Saturday, May 29, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Disney Princesses Have Already Brainwashed My Daughter

I hate these bitches.

Last night, Owen, Cameron, and Kade came over.  Since Owen and MG are the same age, and Cameron and Claire are the same age, there has been a little lighthearted ribbing (since Karen and I were pregnant!) about how cute it would be if our kids grew up and married each other.

So, as I was laying down with Mary Grace before bed last night, she was telling me, "I'm gonna marry Owen," and I said, "Honey that's fine, and Owen is a really nice boy, but I want you to know that there's a lot of time yet to worry about getting married.  You have a lot of things to learn and a lot of adventures to have before you worry about getting married, honey, and I think it would be better if you and Owen were just really good friends until you're about 25."

She cried like I was crushing her soul.

"BUT MOMMY!  I want to get married!!!  I want to go on a honeymoon with Owen!!!"

What the eff???

Where are the stories of girls having adventures that DON'T involve "getting married and living happily ever after"?  I'm sorry, everyone who drank the princess Koolaid, but marriage is when the work starts.  It's not all riding off into the sunset kissing in the back of a carriage, and anyone who tells you different is probably selling something.  Marriage is about mortgages and paying taxes and dirty diapers and finding something to talk about even though you've spent the last 3,287 days together (love you, Honey!) and taking care of each other when you're sick and taking care of each others' kids and aging parents and negotiating where you're going to spend the holidays and trying to come up with a creative gift for the 9th year in a row (help!)...  Marriage is about putting someone else's needs first.  Yeah, it's great (if you're married to the right person) but it's also a lot of work.

I continued, "Honey, being married to your daddy and being your mommy is my favorite thing in the world, but I wouldn't be happy being married and being a mommy if I hadn't had adventures first."

"I don't wanna have adventures, I don't want to learn stuff, I want to get married and go on a honeymoon!"

Clearly telling them that princesses get to be princesses because they're good at math and science hasn't been enough.

BJ pointed out later that he's annoyed that the girls in the movies meet the prince ONCE and then they get married.  He couldn't be more right.

Plus, there's the whole underlying message issue.  Boingboing said it best:

You know who I'd love to see a kids' movie about?  Amelia Earhart.  Or Marie Curie.  Or Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  But let's face it...  She's not a glamorous girl.

I know we willingly bought into the princess franchise (we did the big lunch in the castle at Disneyworld and the whole nine), but I really thought I could manage it.  I did not expect the whole, "Your only worth is in how desirable you are to a boy," thing to happen at age FOUR. 

I need to start deprogramming, and I think I need to start writing historical fiction for little girls, based on the lives of the role models that they should be looking up to! Unfortunately, a story that goes, "I spent a lot of years in school, working really hard to learn everything I needed to know so that I could change the world," doesn't generally translate to a blockbuster movie.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

True Confessions, Thursday Edition

1.  I have not opened the deep freezer since I discovered, two nights ago, that it wasn't freezing anymore and defrosted it.  I'm afraid to look.  I figure if the freezer starts bleeding (from all the melting beef), I'll have to do something, but until then my strategy is avoidance.

2.  I should have written a long, heartfelt post about how much I love my husband yesterday, because it was our ninth (!) anniversary.  However, I had to be out of the house with the kids all day while the installers were laying the new (beautiful!) carpet, so I didn't have access to the 'net, except on my phone, and it's hard to write long, heartfelt posts on my phone.  So here's the short version:  "Being married to you is the best thing that ever happened to me, BJ, and I'd do it all again."

3.  I love the new carpet in a wholly inappropriate way.  No one should love any thing as much as I love this carpet.

4.  I watched the movie Motherhood, about a mommyblogger, last night (BJ was with me, but he fell asleep), and I hated it.

The portrayal of motherhood was the aggregate of every insulting stereotype about mothers - we're disorganized and forgetful and selfish and bitchy and moany.  There was no plot.  The blogging thing (which could've been interesting) was an aside...  It could easily have been cut entirely from the movie and it wouldn't have changed a thing.  And the references to 9/11 were completely awkward and inappropriate.

I told BJ to take me off of our Netflix account.  "When was the last time I picked a good movie?" I asked.  He couldn't remember.  Sad.

5.  I am so far behind on laundry (from being incredibly busy, not from being some ridiculous stereotype of inept motherhood) that I can't get dressed until the laundry is done.

6.  I finally broke down and turned on the air (before June 1!  Blasphemy!!) because it has been so hot and humid, but I only did so after finding out that Mom, Megan, and Jen had all turned theirs on first, and they all live north of here where it's cooler.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Beyond Tired

Someone is going to have to invent a new word for how tired I am right now.  Ho.... ly.... crap!

(This post doesn't promise to be my best writing.  If I weren't so frigging tired I would go google one of my better posts and put a link to it here, but I'm too tired to give a damn.  I can write when I want to.  Tonight, I don't want to.  You can't make me).

We hit the ground running this morning, getting out of the house and to my friend Jenny's by like 9:15, maybe 9:20 because I had to get gas.  This wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't watched the 24 finale and the Lost Jimmy Kimmel show with BJ, so we were up pretty late.  And getting the kids out of the house is kind of like herding cats, so 9:20 is an impressive arrival time for a friend's house across town.  I'm well aware that by that time of morning, some people are halfway done with their shift at work.  Those people are not me.

We got to Jenny's, then hopped in her van and headed for the Children's Museum.  We stayed there, having a blast, until 3:00 or so, when we decided that the baby, Miles, had had enough and needed to get in the car and sleep a while.

The girls and I stayed and played at Jenny's for a bit, then we went to the store because we were completely out of food.  If I hadn't bought food, it would've been a disaster (on several levels, keep reading).

The girls were amazingly good at the museum and in the car and at the store.  It was seriously one of our best days.  Yay!

Well, I get home with the groceries, and I'm getting ready to make MG's favorite, spaghetti, for dinner.  I open up the deep freezer (you know, the one that's supposedly "frost free") to put away the groceries, and the stuff in the door is completely thawed.  The only reason the stuff inside is still frozen is because it's encased in (rapidly melting) blocks of ice.


If I hadn't bought food tonight, though, the entire contents of the freezer would've been destroyed by tomorrow, so it could've been worse.  It was pretty bad as it was, but we didn't lose more than a few things - some old popsicles and old bran cereal for making muffins, a single package of beef, and a half a box of frozen egg rolls.  Compared to the 1/4 beef, two chickens, one turkey, four pizzas, and half a dozen bags of frozen vegetables that it could've been, I'll call it a win for today.

So, instead of starting dinner, I start trying to chip away at the glacier growing in my freezer.  I pulled out as much of the food as I could put in the cooler that I could find, and went at it with the windshield scraper.  I was getting frostbite on my hands (on a 90 degree day) when BJ came home and took over (with a blow torch) so I could put away the other food and make supper.

Well, in my infinite wisdom I decided that it was too late to make spaghetti, so I made the frozen pasta/veg/chicken Bertolli thing I got, instead. 

I did not consult MG.

Spaghetti is her favorite.

I had already told her that we could have spaghetti for dinner.  In fact, in the car on the way to the store I had said, "What sounds good for dinner?" and she said, "Spaghetti," and I said, "Sure, and she said, "Hooray!!!"

When she realized that we weren't having her favorite, she started to melt down, so I gave myself a time out.

Hey, at that point I needed a rest, anyway.

She came over to the stairs where I was sitting and we talked about how I didn't mean to disappoint her, and how I was sorry I hadn't talked to her about changing dinner when I had told her that we were having spaghetti, and that I had a good reason for making the other thing instead (I didn't have time to make spaghetti before bedtime, anymore, because of the freezer), and that reason wasn't that I was trying to drive her nuts, and that I was really sorry and I'd try not to disappoint her with pasta again.

Would you believe that giving myself a time out and talking about how "Mommy made a mistake" ACTUALLY WORKED???  The meltdown that was coming was epic - she was sobbing.  I could've been all, "Suck it up, it's just pasta..." and gotten into a power struggle, but I had promised her spaghetti, and she had been really good and earned a favorite, and I had asked her for her opinion on what we should have for supper, and it was unfair of me to change it on her at the last minute, regardless of my reasoning.  By seeing it from her point of view, and realizing that it was something that I would give her a time out for had the situation been reversed (if she says she's going to do one thing and does another, sometimes it's time out worthy), I could see my way through to solving the problem.  The rest of the evening was fine.

Empathy in parenting - what a concept!

It makes me wonder how many of her meltdowns happen because she doesn't feel understood.  Because this one stopped cold when she understood that I DID understand how she felt, and that I was sorry I'd disappointed her.

I'm going to try to remember this.

So Grandpa helped BJ move the furniture so we can get new carpet (!!!!) tomorrow, and then we put the girls to bed and I caught up on my blogs and here we are.

And I'm exhausted.  I can't figure out if that's why I have a sore throat, or if it's something more ominous...

Monday, May 24, 2010

I am the only person on the entire planet who gets Lost

For crying out loud, people!

I've spent the better part of the afternoon reading other Lost blogs, and none of you get it.

Here's the thing.  It's about religion.

There was all this Mythology - throughout the series there was this supernatural stuff that was explained (smoke monster, polar bears) and some that was unexplained (Walt and why he was special, how Allison Janney got to the island in the first place, who made all the "rules").

But in the end, when it comes down to it, none of it matters!  It doesn't matter if Jacob was Good and Smokey was Evil (he was looking pretty sympathetic in the episode about their history, hardly an evil dude, imho - he just wanted to go home). It doesn't matter if time travel is possible or impossible.  It doesn't matter that Walt was special or not.  Some things are explained, some things aren't.

Just like in life.

But when it comes down to it, the following is true:

* We all are alive now.
* We will all die.
* The only thing that counts, the only thing that makes a damn bit of difference regardless of whether we're Hindu or Christian or Muslim or Jewish or whatever is the LOVE that we share (whether it's romantic, paternal (Jack and Christian), maternal (Kate/Claire and Aaron), fraternal (Desmond & every guy "brutha," Jacob and his brother), sororal (Kate and Claire), etc.), and the CONNECTIONS that we make to one another.
* We all have a chance to redeem ourselves - and our chance is RIGHT NOW.
* In order to redeem ourselves, we need to un-screw-up all of our screwed up relationships (Jack and Christian, Jack and Kate, Locke and his father, Sawyer and Locke's father, even Jacob and his brother! etc. etc.) and our relationship with ourselves (particularly Ben).

And I, personally, feel that those 5 things are every bit as true in real life as they are in Lost.

People who are religious get all caught up in the details, and the details have caused wars and countless millions of deaths since religion was invented in the first place - but the details don't matter.

Love matters.

That is all.

You have to let go of the details, let go of the mythology, and find a way to love and be redeemed.

And until you do, you're Lost.

There's a good argument to be made, based on the show, that good and evil are entirely in the eyes of the beholder - that someone's actions when viewed from one perspective may look "evil" (I kill you), but when looked at from a different perspective, they look good (...because you're trying to kill an innocent).  I think that's why the goodness and evilness of Jacob and his brother are left ambiguous - because I don't think the writers believe in inherent good and evil, and I don't think we should, either.  Evil and good are matters of perspective, not constants.

Love, on the other hand, is constant.

Love wins.


NOW what am I going to do on Tuesdays?

Friday, May 21, 2010


It scares me that BP's best solution for the oil spill is, essentially, the same advice that BJ's dad gave him when he got hurt playing ball:

Rub some dirt in it, and walk it off, kiddo.

We're screwed.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Google Earth for the iPhone, turning my kids into evil geniuses

Claire:  See, there's the earth.  And you pinch it, and it's huge.
MG:  How big is the earth?
MG:  Wow, it is huge.
Claire:  See, it's huge.
MG:  I want to squash it.
Claire:  Eeney miney moe the earth.  Mary Grace, how's that huge?
(A push notification pops up.)
Claire:  Oh, Scrabble!  ERRRT!

Ha!  Foiled again!  Grandpa Bob, you took your turn and saved the world.

Last Day of School

Today was MG's last day of school.  This poses a bit of a special problem, because Allison's last day was last week, and our new sitter can't start until the first week of June (she's in Puerto Rico). 

What do you mean I have to watch my own kids?  What kind of freaky primitive idea is that?  Next thing, you're going to tell me to take my laundry down to the river and beat it against a rock or something...

In related news, our dishwasher hasn't been getting things clean on the "normal" cycle, so I chose the "pots and pans" cycle this morning, when I started it at 8:55, hoping that would get things cleaner.  It's currently 3:35 pm and the thing is STILL RUNNING.  That's what, 6 hours and 40 minutes?  And still going??  These dishes had better be freaking spotless.

I could've taken my dishes down to the river to beat them against rocks, and it would've used less energy.  Dishwashers are stupid.  Anyway...

What was I talking about?  Oh, yeah, child care.  So my mother-in-law is coming down Thursday night, and is going to watch the kids all day Friday while I'm in a meeting with my accountant, trying not to cuss too heavily about government contract accounting.  Claire has her 3 year well baby visit 2 months late on Monday.  We're having the carpet installed on the 26th (our wedding anniversary!  Awww...) so the kids and I will probably make ourselves scarce (VOC's) and BJ can work from home that day to supervise the installers.  And otherwise, I have no idea what we're going to do with ourselves.

Suggestions welcome.

We do need to get back over to the zoo to see the baby wobblies and the baby goats that should be born any minute now.  If I had any energy at all, we could do that right now, actually, but going to the park for 2.5 hours this morning with 30 kids took it right out of me.  After the park, we picked up lunch and took it to the park by Daddy's "office house" (as Claire says) and ate with him.  That's enough fun for one day, right?

There was a fire drill at the office as we pulled up, so I gave our friends from down the hall the leftover cup cakes, reverse drive-through style.  That was fun. 

This post is going nowhere.

Dear Children,

Mommy is tired.  If you don't stop fighting, I'm going to put you down for a nap.  I don't have to make sense, I'm your mother.


What other random thoughts can I string into this?  Glee and Lost were both awesome last night.  Although, I could've sworn that they said that Vocal Adrenaline's coach wouldn't end up being a candidate to be Rachel's real mother.  Maybe it's just the smoke monster pretending to be Rachel's mother or something. 

The dishwasher finally stopped, at just under 7 hours.  That's ridiculous.

Just like this post.

And I just checked, the dishes are extremely hot, but not what I would call clean.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Tomorrow is the last day of school and, weather permitting, we're spending the morning at "the happy park" (as my kids call it).  This afternoon we made cupcakes (yellow cake with chocolate ganache because I suck at frosting) to take.

We were beating the batter in the mixer, and I stopped the mixer to scrape the sides down.  Grandpa Bob told the kids, "Scrape your sides," and they both ran their hands down their sides, from their armpits to their hips.  It was pretty hilarious to have "help" every time I had to "scrape the sides." 

After dinner (spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread), we took the leftover strawberries from last night, and the leftover ganache from tonight, and the kids had their first fondue.  There's a reason why kids don't fondue.  Double dippers = fondon't!  We're all going to have Claire's cold by morning.  But I got a lot of mom/wife/daughter points!

In other school related news, Mary Grace was awarded the title of Miss Congeniality at school (each kid got an award at their graduation ceremony today).  Each kid's favorite thing about school was also announced, and her friend Christine's favorite thing about school was "playing with Mary Grace."  Awwww...

It's hard to believe she has completed two whole years of preschool.  My big girl!  And Claire starts in the fall.  Sunrise...  Sunset... 

The truest statement ever made about parenting:

The days are long, but the years are short.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What Would You Do?

We went up to Grammaland to celebrate Uncle Chuck's birthday, and there was an incident.

I was sitting on a picnic bench talking to the grownups, and I heard Claire crying.  There were at least 50 kids there, so it was kind of awesome - my maternal ears are tuned into my kids so carefully that I heard her over the din and located her.  She was at the upper left of this huge thing:

I flew over the recycled tires that make up the "mulch" under the structure, shouting, "That's Claire," over my shoulder.  I made it up the stairs and had my arms around her within 15 seconds.

Mary Grace told me that "the big kid in the blue shirt" had pushed her, then pushed Claire, then choked a little boy whose mother also has magic ears and was already there.  She looked, and he had angry looking red marks on his collarbone.  He was clearly terrified.  I think he was about four years old.

The perp, who was clearly much older and bigger, I'm guessing 9 or 10 and 85 to 95 pounds, was up the structure further, being scolded by his own mother.  A crowd of wide-eyed kids had gathered to see what happened.

"I'm sorry," explained the mother.  "He's autistic.  He doesn't know any better.  He really tries, but he just doesn't know any better."  She made her son apologize to all the kids.  He tried to hug the little boy he'd choked, but the little boy wanted none of that.  (I watched, and the littler boy's mom tried for 30 minutes to calm him down before giving up and taking him home.  He was truly hurt and scared).  The perp's mom took him off the play structure and to the car, saying, "You've lost your privilege.  You can't hurt children at the park." 

She'd been through this before.

I felt compassion for the mom.  I also felt terrified for my kids.  He was MUCH larger than they are, and they were at the top of a huge flight of stairs, and he could easily have really hurt them. 

I went to my car to get my kids, and the kid who got choked, a Kleenex.  On the way I noticed that the family of the boy with autism was still sitting in their car.  I knocked on the window.  "I used to be a special ed teacher," I explained.  "I just want you to know, I understand, and I don't have any hard feelings.  I hope it gets easier for all of you."

And I could end the story there and sound like the greatest mom on the planet, showing compassion to the poor kid's mom, showing that I understand how hard it is for the boy...  I could leave the next part out, because I don't know, honestly, if it's the right thing to do.  But this is the part I really want to talk about, so brace yourselves.

On the way home, the kids and I talked about what had happened, and I said, "What if that kid had choked you or Claire?  What would you have done?"  They said they would have run, and I said, "But if his hands are on your neck, you won't be able to get away, will you?  Listen.  If a kid ever hurts you, I want you to try to get away and to a grown up.  I want you to call for help.  But if you can't do those things, I want you to bite him or poke him in the eye."

Oh yes, I did.

Nice girls get hurt.  I'm sorry, but it's true and I have proof.  Nice girls get forced to do things that they're not ready to do, particularly when they get a little bit older than my kids are now.  I am not interested in raising nice girls.  I'm raising kids who know how to take care of themselves, and who aren't afraid to stand up for themselves (or their sister).  If another kid starts it, I want my kids to finish it.

We went through a couple situations, "If a kid takes a toy from you, can you hurt him?"  "YEAH!" they both said (they thought it was funny that Mom was telling them to hurt people).  "NO!"  I corrected, "ONLY if he hurts you."  "If a kid hurts your feelings, can you bite him?"  "YEAH!" they both said.  "NO!  ONLY if he hurts you."  "If a kid chokes Claire, Mary Grace, can you bite him?"  "YEAH!" she said.  "That's right, but you'd better also scream for help."  This went on for a while, until I ran out of examples and they got bored.

We're going to have this conversation again, and BJ and I are going to look for a self-defense or martial arts class to get the kids into.

Should I teach my kids to fight to protect themselves?  I told BJ on the phone, "If some other kid starts it, I want our kids to end it.  And I don't care if they get suspended from school for fighting - if they tell me that it was self-defense, I will back them up." 

What would you do?

Happy Birthday!

The picture I took at the park didn't work, so here's a recent favorite, instead.

Happy birthday Uncle Chuck! We love you!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Moving On

The tough thing about living in a college town is that you get really good at goodbyes.

When Mary Grace turned one, Allison started babysitting for us two days a week so I could go to work.  I had just learned that I was pregnant with Claire.  I had just gotten over the postpartum depression that characterized MG's first year.

It was hard, leaving my baby with someone else for the first time so that I could go to work.  Up until that point, we had just taken MG to the office with us.  But she was getting too big and too mobile and too bored.  No one was getting anything done.

Allison grew up next door to my aunt Julie in Grammaland.  She watched my cousins for years before coming to college here.  I figured that if she could handle two active boys, she could easily handle MG.  Her mom and my bonus mom are best friends and used to be business partners.  Her mom and dad attended my wedding.  So even though I didn't know Allison personally back then, I had enough recommendations that I could leave her with MG and not worry.

And then I met her, and I saw how sweet she was with Mary Grace, how fun and easy-going and natural she was (at a time when I still felt like I was all thumbs as a caregiver!) and all of a sudden it was easy.

She has come to our house twice a week for the last four years.  After Claire was born, I took her to the office, but when she turned one Allison started keeping both girls at home.  By some miracle we were always able to work out her class schedule and our preschool schedule and my work schedule so that she could be here about ten hours a week.

Those ten hours a week have saved my sanity more than once.

In four years, I have never heard her complain.  Not once.  I have never heard, "We had a bad day!" in response to my usual, "How were they today?" even though I know first hand how difficult my kids can be!  She has never said a single negative word to me about anything or anyone.  She has never complained when I've been late or when I've forgotten to stop at the bank on the way home.  She has been nothing but a joy to work with for four straight years.  She has been part of our family.

She graduated this month, and she is starting her new job shortly so today was Allison's last day with us.  Even though she'll be going to grad school here, she's not going to babysit for us regularly anymore.  Saying goodbye today was so hard.  I may have cried like a pretty baby all the way to work.  Allison has played a huge role in our lives, and in our kids' lives, and it's really the end of an era. 

Thanks for everything, Allison.  We love you!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

An Open Letter to Online News Sources

Dear Editors and Webmasters of Online News Sources:

I know it's rough for you right now, with print dying and everything going online.  And hey, I think it's great that you have a presence on the web - good for you!  But we need to talk.

I just read an article about some idiot who taped razor blades to playground equipment.  I found the article via, and I had no idea where it had happened.  In order to figure out where the Ledger-Enquirer is, I had to scroll to the bottom, click "about" and then click "contact us."

That's kind of stupid, don't you think?

I think y'all need to standardize, and put a dateline on every online article.  You know, like you used to?  When you were printing articles on paper?

Also, it would be really helpful if, instead of putting "" on top of your page, if you put "The Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus, Georgia" - or even "The Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus, Georgia, USA." After all, this internet thing, it's global.  Someone reading about razorblades in, say, Columbus, Ohio, or Columbus, Spain might get confused.

Would it be too much to ask you to make these two, small changes?  It would sure make life a lot easier for your readers.

TV and radio stations?  You too.  In fact, if your location isn't obvious (as in the Chicago Tribune or the New York Times), and if you're not deliberately being obscure about where you live (like me), you should pretty much assume that no one who sees your website has any idea where you are, unless you tell them otherwise.

One more thing.  Pop up ads look unprofessional.  I can get away with them, because I'm a blogger.  You shouldn't try.

Thanks for listening,
Somewhere in Indiana, south of Grammaland

Friday, May 7, 2010

Oh Irony...

Yesterday I got into the breastfeeding debate on Facebook with friends of a friend.  I'll spare you the gory details, but this young, childless woman named Tracey said that breastfeeding is "gross" and she doesn't want to have to see it.  She said that new mothers are fat, and that being fat makes these new mothers too lazy to go somewhere away from her to breastfeed their kids.  She asserted many times that if I weren't so fat and lazy (bear in mind, this woman has never met me) I wouldn't have had to breastfeed in public.

I hear you thinking, "It couldn't have been that bad!  Who is that ignorant in 2010?"  No, really.  Here's a direct quote:
"AMY GO FEED YOU BABY IN THE CAR, CORNER, & COVER YOU BREAST OR BREASTPUMP...youre excuses  are not humorous anymore youre  catty, lazy and annoying**** LMAO. "
You can just imagine how well that went over with me.

But what made it awesomely ironic...  What made it hilarious...  What made it the best Facebook argument I have ever engaged in.....

This woman, who is SOOOO offended by public breastfeeding is an exotic dancer!  No kidding!!

This woman shakes her T&A in public for money, probably in some seedy dive bar (because there really isn't any other kind of strip club, is there?) but *I* am a lazy person for breastfeeding my children in public.  (Or is she lazy for not bothering to get enough education to support herself with her clothes on?  Hmmmmm....)

(<--- That's the only kind of stripper that's appropriate as an illustration here, this is a family blog.)

I can't make this stuff up, folks.  

Thursday, May 6, 2010

From the Mouths of Dads

I wrote the other day about how our society's screwed up perception of all men as predators hurts men, and ultimately hurts children...  Rob commented on that post.  I don't want anyone to miss what he said, because this is exactly what I'm talking about.  With his permission, here's Rob:
I am in the same situation as BJ - I feel very awkward when coming into contact with other people's children if I do not know their parents really, really well. I volunteer in the church nursery every Sunday and refuse to change diapers because I just don't want to deal with the hassle when we have paid folks in there to do it. The room is often full of children and anywhere from three to seven adults, but I just won't do it. (And it's not just because poop stinks!)

I had direct experience with the “Stranger Danger” feeling on Tuesday night when I took Abby to the mall for dinner, just the two of us. When we were walking through the mall while holding hands I got smiles and “aww, how sweet” comments the whole time. When we went to the playground part of the mall, she shot in well before I did, after throwing her shoes at me. Everyone accepted the child that was running around, but nobody associated her with me.

Strange looks were shot around as soon as I walked into the playground, by myself, and started scoping things out. Every parent took time to scope out where their child was in relation to me. It was palpable, and very awkward. I got Abby’s attention and made her come over and give me a big hug and a quick tickle and all of the sudden I was in conversation with the moms and dads around me.

It was such a change that I noticed it. I guess it’s the first time in a long time that I have taken Abby out by myself to someplace like that.

I don’t have a solution for how to change the perceptions, but I can tell you that they are real, and they affect the way that I choose to do some things now, and that makes me sad.
This is what I'm talking about.  Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences, Rob!

Monday, May 3, 2010

All I know is that it's supposed to match the drapes

Tell me everything you know about carpet, Internet.  Ready?  Go.

(Inspired by Cate's comment about chemicals on FB.  Obviously there's a lot I don't know, here, so talk.)

((My back hurts and I'm fussy and this is the best I can do for a post tonight, sorry.))

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Stop the Presses! Tylenol and Motrin Recall

I had two bottles - one Tylenol and one Motrin - that fell under the latest recall.  How many do you have?  The winner's kid gets a liver transplant later in life.

Wow, that was a bad joke.

WhyMommy (as usual) did a better job of both detecting and writing about the recall.  You can read her post by clicking anywhere on this sentence.  (I find my own links very hard to see - I need to figure out how to fix that, but for now I'll just make them enormous).

Or, if you prefer to go directly to the recall info, click on this sentence.

Be safe!

Odds and Ends

I'm reading a really good book called The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which you should totally read if you have the slightest interest in medicine, history, or cancer. It's not a dry textbook-like book.  It's a story.  It sucked me right in on page 1, and I've been reading it pretty much non-stop since - even today at the mall while the kids played (they needed new jammies, so we put another $30 into the Disney franchise.  Yay).

Speaking of cancer, a very brave 29 year old girl from my hometown was just diagnosed with lymphoma and started a blog, so go show her some love.

In completely different news, you should know that it annoys the snot out of me when stuff happens that I can't blog about.  No one is allowed to say anything funny or do anything interesting in my presence anymore, unless I can blog it, ok?  And that includes me.

I need to get these kids to bed.

Lowe's is doing their $79 installation special ($39 if it's Stainmaster!) on carpet through Monday, so we're probably going to get new carpet here shortly - we have someone coming out in a couple days to measure.  I'm REALLY excited, because I've hated the carpet in my house since we looked at the house - long before we bought it.  Who knew that it would take us over 7 years to replace it??  We've always had other priorities.

Ok, I really need to get these kids to bed - Claire is starting the meltdown.

Have a good what's left of the weekend!