter "G." It just bothers me.

I can deal with being not-so-fond of numbers and letters and colors. I can deal with having to do things an even number of times, repeating gestures because I feel like I need to, touching things in certain ways - like the elevator buttons in our other office. There's something so pleasant about the way that some of them click (because they're old and they kind of stick in the socket) that I feel compelled to click it over and over again. It would be so satisfying. But I don't, because I'm not crazy I try not to let my OCD dictate my behavior in ways that would be noticeable to others, and standing in the elevator repeatedly pressing the button for floor 2 would probably raise some eyebrows. It's easier to get away with eating M&Ms and Skittles in a certain color order and always in even-numbered quantities.

Sometimes it's hard to stop the social process part, though. The part where I always wonder what I did, convinced that I did something, to annoy someone. I tend to over-analyze everything about my life. I re-live social interactions over and over in my head (which may be why I enjoy Curtis Sittenfeld's writing style so much), looking for a mistake that I might have made. I take things way too personally and I'm constantly wondering if people are mad at me or annoyed at me or tired of my company.

And then there's the irrational anxiety, the knots in my stomach when I think about the dangerous things in our house and the dangerous things out there in the world that I send my child into every day. What's that you say? Every parent gets that way? I get that way and more. We got a lovely set of kitchen knives for a wedding gift and I've never touched a single one. I'm terrified of power tools and have multiple locks on the basement door that I check regularly. The thought of C ever owning a gun and ever having one in our house paralyzes me with terror. What if, what if, what if?

But I do try really hard not to live in the anxiety. I try to overcome my need for validation and reassurance and irrational fears. I try not to spend hours awake at night worrying about some news story that I heard. Sometimes it's just really freaking hard.

Then I get anxiety about anxiety, especially when it comes to Charlie. Why doesn't he like his hands to get dirty? Is that something he gets from me? Is it a sign of OCD? I was the same way when I was little. I couldn't get my face wet when I was swimming. I always had to be near a towel. I could go underwater, but as soon as I came back up I needed to try my face. Why does he insist on a new shirt when he gets a spot on the one he's wearing? OMFG, I did that, too! And he lines things up and he puts things in pairs, and I'm always told that this is normal toddler behavior, but is it normal for MY toddler? Or is it a sign of things to come, like it was with me?

Then every once in a while someone will mention that their kid has some funny quirk and I'll say "ha ha, I used to do that, too!" and then if it's a friend who knows about my OCD I immediately think "ZOMFG, I didn't mean to insinuate that your kid has OCD!" But I don't say it. Because that would be too awkward.

My husband and friends are freaking saints for putting up with me. Medals all around.


It's amazing how trimming off a few inches of hair can transform a person from a scruffy toddler to a little boy.

It's amazing to watch him grow up into his own little person, but it's kind of sad at the same time. Slow down!



Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments is brought to you by Mrs4444!

Mommy's Idea

In a pinch the other day and needing caffeine with no Dunkin in sight, I broke down and bought a drink from Starbucks. I figured that while I was crossing over to the other side I may as well go balls to the wall, so I ordered a froufrou drink - the toffee mocha. It was a huge disappointment. Maybe it would have been better with the whipped cream. Either way, I will never again stray from my loyalties.

I love mac and cheese. Really, really love it. Especially this Ina Garten recipe, which kept us fed and happy for three nights this week.

The MLB Postseason is in full swing. I'm already tired and stressed, but it was super cool to see Roy Halladay pitch a no hitter on Wednesday, even if it was against the Reds. I know my Cinci friends really wanted that win, but I hope they can get past it and appreciate how neat it was to have a postseason no-hitter happen during our lifetimes.

Yankees are up 2 games to 0, and I'm a happy camper. Even happier because it was Pettitte who got the win yesterday. <3 him!

I hate the TBS broadcasts because everyone is so anti-Yankees. I also hate their broadcast team. WTF was he wearing?

Did you ever have one of those spans where you feel like you got absolutely nothing accomplished? From Monday at 1:30 until Wednesday at 4:40 I got pretty much nothing done. Not for lack of trying, either.

A newly discovered benefit of Yo Gabba Gabba! - If I sing the "Try It, You'll Like It!" song, Charlie will usually take at least one bite of whatever we're eating. 9 times out of 10 he'll decide that he likes it, too, and finish his dinner. He's eaten a wider variety in the last week than he has in the last year.

Is it bad that I sometimes find myself listening to the CD when he's not even in the car?

I think I need to get this shirt for Charlie.

I could do some serious wallet damage at ThinkGeek.

Office QOTW:

I almost didn't do a QOTW because the episode kind of sucked, but then I decided that I would go ahead and do it anyway, because I like tradition. Also because of the BSC shoutout.

Erin: I really wanted to see Andy's play, because he's so, so talented, but I've been trying to get in the babysitting game forever. The 13-year-olds in this town have a complete monopoly. It's almost like a babysitters' club.

How's that for a flashback? If you loved the BSC as much as I did, then you'll love What Claudia Wore. Big thanks to Tube Top Tricia for the link.

Oh, and one more final inclusion. You may have heard that Deadspin has posted pictures of Brett Favrerereres, um, anatomy. No need to go and see if it's true. It is. And now I can't scrub my eyeballs hard enough.


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