Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I think the first sign of an internet problem might be when your laptop REALLY NEEDS TO BE REPAIRED and yet...you don't send it in because HOW CAN YOU LIVE WITHOUT IT? How? Someone tell meeeeeee.

That and I've spent the morning daydreaming that I am an interior designer while obsessively reading the Cookie Magazine website.  Oh the beauty! The vintage chicness. The cuteness kills ! Good Lord, how cool is European design? Oh how empty my wallet is.

Because I am not exactly cranking out the writing this week. I'm too tired. I had a weird ear thing flare up that kept me up all night. I thought it was an ear infection at first, but when I wasn't sick the next day, I decided it must be the partially erupted wisdom tooth I am too chickensh*t to have removed. Ye Gads was that painful. I couldn't even touch my ear and it radiated into my jaw and forehead.

Yet I'm still too chickensh*t to go in for the surgery. Yes, I'm aware I've stabbed myself in the stomach with long needles and let a doctor use a 12 inch+  long needle to get eggs from my ovaries, but I'm living under the law of 'the more medical stuff you do, the more likely something terrible will happen.'  Like calling 911 for an allergic reaction. By the way, I have the same law for flying and get very nervous when I fly a lot.  I once flew 17 times in 3 months and was totally white-knuckling it from the 10th flight on.

I probably need therapy. Or Xanax.

Anyway, more link fun. Because once I send in my laptop they will probably erase all my bookmarks. *SOB* (I mean that both ways, sob as in crying and sob as in son of a ...).  So I must post them all here so I don't lose anything cool.

Here is a link to a great science themed/messy party. This mom is SO COOL! I would totally do this as  a way to have fun on a booooooring summer day.

This baby boy nursery is to die for with the cuteness. I looooove it. Love wall decals. You have got to check it out, it's really well done.

Here is a jeweler who will take your child's art and cast it in metal. It's a little pricey (starts at $59) but what a great way to make a custom key chain for a fantastically sentimental Father's Day gift. (Okay, yes, I'm a little over the top with the hyper hyperbole today. It's a mood, roll with it.)

I totally want to make this foamboard dollhouse and I can see having tons of inexpensive, creative fun with the babeola doing this when she's older. This could easily be adapted for boys to make a Star Wars or other character/story inspired set.

I think these dots would be a fun way to decorate the babeola's room.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


My laptop is going to repair hell next week. We'll see how often I get on the internet with it gone.

I have a bazillion upfront pay writing assignments to do and zero interest, energy and motivation. Blech.

Forbes magazine has a lot of articles up on Peak Oil. They make for interesting reading. From what I understand, a year or so ago, they poo-pooed peak oil, claiming it didn't exist. And now look at 'em, they're got a multi-article spread on the topic--there's even one on how high gas prices will cure obesity. The times, they are changing.

We said goodbye to my nephew and dropped him off at the airport last week. My mom will be coming shortly to stay with us for a while since she just sold her house and is planning to relocate overseas after an upcoming family wedding. Then my mother-in-law will be coming to stay for a few months because the rest of the family (with whom she lives) can't stand her anymore. Fun times ahead. Should I start drinking now or wait?

The babeola is going through a cute phase. I got her an easel with chalkboard and she loves to draw with 'cock' as she calls it. The deck we started building in May is almost done. Just needs to be sanded and stained and it will serve as nice, self-contained, outdoor play area. (Because of the dogs, we don't let the babeola roam freely in the backyard. Too much poop and doggie pot holes for that to be safe.)

I know I'm forgetting something here. Drat. I can't remember. Oh well, that's all I've got for now.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Editor's Note: Still have the laptop and still waiting for the shipping information for the repair. GRRRRR.

I made this Toddler Manifesto a while back when the babeola was still an infant. I found it on my computer today and had a good laugh. Oh the magical fantasies we weave, when first we practice to conceive (to butcher Shakespeare) before we know our child's personality or have any clue about what it takes to parent. Not that I don't think the manifesto isn't a good idea, but implementation is easier said than done.

One thing prospective and new parents need to keep in mind is that all parenting is conducted under conditions similar to those experienced by prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, namely sleep deprivation. If you are the kind of person who is perky and happy and thrilled to be alive even if you haven't slept in 3 days, well, congratulations! Your speed or meth use will make you a great parent. If you are grumpy and antisocial on 5 hours of sleep, you are going to be a sucky parent or start injecting caffeine via IV drip (or copy those perky people and use speed and meth) in an effort to overcome what I call 'sleep mood disorder'.

Guess which parent I am.

Hint: I drink coke zero and tea like they are the fountain of youth. (I also cleverly stage books around the crib so when she wakes up at dawn, she has something to do besides scream for me to come and get her. I like to think this buys me at least an extra ten minutes in bed.)

Further, the babeola is much more fiery than I anticipated. In my pre-parent fantasy world, she would, of course, realize that mommy was right and reasonable. (Are you laughing at me yet? You should be!) Instead she is stubborner than a mule, not to mention her momma.

Also at 21 months, she's not really ready to listen to me explain. Maybe at 3 the Toddler Manifesto will be effective. At 21 months? It has no impact.

So without further ado, here is a parenting plan that I might be able to use in a year or so, about two years after I wrote it.

THE (very ambitious and slightly impractical) TODDLER MANIFESTO


1.       Get down to their level and look them in the eye.

2.       Speak in toddler-ese, i.e. simple, direct statements that are repeated.

3.       Name the toddler’s emotion to help them identify their feelings and, if appropriate, offer a course of action to help them resolve their problems.

4.       Then explain your feelings and/or what needs to happen next.

5.       Always speak with respect, use please and thank you

6.       Ask toddler to repeat instructions back to you to ensure they are retaining what you’ve just said

7.       Use loving touch, i.e. hugs, cuddling, holding hands as you talk.

8.       Apologizing helps toddlers learn to apologize themselves.

9.       Ask questions and listen to the toddler’s answers.

10.   Involve toddlers in finding a solution to the problem.

11.   Offer guided and limited choices where you are happy with either one the toddler selects i.e. blueberries or banana, yellow or pink shirt

12.   Say YES as often as possible.

1.Mealtimes are family time. Everyone will sit at the table.

2. Food will be offered, not forced.

3.New foods have a ‘one bite and spit out If you don’t like it’ policy.

4.Toddlers are not expected to eat on an adult schedule. If they are hungry, we will feed them, even if it’s after a meal.

5. While we won’t cook special meals just for our toddler, we will make reasonable accommodations for their food preferences.


1.Use the communication skills outlined above.

2. Be sure to validate the toddler’s feelings.

3. Then defuse the situation by changing location or circumstance.

4.If a child is hit or bitten, shower attention on the wounded child and ignore the aggressor.

5.  If the cause of the tantrum is something that can be postponed (i.e. brushing teeth) drop it and try again later. Discuss the situation and the need to try again once the toddler is calm.

6. Take a break. Maybe everyone just needs a moment to themselves to read a book or do some other quiet activity. This is not a punishment and the toddler should agree to that it’s time to take a break and pick the place and activity they are going to do.

7. Don’t get angry, keep your cool so you can guide the toddler through the tantrum.

Friday, July 17, 2009


But first and FYI, my laptop is fried and needs repairs. I'm arguing with the extended warranty people and I. Will. Win. Because I am the bigger bitch.  Meaning, at some point, the laptop will go * poof * in the mail and I may disappear somewhat abruptly from the internet.

Never fear. I will be back.

On to today's dilemma...

I have a weird super mommy power. I know when the babeola is going to have a night terror/wake up screaming/be up all night practicing phonics. (I kid you not, she's going to be asking to read War and Peace sometime next week at this rate. Did I mention she types on the laptop and knows many of the letters? On her own? My mind boggles.)

So. Given that I can tell it's coming, should I wake her up and try to head it off? Or continue to respond after the fact, which usually means I'm up all night with her.

What do you think?

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Today, I calmly looked at the babeola, who was turning red with rage while shrieking like Satan after someone slipped some ice down his pants, and said "If you were older, I would suspect 'roid rage."

But clearly she is too young to be shooting up steroids at the gym. Nor has she turned green, so I guess I can rule out Hulk genes in the IVF petri dish.

I don't know if this is part of the vacation wind down or a new developmental phase, but Good Lord people, I see why some mommies drink too much and do meth.

This morning, she was screaming and thrashing and frustrated beyond all reason myself, I screamed back. We had an entire conversation in Primal Scream. You shoulda been there.

Yesterday, my friend and I (who have kids about 5 months apart) both told our children 'I have no sympathy for you,' thereby making us the meanest moms on the planet. 

In other news, my nephew is here visiting and the babeola just adores him. Probably because he doesn't scream at her. She knows his name and talks about him constantly. Except the only thing understandable is his name, I have no idea what else she is saying.

But I sometimes imagine it is something like "Can I go live with Nephew? I'm small enough to fit in his suitcase."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


So one of the things I noticed this past week is how hyper everyone is about pacifiers and bottles. We had relatives yanking the paci out of the babeola's mouth while commenting on its evilness.

The babeola took it in stride, but I found it to be rude. Kind of like someone yanking a chocolate bar out of your mouth. Way to lord adult authority over a small, pre-verbal child, people. Bully much?

Contrary to what my judgmental extended family may believe, we do limit the paci time at home. We have a routine where she sets it on the bookcase next to her crib before we leave her room. We do the same thing with the lovey as I am terrified of losing the thing and try to keep it safe in the crib at home.

However, while traveling I relaxed the rules and let the babeola have the paci and her lovey as much as she wanted. I figured it was the least we could do after strapping her into a car seat for 12+ hours.

I did not anticipate how anti-pacifier people were though. I noted downright embarrassment and mortification from other moms in the family when their little ones were caught with a binky in their mouths. And the commentary over the babeola's binky habit, made my eyes roll into the back of my head.

It was weird, as if kids are in danger of growing so dependent they might go to their grave with a pacifier in their mouths. I am not the kind of parent who worries about that stuff. I sucked my thumb until I was 12, but I stopped and have a great smile without braces so nyah-nyah. My husband recalls getting daily bottles of hot chocolate through the age of 6, yet, at 37, doesn't require his beer bottles to come with a nipple on top.

Pacifiers and bottles, to me, are self-limiting attachments that will be outgrown when a child is ready to leave them behind. I don't need to do anything special other than honor my child's need for comfort and I am not embarrassed by it either.

People need to chill.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I'm back. Did you miss me?  I'm kind of bamboozled and shellshocked.

The babeola does not travel well. She doesn't sleep in the car. She doesn't sleep in the pack'n'play. Or the hotel crib. When she doesn't sleep, we don't sleep.

Which is a fun way to gear up for a 15 hour drive.

Never again.

If it hadn't been for the memorial service for my grandparents, we would not have gone.

Even though she loved the cows, horses, and the open land to roam on the family farm. Plus, there were multiple baby pools full of water for her to dip her toes in, which is like, you know, toddler nirvana.

Thank God for DVD players. We went through two this trip. The first one up and died and I immediately gave my husband marching orders to travel the Kansas prairie until he found another one.

Keeping DVDs on a constant loop in the minivan saved our souls.

Other than that, the trip was bittersweet. The picnic pavilion on the farm had a bird's nest in the eaves. The babies went nuts every time momma or poppa flew by, mouths open wide shrieking 'feed me, feed me'. At the end of the reunion though, we watched them stretch their wings for their first flight into the big world. The nest was too small to hold them any longer.

I felt the same way. The farm is no longer my nest. I have outgrown my prairie roots, especially now that I don't have my grandmother to ground me.

I hope we go back at least once when the babeola is older so she knows where her family came from, but after that, I think I'm done. I'm too liberal, too world weary, and not nearly religious enough to fit in. It doesn't feel like family any more.

Time to leave the nest.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Not the picture I was thinking of, but I found this on my computer. A few weeks ago, the babeola went to bed and was vewy, vewy quiet (said like Elmer Fudd on a rabbit hunt). We didn't think anything of it until we went to check on her before we turned in for the night.

The little thief had managed to filch a book out of her bookcase and spent several hours (we heard her rolling around which is how we knew she was up) reading it until sleep claimed her.


Hey internets. I'm outta here. Off to a funeral yadda, yadda etc...

Plus my laptop is going in for repairs so the next post will probably be a long time coming.

Although if I get my shizz together and download pics off the camera, I may be able to squeeze in some babeola cuteness before I leave town.

So, I'll be back. At some point.


Saturday, July 4, 2009


So, are we the only losers with no life sitting at home thinking Barry Manilow looks so very frail while singing Copacobana?

Then again, the 4th has never been a big holiday for me. I like the barbecues and getting together with family, but am not such a fan of the boom boom. I think the last time I went to fireworks proper I was in my 20s.

That was a looooong time ago.

Anyway, I'm at loose ends. I have no work to do as I cleared my schedule to help my husband with a big research paper for his history class. I get to fix all his verb tenses and direct objects as they relate to Benito Mussolini. Whoopee.

Plus, in 3 days we are hitting the road, driving to Kansas to finally bury my poor grandparents (they were cremated and the family never got further than that until now) and attend my grandmother's extended family reunion. So I'm kind of on vacation-with-a-funeral. Pre-funeral/vacation if you will.

I like this vacation shizz. I read some of Gary Taube's Good Calories, Bad Calorie today, which is phenomenal. This book will change nutrition  and weight loss as we know it. You should read it if you are a science geek like me. Although I'm a bit surprised that some Dorito and Oreo executives haven't hired a sniper to take Taube out becuase he's going to kill their sales.

As an added bonus, the asthma cleared up finally. Sooooo happy about that. Haven't heard back from Kaiser re: my letter though.

On the downside, the weight loss is not happening. In fact, I think I gained. Meh. I suspect that everything is all screwed up from me trying to do low fat/high carb diets for over a decade. I'm probably going to have to resort to some extreme low carb measures to kick start weight loss.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I think the babeola is teething. She's had her hands crammed in her mouth all day so...ya think? I tried to give her some Motrin and she pitched a fit so I put in the plug (paci) and let the TV mesmerize her.

As for my relative, he is home finally. Thank goodness. That was scary! I'm still not sure what the hold up was as it doesn't take 2 days to fly in from Europe, but he's home. Twenty pounds lighter, but home.

For those who want to follow me on eHow. Here's my rainmaker article, the one where I'm actually making some moolah.  You can click on my name to sift through my other articles. While it's nice to try and isolate high value keywords, you really never know what will make you money or not. So if you want to do eHow, just write and don't worry too much about keywords (although don't completely ignore them either).

If you look at the ad costs for keywords related to my moneymaker, the ads are valued at $0.05 a click and I'm making much more than that. The again, eHow claims to use a  proprietary alogrithim to calculate earnings and swears up and down it has nothing to do with ad value, so who knows?

So my earnings so far:

1st 2 weeks: $3.69

1st full month: $13  @ 4 times previous earnings

2nd full month $25 roughly double the previous month and @ 8 times earnings my first 2 weeks so the growth has been exponential.

1 contest win: $100

Total eHow earnings for 2.5 months: @$140 or 1.5 months worth of diapers.

The goal is to reliably pull in $100 a month from eHow and I think I'm on track to meet that goal. I'd like to get to where I don't have to work quite so frantically to get content up.