Thursday, November 30, 2006

EQ Revisited

Usually, for the most part, I can look back at my past and be thankful and grateful for all of it, good times and bad, for it has made me who I am today, and generally I'm pleased with who I am today. I recognize my faults, though, and constantly work to improve myself through education, new experiences and surrounding myself with the best people possible.

Sometimes, though, my baggage creeps out of my shadow and wallops me upside the head. I hate it when that happens. I hate it when I am unable to look at what is currently happening without viewing it all through the filter from my past, which is a pretty heavy filter and which can skew things pretty far.

This is getting back to that whole emotional intelligence thing, where if you're emotionally intelligent you're able to recognize your feelings as they happen, not afterwards, and you can regain some sense of control. You're not hijacked, so to speak, by emotion.

Yeah. I have to work on that.

O the weather outside is frightful

But the spa is so delightful.

Back at work today and having a good time. The 'scope is behind me (pardon the pun) and all is looking up. Except for the weather, which is looking decidedly more ominous as the day wears on.

I'm getting a new 'do today, as my favorite stylist has time and he's told me in no uncertain terms for four days now that I simply must do something with the ratty strands hanging limply from my head. He's not one to mince words, that's for sure. So after much hemming and hawing, I found this picture and have decided to go for it:

Cute, huh? I think so. We'll just have to see if I can get it to look like that. Do you think that a new hairstyle will make me look slim and trim like this lady, too? Just a thought (wish).

Must go get ready for my glam new 'do.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Dazed & Confused...but Healthy!

Got scoped this morning, and lemme tell ya...the stuff they shoot you up with before the procedure is magic. Magic! Don't remember a damn thing about it. Before we got started I asked Dr. R. if he has e-mail, as there is a hilarious video about colorectal surgeons I want to forward to him (that I received from Stef, whose sense of timing is impeccable), and I was out as he was answering. I don't think he has e-mail yet, but is going to get it. I don't even know if I was able to tell him about the hilarious video.

So, the good news is that everything looks just fine in there, but he did find a small 'roid or two that may be causing my issues. Not steroids, silly rabbit, those are for Canseco. The other kind. The kind that don't require you to go before a national congressional investigation committee and testify about, thankfully, because that would be awfully embarrassing. "I'm not here to talk about my...bottom. I'm here to talk about the future." (McGwire killed his HOF chances with his little mantra, I'm afraid, and lost many fans in the process. Tsk tsk...what a shame. But I digress.)

M was there for me, of course, and laughed at my drunken stupor post-procedure, but then took me to Steak 'n Shake so I could fill my completely empty gullet with a steakburger, fries, chili and a chocolate shake. Mmmmm. Tasty. Then it was home so I could pass out in bed for a little while to get my bearings and such.

Lots of thanks to Mama for driving through the parking lot this morning just to check on me (I know you've got that gene from Gran to where you're fine just as long as you get to see the "patient"). I should've known that you'd do're such a mom. It's good to feel loved and cared about, even though I didn't want anyone to see me in my no-makeup, dumpy-sweats, freaked-about-going-inside stage. So thanks for my good luck kisses (eskimo and the regular kind) and for worrying about me. Looking back, I'd probably have been rather disappointed if you hadn't driven by at all. But you probably already knew that, didn't you?!

Thanks too, to Mom & Dad Z for caring for Zozo for us last night, while M worked through the last rounds of his stomach issues and I got all cleared out. It was not a pretty night in the Z house, so it was good that Zozo didn't get tossed between the two of us while we took turns running for the bathrooms.

So that's it for me. I'm still feeling a bit loopy, but for the most part pretty darn good. Gonna go take another nap now, though. My husband lovingly just reprimanded me, "You're supposed to be resting." Because sitting in a cushy chair and typing on my beloved Mac is just so stressful. G'night!

Bet my colon is prettier than Katie Couric's

Disclaimer: the timing of this post is all off, because I wrote it two nights ago but didn't post until this morning. Why? Because I didn't want to field a bunch of calls. Hopefully by the time you read this I'll either be all scoped up, or post-scope and feelin' fine. Anyway, I'll post an update here as soon as I don't feel loopy anymore and can ensure that my spelling and grammar won't embarrass me, which, ironically, is more worrisome to me than what the doc might find. Must be all that training from The World's Finest School of Journalism.

Anyway, so when you read "Wednesday" in that first sentence below, yes, it's this Wednesday. Today. I'm all cleaned out (squeaky clean, you might say) and ready to go. I'm thinking my intestinal issues must be pretty bad if after all that prep work that people warned me was so awful I thought, "Hunh, not a bad way to spend an evening..." See you on the flip side.
Not to get everyone all crazy worried or anything, but I just wanted to let ya'all know that I'm having a colonoscopy Wednesday. Nothing doc thinks I just don't eat enough fiber, but it's good to check things out just to be sure. Yes, I've had some issues. No, I don't want to discuss, in detail or in general terms, with anyone, what they are. So don't ask. Don't call. Don't e-mail. Don't instant message. And don't try gettin' any info from the parentals, either, because they know about as much as I'm writin' here. M is strictly barred from discussing my intestinal issues with anyone but me and my doctor, so he's not available either. If you try, I'll get all HIPAA on your butt.

Blood workup came back just fine, so don't start thinkin' the worst or anything. No biggie...probably just a prescription for more broccoli. And Gas-X, because apparently when you go from eating next to no fiber to massive amounts of fiber, your intestines rebel with copious quantities of foul gaseous outbursts.

Did you know you're supposed to eat 25-35 grams of fiber every day? Yeah, me either. But you are, and it's not necessarily as hard as it sounds, although to someone eating no fiber it sounds pretty much like a truckload o' beans. So I've been chowing on Raisin Bran, broccoli, cauliflower, and yes, beans. Chili and black bean soup are my new best friends.

The conversation with the doc went something like this:
Doc: You should eat a lot of fiber. 25-35 grams a day. How much fiber do you eat?
Me: Ummmm. I dunno.
Doc: Okay, well, what did you have for breakfast this morning?
Me: {hangs head in shame} Froot Loops.
Doc: No fiber in Froot Loops. Eat Raisin Bran. Broccoli. Beans. When you are just starting to increase your fiber intake, you'll experience gas. A lot of foods with high fiber cause gas.
Me: {hopefully} Oooooo, like White Castle?!
Doc: No, no. White Castle is not a good source of fiber.
Me: You gotta admit, it causes gas.
M: Doc, you got a live one on your hands.

So, I've been Fiber Girl for the past couple of weeks. Have I noticed a difference? Some. Lot more tootin' goin' on, that's for sure. I learned awhile back from my friend Melsy that the best thing to do when you're experiencing gas is to stand next to old people and let them take the blame for it. Old people toot a lot, and they don't care who knows it, so I been trying to hang with the geezers.

I'm to have my colonoscopy done at SCOPES, the name of which would be pretty hilarious if I weren't the one going in for it. At this point, it makes me just roll my eyes and curse the damn marketing puke who came up with it. I think it stands for South County Out-Patient Endoscopy Services or something like that.

I get to do my "prep work" starting tomorrow afternoon. They want everything all cleaned out so they can get a good look-see. I shopped after work for my all-liquid meals tomorrow: beef and chicken broth, lemon and lime Jell-o, white grape juice. Sounds delish, doesn't it? (Many thanks to Mom and Dad Z for providing my "last meal" tonight from Pasta House Pronto...can't think of a better way to go out than with Pasta House salad and Rigatoni Roma.) Then I went to Walgreen's to drop off my prescription. I have to mix it with Gatorade tomorrow and start chugging after I get home from work. I've got mounds of reading material stacked next to the toilet because that's apparently where I'll be spending my evening.

I also got to pick up my other "materials" needed. Like it's not embarrassing enough to go in for a stupid colonoscopy, you have to go through the indignity of shopping for, then purchasing, Dulcolax and an enema at the same time. Felt like I was walking around with a sign around my neck, "Hey, look at me...I'm gettin' ready for a colonoscopy!" I shot daggers at the stock boy, "Don't even think about asking me if you can help me find something." So I dropped off the script and found my two items and headed for the checkout.

Just my luck, I'm stuck behind two old people (and I didn't even need to toot) who had decided to stock up on Hallmark cards, tape and Arm & Hammer cleaner. I waited...and waited...and waited...and the line behind me grew and grew, and the colonoscopy sign around my neck grew to a billboard over my head. The cashier finally got finished ringing up the items when Grandma up there pulled out a stack of coupons. "For the love of Pete, lady, you're gonna make me stand here another five minutes with my laxative and my enema so you can save 27 cents?!" After some confusion with the tape (it's two for 80 cents, which makes them 40 cents a piece, Einstein), she finally got done and shuffled off. Unfortunately, Grandpa didn't go with her. Instead, he set down his stack of Hallmark cards and other assorted sundries. My colonoscopy billboard grew to a flashing Vegas sign.

When the cashier in cosmetics announced, "I am open here if anyone would like to check out" I broke out in a dead sprint. I think I took out an endcap and a small child along the way, but at that point I just wanted to get out of there.

So. That's what's going on with me. M is still working on the display. Zozo is still not drinking from a sippy cup. And I get 8x10 glossies of my colon in just a day and a half.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Today, well, I got nuthin'.

Not feeling particularly chatty, although I'm not really in a bad mood. Just sorta blah.

M is at home right now, trying to recover from a nasty stomach flu he caught yesterday.

Beano is at work right now, when she should be at home, feeling icky.

I would like to be at home right now, snuggled under the covers and napping.

But since I can't, I guess I'll get some work done.

Thanks go out to Dad Z for troubleshooting, diagnosing and fixing two light strands last night that were mysteriously blowing fuses. You have gone beyond mere Elf status this year, and I think you should be knighted or something. Of course, you already married into royalty, so I'm not sure what a knighting would do, but it's the thought that counts, eh?

Monday, November 27, 2006

I'm baaaaaaack

Back at work after a blog hiatus. Sorry 'bout that...just needed some time in front of the daughter, not the computer, you know? Completely blissed out on four days of Zoe Time. We had so much fun. She's really growing a lot now, and not just physically. Since she's been self-feeding, we've noticed her fine motor skills have improved quite a bit. She can do things she used to not be able to manage, such as putting the rings back on her stacker, and the gears back on their posts on her engineery-gear toy that Aunt Margaret gave her. She's on the verge of walking on her own, too. Still no sippy cup, though.

M is almost done with The Display. Many, many, many thanks to my FIL and my BIL (that would be Father in Law and Brother in Law) for all their help. There is no way M could have gotten as much done as he has without your help. You guys are true Elves! I'm also glad you guys could just spend some time together. Nothing says bonding like running 3+ miles of wire around/through a house.

Shout outs also go to:
  • Aunt Margaret and Uncle Jim for hosting yet another fabulous Thanksgiving.
  • Aunt Jo and Cloyd for hosting us out in the Land Where Everyone Gets Lost. We had a blast, once we finally found you!
  • Mama and Papa for having us all over Saturday for Rob Your Neighbor and treats. It ain't Thanksgiving if I don't go home with a bag o' crap.
  • Aunt Shelly for watching The Bug Friday, so we could go to a wedding and reception and have a blast.

The wedding we went to was the one I mentioned in a previous post, grousing about having to purchase a gift. Well, lemme just admit right here that I was wrong. The wedding was beautiful and the reception was a party to beat all parties, and everyone, no matter how beyotchy, should have a lovely wedding. The reception was held at Schlafly's Tap Room downtown on Locust, and was way, way cool. Great band called Power Play, lots of dancing and fun. The groom joined the band and played drums for "Soul Man." How fun is that?

Nothing much else to report. Just trying to get back in the groove of everyone else out there!

But listen, listen closely. Do you hear that? That sound of cheers and shouts of joy? M powered up the display last night to test it...and that sound you hear is the employees of Ameren applauding because with the test they know they'll get their annual bonus again...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I'm thankful for calendars, too

Today is Wednesday, but feels kinda like Friday because we're off tomorrow for Thanksgiving, which will make tomorrow feel like Saturday and Friday feel like Sunday, so Saturday will be very messed up because I'll feel like it's Monday when really I have two more days til I have to go back to work. That'll make next Monday feel very odd, coming back in after so many days off, so perhaps it'll feel like a Tuesday or even a Thursday.

Despite my internal calendary issues, I'm very thankful for Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for many things, as usual:

1. M and Zozo (it's very easy to be thankful for your husband and child when you have the best husband and the best child in the did I get so lucky?!).

2. Health, both physical and mental. M's Uncle Mark is going through a tough time right now with his physical health, but his mental health is astounding. He's an inspiration to us all, and I can only hope to be as "healthy" as he is. (We love you Uncle Mark!)

3. Family...especially our family, who graciously understands that it's too hard for us and for our little girl to try to hit three family functions in one day, making us rushed and tired and fussy and out of sorts and not enjoying ourselves at all, basically saying "hello...goodbye" to everyone, and who therefore understands and supports our need to go to a rotating holiday schedule for one-day holidays like Thanksgiving. This is our third year, which completes our first rotation, and although it's hard for us to have to miss any loved ones on the holiday, we are thankful for the love, support and understanding from all three families. You guys rock!

4. My job, which I love, and the topsy-turvy career that enabled me to get here and thrive. You know, when you go from working at a major non-profit that specializes in disaster relief to handling marketing for a day spa, you really get a true sense of what a real disaster is, and what, quite simply, isn't.

5. Friends, whom I also love, even though one of them is waaaay up there in Michigan and refuses to meet me at the Starbucks around the corner from my house on a regular basis.

6. AmerenUE, which supports M's annual exterior illumination habit and has worked tirelessly to recover from this past summer's storms so that he can put on yet another great display for Christmas.

7. Taco Bell (mmmm...crunchy tacos...)

8. My broken house, which despite it's quirks and creaks and groans provides a very nice shelter and a space for lots of great memories. I've decided that it's boring to live in a "normal" house, and much more fun to live in a broken house. Anyone can live in a normal, stable house. It takes a special family to reside in a broken house. That's what I tell myself, anyway.

9. Technology which allows me to share photographs quickly, efficiently and inexpensively, and share all the details of my oddities, peculiarities, musings and ramblings with loved ones and complete strangers alike.

10. The trials and tribulations of everyday life, which only serve to remind us how lucky we are in so many other ways, and which give a contrast to the good times, thereby making those good times even better.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Water water everywhere

...and not a drop to drink! Tonight was Zozo's first bath in the Big Girl Tub. We had fun.

Market this

It really stinks when your bad mood coincides with the monthly management meeting. "Here's your &^%$# marketing report."

However...the meeting was just fine, and I was allowed to sit quietly and observe for much of it, so my bad mood dissipated and now I'm feeling much better.

Thankfully it dissipated before my part of the meeting, so I was able to present in a calm, composed manner rather than being all testy and curt.

Nothing much else to report. The Sippy Cup Stand-Off continues. M's endless pursuit of exterior illuminatory excellence continues (many, many, many thanks to my FIL for all the hours he's putting in on this...we owe you big time!). The wedding plans continue (no thanks to the wankers at the USPS who, apparently, not only didn't hand cancel the invitations but then ran over them with their little postal trucks).

Two days til Turkey Day...gobble gobble! Can't wait to be induced into my tryptophan coma!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sippy Cup Update

Since everyone is hanging on the edge of their seats, waiting for that first fateful sip from the sippy cup, I thought I'd let you all hasn't happened yet.

This is not for lack of trying, mind you. She's gotten her grandmother to drink from a sippy cup for an entire lunch. She's gotten her mommy to play peek-a-boo with a sippy cup, in between making the sippy cup dance and creating "yes, you too can drink from a sippy cup" jingles. She's gotten her daddy to try to reason with her, and plead and cajole, and say things like, "C'mon, Zoe. Take a drink for Daddy."

We've tried purple sippy cups, pink sippy cups, green sippy cups, sippy cups that change colors when they get hot or cold. We've tried sippy cups with handles and without handles, with lids and without lids, with valves and without valves.

We're going to start calling her Tenacious Z.

Zoe: 151 hours and counting
Grown Ups: 0 sippy cups

The countdown has started

It's official now. We've invited the fam, all three actually, to come over to our house for the 2006 Grand Lighting. Actually, M's prep work for it is much more rigorous than mine at this point. We've done the party so many times now that we've pretty much got it down. With the basement being already set up, we just throw some decorations about, stock the bar and call it a night. Rule of thumb: if you get everyone all good and liquored up, then your party is sure to be a hit.

We went with e-vites this year, to make it easier on us (me) and to keep with our theme of fancy-schmancy technology. Normally I rush about and have to buy the card stock, then make sure we've got enough ink in the printer, then run them through once, then again for the back, then fold, stuff, address and stamp them (I've been known to stand in the PO and stick stamps for 20 minutes just to get them out that day). I reasoned that in this day and age, there was no reason to go through all that trouble, and expense, when I could get just as good an e-mail out to everyone faster, and make it easier for them to reply with their RSVP.

We're quite pleased with the graphic we've come up with this year. It's M's job to create the actual awe-inspiring display, and my job to come up with the fun/quirky invitation. I had a few options for him to review this year (it's his party, really, to showcase his work, so he has ultimate say-so in what goes out), and he chose this one, with a few inspired tweaks. We make a good team, I think.

When I created the initial design, M pointed out (engineer that he is) that in the weightlessness of space the Christmas lights wouldn't necessarily drape from the nacelles like that. First, I had to ask what a nacelle was (there's a reason I'm not an engineer), and then I played with having the lights floating free-form all around the ship. It just sorta looked like a hairy mess, a galactic illuminatory octopus if you will, so I went back to my much more elegant, but physically incorrect, draping. And yes, I realize that the scale of the lights to the ship is entirely inaccurate. It's call tongue-in-cheek, people! It's a concept!

I feel I have to explain these things because M's family, which is chock-full of engineer types, actually sat around one evening after watching a Star Trek movie and debated the feasibility of how easy or hard it was to disconnect the round thingy from the rest of the ship (as you can see, I am not, nor will I ever be, a true Trekkie, as I'm sure that the technical term is not "round thingy"). I listened to them and laughed that they were discussing how "realistic" one portion of a science fiction movie was or wasn't. It was a heated debate, and in the end I believe everyone just agreed to disagree, which is remarkable given the intense competitiveness exhibited by this same family. I also feel I have to explain myself because my dear father-in-law to this day cracks up laughing when I call a column a pole and vice versa. This, indeed, is why I left engineering school and went to journalism school.

No, we will not be dressing up as Star Trek characters for the party, and we really hope none of our guests do, either.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

At-Bat Songs

I think it's interesting how the great big ol' World Wide Web is out there and yet I can't find the at-bat songs for the 2006 World Championship Cardinals. Doesn't seem like too much to ask, does it? These guys come up to the plate all season long, usually (hopefully) multiple times in a game, and they always have the same song play for them when they come up. It's just a snippet, because they're to the plate and digging in before you know it, and heaven knows we can't be disrupting Clemens or Pinetar Rogers or whomever is psyching themselves up on the mound to hurl against our sluggers.

I found little bits of info here and there, like Eckstein likes to come up to Number One Spot by Ludacris (makes perfect sense, as he bats in the one spot), and Pujols prefers Out of Eden's Different Now. Rolen was using Rollin' by Limp Bizkit a couple seasons ago, but for the life of me I can't figure out if he was still using it last season. Molina's at-bat song is Gasolina by Daddy Yankee. Someone, I think it's Belliard, was using Yeah! by Usher. Maybe it was Edmonds, I dunno. Can't remember. No wait, I think Edmond's was Back in Black by AC/DC. McGwire's was Welcome to the Jungle by Guns 'n Roses, if I remember correctly.

I'd love to create a Cards At-Bat playlist on the 'pod, just because they're all good songs with groovy beats, and it'd be cool to have. If any of you have any other clues as to who was using what song this last season, I'd love to hear them. Just maybe my blog will become the one place on the 'Net where one can find the entire at-bat playlist for the 2006 World Championship Cardinals.

What would your at-bat song be? What do you want thumpin' through the sound system at Busch III while you're stepping up to the plate? One of M's choices was Baba O'Riley by The Who. Excellent idea, I think. Mine might have to be American Woman by The Guess Who, or the remake of it by Lenny Kravitz.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Window Pains

Today I offered my own meager contribution to The Christmas Display. I cleaned all the windows.

I know, I know, this doesn't seem like much when compared to the hours and hours and hours of planning and execution M does to create the display and then stage it. But it's important. At least, it is to me.

What's the point of having hundreds (thousands?) of beautiful lights if they aren't magically reflected in gleaming windows?

Probably no one notices this but me. When we have everyone over for The Grand Lighting every year, we all stand out there and ooh and aah, and I secretly think, "Damn, those are some clean windows!"

Zozo is on Day Five of The Great Sippy Cup Stand-Off of '06. Broke down and called the ped again yesterday. "As long as she's still peeing, then stand your ground." So we keep on plugging away, and she keeps on pushing it away, and we repeat every once in awhile. She's crafty, my Zozo. Today she played peek-a-boo with the sippy cup, covering her eyes with her little hands and peeking at it between her fingers.

Friday, November 17, 2006


I'm a firm believer in word-of-mouth. I think it can be used to spread good information about businesses...whether that business deserves your patronage or whether it does not.

I like to share information with my loved ones and business associates, so they don't have to go through the same trial and error I have. For instance, I have my favorite printer, designer and Web developer. I take them with me from job to job, and I recommend them unequivocally to anyone. I know the best camera store in St. Louis (Schiller's), a great place to get petit fours (Clayton's Bakery), and a great place for catering (Amighetti's in Rock Hill). These are places that never let me down, who are wonderful to work with, and who don't rip me off.

Granted, there are places that I also do NOT recommend due to bad experiences. For instance, I will blast Creve Coeur Camera to the end of my days because of the numerous times they "messed up" in my book. I like to give places a few chances before completely writing them off. CCC had more than their share, and I not only do not recommend them, I vehemently express my disatisfaction with them. I also know things like don't bother going to PF Changs without a reservation, and don't take a party larger than four or five to Elephant Bar (that was learned last night!).

Today, thanks to a recommendation from a friend, I found a great jeweler. Glenn Betz Jewelers on Manchester. I took my two rings to have their settings fixed. The gentleman behind the counter took a look, fixed 'em on the spot, and refused to charge me. He shot me a winning smile and just said, "Come back to see us sometime." You bet your bippy I'll be back. And you bet any time anyone needs a recommendation for a jeweler I'll send them to Glenn Betz. Third generation family-owned. A beautiful showroom full of glittering diamonds and lustrous pearls, and not an ounce of pretention in there. Don't you just love that?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Decaf. For a reason.

I hate it when I go to Starbucks with my coupon for a free drink and I order my decaf grande non-fat no-whip extra-hot mocha and I specifically say "decaf" and they make it and give it to me and the label says "decaf" but then I get finished drinking it and I realize that I don't think it was decaf at all because I'm all wired and a little jittery and that never ever happens when it's truly a decaf and this is why I always order decaf because I'm not real good with feeling all wired and a little jittery as I have way too much energy as it is and can be perceived as a total spaz anyway without all the caffeine which is why I always always always order decaf and tend to freak out a bit when I realize later that it's really not decaf but actually very very very much caf.

I hate it when that happens.


Happy birthday to Dad Z.!

Hear me roar

I am the Webmaster! Or Webmistress, actually, since I'm a girl.

Normally our site is pretty maintenance-free. Now and again I'll go in and do updates here and there, and add some new information or post an event announcement. Those days I don't feel very Webmistressy.

However, the spa just went through a price increase (not much, only a coupletwothree bucks for most services). You'd think this wouldn't be a huge ordeal, you know, just for a few bucks. You'd be wrong.

Thankfully, I haven't had anything to do with the spa's general software revision. Instead, I'm only responsible for the Web site. There are two parts to this...the actual site, and the shopping cart. I can update the shopping cart from my desk, as it's a Content Management Site (thank you EJ, my Web guru extraordinaire), but the bulk of the site has to be done sitting down with aforementioned extraordinaire and going through it, flash piece by flash piece. I banged out the shopping cart today, and that's why I'm feeling like a Webmistress. Not only did I update the prices, I also created the new section for Medical Spa, populated it, and then updated all the photos to the new gift certificate. I sit down with EJ on Tuesday and bang out the rest.

Adding to my Webmistressy feeling is the fact that I Googled myself for the first time in ages yesterday and found that there is something out there in the great wide Web that associates me with the spa. Finally. Not only that, I'm considered an "industry pro." Sweet!

Now, if I could only get my child to drink from a sippy cup...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Zo Camel

We're into Day Two of The Great Sippy Cup Standoff. M has taken to calling Zoe "The Camel" because of her seeming lack of necessary fluid intake. The b-o-t-t-l-e-s (we spell them now, so she doesn't know what we're talking about, of course) have all been hidden. Which means I threw 'em all in a Target bag and stuck 'em downstairs.

Grandma Z is trying a new sippy cup today. Maybe the girl likes variety...who knows? We'll just keep trying. Cracks me up that the nurse said we have to "play hard ball" with her. Playing hard ball with a 14-month-old just sounds silly. But Zo has her mommy's obstinance, so this is what it has come down to.

So far, she's winning.

Zoe: 25 hours and counting
Grown Ups: 0 sippy cups

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Second Tooth

Zozo has another tooth!

I saw it just below the surface last night, while we were playing, and then this morning it had popped all the way through and is actually sticking out quite a bit. M saw it first, which is way cool. We were changing her diaper, which means that I was changing her diaper while he played peek-a-boo with her and Hoot the Owl, and suddenly he said, "She has another tooth!"


Also, she's completely obsessed with walking behind her little car. She spent much of the weekend doing that, and apparently ran Grandma ragged yesterday by walking all over the place. Just wait 'til she figures out she doesn't need the car to walk. I don't have any shots of her doing this yet, but I found the car on-line and can show you what that looks like, at least.

Just to repeat, this is not my child. This child is Asian whereas mine, obviously, is not. Also, no offense to the child above, but my daughter is much, much cuter. Zozo does not choose to take her dolly for a ride as the child pictured above. She prefers to toss various toys onto the seat of the car and push them around. At our house, it's the gears from the gear set that Aunt Margaret gave her, and sometime her socks. At Grandma's yesterday, it was some small Lego-like doggies and the top of an instant soup container.

Just talked to the ped about Zozo's refusal of the sippy cup. We've been green-lighted to "play hardball." The bottles are disappearing, effective immediately. She may resist for 24 or 36 hours, or even more, but when she gets thirsty she'll drink. Out of a sippy cup. Ha! The nurse warned that it may be a rough day or two, but Zoe will get over it. It's not Zoe I'm worried about! M is calling Grandma now to give her the news. Sorry's time to say "bye bye!" to the bottles!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Hair comes the bride

It's a dreary, bleary day today, and I don't have much of anything exciting to post. I went out over lunch and purchased a wedding present for a girl I don't particularly care for, which chaps my ass, but is necessary nonetheless.

M says we have to do it because "it's the right thing to do," and I know he's right, but still. Just because this girl happens to be marrying a guy we do like, we're stuck plastering a big fake smile on and saying, "Congratulations!" and forking over our hard-earned cash to buy her a lamp. Because I'd bet cash money that the groom was not ever in Bed Bath & Beyond pickin' out an accent lamp.

I found all kinds of good things I could have gotten her, too, while there, but I was a good dooby and stuck to the registry list. I could have gotten her cow hot pads, for instance. Or cream-colored, pear-shaped salt and pepper shakers. Or a potato skinner. Or a small keychain that is an oinking pig, with two blue LED lights shooting through it's nose. See, all kinds of opportunities abounded. My equally snarky office-mates joined in my grousing and complaining and suggested I buy her a spa gift certificate for a lip wax. Now that's creative.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Just in case you're not in the know, BNOTW stands for Big News Of The Weekend. Which we have, and I forgot to post. Duh.

Our darling little girl, genius that she is, has almost completely mastered self-feeding this weekend. Okay, well, not completely mastered, but she's taken a huge leap forward.

Beanie was over with Mom Saturday, and since she's my sista and has Refrigerator Rights and all (RR's are those rights you extend to certain people, who can go in your fridge without asking and help themselves to whatever they want), she opened up my cabinet and had a look-see as to what we're feeding Zo. She found, tucked in the back and, to be honest, forgotten, a little tub of Veggie Puffs. Veggie Puffs, in case you're not the parent of a small child, are small, flower-shaped little puffs of nothing. Easy to dissolve in baby's mouth, the package says. Hers happen to be sweet potato-flavored, not that you can tell since they resemble Kashi cereal, which M and I have decided is simply extremely light-weight cardboard. Veggie Puffs are for children who are learning to self-feed.

So that night, at dinner, we popped open the Veggie Puffs and put one on Zoe's tray. She looked at it like we had just put a cat turd in front of her. Since it was the first one, I picked it up and stuck it in her mouth. She liked it, so we put another one down. This time she picked it up and held it out to me. I guided her hand back to her mouth, and then cracked up as she struggled to get it in there, with her mouth as wide open as she could get it.

She finally got it in, and was delighted with herself. It helped that we cheered and clapped. However, then her idea of self-feeding was picking it up and holding it out to me, whereupon I'd push her hand back towards her mouth and she'd stick it in. We did this for pretty much the rest of dinner.

Today, at lunch, she had a few more. After she was finished eating, and I was preparing our meal, I dumped a few on the tray in front of her, mainly just to keep her occupied for a moment so I could get things rolling. I turned around and turned back, and she was chewing away, and there were no Veggie Puffs to be seen. For the first time, she had picked them up and stuck them in her mouth, with no help, or even encouragement, at all.

It's freaky, this self-feeding thing. And liberating. We were able to eat our dinner without having to stop every minute to give her something, or help her eat it. Granted, she's not all the way there yet (she uses her spoon more as a drumstick, to make noises by beating things), but it's a start. Now if we can just get past her distaste for all things sippy cup...

Julia Child we ain't

Funny story. Okay, maybe not so funny as disgusting. And indicative of just how crazy busy we are these days.

Several weeks ago we made a Forgotten Roast. What's that, you ask? Well, I'll tell ya. A Forgotten Roast is some big chunk of relatively inexpensive meat that you stick in a casserole dish, surround with veggies (carrots, potatoes, celery, mushrooms, some cabbage if you like, etc.), and then drown with Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup and a packet of Lipton Onion Soup. You cover it all up and stick it in the oven on 250 degrees and, well, you forget about it. For the entire day. Then, when you come home from work, your house smells all stewy and lovely, and your complete meal is waiting for you. It's quite good, and I highly recommend it.

So, several weeks ago, when the weather got cold, we were all, "Yeah, Forgotten Roast! Wooo hooo!" Okay, I don't know that we actually went, "Wooo hooo!" but we were pretty stoked. We made our Forgotten Roast, ate a bunch of it, and had a ton left. Fat and happy, we played with Zozo and went to bed.

Over the course of the next week, when M was out of town, I thought to myself, "Self, some Forgotten Roast leftovers sounds pretty darn good for dinner tonight." I looked around the fridge, didn't find 'em, and had some soup or something. Didn't think anything more about it. Figured M must've taken the leftovers for lunch.

M comes home at the end of the week, and another few days go by. Maybe another full week. I dunno. I lost track of time (see crazy busy statement above). One night we decided to make something for dinner that involves the use of the oven. (I bet you can see what's coming.) I was messin' around with Zo and M opens the oven and recoils in terror. Okay, he didn't recoil, but it sounds better that way. He did say, "What the ^%$& is that?"

Yep. That's right. It was the Forgotten Roast. One of us (I won't say who, but it wasn't me, or Zozo, or either of the cats) had stuck it back in the oven after dinner when we went to play with Zo before bedtime, so it could cool down and cats wouldn't have a second dinner. Then we both forgot about it. For the second time that day.

This all means that we've simply created a new dish. Twice Forgotten Roast. It's akin to Twice Baked Potatoes, I think, only a lot more disgusting. It's also pretty indicative of how rarely we use our oven.

M insisted I take a photograph for posterity. It was an excuse to use the Big Dog Nikon and its kick-ass newish flash, so I complied. And you all get to share along with us. Tell me this is not the most hideous thing you've ever seen come out of an oven:

Who's up for seconds?!


Don't have much to contribute today, as it's pretty much a repeat from yesterday: M decorating for Christmas and me cleaning the house and playing with Zozo.

Now the house is clean, and while there are still a few things to wrap up (emptying trashcans, making the bed once the sheets are dry), by and far my work is done. It's so nice to sit back and relax in your clean house. Unfortunately, that feeling lasts for about half a day, and then the house needs to be cleaned again.

It's always such a disappointment when someone you thought you knew turns out to be really, really awful. That happens too often, and it's happened to all of us at one point or another. But, it's heartwarming when someone you thought you knew turns out to be really, really cool. Even cooler than you ever expected. So, for every one of the former that happens to us, just keep in mind that there's at least one of the latter, just waiting to be discovered among those we think we know.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thank you, Veterans

Today is a good day to reflect and put things in perspective.

Today is a day to be grateful for having a house to clean, and leaves to rake, and not having to live under the rule of a tyrant or a dictator. Today is a day to be grateful for democracy, and for those men and women who continually ensure that we are able to enjoy our freedom.

Hollywood movies, with attractive actors and great soundtracks, can make war look glorious. Last night we watched a show on PBS that followed a group of WWII veterans as they made their way to Washington, DC to see the WWII Memorial. Near the end of the program, one grizzled old vet said, with tears in his eyes, "There is no glory in war." I can't imagine what our grandfathers endured in the Pacific and in Europe. I can't imagine what our fathers and uncles saw and lived through in Vietnam. I can't imagine what our brothers and sisters are going through right now in Iraq and Afghanistan. I can't imagine...but I can be thankful.

Whenever I meet someone new, and I learn that he or she served in the military, I make it a point to say, "Thank you." Too often, the veteran is taken aback. I don't know that they are used to being thanked, which is a shame. It's sad that most people don't think about their sacrifices except for one day a year. In my book, every day should be Veteran's Day. But since it's not, take some time this weekend to call your dad, your grandpa, your uncle, your brother, sister, aunt, cousin...anyone you know who served, no matter what war or conflict, just to say, "Thanks." I called my Papa and e-mailed my Uncle Jim. I wish I could say thanks to my grandpa and both M's grandpas, and to my great Uncle Matt who died in WWII, but they'll just have to hear my prayers.

Veterans of The Battle of the Bulge,
Gateway St. Louis Chapter

Affton Days Parade, 2006

I yelled, "Thank you!" to them as they drove by.
They smiled and said, "You're welcome!"

No matter how you feel about the current war, whether we should stay or pull out, just be grateful that there are men and women who serve our country, who serve all Americans, by enlisting in the armed forces and making the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom. Thank you, to all our veterans, and all our future veterans.

Friday, November 10, 2006

What's that smell? Ham?

It's Friday! Yippee skippee!

You know what's ironic? A whole week of absolutely gorgeous weather, during the five business days of Monday through Friday, that would be perfect for doing things outside. Like putting up Christmas lights. And then the two weekend days being totally crappy. Everyone keep your fingers crossed for decent weather this weekend, as I really don't want The Hub up on the roof in rain.

This is my last working day before SpaBoss leaves for her dance comp. She's at the other two locations this morning, and I'm sure she's frantically tying up loose ends before she goes. Why is it that getting ready to leave on vacation and digging out from the pile that accumulates while on vacation pretty much negates any good effects of the vacation? I always feel sorry for the poor bastards running around like crazy before they go. This, I suppose, could be one of the reasons we never go on vacation.

My hips are doing very well, and I could've probably skipped the girdle today but wanted to play it safe. I had been told that the second treatment was much better than the first, and that assessment is definitely correct. Instead of four days of constant pain, this time I just had one sorta rough night that was made infinitely easier with the help of prescription pain killers. All other days were perfectly bearable without so much as even a Tylenol. This all makes me think that the swelling will go down much more quickly as well, and hopefully I'll get to start seeing some progress. I really shouldn't say that they are my hips, actually, as the doctor and nurse keep referring to them as "love handles." I always thought love handles were more up in the stomach region, like the side of your abdomen, but I'm not a doctor. Or a nurse. Thankfully.

Today for lunch, M and I have cheese samiches. Why no meat, you ask? Well, interesting story. We went to Sam's the other night to get some food and one of those foodstuffs was indeed yummy lunchmeat. Honey ham, to be precise. Since it was dark when we got home (blasted Daylight Savings Time), we missed the lunchmeat in the trunk when we carted all our goods into the house (blasted Sam's with no grocery bags). So the lunchmeat rode around in my trunk for several days before finally being remembered by M when he went to make our samiches this morning. It looks perfectly fine, which is scary, but went directly into the trash can in the garage. So, today we have delectable ham and cheese samiches, hold the ham. I think it's time to break into the Reduced Fat Chef Boyardee Ravioli cans stashed in my desk drawer.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

S'more images (from long long ago)

Nothing new, really, to post tonight. Just killing some time before I fall asleep reading.

I am pooped from today. Just worn out. Which is good, because I should sleep well.

But it's bad, in that I have absolutely no brain power left to write anything even remotely witty here.

So, since I have no brain power to write, I will post some more images. Uncle Milt has put out the call for photos from the past year, which got me to thinkin', and browsin', and I realized that there are quite a few good shots I never got around to posting. After working on them for awhile, I realized there is a theme. Let's see if you can figure out what it is. (These are posted in chronological order.)

Checkin' out one of the Z Family Bricks

Shelly and Joe at Uncle Milt's Birthday Night at the Ballpark

Joe and Rob at Uncle Milt's Birthday Night at the Ballpark

Notice who is the only one actually watching the game.
If you look closely at M's right wrist, you can see the infamous rally band.
It's officially been retired.

Margaret and Dan at Uncle Milt's Birthday Night at the Ballpark

Self-portrait, and not half bad.
Taken before start of final World Series Game.

Ryan and M, after The Win.

Two cups of hot chocolate: $8
One Tiffany bracelet for anniversary: $175
Two meals at the ballpark: $17.50
Getting your car out of hock: $250
Watching your favorite baseball team clinch the World Series: Priceless

M wasn't so successful with the self-portrait this time,
but the image tickles me nonetheless.

M aptly named this image: "Done Celebrating"

Can't you leave NOW?!

When your boss is getting ready to go out of town for a week and your annual customer appreciation event is the day before she leaves, and your boss tends to wig out anyway when she's going out of town even when there is no customer appreciation event the day before she leaves, things get a little crazy.

I've laid out three new coupons and sent them to my printer, along with an existing document we also need on hand for Sunday. "Color copies, on the double!" I think he's ready to kill me, because at the same time I have him doing some new business cards for us, and new notepads. I've also created a myriad of new signs, and printed flyers galore at my own little color printer here.

I knew it was bad when she came in with a chunk of heavenly hash from Lake Forest Confections as a peace offering.

So, that's why no post this morning. I hit the ground running and haven't looked back. Whew!

Still more to do...the above was just for one of our three locations...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More Zozo Pix

'Nuf said.
Sometimes she silly faces. Actually, most times she make silly faces.

We have a very literate child.
Although usually her book is upside down.

Blessed be this child

Okay, so I'm finally getting around to posting my Halloween pix. I'll quit writing now, so as not to delay any further.
Most nuns wear little white shoes with pink shoelaces, don't they?

I just like the way her habit cascades around her holy shoulders.

Sr. Zoe Grace hangs out with her zoe-o-lantern, which has one tooth on it's bottom right, just like Zozo.

"Hail Mary, full of that candy? Dang, where was I?"

"I wonder...who is more powerful...God or Santa?"

This shot is only to show the back of the awesome nun outfit made especially for Zozo by her loving Grammy. Tons of thanks (and major amounts of kudos) goes to Grammy for doing this. We looked high and low for a baby nun outfit and couldn't find anything. Can't imagine why. Don't most parents want to dress their 14-month old's up in nun costumes?
Anyway, thanks Grammy!

Papa, Sr. Zoe Grace, and Grammy

Darvocet: mmm mmm good

Second round of Lipo Dissolve yesterday at 4:30. I think knowing what to expect made it better this time, although I don't recommend doing it on an empty stomach. Came home feeling like ick, and my wonderful hub force-fed me crackers until I was okay again. Have I told you all how great he is?!

So...two main differences that made this round much, much better than the first. Primarily, I have to thank my good friend Darvocet. I have a few left over from the arrival of Zozo, so I finally broke down and took one last night (after voting, natch). Ahhh, blissful relief, and sleepiness. The second thing I did differently was to purchase what I can only describe as a modern girdle. It's control-top pantyhose without the pantyhose. "Bodyshaping hosiery" is the industry term, I suppose. I got them at Target, and the brand is Assets (how funny is that?!). Come to find out, it's the same woman who created Spanx, Sara Blakely, which is the hoity toity version sold at fine department stores. Anyway, using the hosiery instead of an ace bandage that never stays where it's supposed to has made all the difference in the world. It's way more comfortable, and it doesn't ride up. It's also not as bulky under my nice slacks, which is good since my hips are now the size of Toledo again.

We voted last night, and there wasn't a long wait at all. We both chose to use the electronic voting booth, mainly just to see how it went. Totally cool. No more hanging chads! M held Zozo the entire time, which was great since a breeze blowing over my hips made me want to scream in agony. Zoe claimed afterward that she also voted on two proposed amendments. One was for an increase in the toys-per-child requirement. She then also voted for a statewide ban on sippy cups, which she still apparently hates as long as she's in her own home.

So, congratulations to everyone who won last night, condolences to those candidates who didn't, and kudos to M for voting for the first time in his life! Yay! He has now earned the right to bitch about our government, the economy, the idiots in office, the idiots running for office, the Republican party, the Democrat party, the Green party, the Libertarians, the President, Vice-President, Speaker of the House, Senate Pro-Tem, Minority Whip, and everything that's wrong with Washington, D.C. I raise my mocha in toast to you, my civic-duty-minded hubster!

Not-so-secret messages for the day:
Beanie: hope you're feeling better today!
Mama: hope you're digging out from the pile of wedding invitations!
Papa: hope you're staying out of the wedding planning!
Mom Z: hope the weather is nice enough for you and Zozo to go for a walk today!
M's Dad Z: hope your job stays relatively uneventful!
My Dad Z: hope the pedicure chairs stay fixed for awhile!
Judy: hope your birthday was grand!
Stef: sign me up for Peru, baby! (if you're not on vaca with Big Lee and Elliemeister)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Get out the vote!

No, I haven't voted yet. Yes, I plan to. After work. (Repeat as needed throughout the day.)

Can't wait for the time when we can all simply log onto the internet and cast our virtual ballot. I'm sure that will come, just as soon as they can figure out all the details. Heck, if we can purchase World Series tickets on-line and keep out the hackers, I'm sure we can manage voting on-line.

I will miss the calls from all the pols, though, after today. Sigh. I was just getting used to my daily one-sided chats with Newt Gingrich (seriously, they still let him play?), Rudy Giuliani, Jim and Claire (never together, although they do like to talk about one another), unknown former state auditors, that chap from the American Heart Association and the rest of 'em. I know people who got calls from Bill and Barbara. Not fair! I bet Rudy was tying up the line when Babs was trying to call.

I will also miss all the yard signs, "Vote for me! No! Vote for ME! Me me me! Vote yes! Vote no! Vote hell no, we won't go!" On the way downtown this morning I saw a small group of people gathered by the side of Highway 40, where those turtle sculptures are, holding giant signs encouraging drivers to vote no on Amendment 2. Do these people not have jobs? Seriously. I have my opinions about things, but I'm not about to waste a day of vaca to hang out on the side of the highway. I wonder about the efficiency of that method of communication. How many undecided commuters were heading downtown this morning and thought, "Oh, people with signs...that's how I'll vote!" I do admire their dedication, though.

So, without further ado, here are my election day predictions: some people will win, some people will lose, some things will pass and some will fail. But no matter what, at the end of the day, I get to go home and play with my daughter and hang out with my husband and have a perfectly lovely evening. I know that no matter how the election is decided there will be no riots, raping or pillaging, no civil strife, no bloody coups, no curfews, no unrest, and that, my friends, is what makes America great.

Monday, November 06, 2006


We went to a Parents as Teachers group meeting tonight on Emotional Intelligence, or EQ. Emotional Intelligence, according to Wikipedia, describes the ability, capacity or skill to perceive, assess, and manage the emotions of one's self, of others, and of groups. Current understanding is that you can be extremely successful if you have a high EQ and low IQ, because EQ gives you self-awareness, self discipline, persistence and empathy, all of which are necessary to be successful. This is also another way of saying you can have the most brilliant mind in the world and still be as dumb as a box of rocks.

The session tonight was "Developing Emotional Intelligence in Children," or, as I like to put it, "How to Not F*** Up Your Child." We learned such things as there are four styles of parenting (Dismissing Parent, Disapproving Parent, Laissez-Faire Parent and Emotion Coach). At this point I'm just thrilled I was able to use the term "laissez-faire" in my blog, since when I learned it in high school I thought it was quite cool but irrelevant to everyday life. However, it is not cool to be a Laissez-Faire Parent, and instead we should all strive to be Emotion Coaches.

Parents all around us were raising their hands, "My child throws toys on the floor when she gets frustrated," "My child hits others," "My child cries every day when I drop him off at school...and he's been doing it for two years now..." They made our issue of "Zozo exhibits an extreme distaste for her sippy cup when at home with her parents" seem quite mild. Granted, she's only 14 months old, so I'm sure we've got some of those happy times ahead of us, but given her personality so far I think we're going to be okay.

Anyway, it was a worthwhile evening and gave us some insight not only into how to help Zozo express her emotions (we're to help her build her "emotion vocabulary," so she doesn't just get "mad" at everything) but also kind of how we (meaning M and I) tick. I could go on and on, but you can get a couple books and read for yourself. One is Emotional Intelligence; why it can matter more by Daniel Goleman, which I just happen to be reading now and which I find quite fascinating (for instance, it tells you why you crinkle your nose when you find something distasteful), or Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman, which you bet your bippy has been added to my wish list.

After learning how to be emotionally intelligent, we came home where M messed around on the computer for work and I did the emotionally stimulating tasks of finishing up the laundry and loading the dishwasher. I'm gonna get me some dessert and them I'm gonna hit the sack. No post tomorrow morning, as I'll be at KSDK editing three 15-second commercials for the spa for the holidays. Should be fun, but we'll see. I've never been in a video editing booth before, but I love love love to edit (I used to edit my college roommate's grocery shopping lists...she was an atrocious speller and it gave me a chance to show off my fancy schmancy editing marks newly learned at The World's Finest School of Journalism) be it words or photographs, so why should video be any different?! Famous last words...


Ahhh, back to work on Monday morning!

Weekend was good, if relatively uneventful. M worked his tushie off outside, on the Christmas display of course. It's going to be really great this year. Well, it's really great every year, but it's going to be really super fantastic great this year. You'll just have to wait and see what the new addition is!

Went to Grammy's yesterday to help with The Wedding. The Wedding would be my sister's upcoming nuptials with Shawntay, forevermore to be referred to as The Wedding. My wedding has been The Wedding for quite some time now, in two of the three sides of my family, simply because it was the last wedding to take place. Now, thankfully, on my mom's side, there is another one, so mine will become "Amy's wedding" and Beanie's will become The Wedding. Lemme tell ya, between one indecisive bride and one high-strung mother-of-the-bride, this is a new exercise in event planning!

Don't get your panties in wad, Mama, because I called you high-strung. Believe me, if I had to plan an entire wedding I'd be high-strung too. It ain't nuthin' personal! I know this about myself, which is precisely why I let you plan my entire wedding. It was a great theory, really, to let someone else plan my wedding, except that now that I have a daughter of my own I realize that it's going to come back to bite me in the butt and Zozo will probably turn into Bridezilla when it's her turn to wed. Oh, I forgot, her daddy says she is never getting married, because she will never be allowed to date, because she's going to the nunnery as soon as she's of age.

So we had a discussion yesterday at Mom's, when in the course of planning the wedding, about the term "marketing" and such. Mom says that we're not "marketing" the wedding, because that's cold and impersonal and a wedding is all about love and personal relationships and all that crap. So I've been thinking about what "marketing" means, and I think that most aspects of our life are really just marketing opportunities. When you go for a job interview, you are marketing yourself. You are trying to sell yourself to a prospective employer. Maybe I've been doing marketing and events too long, because I totally think that planning a wedding is just like marketing. You are marketing who you are, and who your fiancee is, to your guests. In this case, we are marketing the "Beanie and Shawntay" package to the world. Every item is carefully chosen to reflect the tastes of the bride and groom, to reflect who they are and what they believe, to everyone else. If that ain't marketing, I don't know what is.

When you invite people over to your house, you are marketing. Everything from the invitation to the theme of the party, even to the food you serve, sends a message, whether you like it or not. I'm not saying this is rocket science, or that you should freak out over every little decision. I'm just saying it is what it is.

I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, this theory that life is all about marketing. I don't think that marketing is cold and impersonal, unless it is done poorly. If it's done well, you don't even think of it as marketing, really. You don't even realize it. You just say, "Hey, great shindig" or "nice house" or "wow, that's a fantastic outfit." Or, on February 3, 2007, you say, "Isn't she beautiful?!" and "Isn't he handsome?!" and "They are so much in love!"

Friday, November 03, 2006

Finally, an image

It's Friday, and my boy comes home tonight from LA! Yay!

My calendar looks blissfully open this weekend, which means two things: 1.) I don't have to be anywhere for anything and 2.) my husband will be busting his butt working on our Christmas display. This means I have to get cracking on the invite for this year. I have some ideas, which is usually the hard part. Getting it laid out and printed is cake once the initial idea is in place.

Also need to get cracking on dumping the Halloween pix and uploading them here. I've been trying for days to upload an image or two Beans sent me, but Blogger has been burping again and wouldn't let me post any photos.

Monthly staff meeting this morning, where I presented once again without making an ass of myself (yay me!). Always a good thing. Got back to my seat and P leaned over to whisper to me. I thought, "Here it comes, she's gonna tell me how much better my presenting has gotten!" Instead she said, "You know, your hips have really gone down! You look good!" Not what I was expecting, but great nonetheless. Hmmm, what does it mean when your boss is checking out your hips instead of listening to your presentation? It means you work in the spa industry.

Funny story from Grammy yesterday. She called me in a panic in the morning after she figured out that she had tossed her good black slacks in the bag to go to Goodwill. This is not normally panic-material, but she was planning to wear those very slacks to an event at the St. Louis Club yesterday. This makes it a crisis of epic proportions. I hate having to scrounge around trying to find something else to wear when you've already planned your wardrobe. Nothing seems to work after that and it can make me downright grumpy the whole day. Anyway, so she found something else to wear and was just fine, and I'll be damned if she didn't head right to Goodwill after her event and buy her favorite pants back for three bucks! This is cracking me up. I said, "I'd have just gone and bought new slacks." She responded, "It's too hard to find them to fit, and these were expensive!" Yeah, and now they're even $3 more than what she originally paid for them! Kudos to Grammy for tracking down your favorite pants and buying them back!

Well, hallelujah, Blogger finally got over its head cold and let me post an image. Here is Zoe in her Halloween costume, sitting on my lap at Grammy and Papa's. Many thanks to Beano for sending this! I'll try to post my own images this weekend.

Sister Zoe Grace

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I have this "friend" and am in a quandry about something, so I'll put it out there to you, dear readers, in hope of some feedback.

I put "friend" in quotes because she's not really a friend any longer. We used to be great friends, best friends, actually, in college. She introduced me to my husband. She looked out for me when I had too much to drink (I know, that's a shock to you all, that I ever had too much to drink), and I did the same for her. We had millions of inside jokes and knew each other's secrets. Even after I transferred out of Rolla, we remained close. Then we graduated, and she went home to Paducah, KY, and I went home to STL, MO, and we still talked and e-mailed all the time. I was in her wedding, and she was in mine. One weekend, she and her husband invited me and M to Paducah for the weekend. It's not a long drive, and we hadn't seen them in awhile, so we planned the trip with high expectations for some real fun.

The first night, we went to dinner and they brought along a "friend" of theirs. Again, note my use of the quotes around friend. Meal was fantastic, conversation flowed, it was great. We talked about what we were all doing, what we wanted to be doing, where we'd be in five, ten, fifteen years and beyond. To have children or not to have children. Dream houses, dream cars, and dream lives. The second day, I don't remember what we did, but that night we ate dinner out again and something didn't agree with my stomach and I was battling a mild case of food poisoning into the next morning.

Which is when their "friend" came back. Dressed up. In heels and a skirt. To pitch...Amway. Now, I'm not for Amway when it's a good day, much less when I'm running for the bathroom every four minutes. We sat politely through her spiel, with our friends sitting there nodding and commenting on how great it all is, etc. She would pause during my bathroom breaks, and resume as if nothing had happened when I returned. She used everything we had talked about at dinner Friday night to sell us on the program. We realized we hadn't been invited for the weekend as friends, but instead as targets. Our dinner Friday night was the set-up for the pitch, the raping of our minds, dreams and aspirations to sell us on a giant pyramid scheme. The more people they recruited, the more money they made and the less work they had to do. This epiphany did not go over well with us.

M finally used the excuse, "I really need to get her home," and we left. Threw all our things in the car and peeled out, grateful to get away from the sales push. As we had climbed into the car, my friend forced a small black case on me, stuffed full of Amway materials, despite our continual gracious refusals and declinations, saying, "Just take a look at it when you get home and you feel better. You'll's really great!" I never even opened the case. She called almost daily after that, not to ask how I was feeling but to see if I was ready to sign up yet. I'm not sure how she finally got the message that we weren't going to do it, but when she did, she coldly and abruptly asked me to ship back (!) her Amway materials. You have got to be kidding me. You force me to take something against my wishes, then you ask me to pay to ship it back to you? I did ship it back. I took it to the post office and told the woman, "I don't care if you drop it, smash it, spill coffee on it, or run it over. I don't care if it takes six months to get there, or if it ever makes it at all. What's the cheapest option to send this stupid box?"

Months later we heard from our friends again. They were coming to St. Louis for something and wanted to stop by to say hello. M and I aren't ones to hold a grudge, and we figured maybe they had pulled their heads out of the collective Amway ass and wanted to reconnect. Nope. They stopped by for two reasons: to show off their new Camry (which, ironically, had recently been keyed while my friend was at her "real" job...hmmm, wonder why), and to tell us about a new Amway venture: Amway on the internet. Now it was even easier to join the pyramid scheme and fork over a bunch of our hard-earned money. We also had to look at about 200 pictures of all their new Amway friends, made while at an Amway convention. It was so cult-like it was creepy. They had glazed-over eyes and kept repeating themselves. I threw away their Amway internet business cards as soon as they left.

Again, we were nothing but polite, even while rejecting their pleas to join their Amway world. Didn't hear from them for awhile, and then I got an invitation in the mail to a baby shower for her. Thrilled to death that she was having a baby, I sent my regrets as I couldn't attend that weekend, and my best wishes. Sent a few e-mails, and got a few terse replies, and didn't think much more about it. I sent a gift when her daughter was born, and wrote, "I can't wait to meet her!" No response...not even a thank-you card.

She got pregnant again a coupletwothree years later, and it was right in the middle of our dealing with infertility. I sat at my computer and cried when I got her mass e-mail, wondering how she was so blessed to get two when I couldn't even have one. I deleted the e-mail without responding and was depressed for three days.

A couple of months later my miracle happened and we were pregnant. Eager to share good news, I sent an e-mail to my friend, apologizing for not responding to the news of her second, trying to explain what we had just gone through with two years of infertility struggles, and announcing my own pregnancy. I received no response. I also mailed her an announcement when Zozo was born, and again received no response. When her son was born, I had sent a congratulatory e-mail with lots of good wishes and praise for her adorable boy.

Through all of this, I continue to get these e-mails from her that have links to photographs she has posted on-line, of her children, their vacations, her new gig as lead singer in a band. Visits from grandmas and friends, field trips, birthday parties, and holidays. I used to reply to every one, telling her that I was so glad everyone looks so happy and healthy, and that her adorable daughter has her curls but in all other regards looks just like her daddy, etc. I have never received a response. Now, most of the time, I just delete them.

This morning I logged in to find two more of these photo e-mails from her. I am tempted to send a blunt e-mail back asking to be removed from her e-mail list, but don't know if that's appropriate. Every time I get one of these stupid e-mails from her, I remember her, and the good times we had, and how shitty it all got at the end, for a stupid reason like Amway. I am angered, again, that she put Amway and her goal to get rich quick ahead of our friendship. I am saddened, all over again, that she apparently saw me only as a rung in her Amway ladder instead of as the friends I so foolishly thought we were. I don't know if she's still in Amway, and don't know that she'd respond even if I asked. I have always been afraid to ask about Amway for two reasons: if she's not involved anymore I don't want to bring up a sore, and possibly embarrassing, subject, and if she is still involved, I don't want her to take my question as a sign of interest. So I never asked.

So, do I just keep hitting "delete" when I get these e-mails from her, going through the cycle of emotions every time, or do I send her a polite e-mail back asking to please be removed from her address book? She's never responded to any of my other e-mails, so part of me is tempted to send back a nasty-gram telling her where she can stick her e-mails.

My Emily Post doesn't have a chapter entitled, "How to stop e-mails from your ex-friend who tried to push you into Amway and ditched you when you wouldn't join."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Is it 5 p.m. yet?

Some days are very calm, relaxed, and busy in a nice, steady sort of way.

Today is not one of those days.

From a two-plus-hour video shoot this morning to multiple marketing fires directly after to an afternoon meeting to hammer out advertising in a local's been crazy. Lunch was a few pieces of leftover cold pizza snarfed while reviewing e-mail at my computer. I've been up to the front desk and back so many times I feel like I've worn a path in the carpeting. I have tweaked, polished, corrected, ordered, confirmed, created and brainstormed. I have questioned, answered, cajoled and denied. Thankfully, I love every second of it.

I have not dumped my photos from yesterday's Halloween rounds into the Mac yet, much less cleaned them up in Photoshop to make them suitable for publishing here. I hope to get to that tonight, after the Doodle goes to sleep at 8. Last night we were both so tired that we went to bed shortly after she did. I may have to do that again tonight, judging by how the day is going so far!