Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

We're taking Z treat or treating for the first time late this afternoon.

UPDATE: Gloria and Eric brought over Lia and the girls treat-or-treated together up and down our block. They were really cute, screeching with glee and saying "Trick or treat," "Thank you," and "Happy Halloween" with some consistency. Josh wanted to come along, so we placed a bowl of candy on our stoop, expecting our neighbors to respect the honor system. Unfortunately, we'd only gone down about three houses before we bumped into a group of ill-mannered boys who weren't from our block or in costume. Our neighbor chastised them for trick or treating without a get-up, and they practically knocked Z off her porch as they reached into her candy bowl regardless. (Z said, "I want those boys go away.") Anyway, they headed to our house next and ripped off all of our treats. Nice.

On a more positive note, a few of my neighbors brought back memories of my childhood's "best Halloween houses." There's the guy who gives out full size Hershey's bars, but also the family making fresh cotton candy and the guy with margaritas for the chaperones.

Our friends stayed for dinner, much to the girls' delight.

And by 6:30 all of our back-up candy was gone.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Another post about Omaha

This is for my Omaha relatives. Aunt Susie, feel free to share it with your friends at the Omaha World-Herald.

Calling customer care

This morning I dialed Chase's customer care line and pressed 0 until I got an operator.

"Hello, I'm calling because the ATM at the Merchandise Mart has said 'Unable to dispense cash' virtually every time I've checked it for the past 6 weeks."
"Does the supermarket have a branch bank?"
"It's not a supermarket. It Chicago's Merchandise Mart. One of the biggest buildings in the country. It has its own zip code. And it doesn't have a Chase bank branch in it."
"Oh, and what city and state is it in?"

To her credit, she did ask for the zip code and said she'd "make a note of it."

Hail to the purse

The NY Times has a great story reiterating what we marketers have been saying for years: women make purchasing decisions. Still, it's gratifying to see so many companies sit up and pay attention (even if it is in their own self interest).

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Did I really gain an hour?

We "fell back" last night as Daylight Savings Time came to an end, but no one told our toddler. She awakened at her usual hour, but instead of it being 6:20am, it was 5:20. And since we'd been out for almost 8 hours for a wedding near Lake Forest Saturday night, we could have used the sleep! It was J. Niimi's nuptials, and the gathering was thick with indie rockers. At our table of eight, six were musicians either currently or formerly in bands. And how often can Josh and I go anywhere and find at least three other music critics?

Julia babysat, and Z escorted her around the Halloween block party where apparently some of the neighbors I don't know very well thought she was the mommy. Did I mention she's in high school? Anyway, it must have gone well because the first thing Z said when we came downstairs this morning was, "Hey! Where did Julia go?" Then she asked where Fred and Jeff went. They, plus one other former Aden bandmate, crashed here Friday night and Z got plenty of time to bond with the guys--Fred in particular.

Speaking of which, Fred brought Z one of the cutest, most thoughtful gifts she's ever received. Fred, who is a single guy in his early thirties who writes print ads for Howard Stern, picked out a tiny plush backpack with butterfly wings. Z was enchanted.

Lots of other stuff was packed into this weekend too: I braved chilly winds to march with Z in the block's Halloween parade. I don't know if it was the weather or the bad night of sleep she'd had the night before, but she proved to be a very cowardly lion! I finished Z's green and yellow striped cardigan. I hit the Oak Park Temple Rummage Sale and scored a bed rail, an extra booster seat, a spare umbrella stroller, two kiddie books, a pair of children's sneakers and a Little People barn (which is short a few animals) for a grand total of $12. I ate delicious barbecue at Sweet Baby Ray's in Wood Dale. And I endured a napless Sunday.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The perfect cup of coffee

As I mentioned, Flavia and Keurig would be nice improvements to the coffee situation at work, but I get a real fine cup of coffee every morning at home. I'm lucky enough to have married a budding coffee geek, one of the country's rare Chemex owners. For the last couple of years, I've indulged his love of good beans with a coffee of the month membership to Peet's or Intelligentsia, and I'd be lying if I didn't say I've benefited from my own largess.

Everyone should know how to make a great cup of joe. And now the LA Times has a great story on exactly that. Because you never know when we might come for a visit.

Barack Obama

I'm thrilled to see our country so excited about a presidential run by our junior Senator for Illinois and former Hyde Parker Barack Obama. I read (most) of his first autobiography, and untell someone can prove otherwise, I believe he's one of the rare politicians who is in this for the right reasons. He's a dyed in the wool progressive liberal, but because he can talk about Jesus he's willing to play nice with Republicans, conservatives don't hate him. Is he electable? Slate's Jacob Weisberg thinks so.

And while I last heard it before he was elected, I'll never forget his uplifting 2004 campaign theme song.

Over 100 posts

This week I passed the 100 post mark and yesterday I had more site visitors than I typically get in a week, thanks I'm sure to the Verizon story I shared with Consumerist. It's all making me feel a little like a genuine blogger. I love having this site as an outlet, and it makes me all warm and fuzzy knowing someone's out there reading what I have to say.

So, if you like what you've seen so far, share this site with a couple of friends. Let's demonstrate the power of word-of-mouth!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Just don't

Why is it cute to call Diet Coke "DC?" You're not saving any syllables. You and your Diet Coke-swilling friends aren't part of some secret society. It's the number one selling diet cola in the world!

Or maybe it's me. Maybe I'm harboring some underlying resentment that Diet Coke is the only beverage option at most of the working lunches I attend. Like, G-d forbid a woman in this industry drink anything else! Tap water, for instance. (Or, if I have any credit left on the Starbucks gift cards I'm periodically awarded, an IZZE soda. Mmmm.)

Something's brewing at work

This morning our office manager coordinated a taste test with our regular beverage vendor, and the kitchen with filled with art directors, web designers, account execs and accounting staff sampling coffee and teas from Keurig and Flavia.

Honestly, any single serve coffee machine will be miles better than the industrial sludge available in the seldom-washed, truck stop-style drip machines this agency has currently got, but I'm pushing for the Flavia since it offers so many tasty choices. I had a cappuccino this morning, but the machine can also make a decent latte, mocha, hot cocoa or tea (although they're scorchingly hot). The other major thing the Flavia's got going for it is that it includes milk pouches for the aforementioned espresso drinks. I'm not a fan of Coffee-Mate, and that's the closest thing we've got to moo juice right now.

Why I'm needed

I saw this point-of-sale poster at a cell phone shop in the Merchandise Mart. Did the agency (or in-house shop) that created it forget to hire a copywriter? A proofreader? An account executive capable of spelling his own client's name correctly? And the best part is that Verizon is misspelled right underneath the Verizon logo!

I realize this picture isn't the best quality, but I took it with my Samsung phone (from T-Mobile).

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


As if the spinach recall wasn't enough, now Consumer Reports is telling us that avoiding bagged salad won't just save you a pretty penny--it could save you from serious gross-out. They surveyed "ready-to-eat" salads and analyzed them for brown, gooey leaves and icky odors. The percentage of inedible greens ranged from a low of .5 percent to a whopping 83 percent! I think I'll stick with washing and ripping up my own lettuce. It's really not that hard!

I want it

Blik, maker of the birds gracing the wall above my bed, are getting into car customization with their new Autographic line of decals. Can I tell you how much I want this for our new CR-V?

Are you a hot mom?

Well, I'd loathe to be seen in Mom Jeans, but I'm not sure I'm up to today's standards. And apparently I should be concerned. What with with Suave telling me to put beauty back on my to-do list and a new reality TV show searching for the Hottest Mom in America, it seems just looking presentable while juggling diaper changes, toddler mealtimes and a full-time job isn't enough. Now we moms need to stop traffic in the car pool lane. We need to push up our lactating breasts and squeeze our post-partum bellies in low-rise denim (hello muffin top!).

I'm all for looking my best--hell, cute clothes and a good hair day can make my day. But all this focus on MILFs makes me feel we haven't come very far in 30 years. Check out this TAB commercial for proof.

I've also come across the Hot Moms Club, but while it claims to be a website for "Moms who refuse to check their sense of style at the white picket fence," their content isn't beauty or fashion-focused in the least. In fact, it is kind of interesting, in an upscale, Cookie-kind of way.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A woman I admire

Glencoe, Illinois mom Lynn Romanek was so moved by An Inconvenient Truth, that she decided to start a grassroots campaign to reduce emissions in her suburb. She's posting signs at schools and temples asking drivers to simply turn off their engines, reducing the emissions caused by careless idling. And it's such a simple, painless change that drivers are doing just that.

My hat's off to her!

Baby likes books

Josh picked up some new books from the library for Z today, and I showed them to her about 45 minutes before bedtime. Surprisingly, she didn't care at all for Sandra Boynton's Doggies, but Pumpkin, Pumpkin and Lost and Found were big hits! So much so that after one Mommy read-though of each, my little girl decided she would read the books to me.
Here's her version of Pumpkin, Pumpkin: "Pumpkin, Pumpkin. Pumpkin seed. And it grow. And grow. And grow. And grow. The end!"
The sappy underpinnings of Lost and Found were largely lost on her: "Lost and found! Penguin at the doorway. There's the moon! Those are star brights! Do you wanna see the thunder? There's thunder! And rain! And a cave [iceberg]. The cave is where the penguin live. And water. The end!"

Monday, October 23, 2006

Getting back online

Sorry the posts have been few and far between these last couple of days. Having my mom and Rick in town, combined with having the only Internet-ready computer in the basement (the wireless connection on our iBook is on the fritz), has made updating my blog a low priority.

Anyway, everyone's asking "So, how do you like your mom's boyfriend?" And the answer is, honestly, we like him a lot! He's a laid-back, jolly sort of guy...intellectually curious and with varied interests. He's able to keep up with Josh in conversations about movies, music and comic art (my mother's interest level in those departments is sub-low), and he seems genuinely into Mom. In fact, the two of them are a little puppydoggish, which is a little weird to see in a parent, but heartwarming nonetheless.

I'm really hoping this relationship sticks since Rick seems to be really good for Mom. He softens her sharp edges. Also, since she's been with Rick she seems more comfortable in her own skin than I've ever seen her. Maybe it's easier to be at ease with yourself when you know someone else thinks you're the bomb.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

21st Century Family

My mom and her boyfriend Rick are here for a weekend visit. I'm glad Z's young enough that I don't have to explain his relationship to Nanny (her grandmother)!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Green Chicago

A Fresh Squeeze is a new Chicago website and e-newsletter with ideas for healthier, more organic and less polluting living in Chicago. I've enjoyed their first few emails and I'm bookmarking the website.

What I believe

It is rare that I'm given the opportunity to do good as a marketer, but I am so excited about a program idea I've developed for a new business pitch. We were asked to come up with a cause marketing idea that would appeal to moms and focus on health and wellness for kids. I won't give away the specifics of the idea, but it is something I really, truly believe in. I'm hoping that the marketing muscle of this powerful brand can help start a movement for play. As I mentioned a few days ago, the AAP has released a study that says child-based, unstructured play is under threat from parents' desires to create superkids and the pressure schools are under to raise academic test scores. I read the report (click the PDF link within the press release), and I strongly urge every parent and educator to do so also. It reinforced my commitment to give Z the same long afternoons of creative playtime I enjoyed as a kid.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Science fiction?

An evolutionary theorist is predicting that humanity may split into two distinct sub-species in 100,000 years and that just 1000 years from now we'll be well over 6 feet tall. Our lifespan will have been extended to 120 years and everyone will be coffee-colored and better looking. The question is: will we survive that long or destroy or planet first?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More teddies!

In addition to the teddy bear, musical giraffe, sippy cup of water and book already in her crib, Z demanded "baby" (a plush Japanese-alien thing from Aunt Bethany that now wears a diaper), "another teddy" and "my elephant" (also diapered) before submitting to the nightly tuck in. This is getting ridiculous!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

In the work-life balance, housework suffers

A new study reveals that married and single parents--even working moms like me--are spending more time on child care than women of previous generations. Since we're also working more outside the home something had to give. That something? Housework. We're either asking our husbands for help, letting the dust bunnies run wild... or we're outsourcing. Considering I only know one mom (working or stay-a-home) who doesn't have a cleaning lady, I see anecdotal evidence to support the study. Another interesting tidbit from the study, which is detailed in this NY Times article, "Many couples delay having children to 'a point later in life when they want to spend time with those children.' People who are uninterested in raising children can 'opt out of parenting altogether,' by using birth control."

The Evolution of Beauty

The Evolution Of Beauty

I'm a huge fan of Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty, but this video really takes the cake. I could point out that Dove is a beauty brand and it isn't like they never retouch their ads. Or that Unilever, Dove's parent company, is a major advertiser (and a client of my agency). But that doesn't keep me from loving this. Talk about forging an emotional connection to the brand!

Preschool puberty

Puberty has been moving up in children, and many people blame the hormones in dairy products. We try to limit Z's exposure to bovine growth hormone by choosing dairy products that are rBGH-free. But it looks like the increasing prevalence of certain drugs, cosmetics and endocrine disruptors are causing breast growth, pubic hair and other symptoms of puberty in children as young as five. This NY Times piece details one case in which doctors realized that, through normal skin contact with her father, a girl absorbed the testosterone from a topical skin cream her dad was using, elevating her testosterone level to 100 times the normal level.

Scary stuff.

She's got a point

A conversation Josh and Z had yesterday:
Z: Where did Silver go? Where is he?
Josh: Where did she go? She went downstairs to the basement. Silver is a girl.
Z: No, Daddy! Silver's a cat!

Monday, October 16, 2006


Having finished The Overachievers and bailed on Irvine Welch's The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs halfway through (I hated all of the characters and I was tired of trying to decipher Welch's prose), I've started Alison Bechdel's Fun Home. I never considered myself the graphic novel type, but Josh got me hooked with Marjane Strapi's Persepolis books about growing up in Iran during the revolution0.. I also enjoyed Art Spiegelman's Maus, so I guess my growing appreciation for graphic novels is less of graphic novels than of graphic memoirs. Anyway, Fun Home is the rollicking recollection of a young lesbian raised alongside two younger brothers by a not-so-well closeted father and a tense, tight-lipped mother. The father, who committed suicide when Alison was 20, spends his days teaching high school English and his nights running the family funeral parlor. His spare time is dedicated to restoring to its ornate former glory the Addams Family-style gothic mansion which the family of five calls home.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The accidental artist

While we were finishing dinner (Penne with Tomato-Vodka Cream Sauce, garlic bread, a green salad with avocados and sundried tomatoes and a glass of Shiraz, in case you were wondering), Z grabbed some construction paper and markers and set to work. Minutes later she piped up with, "I drew picture of a horse, Mommy." You could have knocked me over with a feather, her picture looked that much like a horse.


She keeps upping the ante. Tonight Z required the presence of two teddy bears, one music-playing giraffe, one sippy cup and one book before going to sleep. How she can hold on to so many items while sleeping facedown in the corner of her crib is beyond me. And I'm not so thrilled with her sleeping with a sippy full of water since it inevitably leaks into a giant wet spot and dampens her pajamas.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Now with pictures

I've added a link to my Flickr photostream on the right hand side. I've posted the rest of the photos from the Thompson family visit.

Old Friends

Today we reunited with old friends and the children they've had since we were all last together. See if you can keep this straight: I used to work at Newcity with Frank. Frank married Beth, who lived briefly on the first floor of our old condo building with her sister Laura. Beth moved out of the condo and Laura married John, who moved in. John, in addition to being Frank's brother-in-law, also happened to be his cousin. I left Newcity to work at my current job. Frank left Newcity to work at Time. John and Laura moved out of their condo, and then we sold ours to move to Oak Park. I bumped into Frank once or twice on the street (and it turns out we know plenty of people in common) and Josh would see him periodically at concerts, but we were largely out of touch.

By the time we could all arrange to get together for brunch, Frank and Beth had two girls, four and two, and John and Laura had a three year old girl and a newborn boy.

Needless to say, Z had a blast playing with the kids and we had a great time catching up with old friends. (I find it fascinating that you can throw any kids of approximately the same age together and they'll automatically become friends; at what age do outgrow that and why?)

Dinner by Design

Last night I got together with five friends for a private "meal assembly" party at Dinner by Design. For just over 100 bucks, I assembled 6 meals, each of which was then divided in two for a total of 12 dishes (each serves about three people). The ingredients seemed to be of good (but not great) quality, and the staff was very helpful and friendly. The proof, of course, will be in how the dishes taste. Most of the food is in our spacious new basement freezer, but I decided to leave the Tropical Cod and Apple Caramel Crisp in the fridge for tonight. (Most promising among the dishes I prepared are the Garlic Herb Chicken and Italian Beef Sandwiches). If we all agree the food is as good as the convience and companionship (envision six women chatting, snacking and drinking wine while putting together meals that someone else planned, shopped for, diced and cleaned up after), we'll be back for more.

UPDATE: The Tropical Cod was a B/B-; it was a well-seasoned, flaky piece of fish with a sauce that mostly tasted of mango puree (I may have added too much puree when I made it). Tasty enough to pass as home cooking, but nothing I'd serve to guests. The Apple Caramel Crisp gets an A-. It's delicious, but I prefer the heartier oatmeal-brown sugar crunch of the Moosewood Cookbook recipe I typically use. The crumble on this one was a mixture of oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla wafers and almonds.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


The good news: I don't have strep throat.
The bad news: I might have a sinus infection.
In the meantime, I've got the standard advice to follow: rest and drink plenty of fluids. If it doesn't get better, get antibiotics.

Did I mention it is snowing? We put Z in the purple parka I'd found at a yard sale this summer, but the zipper pull popped off. Maybe I'll see what I can find at LandEnd.com.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Getting swabbed

Turns out Franny tested positive for strep throat. Given that we were in close quarters and my throat has been sore for three days, I'm going to the doctor tomorrow morning to see if I've been exposed. I'm not suffering nearly as much as Franny, but I would like to stop abusing the Chloroseptic spray.

Interesting...when I Googled strep throat, I saw on a few health sites that a rash with small red spots is a common symptom of strep in kids. And Z had just such a rash along with a fever, hoarse voice and lack of interest in food a week or so ago. Is it possible she had strep and we didn't even recognize it?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mommy's new dress

Remember my last post about new clothes, when I went nuts at Ann Taylor Loft and scored a bunch of $25 savings certificates? Well, Franny and I bought a dress each at $79 and put those $75 in savings certificates to work. Which means our dresses were 50% off. And I still have the 15% off coupon that sent me in there in the first place (I fell in love with the draped front dress when I saw it on the direct mail piece)! Anyway, I wore my new dress to work today and scored a bunch of compliments, so that lifted my otherwise sleepy spirits.

Of red eyes and sore throats

I'm so tired I can hear my bed beckoning me from two stories up. Franny, Dave and Mizz left this evening to return to Portland. It was wonderful having her and her family here for a visit, but since this is life, not everything went exactly as planned. Sleep schedules were thrown off, Franny caught a debilitating cold, and our grand plans to see the sites (or at least the zoo) went out the window. Still, even though the sudden onset of Franny's illness cut our adults-only dinner short (we got the food to-go) and our outings were limited to local playgrounds, I got what was most important: face time with Franny and family.

The memories I'll cherish are of seeing Z and Mizz race around the house screeching with glee. Splashing in the bath. And bustling in the play kitchen. Of Z telling me all the things her little friend needs ("He needs milk." "He's hun-gee." "He wants to pay wif my toys." "He wants to go outside." "He wants to go on da swings." "He's all done swings." "He needs a nap."). And the moment when Z showed Josh the Dora sticker I'd given her for sharing nicely, saying "I got sticker from Mommy. For good sharing wif Mizz."

Get well soon Franny!

Monday, October 09, 2006

What I've been saying all along

The American Academy of Pediatrics has come out with a statement that what children really need for healthy development is not structured activities and educational gadgets and videos but "more good, old-fashioned playtime." As the article on CNN.com quotes Dr. T. Berry Brazelton as saying, "Children overscheduled with structured activities 'are missing the chance they have to dream, to fantasize, to make their own world work the way they want it.'"


One of my favorite parts of being a parent is listening to Z's internal dialogue. She doesn't just think things, she usually says out loud what's running through her head. And I love to hear her remind herself of the rules and guidelines Josh and I have set out for her. Here are a sampling of the ones currently in heavy rotation:

"You can share." (And I have to give the girl credit--she's doing a great job of sharing all her toys with her 15 month old houseguest.)
"We're gonna take turns."
"Dat's Mommy/Daddy's ___________. Don't touch it!"
"Gonna stand on dis? No, dat's not safe!"
And last but not least, "We don't hit anyone."

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Down on the Farm

Playgroup hit The Children's Farm in Palos Park for a hayride to the pumpkin patch followed by a picnic and a visit to the farm, where they could pet chickens, pigs, goats, bunnies, ducks and a cow.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

We have the footage

Is there any thing cuter than two babies taking a bath together? Z and Mizz (Franny's 15 month old) took their first co-ed soak together this evening. Naturally, the two bathing babes were accompanied by too many camera-toting adults (this in a bathroom about 4 feet by 5 feet).

And in case you're wondering if "What's that? That's his penis!" was caught on tape, it was. At least eight times. These kids are going to be so completely embarassed come the preteen years. I still haven't entirely forgiven my mother for reintroducing me to my high school classmate Brendan (whom I'd last known when I was three) with "You two used to go 'bump-bump' in the playpen."

After the bath, the kiddos raced around squealing in their birthday suits. Z got such a workout she sucked down 8 ounces of water before bed.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Pretty dress

I wore a dress today largely so that I could convince Z to put on this adorable polka-dot number that she received from Beth B. for her 1st birthday. It finally fits! And while Mommy's dress doesn't much resemble this one, we had some fun talking about how Z's wearing a pretty dress "just like Mommy!" Here are a couple of other images from our early morning photo shoot.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

It's easy being green

The NY Times has a great article on the lazy man's guide to saving energy. Since I feel guilty every time I change a diaper or send another bag full of unread catalogs into the recycling bin, I'm going to adopt a few of author Andew Postman's suggestions. And I've already got him beat in the compact florescent lightbulb and programmable thermostat departments! Heck, we all sleep better in the cold (and our heat is programmed to kick in at 5:30, just in time to warm things up before we throw off our down comforter).

Now I just need to convince Josh to switch off the basement lights when he comes upstairs and help me remember to shut down all of our "energy vampires" before we head to bed.


How good is Winter's Bone? Let's just say I started reading it on my commute home yesterday and I ended up at the end of the line. Yes, I missed my stop. And then I missed the stop after mine. Maybe I should stick with knitting on the train.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

She gets it, sort of

I was reading Z one of her oldest board books before bed this evening, and as I pointed to the green frog she said, "Maybe in the pond. Maybe he live... maybe he jump in th' pond." We turned to the baby wrapped in a blue towel and she points out, "Baby all clean."

But just as I was congratulating myself on my bright little toddler, we came to the baby in the white overalls. Z points to her and announces, "I'm gonna pick her up." When I started to turn the page, she got really agitated and started saying "Take her out! Bring her here!"

To chill her out, I brought out Baby Faces, another of her very first books. This time she pointed to the crying baby face (it's always been a favorite) and said, "Baby needs a paci." Then she pointed to the African-American baby with a sudsy face and washcloth and said, "That's Z!" Yeah, the resemblance is striking.

The New Yorker on Childbirth

Atul Gawande has written an absolutely riveting article on the history of childbirth and obstetrics for The New Yorker. It balances the rhetoric that childbirth has become too medicalized with history and data that explain how much better off mothers and infants are thanks to obstetrical advances. I can relate to this story because I'd planned on having a natural childbirth with midwives and minimal intervention (but in a hospital, thank you very much). But because she was breech, I ended up with a scheduled C-section five days before Z's official due date.

I was disappointed that I was contributing to our country's unnaturally high rate of Cesarean births, but Z did well on her Apgar score and I was able to breastfeed without much difficulty. Plus, never having gone into labor meant my delivery and recovery were pretty easy.

That wasn't the case for Elizabeth Rourke, who says to the author, "'I felt like a complete failure, like everything I had set our to do I failed to do. I didn't want the epidural and then I begged for the epidural. I didn't want a C-section, and I consented to a C-section. I wanted to breast-feed the baby, and I utterly failed to breast-feed.'" Elizabeth "was so debilitated that her milk did not come in" after almost 40 hours of labor and a Cesarean section.

If and when I deliver again, I wonder if I'll be able to go the more natural, vaginal route. It's what I'd want--the more correct choice--but I'd risk a one in 200 chance of uterine rupture as well as every laboring woman's one in four chance of having an emergency C-section anyway.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

This changes everything

I'm used to paying $60+ for a haircut. It pains me every time, but I'd sooner cough up the cash and be assured I'll look good for the next two to three months than spend $20 at a Hair Cuttery storefront and risk a chop job. There was middle ground when I lived in the city; I could get a slow-but-meticulous student haircut at the Aveda Institute in Lakeview or a punk-rock trim at Big Hair in Roscoe Village. But since having a kid and moving west, I've stuck with the high-quality, high-priced James Anthony Salon in River Forest.

Not anymore. Our friends Jody and Peter, Forest Park business owners extraordinaire, recommended Michael. A UPS driver by weeknight and DJ by Saturday night, Michael is also a freelance hair stylist who--get this--comes to your house to wash, cut and blowdry your hair. For $30! I'll post a picture soon, but trust me, it's a good cut.

Anyway, I was hoping that Z would be inspired enough to sit still for a bang trim, but she wouldn't let Michael near her. Good thing she's letting me put her hair in pigtails now since it is getting very long and straggly. She'll just have to look homeless on the days Josh is taking care of her, because, as our neighbor put it, "Josh does a lot of things with Z, but brushing her hair isn't one of them."

Sunday, October 01, 2006

And there was Franny

There's a new addition to the blogosphere, and her name is Franny. My best friend since we first warily eyed each other during track practice in the 9th grade, Franny and I have had the good fortune of living our lives in lockstep and the poor fortune of living at least 1000 miles away from each other since we turned 18. And when I say our lives are lived in parallel, there's a certain truth to that. I entered the world five days after Franny, and we shared high school teachers, confirmation classes and silver Taurus wagons (the silver bullets) in Arlington, VA. After graduation, we met our future husbands while sophomores in college and married them two months apart in 1999. And when I was in the hospital delivering Z, Franny called me to tell me she was pregnant with her darling little boy.

But we're not exactly two peas in a pod. I help people buy more shampoo and cream cheese. Franny helps the mental unstable. I've got curly hair. Franny's got curly hair. And while I'd never hesitate to tell anyone exactly what I think, Franny is less sure of herself and wasn't positive her blog was worth sharing.

And you know what I think about that? She's wrong! Frannyland is a wry, funny take on motherhood, as sort of scientific observation of the species oneis yearoldus.