Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Working Mom Wednesday: Beep! Beep! Beep!

Ever have a really annoying sound that periodically interrupts...

Beep! Beep! Beep!

....your day?

A noise that just ruins your train of thought,

Beep! Beep! Beep!

...and gets on your nerves? 

Recently, I had to move cubicle locations from one building to another (yes, I work in a cube).  I wasn't too worried about this move, because I've already moved two times before at my current job.  This time I moved into an area called the "highbay" -- it's got really high ceilings.  :)

Beep! Beep!  Beep!

What was I talking about?  Anyway.  I work in IT.  We like quiet. You could put us in dark closets and we would work very efficiently.  I spend all day on conference calls and typing on my computer.  E-mails, action items, deliverables, flowcharts, data, requirements, blah blah.  What we don't like is stuff that breaks our ...

Beep! Beep! Beep!

Geez.  I don't remember what I was going to say.  That beeping!  Ack!  I think I'm going crazy! 

What is that freaking beeping???? 

Oh .... wait....

....there's a forklift in here! 

What? 

A forklift?

In my office?

Yes.  A forklift in my office. 

It moves stuff that my company makes... I guess.  I don't know. 

I don't make stuff... I work in IT. 

We like quiet!
This post is in response to ...







The question was "If you could change one thing about your job, ....

Beep! Beep! Beep!

what would it be?"

P.S. I love my job.  It's awesome.  I work with great people, have interesting work, and have management who value work/life balance.  So... anybody know how to disable a forklift? Or just make it stop beeping?

Wordless Wednesday: Congratulations Emily and Brandon


Here's an image from a wedding I recently shot. 
Some of you may know that I do wedding photography on the side.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Must Have Monday: A bookcase for every kid's bedroom

We make reading a prior at my house. Our bedtime routines have included storytime since the kids were babes. Now that we have a reader in the house, she reads to us at bedtime.

Therefore, my must-have item this week is a bookcase for every kid's bedroom. If books and reading are important -- then you gotta have a bookcase. I don't care if it's some fancy-shmancy one from Pottery Barn, or one you garbage-picked from the side of the road and re-painted. Books need homes, too!

Here is my daughter's bookcase. It is actually my old college cheap particle board bookcase, repainted white. Any guesses on the college student color? Why -- Goth black of course! I slapped a good 4 coats of white paint to cover that rebellion.



I purposefully did not straighten her bookshelf for this photo. Cuz I'm lazy. No... because this is what a young reader's bookshelf looks like! Well loved, well used. Especially when you have lots of used garage sale, mom-to-mom sale and guilt-me-into-buying-more Scholastics books.

My younger child also has his own bookcase.  Filled with all the storytime books his mom or dad -- and sometimes big sister -- read him before bed.  An unexpected perk of bedtime storytime? Behavior management.  My little boy is notorious for dilly-dallying at bedtime.  If he slows down to a snails pace while collecting his various lovies or finishing his milk, he's threatened with "no stories!"  Works every time.




Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday fill-ins: Kill Bill, BP, Findley Lake, and The 5th Dimension

And...here we go!


1. On vacation, I like to see the sights.  Don't ask me to sit still and "relax."  I can't do it -- I feel like I'm wasting my vacation doing nothing.

2. BP is in deep, deep doo-doo in the ocean.

3. One of my favorite vacation spots as a child was Findley Lake, New York.  I have fond memories of staying at my relative's cottage, fishing, swimming, and boating.

4. "I suppose the traditional way to conclude this is, we cross Hanzo swords. Well, it just so happens this hacienda comes with its very own private beach. And this private beach just so happens to look particularly beautiful bathed in moonlight. And there just so happens to be a full moon out tonight. So, swordfighter, if you want to sword fight, that's where I suggest." -- Bill in Kill Bill Volume 2.  RIP David Carradine.

5. Up, up and away in my beautiful, my beautiful... no...!  You did NOT just make me just start singing 60's sunshine pop.  I refuse.  I stand mute in protest.  *chirp*  *chirp*  ....BallOOOOON!   Damn you!

6. Knock knock(who's there?)
Banana. (Banana who?)
Knock knock (who's there?)
Banana. (Banana who?)
Knock knock (who's there?)
Banana. (Banana who?)
Knock knock (who's there?)
Banana. (Banana who?)
Knock knock (who's there?)
Orange. (Orange who?)
Orange you glad I didn't say banana!!!!!  Sorry.  I have young kids who like the corny jokes.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to whose turn is it for date night?, tomorrow my plans include getting an oil change and keep an eye on my recuperating puppy and Sunday, I want to sleep in!

Down on the farm

So this was my kids' first week at the Real Life Farm -- a day camp nearby our house.  My daughter has attended for the past 2 years and loved it, but it's the first year for our 3-year-old.  The younger ones (5 and under) stay in the preschool for most of the day, and only visit the farm for a couple of hours.  The "big kids"  stay all day at the farm.  This is A's first year as a big kid;  she is so excited!  She has already tried archery, gone horseback riding without assistance, been a crafting queen, and gone fishing for crawfish in the pond.  Yesterday, she came home happy as a clam, but covered in mud after falling into the pond. 

Ryan, my son, is also excited to go to the farm; his first time going to the same place as his sister during the day!  The transition seemed to be going well, but Wednesday we got this note sent home to us from his teacher.  My husband and I were rather surprised because Ryan is usually a good napper. At his preschool, he was usually put down first and gotten up last just because he needed more napping time than most of the kids. 

However, I like to work with not against the teachers, so on Thursday morning before Ryan left for the Farm I had a short discussion with him about being quiet during nap time; Ryan looked slightly confused at the time, but agreed with me, and said he would be good.

After Daddy dropped the kids off, he gave me a call.  It turns out there are two Ryans in our little boy's class.  We have a case of mistaken identity!  Poor guy!  He got a "momma talk" because of the other Ryan's bad behavior!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Annabelle, our new amputee, is home!

All went well.  She'll on lots of pain medication, and will have a follow-up next week.  She already made it out to the back yard and tinkled.  Yay!


50 things daddy can do

This is in response to a Mama Kay writing prompt " 50 things you look for in a man."

Mama's Losin' It

This prompt actually got me thinking about some recent articles about the role of fathers in the home, so my list transformed into "50 things daddy can do."

I was recently pointed to an article Are dads necessary?, and the gist is that -- according to a recent study -- we don't really need men as parents. Sure, we need the resources they provide to afford things, but at home they are basically the same as a babysitter when it comes to raising children. The female caretaker is really all a child needs, and the father is merely an extra set of hands. Doesn't sound too promising for our daddies and husbands, does it?

Finally, at the end of the article, they get to why daddies may be no better than hunky babysitters: moms want it that way.

"Fathers, roughhouse all you want. But we, gatekeeper moms, are in charge of the rest. We could give you detailed instruction, and you still couldn’t possibly do it as well.

Even women who want their husbands to help more with the kids don’t want to give up their traditional authority,” says Stephanie Coontz, director of research at the Council on Contemporary Families. In addition to our pragmatic embrace of these roles, we still live in a culture with a deeply embedded notion of what a father is, beyond just another set of hands, and men, women, and children cling to it.
Well, guess what? I'm tired of it. I tired of the woe-is-me, long-suffering supermom claiming her husband is incompetent and cannot be trusted with her children.

Hey, lady -- you married him!

Shortly after that article came along, Working Mother -- a magazine that you would think would give daddies a chance since working moms need a little extra help -- published Is Daddy Safe?. In this opinion piece, debates if husbands can be trusted with our babies.  I've heard this so often in moms-only chat sessions. Moms seem to relish at trumping each other telling stories about how useless their husbands are at raising their children.

"He's never even changed a diaper!"
"Oh, he can't do feedings -- I breastfeed" (I guess you've never heard of a breast pump)
"He couldn't figure out how to braid her hair!"
"I left the room for 5 minutes, and ... insert major catastrophe..."
"He dressed my daughter in ...insert ridiculous outfit...!"

Well, here is a list of 50 things that any loving and able-bodied dad should not only be able to do but could probably figure out on his own if he really needed to.  By the way, I'm very proud to say my husband has done all of these.  Often.  Maybe instead of a "how incompetent is your husband" competition we can have a "how daddy is the father of your children" session.
  1. Hold a newborn -- even someone else's newborn
  2. Feed an infant from a bottle
  3. Rock his fussy baby
  4. Hug a frazzled mommy
  5. Do the middle of the night feedings
  6. Find a lost pacifier
  7. Feed baby food to a baby
  8. Make breakfast
  9. Make lunch
  10. Make dinner
  11. Wash the dishes
  12. Put away the dishes
  13. Send his kid to his room without dinner
  14. Give out treats... and take them away
  15. Deal with whiny, snot-nosed kids who-know-better-than-to-treat-their-mother-that-way
  16. Get fed up with the kids being snot-nosed whiny brats, but deal with them anyway
  17. Wash the laundry
  18. Fold the laundry
  19. Put away the laundry
  20. Go to a parent teacher conference
  21. Stay home when a little one is sick
  22. Take his sick child to urgent care
  23. Take his well child to a doctors appointment
  24. Take his child to the ER
  25. Have a tea party
  26. Play a board game
  27. Read a book to his kid
  28. Put his kids to bed
  29. Have a Jedi light saber battle
  30. Set up a camp out in the living room
  31. Change the stinkiest poopy diaper ever
  32. Exchange "stinkiest poopy diaper ever" stories with other parents
  33. Potty train his kids
  34. Teach his son to pee standing up
  35. Give his kids a bath
  36. Help his kids take a shower
  37. Babysit someone else's kids and keep track of his own -- at the same time.
  38. Teach his kids
  39. Take his kids to the park
  40. Brush his daughter's hair
  41. Pick out clothes for his kids
  42. Calm momma down
  43. Take his kids to school
  44. Help with homework
  45. Take his kids to sporting events
  46. Take his kids shopping -- for clothes
  47. Get hair cuts for his kids
  48. Schedule a massage for mom
  49. Hug his kids
  50. Be alone with all of his children without instructions -- for days
So, here's the catch:  men have been told...

"This isn't your domain"
"Stay out"
"Women's work only!"

No wonder so many fathers don't bother to try! What they need is more encouragement and less guilt trips. More opportunities and less instructions. Let them do it their way. Are you really afraid daddy is going to ruin your children by not doing it mom's way all the time? Have a little faith in him. I think that was in your vows somewhere.

Dad Blogs

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: My puppy Annabelle, heading to surgery today

This is my puppy (she's 11 years old).  She's an adorable Rottweiler mix, loves everybody, and snuggles with me every night. We adopted her from a rescue agency 7 years ago.  She is heading to surgery today to have her left hind leg amputated because she has a large and malignant nerve sheath tumor on her knee.  The prognosis for being cancer-free after the surgery --- and recovery as a 3-legged dog -- is quite high, so we are very optimistic.  But it is still scary to put our little doggy through such a traumatic event.


Post-it Tuesday: Zany Bandz, child abandonment, Dum Dums and floggings!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Must have Mondays: Radio Flyer wagon

I was hesitant to spend the big bucks on a new Radio Flyer wagon about five years ago. Instead I planned to snatch up a used one at a mom-to-mom sale.  I unsuccessfully stalked several mom-to-mom sales, but other mothers always beat me to the punch (clearly I needed to arrive at 6:30 a.m. to fetch one of these prized possessions). 

So, I forked over the 75 bucks at Toys R Us (remember -- 5 years ago!), and hoped the money was worth it.  Well, five years later, this wagon is still trucking, and was recently featured in our local town parade:



Ever since my kids were toddlers, the wagon has been the preferred choice for outdoor pedestrian travel.  The wagon is more mobile outdoors than the average stroller; plus -- pulling two kids is no problem!  My toddler hates being restrained in a stroller, but the wagon is cool:  a little vehicle with cup holders and folding seats.  My son is so proud of himself when he buckles his seat belt before our many walks around the neighborhood.  Zoo trips and family vacations always include packing the wagon in the minivan.  It has even served as an on-the-go napping station.

We will wear out the wheels before we give this puppy up!

Now, I've mentioned before that I'm a minimalist.  I have no accessories for my Radio Flyer wagon.  But there are lots of options for yours if you chose that adventure.  There are canopies, umbrellas, organizers (I'm not kidding!), seat pads, and a tag-along wagon.  All cool stuff -- I just don't wagon roll that way!



Friday, June 18, 2010

Pure fuchsia joy


This post is in response to a writing prompt from Mama Kat.  The prompt is "a time when people stared at me."
Mama's Losin' It

Despite being a confident and outspoken person, I've always been a bit shy and introverted in public.  I know that's a bit contradictory, but really it is not. As an intelligent... no... smartypants girl... I'm quite secure in my abilities, but not nearly so secure in my social skills.  Yep, that socially awkward nerd.  Over my formative years, I tended to avoid any circumstance that would lead to people looking at me for long periods of time.  I got stared at enough for being that girl who always knew the answers. 

However, about midway through college, a few things happened.  First, suddenly many of my friends also fit into the "smartypants" group. Second, I moved into a student coop where those slightly outside of the norm were more tolerated. Third, I had a rather traumatic appendectomy. 

This last event pushed me into a mild depression, and I was seeking things to brighten my perspective on life.  

....So, I bought some Manic Panic in Fuchsia.  This was not the first time I had dyed my hair fun colors (it had been purple a few times), but this was the first time I dyed my entire head.  Little did I know that because of poor diet (I had not been eating much after recovering from a burst appendix), my hair was brittle, weak and ready to suck in ALL of that fuchsia dye.  For those not familiar with crazy hair color dye -- Manic Panic is actually not a dye -- it's a stain.  It's supposed to last about a month, until it washes out of your hair.  My hair was fuchsia/pink for 6 months!


This is me about 1 1/2 months after I dyed my hair.  October 1996.  My mom and I went to Stratford, Ontario to see some Shakespeare plays. My mom commented that I matched the flowers, so we had to get a picture!  (My mom is pretty cool!)  I remember someone commenting to my mom, "It's so good of you to get your daughter out and experience some culture!"  My mom responded, "Oh, this was her idea!"  Guess what those people were thinking about that punky haired girl?

Now, my college town is about as liberal as you can get -- but I was still stared at -- all the time!  Probably because my head *glowed fuchsia.* I might have glowed in the dark.  ;)   As you can see from the picture, I tended to wear flowery dresses (and my biker jacket).  I was a sight.  But I usually made people smile.  I loved it.  I was no longer someone that people stared at because they wanted to ridicule.  I was a spectacle.  To me, I was pure fuchsia joy.  My fuchsia hair helped pull me out of my funk that I had entered after my appendectomy. 

Honestly, if corporate and suburban America were as tolerant as my student coop and my liberal college, my hair would be fuchsia right now.

Friday fill-ins -- June 18th

And...here we go!

1. It's 6:58 a.m. Why are my children awake? Why are they talking to me?

2. It was the reason, of course, they have some very important questions to ask:  "Is it time to get up momma? Are you getting up momma?"

3. Try and fit in with the "cool crowd" is something I no longer feel the need to do.

4. I have another errand to run, then run home to tag my husband.  We participate in tag team parenting.

5. 14 year-old Anamika Veeramani won the Scripps National Spelling bee a few weeks ago after correctly spelling "Stromuhr."  Don't know what a stromuhr is?...just go find it in the dictionary.

6. What were once vices are now not worth the effort, health burden, or money.  I'm so boring.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to photographing a wedding in Ypsi, tomorrow my plans include walking in a parade and having dinner with friends and Sunday, I want to have a nice father's day with the family!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Things I don't need Thursday: $250 play grill

Adorable.  Cute.  I'm sure my kids would love it.  But $250? I expect that grill to provide something for my gullet not just for my imagination.


My son had just as much fun with the grill I got at a garage sale for $5.


Now it's your turn!


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Wordless Wednesday: High flying pancakes from Chris Cakes

Monday, June 14, 2010

Must Have Monday: Must haves for new parents

A friend of mine (Hi Kai!) asked for some advice on baby items as he and his wife (Hi Ingrid!) are going to be new parents soon.  I figured I would let everyone enjoy my list.

His exact question was "what is indispensable?" Well, I've become a bit of a minimalist about all this "parenting equipment" over the past for years.  So here's some indispensables for first-time parents.

  • Sleep.  Find as much as you can whenever possible.
  • Patience.  When you are starting to lose it (you will), bring in back-up!
  • Love.  Lots and lots.
But, back to STUFF.  I have categorized the "stuff" into a few groups.  There's stuff you'll need right away, stuff you'll need later (so you should wait), some cool stuff I liked, and the stuff that is part of the "great debates" of parenting. 

Stuff you need right away

  • Car seat: You need with a "base" and a "carrier" that fits in it.  The base is nice if you have two cars -- you get two bases, but only one car seat. Don't bother with the "car seat / stroller" system. They are bulky and your baby grows out of this first car seat after 12 months, but the stroller lasts a lot longer.  
  • Stroller: Choices are more about design and style than function. I recommend one that is LIGHT and EASY TO FOLD. You can also get one that is just a frame to hold the car seat for the first year.  I liked this, then passed it onto the next new parent.
  • Crib: Again, the differences are mostly about style more than function. The biggest functional difference is ones that "transform" later into toddler or full size beds. This is nice ONLY if you are only planning to have one child -- and you really, really like the crib design (so much that you want to keep it for years).
  • Crib mobile: Get one that mechanically moves and has sound (that you like). Babies love the white noise and movement.  
  • Bassinet: Your infant will be sleeping in the same room with you for at least the first 1-3 months. The bassinet should fit next to your bed. You can get a co-sleeper instead, but I recommend a bassinet. I had to get a co-sleeper with my son because he would not sleep unless he could see me. Silly little boy!
  • Baby (high) chair: We did NOT have a high chair for either kid. Instead, we bought a foldable chair that could be put in one of our kitchen chairs. High chairs take up a LOT of space. But, they are great if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen and want the baby to hang out with you.
  • Baby swing and/or bouncy: This is where your baby can "sit" during the day when you are not holding them! Most babies love them. I recommend something that is small-ish with sounds that you like (you'll have to hear it a lot!). Also, it's nice to have one that is portable for trips.  
  • Blankets: Newborns love to be swaddled, so you need lots of baby blankets (they get dirty). I recommend ones that are super-stretchy and on the large side so that swaddling is easier.  
  • Clothes: Even though you are bound to buy tons of cute clothes (have fun! It's lots of FUN!), don't forget to buy lots of onsies and sleepers. You will not be dressing your kid to the nines every day.  
  • Baby bath/seat: I bought this freaking huge baby bath tub, but -- hey -- you can bathe a baby in the sink if you need to! 
Stuff that requires "decisions" -- AKA "The Great Debates"

I am not going to start any mommy wars here, so here's just a glimpse of the hot topics related to baby equipment that you'll have to think about.
  • Feeding supplies: I will not enter the great "breastfeeding vs. formula" debate here, but each has its own supplies. But let me add one thing: the two are NOT mutually exclusive despite what you might read! 
  • Pacifiers: I had pacifier babies, and I thought they were great, but others disagree. 
  • Diapers: Cloth vs. disposable. Each has its own supplies! 
  • Wraps vs. Baby Bjorn vs. nothing: Lots of people like to "wear" their babies, and think it's the best thing ever. I bought wraps and the Bjorn and several other things and hated them all. So did my babies. Seems like a personal thing!
Stuff we liked

This is stuff we found to be very handy, but I don't think it's a necessity for everyone.
  • Car seat "coat": if you are having a winter baby, we liked this. It's so hard to get an infant into a winter coat! Instead, this puts the "coat" on the car seat, and then you stick the baby in the car seat. Much easier. 
  • Pack n play: We really liked having a pack n play. We set it up on the first floor, and used it for daytime napping. Also great for grandma's house. But, if this doesn't fit your needs (or your space), then it's just one extra thing. 
  • Boppy: The U shaped pillow that can be used for holding the baby.  
Stuff you should hold off on

These items are just not needed for newborns, so why buy them before you have the baby around?  It's just more stuff to store!  Wait until that little one is here.  You'll have more opinions about what you like, what your baby likes, and how much tolerance for "stuff" you have. 

  • Exersaucers -- newborns are too small for these, and they take up a LOT of space. You'll know when you might want one, and if your baby might like it, so buy it then. You'll be more experienced with your baby and know what will work. 
  • Bumbo -- that's the molded seat. Again, newborns are too small.  Some parents love the bumbo, some thought they were a waste.  
  • Baby monitors: You'll probably end up getting one (we all do), but I'll tell you now that you WILL be able to hear your baby unless you live in a mansion. I do have some moms who like them when they have older babies, and want to do gardening outside while baby naps inside. 
  • Baby gyms -- These are just expensive blankets with toys hanging from above! Nothing wrong with them, just not needed. Give your baby a blanket and a rattle. 
  • Bibs: You will need some, but some babies are drooly, some spit up and others are just generally messy. Before you invest in one kind of bib, find out what kind of baby you have.
  • Non-infant car seats: Wait until the baby is bigger, then you'll know what kind of car seat you will want. There is a lot of variation, and the size of your baby will affect which one you pick. 
  • Food feeding supplies: Babies do not eat any "food" until 6 months. Just wait. You'll have more of an opinion by then!
I hope this list helps!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Friday fill-ins -- June 11th

And...here we go!


1. My new micro-plush fleece blanket feels great.  My daughter begged me to buy her a pink one for her bed, so I bought one for mine (brown) too.  Good choice, big girl!

2. The solution is 42You are officially a geek if you know why.

3. Please dear children... fall asleep.

4. "Well how about this way. I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out, I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich, I love when you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts, I love that after I've spent the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to begin as soon as possible." -- Harry from When Harry Met Sally

5. Working on becoming more compassionate is something I highly recommend!

6. Imagine not thinking of John Lennon while singing Imagine.  Can't do it, can you? 

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to picking up my kids early for a work picnic, tomorrow my plans include watching my friend's daughter in her first ballet recital and Sunday, I want to have a pleasant drive to Chicago for a work trip!

30 things I vow to do this summer.

30 things I vow try hope to do this summer.  This one is from Mama Kat's Writing Workshop.  See link below.
  1. Walk the dog at least once a week.
  2. Take the kids to the park whenever they ask. Unless it's raining.
  3. Start yoga.
  4. Read a novel.
  5. Catch up on photobooks.
  6. Update my picture wall.
  7. Invite some fairies into my fairy village.
  8. Plan an awesome neighborhood picnic.
  9. Have a girl's night out.
  10. Breathe.
  11. Enjoy some Shakespeare.
  12. Get a massage.
  13. Weed the rest of the flowerbeds.
  14. Enjoy photographing some weddings.
  15. Enjoy swim lessons with my son.
  16. Keep my blog going.
  17. Convince my digestive tract to tolerate more fruit and veggies.
  18. Go to the Farmers Market at least once a month.
  19. Be mindful.
  20. Breathe.
  21. Ice cream. 'Nuf said. 
  22. Take down my son's wallpaper border that he destroyed and replace with a chair rail.
  23. Enjoy our deck.
  24. Eat outside.
  25. Slow down.
  26. Convince my husband to slow down.
  27. Fix the kid's shower.
  28. Have a family vacation.
  29. Enjoy my family.
  30. Breathe.

Mama's Losin' It

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

In a close match-up, Team Momma wins over Team Tantrum!

Score:
Team Tantrum: 1
Team Momma: 2
In a close match up, a young and fired up Team Tantrum faced the more experienced but exhausted Team Momma. A friendly soccer scrimmage involving joyful 3 and 4 year olds? Team Tantrum had other plans.  A battle of wills.

The evening started by Team Momma delivering her soccer clad daughter at field number one. Then Team Tantrum, lead by a young son who refused to dress for the game, arriving for a tussle. At the center of the dispute: a disagreement over the regulation water supplies. Team Momma provided refilled water bottles, but Team Tantrum remembered getting colored (flavored) water at a previous game.

Where are the refs when you need them???

After a full 20-minute routing by Team Tantrum, it appeared that Team Momma was defeated and ready to throw in the towel. But, she came back in a come-from-behind victory. Using shear force of will, a calm demeanor and some full-court press hugs, Team Momma brought Team Tantrum into submission.

The coaches were amazed. As Team Tantrum realized his defeat, the adorable son returned to enjoy the victory with Team Momma. Adorable son participated in his entire soccer class, reminding Momma what a good job he was doing when he came out to get a sip of his plain refilled water bottle.

GOOOOOALLLL!!!!

Things I Don't Need Thursday

I'm starting a new meme that you are welcome to participate in.  With all the consumerism out there, especially for parenting and kids products, I wanted a chance for us to talk about stuff we don't need. I'll post one every Thursday with a linky. All posts should be THINGS such as...
  • Items you bought (or were given to you) and then you realized "I don't need this!"
  • Toys that you wish were not in your house
  • Stuff you've seen at the store, in a catalog or online that make you say, "who NEEDS that???"
Here's your chance to help out other parents to simplified their lives and reduce the STUFF.  Or just post about a product that's just so absurd that it made you giggle.  Have fun!

This week:  Wipe warmer

I will admit, I got one of these with my first baby.  It sounded like such a good idea in theory.  I was having a winter baby, and -- oh -- those wipes were going to be so chilly on her bottom in the middle of the night! 

The reality:  Seems silly to have the thing on all the time -- that wastes electricity.  So, now I have to remember to turn it on before we change her?  Riiiiight.  And what about when we're out of the house?  Or downstairs? 

Plus, the wipes stay warm-ish for about 3 seconds.  I think I could warm up the wipes that much with my hand.

Bottom line?  Most babies don't care if the wipe is 72 degrees or 83 degrees.  Why did I just spend $25 on a warmer so that I can wipe her bottom with luke warm wipes -- just to put a cold diaper on her?

New parents are silly sometimes.

Now it's your turn!  What things do you not need?

Wordless Wednesday: Strike a pose!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Must have Mondays: Rolling laptop bag

As a working mom, I feel like I never have enough hands. My kids now automatically know the answer to the rhetorical mom-question "How many things can I do at once?" (I know you think it's a trick question, but the real answer is ONE.  Only one.  Multi-tasking is a myth.)

With a purse, blackberry, lunch (or at least some snacks), and a laptop to bring to work everyday, I am in love with my rolling laptop bag.  I work in IT (yep -- geek girl.  I "work with computers" as reported by my daughter), and must have my computer at all times.  Just in case the Borg takes over SkyNet causing a denial of service attack on Microsoft ... or worse... Google.

I recently upgraded to a red leather one from my grad school-ish ballistic nylon rolling bag.  I've been impressed that laptop bag designers have finally figured out that us working moms want professional, feminine and functional -- all in the same business laptop bag! 

The rolling feature makes my laptop bag a prize possession.  With my 3-year-old on one hip, I don't need to throw out my back lugging a laptop plus accessories back and forth to work on my other hip.

NOTE:  Officially, and as reported to my chiropractor, I never put my 3-year-old on my hip. (yeah, right!)


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Friday fill-ins

And...here we go!


1. Somewhere new is my favorite place to travel to.

2. When I think about my childhood, I often remember walking back through the corn fields trying to avoid the "mean farmer" to get back to the creek.  Even though the creek served as a sewer drain, I thought it had mystical properties in the water.  Then again -- maybe they were toxic properties.

3. A loving husband makes for a good friend.  Hey hubby -- do I get brownie points?  Did you read this?  ;)

4. The wind in the trees, the rain on my skin, ACK! I'm melting, I'm melting... .  I have an intense dislike for being wet.  Really.  I often reference "the witch melting" as a reason I can't go out in the rain.  Ask any of my friends and family.

5. Grocery shopping is so exciting! It's like unwrapping presents from yourself! -- Marge Simpson

6. My best friend knows more about what I did in high school than I do.  Her memory for people and events: creepy detailed.  My memory for people and events:  nearly amnesiac.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to baking cupcakes with my daughter, tomorrow my plans include yard sales and the BIG family and friends Picnic and Croquet match and Sunday, I want to have a super successful Pancake Breakfast with no rain!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"And in the morning, I'm making waffles!"

I'm participating for the first time in "Working Mom Wednesday," answering the question of the week,
"What is your favorite kid-friendly breakfast idea/recipe?"

First, I must have full disclosure.
  • I love breakfast -- it's my favorite meal of the day.
  • I don't make breakfast very often.
  • My husband is an awesome cook.
  • My husband does his research.  Especially in food.
Second -- breakfast:  Carbon's Golden Malted Waffles. 

Recipe: 

1.  One hubby 




4.  Toppings of your choice.  Butter, syrup, fruit...




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