2.28.2011

Book Review Monday

I'm back in the reading game, folks. Since I started the Millennium trilogy, I have done little else with my free time. The Girl Who Played With Fire had me sucked in from page one. I really wanted to watch the Swedish movie version just so I could see how they brought this one to life but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I didn't even watch a movie this past weekend. Can you believe it? I mean, this is usually Movie Review Monday so you can see how much I am LOVING these books. They're all I want my eyes on. And as I was reading this one I was literally on the edge of my seat. The twists and turns! The big reveals! Amazing. What infuriated me, however, was that this book HAS NO ENDING! That's right. You read that correctly. It goes RIGHT INTO THE NEXT BOOK! Oh. My. God. I felt like throwing it out the window. I am a mother! I don't have time to be absorbed into these books like an obsessed nerd! There is simply no way to get into the plot or the amazingly well-developed characters because they are so complex but if you haven't read these books, you really are missing out. Believe the hype.

2.25.2011

TGI Haiku Friday

Started off my day
Casey throwing up on me
A week of this now
***
Kind of used to it
Day can only get better
My silver lining
***
The day's all downhill
Meaning easier, you know
Uphill's way harder

2.24.2011

TGTBTU

The Good
  • Casey is 6 months old today.
  • His sickness is on the way out so everyone in the house is sleeping well.
  • Husband is buying new tires today and we can pay cash without it putting us in dire straits.
  • The book The Girl Who Played With Fire
  • The movie Grown Ups which made me laugh a lot but doesn't warrant a movie review
  • The Starz show Party Down on Netflix On Demand.
The Bad
  • We have to spend close to $700 on tires knowing that in 2 weeks I'll have to spend at least $500 on Vehicular. Mom must really stand for Made of Money.
  • Our tax refund hasn't shown up yet and we still have to pay $500 to the state.
The Ugly
  • All the bodily fluids associated with a sick baby and being covered in all of them for so long that you're actually used to it.

2.23.2011

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo



Before Casey was born, I bought the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson hoping to read them while I was on maternity leave. That clearly never happened but I finally decided that reading gossip sites on the internet wasn't holding my interest any more so I cracked open The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and devoured it like it was the first book I had ever read in my life. Is it wrong to call a book delicious? Because that is the adjective I use when I describe it. While it was a little frustrating to get into because of all the background building that occurred in the first hundred pages, it was also a quality I loved. The characters, the town, the story - they were all incredibly well developed. What a suspenseful plot (no, I'm not even going to try and summarize any of it)! I had no idea what was going to happen next. As a testament to how much I loved reading this book, I almost sacrificed precious sleep one night so I could keep on reading while Casey slumbered beside me. There is very little that comes between me and sleep.

Since we finally got the Netflix to stream over our Playstation 3, I decided I wanted to watch the Swedish movie-version of the book: Män som hatar kvinnor. There really is no way they could have crammed the intricate details of the book into this film in a way that was satisfactory to me. My mind had created all the imagery I needed so seeing the book come to life on screen was a bit too conflicting with what I wanted it to be. I will say that Noomi Rapace was perfectly suited for Lisbeth Salander but the guy who played Mikael Blomkvist didn't exactly scream sex appeal to me like the book did. I am excited for the American version because I think Daniel Craig will be perfect in that role. While I don't mind watching foreign movies with English subtitles, the Swedish was a bit too distracting, especially when they said Harriet's bible as "Hahreot's Beeble."

MORAL OF THAT STORY: The book is always better than the movie.

2.22.2011

Casey Tuesday

Casey is 26 weeks old today and he'll be six months old on Thursday. I can't believe it. That's half a year! He was sick all weekend with an awful cold. This resulted in me being pretty consistently covered in his drool, snot and barf for about three days straight. Who says parenthood isn't glamorous? On top of all that, he can't sleep lying down because he can't breathe so Husband and I have had the pleasure of sleeping upright and in shifts for the last few nights. The thing about being a parent is that aside from the babysitter, it's a full-time job that doesn't stop just because you desperately need a good night's sleep. For instance, last night I slept from 8-10 pretty solid. Then I took over and "slept" in the rocking chair with Casey from 10-2 or so but he kept waking himself up crying and gagging and coughing just about every half hour. Then I moved him into his little bouncy chair thing and he stayed asleep so I slept in bed with my earplugs in to drown out his coughing and gasping. He woke up crying at 4 so Husband took him and I was able to sleep solid until 6:30. Crazy right? That's like 4 hours of solid sleep. This is the second cold he has had in his life and there really is nothing more pathetic than a sick baby. They sound like they're suffocating on their bottles, they cry with obvious sadness in their voices and they are just miserable in general. Casey has never been a snuggler so getting him to just fall asleep on my chest has been a chore. Poor little friend. The doctor said it's nothing serious, we just need to ride it out. Thank the maker Husband is home this week or it would be the worst. thing. ever.

2.18.2011

Full Moon Haiku Friday

Baby and Mommy
Didn't have a restful night
I blame the full moon
***
Casey was crying
But was still asleep. Bad dream?
Coughing a bit, too
***
A panic attack
Woke me promptly at midnight
That is my new trick

2.17.2011

TGTBTU

The Good
  • Husband coming home tomorrow for 9 whole days
  • The 3-day weekend and Casey being at Maria's on Monday (day OFF!)
  • Actually getting money back from our tax returns
  • My thyroid regulated itself so I don't need meds any more
  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
The Bad
  • Having to spend our tax return on new tires
  • Casey keeps thinking that 3, 4 or 5 a.m. is wake up time
  • My cholesterol levels are real high
  • Not being able to stay up all night reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The Ugly
  • Casey has a new game where he sort of slaps my "gut" when I'm changing his diaper and it makes me feel like a big fat fatty.
  • I changed my diet to lower my cholesterol and now have the stinkiest gas in the land.
  • The scale is showing I'm just barely under 200 buck nekkid first thing in the morning.

2.16.2011

I Did It!

I haven't spoken about it much here because the whole process has been very drawn out and boring but... we're buying a house! It's actually the 2nd house I ever lived in as a wee little girl. My parents own it and my grandparents live in it but it's going to be ours. I've mentioned that my grandparents are going to be put in an assisted living facility so we're basically moving in after they move out and our lease is up. Can' have anyone out there thinking that we were giving the old folks the boot. Although my boss did say now I had to get rid of the squatters and I thought that was terribly funny.
Because we are buying the house from my parents, it isn't your ordinary process. They have it set up as an owner occupied loan so we could get a lower interest rate but that means we're supposed to be the current occupants of the house, not my grandparents. This has meant that I needed to change over their utility bills to my name and make it look like I live there. This sounds easy enough but it has been quite the ordeal. Between that and all the other tax paperwork and credit checks, it has been a few months worth of gathering many documents and waiting and waiting and waiting.
I sent over the final piece of paperwork yesterday and was told that she has everything she needs and that the loan is going in line to draw the documents. It takes a day or two to draw and we should hear from escrow to go in this week to sign everything. It's really happening. In a year I have gotten my degree, had a baby and am buying my first house. This is definitely what it feels to be a grown up.

MORAL OF THAT STORY: Overcoming obstacles to complete a task brings a great deal of satisfaction and an amazing sense of accomplishment.

2.15.2011

Casey Tuesday

What can I say about Casey today? He is 25 weeks old and in the fourth week of his fifth month. This past week we have enjoyed the company of several ladies (including the lovely Lisa from Libelletage!) and it seems as though my son is quite the flirt. He loves to smile and act bashful and if you sit close enough he'll caress your face or your sleeve. It's shameful.
Over the weekend we spent a lot of time outdoors carrying Casey in his little backpack because we were blessed with some gorgeous summer weather in February. We went to the Ventura Harbor on Saturday and several people practically stopped us to tell us how cute he is. I mean, look at that picture in his wee baseball cap. How can you resist? While Husband and I were enjoying an ice cream cone, this older lady bee-lined toward us like she knew who we were. She said that all the babies she had seen lately had blue eyes. I jokingly lifted my sunglasses to show her that Husband and I both have brown eyes and said "Maybe he's not ours!" She said she knew I was going to say that because two parents with brown eyes cannot, unequivocally, have a baby with blue eyes. Um... yeah we can. He's mine and that's all the proof you need. It never ceases to amaze me how crazy people are when they talk to you about YOUR baby.

2.14.2011

Cyrus

Around the same time Inception was in the theater, my brother told me I had to go see the movie Cyrus because it was so hilarious. He's recommended movies to us before that he thought were hilarious and they've not been but I refused to give up on him so I rented it. I figured with a cast like this, it had to be funny. Was it? Not so much. Husband asked if my brother was trying to sabotage us but I think it's not that malicious; we just don't have the same taste in movies.
Cyrus is about a man and a woman who meet and sort of instantly fall into a pretty intense courtship. Then the man meets the woman's son. The woman's son attempts to sabotage their romance so he can have his mother all to himself. Mostly, this movie just seemed sort of sad and awkward. The relationship between Tomei and Hill as mother and son was just weird and potentially inappropriate. And John C. Reilly just sort of came across as pathetic. What a bummer, you know? I really like those people. Oh well. They can't all be winners.

2.11.2011

Fiscal Haiku Friday

The home loan process
Will likely kill me to death
Much redundancy
***
It will be worth it
Credit consolidation
More money for me
***
Let's hope the tax man
Says we get a nice refund
When we talk to him

2.10.2011

TGTBTU - Elderly Edition

The Good
Today is my grandparents' 64th (?) wedding anniversary. They are both 84 years old and I think they got married when they were 20 but I'm not 100% sure so don't quote me on any of this. Tonight the family will all gather for dinner and celebration at their place. My mom finally has the assistance of a social worker and is now very close to finally getting Grandpa into an assisted living facility. Not only will he be better taken care of but Gran will finally get some relief from being his caretaker.

The Bad
I don't think my grandparents really like each other very much so I'm not sure what it is exactly that we're celebrating. Is it that Gran has yet to murder Grandpa? Are we celebrating his stubborn persistence to keep on keeping on despite her best efforts to send him to the great beyond? Considering Grandpa will be in a home soon and Gran will end up living on her own, this is probably the last time we'll be celebrating this particular occasion.

The Ugly
Grandpa's health is failing right while Gran is rapidly losing what's left of her mind. They have quite a "history" between them that has led them both to resent each other a great deal. It has recently come to light that Grandpa, despite having little to no use of his legs, keeps getting out of bed at night unassisted despite being told many times that he should not do that. His stubbornness leads to him falling on the ground. He weighs about 200 pounds and if Gran weighs 100 pounds soaking wet I'd be surprised so she can't help him up when he falls down. However, Grandpa gets mad at Gran if she calls someone like the paramedics to help him up so that doesn't leave many options to get him off the ground. Since Gran doesn't feel like she owes him anything after years of putting up with his shit, she leaves him on the ground and just covers him with a blanket until Tito the care giver comes the next morning and can pick him up. Elder on elder abuse much?
Ah, marriage. I can see now why the gays want in so badly.

2.08.2011

Casey Tuesday

24 weeks old. The third week of his fifth month. Sitting up almost completely on his own like a little gentleman. Eating cereal and green beans like a big boy.
Last night my sister-in-law was over and we were talking about how she wants to name her daughter (she's due in June) Alicia (Uh-lee-see-uh). My brother said that has too many syllables and my nephew says he's naming her Chloe so it doesn't matter. I told her and Ethan that it didn't matter what they named her because they wouldn't call her by her name that much anyway. For instance, I call Casey "Capood" to which Ethan replied "What's a Capood?" and I told him I had no idea. This made Ethan laugh a lot and prompted him to tell his mom "Your baby is a capood!" That made-up word came from a night when Casey was on the floor on his blanket after a bath and I told him he was a nude capood and thus the name stuck. I also call him Bean and Pea Pod and Friendly and Casey Bear. Nicknames are fun.

2.07.2011

Easy A Indeed

I have to throw some Ventura County pride out there and let you know that this movie opens up in Ojai, CA! The whole dang movie looks like it was filmed there. For those of you not familiar with Ojai, it's a very quaint area about half an hour from here (here being Oxnard). Supposedly Reese Witherspoon lives out there amongst the rest of the artsy-fartsy and mostly wealthy residents. It's a lovely place and Easy A does a good job of highlighting it. If you haven't been, I highly recommend a visit. Enjoy a culinary masterpiece at Suzanne's Cuisine. Or maybe have an unforgettable strawberry shortcake at Boccali's like Tom Hanks! You're welcome.
As for the movie? I sort of loved it. It's about a high school student named Olive who starts to get a certain reputation after rumors start circulating that she lost her virginity to a college guy. She then pretends to sleep with a gay friend of hers so the other students stop bullying him. And then she pretends to sleep with the nerds in exchange for gift cards. Ultimately, she gets a reputation as a whore and decides to run with it, wearing an A stitched into her slutty clothes in homage to The Scarlet Letter, which she just so happens to be reading in class.
This is a very smart and clever movie. It definitely made me a fan of Emma Stone. Her parents - played by Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson - are hip and hilarious. I was quite pleased with all the cast frankly. I mean, who doesn't love Amanda Bynes? Or maybe it's just me because I used to watch her variety show on Nickelodeon every Saturday night when I was a a babysitter. But, I digress. It has been a long time since I've seen a high school movie that I really liked and I will give Easy A the compliment of being reminiscent of a John Hughes film.

2.04.2011

Hello, February Haiku Friday

Positivity
That's the name of the game, folks
Optimistic me
***
Last month was not great
February's a short one
Less expectations
***
Getting some answers
To some lingering questions
Onward and upward!

2.03.2011

Back on the Zac

Lately, I have been less than pleasant in demeanor. At work I spend 8 hours of my day feeling irritated for the most part. I spend all week missing my husband and then he gets home and I'm easily irritated with him. I get so angry with the way people drive that twice in the past week I have verbally confronted people for cutting me off. This sort of behavior is not good for me and considering the world we live in, could potentially be dangerous. I should be able to suppress some of these feelings and just write them off but I've been unable to. I obsess about them just like I obsess about the balance of our checking account and budgeting and bills. I obsess about what will happen with my grandparents, buying a house, moving, going to Michigan twice this year, and the list goes on and on. The key words here should be "obsess" and "fester."
I'm sure most of you know this already, but Husband lives down in San Diego for work and that means I get to play single mom usually 4 or 5 days a week. That in addition to the aforementioned worries has meant a great deal of stress lately. I work full-time then dive right into mom mode until we both fall asleep. I then get to wake up with Casey throughout the night, wake up super early with him each morning and dive back into mom mode until I go back to work again. It's a vicious cycle but I've gotten pretty good at mastering it. Thank the maker I have an easy baby. On the weekends I get to be in mom and wife mode simultaneously and this leaves basically no "me time" when I can just be in Randi mode. Weekends and evenings are full of errand running and family obligations and chores... It's just gotten to be too much and frankly I'd like my life to be more "fun" than it currently is.
In November of 2009 I stopped using Prozac (which I was using to treat depression) and this week I made the decision to go back on it. I started last night with a 20 mg dose and I am hoping that this will alleviate some of my obsessive tendencies. Since I don't see my living situation changing before June, I may as well alter the way my body processes it. I told my doctor all the things I just wrote in the first two paragraphs of this blog post and he seems to agree with me that going back on medication is the right decision. I don't know, I feel like I am admitting defeat being dependent up meds. However, when I shared that thought with Bossman he said "If it works then it's victory, not defeat, silly girl!" I guess I'll just hang my hat on that for now.

2.02.2011

Date Night

When you get married, the first thing people ask you is when you're going to start having children. Well, maybe not the first thing, but pretty close. It's funny, I got married to have a husband, right? But once the baby came along, I wasn't really a wife any more. All of a sudden, I am a mother and just as suddenly, my husband is a father and somewhere in the middle we got so busy being partners in parenting that we sort of forgot how to be romantic partners. I'm not saying we fell out of love, but everything started to feel very strategic and rushed. Baby lays down for a nap? Quick! Let's squeeze in the sex! Maybe we can have the grandparents watch the baby for 2 hours so we can see a movie! Quickly! You cook while I watch the baby! You watch the baby while I clean! I mean, where is the romance in all of that?
It was decided that Husband and I needed a date. Like a real date where we looked at each other and talked about things aside from Casey and didn't just sit side by side in the darkness and silence of a movie theater. So we made a reservation for Watermark on Main and had a date last Saturday night. We got there early so we could have a cocktail at the W2O Lounge on the third floor and enjoy the amazing view of downtown Ventura. I had a Pom Sunday which was a
mixture of Pomegranate Vodka, a splash of pineapple, pomegranate juice, Hypnotiq Liqueur and a dash of champagne. Needless to say, I was tipsy before dinner and have been longing for that drink ever since. We both had our own appetizer, our own entree, split a bottle of wine and had our own desserts. And best of all, we looked at each other. And talked. And basked in the glow of that dinner date in this historical beauty of a restaurant for nearly three hours. Every bite was exquisite, every sip savory... I just can't say enough good things about this place. The service was outstanding and we left surprised our dinner didn't cost more than it did. What a night! Needless to say, I think we may make a habit of this "dating" thing.
MORAL OF THAT STORY: Only choose in marriage a man whom you would choose as a friend if he were a woman. ~Joseph Joubert

2.01.2011

Casey Tuesday

23 weeks old and ready to take on the world. He's mastered the cereal and takes offense to the idea of eating out of a bottle. I was planning on waiting until he turned 6 months old to turn him on to fruits and veggies but it may happen sooner than later. I have learned that cereal makes for some stinky poop so I can only imagine what actual food is going to do to him. Right now it's a beautiful shade of pale green and reeks like the dickens. And he goes EVERY day now instead of every 2 or 3 days. For some reason, he saves his poops for when he's eating a bottle. I don't know why that is. I guess the nipple gives him something to bear down on when he's pushing out a deuce. Last night I changed his poopy diaper and in the middle of it he started to poop again so it went all over the new staged diaper. Then I got that on him, went to wash my hands, heard grunting and lo and behold a THIRD diaper was soiled. Three diapers in five minutes. Awesome. I guess today's Casey Tuesday was brought to you by the letter P for Poop. Let's clean this up a bit. In the picture above, you can see he loves sitting up now. Lying down is for LOSERS. He sits in the corner of the couch and plays with his toys like a little gentleman. It's quite possibly the cutest thing I've ever seen. Gotta love this kid.