Saturday, August 20, 2005
Fair fun!
Emma cooling off with one of her biggest fans:

cooling off.wmv
A few Fair pics
Emma and daddy in the little barn with the baby animals:

On the midway:

Helping Popi with his sucker:
More Fair fun!
Here we're in the commercial building and Emma is helping her Popi with a Tootsie Roll Pop:

How many licks?
Friday, August 19, 2005
The nutjobs in my life
My job is such that I am often a captive audience for nutjobs. I think I can fairly say that I'm very patient with them. I usually humor them, inserting "uh huh" and "really?" in the right places in their monologues. But man, am I ever happy to see the door shut behind them. Every community has them. Hell, every family has them. But I can't help doing a mental clench whenever I see one coming. I've only had one go confrontational and aggressive on me, but I was able to defuse the situation before it got really ugly. Mind you, most of these people I'm referring to are fully functioning adults who are just weird. Very few have actually been "differently-abled."

For the longest time, after I moved here, when I'd bring up some new person I'd met M. would tell me something about them, who their relatives were, what they did for a living, where they lived and then punctuate the story with "he's/she's a nut." After over a decade I can vouch for the fact that we've got a enough nuts around here to make a ton of crunchy peanut butter.
Going to the Fair this evening
This is the one in the county where I came from. We're meeting up with Noni and Popi. We've been doing this every summer for years and years. This time there will be five of us. Our fair experience rarely varies. We hit the commercial exhibits, cruise through the rides, check out the cows in the barns, cruise through the games (avoiding eye contact with the "game dudes") and usually have some form of food that's bad for us. They get to look at the chicks and bunnies, but it's an instant sneeze-fest for me if I go. We also look at the flower exhibits. We've never done an actual show in the Grandstand. Once we saw motorcross with kids on the bikes. Then they'll have the modern versions of sideshows, which are along the lines of stunt motorcycles or trapese acts or pig races. My home county is fairly large with a lot of agri-industry so the fair there is a pretty good one.

It's alway fun to bump into people I recognize. Sometimes I'll see an old classmate. Most times it's just people my parents know.

I'm a bit apprehensive about keeping Emma up late for this. I hate to throw her off routine, but this is a good excuse I think. I hope the consequences aren't too dire.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Lunchtime Fun
We met Noni for lunch. This is playtime. I despair that my child is so unloved. ;)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Went shopping again today...
I bought another convertible seat for Emma for Daddy's "new" car. I also got a booster seat to take to grandma's. I bought some take and toss spoons and some bowls with suction cups on the bottom. I'm trying out some fruit bars and Scooby-Doo grahams for Emma. Besides the "bargain" clothes I bought two fall outfits for Emma's birthday. OK, maybe one will make it to her birthday. I might need the other one before then.

Honestly, I may need to have another kid just to get my money's worth out of the stuff we've bought!
More on clothes
I should add that I have no problem accepting hand-me-downs. I'm thrilled to get them. I know the window of opportunity for any given outfit is quite short. You could blow a lot of money at this. When someone sends a bag of clothes it's like Christmas to me.

Then of course the snob kicks in. ;) I'm really pleased to find brand names and things that were barely worn. If something has a stain and I can't get it out with one washing I usually don't add it to the rotation. The only reason I can be so picky thus far is because of an excess of riches clotheswise.

Can I say how fun it has to have someone cute to play dress up with? And she can even wear sleeveless shirts.
Exactly what kind of snob am I?
There must be a special variety of snob that has no problem shopping at Goodwill but will only buy brand names in nearly new condition. And by brand names I mean, Osh Kosh, Gap, or Old Navy. We don't have high end stores anywhere near so you don't find much better than that. Eh, everyone likes a bargain, don't they?
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Here's your Wednesday Billy Idol
I know, I'm a giver.

I tried to let this pass
It came out last week and it was so jaw droppingly stupid.

CHRISTINA AGUILERA has warned pop rival BRITNEY SPEARS not to expect a comeback after her baby is born - because she's "let herself go" too much to reclaim her sex symbol status.

First, we'll take it as a given that neither of these girls is exceptionally bright. Hardworking and driven, but not MENSA material. How stupid can Christina be? She just pissed off every woman who ever gave birth. She's basically saying that after you've gained weight in pregnancy you can't be a sex symbol again. Or Britney can't.

Christina is the one with the gift. She can actually sing. She should be taking the high road because she has a chance of having a singing career well into the future. Britney's life has turned into poorly-dressed white trash on parade. It's like watching the Beverly HillBillys in Hollywood again. Britney may never make a comeback, but it won't be because she can't be sexy again. It will more likely be because of overexposure, no real talent, leeching entourage...take your pick.

Anyway...Christina didn't need to go there.
Stick Girl
The bonus of sharing mommy's ice cream bar is that Emma gets to keep the stick.

Monday, August 15, 2005
Board meetings...ugh
It's not a hell week again. Things are a little better spaced out this month. But as this time rolls around again I regret ever having taken a position as a board member. Tonight's meeting is for a small business incubator non-profit which is about to start a multi-million dollar capital campaign to renovate the old school building they occupy. My term is up in December and it can't get here fast enough. I don't mean to have a bad attitude. It's just when I accepted the position I had no earthly idea I was going to become a mother a year and a half later. They asked me to re-up but I said no way Jose. It just so happens that putting my daughter to bed every evening outranks every other offer I have.
Medical News ALERT!
I usually consider medical and health news to be just about worthless. Scientists change their minds way to often to be taken seriously. They’ll come up with some sensational claim this year and then reverse themselves next year. So when I link to medical news it is always with a skeptical eye. Here’s today’s news flash:

Just a few drinks in pregnancy could harm baby

I just explained that alcohol is not part of my everyday life so it wasn’t hard for me to abstain during pregnancy. Unfortunately I had a big ol’ mudslide a week before I knew I was pregnant. The irony in that situation is that I hadn’t had any alcohol for a year previous to that because I was on Metformin. I finally said, “Hell with it, I’ll have a drink,” only to find out later that I was pregnant. Sigh. This is what happens when I go wild. I can’t get away with anything.
More on Grease
Christi at Mama Musings has a story of her own how Grease song lyrics can lead to trouble, see Too Hot for Kids!

UPDATE: Jeanne is also covering the question of what's appropriate for youngsters. Here's her two cents on the topic:
Did the TV you watched as a child affect you?
Stop by and help decide whether she is a nerd or not. ;)
Sunday, August 14, 2005
What are they thinking?
When Emma repeatedly tries to do something that I don't want her to do, that I've stopped her from doing 50 times already, is she doing it solely to get my attention (which is almost guaranteed) or is she really trying to get what she wants, again? Examples would be pulling the power cord from the laptop, reaching the end table next to me and the bounty on top, touching the wood stove, playing with the power strip in her room, or pulling up on the stand for the dog bowls.
Drinking in front of the children?
I posted a question on my mommy board that I got from the August Parenting magazine. Which do you think sets a better example? Is it better to drink an occasional alcoholic beverage at home so that your children will learn there's a place for drinking in moderation? OR do you think it's better to never drink in front of them so that children will learn that adults don't need alcohol to socialize?

I'm personally for drinking in moderation as an example. Shielding children completely from something as pervasive as alcohol is just going to make it more intriguing to them. Which may result in unintended negative consequences later, underage drinking or binge drinking.

When we were growing up people drank around us. We tasted beer and wine and bourbon and cokes. We knew drinks were for grown-ups. But we never really saw anyone acting drunk. We saw responsible social drinking. There was liquor in the house but it was never locked up. My parents weren't much for drinking at home other than the occasional wine or wine cooler for mom.

I had no particular fascination for alchohol as a teen. I knew it was a path to trouble and I was too focused on academic achievement to want to screw it up with the consequences that can come from underage drinking. I did go to a couple of parties with alcohol and I had a drink or two. My friends drank and got drunk, but I wasn't interested. I told them then what I tell people now. I'm a square.

In college I did get wasted. One night I drank to get drunk. It's a rite of passage and college is where you go to experience life with a safety net so what the hell? I drank and smoked too much and staggered home with the help of a friend. I climbed to my top bunk and the bed wouldn't stop spinning and trying to buck me off. I climbed down and made it to the john before I hurled. I got the whole experience just like it should be. It was great fun getting there and it sucked the next day.

Once I was legal I wasn't too interested in drinking. I'm a cheap date because it only takes two drinks to catch a buzz. But I never had to have it. I have trouble with moderation in anything and drinking is not a habit I wanted to develop. It's expensive and makes you fat. I already have enough problems with food, why add to my struggle? There has been alcholism in the family so I figured I could be genetically predisposed to alcohol addiction, why risk it?

All that being said, if you want to buy me a drink I'll have a bourbon and ginger ale, or my favorite dessert in a glass, a TGIF mudslide (frozen please!)
M. is buying a car
For $300. He's hoping it will replace the 1992 Subaru Loyale he inherited from me. That car is on it's second engine and has 306,000 miles on it. He's buying a 1993 Subaru Legacy wagon. A family car. ;) It has 148,000 miles and 4-wheel drive. There is really nothing wrong with it other than the high mileage and some body damage, which he was able to minimize in one afternoon. Oh, and it has a Ford-type paint job on the hood, not pretty. We weren't really shopping for a car, but a friend was selling; and $300 for a car that runs is a steal. It is definitely a step up from what he has. He basically uses his car as a truck, hauling all sorts of crap, so there's no use in owning anything nice.