Confession: I giggle when someone says Uranus.
No, this has nothing to do with being a mom or a parent, but hey, not everything does. I have a son that is nineteen months old. He doesn't say much. He has two more than willing mouthpieces to speak for him, so he doesn't need to. I am not sure who is teaching the child what, but while I was getting him dried after his bath, we played a little game that we often play. His room is decorated in an outer space theme. There are clouds and stars on the ceiling and the walls are painted dark blue with the sun, moon, and planets.
Tonight, like many other nights, he stood up on his changing table (with me holding him- don't panic safety freaks!) to play a game. I ask "where is the sun"? He points to the sun. I ask "where is the earth?" He points to the Earth, or any random planet up there- he's not Einstein. Anyway, you get the gist. Tonight I get to the inevitable "where is Uranus"? And I kid you not, the child points to his butt!! I asked again. He pointed again. Where on earth, or in this case Uranus, this came from I have no idea. It was so amusing that I felt the need to capture it on film. I'd post it but don't think naked baby pics are acceptable blog fodder. Or are they?
I suspect my husband may have taught him this as a joke. Wait until I teach him one in return. Now, who knows other important scientific terms that are synonymous with body parts?
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Confession: I giggle when someone says Uranus.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Confession: I get so tired of telling my kids the same things over and over again.
I can talk to them until I am blue in the face. The look of complete confusion that befalls them when I tell them to do something is awe inspiring. "What? Who me?" And so, like so many mothers do every day, multiple times a day, I spew the same tired lines over and over. You know, the ones you vow you will never pull out of your parents bag o' tricks. You know, the tired old lines that your parents used to hit you with. Stuff like "Don't make me pull this car over".
And if your kids are like mine, especially my 3 year old, it all goes in one ear and out the other anyway. And in light of that fact, I thought I'd save some of my energy and just put this here.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Confession: I haven't shaved my legs in about a month!
It's true. What's worse is the fact that a month is a very conservative estimate. I think Hillary was still leading the race the last time these legs were bare. And yet I don't seem disturbed by this. Sure I wonder if today is the day I will get into a terrible car crash and be rushed to the hospital. I wonder if the doctors will have to cut my clothes off only to be disgusted by the grizzly man beast that lies beneath my seemingly feminine exterior. What could be worse?
Well, according my grandmother, and I am willing to bet yours too, having on dirty underwear. According to grandma's everywhere, doctor and nurses for centuries have been mortified time and time again by accident victims who were not wearing their best and most matchy-matchy panties. I think I am okay here.
My underwear are clean, and they actually match by bra today. Though I assure you that that is totally by chance. I have not the time nor the inclination to be sure all my skivvies match prior to leaving the house. If I have them on the right way, it's a red letter day!
The legs however are another story entirely. I just don't have the half an hour I need to invest in shaving them nicely. I am no fan of the wax. I just don't have the time or the money to pay someone to slather me in a molten substance and then rip away my hair, and some skin too I'm sure. Fun day at the spa, or medieval form of torture- you be the judge.
Here is my situation. Has this ever happened to you? You've decided that the hair situation has gone on long enough. Summer is nearing and you will inevitably have to wear shorts, or a skirt, or something leg baring. So in the shower you go. There you are all full of soapy goodness. You decide just as you finish the first leg that this is more of an undertaking then you bargained for. You tried, you completed one leg, and now you must abort the mission. Hey, at least you got one leg done right?
And so I ask, am I the only one legged wonder walking around out there? Are there any other lopsided mamas? I guess it's pants again today. At least until I find the time to shave the other. Of course by then the first leg will be hairy again.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Confession: I start thinking about bedtime about one hour after my kids wake up in the morning.
Do you ever wake up in the morning, take a look at those precious little faces, and think about what wonderful potential there is in the day ahead? How long does that last? An hour, two hours, thirty seconds? How long before the joy and anticipation of spending a lovely day with your precious offspring turns into the realization that they are going to be right there, with you, all day. I believe that as they get older this feeling may begin to dissipate, but when you have little ones like I do, trust me, this is not an unusual feeling. Ask yourself this:
-Do you start counting the hours until bedtime at sunrise?
-Have you ever asked yourself if 4:30 is really to early for kids to go to bed? (I mean hey if it's winter it's already dark out, right?)
-Have you ever contemplated (or actually done it) moving your clocks ahead an hour without telling anyone to make bedtime closer?
If you've answered yes to any of these, don't panic. It is okay! I hear you. I am with you.
For me it starts with the realization that if you want to sit down, someone is going to need something at that exact moment. Then if you want something to eat, you have to make them something too. Although you just asked them ten times if they were hungry, to which they all replied 'no'. There must be something about that bowl of oatmeal you are about to indulge in that makes it look more appealing and appetizing than any of the fifteen things you've offered them before this.
Not to mention the issues of blog posts past, that you will have to pee, brush your teeth, get dressed, and anything else you might dare to do, with accompaniment. Yes, friends it is true, moms are not solo artists! Anywhere we go, anything we do, we do with accompaniment.
And so I watch the clock. I usually start to watch the clock with the first cry, the first whine, the first sibling squabble. I know that if I make it to nap time, I've only got 8 hours until bed time. I know that when my husband walks in, there is 3 hours until bed time. And I know when I put dinner on the table, I am in the home stretch. Woo!
As always I reassure you that I love my children. But bedtime, sweet bedtime, a time when kids are in their most adorable, most loving state- sound asleep. Frankly, it is the only time of day I can do anything productive. It is the time of day when I can abandon 'mommy-mode' and just be me. Although mommy-mode really never gets shut off, it just goes into hibernation for a bit.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Confession: I am a 'hater'.
At least, I think I am. I just can't seem to get the whole 'mommy blogging' phenomenon off my mind, now that I know about it. So, I am left wondering what it is that I am feeling towards these super bloggers. I think it might be a twinge of jealousy.
How do they do it? I just don't know. I've been going over it in my head a lot, probably too much. The whole super mom-blog thing has me baffled. The elaborate websites, the beautiful graphics, the video, the feeds, the photos, etc. Wherever do they find the time? I mean if you couple all of the actual blog work with the countless hours of networking, conventions, meet-ups, and time taken to accept, reject or negotiate offers from potential sponsors, corporate big wigs, etc. it is exhausting. I do not get how it is done. I want to. I really, really, want to. But, I don't.
I wonder if these moms are the moms I often see who seem super-organized, and free all the time. They say they are moms, even show me pics of their tots sometimes. But I am always left wondering where the tots are as they breeze around with their skinny lattes, and their palm pilots, always hurrying to somewhere undoubtedly more important than where I am going. I presume daycare maybe? Home with the nanny? Off on a play date? I am never bold enough to ask though. Usually because I'd be afraid that she'd notice the milk stain on my shirt, or smell the fact that I hadn't showered for 3 days.
Let me run a few numbers by you. Forty-five. That is the number of times I was interrupted while writing this entry. How about two. Two is the number of legitimate causes to interrupt me while I was writing. And how about three. That is the number of times I have interacted with only adults in the middle of the day this month. It took me five and a half hours to see this post through to fruition- five hours! From getting the napkin scrap notes down to typing it up, it took that long. Imagine how long it would have taken if I had to keep stopping to answer calls from big corporations, reporters, and PR people?!
Do you know what I had to stop for today? Let me see... I stopped to clean pee from the floor twice. I stopped when one of my kids punched the other in the nose. I stopped to comfort my three year old, and haul away a bunny carcass when my dog killed a rabbit in the yard. These are the things I think of when I think of a day in the life of a 'mom blogger'. I think of real moms, like me. I think of moms who have to stop blogging to deal with dead bunnies. I think of moms who while blogging utter phrases like "get down from there!", "stop it now!", and "don't eat your sisters hamster!"
So, I have come to realize that there is a real distinction between mom bloggers, and moms who blog. I am a mom who blogs. What do I blog about? I blog about pee and puke, diapers and dishes. Like it or not that is what I do. It is what I know. It is who I am. For as long as I am living the life of a suburban soccer mom in New Jersey, I fear these exciting blog events and cool schwag, might be just out of my peanut butter covered reach.
So, if BMW wants to come calling for a 'mom blogger' to test drive their new SUV, or Disney wants to send someone to test their resort out and then blog about it, they can find me here... blogging.
No margaritas and mid-day lunch meetings
Just soccer games and sarcasm. Period.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Confession: I should be blogging about Earth Day today, but I am not.
It's not that I don't want to blog about Earth Day, quite the contrary. As a matter-of-fact, I blogged about Earth Day a couple of weeks ago. Go ahead, you can check, I'll wait....
See? I told you so. So, indeed today I feel the need to blog about something altogether opposite of that warm and fuzzy, tree-hugging, the simple things in life, Earth Day goodness. Is that so wrong?
I've been hearing a lot of 'buzz' about mommy blogs lately. Some of it good, some of it bad, and some of it pretty ugly. I must admit that what I have been reading has been pretty suprising. And while this post really has nothing to do with parenting or family per se, it does speak volumes to what we as moms are doing to help provide for our families.
I have just recently read in a fascinating post over here
that each of our mom blogs have become a "brand", a product if you will. It seems as though this mommy blogging thing has become a super-marketable entity, and we are, collectively, a rather hot commodity. Who knew?
I mean this is literally amazing news to me. This is astounding. This is exciting! This is.... annoying!?! Granted, I've only been in the blogging game for a few months, but I thought I was doing okay for myself. I've got loyal readers, even some subscribers, and lots of comments on my first time out. Not to shabby I thought. Turns out there is a whoooole lot of cha-ching going on in the blogosphere. And what I want to know is why haven't I been invited to board this gravy train?
Did you know there are mom bloggers out there who are writing stuff much like you and I are, and they are being flooded with offers from everyone from tiny WAHM businesses to car companies asking them to take their products for a spin and then blog about it? Car companies! The only thing I am being flooded with around here is the bathtub water that keeps running over when the kids play "Little Mermaid" in the tub!
I decided to do some of my own investigating after this insight. I actually found that there are women making thousands and thousands of dollars, some six figure incomes, by blogging. BLOGGING! B-L-O-G-G-I-N-G!! The majority of this income is based on the high traffic nature of their sites, and the ad revenues that they generate. But still... c'mon....
So, I come to you now as the "Rebel Mom Blogger". My new cyber alter-ego. The woman who started blogging because she was tired and stressed, and needed to vent about her kids. The women who really wanted to write a book about it, but was too scared and too lazy to go out and find an agent, or a publisher. And here she sits amongst what she once thought to be a seemingly small and comfy community of women who vent and share all of her paretning highs and lows. Turns out that just like everything else in this world, it has turned into a big corporate extravaganza. Even our thoughts it turns out, can bought and sold for the right price.
So, what is the rebel mommy to do? Will the next edition of 'Mommy Confessions' be "brought to you in hi-def by Coca Cola"? Tune in and see....
P.S. Pay no attention to the Google Ads on my page. They've generated me about $.12 so far.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Confession: Without the dreaded yellow sponge, I might never get a meal cooked!
The sponge. The yellow sponge. The yellow, square, pants donning sponge. Need I say more? Now, if you know me at all, you know the answer to that. Sponge Bob, where do I begin? He's an odd fellow. He definitely says some things that are questionable, and while he is probably okay for my almost 7 year old to watch, I am thinking he is rather inappropriate for the 3 and 1 year olds. This is evidenced by the fact that on a visit to mom-mom and pop-pop's house last weekend, my 3 year old called her pop-pop an 'old coot'. When asked, like so many other times recently, where she picked up this little gem, the answer as always is a resounding "Sponge Bob!"
So, what's a girl to do? Elmo? No dice. Barney? Ummmm... thank goodness not interested. You see, the curse of the older siblings is that your precious little cherubs begin to see/watch/say things much faster than the previous did. They want to do what the older kids do. My oldest loved Elmo until she was about 4 1/2. The second declared Elmo 'babyish' at 2. The third won't even give poor Elmo the time of day.
And so I am left to rely on the one thing that for some inexplicable reason, seems to 'entertain' all three of the kids. The sponge. Now, I am not one to use the television as a 'babysitter'. I've read the articles. I've heard the psychologists and parenting experts declare that this is awful for their fragile little psyches. I know that if they watch more than an hour of t.v a day they are likely to never go to college and possibly become a homicidal maniac. I have to tell you though, there are days where I am willing to take my chances.
We've all seen various t.v shows or commercials where the family is in the kitchen making dinner. The older kids are happily playing checkers at the kitchen table. The little tots are sitting on the floor with plastic spoons and bowls 'helping' mom make a delicious meal. You've seen it? I have too- just not at my house, like, ever. At my house, if I do not properly occupy, my kids will run around in the kitchen, screaming like maniacs (can someone say inside voices?) try to open all the cabinets, try to pull down whatever I am preparing on the counter to examine it, and just generally cause chaos and disarray until my meal is likely ruined, and we end up ordering pizza.
So, I say loudly and proudly, bless you Sponge Bob.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Confession: I'm no Fly Lady :(
I'm sure some or probably most of you have heard of Fly Lady right? Maybe some of you are even actual "fly ladies" yourselves. Good for you! I tried it. It did not work for me. Okay, let me rephrase that. I signed up for it. Try might be a bit of an exaggeration. Once again, it did not work for me.
I was on board with the whole sink shining thing, and the hot spots and all that. But, I just could not keep up. I gave up in a mere matter of days. For me, I couldn't even get past one of the first fundamental "fly lady" mantras. I could not dress to the shoes first thing every single day. For one thing, I hate shoes. I'll only wear them if I have to leave the house, and then only if really necessary. For another thing, I consider it a banner day if I brush my teeth and hair. If I am dressed in something other than sweats, I get to have a cookie. If I shower, well, there's no telling what I might indulge myself in for that big accomplishment. So, you can see where my problems with the Fly Lady began. Don't get me wrong, I am all for the Fly Lady system. I think everyone should join and give it a try. But for me, the shoe thing, and the CHAOS, well that just didn't work for me.
CHAOS, as any self respecting Fly Ladyer will tell you, stands for 'Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome'. Basically it means that until you work this system you are in a perpetual state of disarray, and it is impossible for you to even entertain the notion of an impromptu playdate, or drop-by-unannounced guest. For me, this is not an issue. My house remains in a general mild state of messiness. I clean up daily, but don't go overboard. I don't freak out if there are piles of clean (or dirty) laundry that have yet to be dealt with, and while I do have to admit that I feel ALOT better when my sink is clean and empty, I am not going to lose too much sleep if it's not.
And so, I have chosen to create my own CHAOS acronym. I chose one that is much better suited for my day to day life. Can't Handle Another One Screaming. Because while I can deal with the toys, the dishes, the laundry, and my barefootedness, I can not tell you how stressed out I get at the noise level in my home. Can you say hearing aids? Because we're all going to need one soon. The television is loud, the radio is loud, the kids interact at a decibel that would surely have had Pete Townsend losing his hearing twenty years earlier, and I just can't take it any more!
Move over Fly Lady's, here come Deaf Lady's!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Confession: I won the award for world's crappiest mom (again) today!
Have you ever done something that has made you feel like the worst mom in the universe? Sure you have, come on, we all have. I feel like I outdid myself today. Yep, for me today was my worst bad mommy moment thus far.
I went to pick my daughter up at the bus stop. She appeared with a very sad little grimace on her face. I might remind you that this is kindergarten, so of course I am working on laying the foundation here for all of her future successes and failures throughout her academic career, right? No pressure. So anyway, I asked her what was wrong. She replied that I, in my disorganized brain-fart of a weekend (my words, not hers) had forgotten to pack her money for the book fair today. Apparently the note came home last week. Of course it did. See what happens when I try to take a break from mommy world for a day. Just the anticipation of a little me time apparently sent me into such a tizzy that I am now misplacing school notes, and forgetting things I should be doing. But, again I digress.
I tired to downplay the situation. "Maybe you can still buy books again tomorrow, or the next day. You can go down with the other kids that didn't get to go today", I said. Big mistake. No other kids have to go tomorrow because all of their moms remembered their money! So there sits my kid, alone watching a movie put on for all of the poor little children whose mommies just don't care about them, and left to stew while their peers are off shopping. Can you feel the lump in my throat through your monitor?
I tried to play up the fact that only she got to watch a movie during school time. No dice on that one either. Apparently all the other kids got to watch it too, after they got back from book shopping. Way to make the little outcasts feel better! So now she has been cast aside, left to sit alone in outcast movie land, with no hopes of shopping with her friends. Can you see why I am up for this prestigious award?
And so just as I am beginning to cry, she lets me off the hook by telling me that tomorrow is the actual last day of the book fair, and although she'll have to go down alone (sob sob) she can still buy a book tomorrow. And while she and I will both have to deal with the emotional scars of sitting out while her friends all got to partake in something because I am a moron, she can take comfort in two things:
1) By the end of the week no one will ever even remember this happening. and 2) Sure little Billy and Suzy each got to take their two bucks down and buy a book with their classmates, but she will have the joy of going in with a nice guilt-laden twenty to soften the blow.
So, what are your worst mommy moments? Please write in with them. I promise to only judge and laugh for a minute or two.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Confession: It's my birthday today!
In honor of my birthday, I thought I'd forgo my usually cynical and mildy amusing rantings, in lieu of a list. I am forever making lists at home for everything. If showering isn't on my list, it's not likely to get done. So, in honor of all you birthday mommas 'round the world;
5 Things That Should Be Prohibited By Law on Your Birthday
1. Doing The Laundry
We all know by now how I feel about the laundry on a regular day. So, need I even say that doing the laundry on your birthday is a highly punishable offense. Let it pile!
2. Doing The Dishes
Let someone else do them. Better yet, go out to eat!
3. Changing Diapers
Hubby and I sort have an unwritten rule; on mother's day, he changes the lion's share of the diapers, and on father's day it's my job. This should hold true on birthday's too. Someone else should always be on diaper duty (or is it doodie?) on your birthday.
4. Taking Out The Trash
There is just something undeniably un-birthday like about schlepping a big bag (or 10) of garbage to the curb. Unless the trash man's visit is imminent, I'd wait it out.
5. Cleaning Up Toys
You really shouldn't be doing this on any day, but especially not today. While it'll be nice to see clutter free floors for a few moments, unless you're sweeping them up and taking them out within 5 minutes, you'll only end up repeating the process 10 more times. If you have to clean up after them, just wait until after they are in bed.
So, that's it. I am going to thoroughly enjoy my birthday today. I hope you all enjoy your day too, birthday or not.
P.S. It's only 10 a.m. and I've already broken every one of my rules!
Friday, April 11, 2008
Confession: Sometimes I really, really need a break from the kids.
I love my kids. I adore my kids. The happiness and well-being of my children are my top priority. I am sure most moms reading along with my musings all this time, probably feel the same, or close to it anyway. So, I have to ask, why do we so often feel guilty if we want or need time away from our kids? Why are we taken to task by some about our 'parenting commitment' or our 'family values'? It is ridiculous I tell you.
I tell you boldly that I want some time away from my kids! Yes, I think that it is perfectly acceptable, dare I say even necessary, for a woman to have portions of her life, of her self, that are separate from that which she shares with her children. This is not a sin. This is not bad parenting. In fact I think it is quite the contrary. I think a little 'me' time every once in a while makes a much more happy, secure, focused mommy!
I am not talking about two weeks alone in the south of France. I am talking about an hour or two to go out to dinner or for coffee with the girls, a few hours a week to go to the gym (ha ha but who does that, right?), or just some time to take a bath, read a book, or as I've said before, watch an uninterrupted segment of American Idol. Is this really too much to ask?
Apparently for some moms, it is. My hubby is petty good about this stuff, in as much as I will usually get an 'ok' if I prearrange. But, he still needs a little work. I think they all do. There is an undeniable guilt factor that many woman (myself included) feel when they are out on their own, or doing something that does not somehow relate to their homes or their family. I am here to tell you that it is OKAY to take a little time to just be who you are. Time not to be Mrs. so and so, or so and so's mommy; time to just be Michelle, or Susan, or Kim, or whoever who are/were before you had kids.
I knew it was dramatically apparent that we as moms were getting desperate for time away, when my cousin told me that she was excited about her upcoming gynecologist appointment because it meant that she could leave hubby with their two kids for a couple of hours. Now this is desperation people! Heck we've gotten to the point where we are satisfied when our 'me time' is made up of grocery shopping, doctor's visits, heck even dental work is seeming appealing to some at this point.
This is not acceptable! So I would ask you, implore you, to take time out this weekend to do something that is JUST for you. Take an afternoon, an hour, or 10 minutes, but do one thing that you can completely and totally claim as your own. Then let me know if it doesn't make you feel at least a little bit better!
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Confession: Sssshhhhh.... I like being a SAHM.
I have done the working mom thing. When my first daughter was four months old, we put her in full time daycare so that I could go back to work. I have also done the SAHM thing. Ever since I went out of work on bed rest at 17 weeks with daughter number two, I've pretty much been a SAHM. Neither of these were easy. Each one has it's positive and negative characteristics. And I admire both sets of moms for being able to handle the distinctly different sides of parenting.
For me, I prefer being a SAHM. Sure, I miss interacting with grown-ups other than my hubby on a daily basis. Yes, I miss not being able to get my professional ideas and opinions out there. Yes, there are days when I think I can not possibly change another diaper, host one more playdate, or cut the crust off one more PB&J. But, when I start to waver, I think about all of the things that I might have missed out on if I would have gone back to work. Sure, I am having a hard time thinking of any right now, with one child on the floor kicking and screaming and the other one whining incessantly for something or another. Hey, at least the oldest if off at school, right? Anyway, I digress. What was I saying? Oh yeah, choices... The choice between SAHM and working mom is all about personal choice- different strokes for different folks.
So my question is this: does there come a time when you cross a line? When all my kids are off at school and I am no longer shuttling them off to daily playgroups and such, do I go back to work? Is there a point where I will go from SAHM to unemployed bum? And just how long after they are off to school are we talking? two years? five years? When they are in college? I mean just how long can I ride the coattails of this whole mom train? Can I make it straight through to social security? I envision a conversation like this:
them: How old are you anyway?
me: Oh me, I'm 63.
them: And what do you do?
me: Oh, I'm a SAHM.
them: Really? How old are your kids?
me: Oh they're 27, 29, and 32!
It's not altogether untrue. I will always be someone's mom, and I will be 'staying home'. So, again I ask, where is that line? I somehow think my hubby will happy to point it out for me.
Is full time blogger a job?
Monday, April 7, 2008
Confession: Sometimes I let my kids get away with murder!
Let's face it people, as parents you have to learn to pick your battles. Sometimes something as simple as "what will we wear to school today?" can feel as big as the Battle of Gettysburg. And something like "what shall we have for snack today?" can seem like storming the beaches of Normandy. There are, as with most things, a few basic guidelines to help to get you through.
It is really no big deal if your little princess wants to wear a tutu and a puka shell necklace to preschool. It's perfectly okay that your little man thinks that Spiderman pajamas 9 days in a row makes a swell outfit! But, there is a time and a place to draw the line.
I know this can be a difficult task. But in a world of child rearing where the go along to get along mentality has taken over, I fear a generation full of self-absorbed little monsters, if we don't pull in the reigns just a tad. It is perfectly okay to say no to your child. It is not corporal punishment to impose a few guidelines on you kids. I promise you that little Johnnie's fragile esteem will not be destroyed if you tell him no, he can't have a cell phone at age nine. And precious Jennie will not suffer irreparable damage if she can't get $150.00 tickets to see Hannah Montana!
Sure they may hate you for a week or two but it'll pass. And isn't that the price we pay for being parents anyway?
Friday, April 4, 2008
Confession: I am not doing all that I can for the environment!
With Earth Day approaching, I got to thinking, scary I know! The average household of five puts out about three large garbage bags filled with trash on the curb each week for pick-up. Actually, I just made that statistic up, but it sounds about right doesn't it? Unless of course you live in my house. It never ceases to amaze me how much trash we put out each week for collection. Just yesterday, which was trash day, we put out two of those large outdoor trashcans filled with three or four bags each. In addition to that we put out another three bags, plus an assortment of stuff that my hubby had collected during his cleaning of the garage. That is about ten bags of trash folks. Ten bags! Now every week is not a ten bag week, but never-the-less we produce more than our fair share. Even my cousin, who I owe the inspiration for this entry to, is amazed at our trash output. She herself has a husband, two children, and two cats. And yet somehow week after week we are out trashing them. So, needless to say I feel like no friend to the environment right now.
In this week's trash frenzy we also threw away a high chair that was used by all three of my kids. I'd asked around and no one seemed to need it or want it, so out it went. I feel guilty about this. I suppose we could have driven it to Goodwill, or posted it on Freecycle or Craigslist. But, at that moment, trash day was nearing and I just wanted it OUT! And so it sat on the curb with all of the other trash, taunting me. It's as if it was saying "you call yourself an environmentalist-ha!"
We all know that any self respecting conservationist mom would have done whatever she had to do to be sure that the highchair didn't wind up as more non-biodegradable waste in a landfill somewhere. I mean, if I were a good 'green' mom, I'd have dismantled it and used it parts to create some sort of new age baby doll clubhouse or something. There has to be some use for 7 year old, food crusted, crayon marked, highchair, right?
And so I call to you all, for two things. First I would love to hear any suggestions you may have for helping us to reduce the amount of trash we are putting out every week. Apart from the obvious diapers and the 'regular' household trash that does not get recycled (tissues, napkins, food wrappers, etc.), I don't know where we are accumulating so much. We are by no means a 'disposable' friendly family. With the exception of diapers of course. I'd love to have used cloth, but who has the time? (Applause to those who DO make the time!) And second, I implore everyone who reads this blog entry to go out and do one 'green' thing for your family or your household right now. Heck, I'll even take the time to post some easy suggestions for you. After all, I have all that free time I saved on building the highchair dollhouse!
Easy things you do to take the first steps to going green for a better future:
Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL's)- CFL's use up to 75% less energy. They also last up to ten years longer than incandescent bulbs. They cost more up front, but they honestly more than pay for themselves almost immediately with the energy saving. Try replacing just one!! I read somewhere that if everyone replaced just one bulb in their house with a CFL it would be like taking eleven million cars off the road.
Invest in one or two of the cloth or canvas grocery bags. Every store is carrying them now, or you can even use old tote bags you have lying around that have no real use but to take up space. It eliminates all of the waste from paper and plastic grocery bags, which have a huge environmental impact. This is by far one of the easiest things you can do! Now, just remember to take them with you to the store. My cousin hangs hers on her front door!
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!!! If you still live in one of the few places that do not have recycling facilities- complain!! Call you're elected officials, your town or city hall, and get the ball rolling. It only takes one person to speak up to get things started.
Stop the 'snail mail'. Contact the National Do Not Mail List, It is free and can stop most of that pesky junk mail from piling up at your front door!
I'd love to hear more ideas from people, so send them in! I promise to work harder if you will. The earth is all we have people, there is not another one when this one is shot!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Confession: I make our pets work for their keep.
Have your kids ever asked you for a pet? A dog, a cat, perhaps a ferret even? Let me guess, they promise that they will bear the sole responsibility for the care of this pet. They swear on Dora The Explorer, or Bratz, or Spiderman, or whoever they are into at that moment, that they will care for it and give it all of the attention it needs. This my friends is probably a lie.
"I swear I will walk it" -No they won't. At least not if there is something better to do.
"I promise I will feed it" -No they won't. Well, perhaps on occasion. Although if left to their feeding schedule the animal will likely be found out back by the shed emaciated and gasping for water.
"It can sleep with me in my bed" No it won't. Maybe this will happen on the first night or two and then you will be met by cries of "get it out of here it smells/ is too hairy/ has stinky breath"
And so who gets to step up and feed/walk/ clean-up after the pets that you probably didn't even want in the first place? In fairness, hubby has to bear the brunt of the doggy-care responsibilities in order for them to continue to live healthy and productive lives here in our house. I might be likely to forget the occasional feeding, or six.
In our case it is not one but two dogs, and a few hermit crabs as well (I refuse to touch those). And while I feel good in the fact that we did rescue both dogs from shelters, I still can not believe that I signed on to care for 2 dogs in addition to my 3 children!
And so the only way I can justify having them around is by using them as cheap (actually free) labor. I use them in lieu of a broom or mop after meals. They do a great job after food has been dropped, or even thrown onto the floor. I use them in lieu of a vacuum cleaner. I just let them follow the kids around any time they are moving about the house with any type of snack item. This works well with non-food items too as dogs are not very selective. I have even on occasion used them in lieu of a washcloth or dishrag to wipe up the highchair after the baby has eaten. They are all too happy to lick the thing clean.
And before you tell me how gross this is, I should tell you that the baby has moved to a booster seat now, so we don't even use the highchair anymore. ;) Anyway, I read somewhere that dogs mouths are cleaner than people's mouths anyway... and everything you see in print just has to be true... right?
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Confession: I am considering putting my house on "lock down".
Okay bear with me here folks...
The whole thing about the laundry and all the replies I got about that really got me thinking. Today was cleaning day for me. Actually, cleaning day was 3 days ago, but who's counting? So, piggybacking off of the idea of keeping everyone naked so that I could be caught up on laundry, I thought of a plan for house cleaning too.
When I clean the house I usually try and keep the kids all together and occupied in the playroom. It is usually at that time (kind of like when I am sick) that I am inclined to give in to their every whim. I turn on the dreaded yellow sponge, I let them dabble in the Easter candy at 9:00 a.m., and I tend to look the other way if I see or hear a minor infraction coming from the area. This my friends is the only way I will ever get anything accomplished. Some might accuse me of inconsistent parenting, some might say this sends the kids mixed messages about discipline. I say that if you want me to be a perfect parent 24/7, I am going to need YOU to come over and scrub my toilets for me! Deal?
So, I started with the bathroom today. I swept and mopped the floor. Once that was done I decided to move on to sweeping and dusting the baby's room which is right next door. I did not get far. Not five minutes after finishing the bathroom floor (we're talking not even dry yet) my younger daughter had an "accident" on the floor. Not to mention somehow on the seat, the tub, and 2 towels... ummm... okay. So I re-cleaned the bathroom floor and moved on. Needless to say this pattern of clean and re-clean persisted all morning long. I know you have been there! I would finish cleaning something and move on to something else. By the time I peeked out from the next task to check on the kids, the previous task had been pulled apart, undone, re-messed, or somehow otherwise destroyed.
And that is how we arrived at my newest master plan- the cleaning "lock-down". Initially I had planned to just lock all of the kids in one room together until the entire house was clean. But then I thought better of it. It seems a little cruel, and being as I am both a social worker AND a slow cleaner, the idea rapidly lost it's appeal. On to Plan B.
We have those little skeleton keys that open all the doors for every room in the house. We keep them on the little ledge over top of the doors. This is done mainly because my kids love to lock themselves in, and us out, of every room in the house. I never gave them much thought before, but now I can see how they are really going to come in handy. I plan to clean the rooms one by one and upon completing each room I am going to lock the door behind me. I will do this until the entire house is clean. Of course, the kitchen and living room have no doors so they'll need to be done last. But, the idea is that if I can just keep everyone OUT of the clean rooms for a short time, I will have an entirely clean house when I am done. Can you imagine? I can not. Of course the catch here is that I am, at some point, going to need to reopen all of the doors- especially the bathrooms. But even if I can have a house that is entirely and totally clean for an hour, I will be elated. Once the doors open, all you-know-what will break loose of course, and one room at a time my plan will be thwarted.
So, what do you think? A bad idea some parenting purists may say, but what the heck do they know anyway?