Thursday, April 30, 2009

Social Security

So the past two times we have gone to the park there have been some other mothers there with their kids. This has proven very nice for my children because not only do they have someone else to play with (Izzy says "oh my friends are here" when she sees other kids even when she's never met them before), but I get to talking with the other mothers and am able to surpress my inherent disdain for being outside and can tolerate being at the park for much longer period of time. However, there are two issues with this type of situation: the first being that once I start talking I can completely space out and stop paying attention to one or more of my kids, which not only makes me feel like a terrible mother once I realize it, but also could result in injury if someone falls when I'm not watching. At the moment it is Sophie that usually gets ignored since she is still at the age where you put her somewhere and she stays put, but I still feel like I'm neglecting her. And I know that either one of the older kids can fall off of something even when I am watching, which is a risk I take just by having three kids at the park at once - you can't keep you eyes on everybody all the time right? But I still feel like the worst mother ever when I'm chatting away and then all of a sudden snap back to realizing I'm totally not watching my kids. The second issue arrives when I'm talking and the other mothers are not ignoring their children, and end up running around to help them on the slide, swings, etc. I never know if I'm supposed to stop talking while they tend their kid and then pick it up when they come back or if I sholud follow them around in order to keep the conversation going. I am hardly at ease socially in the best of situations, but following a relative stranger around a playground nattering on about pointless things makes me feel like the biggest doofus. So I guess the end result is this - visiting the park when there are other people there is better for my kids as it results in longer stays and meeting new friends, but it is not so good for me since I end up feeling like a socially inept, unfit mother.


ps: it is also totally fascinating to see the differences in size between my kids and everyone else. Today Izzy was playing with three other little girls - all of whom were 4, 4 1/2 years old, and none of whom were taller than her.


pps: yes, i know this entry doesn't really go anywhere, but it's 4:30pm and I had nothing else to talk about today. I thought i had some topics stored up but can't remember anything right now.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sign Of The Dog

So, Monday night's House featured a deaf patient, which is pretty much irrelevant except that it brings up all kinds of questions about being/going deaf like "how hard is it to learn sign language?" and "what would it be like to be born deaf and never hear anything at all, ever?" and teh most important, "how exactly does a dog assist a deaf person?" You may be a bit confused by that last statement, but I assure you it happens. i know this because my local Post Office has a sign saying that no dogs are allowed inside, except for those "assisting blind or deaf persons." I am fairly familiar with how dogs assist the blind by leading them around obstacles and keeping them out fo traffic situations, but I am not familiar with how they go about assisting the deaf. But the first time I see a dog asking the telling for stamps or signing the postage rates to his disabled owner I promise to let you know.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Supercalifragilistic-Exhibition-ocious

We have recently acquired a copy of Mary Poppins that is proving quite popular at my house. we watch it almost everyday, and each time there is a strange element of audience participation. As I'm sure most of you are aware, there is one scene where Dick Van Dyke is dancing with some cartoon penguins, and he pulls his pants down low to shorten his legs, all the better to authentically replicate penguins' moves. Well, my daughter is often moved to join in the merriment of this scene, however, she is not typically wearing trousers. This is the result:

video

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Barking Bad Choice

So it's been all ove the news that the Obamas got a dog. Whoop de doo. I don't really get the current obsession over everything they do. Okay, I get it - they're the First Family and all, and of course the first black First Family - but seriously, everything they do is still pretty much normal. Like the fascination with Michelle Obama's fashion sense. Everyone is claiming that she is this amazing dresser, and yes, the woman puts together some very nice, flattering outfits, but they are hardly earth shattering. I guess the point is that she doesn't wear stodgy suits like former First Ladies have, but can we please remember that A) she is significantly younger than the most recent First Ladies and B) anyone being compared to someone dressing in the eighties is going to look like a winner? Seriously. She looks very nice, but it's not like someone in her position would be allowed to dress badly or really take any exotic fashion risks anyway. But I digress. My point was the dog, Bo. I really don't know why people care that they got a dog, but the fact of the matter is that it was always going to be a big deal, and because of that I'm pretty disappointed by their choice. Since everyone on the planet knew that everyone else was going to want to get a dog just like the Obamas, I really think they set a bad example choosing a rare breed. Now breeders are going to be pushed by demand or greed to over breed their dogs, resulting in less than healthy animals. Frankly, I think the First Family set a bad example by choosing a pure breed at all - if they truly wanted a dog, and truly care about their impact on public opinions and action, they should have done the responsible thing and adopted a puppy from the pound. Mixed breed dogs are hardier and healthier than pure breds, and a rescue puppy will love you like no other animal. There are thousands of shelters in this country that need donations and millions of animals that need loving homes. We don't need more high priced, inbred dogs running around, but we do need people in the position to affect public opinion to draw attention to animals who have been abused or abandoned. They could have chosen this opportunity to educate Americans on the need for support to animal shelters across the country, as well as the importance of spaying and neutering your pets. Instead they are going to spark a craze for a rare breed of dog that will result in overbreeding an unnecessarily increase the pet population. In my opinion this was a real misstep by the Obamas, and as a result my respect for them has lessened considerably.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Park Angels

Today when we got to the park there were two little boys there (well, 8 years old, so big kids, but little to me). They were racing around and playing with toy lightsabers and just generally being super cool and fascinating to my kids. Izzy was her usual talkative self, repeatedly telling them about her brother "Jackie" and saying "be careful boys" when they were jumping off the slide. She also made sure that I knew once again how much she likes boys - something I hope to hear less of when we get closer to the teenage years or we are in trouble. Jack mostly just stared in amazement. near the end of our stay the boys got on the swings, so of course Izzy wanted to swing too, and as we were all in the same area, the boys started talking to me. At first I'm pretty sure they were telling me part of their Star Wars playing because it bore little resemblence to English, but then we got into them telling me about where they lived and whatnot. Until one boy said "so, you've got three childs already." I thought that was kind of a funny statement coming from a second grader, but just responded that yes, indeed I had three kids. And then after a few seconds of thought, he asked me how old I was. And here's the best part: when I told him I was 31, he said I looked 20. What a darling boy! He also seemed to feel better about me having so many kids once he figured I was an appropriate age to have them.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Aaah, The Innocence (And Guilt) Of Youth

My daughter quite regularly does something to her brother that makes him cry. He quite often returns the favor. Either way, I can be assured that my daughter will tell me in complete honesty what happened. I usually have to ask, but she will always just come right out and tell me that she pushed him, or stole his toy or whatever. Neither of them particularly likes loud noises (although they do enjoy MAKING loud noises and frequently compete to see who can shriek the loudest/and or in the highest pitch. delightful), and will cover their ears when someone else is crying, or I vacuum or use the blender etc. And sometimes it is completely a mystery why their ears are covered - like a truck drove by a mile away and they are signalling they heard it. So I didn't think much of it when I returned to the car after running into the house for a forgotten item and Izzy was holding her hands over her ears. I just figured the sound of the garage door was too loud. I did however begin to suspect something when I got in the car and she immediately assured me that she had not bitten Jack's finger. My sons' response was to hold his finger out to me and nod in agreement. Hmmm, yeah right. Somehow it seems unlikely that she would need to inform me that no biting was taking place in the car, if in fact that was the case. And seeing as I was not born yesterday, I'm pretty sure that in the ten seconds I was in the house my son had his finger chomped. I just love that despite the fact that Jack wasn't crying and I never would have thought they had done anything other than sit quietly while I was gone, Izzy felt the need to let me know that in no way had she bitten his finger. So I guess we have left blind honesty behind and entered into the land of preemptive lying, which is so much more entertaining.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Healthy Dose Of Humor

I thought I liked the Healthy Choice commercial with Julia Louis Dreyfus. And then I saw the one with her and Jane Lynch. And now I'm just wishing Seinfeld were still on.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Today's Entry

I've just realized I didn't blog it up today, so here we go: I put all the kids down about noon- and didn't have to get anyone until 4:45. It was awesome. I got to relax and read until I finished my book - no getting interrupted or having to stop 10 pages from the end. How lovely. And everyone so far is being just angelic so hopefully tonight will go smoothly as well. Unless I just jinxed it.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tech Savvy Superstar

Okay maybe not. But I did post this from my phone which is kind of cool. And so what if I'm sitting on my couch 20ft away from my computer? The point is I COULD be out doing something kick ass and fun. You don't know my life.

ps: I can also blog it up through email. Because I am a ROCKSTAR!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Finally!

Pigtails!!!!
I have been waiting three years for this!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Aaaaaaagh, Spring

yesterday it was 70 degrees. There was not a speck of snow left in our backyard. I wore a short sleeve t-shirt. Outside. And now:
The forecast is for 10"-18". Today. Colorado blows.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's Death Or Shots - Is There Really A Choice?

The past week or so the debate has been blazing through the photosphere about whether or not to vaccinate your kids. Detractors argue that there is a risk of autism in vaccines, and so they choose to forgo what they see as an option. They feel that the extremely limited risk of autism (of which there is only anecdotal evidence) is worse than the much higher chance that their children will contract completely preventable, and yet often debilitating or fatal, diseases. I am a big proponent of to each his own, and live and let live and all that, and frankly, if the only people put at risk were their children I wouldn’t really care. It sucks for the kids and is tragic when they get sick and die, but some people have lousy parents. So be it. However this isn’t limited to single families, nor is it truly a personal choice. Infectious disease, by definition, spreads, and therefore the decision to allow yourself to be susceptible affects us all. So let me just say*, in no uncertain terms, that these people are stupid. Okay, maybe technically they are just narrow minded, but when it comes to the safety and well being of your child, that amounts to the same thing. These people are responsible for resurrecting diseases like whooping cough that were previously close to being extinct. Because children who get sick pass germs along to other people and so on and so on, until we get small outbreaks and epidemics and children die. Good thing they weren’t around making this argument when small pox was still a problem, huh? The fact is, that regardless of the argument against vaccines, these people are assuming that the rest of us will choose to vaccinate our children, thus preventing theirs from being exposed to the various diseases out there. But how many of them have to skip the vaccine until the balance gets tipped away from the immunized and we are all at risk? I understand not wanting your child to be hurt - shots are no fun, but all three of my children have been immunized and never once did they cry longer than it took the nurse to put the band aid on. and certainly the thought of having a child with an autism spectrum disorder (which I personally believe to be tragically over diagnosed, but that’s another issue entirely) is terrifying. But I’m pretty sure having to plan your toddler’s funeral is a lot worse. Hard decisions are part of being a parent, and risk is a part of life. Like any sane parent I want my children to avoid getting sick (it took me about half a second to agree to get a pertussis booster myself when I learned it would help protect my babies), but my response to that is to let them play in the dirt, and not freak out when they put things in their mouths, and not wash their hands in antibacterial soap ten times a day so that they build strong immune systems. And guess what? When I came down with strep throat and various stomach bugs this winter (clearly my own immune system needs a little work), not one of my children exhibited a single symptom. Sometimes in order to win the war you have to actually step up and fight - if you run all you will get is hunted. When my oldest child was an infant she was diagnosed with sagittal synostosis, a condition where her soft spots closed up too soon that required surgery in order to prevent her skull from becoming severely deformed. And yes, it was scary having to hand my 4 month old baby over to the nurse for neurosurgery. The incision and tubes and seeing my tiny little angel in a hospital bed were upsetting - but not nearly as upsetting as having her grow up disfigured and teased and wondering why she was different from other kids. So we did it; it wasn’t even a hard decision to make, and now we have a smart, active, beautiful three year old with a scar hidden by her hair on her perfectly normal head. That was a problem that affected only our family, but what if her condition had been contagious? Would you thank me for correcting it and putting my child through surgery so your didn’t have to? You should. And you should do the same thing with the vaccines. There are kids out there with allergies and other problems that prevent them from being vaccinated for legitimate reasons, and it is our job to protect them from these diseases by ensuring no one else ever catches them. But if people out there would rather promote fear rather than combat illness, well, I guess I can’t stop them. Let’s just hope they home school their kids. Because I am more than willing to allow my children to interact with a kid who has autism, but a kid who hasn’t been vaccinated? Not so much.

*and yes, I really did get out of bed at 4 in the morning to write this

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Faux-ercise

I am really enjoying the ads for the Ab Rocker, which is this spring loaded backrest that makes sit ups easier. The obvious appeal comes in the form of the device itself, which makes sit ups look fun because they are basically no longer exercise - its just like reclining a lazyboy over and over. Wheee. But I am also really loving the clips of people struggling to do regular sit ups - they are so terrible! These people make doing crunches look like trying to carry a 1,000 lb pack up the sheer face of a cliff. They struggle and struggle and barely get their heads off the floor - it's completely awesome. I mean, sit ups are hardly the most fun of activities, but they are not hard - multiple reps might be hard, but unless you are an invalid just doing one or two crunches is not exactly running a marathon. But this ad really pushes the whole "oh, sit ups are soooooooooooo hard, see these people can barely do them, but with the ab rocker they are so easy - you can suddenly do hundreds!" And of course, we all know that if it's easy, it ain't working. Of course, in terms of mental health and self esteem it might be awesome - hey look, I did a thousand crunches on my ab rocker! So whaat if I'm still all flabby because the thing basically pushes me up?

Monday, April 13, 2009

I Don't Like This Show, Not That I've Ever Really Watched It**

I am not a big fan of NCIS. I will watch all of the other procedural shows - the Law and Order series, the CSI series (although not Miami so much cause Caruso blows), but I just can’t get behind NCIS. I have only seen it all the way through once, with snippets of other episodes, and it just seems dull, with lame characters, bad dialogue, and cases that are boring and either obvious to the watcher, or the cast just instantly solves it five minutes from the end with no explanation as to how. But the thing that bothers me the most is the way they have chosen to stage the autopsy scenes. First of all, they are always standing over a body that has its chest flaps wide open and having long discussions about evidence or whatnot. This seems a little gratuitous, but hey it’s and autopsy, whatever. What’s is not forgivable, however, is that instead of just covering the lower half of the corpse with a sheet like virtually every other show does, they just hav a bright light shining on the genital area, ostensibly so bright that the naughty bits are visible. This is a really stupid decision for two reasons. First, it completely doesn’t work. Yeah, there is a light obscuring the area, but not enough to disguise the fact that these corpses are going to make a Ken doll look well endowed. And secondly, the director/producer/person in charge of this brilliant decision seem to have forgotten that whole concept that bright lights draw your attention. So basically every time one of these scenes is on, which is a lot, and they are LOOOOOONG, I spend the whole time staring at the lit section and wondering where all the bits are and why they can’t just be covered like on every other show so I can focus on the plot (whatever plot there is). Very distracting and irritating.
On a similar note of criticizing shows that I really have never watched, I caught a few bits of two separate JAG episodes the other day and I have some questions. In the first, one of the characters received a fax accidentally that held the itinerary of a visiting dignitary. It was sent to the wrong number by someone I assume was planning to kill this person, and when the killer showed up to get it, she just handed it over tra la la. Now, I have heard all kinds of good things about this show when it was on, so I’m wondering if it was always this stupid or was this just an off episode. Because honestly, a highly secure military office probably would not just hand over what was obviously privileged information even if it had gotten it erroneously. These are lawyers - wouldn’t they have shredded it immediately and assumed that whoever was supposed to get it would be able to get another copy? And how did the killer even figure out a) what wrong number he typed and b) where that was? Bad. The other clip I saw was from the very end of an episode, and it featured the main guy in a shoot out in alley with some gang bangers. Now, isn’t he a military lawyer? Why is he involved in a civilian gun fight? I would like to know how the plot there in that one.

*By the way, Laird, I totally wrote and posted this before we even talked. So weird.


**update 6/15/9: after my beloved auntie told me NCIS was actually very good, I decided to give it another chance and actually watch a whole episode whie also paying attention. I am now completely obsessed and watch it everyday.

Friday, April 10, 2009

That's My Actual Face, What's Your Excuse?

I love it when reporters and critics say an actress is really brave for appearing in a film without makeup on. It’s always for some harrowing role where they are supposed to look as awful as possible, and because everyone thinks it is such a huge deal, they constantly get asked about it while promoting the film (because you only go sans glamour in films, never movies). And of course the actresses are always telling people how it was necessary for their art, or to truly understand the character or whatever. Well, just once I would like one of them to point out to these stupid “journalists” that what they are supposedly so brave to be showing off IS THEIR FACE. Something that, I am assuming, they walk around in everyday. I could be totally wrong, I am admittedly unfamiliar with the intricacies of Hollywood, and maybe they take off their face and go around with just blank heads, but somehow that seems like something we would have heard about. So I am thinking that most actresses do not parade around in full makeup at all times nor do they wear masks or simply have no actual features at all. Which means that ugly, wrinkled, blotchy mug everyone is saying is so horrible and haggard and courageous is how they actually look most of the time. And I would love it if one of them pointed that out- something along the lines of :
Actress: you know I didn’t have any makeup on at all, right?
Reporter: of course
Actress: not even to make me look uglier?
Reporter: yes, a blank slate, so noble to be shown with all of your flaws and blemishes…
Actress: so then you realize you are telling me how ugly my face is, TO MY FACE???
Reporter: oh, well…uh…
Seriously, that would be an awesome red carpet interview. But I suppose they all have to have more tact and restraint than us ordinary folks (who in turn manage to look like saints compared with reporters). Cause I can tell you right now, if someone came up to me, shoved a microphone in my face, and asked me how it feels to let everyone see how terrible I look without makeup on, there’s a real good chance they’d be pulling back a bloody stump. Of course, that would be likely to happen with the microphone alone. And that, my friends, is probably why I am not movie star.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Are You Done With That?

Why do children insist on gnawing everything even when they don’t plan on eating it? Seriously, I would be perfectly happy to finish my daughter’s apple when she is done, except that instead of just eating one half, or a few slices, she eats pieces from all around the edge (if it’s cut in half) or just eats the flesh off the skin if it’s in slices, and then hands it to me as though I will delight in such scraps. Mmmmmm, rejected half chewed food, yummy. And why can it not go back into the bowl? Every rejected morsel must wither be handed to mommy or placed ever so gently on some piece of furniture - it can never just be put back into the bowl and then offered up as the treasure it is. It’s like she is trying to make my descent into eating second hand food as obvious as possible. Cause you know I always eat it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kids Say The Darndest Things Part 2

Things Jack Can Say That You Can Understand Clearly (or almost):
Mama, Mommy, Daddy, Boo, baby, car, doggie

Things he knows the words for and tries to say:
Shoes (soo), blueberries (booba), diaper (da), water (aaaaah), socks (ca), Iris- our cat (eye), powder (pow), high five (hubba), please (puh), truck (cuk)

Things That Sound Like “Buh”:
Bite, bottle, bear, ball, block, book, burger, banana, basically any words that start with ‘b’, or any words he doesn’t yet know

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Kids Say The Darndest Things Part 1

Isabelle has been quite the fount of amusing statements lately, and even though I realize they will not be funny when repeated here, I feel the need to share them with everyone.

When handed a piece of blank paper: “It’s my birthday! Thank you Mommy! Happy birthday to me…”
When I rhetorically asked what they put in the cheeseburgers after my son starting acting like he’d been given a triple espresso: “ pickles! My burger had a pickle”
Standing on her stool in the bathroom: “Ladies and gentlemen, introducing mommy, and Jackie, and this stool!”
While climbing on my back as a demand that I get onto all fours: “up tractor, up tractor!” (um, I thought that was horsey? Where did she get tractor?)

There are more that I can't remember right now, and in case you aren't laughing yet, we'll assume those are the good ones.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Iris 2000-2009

My dearest Iris:
I miss you so much. Just three days ago you were sitting on my lap and sleeping on my bed, and now there is an immeasurable void because you are gone. I want to see you sitting on the counter willing me to get up and give you treats, but you aren’t there and I feel broken. Eight years seems like such a small part of my life, but it was all we had and it was not enough. You are my heart, my soul mate, my kindred spirit, and I will love and miss you always. Please be happy and healthy wherever you are, and I will see you when time brings us together again.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Frustration Personified

So, my son Jack has never had much of a threshold for frustration. He gets it from me. He loves toys you can push around (strollers, bikes, carts, etc) and when he was about a year old, if he ran into one of the thousands of obstacles on the floor, he would immediately collapse and scream and kick and just generally cause hilarity amongst all adults in the vicinity. In the six months since then he has gotten much better about this charming habit, but recently we have had a few meltdowns and they have dramatically changed in presentation. Now when faced with something frustrating (usually attmepting to put on his sister's princess shoes by himself which he is miserable at), he stands tall, puts his arms back and roars. Seriously - it is an open mouthed yell of such mighty proportions that roaring is the only term for it. It is awesome. Okay, tantrums are not the type of behavior we encourage around here, but developmentally he is at that stage, and since he usually calms down pretty quickly after the venting I am free to enjoy it*. It is such a manly display and such a perfect expression of childish frustration and anger. And afterwards, he comes over to me, tips his head so I can rub it and then all is well and he goes back to playing. So funny.


*it is cute when directed at a toy - significantly less charming when directed at me

Thursday, April 2, 2009

In The Mood To Redecorate?

This week I got a catalog in the mail for Crow’s Nest Trading Co. Here is the cover:


All I can say is Wow. That is quite a chair. $1300 almost seems like a bargain for something that special. For those of you who don’t know me, let me assure you that there is nothing even remotely resembling this in my home, or in the home of anyone I know. So basically I’m wondering what the hell I did that got me onto this mailing list. Oh, and by the way, they also sell clothes, yay!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Oh Look, It's April 1

I have decided, in these tough economic times, that a great way to make money is to become a surrogate. Renting out your uterus can be a very lucrative endeavor, and it really doesn't take that much of a committment or effort on my part. And hey, maybe I can work with Nadya Suleman's doctor and really get the most bang for my buck by having half a dozen kids at once and selling them to the highest bidders. really, who need a retirement plan when you are as fertile as me?

HAPPY APRIL FOOLS!!