Thursday, November 30, 2006


The Big O will be turning three next week. He is so big now and I marvel at how he has grown. But lately I have been wondering if he's really developing as he should. Yes, yes I have been comparing him to his peers and I find that perhaps he is lagging.

I know what you are thinking, "Lady Steed, you should not compare the Big O. Let him develop at his own pace!" Ok! You're right, I know I should do this but I can't help it when one of his good friends, just one day younger than him has reading skills. READING SKILLS. Wow! And this, this makes me remember a day back in the hospital, right after he was born.

Theric's aunt and two of her daughters came to visit me and Big O in the hospital. It was so nice of them to come visit, I was very happy to seem them. As Aunt was holding Big O, Eric's cousin S., age 13?, looked at Big O and said, "You know what, Lady Steed, Big O is going to be so smart. He's probably going to be a genius because he has Theric and you as his parents." She was completely sincere and I was very flattered and told her thank you and hoped she was right. But I knew that intelligence is not always genetic and that though I expected Big O to be rather bright I wasn't expecting him to be a genius.

I do not consider Theric and myself to be geniuses, though I do consider us to be a bit more intelligent than your average man on the street.

And now, it appears that maybe he's not even exceptionally intelligent. His friend, the Dude, can read books. He read 'Pat the Bunny' to O at their last play date. This child recognizes the letters, knows the sounds they make and can sound out words! It's amazing--I don't think I could do that till Kindergarten. O can't read, he still has trouble recognizing letters and shapes, and it's very depressing to me. We have been reading to him every day since we brought him home from the hospital; we use alphabet flash cards, what are we doing wrong!

But he is potty trained! haha!

And isn't that all that REALLY matters?

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Thanksgiving Day = Food

Pregnant Lady Steed = unusual mixed feelings of desire and hate towards food

Pregnant Lady Steed is grateful for the new life forming within, but not at all grateful for the havoc it is wreaking upon her system.

Imagine, it's Thanksgiving but you can't really enjoy anything because you know you might be seeing it again, in a slightly digested form, floating in the toilet. Yeah, not pleasasnt. Kind of puts a damper on the whole 'I'm-excited-for-Thanksgiving-and-I-can't-wait-to-eat-till-I-pop' feeling.

I hope all the rest of my readers have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Have an extra helping of stuffing and another slice of pie for me.

And NO puking.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Martha My Dear

I was sitting in bed on Monday when the mail came.

Whop, whop, whop, was the sound of mail falling through the slot in our front door and onto the floor.

"Oh, good, the mail is here!"


"ACK! Did someone mail us a brick?! Geez!"

I slowly got out of bed, fought back an urge to vomit, and made my way to the front door.

No, dear reader, we were not sent a brick, or an early Christmas fruitcake from a well meaning relative. No, it was the December issue of Martha Stewart Living.

I was excited, it arrived much earlier than any other issue since moving here, but goodness it was a good thing the Big O wasn't playing nearby--he could have been hit by it and knocked out.

I have been an admirer of this magazine since I was a sophomore in college, when Miss Nemesis, my roommate, got herself a subscription. She was kind enough to let me peruse it each month, oh-ing and ah-ing at the beautiful photographs of delicious food and amazing crafts. During our time together I believe Nem. and I actually attempted some of the crafts and maybe even some of the recipes with pretty good success. But sadly (for me), Nem. left me and the Martha subscription ended.

I would look at issues in line at Macey's or at the Provo library and wonder if I should just get my own subscription. I loved the magazine. Reading it gave me pleasure. Even if I didn't attempt the crafts or the recipes, or take any of Martha's sage advice on dusting and proper laundry folding, I still enjoyed it. But I was torn. This magazine was mocked slightly within my major. The head of my department would use it as an insult when looking at my spread: "These look very Martha Stewart-y, Lady Steed" he would say with derision in his voice. I was so hurt. I loved Martha. I thought the magazine was designed beautifully and to have someone say my stuff looked like it would normally be a compliment, but coming from him it was clearly not a compliment.

I learned later that he respected the magazine, just wanted more from his students.

During my junior year I was able to take a trip to Manhattan with the other students in my program. We were supposed to be interviewing to get internships for the coming summer, but I just went because I wanted to go to Manhattan and visit all the studios of great graphic designers and magazines, specifically Martha Stewart Living studios.

It was an amazing place. Sparkly, beautiful. I wanted to work there.

But this did not happen. I was married. Had a baby, graduated. A mama with an unused BFA.
But, one of my friends did an internship there and after graduation went on to work there. I was slightly jealous, but happy for her because she felt the same way as I did about Martha Stewart Living.

She still works there now. I've watched her name move up the ranks from 'Assistant Art Director' to her current title of 'Senior Associate Art Director' which is just one below the top of the Art Department list, Deputy Art Director. I'm very proud of her.

After buying single issues off the newsstands--usually October, November and December--for a year or two, I decided it would be more cost effective to just get a subscription. I believe my first issue was January 2003. I am still a subscriber, and will be through August 2008.

That's a lot of Martha.

I have saved every issue and buy old issues at library sales whenever I can. Once or twice I have thought about tossing my old issues, but I can't. I go back and look at them often for recipes, craft ideas and other inspirations.

I have watched the magazine go from thick, packed with advertising, to painfully skinny after advertisers pulled their support during Ms. Stewart's tax debacle. The quality of the magazine throughout always remained excellent. If you are ever looking for a particular article, contact me--chances are I have it and can copy it out for you.

In the beginning, my love for the magazine was something I was ever so slightly afraid to tell people about. I'd be at some Enrichment meeting and some one would bring up the current issue, about how great the cover image was and how they wish they could make something like that. Then I'd say, "I have that one if you want to come over and look at it." Everyone in the group would stop and stare at me for a moment. "You have a subscription?" "Um, yeah, I've been subscribing for about two years now." "Really?" For whatever reason people had a hard time believing that I was a subscriber. "Yes, I love it."

I am no longer afraid to express my love of Martha. I love to see people's look of shock when I tell them I've been subscribing since 2003. What I love even more is when women, after hearing about all my stockpiled issues, approach me later, alone, away form the group, to ask if they can come and look at my old issues. Apparently liking Martha is something a little bit shameful. But lets get back to this December 2006 issue. It's thick. The advertising pages are more than plentiful--it's almost as bad as some of those fashion magazines. So obviously things are good for the magazine. However, lately, I have found my interest waning.

When you've been a subscriber for as long as I have, you notice when photos get reused, which ideas have been done before and you start noticing the focus of the magazine shifting. For example, this year in the features section it seems like there are more spreads devoted to people giving dinner parties. Spread after spread of foodstuffs and happy people. This is all well and good and exceedingly pretty but what I want is less pics of people enjoying great food in a gorgeous setting, and more spreads on collectibles, crafts and decorating.

Sometimes it also feels like they are straining for ideas for the feature spreads. For example,
Dec 2002 feature spread on Pomegranates, yum! Dec 2006 feature spread on Oysters! Um...gross. Really, how many people actually like oysters?! and do they really need 4 spreads worth? Sure, it's beautifully photographed and well designed but the whole thing makes my stomach turn; oysters are not actually pretty no matter how well photographed.

Another thing that bugs me is how much more of the magazine is devoted to alcohol. There is now a monthly column on wine. Since I don't drink this is wasted on me. I find it annoying. I'd rather have a column on collectibles (they used to do this and I miss it, it was really fun).

So, Martha my dear, we seem to be having a little falling out. You have become a little bit boring. I am thinking about ending my subscription, except that I have yet to find another monthly publication that thrills me as much as you used to. This year has been a disappointment, but perhaps that is because it's been a year of reflecting on the past, as this is your fifteenth year (congrats). But Martha, we are on shifting sands; next year better be an improvement or I'm taking my little reading eyes elsewhere.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

You like me!

You know a person must actually like you if after picking up your child and taking them to the park for a few hours, they return said child, then proceed to do your dishes while you get to hold their adorably precious baby and their son plays with your son happily for another 45 minutes.

Yeah, that person must actually like you.

Did I mention that she did my dishes?

Bless you, 'sposita.

If anyone else would like to have a strangle hold on my affection, all you have to do is come and do my dishes and take the Big O to the park; giving me the opportunity to shower and eat lunch in peace. Not much really, but oh how I will adore you.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

All right already!

I guess I have been stringing you all on for long enough now. Apparently some of you have been brought to tears or rage and are threatening to no longer leave comments on my blog. Well I just can't deal with so much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

So, yes.

As many of you have just assumed, I am actually pregnant.

And right now I'm hating it.


Thursday, November 09, 2006


Today I feel almost like a normal person again. Theric brought me my morning applesauce before he left for work and about halfway through eating I realized I felt ok. This was very strange and I was not quite sure what to do: stay in bed another hour or two as per the last three weeks, moaning and trying to eat the crackers and applesauce on my nightstand, or get up and seize the day? I choose to stay in bed, minus the moaning. Big O played alphabet games on the computer while I read a book and enjoyed not feeling sick. Eventually I got out of bed and made some breakfast for the two of us. After breakfast I got back in bed, read some more and Big O continued with his games. So I was REALLY lazy today, but I was just so shocked at feeling nearly normal that I really didn't know what to do with myself so I just followed the the same routine I have been following for the last three weeks. Is that so bad?

I am scared that this nearly normal feeling will not last and that tomorrow I'll be back to the nausea again.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I have a question for you dear readers, is Big O a weird name?

On Monday I called a county agency about applying for state-funded medical assistance. I spoke with a woman who introduced herself as Le----eyta , or was it Le----ema? I don't exactly remember, but I do know that as soon as she said her name I thought, "That's a stereotypically African-American name. Why are so many of those names so...strange?"

As my conversation with her proceeded, she need to get the names of the people in my household. When I gave her the Big O's name she laughed. Laughed! And asked, "Where did you come up with that?!" I wasn't offended, just shocked at how ridiculous she found this name. It's not like we made it up or got it from some science fiction book, it's a real name. Charles Dickens used it for one of his main characters for pete's sake (not one of his weirdos)--it's not an absurd name!

I explained to her that we chose Big O because we liked it and it was also the only male name my husband and I could agree on. "Well, " she said, "you really have to think about all the names he could get called by other kids with a name like that. Hahaha!"

Ok, now, Theric and I actually did take that into consideration, and all we came up with was Ollie, which we didn't think was that horrible. Tell me: Did we miss some obvious playground fodder?

In response to the getting-made-fun-of comment, I told her, "Well, I guess it will just help him build character." Which was kind of a lame response, but what could I say? "At least I didn't give him a name like Jaykwon, Reshay, Dequain, Zyshonne or De'vegas"? She could have been offended and made it so my application for aid would be rejected! I knew I didn't want to make this person not like me for any reason.

She even laughed when my response to the "What is your ethnic background?" question was "White."

I guess she must have been thinking, "Ah! It's one of those weird white-people names!"

Which might explain why most people (usually white) who have met the Big O have commented on how much they like his name.

Those crazy white people.

But seriously: Let me know: Do you think it's a weird name?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


It was a good Halloween this year. Even though I felt like I was going to puke the whole time, it was still good.

The Big O was a lion. My mother made the costume for him last year but he refused to wear it, much to my chagrin. But this year, this year he was so excited to be a lion! He even let me draw a nose and whiskers on his face! Amazing!

The Big O went trick or treating for the very first time this year and he did very well. I think having his friend,the Woodsman, along helped. Trick or treating is always more fun with a friend. Not all the houses on our street were doing the Halloween thing, in fact quite a few were not, so they missed out on having the cutest little lion come on their doorstep and harass them for candy. They really missed out. But, there were enough participating houses in the neighborhood for the lion's bag to become too heavy, sending him off balance and begging his parents to shoulder the burden of booty.

The cute lion received many compliments. It's too bad I have no pictures to post because he was SOOOOOO cute. He remembered to say "Trick Treat!" at most of the houses, and by the end was even saying "Tank you!" I think we were out for maybe an hour, at which point the lion was requesting to go home. I'm glad he knows his limits. He had a great time and now he has a bag of candy, the contents of which he is using to replace all of his meals.

It was a good Halloween. I didn't puke, the Big O had a great time, I got to carve two pumpkins and our house looked great. Theric even thought to push the tv up to the front window while we were out with the BIG O, so all passing by could enjoy "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" It was great.

The only sad part is that we have all this great candy left over and the thought of eating any of it makes me gag. So please, come over and have some.