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By Robin Dearing
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Maybe I need two nannies; one for Margaret and one for Bill and I — but that's a whole different issue. Right now I'll just settle for one nanny for Mar.
This past weekend, Bill and I traveled with my band
over to Denver to play a show. We were gone for a total of 28 hours.
We had planned on Margaret having a play date at our neighbor's house until early evening when our dear friend, Tracee, was to come over and spend the night and next day with Mar.
Twenty minutes before we were to be leaving town we realized our neighbors — where Margaret was supposed to be having a play date — were not home.
Panic mode set in, then I ordered Bill to start calling other neighbors who have kids Margaret's age. The gods of luck were with us, as one family was just heading out the door to do some fun kid stuff and we unceremoniously dumped our kid on them.
I felt bad about the short notice kid dump, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
When we stumbled home Sunday afternoon, our dear friend, Tracee, was waiting desperately to get the heck out of our house — not because Mar was unruly, but because she's highly allergic to pet dander, we've got three cats and a dog. Seeing Tracee all swollen up made me start thinking.
Margaret loves Tracee and she had a good time with her, but the fact is that Tracee's married now and will, at some point, be starting her own family. We've been very lucky to have Tracee as a friend who has been willing to care for Margaret over these seven years.
I decided that it's time to find a nanny that can help us out during the week, especially on Wednesdays when the school district has their early-release day (or as I like to call it "mess with the working parents" day) and on these rare weekends when both Bill and I go out of town.
I'm not the kind of girl that needs "girls night out." When I want some adult time, I want to be with my husband. And normally going out of town includes Margaret. But a couple times a year, I get the opportunity to travel with the girls in my band and I really look forward to those times. We like to swear and talk about inappropriate things and make each other laugh.
These times are made even better if my husband can come so he can carry my heavy guitar equipment and get me drinks. Plus he likes to swear and talk about inappropriate things and make people laugh, too. So it's always more fun with Bill.
So I need a nanny. If you know of anyone looking to care for a smart, funny, toilet-trained but slightly wacky 7-year-old, please, tell them to contact me. Oh and Margaret doesn't bite (that much anymore).
Monday, November 5, 2007
I think that all teenagers should have some kind of job. There are numerous good reasons for this which you can probably figure out on your own. In the Grand Junction area economy today, there are plenty of jobs available that are perfectly suited for teenagers.
Alex got himself a job this summer in the kitchen of a local high-end golf course restaurant. He really enjoyed it, and managed to bank some good money while also buying some new electronic gadgets and gizmos. He also bought himself an expensive high-quality kitchen knife to use because he wasn’t satisfied with the tools-of-the-trade they had there. In spite of some broken promises regarding wage increases on the part of management there (and shame on them), he continues to work there every weekend, both Saturday and Sunday for upwards of 8 hours each day.
This means he never gets a day off, since he is obviously going to school Monday through Friday. This also means that I rarely get to see him, or spend any mother-son quality bonding time with him. Yeah, you know, those Hallmark moments where I bring him his clean, folded laundry and he tells me how much he loves me and appreciates everything I do for him. And then we talk about school and his friends, and how wrong it is that the latest MTV videos just contain gratuitous booty-shaking, and agree to go see a movie together later that evening. Uh, huh.
But really, I think he is working too many hours. He doesn’t really seem to mind it. He likes getting the paycheck. I like him getting the paycheck. But I worry that he’s burning the candle at both ends. His grades were not totally stellar this last quarter, but I chalk that up to too much time with the electronic gadgets and not enough time with the books.
So, do I encourage him to take some time off and just chill or should I just chill and not worry about it?
Friday, November 2, 2007
Seems like bad luck comes in waves at times. Or maybe the rest of life is just so good that the bad stuff sticks out like a sore thumb.
Or in my mom’s case, a sore ankle.
Not just sore, but broken in two places and hinged together with some mighty hunks of steel.
I was on vacation last week in Mexico with Dan who has connections there. Yeah, not those connections, but a guy who knows a guy who gives him a free week in the penthouse of Hotel Playa Mazatlan. Trust me, it couldn’t be more legitimate.
Anyway, I have no clue about how to pick up or make calls from a foreign country from my cell phone, but I kept getting voice mail messages that I couldn’t retrieve. I finally figured out how to call Alex who said Grandma fell and broke her ankle and was having surgery. That was all I could get from the King of Details so I called my sister. Long story short, they were hiking in McInnis Canyon somewhere last Friday when mom fell and snapped her ankle. She was in the hospital waiting to have surgery the following day.
Fast forward to yesterday when she came home from the hospital. Actually she came back to my sister’s house where she will be imprisoned, I mean staying, for some unknown amount of time until she regains some mobility, of which right now she has absolutely none. Wow. I’m not sure who I’m more worried about. But since the accident happened on my sister’s watch, it seems only fair . . . .
So I went over there last night and got the true story of what happened. Seems there was a group of my sister’s friends and their assorted dogs who were merrily hiking through some ravine and climbed back up onto a ledge. When my mom climbed back up, her one foot slipped and she caught a toe between two rocks. Her body fell about four feet, and her ankle quite logically snapped under the pressure. Good lord, the poor woman. She showed me a picture of the x-ray taken after the surgery and her ankle looks like it came from Aisle 13 at Ace Hardware. I'm thinking it will probably put a serious crimp on her rock climbing adventures for a while.
She is completely at the mercy of my sister now, and her other two daughters, oh and our dad of course. Yeah, more to come on all this.
So any suggestions on how to keep everybody happy during the recuperation period would be extremely appreciated!
By Robin Dearing
Friday, November 2, 2007
Terry, one of our co-workers here at the Sentinel, shared pictures of her boys doing their best to scare the bejeezus out of all those princesses and fairies this Halloween:
By Robin Dearing
Thursday, November 1, 2007
A while back, I read on Alpha Mom's Buzz Off
that her family had been Boo'd.
Getting Boo'd is a fun and simple and fun way to be neighborly.
One person starts with two Boo signs and two goodie bags filled with candy or whatever which they surreptitiously leave on two neighbors' doorstep. They include directions to hang the Boo sign in their window and then Boo two more neighbors.
I wanted to start this in my neighborhood, but I've been just too busy to make it happen. So I was quite pleasantly surprised when I got home from work yesterday and Bill said, "We've been Boo'd!"
Being that last night was the end of the Boo Season, we hurriedly made two Boo gifts and quickly Boo'd two neighbors. Needless to say, I was delighted to be part of this fun tradition.
Even though I didn't get around to making myself a costume, I really got into the Halloween spirit this year — even so much that I volunteered to go to Margaret's class and lead a craft project.
With the help of my dear friend and talented artist/art teacher, Tracee, I came up with the plan to make hand bats.
Margaret has a relatively small class, at 18 students so I figured I could handle the task of getting these simple, but cute, bats made without anyone losing an eye. And I was right. The kids all eagerly worked on their bats, asked for help politely and had fun.
It was so wonderful to see a classroom of students who were all hopped up on sugar and excitement behave and listen and participate. I give all the credit to her teacher who is as dedicated and enthusiastic as they come. She's a real treasure.
Several other parents brought cupcakes and veggie snacks to the party and I contributed my home-made peanut butter and chocolate-chip cookies. And all the kids seemed to have a really good time and I left feeling very good about it all.
After Margaret donned her second costume of this Halloween season,
she and Bill headed over to a neighbor's house who hosted a chili dinner for the neighborhood kids, so they could eat then trick or treat together.
I elected to stay home, give out candy and bake brownies for yet another school activity tonight (yes, I am turning into quite the June Cleaver). And it was fun seeing all the ghouls, skeletons, princesses and lions in our neighborhood. I had so many trick or treaters that just after Mar and Bill stumbled home, I had to blow out the candle on the pumpkin and turn out the porch light as I was out of candy.
Oh and I'll still be posting Halloween costume pictures as I get them. (E-mail me here.
Here's Astronaut Jack, son of regular Haute Mama reader, Marlys:
By Robin Dearing
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
It's Halloween and with this day of eating o' the candy, comes adorable ghosts and goblins looking for free sweets.
We, Haute Mamas, love to show off our kiddos and yours, too. So e-mail me
pictures of your little monsters and I'll post 'em right here!
Richie's adorable guys will get us started. Keep checking back as I'll be posting pictures as I get them.
Below is Benji's
niece, Emma Drew:
Here's Ava Mae Martinez:
By Robin Dearing
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I really want to be a good mom. When my boys look back on their childhood I want them to say "Wow, I had a good mom."
But being a good mom is much more than tickle fiestas and perfecting the art of making the perfect PB and J.
It means brushing teeth, enforced hair washing and set bed times. It means being the bad guy more than you'd like. It means doing everything you can to keep them safe.
That's why I made sure to find the time to have their car seats checked at the Mesa County Health Department's free child safety seat check.
Installing a car seat is not common sense. I thought I could do it without any help. The more I drove around the looser the seats became. There was obviously something wrong and no matter how much I fiddled with the seat belts I just couldn't get them tight enough.
I learned that you have to pull the seat belt all the way out until it stops then feed it back in as you install the seat. The belt will make a "ratcheting" sound when you have it right. I also learned that car seats have expiration dates and they need replaced after just a couple of years.
I feel so much better knowing that my boys are as safe as I can possibly make it in the car. It's worth finding the half hour it takes to have your seats checked. Not having them checked could have fatal consequences.
The Mesa County Health Department
has car seat checks each Friday on a drop-in basis and by appointment each Wednesday.
By Robin Dearing
Monday, October 29, 2007
The Halloween season is upon us. Everywhere you look there are ghosts and goblins.
And this holiday has definitely spread from a "single-day" holiday to having its own "season." That means, of course, more opportunities to dress up as whatever you're creative mind can conjure on more than just one day a year.
This past weekend we attended two Halloween style parties and because it's the Halloween season, Margaret wanted to dress up.
Much earlier this month, I ordered her a costume online, giving plenty of time for it to arrive even if it had been shipped via slow turtle from India. But as things are loath to happen, the costume didn't arrive. We waited for the mail and then headed down to Mad Margaret's Costume Shop to see what we could find for me at the last minute.
This is what we ended up with:
I was pleased that she agreed to something as banal as a Gothic princess as the lure of being Hannah Montana
was pretty strong this year.
Also this weekend, I baked.
I can make food.
I just usually choose not to.
I made brownies (OK they were from a box, but they were still good) and I made these complicated, filled cookies all. by. myself. ... from scratch. Bill didn't even help me figure out how to measure a cup and a half of peanut butter.
The last Halloweeny activity we accomplished this weekend was the Carvin' o' the Pumpedkin. (Margaret still says "pumpedkin" — Aw!)
I think it turned out well. Bill cleaned the pumpkin, Mar drew the face and I carved it. I true family affair.
Oh the fun of the Halloween season!
By Robin Dearing
Friday, October 26, 2007
Things I have said in the past week:
"Don’t make me come in there."
"Don’t jump on the couch!"
"Don’t hit your sister!"
"Don’t play with the dog food!"
"Where’s your sister?"
"Did you poop?"
"Don't' step in the poop!"
"Do you act this way at school?"
"I don’t want to have to tell your Daddy how you’ve acted."
"We're not going to buy any toys today. Christmas is coming."
I don’t think I have actually ever uttered, "Wait until your father gets home!," but I’m sure that one’s coming.
Click here to read more from Blonde Mom Jamie.
By Robin Dearing
Thursday, October 25, 2007
We've written here before about the wide array of mommy blogs to be found in cyberspace. I personally read two or three each day. I like to hear what other moms have to say about being a mom.
Parenthood is so much different that I thought it was going to be and it's nice to know that other moms have issues similar to mine.
As more and more moms write their stories for untold numbers of people to read on the Internet, the realization has come that there's a big market for successful bloggers du mommyhood. Some like, Heather Armstrong at dooce.com
, are able to provide a steady income off of advertising on her blog.
On the other hand, I've read some who find the idea of making money from ads that run alongside their personal maternal experiences as loathsome. Personally, I have no issue with people making money off their blogs. I'm under no obligation to click on their advertisements, so it doesn't bother me one bit.
I was interested to read this article
sent to us by The Daily Sentinel's managing editor.
This story talks about how and why some women blog and even gives tips on blogging dos and don'ts.
This article also introduces a new blog written by Colorado moms, milehighmamas.com,
which features Annie Payne — a contributor to the Sentinel's Charm page and an established blogger in her own right. And that's the great thing about cyberspace, there's always room for more!