Monday, December 31, 2007

New starts

Don't you love a fresh start? I do. Maybe too much. Fresh start moments, like the beginning of a new year, make me want to get everything right this time. It's all I can do this time of year to keep my inner perfectionist from breaking loose and wreaking havoc.

In a Babycenter poll, 75% of the 7112 participants (at the time I looked it up) feel pressure to be the perfect mom. Those of us who aren't moms feel the pressure of perfection in other ways.

So what's a girl perfectionist person to do? Well, I can't promise I won't make any New Year's resolutions (especially since I've already started), so I won't ask you to give that up either. Maybe what we should do is throw in a few more. Let's try these...

  • I will not see failure as the end of the world.
  • I will give myself (my spouse/my kids/etc.) another chance.
  • I will not try to accomplish my goals completely on my own.
  • I will remember how much I am dependent on others - friends, family, God - and ask for help often.
Ok, I think that's quite enough for now. Think it'll work? Well, if it doesn't, it's not the end of the world...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Playing it safe - part 2

Remember those safety assemblies at school when you were a kid? Like when the firemen came and taught you to stop, drop and roll, and everyone got to crawl around on the floor and pretend the room was filled with smoke? I would go home, head full of important new information and wait for my house to catch on fire so I could put it to use.

Or how about when they talked about Stranger Danger and how to not be lured into someone's car just because they offered you candy? I took it pretty seriously.

One time when I was little (but old enough to have had the Stranger Talk at school), I was walking into the post office with my mom. Suddenly, a man I didn't know - a Stranger, you might say - offers me candy. Yikes! I'm thinking This is exactly what they warned me about!! I was too scared to say anything. Mom accepted the sucker on my behalf, thanked the postal worker and later talked to me about how I don't have to freak out if I'm with a parent. I kinda felt like Mom didn't really know about Strangers, though. After all, I was the one who had been through the special training.

Anyway, because of situations like that, people are rethinking the whole "Stranger Danger" thing. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) calls Stranger Danger "a myth."

McGruff the Crime Dog distinguishes "bad strangers" from "safe strangers." BTW, McGruff has come a long way since the coloring book pages of my childhood. He has his own website, downloadable wallpaper and a seldom-updated blog. (I checked to see if he had a myspace, and I found this. Does that seem a little sketch to anyone else?)

My earlier "Playing it safe" post focused on self-defense classes for kids. While I was researching that, I came across these additional resources for keeping kids safe:
  • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has a great child safety FAQ. They also have a program called Prevention Works, which they offer to corporations for free.
  • The Child ID Kit stores information about your child, is small enough to keep with you, and, if it's ever necessary, you can give it directly to law enforcement officials so they have all the information they need immediately.

  • Youth Educated in Safety, Inc. has some good suggestions of things to talk about with your child - like protecting your personal space and when not to be helpful.
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Photos: 1) "Stop drop and roll" by Al Bakker. Creative Commons License. 2) Wallpaper from 3) "Karate kid" by Strollers. Creative Commons License.


I already know one of my new year's resolutions will be to tie up loose ends on this blog. In my quest to keep the subject matter varied, I haven't always gotten back to topics I wanted to follow up on. But I'm going to get started on that right away. Hopefully tomorrow. Just thought I'd let you know.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tradition - part 3

At some point my family started reading the Christmas story from Luke 2 before opening presents on Christmas morning. The passage seems so long when there's presents waiting to be unwrapped. But, really, in the grand scheme of things, what do presents matter?

I guess that's exactly the point.

"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.'"

- Luke 2:10-11, NIV

Saturday, December 22, 2007

There's a time, a place, and a conference for everything

Did you know there's a babywearing conference? Yep. It's four days long. And I'm a little baffled by the whole thing. Who goes to a babywearing conference? Maybe I could see it if you sell items for babywearing. But how many people fall into that category?

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for carrying your baby in a sling/pouch/mei tai/soft carrier type thing. And I get that having your child close to you is great bonding, etc., but I really don't understand how the subject merits an entire conference.

Granted, there are several workshops on the schedule that don't seem to be babywearing-specific (i.e. "Website 101," "Intro to Cloth Diapers," and "Mom and Baby Yoga") and several more on businessy things (like "Legal Considerations for BW Vendors" and "Owning a Bricks [sic] and Mortar Store"). There are, however, plenty of workshops just about babywearing, and that's what confounds me the most. How much knowledge does one need in order to wear a baby? Am I missing something here?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tradition - part 2

My hope is that by sharing the little things that have become holiday traditions for me, it will spark your memory...and your imagination. What are your traditions? What will you pass on to the next generation?

It's not every year that I get Christmas baking done. When I can fit it in, I'm always glad I did. There have been years I've baked with friends and others I've gone solo, taking my time, tweaking the recipes as I see fit.

When I was a kid, I "helped" Mom in the little kitchen that seemed so big at the time. I remember those rich, cinnamonny, nutmeggy, smells that fill the house only in the last two months of the year. At her direction, my brother and I would dump (pre-measured) ingredients in a bowl or stir or push candied cherries into the tops of unbaked cookies or use a spoon to drop cookie dough onto a big metal sheet.

She also let us cut out and decorate sugar cookies. I stuck with Christmas-themed shapes; I believe he added dinosaurs. My trees were green with carefully placed candy "ornaments;" his were much more colorful.

They all turned out delicious.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


In this tradition-laden time of year, are you waxing as nostalgic as I am? So many memories, meaningful rituals, accidental traditions...

As a child, I loved to push the presents aside and lay on the floor underneath the Christmas tree and look up at the colored lights. I would watch them blink and smell the fresh pine scent. I would stay there so long my parents would wonder where I went and come looking.

Now, my hubby and I have an artificial tree. We have those white lights that don't blink. Things don't stay the same. But, still, at least once a year, I try to push aside the busyness, lay still and look up at the lights through the branches of our tree.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Just add inspiration

My in-laws have acquired (thanks to Elizabeth) 2 boxes of butcher paper rolls - some with butcher paper still on them, some without.

They're all about 4' tall and maybe 3" or so in diameter.

Apparently, they make great weapons for fending off older siblings.
I'm sure that's not all they're good for. I think they'd be for some kind of craft or project. What do you think they should do with them? What would you do?

Oh come on now, don't be shy, I'd love to hear what you have to say. Post a comment, send an email, we promise not to bite. Someone may come after you with large roll of butcher paper, but no one will bite.

Edited to add: Elizabeth posted a comment with more info on what's in those boxes.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

It was quite awhile ago when I posted the question "What do you eat when you don't want to eat?" Since then, I've learned a few more tricks that might be useful for anyone who's lost their appetite due to pregnancy, chemotherapy, whatever.

One is to make the most of whatever you can manage to get/hold down. So if you're not getting all the fiber or protein you need, you can spike your food and drinks with products like Benefiber or Beneprotein. Here's what I know about those.

You can buy Benefiber at any drugstore.

It dissolves really well in liquids. They say you can't event taste it in water, but I haven't tried that.

Beneprotein has kind of a powdered-milky taste. One time I got confused and thought that was the one you could dissolve in water, so I tried it. Pretty nasty. Don't do that. What you can do is mix it into any beverages or soft foods that are dairy or go with dairy - so yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, cream of wheat, tapioca, peanut butter, cottage cheese, etc.

Another thing you can do....

take some eggs

add Beneprotein while they're cooking

scramble it all upand when they're done, you won't be able to tell you added anything. (Also, see how I put the eggs between the English muffins - makes it look like less food. ;) )

Beneprotein is harder to get in stores but you can order it on Amazon or and probably other places online as well.

Ok, before I go, I should disclaim some things.

Disclaimer: Here is where I tell you to check with your doctor before trying anything new - especially if you're pregnant. If you choose not to do that and something goes wrong, you can't say I didn't warn you. I'm doing that right now.

P.S. Sorry my photos are so blurry. I was trying to scramble and shoot and stir all at once and fast. Not a good combination. I promise to slow down.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Monday, December 3, 2007

What the cool kids are eating

I don't usually think of baby food as trendy...or tasty. Apparently, Tastybaby is out to change all that. Is it really that hip or is it all hype? I'll let you visit and see what you think. As always, I welcome your comments.