Saturday Open Thread

It’s the weekend, y’all! Some random thoughts rolling around inside my head…

How can it possibly be July already? SRSLY?

My 6-year-old rode her first loop-the-loop roller coaster last night… and LOVED it. This coaster was no kiddie ride. Her fearlessness leaves me breathless with admiration, but also a little bit scared. What will that fearlessness look like when she is a moody adolescent? Should I be worried, pleased, or a little bit of both?

What’s your stance on firecrackers and fireworks? Do they sell them in your neck of the woods? Around here, just a couple of cities allow fireworks stands, and they only sell the tame kind. We buy sparklers and watch the kids very closely. I remember being a kid, maybe 8 or 9 years old, and holding onto a firecracker just a second too long after lighting it. I got a pretty nasty burn and remember feeling embarrassed about it. But now that I look back on it… WHO let me hold a frickin’ firecracker, and why?! Sheesh.

Our President’s foes have called him a Fascist, a Communist and a socialist. He has also been called high-falutin’ and a thug. Now pundit Mark Halperin has continued that trend by calling him a p*ssy and a d!ck. You can’t make this stuff up, eh?

Lastly, is this the world’s worst future mother-in-law, or does she raise some valid points? I say she sounds absolutely insufferable, but that’s probably because I’m just the type of “vulgar” and “uncouth” woman who drives her batty. A part of me loves that this went viral and exposed her for the asshat that she is.

What’s on your mind today? Chat away!


Saturday Open Thread

It’s the weekend, y’al! And as you read this, I’m in Ojai, a quaint little town near Santa Barbara, for our first two-night getaway without the kiddos.

My emotions are mixed. I’m thrilled, of course, to be spending time alone with DH. I’m a little anxious about leaving the kids, especially Alex, for two nights. But they will be at home with my parents, under the best possible care.

The weird thing is I might just end up breastfeeding him for the last time before I leave. I have so little milk left that I really only nurse him a little when he wakes up and before he goes to sleep. We’ll be away for two nights, so I am worried that might dry up my milk supply for good. Plus, should I bring a breast pump just in case given my history of mastitis, or will that not be an issue since I hardly produce any milk any more? Guess I’ll be hauling it along, just in case.

He will be 15 months old in 4 days, so I feel really good about nursing him this long. But I am also teary about the idea of stopping, because he is likely my last baby and the idea of never nursing a baby again makes me sad :-(

Talk me down MTers… am I being ridiculous? Any tried-and-true weaning tips? Of course I have done it before with DD, but it was very gradual and there were no ridiculous “I’ll never have another baby again!” undertones. I won’t be posting, but I will check in via phone once or twice to see what y’all have to say :-) What would I do without my MTers?

What are YOU up to this weekend? Chat away!


Weekend Open Thread

It’s the weekend, y’all! What’s up in the news?

The general
consensus seems to be that President Obama owned GOP lawmakers at a Q&A session on Friday. In case you missed it, here’s a link to the video… and a slew of admiring comments on Obama’s off-the-cuff, always in control performance.

In car recall news, Honda has recalled 646,000 Fits due to a fire hazard. That’s on top of Toyota not only recalling 9 million cars worldwide but suspending sales on practically all of its best-selling models including the Camry, Corolla and RAV4.

Do any of you drive cars affected by the recall? Does this make you more or less likely to buy a Toyota in the future?

In philanthropy news, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation made the single largest contribution to a single cause— a $10 billion pledge to develop vaccines for the world’s poorest nations.

The investment aims to prevent the deaths of some 7.6 million children under age 5 through 2019 by increasing delivery of life-saving vaccines for ailments such as severe diarrhea and pneumonia to the developing world.

The foundation estimates that an additional 1.1 million children could be saved with the rapid introduction of a malaria vaccine beginning in 2014, bringing the total number of potential lives saved to 8.7 million. Even more could be saved if vaccines are developed for other illnesses, such as tuberculosis, that are common in developing countries, the charity said.

“Vaccines are a miracle,” Melinda Gates, co-founder and co-chair of the foundation, said in a statement. “With just a few doses, they can prevent deadly diseases for a lifetime.”

I must say I admire the Gateses for putting their (obscene amount of) money where their mouth is. What do you think?

In whiny news, I must report that yesterday I got the Worst. Pedicure. EVER. I decided to treat myself, thinking some pampering was in order since I will be giving birth soon (and who knows when I will have the time or energy to get another pedicure).

I don’t know what the hell this woman was doing to my cuticles and toenails but OUCH!!! I kept telling her it hurt, and she kept apologizing, and then she’d go at my poor feet again. At one point she asked me when I was due and seemed to indicate that’s why I was so sensitive to pain… well then BACK THE EFF OFF, LADY!!!

There was a language barrier so at some point I decided to just grit my teeth and bear it. I wanted to run screaming from the place. The worst part? I paid extra money upfront for a hot oil foot massage… but when it came time to rub down my feet and legs, her torturing touch became weak and wimpy. UGH.

OK, /rant. From now on I’ll leave the foot rubs to DH, and leave the pedicures to Sally Hansen. It reminded me of my first professional massage… uncomfortable, and downright painful at times. And no, I don’t have a low pain tolerance.

I didn’t dare get a massage again until a recent prenatal massage, which was HEAVENLY. Sigh… I guess beauty treatments are always a crap shoot, until you find a professional you like and trust. Which is why we still drive 400 miles to Sacramento twice a year, just to see our old hairstylist. People think we’re crazy but he is SO worth it!

What about you? Do you have any similar stories? Have you found professionals that you will stick with, no matter what?

So… what’s everyone up to this weekend? I will do some last-minute shopping and cleaning and do lots of walking to see if baby boy decides he’s ready to come out. I think I’ll have DH take a few more belly shots for posterity. It’s weird (and not a little sad) to think this belly will be gone soon, and I won’t get to experience it again! I really do enjoy the round, full bump, the kicks and the shape-shifting. It all seemed to go by too fast…

As always, chat away!


Saturday Open Thread

It’s the weekend y’all! what’s up in the news?

I was out last night and missed the Hope for Haiti Now telethon. Did any of you catch it? What did you think? It sounds like it was a pretty downbeat affair; but then again, what is the appropriate tone in the face of such overwhelming loss and need?

I will be making another donation. If you missed the telethon like I did, click here to donate.

What I did watch: Conan O’Brien’s final Tonight Show broadcast. He was funny, gracious, optimistic and the picture of class. Wherever he ends up, my DVR will be sure to follow.

Here in Southern California, we survived a week of torrential downpours, and evacuations have been lifted. I coped by staying indoors as much as possible and off the freeways; I was thankful to be on maternity leave!

I will also admit to nervously checking the weather forecast all week, as today is Maya’s 5th birthday party. It will be held at our new home, and we expect about 50 people. The back yard will be soggy but the rain has finally stopped. My family rallied around to help me with details big and small, and it should be a sweet, Little Mermaid-themed extravaganza for my DD’s last birthday as an only child. I look forward to seeing the delight on her little face!

Did I mention I’m 37.5 weeks pregnant? Had a check-up yesterday and I was freaking out, as my daughter was born the same day as my 38 week check-up, when a nurse practitioner “checked” me and broke my water in the process… oops. Thankfully, this time my midwife said she’d leave my nether regions alone, unless there was a damn good reason to “check.” Yay for letting nature take its course :-) And kudos to my midwife for letting Maya climb up on a chair, grab hold of the Doppler and help find her baby brother’s heartbeat. It was a sweet moment for our little family!

What are you all up to this weekend? Any rants, raves, gripes or gushes? Please share!


Weekend Open Thread

It’s the weekend, y’all! What’s up in the news?

Thanks to MT Lisa in Austin for first alerting me of the Red Cross’ text message fund raising campaign for earthquake relief in Haiti.

According to the Red Cross’ Twitter feed, the campaign had raised $10 million, $10 at a time, by Friday afternoon. I sent a text and will also be donating to Partners in Health.

George Clooney will be hosting a telethon next Friday that will run commercial-free on every major network; proceeds will be split evenly between Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF and Yele Haiti Foundation.

If you scroll down and read the comments attached to the telethon article, you will see a stunning display of cynicism and downright cruelty. I can’t wrap my brain around people proclaiming that there are people here in the U.S. that need help more than Haitian earthquake victims… and that celebrities have no business urging the public to donate. Must be Rush Limbaugh fans or something… ick.

Jezebel had a lively discussion about whether or not it’s appropriate to bring babies to bars. Yes, babies in bars. That possibility would never even cross my mind… does that make me uptight, or just sane?

Lastly, it looks like Conan will walk away from the Tonight Show fiasco with a cool $30 million. I still don’t get why NBC keeps bending over backward for Jay Leno, of all people… quite possibly the unfunniest “comedian” I have ever been subjected to, year after year. NBC was my favorite network once upon a time… now I only tune in for 30 Rock, and the occasional Law & Order: SVU (even though that show jumped the shark in recent seasons).

What’s everyone up to this weekend? We’ll be celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary on Sunday… by taking a tour of the hospital where I will give birth. Yes, they only offer tours on the 3rd Sunday of every month! Just our luck. But it should make for a memorable anniversary…

Chat away!


Weekend Open Thread

It’s the weekend, y’all!

Friday night I enjoyed the company of my three BFFs, who flew in for the weekend for my baby shower festivities. On Sunday, we’re having a spa morning followed by lunch (pre-natal massage, here I come!).

It’s early Saturday morning as I type this and Elisa’s son Ari is asleep in the bottom trundle of Maya’s bed; they are adorable and play beautifully together. When I met Elisa in college I never could have imagined our children playing together some day, but it’s a beautiful sight.

Today I am grateful for my loyal friends, my generous family, my loving husband, my darling daughter and the baby boy squirming away inside my belly. My house is full, as is my heart :-) And now I’m all verklempt!

What’s on your mind this weekend? What’s everyone up to?

I’ll leave you with a topic, Linda Richman-style: Gracious funnyman Jay Leno is neither gracious nor funny, and should just go away gracefully… DISCUSS!

And as always, chat away!


Weekend Open Thread

It’s the weekend, y’all! Let’s see what’s up in health and wellness news as we dive into 2010…

In scary news: Researchers say that test-happy Americans are overexposed to radiation from CT scans; one study found that CT scans done in 2007 will cause 29,000 cancers and kill nearly 15,000 Americans.

What do you think? Is there such a thing as too much testing? Have you ever had a CT scan?

On the other hand, maybe Americans aren’t all that eager to get every test under the sun. Another study found that even among women classified as high-risk for breast cancer, their willingness to get free MRI screenings was surprisingly limited:

Of the 512 women who declined, 25.4 percent refused because of claustrophobia, 18.2 percent cited time constraints, 12 percent cited financial concerns if the tests identifies any cancers or has false-positive results, 9.2 percent said their doctor would not refer them and 7.8 percent said it was because they were not interested.

If I was at risk, I think I would jump at a free screening. Then again, I’m not claustrophobic. The answer that shocked me was the 12 percent who “cited financial concerns if the tests identified any cancers.” The fact that these women would rather remain ignorant than grapple with the financial fallout of a cancer diagnosis tells you everything you need to know about our broken health care system.

In STFU news: Rush Limbaugh was rushed to a Hawaii hospital with chest pains, and held a press conference to announce that he is A-OK. He also said, with a straight face, that he got the best health treatment in the world “right here in the United States of America.”

“I don’t think there’s one thing wrong with the United States health system,” Limbaugh said.

Newsflash, Rush: of course you can get the best health care treatment in the world here in the good old U.S. of A.— if you can afford it. You “don’t think there’s one thing wrong with the United States health system” because you’re obscenely rich, and your existence is quite different than, oh, 98 percent of Americans’. Logic = FAIL.

Finally, from JibJab, here’s a look back at the wild, wacky year that was 2009… I had forgotten that Capt. Sully safely landed that plane in the Hudson in 2009! It feels like it happened so long ago. I guess ’09 was just that kind of year…

What’s everyone up to on this first weekend of 2010? Chat away!


Weekend Open Thread

It’s the weekend, y’all! Hope the holiday hangover is ebbing… I have no choice but to get over mine, as I have to work today. Yup, my last weekend shift before I go on maternity leave, and they manage to schedule me for the day after Christmas. Meanwhile DH and DD get to enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the San Diego Wild Animal Park with visiting BIL, who is a donor… sigh.

Let’s see what’s up in the news:

I don’t know about you, but I was kind of shocked and sad when I heard Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon broke up after more than 20 years together. They were one of those couples that I thought was in it for the long haul. CNN took a look at enduring Hollywood couples.

Do you have any relationship role models when it comes to building a long-lasting relationship? DH and I are coming up on 12 years together, and my parents are coming up on 35. They will celebrate by renewing their vows next summer with a big, Catholic wedding in Mexico. They still spend as much time together as possible and meet for lunch whenever they can. They’re cute, if a little co-dependent. :-) My grandparents, who were married almost 46 years before Tata passed away last spring, were another great love story that I still look up to.

This was an interesting column: “I got married for health insurance.” When me and DH eloped all those years ago, it was mostly because we were way too broke to pay for a wedding and we couldn’t wait to start our lives together. But combining our expenses (including health insurance) and cutting down on commute times were MAJOR bonuses, especially when DH broke his pinky toe shortly thereafter when moving into our first apartment!

Here are some tips on how to wring every last cent out of those gift cards you received. DH is psyched to spend his REI gift card, while I was most thrilled by the movie gift certificates and Starbucks gift card. It’s a good thing those soy decaf pumpkin lattes are seasonal, because I might otherwise develop a serious year-round habit…

Here’s an interesting tidbit:

Buy discounted merchandise when redeeming a gift card. Shoppers wanting to take advantage of post-Christmas discounts should do so between Saturday and Jan. 2.

That’s because stores won’t be swimming in holiday leftovers through February, because they came into the holidays with lean inventories.

“You’ll find the peak” of inventory right after Christmas, Riley said.

You also should look for any special discounts from retailers like J.C. Penney specifically for gift-card users.

What are your plans for this post-holiday weekend? I just want to rid the house of all gift-related debris and find a place for all the new stuff (did I mention my kid got way too many presents? Oy).

Chat away!


Weekend Open Thread

It’s the weekend, y’all! Ours will be spent with family, and we’re going to watch The Princess and the Frog on Sunday. I’m psyched about all the great reviews it is getting! Now if Disney could just get around to finally giving us a Latina princess… kthanxbai!

I love this time of year because I’m a movie buff, and so many of the Oscar contenders are finally released after a summer and fall full of schlock …cough…Old Dogs…cough…

Avatar also seems to be generating great buzz, but all the weird-looking CGI characters leave me cold. Not my cup of tea, I guess. I do highly recommend Up in the Air, starring the perennially HAWT George Clooney. Seriously, when will this man jump the shark? It’s like he made a deal with the devil or something…

Seen any good movies lately? Anything you’re looking forward to watching?

This MSNBC story, about the most insulting Christmas presents people have received, gave me a few chuckles.

One Christmas I was given a scale and exercise tapes from my Mother. After that I went to therapy for 2 years. Thanks Mom!
— Susan Weber, Toledo, Ohio

I am a second grade teacher, and one year a parent gave me roll-on deodorant as a gift. Bizarre!
— Cathy, Clemmons, N.C.

I got a girdle from my mother for my birthday when I was 15.
— Joy

We will find out. Got the wife a Wii Fit.
— Anonymous

Have you ever received an insulting Christmas present? Nothing comes to mind for me, but two years ago I had been yapping about how old and tired I was looking, and how I wanted to get Botox to freeze the developing lines on my forehead. My sweet DH did a bunch of research and got me a gift certificate with this highly recommended doctor… and I still haven’t used it. The main reason is I have spent most of the subsequent 2 years either pregnant or trying to get pregnant… but truth be told, I’m also just plain chicken. We’ll see how I feel after baby is born, and I get to see what months of sleeplessness do to my face! 😉

Also on MSNBC: a male sex therapist recommends that you unfriend your spouse on Facebook. His reasoning? Your partner doesn’t need to know the mundane details of your daily life! You need to retain some mystery!

Fred complains that every time his wife posts something to her Super Wall, he realizes just how boring their lives have become. “Do I really need to know that my wife is about to do something totally nutty like go have a second cappuccino? What happened to the wild woman I fell in love with?”

We’ve all heard the phrase “Familiarity breeds contempt,” but in this age of social networking, perhaps familiarity breeds something even worse: boredom. Our Super Walls don’t separate us as much as bring us a form of intimacy that often borders on banality, and where we gain connectivity with our partners we may actually forfeit connection. In a “Facebook marriage,” a sense of mystery is subsumed by the mundane.

I have considered his point carefully, and I say… WHAT. EVER.

My DH is my Facebook friend. He spends much less time on the site than I do, so he doesn’t even see 90% of what I post. I am friends with a married couple who adamantly refuse to be each other’s Facebook friends; the husband feels it would be like tagging along on a girls’ night out, eavesdropping on his wife.

I say, to each their own. My husband, Zeus love him, still finds me alluring and sexy, after 12 years of marriage and 2 pregnancies. I think if Facebook is creating such a sense of boredom (or jealousy, or spite) in your marriage then… your problems are much deeper than Facebook.

What do you think? Are you Facebook friends with your significant other? Why or why not?

So what’s everyone up to this weekend? Chat away!