Saturday, April 26, 2008

Make that.....


TWO TEETH!


Now he's just showing off....

Baby Mama Drama

In the event that you win the lottery this weekend (in other words, you somehow secure a babysitter for a free night out), consider dinner and what appears to be a very funny, and timely movie. The new Tina Fey movie “Baby Mama” is getting great reviews for its smart meets wacky approach to pregnancy and motherhood. Though I have not seen it myself, if the reviews and trailer are any indication of what you may expect, it looks like a good choice for anyone interested in enjoying some laughs at the expense of other “parents”.

In case you have not seen it, the trailer can be viewed below….



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 being years from needing to secure a desirable prom date, the little miss was already discovering the sport of boy chasing.
Send your favorite kid pictures to: dalessandrochristine@gmail.com


Friday, April 25, 2008

For the Birds

Last week I posted about a dedicated (or delusional) bird that spent much of its morning trying to enter my back door. We were not sure if the sliding glass doors were confusing, or if the bird was interested in our family. We even considered the fact that the bird was a bit of a narcissist and just couldn't get enough of its own reflection.

Needless to say, my answer to the annoying pecks and taps was to hang a picture of my husband making a ridiculous face as a make-shift scarecrow.

A week has now passed with one clear result:

The bird is at my door ALL day, and clearly infatuated with my husband (who wouldn't be?).

My mother in law suggested we consult an ornithologist and, after I looked up what an ornithologist is in the dictionary, decided she might be right. Either that, or I am going to hang up a new picture of my husband smiling at some other bird and hope it gets jealous and moves on to our neighbor's house.

How To Test If Your Family Is Watching Too Much TV


1) When someone calls your home, does your family erupt into a chorus of, “The phone, the phone is ringing”?

2) When your child is introduced to a Spanish speaker, can they carry on a conversation so long as it involves using a map, a backpack, and climbing a mountain?

3) When you head to the beach this summer, will your family’s only means of traveling from the dunes to the water involve rolling?

4) If someone were to introduce you to their new friend, would Caillou seem like a perfectly reasonable name for them?

5) When visiting a farm, do you expect to hear the voice of Mel Brooks coming from any or all of the sheep?

6) Have you ever been at the deli line and, after finding that your ticket number was number 9, remark, “Hey, that’s the number of the day”.

7) Have you ever accused your car (or any other mode of transportation) of being cheeky?

8) Do you find yourself spending more than a little time wondering how two engaging, brother and sister rabbits can lead such fulfilled lives while never ever producing any evidence of parents?

9) Even though you’d publicly denigrate the show for its nonsensical contribution to childrens television, does a laughing baby framed in the sun make you feel warm and fuzzy inside?

10) Would a check of your iTunes file unearth the song “There’s a Party in my Tummy (So Yummy, So Yummy)?

**If you answered yes to at least 7 of these questions, it’s time to turn off the television.

****However, since I love to reward mindless knowledge, if you can send me a list of all the shows alluded to in this quiz, I will devote an entire blog day to singing your wonderful praises. Send your answers to: dalessandrochristine@gmail.com

How Much Is Too Much?


I was recently surprised to learn that 25% of children under the age of 2 have television in their bedrooms. Now, I'll be the first to admit that my daughter watches a little more than the one hour of recommended time by the AAP (it allows me to get the breakfast dishes done and dinner ready), but she is by no means stuck in front of the tube all day. We enjoy a ton of activities, read constantly, and truly fill our day with a lot of different things that allow me to feel perfectly comfortable with her occasional shows, as well as an educational DVD in the car.


But a television in the bedroom? I guess I wonder where the need for this comes from. Is it part of a quiet-time routine for the child who's surrendered his or her nap? Is it the only television in the house? Does it work as a distraction while the moms are getting things done upstairs?


I guess it concerns me, especially when it begs the question, how are the programs being monitored?


Am I off the mark on this one?

TYCTWD





I feel the need to post one final comment regarding “Take Your Child To Work Day”. This week has been an incomparably exciting week for my daughter. Not only did she get to go to work with her Daddy, he also took her to the circus the night before.

She was overwhelmed with joy as she watched the lions, elephants, and horses parade around the Spectrum. She was engrossed in the daredevil motorcycles as they drove in a sphere at high speeds. She was on the verge of a sugar coma as she consumed popcorn and a giant elephant sno-cone. And when they finally returned home, to be in bed at 9:45, I said a quiet prayer that she would sleep long to ensure her day at Daddy’s work would not be a cranky, overtired one.

She woke up at 5:56 am.

I wished my husband luck as they headed out the door with a Dora suitcase and Horton doll in hand. I again whispered a quiet prayer that she take a power nap during the long commute to help her rally a bit.

Again, no such luck.

However, when she returned home (having finally managed to catch up on some sleep on the ride home), I learned about all the excitement she encountered at Daddy’s office. She painted, she colored, she played chase, she cleaned, and she even made another friend in a co-worker’s son (shout out to Collin). Her excitement in retelling the events of the day could not be contained.

And as the day was winding down and she was enjoying a soak at tubby time, I asked her which she liked better, the circus or going to work with Daddy?

Her answer proved once and for all that the stock market is still the most thrilling ride in town.

That, or she just loved the fact that this day she got to spend some time with her favorite playmate and greatest hero.



**********And a sippy cup for the first person who can name that cartoon on the computer monitor.

Some Info on Language Development

Good Morning America did a piece on the importance of talking to your baby to not only enhance his or her language development, but to also boost IQ and his or her chances for performing well in school. As any expert will tell you, children absorb everything at this age and so, they are more open to new information now then they’ll ever be. For that reason, conversing with them, reading to them, and even exposing them to another language is all highly beneficial for our little sponges.

The following clip is from GMA, and it not only discusses the topic, but it also introduces the latest device for tracking language exposure. For $400, you can find out how many words your child hears every day. Or, for $399 a day, I’ll come to your house and count for you.

Also, if you are like many parents who worry that their child is delayed in language development, rest assured that this is not generally considered a measure of your child's intelligence. My own uncle did not speak a word until he was three years old. When he was 23, however, he received his PhD in English Literature. You may be surprised to know that, by 18 months, your child is considered absolutely normal if they speak as few as 5 words, or as many as 50!

For more info on language development, click this link for a great breakdown:

http://www.childdevelopmentinfo.com/development/language_development.shtml

And for the GMA video clip......






In case you're having trouble with the video (it seems to work only occasionally), you can read all about the pricey language tracker (that makes great strides in enabling parent neurosis), at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/magazine/24wwln-essay-t.html

Quote of the Day

"The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother." -Theodore Hesburgh

Picture of the Day


Upon hearing the news that her aunt would be visiting her in just a few short weeks, Gracie could not contain her excitement.



Send your favorite kid pictures to: dalessandrochristine@gmail.com


Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Votes Are In....




The best in television programming often features an engaging, entertaining, and wacky American family that also happens to represent what may be considered the "norm" for its respective decade. Given that the Bradys were one of the first shows to include scenes of a husband and wife sharing the same bed, it can be said that the television family is as much a sign of the times as it is pure entertainment.




I can clearly remember living for Thursday nights, when the Cosbys were followed by Family Ties (pre-Different World Days). Rudy was years from realizing her gangster rap video vixen ambitions and Lisa Bonet was only kind of weird. Michael J. Fox was healthy, Justine Bateman was the "it" girl, and Brian Bosworth bore no startling piercings. And don't get me started on Tina Yothers....




I guess the evolution of these young actors is also a sign of the times, but I still like to reminisce through the reruns in remembering the days of Ferris Bueller, Molly Ringwald, and the ubiquitous Shermer, Illinois. Whatever happened to John Hughes, anyway?




Given the results of this week's vote, I can see I'm not alone in the old favorites. The Cosby Show just edged out Family Ties to win for the most favored family on television. Though, I didn't actually vote (my husband used my computer to weigh in on his favorite, and I couldn't vote for mine without changing his), my sentiments would have to go with Family Ties. So, it really would have been a tie had I not been disenfranchised.




Though I am a fan of almost all the shows in the poll, I still can't help getting misty-eyed every time I hear, "At This Moment" by Billy Vera and the Beaters. (If you're a fan of the show, you know what I am talking about). And given the fact that I ended up marrying an Alex P. Keaton and working for a Skippy (shout out to sweater vest wearing Mike D), the show remains with me still.




Falling behind with two votes apiece, the Sopranos and the Barones of "Everybody Loves Raymond" enjoyed very little love. I was an avid fan of "The Sopranos", but the warmth I feel for the Keatons doesn't quite transfer over to the wack-happy family from Jersey. Unlike most of America, I never really watched Raymond and I couldn't tell you why.




Only one person chose the longest running family of the bunch, the Simpsons. I love this show for the social commentary and for Homer, but I also understand why the others garnered more votes.




And no one has love for Archie Bunker. Perhaps the most representative of the changing social climate of his time, Archie Bunker appealed to a very specific audience and the niche he filled was pure genius. Again, however, no match for the Cos.




So there you have it....given the longing for some of the old programming (I happen to know more than a few people who still sneak in episodes of the Golden Girls), it's surprising that reality television and programs that are more concerned with pushing the envelope monopolize our channels. I am curious to see who the next family will be, but until they surface....




da na na na, da na na na...clap, clap.










Why "Take Your Child To Work Day" Should be a Monthly Event


It is one of those days when the planets seem to align in a mother's favor.


Take Your Child To Work Day + Grammy Back From Florida = Freedom


That's right, I actually had the whole morning to get my hair done, evict the Whos from my burgeoning brows, and get my teeth tended to (shout out to Dr. Helwig).


And now, as my son sleeps and my daughter and husband make their way back home (two year olds enjoy a half-day schedule to make time for naps and their fathers' job security), I feel refreshed, groomed, and ready to jump back into the glamorous life of mommy-hood.


Amen.
***Oh, and the above image is what it looks like when princesses go on a bear hunt.


It's A.......


TOOTH!!!!


After 10 months of patient and not so patient waiting, my little man finally has a little sprout. The funny thing about this is that the tooth that has decided to surface is not the one I've been staring at for the last two months.


The tooth that clearly can be seen under the gum, the tooth the doctor declared would come "any day now" (a month ago), still lies in wait while the tooth next to it came right though.


Kind of.


I was at playgroup the other day and he had just finished a plentiful lunch to satisfy his plentiful body, and he was sitting on my lap while I held a water bottle (yes, it was plastic, but it was provided to me by the hostess and I would never offend...). Anyway, he kept trying to gum the top of it and before I knew it, he had some blood in his mouth and on his bib.


He had broken his own gum.


After a wash and swipe of the mouth, it became clear that we may, in fact, finally see a tooth. Flash forward to the following morning... he was stirring from his morning nap and, as I went to take him out of his crib, he was actually smirking.


As if keeping a secret he wanted to share, I figured an examination was in order.


And there it was.


Good job, little buddy.




Quote of the Day

"Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds." ~JoJo Jensen, Dirt Farmer Wisdom, 2002

Picture of the Day


A full tummy + a clean diaper + a loving family = sweet dreams and restful slumber
Send your favorite kid pictures to: dalessandrochristine@gmail.com

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

And I Thought I Bread 'Em Big


Perez Hilton is reporting that a woman out of India is claiming she has the largest child in the world. Her 10 month old son apparently measures 3'2" tall and weighs 49 lbs. The boy, Karan, eats 20 times a day and would probably eat more if she let him, according to family members.


Of course, the little boy's size really comes as no surprise to the family as his mother, Svetlana, towers at a height of 7'2" and reserves the title as tallest woman in Asia. Svetlana is pictured above, holding Karan.


If you speak to me for more than a 10 minutes, I find some way to work into the conversation the fact that my daughter weighed over ten pounds at birth, which was a complete surprise, especially since she was not delivered by Caesarean. I guess I garner some pride in the fact that, despite my short stature, I was still able to deliver a plentiful baby.


I have officially been silenced. Karen weighed 12.125 lbs at birth.


Because He Needs To Know....


In a recent article, Dr. Michael Odent, an OB with decades of experience delivering babies, actually refutes the notion that fathers should be present at the birth of their babies. He claims that men actually create more anxiety and tension for their wives, and that we should return to the seemingly antiquated practice of keeping dads in the waiting room.

I think if you ask most women about their thoughts on this, they’ll disagree with the seasoned doctor. My husband was present at the births of both of our children and he was the picture of calm. For my first born, he stayed by my side, spoke to the doctors when I could not, and was unbelievably relaxed.

He was so relaxed, he managed to squeak in a nap after I received my epidural.

For my second born, he arrived about 30 minutes after labor began and, though I sang through the initial contractions, I remember feeling an overwhelming rush of relief when he hurried through the door. In no time, I was feeling more confident and the entire process suddenly became more manageable.

If you are expecting, and aren’t sure whether or not your man will make a good coach in the delivery room, check out the article featuring Dr. Odent at:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=559913&in_page_id=1879

Also, consider the top 10 reasons why I think men should be in the delivery room:


10) For a guy who loves to show off his scars like a badge of honor, he may find himself suddenly humbled.


9) There is nothing as funny as watching a fish out of water...especially when he learns what it means when your water breaks.


8) You finally have the chance to tell him everything he has ever done wrong without having to worry about him arguing back (at least, not when the nurses are around to keep him in check).

7) Unless he delivers a record setting kidney stone, you systematically become the stronger spouse.


6) If you've been arguing about the name of your imminent child, one hour of true labor will produce one certain result: you win.


5) Suddenly, he'll have a whole new appreciation for his own mother, and women in general.


4) When those future arguments over who does more occur, you will always have the last word.


3) If your husband still considers the female form a bit of a mystery, consider this a crash course in Anatomy 101.


2) If you are hoping for an unbelievable push present, he’s going to need some visuals to make him truly appreciate just what you’ve done.

1) After having witnessed the excruciating pain of labor, or the vivid sight of your insides on the outside thanks to a C-Section, he subsequently loses the right to ever complain about having to do yardwork (or anything else, for that matter).



*Shout out to Melissa for sending me this great article, which was clearly written by a man.







Happy Birthday, Will!


As I am sure everyone knows, today is William Shakespeare’s birthday and had the eternal Bard managed to elude the inevitable, he would be 444 years old today. Though he did not, at least his work lives on. I couldn’t decide whether to include my favorite sonnet, monologue, line, or joke. So, I’ll just post a few of my favorite lines….

Favorite Monologue (from Hamlet)
What a piece of work is a man,


how noble in reason, how


infinite in faculties,


in form and moving how express and


admirable, in action how like an angel,


in apprehension how likea god!


the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—


and yet,to me, what is this quintessence of dust?


Man delights not me—nor woman neither,


though by your smiling you seem to say so.




Favorite Line (from Romeo and Juliet)


“When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars


and he will make the face of heaven so fine


that all the world will be in love with night,"




Favorite Shakespearean Curse


Thou dankish sheep-biting foot-licker!






****I realize that the amount of eye-rolling induced by this posting is enough to upend the rotation of the Earth, but I do know that there is one person out there who is with me in celebrating his birthday, along with the town of Avon.




Amy, can you hear me?




Shout out to the only person who would ever enjoy hurling Shakespearean scoldings at a noisy group of neighborhood kids (an event that may or may not have been facilitated by Chinese tacos and a few choice margaritas).




Who knew Shakespeare was alive, and well, and living in the Bronx?










In Case You Don't Believe in Miracles

Though I love poking lots of fun at the city of my alma mater, this amazing news story verifies one thing I’ve allows suspected: angels live in Albany.


Happy Birthday!


A very special birthday wish for my very special friend, Debbie.

You aren't just a good friend because you laugh at my jokes,

encourage my mischief,

and lend me your tiller…

you also happen to be the perfect person to appreciate a moment with.

Wishing you joy, peace, and endless bottles of perfect wine.

Quote of the Day

"A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for." -Author Unknown

Picture of the Day



Not only had the young boy taught himself to read, but he had also become very particular about his choice of reading materials.


Send your best kid pictures to: dalessandrochristine@gmail.com


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Take Your Child To Work Day


This Thursday marks the annual "occurence" (not sure what else to call it since it's really only a holiday for stay at home moms), of Take Your Child To Work Day, where children get to see what it is their parents do all day when they are away from home.


Now, if you are a fireman, policewoman, circus acrobat, or ice cream man, chances are your child is going to love, love, love the day made especially for them.


Children of accountants, lawyers, or, ahem, finance guys.....



Hmmmm....not so sure.


As a result, you should really plan for the day so that (1) your child can have fun experiencing another world, (2) you can reap the rewards of spending a weekday with your little one, and (3) you will avoid providing plenty of material for the water cooler set who have lots to say about your parenting style.


My own daughter is looking forward to her first "Take Your Child to Work" day as both my husband and the awesome people with whom he gets to spend his day have planned lots of fun for her and the other children in attendance. I am told there will be picnics, crafts, office exploration, and even a movie on the big projector in the Conference room. With hope, there will also be no temper tantrums, no sugar comas, and no exploration that ends with the Stock Market hitting record lows and the dollar sinking further below the Euro on account of some kid getting a hold of some phone in the Jersey office.


So, in advance, I'd like to give a shout out to the incomparable Linda, Melissa, Jan, and Bea for planning what will surely be a memorable day.







As Promised....

In the interest of doing better for our kids, here is a great clip from the Jimmy Kimmel Show, where he conducts product testing on some children.

Very cute.



Why It's Good to Go Green


I realize I am probably turning traffic away by posting two serious pieces in a row, but both are vital to the health and well-being of our children.

As we celebrate Earth Day, it is important to remember that "Going Green" may seem like the latest celebrity trend or the cause of the moment, but when we think about all that we invest in our children, a safe and protected planet should be atop the list.

Most of us would agree that raising a child in a house filled with second-hand smoke is not only undesirable, but, given all that we now know about its harmful affects, may even be considered child abuse. Many of us actually grew up in homes filled with smoke because no one knew the harm it posed to children. Had our parents or grandparents known, they probably would have felt the same way about it then as we do now.

Smoking in the home creates a harmful environment for your child and I cannot imagine anyone arguing that point. This is obvious.

Choosing to live an environmentally responsible life may not seem so obvious, however. Unlike second hand smoke, the importance of taking care of our natural resources may not feel as pressing, as necessary, as affecting.

It is. But, for decades many of us have envisioned environmentalism as a calling for the granola set. Tree hugging was never a compliment, nor was the term do-gooder, or any other moniker that denoted someone who devoted their time to protecting the environment. Stereotypes still equate environmentalists whose concern for natural resources meant maintaining natural hair growth and body odor. It was either embraced or deprecated and, still, not much was done to effectively convince people on a global level that we needed to start becoming more responsible for our actions.

Making one or two small changes will not only greatly contribute to the global initiative to preserve our natural resources, but also extend a legacy of global consciousness to our children.

Everyone benefits.

What can you do?

Easy actions:

1) Do not turn the light on unless you have to, and always remember to turn it off as soon as you are done.

2) Pay attention to water left running. Brushing your teeth, taking a shower, and even washing dishes probably requires about half the water you currently use. Try to make a conscious effort to use less.

3) Stop using plastic water bottles. Though many are recycled (at great cost and use of energy), it is much better to simply buy a Brita, filter your own water, and reuse a sports water bottle each day. Plus, you can get a water bottle that measures out your exact daily requirement, allowing you to keep better track of that as well.

4) Don't leave your computer, television, or radio on all day. "Turn it off" should be the mantra of your day.

5) Buy from your local farmer's market. You're not only supporting your local economy, you're also buying higher quality food that meets US standards (as oppose to foreign ones that are not as strict with pesticides and packaging). You are also helping to curtail the use of fuels required to transport outside produce.

6) Set your thermostat a degree lower/higher... you'll be surprised how quickly you get used to the setting, and save money and energy as well.

7) Take advantage of the library instead of the book store.

8) Curtail use of disposable plates and cutlery. More convenient, yes; more wasteful, YES.

9) Buy longer-lasting, low energy, compact fluorescent light bulbs.

10) Take advantage of Sam's, BJ's, and Costco....buying bulk reduces packaging.

More involved changes that will really make a difference:

1) Composting your food scraps. We live on a farm...we have no excuse not to use our food scraps to cut down on waste and fertilize our gi-normous garden. Just be sure your compost pile is well contained and sealed to prevent scavengers and a lovely odor for your neighbors to enjoy.

2) We are seriously looking into a windmill to produce our own energy. The state of New Jersey actually offers the most incentives for using solar and wind power energy: Offering to reimburse more than half the cost of the windmill, providing tax breaks, and allowing owners the opportunity to sell their unused energy back to the power companies. In an estimated six years, your windmill will be paid off and you'll be making your own energy.

3) Buy a hybrid vehicle.

*****What do I need to work on? Water bottles, using wipes likes they grow in my backyard, and leaving my computer on.
AND I PROMISE: the next post will be some horrible diaper joke, or funny video.



Plastics

I know I keep talking about plastics, but as more articles/research surface, it is becoming more apparent that we really need to safeguard our little ones.

In the interest of clarity, I'll skip all the jargon regarding why the plastic is bad and what it can do to your child, just know this:

--If you have a bottle, sippy cup or other reusable plastic with the recycling number 2 or 7...throw it out. Even avoid buying anything packaged with this type of plastic as we do not know how it has been treated before it got to you.

-- It is actually okay to freeze bottled waters. Freezing actually retards the release of chemicals. Ignore the Internet urban buzz.

--When microwaving, remove food from all pastic containers (even the little soup cups, chef boyardee, and like products).

--Gerber's clearview bottles are BPA-free; a three pack costs $3 at Target. Buy them or glass bottles.

--Reduce can food usage....try to buy fresh foods or stemables in the bag.

--Look for recycling codes 1, 4, and 5 as they are considered safe plastics.

--Do not heat bottles and sippy cups, do not wash them in the dishwasher with harsh detergents, or put hot liquids in them. (I'm throwing all mine out and starting over).

--Even avoid "microwave-safe" packaged lunches or kid cuisines....or just warm the food in a glass container.

Source: The Washington Post, Tuesday Health Section

Quote of the Day

"The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy." -Sam Levenson

Picture of the Day



Every morning’s bowl of Fruity Pebbles gives you a new chance to recapture your childhood.
*Special thanks to Kyle Basu for leaving his cool bib behind.
And for the rest of you...send your favorite kid (or Daddy) pictures to:

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Note on Clifford and his Cronies



Having just posted a note on a Clifford event, I feel it is also my obligation to comment on a very important issue relating to childhood idolatry and the risks of having your child meet their own favorite character in the flesh (or, more likely, fur).

If you are thinking of attending the Clifford event, planning on having Barney arrive at your 3 year old’s birthday party, or even organizing a trip to the ballpark to meet that wacky Philly fanatic, it is important that you consider that, by doing so, you are risking a possible meltdown and, subsequently, years of therapy bills.

You see, the innocuous character that they come to adore through television and books is one dimensional, at a distance, and not exactly walking towards them in all their giant, hulking glory. Having to meet them in person, however, can be very overwhelming and what you thought would be a memorable event….will be….for all the wrong reasons.

Case in point: My own daughter reacted “unfavorably” when:

1) My husband dressed up like a horse to have fun with their horsey rides. Though the costume may have dated back to the days of Willie Shoemacher and, indeed, smelled like a barn, it seemed like a fun idea at the time. Unfortunately, she still has flashbacks anytime John hasn’t shaved in a while.

2) We went on a trip to Hershey and after spying a walking, talking, smiling Hershey bar, my daughter turned to her father and said, “Daddy, hit him.” Of course, my husband obliged.


Though this may seem to be a strange reaction by someone who, up until that point, lived for their favorite character, you have to consider that they are so overwhelmed by the reality, their little emotions aren’t equipped to handle it all. And, if we’re being honest, adults aren’t much different.

For example, I had been in love with Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte for years and years (up until I met my husband, of course). I had four of his baseball cards and one of my students actually got a baseball autographed for me (yes, she got the A). So, it was inevitable that our paths would eventually cross.

It happened to be at a Bed, Bath, and Beyond in Harrison, NY. Having just moved into my new apartment (on the hottest day of the year), I was at the store in search of a new comforter. Sweaty and disgusting from unpacking all day, I caught sight of a statuesque man walking by me and I looked up.

Mother of all creatures great and small….it was him.

I quickly fled to an aisle where I could pull out my scrunchie (quiet- it was the 90s) and try to make myself look less grotesque. I planned my approach and pounced.

I sidled up behind him and said, “I’m so sorry to bother you, but I just wanted to tell you how great I think you are…really, you’re an amazing pitcher.” He smiled and thanked me warmly, and continued shopping. As the chores of angels sang in the background, I jumped into the household electrics area and ripped out my cell phone. I had to call the only person who would truly appreciate my neurotic behavior, my dear crony Amy Mahoney, and tell her what had just happened and how cool I had been. I gushed, I ranted, and just as I was about to retell the encounter for the fourth time, I looked up from the pile of vacuums I was crouched among and found him looking down at me in complete confusion and disgust.

I laughed nervously, closed the phone, and fumbled to say something about really needing a good vacuum.

To say I had acted any more rationally than my daughter and the Hershey bar would simply not be fair to her.

Something to Do in the Delaware Valley





If your child loves big red dogs and a fun place to run and play, Clifford the Big Red Dog will be at the Please Touch Museum in Center City this Thursday (May 17th) at 10 am. You must be a member of the WHYY Kids club and the event is simply the price of admission to the museum.



Though his paws prevent him from signing autographs, Emily Elizabeth will be on hand to sign on Clifford's behalf and explain what the heck is going on with her knee caps.




For more info, visit:




Profile of a Parent


Name: Amanda- "mom...mom... mommy...MOMMY" in that order and never less than four times.

Mother of: Lily Ann 2 1/2, and Charles "Charlie" 2 weeks

What You Did Before You Were Someone’s Mommy: I was a full time MRI technologist. I plan on returning to work part-time.

What You Do For Yourself Now:
I am home on maternity leave enjoying my new son. And potty training my 2 yr old. Is that something that I do for myself? Also, I am on the job training for my part-time stay at home mom position. I am trying to be at home with a 2 yr old and NOT let her watch "Dora the Explorer" and "The Wizard of Oz" on a loop.

What is your favorite thing about being a mother? I love all the crazy things my daughter says. I love that when I get her up in the morning and she tells me I look like a princess, even though I'm wearing an old nightgown, covered by an old bathrobe. I love my son's newborn, soft, fresh skin on my skin. And I love that when I pick Lily up from school she runs up to me, wraps her arms around me and tells me that she missed me.


What is the one thing you wish you’d known before you had children? Just how many happy hours I would truly be missing. And how it takes a short 9 month period to transform from a party girl to a designated driver and mommy.

What would you do with an extra free hour in your day? Get a pedicure. Yes everyday I would get a pedicure.

Who are your go-to people when you have a parenting question? My mother, she never judges the crazy talk.

What is the one thing your child(ren) do that always makes you smile? When I ask Lily if she is beautiful...she always, always answers "no I'm happy". And I'm sure when my little man begins to do something other than eat, poop, and sleep (in that order) it will make me smile also.

Who is your favorite fictional mother? I'm having a hard time with this question. But it would be the perfect combo of beautifulness, sexiness, having it all togetherness, unpretentiousness and a little bit of craziness (just to keep it real) . Does that exist...fictional or nonfictional?

If you could be someone you know for a day, who would it be? My husband. You all know that when I return to haunt this earth, I will most definitely return as my husband. He has the best life ever. Although I must give him props because without him I would be in a loony bin right now.

If you could ban people from doing something, what would it be? Absolutely, it would be driving fast through developments especially when kids are playing on the front lawns. It is definitely a source of stress for me.


If you could make one mixed CD that would be the only music you could listen to for the rest of your life, what songs would you put on it?
"Cecilia" by Simon and Garfunkle, " Santeria" by Sublime, "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" by Paul Simon, "Jump Around" by Cypress Hill, "Stir it Up" by Bob Marley, "Irreplaceable" by Beyonce, "Ob-la-Di, Ob-la-Da " by the Beatles, "Bust a Move" by Young MC, "If I had a Million Dollars" by The Barenaked Ladies,"Flagpole Sitta" by Harvey Danger.


Special thanks to Amanda for being the very first Profile of a Parent. Amanda and her husband are not only terrific parents to two of the most beautiful children, but they also happen to be an amazing couple....just sit in on one round of the Newlywed game and you'll quickly know why.


Send your Profile and a picture to: dalessandrochristine@gmail.com

Monday's Meal- One of My Husband's Favorites

Chicken Divan

This a super easy recipe, to be served over white rice. If you have children that may be resistant to broccoli, simply chop up the flowerettes to hide within the cream sauce.

Ingredients:

11/2 lbs cubed and cooked chicken breasts
Dash of Worcestershire
1 cup of lite mayonnaise
1 bag frozen broccoli flowerettes (just thawed enough to break apart)
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 can of cheddar cheese soup
Bread crumbs
Grated parmesan

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 350ยบ

-In a greased 9 x 13 glass pan, spread the broccoli along the bottom, followed by the chicken.

-Mix together: Worcestershire, mayo, and soups

-Pour mixture over broccoli / chicken

-Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and parmesan to taste

-Bake until bubbly (approximately 40 minutes)

- Serve over rice



Happy Birthday, Margaret!!!


Happy Birthday to one of my greatest friends, one of my favorite moms, and one of my most reliable partners in crime.

Margaret, you are one of a kind.

Wishing you happiness, love, and ageless beauty!

Quote of the Day

"Anyone who thinks the art of conversation is dead ought to tell a child to go to bed." ~Robert Gallagher

Picture of the Day

As long as I keep the sunglasses on, no one will ever know that I was the baby boy in the pink inner tube.

Send your best kid pictures to: dalessandrochristine@gmail.com