Sunday, November 28, 2010

short and sweet

I've never been more thankful for the state of Arkansas than I am today.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

if only

Baby loves helping me check the mail when we get home. She thinks it's a most amazing thing, especially if we see a school bus while we're at the street.

After we check the mail we come inside and she gets a sippy with 1% milk. I set my purse down and sort mail. She gets the junk mail circulars, political ads, and catalogs, all magical things.

Earlier this week I got a circular from Victoria's Secret. I opened it and glanced to see that they sent me a coupon for a free pair of panties. (Which is super exciting because there's no way I'd pay that much for them from my wallet.) I took the coupon off of the paper and handed it to her with some other junk goodies. She sat down on her step-stool with her milk in one hand, the ads in the other. This particular circular seemed to hold her attention and I was able to get a lot of things done without her pulling on my britches, begging me to pick her up.

She handed me her sippy with an, "All done". I was ready to throw away her junk mail treasures and she was eager to help. All this time she still had the Victoria's Secret circular under her arm. After we had everything else thrown away I asked her if she was ready to throw that one away, too. She wasn't, "No! No-no no."

She sat back down on her bench and opened it up. This was one of those typical VS ads with scantily clad women. I started to wonder if this was really the most wholesome thing for her to study. I asked again if I could throw it away. She wasn't ready to budge. I asked her if we could read it and she looked at me, seriously considering it. She turned the page and I asked her what she saw.

She pointed to a beautiful blonde model in her underwear and said, "Mama!"

I laughed. Only a child of one could make that mistake... but it still made me feel good.

And then we threw it away.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

lesson learned

I emailed some of you with little ones last week with a poll for tempra vs acrylic paint for small ceramic figurines for some surprise Xmas goodies for the grandparents. Baby picked out two very festive colors - royal blue and purple with glitter in it.

I rolled out some wrapping paper over the floor, changed us both into smocky-like clothes, handed her the toddler brush, and held my breath. She did so well... and we managed to get paint on every piece. I cleaned up and figured we'd do the next color the next night. She was excited, I was excited; it was fabulous.

The next morning I woke up and saw that you could hardly tell we painted them. They totally absorbed it so that the streaks of bright purple looked barely pink with a little glitter. Tempra paint was NOT the way to go (if you're thinking about a similar project, don't bother with it!)

So we were back to the drawing board... and her options changed to what acrylic colors I had in stock. She chose bright pink, lavender and UT orange. Over several sessions this weekend we at least have some of each color on each piece. We also experimented between using a bristle-ended toddler brush and the 1" foam sponge brush (I noticed very little difference between the two.).

In her infamous words, "Ta-da!"

She didn't eat that much paint, either - so that's good, too!

Speaking of eating, tonight we figured out that Baby really likes fried okra. She gets it honest.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

voting on values

My work has a policy where you can take off to go vote, so I plan on leaving a little early this afternoon. This morning, while driving to day care, I was trying to decide if I wanted to take Baby with me or not. She’s at fantastic stage where she repeats the end of every phrase I say back to me. So the convo goes something like this:

Mommy: Baby, we need to talk about something important.

Baby: im-pah-tah

M: Today is an election day, which means we have to vote.

B: vote

M: That’s right. It’s our civic duty.

B: doo-dee, doo-dee, doo-dee


I won’t give you the whole lecture, but I was trying to decide if I wanted to take her with me to vote. On one hand, she’s gone with me to every election where I’ve voted since she’s been born. And that is im-pah-tah. However, it’s not like she’s going to remember this; she won’t know if she misses one. But at the same time my parents did a really good job modeling this for us, and the nerd part of me wants to be able to tell her that she’s been to every election since she’s been born. It’s a conundrum. Do I push the longer drive and take her to vote in the afternoon when she's already fussy – or do I do it before I get her? In a moment of brilliance I just asked her…

M: Baby, do you want to go with Mommy to vote this afternoon?

B: No. No. No-no-no.

M: Well, that solves everything.

Except it doesn’t, really. Any time you ask her a direct question the answer is always no. The easy answer is obviously to vote before I get her because that would make my life much easier. But voting is a huge deal, not to be taken lightly… Can you really impress any character-building moments on a nineteen month old? It’s a quandary and I had the rest of the day to mull it over before I made an official decision.

Speaking of voting, I’m about sick of the robo-political calls. It’s like junk mail on your phone, and it really gags me. We had 4 msgs on our answering machine yesterday plus got 4 more yesterday evening after we were home, including one at 9pm. I wish that had been a real person because I would’ve gone off on them about how no candidate who claims to support family values could possibly think that calling a home that late on a school night was a good idea. But, alas, it was a robo call. The one before it at 8:30 was a real person from the “Junior Chamber of Commerce” – that was Steve, and I told Steve that we didn’t accept political calls after 8pm, that my husband and I would be voting tomorrow and to have a nice day before I hung up on him. I think there should be an opt-out type of policy for people to get their numbers off of the political call list. Personally, I’d like this to be based on your voting record attendance. If you’ve voted in the last three elections, you’re exempt from getting the phone calls (unless, of course, you’d like to get them, in which case an automatic referral to mental health services could be started). That way you’re rewarding the people who vote anyway. Furthermore, I wouldn’t get the calls that way, and since it’s my scenario, I’m going to devise a plan where I don’t have to get them.
And that was the big dilemma of my day. I decided to take her with me. At day care when I picked her up the workers gave me the what-in-the-you-know-where-are-you-thinking look. They told me that on the news it said that it was taking people 15-30 minutes after they got their ballot to vote. I explained to them that I'd already gone through and knew for whom I was voting and what I was voting for each of the state questions.

I ignored their doubts and went with Baby on a leash. The very nice poll workers tried to give her a sticker, but she wasn't interested. I walked up to the fancy cardboard podiums, picked up the marker, pulled out my cheat sheet, and was done in about two minutes. Ta-da.

Most likely she won't remember any of this particular day at all, which is okay because we've got to start somewhere. If nothing else she'll learn that the "I Voted!" stickers are worth the wait to get them.