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Channeling my inner dork

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.” “Doh!” 3 comments

Free giveaway

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! Jamie 2 comments

Holiday helper

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. 0 comments

Straight up boob—Hold the glass

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. 13735.jpg 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. 4 comments

Channeling Dr. Seuss

By {screen_name}
Monday, November 19, 2007

This whole technology thing has me flummoxed. Yes, flummoxed. (I figure since GO will be retiring at the end of the year, I can start using his words.) Alex currently has in his room - a computer fully wired to the internet, a TV, his cell phone, an X-Box 360 that can be hooked up to the internet to play games, a Zume, and a regular phone. In other words, other than to eat, he really has no reason to leave his room. And he usually makes a kitchen raid and then goes back up to his room with bags of chips or whatever. I do not like this, I shake my head. This lack of contact I really dread! I hardly ever See my son. But he is up there Having fun. Texting friends And using Myspace, I gotta tell you I miss his face. I wonder when he’ll crack a book, He really needs to start to study. I don’t like all this social network stuff, Am I just a fuddy-duddy? OK, that’s all I’ll put you through on a Monday morning. Really, I hate rocking the boat, but some of that stuff has got to go. Stay tuned . . . 3 comments

Let’s take all kinds of tests

By Robin Dearing
Friday, November 16, 2007

On Wednesday, Margaret's piano teacher asked me what we were doing about the fact that Margaret was still coughing. I said, "Uh." Yeah, we haven't been doing anything about her cough, assuming that it would eventually go away. But since it seems to have entrenched itself inside her little self, I decided maybe a return visit to the doctor would be a good idea and made an appointment for today. When I went to pick her up from school today, the school nurse said, "Oh I'm so glad you're here. I gave Margaret a note to give to you." Yikes. The note said that an audiologist had been in the school Thursday doing hearing tests. Her right ear is inflamed and she has hearing loss. Double yikes. I'm so glad I listened to her piano teacher and made that doctor's appointment. Turns out she has a sinus and ear infection, but a course of antibiotics should send her on to the road to recovery. At the end of the appointment, the doctor was talking about getting another hearing test in a month, just to be safe. Margaret shouted out, "How about a urine test, too?" She said urine. That's my girl. 1 comments

Time well spent

By Robin Dearing
Friday, November 16, 2007

It didn't matter how many times I re-read the giant calendar at Margaret's school last night, it said the same thing. There was a PTO meeting last night. I hadn't put it on the calendar. Doh! Panic mode set in. I had 15 minutes to get Margaret home, get her a snack and get back to school for the meeting. I'm so glad that we live so close to her school. We ran home, grabbed a snack and ran back. By the time we got back, I was starting to sweat under my wool coat, but we made it. As I sat waiting for the meeting to begin, Margaret left her classmates and came over to me. She put her little, 7-year-old hand on my shoulder and asked sincerely, "Are you having fun?" I looked at her puzzled. "Because I'm having fun and I want you to have fun, too," she said. She was having a great time playing with her classmates as we parents discussed the things that PTOs discuss. I don't know that I would call it fun, but necessary and not altogether unpleasant. I like seeing the other involved parents and hearing about the school's progress. So, it was definitely time well spent. 1 comments

Who’s Your Daddy?

By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Thursday, November 15, 2007

Soren is talking A Lot. He's just a regular jabber-box. For the most part I have a pretty clear understanding of what he says. But, much of it is jumbled together and slurred. He likes to follow his words with the noises which helps when interpreting. For example, his new word is "mublats" followed by "rrooorrooorroo." That means "ambulance-rrooorroooroo." If he doesn't know the word for something, he just makes one up causing interpretation to be pretty hard. He also overextends his words. Most little girls are called Azeee, the name of his cousin. All women are mommies and all animals are dogs. Anybody old is called a Baba. We went on a routine trip to the store for milk, butter and eggs. He was in the cart on the other side of the kiosk waiting for the cashier to check us out. He shouts "Daddy!" pointing furiously to a rather young guy standing in line. Then Soren repeats "Daddy Daddy Daddy" while pointing. The guy totally turned beet red and muttered "Uh...I'm not his dad." "Are you sure?" ribbed the old man standing next to him. "He sure thinks so." I tell Soren, "No honey, daddy is at work. That's a man." Much to the entertainment of all the people in line and much to the relief of the poor guy who suddenly was accused of fathering illegit children, Soren shouts and points— "Oh. MAN. MAN. MAN!" That's my boy! Moab049%204x6.jpg 8 comments

Self-esteem

By Robin Dearing
Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Several weeks ago I was walking Margaret over to her school to attend our parent-teacher conference. As we were kicking leaves along the sidewalk, Margaret was asking me what kinds of things we'd be discussing at this conference. I told her we'd be talking about how she was progressing in all her subjects and her behavior and we'd be going over her report card. Margaret looked down and moaned, "I'm going to get a terrible report card. I'm not good at anything." I knew this couldn't be true and tried to assure her that as long as she's trying her best and working hard, it would all be OK. Well, it was better than OK. She is doing exceptionally well and we couldn't be more pleased. Her teacher is very happy with her progress. Margaret is doing well in all her subjects. She has always advanced well academically, but her behavior has been less than stellar in the past. When we got to the behavior part on the report card and it was all good news, I was relieved and said as much. Her teacher said she couldn't understand why in that Margaret was exceptionally well behaved. At first we thought she was joking. She wasn't. More great news indeed. However, there is one thing — one big, huge important thing — that was brought to our attention. In addition to meeting with her teacher, Bill and I also met with the school's gifted-and-talented teacher and the school psychologist. The psychologist had administered a Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales test to Margaret and she wanted to go over the results. Again everything was very good, but the discussion of the test sparked talk about Margaret's self-esteem. She gets frustrated quickly and then sees herself as failing. If she's not perfect at something immediately, she thinks it's impossible for her. Mar's comments about her probably getting a bad report card on the way to the conference were just one example of how she tries to sabotage herself. I've witnessed this many times, so it was helpful to hear professionals discuss the importance of dealing with this issue. It was also pointed out that she believes that she's under a lot of pressure to be perfect — mostly from me. And it's true that I am the one who does most of pushing. And I know I have made mistakes when my own frustration gets the better of me, but I've never insisted on perfection. I only insist on working hard. I also stress that learning is fun and rewarding. But it still sucks that she doesn't realize how smart she really is or how proud I am of her. We try all the time to point out all of her goodness, yet we see her doubt herself again and again. Over the weekend, Margaret participated in a piano festival designed to allow students to be critiqued on their playing and their knowledge of theory in a positive and fun environment. She and I had worked hard on the four pieces that she played and she studied to make sure she knew all the theory. She even decorated a cloth bag to be displayed with the other children's music-related artwork (Thanks Tracee!). She did a fine job, performed well and got lots of positive feedback from her judge. But she still asked me on the way out, "Do you like my piano playing?" Do I like her piano playing? I am in awe of her skills. I know enough — from paying attention to her lessons — to be able to help her, but I can't play the piano at all. There are times with I think the music is too hard, but she figures it out and plays beautifully. But with every new challenge, we hear, "I'm no good at this." And it breaks my heart every time. 6 comments

A Bumpy Start

By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I spent the weekend frantically doing odds and ends that I just knew wouldn't get done now that I'm back in the world of the working class. I even whipped up a fabulous meal of lasagna and blueberry pie to tide my family over the famine that was soon to hit the house. On the eve of my great postmaternity debut here at The Daily Sentinel, Soren puked mac-n-cheese all over my bed. I had three months off and he picks the night before I have to return to get sick. That Murphy is a real jerk. Right out of the gate I had to stand over my deathly white child and debate the "How sick is he?" argument. Day one at The Daily Sentinel was overwhelming. I needed training before I could even begin doing my work. I was behind before I even walked in the door. Between well wishers, customers, and my own guilt of leaving my sick child with a sitter I was clearly exhausted by 5 p.m. Day two faired a little better on the work front, but both babies were crying when I hit my front door. I've never seen anything like what happened that night in my house. Soren had a complete breakdown crying nonstop for over two hours. He was a mess of contradiction�"I want juice," only to throw the cup across the room then scream "I want juice!" Any choice given to him was met with the same irrational behavior. He stomped through the house like a mini King Kong knocking things over and hitting everything in sight. He was absolutely inconsolable. In the meantime, Joji was in his normal witching hour. I didn't know which child to take care of first and alternated between the two. There was no cooking dinner or even slipping out of my constricting pantyhouse. I didn't know whether to spank Soren, rush him to the emergency room or call a priest to come exorcize him. Then, at 8:30 p.m, it just stopped. I hugged Soren while he whimpered on my shoulder. I cuddled both boys on the couch until bedtime, careful to not move or even blink wrong. Then we ran out of juice. "Marty!!!!!!" I screamed from the couch..."Juice Juice Now!!" Luckily he saved the day just as Soren's eyes began to get that teary panic look. Day 3 the sitter calls to say that Joji won't stop crying. I have to come home...NOW. He REFUSES to take a bottle and it leaves my sitter frazzled by 5 p.m. By Day 4 I was ready to call it quits but luckily the two boys finally seemed to settle into a new routine. Soren ate some rice much to my relief and our evenings began to quiet down. I still haven't caught up on sleep but things are finally right back to chaotic normal on both fronts. 4 comments
Page 133 of 174




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