Saturday, February 28, 2009

Don't Go Getting Your Butt Up Over the Dashboard

My great-grandmother on my father's side was Pennsylvania Dutch, straight from Amish country. While she lived in Arizona for most of her adult life many of the colloquial and familiar phrases from her childhood remained in her vocabulary. I grew up with those phrases being commonplace. My grandmother, her daughter used them, and then by extension my mother started using them. As small children my mother often took us over to see my great-grandmother and I have fond memories of time spent there.

One of the phrases she used often was "Oh, don't go getting your butt up over the dashboard" anytime someone would get a little put off or upset. It was a phrase my mom adopted and eventually as an adult I adopted as well (since we weren't allowed to say "butt" as children or teens for that matter). Anyway, early on in our relationship I used that phrase in front of my husband and I was dead serious when I said it. Needless to say, my husband was rolling in laughter. He had never heard the phrase and to this day when I use it, which is rare, he finds it very humorous. I guess because it has been a part of my life since childhood I don't see why it is so funny.

Do you have any particular phrases that are specific to just your family or small circle of friends?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear?

There is nothing more pleasing to the ear of a mother than her children playing together nicely and laughing.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Dental Deception

When I was pregnant with my daughter and through the first three years of her life I read anything and everything I could about raising children. I wanted to know about developments and milestones, things I should be concerned about and things that were normal. Through the course of my reading I noticed that almost every piece of literature recommended that a child see a dentist before his/her first birthday. So, when I took my daughter and then later my son in for their 1 year well visit I asked our pediatrician. She said that unless there was a concern there was no need to see a dentist and that most dentists didn't want to see them until they were older (3-5 years) anyway.

Because I completely trust our pediatrician I followed that advice despite continuing to read that kids need to see a dentist at one. Well, this week (my daughter is 3 1/2) I started calling Pediatric Dentists to find one I liked for my children, my daughter specifically who I wanted to make an appointment for. Every single dentist said the same thing: that a child does not need to see a dentist until they are at least three years old and that most won't see them before that.

So, it got me thinking. Who is it that is recommending that children see a dentist at 1? If it's not the pediatricians and not the pediatric dentists who is perpetuating this myth? Any thoughts? At what age did your children first see a dentist?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why Tomorrow I Will Be Buying Bubble Wrap

Today was a really good day. We got up and went to the gym. I had a good work out and the kids had a great time playing. We then met my mom for breakfast and then stopped by to visit with my grandmother. The kids were great and my son even took an hour and a half nap...long enough for me to watch Cinderella with my daughter. The kids woke up, we played, went on a walk, made dinner, bathed, read books, played some more. Everyone was winding down and things were pretty calm.

Then, in the span of about two hours my house turned into an injury zone. My daughter tripped when getting off my son's bed. She put one hand out to break her fall and landed with all her weight on that single hand. It popped, she cried, my heart dropped. She broke her foot in a similar instance almost exactly a year ago. Her hand swelled instantly and bruised. However, within 30 minutes she was moving it and minus the swelling and discoloration it seemed to be okay (we'll see tomorrow). About an hour after that drama we were picking up my son's room. My daughter went to pick up a heavy toy cash register, dropped it on her foot, and again she was hysterical. It too is now swollen and slightly bruised. I'm certain it is not broken as she was back running around in no time. Which brings me to our final catastrophe of the night. I was putting books back on the bookshelf and my daughter was chasing my son, who as usual wasn't really watching where he was going. He cracked the side of his face so hard on the solid wood bookshelf that it split his cheek. The poor kids face is so swollen and horribly bruised. It looks like he has been beat.

Needless to say, for the final hour they were allowed up tonight it was required that we sit in my bed, not moving, and simply reading books and cuddling until it was time for them to go to sleep. I'm seriously nervous for them to wake up tomorrow for fear that there may be some other body part they could possibly break or seriously injure. And so that is why tomorrow I will be buying bubble wrap and helmets.

What Is It?

Apparently, hermaphrodite issues are "big" right now. In the span of a week I have watched two shows (Private Practice and House) that deal with just that issue. It got me thinking about what I would do if faced with that difficult choice. Truthfully, I don't know. I like to think that I would weigh all options carefully and if genetic testing determined that the baby had a stronger likelihood of leaning one way over the other then I would pick that sex. Even that though provides no guarantee. What an awful, gut-wrenching decision to have to make. I guess shows like that just make me realize how lucky I am to have two perfectly healthy kids. Just another random musing brought to you by me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Who Needs Sleep?

I seriously think there are times when putting me in a padded room would benefit all. I have been beyond tired lately for a variety of reasons, which I won't bore you with here. I'm stressed (aren't we all?) and I have two kids who sense the shift in my mood and are themselves having versions of their own mini-breakdowns. Not fun all around.

I am glad that this funk has coincided with my return to the gym because at least I have one outlet and one hour of peace where I don't have two permanent appendages latched on at all times and usually at the same time. But really, one hour of gym time, isn't cutting it.

So, tell me what you do when you are burnt out? What do you do to recharge? And how do you manage to find time for yourself?

Monday, February 23, 2009


Now I realize this will seem weird to anyone who doesn't live in Tucson. However, to those of us who have lived here most of our lives it is anything but. Every year, for as long as I can remember...and technically even before I can remember since we have photos of my 1 year old self to document....the Rodeo comes to town the last week in February. And most of the town shuts down as a result. Schools close for Rodeo Break, many employers give their employees Thursday and Friday of the week off and everyone attends a variety of parades, rodeos and events. Like I said, it's a bit strange to explain to people who aren't from Tucson. (On a side note, my first teaching job was in Phoenix and when I asked why we didn't get Rodeo Break off my colleagues looked at me like I had been smoking something...they had no idea what I was talking about and broke out in fits of laughter after I explained the time honored tradition).

So, the Rodeo is upon us once again and while I haven't attended in years, nor do I really have any interest to, I do like the fact that it is a tradition that has been celebrated for decades and continues to draw such large crowds and stir such excitement.

Anyway, when I was teaching we were usually instructed to wear, in the days leading up to the break, our best Western wear which for most meant jeans, a Western shirt, boots, and some even busted out a cowboy hat or Bolo tie. I haven't taught in almost 4 years now so it has been a while since either me or my husband have dressed for the occasion.

Then my husband comes home from work today and announces that he has the option of wearing Western Wear this week. While he is not one of few that gets the days off he has been granted permission, from on high, to wear as he calls it "moose-knuckle" jeans. (Not that I would ever let him own such a thing). I was shocked. He works in an office building; a very professional one at that. Dressing down or casual wear isn't ever an option under normal circumstances. Apparently, all sense of professionalism is put on hold.................for the RODEO.

So, are there any traditions or events that are specific just to the area in which you live that "outsiders" would find different or strange?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

All Aboard...

Our daughter had not the slightest bit of interest in potty training and we never pushed it. We showed her the toilet, told her to sit on it when she had to go to the bathroom, and then dropped it. For a few months she ignored it completely. Then one day, shortly before her 3rd birthday, she said she wanted big-girl underwear. We went to the store, bought her Princess underwear and from that day forward she has been potty trained. There was no battle, no convincing her, and minus a few accidents at the beginning it has been pretty smooth sailing.

When we had our son we heard all sorts of horror stories about potty training they will take longer than girls, how they will have more accidents, etc. Personally as long as they are potty trained before they go off to school I don't care how long it takes. I am not really big on forcing them to be potty trained by some personal and arbitrary time line. Frankly I don't want the battle of "You will sit on that potty until you pee." Who does that really train? That being said if my kids show signs of being ready I will certainly do whatever I can to help them be successful.

So, I was a bit taken aback when our 20 month old son started saying, "Potty" each time he has to pee about two months ago. Then he'd go into the bathroom and stand by the potty until we'd take off his diaper, put him on the pot, and he'd pee. He now does this 90 percent of the time...for pee and poop. I don't dare take him out of the house in underwear as I am sure I'd be asking for trouble, nor do I put him to sleep in underwear but when at our house he goes free and so far he has been doing pretty well. I don't know if he is really "potty-training" or not, but whatever it is, he's doing it himself and doing a pretty good job. So, we'll see.

What have your potty training experiences been like? For those of you with a boy and girl, does that seem to make a difference?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Me, Me, Me

Last April I began working out diligently. In a matter of four months I dropped a lot of weight, felt great, had much more energy, and was in a better mood as a whole. Plus both kids really enjoyed going to the Child Watch, which made me not feel as guilty for taking time out each day to do something for myself. Then September hit and it was one sickness after another. My son was sick for weeks, followed by my daughter, followed by me, followed by both kids again and the cycle repeated. Before I realized it, five months had gone by. It has been three solid months since I have even set a single foot into the gym at all. I got used to not working out consistently and frankly I suffered. While I have not gained more than a few pounds back I have noticed a huge difference in how I feel. I don't have as much energy, I'm grouchier and don't feel as refreshed.

While I would still like to lose some more weight, it is really not even about the weight. It's about the clarity working out provides me. I got used to and depended on starting everyday by working out, breaking a sweat, pushing myself to fatigue, and relishing in the results and changes I eventually saw physically. Plus, just having that hour break from my children was a great opportunity to recharge and do something for myself because let's face it. Very little of what we as mothers do during the day is for ourselves.

So, today as I found myself losing patience with my children and trying to keep it together I decided it was time to return to the gym. Both kids were very excited and I spent 45 minutes busting my butt....probably more than I should have for my first day back. I need routine and I need something, even if it is simply an hour at the gym, for me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Both of my kids fell asleep at 4 pm today on the way home. My son woke up at 5:30 and despite numerous attempts to wake her up, my daughter would not budge. At one point she opened her eyes, looked at me and whispered, "Mommy, I am just so tired" and rolled back over and went to sleep. A little after seven she woke up hungry. I thought for sure I was in for a night where she would be up until midnight.

I put both kids into bed a little before 9 pm and there they remain fast asleep. For whatever reason they are beat. I am just keeping my fingers crossed that they don't wake up at 4 am tomorrow ready to start the day.

Why I Need to Watch What I Say

Yesterday afternoon we were pulling out of our neighborhood. In front of me a boy about 5 or 6 years of age was riding his bike in the street sans helmet. He was oblivious to the fact that a car was behind him as he swerved all over the place. His sister was standing on the sidewalk motioning to him to move. He finally realizes and hops up on the sidewalk and we pass.

My 3 year old daughter says, "Mommy that boy should not be riding his bike in the street without a helmet." I replied by saying, "No, he shouldn't be." She then says, "He should be riding on the sidewalk with a helmet on." I said I agreed.

Then my daughter says, "I bet his mommy and daddy aren't very smart."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Raised By Wolves

So, I am just wondering when it became an acceptable practice for parents to drop their kids off at the mall play areas and leave them unattended while they shop? I'm not talking twelve or thirteen year olds either. I'm talking two, three, four, and five year olds. We were at the mall twice over the weekend and both times there were kids under five left unattended for long periods of time. Their parents would emerge later, with bags of purchases, to round up their spawn. It is always these kids that climb up the slides while other kids are trying to slide down. It is these kids who hit and yell and otherwise behave as if they are being raised by wolves. And, as my husband pointed out, these are the kids that are never the ones abducted (not that in any way he feels they should be; merely an observation).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Value of Time Well Spent

This weekend was such a nice weekend. Saturday I made breakfast for the family and then my husband and daughter had a "date" to attend the UA vs. UCLA basketball game. My son and I hung out at home. Later in the afternoon I was able to go to the mall alone (we all know how important that is) and hit sales in Gymboree and Children's Place for clothes for both kids for this summer and next winter. They are pretty much set, so it was nice to have that out of the way. My husband made a Valentine's Day dinner which was terrific because I really hate going out to eat on holidays.

Sunday was pretty low-key. We played outside quite a bit as the weather was gorgeous. I did manage to spend two hours cleaning out my car, which was atrocious. It is amazing how many crackers, crumbs, toys, and cups can "hide" in plain sight. So, now it is clean. I am giving it until Thursday before it is a disaster again.

My husband had Monday off, which was a real treat. At his old job he only got Christmas Day, New Years Day, and Thanksgiving off. It's like I have died and gone to heaven now with him getting an actual 10 paid holidays off, Monday being one of them. So, we packed a picnic lunch, grabbed a blanket, the kite, and the kids' scooters and headed to the park for a few hours. It was a lot of fun and the kids loved the picnic...something we need to do more often before it gets too hot here. We also went up and visited with my mom for a few hours as she is still housebound, recovering from foot surgery. We did some shopping for her and took her lunch and my husband lived up to his manly duties by taking out her trash, bringing the trashcans back from the street, etc.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend. So, tell me what your Valentine's Day looked like? How did you spend the rest of your weekend?

The Things Kids Say

1. Our neighbor's boyfriend arrived next door today bearing gifts for Valentine's Day. We exchanged pleasantries and as he went inside my daughter asks, "What's his name?" I said, "You know, I'm not really sure." She thinks for a moment and says, "Maybe it's Pablo." Maybe it is.

2. My husband and daughter are driving to the UA basketball game today when she sees a truck in front of her. She asks my husband where the truck is going. He says he doesn't know. She says, "Maybe he's going to the gym. My mommy needs to get her behind back to the gym." (Apparently I must voice that sentiment much more than I thought).

3. I was playing the "Dinosaur Game" with our kids tonight. The game basically consists of me acting like a dinosaur and chasing them around the living room, catching them once in a while and pretending to devour them. After about 20 minutes my daughter says to my husband, "Daddy, can you come play the dinosaur game with me? Mommy isn't doing a very good job." Ouch.

Thankful for my Valentine

I am thankful for and grateful to my husband for a variety of reasons. He is kind, caring, and well-intentioned. He would never do anything to intentionally hurt me, those I care about, or anyone else for that matter. However, probably one of the things I am most grateful for is the way he treats my family (aside from the way he treats me and our children): my parents, siblings, grandmother, in-laws, etc. I have a great relationship with my family and from the beginning so has my husband. There have obviously been disagreements over the years but my husband has never been disrespectful or allowed me to treat my parents disrespectfully. Even at times when my parents have been frustrated with him or him them he has treated them with nothing but dignity and respect. Furthermore, at times when I may have crossed the line he is the first to tell me so and for that I am grateful.

I often don't give him enough credit for all he does. But I am so thankful that he keeps the peace and does not instigate disharmony or discord. He has never put me in the middle or made me pledge allegiance to him while forsaking my family. He is measured and deliberate in his thoughts and his words and I respect and admire him for that. I appreciate that he has beliefs and values and is steadfast in those, yet also respects the rights of others to have theirs without name calling, belittling, judging, or condemning. I love that he finds the good in all. He is the eternal optimist.

I admire him greatly for his ability to be calm, reasonable, and thoughtful. He doesn't instigate or add fuel to fires. He is the one to seek compromise and try to see another's side instead of simply writing someone off or condemning them, even when he has been wronged. That is not easy, yet he makes it look effortless.

I am additionally thankful that he respects my opinion and encourages me in my opinions, even when they differ from his own. He doesn't browbeat me into adopting his views. I appreciate that he acknowledges that while he is the head of our household he doesn't equate that with the need to minimize the importance of my role or the role my family plays in my life or the lives of our children. He is not threatened by my relationship with my family or my friends; he nurtures and encourages those relationships as he should. I am especially cognizant of the importance of this as I know some do not experience the same freedom or reciprocal respect in their relationships. It is something I often take for granted as a given, when really it is not.

So, while I do not put much value into Valentines Day, I am appreciative of the fact that it is a day that encourages reflection. As I reflect, I am reminded of just a few of the many reasons I love my husband and am so glad that he is my Valentine. To steal a quote from the Bible, “Blessed are the Peacemakers.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Uneducated Blindly Follow

I was a high school teacher for almost six years. I come from a family where the value and importance of an education was ingrained from an early age. Three of the four of us have graduated from college and my youngest brother is currently a junior in college. So, to say that I value education is an understatement. Hence, it is discouraging that when faced with a budget crisis on both a local and national level one of the first things to go is funding for education. When Janet Napolotano left her position as Governor of Arizona to join Barack Obama we lost a huge advocate for education. Our new governor, Jan Brewer, stayed true to her party's history of minimizing the value of an education and started slashing funding for education from kindergarten through college. Along the same lines, one of the biggest points of contention between Dems and the GOP when debating the stimulus package was funding allocated for education. In order to get it passed, money for education was cut. I don't understand this line of thought.
The United States does not sit on an academically or intellectually superior throne anymore. We are surpassed by lesser and more undeveloped nations on an annual basis who achieve more, are smarter than we are, and whose leaders invest in the future of their country. Arizona, specifically, already ranks so low in national education (48th) that it would seem that we wouldn't want to drop much lower. It's interesting that those who are so critical of our educational system are the ones who want to continue to strip that system of the money it needs in order to educate our future leaders. So, basically they want to give schools no money yet then want teachers held accountable when students don't succeed. That sure makes a lot of sense.
I am certainly not naive enough to think that everyone needs to attend college. I realize there are many successful people in our world who lack a college degree. However, in today's climate especially, a college degree opens doors that simply having a high school diploma would not. Someone with an engineering degree, for example, would get a job working at Boeing before someone who lacked a degree (as a friend of mine recently found out). People would hire an independent contractor who has training in a specialized area before they'd hire someone who is simply self-taught or has a natural interest. While your continued success might not lie in the fact that you possess a degree from an institution of higher learning, the initial opportunities afforded to you were certainly a result of the education and degree you received. You would think on that point alone it would be enough to convince those who so willingly throw away money overseas to fund a losing effort on a war based on misinformation would rather spend that money on our own country in an effort to educate the people who will be making these decisions in the future.
Part of me wonders if there is a conscious effort to keep our citizens uneducated. After all, the uneducated are often the easiest to manipulate and brainwash. They don't question or challenge. They follow blindly what they are told and react aggressively and irrationally when confronted with an idea that differs from their own. I realize I am stepping out on a limb here, but with all the areas that funding is being cut from it makes me wonder what the intention of these politicians are.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Head in the Clouds

I love playing outside with my kids because you get to observe and experience things through their eyes. Many things that I would overlook or not find amazement in, provide my kids with tremendous excitement and joy. To be able to experience that by extension is an absolute blessing. Both our children love the outdoors and, weather permitting, spend hours outside each day.

But there is a problem. My son. He does not pay attention to where he is walking....EVER. The poor kid is so engrossed with whatever he is observing or chasing or playing with that he often trips, falls, runs into stationary objects, etc. It would be funny if it weren't so dangerous. (Yes, I realize all kids do this to some extent, but admittedly my son seems to do this a little more than most). I remind him constantly to watch where he is walking, to keep his head up, to not walk forward while he is looking backwards. Doesn't make a difference. The kid is focused, just not on where he is walking. I don't want to squash his intensity or his natural curiosity and ability to become fully engrossed in whatever captivates his attention. But I would also like to put an end to the excessive head injuries the poor kid continues to receive.

So, seriously how do you get your kid to stop spending so much time looking at the bugs, and rocks, and dirt, and flowers and start looking at the wall he is about to crack his head open on or the rock he is about to trip over or fall on? Discuss.


Check this out.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Book Review: Sarah's Key

I just read Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. I loved it, despite it at times being gut-wrenching and devastatingly sad. The plot centers around a journalist who discovers a personal connection to a family that was rounded up during the Vel d' Hiv in 1942 during the German occupation of France.

A young girl, Sarah, locks her 4 year old brother in a cupboard and takes the key with her, thinking she is keeping him safe when she and her parents are taken by the French police to a concentration camp. She thinks there is some mistake and that she will be able to return the next day and free her brother. The parents are shipped off to Auschwitz; Sarah ends up returning but much too late and what follows is the history of a life and the lives of those tangentially connected forever altered. I don't want to delve too much into the plot because I would more than likely give too much away.

This book was wonderful, sad, terrifying, and touching. It was especially vivid to me because when in Germany I visited the Dachau concentration camps. I still have incredibly vivid memories of the gas chambers where parents thought they were going to take showers with their children. I have near perfect recollection of the huge ovens used to incinerate the bodies. Walking through that concentration camp was haunting and surreal. I just could not fathom how humans could do such a horrible thing to other humans. I still have a very difficult time understanding such hatred and depravity. So, as I read much of this book it is Dachau that I had envisioned in my mind and for me that made it all the more devastating.

While much of this book is fictional, the events of the Vel d' Hiv are historically accurate. I will admit that I had never heard of this prior to reading this book. It is rarely talked about; a shameful part of France's past, one they don't like to relive. This book serves as a reminder that we must never forget.

Has anyone else read this? If so, what did you think? Are you reading anything else of interest right now?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

There is a neighbor who we have befriended and who we allow quite regularly to use our computer in order for her to communicate with her family, pay her bills, etc. She is alone and a long way from home. I always have her use the office desktop, which I rarely use anymore since getting my laptop, and give her privacy when she comes over.

Well, apparently each day she comes over (which some days is many times a day) she scrolls through all my sites that I had bookmarked. She checks all blogs I have ever read, many of the ones marked favorite on that computer aren't even the current ones I read. She has also apparently been able to access quite a few personal accounts because I had clicked "remember password" on many of them. She accessed a work-related website and read drafts of articles I was working on. So, basically she has been snooping for MONTHS. I "caught" her doing it this morning and asked what she was doing. She had no shame in admitting that she was "checking out what I was into." Okay.....apparently, she would scroll from site to site repeatedly after she finished checking her email and paying her bills to "see if anything interesting popped up." Seriously? I could care less that she searched through blogs or other Internet sites that I read or have read in the past. After all, they are on a public forum. I do take issue with the fact that she opened personal folders that store professional correspondence. I take further umbrage with the fact that she doesn't view this an invasion of privacy or an abuse of privilege.

So, I am thinking that my days of being so generous are over. I did tell her that I wasn't comfortable with her using our computer if she was going to look through our files and that I would have to think about whether or not my husband and I were comfortable with her coming over for computer time anymore. She honestly didn't seem to think what she had been doing was a problem. So, what do you think? What should I do? What would you do?

The Games We Play

My husband needed to swing by his office this morning to pick up some documents he had left. The kids and I decided we'd go with him so he could show the kids his new office and then we'd go out to lunch. Well, on the way back we pass this "carnvial" that is being set up in the parking lot of a strip mall. Our daughter flipped out with excitement. She had to go and see what was there. We figured we'd pull in, let her walk around, she'd be too scared to ride anything and we could leave. Boy were we wrong.

Amusement parks in general are not my favorite thing, but rides that are transported on trucks and set up in parking lots are especially shady in my opinion. We did a little recon on the area and decided to put the kids on a train that basically went around in a circle and did so slowly. Both kids were fine and loved it. Our daughter then decided she wanted to go on these airplanes that lift very high into the sky. I thought for sure they'd have to stop the ride to get her off. Nope, she rode it twice. She then rode a roller coaster which went way too fast in my opinion twice by herself. Then my husband took both kids one one of those boat looking contraptions that swings back and forth until you are so high you are literally looking down at the ground. The entire time I just kept thinking, "Please don't let my babies slip out from the guard rail." They loved every single minute of it. So, much in fact that both have been asking all day to go back tomorrow. I'm still thinking about that one.

So, I guess the next step is to take our kids to Disneyland. They seem to be ready. Mommy is not!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Note to Asian Tourist

I am certain that you did not intend to send me into cardiac arrest. However, for the record, here in America it is never a good idea to sneak up on someone in a parking lot without a)giving them plenty of notice via some type of verbal initiation of conversation and b)without keeping enough space between you and the person you are approaching so that when they turn around they don't literally run into you.

I'm not quite sure about the crime rate in the Asian countries, but here in America crime is rampant...or so it seems....and quite a bit of it occurs in parking lots. People roam the streets with assault rifles and are not afraid to use them (unfortunately). Here in America when someone sneaks up on you in a parking lot, the first instinct is to protect your children, swing your purse, and start screaming for help. You are fortunate in that the response you got from me was a mere, "Good grief, don't ever sneak up that closely on someone in a parking lot ever again."

Seriously, you are lucky that I am one of the few who does not carry a gun, or a taser, or pepper spray (although I am now seriously considering options 2 and 3). Now, that my heart has resumed beating at its normal pace I hope you have learned your lesson. Welcome to America.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Why My Son Will Make a Good Husband

Each morning after my daughter gets dressed my son will go up to her and say, "Pretty." She spends quite a bit of time in Princess dresses or other elaborate dresses at which point my son will say, "Oh, so pretty." This has now translated to me. Each day he kisses me and says, "Mama's pretty." Melt my heart.

Then yesterday two older women commented on how well-behaved my kids were at lunch. I said, "Thank you" and proceeded to make small talk. My son hopped out of his seat, walked up to the ladies, pointed at both and said, "Pretty" and then gave them both a grin that could charm the socks off the most suspicious of fathers.

A few minutes later on our way out he walked up to a little girl about 2 1/2 years old. He said, "Hi" the girl said "hi" back and then he points to her and says, "Pretty girl", blows her a kiss, and walks away waving.

I am definitely going to have to keep my eye on him. :)

The Solution: Mexican Food

So, in addition to the cold that I have my stomach has been very upset since Sunday. Pretty much it just burns and cramps...nothing settles well and after each time I try to eat the pain just gets worse....until last night.

I was doubled over in pain and the thought of food sent me into a fit of dry heaves, until I thought of salty chips and incredibly hot salsa. For whatever reason that sounded delicious. Almost like the burn of the salsa would put out the fire in my stomach.

So, we went and grabbed some Mexican food and in all seriousness my stomach has not hurt since. It was almost instantaneous relief. What kind of sense does that make?

Do you ever get weird cravings when you are sick?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Germs, Germs, Everywhere

I can't even begin to tell you how frustrated I am that we have spent the last 6 months overwhelmed with illness. It is seriously getting ridiculous. I used to be sick all the time when I was teaching. Instead of becoming immune like most teachers, I spent 5 years catching every little illness each of my students brought into my classroom.

When I stopped teaching over three years ago it was like a whole new world. I was healthy for massive amounts of time. I even went an entire year without so much as a sniffle. My daughter was the same way. In the first two years of her life she had one cold. She was a machine. Then my son came along and at 8 months was very ill and hospitalized. Since then the poor guy catches everything.... and I mean everything. There also seems to be a major increase in the amount of illnesses my daughter and I now catch. So, I was totally bummed when our son woke up Saturday with a horribly runny nose. I knew it was only a matter of time. He's now sick, I woke up sick yesterday and my daughter woke up sick today.

Really there should be a limit on the number of times one should be allowed to get sick in a year's time. I'm thinking three.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Mother's Intuition

When my daughter was born I fell instantly in love. There are no words adequate for the instant bond I felt. I held her constantly, let her sleep on my chest, I rocked her and nursed her to sleep, picked her up the second she began to cry, etc. I had friends tell me to put her down or she'd get spoiled, they told me to put her in her crib or she'll never sleep alone. They told me to put her to bed when she was awake or she wouldn't learn to fall asleep, and they told me to let her cry it out. I didn't listen.

When my son came along almost two years later I did the exact same thing and those same friends gave the same "advice" and again I didn't listen. And you know what? I am soooooo glad I didn't. My children are independent, they sleep in their beds, they go to sleep without having to be rocked or nursed, they aren't cry babies and they aren't spoiled because of being held too much.

My children still love to cuddle, they still like me to read and sing to them before they go to sleep. They still ask me to hold them and comfort them and I do all these things willingly and eagerly. I do them because I know there is going to come a day when they will just wander up to their rooms and go to bed. I do them now because I know there will come a day when they won't want me to hug and kiss them and shower them with affection. I do these things now and savor them because in the not too distant future my children won't want or need them done and I will miss doing them.

Time goes by so quickly. Anyone with children can attest to that. I am glad I ignored all the naysayers and did what my gut and intuition led me to do. I have precious memories of my children and wonderful moments that I will forever remember that I wouldn't have if I wouldn't have rocked them to sleep, let them sleep on my chest, or nurse them to sleep. For instance I wouldn't know that my son rubs my face in his sleep when he sleeps on my chest. I wouldn't know that my daughter whispered "mama" over and over again as I rocked her to sleep as a baby. I wouldn't know that my son clasps and folds his hands over and over again as he nurses to sleep. I also know that because both of my children were comforted and given an abundance of security as young children they now have the confidence and security to fall down, get hurt, get back up and not expect hysterics on my part or my husband's. They know they are okay and they know that if they weren't I would be right there to comfort them.

I think a parent's bond with his/her child is an amazing thing. It's hard to describe and hard to imagine ever feeling that way until you become a parent. Then you can't imagine ever not feeling this way. I know some amazing women who happen to be amazing mothers and we all do what we think and/or know is best for our children and I think that is simply beautiful.

Superbowl Sneak Peak

The "commercial" began with a woman unzipping a man's pants. We sat there thinking, "Hmm, this seems a little inappropriate for a prime time commercial." Next thing we know the man has whipped out his penis and was shaking it in front of the camera. Then about 30 seconds later the Superbowl game resumed. We sat there a few moments stunned, not really sure what we saw (and very thankful the children were playing in another room and not sitting in front of the TV like the rest of the adults). Turns out a short clip of a porno interrupted the feed during the game. You can read all about it here.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Mothership

So, we bought some beer last night for our Superbowl gathering today and my husband and I decided to try one last night. It is delicious. It's called Organic Wheat Beer Mothership Wit. It is made by the same folks that make Fat Tire, which I am not a huge fan of. It is close to Blue Moon, which I am a huge fan of though. Anyone else tried this before?