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! 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: