Littlest Elf

Littlest Elf
Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom
Another hat. Even funnier is the big reindeer on his butt.

My opinion of the day is that Christmas consumerism is excessive and totally nuts.

Well we are finally home from all our holiday travels. Went to Williamsport for Christmas and then Richmond to visit my sister's family and their new baby. Then on the way home from Richmond we stopped at my mom's and had more presents and dinner with her and my step-sister and her hubby. Busy times and WAY too many gifts, especially toys. I'm not used to this, because the past few years Nathan has gotten a lot of clothes because he was too little to care. This year everyone went crazy with the toys, and now I have no idea where to put them all. I guess I really could have gotten him a few less things myself, but how can Santa and mommy be outdone by all the grandparents and aunts and uncles? We just need a bigger house to fit all the trains :) (kidding...I kid...I really don't want a bigger house)

My sister's baby is adorable. He sleeps ALL day and is up most of the night. They try to wake him a lot during the day, but with newborns it is tough. Her 17 month old daughter is funny, she's the tazmanian devil. So busy and into everything. I took lots of pictures, which will be up on my Flickr soon.

Alex is still hit or miss with sleeping through the night, which is annoying. I don't get it, but I'm guessing his stuffy nose isn't helping. He's just maturing and getting more interactive with his surroundings so he has decided that when he wakes up he should eat! Oh, and he's back to only taking 40 minute naps, I think because of all the traveling. So I've got some work to do to get him back on track.


What are you lookin' at?

What are you lookin' at?
Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom
This is for Neel and all my other readers who Neel is trying to convince that babies with hats are hysterical.

This is a pretty funny hat.

Santa came to visit Nathan today in trailer pulled by a fire truck. Nathan was pretty freaked out and refused to talk to him, but at least he sat on his lap.

Some last minute shopping and wrapping to do today before we leave tomorrow for Williamsport.


Naughty or Nice?

Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom
This is just for Neel.

Alex had his four month checkup today. The kid is a giant, at 27.25 inches long he is WAY over the 95th percentile in height...as in off the chart. He's 16 lbs 6 oz, which is 75%, and his head is in the 95% too.

My math formula of the day:

16.5 lbs + ~10 lb infant carrier = TOO FREAKIN' HEAVY!


Welcome Baby Timothy!

Mother and Daughter
Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom
Timothy Michael Cobb was born to my sister, Victoria, at 8:50pm today. He was 8 lbs 7 oz (I think?) and 21.5 inches long. Pretty big for two weeks early. Mom and baby are doing very well! Yay for babies. I should be there a few days after Christmas for the first official newborn photoshoot :)

She's At It Again

This story just totally cracks me up. For you non-Philly folks, Alycia Lane our local hottie CBS news anchor. She was brought to Philly from Miami several years ago to try to breathe life into an old boys, dying news program. Anyway since she has been here she has been much fodder for the local (and national) gossip machine.

She's been romantically linked, or accused of making passes at, numerous high profile people, including the Prince of Monaco! She has been divorced twice in the past few years and has done whole news stories about how painful her first divorce was, and then of course they featured her wedding when she was remarried, but I never heard much about her second divorce shortly thereafter. Recently she made national news when she sent several flirty emails with pictures of herself in bikinis to an ESPN anchor, which his WIFE (also a cute sports reporter) intercepted. His wife handled it beautifully, replying to Alycia that she looked fabulous and whatever she was doing (pilates, yoga?) to keep doing it, but that she must have meant to send the emails to Rich's other address and she would forward them on. Priceless.

Ok so now the little vixen curses out and slugs a female cop in NYC, using a gay slur at that. And so she is arrested. That's just funny. The girl is a train wreck and I guarantee we won't be seeing her on CBS anymore.


Me and My Baby

Me and My Baby
Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom
My opinion of the day is that babies should be born 4 months old.

Alex is SO much easier at four months old. He still has his moments, but my demanding 3 year old is much tougher. I feel for my sister who is about to have her baby boy on Monday and her daughter is only 17 months old. Supposedly she's going to keep working part time, some from home, but we shall see.

She's being induced a couple weeks early due to very low blood platelets. She had that last time and couldn't get an epidural. Her inlaws will be there for the baby's first week and then my mom and her husband will be there for Christmas. I think as soon as my mom leaves and opens up the guest bedroom my family will go down, probably over the weekend before New Years. I was going to wait till later in Januray but I really want to photograph that baby while he is still brand new. It's going to be a crazy houseful though, my two kids and her two kids. I'll leave my dog at home! Her golden retriever, (Stonewall) Jackson, does not get along well with my Schnauzer, Pepper(mint Patty).

So I still have a handful of Christmas presents to buy, and my LEAST favorite part, boxing things up and taking them to the post office to ship. Guess I'd better do that by Monday! Still tons of Christmas cards to address and get out as well.

Tonight is my MOPS holiday party and I have hired a sitter for the kids because Mike either will be arriving late if his plane is delayed or just getting home exhausted as I leave.


Golden Globe Nominations

Getting Stronger
Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom
Before I get to the nominations and my pretty uninformed opinions about them, I am sad to report that Mike's rental car was broken into last night at his hotel in Rhode Island. The jerkys smashed the window and stole his beloved GPS and his prescription sunglasses. That's a fair amount of cash we'll have to shell out to replace those. Mike's pretty upset about it. Criminals suck.

Ok so rather than list the nominations here, I'll post a link where you can go look them over.

Ok I haven't seen any new movies in forever, so I can only comment on movies based on reviews, trailers, and other television interviews. I really don't have an opinion on most of those.

I was very surprised Hairspray was nominated for Best Comedy or Musical. Not as surprised Nikki Blonski was nominated for her role in it, I hear she is awesome and this was her first role. I was surprised at Amy Adams' nomination for Enchanted, I heard that movie kinda sucked. I'm thinking she's just a critics darling now since she did Junebug. It doesn't matter though, Ellen Page is a shoe-in for her role in Juno.

Ryan Gosling was nominated for "Lars and the Real Girl?" Seriously? That movie just looks weird. Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman are just standard nominees for everything now. I can't believe anybody was nominated from "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" either.

Ok and Philip Seymour Hoffman was nominated as Best Actor AND Best Supporting Actor for two different movies. Is that legal? Hehe

I think John Travolta should get Best Supporting just for dressing up as a woman and singing and dancing in Hairspray. He was pretty funny looking.

No opinion on director or screenplay. I really loved Ratatouille, so I think that should win best animated. I heard mixed reviews on Bee Movie.

Ok Best TV drama should go to House. Yes, I love Grey's, but it's not worthy of awards. I like Patricia Arquette for Medium, I think Holly Hunter and Sally Field are not acting, they are just playing themselves. And I love Hugh Laurie in House, especially for doing such a convincing American accent.

For best comedy I vote Pushing Daisies, although 30 Rock is pretty funny, and I haven't seen Entourage yet. And I would campaign for America Ferrera of Ugly Betty to win....I can't believe Ugly Betty wasn't nominated as a show. I love that show. Ok and Steve Carell is a no-brainer...I would marry him just to be laughing all the time. Even in talk show interviews the man has me in stitches.

I really liked Debra Messing in The Starter Wife. I guess I would choose Katherine Heigl for Best actress, although I'm not sure she's THAT great. Her role was more interesting two seasons ago. And I vote for Jeremy Piven for best actor....cuz he's hot.

How's that for opinions? :)


Santa Graham

Santa Visit
Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom
Recently a friend of mine mentioned that she knew Santa. Specifically, the Santa that listens to thousands of children every Christmas at the King of Prussia Plaza, outside Nordstrom. Apparently Santa's name is Graham and he lives in Texas with his wife and has come to work at KOP every December for the past decade. When he first arrives in town he dons suspenders and a plaid flannel shirt and has dinner with my friend Cory and her family. Her little girls only know one Santa, and once a year he comes to dinner...how cool is that? I can only imagine what will happen when somebody tries to tell her oldest daughter that Santa isn't real. Cory says he is an absolutely lovely man, extremely kind and very spiritual.

So of course, he is now the only Santa I will take my kids to see.

Friday morning Mike took the day off of work and we all piled in the new mini-van and headed to the mall to visit Santa. My mom bought this adorable matching sweaters last year, I guess after Christmas because she didn't even know Alex was coming till sometime in January. Considering how obsessed Nathan is with trains, the sweaters are perfect. We stood in line for about 45 minutes with lots of other adorable children with expensively dressed mothers. The boys were awesome. I coached Nathan the whole time in line what to tell Santa, that he wanted trains for Christmas, but I knew that painfully shy Nathan would probably clam up and not talk or smile. But Santa jumped right into engaging him, asking him if he wanted trains for Christmas, touching his nose and tickling him.

And Alex didn't cry. Success.

My opinion of the day...the story of Santa Clause does not interfere with teaching your kids the real reason for Christmas and making sure they know that we have Santa because it's baby Jesus' birthday.


The Golden Compass

Time for more opinions. My last opinionated post got a big response, and I have a sneaky feeling this one will generate some interest too.

It started with a handful of emails from well-intentioned friends of mine. Then a passing reference in church. Then a few good friends mentioned going to see the movie, and a few other friends asked what all the hubbub was about. So I decided to do some serious research. Trying very hard NOT to be a Kool-aide drinker, I went straight to the source, the books, The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. I read quite a bit, very quickly. Then I read extensively on the author, including interviews. I stayed away from Christian news sources.

Yes, there is reason for Christian parents to be concerned. Will the movie corrupt and confuse the minds of children? I'm sure not.

It's a very interesting piece of fantasy. The movie is not nearly as dark or as complicated as the book. And the books ARE complicated, and get progressively darker. Frankly much of Pullman's imagery and symbolism I don't get. I think it's meant to be mystical, vague, and certainly something to be discussed. But it's clear that he is vehemently anti-church, and anti-God. The Judeo-Christian God, Yahweh, specifically. He was a middle school teacher prior to becoming a novelist, which is probably why the books are aimed at that age group. And he is and evangelical atheist...that is to say he doesn't just not believe in God, he'd like to convince other people not to believe in God.

An aside: No one can ever say atheists are not religious, some are VERY religious about their belief system. Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins are prime examples. And atheists do not believe in nothing, as some may say, they believe very strongly in science, and often in secular humanism. The credo of humanism can be summed up in "it's ok to do or say or think basically anything you want so long as no one else gets hurt." Sorry, but I don't agree with that premise.

So back to my opinion. I might see the movie, because I like to be fully informed. I might even take a teenage child if I had one, so long as we could extensively discuss the messages in the film afterward. I might not want my teenage child reading the book series though, only because teenagers ARE highly impressionable and illogical and if someone is going to influence their faith, I want it to be me.

Finally, it is said that the books/movies are written as the anti-Narnia Chronicals, and that Pullman despised C.S. Lewis. Frankly, from what I've read, Pullman's writing does not hold a candle to C.S. Lewis. Fantasy and parallel worlds and talking animals is where the similarity ends. Lewis' writing and imagery is beautiful and his symbolism is crystal clear, not meant to be confusing at all. Just because something is more detailed and complicated does not make it better. My advice is go rent The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe again. Or better yet, read the books to your kids. They are fantasic.


I love Food

Two posts in one day?! OMG! I read this Food Meme on running42k's blog and thought to myself, "Self....I haven't done a meme in a long time, and this is one I have never seen before! I shall do it."

1. How do you like your eggs? Scrambled wet, and draped in American cheese.

2. How do you take your coffee/tea? Black.

3. Favorite breakfast food? Bob Evans' Rasberry and cream cheese stuffed French Toast. Yummmmmm....

4. Peanut butter - smooth or crunchy? I buy smooth but I do love crunchy.

5. What kind of dressing on your salad? Balsamic vinegrette.

6. Coke or Pepsi? Diet Coke.

7. You’re feeling lazy, what do you make? Frozen pizza. Or just cheese and crackers.

8. You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order? Pineapple

9. You feel like cooking. What do you make? Chicken enchiladas! Yum.

10. Do any foods bring back good memories? Ice cream cake. We LOVED ice cream cake in my family.

11. Do any foods bring back bad memories? Corn beef hash. EWW! My dad used to cook this stuff from a can when my mom wasn't home. EWW. It stunk up the whole house.

12. Do any foods remind you of someone? See my answer to 11.

13. Is there a food you refuse to eat?yeah lots of em. brussell sprouts.

14. What was your favorite food as a child? Grilled cheese sandwiches.

15. Is there a food that you hated as a child but now like? Salmon maybe.

16. Is there a food that you liked as a child but now hate? Spaghettios. I don't really hate them but they are kinda nasty.

17. Favorite fruit and vegetable: Strawberries and green peppers.

18. Favorite junk food: I have to pick just one?? 100 Grand Bars

19. Favorite between meal snack: Sweet and salty Chex Mix.

20. Do you have any weird food habits? I dunno. They aren't weird to me.

21. You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on? Green peppers. High fiber crackers.

22. You’re off your diet. Now what would you like? Ice Cream

23. How spicy do you order Indian/Thai? Medium

24. Can I get you a drink? Pomogranate Izze sparkling juice.

25. Red wine or white? Red.

26. Favorite dessert? Ice cream cake. Or Brownies. Choc. chip cookies? I love dessert.

In My Not-so-Humble Opinion

Baby Gap Ad
Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom
I've been getting complaints that this here blog is B.O.R.I.N.G. Yes, I suppose all the details of my humdrum life are boring. So why did my blog used to be less boring? I think it's because I used to offer my opinion on things, and then I started not wanting to piss anybody off or seem too "opinionated" or something. So perhaps to liven things up I will start offering more opinions on things. Some may be very informed and well thought out opinions. Some may be very off the cuff. I'm sure plenty of people will disagree with me. Plenty of people will not care at all about the topic. What the hell....

Where should I start? Hmm....how 'bout presidential politics. You can argue with me, I may or may not choose to argue back. Remember, these are just my cold, hard, opinions.

On the left:
Hillary is a self-promoting, power hungry bitch. She doesn't really care deep down what's good for this country, she cares what's good for her. Too bad she'll probably win.

Barak Obama seems like a pretty good guy but with some faulty liberal ideals. I think he may actually care what's good for this country, but I don't agree with many of his platforms.

John Edwards is a wuss, and a clueless one at that.

Ok on the right:
I don't like John McCain. McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform turned me off on him. He just seems old and stiff.

I like Rudy Guiliani but it bothers me that he cheated on his wife and was estranged from his kids and has had a generally messed up personal life. His postions on abortion and gay marriage don't bother me as much, but I'm not sure he's got the skillz to be President.

So far I like Mit Romney but I don't know enough about his policies either. It doesn't bother me that he changed his mind on abortion, people have a right to change their mind on something major like that, as long as it's not a back and forth whenever it's convenient thing. I don't care that he's LDS, most Mormons I've met are really good people...with the exception of Andy Reid's kids....what the hell is up with them?

My neighbor wants me to support Mike Huckabee. I think my sister does too. From what I hear he's got the right positions on family values, but isn't as firm on immigration as most die-hard conservatives. Personally, after Bill Clinton I'm wary of any governor from the deep south. Texas doesn't count, Texas is like it's own country. Anyway I could support Mike Huckabee, but....

I like Ron Paul. So far I like what I've heard from him. I like that he's an OB/GYN, and a strongly prolife one at that. I like that he's in favor of less government, hands-off government. Not sure I like his position on immigration, he seems a little TOO uncompassionate, don't give the illegals squat. At least he's consistant on that, I guess.

Anyway I'm a long way off from deciding who to vote for. So that's my opinion of the day. Many more to follow.


Murdered By Mumia

I don't get serious very often. I don't ask much from my readers. However this book, and this issue, is something I care about. It's something my late father cared about.

This is a Public Service Announcement from we here at Water Water Everywhere: please go out and buy and read this brand new book, Murdered By Mumia. You probably have heard of Mumia Abu Jamal and the Free Mumia movement, who claim that he was wrongly convicted of the murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Danny Faulkner 26 years ago. Claims of racism and evidence tampering and all sorts of things have prevented his death sentence from being carried out, have made him famous, and have messed with the lives of Danny's wife Maureen and their family for 26 years. The facts of the case are crystal clear, that Mumia murdered Danny in cold blood. The book was written by Maureen Faulkner and Michael Smerconish and all proceeds go to a non-profit fund for the children of slain police officers.

Maureen and Michael were just interviewed on the Today show and I am pissed off about the interview and the coverage. Instead of honoring Danny's life and acknowledging how hard Maureen's life has been, instead of talking about the new book, they opened the entire segment with a collage of coverage of the Free Mumia moment, including several shots of Mumia himself speaking. In the midst of the interview they showed the Free Mumia protest going on outside the studio. Poor Maureen, brave, strong woman that she is, freakin' Matt Lauer asked her if she ever thinks for a moment that maybe they are right, maybe Mumia didn't do it. What an ass.

I realize there are problems with the death penalty, and I am not 100% in favor of it, but convicted murderers lose their rights, and one of those rights outta be free speech. It's unbelievable to me that this man has been given the platform to become a celebrity, while Danny Faulkner's name is all but forgotten.



Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom
This photo cracks me up. Nathan has a tendency to shriek at the top of his lungs and Alex gets so startled by it.

Got a good bit of Christmas shopping done this weekend. Still lots more to do! Gotta get the Christmas cards printed and mailed soon too! I know it's early yet, but the days fly by so fast. Alex was up at 2:30 this morning, little bugger. I always swaddle him tight to keep his arms pinned but he's a little Houdini and somehow managed to get them free and then he rubs his eyes and sucks his fingers but can't quite get himself back to sleep.

Lots of work to do today. LOTS! Better get to it!


Yoga Bliss

Forward Bending
Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom
As has been the case lately, yesterday was a rather stressful day. Nathan did not have school, so I had to find ways to keep him happy and entertained all day. This is recently a very difficult job, as he is prone to extreme whining and destructivness, most especially when I sit down at my laptop to do a little work.

I tried building a tower of giant legos with Nathan. Unfortunately it crashed down right on top of poor unsuspecting Alex's face. After much screaming and a long nap he only has a small goose egg on his forehead.

I had planned to go meet TBG who was nannying for some kids very close by. But I forgot that my husband had scheduled the DishTV people to come out and mount a big giant dish on the side of our house, just so he can watch more Penn State sporting events. Why he waited until football season was over, I don't know. So the Dish guy was pretty much a moron, but did a good job, however he interrupted naptime AND Curious George time, which made Nathan very unhappy (not to mention mommy).

BUT!!! I had negotiated with Mike earlier in the week that I could attend a new yoga class with Jenifer at a studio just down the block from my house. The class is in a very small, intimate studio, with LIVE MUSIC! And it's 90 minutes, which is so way better than my usual hour long class at the Y.

The musicians were two youngish guys playing acoustic guitars and singing familiar but not overly popular mello tunes. I was afraid it would be distracting, but it was not. What could have been extremely distracting was the downtown holiday parade proceeding by outside the window that my mat was directly facing. A few of my fellow yogis got the giggles watching Santa and hearing the marching bands and such, but I was so grateful to be there that I was in a whole other world. There could have been an earthquake and I still would not have broken pose...except for my out of practice muscles.

At the end of class we had a somewhat extended Sivasana (corpse) which was utterly wonderful. The band was singing Passionate Kisses, a song I like but was trying to remember who sang. I thought it might be Chrissy Hynde voice in my mind, or Lucinda Williams (it was)...which led me to think about my Uncle Mel who passed away a few Christmases ago. I let my mind dwell on my pleasant memories of him and his warm and unique wife of only three years, who still sends me the most lovely gifts. It was bittersweet, but I was in a beautiful place of calm, warmth, and relaxation I haven't been in for quite awhile. When Jenifer spoke, it took me a split second to remember where I was, and I was sad to move.

Also two of my very good frirends, Mark and Kimber, were there to practice. A pleasant surprise, since I always really like seeing and talking to my friends, including Jenifer. Some of us went for coffee/tea afterwards and I met a couple of the other practitioners, which was nice. I will definately go again and will attempt to drag some friends along.
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