Monday, July 30, 2007

Mama has a brand-new tool

As the wife of a man who has virtually every tool ever invented by humankind -- I am truly not exaggerating here; our garage is so full of tools and equipment that there is no room for cars and hardly any room to walk -- you would think I have any kind of tool at my disposal (or at least have the tool-wielding husband at my disposal).

Nope. (And don't try to write a sentence like that at home.)

Flyaby has sooo many toys that require batteries. And toy companies enjoy tweaking parents by hiding the battery compartments behind plastic doors that are screwed shut. In order to change the batteries, you need a screwdriver (usually a Philips head) to open it up just to change the batteries. But when your husband hoards tools, and is never around when batteries decide to die, what's a mama to do?

I bought myself -- gulp -- my first tool, my own tool, a screwdriver.

Not just any screwdriver. This has a nifty wheel around it that holds several different kinds of heads, so it's like having five different screwdrivers. I am ready for anything that needs to be opened or shut! I could, in theory, put things together! I could build something! I could set up the flat-panel LCD HDTV 5 Minutes for Mom is giving away from Best Buy!

Even though all I really want to do is change batteries in Fly's toys, I am enjoying being the owner and user of a screwdriver. This simple little pleasure is especially sweet because I haven't told JP about my new-found battery-changing freedom. I have hidden my screwdriver from him. Mostly, I'm afraid he will snag it for himself and toss it in among his other tools, where it will be lost among so many other tools in that great tool abyss known as our garage. No, I think my little tool will remain hidden, with Flybaby's best interests at heart.

Sometimes, keeping a secret from your husband can be a good thing.

And if my son grows up seeing his mama putting things together with her own tool, that's a good thing, too.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Come join the chat room today

Join the fun over at the "I'm not going to BlogHer" chat. I'm going to keep the chat room open all weekend. So far, several anti/rebel/dissident mamas have shown up:

Awesome Mom

Fidget, who is having a non-BlogHer contest going on until Sunday! So please go enter.





Much More Than A Mom


Oh Amanda

Happy Momma

Mrs. Flinger

Guinevere Meadow

and you! Come and join us!

(Er, did I forget anyone? If so, please don't stone me. Send me a message with your blog link. I promise to list you! Sorry!)

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Not going to BlogHer? Come and chat!

OK! If anyone is interested, please come and chat tomorrow, Friday. I will have the chat room open at a reasonable hour tomorrow. I will visit when I can. I've never run a chat room before, so ... don't take advantage! Feel free to spread the word and invite your bloggy friends.

And don't forget to snag your "I'm not going to BlogHer" button for your site:

Oh, also I just found out at WhyMommy's blog Toddler Planet that you can attend the BlogHer conference in Second Life! Wish I'd known about that sooner.... I don't know much about Second Life, so I figure it's too late to learn now just to virtually attend the conference. Maybe in my second life, hee hee. But if you know what you're doing, then go for it!

- - - - -

Flybaby slept a grand total of nine collective hours yesterday (a 24-hour period) with great periods of fussing (he wants up! he wants down! he wants to crawl on the counter! he's tired! he's not tired! he doesn't know what he wants!), and I threw in the towel and called the pediatrician. I finally got an appointment late this afternoon. I calmly explained that it's de rigeur for Flybaby to sleep 10 hours or less, plus it almost always seems I can't do anything to make him happy. (I could have whined about how I don't have time to do anything for myself, including and especially reading blogs, but I don't think he would have cared.) The doctor told me to double his current dosage of acid reflux medicine to see how that goes. I just hope and pray something will help him out, because Flybaby just seems miserable no matter what I do for him....


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What I'd Wear Wednesday

What I'd wear today if I could: this sweater/dress thingy by Free People -- but only if it were about 20 degrees cooler than it is these days. (I promise not to rant about how clothing stores are trotting out their fall clothes at the peak of summer. But just know that I'm thinking about it.)

Even though I couldn't really wear this today, I'm swooning. Picture the back of my hand on my forehead, mouth open, eyes wide -- I just love this. It's got that romantic air about it, and you could wear it alone or over fall leggings. It comes in other colors, too. It's completely impractical, but you have to have some impractical clothes now and then, don't you?


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

BlogHer-nia, or, Anyone ~not~ going to BlogHer

For you seven other mom bloggers who aren't go to the BlogHer conference in Chicago that starts later this week, well, feel free to join my ho-hum crusade with this "anti" button for your site:

Reasons I should be going to BlogHer:

1. I have family in the Chicago area. Not close enough to stay with them overnight, which is a good thing, because part of BlogHer is hanging out with your new gal pals. Having family nearby is just a good excuse.

2. I have an actual, real, Web site related to my book that has a blog and everything, and BlogHer could help me do a better job with that. And yes, I'm keeping it a secret.

3. I could really use a break, and I haven't been to Chicago in 23 years!

But I'm not going. And if you're not going, either, why don't we all meet in a chat room and discuss why we aren't going? Or how we're going to (or not going to) improve our blogs? Hey, I'm a Gen-Xer -- we brought slacking to a whole new level. We can share tips, drink virtual lattes and be the anti crowd. The eight of us can have a grand non-time. We can not-have speakers, not-have panels, not-have tracks to follow, not-have name badges!

I'm serious!

Who's with me?

PS: See that iBakeSale button on the right? If you haven't already, please click on it and sign up for your fast, free iBakeSale account. Just by signing up and shopping at online stores you probably already shop at, you could be earning money for your favorite charity -- or even get that cashback goodness for yourself! Hey, I won't judge....

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Monday, July 23, 2007

You can't have any pudding until you've finished ... aw, never mind!

Summer means strawberry shortcake. Mmm....

I was lucky weak enough to get a small strawberry shortcake cake at the bakery and was enjoying it after lunch when I thought I'd see if Flybaby would like a tiny morsel (without the strawberry on it).

I truly, truly wish I'd had my camera ready. But I don't have a photo of the pinched, sour face Fly made while he spit out the nibble of sponge cake.

What are we going to do in a couple months when everyone wants to watch him eat his birthday cake?!


Friday, July 20, 2007

Responding to the hard questions with a way to help

As hard as it is sometimes to take care of a baby around the clock, I know times are coming when parenting will require more than that. I know Flybaby will have problems or decisions I won’t be able to help him with, and he will ask hard questions I don’t have answers for. And other times, he may have questions I do have answers for, but I will squirm as I respond to him.

My mother, Cammy, may have squirmed one time when as a kid, I asked her about the “holes” in her face dotting her cheeks like a sponge.

Cammy never did and still doesn’t talk much about her childhood. Her father died when she was a girl, and her stepfather was abusive. She answered me that one time, she said something smart to her stepfather, so he grabbed a pot of hot water off the stove and threw it at her. She was burned. She had several skin treatments of some kind, but she stopped going before her skin could be restored because the treatments were so painful. So Cammy was left with a pocked appearance.

In that time and place, social services didn’t really exist. If “spare the rod and spoil the child” meant excessive punishment, then people reasoned the child probably deserved it and would be better off having been “corrected.” People didn’t question authority, and parents were authorities. So my mother lived with the abuse.

It’s so hard for me to hear in the news about a child who has been abused -- even more so now that I’m a mother. Child abuse is still a huge problem today, but there are more places that offer help to abused children. One of them in my area is Kids In Distress, a private, nonprofit agency. It offers abused, neglected and abandoned children a place to stay and a therapeutic preschool. Kids in Distress also offers programs for families to prevent abuse -- that is huge!

When the Parent Bloggers Network wanted to help spread the word about iBakeSale, a new way to raise funds for your favorite charity, I knew I wanted to donate to Kids In Distress. As a nonprofit, Kids In Distress relies on community help. Signing up at iBakeSale is such an easy way to give to the kids who are hurting in my town. I signed up for a fast, free account, selected Kids In Distress as my cause, and got shopping!

Yes, shopping! Whoever first thought of cash-back shopping as a way to donate money to a worthy cause gets a gold star. The way it works is online retailers (big ones, too, like Macy’s, Disney, Wal-Mart and Hallmark) offer a percentage of your spending total to your chosen cause. All you have to do is shop! If you’re going to buy online anyway, it might as well help someone out. If you’d like to join me in donating to Kids In Distress, please click here and join my group:

Once you’ve signed up for your account (it takes less than five minutes), you can choose other groups to donate to -- like your children’s school or even yourself, if you want that spending to come back to you. With so many retailers on board offering money back, it doesn’t even make sense to shop at those online stores without someone getting a kickback. I’m happy to make sure Kids In Distress gets some benefit from this easy way to raise funds.

When Flybaby gets to the stage when he asks me the hard questions and he asks me why some people are so cruel, I won’t have an answer for him. However, I plan to tell him we can help alleviate suffering and help make others’ lives better.

Parent Bloggers Network

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

No more "knick-knack," plus, going berserk

Ever since I mentioned to JP that I thought the children's song "This Old Man" was a little pervy, he has disallowed it to be played.

What do you think?

"This old man, he played three, he played knick-knack on my knee..."
"This old man, he played nine, he played knick-knack on my spine...."

And who even knows what door, hive, sticks, heaven and gate could be euphemisms for in the wrong mind.

I don't know about you, but I don't want an old man "playing knick-knack" anywhere near my child. Maybe I'm just paranoid because someone close to me in my family was molested as a child.

Then, I also happened to mention that in the book Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton -- actually one of my favorites and the first of probably many I've memorized word for word -- I told JP one of the hippos gets deflowered.

"Give me that book!" he said. He flipped through the pages. He didn't see anything wrong.

"See?" I said, "The first two hippos? One has a flower behind her ear. And over here on this page, she still has the flower. But after the party, look at all the hippos who leave. None of the hippos is wearing a flower. Sometime during the party, that hippo was deflowered."

JP gives me a look....

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What I'd Wear Wednesday

What I'd wear today if I could: something easy by the late Liz Claiborne like this outfit. Classic.

Liz passed away last month, leaving a legacy of offering designer clothes for the hoi polloi (for the most part). Her empire includes Juicy Couture, Kate Spade and DKNY Jeans, among many others.

In the 80s, my stepmother, Anne, was crazy for Liz Claiborne. And I just didn't get it. To me then, the clothes Anne liked seemed plain. Now I understand the benefit of simple, classic clothes -- especially now as a mom, when I usually don't have the time or energy to try to pull together a cute outfit. If you have the basics, then you can't go wrong because almost anything will go together.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Recall nation?

JP's ever-recall-vigilant mother, MM, called me this weekend to let me know Gerber organic oatmeal was recalled because it clumps.

I told MM that Flybaby eats this cereal every morning for breakfast, and I have yet to see a clump. Besides, if there was a clump, I could just mash it with a spoon until it was smooth. Right?

Where were the recall people when Fly's teething toy broke into bits?

I'm not sure I'm hip to this recall business. Some things, like the oatmeal, are recalled for stupid reasons, while other things, like the teething toy, aren't even on the recall radar.

Makes you wonder what other hazards are lurking out there to endanger our children?

Like this ball.

If a toddler were to come over and bounce this ball too hard, it could hit Flybaby on the head! Gah! It might even leave a red mark on his head for two whole minutes!

Or, take this rabbit:

Looks innocent enough. But how do I know this little fuzzmeister won't produce ferocious lint that Flybaby could choke on? What if one of our cats gets Bunny, rips a hole in him, and little beans start spilling out of him, creating another choking hazard?!

That leads us to another "softy," Mr. Octopus.

As a battery-operated toy, this creates electromagnetic radiation, and you know what that means: mutant! children!

Even soft blocks can be dangerous.

They teach impressionable young children that animals and celestial bodies smile when, in fact, they do not.

Look at the evidence. Where is the outrage? When are we parents going to stand up to this kind of lackadaisical attitude about our children's welfare?!

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Friday, July 13, 2007

When mosquito netting seems like a fashionable option

Before Flybaby was born, friends could count on me to be the local "cruise director" to find fun things to do and organize everyone to do them. Now, I still find fun-ish things to do -- but my brain is gone.

When Flybaby doesn't sleep -- which is about 16 hours of the day -- it's often hard to come up with things to do with him. My brilliant idea for today was a trip to a protected, small remnant of a forest.

It's the middle of July.

The forest is swampy.

Can you find the 2,387 mosquitoes in this picture?

Hey! Can you let me out of my stroller yet?!

Waiting for the lightning alarm to give the all-clear....

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What I'd Wear Wednesday

What I'd wear today if I could: it's just too hot outside to think about wearing clothes, ugh. If I could spend all summer in a swimsuit, I'd do it if onlookers who happen to catch a glimpse of me wouldn't pass out at the sight....

But sometimes even in summer you really need to wear real clothes. So I guess the next best thing to wearing almost nothing is shorts and a tank top. The summer uniform.

These cargo shorts from Express look cool and comfortable. They also have that perpetually wrinkled look to them, which is a plus for moms -- or for anyone who is allergic to ironing, like me.

Should I mention it's too hot to iron anyway?

For a tank top, a solid color is good, but if you can find an embellished top, even better. Express offers this blinged-out lion tank:

But I like nailhead decorations a lot better because nailheads don't fall off, and they aren't scratchy --- which is a must when you have a baby burying his face in your shirt when he wants to nurse. So this tank top from The PJ Shop is more my style:

Do you have a summer uniform? How do you keep cool?


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I give moms a bad name

Note to self: when going out in public -- even if it's just to the grocery store for donuts dinner -- check your entire person for small toys that may be catching a ride (say, a large puzzle piece peeking out of the cuff of your cargo pants) or for Gerber puffs that may be stuck to your clothing in embarrassing places (like your butt).

Apparently, making a fool of myself at the supermarket is something I'm good at.

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Very big moments

Clean and soft, freshly baby-scented from your bath, you sat on my lap in your blue-striped velour pajamas. You should have been asleep. But the sandman hadn't arrived yet.

Instead of getting frustrated at your not sleeping the way I usually do, I got some graham crackers and sat down with you. We ate together in the fading summer nighttime light. You don't need to be able to talk to let me know you enjoyed your bedtime snack. I enjoyed it too -- mostly just because of you, sitting on my legs, amazing me with your abilities that grow daily.

Later tonight after you finally fell asleep, your dad and I watched a movie that made him want to hold you. I told him to hold you, that you will never be this small again. Go hold your little baby, I told him, it doesn't matter if he's sleeping. And he did. Your head rested on your dad's shoulders as he nearly slow-danced with you in your room.

We both love you and claim these small moments as very big moments in our hearts.

Because today you are a 10-month-old baby, and soon you will be a mischievous toddler, a rambunctious little boy, an awkward tween, a gangly teenager, a broad-shouldered young man. So today, we'll take you as you are -- our little baby boy. We are so blessed.


Friday, July 06, 2007

So, have you sat down to a hot meal yet?

...Yes, several times. At the same meal.

Aren't there just loads of annoying questions people ask when you are a new mom or when you're pregnant?

Don’t you wish you could have just handed them this?


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Joining the 21st century

Right at this very moment, I am blogging from my kitchen table!

This feat has never before been seen in the Fly household!

During our Fourth of July party last night, friend Star/Guinevere's brilliant husband came over and installed a WiFi hub right in our house. So I can use my laptop anywhere in my house. JP even tried it from outside and sent me this:

"Hi Honey,
I love you - Me, from the patio."

Expressions of love are better in person, of course, but this one was way exciting!

Maybe now I'll be a better commenter because Iwon't have to retreat to the office to go online....

What's next for us -- a flying car that runs on water?

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

What I'd Wear Wednesday

What I'd wear today if I could: this "cowgirl print" dress from Ann Taylor Loft. So it looks like a bandana. That's why, I guess, the ATL people call it a cowgirl print. Psh.

I say it's an easy-to-wear dress that's perfect for Independence Day! Red is a great color to wear for any kind of celebration. The print is all-American. And when JP and I have our annual Fourth of July party this evening (our backyard is in viewing distance of fireworks at a local park), this would be great to wear. No boots or western hat required -- although that would be a cute look if you're into that. If you have the evil upper-arm flab (EUAF), you can put on a white button-front shirt and tie it at the waist. Cute!

One more reason this would be great to wear: I think Flybaby's favorite color is red!


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Germs win

I admit it, I have been a germophobe when it comes to Flybaby. A toy falls on the floor? It has to be washed or sprayed with sanitizer. His high chair at the restaurant? Scoured with antibac wipes. My adorable nephew's shoe-clad feet step on Fly's blanket? I have to get out a new blanket. And don't dare be a stranger who reaches out to touch my baby. If anyone said I was overdoing it, I just pointed out that Flybaby has yet to get sick. I have been careful about washing my hands, too.

But now.

Now, Flybaby is crawling. And he can feed himself. So every little piece of lint or stray blade of grass that has been minding its own business on our floor is now food. One time, it was a foam earplug JP thought he had thrown away.

Trying to do some laundry, I looked down to see Flybaby chewing on something. And being quite happy about it.

Afraid he might choke on his ersatz snack, I tried to get him to spit it out.

"Ptooey! Pbbbllt! Spit it out, sweetie!"

Flybaby just smiled and kept chewing.

"Ptooey! Ptooey! Pbbbbbbbbblllllllth!"

Flybaby just laughed at me.

So I did the only thing left to do.

I stuck my unwashed finger in his mouth. Did a sweep. And came up with a granule of cat litter.


So now I figure my finger has to be cleaner than anything he could put into his mouth....

But strangers still better keep their hands to themselves.

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

No matter what

Today's post is written by Jenny at the so called me. Please find my blog exchange post at her site today!

I think in my child's eyes I am a way of comfort and love (of course). I'm really the only one he runs to when he's scared or not feeling well or hurt. In some ways it can be irritating because sometimes I want a little downtime, but for the most part it makes me feel awesome. Makes me feel like I'm doing a good job of loving and caring for him. I live each day knowing that I am the one who makes my little guy feel safe and I hope that never changes. I hope that he never stops coming to me when he needs me. I think a lot of moms feel that way though about all of their children. My mom feels that way about me to. But in my child's eyes, I know that I will always be the one that will always be there for him. No matter what.