Friday, November 21, 2008

Angie's Excellent Adventure begins

I'm off in less than six hours to begin my adventures! I leave for the airport at 3:30am, will be in San Juan for lunch, and will feast on roast pig for dinner at Cisco's wedding.

Puerto Rico, here I come! (Just don't get too fond of me, though. I won't be staying long.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The hands-down best way to buy shoes

I've don't like shopping. I love having new stuff, I'm rather fond of buying things, but the shopping experience is simply a means to an end. Now that I have no time (have I mentioned that??), shopping rarely happens.

On Monday, when I wore my 3-inch skinny heels to work, I realized I desperately needed new shoes. I walk 40 minutes or more every day. I've gotta be reasonably comfortable, at least *some* of the time!

Enter, which I'd only used once before. Always free shipping; always free returns. They have amazing search criteria; in the case of my prior purchase, I looked only at black boots, size 6, 1 3/4-2 1/2" heels, skinny calves, within a specific price range. On Monday morning, I looked for black ankle boots, 1 3/4-2 1/2" heels, size 6, within my price range. I bought a pair I liked on the first page; had notification within the hour that I'd gotten free upgraded shipping; and had great new boots at my door yesterday. I love Zappos!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

No sleep... so tired... ARGH!

Two weeks ago the Bug started waking up in the middle of the night crying. She needed comfort, and probably needed Tylenol, too - her top left molar was coming in. This passed after a few days, but re-started again after a few more. I think the top right was making itself felt.

The last four or five nights, though, have been terrible. For Joker and me. The Bug is waking up, crying out for us, whimpering, making a fuss, which escalates until she is hysterical and we need to calm her down. I'm not sure what happened (she's been a great sleeper for 15 months), and we don't know what to do. So every hour or two, both of us are awake and one of us is out of bed. Plus I'm a lousy sleeper who has trouble getting back to sleep each time. We are probably exacerbating the situation by calming her down each time, but if she's not asleep we aren't either, and we don't want her to be miserable!

Is this a phase? Will it pass on its own? Any pearls of wisdom to share??

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Doing the crazy thing

It's hard to be spontaneous with the Bug. Even just running a quick errand requires cramming a diaper, some wipes, and a sippy cup into my bag. Sometimes, though, I surprise myself.

We've got two destination weddings of very good friends coming up. One is November 22 in San Juan, PR, and the other is the 29th in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We knew about the second one first, and planned a week vacation with the Bug and my parents. Unfortunately, that meant we would miss the first wedding. We tried to change our plans so that we could do both, but it was cost-prohibitive.

We were bummed to have to miss it. So Friday morning, at Joker's suggestion, I bought a ticket to fly down to San Juan. I'm leaving at 6am on Saturday, and returning right after the wedding on the 3am flight back to JFK. Even though I'll be the one physically there, it was a team effort. Joker and I... we still do "crazy."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bug's exploding vocabulary

People who know me aren't shocked to hear that the Bug is turning into a bit of a chatterbox. She has been yammering since she had the pleasure of hearing her own voice. For a long time, there were no discernible words. Then she added Dada, "cado" (avocado, her favorite food), and duck. For the past couple of weeks she's been adding new words every day. Her vocabulary now includes Mama, dog, Sirius, Buffy, ba-ba, more, bubbles, door, floor, box, toast, milk, banana (more or less, that's a tough one), shoe, sock, bow, cheers, moo, windy, brr, nose, eyes, ears, oh, uh-oh, "I want" (generally before "more" or "bubbles").

When she's eating, she'll point at each bite of food on her tray and repeat the word after me. Same thing when we're reading a book. She'll chatter to herself in bed after she wakes up and before she falls asleep. It's amazing how quickly she's coming along!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another future Eli?

Congratulations to my good friends (and fellow Yalies) Maureen and Steve, who welcomed their second son Jacob Douglas Webster yesterday morning. At 10 lbs. 5 oz. (no, I'm not kidding!), Jake's gonna be able to hold his own against older brother Steven. Mama and baby are doing great.

Old school Sesame Street

The Bug generally does great in the car, but she gets a little bored coming home from the babysitter at the end of the day. We tried to resist, but it makes her ride more enjoyable if Joker plays her a DVD in the car. The only kiddie DVD we own is Baby Einstein, so we started renting episodes from the early years of Sesame Street.

We've now seen the very first episode ever of Sesame Street. It's pretty cool. Gordon's got a great afro and mutton chops. Sketches include the guy who falls down the stairs laden with cream pies, and an ode to cows and milk, and the special features include golden oldies like "Rubber Ducky" and "I Love Trash." Big Bird has a strangely tiny head. And shocker of shockers, Oscar was orange that first year! I think that Joker and I probably enjoyed it more than the Bug, but we'll keep getting these old Sesame Streets for her late-afternoon amusement.

Monday, November 10, 2008

On the Road

I did something this weekend that I haven't done in a very long time. I quit reading a book in the middle. The book (as you may have surmised) is On the Road by Jack Kerouac. I know it's a classic, but I just couldn't get into it. After struggling with it for weeks, I finally decided it was time to put it down. Life's too short to read bad books. Did I make a mistake?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

San Francisco

My parents spent last weekend in northern California. They had a wedding to attend in San Francisco, and were able to spend Halloween with my uncle, aunt, and two young daughters. I think it's been a very long time since my mom went trick-or-treating! Mom and Dad love San Francisco... the hilly streets, crab sandwiches, the barking seals.

This postcard of another fave - the cable car - was sent to the Bug:
And a day later, a beautiful shot of the Golden Gate Bridge for Joker and me:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President Barack Obama

Wow. I am so floored by this, much more so than I expected. I went to bed last night knowing that he would win, but this morning tears filled my eyes repeatedly as I listened to NPR. I'm excited that we have elected an African American, and for what that means to the world the Bug will grow up in. But that is only a part of it. I think that we have in Obama someone who will truly bring change to Washington. Not the so-called change of just being a different guy, but true change.

For one thing, he is smart. Really smart. Elite, if you will. Obama is in a class by himself. He is very confident in his intelligence and experience, but he is not an egoist. He is not afraid to surround himself with others of that caliber. He showed his eagerness to balance his weaknesses when he selected Biden as his running mate. He embraces people with differences of opinion, and he is not afraid to hear criticism. Compare that with the insular Bush administration, which forced out anyone who dared to disagree. I think there will be good things - bipartisan things - to come as his Cabinet begins to take shape.

Further, he has proven that he has great judgement and a cool head under pressure. His ability to calmly listen, digest, and then react is unmatched. It'll serve us well on the international front. Diplomacy is an art, an important art. In order to truly bring about change we will need to influence our enemies as well as our friends, and the only way to do that is to engage with them. Obama won't throw a tantrum when he doesn't get his way, nor will he be afraid to use force when it is needed. Of critical importance is that he can tell the difference.

Some of our greatest presidents entered office when the country was in its most dire straits: Lincoln, Truman, FDR. Obama has the opportunity, and the potential, to become a great president himself, but there is a lot of work to be done simply to right the ship. I'll worry about that tomorrow. Today, I am going to enjoy feeling optimistic for the first time in a long time.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I voted today!

We've been going to the same polling place for five years, spanning two Presidential elections, a midterm election, and the three corresponding primaries. We have always walked right in and voted within five or ten minutes. This morning, I actually felt a bit emotional when I saw the line stretched out of the building and around the parking lot. It brought tears to my eyes to see how many people really care about this election.

On a related note, I'm wearing my "I voted today!" sticker. I always do, and I wear my "I gave blood today" sticker, too. I just kinda like 'em. Unfortunately for some of my colleagues, it appears that polling places in New York City aren't giving out stickers today. Bummer!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pre-election phone banking

Working the phone banks is second nature to my sister, but I have never really done it before. I just finished making about 30 calls to voters in one of the State Representative races here in Connecticut. It wasn't my district, but I was totally fired up by the letters the incumbent sent out, misrepresenting the emergency contraception in the ER bill and promising to vote against other such legislation. Most people were genuinely pleased to get the call, many because they know Elizabeth Esty personally and are planning to vote for her, and the rest because they are glad that the pro-choice movement remains active.

I hope that by this time tomorrow we are celebrating history with Barack Obama. Whatever your position, don't forget to vote tomorrow. It's a very, very important election. Make your voice count.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Little trick-or-treater

This Halloween, amidst the pirates and superheroes, football players and princesses, the Bug's alter-ego emerged bigger and badder than you've ever seen her. She was (drum roll please) a Candy Corn.

The Candy Corn really took to her first trick-or-treating. The conditions were certainly prime: we were at some friends' house, graciously hosted by their 6-year-old Hannah Montana (above), a 5-year-old fireman, and nearly-1-year-old cheerleader. There was a posse of kids (and grown-ups) who came for pizza dinner before heading out into Briarcliff's "Tree Streets" neighborhood, which sees roughly a zillion kiddies each Halloween.

The Candy Corn spent the bulk of the outing riding on Jokers shoulders. But about five or six times, she pointed to a house she wanted to check out. We'd get her down, she'd hold both of our hands, and we'd approach said house. Upon seeing their tiny visitor, each host got down on his knees to get a closer view, the Candy Corn carefully placed a piece of candy in her bag, and we'd wave bye-bye.

It was a vastly different Halloween than Joker's and my first date eight years ago that night, and another unbelievably fun one!