I've heard reports of anger, fighting, and yes, bloodshed...all for a ridiculously priced TV. So, did you brave the crowds yesterday? What random acts of human unkindness did you witness?
Well, surprise, surprise...melamine must be the hot ingredient for formula these days—the AP is reporting that most of the major formula manufacturers (we're talking Nestle, Similac, Enfamil) have found trace amounts of melamine or melamine byproducts in their products. The amounts in U.S. products are miniscule compared to their Chinese counterparts, but it's still scary. I love how the FDA says not to worry, it's all good, now that the test results have come out positive...even though a month ago they said that there's no safe level of melamine exposure.
Today, some lucky bidder is going to walk away with the first precious piece of babydom that's leaving our house—a lullaby crib toy that soothed our oldest to sleep for her first months home, until the day she vaulted over the edge of her crib. Hearing that song brings me back instantly to being a new mom, rocking my new daughter in my arms or patting her back, helping her settle into this strange bed, in this strange house, so far from the home she knew.
I'm going on another organizing binge today, which will hopefully net me a neater kitchen, and maybe a neater office...at least for a few weeks, until my husband decides to just throw things where they don't belong and it all becomes a disaster area yet again. Anyone in the market for a juicer? I have one that was used exactly twice...cheap.
Top 10 reasons I'm happy this week:
1. Thanksgiving get-togethers. The girls and I are spending the holiday with my best friend, who I haven't seen much of lately...and I'm so excited to catch up. (At least, as much catching up as I can do with two girls to look after!)
2. Flor rugs. We finally got rid of the dingy old rugs in our sunroom and replaced them with these ingenious rug tiles, which allow us to have one rug of the correct size, and can be easily swapped out if one part gets stained (guaranteed to happen). I've been dancing on it all day.
3. "Date night" with the hubby. We don't even go out, but we have a lot of fun making nice dinners at home...just like we used to before the kids arrived.
4. Decluttering. We got rid of two whole garbage bags' worth of clutter today, and it made me feel so much lighter!
5. Homemade marshmallows. I'm spoiled now and refuse to eat the supermarket kind ever again.
6. Christmas decorations. I think I'm almost more excited about Christmas than my girls are.
7. True Blood. It has pretty much everything I love rolled into one: fantastic writing and acting, an engaging, can't-figure-it-out mystery, and oh, yes...vampires.
8. It's a Wonderful Life. It's on my all-time-favorite movie list. Is it too early to pull it out now?
9. Assassination Vacation. I'm digging the new book club book. I may even gift it to a few loved ones.
10. A nice glass of wine...and someone to enjoy it with.
I've written about my Etsy obsession numerous times. But now that I'm twiddling my thumbs waiting for a dozen editors to get back to me about stories I've pitched, I figured now was the time to take a leap and open up my own Etsy shop, Magpie Moon. I'm whipping up barrettes, frames and oh yes, a homemade goodie or two. (My daughters were obsessed with the homemade vanilla marshmallows...they'll be sampling chocolate ones later this week.) Keep watching for new stuff, hot from the glue gun!
We don't exactly live in the land of wide open spaces—and most of the teensy-tiny fraction of an acre that we (and our bank) own is taken up with the house, the pool, the garage and a wide swathe of concrete in the back. Which leaves us with two dinky patches of grass in the front, one narrow swath of "garden" (we're talking 1 foot by 15 feet) in the back, and a few plants and trees in the front. I've often wondered if we should go ahead and do what this guy suggests, and do away with mowing in favor of weeding and pruning...and perhaps, a strawberry plant or two among the wildness.
This kind of landscaping is really more suited to our abilities, as most of our "lawn" right now looks like it's actually crab grass...and we're too freaked out about putting chemicals on our grass to do anything about it.
The only thing that holds me back is the thought that as the girls get older, they may want to play games in the yard (tag and such), and the concrete patio in the back isn't exactly the right place for that. But my oldest seems to prefer indoor activities to outdoor, and my youngest seems a bit freaked out by walking on grass. (Maybe it's the crab grass that's freaking her out?) Of course, there is always the playground right across the street, which is where we go to run anyway...
I'm sure that this would garner even more ire from the senior neighbors on our block, who all look disdainfully at our needs-paint-or-new-siding house and our less-than-suburban-quality "wild" garden. (Hey, we fixed the crooked front light and crappy screen door this year...what more should they be asking for?)
What do you think? Should we go all the way with the all-natural look?
Now that I've been left with...ahem...a little more free time than I've been used to, I've been looking for something else to fill up my hours.
Here's what's made me happy this week:
1. Transformations. In the space of this week, our youngest daughter has gone from a child barely babbling to producing new coherent words daily. I'm in awe of her ability to overcome all the challenges she's faced in her life.
2. The Consumerist. I'm sorry that they've fallen on hard times (their site is up for sale, if you have a spare million sitting around), but this fabu consumer advocacy site always gives awesome info on how to solve your customer service problems—and using it has helped me get results.
3. Good friends, good editors. I'm very lucky to have good friends in high places, who allow me to contribute my ideas to their magazines.
4. Facebook. It's given me the opportunity to catch up with old friends, and keep up with my current ones.
5. Kung Fu Panda. A surprisingly stylish and intriguing kids' movie—and nary a Chinese stereotype to be found.
6. Great deals. The only upside I can find in the current economic crisis is that I've found some wicked good deals on everything from presents to Christmas cards (yup, I have mine in hand already).
7. My baby brother. Every kid deserves a slightly flaky and totally cool aunt or uncle—and my kids are lucky enough to have my brilliant artist brother to fit the bill. (Oh, and he turned 30 this week!)
8. Homemade pizza. Even better than delivery (and way better than Digiorno!)
9. HDTV. Makes the movie theater nearly unnecessary.
10. Yummy smelling candles. They make it smell like I'm simmering cider on the stove.