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9/23/11
Interview With A Baby

It's been six months since ZB made her world debut, and so far she's been taking it by storm! We here at Quirky is a Compliment managed to snag an exclusive interview with everyone's favorite baby to see how the last few months have been for her, and what she's up to now:

Good to have you here, ZB.

Thanks. It's good to be here!

Let's start with an easy question. I understand you've just started solid foods. Do you have a favorite?

Well, I'm still pretty new to this whole solid foods thing, but I'd have to say Pureed Sweet Potatoes, followed by Green Beans, followed by Carrots. Although rumor has it that there is fruit on the horizon though, so I'm keeping my options open.

How about a least favorite?

I have to go with oatmeal on this one. I mean, I eat it and all, but it's pretty plain. If I'm going to have it, I like to have it mixed with sweet potatoes or something.

What's the hardest thing you've done so far?

Oh man! Right now, I'd say getting this crawling thing going! You have no idea the arm-leg coordination that is involved! Move this arm! Scoot this leg! Hold your tummy off the floor! Maintain balance! It's exhausting! I've only managed a step or two so far, but the rewards are totally worth it. As soon as I get going, the freedom is going to be unbelievable!

Any freedom in particular?

Let's just say that there are some kitty cats that better watch out! (Laughs) I'm just kidding. Cats, if you're reading this, I love you guys!

Other than crawling, what other projects have you been working on lately?

Jumping! I just discovered jumping a few weeks ago, and now I make it a point to try to jump on anything. I also like kicking things. These new-fangled feet things are amazing! The other day I shredded a magazine just by gripping the paper with my toes and pulling!

Is that how you spend the majority of your day? Ripping magazines?

Oh no. The magazine thing is just a special treat. Most of my day is spent eating, or napping, or playing with my toys. I tend to rotate between my doorway jumper and my exersaucer. Or my rocket car walker. Or my jungle mat. It just depends on what kind of mood I'm in.

What's it like being so famous?

Well it was a little overwhelming at first, but I'm used to it. My fans are great. They'll like, come up to me in grocery stores and whatever and be like, "You are so adorable!" and I just give 'em a big smile.

Some babies struggle with that kind of notoriety. You seem to do really well with it.

Yeah well, I owe it all to my managers. Mommy, Daddy, Granny, Grandpa...they put a lot of work into keeping me on schedule and looking my best. (Laughs) It isn't always easy, you know! I don't go anywhere without one of them. Plus all my gear. I have a whole diaper bag that has just about everything I need for any situation.

I understand that you've recently been diagnosed with a painful medical condition. Can you talk about that?

Yeah. I've got this thing called "teething" going on now. It's a condition where teeth erupt through the flesh in your mouth. It's totally harsh. But I'm getting help for it. I'm doing physical therapy with teething rings, and I'm on a low dose of Baby Oragel for when it gets really bad. Other than that, all you can do is just take it one day at a time, man. Just one day at a time.

Words to live by. So what's next for America's favorite baby?

All kinds of exciting things! I'm starting my sippy cup work this week, and wearing shoes, and like I mentioned earlier, we're going to introduce fruits to my diet in a couple of weeks. Your readers should stay tuned to find out how all of that goes!

I'm sure they will! Anything else you want to add before we wrap this up?

Yeah, I just wanna do a quick shout-out to my homebabies in the gym nursery. You guys rock!

It was good talking to you, ZB.

Anytime! It was fun!

There you have it readers. An exclusive interview with up-and-comer Baby ZB. If you have any questions for ZB, you can leave them in the comment section below and she has promised to answer them next time.

9/20/11
Cell Phone Mafia

I think my phone company is messing with me.

See, my cell phone is almost a year and a half old (and no, it is not a smart phone, because I am the only person left on the planet without a smart phone. I had the opportunity to get one, but at the time I was picking out my new cell phone, I was all like, "Nah, apps are just a passing fad. That whole iphone thing WILL NEVER CATCH ON". So I picked out a regular phone, and somewhere Steve Jobs smirked.) Anyway, my phone is still okay, despite being of the non-app variety. It does the calling and the texting just fine, and it holds my music, and it has a camera that I absolutely never bother to use, so it meets my needs.

Anywho. For a year and a half I've had my phone, which means that for a year and half I've been paying the $8/month "insurance" in case anything ever happens to said phone. (I'm rough on my phones. They get beat up, they fall down stairs, and after losing the last one by dropping it in the toilet, I said that as God as my witness, I will never be without phone insurance again! *Please insert dramatic fist shaking here*). But Tony does not feel this way. Tony thinks paying the $8 is silly. According to him, nothing has happened to the phone in the last year and a half, so obviously it isn't defective.

So he cancelled the insurance.

And two weeks later, my phone broke.

I figure that somewhere, buried deep in the basement bunker of the Sprint home office, sits a guy with a list of all the people who cancel their phone insurance. And as soon as he sees your name on the list, he goes over to the big red button labeled "self-destruct" and types in your phone number. Then he punches that bad boy and viola! Suddenly your phone goes dead 100 miles away.

So ZB and I headed into the Sprint store, which surprise surprise, was FULL of people who had something wonky going on with their phones. (Basement bunker guy must be having a banner month). So we're all hanging around, waiting for our phones to get diagnosed. (And PS? Babies generally do not care for just sitting around in a phone store. Especially when they aren't allowed to touch/slobber on/eat any of the display phones).

Finally, after an hour, it's my turn to talk to the phone repair guy, whom I have secretly nicknamed the great and powerful Oz. I describe the symptoms, Oz takes the phone apart, fiddles with it, and announces that not only is my phone super-duper broken, but it has broken in such a way that Oz has never seen anything like it before. Oz decrees that I need a new phone. Thank you bunker guy.

Sadly, without insurance, the diagnostic is $38 and the new phone is $300. With insurance, it all would have been free. And you say that your husband only cancelled it two weeks ago? Gee. So sad for you.

But wait! Says Oz. It just so happens that during the month of September, they are running a special where they will let me sign up for insurance for the low low price of...$8 a month! And if I sign up for this insurance again, I will get a new phone for free! And the diagnostic for free! And the honor of meeting the great and powerful Oz for free! (Well, not free free. $8 a month free). And I was like, "Wait. You'll let me re-sign up for my insurance, and replace my phone for free, and we'll all pretend this ugly lapse in insurance judgement never happened?" And Oz said, "yup". And I was like, "Sold!"

So now the $8 is back on my bill. And a new phone has been ordered (they don't carry them in stock because, hello, ancient year and a half old non-smart phone here). And they'll call me in one or two business days when the phone arrives.

But here's the funny thing. 24 hours after they re-signed me up for the insurance plan? My old phone, the one that Oz was like, "Whoa! You broke the crap outta this thing! It's toast!" just mysteriously came back to life. Totally fine. Almost like my name appeared on the "has insurance" list again, and the guy in the Sprint bunker took his finger off the destroy button. Coincidence? I think not.

So I think there's a conspiracy going on with the cell phone people. They're like the mafia offering "protection plans". Get the plan and nothing happens to your phone. Quit paying for the plan and all of a sudden your phone is mysteriously fire-bombed in a middle of the night drive-by. Oz isn't Oz...he's Don Corleone.

And he made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

9/15/11
The Case of the Kitty Cat Karma

So I was feeding ZB some pureed green beans and oatmeal today for her lunch. (I know, I know, you wouldn't think that oatmeal would go well mixed with green beans, but she seems to like it, so who am to judge?) Anyway, as you can probably guess, green beans and oatmeal is a very messy experience. It was on her face, and her bib, and her hands, and up her nose, and possibly some in her ears too. Plus I was the one holding the spoon, so I was up to my wrists in it, with a spot in my hair for good measure. (What can I say? Lunch is a full contact sport for us). So we were eating, and dribbling, and generally enjoying the way green oatmeal squishes between our fingers when Mason jumped up on the table so see what all the fuss was about.

Now, Mason knows that cats are not allowed up on the table. Not anytime, but ESPECIALLY not when we're eating. He knows this. But he also knows that when I have my hands full of green beans and oatmeal and a baby who is convinced that she should be the one to hold/fling the spoon, he can get away with being on the table, because I can't spare a hand to toss him off. So Mason wandered over to investigate the intriguing culinary delight that is green bean flavored oatmeal.

And I did what every good Mom does whose hands are covered in green oatmeal- I yelled, I made shooing gestures, I blew in his face. No avail. Mason knew I wouldn't touch him and risk getting oatmeal on him and cat hair all over my hands. And if you've ever seen a cat smirk, imagine it happening here. You could practical hear him going "Neener neener neener!" in his little cat voice as he danced out of the reach of my nudging elbow.

But what he didn't count on was ZB. ZB who delights in seeing the kitty so close. ZB who has no reserves about grabbing a handful of fur. ZB who had also used my momentary distraction with Mason to grab a handful of oatmeal mixture out of the bowl when I wasn't looking.

She got him just behind the right ear. Big gloopy glob of green oatmeal, straight to the back of the head. (Perhaps this was his plan all along? A little sharing of the oatmeal with the kitty cat? Do cats even like green beans and oatmeal?) Regardless of whether this was his plan, he got some, although in the one spot that he would have trouble licking it off.

I called an official end to lunch time and literally washed my hands of the whole thing. I extracted Mason from the tiny baby fingers that had a death grip in his fur, got the largest blob of oatmeal off of him, and tossed him unceremoniously off of the table. Then I wiped green bean/oatmeal/cat fur off of ZB's hands, and face, and ears.

And in case you don't believe in karma for getting up on the table when you aren't supposed to, know that as I type, Mason's normally white fur on the back of his head is currently arranged in stiff, bright green spikes, (can we say punk rocker cat?) and the rest of the cats are chasing him around, trying to lick the dried oatmeal off that he himself cannot get to.

So, moral of the story: Stay off of where you are not supposed to be, get down when someone tries to shoo you away, and beware the baby with the green oatmeal hands.

Otherwise the Kitty Karma will get you, and tonight is pureed sweet potato night.

You've been warned.


9/13/11
Confessions of the Vain and Lazy

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I'm lazy. And vain. Lazily vain. I want to look pretty (who doesn't?), but I don't want to put any effort into it (who does?) . Usually this just takes the form of me wearing jeans so I don't have to shave my legs as often, or only wearing clear nail polish so it's harder to tell when it chips, but every now and then I come across a treatment that truly takes my quest for lazy vanity to a new dimension.

Enter: The Keratin hair treatment.

Are you aware of this, Internets? Have you heard of magic that is Keratin? Because I had a treatment done last Friday, and IT WORKS! By Jove, it really works!

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, Keratin treatments take the curly frizzy out-of-control hair and transform it into the straight, sleek, smooth-as-glass hair. I'm not exactly sure how this happens other than the stylist paints some goop (technical term) onto your hair with a paintbrush and then blows it dry and flat irons it. And the keratin proteins surround your hair shaft (shafts?) and bond to it or something and then blah, blah, blah you have beautiful straight smooth hair for the next three to six months. (If you want to know more than that, google it. I admit I wasn't really paying attention when the stylist explained how it worked. Instead, I was stroking a lock of my now straight hair and humming the I feel Pretty song from West side story).

I'd heard rumors about keratin treatments before, of course. Anyone who has frizz-prone hair and lives in a high humidity state like mine keeps an ear out for the latest in frizz-fighting technology. But when I read about it, it was still a new process and expensive out the wazoo, so I filed that particular dream under "things to do when I win the lottery and need to look nice for my date with Orlando Bloom".

And then I forgot about it.

But then! Then, dear Internets, the gods of good hair took pity on my frizzy tortured soul because all of a sudden Living Social had a half off deal for keratin at one of the local salons. And I had some birthday money burning a hole in my pocket, and what's birthday money for if not to spend it on yourself in the never-ending quest for smooth shiny hair? Right?

So right!

The entire process was deceptively simple. (I admit I was a little worried because when the keratin stuff first came out, it was all full of formaldehyde and other such fun stuff. So much so that the salons would make you wear a mask while putting it on. Yikes!) Luckily, they've come a long way since then, and now the stuff is more natural and less toxic and involved nothing more than a shampooing, then painting some white lotiony goop that smelled like vanilla onto my hair, then blow drying and ironing to a glossy smooth sheen. Easy peasy.

Okay, maybe not that easy. It is true that I wasn't allowed to wash it or get it wet or pull it back in a pony tail or even put it behind my ears for the next 48 hours while the proteins set up (or whatever it is that they do up there), and I had to get some special keratin shampoo and conditioner that doesn't contain sulfates or sodium chloride, but hey, for smooth, straight, frizz-free hair? I'll do it.

(Actually, I don't really care about the straightness. I mean, it's fine and all, but I don't mind my curls. What I want is to kill the frizzies. Kill them dead! Dead I say! I just want the smooth hair, and the salon stylist assured me that that is exactly what I would get..."Victoria Secret hair" I think she called it).

Oh Internets, you'd be amazed how easy it is to brush through smooth hair. No snags, no curls wrapping around themselves, no frizzies standing at attention, no small forest animals or writing utensils or graphing calculators getting lost in your hair. I feel like Marsha Brady, brushing through my smooth shiny hair and going 297, 298, 299...

And it only serves to confirm what I've long suspected: People with straight hair do have it easier, and when they all say things like, "Oh I wish I had curly hair!" they are liars liars pants on fire! It is all an elaborate ploy to keep the smooth straight hair to themselves. Well I am on to you, sneaky straight haired people, and now due to a little keratin help, my hair is smooth and fabulous too thankyouverymuch.

People of the frizzy hair! You do not have to live in hair purgatory any longer! Put down your hot iron and your smoothing cream! Do away with the confining pony tails! We may not have been born with the beautiful smooth hair that others have long since enjoyed, but what nature has denied us, keratin proteins have supplied us! Shout Hallelujah, for it is a proud day for all of us fighting the war against frizz 'fro head!

And long live the vain and lazy!

9/10/11
ZB Uses a Spoon

From the producers who brought you "ZB's First Cereal" comes the amazing new video, "ZB uses a spoon". Watch as ZB wages a war against oatmeal with a spoon that cannot be trusted and a heart made of gold. Critics give it 4 stars. "Amazing!" says Daddy. "Two thumbs up!" raves Mommy, "ZB's oatmeal performance is some of her best work yet!" This is the finest spoon work you will see all year! Opens everywhere today. This film has not yet been rated.

Now playing at a blog near you.


video

9/8/11
Often Imitated, Never Duplicated

Hola Internets! I'm baaaaaaaaaack!

I'm sure that for the last month you've noticed the gaping hole in your life that is Quirky is a Compliment. And no doubt you have spent the last bit of summer gripped in the deepest depths of despair because of it, right? Of course. Mea Culpa. I took the month of August off from blogging to work and play and have grand adventures with my little family. And instead of trying to blog it all, I just concentrated on being "in the now" as they say.

And I know that some of the more excitable among you might have been worried that I would never come back, but rest assured that that is not the case. At the risk of damaging my imaginary street cred with outdated MC Hammer references, I am too legit, too legit to quit.

Hey. Hey.

Speaking of legit, apparently someone else has started a Quirky is a Compliment blog on blogger. (I KNOW! THE HUMANITY!) There is exactly one post on it, and the person calls themselves Quirky, which we all know is just wrong! wrong! wrong! because I am the original Quirkster, and it is MY compliment. Now, I'm sure that it was a total case of great minds thinking alike coincidence and not deliberate, and I'm just pointing this out not so that you will flame that poser with burning poop in a bag, but so that you may be on your guard against possible confusion.

Another reason why bookmarks are your friends.

So to recap: I'm back, I missed you guys, and be sure to insist on the original Quirky is a Compliment. We'll get back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.