Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Television & Disappointment

TV shows have a way of somehow mattering in your life. Not on any significant level, if your priorities are straight and you're a sane person, but enough to make you care at least enough to bring it up in conversation when a relationship ends, a character dies, or the show reaches its final episode. If the writing is good enough it may even move you to be actually be upset or happy. What happens to Battlestar Galactia's Boomer, for example, or Hurley's character development on Lost.

Unfortunately writing that good is pretty rare and I can count the amount of times this has happened on just my hands (and I'd probably have digits left over).

Due to the constraints of parenthood I now spend a lot of time watching television shows where before I'd be doing something more interactive and engaging like playing video games. Often it's just background noise to keep my brain from turning to gaga mush, but sometimes I watch legitimately. I need most of my brain focused elsewhere and my hands free, so TV is great. Rather, Netflix is great because it revolves around my schedule and is cheap.

Never before have I been genuinely disappointed in something a television character has done before tonight watching season five episodes of Nip/Tuck. Which I guess kind of says a lot because if you removed the depravity from the show there'd be nothing left. But tonight an ultimate low was achieved and I watched in mild horror as a character did something I not only didn't anticipate but wholeheartedly found loathsome. It wasn't on such a level as to make me quit watching of course, but it was enough that I stared wide-eyed, mouth agape the entire duration.

Just, wow, man. Wow.

Has something similar ever happened to you? Include spoiler warnings!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Water is Life

One of the most important things you can do for yourself is drink water. Whether you're pregnant, breastfeeding, or neither.

One of the biggest problems in first world countries is chronic dehydration because people simply forget to drink enough water, or don't know a good way to keep track of how much plain water they've had every day. Tragic considering that there are places in the world where clean water isn't available, and here we are simply forgetting to drink enough, or passing the life giving liquid entirely for double lattes and fountain drinks.

It's not entirely our faults, household drinkware has the volume visible no where on it. Once you remove it from the box and recycle the packaging you've no idea how many cups of water each glass you fill has unless you measure them out, which is a little OCD. So here is a sure bet way to drink plenty of water, every day.

First things first: go here and take the hydration quiz. Next go the the store and purchase your favorite juice in a comparable volume to the above. As a pregnant woman I drank a ton of orange juice, so I found reusing the Tropicana jug quite fitting and simple. Next thoroughly wash out the jug and rinse completely. It may still smell like juice despite being clean so let it air dry, open, on the counter for a few hours. By now it should be clean and aroma free. Finally, simply fill with water and pop in the fridge! If there are multiple people in your household, you can each fill up a jug and write your name on it with a Sharpie to keep tabs.

You will know you've gotten enough water throughout the day if by the time you're ready for bed your jug is nearly empty and needing to be refilled for tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Don't Apologize If You're An Ass

So here's the thing, when you do something wrong whether on purpose or not you are supposed to apologize. Forget to put down the toilet seat so your wife almost falls in? Say you're sorry. Talking so boisterously you accidentally wake someone up? Say you're sorry. Hurt someone's feelings? Say you're sorry.

However I have noticed something lately: repeat offenders. People who repeatedly do something, or a bunch of somethings, say they are sorry, only to then do it again. Over and over. If you were truly sorry, you'd stop doing it. Period. It's that simple.

I'm not talking about when Aaron goes to get Mexican food only to forget to order no onions in my burrito because they make the baby fussy. That's an easy oversight because he knows I love onions and normally would eat them every time. I mean when someone does something that is not quite so accidental.

For example, when someone repeatedly leaves the toilet seat up. It takes only a second to flip it down again and it displays a complete lack of consideration. You, as a man, only need the seat up some of the time. The lady of the house needs it down all of the time. Therefor keeping it down is more practical than keeping it up. You supposedly care about each other, you should want to make each other's lives easier.

Leaving it up habitually kind of proves that you don't give a single fuck. Every now and then she's liable to just put it back down herself and not even bring it up. Do it constantly and she's going to nag you about it because it blatantly shows you don't care enough about her comfort to take the time after you've finished pissing to put it down again. Your football game, video games, or beer with a pal can wait a single second longer. Put the lid down.

Where it gets even worse is if you habitually don't put the lid down but apologize every single time she confronts you about it, then do it again the very next time you have to pee. She's probably going to kill you in your sleep at this point. Because not only are you being inconsiderate every day, you're also basically lying to her every day. If you never plan to put the lid down, you may as well save everyone some grief and just say that plainly. At least then she'll know to expect it down and can make the judgment call whether or not she can deal with your man-boy behavior long term.

Now, after that example I should make it clear that I am not subtlety telling Aaron to keep the lid down. He's always been pretty good about that sort of thing. The inspiration for this blog actually came to me after talking to a friend and then thinking about my mother's husband. He's the sort of guy who will go out of his way to make a joke at your expense, apologize, then immediately do it again. Also known as an asshole.

Here's the situation with my friend, keeping it vague because while they are kind of douchey -- I'm not. Every day they do something they know not only bothers me but literally makes my day-to-day life harder. I've spoken to them about it directly. Yet every day they do it again. When I bring it up, they say they're sorry but sure enough, come tomorrow they'll have done it again. It's irresponsible, it's rude, it's inconsiderate, and really... it's basically passive aggression. Like they've finally found some manner of messing with me and they're going to try to covertly take full advantage. Only they're about as sly as a retarded giraffe.

Normally I'd just cut this sort of person out of my life so I didn't have to deal with their emo attention whoring, but I cannot do that here. Even if I told them to sit on it and spin, they're still mutually acquainted with other people I actually like. So there would inevitably be drama, resentment, and they'll STILL be a part of my daily life anyway. Ugh.

So yeah, if you aren't sorry -- don't say you are. If by some mental defect you are sorry but plan to do it again anyway, don't bother apologizing as it smacks of insincerity and makes people want to hit you in the face. I assume you like your face.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fun With Genetics

Baby woke me up early today, so I spent the morning playing with him and thinking about dominant and recessive traits, because you need something to keep your mind busy while entertaining a human whose most exciting part of the day is when daddy disappears behind a blanket only to magically reappear a moment later with an exclamation of, "Peek-a-boo!"

So, let's talk genetics.

This is more or less how they work, granted it's been a long time since I took advanced biology, so bear with me. Dominance or lack there-of is the relationship between alleles. In dominant traits, one allele overpowers the expression of the other allele of the same category (ex. eye color).

If you break it down to mom's DNA and dad's DNA, there will be three possible outcomes; expressing the dominant trait, expressing the recessive trait, or carrying the recessive trait while expressing the dominant one. Some traits are super recessive, less likely to occur even against other recessive traits. Add in grandparent genetics and this gets a little harder to keep track of.

They play out something like this:
Dominant Trait ----------------- Recessive Trait
Brown Eyes --------------------- Blue Eyes, Gray Eyes, Hazel Eyes
Every Other Eye Color -------- Green Eyes
Brown Hair, Black Hair ------- Blonde Hair
Every Other Hair Color ------- Red Hair
Curly Hair ---------------------- Straight Hair
Widow's Peak ------------------ Normal Hairline
Dark Skin ----------------------- Light Skin
All Other Skin Color ---------- Albinism
Freckles ------------------------- No Freckles
Dimples ------------------------- No Dimples
Unattached Earlobes ---------- Attached Earlobes

Before Jude was born, Aaron and I played at guessing what he'd look like. Of the two of us, Aaron has the more dominant genes with his dark hair and his dark eyes. For ease, above I have color coded Aaron's genetic traits and Mine for comparison.

Thus we expected that Jude would probably be light skinned with brown eyes, brown curly hair with a widow's peak, dimples, unattached lobes, and maybe freckles later in life. When he got here we were mostly correct. He had Aaron's hairline, dimples, unattached lobes, light skin, eyes that seem to be suggesting they'll be brown, and while he's got straight hair now that could change as he gets a little older. However we were surprised to discover Jude is a ginger!

Have you ever tried to guess what your baby would look like? How accurate were your guesses?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Losing The Pregnancy Weight

Want to lose the weight you put on during pregnancy? As a new mother you probably don't have the free time or funds to join a gym, but it may be easier than you think. Use your baby!

First things first, if you can breastfeed or even pump breast milk... do it! Nursing mothers burn at least 500 extra calories per day. Per day. That's the equivalent of running five miles without ever having to get off the sofa. Ever seen the body of a runner? They're lean for a reason. The more you nurse or pump, the more you burn.

Second, you cannot spoil a baby in its first year of life, the lack of object permanence guarantees that. So when your baby wants you to pick him up -- pick him up! I know you may be tired or have other things to do, but carrying around extra weight burns a lot of extra calories and tones muscles.

If you need your hands free consider baby wearing rather than putting baby down. They spend nine months being cuddled inside of you, it's little wonder they want so desperately to be held close once they're here. Baby will be happier feeling your warmth and heartbeat and you'll be abolishing fat without really going out of your way to do it.

Want to kick into high gear? Try a few squats with baby in hand or, rise up onto your toes then slowly lower your heels to the floor. Toss in a lunge or two. Be mindful of your balance though.

Third, get out of the house and take baby for a walk at least a couple of times per week. The outside world is less likely to over stimulate your little one and the fresh air will do you both good. Getting out of the house has been shown to help with postpartum blues, too. Not to mention simply walking ten or more minutes a day can boost your metabolism. So plop your new addition in their stroller and hit the sidewalk. Even if you've nowhere in particular to go, just a lap around the block will suffice.

Lastly, and this really applies to everyone, drink nothing but plain water. You retain more calories from liquids than you do from solids. So simply cutting out the sweet drinks can work wonders without the need for hardcore dieting.

In summary:

  1. Breastfeed
  2. Pick Up Your Baby
  3. Take a Walk
  4. Drink Water

Monday, February 11, 2013


For your convenience I've split Blognari into sections. Introducing: Momnari, Gamenari and Advicenari. Navigation located in the Elsewhere section just beneath the Chronological listing on the right hand side. While content of all three sorts will still be posted on Blognari, if you're looking for a certain sort of content in particular, you can now find it more easily.

Looking for my posts about pregnancy, tips for parents, and motherhood in general? Momnari is your destination!

Looking for game reviews, rants, and essays? Gamenari is your destination!

Need advice or want to see if advice I've offered in the past is relevant to a problem you're having right now? Advicenari is your destination!

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Sort for convenience.
I discovered a cool feature on Amazon recently. Not only can you set up registries for actual events like having a baby or getting married, but you can also just set up general wish lists of shit you want to own. With (insert reason to give gifts) ever-looming, I figured why the hell not fill that bad boy up?  So that's what I did. You can find it here!

Buying things for other people can be hard. Why not take the question out of gift buying? Knowing exactly what someone wants, without having to spoil the surprise by directly asking them, is great for both parties. I encourage you guys to set one up for yourselves and link me so I can enjoy the convenience as well.

If for some reason you hate online shopping, there's still the old fashioned guide to fall back on.

Friday, February 8, 2013

An Afternoon Adventure

Tired from our adventure.
Left yesterday afternoon with Jude unsure of our destination. When we reached the end of the complex we took a right. We went passed the Romanian church, looking at the world in wonder.

When we reached the first big intersection we decided not to cross. The air was chilly and brisk, as warm as it would get. Perhaps a touch too cold as Jude began to fuss. Going back at this point was not an option. We had come almost a mile away from home. I needed to tend the baby before we could go any further, one way or the other.

I looked around us for a place of refuge. Nearby was a quaint mom and pop cafe, a Starbucks, and Lumberjack's diner. They have a chain of them out here, all with giant statues of an ax wielding lumberjack in front.

Starbucks is no place for a baby, and the smaller cafe seemed too transparent to breastfeed comfortably should the need arise -- with walls on three sides made up of floor to ceiling windows. This left Lumberjack's, a place we've been to frequently for breakfast.

I knew the wait staff was friendly, mostly women, and the layout comfortable and private. Less overwhelming for a baby. At two o' clock we had the whole place mostly to ourselves. Only two other tables were occupied, one by a tiny old woman shoveling soup by the spoonful into her mouth and the other by an older gentleman with a kind face and a hat on that identified him as a veteran of the Korean war.

As I sat down and ordered a simple hot chocolate this man who sat across from me in the table next to mine nodded a hello as the waitresses fawned over Jude. Lumberjack's has a senior special from two until five where people over the age of sixty-five get two meals for only twelve dollars. While I had a feeling the old woman would be by herself, since she had already ordered her food, this man sat with only a mug of coffee to warm his hands. Clearly he was waiting for a friend.

In the meanwhile he spoke to me with a voice that complimented the warm laugh lines age had left on his face. He asked how old my little one was and complimented his good behavior. I sat with the baby in my lap and his stroller pulled up alongside the table, as out of the way as I could make it. Jude is very personable, even with strangers and he smiled at the man as we spoke. As I sipped my hot chocolate and warmed up this man told me the story of his first born.

He was only twenty years old and in the military stationed someplace far from home. His wife, the love of his life, gave birth at the service hospital and he was too afraid to hold his son until they got home. He was just so tiny and perfect. Once they had gone home, he held him for the first time very nervously in bed. Just in case. He said in that moment, his life changed forever. Holding that little bundle of raw innocence and possibility.

He had only wanted one child, but found he loved being a father so much that he wound up with four more children! Sadly they all live out of state now. Just as he finished his tale his friend arrived, an older Korean man who brought with him a deck of cards and some sort of block made from a pale wood with two pegs to keep score. One peg topped with onyx, the other topped with jade so you could easily tell them apart.

I greeted the new man politely and then left them to their game as I continued drinking my delicious hot chocolate.  When Jude got tired of sitting down, I stood up and gently swayed with him as he looked out of the window. When he grew bored of that, I turned to face the other way so that he could watch the cooks in the kitchen. I decided this would be an opportune time to settle up, so I paid for my drink in case I needed to make a hasty retreat with a crying baby. The waitress, a young red headed woman who had earlier complimented Jude and I on our own red hair, filled up a travel cup with more hot chocolate free of charge.

I put the travel cup in the cup holder on the stroller and held Jude close, looking out of the window myself now. Wondering if it was going to rain again or not. The original man at the table across from me remarked that I must love being a mother. I couldn't help but smile because it was true and he could tell just by observing. I then buckled Jude safely back into his stroller, bid the old men farewell and headed homeward bound.

Just before we got there Jude fell asleep, so rather than disturb him by taking him up a flight of stairs I just continued to make rounds near the creek until he woke up on his own. Then we went home.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Nuptials: An Update

Aaron and I got engaged on January 1st, 2011. At first I was all about planning, caught up in the dream and romance of things. Then I got to thinking and doing the math. While I'd love for everything to be officially official, it's really not all that important to have our commitment to one another on paper right now. I love him and he loves me. For us it's always been official. That's what matters.

Every now and then people ask why we're not yet married. I guess, especially because they assumed we would want to rush things once we found out I was pregnant last year. As neither of us are Christian however, rushing to the altar because we had a baby on the way wasn't an objective. Neither of our personal or religious beliefs make starting a family prior to the government recognizing our relationship a concern.

Honestly it's just not financially responsible for us to wed right now. What with the state of the economy and what have you. We each make more separately overall than we would jointly. This won't always be the case, but it is presently. We definitely plan on walking down the aisle sooner rather than later, so stay tuned for that. It's just not so pressing a matter that we felt the need to do so right away. Consider this an official save the date: The Future. :P