Thursday, May 29, 2008

I have clever friends who say nice things.

I don't know if any of you remember an old post (I couldn't find it, but it may have been on my pre-Blogger blog, over here at Friendster) wherein I reported that my friend and co-worker LK had dubbed me "Zen Jen" during a meeting. That was cute. And flattering.

Today while desktop lunching (sammies delivered from Jimmy John's) with LK and our new Cube Buddy EH, I shared some of my chips with both of them. (He had ordered plain ones and wanted to try my BBQ ones, and she didn't get any of her own on account of trying to be carb- and calorie-conscious.)

My chip-sharing was met with another clever and flattering turn of phrase. Said EH,

"You put the 'Jen' in Generous."

Whotta guy, that EH. He makes me laugh and laugh. Here's to many more desktop lunches to come!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


The blog post that just made my day and will have me wiping tears from my eyes as I enter a very boring meeting 8 minutes from now (YES it's that funny. If you're me.)...

Who's On Fifth?

I think I have "fifth disease," a condition which I had never heard of before this year. The good news is, by the time a person notices his/her rash (according to the American Pediatrics Association, because this virus is typically observed in children rather than adults), they have ceased being contagious. Also positive is the fact that most people (kids included) generally feel relatively well, save the rash and possibly a mild fever which I have NOT experienced, and it just goes away on its own.

In the mean time, though, I have a mildly itchy rash that is making its way down my body. It began on my face and neck yesterday, and is now exhibiting on my arms and torso.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Add it to my shopping cart

I saw this photo today on the New York Times web site, and found myself wishing I could just click on the photo, put the room in my online shopping cart, and have it shipped to me overnight.

This room is so bright and inviting--not just because of the ridiculous abundance of natural light, but also because of the sunny yellow color of the walls and the warm honey tone of the wood dining set and floors. From the skylights at the top to the wainscoting/beadboard at the bottom, I like the total effect of this sunroom. I'll bet it's very attractive from the outside, too--though in my neighborhood, the houses are closer together so we'd probably want to invest in some shades, especially for nighttime privacy.

If I came into a big chunk of money tomorrow, I would definitely consider putting an addition on my house just like this.

A Very Important Survey


OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New Pioneer Co-op's New Web Site

As a member of the Board of Directors for New Pioneer Food Co-op, I have to say that I am thrilled with the redesigned web site that was just launched this week by the very able employees in the Co-op's Marketing department. Please take the time to check it out--the site is more useful and friendlier than ever, and includes all sorts of great content like recipes, sales, daily hot table menus, and (this is my favorite part so far) A NEW PI BLOG.

I just visited over lunch today with Steph Catlett, the Co-op's marketing coordinator and editor of Catalyst, the Co-op's newsletter, and she got me signed up to also be a contributing blogger. (By the way, sometimes I call Steph "the new me" because she has the position that I used to have at the Co-op). In fact, I get to set up a separate (I think) blog for the board, and I am brewing ideas now for its title. I expect that it will be up and running--with the first post being somehow related to tonight's board meeting--yet this week.

Be sure to check out the new web site at The staff blog already has several posts, and they're genuinely entertaining--written by a number of different Co-op staffers from various departments. If you love good food, friendly people, and being engaged in the community, you won't be disappointed. Let me know what you think--or just post comments freely on the New Pi blog. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

not subtle

Okay, here it is.


Oh, and to be treated like a queen for one whole day.
That is all.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I just received one of the baby development bulletins that I subscribe to (this one from, and it warned me to be prepared for my baby to start making progress toward crawling.

Yeah, well, that ship has sailed. Or, more accurately, that baby has crawled. Mae is not exactly up on hands-and-knees, per se, but then some babies never do the "classic" crawl. She's doing something more like a boot camp belly crawl, but she does get those knees up under herself occasionally too, for a stroke or two, then it's back down on her tummy. The important thing to note is that she is majorly mobile now, and there is no expanse of floor that she cannot conquer.

In fact, she has also crawled over a cat, her brother, and my leg in the process of getting somewhere she wanted to go. There will be no stopping her now. Which reminds me, I really need to find that box of babyproofing stuff (cupboard latches, doorknob covers, and such) that we hid away when we felt like Arlo was out of the woods.

Other things you should know about Macy:

-She is now self-feeding. Cheerios, baked beans, and those Gerber banana puffs are among her favorite things to eat. As for those puffs, I like to call them "minutes in a plastic bottle." She can be kept busy for minutes on end by scattering small handfuls of these across the tray of her exersaucer. A person can actually put on makeup before work using this method!!!

-I am nearly convinced that she is using the sounds "ma ma" and "dad" appropriately. She isn't really using many other consonants yet--so she also uses these sounds inappropriately--but I swear to you, this morning she looked right at me and said, "Maaaaaaaaam." And then she looked at Ted and said, "Dada." If she's not assigning words to faces, she sure is fooling us.

-This week marks the beginning of her free-range bath time. We have done away with the little bath seat that we had been using to help keep her from falling over in the tub, and she is now bathing like a champ (no mishaps yet!) with her big brother on a nightly basis. (You can see more photos on my flickr site--but you have to be signed up as a friend to do so, on account of the kids being in their birthday suits.)

-The bad news is that we are still struggling with Mae's sleeping patterns. Last night, for example, she awakened every two hours to nurse, as if she was still a newborn. I think her wakings are natural and normal--just part of the sleep-wake-sleep-wake thing that all humans do at night... but she's got herself convinced that she can't possibly fall back to sleep without spending a few minutes at mom's warm breast. She can get herself to sleep at the beginning of the night, and she self-soothes during naps as well, but we have some work to do with her nighttime routine, and it ain't gonna be pretty.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Dooce on Today

Here's a clip of my favorite blogger on the web, in her brief appearance on the Today Show. I'm sorry, but Kathy Lee Gifford is about the worst interviewer I've ever seen. She was ignorant and cold, and she repeatedly shifted the focus of the interview back to herself and her own ridiculously paranoid views. The interview did not do justice to Heather Armstrong, and did not adequately portray how great she is--as a writer, a mom, a successful businesswoman, and a role model for the rest of us "mommy bloggers."

If you don't already know Dooce, you simply must click here.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Rubbing your eyes?

You're not crazy. I finally changed my layout. What do you think?

Artwork under consideration

I took a long lunch today to meet with a local artist with whom I am commissioning a piece of artwork.

A tattoo.

Well, okay, another tattoo. But this one is going to be amazing!
Kris Evans, a well-known and oft-recommended tattoo artist and owner of her own shop, Endorphinden, will begin work on my new ink in July, after we meet a couple of times and our design crystallizes.

The finished piece will include two cardinals, a male and a female, much like this illustration--but they will be facing each other and they'll be perched on a burr oak branch. If it's not tediously obvious, the birds represent Arlo and Mae, and the tree branch represents Ted. He, being a man with an extensive and intimate knowledge of tree species, has indicated that he wouldn't mind being depicted as a burr oak or white oak. A red oak, not so much.

I chose the cardinals to represent my little ones because even though they are everyday birds, they still take my breath away. I'm not saying that my children are anything short of amazing--just recognizing that even if they turn out to be average in every way, I will still find them fascinating and awe-inspiring and humbling and, well, pretty. And I honestly believe that the female, with her more muted colors, is just as beautiful as the flashy red male, and I am sure there is a lesson in that for my children which I have not fully articulated yet.

I also love that both tree and bird species are native to Iowa--even emblematic of the midwest. Ted was born in Minnesota, we were both raised in Iowa, and we're proud to be raising our kids as "townies" in the greatest city in this state.

I am so excited about this! It will probably take two or three sessions to complete the design, and I can't wait to see it unfold. Watch for photos here, of course.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


And oh yes, I will continue to talk about knitting. Much to the dismay of some of you. Here are a couple of my most recent finished objects:

A scarf/bonnet for me. Just in time for warmer weather! Ha.

A hat that was SUPPOSED to be for me but is now a baby hat because I suck at gauging size when knitting in the round.

A hat for Ted... which I started over three times to get the size right. See above photo.

And yes, I realize that you think I should be blogging instead of knitting. Maybe I would if someone bought me a laptop and got me a high speed wifi connection for my house! Otherwise, I am unable to blog from my couch while watching SCRUBS. Plus, you can't really wear a blog post. Do NOT take that as a dare.

As You Wish

At lunch the other day, someone (a fellow bloggirl) pointed out that I haven't been posting as much since Mae was born. Well, DUH.

Just kidding, lady friend. It's true, though. This is due in part to the fact that that girl that I gave birth to SEVEN MONTHS AGO still is not sleeping through the night, and opens up a can of "NOOOOOOOOOO I DON'T WANT TO GO BACK TO SLEEEEEEEEEEP!", oh, whenever she feels like it, which seems to happen a couple of times a week. And she usually wakes up for a full nursing session twice during the night, so let's just say that my "me" time at home in the evenings is holding steady at about 3 minutes per night, usually reserved for a quick peek at one catalog or another while I am on the toilet.

And I've been keeping up a pretty fast pace at work, too, so clandestine on-the-clock blogging has been kept to a minimum. I haven't been keeping up with READing my favorites, much less do I have time to regale you all with my own fascinating thoughts and daily activities.

However. I have a lot on my mind! I have a lot to say! So I am going to try to get back in the habit of popping online and posting something (over my lunch hour) a couple of times a week. It may mean not analyzing everything so much, not proofreading quite so thoroughly, or maybe just doing the lazy woman's approach and blogging photos when I'm too swamped to write anything.

Here are some of the topics I would like to blog about in coming posts:

"Family restaurants" that don't have changing tables, or that only have them in the ladies' room, and what I plan to do about it.

Car seats. (I know, sounds thrilling, doesn't it?)

Why I threw away all of Mae's baby bottles last week and bought new ones, and why that irks me.

A new piece of artwork that I am considering purchasing.

And just about any little old thing my heart desires.

Thanks for listening! And now, here is your reward: