Thursday, April 26, 2007

Just possibly, the most ridiculous baby gadget ever

I saw this over at Hathor the Cow Goddess, and you know, it's so bad, it almost seems like it's parody. Really, this thing is just stupid. And the pictures? Dreadful. I feel bad - almost - for the model.

It won't let me copy a picture, so go look.

Sadly, though, there are people out there breaking their back and thinking this is the most brilliant idea ever.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

picture boob sleeping desk computer

You found me through a search for this? What?

I mean, what, exactly, were you trying to find anyway? And did you find it?

How bizarre. Gotta love the internetses.

More Wiki

What else did I learn from Wiki?

That Turner's birthday is the same as the date of Mark Twain's death.

That Guthrie shares a birthday with Osama Bin Laden and Shannon Tweed.

That Samantha's birthday is World Vegan Day.

Eric's birthday is World Refugee Day, and John Goodman's birthday.

And we were married on the anniversary of the death of Charles Bukowski.

Fun time-killer. What would we do without Wikipedia?

Wiki Birthday Meme

Stolen from Alimum

1. Go to Wikipedia and enter your birthday without the year:
June 27

2. List four events that occurred that day:
1844 - Joseph Smith, Jr., murdered along with his brother, Hyrum, at the Carthage, Illinois jail.

1967 - The world's first ATM is installed in Enfield, London.

1985 - Route 66 ceases to be an official U.S. highway.

1981 - The first paintball match was played.

3. List two important birthdays:
1880 - Helen Keller, American spokeswoman for the deaf and blind (d. 1968)
1930 - Ross Perot, American billionaire and politician

4. List one death:
2001 - Jack Lemmon, American actor (b. 1925)

5. List one holiday or observance:
National HIV Testing Day in United States

And for me, a bonus fictional holiday:

In Shirley Jackson's Novel The Lottery, the annual lottery is held on this date each year.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Cake, Icing, Cuteness

So I was totally lame and decided to just get a boxed cake mix. You know, younger siblings, especially when they're close together, get the short end of the stick all the time anyway, right? Although Turner's cake was probably yummier than Guthrie's homemade sugar-free carrot cake he had on his first birthday.

Guthrie picked it out - strawberry cake with white icing and sprinkles. Turner doesn't like sweets much, so he really didn't care one way or the other. And I don't think he ate more than a lick or two of the cupcake.

(Yes, I did notice the picture of the cupcakes has The China Study, a book on ideal nutrition and health, sitting right behind it. you gotta have cupcakes sometimes, right? Maybe even vegan ones.)

His gift, from us, (little brother getting shafted again) was a big ball of ball-pit balls. We're thinking we can empty the baby pool and fill it up with the balls, as a friend of ours suggested. Right now it's kind of rainy out, and so instead, the boys are just running around the living room (and the rest of the house) kicking, throwing, chewing on, and otherwise causing havoc with the balls. Guthrie is using a ruler from yesterday (thank you Rio Grande Regional Hospital) to bat them around, and using them to make letters. They love it!

And otherwise, it's just a great day all around. We've got the Beatles playing on the iPod, Eric is in the kitchen making his famous quesadillas, and although Turner did think he needed to get up at 4 this morning (!), he and I took a long nap this afternoon.

Life is good!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Birthday Boy

Turner is one whole entire year old today. And cute as can be, if I do say so myself!

Eric had work he had to finish (actually it was a little late) today, so the birthday festivities (cake, ice cream, requisite icing smashed into hair and face) will take place tomorrow.

So we celebrated the day at a Baby and Child Health Expo, at the brand spanking new McAllen Convention Center. It is really really nice, and the Expo was interesting. I've been to these kinds of things before - Auto Shows, Home Shows, and a more general, miscellanous Expo sponsored by a local radio station where I used to live - but never one geared at babies, young children, and pregnant and postpartum women. I went as much because I was curious about what kind of free samples and information would be handed out. The draw of Heidi Murkoff - one of the authors of the "What To Expect" series (also known as "If You Eat Too Many Cookies Your Baby Will Have Three Heads and Your Uterus Will Fall Out of Your Body" with the subtitle "Breastfeeding is for Crazy Women who Wish to give up their Self Identity") just didn't do it for me.

Here is a picture of our take in free samples. And we didn't take half of what was available:

One of the funny things that happened: Turner was asleep when we got there, so I put him in the sling, thinking he might go back to sleep. No chance, but I kept him in the sling, anyway, and Guthrie rode in the stroller. As we walked past the WIC booth, the rep stopped me and said, "Here is our breastfeeding information. You're a breastfeeding mother?" I took the info, and as we were walking away, laughed and asked Eric if it was really that obvious. Apparently so, because every booth affiliated with breastfeeding stopped me to give me information or samples, until I took Turner out of the sling and he was riding in the stroller.

There was formula information everywhere, but I think there were as many breastfeeding booths, too - Avent, Lansinoh, WIC was pushing breastfeeding, and at least 2 other breastfeeding-related groups (whose names I don't remember). Someone did stop us and give a sample of nursery water, which I took, because hey, it's water. Malt-O-Meal gave us a bunch of cereal and cereal-snacks, which were really sugar-rush yummy. (Blueberry yummy) I think we now have more samples of Huggies soap, shampoo, wipes, and other products than we'll ever use, too. It was crazy.

We also got these tote bags, that might be useful, but that advertise for a hospital and say, "Born in Texas." Not one member of this family was born in Texas (fortunately), so I think I'll feel kind of silly carrying the bag, but whatever.

They had one of those inflatable slides there, and Guthrie was really excited to try it, but once it came time (and I'd signed the waiver @@), he got scared. So this really adorable 2-year-old girl took his hand and helped him up, and went down with him. Precious, I tell you, precious. Except now he's figuring out how to get the girls - act all scared and nervous and let the sweet little girl show you how brave she is and help you overcome your fear. *sigh* He's learning these things too early. And then he wouldn't let go of her hand.

So, more pictures of an icing-and-cake covered toddler to follow tomorrow. Guthrie thinks Turner needs a "red" cake and Guthrie needs a "blue" cake. I suppose colored icing will work for that trick.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Mommy lesson

Keep all chocolate in the house on high shelves, in the deep freeze, or otherwise where a creative and independent 3-year-old can not reach it. Otherwise he will wait until you are putting the lunch dishes in the dishwasher to go into the bedroom where the 1-year-old is sleeping and jump on the bed next to him until he begins to wake up. (Thankfully, he was not jumping on the 1-year-old.) Then, while you are on the bed with the baby trying to nurse him back to sleep, he will come into the bedroom holding an opened block of baker's chocolate, and telling you that it does, in fact, taste really good, contrary to what you tried to convince him earlier. And you will be left with the dilemma: do I stay here, help the baby get back to sleep, and let the toddler eat what could be a ridiculous amount of mediocre chocolate, or do I get up and take the chocolate away, causing the baby to wake all the way up and not get enough of a nap and then be cranky for the rest of the afternoon?

In case you're curious, the solution was to let him eat the chocolate. He didn't eat that much after all. And it has all, now, been put up high enough he can't find it.

Crunchy home birther

Yesterday as my screen saver was flipping through random pictures from our lives, this picture popped up. As I looked at it, I realized, for the first time, just how bizarre and unreasonable this picture must seem to anyone who believes giving birth in a hospital is the right way to do it, and who thinks home birth is dangerous, crazy and just plain stupid.
So a brief explanation. Turner will be one year old this Saturday, the 21st, and I have his full birth story available here and pictures here. He was born, very peacefully and beautifully, at home, in our farm house in Missouri. His birth was attended by 3 amazing midwives, Rachel, Cheryl and Lisa.
The picture shows me still on the floor holding my minutes-old baby son, and my very-pregnant (she gave birth just 2 days later, although I don't believe she was due for 3 more weeks) midwife starting to clean up, as well as the environment in which I gave birth. Yes, I gave birth on our living room floor, which was how and where I wanted to be. You look around, you see a space heater on the floor to warm the room for the baby (it was a warm spring day, but got chilly at night, and we wanted to have it nice and warm for the baby's arrival). You see a toy box full of Guthrie's toys against one wall. You see a futon right there, a nice comfy soft place where I could have given birth had I chosen.
Our society firmly believes that babies need to be born in hospitals, attended by specialists, with all the bells and whistles and the machine that goes "ping." I won't go into the politics surrounding birth, and how bogus this whole idea is for the vast majority of women, and how it is the hospital environment itself which causes so many of the complications which now occur in birth and especially the shamefully high c-section rate, because there's just not enough room here, and I doubt it would accomplish much anyway.
Giving birth at home, in my own space, with access to all of my own belongings, my own bathroom, my own food, was an absolutely incredible experience. My first child was born in a hospital, nearly 12 years ago, and my second was born in a freestanding birth center (a home birth in someone else's home, in many ways). If we have any more children, which is still a distinct possibility, they will be born in whatever home we are in at the time.
It now seems as bizarre to me - as strange as this image must seem to most of the American population - to think of going into labor and immediately packing things up to go to a hospital. To imagine being tethered to a bed, to not be able to go into the kitchen and eat a bowl of Frosted Flakes (as I did at 3 a.m. when I realized a baby would be coming soon), to not be able to turn up the iPod and belly dance through contractions to the Culture Club and Duran Duran and Prince and The Cure, and to not be able to leave your sleeping children asleep in their own beds as long as possible, seems so unnatural, so inconvenient, and just so wrong. To be poked and prodded, and on someone else's time frame for delivery, and to be surrounded by rotating shifts of strangers is not something I can imagine anyone ever choosing, if they knew the options available.
Within minutes of Turner's birth, I was drinking a cup of coffee, eating a pb&j, and having some of the cookies Eric made while I was in labor. Turner was only separated from me for brief moments while I used the bathroom. He nursed immediately, we lay together in our own comfy bed, and we had visitors come to our house to see the new arrival. Turner was welcomed by his family - his parents, siblings, and his grandmother - and later we all lay together in bed and napped peacefully together, and life was just life, as it should be, as it has been. Bizarre only in a society that sees birth as a medical event, as a disaster waiting to happen, as something women are not capable of doing on their own.

Monday, April 16, 2007


I've been on a bit of a self-imposed internet vacation, or time-out.

Why? you ask. Well, I get a little sucked in to the whole virtual world, and lose sight of the actual real world around me. It's not awful, and since we don't have a TV, it is my one real vice, but I do have a tendency to get too involved in things that just don't really matter, and neglect things that do. You know, like the stack of books I've recently bought from Amazon or all the recipes I've been wanting to try out. And other things, like fresh air and sunlight.

And so, I cut myself off, temporarily. I deleted shortcuts so I wouldn't be tempted, and just generally stayed away. (And since Eric had pointed out that I read too much news - I guess that's another vice - I was just telling myself this morning that I would stay away from the news sites for awhile, too, when I heard of the shooting in Virginia, and can't stay away. I won't comment on that - there just aren't words - except to say how offended and disgusted I am by the pro-gun lobby and the way they are already using it as another reason everyone should own, and carry, a gun.)

In the meantime, after saying I needed to cut back a bit, our internet connection went down to slower-than-dialup speeds, and then my computer (which just recently celebrated its first birthday) needed to be fixed - again. And so I suffered the pain and terror of disconnecting my computer, driving it to the computer doctor, and hoping for its safe return. (Still not quite fixed - may have to take it back.)

And, while all of this was happening, Turner has not only decided that sleep is against his religion but wailing at the top of his lungs is his form of worship, but I got sick-ish. I say sick-ish, because I haven't been exactly sick, but not well either. I've had this sort of general icky feeling, for a couple weeks now, with headaches popping up out of nowhere, a sort of queasiness that fades in and out, and an abnormal fatigue. Oh, yes, I've had that terror - "Am I pregnant?!??!" - but I am, in fact, not pregnant. I'm certain. With all 3 of my babies, I've known almost immediately, and I am quite definitely not pregnant. Well, that and the fact that I would CRY CRY CRY CRY CRY if I were, because I am so not ready to be pregnant again.

But the fact that I was sick-ish but not really sick had me ridiculously worried and wondering what was wrong, and driving Eric generally insane. West Nile? - there have been lots of mosquitoes here. Hepatitis A? - we're in a high-risk area and there was the recent Whataburger incident. On one particularly sleep-less and slightly crazy night I was convinced momentarily it was ovarian cancer or something equally horrible, but snapped out of it by morning.

(I'm not generally a hypochondriac, and am generally rather healthy. I think the internet withdrawal was getting to me. I'm feeling much better now.)

So if I haven't returned your e-mails, commented on your blog, or debated you on whether Barilla Plus or Multi-Grain is better, that is why. I haven't stopped loving you and I'm not cheating on you, promise. It's just that darn ebola virus.

Friday, April 06, 2007


And because blogger never lets me embed video (I'm just copy/pasting from Photobucket), scroll all the way down for the video.

Guthrie LOVES it, Turner likes the slide, and Eric likes that it's all done. 18-ish hours total, we think, although we weren't looking at the clock at the end. And this weekend we're set to have record cold (um, 60 degrees), so we probably won't be using it much until Monday.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Why do babies have such good skin?

It's the avocado facial they get regularly:

And what happens when you give a 3 year old the camera:

(Did I just post a picture of my husband's butt on the internet?)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Day Three

It's starting to look like something. Really.

9 Hours down, and we seem to be about halfway there - on "Phase 11" of 20.

What you can't tell in this picture is that I'm *right* at the edge of the shot, waiting to grab Turner the second I need to. He likes it too.