Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday is a Special Day- OBAMA MAMA!

A Run Down of the World according to SS-Mangum (do I sound like a battleship? I’m approaching the size of one!) Just kidding, I mean… overall I think I’ve done pretty well with my ‘eggo being prego,’ but my belly is growing rapidly. As soon as I can find a way to get the pics off Danny’s camera (of said naval development), I’ll get you the progress. (I know I’m like always promising pictures and then I hardly ever deliver… but isn’t that what Facebook is for? No one really comes to my blog for pictures do they? It’s like trying to buy bread at a hardware store… you know what you’re getting, don’t try to fool yourself with false expectations. ;)

OK, onto Business--

The Great Debate

Well, the first debate actually happened last night. I’m not going to say I was fearful it wasn’t going happen. I think if Obama was the only one that showed it would have been one more opportunity to see the difference between the two candidate’s character and approach to problem solving. On one side, you’ve got a leader that in essence says "the prez needs to be able to multi-task and the american people need to hear from us." The other side? “Jump ship, abort, abort, TIME OUT!!!” mentality… McCain has long prided himself on going with his gut and making quick decisions. He’s needed a game-changer (with some polls putting Obama in the lead by as many as 10 points)… The Palin stunt worked (at first), but now the republicans recognize it was such a big mistake, she’s not even allowed to do a follow-up interview after the debate showing support of her candidate. Yeah, I’m glad she’s hot – but can she run the country?

The Palin Problem

MSNBC was killing me last night… Tom Brokaw interviews Biden (après debate), and then says they invited the republican VP candidate to share her insights, and the republicans “offered” Guliani instead. Hmmm, really? Come on, let Sar-Bear out to play with the big dogs. While I don’t think her feelings are going to get hurt (even I can see she’s as much a political animal as any Clinton) … and although FOX News and her campaign want to play it out that the media are all her case (like they weren’t equally tenacious about uncovering “dirt” on Obama with “pastorgate,” or his middle name being Hussien, etc?). But let’s give a mooseburger-lover the benefit of the doubt. SaraBaracuda has had a tough week. I’ll give her a break, but I don’t want to give the hockey mom who can see Russia from her town any more play than necessary…I have yet to find an issue she and I share an opinion on, so I’m going to leave it at that for now.

So Who Won?

Surprised? But even with my biases I actually don’t think there was a clear winner. I think both candidates got a few jabs, both showed there real differences between the answers they have for America, and I think depending on which side of the fence you’re on is how you’ll really see the debate winner as the one you can most identify with (although I think most polls shows that Obama was the winner…) I tried to find results on FOXNews… after all, they report, and I can decide… but the closest thing to an article about the winner was an blog that showcased how many times Obama agreed with McCain, and the comments of Fox News readers saying McCain was the clear winner…. If anyone finds more results than the round-up from the Kansas City Star, please let me know.

But there’s a couple of things I did notice, that continued to solidify why Obama’s my guy (even outside of his opinion on the war, Afghanistan, the economy -- giving tax-breaks to EVERY AMERICAN but those that make more than $250,000 -- the environment, health-care NOT being a luxury, and education.)

- Yes, Obama would point out where he an McCain agreed. Why not start with by-partisanship and talk about where the middle road is?

But for me, the most defining piece of this debate came in the STARK contrast of the two candidate’s demeanor. To me (and a few others, I’m noticing), McCain came across as a crotchety, old, bitter man. (He wouldn’t even look at Obama?!?!?) Stuck in his old-thinking about the war. I agree with Obama-- even if the surge did work-- the war didn’t start with the surge. It was a tactic we had to employ to EVENTUALLY get our troops back home. I stand-by where I was before the war began – we never should’ve been there in the first place.

And we’re wasting billions of dollars there a month – lives lost, families and dreams shattered… correct me if I’m wrong, but with the Economy in shambles (many have documented we’re approaching a Depression!!!) and the US-government on the verge of a $700 billion bail-out to save Walstreet (and hopefully main street); it seems that money could’ve been put to use elsewhere.

Obama is my guy. New ideas, change from what Washington’s become, and a dose of altruism this country DESPERATELY needs – regardless of which side of the fence you're on… McCain keeps trying to play himself off as a Maverick who will turn things around in DC. But he’s part of the good-ole boys club… hasn’t he been in Washington since ‘83/’85 or something? And how can you call yourself a Maverick when you’ve voted with Dub-ya more than 90% of the time?!?!? Someone help me. I don’t get it.

As far as Washington’s concerned, it reminds me of Jack Nicholson’s famed comment in Batman -- although he was talking about Gotham, I think the same can be applied: “This town needs an enema.”

Yeah, to put it bluntly – it’s time to clear out the old and get a face-lift.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mothers Unite!!! I NEED YOUR FEEDBACK!!!

So, I woke up in a panic this morning. No not from turning 31 today, birthdays are cool with me since I really think I am eternally 23 (maybe 25?) But because yesterday I went into Babies R Us for (honestly) the first time in my life (is that odd?) Secret's out, I'v never shopped for baby shower gifts where the person registered... I just always head to Baby Gap or something like that... but the thought never crossed my mind to be practical!

OK, so we're walking through the mega store that is Babies R Us, and Danny's being a good sport as we're looking at strollers (he likes the Jeep version), and car seats (Eddie Bauer is his fave), who knew my husband was so tied to brand loyalty? ;)

And then we get to the furniture section and find a couple of pretty cool contemporary designs ... one in fact that looks like it was made to go with the dresser we bought from By Design a couple of years ago...modern sleek Danish lines, dark rich cherry wood, and silverish-gray handles. I don't know if Holden will dig it, but I think it looks nice... I don't really know what Holden will dig though. All I know is that the kid really likes church hymns, has an aversion to fast food (for the most part) and likes red meat on occasion (everyone knows that's not me craving the carnivorous foodstuff).

Sooo, beyond that... there's breast pumps, and bottles, bibs and blankets...and a myriad of other things that don't even begin with the letter "B." (Hmm, maybe I should get that children's book "Big B, Little B, What begins with B?")


How does a new mother know what to chose? What's she'll like? What he'll need?

When I registered for our wedding, I felt like I had a pretty good idea as far as things I would use in my home... I mean, I was 28, and I had been living (to some degree) on my own for about 10 years between school, work, etc. I knew what colors I wanted to decorate with (thankfully I think we've decided light green, white and a splash of dark chocolate for Holden's room). I understood that a girl can never have too many fluffy white linens (especially if they come in egyptian thread count between 400 - 800, or higher if you're feeling ridiculously luxurious.) I knew I was more likely to use a waffle iron than a kitchen aid, that my stoneware would be best utilized as plain white...likewise chargers and linen napkins can even make cold pizza delightful, and orange juice tastes better out of a wine glass. Pretension in the kitchen is not so bad... I keep a picture of Audrey Hepburn above my sink just to remind me that one can be fabulous even while doing dishes.
But I had time alone and to "nest" as a single to discover what my tastes are... what I'd want in my dream home. What prepares you for motherhood essentials? PerhapsIntuition? Um yeah, I don't really have that yet.
So my question is, MOMS, what do you need? What's been the thing/s that you've found for motherhood that has been the hidden gem or the no-brainer (yes I have the list from Babies R Us... but it says register for a breast pump... Great idea, but there's like 10 varieties! How do I know what works? What I'll want? What will be bet for the baby?)

H.E.L.P. - M.E. - NOW!!!

As much as I'd like to believe that hanging a picture of Audrey in the nursery will make mommyhood easier, truth be told, even I recognize it's not really going to make me a better mom. Though it may remind me that even when changing diapers you can still be fabulous.

COMMENTS - FEEDBACK PLEASE!!! (Fathers welcome too!)
post script. also, does anyone know of a diaper service in SLC? Danny's not too excited about cloth diapers... but how can we call ourselves environmentalists if we don't at least try a mix of plastic and cloth?!?!? (It's so hard being me.)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Nothing Much Ado About Nothing


We had a lovely time in Long Island. It was a super quick trip with Wedding festivities from Friday night to Sunday morning (I’ll give you details once Swanky Peach sends the photos.)

So in the meantime, it’s my birthday in three days. Not that it means much, but I’m turning 31. I think that I’m feeling pretty good about life these days. Holden and Danny make life worth everything.

I thought I’d never be happy until I was thin, or rich or could afford my first pair of Manolo Blahniks… but I think the reality of being a mother and being married to my soul mate makes life richer and fuller than any footwear (though, Madonna did say wearing Manolo’s was better than sex; so I guess everything’s up for debate.)

That kind of reminds me about my favorite line from one of my favourite movies in the world (and pretty much the ONLY film I’ve ever really enjoyed Will Ferrell in because I think he’s a little too over the top): Stranger than Fiction.

(Cicely, I think you should do a movie review on it so everyone can enjoy the brilliance of this film. Also, Maggie Gyllenhall is such a fabulous indie darling in this film... she's so luscious, even Danny was digging her. )  

Dr. Jules Hilbert, played by Dustin Hoffman is explaining to Harold Crick (Ferrell) his options for living the last few remaining moments of his life. The dialogue is brilliant.

Dr. Jules Hilbert: Hell Harold, you could just eat nothing but pancakes if you wanted.

Harold Crick: What is wrong with you? Hey, I don't want to eat nothing but pancakes, I want to live! I mean, who in their right mind, in a choice between pancakes and living.... chooses pancakes?

Dr. Jules Hilbert: Harold, if you pause to think, you'd realize that that answer is inextricably contingent upon the type of life being led... and, of course, the quality of the pancakes.

Two weeks ago in my pregnancy, I was totally craving wheat pancakes, so I’d have to agree with Hilbert’s summation. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My House Smells Like Burnt Smores or "I Smell Sex and Candy" the director's cut

Tonight I tried to make my "crowd pleasing" fruit slush. Now my house smells like burnt smores and I've again succeeded in almost burning down another house... or at least smoking it out.

The recipe:
*2 parts sugar, 3 parts water - bring to a boil - freeze overnight
*frozen fruit, any variety (to taste)
*Fresca / sprite / ginger ale/tonic water (pick your poison) any variety to taste
*fresh banana cut up in the mix
*Mix and VIOLA! Party time!

It's a no brainer... easiest treat in the world and practically no-fail. I say "practically" because tonight I learned a different story. I had successfully served this delightful treat (which is also a no-fail for my dinner parties, any of you that have attended) at a young women's activity... and I was making a few extra batches for my cousin's wedding reception on Saturday (Danny and I are heading outside NY for a wedding this weekend... we get in Friday night, attend the wedding dinner and wedding saturday and head back to SLC Sunday... it will be a quick but brilliant trip.)

Anyway, I got the simple sugar syrup boiling on the stove.... and then I started watching the Red Sox game in the 9th inning, thinking it was going to be over shortly... yeah, it went 14 innings...

I now have 1) no simple syrup to freeze for slush, 2) a pan that looks like carmel burned to the bottom of it (because it did), 3) EVERY window in my house opened AND 4) a smokey house.

I swear I am not cut out for domesticity. (Holden, what are we getting ourselves into?!?!? It's going to be you and me on our own kid... and I'm not sure how safe that is...)

I don't want to scar (or scare) any of you. But I couldn't help but think of another domestic experience that I decided to share with all of Washington County shortly after Danny and I tied the knot. (I have shared this with you before. Find it from the magazine here at the online version.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Dear Holden - Halfway There!

So yesterday Holden and I reached the 20-week mark. That's right, half-way there until my little precious alien makes his official debut on planet earth not being attached to an umbilical chord. 

I fear the next 20 weeks may not go by quite as quick as the first 20... after all, I did "skip" about 10 weeks of the deal due to the fact that we weren't "trying."  Ignorance is bliss!!! (As long as you're trying to eat right, exercise and taking prenatals for folic acid.  By the way, I think I was more diligent at the whole prenatal vitamin thing before I got pregs (and my first trimester). 

But I wanted to write a little rebuttal to myself after the RNC.  I did watch a good portion of it... Admittedly, I had to tivo McCains speech due to the fact it was a busy night (flying home from Denver, YW Volleyball and then my lady friends got together for Red Mango as Christianne Valentiner was in town... good luck with the LotoJa today Chris!!  You'll do great!) So I will still watch it; Danny thought he did a good job.  My mom thought he was totally boring... and my father was unimpressed.  I am going to wait and see.

I was actually surprised more of you didn't come to bat for him on my last post.  Sometimes I think people are afraid they might "offend" me... not when it comes to politics, my pretties. While it may make me sad (the other night I came home in tears crying to Danny that I was worried about bringing a child into this world if another Republican was elected for 4 more years of the same route, but we can chalk it up to pregnancy hormones, I'm sure.)  But you won't offend me... especially if your comments are well thought out, and show a consistency with your world view and starting point (for example "Democrats Suck, they just want to take your money" does not show a consistently thought out platform as Obama has promised tax relief to 95% of Americans...most of us don't fit into the tax bracket he's going to make pay.)

But enough politics for a bit... 

Lets focus on Holden (or at least the pregnancy).  Afterall, he is the man (or fetus) of the hour....

He's roughly the size of a small cantaloupe and you can totally tell in my lower abdomen.  I'm pretty excited that I haven't blown up like a balloon, because let's be honest... I've been walking a tight rope of "chubbs mcGee" (as Cicely calls it) my entire life... Most of my clothes still fit; they just need the top button unbuttoned once in a while. (Remember when I was complaining last winter about how fat I had gotten and I had to buy fat-pants at Smith's Marketplace? Well, it turns out, they are excellent for breathing room in month 5 of pregnancy.) 

Holden, I thank you for that -- thank you for not craving crappy food so mommy turns into a porker. I think the thing that's grown the most is my... hmm, Pamela Anderson parts. No joke, I don't know how to say this politely but I think my breasts are approaching adult-film proportions.  What happens when these things fill up with milk instead of just blood and sebaceous tissue?  I'm going to have to get a new postal district... one for me, and one for the "twins." I will say, my husband is NOT complaining... but he's not too partial to the new brazziers I picked up for 7 dollars at JC Penny either (what a change from Victoria's Secret.)  He said they look like those Playtex/Maidenform full coverage support bras for grandmas...  

No one said pregnancy was glamorous... 

So a letter to Holden, part two. 

Hey little guy,

It's been fun feeling you down there. I swear yesterday you did a back flip.  

Sorry it took mommy so long to get food the other day.  I keep forgetting that when I'm hungry, it means you're hungry.  I'm used to "celebrating" my hunger pains from years of failed diets... hunger meant "I must be making progress!!!" Not so much with you in the womb - eh?  I promise to do better... 

So I wanted to document the coolest thing that happened yesterday in church.  You probably won't remember it, so I wanted to tell you all about it.  We were in St. George for the Labor Day Holiday and went to church with your Dad, Mama Suite and Grandpa (The Old Man, as he likes to be referred to.) We were singing a hymn and your grandparents both have really great voices -- so does your Daddy by the way, even if he can't read music. So we're singing... and harmonizing and the vibrations are beautiful and all the sudden the spirit totally whispers to me that you love it... like you can  actually feel the vibrations of my voice! So I get totally choked up because I feel your precious little spirit so strongly that I have a lump in my throat chakra. And without even realizing it, Mama Suite stops singing too because she can totally feel it... and after the hymn, our eyes are all watery and she puts her hand near my belly and says "You better play the hymns in your house.  He really likes it."

Your spirit was so strong even Mama Suite could feel your presence through the womb! I had not even said anything about it to her... I think that's pretty freaking awesome! 

I love you so much. It's so crazy that you already have such a distinct personality (like telling me to "chill out" the other day when I was in yoga --supposedly meditating -- but mostly worrying about if you were ok, and if you'd be a good teenager... or even if you'd like me.) I think you get the chill thing from your father and your hyperness in the womb from me. I was always anxious to get onto the next thing.  But please stay in there a bit longer.  You've got some seriously developing to do, and if we're going to go the "natural" route -- we both need to be in our best shape!

OK, darling Holden,  Time to go to yoga.  

Love eternally,
your mom