17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Melissa's Nesting Instincts are Famous!

What seems like ages ago a few Tales girls got interviewed for a NY Times article on nesting.

The story is running today and features our very own Melissa and her sad tale of a nursery paint job gone terribly wrong (see page 2). Well okay, it wasn't that bad, but you know how emotional you can get while pregnant and nesting!

Go check it out!
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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Snaps and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

I'm not sure I have actually mentioned it yet on this blog, but the baby that is soon to be added to our family is a boy.

As I tucked my two little girls into bed last night - both in their frilly princess pajamas, I looked around their room to see a play kitchen, a baby cradle overflowing with babies, a dollhouse, and too many pink things to even make mention. Sure we have play tools, a bag of cars, balls, a really cool iguana puppet and a train set too (I have always tried to encourage broad interests in my girls), but the bottom line is they are girly girls through and through. Spinning, twirling, "I would rather watch the sunset than ride my bike with the neighbor kids" girly girls. And while I don't consider myself a complete girly-girl, I have come to understand my girls and I feel like when it comes to raising girls, I kind of know what I am doing (at least for now - those teenage years are a little scary).

I keep trying to imagine what raising a boy might be like, and the unknown is kind of freaking me out. According to my hynobirthing book, I really need to work out all my fears before giving birth to maximize my ability to get into "the zone". I have tried hard to notice all the little boys around me in my attempt to become Zen with raising one of them. But (all feelings about nature and nurture aside) they seem a lot different and in my eyes, more difficult. I am sure the "difficult" perception has a lot to do with my experience/confidence level, but nonetheless it's how I feel.

I've heard a few pieces of advice about raising boys over the last few months ranging from "Baby boys love their moms" to "They're way easier than girls" to my favorite which came at a baby shower for another woman who was having a boy after already having a girl:

"You can try all you want to keep toy guns out of your house and away from your precious little boy, but the next thing you know he will be chewing his peanut butter and jelly sandwich into the shape of a gun and shooting his sister."

Oh man. Am I in trouble?
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Monday, March 24, 2008

Tis the Season to Plant a Garden...

...at least it is in sunny CA.

On our more private "My Family" website, we have been having a discussion about gardening ever since I posted a photo of my "Square Foot Garden" my mother-in-law and I built and planted last week during her very timely visit. And might I say, I am totally sold on "square-foot gardening" and highly recommend reading the book if you are interested in planting a garden and don't have a lot of space.

Turns out Jen is renting a plot at a community garden down the street this year, Beth has a plan to build a mini-garden on her balcony, Melissa is going to try to grow artichokes this year, Kage is wondering if she can figure out how to use an upside-down tomato planter (something that both Marian and Melissa have had success with in the past) in her apartment this year, and Marian has plans for co-op gardening this year with her family that all live in the same town. Who knew so many of us had green thumbs (or are at least trying to get them)!

After all the discussion, I just have to open it up to a bigger audience to see what other gardening plans and past gardening successes we've got going on out there. Hearing everyone's ideas have been so inspiring! So let's hear it - especially ideas that deal with gardening for small spaces.

P.S. That photo is of the last harvest from my fall garden. I called it my "lazy-woman's garden" because it was planted by a group of neighbor kids (the oldest being 5), it was never thinned and was basically ignored (luckily we have automatic watering hooked up to our boxes). And this is part of the beautiful bounty that still emerged from that poor, neglected garden. I was pretty amazed.
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Freebies from the crib: This is Me Journal Winner

The Random Integer Generator has spoken and the three lucky winners of This is Me--A Kid's First Keepsake Journal are:

1. Amanda who said: "This is so cute. It's nice to see something like this for kids."
2. The Wiz who said:"Me me me me me."
3. Ryann who said: "My daughter would go nuts over this!"

Please e-mail us your shipping information to talesfromthecrib (at) gmail (dot) com and Carrie will get your books shipped out ASAP!

And don't forget about the This is Me promotion for Tales readers: receive FREE SHIPPING on any order of two or more journals made through the website before April 1st. Just e-mail the code: TALES to sales (at) thisismejournal (dot) com requesting the refund once your order has been processed.
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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

“With all my heart and the fervency of my soul, I lift up my voice in testimony as a special witness and declare that God does live. Jesus is His Son, the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh. He is our Redeemer; He is our Mediator with the Father. He it was who died on the cross to atone for our sins. He became the firstfruits of the Resurrection. Because He died, all shall live again. ‘Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: “I know that my Redeemer lives!” ’ May the whole world know it and live by that knowledge, I humbly pray, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior, amen.”
--President Thomas S. Monson

Hope you all have a wonderful Easter Sunday.

You can read more witnesses of Christ by Latter-day Prophets here.

"I Know That My Redeemer Liveth" by Emily Ebling.
Available on etsy.com.
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Friday, March 21, 2008

From the Archives 3/06: Easter and Spring

It has never made sense to me to celebrate our Savior's resurrection with the Easter bunny and candy. But I really like chocolate and decorating eggs, so I came up with a compromise for our family that works pretty well.

We celebrate the first day of spring and then Easter as separate holidays. Usually they are pretty close together in date, but this year the first day of spring was Monday March 20th and Easter is Sunday April 16th.

On the morning of the first day of spring, the kids (4 and 20 months) woke up to little spring baskets with colored paper grass and treats--Cadbury eggs, M&Ms and mini Milkyway bars. Then we colored eggs in food coloring and that night for FHE we had several egg hunts--so everyone would get several turns to find and hide the eggs. We planted spring flowers in planters inside and we decorated our windows with special window markers. Then I took our decorated eggs (I had blown them out this year instead of hard boiling them) and put ribbon through them and we hung them on a branch in a vase along with some little wooden ornaments of bunnies and chicks. We also decorated the rest of the house with our spring decorations.

For Easter I have several traditions I would like to do. I thought we could read the events of Jesus’ last week on earth on the days they occur. Then on Friday we will have a meal like the Last Supper-not Passover exactly, but the kinds of foods Jesus would have eaten. On Saturday night we are going to bake some bread I have a recipe for--from the Astoria Ward cookbook. You put the ingredients for the bread together and read the scriptures that go with it. Then you put it in the pre-heated oven, seal the oven with tape, turn off the oven and go to bed. In the morning the bread is baked and hollow just like the empty tomb. On Easter Sunday we will read the testimonies of those who saw the resurrected Savior. I hope to make Easter the spiritual and important holiday it is. It celebrates an even more important event then Christmas really, but it is so easy to forget the main purpose with all the Easter bunny stuff. Do any of you have any more ideas on having a Christ centered Easter?
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New Mom P*rn

This book is a must add to the list of fun gifts for a baby shower. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what my dreamy guy would be saying. It might actually be something similar to what my DH actually said to me this morning after a long night of 38-weeks-pregnant-and-I-can't-get-comfortable tossing and turning:

"Please don't worry about getting up with Pumpkin any more during the night (who now thanks to the miraculous potty training wakes up to pee). I'll take care of it, you just need to kick me."

The "kick me" part is not terrible romantic (or funny), but it still works.

What would be your "new-mom p*rn"?

"No, you relax for a while. I've figured out how to fold everything one-handed."

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter Dinner

I was sitting there in church on Sunday after a few weeks of tremendous adversity, and after about 15 minutes of struggling to stay awake, I went into the foyer and rested my head on the side of the couch and cried.

I was crying because I was so frustrated that after a full night's sleep I couldn't even keep my eyes open for 15 minutes. I wasn't asleep. I could still hear the speakers. One of the Elders gave a talk and as he was talking, I couldn't help but think of my little brother on a mission. And then I remembered it was Easter next Sunday and I decided to invite them over, in honor of my brother. I thought, I am inviting them over for their sisters crying on couches in foyers in their home wards.

I also invited over our Senior Couple of missionaries. They have only been in the area for a few months, and hardly seem "senior", they remind us more of our parents than our grandparents I guess. Anyway, I thought, of all the people I could invite over, missionaries would be the most forgiving and the most appreciative.

The weekend is working out to be much more positive than I anticipated it would be last Sunday. I am having a medicine-free weekend, so I am hoping to have my wits about me and my energy level more like normal. My DH also has a few days off in a row, so he will be able to help me do the grocery shopping and maybe even cook a thing or too.

Which brings me to the point of the post. One missionary at my meal is diabetic and controls insulin levels through diet. Though this missionary has assured me they will be responsible for their own food at the meal, I would like to challenge myself to serve some diabetic-friendly dishes.

There are 2 questions:

1. What are you serving for Easter Dinner? Or alternately, what dishes do you associate with Easter dinner (in the event you are not cooking)?

2. What dishes should I serve at Easter that are also diabetic-friendly?

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Freebies from the Crib - This is Me Journal

We here at Tales like to think that we have a corner on the market for all things cool (and we have also been known to engage in shameless self-promotion from time-to-time). This freebie is no exception. Introducing This is Me - A Kids First Keepsake Journal, created and published by our own TftCarrie. We couldn't be more excited to bring Tales readers this fabulous new product.

Last summer, I sat with Carrie at her dining room table and we discussed her search for a great journal for her then 4 year old...and how she hadn't found anything that fit the bill. She wanted something her young daughter could use on her own but could also be collaborative for parent and child. No luck anywhere. Did she give up her search? Did she throw up her hands and say, "Oh well, I tried..."? No. Instead, Carrie went out and created her own.

There is nothing like this journal in the marketplace; most diaries and journals are geared towards older children. Carrie wanted This is Me to not only be a place where parents could ask their children questions and record their answers but also for kids to draw pictures and write down their own thoughts.

From the site: "The "This is Me" journal combines drawing, writing, creativity and simple scrapbooking to capture the year’s memories through your child’s eyes. Pre-writers will love dictating their answers to a parent while young writers will gain confidence in expressing their thoughts in their own words. This journal will prompt and preserve countless memorable conversations between parent and child."

Isn't this the kind of keepsake we all want for our kids? An opportunity to preserve those insightful/crazy/colorful things that our children say in a beautiful, easy-to-use archival quality book? We have all made the time to create baby books for our children...but what happens when they turn 3 or 4 or 8? The This is Me Journal fills the gap between baby book and pre-teen diary. I keep one for my 5 year son on my kitchen counter; having it close at hand means that we can fill it in whenever the moment strikes.

Not only does the This is Me journal belong in your bookcase for your own children, it also makes a unique birthday or Christmas gift. The website is beautiful and easy to navigate (props to our very own Marian for the design). If you've got a little artist at home, send in your child’s self-portrait to the gallery for a chance to win the monthly drawing for a free This is Me journal.

So check out the This is Me website and make your comment for a chance to win ONE of THREE, yes THREE freebie journals!

And if you aren't one of the lucky three winners, all Tales readers will receive FREE SHIPPING on any order of two or more journals made through the website before April 1st. Just
e-mail the code: TALES to sales (at) thisismejournal (dot) com requesting the refund once your order has been processed.

How to win this Freebie:
-You have until Saturday (3/22), midnight EST to enter.
-Make a comment (any comment) on this post
-Please don't post under Anonymous - use a Blogger login or the "nickname" category.
-Winner will be randomly picked and announced Monday(3/24) morning.
-Please only enter (comment) once.
-Tales contributors are excluded from winning the freebies--sorry :(
-Freebies can only be shipped to US addresses.

What's with the Freebie?
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How old is too old?

How old is too old to let your child see you naked? Have we covered this topic on this blog before? If so, point me in the right direction.

I realize this is a pretty personal subject. Some people may have absolutely no problem being naked in front of their children for numbers of years, while others may have been covering up from day one. There are probably many different points of view out there. T just turned two and I've never had an issue being naked in front of him. But lately I've been wondering if I should now that he's getting older. This morning was the first time he pointed to me and asked, "what's that". I answered him, and I think that's cool. He's just wondering what things are and I have no problem telling him the names of specific body parts. He's only two and curious. And I'm no pop star, but this topic has been covered in the media somewhat recently as well.

Just wondering what the different opinions are out there, and what you (and your DH) implement with your own kids. Do you have different "rules" for being naked in front of a same-sex child than you do with the opposite sex child? Do you have any "rules" at all? At what point do you introduce ideas of modesty and "private parts" without making the child feel ashamed, or as if they need to hide their bodies. Just curious.... thanks in advance for your expert advice.
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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Potty Rehab...

I just saw this on CNN - think of it as Potty "Rehab" for toddlers. A school for the young ones who can't break their addiction to diapers...

From the article:

"It all started with the flush of an automatic toilet. The terrifying sound marked the beginning of a two-year nightmare for Sarah Teres as she desperately tried to potty train her daughter Molly.

Molly graduated from Potty School four days before her brother, Archer, was born.

"It was awful" Teres said. "We tried everything including bribery and threats." Teres, the mother of three from Andover, Massachusetts, hoped her middle child would be toilet trained by the time she was 2½.

Two years later, the girl was still in diapers, refusing to use the bathroom. "I was going crazy," Teres admitted. "She wouldn't poop. She would hold it for days."

At wits end, Teres enrolled Molly in the Toilet Training School at Children's Hospital Boston".

Hee hee hee...I think? Am I the only one who finds this incredibly FUNNY? Maybe because I'm done potty training my people...but if I wasn't and if we weren't achieving "sucess" I might beat a fast path to Boston...

As for me right now, I'd like to find a program for my 3 1/2 year old daughter who is in LOVE with Atreyu from the movie Never Ending Story and INSISTS that she is going to marry him, and a program for my 5 year old boy who SERIOUSLY wants to live with his girlfriend, Ella...
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Monday, March 17, 2008

From the Tales Inbox: Whining, Dreading and Quitting

From Tales reader Rachel H:

Okay Supermommies! I am looking for advice, suggestions, and anything else that would help here.

Have any of you ever had a child who once they "start" something... be it a class, a program...lessons...whatever.., within about 6 months or less the child starts to dread it, whine about having to go, and drive you crazy about it?

How do you as a parent respond to this type of behavior? Do you let them quit? Do you make them go, even if they continue to act like they hate whatever it is?

How do you teach a child that there are certain things we do to better ourselves, without forcing it/ making it a power struggle ?

My situation is that my darling daughter, who is 6- does this exact thing. Last year it was with her Ballet/tap class.. this year it seems to be starting up with gymnastics. And also with a reading program I am trying to implement with her.
How it usually goes is- I say, "DD, it's time for your reading lesson(or whatever it is that day)!" cheerily..

And she responds with this HUGE amount of dread, "UGGHH!!! No!!!I don't WANT to go to (insert activity) today!!)"

I try to reason, try to explain why it's good/fun for her, blah blah blah..and she will wear me down to the point that I feel like it becomes a war between me and her.. and I don't want that. I just want her to ENJOY doing things!!

When I was little , I LOVED that stuff. You couldn't GET me doing enough activities. I am just so confused and bewildered as to why she would act this way!

SOOOO... any thoughts?
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Friday, March 14, 2008

To Mom

Dear Mom,

I have to write and thank you for this past week.

I have been so scared about my current circumstances and especially about the future, whether it is a week from now or several years from now. Every morning I look at myself in the mirror and I am uncertain about who exactly I am looking at. I am so surprised that at my relatively young age I have had so many opportunities to accomplish so much (in large part by having you as my Mom), and yet I am still in great need of your mothering.

When I was in the hospital, my DH and I knew almost immediately that we would be in need of your services. We got you a flight just as soon as we could. Without batting an eye or exhaling a sigh or uttering an argument, you were here. You were so strong for me this entire week. I only saw you get teary once, and that was when we read a letter from our boy whose serving a mission.

You talked to me about everything but my injuries. You had an endless supply of comments about how great my city is and how great this life I am leading is. You were so enthusiastic about my children’s interests and how I am choosing to raise them. You didn’t flinch when we expected you to drive my car all around the city. You were such a great NYC driver. You were totally up for going on the subway by yourself to take Pukey to school. You delivered Poopy to her school without an argument. Heck, you shared a bed with Poopy for an entire week, now that takes some stamina....she's a kicker.

You circled the block, put your hazard lights on, parallel parked and I think tooted your horn once. You were so brave when placed in all sorts of new circumstances, and I can’t quite express how much that meant to me. Seeing you jump in and try to wo-MAN my life with such moxie, gave me the courage that I need to put one foot in front of the other each day, and to frankly just get out of bed in the morning.

I hope that I can regroup and recover and exercise as much faith and courage as you did for me this week. My girls and I are going to miss your companionship and your joy for life as we are facing the new challenges that next week will bring.

Mom, I really never expected to have a week like this past one with you ever again. As much as I enjoyed and benefitted from it, I hope it was our last one. Thank you for sacrificing a week out of your busy and prosperous life to enhance ours. I am much farther along my path to becoming myself again, because you were here to remind me where I came from and who encouraged me along that path from the start.

I love you.
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Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Quick Spring Fashion Round-up

Just a few quick notes from around the web:

Eliza Magazine - The women's magazine specializing in a modest lifestyle has launched a new website where you can find way more than subscription information. Along with new web articles and a modest dressing resource list, hey have joined the blogging world with a group of women writing about fashion and entertainment news from a "modest" point of view.

Shabby Baby - I have talked about Shabby Apple before - a cute clothing company that produces modern modest dresses that don't scream "I'm modest!". They have now launched Shabby Baby, a line of cute little girls dresses in modern prints with select styles going up to a children's size 12. I also have to give a shout out to their commitment to help women worldwide by Shabby donating 5% of its net proceeds to support work in India through Unitus, a non-profit microlending organization.

Downeast Basics - Downeast Basics has introduced it's Spring offerings and I am really liking a couple of their printed dresses. They are easy, fresh and a seem like a great way to say good-bye to winter (but I keep reminding myself that dresses are not very practical for a breastfeeding mother).

Etsy Alchemy - You should already know how much I love Etsy. They have have now relaunched their Alchemy program which allows buyers to commission specific homemade products. Etsy "homemakers" can then bid on the project and the buyer can then choose between their options. So if you have something specific you need made - from dresses, to cards, to soap, to art (well go straight to Tracy M if you need art), make your request on Alchemy and see who finds you!

Clothkits - For the sewers out there, I have to mention Clothkits. Apparently, this UK company was around in the 70's and 80's but is now making a comeback. The company makes sewing kits where the pattern pieces are printed straight on to the fabric, which you then cut out and sew yourself. Included in the kit is everything you needed to complete the garment. Great idea, huh? Beyond the ingenious kit idea, the clothes (they mostly have kids kits at the moment) are absolutely adorable. Mostly simple dresses, but the color combinations and unique prints have me drooling (and cursing the pound/dollar exchange rate). So join with me as I wait for the company to come up with a cheaper way to get their product to the US so I don't have to pay $50 for a dress that I still have to make.
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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Rite-Aid Haiku

in the checkout line
gripping my Vics and Nyquil
hazy with the flu

two girls curse and slur
punching and slapping ensue
oops....one is pregnant

white suburbanites
observe with looks of horror
I only want sleep

now walking outside
expecting the stale Queens air
wait....I'm in Reston
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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

kid speak

I went into the TV room where my son Max (age 4.5) was watching a show, to find him standing on a chair holding a ball in the air, going to throw it.

"B*tch the ball mommy!" he says
"um, what?" I say
"B*tch the ball!" he says
"I think you mean pitch the ball. Puh.. Puh.. pitch."
"No mommy, b*tch the ball. It's what you say when you throw it. B*tch!" he says, as he throws it.
Me, picking up the ball, "It's pitch buddy"
"No, b*tch!" he says, throwing it again, "b*tch the ball mommy"
"Do you mean fetch? Fetch the ball?"
"Oh, yeah. Fetch. Fetch it mommy!"

ohhhhhhhh goodness.
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Monday, March 10, 2008

A Time When Prayers Are Answered and Are Still Needed

For the last week, the Tales girls have been praying and holding our collective breath as our dear friend, Kage, has been hospitalized after suffering an unexplained seizure at her home. Preliminary testing showed something on her brain. I didn't post a blog-wide call for prayers because honestly, I was terrified of having to come back to report that she had brain cancer. The good news is, prayers were answered, and it isn't cancer. The bad news is that the diagnosis is still serious and life-altering. Go read the first-hand report on her personal blog and start sending your prayers, positive thoughts, or whatever happens to be your vehicle for good vibes as she still recovers and begins navigating the new road ahead.
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Sunday, March 09, 2008

From the Tales Inbox: Dealing with the Father-In-Law

From my experience, most women have a problem with their mother-in-law. NOT ME. I love my mother-in-law, it's my father-in-law I could live without. My DH and I have been married for over 2 years and we live a pretty nice distance from his dad, as DH's parents are divorced. I thought that would mean we wouldn't see him very often, not the case with this guy. Here is a list of a few things that drive me up the wall...

  1. He comes to visit unannounced and says he's only staying 2 days and stays 7.
  2. In the 7 days he is there he eats all of our food, leaves dishes and trash everywhere for me to clean up.
  3. He smokes right outside our door so when he walks in the house all the smoke blows into our living room and kitchen.
  4. When I put our baby down for a nap he insists that is the time he wants to knock on the door to the room the baby's in just to tell me something that could have waited.
  5. He makes sexist comments about women driving.
  6. He tells me every little thing he does around our house while he is here, like he is waiting for me to hand him a metal of honor.
  7. He tells me how much he spends on our gifts or anything he brings us, again no metal of honor for him.
  8. While holding my baby he lets the baby touch the thawing meat because its "cold."
  9. He constantly brings up subjects that he knows upset me.
  10. He has lost 2 sets of our house keys and we had to pay to replace them.
  11. If he calls me on my cell phone and I don't answer he leaves an URGENT message and then calls me about 10 more times in the next hour until I finally answer just to tell me something ridiculous.
  12. For my birthday he sent me $100.00 in $1 bills. For my DH he got a $100.00 bill. ( I'm not trying to sound ungrateful, I would have been fine with just a card from him, but to me getting $100.00 in $1's is like paying a $1.00 in pennies. You only do it to be annoying.)
  13. He literally calls my DH 5-10 times a day.
  14. This one is the hardest for me... he constantly tells my DH that we need new things. THINGS THINGS THINGS. My husband is in college and working part time while I stay home with the little one. I just want to yell at him and tell him, "WE DON'T HAVE MONEY FOR STUPID THINGS!!!!!" "You need a new car." (We have 2 nice new cars.) "You need a new bed, I will buy it for you." (When they went to go get it, he decided he didn't have enough money to give us to buy a new bed. So my DH paid for most of it when we didn't even need a new bed. I believe he wanted our old bed to sleep on when he stayed with us.)
I may sound harsh, but these are just a few things he does. My DH and I fight about nothing else other then his Dad. He doesn't ever want to say anything to his Dad because it will hurt his feelings and no one has ever told him not to do those things. My reply to him is "HE IS 62 YEARS OLD, MAYBE ITS TIME TO LEARN AND TO GET OVER IT!" I lost my Dad when I was 14 and I understand how important it is to have your father in your life, but when you are married I believe there need to be boundaries. I believe I will lose my mind if I have to spend one more week with him, or I will say something so awful that I will regret it. I constantly pray for strength to get through it and to be patient but the devil is working overtime with this.

Please give me advice to deal with this man! My sanity is depending on it.

Thank you,
just call me "Going Insane"
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Friday, March 07, 2008

Congrats Michelle!

One of the Tales "in utero" babies has been born! Michelle gave birth to a healthy baby boy of February 29th. Yes, that's right, on Leap Day. We all told her how cool it was. She's not so sure. If you think it's cool too, leave a comment. If not, keep it to yourself.

Congratulations Michelle!
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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Preparing Siblings for the Birth of a New Baby

I realize Beth touched on this subject pretty recently, but I would love to take it a step further. My midwife suggested I take my two girls (age 5 and 2) to a "sibling class" to help them prepare for the new baby. It sounded like a fine idea but the problem is, I haven't found one at a place or a time that works for us -- and we're running out of time.

So now I am thinking I could just plan my own "class" with them. Maybe hold it on a Monday Night? Maybe we could even call it a "Family Night?"

My question is, has anyone been to a "sibling class?" What kinds of things did they do/discuss? If you were to plan a "preparing-for-our-new-addition-to-the-family" Family Night, what kinds of activities would you plan? What would you talk about? I could really use your ideas.
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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sorry Mom, I'm 28, you can't tell me what to do.

In honor of the primaries in some states today...

Recently, I read this article about Chelsea Clinton.

A snippet from the article:

"Scholastic News "kid reporter" Sydney Rieckhoff was in pursuit of a story as she questioned presidential candidates last month on the campaign trail in Iowa, according to The Associated Press.

Approaching Chelsea Clinton, she reportedly asked, "Do you think your dad would be a good 'first man' in the White House?"

But Clinton wasn't talking. "I'm sorry, I don't talk to the press and that applies to you, unfortunately. Even though I think you're cute," she said, according to the AP."

My impression of the article was that Chelsea's parents forbid her to talk to the media, not that she had made that decision herself.

I am the same age as Chelsea Clinton. I cannot under any circumstance imagine not being permitted to speak my own mind to any one if one of my parents were running for President. I cannot imagine prohibiting my daughters from speaking to the media if I were running for president. I can imagine receiving training on talking to the press, guidelines on what subjects or questions to avoid or providing that training for my daughter if I were running for president.

I find it hard to believe that the offspring of Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton is a shy violet, but if she is then I would understand her not wanting to grant interviews, but wouldn't it be different if a 9-year-old girl asked you a quick question or two? Why couldn't she have just replied: "Yes, my dad would make a great First Man...Isn't that something? He would be the FIRST, FIRST man...." or something like that.

What gives?
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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Thank You Carrie

Carrie and I have 2 girls and my daughters are about 5 months older than her daughters...

Carrie recently called and told me her success story in potty-training Pumpkin, who is younger than Poopy and from what I can tell even more stubborn and strong-willed than the Poopster. So, I decided to try her technique.

While Poopy was at school I took all the Pull-ups out of the big 80-count box of pull-ups in the bathroom. I replaced the pull-ups with prizes that Poopy would TOTALLY want. Sleeping Beauty phone and jewelry, puzzles (she is obsessed with puzzles), nail polish, makeup brushes and Dumbo stuff. I also positioned a giant Sleeping Beauty Teapot full of plastic tea set dishes on a bookshelf next to the bathroom. Finally I had posted a chart that was in the shape of a teapot full of empty circles called Poopy's Potty Chart.

When she got home from school I greeted her with enthusiasm and escorted her right into the bathroom where I had laid out a variety of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse panties. I showed her the box of prizes and the panties and the teapot and the chart and explained that all of these things could be hers if she just went pee-pees and poopies in the potty. I told her that every time she went potty she got a prize, and every time she went potty through her panties on the floor, she had to put that prize back. I also showed her the chart and it became our routine to color in a circle every time she went to the bathroom to go towards earning the teapot prize.

All this was last Friday.

There were ups and downs, but in the end, a lot of success. Today, 9 days later she had no accidents and she told us that she had to go potty twice, which is truly a miracle.

I am not calling her completely potty-trained yet because I don't think she is quite ready to tell people other than her parents that she needs to go, and she also gives us VERY little warning before she has to go...it's pretty much a frantic RUN to the bathroom and holding herself while jumping up and down...but it is more progress in this potty-training challenge in 9 days than we have made in 9 months.

THANK YOU Carrie for passing along the mommy knowledge...your technique TOTALLY worked.
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