Tuesday, January 16, 2007

local news

Does anyone agree with me that the local news is horrible? Tonight, after watching the Golden Globes and before I located the remote, I caught two small segments of "news" that pretty much sums up what the local stations think is newsworthy around here. I don't think I've ever watched a full half hour segment of the local news, so I'm certainly no expert, but from the few moments I've seen here and there I'm convinced that every news story comes from two main topics: crime and the weather.

The first several stories of tonight all had to do with some type of crime or tragedy, or a tragic crime -- two young boys who had been kidnapped, a teenage girl who had been hit by a truck, another young girl who was an accomplice to a murder. All these stories were shared in the first two minutes. I don't understand why the people who decide what stories get on the local news think that the people of Kansas City want to hear about this stuff. It seems to be all about sensationalism to me and I'm repulsed by it. Why can't they find some positive stories to talk about? There must be hundreds of people all over KC who do great things for other people every day. I want to hear those stories.

And then the pendulum swung to the other side of the coin of horrible journalism. Just before turning off the TV, we saw a clip about the ice and sleet that have been falling on KC the past few days. They actually showed a woman scraping ice off her car and flashed her name on the screen with the title "Ice Scraper" underneath it. WHAT?!? Is this for real? What idiot approved giving this unsuspecting woman the title of "Ice Scraper?" Is catching a woman on video scraping ice off her car seriously newsworthy? "Oh my goodnes John, will you look at that. That woman is scraping ice off of her car. That's fascinating. How does she do it?" C'mon people.

So is it just KC, or is the local news this bad in every city?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

the best week of 2007...already?

This was probably one of the best weeks I've had in a long time. Nothing mind-blowing happened, but just lots of little things that added up to a great week.

Monday, I worked all day at the store -- something I haven't done in a long time. But this guy had not had two days off in a row (except for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day) for a very long time. We're talking months. Fortunately, Vance is not eating as frequently, so I'm able to work a full day if John brings him to the store for one feeding. Now, most people might not think starting off the week with a full day of work would be a start to a great week. Well, it is for me because when I work on stuff for the store it's either during the kids naptime (when they nap at the same time), or at night after they've gone to bed. The weeks I have to work on stuff several nights in a row are the weeks I dislike owning our own business. It's not that I dislike working on stuff for the business, it's that I dislike mostly having to do it in the "free time" I have apart from the kids, which means I don't get to do other things I want to like read (books, magazines or blogs), knit, sew, and other stuff that's relaxing. So, having a full day at the store to work on all the things I have to do at home normally, is a GREAT start to the week for me. Plus, the added bonus is my husband gets a day to hang with the kids and enjoy their hugs, smiles and giggles. The only bummer part about Monday is what I missed. Right after we sat down to dinner, John said, "So, Vance rolled over today." Of course he did. I've been coaxing him for weeks to roll over, I should not be surprised that he chose the day I was out of the house to do this for the first time. Oh well, he did it again after dinner.

Wednesday, I went out for coffee with Hannah. Again, this may not sound like an event to boast of a stellar week, but I can't even remember the last time I went out for coffee with a friend...without my children in tow. It was wonderful. Hannah and I talked for three hours I think and it honestly felt like 45 minutes. We closed down LatteLand (they were very nice not to kick us out, but we got the hint when we noticed lights flickering out). We talked about our respective stints of living and travelling abroad and how we would both like to get back to Europe again some day whether to travel or to live for some time. I thoroughly enjoyed learning new things about Hannah. This may sound cheesy, but ideas were sparked in me from that conversation that had been dormant for some time. It was good for my soul.

And Friday. Oh Friday. Our amazing friends, Jeff and Sarah, offered to watch our kiddos so we could have a date night. A what? A date night? What's that? (Basically from this post you're learning that I don't get out much). On our way out the door, Jeff demanded he take a picture of us (see, even he knew what a momentous occasion this was):

and then said, "If you're home before midnight, I'll be disappointed." My response was, "Jeff, if we're not home by midnight, you need to call the police because something is very wrong." OK, I didn't really say that, but I figured he was going to be disappointed. So, we ate the most delectable meal at 1924 Main -- arguably the best restaurant in Kansas City. Their menu changes every week of the year and you an choose the prie fixe option for a 3-course meal of a starter, main course and dessert.

John chose:
Black mussels with chorizo, smoked fennel, orange segments and basil aioli
Grilled swordfish with brandade potatoes, oyster mushrooms and manila cream butter
Chocolate espresso pot de creme with biscotti and port soaked cherries

I chose:
Herbed goat cheese ravioli with braised lamb broth and crispy fennel
Grilled strip steak with blue cheese potatoes, balsamic marinated portabellas and cabernet sauce
the pot de creme as well.

Is your mouth watering yet? John and I kept saying, "It has to be wrong to be enjoying a meal this much." If I were to ever win the lottery (which I don't play so I'll probably never win), I think the thing that might change most about my life is that I would eat out at nice restaurant A LOT MORE. I love eating out at restaurants with chefs who know how to prepare food. Added bonus: the couple that owns the place are the nicest people AND they're our neighbors.

After dinner, we checked out the newly renovated President Hotel (to scout out the grounds for a stay sometime in the future?) and then went around the corner to JP's wine bar and coffeehouse because we couldn't go home yet. I was daring and tried an after dinner coffee drink which had Grey Goose vodka, Godiva chocolate and something else. Very disappointing. Too strong (the alcohol, not the coffee) and just all-around not what I was hoping. So, I asked our waiter if he could just bring me a Chai instead. I know...boring, but hey, it's what I wanted. And let me tell you, it was probably the best Chai I ever tasted. Not to mention, it was HUGE. The mug it came it was the size of a bucket. I drank the whole thing, so I definitely got my $3.50 worth.

But better than the delectable meal and fabulous Chai was the fact that I had nearly four, uninterrupted hours ALONE with my husband to talk about anything but the store. It was the perfect end to a great week. Now, if I can just take time to do things like this every week, 2007 will be a banner year.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

mkm 2.5

Dear Margot,
You turned two-and-a-half today. Thirty months old. I've wanted to write you a letter every month on your "birthdate" (an idea I got from another mommy-blogger), but for more reasons than I care to admit, I've never succeeded in accomplishing that goal. Well, it's 2007 and times are a changin' (hopefully).

This past month has been a super-fun one with you. Your new thing is dancing and you do it all the time. Sometime in November we watched Center Stage and ever since then, all you want to do is dance. Prior to seeing the movie, you loved music and would jump up-and-down when listening to Coldplay or Death Cab for Cutie or any number of the other bands your father has in rotation in our stereo. But this movie was a definite turning point. Now, it's all about being a ballerina. After the first viewing, you studied the photos on the back of the DVD case and then proceeded to imitate the poses you saw in the photos. During the second viewing, you spent most of the movie hopping around trying to mimic what they were doing on screen. For the next two weeks, immediately after you woke up (and every hour after that) you would say, "I wanna dance" and would ask us to turn on the music. You would dance around the living room like a ballerina, placing your arms carefully in position, up on your "tippy toes", alternating between a look of intense concentration and a beaming smile. Aside from our parental bias, I think others would agree that you look pretty darn good for a two-year-old...sorry, two-AND-A-HALF-year old. Your father and I had so much fun watching your dance routines that when I saw a pink tutu at our favorite children's clothing store, I knew that's what we would be giving you for Christmas. You also received a pink leotard and tights for Christmas and spent most of Christmas day dancing around the house in the complete get-up. I think you've worn it at least once every day since Christmas and whenever anyone asks you what you got for Christmas, you exclaim with a big grin on your face, "I got a tutu. It's pink."

Other than dancing, you are very into your little brother. You love to hug him and kiss him and very much wish you could pick him up and throw him over your shoulder to burp him and can't quite seem to understand why we won't let you. And although we tell you at least 10 times a day to not lean all your weight on Vance, you haven't quite grasped that concept yet. But honestly, I'd rather have to keep reminding you not to smother him than for you to ignore him and be totally uninterested in him. When you wake up in the morning, or from a nap, one of the first things you say is, "Where's Vance?" You're also very protective of him, and have burst into tears and protested several times this past month when you see someone you don't know saying "hi" to him or holding him. People have reacted quite strangely to this, but we know it's just your way of watching out for your little brother.

When you're not playing with Vance, you can usually be found playing in your room. This is a new development, just in the last week or so. I think it's because you've figured out how to turn on the CD player yourself and can now listen to your "Margot" CD over and over and over. You seem to be really enjoy having some time to yourself up there and I must admit it's been refreshing for me. But today when you were playing up there by yourself, I got a little sad because I realized this is just the beginning of what is sure to be many years of you wanting to differentiate yourself from me. My mind was flashing forward to your teenage years when you'll be listening to different music (that I also can't stand) in your room and wanting nothing to do with me. I know our job as parents is to raise you to become your own person and to pursue your own dreams and I certainly want you to do that, but today I got a small glimpse of how hard that is going to be at times. So for now, I'm going to enjoy the times you ask me to turn the music on so you can dance, and for the times that you turn it on yourself, don't be surprised if I sneak in your room to just watch you play.

I love you,

oh boy!...comments

I had no idea posting about a college football game would provoke more comments on my blog than any other post to date. Wow, maybe I need to change my focus...


Two days ago I turned thirty-and-a-half. Do you remember the days when half-birthdays were a big deal?

"How old are you?"

"I'm 7 and a half."

Somehow, 30 and a half just doesn't have the same ring to it. I think the main reason I still acknowledge my half-birthday is because it is also my stepdad's birthday. I'm sure some people might think it's silly to acknowledge half-birthdays and I can understand that. If you celebrate a half-birthday, why not a quarter-birthday? Or an eighth-birthday? It could get a little ridiculous. I do know a family who celebrates half-birthdays with their kids. They don't throw a party for them, but rather take the day as an opportunity for some special one-on-one time with their kids. I absolutely LOVE birthdays, and have felt for some time that everyone should get a birthWEEK to celebrate. I could get into this half-birthday celebration concept.

Speaking of half-birthdays...Margot turned 2 1/2 today, but more about that in another post.

Monday, January 01, 2007

oh boy-se state!

(that may be the cheesiest blog post title ever)
Did anyone else see the Fiesta Bowl tonight? WOW. Probably one of the best college football games I've ever seen. Seriously. Before tonight, I had never heard of Jared Zabransky, but if you'd seen me cheering for him in the final seconds of regulation when he completed a pass on fourth-and-18 for a touchdown to send the game into overtime, you might've mistaken me for his mother...or a Boise State fan at the very least.

I wanted to share my excitement with someone (my husband went to bed early to recover from the New Year's Eve party we attended), so I called my friend, Jeff. It ended up that he was asleep too (recovering from the same party). He sounded so confused that I would be calling him at 11:30pm to celebrate the outcome of a college football game, so I told him "goodnight" and decided to just share my joy with the anonymous blogworld instead. If you saw the game, you know what I'm talking about. If you didn't, you can read the story here.

So, Boise State is now 13-0. The only other undefeated team is Ohio State, but unfortunately these two teams won't have a chance to go head-to-head for the National Title because of the messed-up BCS bowl system. I won't go there though because I don't have an opinion about it.

Happy New Year!