Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Naughty or Nice?

Scott had a conversation with the kids this evening about Santa's upcoming visit. It went something like this:

SCOTT: You know, Santa's supposed to come in a couple of days to bring presents for you guys. Have you been good this year, or naughty? Do you think he'll bring you lots of stuff?

DYLAN: I have been good! Santa will bring me some presents!

SCOTT: What about you, Sadie? Have you been good?

SADIE: No, I naughty. Hee hee.

Well, that about sums up life around here. Merry Christmas, and happy two-year oldness to us!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Great Santa Visit of '08

If you are wondering how it went, I guess it all depends on your perspective. In theory, both kids were beyond thrilled with the concept of sitting on Santa's lap and talking to him. In actual practice, not so much. But we got a picture of both Sadie and Dylan with Santa, which is all that I wanted, even though only one of them was happy about it.

Here is Sadie, excitedly waiting for her turn to get a peek of Santa around the corner.

She was over the moon when she finally caught a glimpse! I see Santa! I see Santa! I seeee hiiiiiim! Scott lifted her up to get a better view over the heads of the other waiting families. She nearly jumped out of his arms screaming with joy Hi Santa, Hiiiiiiii Saaaaaantaa! Hiiiiiiii!! and waving frantically. We were enthusiastically hopeful that the actual sitting on the lap would go well, to say the least.

When it was finally our turn, Scott took these pictures of Dylan sitting with Santa and having a great conversation about what he might bring him for Christmas, while I was trying to pry a petrified and screaming (no longer with joy) Sadie from my body to place her on his lap.

So come on and get it over with, already Sadie!

Final verdict: Dylan thinks Santa is AWESOME! Sadie pretends to, unless she is actually presented with the reality of coming into contact with him. I'll take it for this year... we got at least one kid over the trauma. There's always next year.

Hope Santa brings you everything you could hope for this Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Just for the Smell of It

Don't call me a scrooge, but this year we have *gasp* an artificial tree! And I have never been happier about anything in my whole life! First of all, as of writing this post, it has already been up for an entire week! In the past, when we've had a "real" tree we haven't gotten it until about a week out, because I am always so disappointed at how dried out and decrepit it looks by Christmas morning. I end up being ready to toss it into the alley by late in the afternoon on Christmas day. But not this year! No siree! Our tree will look as good the week after Christmas as it does today, hokey ornaments aside.

I have never been anti-artificial tree. I just had to convince my husband that some traditions aren't worth it. I actually really love the idea of getting a live tree. I love the ritual of getting it... the crisp evening air, bundling up and piling in the car to head to the nearest tree lot, the overwhelming scent of having stepped deep into a pine forest as soon as the car doors open, the tinny sounding speakers spewing Christmas tunes to drown out the noise of the chainsaws in the background as workers ready the chosen trees to go to their prospective homes, wandering through the forested lot to find the perfect tree and staking a claim on it.

But just about as soon as that tree is tied to the top of my car to tote home is about where my love affair with the live tree tradition has always ended. Because as lovely as the whole evening has been, dealing with a live tree just becomes more of a mess than it is worth, at least for me, anyway.

So last year I happened to be out shopping a few days after Christmas and noticed the substantial clearance discounts on trees. We had just dumped our (way past ever having even closely resembled a live) tree in the alley a couple of days earlier and were still vacuuming needles and scrubbing sap off of every imaginable surface of our home. Fate then intervened in the form of perfect timing when I asked Scott if he might consider the possibility of purchasing an artificial tree for next year. He agreed that being able to get a very realistic looking "fake" tree (Why they're called "fake" I don't know... they're still Christmas trees, right?) at about a gazillion percent discount was a way better option than ever going through that mess again. Believe me, if I had waited to propose the idea of a "fake" tree at the beginning of the season this year, he would have long forgotten the horror and put his foot down.

Now, I am not a total scrooge, and as beautiful as my fake and hassle free tree is (did I mention pre-lit? It's pre-lit... no stringing lights!!!!! I just plugged the tree in. Just. Plugged. It. In.), I can understand his melancholy for the going and getting of the live tree. So next week we'll bundle up to head out to a parking lot filled with a pine forest, listen to some tinny music while wandering among the trees to inhale the Christmasyness of it all, and then collect a few discarded branches to bring home and weave a wreath out of. Just for the smell of it. Because even as happy as I am, I have to admit, I do miss the scent.

You've gotta love this tree topper. I know you can't see very well because the shot is a little blurry, but it's the Abominable Snowman from Rudolph, holding a star and reaching to place it on top of the tree.

My absolute favorite vision of Christmastime from childhood is looking at the lit up tree all squinty-eyed until I could just see a blur of tiny lights. My camera sans flash recreates it just as it looks in my memory.

My current favorite vision of Christmas time!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Evolution of Christmas

The Williams Family - Perpetuating the myth magic since 2005

Since we have been prepping the kids for a visit to the guy in red, I am feeling a little nostalgic over past years' Santa pics, so I thought I would share them with you here.

Christmas 2005 - This was Dylan's first Christmas. We had previously ridden the Polar Express all the way to the North Pole and met Santa in person, so he was all geared up to sit on his lap when we went to get pictures with him. All the parents with crying children who had refused to sit on his lap were jealous when Dylan reached for him and smiled, while willingly posing for a picture. Alas, this ease in visiting with Santa only lasted one year.

Christmas 2006 - Any pleasant memory or amount of enthusiasm previously shown towards the idea of visiting Santa and being left ALONE ON HIS LAP vanished the second it was time to do so. Although it appears as though Dylan was reaching up to sweetly stroke Santa's beard, he was actually pushing against his chest to get away from him. Even though the photographer had yet to get a picture that we liked, Santa just couldn't take it any more. So we were left to chose between shots of our child screaming in apparent agony, or of Santa with his eyes closed. Not crying child won, since it's really all just about him anyway.

Christmas 2007 - Sadie's first Santa experience. As pleasantly surprised as we were at how easy Dylan's first pictures had been, we had no such delusions that Sadie would be in any way, shape, or form willing to be anywhere near Santa, even with her big brother right there. Our plan was to get Dylan settled and happy, then swoop in with Sadie and snap a photo before she knew what had hit her. Obviously, no such luck since we naively assumed that since Dylan was the big kid now, he would have been completely over any previous Santa trepidation. So we settled for least amount of crying from Sadie. And Dylan just looking like he's trying really hard to smile instead of cry.

So we'll see what this year's Santa visit/photo session brings. So far the kids both seem very excited and are discussing daily what they will ask him for for Christmas when they get the chance to see him. A mom can at least HOPE that her children appear overjoyed, and not tortured, to see Santa!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Vigilant Parenting 101

Disclaimer: No children were harmed in the blogging of these incidents. We do not take water safety lightly in this household. We have a security fence around our pool and the kids are NEVER allowed on the pool side without one of us right there with them. They are NEVER unsupervised under any circumstance in which they might have access to the pool. This post is meant to be a lighthearted commentary on one of those every-day occurrences that happen as we fumble our way through parenting. If you think you might be offended by my making light of what could have been a very serious situation, and are tempted to leave a comment about our parental inadequacies, please do not read any further. Otherwise, stick around. Hey, if this could happen to us, with all of the points that we have toward "Parents of the Year," then maybe you're not doing so bad yourself!

This photo is the aftermath of Dylan falling in the pool a couple of weeks ago. Yep, he did. Now before you go thinking that we are really bad parents for letting our kid get close enough to the pool to 1) fall in in the first place and 2) when that water had to be sub 60 degrees, let me relate how the event unfolded. First, I would like to say that I was in the kitchen making dinner when this happened. While I would never say that it happened on Scott's watch so he is totally to blame, he was outside with the kids at the time and, well, it happened on his watch. Just sayin'.

Dylan had thrown the ball over the pool fence and he went with Scott to retrieve it. Scott was with him the whole time, I SWEAR! Not that I actually saw it happen, because I wasn't on kid duty so I can just tell you what was told to me. I know it wouldn't be admissible in court. Anyway, at some point during the ball retrieval mission on the forbidden side of the pool fence, Scott's back was toward Dylan because Sadie was having an absolute conniption fit on the other side of the fence about the fact that she was left alone over there. So Scott was in the process of trying to comfort her, or encourage Dylan to hurry up so that everyone could be on the same side of the fence again and the tantrum would be alleviated, or something that apparently required his back to be toward Dylan. And then he heard the SPLASH. Of course, he was there in an instant and pulled Dylan out in a matter of seconds and everything was okay. (Until I saw them through the kitchen window standing by the edge of the pool, Dylan dripping wet, and figured out what was happening. Sadie was then not the only one throwing a fit and we may have had to call 911 at some point but not about the near-drowning.)

To Dylan's credit (according to sources, anyway) by the time Scott made it to the pool's edge to pull him out, he had turned around to face the side, his head was above water, and his fingers were centimeters from grasping the edge and pulling himself out. And he didn't even cry! If we had been testing his water-coping skills, he would have passed. I told you we aren't doing so bad after all!

To give Scott some credit, I think the incident that did happen on my watch a couple of days later may have been just a little bit worse, were it not so side-splittingly funny. It was bath time, I had the water running in the tub while I was getting Sadie undressed in her room down the hall from the bathroom. (I know, bad Mom, not supervising in the immediate vicinity while the tub is filling up. I kind of had it coming.) I heard Dylan yell "I haaaaave to peeeeeeee!" From the sound of his voice, I could tell that he was running toward the bathroom. Then I heard the splash. And the instantaneous sobbing. As I rounded the corner from Sadie's room, I saw that no, he didn't fall into the slowly filling bathtub. Instead, I saw him standing in front of the toilet, his head and shoulders dripping wet, as he cried, "Mommy, I fell in the potty!"

Yeah, I think we're a little beyond child proofing around here. It's time for some idiot proofing.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mini Hiatus

Without meaning to, it appears that I have taken a little vacation from blogging. I wish I felt like I was on vacation! Long story long: We had the carpeting replaced in our home office. Internet connection has been sporadic through the redo. The office is dismantled across my dining room right now and on Thursday I will be hosting my extended family's holiday meal. Needless to say it has been a little bit busy around here. I hope you've missed me! I will try to get a post up here by Thursday with a couple of little someones that I am feeling thankful for, in keeping with the theme for the week. I promise to be back to my intermittent, at best, posting after that. Hope you have a great week!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The cutest school pictures EVER!

Okay, I may be slightly biased, but I think it's a keeper! Looking at this photo of Dylan in all of his school-boy handsomeness, it is hard to believe that a mere four years ago, this little human was known only by my bulging uterus. And thinking back to how apprehensive I was about the transition to school a few short months ago, it is amazing how much he loves it and we couldn't imagine our lives without being part of his school community.
His teacher, on the other hand, will not be too happy about my having posted this photo:
I told her it is a great class photo and she should be honored that it will be viewed on my blog. Except for Dylan's Chandler Bingish smile. Oh, and maybe the blond kid having to be held in place by the teacher with the "get this over with now" smile on her face. Well, maybe too the girl apparently bored nearly to tears by the whole experience. Now that you mention it, the other boy kinda looks ready to get up and run away, too. But to me it's the best possible picture. That's them; all of their three-year-oldness captured for that moment in time. My little boy's first class picture!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes! We! Did!

I am not a politician or a pundit, so who am I to say anything. I mean, I know right now the blogosphere is exploding with posts just like this little post on my little blog. And many people have more insight than I and a better way of saying what needs to be said. I also know there are an equal number of blog posts expressing disappointment at this outcome, and I really don't want to rub it in any one's face that my guy won. But I am a mom and I can't let this monumental accomplishment in our nation's history occur without celebrating what this election result means for my kids; without celebrating the fact that my children will grow up during the "Obama Years!"

Before today, I avoided thinking about what either outcome would mean, how any outcome would make me feel. There is no way that I would have believed, before today, that I would go to bed last night knowing, without any room for the slightest doubt, who our president would be. (You know, after having lived through the last two presidential elections.) And I dared not let myself have a glimmer of hope that I would know with such certainty that our president would be Barack Obama. Because I didn't want to be disappointed. I didn't want to have to think about how we would make it through the next four years as we have trudged through the last eight, let alone how I would face today if the outcome had been different.

But it wasn't a different outcome. It was this one and I don't have to go to that dark place of wondering. We did what needed to be done to get our country, the country that I chose to bring children into and that I will one day leave behind to their generation, back on track. And what I have to say about it as little Mom Blogger me (if I can stop getting choked up and teary every time I start replaying the speech, or reading articles or blog posts, or listening to talk radio, or even just thinking OMG this country just elected Barack Obama president) is that OMG this country just elected Barack Obama president!!

I am not going to get all historical perspectivy here because that's just not me. I know it is important for much grander reasons than the reasons it is important to me in my little life. I am a stay at home mom. I live and breathe every need and desire of my children 24/7. My sole purpose, at this stage of our family and my life, is caring for them and doing my best each day to help them become amazing people. It is difficult sometimes to feel like I matter outside of my own household, and dammit, I even feel selfish for wanting to matter outside of the lives of my kids. But this election result means that a mom, just doing what she has to do to take care of her family, can have a hope that the world will be just a little bit better for her kids. That she can put a voice to that hope, and take action and vote. And that vote counts for something. It matters to my family, and it matters so far beyond the four walls of my home, beyond the four people in my little family. And as far reaching as that hope is, it comes down to me getting through the day being the best mom that I can be to my kids today because I hope. And that matters.

Now that it is today and I am no longer afraid of being disappointed, of hoping beyond what seemed possible, I have no words to express the elation that I feel, so I will simply say that I am grateful. It is gratifying to be in a place to be able to celebrate the outcome of this monumental election. If you are celebrating with me, thank you.

In the midst of the joy I have been feeling since the result was announced last night, it saddens me to have to say this: Congratulations, all you narrow minded zealots! Way to go on passing that "Yes for Marriage" amendment. I'm sure we straight, happily married, one-man-one-woman couples will all be so much safer now, civil rights be damned!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Post Halloween Post

It is way too hot here for November! I remember when growing up, beginning to feel the crisp air of our Arizona autumn settling in as Halloween approached. We had to trick-or-treat in sweaters. Can you say "Global Warming," anyone?

Holiday festivities started for Dylan and Sadie this week by going to Grandpa's to pick the pumpkins that he grew for them in his garden. The kids wore their costumes to show off for Grandpa. (Also because Sadie wasn't too keen on dressing up and we wanted to get lots of practice in before the big night.) It was 90+ degrees that day! Dylan was soaked in sweat by the time he got out of his jacket and helmet.

Getting ready to carve Jack-o-Lanterns; they were both very grossed out by the pumpkin slime!

On Thursday at school, the kids wore costumes, had a parade, and got to do some trick-or-treating from room to room. This is the only shot I got of the two of them together in their costumes. Dylan was a fire fighter last year and wanted to be one again this year. At first, I tried to talk him out of it but then we thought, "duh!" Why put out for a whole new costume when we already have one that he wants to wear? He doesn't know any better yet. Plus we had acquired a very cute dalmatian outfit for Sadie, so she got to be his sidekick firehouse dog.

Getting ready for the big night out.

Dylan looked like a "real" firefighter with smoky special effects smeared on his face.

We trick-or-treated up and down our street. Dylan was exhausted when we got back home, but Sadie, as her usual party-girl self was rarin' to keep going. Hot and tired won out, much to her dismay.
"I'm hot! Can I have some candy now, please?" (Look at his poor sweaty little head!)
Forget how hot it was. It's all about the candy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Um, progress?

Because I know you are dying to ask, this is how potty training is progressing in our household. As the polls stand now, staying in diapers and waging the changing battle multiple times a day while continuing to polute the earth is up about 15 gazillion points to nothing for continuing potty training.


Um, help?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another Political Post

Scott is voting by mail-in ballot because he will be travelling on the 4th. We were discussing election issues and the ballot when Dylan chimed in, curious about what we meant by "vote."

DYLAN: What are you guys talking about?

SCOTT: We're talking about voting. It's when we choose who is going to be the next president. You know, like we talk about when we are watching the news and we see those people giving speeches.

Which we do daily in small doses between dinner prep and kid entertaining. (Countdown with Keith Olbermann, in case you were wondering.) Whenever they show clips of Obama giving a speech, Dylan says, "That's Bram-O-Bom-Bom. He's going to be the President." (Absolutely no coaching involved.)

So I add: In about a week, I am going to go vote, on election day. You can come with me and help me vote. Who should we vote for for President?

DYLAN: (thinking) Hmmmmmm.... Daddy!

SCOTT: laughs

ME: Okay then. Our job here is done.

It didn't bother me until I was thinking about it later that his dad was the obvious choice, and he'd answered without much hesitation. And then it bothered me that it hadn't bothered me until later. So I thought I would explore the issue a little further.

ME: So Dylan, if Daddy doesn't want to be the President, who would you vote for? Could you vote for me? Could Mommy be the President?

DYLAN: Heh heh. NOOOOO! You can't be the President!

ME: Humph. Why not?

DYLAN: (a little whiny, obviously distraught, and even beginning to sob a little bit) Because you caaaan't be the Presideeeeent.

We finally got out of him some semblance of an explanation along the lines of that I can't be President because then I would be gone and he would miss me and who would take care of him. So sweet. It has nothing to do with my gender. It's about me being a mom. Humph!

Job here? Clearly not done.

Now some moms might take this as their chance to prove a point to their children. To show them that a woman could be a Mom and the President. Hypothetically, a win for the McCain ticket could prove that point in Sarah Palin.

This mom? Well, I would rather prove to my children that there are much more important things at stake in this election. Hope and change transcend the gender issue this election. (Well, hopefully all elections. I mean, I hope they never vote for someone based on their gender. But especially this election.) Maybe that means they will have to wait a few more years to see the first woman president. But in the long run I think they will thank me for casting my vote for Hope this election, and changing the future of our country, their future, for the better this election.

(You got that I'm voting for Obama, right?)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

There are not enough clothes in the world

Let's just say my optimism on project PT 2.0 is waning quickly. Last night I washed 7 pairs of underwear and 6 pairs of pants. And that was with half of the day spent naked as the day she was born. We're already on our 4th pair of undies for the day and it's only 9:00am.

So much for the reducing our carbon footprint part of the plan. The amount of laundry is more than erasing the lack of impact from not disposing of diapers.

Getting to unroll the toilet paper is no longer fun and stickers have lost their charm. It's time to break out the heavy artillery (otherwise known as M&Ms).

We're donning pull-ups so we can head out to Target for reinforcements (more undies and treats). It's either that or duct tape her to the toilet. I think I'll try to avoid a visit from a CPS case worker and we'll venture out in pull-ups. Wish us luck!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Potty Training 2.0

We potty trained Dylan about a year ago. He was two and a half. When it was over, Scott and I both commented that is was far less traumatic than we had expected and that we should start Sadie earlier than we had started Dylan. So here she is, almost a year younger than he was and we are going for it. I know she's little. I know she won't be quite as independent about the potty associated tasks as Dylan was because of the being 10 months younger. But according to the wisdom of mothers of my mom's generation, everyone potty trained their kids by the age of 18 months. And I think we all turned out okay.

So far, sitting on the potty is all fun and games, in stark contrast to waging the diaper changing battle at least 6 times a day. I'm sure the novelty will wear off soon, but not before she has gained some sense of control and prefers to use the toilet over wetting/soiling herself. And we will never have to change another diaper. Ever. Again. (Plus toilet paper is way cheaper than diapers. Just doing our part to cut spending in a tough economy. Not to mention the environmental impact.)

Ask me tomorrow if I am still this optimistic. She has actually only pee'd in the potty once all day. But it's nice outside and running around the backyard naked and peeing in the grass is hurting no one! She's already figuring out how to stop midstream and let us know that she is going! And the doggie pooper scooper has gained a new purpose. (Again, just doing our part. You're welcome.)
Any endeavor undertaken on a day that begins with orange frosted donuts from Dunkin' can't go that terribly wrong, can it?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fear and Hate in Arizona

I've said before that this isn't a political blog. I am not opposed to writing about politics. I just think that there are a lot of people out there who are a lot more informed than I am who do a much better job of it than I could. But I read a blog post today about Proposition 8 in California, and I considered it a personal call to action about our similar Prop 102 in Arizona. So I'm not going to write about politics. I am going to tell you, as a parent, how I feel about Prop 102 and you can like what I have to say, or not like it, but be a grown up and go vote on the issues based on what you really and truly value in your life, not out of fear and hate.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that these propositions have to do with same-sex marriage. In Arizona, we already defeated this proposed amendment to the state's constitution in 2006. But it is back this election cycle with a vengeance. It is now being called the "Yes for Marriage" proposition. This initiative, if passed, would add a provision to our constitution stating: "Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state." A provision which our forebears didn't deem necessary to define. This is an amendment to the constitution, people! (BTW, we already have a law in Arizona, which has been upheld in court, prohibiting same-sex marriages. I'm not saying I support this law, but simply asking, "what's the point?" Is there really no better way to spend our resources than attempting, once again, to constitutionalize discrimination?)

So let's look at this "Yes for Marriage" amendment from the perspective a parent thinking about the values she wishes to instill in her young children as they grow up. Yes, let's pass an amendment protecting marriage in our state. Here is what I propose: That marriage be a choice between two people who are choosing to be together, who love each other and are mutually committed to support each other throughout their lives. That marriage not be entered into lightly, because it might be fun to jaunt off to Vegas and do it on a whim. Obviously, there are a lot of things I could say here about what marriage should mean. Simply defining marriage as between a man and a woman certainly isn't going to protect the values that should be inherent in a good marriage.

Think about what a constitutional amendment would take away from same-sex couples who are in a loving, committed relationship raising a family together. If passed, it would trigger lawsuits to take away all domestic partner benefits for state, county, and city employees, including public university faculty and staff. It will also negatively impact private businesses that provide these benefits to their employees. Whether or not you agree with same-sex unions, would you really propose to take away these benefits, not just from domestic partners, but also their children? Benefits that you are entitled to with your spouse to whom you are legally married, regardless of whether or not you have a loving, committed relationship with him or her?

When I think about what I want my children to learn to value, fear and hate aren't on that list. But that is all that I see when I look at those Yes for Marriage signs up all over town. Because they're not at all about Yes to Marriage. They're about Yes to Fear what is different than us, and Yes to Hate a lifestyle that is not of our choosing.

I don't know what lies ahead for my children. They may become doctors, or teachers, musicians or circus acts. They may choose to marry or be single. They may be straight or gay. Will any of these life paths, should my children take them, make me love them any less or be disappointed in them? Absolutely not. Do I want for them to look back on this moment in our state's history and think for one second that I was lured by the fear and hate, and the empty promise of protecting everything that this one woman who chose to marry one man holds dear in the sanctity of her marriage? Absolutely not! On November 4, I will cast a vote to protect everything that I value most in my life. I will vote no on Prop. 102.

Friday, October 17, 2008

PreSchool Politics - Updated

I am new to the pre-school culture. Dylan started school in August. We couldn't be happier with our choice of where to send him. It is a co-op, which means the parents help out once a month or so in the classroom. The co-oping and volunteering that happen at the school foster a sense of community and interdependence among the teachers, students and parents and we feel really at home there.

But I think I may have crossed a line this week. I am going to be known as "that mom." The grumpy, uncooperative woman who when you turn the corner and see me coming you quickly look the other way and walk past pretending not to notice me because you don't want to have a conversation with me. My kid won't be invited to any birthday parties. I am the new mom at school and I complained about an issue that was bothering me. You see, as at home as we feel there, we are still kind of outsiders because, well, it's our first year and we weren't around last year when so-and-so happened or the year before when such-and-such happened. So who am I to bring up an issue that is bothering me? I mean, I chose the school, right? What could I possibly have to complain about?

I'm so glad you asked! Since the first week of school, I have noticed this little puppy around the campus. It happens to belong to an employee at the daycare attached to the pre-school. Her daughter attends the school. At first I thought that maybe she had brought the dog in for show and tell or something. No big deal if it's there for a day or an occasional visit. But it's there everyday. I guess the mom takes care of it while she's working, but occasionally during the school day, the little girl wants to play with her puppy and has it out on the playground. She's mean to the other kids about it when they get close because they are curious and want to play with the puppy too. Understandable, they're learning how to share in pre-school. It isn't easy.

My last straw was on Thursday when I dropped Dylan off. She had the dog out in the school yard. (Unsupervised, I might add... Mom was no where in sight.) Dylan walked past her to get to the play area and she yelled at him and jerked the dog around away from him. Whatever. She's four and doesn't want the other kids messing with her dog. But why is she allowed to have it there?

I have a few concerns about having the dog at school. a) There's the hygiene issue. Where is the dog eliminating? And who's making sure the kids stay out of it? b) While I love the sense of caring and community fostered at this school, I would like to know that the people working there are focused on caring for my child and not a puppy. And c) can my son bring his pet to school? It's a fairness thing, as childish as that may sound. Anyway, I have a hard time believing that I am the first parent to notice or bring it up.

Whether or not my concerns are valid doesn't really matter at this point. I said something and I can't unsay it and now I will just be known as "that mom" because I don't think it's okay for a little girl who misses her puppy to be able to play with him at school, or for a mom who is having a hard time housebreaking the dog at home to bring it to work with her. I also worry WAY TOO MUCH about what others think of me and I need to get over it. Right now I kind of feel like I made a bigger deal out of a little puppy at school than I should have. It's okay. I can deal with being shunned in the mornings by the other moms on the playground or skipping the parent socials.


Update 10/21 I dropped Dylan off at school this morning and the family in question was out on the playground... no puppy in sight! And I wasn't feeling all shunned and stuff. Now I won't sit here all day wondering if my son had to side step doggy doo-doo at recess or defend himself against puppy-induced verbal battery. But don't think I'm not gonna still be waiting for the birthday invites!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thirsty Thursday

Remember when that used to mean happy hour after work on Thursday to get the weekend started a day early, even when you still had to get up and go to work on Friday?

Welcome to my new happy hour! Beginning at 6:00a.m. daily. Care to join me?

Do you ever get that pang, you know for the life you once had, before you had kids? Don't get me wrong. I love my kids and wouldn't trade the life I have now for anything in the world. But once in a while, don't you just miss something that was once a part of your life, but is no longer because you have kids to raise now? Like going to happy hour at least once a week? What is your Thirsty Thursday?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Holy Freaking 13.1!

Miles, that is.

Back at the beginning of August, I wrote this. Not too much has changed since then, except that I have managed to do a little more running than walking when I do make it out the door. And it's cooling down quite a bit here so the heat is no longer an excuse to forgo my run.

I went to a kick-off event last night and signed up for this. $75 later, I have committed myself to run 13.1 miles through Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe with about 30,000 other people on January 18.


(The good news is, I won a drawing for $100 to P.F. Chang's! If you think about it, it's like I got paid $25 to enter the race! So there's that, and the fact that I might actually be forced to get in shape now!)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Got List?

I do... at MomDot.com! Go and see for yourself.

from the hostesses:

*MomDot is a mom blog listing site that is run by mom bloggers, Trisha, Alicia, and Bridgette. They run contests weekly, reviews on awesome (and not so awesome) products for family and kids, and talk about their lives. But more importantly, they feature bloggers and mom boutiques to give them an avenue to get thier name out there, also assisting in google links! You can head out and list your blog for free and talk to them about doing an interview about you. Head on over and see what MomDot is about!*

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's not just one of those urban myths?

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't think people really get sick, or that the evening news is full of made up (okay maybe some) stories that actually don't happen to people in real life. But really, who gets West Nile Virus?

We seem to be plagued by mosquitoes right now in the greater Phoenix Metro area. I have had the same conversation with literally EVERYONE I have talked to in recent weeks:

*What's up with all the mosquitoes?*

*They are really biting right now!*

*I get eaten alive every time I walk outside!*

*Look at the kids, they are covered in bites.*

*Yeah, I know. Do you use any kind of insect repellent on your kids?*

*Not really, kind of worried about the deet issues.*

*I know what you mean. Well, they don't seem to itch too much, and they fade by the next day. I guess it's not that big of a deal!*

Well, let me take back that "it's not that big of a deal!" comment. A friend of mine's child was just diagnosed with West Nile Virus. Let me say that again: A friend of mine's child was just diagnosed with West Nile Virus!

What?!! We live in the city, not, like, the Amazon or something! And less than a mile away from me, someone is sick right now with West Nile Virus!

Thankfully, the child is okay. He was mildly ill with fever and vomiting off and on for a couple of weeks, so the Dr. finally did some blood work to find out what was wrong. He has been through the worst of it and is fine. But seriously, who gets West Nile Virus?

Apparently, we urban jungle dwellers, who only dream of travelling to exotic locales, are not immune to tropical diseases. Excuse me while I go stock up on deet containing products!

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Last Wednesday, I flipped the calendar page to October. As I glanced at the month ahead, I noted two things about today, October 5.

Today is my mother-in-law's birthday. We wish you all the best today, Grandma Bertie and sure wish we could be near to give you a birthday hug and kiss!

Today, October 5th, is marked with a star on my calendar. Next to the star, the words, "maybe baby?" I had starred today and written those words nearly nine months ago after the plus sign on the home pregnancy test turned blue. I starred today and wrote those words after entering the date of my last cycle into an online due date calculator. I later crossed out the "?" that I had originally written when an ultrasound at 7 weeks confirmed the pregnancy and this original due date.

But at nine weeks, fate decided that we were not to be parents again to a new baby, at least not this one. Dylan would not be its big brother, and Sadie wouldn't get the chance to be its big sister. It just wasn't meant to be, not this baby.

It's difficult to know how to feel about the loss of a baby you've only known of for a few weeks. It's not like we were attached to it already. We were just getting used to the idea that we would have another infant in the house. Where would we sleep all three kids in two bedrooms? We had already seen Dylan become a great big brother to Sadie. How would he be if it were a boy this time? What kind of big sister would Sadie be? How am I going to deal with being the mom of a pre-schooler, a toddler, and an infant? Will we find out the sex of the baby before it's born? All of the anxiety, the wondering, and the beginning to plan that comes with that little blue plus sign. And I loved every second of those few short weeks that I knew there would be another baby our family. Another son or daughter, another sibling for Dylan and Sadie.

But it wasn't meant to be. And even though it was only a few short weeks, it was still a loss. A loss that I had almost forgotten about until I flipped that page. Today, that baby would be here. I would be holding him or her, inhaling the new baby sweetness, and I would feel certain of everything that I had wondered about during those few short weeks. Of everything that I am still wondering about today, but will probably never know.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ah, to be a kid again!


Dylan's class had a field trip today to the Children's Museum of Phoenix. It is quite possibly the coolest place I have ever been in my entire life. Their slogan is "...a fun, hands-on, educational museum that engages the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them."
That is the understatement of the year!
It is truly a place that is absolutely all about and for kids. And it is equally pleasing for the accompanying adults. There was not one thing in the entire building that Dylan couldn't touch or do and I didn't have to "no" him once the entire day. The other really cool thing about the museum is that there was not one thing for the kids to do that was electronic or computerized. No tv's or computer monitors either! Everything was hands-on and people-powered. So this post is my ode to Children's Museum of Phoenix in photos.
The museum is housed in an old school building in downtown Phoenix. They have used the classrooms to create different hands-on (have I mentioned that EVERYTHING is hands-on?) exhibit areas. When you first walk in, there is a an atrium-like area that is open all the way up to the third floor, which overlooks the space. This photo is from the third floor looking down. Next to the tunnels and tents, there is an open area with all kinds of scooters for the kids (and adults!) to ride around on.
Dylan and Grandpa (who came with us too!) riding scooters (which are a lot harder than they look):
Painting on acidic paper in the Science Room with baking soda solution which turned the yellow paper red!
Painting a house (with his friend Joseph) in the Art Room:
There were many activities in these two rooms set out for the kids to do, and they are constantly changing.
Shopping and measuring rice in the grocery store:
Here are a couple of features that were more pleasing for the adults. In the kitchen area (no pics of Dylan playing there) they had some wall sculptures made of silverware. Here's a frog. There were also a ton of light fixtures made of glassware, utensils and various kitchen objects. The coolest thing was a structure across the entire length of the ceiling made of utensils welded together. These photos don't do justice:
Scooping ice cream at the sidewalk cafe:
Sculpting at the under-lit sand table (with his friend Owen):
These photos are all of the "Pit Stop"area... a xylophone made of wrenches, playing wall-mounted drums made out of buckets, racing slot cars, an old motorcycle, and reading books in the back of a pick-up truck (with his teacher). That was another feature that I really loved about the museum. Each exhibit area had a designated comfy, quiet spot with books and puzzles relating to the theme of the room.
Plus, an entire reading loft area full of books and cozy reading spaces, overlooking the first floor entrance play area:
And that's not even everything that we did. If you look at their website under exhibits, you can find the already existing activities as well as read about several MORE (could there possibly be?) slated to open next year. Needless to say I was blown away by our first visit, and we will be returning soon and often! If you haven't been yet, put this place on your list of things to do pronto!
I will leave you with some images of the "shoe wall" outside the 3 and under play area. There are no words: