Saturday, March 8, 2008

Quote of the Weekend

"The rules for parents are but three... love, limit, and let them be." - Elaine M. Ward

Picture of the Weekend


Despite a long night of feeding, teething, and making sure his parents knew he was awake, little Logan was hard at work early Saturday morning to make sure those TPS reports were done correctly.
Please send your favorite kid pictures to: dalessandrochristine@gmail.com

Friday, March 7, 2008

Life Just Keeps Getting Better

Dlisted.com is reporting that J Lo has, in fact, signed a multi-million dollar deal with People magazine for an interview and full photo shoot of her little dragons (a reference to Dragon Tales-- in no way am I intending to offend anyone who knows, loves, or is, in fact, a dragon).

She agreed to do the shoot with two conditions:

1) Her nightmare of a husband has to be the one taking the pictures
2) The magazine is never again to refer to her as J Lo.

We can respect that.

JLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLOJLO

Shout out to my girl Jeannie with whom I was just discussing the aforementioned trainwreck.

Question

With all the marekting, research, and advances in technology, how is it that these bizillion dollar toy companies cannot find something that fascinates my son as much as the remote control, the phone, and my keys (yuck)?

Even the ones that are made to mimic them are second rate to him....I guess this proves the validity of today's quote.

Also, if - in a moment of desperation- you hand your little one your cell phone to keep him or her happy for the few seconds you need to get something done, keep in mind that baby saliva is the fastest way to destroy your phone. This happened to me when I let my oldest play with mine when she was 8 months because it was the only thing that would keep her happy while I had to get my driver's license renewed. Within minutes, it was completely destroyed.

I immediatedly brought it to my carrier's store (it rhymes with Merchizon) and told them I couldn't figure out what happened to it. They asked if I had gotten it wet and I sheepishly replied, "Why...no...how could that happen?" (As my daughter slobbered all over a rubber doll). The girl took one look at the phone and said, "Oh no....that's baby drool and we can't repair that. You're going to have to pay for a new phone."

HOW COULD THEY KNOW??? Do they have some special dying agent that turns an alarming shade of green when the micro-chip-it-ee-doo comes in contact with baby spit??

Dagnabit! I had to pay full price for a whole new phone and my little girl was riding around with a really pimped out (albeit) broken phone while I was forced to use something the size of a small kayak circa 1987.

Lesson learned. Living the dream.

Interesting Facts About Our Little Ones


1) A child laughs about 400 times a day. Adults laugh about 15 times. (Probably because the child is laughing at the adult).

2) There are 206 bones in the adult human body, but 300 in children (some of the bones fuse together as a child grows). (I guess that explains how my oldest is able to contort herself into a million different positions to avoid getting in the stroller or grocery cart, or even harder, out of the bathtub—slippery business!).

3) On average, kids ages 2 to 5 put their hands in their mouths 10 times an hour. (I can actually hear you germophobes fainting to the floor)The average American child uses 730 crayons by the age of 10. (I love Burnt Sienna- for sentimental reasons).

4) The average child will eat 1,500 peanut butter sandwiches by high school graduation. (Ick).

5) Students spend about 900 hours in the classroom and 1,500 hours in front of the TV each year. (Two very different educations, as well).

6) 65% of kids have had at least 1 imaginary friend by age 7. (Does it count if I have long discussions with my mirror?)

7) In ancient Greece, children of wealthy families were dipped in olive oil at birth to keep them hairless throughout their lives. (And here I have been campaigning my husband to pay for laser hair removal!)A 4 year old child asks about 437 questions a day. (Of those asked by my daughter, 436 of them are, “Can I have some popcorn?”)

The Week in Review

The Top Five Things I Have Learned This Week…

5) If you admit you have saggy skin worthy of a Guinness Book of World Record entry, people are going to want to see it.

4) If you are going to run to catch the ringing phone before it wakes up the baby, take off the damn “Step Up Shoes”.

3) If you choose to make an enemy out of a celebrity (her name rhymes with Steminer Flopez), make sure you avoid a closeted Scientologist…the cult will come after you.

2) Though new children’s television shows will come and go, Barney the God forsaken purple dinosaur will endure to annoy parents and invite parody. (Would you believe he has been around for 20 years??!! Would someone please explain what it means to be extinct to this knucklehead already!? Geez.).

1) Though, at times, I might miss how my life used to be so free and easy before kids, there is nothing more rewarding (or fashionable) than being a parent. But, please, a tooth…my God, one tooth!!

Try Your Luck...

The website www.embellishedmom.com is sponsoring a Bumble Bag Contest where a prize package worth an estimated $700 will be given away to one lucky person. The winner will receive the entire collection of Buttercup Bliss, including the Jessica, Kimberly, Madeline, Natalie, Car Seat Cover, and Snack Bags.

You just have to visit the site, vote on the diaper bag that most appeals to you, and you’ll be entered to win.

Quote of the Day

“If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses.” –Goethe

Picture(s) of the Day



To quote Shakespeare, “We are such stuff as dreams are made on”
….or what happens to your hair when your dreams are made of a hurricane, a vacuum cleaner, and a quick trip to Chicago.




Please send your best kid pictures to: dalessandrochristine@gmail.com


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Oh, How Things Have Changed...

It was only a few years ago that my idea of happiness included long Sunday mornings beginning after 9, reading the circulars, chipping away at the crossword, discussing how my husband and I might spend the day without regard to time, temperature, or tantrums, and enjoying multiple cups of coffee at my leisure. Today…let’s just say the picture looks a lot different.

A perfect Sunday now involves children sleeping soundly passed 6:30, only one “debate” about what makes for a healthy breakfast for a headstrong two year old, no blowouts from the baby that require a hose, carpet cleaner, or hazmat materials, and finishing one full cup of coffee while it’s still warm. As my by fantastic (and hysterical) brother Mike would confirm, we are “living the dream.”

Ruminating on how things have changed so much, I’ve decided to compile a brief list of my life, “then” vs, “now”. Feel free to blast a little Bob Dylan while you peruse the list.

THEN:

Feeling fashionable meant putting together an outfit that included a trendy top, towering heels, and the jeans of the moment.

NOW:

I pillage my closet for a shirt that doesn’t require ironing, is devoid of spit up, and effectively hides my fabulous love handles and sagging skin. Heels have been
replaced with sneakers (they frown on heels puncturing the mats at Little Gym), and whatever jeans are lying around that I can squeeze into (I am currently wearing Express jeans circa 2001)

THEN:


My ideal purse was stylish without screaming brand name, and typically a small, cute clutch for carrying keys, cash, credit cards, lip gloss, and a little moisturizer.


NOW:


Thankfully big bags are “in” right now, though mine would really qualify as a suitcase. I’m not even sure it would fit the specifications of carry-on luggage because I need something that can carry juice, diapers, spare clothes, toys, Purell, snacks, and
everything else required if we were attacked by terrorists tomorrow and I needed to grab the kids and relocate to a safe house.

THEN:

My hair would be coiffed at Etore on Market by the always fabulous Randall (yes, a guy from the “neighborhood”- hey) and the entire treatment would require 3 ½ hours- cut, highlights, lowlights, deep conditioning, and blowout. The whole experience was completely self-indulgent and the cost would definitely earn J Lo the right to call me a hypocrite.

NOW:

Ummm. I think I get my hair done every few months by some girl who lives by my mom, loves to talk on endlessly about her good-for-nothing boyfriend, and effectively butchers my hair in 45 minutes. So, I stick it in a bun and call it a chignon to pretend my look is completely intentional. (Oh, and I hit the box of Clairol whenever it occurs to me to hide the grays).

To Be Continued…

Toothwatch '08

Nada. Nilch. Nothing.

Quote of the Day

"The commonest fallacy among women is that simply having children makes them a mother - which is as absurd as believing that having a piano makes one a musician."
-Sydney J. Harris

Picture of the Day


The adorable little boy smiled so brightly because he knew that he would always have:

the love of his parents to guide him,

the joy of his grandparents to cherish,

and maybe, just maybe...

his father's NY Giants season tickets.
Send your best kid pictures to: dalessandrochristine@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I Can Never Complain About Being Overwhelmed By Motherhood

Yahoo News is reporting that a woman out of Patchogue, Long Island just gave birth to identical triplets at North Shore University Hospital. Engineered through in vitro fertilization, the three babies were born with an average weight of 4.5 pounds and are doing well (no mention of the mother's mental state...yikes!) Apparently, the likelihood of this occurring is one in 200 million! Interesting take on the lottery.....

It is estimated that the babies will go through 10,000 diapers in their first year and the mother has said she isn't sure if she'll go back to work (I'm guessing she'll run).

Here's the real kicker. In order to tell Collin, Eli, and Logan apart, they have been "tagged" with different color nail poish. Wow! Did they really need to include that in the news story? No doubt that is going to come back to haunt them-- they might as well dress them in shirts that read, "Pink is my signature color", or "Rooney Doodle Rocks", and leave them at the playground to fend for themselves.

At least it will be three against a taunting mob.

...And I was complaining about my excess skin.

File This Under: Too Much Information


I realize that many of you reading this have endured the trials of pregnancy, delivered your children, and have since returned to your original, pre-pregnant figure. For those people, please know that bad things will come to you (they have to!!!!).

For me, I have had some unique struggles. Having always had what may be considered a smaller frame, my first pregnancy provided what many would consider a circus attraction for the kind citizens of Philadelphia. You see, my first child was over ten pounds. Now that certainly qualifies as a big baby, and when you put that size on a small-framed person, the result is a freak of nature and, for some reason, everyone felt completely comfortable commenting on my ridiculously large belly.

Some of my favorite reactions:

1) My father wondered allowed how I managed to stay upright and not tip over.
2) A former student would offer to “butter” my classroom door frame so I could effectively squeeze in and out.
3) A well-meaning old man inquired as to when the twins were due.
4) Two strangers dining at Marathon Grill on 16th Street were so shocked by my size, they openly gawked and pointed from the window by which they dined.
5) A Termini Brothers employee at Reading Terminal questioned, “When was your due date?”, when I was only seven months pregnant.

And my personal favorite:

6) Another former student used to chirp, “Beep, beep”, any time I backed up.

So where does that leave me after two “healthy sized” children? Well, I managed to shed much of the weight I happily gained in my nine months, but I am left with one wonderful reminder of my time of internment.

Not stretch marks.
Not a C-section scar.
Not even issues concerning the unmentionables.

My own little present: excessive skin that is so saggy, it hangs like a canopy over my belly-button. Worried about too much sun this summer? Feel free kneel in front of me…at least I’ll be providing a public service.

Now, my pride (and concern for the well-being of small children who might unintentionally see it) prevents me from posting a picture of my stomach, so I found a pretty accurate comparison so you can see what I am dealing with.

Hence: The picture above.

Quote of the Day

"There are two things that a child will share willingly - communicable diseases and its mother's age." -Benjamin Spock

Picture of the Day


Inadvertently omitted from my fitness trend resume: "Step Up Shoes": engineered to build your calves and enhance your balance.

In my case, my calves never changed, but I did enjoy walking around the house looking like a geisha girl who’d been sneaking the sake.


And unless you want to see regular pictures of my fabulous toes, send your best kid photos to: dalessandrochristine@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Move over Gates, She is the Greatest Philanthropist of Our Time

Dlisted.com is reporting that not only has JLo employed the help of a professional masseuse to attend to her young twins biweekly, she has also demanded that any and all flowers, toys, or other external gifts be quarantined to another room to ensure that her babies are living in a completely sterile environment (apparently having a muddied sense of altruism is okay). In addition, it is rumored that she has also bought the babies two ponies and diamond rattles.

Somewhere a young girl in the Bronx is trying to figure out how she is going to find time for homework after working two jobs to help her mother scrape the money together to pay for tuition.

The Great Fitness Challenge

So, if you have followed some of my ramblings from time to time, you may know that I am one of four participants in the best playgroup ever. Our kids are only separated by a month or so, we all are really compatible despite being very different, and we survived more than a few milestones together.

Of these many shared experiences, we have all spent too many hours discussing our bad body images and our struggles with the scale. Though none of us are obese by any means, we all would love to be the size we were when we were at our best (decidedly before children). Our struggles, I imagine, are shared by many women.

My own personal journey is actually a history of exercise fads. When it comes to dieting, I have only tried Weight Watchers (excellent) and then Jenny Craig (also good, and the perfect way to lose the last few, trailing postpartum pounds). But exercise is a completely different story.

My resume:

Body for Life (or, for me, one week)
The Firm (couldn’t get passed the Stepford instructors)
The Bean (fell off and never got back on)
The Abdominizer (lost my dignity and a layer of skin)
Nordic Track (never have I felt more empathy for a puppet)
Jane Fonda tapes (with Danielle, freshmen year, determined not to gain the freshmen 15)
Core Secrets (Which always prompts my husband to say, “Shhh, don’t tell anyone”)

So….where am I now? Well, my dear friend “sell-your-soul-to-the-devil-for-skinny” Susan, also happens to be a personal trainer and all-around healthy person (ugh..I know). But she’s been patiently hearing the rest of us complain, and has offered an answer: a fitness challenge.

That’s right: she has designed a fitness challenge specifically for moms, which not only works around naptime, but also our weaknesses (I am a nighttime snacker). We follow the plan and measure our success with a point system. We collect points through exercise (designed by her), avoiding our weaknesses, and drinking lots of water.

The challenge begins next week, and I will be commenting on my progress on this blog as another attempt to motivate myself. In the meantime, I have already started trying to drink the daily water requirements (64 ounces), and, after spending most of the day in the bathroom, decided a change of d├ęcor is in order.

Wish us luck…

The Votes Are In...

So, last week’s poll involved children’s television programming and the need to eliminate certain characters that may do more harm than good (and by harm I mean chipping away at the sanity of the parents who are exposed to their storylines, expressions, and obnoxious, can’t-get-it-out-of-your-head-without-a-hammer jingles). The results are in and the overwhelming winner (or loser…depending how you look at it) is Barney.

For years the purple dinosaur has infiltrated countless homes with its smarmy smile, its sugary sweet expressions, and its purple purpleness. Others have tried to usurp the title of most annoying: Hip Hop Harry reminds me of Chio in the Morning, Dora has a cell phone, La La is just too sunny, and Rooney Doodle is clearly from my neighborhood in Center City (hey), but none have even come close to the saccharine sentiments of Barney.

If you are among the many who breaks out into hives every time you hear, “I love you, you love me..”, find comfort in the following video that offers redemption, revenge, and sweet catharsis.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE62vpWywYs&feature=email

Oh, and vote again for this week's poll...

Quote of the Day

“Some parents really bring their children up; others let them down.”

Picture of the Day


Three generations who firmly believe that napping is the great American pastime.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Let's Go to the Video Tape...

This video was shared with me by one of my two favorite people, Beckee or Julie, but I love them both so much I can't remember who it was from?! Anyway, the only thing wrong with this performance is that I did not think to do it myself!!

Just press the play button, turn up the volume, and enjoy...

video

The Pacifier Chronicles- An Update


So, when we last left off, our unintentional intervention had proven successful as our daughter adjusted to life without her “mimi” with relative ease. We’d expected tantrums, we’d expected meltdowns, and we certainly expected sleepless nights. None of this really ever occurred--- and we were quick to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. What we didn’t expect is that the reality of “life-without-pacifier” wouldn’t truly reveal itself until a week or so later.

Of late, the daily nap has become a bit of a battleground. Now I know I am going to anger more than a few frustrated parents when I tell you that naptime used to be one of the easiest times of the day. Really. My daughter looked forward to naps, even going so far as to put herself to bed when I was tied up. Even more astonishing, she would ask to go to bed the moment she felt tired—even if playgroup was in full swing. She is her father’s daughter. Strike that. She was her father’s daughter.

Now, naptime isn’t such a welcome event. It occurs a little later in the day and requires a full cup of milk, the reading of many books, a long discussion about why we need to let our bodies rest, more milk, and, upon occasion, some serious threats. When all is said and done, the whole affair takes about 30 minutes.

The upside—there is little or no mention of a pacifier, she sleeps well throughout the night, and we are still pretty relieved with the outcome. However, our initial assessment of the pacifier intervention as being completely successful, just needed a slight revision.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!!!



Each year, the birthday of Dr. Seuss is celebrated by children, teachers, and schools across the country as “Read Across America Day”. This year marks 100 years of Dr. Seuss, a man who turned his talents to children’s literature after reading an article in Life magazine that reported that one of the greatest challenges in teaching children to read was finding interesting books. Apparently, the children were bored with the material they were given.

Knowing he could do something, the world was given The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, Green Eggs and Ham, and countless other books that have become true American classics.

Here are some interesting facts you may not know about Dr. Seuss:

1) He began his career as a political cartoonist.
2) His last name is actually Giesel; he adopted the pen name “Seuss” after he got caught throwing a drinking party at his college, Dartmouth, (during Prohibition) and was banned from contributing to the school’s literary journal, The Dartmouth Jack-o-Lantern. He then adopted his mother’s maiden name “Seuss” in order to make secret contributions to the publication.
3) Dr. Seuss never had children of his own.
4) Green Eggs and Ham was the result of a bet contending that he could not write a complete book using only 50 words or less.

So, join in celebrating one of America’s most important and prolific writers and be sure to read some extra books with your child(ren) today….and every day.

“Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.” – Dr. Seuss

Quote of the Day

“The trouble with being a parent is that by the time you are experienced, you are unemployed.” ~Author Unknown

Picture of the Day


It seems the heated race for the democratic ticket has even the smallest of political pundits enthralled.