Monday, March 31, 2008

Big Boy Alert and OPENING DAY!

Well this weekend Ba and Papa bought this for Preston...No more crib! Preston was a little confused at first as to where we hid his crib, but by the time bedtime rolled around he was snug as a bug. Now that Preston has no rails, I have become a master at gating him into a room so he cannot get out. At my parents' we worry because of the stairs and Preston thinks he can walk down stairs perfectly with those little legs. At my house I did not think he needed a gate, but then Mom told me that he could drown in the toilet bowl. I never would have thought of this, but after she explained that he could walk into his bathroom (attached to his room), climb up his step stool and fall in and Katie totally agreed with her, I went out and purchased a gate. He actually doesn't mind be gated in, maybe since he thinks I cannot get into his domain. I do get in after swinging my legs over and of course once I did fall. In any event he actually is sad in the morning when I take his gate down. Maybe I should just throw Cheerios to him like he is an exhibit at the zoo. He is also taking Flintstones vitamins now so he really thinks he is a cool cat!

Here is the little booger all tuckered out...
Then we have to take our Annual Opening Day Yankee picture. After all, Mariano Rivera signed his very first opening day picture. Of course this is the first year he is completely mobile and two and super difficult, so getting a picture consisted of my parents and I acting like idiots, bribery with a Kit Kat bar at 7:00 am and a new matchbox car (which is visible in the picture). He did not want to share the chair with his animals. They were chucked off the chair numerous times. This is why I wanted to take the picture Friday and pass it off as Opening Day but Mel told me you cannot "faux" opening day. And the shiner under his eye you ask? While waiting for the doctor yesterday to make sure Preston had no strep throat since I feel awful, I asked him not to stand up on the wooden chair in the waiting room. Of course being the fabulous listener he is, I went to go grab him and in that split second he also tried to dodge me, lost his balance and face planted into the arm of the chair. At least we were in the doctor's office. After realizing he was ok, I was more concerned that the public was going to think I beat my child which prompted me to explain his mishap to everyone we encountered yesterday. So if I "fauxed" Opening Day the shiner would not be there. AND....then the game got rained out so the picture is a sham anyway! I thought I would post the pictures from Opening Day past to see how much he has changed! Enjoy! Go Yankees!

Opening Day 2008!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Major Accomplishment

I just thought I'd share. I was bored at work today, (except for my e-mailing with Cat) and decided to go through old photo albums. Now being that we are so technologically advanced, one can flip through those virtual albums anytime without blowing off any dust! I came across this photo of Preston at 10 months:

I know he is so cute you want to squeeze him (or if you are Mel you want to punt him....)

Anyone that knows Preston knows he is the hat king. Literally since coming out of the womb he has had a hat on his head. I bought this hat at Old Navy in size 12-24 months. Now Preston is pretty much in boys hats since toddler does not fit...but this hat....still FITS! He actually wore it to school the past few weeks. I am now mad I did not buy it in every color (right mom)? Anyway I just wanted to share that since it is rare that a two year old with achon would ever fit into a hat at his size or below....maybe it was mismarked ;-)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

High Five

I took this picture of Preston tonight playing with his Fridge Phonics(a gift from Amanda). After uploading the picture I had to post it-look at the size of those hands! Because his hands are so wide they look like paws. One of my friends from work literally wants to bite his hands off she thinks they are so cute. And his Aunt Tinka (Katie) has always had an affinity for his starfish hands. Also I posted this because I think he is cute and Katie bought him this shirt from her latest excursion to Park City Utah to ski (beotch). :-) He may be small, but he can palm a football!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

American Idol-Week 3

Another week people-here we go! Pitchy Count=2

Ryan started the show by saying that he has no greater pleasure in his life than introducing the judges. This is where Fox needs to intervene and let Ryan know, some divorcee in New York would...moving on....ahem. One thing that drives me nuts on Idol and DWTS and other live reality competition shows is the actors/actresses in the audience for one of the station's other shows. Tonight though they focused on the actress that plays George's wife on Grey's. Someone at Fox is totally fired for that blatant ABC plug.

So the theme for tonight was the year the singer was born. I never felt older than I did tonight. I feel like everyone was born in 1987! David Archuleta sang a song from 1990 I have never heard and I have 12 bazillion songs on my IPod. Since most of the finalists were born in the 80's and the 80's is my hands down favorite genre for music, I was looking forward to the night. The night started out with a close up of a Casio keyboard. A little flashback here. It was probably 1987 when I asked my parents for a Casio for Christmas. I begged for a Casio. This was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I could play the piano and make the sound of shattered glass at the same time! There was even a "drum pad" to jam. Nothing says the 80's like a smoking synthesizer. I woke up Christmas morning and there was a box-larger than normal, but a little odd shaped for a Casio. I was convinced my parents were just trying to play with my mind. I opened all the other gifts saving the best for last.....and it was a GLOBE! A damn globe! To this day I have never let them live this down. I wonder if there is a home movie of Christmas '87 and the utter disappointment on my face as I spin my globe looking at the lines of latitude and longitude. I think the reasoning was they had to beg me to play my real piano. Meanwhile Chris and Charlie got every video game console they ever asked for-for the remainder of their lives. In fact Katie wanted a drum set one year-maybe back in '92. She still has not gotten it. My dreams of a keyboard were gone in a stroke of the shattered glass button. Rest assured-Preston will never get a globe....I'm not bitter or anything.

Second where in the hell did Paula get those gloves? I cannot even really comment on them because I pretended she really did not leave her house with them on, let alone broadcast them on live international television. My sister's Easter card to me said, "There is a time and place for Easter bonnets...'never' and 'in the trash'." Just substitute the gloves for the bonnets.

So after Ramiele, Jason (who's birthday was tonight and no judge wished him a happy birthday-rather he was slammed withe negativity), Syesha and Chikeze, who were all o.k, Brooke sang the Police. Listening to her I could actually say that I would buy her album. Then Randy says,"I keep waiting for something to happen." What? What is it that Randy is waiting for? What exactly would Randy like Brooke to do? Other than perhaps sitting at the piano buck naked this poor girl cannot catch a break.

Next up was my man Michael. Whose parents' surname is Burke leaving me scratching my head as to where Johns came from as a surname. Anyway I bet you all are on the edge of your seat wanting to hear about my mystery neighbor. Ok maybe not,but I'll tell you anyway. The identity has been revealed. I was waiting for the elevator when I heard the door to his apartment open and I actually smoothed my hair and out walked my mystery neighbor and honestly I have never been more disappointed. I mean I never really expected a Michael Johns look a like, but this was Michael John's father. He is like a good thirty years older than me! So Marrah says, "maybe that's your neighbor's dad." That theory was shot to hell when he stuck out his hand and said,"Hi, I'm D, your new neighbor." I don't understand why in my paperback novels does the career lady with the great apartment and the cute dog (in my case substitute Preston for the dog) have a new hunky neighbor move in with bulging biceps who of course is proficient in fixing plumbing and has some cool name like Colten and broods. No I have someone older. And not George Clooney older either. Just old. Like remember in the movie "Big Daddy" when Adam Sandler's ex girlfriend dates that older guy that ends up working at Hooters? Yeah-that's him. I have Hooter's guy. Ok that's mean, the guy is really nice, it's just my super could have thrown me the bone after saying he was oh yeah and older than your dad. I digress....

Micheal totally rocked to Queen's "We Will Rock You/We are the Champions" I also like that song because right now the Giants are champions and the Patriots suck...and ok off the soapbox. The only thing I hated was the cheesy laser light show behind him that reminded me of Metallica's"Enter Sandman" video.

Carly sang "Total Eclipse of the Heart." Every season someone does this song and every season I hope for the same thing-that someone will totally "Old School" this song on national television. That was by far the funniest part of a movie since...pick any scene in "Coming to America"

David Archuleta by the way has been compared to ClayAiken in a recent article. I take credit for that analogy. Someone has been reading my blog!

DAMN Kristy Lee Cook had to go and play the patriotic-we-are-at-war-America-so-here's-to-you-troops card and Simon fell for it hook, line and sinker (so disappointed in Simon here). Now because he told her it was brilliant she is totally in for another week. Can we just talk about the photos they all show from childhood-they were very cute, but seriously when the Cooks went through the family photo album did they really confer and think hard saying, "You know this picture here of Pop and Kristy with Pop shirtless is perfect for the baby photo montage." I know it was probably a bathing suit, but a Christmas photo would have worked fine. For some reason her dad reminded me of a bald version of Clark Griswald's cousin in law Eddie in the National Lampoon movies.

David Cook sang Chris Cornell's version of Michael Jackson's "Billy Jean." Although I liked it, I think it's cheating. The original was from the year of his birth-the Chris Cornell version was from the 1990s. That was stretching the Idol theme I think. Also the interview with his mom with the fake fire behind her-I mean really.

So my prediction is Ramiele goes home since Kristy made every shirtless guy in a trailer proud this week.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Basket of Fun-Easter Weekend 2008

We had quite the exciting weekend! Friday I cooked Good Friday dinner and I must say it was a success.

Saturday was the much anticipated trip to the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad! Just a little background on why we took such a journey. Mom has become quite proficient on YouTube and one day Preston, being Preston was getting antsy so she typed in "trains chugging along." The ninth or so video down was entitled, "Wet and Dreary" and there was a picture of a big black steam engine. The video was 9 minutes and about 58 seconds. Mom and Preston watched this video for weeks-along with the Fire Truck video she found. Preston's new catch phrase was "Choo-Choo ah ah ah", which translates to trains and the sound a fire engine makes. So I decided to find out more about the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad where "Wet and Dreary" was filmed. Turns out New Hope is like one hour and forty minutes away and we can ride the steam engine with the EASTER BUNNY! How cool was that? I have been waiting to see Preston's reaction when he realized that the YouTube video had come to life. Katie even brought the video camera. This is what I was expecting...
And this is the train that pulled up! Quite a difference. One is steam and one is diesel. I was very angry and feel misled even though I was never technically promised the steam engine. That might be reserved for the Santa Claus rides. In any event I have a call into the good peeps at the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad and I'll have to keep you posted.

Preston had a great time nonetheless. He was so excited when the train pulled up even though he'll tell you now that the whistle was loud. He loved the "Eata Bunny" and even received a little bag of goodies. He also felt the need to show the Easter Bunny his newest boo-boo on his index finger. He is so cute! Here are some cute pictures from our time in New Hope. Aunt Pat asked where the train took us-basically through people's backyards. They also served food and drink on this excursion-this was just ridiculous. I mean do you need a beverage and snack for a 45 minute train ride? They also tried to get you to purchase a $25 picture with the Easter Bunny. Meanwhile pictures were free if you took them on the station platform-that is where Preston's Kodak moment with the Bunny took place. We had a lot of fun in the car going home after Preston watched Elmo and Kid's Favorite Songs 2, by singing along with my diverse IPod. Preston even danced to Lionel Richie's "All Night Long" and Katie sang us a bitchin' rendition of Styx's "Come Sail Away" which she will be singing at Chris and Anna's wedding.

Sunday was Easter and Preston's first real egg hunt. He had a blast and really understood the concept. He also caught on very quickly that my Mom, I mean the Easter Bunny put a candy inside the eggs. Here is Preston's loot and his egg hunt.

The day finished off at Aunt Pat and Uncle Dennis' for dinner which was awesome. Matt bought a deep fryer and treated us to real mozzarella sticks. Katie and Steve who did not join us yesterday since they went to Steve's family's, totally missed out-so I sent Katie a picture of the plate.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Eata!

That is how Preston says "Happy Easter." He is very excited that he can wish people a Happy "Eata." I have to say he is really coming a long way with his speaking! I am cooking tonight for Good Friday and was going to pick Preston up from daycare early, but they are having an egg hunt and dying eggs, so he will stay there while I cook! He will be very excited to see everyone when he comes home. He has not seen Aunt Tinka and Uncle "Seve" for three weeks!

Tomorrow we are heading off to New Hope PA to ride the old fashioned steam engine with the Easter Bunny. Ba, Aunt Tinka and Aunt Mel are coming along for the festivities. Here is a picture of Preston's latest and greatest art creation from school-believe it or not, I positioned the ears higher on his head for the picture but it did completely fit around that noggin!

Happy Easter everyone!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

American Idol-Week 2

Here we go folks-back by request from Renay, here is my AI update.

First we need to talk about how much nicer it is when Paula shows up sober without the aid of a near overdose of pain medication. Her comments were fluid, we did not compare singers to colors of the rainbow and there were no awkward analogies that make no sense to anyone else except the voices in her head. Simon's piece of advice for the night was to "sing well" which truly means "do not suck" and Kristy Lee Cook promised that if she should stay around (which personally I hope the only one ever hearing her sing again is her horse), she would "blow" Simon "out of his socks." I personally found this amusing, as did Ryan and poor Kristy realized eventually what she said and Miss Innocent Brooke still has no idea what that means....

Moving on, besides the annoying plugs for Paula's single feat. Randy Jackson on bass and Ryan's ridiculous plug for Apple's IPhone, the night was so-so. The "pitchy" count tonight was only at one! Randy seems to have a new line, "I didn't really get it dog." Let's recap shall we?

The night kicked off with Amanda Overmeyer who grew some brass ones in the past week. I have never heard her ever talk back to the judges. She is hoping to sell out that bar in Lafayette. Very high expectations. I personally for one while listening to her sing could not picture myself in Best Buy a year from now hearing the average American consumer say, "I really need that new Amanda Overmeyer CD." I just cannot see this girl selling records. Although to be fair, I don't see her as an elder care nurse either. I totally see her as the nurse hired by a family who has had it with the family's remaining old coot, to slowly put said coot out of their misery with a goose down pillow. I could be wrong...

Kristy sang "Hide your Love Away." The reason I hated it, besides really not liking Kristy, is because it was redone by Eddie Vedder and only someone very big can redo a Beatles song. And besides, I still hold quite a torch for Eddie Vedder and those flannel shirts. The judges thought she looked good. This is always synonymous for "I'd rather have relations with farm animals than hear you sing again." They don't care how they look, they want to be told they can win. I for a split second thought I was being too harsh on her until she said "The Beatles thing is new to me." I mean did your parents' car lack a back seat? How can the Beatles be new to her? Then again she sprays her horses with vinegar.

David Archuleta reminds me of Clay Aiken. I loved Clay and still to this day believe he won, but whatever. David will probably win, unless Chikezie gains a lot of weight and plasters his zip code on a jersey.

Michael Johns did not get any great reviews, but then goes and plays the "I sang it for my dead friend" card and suddenly everyone feels a bit like a douche. Here is the thing with Michael. I should close my eyes, because seriously when I watch him, he can gargle salt water for a minute and a half and I'd be entertained. I also have a Mystery Neighbor on my floor that just moved in. My super told me said neighbor is a single guy. Of course this puts a lot of pressure on me to look half way presentable just in case he comes home when I do, instead of looking like a haggard that has been pleading with a two year old to get in the stroller. So I imagine my Mystery Neighbor (hereinafter affectionately referred to as "MN") to look like Michael Johns. I can assure you he probably doesn't, but it is a fun game I am playing out in my mind....

Brooke-it was hard to take her seriously with the little fake suns all around made out of lights. At one point AI got creative and made one big sun out of lights. The light effects sometimes remind me of an A-Ha video from the 80's gone seriously wrong. She was followed by David Cook who to me is very good but fell a little short tonight.

Carly's husband frightens me. How can you even distinguish emotions on this guy's face since the majority of it is covered in dots and squiggles? It's so bizarre. Although she just got 7s put on her knuckles this week. If I were Ryan I'd ask her what is so attractive about an exorbitant amount of face tats. If I were dating Ryan, I would ask him to ask her. I am neither so I don't have a great possibility of finding out the answer.

If I had one shred of doubt left that Jason is stoned, that shred dissipated tonight. The guy totally makes you wish you were back in college in the dorms with a make shift hollowed out Pepsi bottle bong, a copy of the Wizard of Oz and the Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon album. A stoner with dreads singing in French makes for great TV.

Syesha other than having a knockout dress, was a little boring and Chikezie and Ramiele were also ok. The show was alright and I still predict Kristy is going home. I am going to keep predicting it until it happens, so Renay back me up here! Until next week....

"Dancing" with "The Bachelor"

I feel as if Dancing with the Stars (hereinafter referred to as DWTS) just ended its last season, but I guess since Bruno v. Carrie Ann was so atrocious, they quickly started the newest season. Only to be followed up with the newest Bachelor. ABC is getting a jump start before television finally returns next month!

So here we are with a whole new cast of characters on DWTS. The problem I have with DWTS is that I really want to see more "stars" per se. Although yes, Penn Gillette is famous, I would prefer...say...George Clooney. For some reason that is a different scale to me. One thing I love to do is predict who is dancing horizontally together by the middle of the season. I'll keep you posted. The one thing I hate about DWTS is after five minutes I feel like such a pregnant yak watching someone like Edyta strut around the dance floor. Although I rationalize that if Cheryl Burke had to bill 2000 hours a year her butt would start expanding in a chair too. Meanwhile maybe I should also put down the bag of M&Ms while watching. My disappointment this season is that Maxsim is not on the show. I love him...

I am amazed at the improvement of these people over the course of the season. I felt the judges were pretty harsh last night. I mean they nit pick everything. If you want to see perfection have two pros dance with each other. I for one suck, I mean suck at dancing so pretty much the fact that they can get through the Foxtrot amazes me. Katie still makes everyone watch my dance video from circa 1992 when I decided I would take private jazz lessons. I wore a Kelly green spandex leotard, danced to some God awful Paula Abdul song and did the chicken dance. And the leotard had feathers under the arms. Needless to say after I watched the dress rehearsal on tape, I bowed out of the actual performance. My poor parents shelled out $800 for this too. They should have taken the dance teacher to small claims court. And before you laugh Melski-I do believe that year your dance group dressed as cave woman with plastic clubs to the song that they played in the Twix commercial.

Of course DWTS is hosted by Tom Bergeron who seriously hosts 41 different shows per season. I predict the Latin guy (who apparently was on Ugly Betty but I don't recall) and Mario will go the furthest for the men. Oh maybe Jason Taylor. He was saying that the Dolphins were making fun of him for going on DWTS. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are in no position to make fun of anyone. The Dolphins probably should have up and taken ballroom dancing mid way through their past season instead of embarrassing themselves week after week...ok, stepping down from the soapbox. You know Adam Carolla wishes that if he still had The Man Show he would do anything for Julianne to be a girl jumping on a trampoline. The other thing I love about this show is the guy who announces the dances and the judges. He enunciates every syllable. I am eager to see the women although when I watch Priscella Presley all I think of is The Naked Gun and her and Leslie Neilsen wrapped up in the fake body condom. It's one of the funniest movies ever but I digress.

Then came The Bachelor-London Calling. This is the first international bachelor-Prince Lorenzo Borghese does not count I think because he was born in the US. The funny thing is I catch this show once every two seasons or so just to watch the absolute stupidity and embarrassment these women bring upon themselves. Or if I think the bachelor is hot. This guy is no Lt. Andy Baldwin but we'll throw him a bone. The limos pull up to start the show and as each limo pulls up you hear the girls all squeal and get all excited. Half are pretty good looking, half are OK. They each try to come up with something witty to say and fail miserably. What they all do attain is making sure that their dress enhances whatever size chest they have, ten fold. After watching all the women file in I think there is a solid five I would pick if I were Matt Grant.

There is always one drunk which makes me laugh so hard. I picture her watching this last night in utter horror. She even gave Matt her thong underwear. Classy. I just don't understand this show. I mean you bring home a woman to your parents that you met on a television show! They obviously don't have great careers. I mean who can take off five months to film The Bachelor? I cannot imagine my boss's face if I was like "Look, that case load you gave me...yeah see here's the thing-won't be able to cover them-I am going to try my luck on The Bachelor. Hold my job and my benefits OK?" Then again ABC I am sure pays out some compensation. See these are things that I think about-who would sublet the apartment? Do you have your mail re routed? What if you need to see a doctor? There is no way I would ever be able to be a contestant.

Secondly what do your parents think of these girls who let you publicly make out with them on camera? Maybe the parents don't know since the show airs after the season is filmed. Third, the whole setting is complete non-reality. Who has a date in the middle of a football field and a band shows up? Or has their first kiss in a hot air balloon? It's ridiculous.

But my ultimate favorite part is watching the rose ceremony and how pathetic these girls are to get a rose. I guess I understand wanting a rose on the first night-you just met the guy and if he cuts you, you know he thinks you are ugly and has no desire to sleep with you. Your self esteem pretty much takes a nose dive. They all wanted the "first impression rose" and are absolutely livid when it goes to someone else. One thing that impresses me is that the bachelor remembers all their names after only three hours with 25 women. I really don't know how this is done, although I believe there is a teleprompter above their heads with their names. Once once did I see someone make a mistake. That was even funnier. He calls a woman and the one he really wanted was in back of her. The girl who was mistakenly picked is so excited and then on national TV gets her rose taken away! If that was me I would have prayed that Chris Harrison came out and just shot me because now the rejection is so public there is no chance of sneaking out the back door before the mascara runs down my face.

The most irritating part of the show is Chris Harrison comes out from behind the doorway to announce that the lone rose on the cheesy granite pedestal is the final rose of the night. As if we cannot see the final rose sitting there. As if the girls have not been watching each and every rose go out with those fake pinched smiles on their faces. And then after the final rose is given out, Chris returns and tells the ladies to say their good byes and we watch the utter phoniness of girls hugging and air kissing each other as if they really care about the ones going home. And without fail you get the one girl who is gasping for air and crying as if her dog was run over because she cannot fathom how the bachelor after talking to her for five minutes cannot realize they are soul mates. PATHETIC, but yet so much fun to watch. It's so humiliating. It's like being picked last for the kickball team in gym class.

I think only one bachelor got married-Bob Guiney. And of course the Bachelorette. Not only did Trista and Ryan get married, but America knew how many times they had intercourse to conceive their son and the troubles and trials of getting little baby Sutter here. A little too much info.

So that is my reality blog for the day. Tonight is AI and I cannot wait. But here is who ABC should pick for their next bachelor....

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Emeril Preston

For the past two weekends it has been cruddy weather. It's a lovely pattern. You spend all week holed up in the office while you watch the sun and then Friday afternoon you watch the clouds roll in only to crack blue sky again on Monday at 9 am. This past Saturday we had a monsoon. Preston and I were visiting Ba and Papa's for the weekend. We had already exhausted every toy. I couldn't take him anywhere because trees were literally bent in half. Then I recalled seeing Emily's photo album from last month and Seamus was such a handy man around the kitchen it gave me the inspiration to let Preston bake.

I decided cupcakes was best. I poured cake mix into the bowl and he decided he wanted a taste. Then he coughed for five minutes because inhaling dry powered goods into your trachea will do that to a person. He poured the eggs, oil and water. He even helped put the cupcake cups into the proper pans. Then we mixed!

Then after we beat the batter, Preston stuck his hand directly into the mix. Then he wanted a taste off the spoon. So now I have unsanitary batter and a toddler at risk for salmonella.Then came pouring the mix into cups which was a mess! Mom tried to help him but Mr. Independence had to do it all himself. More batter ended up on the pans and we did have some funky looking cupcakes, but all in all I think he enjoyed his first baking experience.

P.S. It was right after this cute time together where the cocktail napkin/basket throwing incident took place and the picture in the corner came to be. :-)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

American Idol-Week One

OK folks-sorry it's my addiction. I will have to blog about it. Here we go-Season 7's Top 12 took to the new stage and sang out of the McCartney/Lennon Songbook. What an amazing honor. How did the night go-well here is my perspective:

First off let's start off with my Season 7 confession...only a few people are privy to this information. Mom, Katie and Mel. But I have to confess. It would not be right to blog about Idol and not tell you this...I have a major crush on Ryan. I know...I know. How you must say? Here is how I justify it...Ryan is the guy in high school whose locker was next to you.... or the guy at work who you tell all your dirty secrets to and one day you wake up in a night sweat and say "Oh my God...I'm in love with X." That's what happened. After six years of "Seacrest out" and the ridiculous staged banter with Simon, it just happened. Maybe it was his genuine concern for Dick Clark on New Year's Rockin' Eve. Maybe it's the fact that he hosts American Top 40 every Sunday. I can't explain it. It just is. OK now you know, although I have to admit if Dunkelman was still a host, I doubt he would have rubbed off on me the way Ryan has.

Here it was-two hours to kick off the Top 12. Mom and I were discussing that the fact the show is two hours on a school night is just uncool. This is why I also have a beautiful relationship with the DVR. That bad boy makes sure I can rip through all of the commercials, the Fox TV plugs, the annoyance of the come ons for The Moment of Truth and of course tonight-the drivel of Eliot Spitzer soliciting a prostitute and the utter excitement for such awesome gossip news on the faces of Rossanna and Ernie.

And then the show starts and I get really excited and Ryan comes out and does one very annoying thing....introduces the judges. Mom actually pointed this out to me too. I mean do we need to go through them one by one? Does America forget? Even the people who live in areas of this world in a house made out of palms and without running water are aware of the Idol judges. We can cut out this useless three minutes. I mean it literally is the same. "Say 'hi' to Randy Jackson." Then Randy says "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" and flashes some gang symbols which I am positive he never flashed while playing a mean bass for Journey. Paula swallows the rest of her pain meds and waves over-enthusiastically to the camera and then they shoot to Simon and he scowls, Ryan makes a dumb joke and the night starts.

What really gets me about this show is how much the contestants only care about what Simon has to say. He truly controls the show. Randy and Paula after telling a contestant they are "pitchy" can literally tell that same person that their mother is a back alley whore and the contestant nods and looks towards Simon with absolute dread. It makes me laugh.

Some highlights: Chikeze was pretty good. Usually I am not a fan of the one named artists. His vest was so cool I am hoping it comes in Preston sized.

Carly was very good although I don't understand her tattoo. Is that a tattoo of Amy Winehouse?

David Cook, or as I affectionately have coined him, "Daughtry with hair" was fabulous.

Jason Castro-this guy just cracks me up. I like to believe that this guy tokes before each show. When he came out and sang "What a day for a Daydream," I had a laughing fit. He is completely awesome. If he isn't high, then wow...just wow.

David Hernandez in his story prior to his awful performance said he was fired from the "Pizza Bistro." Is that the code name we are giving all male, all nude strip joints now? My brother lives in Phoenix and went to ASU. Chris your job is to hunt down the Pizza Bistro. I just have a feeling it may not be serving penne alla vodka.

Amanda-why does this girl look twenty years older than she is? And she sings like Marge Simpson's sister with emphysema. I think Mr. Lennon literally rolled over in his grave after this rendition.

Kristy Lee Cook-So happy Simon said she sounded like Dolly Parton on speed. Remember having those radios where you could tape songs and then play them back on the higher speed? That is what it reminded me of. Awful!

And then there was Michael Johns. This guy is so hot. The Australian accent totally does it for me but the fact that he is tennis pro killed it for me. I mean we all know what happened when I married the golf pro. Enough said. He says he has done a lot of odd jobs. What he totally missed the boat with was the open casting call for the replacement Yellow Wiggle. Would have made that show that much more enjoyable for me. I mean I will always miss Greg. I took it hard, but Michael would ease the pain a bit. And he understands kangaroos being from Australia and all....just saying...

So I think Kristy is going to go. We'll see tomorrow at the results show. Kim-Out!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Terrible Twos and Corner Woes

Preston has hit the terrible twos. Don't get me wrong-he is really a great little kid, but he has his moments. And when he has his moments-whoa boy! He has a couple of traits that I completely despise:

1) Swatting at people;

2) Throwing objects or clearing off a table with one powerful achon arm.

The former I know where he picked it up, the latter, I have no idea. The swatting was started by my brother Charlie. When Preston was about ten months and touching faces, Charlie would pretend to fall on the floor when Preston touched his face. This made Preston's day (look he was 10 months-that and pureed bananas did it for him) and he started to swat harder. What did not penetrate was that not everyone was going to play the "Swat Game." But certain people would indulge him (*cough* Mom, Dad, Katie, Steve, Chris ) and now he truly believed that random strangers would enjoy a slap in the face as opposed to him just being a cute toddler.

Now his swatting has taken on another dimension. Part of it is self defense. Part is defending his momma. Preston is not too fond of people invading his space (Think Seinfeld's "close talker"). If someone gets into that private bubble, they are getting a swat. If someone comes to close to me he feels the need to protect. I mean he went at a pizza delivery guy who was coming out of the elevator the other day. The guy was not even delivering to us! This can prove to be very uncool if mommy is trying to snag a single, rich, neurosurgeon (*cough McDreamy), so this naturally has to be curbed. At school he is taught "Nice touches." Partly because all of the children are mini Ninjas and partly because you have to teach that nice stuff so they don't go out and slaughter small defenseless forest animals. And he likes giving nice touches. It's almost like he just wants to make sure that this person is not a "bad guy." So in a way I am glad he is more aware and not willing to walk away with any scary man carrying a 3 Musketeers, but I still don't want him to be that jaded at 2 thinking everyone is a potential threat and constantly ready to go all Chuck Norris on them.

His swatting is mostly still a game. He is 2, a boy and sometimes wants to get wild. He usually does it to people with a big smile on his face. He also thinks getting wild is a game. I usually immediately tell him nice touches and he will give nice touches. I know they are thinking I am raising the next Damian. They usually understand....until Preston's head spins 360 degrees.

The other problem is the throwing. The throwing is never sincere. It's not in self defense. It's just plain wrong. This I never excuse and want it to stop! I never tell Preston he is "bad." My mom never used that word to us. For his self esteem I don't tell him he is "bad." I might tell him something is not nice or something is bad, but I never say, "You're bad." The throwing is his way of showing frustration. I kind of understand him, he has my level of patience (which is a low threshold). For example, if he cannot get his Crocs on after two tries, the Crocs go flying across the room. If he asks for more Cheerios in his empty bowl and I say "no," that apparently equates to chucking the bowl off the table. If we have to leave for school and he is playing with his farm, where do you think the pigs and cows go?

I cannot tolerate the throwing. After he throws, he bends his head down and breathes through his nose like a dragon. I have tried to think of how to discipline in this situation. I tried my couch, but he sits on the couch for stories. I did not want to use his crib or his armchair because those are happy places. So I opted for the good old fashioned corner. My mother used this on my youngest brother Chris. Chris was a royal pain and threw tantrum after tantrum...really not much different than him at 24...

The corner was effective. He stood for all of 10 seconds, would turn around, hug me and go about the day. Then he realized I was going to keep putting him in the corner when he did something wrong. So we went to Ba and Papa's house this weekend and Preston emptied my mother's basket of cocktail napkins in the family room and brought it into the kitchen. He then threw the basket on the floor after I asked him to pick up the napkins. So I put him in the corner. He stood there. For a long time. After like a minute I told him if he picked up the basket he would not go back in the corner. What did he do? Walked over to the basket and hurled it across the kitchen. I said to him, "Now get back into the corner." And he did! And he ran there with a big smile on his face....laughing! And stood there again-this time for about three minutes.

You know what Preston accomplished? He turned it around on me. Now when you ask him if he'd like to go in the corner, he says, "YES!" Now what? He has turned punishment into a game. I can try taking TV away in the morning, but all that will accomplish is him hanging off me and me being unable to blow dry my hair. I am sure if I keep putting him there the novelty of this new game will dissipate. For now though, I have been outsmarted by my own child. So here is Preston in the corner. All that is missing is a raised finger to mommy. Oh well. Any suggestions warmly accepted!

Friday, March 7, 2008

My Dapper Lil' Dude

Ok I have a confession. I am a complete, total and utter shopaholic when it comes to Preston. I was a shopaholic before Preston, but now I am hooked. I just cannot help myself. Since before this child was the size of a lima bean my mother and I have made sure that his (walk in) closet and two dressers are full. At first it was buying those footed stretchies. I just could not have enough little ones with cars and sayings like Toot Toot and Beep Beep or Mommy's Little Angel. It has escalated into mass buying. With that said and before you think I am the biggest snob in the world, the second confession is I am now the world's biggest bargain hunter. (Well maybe I share this place with Emily).
Before Preston (or BP, which in the legal world stands for Bill of Particulars, but I digress), I would buy him those cute ol' boutique outfits and literally "bend over" as the ladies in the shop would ring up a sweater for $70. WBP (That's way before Preston for all you texters out there), I was the accessory shopaholic. I must say when it came to clothes and most of my shoes I loved to hunt the bargains, but with pocketbooks, things became a little different. I thought absolutely nothing of putting my name on a list for a pocketbook that costs in excess of $1200. Ok I thought about it for like split second and realized that life would not be complete if I did not carry that bag that upcoming season. It was white and can only be used from Memorial Day to Labor Day. I mean it was not even the all practical black bag. I received the call from LV that it was in the two days before Thanksgiving that year. I made my father drive me to go and get it even though Mom and I had like 100 pies to make. I remember it coming out of the tan velvet bag and the lady holding it up to the light (think Simba's birth in "The Lion King"-completely synonymous) and there were, I swear, audible gasps from the other very jealous shoppers that my name came up on the waiting list before theirs. I think I squealed. I was now just as cool as Jessica Simpson, except I make like $20 gazillion less than her, but still. I cannot tell you the pride I felt carrying my "baby" at the time, into Bergdorf's (a store that I NEVER shop in, but now that I had the bag I was totally welcome) and the guy who worked in the pocketbook section squealed too.

Then there is AP, or after Preston. And due to Preston's achon, shopping has become the ultimate challenge. Really the only person besides myself that can truly shop for Preston is my mother. Buying hats is easy-the rule is-if it fits me, it will fit him. I totally rock in the separates' department. So not only is the challenge making up outfits, but finding awesome deals. I have been lucky since Preston follows true to size mostly in tops, and pants I either hem or give the ol' roll at the top. Preston has changed me people-Preston has made at KOHL'S and it is now like my favorite store ever. (I think I just heard the pocketbook salesman at Bergdorf gasp).
Why the obsession? First, I never went to stores where a shopping cart was necessary unless I was purchasing groceries but I have to tell you-every single store in the world needs a shopping cart. This is by far the most convenient thing ever! Secondly they sell everything-I seriously can buy candles, photos albums, a ceramic dish, slippers and a spatula all in one stop shopping. The third reason I love this store is because they always have a sale. I mean I don't think I have ever gone to the store and there were not Gold Star Savings. The fourth reason I love this store is because at the end of the season I was able to buy the entire 2T shirt section for daycare next year for like $20.00. I mean every shirt was a little over a buck. To the point I got a little annoyed when one rang up at $3.50. I contemplated putting it back. Kohl's is my dirty little secret. Kind of like Mel' s Target obsession-I tell her I like an outfit, she scans the immediate vicinity and slyly whispers behind a fake cough... "It's from Target."

And where does that leave me now? I can admit that the impulse Jimmy Choos really do look like every other black sandals and to be honest held up about as good as Britney's VMA performance. But I still love all my bags. I try to justify the purchase in that the bag now retails for a lot more money. All of you that are saying "Where is Kim? What have you done to her?" I must admit I still covet the Hermes Birkin bag, in red ever since seeing it on both Sex and the City and Will and Grace-it really is the most amazing thing ever done with a cow, really even milk pales in comparison....but now, when I get a Gymboree sweater for $9.00 I also squeal.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Our Story

How did I get to be one of the luckiest moms in the world?

Getting pregnant did not happen overnight. In fact it took a while. Just when I thought I would give up, I figured-well let's just take the test and see. There was a spot right in front of CVS. Now anyone who has driven through the parking lot that is Bronxville understands the miracle in finding a spot open...and the fact that the spot was located in front of the store, well I should have known right then and there that I was pregnant. The miracle had begun. Once confirmed, there were of course balloons tied to the chair where I sit at my parents' house, a cake and the immediate launch into possible names.

I was so excited. With each ultrasound, each appointment, I became even more excited. I absolutely love shopping for baby and kids clothes. (To the point it may be unhealthy-I mean is it normal to become BFFs with the operator at Children's Place customer service)? At my Level II ultrasound I could not wait to find out the sex of the baby. I was convinced it was a girl. I already had the name all picked out-Madeline Elizabeth. Then the tech said "it's a boy." Confession time. This was really strange for me, as I actually in a split second mourned the daughter I was not going to give birth to. At the same time I was elated it was a boy. I have actually thought about this a lot and figure it this way-for twenty weeks it was just "a baby." It was a mystery, inside a riddle wrapped in an enigma. (BTW-I read that line in a cheesy romance novel-I'm not that prophetic). You picture pink rooms, blue rooms, rooms with roses and daisies and then sports themed rooms. A boy. Wow. I was having a boy.

It was amazing. Until 34 weeks. I'll never forget the day. October 31, 2005. My girlfriend just gave birth that morning to a healthy baby girl. That afternoon my whole world turned upside down. I remember the tech being very quiet. I asked her about three times to tell me the weight of the baby. I thought she was just ignoring me. She printed out some pictures and told us to wait for the doctor. The first thing the doctor said was, "So who is Irish?" My ex's father is Irish and the whole family had those big ol' noggins so the doctor did not think that the fact Preston's head was measuring 40 weeks was any concern. His legs-about 27 weeks. Ok. Now what? We were sent that afternoon to a specialist for another ultrasound. I'll never forget the technician saying, "It looks like some form of dwarfism." My world dropped out from under me. I sobbed uncontrollably. We spoke to a counselor who made an appointment for the next day to see a high risk OB/GYN. I remember leaving the facility in a daze thinking "Oh my God. This cannot be happening."

Yet something strange happened on the way back to my parents' house. I just seemed to embrace it. I don't really know why but I did. I recall talking to Marrah and telling her there was something wrong with the baby. She asked me what she could do. I answered, "Just love my son no matter what."

The next morning we met with Dr. Faustin-or as I refer to him, The King of Zamunda. Did you ever see "Coming to America?" If you didn't you really should hang your head in shame. I mean is there anything funnier than Eddie Murphy working at McDowells and going to Queens to find a wife? Anyway James Earl Jones plays Eddie Murphy's dad and speaks in an accent and I swear this was my new OB/GYN. In fact Katie asked me after my c-section if the nurses sprinkled rose petals in the operating room. We point blank asked him if Preston had achondroplasia. His response was "We think he has a skeletal dysplasia, but it does not look like achondroplasia." Preston was not showing the typical ultrasound achon features-almost infitismal frontal bossing of the forehead, he did not have a flattened nasal bridge and they could not really see his hands to see the trident formation. He was a medical mystery.

You would think I would just sit back and enjoy at this point-but no, I had to find out what Preston had-I just had to know. So off to Columbia Presbyterian to the perineonatalists and perinatologists and all those amazing people from what is supposed to be one of the best hospitals in the world. And Dr. Berkowitz the pioneer of ultrasounds. After the ultrasound I passed my parents and Katie in the waiting room and just said, "It's not good." And what was I told? I was told the following: Preston had a lethal form of dwarfism. Preston's chest was too small to sustain life. I have the option to terminate if I'd like to travel to Kansas, otherwise he will probably struggle to breathe and die right after birth. I was told his limbs were below the 5th percentile. I was told to go to the genetic counselor tomorrow at Columbia to talk further.

Oh and let me tell you what enlightening things I was told the next day...because just when you thought you could not kick a dying dog twice....Preston had thanatophoric dysplasia (a diagnosis that I fought tooth and nail since he did not fall into either the Type I or Type II category) or maybe Jeune's Syndrome. I remember being in this little room in the clinic portion of the hospital. There was Dr. Brown and a genetics counselor. Dr. Brown I remember was so uncomfortable and had a big coffee stain on his shirt. Yes, I remembered the coffee stain. He then told me that Preston will die. Unequivocally. I asked what percentage he believed that to be true-pretty much 100%. Oh and now that the wind is out of your sails, "we would like to contact you after the birth and we would love a POST MORTEM PICTURE!" Are you kidding me? I remember walking out of the office and seeing my parents and just shaking my head. I remember going back to my house and not being able to walk into the nursery. All the beautiful clothes hanging up and in the drawers folded neatly that he would never wear. His name written in wooden letters above the crib he would never sleep in. The boutique bedding we agonized over that he would not spit up on. The tiny stuffed animals sitting around a changing table that would never hold a squirming baby. The high chair in the kitchen all ready for cereal and bananas to be strewn all over. The stroller that would never see the outside of my home. The monitor in my room that would never record the sound of a crying baby at 2 am. It was too much. We packed up and stayed at my parents for the next few weeks.

Over the next few weeks there were appointments after appointments, ultrasounds and non-stress tests. I did not even want to go anymore. We hung the pictures from the ultrasounds on the fridge. We alternated between anticipation and gloom. Part of me wanted Preston to be born because the waiting was agonizing, the other part of me wanted the pregnancy to never end because as long as he was inside of me kicking, he was alive. I dreamed of holding him, but then I asked my father how much it cost to bury an infant. I poured over the Internet. There was hope. There was despair.

The c-section was scheduled for December 1, 2005. Then I received a phone call that they were booked. I mean, seriously? You're booked? Almost six weeks of hell and you're booked? They rescheduled. December 6, 2005. It snowed the night before. I remember driving to the hospital. The ride was so tense. My parents argued over Christmas songs. I stared out the window. When we arrived we asked for a private room. No need to share with some happy mom with balloons and flowers. I'll never forget going into the operating room. Let me set the stage for those of you who have not had a c-section. Have you ever seen a televised lethal injection? That is what the table looks like. I barely remember the spinal but do recall the anesthesiologists telling me as long as they were discussing football I was fine. I remember shaking uncontrollably which they told me was an effect of the anesthesia.

Prior to them cutting me open, I realized that a glass cabinet was in my line of view. I asked that they be opened so I spared myself from watching my organs being removed. And then it happened. I felt this amazing pressure and then this relief and then this baby screaming his head off, (as Mel says giving the world the finger)! I cried so hard and remember thanking God. Matt ran over to me after cutting the cord and said "He is gorgeous. He looks fine! Totally normal." How sad is that? We pictured an alien. Literally thought I was going to give birth to an alien. He rushed over with a picture.

Those hands! I was pretty confident it looked like good ol' achon at this point. His Apgars were 9 and 9. The nurse came over to me to tell me he would be cleaned up and brought to the nursery-the regular nursery. No ICU for this little man. And he totally was not what they expected. In fact they were so stumped. He was 9 pounds, 12 ounces and 19 1/2 inches long! I remember they wrapped him in a blanket and gave him to Matt. I remember him yawning and looking at us as I said, "Welcome to the world Preston. I love you."

I was wheeled to recovery, Matt was pulled out by the geneticist. I called my mother and father who had just been told I was not a patient in the hospital and naturally since this is my mother we are talking about, she assumed I'm dead on the operating table. I kept saying, "He's here and he is huge!" I was still nervous that this geneticist pulled Matt out of the room, but five minutes later they walked in smiling and this doctor gave me a big kiss. I had no clue who this man was, but it turned out to be Preston's geneticist Dr. Angulo whom I have come to love. He told us they were going to take blood because it was not apparent if Preston had achon or hypochondroplasia. Who cared? He was breathing!

Here is Preston at a day and a half old. The irony of this whole thing was Preston was the biggest baby in the nursery out of like ninety babies that week. I'm not going to lie I was still so scared that he was going to stop breathing. My room was full of flowers and balloons and Mom bought cookies for me to serve my visitors (she did not have time to get the baby themed doilies however).

And here is Preston going home. I wore that outfit home from the hospital along with my brothers and sister and about three or four of my cousins. I never thought I would see him in it. Three weeks later it was confirmed that Preston had achon. He is mildly affected; meaning he has not had many of the complications that can arise with this condition. His facial features are mild and he is at the 97 percentile for achons. Achons still have height genes. Because my family is so tall, he should continue on this growth curve.

Preston has enriched my life. You'll see as time progresses with this blog. I have met such wonderful people because of this little miracle. He has taught me and made me a better person. The love for this little man is indescribable. (Even when he throws Cheerios on the floor five seconds before we have to leave and then runs away from me and refuses to get in the stroller...). I love you Preston. Thank you for completing my heart.

OK I have been Convinced

Katie has been trying for years to get me into the BLOG world. In fact when I told her that I would start a blog and requested help in naming this blog, she suggested, "I'm Copying my Cool Sister." Was not a fan of the title. So I went with Monkey and Mommy. Which of course if you don't know me could be quite a disturbing title, I mean, I know am I single and all, but what would I be doing with a monkey....Heads out of the gutter!

I should attribute the title to my mom. She began calling Preston "Baby Monkey" at like, two months old. The name has stuck. Of course there are quite a few variations on the theme, like Baby Monk, Monk or Monkey. Being that he is the little monkey, that prompts mom to buy anything and everything manufactured in the past two years that dons a monkey. In fact when Crazy 8 came out with a clothing line Monkey Brigade, she bought the whole line. It's even become a running joke because everyone knows she has a Baby Monkey. And by everyone I mean that literally-like the Greenlawn Post Office, the staff at Cougarbies, the deli guy at Waldbaums...even now the poor tween that works at CVS photo department who really thought when my mom was picking up her photos of "her baby monkey" that she was going to show him some portrait of a mammal resembling Marcel from "Friends." (By the way I have really no idea what tween really means, it's just such an overused word right now I feel kind of cool using it). Alas, only a pic of Preston. Even dad thinks it is funny to say, "You think Mom has a baby monkey?" He envisions Preston stepping off the bus in eighth grade and Mom calling out "Hey baby Monkey!"

So that is where the title comes from. Katie wanted "Starfish Memories." This is because Preston's paws are shaped like starfish and Katie adores them. Once again I shot Katie's blog title to a non existent place (think the Patriots in Perfectville). And here we are. Mommy, the divorced, single gal and Preston the most adorable two year old in the world. These are our stories. (I feel as if the Law and Order "dum dum" should play after that line).