Thursday, March 30, 2006

Camden and the camera - A photo essay

This is what happens whenever I pull the camera to take a picture of Camden. If he doesn't see the camera, we're ok. But if he does, this is what we get (also known as when bad pictures happen to good babies).

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Proof my son is becoming a toddler

Don't let that innocent face fool you. He may still look like a baby, but underneath, the heart of an emerging toddler lurks. I've read several blogs talking about boys and the mischief they can cause. I've secretly sat back and laughed, because my baby boy has been so sweet and mellow and not into impishness of any kind. Now I get to eat my words (or my secret laughs) because Cam is turning into a little rogue. Today I bring you proof Camden is turning from baby to toddler.

1. I think he likes to see how many outfits he can get me to change. Now that
Poop-a-Palooza has slowed down, I don't change outfits near as often as I used to. Of course Cam has noticed this and must have come up with a plan to increase my laundry again. On Sunday, after spitting up all over his outfit at church and coming home early to change him, Camden took his nice clean outfit, which he had been wearing for no more than 20 minutes, and crawled over to the dog's water dish while I was getting lunch. He put a hand on either side of the bowl and lapped the water up like a dog. I laughed and then I turned my back on him for a brief moment. He took that moment to overturn the water bowl and splash in the water. Which lead to me changing his outfit again.

2. Yesterday I went to change Camden's wet diaper. As soon as I got the diaper off, he flipped over and crawled off. I laughed for a minute because he does have the cutest lil nakie bum. He crawled over to the vacuum, turned and laughed at me, and then peed on the floor.

3. Cam has developed a way to let us know what he thinks of the food we're giving him. If he's either a) bored with a food, b) full, or c)doesn't like a food, he spits it at us. Repeatedly until he gets the offending food out of his mouth. We're getting used to being covered in spit food on a regular basis. I've even learned to take my glasses off before feeding him so they don't get speckled with little dots.

4. If spitting the food doesn't work, Camden has another method for removing the poison we tried to feed him. Give it to the dog! Wait until Mom or Dad has their back turned, and then feed the puppy. It works superbly!

5. Camden has learned we keep the pacifiers by his bed on a little stand. He will stand up in his crib, reach over his crib bumper to the stand, grab the extra paci's, and then use them to bang against the side of the crib. It makes a lovely ruckus, especially at 5:30 am (the time he has woken the past five mornings).

6. Camden is learning to undress himself. He tries very hard to pull his arms out of the sleeves of his shirt and yesterday he figured out that if he rips at the tabs on his diaper, it will open and he can have his favorite play toy back. I fear for what will happen when he perfects the getting naked routine.

7. Camden loves it when we tell him no. Apparently it means do it more or see how far you can push it. He'll crawl over to something he shouldn't touch, such as a plant or one of Dad's 10 million chess sets. And he'll look at us, smile that innocent smile, and turn back to the forbidden item. We'll tell him "Stop" or "Off limits" and he'll laugh and inch his hand closer and closer. This goes on for a few minutes until he can't stand it anymore and he just grabs the item his heart desires. On Sunday (after the water incident and the 2nd outfit of the day) this involved overturning a plant when Mom once again was in another room.

I realize more and more that the fun is just beginning. My little baby is being replaced with a toddler. It's so much fun to watch him grow and learn, but I miss those innocent baby days where the only trouble he could cause was to poop through another outfit.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The perfect gift

I usually do a "Simple Pleasures Monday", but today my brain is consumed by one topic - the perfect gifts for Camden's first birthday. Yes, in just a few more short weeks, my little baby will be one! The time has flown by!

I put too much pressure on myself to buy the perfect present. I want it to be the right combination of fun, learning, and enduring. I don't want him to grow bored with a toy in a few short weeks. At Christmas time, we went a bit overboard and Cam received a few too many presents. I don't want to repeat that for his birthday (even though we have several things we bought around Christmas time in anticipation of this significant birthday). I discovered that Cam quickly grew tired of some of the things we bought him for Christmas. I don't want that to happen with his birthday presents.

And so, in search of the perfect gift, I check out millions of websites. I talk to friends. I get advice. And I make a list of possibilities. Living on the edge of hell as I do, there is no real shopping in this town, so I must make some decisions soon if I need to order anything. We've pretty much decided on some sort of ride on, some blocks, and some puzzles, but we are unsure of what else to get. What we buy now will be the last big toy purchase before the next Christmas, so it needs to keep his attention and interest for several months. We're especially looking at wooden toys or toys that don't have a lot of flashing lights, noise, and things like that (because we have PLENTY of those).

So today, I ask you dear internet world, to share with me your children's favorite toys. What are ones your children have loved over the years and keep using again and again? Share with me your favorite places to buy toys (especially online), your favorite brands of toys, and anything else you think a first time perfectionist mommy needs to know about toys.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Picture it

We've had illness in our house lately. Even the dog threw up on Wednesday. So today, I leave you with a picture one of my colleagues took last week.

Mrs. D thinks to herself, "How shall I torture my students today?"

And now you can see how messy my desk area is. Let's see what weird, off, or unusual things you can find in this picture (besides me of course). For example, notice what I am working on. Not grading, but a Kakuro from math week.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

My Deliciously Thoughtful Book

A few of my loyal (crazy? insane?) readers asked what book I was referring to in my post yesterday. Before I reveal it, let me explain a few things first. I'll admit it. I am a literary fluff, escapist, entertainment reader. That is what I call books that are purely entertainment value. Sure they might teach you a lesson or two, but for the most part, they are just to tell a great story. I spend most of my time reading entertainment, escapist, or literary fluff, mainly because that is what I am looking for in a book - a break from reality. So when I list my favorite authors or favorite books, they usually fall in one of those categories. For some strange reason, people think that because I teach English, I must read classics or the great literature all the time. I do enjoy that too. I love a good classic, a thought provoking book, nonfiction, history books, and so many others. But I love the fluff. I guess I tell you this so you don't expect great book recommendations from me all the time. :) I do, however, try to read at least one thought provoking or other kind of book every few weeks. This book falls in that category.

Ok, so the book is (drum roll here) . . . My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. (I tried putting up a pic, but Blogger is being dumb and won't do it). A description on describes the book this way:

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness.
Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate -- a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister -- and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.
My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you? Once again, in My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult tackles a controversial real-life subject with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity.

I didn't know what to expect from this book. I keep a list of books recommended from others. Somebody mentions liking a book and I write it down. So when I went to the library last time, this was on my list and I checked it out. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I do. I find myself thinking of it during down moments at work, or while I'm giving Camden a bath. I wonder what is going to happen next. Being a person who does not deal well with surprises, I've already read the end, but now I want to see how we get to that ending.

It also raises so many questions in my mind. The parents go through in-vitro to conceive the best genetic match for their daughter Kate, who has leukemia. Anna is the result. Anna then undergoes many procedures for the benefit of her sister. Is it fair to create a child for this reason? Is it fair to keep using this child again and again? What is fair to the sick sister? I've pondered these questions, and many others, and haven't come to any conclusions.

If you have read this book, share your thoughts with me. And if you read it at a later date, come back and share your thoughts. And today, share with me the book that has been a thought provoking one for you.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Simple Pleasures Monday -A Good Book

I have a love affair with books. I can't help it. From an early age, I have loved to read. And I read voraciously. I always have. I am never without a book. I have books in all levels of my house. I have books in my car. I have books in my classroom. Even Camden has a ton of books. If I don't have a book, it's like being without air. I suffocate until I find something to read.

I discovered a love for reading in grade school. My mom tells a story of coming to my classroom as room mother to a holiday party. At home I was very talkative and never shut up, so it surprised her to no end to see me sitting in the corner of the classroom, noise and chaos surrounding me, while I ignored it all and just read.

As I became a teenager, I volunteered at the local library. I loved prowling around the library, shelving books. My favorite was the children's section. It brought me no end of pleasure to crawl among the children's bin, caressing well loved books as I put them away.

I love everything about books. I love the covers - the designs and descriptions. I love the pages - some yellowed with age, others crisp and untouched. I love the smell of books - the binding and glue, mixed with age. I love to hold a book and inhale its distinct fragrance. The new ones smell deliciously new and older ones have hints of aromas that tell a story all their own.

I love to dog-ear a book. Yes, I am one of those people. To me there is no better sign to show the love of a book than pages that have been turned down to mark a spot to return to at a later point. Books that have many dog-ears speak of treasured pages, stories that were meant to be continued. They show somebody cared enough to mark their spot and finish the story later.

I love to reread books. They are like old friends. After an absence, it's like returning to a treasured summer memory. In its pages are characters I've come to know and love, even though we have been apart for a few months or even several years. These old books welcome me back with open arms with their settings and stories that never change.

I get lost in books. Really and truly, I become so involved in books that it is like I am part of that book. I often call it "coming out" after I finish a good book. I step out of the book and back into my real life. I often find myself talking or acting like a certain character after finishing a book because I became so involved in their life and their character in the book.

Since becoming a mother and returning to work, my reading time is limited. I do make sure I read every day because a day is just not complete without it. But I cannot spend the hours I used to just reading. My "must read it" list is becoming longer than my "I read it" list because of my limited time. It's more important for me to spend time with Camden and Mark when I get home, rather than read. But once Cam is in bed for the night and Mark is gone to school, I read. And it's almost more enjoyable now, because I can't do it as often I used to. It becomes more meaningful. I choose what I read more carefully. If I get bored, I don't force my way through. I give myself permission to put a book away.

I am reading a deliciously thoughtful book right now. Not only is the story intriguing, but it makes me think, which is always a good combination. I am enjoying this book thoroughly. I find myself searching for moments to read it. Now is one of those such moments. I'm going to close now and go read my book. Reading - that's truly one of the most simple pleasures there is.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Count along with me

At our school, each department gets to highlight their curriculum sometime during the school year. This week is Math Week. We've been doing all sorts of guess the candy in the jar contests (which I won on Monday) and all sorts of Sudoku's and Kakuro's (which I am addicted to both). As a result, I have numbers running through my head. So today I invite you to count along with me.

1 - The number of poopy diapers changed already this morning - and not by me!
2 - The number of tries it took me to get my new contacts into each eye.
3 - The number of times Camden woke up last night.
4 - The number of almost empty toothpaste tubes currently sitting on my bathroom counter.
5 - The time I got up this morning because I just couldn't sleep anymore.
6 - The number of opened lotion bottles on my HUSBAND's night stand - not mine.
7 - The day and month we got married. It represents completeness, wholeness, and eternity. Seven is also the day in August my stepson passed away almost seven years ago.
8 - The number of throw pillows on our couches - which I hate because there are way too many.
9 - The number of opened cereal boxes in my cupboard and I am the only one who eats cereal.
10 -The number of Girl Scout cookies I have eaten already this morning.
11 -The number of auctions I am currently watching on ebay, hoping to win for Camden.
12 -The number of the Janet Evanovich novel I am waiting anxiously to come out.

65 - The number this post is on this blog.

22,500 - The amount of money I dreamed last night my ward gave me for having a baby. Yeah, one of those bizarre dreams that make no sense, but the money sure would be nice.

Five hundred twenty five thousand, six hundred minutes - The song from "Rent" that is still going through my head. I watched that this weekend after many recommendations and really have to say, in spite of loving musicals, this one is definitely not on my favorites list.

Immeasurable - the stink one of Camden's poopy diapers can produce. Also the amount of love I have for him and my husband.

Join me for math week! Share a number from your life with me today.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Pure evil

My diet has a new nemesis. My stomach problems jump started my diet. I'd been meaning to start one for months now, and I did start several. Then somebody would bring a treat to school, or my favorite junk food would be on sale, or my will power took a vacation, and I'd be back to eating junk. And then I'd start another diet and the cycle would repeat. You know how the cycle of righteousness - prosperity - pride - sin - downfall repeats several times in the Book of Mormon? I could write a book like that on the diets in my life. But after taking 4 Percocet in 8 hours, I decided I really needed to cut out any junk. And I did. I'd been so good for a few weeks now. I'd been able to pass up any sort of sugar, fast food, or other fatty or not good for you food. And then these purely evil things came back into my life. They'd been absent for almost a year now. And I had forgotten all about them. What are these evil things? Girl Scout cookies!

One of my teacher friends from school is very involved, along with her young daughter, in the Girl Scout program. So to support her daughter, each year many of us teachers buy several boxes of cookies. I placed my order back in January and forgot all about it - until this week when they came in. I thought, "I'll pay for them and put them in the freezer. They won't be so bad if I dole them out a few at a time. I can do that." Well, it turns out it doesn't work that way people. These things are pure evil! They have powers I never dreamed of.

I was good. I took them home and put some in the freezer. But of course, I had to eat a few first. So I opened a box of each of my favorite kinds, intending to eat only one or two. Several cookies later, I realized my plan was failing miserably and that I had eaten Camden's weight in cookies. Ok, not really, but it seemed close. In the middle of the night, I could hear these things calling to me from the freezer. During the day, they taunted me. There was only one thing left to do. Eat them all so the temptation was gone.

So that's been my new goal - eat them quickly and rid my home of the evil. It's working well too. The cookies are almost gone - except for the box that has managed to stay in the freezer. The only down side? I can no longer button my pants.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The post in which you are glad your child is not in my class

I love my job. I really do. I love teaching. Even though my college professor said junior high students don't think, they just run on hormones for two years, and even though she is mostly right, I love teaching this age group. I am a pretty casual teacher in that I joke with the kids, tease them, and basically have fun with them. I teach them English, but more important than even that is letting the kids know that I care about them. If I can teach them a life lesson, that is more important than just the content. Don't get me wrong, we work hard in my class, but I also like to keep the atmosphere light. Maybe it's because I never have grown up. Sometimes we get a little off track and have a little too much fun. That happens rarely, but it does happen. Last week was one such occasion.

Last week we were making little books for the students to take notes in (see, we do work in my class). The students were stapling their books together and drawing on the covers. Knowing how much students love taking notes, I told them they could title their book anything they want, as long as it was school appropriate. They could even call it "Mrs. D.'s torture book" if they wanted. As they were stapling, several commented on the power of my staplers. (As a teacher, finding a good stapler that will stand up to a hundred plus students in a day is essential. And these staplers are the best. Seriously. I have a love affair with office supplies and these are awesome.) Now did you read the description of those staplers? Able to deliver 30 lbs of power with the touch of a finger. Keep that in mind. It's semi important to this story.

So the kids were stapling the books, drawing on the covers, and talking about the staplers. And some of the boys started to ask, can you shoot staples with these things? I said no because with the way this stapler opens, I didn't think it was possible. But being teenage boys (they often do dumb things), they have to try and see if they can shoot staples with these staplers. Guess what? It turns out you can. And boy, can these suckers shoot a staple! You can get a good ten feet or more. Being fascinated with that 30 lbs of power, I had fun testing the range of these staplers. I could stand at the back of the room and peg the bulletin board at the front. That's good distance! And these things are a blur! You cannot even see them shoot out of the stapler. You only hear the ding as it hits the surface you are aiming at.

Of course, the boys in the class were fascinated. They wanted to know the sting factor of a staple shooting across the room with such force. So a few of them stood up and say, "Shoot me Mrs. D." And I oblige. Who am I to deny a teenage boy the knowledge of such power? So they would stand with their back to me and I would shoot them in the back. Each one of them gave a small yelp and wanted to do it again (yeah, that's the way teenage boys work). Through this process, I became enamored with the power of my staplers. I could be like a wild west gun slinger. I could tear those staplers out of their holders (my pockets), pop them open, and start shooting like no tomorrow. It was like guns blazing or something. And so, for the rest of the day, I had fun popping the boys who wanted it.

As the day ended, one of the boys showed me the picture he drew on his book. I loved it so much that I had to share it with you. Notice all the fine details. See my mullet? No I really don't have one in real life. And you gotta love my horns. The devious look in my eyes is surprisingly realistic. And you have to love the helmet head on the boy. I'm not quite sure what the black blur behind my butt is, but I can promise you I was not farting as I did this.

So, this is a day in the life of a student in my classroom. Aren't you so glad your child isn't in my room? And to let you know, the fun ended when I stapled myself in the finger. Apparently I didn't move my finger out of the way and used that 30 lbs of power to shoot a staple straight into my pointer finger. After that, I put the staplers safely away until the next time I feel the urge to be a wild staple-wielding slinger.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Simple Pleasures Monday - My new bed

I am in love with my new bed! It's pure heaven. It's big, thick, and luxurious. We added this gorgeous bedding to it and now it is like a nice hotel bed. We're talking Marriott quality, not Motel 6 quality here. Mark and I look for reasons to climb into that bed. Read a book? Climb into that bed. Watch TV? Back to the bed. Hang out as a family and read stories to Cam? Go to our room and sit on our bed. I ran home real quick today on an errand. Cam was down for a nap. Where was Mark? Sitting in bed. I wanted to join him, but I had to get back to work.

What's your simple pleasure for the week?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Update and How many clothes can one boy have?

Thank you for all your well wishes. I guess I should have said a little bit more instead of being cryptic and leaving. I had a CT scan of my abdomen because I have been having terrible stomach pains for years. They've done several tests over the years - including a gall bladder scan and the camera down the throat. I've been on Nexium for years. About once a month or so, my stomach spasms and I have to take Percocet to take the pain away. That's been the status quo for about three years now - not too big a deal - a Percocet a month and we're good to go. A few weeks ago I had the worse attack yet. I ended up taking 4 Percocet in about 8 hours because the pain was so bad. I saw my Dr. again and he said, "This isn't normal." You think? So we're back to more testing. Hopefully we'll find out something soon!

And on to the clothes - I'm out of control people. Seriously, somebody needs to stop me. I have an extreme case of ebay-itis going on. I've mentioned before how much I love to buy clothes for Camden and how much I love to dress him. Because of that, I do most of my shopping for him on ebay for several reasons. One, I like name brand clothes, but can't justify the cost for brand new stuff from the stores. The name brand stuff seems to hold up better and that's one of the things I really like about it. I can buy the cheaper stuff, but in my experience it falls apart faster. Two, we have no real stores near us (only a Walmart and Kmart). I would have to order everything off the internet anyway to get what I like. Three, I can get a ton more clothes on ebay for the same amount of money. I figure, to buy 7 new outfits for Cam at Walmart, I'd probably spend $10 to $15 an outfit there, for a total of $70 to $100 dollars. I can get triple the amount of clothes on ebay for the same price. I usually spend no more than $3 an item on ebay, and that includes shipping. Sure the clothes are used. But really, how much damage can a baby cause to clothing? Not too much in my limited experience. So ebay it is for us.

Spring was in the air a few days ago, which got me thinking about spring and summer clothes for Camden. Never mind that only a few months ago I had to buy him a new winter wardrobe because he grows like no tomorrow. Never mind that it snowed just yesterday. Never mind his dresser is overflowing and my account is dwindling. It's time to buy more! You never know. We could have a heat wave tomorrow and then where would he be? Stuck in long sleeves and long pants. And so I search. I watch. And I bid. Okay, actually I snipe with one of those cool snipe programs, but still (And yes, I was the one who sniped you with 7 seconds to go after you sat there for the past hour hitting "refresh" over and over again to make sure you were still the top bidder). I figure, it's like a boy scout - I need to be prepared with all clothing possibilities - at least that is how I am justifying it to Mark. Oh, it's time to go! One of those auctions ends in a few minutes and I must make sure I win.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Nutritious and Delicious?

I knew that when Camden started crawling that it would only be a matter of time. I told Mark it would happen soon. And I was right. We found Camden eating the dog's food today.

The dog's dish is in the kitchen and Camden has a toy nearby that he often crawls over to play with. I told Mark that one day we would find Camden happily eating the dog food. Today Camden crawled over to play with the toy while I started dinner. After I had things going, I came around the corner to take Camden into the other room. And what does he hold out to me in offering, with a huge smile on his face? A handful of dog food. Of course I took the food away from him, but it was too late. There was already a piece or two in his mouth. Being the good mom that I am, I let him finish it. I figure, maybe if it tastes gross he won't try it again. But that may backfire as he didn't seem to mind the taste. Anybody know the nutritional content of dog food?

On another note, I may be MIA for a few days. I have a CT scan tomorrow and am not sure how I will react to the fun drinks I get to have beforehand. I'm taking the day off work and we'll play Friday by ear.

And on an additional note, a friend of mine is gathering stories about LDS women who have gone through infertility or are now going through infertility. She wants to publish a book for the LDS market. I know I wish there had been something like that a few years ago. If you have gone through infertility or are now going through it, feel free to send her your story at nicole dot price at gmail dot com. I know she would really appreciate it!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

What's in a Name?

My son is a shameless flirt. Add that to his extreme cuteness, and we've got trouble on our hands. I think he could charm the socks off about anybody. We go shopping and people stop to talk to him, tell us how cute he is, and he gives this look. I call it his coy look. It's so flirty. He puts his head down slightly, looks up through his long eye lashes (lashes like that should be illegal on a boy!) and this little smile. It melts practically anybody. No matter where we go and no matter who we meet, Camden flirts, especially with the ladies.
I found myself pondering this yesterday - is Camden a natural charmer or is his name part of it? Let me explain.

When we found out I was pregnant with a boy, we had to decide on a name. We wrote a list of ten names we liked for boys, which we narrowed down to four and finally to two. But we were stuck on those two names for about a month. We liked both equally, even though they were different. One was Benjamin and the other, of course, was Camden. We polled our family. We polled our friends. I polled my students. And it was a pretty equal divide - half for Camden and half for Benjamin. But there was an interesting trend. Most of the girls preferred Camden and most of the boys preferred Benjamin. I remember polling my classes last year and in each on, all the girls voted for Camden and all the boys voted for Benjamin. We joked about it and the girls told me that the name Camden would make him popular with the ladies.

That's not why we chose to name him Camden. In the end, that was the name which just felt right for our little boy. And so Camden he is. But I wonder, is he just a natural flirt and charmer? Or does his name play a part of it? Does a name really help to make the man? The world may never know.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Simple Pleasures Monday - Midnight Movies

Having a baby really messes with your sleep. Camden is 10.5 months old and still doesn't sleep through the night - mainly because we have allowed certain habits to develop and persist. Because of this, we often find ourselves wide awake in the middle of the night. Either Camden wakes us up or our internal Cam-o-meter goes off at the time he usually wakes and we're up. We'll toss and turn trying to go back to sleep, but some nights it just doesn't happen. Mark and I have developed a little routine on nights when we just can't get back to sleep. We watch movies together.

I've come to look forward to our midnight movies. Sure I don't want to be awake in the middle of the night every night, but once in awhile, it's fun to have that extra cuddle time together. Between both of us working (me days and Mark mostly evenings) and Mark going to school full time, our time together alone is limited. We're usually spending time as a family with Camden, which we love. But sometimes we crave that time alone together - without talk of Cam, bills, school, work, etc. And this middle of the night movie has allowed us to have some of that back.

Last night was one of those nights. We had gone to sleep at 9 pm (Yeah, we're real party animals staying up late like that). Around 11 pm, Cam woke up and was having a hard time getting back to sleep and staying asleep. So instead of bouncing in and out of sleep a million times to check on him, we popped in a movie. Occasionally we had to pause the movie as we checked on Cam as he fussed himself back to sleep, but we were able to cuddle for a little bit, laugh, and have some fun together. After the movie was over, we went back to sleep. I'm a bit tired today, but wouldn't trade that extra time with Mark for anything. So one of my new favorite simple pleasures is midnight movies with Mark.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Blogger block

I'm not sure what is going on this week. I have a whole list of ideas for blogs. I write blogs in my head at night. Things happen and I think, "This is so bloggable." But then when it comes time to actually blog, I have brain farts. My brain just shoots it all out my ears and I can't get it back. Every day this week it has been a struggle to blog. I love my blog! I love to read other blogs! I love the blogging world. So what is wrong with me? Why when I am in front of the screen does my brain squirt any intelligent or even not so intelligent idea out of my head? I think I could blame it on tiredness, but I've been tired before and been ok.

Have you experienced blogger block? How long did it last? And how did you overcome it? Tell me your blogger block stories if you have them.

I'm taking a short weekend break. Hopefully next week I will be back to my blogging self. Until then, don't abandon me, my loyal readers and commenters.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Double Standards

Excuse me if I vent and rant a little today. There are a few things in my life I am passionate about - my family, my religion, education. I'm also passionate about a few issues. One of those related to children is car seats and car seat safety. Maybe I am just a paranoid fanatic. Maybe it's because my husband and I know what it is like to lose a child (not in a car accident, but the thought of losing another in any way freaks me out). Maybe I am just crazy (a likely possibility). But car seat and car seat safety are very important to me.

Mark and I researched car seats carefully before purchasing one. We checked Consumer Reports, read reviews, talked to others. We took the time to have both our car seats professionally installed. We learned all we could about the proper use and restraint of a car seat. We've done some research and have decided to keep Camden rear facing until he is at least 2 if at all possible. We want to keep Camden as safe as possible in our car.

So it drives me crazy when I see people ignore the importance of car seats, booster seats, and proper restraint. I bite my tongue because I am not a confrontational person, but I silently scream inside. I know I need to speak up more about this if I feel strongly and I intend to in the future. The other day my mother in law came over to pick up my sister in law (the one not on bedrest) and her 5 month old son. She also picked up my other sister in law's (the one on bedrest) two children and took them all back to her house - 30 minutes away. The only one properly restrained was the 5 month old. The other two children - ages 5 and 4 - were placed in regular seat belts with no booster seat of any kind. The 4 year old was also placed in the front seat. As I watched them drive away, I turned to Mark and said, "I am never letting Camden ride with your mom. And I should have said something about K in the front seat."

Now comes the one that really annoys me. Camden is in daycare about two days a week. The past few weeks, when I have come to pick up Camden, there is a local police officer there picking up his son who is probably 4 or 5 in age. He picks up his son in his city issued police cruiser. Each week I watch this officer place his son in the car and drive off. I've looked and not seen any sort of car seat or booster seat. It has bothered me, thinking his son is not properly restrained, but I wanted to make sure I was right that there wasn't any sort of proper restraint in his police cruiser. Yesterday, the officer was there again. This time I decided to walk by his car on my way out with Cam and look carefully. And sure enough, there is no type of booster seat anywhere in his police cruiser. I watched as the officer came out with his boy. I watched as he placed his son in the front seat, fastened the regular seat belt (at least he did that), and drove off. This is an officer people! In his uniform and in his police cruiser! Shouldn't he have to obey the law?

I wrote down his license plate down yesterday. And today I am debating - should I call this in and report it? I really want to for many reasons. One, if that was me not restraining my son properly or placing him in the front seat, I'd be pulled over and ticketed, no matter how close to the daycare center I may live. Two, as an officer, shouldn't he uphold the law and set an example, especially in his cruiser and in uniform when doing this? Three, what if something happened to his son? Could I live with myself? But part of me holds back. Mainly because I am nonconfrontational type of person and it is hard for me to do things like that. Also I am afraid of retribution. This is a small town and the good ole boy network is still very much in effect out here. If I report him, will he start watching for me and looking for reasons to pull me over?

This has bothered me for days now, wondering how he can get away with this. And I think he needs to know people are noticing and it is not all right. If he weren't in his uniform and police cruiser, I don't think I'd be so upset. But I feel he needs to be an example to others. If people seeing an officer doing it, won't they think they can do it? I don't want to get this officer in trouble, but I do want him to know people look to him as an example of following the law.

My questions for you today - what would you do in this situation? And what issues are you passionate about? Share with me!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ritual Sacrifices

First of all, I am sorry for the long break. We've had a bunch of stuff going on lately from a major growth spurt for Camden (drank 11 oz before bed the other night!) which has has him waking up and wanting more food in the night, to a sister in law with premature labor and now on strict bed rest so the family rallied and is taking care of her other kids and making meals, to a major attack of pain for me that had me taking 4 Percocet pills in 8 hours and finally having the pain go away on the 4th pill. Fun and games huh? But I am back! I've missed you all! I have many blogs to read today and catch up on, many comments to post, but surprisingly, not many things of my own to blog (although I may surprise myself).

Second of all, thank you all for the award of best commenter. I know it is only because of all you who voted for me. My sincere thanks! I love your blogs and I love reading.

Now, onto the real blog.

Camden is only 10 months old, but he is already worshipping false gods. I've tried to teach him right, but I am not sure where I went wrong. Every night, he worships this false god. He does it sometimes even multiple times during the night. It happens with almost every nap. What is it? It's the pacifier gods.

Camden is addicted to his paci. Yeah, I know it's a bad habit I'll have to break later, but the paci has been a good friend of ours over the months. At night and for each nap, we put Cam down to sleep with two pacifiers - one in his mouth and one for him to hold. This way when he wakes early or if one falls out of his mouth, he has another right at his disposal (And then we don't have to get up to pacify him in the night). But there must be pacifier gods that live behind his crib. They must taunt him as he goes to sleep until he makes a ritual sacrifice.

Without fail, the paci he is holding is sacrificed to these gods in the first 15 minutes of either his nap or bedtime. All of a sudden, you hear a familiar PLUNK as the paci is dropped behind the crib. Then he will cry until we give him another one for him to hold. Sometimes the pacifier gods must require more than one sacrifice before Cam can sleep, because he'll drop another one, and another, and on nights like last night, another one before he can sleep. We keep a stack of pacifiers on his dresser - usually 6 or 7. And then we'll hand him another and another, hoping on a rough night that we will not run out.

With Camden making his sacrificial offerings, we end up pulling out the crib each morning and after each nap to rescue these pacifiers. It's quite the routine - he drops, we rescue. I'm hoping that when we send him to a 12 step pacifier program when he turns 1, the pacifier gods will leave Camden alone and he will stop worshipping such false gods. Until then, I hope my son hasn't been led too far astray by these false gods.