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By Robin Dearing
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
My oldest daughter started kindergarten on Monday. She marched through the school doors, weighed down by her pink backpack, ready to take on the world.
In many ways, parents of kindergarteners have as much, if not more, to learn than their children. I've witnessed an array of parent types this week:
Their goodbyes run into overtime and they are often asked to leave the building, just as they are plotting ways to spy on their child through the classroom window.
Project Management Parent:
Equipped with enough nervous energy to map out every detail of their child’s back to school experience, they plan out their child’s lunches and wardrobe on Excel spreadsheets.
Environmentally Conscious Parent:
While you worry about petty things like the shortage of khaki jumpers in your daughter’s size, they ponder such lofty things as whether or not the school cafeteria should enter into a co-op program with local farmers.
Family Historian Parent:
This mom or dad snaps photo after digital photo of their child, typically holding a handmade sign for posterity, and shoots enough video for a documentary.
Is She a Porn Star or Isn’t She Mama:
This suburban housewife’s high heels, short skirts, and Bratz makeup make you question whether or not she does a little work on the side.
Rah Rah Rah PTO Parent:
Future volunteer parent of the year material, with enough enthusiasm to fundraise like a Trump.
Somebody Needs a Time Out Parent:
Lacking in anger management, this mom or dad is always irate at the school administration over something.
All kidding aside, most parents have the same well intended concern over the well-being of their child. It’s our job to guide them and reassure them, even if we leave our video camera at home or don’t sell enough band booster tickets to meet quota.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
My back aches.
My knee hurts. Make that both knees.
The muscles I thought I no longer had in my shoulders are sore.
I have this funny twitch in my side under my rib cage.
You could play connect-the-dots with the bruises on my legs.
I am foggy-brained from sleeping only about three hours a night. (I know that's more than Richie is getting!)
All because I moved three blocks up the hill, and I have spent literally almost all the past four days packing, lifting, climbing, walking, shoving, pushing, dragging, all my crap up and down two flights of stairs in the car, out of the car, out of the house, into the house, blah, blah, blah.
It makes me envious of the homeless bums that usually just irritate me. They spent the weekend sleeping in the shade in the park. I’m starting to re-think my priorities.
OK, I’m done complaining. For now.
We’re moved in and now it’s mostly just the devastation in the garage that needs to be dealt with. But that is totally boy-work. So when my dear, sweet, honey Dan gets home form his six-day boondoggle I know he will be thrilled to take care of that for me. Right, honey? I’m sure Alex will be happy to help! (Since you were both on vacation while I was doing all the (literally) dirty work.) I did get lots of great help from lots of great people and I am really grateful for that.
Plenty of beer has already been drunk on the back deck, and I’m looking forward to lots more! And I gotta say, it’s nice to be in the office today where the only heavy lifting I have to do is picking up the phone!
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Monday, August 13, 2007
Richie wrote this post the week before Jonas was born. It was supposed to be posted last week but we had a technical glitch.
I decided to post it even though she's now at the post-pregnancy state — mostly because I love the picture that Chris Tomlinson took of Richie just days before she gave birth.
Although she was tired and had a lot on her plate, Richie breezed through her pregnancy with a grace that I envy. I never heard her complain much about her aches, pains or fatigue despite working full-time and having a very active toddler at home.
What I love about this entry is her honesty and her sense of humor. And when I look at that picture of her, she looks so happy and beautiful. Even though she claims to be "generally just done" with being pregnant, you can tell that she thrives on the joys of motherhood.
It's been nine really long months. It's such a long time to wait for a little one. This time it has been a tediously long time. I'm hot, achy, tired and generally just done!
I'm down to my last few outfits that still fit. I'm breaking dress code and wearing flip-flops because none of my shoes fit. I don't really care that I've worn this pink dress twice this week or that my other outfit has been seen weekly for nine months.
Last week's Charm
page gave helpful hints to pregnant mommies about how to dress for nine months of fashion
. Most of it was pretty good advise except for the part about buying a "showstopping accessory." That part made me laugh ... it was like suggesting you just give up and try to distract people from your giant belly with a lovely bracelet. Yeah, that's not gonna work! My suggestion is buy everything WAY bigger than you think you'll ever be ... because trust me you're going to be THAT big.
But, the part that really cracked me up and made me simultaneous roll my eyes and sigh was this picture:
What is she ... two days late? As I said before
maternity clothes have come a long way but obviously our pregnant models have not. No wonder women have such distorted body images. Nobody shows it like it is and then women are horrified when they reach the ninth month. I'm pro "Pregnant is Beautiful"
but it's about time the advertisers start showing it like it is.
And this friends, THIS is how it is:
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Friday, August 10, 2007
I shouldn't have to dig through my kids' toybox
once a week looking for the latest recalled toy. I thought we had guidelines in place to protect our children. And I guess we do but they seem to be failing somewhere.
You know it seems to me to be our own fault really...if we expect inexpensive products we are going to buy low quality products. Why does China use lead paint? Because it keeps the cost down and we Americans don't want to pay anymore than we have to for a Poison Me Elmo
at a big box store.
Or pay more for Pet Food
Or Vending Machine Jewelry
Or snack food
Or Human Blood Products
Or toy trains
And don't forget to throw out your lead contaminated crayons
Luckily, there aren't any of the current recalled toys in my house...but there are plenty of other toys with the Made In China embossed on the bottom right next to the "please insert 16 AA batteries for 15 minutes of play time." As a matter of a fact I'm sure there are plenty of imported products throughout my whole house that may be killing my family.
Is the cheap cost worth all this....really??? I can promise you that come this holiday season I'll be flipping over those toys to see where they are made and if it's not in the good old USA it won't be coming into my home.
By Robin Dearing
Friday, August 10, 2007
Hi everyone! Or should I say "howdy?" I'm Jamie, a working mom to two little girls from Nashville, and Richie Ann kindly asked me to fill in as a guest blogger while she is on maternity leave.
I have been blogging at www.BlondeMomBlog.com
since October 2005. My youngest daughter was 7 months old and I was attempting to work from home with her while juggling deadlines and diaper changes. I was starting to get a little stir crazy from all the Baby Einstein DVDs and breastfeeding and lack of adult conversation and I really missed writing. Plus at work they really frown upon any projects focusing on my favorite topics: poop and whine, I mean wine. My husband introduced me to the blogosphere, I Googled "mom blogs," and I was hooked.
I am constantly amazed at the blogging community and how many universal trials and tribulations, as well as joys and milestones, parents share.
My oldest daughter, Miss C, is 5 (going on 15 at times) and is my little Punky Brewster. She's starting kindergarten this year and while she's excited, I find myself weepy and wondering "what happened to my baby?!" My youngest daughter, Miss A, is 2 and is already a budding fashionista with a penchant for bling. She's obsessed with Dora the Explorer. I'm trying to persuade her that going potty is the cool thing to do. And I can't leave out our two certified mutts, Bailey and Jack. They were our first "babies."
Any way, thanks for having me! Let me know if there's anything you'd like to know about Nashville. I don't want to burst your bubble, but I don't wear rhinestones, have Dolly Parton boobs or go line dancing.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to try one of those grilled peanut butter sandwiches
Richie Ann was talking about.
By Robin Dearing
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Richie and Marty welcomed their son, Jonas Alexander, to the world on Monday, Aug. 6 at 10:40 p.m.
Jonas weighed in at 6 lbs., 5.3 oz. and was 19.5 inches long.
Both, mother and baby are doing well.
He sure is a cutie — Richie and Marty sure know how to grow some sweet little boys.
Now on to blog business, we have a winner for the baby pool
Andrea guessed Aug. 6 at 11:26 p.m. — less than an hour from Jonas' actual birth. That's close enough for us.
Andrea, e-mail me at Robin Dearing and we'll send you your prize (such as it is!).
Congrats to Andrea and much love and congratulations to Richie, Marty, Soren and new baby, Jonas!!
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
It’s very quiet at my house. Alex left Friday with his dad to visit his grandparents and other relatives in the Boston area. It’s a good time for him to be gone, because the old house and the new house are in ruins right now during the move. I’m not really even sure where Alex’s bed is right now!
I have resisted the urge to call to see what they’re up to. Not that I would get much out of him in the way of information anyway. But I miss him just the same. You know how it is - when they’re gone you just remember the good stuff.
The hardest part is realizing the whole dang summer is just about over! It happens every year - you think you have all kinds of time to plan and do stuff, and then you don’t, and you’re thinking about Labor Day weekend. I console myself by remembering that fall is my favorite time of year, and that with luck it can stay warm through the end of October. Which is good, because the first so-called “teacher work day” is at the end of October so it’ll be a perfect time to go camping with no crowds.
Oh wait! I forgot to tell you all that Alex got his learner’s permit! Wow, talk about out-of-sight out-of-mind. Ha! Those of you who know me may find it ironic, if not terrifying, to think I am teaching the next generation how to drive!
More on that whole topic in my next blog . . .
By Robin Dearing
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
One of the things that Margaret asked for for her seventh birthday was a swing. It took us a while but we finally got around to granting that wish.
Over the weekend Bill and I worked on our long-neglected backyard and created a play area for Margaret.
This was a Herculean effort for Bill and I in that we had to clean up our entire yard which had sat and festered with weeds. We tried over the years to grow a garden and a lawn, but the weeds and heat overcame all of our efforts (I should disclaim that we're pretty pathetic when it comes to watering on our own — our front yard only thrives because we installed an automatic sprinkler system many years ago).
We started bright and early Saturday morning by rototilling the entire backyard. We rented a nice big rototiller that didn't yank my arms out of the socket. I was able to do most of the tilling while Bill dug out a laundry-line post.
The rest of the day was spent installing weed barrier, railroad ties and securing enough pea gravel to fill the area.
Sunday we built the wooden swing set. Yesterday Bill and Sean (there's nothing like teenage labor to help get the hard work done) moved the gravel.
Margaret helped by coming out back frequently and asking, "Is it done yet?" Yeah, she's definitely her mother's daughter.
This is what I found when I got home last night:
That bright smile made every backbreaking minute worth it.
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Monday, August 6, 2007
Here's the most recent pointless study
I've come across regarding family dynamics. For those too lazy to click it basically says that a first child brings happiness to a home while the second child makes a mother less happy and a father has nuetral feelings. What is the point of even studying that? Am I supposed to do something with this information? I wonder if just by reading it it will predisposition me into feeling less happy when this baby comes.
We get bombarded with useless studies like this all the time. There was the one recently that said that second and third siblings didn't have as high of IQs
or that people who live together before marriage
are more likely to have their marriages fail and on and on and on.
I can tell you one thing....studies like these are really pointless in our daily lives. There a complete waste of time and money. I'm done with them. I'm going to happy regardless of what some dumb statistic says about me.
By Robin Dearing
Friday, August 3, 2007
Margaret has a brother that is 10 years older than she is. He's 16 and has little interest in spending time with his 7-year-old sister. I wish it were different, but it isn't.
With such a great age difference, Margaret is more like an only child. She doesn't have to share her toys or her room. And being that the teenager would rather eat his eyeballs with a spoon than spend time with his family, Margaret's often left to her own devices at home.
But that doesn't mean that she's alone.
She's got Quincy:
She's our 7-year-old Italian greyhound.
Quincy's like a dog, only skinnier.
When Margaret is scared to go somewhere around the house by herself, she'll get a dog treat and call Quincy. She'll be a willing dance partner, will always "get the ball" or Frisbee or whatever and she's a toasty bed companion as well.
If she's not in the mood for doggie play dates, then she has Frida:
Frida is the tortoiseshell calico that we got last Christmas
and she's the perfect pet for a little girl.
Frida is fearless and loves to be fussed with. Margaret will snatch Frida from whatever she's doing (usually attacking some sort of lint or balled up wrapper) and toss her into her baby carriage. And the cat stays in there and happily lets Mar push her around the house at a high rate of speed.
I've had a lot of cats in my lifetime and have never known one to be so willing to ride on chairs, carriages, in bags or where ever a little girl can think to carry around a cat.
I love having pets — even though they really do know how to dirty and stink up a house — but I love that Margaret has learned to love animals and knows the joy of always having a playmate.