Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Poll Update

Thanks to all who voted in my food blog post. Although it would be a stretch to call it "popular demand," those of you who voted were very encouraging. I've got some ideas that I'm working on and will let y'all know when my new blog goes live.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


This is what lucky looks like:

And this is what lucky looks like the next morning:

I was going to write today about Brady's haircut yesterday. How he was so overdue for it and we were getting him spiffed up for his 2nd birthday party on Sunday. How his face looks so cute and little now that all that crazy hair is gone from all around it. How I hadn't seen or felt the baby-soft back of his neck in months. And how some kid spinning the chairs around in the hair salon had him laughing so hard that people kept coming in from other rooms to see what the baby was giggling about (I took a little video but can't get it out of my phone).

Instead, I'm posting what looks like a mug shot that was taken after a street fight. My poor baby tripped and fell last night, scraping his face against the edge of a train table. I heard the thud, followed by the scream, that makes every mother's stomach flip over, and ran upstairs to find him crying hysterically, screaming "Mommy" over and over again. The skin from his nose was stuck in his eyelashes and the tears from his left eye were tinged with blood. He was consoled after a while by Wubbzy, fruit snacks and every toy his brother and sister could bring him to make him happy. The quick dose of Motrin helped too.

Although our pediatrician advised us to bring him over in the morning, because of the proximity of the cut to his eye, I took him to pediatric urgent care last night. The doctor there was very good with him and assured me that all looks well. Although his nose looks busted up, there's nothing more serious than an abrasion and some swelling. Similarly, his eye is just scraped up on the outside but his vision isn't affected. By the time we left, he was schmoozing his way out the door and making the ladies giggle over his cuteness.

Our little Bunch got very, very lucky last night and so did we. I'm trying not to think about how bad this episode could have been if he'd hurt his actual eye. I'm so grateful that our baby boy is ok, and we'll be celebrating his birthday with him healthy, if a little bruised up. I'm also grateful that we have such good resources in our community; it took the pediatrician less than 15 minutes to return my call and the urgent care facility was exactly what we needed in this situation. Like I said, we are very, very, very lucky.

If you haven't voted in my poll yet, you still have time. Speak up and let your voice be heard!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

You Make The Call

For a while now I've been been tossing around the idea of starting a food blog. Granted, there are plenty around, the great majority of which I don't read. Still, I'd like mine to focus on easy, good, reasonably healthy family food that my kids will (kind of) eat & that doesn't use a lot of artificial ingredients. I'll probably also have my fair share of "assembled" dinners using store-bought ingredients and a few shortcuts as I find them.

Here's where you come in. Do you think it's a great idea? Are you just dying for more chances to hear about my kitchen adventures and food neuroses? Or is enough really enough? Do you think the Internet just doesn't have room for one more food blog? Cast your vote in the poll on the sidebar and feel free to comment with your thoughts. I'd love a good idea for a blog name too. See how much power you have? Now do the American thing and go vote.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Whether you love it or hate it, today is Valentine's Day and it is hard to escape the onslaught of hearts and roses. I know some people feel that this is an artificial, overly-commercial "holiday," and they're pretty much right. But then, aren't most holidays these days? It's not a holiday in America without the retailers getting their cut, right?

Even so, I see nothing wrong with a day to celebrate all the people we love, especially when it involves chocolate. I'm always up for an excuse to get gifts and cards and decorate, regardless of the fact that my budget doesn't have much room for it this year. All the more reason to get creative, I say. Having kids makes it more fun to make a big deal out of silly little days like today.

So, live it up and eat some chocolate. Send someone a Valentine. Even better, surprise someone with a Valentine and don't even sign your name. It doesn't have to be romantic, just nice. The world can sure use a little more niceness these days. And don't forget to be nice to yourself. Get YOU some flowers. And if you're one of those people who hates Valentine's Day and is determined to be pissed off all day, it's OK. It's just a silly made up holiday after all.

Happy Valentine's Day to C.P. Storm, who provided the photo for this post.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Shout Out

A big thanks to Jennifer Lavender who featured my Valentine-making post on Two Moms In A Blog. Go check it out and then make some Valentines of your own.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Funny Valentines

For some reason, I got a wild hair up my butt to make, instead of buy, Valentines this year. I think the reason was that I just couldn't stomach another trip to Hallmark while I try to throw whatever inappropriate card is within reach into my cart (my Hallmark has carts, do they all?) as quickly as possible while Brady screams at me yet again. Although I'm practically immune to the stares of the other shoppers by now, I knew that somehow I'd grab the wrong thing and my in-laws would end up with an "On The Loss Of Your Pet" card in Spanish for Valentine's Day. So I decided that I don't need any more gray hairs this week and went for the home-made variety.

The first part of this endeavor was getting them to clean all their crap off the dining room table. The next day, I pulled out stickers, cards, scrap paper, die cuts, stamps, ink, punches, markers, glue and probably other stuff and let them go to town. There was a lot of attraction in using Mommy's supplies and Ethan, especially, was quite the enthusiastic little stamper. Unfortunately for him, he was not allowed to use every color ink simultaneously. Anyone who knows him will not be surprised that he would want to.

Other than try to salvage what's left of the finish on the dining room table, I stayed out of their way and just let them create, keeping my opinions to myself (yes, Tannaz, it is possible). Therefore, we ended up with a rainbow of colorful cards in addition to plain old boring red and white. I bet you didn't know purple and yellow (together) were Valentine colors.

What I loved most was watching them create together. There was an interesting give and take in their process. They had to make some decisions together, like who the next card was for and which color it would be, and even though they disagreed, they quickly compromised and got on with it. It was like they subconsciously knew not to ruin their fun with pointless bickering. There was also an unspoken division of labor: Julia did all of the writing (though Ethan signed his own name) and most of the punching while Ethan was the main stamper. He had some great creative ideas and I was glad to see Julia follow his lead. Somehow the age difference between them disappeared and they cheerfully cooperated and created together.

They were more enthusiastic about the first card than the fifth, but we all had a great afternoon together. I'd like to think they got something out of the process. I certainly did and hope to make this yet another tradition. Hopefully the recipients of those Valentines will be able to sense some of the joy and cheer that went into creating them. Especially the green one.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Tiny Little Project

Posting the invitation for Brady's 2nd birthday party (when did that happen?!) here makes me realize how plain and simple it really is. There's a fine line between understated and plain, and I think this is the latter. Never mind, though. It's done and out and it has Mickey on it. And ribbon.
In case anyone is wondering, the font is called Minnie.

If anyone has some great ideas for a Mickey Mouse party for kids of various ages, post away. We'll be decorating Mickey cookies, and Mickey ears. There will be Mickey coloring pages. And a Mickey pinata. I think that should be enough, don't you?

My next project will be dinosaur invitations for Ethan's party in April. I'll post when they are done.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Election Day, Part 1

This will not be a pretty post. There will be complaining and snarkiness. There might be profanity. You've been warned.

Here we are on "Super Tuesday," halfway through the needlessly endless process that we use in this country to elect...Presidential Candidates. And this has been going on for at least a year. And the inauguration is just under a year away. So until then we're held hostage by political ads, sound-bites, interviews, more ads, talking heads on every cable channel, phone call after phone call (our reward for being diligent voters), letters, requests for money, polls, and some more ads. Unlike Super Bowl ads, the political ones are neither amusing nor humorous, and hardly informative. But they are incessant. And they're expensive. And so are the candidates' staffs, and their jets (have you noticed, gas has gone up), and their hotel rooms, and their staffs' hotel rooms, and their conventions, and their pollsters, and their mailers and their incessant ads. We're at the point where it costs hundreds of millions of dollars to get elected President in our country.

So while the candidates are telling their voters - and they all know who their own particular voters are - what they think the voters want to hear, they also have their hands out to those who can finance their campaigns. And when the campaigns are over and one person has won, do you think his or her debt will be to the voters or to the financiers? It doesn't matter which side you look at. The Republicans have their corporations and the Democrats have their unions. Both have deep pockets, plenty of lobbyists and a lot of clout.

I'm sorry that I'm so cynical, but I've been disappointed by every person I've ever given my vote for President to. I can't embrace another dynamic candidate and think he'll be the one to change things up. I can't imagine that one person can unite our shamefully divided and partisan Congress and cause them to bring about change or improvements. And while I do believe that our public servants enter politics with the sincere goal of serving their constituencies, I don't believe that they get to stay in office unless they embrace quite different goals.

At the same time, my heart hurts when I think about the money that we spend on Presidential campaigns and the lives it could help and the problems it could solve. Pick your cause: poverty, hunger, disease eradication, the environment? Would throwing $100 million at it help? Instead of giving constant speeches about funding universal health care, let's figure out a way to funnel the campaign money to ACTUALLY FUND IT. That would be a campaign I could get behind.

As disappointed as I am with the process and the candidates, I did vote. I voted for someone who seems moderate and somewhat sane. I don't know if he'll be elected. I don't think it'll make much difference if he does. I do want our country to be safe, and secure, and prosperous. I do want equal opportunity for all. I do want us to fulfill all of the endless potential we have. I'm just not sure if the folks who are running for the White House are the best choices to help us do that.