Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Not these

What I'd wear today if I could: anything comfortable.

But what I want to point out this week is what I definitely would not wear.

Here are two items I've found recently.

It doesn't even say "sexy." Is this what callgirls are wearing these days?

This skirt looks like a pair of pants gone wrong in an eighth-grade home ec/sewing arts class project. The color? The slit? The wide horizontal band? All weeeeird.

Yep, definitely not wearing either of these today.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Tuesday afternoon. Fly is not napping. Mama is not happy.

I slip into another room just for a few minutes of peace apart from a Tasmanian devil leprechaun an overtired little angel.

When I come out, Fly runs to me and hugs my legs as if he hasn't seen me all day. I pick him up, and he shows me one of his latest tricks: an open-mouth kiss. (He hasn't learned to put his lips together yet.)

Then I see a diaper on the floor.

I check exactly what it is I'm holding in my arms.

"Fly, you little nudie!"

His eyes light up, and he smiles.

"You took off your diaper!"

"Silly!" Fly says.

And in spite of myself -- and surprised at his developing sense of humor -- I agree.

"Yes, you are silly!"

And a future class clown is born....

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Quiet time

Fly doesn't watch much TV. I think everyone needs a little down time, though -- time to relax and be quiet -- especially an active little boy who seldom slows down for anything.

Even book reading is a sport for Fly, as he rapidly turns pages, does motions I invented for certain books and gets up and down off my lap or off the floor to get more and more books for me to read. I have even been known to turn a somersault if the book character does. So I don't want anyone getting the idea that reading is quiet time in my house. Not at 19 months old, anyway.

But Fly will settle down for the Baby Einstein caterpillar that creeps across the screen. He loves Baby Einstein, it turns out. If he is going to watch anything, I think it's good for him to view something educational.

The Baby Einstein folks sent their latest DVD for us to review: Baby's First Sounds, for ages six months and up. It features five main sounds ("ah," "buh," "duh," "ee" and "mm") and provides examples of how to use them -- first in English, then in other languages. It's really fun and, as always, uses the Baby Einstein puppets and bright illustrations throughout the video. We also own the Baby Einstein DVD Language Nursery (which includes several foreign languages), and I think this new video is even better than that one. I would have liked to see real people making these language sounds, but Fly hears -- and sees -- JP and me talk aplenty.

(At last count, Fly says 27 words and makes six sounds that have meaning. For example, he can say dog and bark, and he can say duck and quack, and he knows the connection between those animals and the sounds they make. He can also recite the alphabet to E. I just had to brag a little!)

Baby's First Sounds is a fun video -- and a nice half-hour of rare quiet time.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Seeing through Nan's eyes

When Nan is in town, you aren't hyper -- you are busy and curious.

When Nan is in town, you aren't easily distracted -- you are an outrageous flirt.

When Nan is in town, you aren't ornery -- you are confident and know just what you like.

When Nan is in town, you aren't a bad sleeper -- well, you are, but everybody gets that way from time to time.

When Nan is in town, I can see through her eyes, and you are perfect.

And, of course, she's right.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Zen

What I'd wear today if I could: these funkaaaay yoga pants from Carushka Bodywear. Just to be comfy, but colorful and stylish. I'd throw on a simple white T-shirt and be done. Ahhhhh.

I have never seen a pair of yoga pants quite like this. I have a couple plain pairs, but I'd love to have a couple pairs more -- and these would just be too much! In a crazy good way!

And the wild pattern would surely help hide some Fly-induced stains....


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Adventures in Cleaning

After the fifth time of opening a certain kitchen cabinet this weekend and having something fall on my head, I'd had enough!

After Fly was asleep, I took everything out of the cabinet.

I was surprised to find five thermometers (five! I couldn't even have found one!) and one dead bug. The bug was especially surprising because I really would have thought there would be more. I also was surprised at the great quantity of tea I have. Apparently, I really like tea -- green tea, white tea, herbal tea, family-size tea -- and chai.

I wiped things down and took a look at my stash.

And this is just what would fit on the left side of the kitchen. I regret not taking a picture of the other side. And I really regret not photographing the state of the cabinet before I took everything out, but as I mentioned, that would have been an action shot.

And please don't laugh at my crock pot. It's old, and making fun of it would be a cruel thing to do to a senior appliance.

Before I go any further, I should mention most people keep their medicines in a bathroom cabinet. JP and I are rebels, though, so we have always kept them in a cabinet in the kitchen. The problem with this is when you are looking for a can of soup, you are likely to be hit on the head with Benadryl.

Once I sorted through everything, I was amazed at how many medicines were expired and how many empty prescription bottles there were. There was even a prescription bottle for a cat we had who died in 1999.

I am so ashamed!

Here is what I threw out:

I hope this will be a lesson to you. I hope no one else out there has this same sickness.

Now that my cabinet looks like this:

It just looks so bare to me!

(The middle right side? All tea.)

If anyone else wants to clean out their cabinets and toss unusable medicines, consider this a meme!

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Friday, April 18, 2008

And now we take gift ideas very seriously

Several years BC (before child), I actually used to enjoy flipping through the Victoria's Secret catalog. (These days, I usually don't have time. Plus, I'm really not that interested in seeing super skinny people in their underwear. Not that I ever was....) JP and I would sometimes veg by sitting together and looking at our respective magazines and catalogs, pointing out interesting things to each other.

"Flannel pajamas," I said once, going through a Victoria's Secret catalog. "I love flannel pajamas!"

"Really?" JP asked.

"Sure. They're warm and soft, they go allll the way up to your neck and allll the way down to your ankles and wrists," I said, with a wink in my voice. "See?" I said, showing him the catalog's selection of winter-themed flannel.

JP must have been too absorbed in his own reading, because he didn't detect that I was kidding.

So a couple weeks later when I opened my birthday present from him, I died laughing because what he had given me was this:

(Actually, these aren't the same Victoria's Secret polar bear pajamas, but they come very close.)

JP was stunned at my maniacal giggles. "You said you wanted flannel pajamas!"

The man with the driest humor in North America -- the guy who says outrageous things in jest while others think he is being serious -- didn't know I had been kidding about the PJs. JP got it wrong, but it was really my own stupid fault.

I took the pajamas back and got something else. Cute as they were, there just aren't that many opportunities to wear flannel where we live.

The Parent Bloggers Network is asking for tales of gifts gone wrong -- or right -- to highlight a new service called Get In Her Head. It's an uber wish list that also keeps track of sizes and dates, and e-mails you preferences and ideas for gift giving. Perfect for Mother's Day coming up, hint hint . . . .

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Reason #487 to have a child

I got my get-out-of-jury-duty-free postcard in the mail because I stay home with Fly and he's under six!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What I'd Wear Wednesday: One. Bag.

What I'd wear today if I could: this fun tote from Boston Proper. I love my small handbags, but lately I find I am carrying around not only my purse but also a bag full of Fly's stuff. I am all for the cute Skip*Hop Pronto (we have, use and love a knockoff -- a Jump*Tumble?), but in addition to basic diapering, I carry a drink, a container of snacks, a toy or two and sometimes a rain jacket. I'm thinking about something that also holds my stuff so I have one less bag to carry. Some days, I feel like a porter. A porter who never gets tipped. Or maybe a pack mule.

What do you usually carry with you? How do you manage taking your bag and your children's stuff when you leave the house?

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Handy man-ee

The drip in the bathtub started about a week ago. At first it was just




A couple days later, I noticed

Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip.

When it got to

Dripdripdripdripdripdripdripdrip and could fill up Fly's sandpail in an hour, I mentioned it to JP, because men don't seem to notice these things even though they use said bathtub (for showering).

JP is super handy and can fix or build just about anything. Yes, I know I'm lucky, and you're welcome to have my autograph if you must. Sometimes, though, having a handyman for a husband has its downsides. For one thing, you spend time waiting for whatever repair is needed until he has the time. For another, sometimes the repair strangely leads to additional repairs.

But sometimes, it's just good for a laugh.

JP will be the first to say he isn't as good a plumber as he is, say, a mechanic. Yet he'd rather try to fix something himself rather than call a real plumber.

So he opted to spend his weekend muttering choice words at the faucet and making a half-dozen trips to Home Depot, one trip of which I'm sure was just to complain about the management decision to stop carrying a certain part that we needed to stop the leak.

Fixing plumbing also means turning off the water to the house, and that meant I couldn't clean (gasp!) or even cook dinner (the horrors!). But that meant we didn't sit down to eat until 8 pm, and that meant Fly didn't get to bed until 10. Both weekend nights.

All because JP insists on doing the work himself.

By Sunday evening, JP still couldn't get our faucet to stop leaking. In fact, it was now running a stream of water into the tub -- hot water, strangely enough. And because we couldn't let Fly haphazardly wander into the bathroom and start splashing in the hot-water-running faucet, we closed the door to the bathroom.

Which, of course, became a sauna.

(I just know all the environmentalists who read this blog have lost a half-inch in height while cringing at all of this.)

We lived with the sauna yesterday, and JP brought home a different part last night after work and made the final repair.

He beamed at me.

"Do you see what I did?" he asked.

"Wow!" I said, ever the admiring wife. "It's so ... so ... non-leaky!"

I put my hand under the faucet for effect.

But then a drip fell on my fingers.

And another drip.

And another.

"Look!" I said, gasping, showing JP my hand.

"No, no," he said. "That's not a leak. Just low-lying clouds."

I looked at him.

"It's just some dew," he said.

I patted his cheek with my wet hand.

"I dew."

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Looking at myself

Stephanie at Adventures in Babywearing is doing a self-portrait-in-your-sunshade-mirror meme, and I figured what the hey. I'm not sure why mine came out so small. But Stephanie, I agree -- sunshade mirror do make you look great!

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Plaid for a plaid-o-phobe

What I'd wear today if I could: this darling skirt by Free People. I know, I know, I keep bringing Free People stuff to this blog. I can't help it.

Let me first say I am not a big fan of plaid. I bet I couldn't find a single thing in my closet that is plaid. Oh, wait -- I have a kilt-like skirt I like to wear around Christmastime. I think that's it.

But this skirt is great for plaid-o-phobes like me because you get the plaid in a small dose. It just adds a little interest, a little pop of color as some people like to say. And maybe the plaid would hide stains, which I'm finding are getting harder to avoid as Fly gets older.

Besides the plaid, this skirt has a fun shape, and you could wear it with a lot of colors. Me, I think I'd wear it with a simple tee. With flip-flops, it would look beachy, and with sandals and a button-front shirt layered over the tee, it would be superb casual cool.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Race and rumors in Disturbia

It's been a disturbing week in Neverland. There are some people close to me who are facing tough issues. One bright ray has been Fly, who although he isn't sleeping well lately, turned 19 months on Monday.

The main disturbit, though, was that a person who worked in the nursery at the church we go to was found carrying a gun. While working in the nursery. And apparently, a child saw it.

The nursery worker wasn't fired because the church didn't have a policy against weapons; the church didn't think it needed such a policy. (The church has a policy against weapons now, because of this situation.)

The church also decided it didn't need to share this information with the parents, and that's where the Fly family household became even more disturbed.

Word leaked out about the gun, and a handful of parents found out. They told other parents, of course, and the story got embellished.

The gun discovery happened six weeks ago, and yesterday was the first time someone from the church sat down and talked with parents about it. The discussion was polite, but we moms didn't pull any punches. Mostly what bothers us about this issue is that the church didn't tell the parents, and that the nursery worker wasn't fired.

During the discussion, I suggested that if the church had let parents know right after the nursery worker was found with the gun, there wouldn't have been so many rumors going around. But instead, the church kept it quiet while the few parents in the know (not me) spent weeks getting upset and wondering what really happened and spreading stories around the church. Some families even left the church. This all could have been avoided if the church would have been up front with everyone. Now the church is doing some damage control.

The nursery worker decided to resign over the gun issue (and over another unrelated situation). Many parents feel the threat is gone because the person isn't working in the nursery anymore, but some of us are still wondering why the church didn't act more quickly and why it tried to keep things quiet (leading to rumors).

But there is a twist in this story.

To some people in the church, it was a unique situation because the nursery worker is a man. And he is black. In a nursery full of white grandma-type workers.

The minister who spoke with parents yesterday said an organization advised the church not to fire the nursery worker because he is black -- that he might take it the wrong way and sue the church. This of course caused some parents to claim the church was more interested in not getting sued than it was in protecting the children.

Now, the church I go to, I'll say it's mostly white. But there are a good number of black people, including many from the Caribbean (some for whom English isn't their first language), lots of Hispanics and a few Asians. There are also more mixed-race couples in this church than any other place I've been to (the ex-nursery worker is married to a white woman, and they have a son about Fly's age), so I didn't think race was an issue in this church. But apparently, it is.

Fly is colorblind

All of this makes me so unhappy on so many levels.

Fly wasn't there when the gun was discovered, but at the meeting with the minister yesterday, I pointed out that even if the ex-nursery worker had a concealed-weapons permit (which he does), the permit doesn't allow him to take it into a school. I don't know if a church nursery would be considered a school, but the church also has a preschool in session during the week, and the man could have been carrying his gun with him when the nursery was open at the same time school was in session -- a misdemeanor, perhaps. I pointed out that he might have brought his gun every time he came to work in the nursery. The minister then dismissed my comment by saying, "Well, now you're just shooting arrows in the dark," which hurt me because I don't think that's true (the man could very well have carried his gun more than that one time, including when he was watching Fly) and because it seemed as though the minister was trying to discount what I was saying: do you want someone who has such poor judgment in bringing a gun to a nursery looking after babies and toddlers? To me, that is the bottom line. Not that the church didn't have a policy against weapons. And certainly not that the ex-nursery worker is black. It's just, who is looking after our children?

I understand the church was thinking about its liabilities. And the minister pointed out the church wanted to show this man compassion, that he had finally found a church home where he was loved and accepted, and that the church didn't want to leave him with a bad taste in his mouth about church, so to speak. I think that compassion is admirable. It concerns me, though, because the appearance is that the children and parents were lowest on the priority list.

If you can't feel your child is safe in a church nursery, though, you can't feel he is safe anywhere. That is just a truth to wake up to.

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Position wanted

Uterus, pre-owned. Attached to broken-in mother. Available for growing tiny human(s). Good reference available:

If you think you'd enjoy music, books and the outdoors with two dedicated parents -- as well as an outspoken, fun-loving older brother -- please call for an appointment. Can start immediately.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Silk vs. snot

What I'd wear today if I could: something different like this silk tunic by Laundry by Design. I wouldn't wear it as a dress, though, but a top over jeans. I hardly ever wear blue, but I dig navy.

See, I get a little tired of cotton T-shirts. Sometimes I wear a wrap top or, like today, a button-front shirt (with my camo sneakers!). So when I saw this silk top, I melted. Can't a mama wear silk?

But here's the thing. Have you ever seen a slug and the trail it leaves behind as it moves? Fly has been leaving a trail on my shoulders (and JP's). The poor boy's nose has a leak. You don't have to be a rocket surgeon (as JP would say) to know snot trails and silk don't mix.

But maybe it's not so much a fabric thing as it is a color thing? For example, would the snot look less noticeable on a white shirt, whether that white shirt is cotton or silk?

Only a mama would ask.

Who am I kidding? Sigh, this is not a shirt to wear around a toddler....


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

You say tomato, I say what?

Have you taken a good look at the fresh vegetables being sold lately?

When you pick out produce, do you touch it, or smell it . . . .

Have you ever come nose to nose with your salad?

Genetically modified foods are really beginning to worry me . . . .