Thursday, October 30, 2008

National Adoption Month

Hello everyone!

November is National Adoption Month! And so, in celebration and to be a good advocate for adoption, I am going to be posting information about adoption (specifically from foster care) and also giving little clips of our story with Mateo. So, November will mostly be serious (with a few funnies in there while Dave is away in China). I already have one entitled, "I Hate Being a Single Parent", because I just know I will. But mostly I want to take the opportunity to talk about our story, the kids in our country that need adopting, and how you can help teach your children about differences and tolerance (this doesn't necessarily go with adoption but is applicable because of our adoption).

November 1st will be my first posting of how we got started on our journey to adoption. Check back then!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Selling Out

I don't consider myself a very strict parent. I mean, we're no Supernanny family, where the kids are assaulting the parents and should be locked up in Juvy. We definitely have boundaries and demand some level of respect be maintained. But I always told Dave our kids would be the ones swinging from the rafters as we watched shaking our heads and chuckling. And so far, that has been the case. But when I saw what some of the little girls at a Halloween party were wearing this weekend, I began to think I was on the the militia side of the parenting spectrum.

Why do 8 and 9 year old girls need to be wearing half cut shirts, super mini skirts, and high heeled boots to go trick-or-treating? We are turning our family friendly Halloween activities into a pedophiles dream. And we wonder why we have to start teaching sex ed in kindergarten and hand out condoms in middle school!

Maybe I'm overreacting, or maybe it's because I watch too many crime shows, or maybe it's because I don't have a girl begging me "please, please, please", or maybe I am stricter than I thought, but I just think this is ridiculous. Who's the parent? You or Britney Spears? I think I'll stick to having boys for a while.

Speaking of Halloween, Mateo is a race car driver. I know, boring. But the kid refuses to wear anything bulky, furry, with a hat/hood/tail, chunky, heavy, glittery, too hot, too cold, or purple. So that doesn't leave me with many options. Actually, it left me with only one option. Race car driver. And he didn't even like putting that on. But I bribed him with....you guessed it...lollipops.

But seriously, I don't blame him for hating costumes. I mean, while awfully cute, most baby and toddler costumes resemble that of a torture device. They are itchy, fuzzy, bulky, and hot. A lot of times they include a big tail or something you have to drag around behind you. The hats are too big or too small. I wouldn't want to wear one either. So, in this house, we are an uncomfortable-Halloween-costume-free zone.

Actually, my family has a long history of making Halloween costumes. I used to make my own as an adult. Yes, I dressed up for Halloween every single year since I was born until last year when we got Mateo. Now he is my muse. But really, I love Halloween. And I love dressing up. I made his costume last year (see picture below). And I had planned to make his this year. He was going to be Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights, complete with Wonder Bread sponsored uniform. But I got too busy...and lazy. So now I'm a total sell-out because I purchased one at Party City for $29.99. I hate being cliche'.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Joy

I found this awesome blog of professional and amateur child and family photography. I linked up with them to follow along and post (on my own blog) photos that I take that fit that theme. So, the first theme is "JOY" and here is my version. En"joy".




Here's the website this idea originates from. Check it out and let me know how I measure up. The photos are amazing!

10 Reasons NOT to get Pregnant!

10 reasons not to get pregnant:

(If you've had problems with infertility, you probably don't want to read any further. If you do, I can't be held responsible for your feelings about this post. I certainly can understand your loss. But it's my blog, therefore my perceptions of things, and my perception of pregnancy is that it sucks.)

1) Doctor's appointments. It's not because I'm afraid of needles. I have several tattoos and I've given blood. Actually, I look at needles and say, go ahead needle, just try to make me bleed! I dare you! Usually they do, and a lot. So, no, it's not because of the needles. It's because of THAT kind of doctor. I dread my yearly appointment months before it happens and I don't need any other reasons to have someone poking around down there. It makes me very uncomfortable and I think if I was pregnant I would resent my child for making me have to get to know my gyno better than just by her cold hands like I do now. Really, I don't even think I know her name. Or is it a he?

2) Breastfeeding. I know, I know, it's supposed to be this wonderful bonding experience with your infant or toddler (but hopefully not your 8 year old like I saw on a video once. I can probably say that I'm scarred for life. I'll never look at breastfeeding the same. Sidenote: They were European.). But I'm very possessive of my breasts and just thinking about something chomping on them totally freaks me out. Mateo already has an unnatural attachment to them and he's never been breastfed. He picked up my bra the other day and said, "boobies". I have no idea how he knew the two went together. It's disturbing.

3) Uhh....labor? Seriously, I can't think of a reason good enough to want to push something the size of a bowling ball out of my...well, you know. Add on top of that, stories of pain, infections, something about vacuums, and....gulp....tearing. NO THANK YOU!

4) Cankles. Need I say more?

5) Moodiness and hormones. Ask my husband, I'm already unstable.

6) The "no" list: no caffeine, no seafood, no alcohol, and no drugs! Sorry, there are just some things I can't live without. I don't mean the drugs. Well, not illegal ones anyway.

7) Genetics. Is there anything that desirable to be passed on? Not in our case. And I know some others that shouldn't be procreating either.

8) Umm...how can I see this nicely...becoming massive. I already have body issues, add on top of that a giant bulging tumor of a stomach and I'd go over the deep end.

9) Money! Babies are expensive. At least with adoption from foster care, we get a lot of help. Do you know anyone else who gets paid to raise their kid?

10) ...and finally, cankles. (Believe me, it deserves two spots on the list)

So my question is, why would you sign up for all this when you can get one delivered, stork-style, to your doorstep? For free! You don't even have to pay for health care! I don't think I'll ever understand. Oh well, your loss. Mateo is definitely the coolest kid I know!

Disclaimer: you are certainly more than welcome to leave a comment about the joys of being pregnant and giving birth, just please no gory details. I don't want my readers to have to worry about their gag reflex being triggered while visiting my blog. Thank you

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Inner Rock Chic

Something left me thinking the other day, what happened to my inner rock chic? I used to be a fun-loving spontaneous life-of-the-party kind of girl. I was getting drunk at Aerosmith concerts, now I'm barely getting buzzed at wine tastings. What happened? I don't even like wine!

Well, I could probably say the first mistake was getting married. Talk about a killjoy. Dating my husband once gave me butterflies in my stomach, now I get hives from the stress of paying the babysitter and oh-my-God what if he drinks dishwasher fluid again! But at least when we were married with no kids we had a lot of date nights. And of course, there was the sex. Now we're looking at very few date nights and even less sex.

And this, of course, is all Mateo's fault. Who feels sexy with dried oatmeal stuck to their shirt and having spent the day wiping a toddler's butt? Not that I don't love him very much and the payoff is totally worth it (most of the time), but it's something we women tend to ignore about motherhood. And I think it's okay to admit that it's our kids fault we're not "cool" anymore. Doesn't Dr.Phil say you can't change what you don't acknowledge? Well, let's acknowledge that our kids ruined part of our lives, leave them with our husbands, and go out and PARTY!!! And if watching Dr.Phil in the middle of the day isn't proof enough that I need to get out, I don't know what is.

So this leads me to ask myself over and over again, when did I become so boring? Not only that, but so cliche'. I've even gone so far as to seriously consider joining the Mom's Club. I know, crazy right?

Not that I want to go out every weekend and party like I used to when I was young and barely legal. Honestly, I don't think I could any more. I'm exhausted by 9pm and feel like I'm gonna puke just being near someone with a cigarette. Somewhere along the way, I've become a wimp. I've gone from rated R to rated G. Did it start when I stopped shopping at cute girlie stores for clothes that showed off my chest and started shopping at Babies R Us for clothes that showed off my son's chest (or...uhhh...eyes) ? Or did it start when I stopped caring what my butt looks like in my jeans but that my jeans actually cover my butt?

Someday I hope to go back to my Aerosmith-loving, rock-girl partying self. Maybe when I'm in my 40's, they are the new 20's you know! Or maybe when I'm a grandma. I'll be the cool old lady that can still shake her hips without breaking one and dies flipping her 'Vet. Until then, mini-vans and Tupperware parties here I come!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy?

For those of you out there pressuring me to post another blog entry, (you shall remain nameless for now) here you go! Now get off my back! I have a life you know. Really, it may seem like I just hang around carving pumpkins and baking cupcakes and playing trains with my son, but I really do much more. Like, for instance, I watch Oprah. And read magazines. I also like to get massages and pedicures. So you see? I'm a very busy person. So here's a new post and I'll even throw another one in tomorrow. Happy?


hiking up Case Mountain with Mateo on my back

Yes, I almost died and, no, I didn't realize how much 27 pounds really is.
But Mateo looks thrilled doesn't he?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

7 Random Things

I'm starting a tag via someone else's blog.

It's 7 Random Things About Me:

1) I am afraid of horses (it's their freaky black eyes, I can't tell what they're thinking) and cats.

2) I have an abnormally strong sense of smell. Dave often uses me to "sniff out" things that are causing precarious odors.

3) I love Sci-fi and British Comedy.

4) I am obsessed with Christmas. I insist on a real tree every year and always get it too soon and it dies before the big day. I put the Christmas music channel on in the car after Thanksgiving and refuse to turn it off until New Years, even if we've heard 5 renditions of "Drummer Boy" in a row. I'm like a 5 year old about presents and shiny wrapping paper, but love giving them as much as receiving. My second favorite holiday is Halloween.

5) I am a sucker for family traditions and get very upset when they have to change or when they don't go as expected, especially when it comes to Christmas.

6) I literally can't sit still. I am always rocking, shaking, or tapping. Dave used to call me "squirrely".

7) I hate the suburbs but can't decide between the country and the city.

So I guess I'm supposed to "tag" seven people to do the same thing. Then we all learn 7 things about each other. I don't really care if you participate or not. I'm just doing it because it's a lot easier than thinking of a new creative witty post again. I suppose I could have just written it about me and not "tagged" anyone but that just seems a little...self-obsessed. Well, maybe random thing #8 should be that I'm self-obsessed. Anyway, I am tagging...

1. Scott
2. Heather
3. Rachel
4. Jill
5. Devan via Scott's?
6. Joe
7. JonesEthiopia

Tag. You're it.


Speaking of random...here are some random pics from recent events.


I just realized there are no pictures of our "other" baby, Luca, on this blog.
So here's Luca, our 2 year old boston terrier/beagle mix (Boggle).


Our pumpkin


Monster cupcakes I made for our carving party.
This is probably the biggest Martha Stewart Moment I've ever had.
Don't expect it to happen again anytime soon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What's With the Pooping Dolls?

Now that I spend most of my TV watching time on channels like Disney and Noggin, I get to see all the millions of dollars spent on toy and sugar-filled cereal advertising for little people with the attention span of a squirrel. One of those commercials happens to be for a doll that comes with an entire bathroom set, including mini doll-size sink and toilet. Now get this, it's not just a doll that squirts water out of a whole "down there" after you fill it up with water in the bath, like I remember having when I was little. No, this doll sits on her little toilet and when she gets up, there is a little turd and some pee in there. I don't know how it gets there, that's too much information even for me. Then you flush and the plastic piece at the bottom of the toilet flips over to reveal the clean water once again. Does this seem weird to anyone else? This particular commercial even features a cartoon version of the doll crossing her legs and giggling while saying "oops." What is this?

Look, I loved dolls. That may be an understatement. I was obsessed with dolls when I was little. I believed my dolls were real way past the age that it's socially acceptable. Not only that, but because of my early exposure to handicapped and mentally retarded individuals (via my mom's job as an occupational therapist) all of my dolls had different disabilities. One had braces on her legs and was still learning to walk. One of my dolls face got smashed in by the neighbor
boy and when it popped back out, the eyes never looked quite right, so that became my mentally challenged doll. Actually, she was trans-gender too. I couldn't decide if he/she was a boy or girl so sometimes he was "Timothy" and sometimes she was "Kelly". I know, I was a disturbed child. Anyway, my point is I had an unnatural attachment to my dolls, but even I wouldn't have wanted to play "let's poop in the toilet" with a doll. It's just gross!

So this atrocity leads me to question these fine toy manufacturers:
  • Are there noises that accompany this doll as she does "her business" on the toilet?
  • Does the doll get constipated if she doesn't eat enough fiber?
  • Can you upgrade the set to include a bidet?
  • Were the board members high when they approved this idea?
Have we come to a place where we can't think of anything new and revolutionary for our kids to play with so we are forced to resort to recreating all too realistic and private rituals? Alright, so I have a few ideas. Baby Bulimia, Polly Picks-her-nose, Zit-popping Zoe, and Toe-nail Clipping Clara, whose toe-nails really grow. Okay Mattel, how much do I get for those?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bribing for Pictures

Okay, it's kind of small, but if you click on the picture it should get a little bigger. Here's my crazy kid who will only sit for pictures if you bribe him with candy. This time he got a lollipop for sitting next to the pumpkin and saying "cheese" to mommy. Hey, I got a cute picture so, whatever works.



Thursday, October 9, 2008

Dating Again

Yes, it's official, I'm dating again. Don't worry, I'm not getting a divorce or cheating on my husband. I'm looking for friends. It seems so simple. When we were in kindergarten we could have a 3 word conversation about Captain Crunch and then be best friends for life. But why does finding friends feel an awful lot like dating, now that we are adults? Am I dressed trendy enough that I don't look like a frumpy mom who forgot how to have fun? Am I dressed too trendy and give off the impression that I care more about how I look than I do about my kids? Should I smile a lot or does that come across too perky? But if I don't smile, then it seems like I'm unhappy about my life and no one wants to hang out with a downer. These are the questions I think about everyday when taking my son to various playgroups, playgrounds, and story times. Shouldn't there be an easier way?

Just to give you a clear picture of how hard it is, here is an inner monologue of what goes on in my mind while mingling with other moms.

Okay, approach slowly. Make eye contact and a nice smile...not too desperate, just a small nod to say hello. Okay, she smiled back, that means she's into you. Start off with a question about her.

"So...come here often?" Good, good, you're doing good. Now find something you have in common.

"How old is your son?" Same age. Great! You hit the jackpot. Now say something about yourself that's a little vulnerable so she knows your serious.

"My son's a biter." She took the bait! Now ask her opinion about something important and you'll reel her right in.

"What do you think about Darfur?" No, no, too soon! Abandon all posts! Retreat! Retreat!

"I mean, how about them teddy grahams? Good, huh?" Okay, good recovery. You can do this. Now give your kid a kiss to show that it's really all about him.

"Oh, I don't allow little Harrison Emmett Junior to eat anything with sugar. It might interfere with the delicate balance of protein to unsaturated fat ratio he needs to be the next MVP of his T-ball league."

Oh no, another psycho mom. Get out of there now!

"I think I hear my phone ringing."

It's okay. You didn't see that one coming. Just try again. Scan the crowd but also seem attentive to your kid. Hmm....the mom with oversized sunglasses and low rise jeans is totally checking you out.

You like what you see?




Mommy and Mateo on a hayride


wagon ride at the pumpkin farm


finding pumpkins



my cutie pie!

Monday, October 6, 2008

For All You High Fructose Corn Syrup Lovers Out There....This One's For You!

Hubby and I went away this weekend. Whoo-hoo!!! If you know us, you know we will use any excuse to have a weekend away from our child. Not that we don't love being with him, but we love not being with him too sometimes. A good friend was getting married in Maine so lobster and foliage here we come! Usually we would leave Mateo with my mom, but since she was out of town as well, we had to pawn him off on someone new. His speech therapist. Yes, it's a little unconventional, but she does know him very well. She's at our house every week, she has two older girls that love him, and she's a doctor. A doctor. And with all his medical stuff going on lately (we are still nebulizing cause his breathing is consistently sucky), he's probably better off with her than he is even with us. So, to "Laura's" house we go!

Well, "Laura" has a partner that I didn't know very well. Actually, we had never met, but I had heard lots about her. Apparently, "Laura's" partner (I'll call her "Sally") is an alternative medicine organic naturopathic homeogenic type thingy. Something like that, I don't really know. The only thing I do know is that she really really believes in something called the "Blood Type Diet". Not to be confused with the "Blood Diet", which I was calling it all weekend, and wondered why people were giving me weird looks. Anyway, Laura had mentioned that they only eat organic, no dairy, limited meat,no processed food, etc. and it all had to do with their blood type. Great! Who cares, right?

But it did come up while I took Mateo for a visit before the weekend when Laura asked what kinds of foods Mateo eats. Just the basic kid food; chicken nuggets, hot dogs, yogurt, french fries, soup, pasta, anything covered in ketchup, etc. But Laura is not one to push her beliefs on anyone and just mentions the kind of food they eat and ask if that's okay to give him. I say, sure thing if he eats it, otherwise just pop something processed in the microwave and he should be fine, right? (Okay, I'm not a horrible parent doomed to overweight children with heart disease at 15, I do make him eat fruits and veggies and try to keep the junk food to a minimum. But on a side note, the kid is most definitely not at risk for obesity at this point. He could even stand to gain a few pounds.)

Anyway, when I went to drop him off at their house, I got to meet Sally, who I found out is quite passionate about the "blood diet - wait, no....the blood type diet," (why do I keep doing that?). As I was describing all the medication Mateo is on, as I've said before, it's a lot,Sally starts looking very alert and asks if I've ever tried changing his diet. Yes I did, once when he was having diarrhea for 3 weeks straight and we thought he might be allergic to milk. Turns out it was all the juice boxes we were giving him to work on sucking for his speech therapy. Here's what transpired after that.

Do you know you can get him off the medication and improve his health by changing his diet?

I'm just doing what the doctor says.

Do you mind if we experiment on him by changing his diet this weekend?

I just want him to eat and be happy.

What's his blood type?

I have no idea.

I have a testing kit upstairs, it's just one little prick and I can tell you.

That's nice.
(to Laura) Don't let her touch my kid.

Sally - I just think if you love someone you would want to do what's best for them instead of pumping them with medication that will have long term side effects.

Me thinking to myself - Maybe this was a bad idea.

Laura was nice enough to step in.

But I continued to get dirty looks from Sally the whole time, as if I don't love my kid because I don't happen to agree that medication is the devil. Well, sorry, I do believe in modern medicine. Once again, most of my generation was raised on our pediatricians advice, be in penicillin for an ear infection or an inhaler for bronchitis, and, once again we turned out alright. Well, besides a sudden increase in heart disease and cancer. But I'm sure the two aren't related. Or are they? Hmmm....

Anyway, when I went to pick him up on Sunday, I thought I might have to endure a solicited speech about how medicine is dangerous and he'll probably grow a third arm when he's 10 because of it. But she wasn't there. Maybe she couldn't stand the sight of us easy mac-fructose corn syrup-spaghettio-loving parents.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ridiculous Baby Products: Part 3

Time for my monthly edition of...Ridiculous Baby Products! Here are my newest victims.

Since safety concerns are at an all time high, we now have "safer, softer, more secure sleds." And since the new thing now is to make everything inflatable, you guessed it, sleds with inflatable sides. Seriously, I think we ought to save ourselves the trouble of buying all these safety conscious products that cost 3X as much as the regular version (remember when sleds were, like, five bucks) and instead just invest in installing airbags in our children's clothing. That way, if they have any accidents, it doesn't matter where they are or what they are riding/eating/playing with/smelling/jumping on/hugging or doing. That takes away all the risk! Am I on to something here?

Let's talk socks. Baby socks use, what, three inches of fabric and cost some 6 year old from a third-world country a quarter to make? Then why does it cost $16.95 for one pair of "top of the line non-skid slipper socks"? For babies! If I paid more than fifteen dollars for every pair of socks for my son, I'd be re mortgaging my house right now. And don't even get me started on the memory foam slippers!

Another safety item. A locking childproof bin for your household cleaning products. Apparently using cabinet locks is not enough anymore. So for the children of this generation, we must lock them (the cleaners, not the kids, although maybe that's something to think about) in a safe-like bin complete with shock system if one should get to close. That's what we get for creating hybrid genius children! Only no one's noticed children of our generation aren't actually any smarter (I blame Spongebob) than we were and we seem to be doing fine despite having a couple scares after drinking dishwasher liquid at 5, but our mother's didn't panic. They just gave us rat poison so we'd puke it up. So, what are we so worried about?

Stay tuned for next month's edition of Ridiculous Baby Products: Part 4, coming soon to a blog near you!


future plumber's crack?


the fort we made in our living room today



Mateo and his "friends"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A New Way to Use Bubble Wrap

My facebook friends will have seen this video already, but here's one for all my blogger friends out there. I think he may have a wrestling career ahead of him. Can you say suplex?


video