Laying Off the Google

Alden has laryngitis and it is hilarious. He opens his little baby mouth and out falls Harvey Fierstein. There is a new kind of charm to his “Mama!” right now. We’re on day five and I have the odd sensation that I can’t quite remember his unaffected voice. As much mileage as I’m getting out of all this, I finally thought perhaps there is something I could do to hasten his return to normal. We’ve hit all the obvious highlights — lots of fluids and a humidifier in the bedroom. But I’m always eager to learn. My friends, do not Google “baby laryngitis.” Good grief, I was ready to race to the ER in the hopes of preventing my baby’s imminent suffocation. Then I got a grip and went back to thinking it’s funny. He’s got a checkup in two weeks and I’d bet cash money I forget to even mention it then.

Now for some miscellanea:

— Speaking of cash money, I actually laid some out to subscribe to a weekly menu/recipe service. How sad is that? I have a million cookbooks that I love. I’m a good cook. And yet I keep finding myself at home after work saying “Uhhhhh” when confronted with my kitchen. That’s Damon’s cue to say “We can just forage.” That means I will make pasta and he will make popcorn and Alden will get peas or broccoli and veggie sausage. I just couldn’t get over the hurdle of coming up with the ideas, either daily or collectively on the weekend. So, lame as that is, the service works for us. Last night we had tilapia on parmesan polenta with some sauteed broccoli and bok choy. It took no time to make, was healthful, and all three of us loved it.

— We are overflowing with Christmas gifts, for which we are very grateful. But. I think in 2009 we will have to make a rule of “no gifts bigger than the kid” or “nothing he can ride.” Something to help keep the bulk down. It’s hard, because sometimes a huge gift is just so great. When Alden was born my dad sent the biggest stuffed bear I’ve ever seen. I treasure it. But I also know my Aunt had to step in to keep him from filling out a whole life-sized menagerie. So instead he gave him a bulldozer big enough to actually ride. So cute. Alden loves it. My mom gave him a modern-y IKEA rocker/see saw. My mother-in-law gave him a music table with four stations. my sister-in-law gave him a five-foot-long stuffed orange tiger-striped snake. My other sister-in-law gave him a train set. None of this includes the dozens of stuffed animals, books, blocks, and other fun stuff. All truly, truly appreciated. Still. The number and bulk of toys in this house is giving me agita. Wild horses could not compel me to tell which one of the above gifts has already found its way to Good Will, but I’ll bet you can guess.

— House guests. We have recently both had and been. In both cases it was fun and conflict free. But I’m stuck on the point of how to kit out a bathroom for visitors. I always assumed that my views on everyone’s roles and responsibilities were universal among the reasonable (Isn’t that always the way?), but I see this is not so. Here’s what I think…
A host is responsible to provide:
— shampoo and conditioner
— a fresh wash cloth per day and towel per two to three days
— liquid soap or a new bar in the shower
— hand soap on the sink
— toothpaste
— hair dryer
It is nice, but not required, to provide:
— mouthwash
— floss
— hand towels
— bath fancies (bubble bath, facial wash, body scrubs)
— QTips
— lotion
Guests must bring for themselves:
— toothbrush
— razor (if desired)
— shower puff (if desired)
— hair products (although I think it’s fine to sample anything your host has left in plain sight)
— hairbrush
— Anything they need that they don’t see on this list
(Guests may not use the hosts’ toothbrush, razor, or shower puff)

You would think this list is inspired by some bad behavior on someone’s part, but it’s really inspired by Damon. He packs for us when we travel. I am not allowed to place any item inside any bag. I am told to put everything I want to bring on the bed and that Damon will take it from there. So I’m sometimes surprised to see what he’s brought along. As far as bathrooms are concerned, I suspect he would wrench off the vanity sink and bring it along if he thought he could hook it up at our destination. I’m confident he could find a way to fit it in the suitcase. He brings big bottles of shampoo. Soap. Toothpaste. Hair dryer. It’s like he thinks we’re going camping. To me, part of the fun of getting ready in a strange bathroom is trying out a new shampoo or soap, tasting a new toothpaste (always careful to never touch the tube to the bristles). I’m always a little deflated when someone comes here with a full toiletry kit because I want them to smell my latest shampoo and then talk to me about rosemary mint versus camomile (That’s how they choose to spell it and who am I to tell them no?) It’s a nice part of traveling to try new things, even in such a small way. I have been known to pick hotels on the strength of their soaps.

Am I nutty, or is Damon?

— Finally, in case anyone is still reading, I see my new ob/gyn tomorrow and will talk to her about what she thinks it would take to knock me up. I am specifically going to ask about Clomid and repeating the HSG. And we’re working on night weaning, but not total weaning. Which is where I’m comfortable right now, I think. It was a cruel joke this month that I picked up a mild stomach virus that felt uncannily like morning sickness. That came along on day 27 of my cycle and I had one day of “OMG what if….” And then, no.

Oh, next time I want to talk about TiVo.

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22 responses to this post.

  1. I feel the same way you do about bathroom items: I like to experience new things and I like to provide new things. I’m not offended when someone brings their own because well, sometimes we need those things that remind us of home, or, in the case of my best friend, has very sensitive skin and can only use certain products.
    I actually have been using Bath and Body Work’s Orange Ginger products since a trip to MN where the hotel used that exact brand/scent. I returned to that hotel a year later because of the bath products. 🙂

    Reply

  2. I feel the same way you do about bathroom items: I like to experience new things and I like to provide new things. I’m not offended when someone brings their own because well, sometimes we need those things that remind us of home, or, in the case of my best friend, has very sensitive skin and can only use certain products.
    I actually have been using Bath and Body Work’s Orange Ginger products since a trip to MN where the hotel used that exact brand/scent. I returned to that hotel a year later because of the bath products. 🙂

    Reply

  3. Ooh, I’d love to come visit at your house… I always do sample the shampoo/conditioner, and then feel vaguely guilty about it.
    I have come to love the “boutique hotel” phenomenon, because they provide cool soap and real mugs.
    I bring my own face soap but I hate that part… it always manages to leak. How does Damon deal with leakage? Miles of plastic wrap, or double layers of ziploc bags?
    I’d also add deodorant to the “bring it yourself” category, but I know not everyone does.

    Reply

  4. Ooh, I’d love to come visit at your house… I always do sample the shampoo/conditioner, and then feel vaguely guilty about it.
    I have come to love the “boutique hotel” phenomenon, because they provide cool soap and real mugs.
    I bring my own face soap but I hate that part… it always manages to leak. How does Damon deal with leakage? Miles of plastic wrap, or double layers of ziploc bags?
    I’d also add deodorant to the “bring it yourself” category, but I know not everyone does.

    Reply

    • You should come visit. I have deep boxes of lovely bath products and am happy to share.
      Boutique hotel bathroom is actually my goal for our guest room. I have a lot left to do with the house, but that’s on the list. Love love love nice hotel bathrooms.
      The liquids — soap, face cleanser (he brings mine and his!), lotion, etc — are much easier when we drive. Then they just get packed in a travel bag inside the suitcase and they’re usually fine. Although I did wind up scrubbing shampoo from the inside of the little bag this time. Flying is much trickier because of the pressure changes. He double packs everything in plastic grocery bags. I’ve made it crystal clear that if soap explodes all over my clothes and shoes then it will be a sad, sorry trip.
      You’re right about the deodorant. I didn’t think of that. I don’t wear it, so if you don’t bring your own then you won’t wear it either at my house. (I swear I don’t smell bad.)

      Reply

  5. Which hotel? I spent weeks returning to the W just for the Aveda.

    Reply

  6. You should come visit. I have deep boxes of lovely bath products and am happy to share.
    Boutique hotel bathroom is actually my goal for our guest room. I have a lot left to do with the house, but that’s on the list. Love love love nice hotel bathrooms.
    The liquids — soap, face cleanser (he brings mine and his!), lotion, etc — are much easier when we drive. Then they just get packed in a travel bag inside the suitcase and they’re usually fine. Although I did wind up scrubbing shampoo from the inside of the little bag this time. Flying is much trickier because of the pressure changes. He double packs everything in plastic grocery bags. I’ve made it crystal clear that if soap explodes all over my clothes and shoes then it will be a sad, sorry trip.
    You’re right about the deodorant. I didn’t think of that. I don’t wear it, so if you don’t bring your own then you won’t wear it either at my house. (I swear I don’t smell bad.)

    Reply

  7. I believe it was a Mariott Marquis in Minneapolis.

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  8. Or maybe just a Mariott…is the Marquis exclusive to Atlanta? Who knows.

    Reply

  9. I posted this last night but LJ was acting funny, so I’m sorry if this is a double post.
    I don’t think either of you are nutty about the toiletries. Your list is good, but Damon is right to come prepared. We usually bring everything we’ll want except towels, just in case, and then most likely use what the host provided. That way we don’t make the host feel guilty if something isn’t stocked, or if, say, the host thinks something is stocked but it turns out the toddler has absconded with it. Not that we’d know anything about that.
    Also, on the menu service. That sounds like a neat idea. I didn’t know those existed. We usually each choose one meal (I choose two because Sabrina’s too little). I shop for only those four meals and cook with what I’ve bought. That way I always know what I am going to cook that week but I don’t have to exercise quite as much creativity in choosing the menu. The downside of this is that Penelope nearly always chooses spaghetti for her meal, so we eat spaghetti nearly weekly. She is finally starting to branch out. Just in time, I’m sure, for Sabrina to start choosing spaghetti.

    Reply

  10. I posted this last night but LJ was acting funny, so I’m sorry if this is a double post.
    I don’t think either of you are nutty about the toiletries. Your list is good, but Damon is right to come prepared. We usually bring everything we’ll want except towels, just in case, and then most likely use what the host provided. That way we don’t make the host feel guilty if something isn’t stocked, or if, say, the host thinks something is stocked but it turns out the toddler has absconded with it. Not that we’d know anything about that.
    Also, on the menu service. That sounds like a neat idea. I didn’t know those existed. We usually each choose one meal (I choose two because Sabrina’s too little). I shop for only those four meals and cook with what I’ve bought. That way I always know what I am going to cook that week but I don’t have to exercise quite as much creativity in choosing the menu. The downside of this is that Penelope nearly always chooses spaghetti for her meal, so we eat spaghetti nearly weekly. She is finally starting to branch out. Just in time, I’m sure, for Sabrina to start choosing spaghetti.

    Reply

    • Spaghetti only one time a week? Shoot, you should send the girls over here. The sauces vary wildly, but pasta finds its way to the table two or three nights a week.

      Reply

  11. I think you are both right when it comes to packing. I just hate to not have things, but I believe a host should be gracious enough to provide things. It’s always better to have everything one needs. 🙂

    Reply

  12. I think you are both right when it comes to packing. I just hate to not have things, but I believe a host should be gracious enough to provide things. It’s always better to have everything one needs. 🙂

    Reply

  13. I think that I am in Damon’s camp. I pack as if going into a place where none of my toiletries or hair dryer or anything could be replaced. (Plus I am the woman who took hot rollers to Africa.) And whereas I do provide everything in the guest shower (soap, shampoo, bath gels, a razer) I never thought to provide a hair dryer or toothpaste of their own. (Mainly I just have family visit anyway so it they ever want to use something in my bathroom it’s extremely low maintenance anyway.) But it is very interesting the differences in what people think is the norm and what they think is that little something extra.

    Reply

  14. I think that I am in Damon’s camp. I pack as if going into a place where none of my toiletries or hair dryer or anything could be replaced. (Plus I am the woman who took hot rollers to Africa.) And whereas I do provide everything in the guest shower (soap, shampoo, bath gels, a razer) I never thought to provide a hair dryer or toothpaste of their own. (Mainly I just have family visit anyway so it they ever want to use something in my bathroom it’s extremely low maintenance anyway.) But it is very interesting the differences in what people think is the norm and what they think is that little something extra.

    Reply

  15. Spaghetti only one time a week? Shoot, you should send the girls over here. The sauces vary wildly, but pasta finds its way to the table two or three nights a week.

    Reply

  16. Nope. I know because I stayed in the NYC Marquis a few times.

    Reply

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