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When It Rains . . .

By {screen_name}
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! 2 comments

More Halloween pictures

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: Here's Dale: Dale%20Wolf.jpg And David: David%20scream.jpg 1 comments

Halloween: The day after

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. Hallow%2007%20bat%202.jpg 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. Hallow%2007%20mar%20jumping.jpg 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. Hallow%2007%20Mar%2C%20pumpkin%202.jpg 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: Astro%20Jack.JPG 2 comments

Happy Eating Candy Day!

By Robin Dearing
Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Boo! 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. Pea%20in%20a%20pumpkin%20patch.jpg Soren%20Bam%20Bam.jpg Below is Benji's niece, Emma Drew: Emma%20Drew.jpg Here's Ava Mae Martinez: Ava.jpg 2 comments

Take the time to get it checked

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. 3 comments

The Boo Season

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: Gothic%20princess%2010-07.jpg 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. What? 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!) pumpkin.jpg 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! 2 comments

Yep, I’m Officially a Mom

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. 3 comments

The next big thing: Mama blogs

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! 1 comments

In sickness

By Robin Dearing
Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The one black mark on our trip to D.C. was Margaret's health. The day we flew across the country she started coughing ... and continued coughing the whole time we were there. She coughed through the Capitol tour, she coughed as we admired the Leonardo da Vinci portrait in the west wing of the National Gallery and as we watching the Alexander Calder mobiles in the east wing. Hack, hack, hack as we walked around Whistler's Peacock Room at the Freer Gallery. She coughed all the way home. Monday I took her to the doctor who said that 80 percent of the patients he'd seen that day had the same cough, sometimes accompanied by a running nose, sometimes not. He warned us against using over-the-counter cough medicine and gave us a prescription for some with codeine. She's resting more now and even feels pretty good during the day, but she's still coughing. Richie's discussion yesterday about being a stay-at-home mom or a working mom is never more relevant than when you have a sick kid. Bill and I don't have family here and we both work full time. So what do we do with a sick kid? During the summer, sick kids are Bill's territory because he's a teacher. During the school year he can't stay home, because he's a teacher. To minimize the time I have to take off from my job here at the Sentinel, we split the day. I come to work in the morning and work until just before lunchtime and then race home to allow Bill time enough to get to work before his classes start. It's not a perfect solution, we're both harried, but it works. Most weekdays, I don't mind being a full-time working mom, but these sick days always leaving me longing for the freedom of being able to stay home with my daughter. I don't work because I want to, I work because I have to. Sometimes life makes the hard choices for you. Oh and if you're interested, I posted some more pictures from our trip to D.C. over here. I mention this because I just found the Web site, picnik.com, which is a free (for now) photo Web site that allows you do some fun stuff with your pictures. Plus it's really easy to use. Check it out. 1 comments

Staying or working

By Robin Dearing
Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My days as a stay-at-home mom are now numbered. I've vowed to spend the next few weeks playing with my boys more and spending less time cooking and cleaning. Going back to work after maternity leave is hard and this time even more so as I'm leaving even more behind. I'm a bit of a control freak (understated) and if it weren't for a trusted family member there is no way I could return to The Daily Sentinel. With her help, I can monitor both of my kids' well-being, be home for all meals, still breastfeed Jonas and bring home the bacon. I have never left them for more than 4 hours at a time and I'm hoping to keep that the status quo until kindergarten. Now that I've seen both sides the decades old debate of who has it better, the stay-at-home mom or the working mom, the pros and cons of each are continually running in my head. SAHMs deserve all the respect in the world. From the outside it seems so easy. No boss, no deadlines and endless amounts of time to get things done and spend time with the kids. But the reality goes something like this: Wake up and feed the kids, change the diapers, get them dressed and perhaps run an errand before returning home to start the cycle all over again. Often by 1 p.m. little else is done other than meals and clean-up. At nap time, a SAHM runs the vacuum and begins planning dinner. Perhaps she pays some bills or makes a few phone calls to schedule appointments. She picks up the house. She writes her blog. Then there are those damn gorillas. A SAHM spends a lot of time discussing gorillas, the noises they make, the dances they do and how they say goodnight. Or maybe she discusses how Elmo uses the potty or that the cow says Mooo. At dinner time she may find herself having very little to say except what cute things the kids did today or the new recipe she saw on America's Test Kitchen. Maybe she'll comment about how skinny Kelly is and wonder aloud to the hubby about why Regis doesn't do something about it. Yeah, the hubby doesn't care but listens politely as he devours this new pork chop recipe. Isolation is very hard and now I know why there are so many mommy groups out there. Moms have to get out sometimes to discuss grown up things. But, there aren't a lot of people to hang out with because most are at work. Besides, if I were truly a SAHM there wouldn't be any extra income to spend in order to pass the time. I will say staying at home is much less stressful than working. Being stressed about missing socks or scraped knees is much easier than the worries of lawsuits and the responsibility to the public to convey accurate and timely information. Perhaps it's unique to the media business but hearing about fatal car accidents and child molesting clowns all day really gets to a person sometimes. Working at a newspaper is stressful. In some ways going back to work will be a nice break from my boys. But on the other hand leaving my boys at home with someone else is stressful too. I worry about them when we are apart. A working mom has more money but less time to pay bills or schedule and attend appointments. Cleaning, laundry and meals are all still waiting to be done when a working mom gets home. Working moms have to make sure their kids still know all the nuances of the gorilla. And they have to feed their babies at 3 a.m. and still perform well in the office without anyone knowing how truly truly tired they are. Being a SAHM is a 24-hour job but being a WM is 24 minus 8. Conclude what you will. See ya'll soon! 7 comments
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