Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Day Approaches!

We've been in the holiday season for a while now (according to my calculations <2+2=4>, it starts right after Halloween) and tomorrow is the first big day. Presumably, everyone will sit down with loved ones to eat Thanksgiving dinner (which is an utterly inappropriate term since my "dinner" always starts somewhere around one. Let's be honest with each other, that's lunch time) and, after a long day of cooking (or food-ordering), enter into a time of genuine merriment and face-stuffing. The gorging will be followed by reclined chairs filled with people in unbuttoned pants succumbing to a tryptophan induced coma. Eventually, everyone will regain their liveliness and the festivities continue with dessert and more turkey munching. If you're like my family, you just graze for the rest of the day, lounge around, maybe watch some movies, and just spend some good time together. At some point we may clean up (or... we may not). 

What's the point of all this? Why do we eat until bursting to celebrate being Thankful? I honestly don't have any profound reason for this. Perhaps it's because we're enjoying the spoils of our hard work: hard work to make the money to buy ingredients and food, hard work to cook such a big dinner, hard work to be around family all day without mutiny, the hard work you'll be expected to do once you go back to work/school/SAHM/whatever you're expected to do daily... We're thankful for the people that provide the funds, the one who provide the delicious meal, the ones who provide sanity when you're about to stab a fork into your drunk uncle's hand (just to clarify, this does not apply to my uncle), and the ones who perform all the tasks that we have no desire to do.  Or maybe because we just like to eat. I think it's probably the latter. I mean, c'mon,  we're Americans (although, I am eating with a German couple and British couple tomorrow. My mom likes to invite anyone and everyone for Thanksgiving, something that I've always really loved about her). Whatever the reason for our feeding frenzy, we're thankful and tomorrow is the official day to express that thanks. 

All in all, go see your family. Love them. Hug them. Talk to them. Tell them you're thankful for them. And enjoy the turkey.


Here's your science word of the week (I know it WAS science word of the day, but since it's been a week since that day, we're just gonna adjust accordingly):

Trophic Cascade: an ecological phenomenon triggered by the addition or removal of top predators and involving reciprocal changes in the relative populations of predator and prey through a food chain, which often results in the dramatic changes in ecosystem and structure of nutrient cycling (Encyclopedia Britannica).

Basically, if you have an animal (A1) that eats an animal (A2) that eats a plant, then the more A1 eats A2, the less A2 in the ecosystem, so the less the plant is being eaten, which will increase the plant population. There can also be a bottom-up effect where the abundance of the plant can inhibit or aid in population growth of A1 and A2! I don't know about you, but I think this is really cool.


This is going to be the last topic of the day: Jack and I had our family pictures done the other day. This is something I've been wanting to do for a while and I'm glad to say they turned out beautifully (not that I expected any differently). So I'm going to do some shameless plugging: If you need any family photos done, my friend Julie Brock does absolutely amazing work. She did Jack's one-year old pictures and I didn't even look at other photographers when it came time for our family pictures. She is fun and will go to all sorts of lengths to make your child smile for the camera. She can do shoots in her in-home studio or an on-site shoot. Her prices are reasonable , her photos are beautiful, and she runs LOTS of specials. She is currently running a Black Friday special that can be found on her Facebook page ( I highly suggest her to EVERYONE. She is also thinking about doing wedding photography, so keep her in mind for that, too. And now, you can check out our family pictures :) Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


With a title like "Rebirth", one would expect this to be deep and empowering, insightful and thought provoking, even inspiring.

I don't think I'm going to go in that direction today. I've already changed a poopy diaper and said "nummy nummy" so my depth at this time is preeeeetty shallow. We're talking kiddie pool shallow. 

I'd like this blog to be kind a living being, transitioning every day (or week... or month... depends on how often I can sit down and write) into something different. Fluid. That's the right word. I want to get suggestions for topics from you guys: what do you want me to write about? Here are some suggestions for your suggestions (it's like incepgestions... is that joke overplayed? I guess I don't really care).

1. Products I like for certain things (perhaps baby needs)
2. Politics ( I HATE to put this on here, but I'm just trying to give you an idea of what I'm looking for and how broad this spectrum is)
3. Animal behavior (wink wink)
4. Sex
5. Jokes
6. Insights
7. Advice on any topic
8. My life (assuming that's interesting to you)
9. My research (once again, assuming that's interesting to you)
10. Insert YOUR suggestion here!

Just be creative so I can be creative. Email me (, text me, or shoot me your ideas on Facebook. Let's have fun with this!

Okay, so onto my own topic: Jack. Since this blog originally started as a tribute to my little then-embryo, I figure he's a good "first" topic.

Let's dive right in. I picked up more of Jack's artwork today from school. That kid is an artistic genius. I'm telling you... he put eyes on his ghost and they are lopsided. Lopsided! How does he get these ideas? Such insight and passion. I'm not sure if everyone saw "Farm Scene", but it was truly an inspiration! He's probably the most influential artist of his age. I'd start investing in that kid now, if I were you. Make all checks payable to Alex Conte.

But no, really. I was told by his teachers at school that I should be proud of Jack because (and I quote), "he eats his crayons less often than the other babies." I am one lucky Mama! Imagine that I gave birth to such a creature. Also, when he's done with his sippy cup during meals, he puts it back in the cup holder of his tray. I'm pretty sure that constitutes some kind of awesome-baby prize.  (Of course I'm poking fun, but for those skeptics out there, I really am enormously proud of my kid). 

Oh, you want me to tell you more reasons I think my kid rocks? Okay! 

1. He gives high fives
2. He picks of the phone and says "Hi"
3. He likes it when I hang him upside down
4. He'd rather eat fruits and vegetables than pretty much anything else (except for chocolate... a man after my own heart)
5. He thinks I'm the bee's knees
6. He loves to give hugs to his puppies
7. He loves to give hugs to everyone!
8. Has anyone seen him run? Only the cutest thing ever. 
9. He turns the pages of his books at story time
10. He is the most well adjusted baby I've ever met (seriously)

Okay, I guess I'll stop at ten. 

I guess the information I'm trying to relay here is that my child is amazing. He is intelligent, loving, curious, adorable, and a bucket full of other great things.

I think a fun thing to do with this blog is a science word of the day (or week... or month... whatever). We'll start today out with an easy one:

Apoptosis: a genetically determined process of cell self-destruction that is marked by the fragmentation of nuclear DNA, is activated either by the presence of a stimulus or by the removal of a stimulus or suppressing agent, is a normal physiological process eliminating DNA-damaged, superfluous, or unwanted cells (as immune cells targeted against the self in the development of self-tolerance or larval cells in amphibians undergoing metamorphosis), and when halted (as by genetic mutation) may result in uncontrolled cell growth and tumor formation—called also programmed cell death (Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary)

Layman's terms? When a cell knows that it doesn't have the right stuff to work or is harmful and just self destructs! 

Now, I'll leave you with this song.

Why this song? I don't know. Maybe because I love Marisa Tomei and Rober Downey Jr. Or just because I love Robert Downey Jr.... Yum.