Thursday, July 31, 2008

Childhood Development 101

Ever wonder how obsessive compulsives get that way? Genetics, environment, trauma, just plain fussy? Well here's one way. Take one stubborn 4 year old thumb sucker, tell her she must not put her thumb in her mouth because of germs, then proceed to google images of germs to really cement home the imminent danger of putting them in her belly.

Watch said toddler excitedly rewind over and over a scene in iCarly in which a character obsessively cleans his hands with "blue germ stuff" while warning Carly of the insidious nature of the zillions of germs on her hands, and you have a bona fide OCD taking firm root in the fertile psyche of the 4 year old mind. I'm sorry Ky and no way am I buying you "blue germ stuff".

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

4 or 14...

What a summer it's been and it's not halfway through yet. Ky has fished, is swimming, begs money for snack bars and bake sales, and insists I stay yards away while she ponders brownies and Airheads. She shower all by herself now, cleans her room, and this morning cleaned the rest of the house. Better than mom I might add on some days. I don't where my baby has gone and I enviously eye the teeny toddlers running circles around the lake. But I have conversations now with other moms on my son's swim team for the first time in years, and they forgive I never had a chance to learn some of their first names before. So I guess I just have to suck it up my baby is growing up and leave the magic of toddlerhood to those sweaty, harried, tired, lucky moms chasing those precious babies. Maybe I should introduce myself.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Weaklings and Whiners?

WOULD LIMIT FAMILIES.; Dr. Hamilton-Muncie Says We Are Becoming a Nation of Weaklings.
Special to The New York Times.
June 29, 1915, Tuesday
Page 5, 606 words
CHICAGO, June 28. -- Indiscriminate raising of children is filling the world with the unfit and undermining the stamina of the nation. Dr. Elizabeth Hamilton-Muncie of Brooklyn told members of the American Institute of Homeopathy in annual session today. She declared that families of degenerates were almost twice as large as those of normal persons, and unless remedial legislation were soon forthcoming Americans would wake up some day to the realization that they were weaklings.

The above article appeared in the New York Times almost 100 years ago. I have no idea if there was negative backlash or widespread agreement but in the next decades the nation would sorely be tested by a World War and the Great Depression. All this would culminate in the New Deal,which is not to be confused by the Old Deal, "bring us your teeming masses" so we might enslave and/or crush them in the grinding gears of industry. Some made it very well, some made it not so well, and some never got past their first OSHA free factory or construction site. Either way whatever your political or non-political beliefs, I defy anyone to deny they haven't benefited in some ways from these government social contracts/safety nets/bleeding heart liberal liberalities. We have corporate pensions, government pensions, private pensions, undefined benefits, defined benefits, and welfare benefits. We have the EPA, CIA,FBI,and even our schools have been completely federalized. It's pretty certain between Medicaid, Medicare, military insurance, and government insurance the last 20 of us should be on a national health care system any day now. So even I as a Democrat with a bipolar political childhood that would've turned Chris Matthews off politics is laughing a little at the beating Phil Gramm has taken calling us a bunch of whiners. I don't know how worse things might get, and really I don't want my wallet to suffer anymore than the next guy, but I do know somewhere mobs of unwashed masses who built this country with hands worn to the bone are laughing their hard earned heaven dwelling fannies off.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Raising teens

Adventures of a Supermom has a wonderful post regarding raising our precious teens. Although the "I have 3 days to corrupt my niece so there" post to her sister is a whole lot funnier ! All I could possibly think to add is one of my mother's favorite bible quotes, it gave her some peace during some real trials. There's a standard path a lot of us Catholic girls take. We confess our sins around 13 years old at our confirmations and rarely see a confessional again until we take our wedding vows, convenienty skipping a decade of sin. :X Works for us !

Proverbs - Chapter 22:6
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Uber weirdness or The Glass Isn't Remotely Empty

Three Minutes and a Rainbow posted some of her weirder traits, which by most standards really just consist of good hygiene. Well when she manages to wash her hair anyway. But I don't judge, my hair takes 3 minutes flat to wash AND dry, Juli's must take 3 days.
Anyhoo beat this , my glass must always be full. Until last year when I decided ice maybe really was making my chronic cough worse, my glass had to be completely full AND loaded with ice. Yep, the ice would melt when I went to bed and make a mess. I didn't care it had to be there. And in the days I'd leave it on our bookcase headboard (which I had to sand and refinish twice because of ice melt) the cat would knock the full, heavy glass right on my head. Now it's all about room temp. water because of the cough, which my family actually loves because they easily find me in stores. When my daughter was a newborn coughing instantly soothed her. Anyway, if I take so much as one sip I refill my glass. This particular quirk literally drove my husband nuts. "Honey? are you getting up, would you grab some more water", would earn me a look of utter pity, contempt and annoyance that I was actually asking the poor man to add an inch of water to my glass.
Next up, tea. I hate a small cup, I drink tea out of cups that could be a Disney World ride. Tea cannot be refilled easily people ! Really coffee drinkers, would it kill you to have a decent size cup in your cabinet? So between the constantly filled water cup always by my side and the triple D tea cups I pee. A lot. Like I can turn a 2 hour movie into a weekend mini series. Let's not even talk about when I'm pregnant, I look forward to the notorious newborn "sleep" schedule. A baby up every hour or two for a feeding is nothing compared to 1 AM pee, 1:10 PM pee some more. 1:20 PM , maybe just in case. 1:30 PM, shoot my water glass is low.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Omnivore's Wallet

Having just read "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and "In Defense of Food" recently I was primed for a Pavlovian response when I heard the words "is the chicken delivery put away?" while shopping for antibiotic and hormone free, farm dwelling cow milk at our local farm.
"Did I hear chicken?", ears perking. Now I just assumed these babies weren't Perdue but did I ask? Nope.
"Fresh from the slaughter" was the reply, she barely flinched! and 4 bucks a pound! (yep, with a straight face) Well after 4 1/2 hours chasing Ky around a hellish hot lake on top of my lost innocence regarding the brutish treatment of supermarket chicken I barely flinched and requested , get this, a 4 pounder. That's right folks, until about 1/2 an hour ago I was the proud owner of a 16 dollar deceased chicken.
She (he, is that even a possibility?) was the longest, leanest chicken I've ever seen. Gone were my illusions of fatted up happy farm hens baring their necks willingly to the slaughter in gratitude for wholesome pasture living ! In an ironic twist and probably the biggest marketing coup ever, store bought, barely mobile, crammed into a chicken pen chickens are fat, meaty and tasty. Farm chickens are lean, long, sparingly meaty (Keith Moon could've done justice with these drumsticks) albeit tasty.
But there's the dilemma, are they tastier than our usual abused, antibiotic riddled store chicken? Are they in other words, worth the price? The price of our hard earned cash, and the price of knowing our dinner was happy before the slaughter? I decided to serve up a lazy woman's idea of the dinner served in the Omnivore's Dilemma. The author's credo? The menu must be created from food he killed, slaughtered or foraged on his own steam. Well he tried, and it was an admirable attempt to say the least. Needless to say I ain't going there. I foraged for the chicken in the fridge, the dusty bag of brown rice long forgotten in my pantry (found a nice, fresh can of black beans too) and the mixed veggies from my freezer. We did however forage for dessert. Raspberries (did you know they were invasive?) are everywhere on my property,even the deer and birds cry uncle and beg us to pick them so there's some challenge.

Need I say the raspberries never made it until dinner?
So after my husband forgave me for spending a 10th of this week's gas budget on the chicken he stuck ( and really if you haven't tried this you must right this minute) a can of beer in it's carcASS and placed it, legs splayed for support, on our grill. Then he proceeded to head out the door to Walmart, on a busy Saturday, because he was out of soy milk. Apparently 3.99 for half a gallon farm milk isn't good enough for him. When the chicken turned a deep, dark, light sucking black hole shade of black I called to see how he was coming along.
By the time we all sat down to eat it was 2 hours past dinner time and I don't think anyone actually tasted the chicken. My son was the hungriest so he was noncommittal other than it "tasted like chicken". I thought it had a much meatier taste to it than say your average chicken tenement raised Tyson bird, almost like turkey. My husband declared himself the only diner experienced enough to make the final determination, the "decider" if you will. Having lived on a Greek farm until 8 years old where his most memorable experience with fowl was to have them peck his ankles while in the outhouse,he tasted absolutely no discernible difference. Yea right hon, and we're not thinking with what's in our pants with that one ! His wallet folks, get a grip. Needless to say our family breadwinner has decided cheap "chemical" chicken is the way to go. And if you ask him if the price of a farm raised chicken is worth it for a higher standard of chicken living? He has a few traumatic memories of his own abuse at the beaks of chickens and needless to say he's not sympathetic to the cause.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mystery Girl

Kylie dug out her oversized Disney princess coloring book and calls me over. "MOM ! Look at this !"
Off I go to oooooooh and ahhhhhhhhhh over my 4 year old's rendering of me and various family members as lollipops. I see this.

Now I think Ky is a genius ! (see "Inspiration" post, mom helped but not much). But this would scare the bejeezus out of me, so let's say God knew what he was doing NOT giving me a child prodigy. I'm thinking Aunt Sofia? On one of her much too rare visits? Got a little bored waiting for your pita pizza Sof? Anyhoo Ky thinks it's hers, would that we all had such confidence in our abilities ! People, next time sign your work !

I don't know if you can see them, but yep, those are her self painted blue toes. :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

League of Women NonVoters

I mean really, what's the point anyway? A claymation character would care more about America's working class ( defined as your money is NOT working for you, you are most definitely working for your money) than a politician. Except of course my esteemed grandfather, the best dang alderman ever elected to public office (it was a family rule to add that disclaimer) . The League of Women Voters will drink wine out of paper cups, we sold our wedding crystal for heating oil, vote strictly on the attractiveness of politicians or not vote at all (that part is entirely subjective of course but probably how Bush got in). Don't we all fall for at least one cute guy who leaves us feeling used, broke and scratching our heads at the end? And the number one rule, to pray, hope and encourage all the little future public servants, businesspeople and service sector crops we're growing in our family rooms are better than we are, not just better off.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Dara Torres took first place the other day in the 100 meter freestyle. :) I mean c'mon, she's 41 and has a toddler. Can you imagine? "Honey, mommy's just going to go swim 25 miles and then she'll make you waffles and play dress up OK". I'm lucky I can make it to the toaster oven. But I'm only 40, maybe there's hope for some muscle tone after all.
God bless and good luck Dara.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Stop, Drop and Whine

New fire safety slogan? I guess could be if you add roll or an extremely quick rescue response. In our world drop and whine is what I've come to accept as my daughter's response to any irritant, potentional defeat, unrequited desire or the word no. I've heard by the age of five a personality is pretty set in stone, so we have about 9 months to toughen this chick up ! I'm sure this isn't hereditary, I'm sure my sister doesn't mean it when I complain about this and she starts laughing.