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Monday, December 3, 2007
The phone rings and my former-favorite sister Deanne says, “How come you don’t have any Christmas lights?”
“We’re outside your house and it’s dark.”
Duh, that’s cuz it’s night time. So I flick the outside garage lights on and off in rapid succession and I can hear peals of laughter. She’s parked in my driveway with her two boys and one of their friends. They’re out cruising Christmas lights and for some reason figured I, of all people, would have some up.
Regardless of my holiday spirit status, they all come in my house and the boys engage in their favorite game - sliding down my stairs head-first on their bellies. Even Chester their dog, once he figures out how to climb up the stairs, (gingerly, since he is recovering from being "fixed") joins in.
At the end of one slide, my 11-year-old nephew Max informed me that he is an experienced Christmas light putter-upper and volunteers to come help me out. Sounds great to me, so he agrees to come over the next morning to liven up the place.
And thank goodness he did, because I am apparently completely inept at the Christmas light thing. Who knew? Max tried very hard not to laugh at me when I plugged one end of a strand of lights into the other and declared it wasn’t working.
“Um. Aunt Lynn, you might want to plug one end of that into the outlet.”
Yeah, I might.
Max was a great help and he put lights on everything in my front yard that didn’t move. So I invited them all over for dinner so I could redeem myself when they drove up in the dark.
The lights look great and even though I have increased my carbon footprint ten-fold, I’m very happy with the way they look - especially the little blinky ones.
Oh - and here’s a good one. Max’s little brother Sam was sporting a new hooded sweatshirt last night.
“Sam, I like your hoodie. That’s really cool looking,” I told him.
He gets a puzzled look on his face, lifts up his sweatshirt, points to his belly button and says, “I don’t have a hoodie, I have an in-nie!”
Yep. Merry Christmas!
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Friday, November 30, 2007
Awww-Christmas! Time to drag the dusty ornaments down from the attic, painstakingly arrange my nutcracker army, cook, clean, shop, eat and complain.
A few weeks ago, I gave both boys a morning bath and dressed them in matching jumpers. I never thought I'd dress them alike but I do get some kind of sick pleasure out of it. I loaded them up in the car and hauled them to the JC Penney's Portrait Studio
because other attempts at a holiday family portrait were unsuccessful.
I had such visions of what their first professional portraits would look like. I thought my little sugar plums would behave like angels and our Christmas cards would look like a quintessential Norman Rockwell portrait.
I am such a stupid, naive woman who got exactly what she asked for.
I'd like to see your holiday portraits...good and bad. Email them to me and I'll add them here.
Here's Robin's pic of Bill and Mar shopping downtown. I love love love this picture. It's so good I think it should be plastered across our local page and then entered into the COX
awards. I insisted she let us post it here even though she had it posted on her other blog
This is our regular commenter Melissa's family. Now that's going to make a helluva nice Christmas card!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Here’s what I want for Christmas:
1. A ban on those horrid self check-out aisles that are becoming alarmingly popular. They NEVER work and there is NEVER anyone around to fix a problem. Plus, if it’s saving the store money, then I should get a discount for having to endure one.
2. The end of automated answering systems. I am so sick of pressing 1, then 7, then entering my account number, then pressing 5, then the * key, then the last four digits of my social security number, then getting disconnected. Can I just get a real person? And preferably one who is not in Bombay? Although it can be entertaining to talk to them.
3. The absolute end forevermore to having to press 1 or any other button for ENGLISH! If you don’t get that, go away.
4. Thermage. Google it.
5. A little respect for me as a shopper in local department stores. When was the last time you cleaned your carpets? Or the mirrors in your dressing rooms? Or dusted the shelves you use to display your clothing? Come on, clean up your acts. It’s supposed to be a pleasant experience, not one from which I want to go home and shower.
6. A consistent temperature in this building. I don’t care what it is, as long as it’s consistent so we all know how many layers to wear to the office.
7. World peace. Just to be seasonal.
8. Free postage. I guess it wouldn’t be called postage, but I would rather send a letter or a bill for free than have universal health care. Plus we wouldn’t risk getting sick in the first place from licking stamps.
9. Separate roads for 4x4 trucks or anything with a diesel engine. Or those stupid female devil stickers or peeing children on the back window. You know what I mean.
10. World peace. Why not? It’s the season for miracles.
By Robin Dearing
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Awhile back Marlys left a comment asking for suggestions about how to get Jack to eat more vegetables. Being that Soren is a little younger than Jack I guess I didn’t really get what she was asking. What I think she was asking was how do you get an almost two-year-old to eat anything?
Lately there have been days where Soren eats next to nothing. He’ll beg for blueberry pancakes only to take one bite, throw a few bites on the floor, and then declare himself “All Done!”
I try not to worry too much about what he doesn’t eat. But, at one point it was a full four days before I finally saw him stuff a giant piece of banana in his mouth.
Last night he came out of the kitchen gnawing on a stick of butter. I debated about whether or not it was healthy for my kid to eat butter then decided to just make sure he pulled the paper down. Three-quarters of a stick he ate. Ew. Then he opened his roll and fished the nearly melted butter out with his tongue. I finally enticed him to eat a few bites of spaghetti by showing how to twirl it around his fork but basically I let him eat butter for dinner. What kind of mother does that?
Last week he lived on cheese and turkey.
Overall he is probably getting enough
I mean he’s still alive. But I can’t help but worry about him.
For Christmas I think Marlys and I need this book
I’m upset I didn’t write it myself because it seems so obvious to try to sneak veggies into things they like
Damn you Mrs. Seinfeld
.or did she just steal someone’s idea
Hmmm. Regardless I need this book or one like it.
I also need a book to free up my adult cooking mind. For years now I’ve tried to sophisticate my culinary skills so for the life of me I cannot cook for a little kid. I’m always having to rethink the menu and remind myself that couscous for example is not a friendly food to give someone who eats with a miniature spoon that says Tonka on it. I might as well just tie his hands behind his back and make him suck peas with a straw.
I need to start making meals more kid friendly. I’m thinking pancakes shaped like mice, grilled cheese in cookie cutter shapes and funny names like orange smiles. I could use some ideas if anybody has one.
And then there’s this one full of cupcakes
cupcakes. Do you think it would be alright to have cupcakes for dinner just once?
Monday, November 26, 2007
This parenting thing is really hard.
It’s truly scary. The stakes are so high.
I’m dazed and confused and I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and I swear it’s an ulcer.
Why? Because I’m the mom, that’s why.
Ha, didn’t think I could use that old stand-by in this context. When it comes to being a mother I’m doing the best I believe I can, but why does it often seem like I have it all wrong? I follow the advice I would give other parents (mostly) and I seek out opinions from people I trust and who I think are good parents. But at the end of the day, my mood is completely dependent upon the mood of my teenager. If he’s “happy”, I breathe a sigh of relief and the knot in my stomach loosens. If he is sullen, mopey, belligerent or teen-agery I feel awful, think that somehow it’s all my fault (mostly) and gain another frown line. I'm learning to remind myself that he's his own person and I can guide and hope, but I can't control (completely).
I remind myself that I was the biggest pain-in-the-ass moron as a teenager, and I survived. Even thrived, eventually. So why am I so freaked out? Because I know what the risks are, and I know what’s happening out there to our kids, and I know the lack of parental involvement on the part of waaayyyy too many other kids’ parents, and it scares the hell out of me.
So - note to all you other parents - help me out here. If you’re not already, start paying attention to your kids’ lives. Please. Do you know what they’re sending on their camera phones, their text messages, their home page on their myspace accounts? This is not spying and I’m not suggesting micro-managing, but you might be surprised at what you find.
I need help being a good parent. And I’m hoping I can depend on other parents for that help - because no one can do it alone. It doesn’t really take the whole village, but it does take each of us, as parents, doing our part for the good of the village as a whole.
By Robin Dearing
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thank goodness most of us have a day off for the holiday today. The bad thing about a four-day week at a newspaper is you have to work like a dog to get five days of work done in four, plus cover holiday vacations. It makes for crazy days.
On Monday I dove in and put my headphones on. Here at The Daily Sentinel
it is an unspoken sign that anyone typing furiously while wearing headphones is too busy to be bothered. It’s rather like shutting the office door if our cubicles had doors to shut.
I pounded the volume key on my iTunes, blaring the Gipsy Kings
as loud as possible to drown out the newsroom hum and scanner chatter. Cuz you know, listening to loud music sung in Spanish when you don’t even speak Spanish somehow makes it easier to type.
My cubbymate Tammy gives me a tap on the shoulder and begins to say something.
“Hang on,” I say while pointing to my headphones, “I can’t hear you.”
She smiled and waited for me to take them off.
“Your headphones aren't plugged in all the way,” she laughed. “But thanks for sharing that song.”
By Robin Dearing
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
This is from our friend, Blonde Mom Jamie. Click over to her site and win a free printer:
Hi friends of BlondeMomBlog!
Don't miss out on the Kodak all in one printer giveaway I am having this week. This is the biggest product I've ever had the opportunity to review from a PR firm and to give away! It retails for $199 and would make a great Christmas gift. I'm just sayin'.
Just comment on the following post for one entry. If you link to the giveaway, you will receive two entries.
Click here to go to the entry.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
By Robin Dearing
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I read a lot of mommy blogs. One of my favorites is Mighty Girl
— and not just because she lives in San Francisco (Sigh. San Francisco, how I love you).
Mighty Girl is smart and stylish and helpful and positive and all the things I wish I were. Plus she wrote a book which gives you ideas for making your blog more interesting. It's called, "No one cares what you had for lunch: 100 idea for your blog
." And now that I mention it, I need to get my hands on a copy of that book.
But the reason that I'm writing about Maggie today is because she also keeps a very cool shopping blog: Mighty Goods.
She does all the Internet shopping so you don't have to. Then compiles lists of cool, hip and useful things into her shopping blog and even includes a holiday budget gift guide.
And that's not all (I'm starting to sound like a RonCo informercial), she and another of my favorite mommy bloggers
have started Mighty Junior:
a shopping blog for kids stuff.
Shopping made easy in time for the holiday season.
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The hardest part of leaving little Joji the last couple of weeks has been the fact that he will not take a bottle. He just won't and that's his final answer.
He would rather cry or fall asleep in his swing and just wait for his booby lady to return. Or he cries and cries hoping that his booby lady will hear him with those bionic ears that all moms grow-you know the ones that pop your eyes wide open the minute you hear the toddler feet hit the hardwood in the middle of the night.
While still on leave I tried to introduce the bottle with no success. I let my mother-in-law try, his daddy, mama zaw zaw and nobody not nobody can get him to pry open his toothless little jaw to accept a fake nipple. It just ain't going to happen.
I ordered this bottle
at the suggestion of a coworker.
It is soft all over and resembles a real boob in the sucking action required to use it. It is supposed to prevent nipple confusion but I don't know if it will help combat nipple refusal which is what I think we are dealing with here.
I ordered it three weeks ago and it still hasn't come. Apparently I hit the "Deliver By Slow Sled Dog" payment key. It's been sitting in Denver for days and days according to the USPS tracking site and all I can figure is those dogs are waiting for some snow. Seems unlikely I'll ever get it at this point what with the global warming and all.
At the same time, this no bottle thing is kind of nice. I don't have to pump, freeze or cry over spilled milk. Only occasionally do I have to use my break to go home and nurse. As long as I don't deviate from the plan and show up at home at exactly four hour intervals it seems that going bottleless just might work out.
And within a few weeks he's going to be able to start some rice cereal as a snack.
I never in a million years would have thought it could be done however it seems as though I am going to be spared all the extemporizing of the bottle this time.