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Some of the hats I wear: mom, wife, daughter, sister, neighborhood busybody, business analyst.
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The instincts thing is interesting. I may have told you in comments before that you seem to have good parenting instincts. (I got that compliment once and was flattered and now pass it on when I think it's appropriate.) Now I feel sheepish ... but your blog persona comes off as so natural - like your reactions to the girls / circumstances are totally knee-jerk and thus a product of instinct - not carefully considered manoeuvres. Anyway, you (at least the you you present here) seem to rock it! And if it isn't instinct, then bravo, because that's harder :-) I like Eddie Bauer pants - the Blakely / curvy fit ones. They're a work wardrobe staple for me. RE: Dr. Google: I tore my calf muscle a few weeks ago (step) - finally went to the physio last week ... I wasn't doing anything outright wrong before PT, but there were some things I wasn't doing at all that he showed me that will speed my rehab. And he has all those different ways to manipulate the muscle (ultrasound, the electro- thingamajig) that Dr. Google never mentioned ... food for thought (HAHAHA!) ...
Toggle Commented Nov 18, 2011 on WW/Jeans/Plantar Fasciitis Updates at Indigo Girl
Totally not laughing at you! I would *LOVE* that tour! We did a behind scenes kitchen tour on our cruise (Princes; to Alaska) and it was a highlight. I totally get it!
Toggle Commented Oct 9, 2011 on Vacation: Last Day at Indigo Girl
I am with Kristina and Robin - music isn't usually distracting enough for me for exercising so I listen to podcasts (I live in Australia now so I listen to the NPR and CBC shows I miss - Wait Wait, This American Life, Vinyl Cafe) and audio books. Sometimes I do couch-to-5K podcasts - right now I like the NHS ones (search in iTunes).
Toggle Commented Oct 9, 2011 on Vinaignette at Julia
Don't skip Seattle! And, as for WA wines - Walla Walla is a beautiful little town with some excellent wines to taste. We did a roadtrip a few years ago: Seattle, Yakima, Walla Walla, Wallowa Lake, Eagle Cap Wildreness, Pendleton, Hood River, Portland. Some random recommendations - in / around Eastern WA & OR and along the Columbia: on the WA side of the Columbia. Sacajewea State Park has a nice little museum (WA side). Milton-Freeman (OR) has a good pool / water park. In Wallowa Lake in OR there are trail / pony rides and a tramway to the top of a Mt. The Tamástslikt museum near Pendleton. Hood River is a nice town - there is an amazing big wooden adventure playground. Between Hood River and Portland is Multnomah Falls. Being recently from Seattle, I have to tell you NOT to skip it - it is packed with great stuff to do with kids ... but are you aware that the first weekend in August is SeaFair Weekend? You might want to google that ...
Toggle Commented Jul 29, 2011 on Trip.2011.3 at Julia
I'll add my voice to the chorus of don't obsess / kids are resiliant ... we moved from Seattle to Australia when my DD was 6. We billed it as the big adventure that it was. We didn't do any of the above re: her room / bed / stuff because our stuff came on a container that took 3 months to get here. So, we lived in a temporary furnished flat and then moved into our house with NO FURNITURE for weeks. ALL we had was what we brought on the plane and what our new friends loaned us. My DD slept in a sleeping bag in a refrigerator box (her perogative). My point: kids typically with roll with it. I think we project our fears and obsessions and devise coping strategies that *WE* assume they need. They mostly just need to be with you and know it is all good. Unless your kids are supersensitive and really change averse, they'll be fine. (I don't have advice for those kids, since mine is evidently not one.) Some of the more macro decisions we made were in re: when to leave based on the school year: we left just as her friends were going back to school at the end of summer and arrived in time for us to pick her new school and go for a day to make some friends and collect phone numbers for play dates during 2 week school holidays. Then we spent those holidays visiting parks, cafes and having little adventures. We put her back in the grade she had finished (K equivalent) for 1 term so that it was easy academically and she could focus on making friends and learning the Aussie ropes.
This site has good info about talking to kids about sex: I explained the basics when Z was about 5 (i.e. before she was old enough to be embarrassed or squeamish about it) and gave her the book "It’s So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth Babies and Families" - which talks about *all* the various ways families can be made. I know she reads it sometimes on her own b/c I find it off the shelf. IMO, it is better to arm them with the facts early - before they hear god knows what on the playground!
Toggle Commented Mar 11, 2011 on Butterflies and Gay Marriage at Indigo Girl
I've read it before and I'd read it again (and again ... ) - your's / Henry's continues to be one of my all time fave birth stories. Happy 8th Bday to Henry!
Toggle Commented Oct 8, 2010 on EIGHT at finslippy
Have you read Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral"? If was from her that I learned most of what I know about HFCS (and a great pizza dough recipe). I moved to Australia a couple years ago and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the relief of NOT having to read labels to look for HFCS! It just isn't in our foods here. (Sugar is ... but just plain ole sugar ... it makes standard grocery store cookies (sorry, "biscuits") seem like fancy Whole Foods versions.) What is so amazing is that in global brands (Yoplait yogurt is one I noticed when I was back in the US in June), they actually reformulate the US version to use HFCS instead of regular sugar; everything else looks the same - packaging, etc. ... just dif sweetener.
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My DD loves dog movies - Beethoven, Good Boy, Homeward Bound and the newest addition: Marmaduke. Babe is also a fave. We sometimes lie in bed and watch trailers on iTunes - and find stuff we want to rent or buy later. Found Nim's Island this way.
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2010 on Enjoyance at Julia
OMG, everyone take a deep breath. It is possible to have a fine year in K. My DD had a wonderful K year in an "ok" public school in an "ok" district in a large US city. I didn't participate in the choice angst - I picked the school we could walk to despite the fact that it wasn't "rigorous" or "alternative" or hip or fashionable or a popular choice among my cohort. My DD put on her little uniform and marched into the playground everyday and had a ball (and was reading by October, learned her "math facts" and a bit of Mandarin). I helped out in the classroom and went on a few field trips. It was a great experience all around. (She even - horrors! - got school lunch nearly every day ... I loved that she had complete control over what she ate 5 X / week and she loved punching in her PIN and picking her fruit and veggies from the salad bar.) We moved to Australia (Victoria) at the end of that summer and were in time for her to do a term of "Prep" (1st year of primary school, so, K equivalent). There was more play time, no homework, more critters in the classroom (mice! chicks! fish!), no academic pressure - it was more like my own K experience decades ago. So, yes, the edu system in the US - compared to many other developed counties - is fucked up and crazy-making ... but, you don't necessarily have to participate in the crazy for your kids to have a decent year.
Who needs $pecial tatts when you've got a Sharpie?! ;-) Seriously - I write my phone number in a discreet place on my kid whenever we're in a crowded place (festival, fair) and she knows to find a cop or mom with kids if she gets lost. Write on him with a Sharpie the first day of school and by the time it wears off, you'll be feeling more comfortable about the whole thing!
Toggle Commented Aug 18, 2010 on Safety Dance at After Words
Amen sister! I used to live in Seattle, where only "diverse" schools (i.e. those in neighborhoods with non-white (i.e. poor) kids) have uniforms. Our neighborhood school happened to diverse – thus: uniforms. Some parents cited this as a reason for not picking this school (can you say "red herring") ... that due to the uniform policy, their super special snowflakes would lack for creative self-expression outlets. Oy. My daughter went through at least 3 costume changes a day in Kindergarten – uniform notwithstanding. (And yes, tights *are* a great vehicle for demonstrating flair!) Now I live in Australia where EVERY SINGLE SCHOOL - public, private, rich, poor, "diverse", homogenous – has a uniform policy. And believe you me, Aussie kids are just as self-expressive as Yanks!
The best books I have read *lately* (it is winter here <-;) are: The Idea of Perfection - Kate Grenville (Aussie) Dirt Music & Breath - Tim Winton (Aussie) The Keep - Jennifer Egan American Wife - Curtis Sittenfeld Run - Ann Patchett People of the Book - Geraldine Brooks (Aussie) Juliet, Naked - Nick Hornby We Need To Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver
Toggle Commented Jul 29, 2010 on Aposiopesis at Julia
I love bright, primary colours for kids' rooms (both genders) - i.e. bright yellow walls with red gingham curtains and bedding. Ikea always has cute, bright colourful, non-gender-specific stuff.
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2010 on Fish Are Jumping at Julia
We did the Tyler Place a few years ago. I loved that they had a special song for each age group that they had the kids sing as they pulled them around the place in wagons ... so we could hear them coming and jump behind a bush so they wouldn't see us! (My DD was 3. One day they went fishing and she caught a "porch" <-;) I liked the evening activities for adults - Chad was a great host. Tyler place is now a baseline for all other family vacations. We're just back from YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park - that was pretty awesome too. (Though there was no Ben & Jerry's for dessert!)
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2010 on What I Did On My Summer Vacation at Julia
I remember that age ... a couple days a week she would play, play, play ... a couple days I would go up and find her sprawled on the floor asleep wearing bits of dress-up clothes with a trumpet in one hand and a stuffed animal in the other. On days she stayed awake, about 1/2 the time she would then fall asleep JUST as I was pulling in to the parking lot at the Y for a late-afternoon step class. Sigh. But oh the cuteness!!
Toggle Commented Jun 4, 2010 on Naps: Changing to Quiet Time at Indigo Girl
(Right, no need to click through the see my banner - there she is!)
Toggle Commented May 27, 2010 on Whoa, sunscreen at Ask Moxie
I live in Australia (moved here from Seattle) and kids are REQUIRED to wear WIDE brim hats in terms 1 and 4 and most kids wear "rashee" tops at the beach / pool. Some kids wear swim HATS. (Take a look at the photo of my DD in my banner for the school uniform hat - serious sun protection.) Plus, most playgrounds have shade sails over them. The sunscreen we used is an Aussie brand (Cancer Council) so it isn't EWG rated. Go buy hats!!
Toggle Commented May 27, 2010 on Whoa, sunscreen at Ask Moxie
Not to sound like a know-it-all ... but, by the way, a baby 'roo is called a "joey" :-) I'm American but live in Australia ... I LOVE seeing joeys in their mama's pouches. The best is to see them actually hop in. (Think of how we humans struggle with slings and bjorns!) We've got lots of "nature farms" where you can go pet and feed roos - they are very sweet, normally.
Toggle Commented May 4, 2010 on The Day the Animals Came Out at Surrender, Dorothy
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RE: trampoline: have you ever seen the in-ground kind? They have them in playgrounds here (Aus) and in Paris and a few other places I've traveled but I don't remember ever seeing them in the US. Basically, you dig a trampoline-size hole in the ground to the exact depth of the thing and drop it in there so you are bouncing at ground level. Brilliant. Check this out: The last "curvy fit" jeans (in petite) I bought were from Eddie Bauer. (Prior to that it was J Jill, but when I went back I didn't like the Authentic fit or whatever it was.) Not sure if the EB ones are the same now, but it's worth a try. I have a cute pair of dressier "trouser" jeans (cute pockets, flare legs) from Lands End. EB has some good tops - with runching and ruffles and stuff at the neckline so you're wearing a t-shirt but feel more put together. (I still shop at Lands End and Eddie Bauer and have stuff shipped all the way down under.)
Toggle Commented Apr 30, 2010 on I'm With The Brand at Julia
ITA with @kakaty: "Why is it that in most families that when the dad travels it's no big deal but when mom does it causes mass chaos?" Anyway, my DH travels a TON and my DD and I have special routines and traditions we only do when he's gone. I did a stint of M-W in another city for about 6 weeks last year. It was stressful getting ready, but once I got into the routine it was fine. Carry-on only for sure. I stayed in the same hotel every week and they kept a bag of stuff for me (an extra pair of shoes, a fleece, yoga pants, coffee press, etc.) so I didn't need to bring the same stuff back and forth every week. I would wear a black sheath dress (an old Jones NY one I got as part of a suit set years ago - great fabric that the wrinkes fall out of) with a jacket and pack a dif jacket, dress pants and a top or two. Sometimes I would leave my business clothes behind with the hotel for drycleaning. I always keep a toilet kit packed - duplicates of everthing all ready to go in there so there is no danger of leaving something behind in unpacking and repacking. I always had my laptop, so I would call home on Skye in the PM during their dinner. I did get little giftie things (LITTLE, like a lip balm or Pez or Mr Men book). I have one of those 4-compartment tupperwares that I would pack almonds, cheese, crackers and carrots in plus I'd bring an apple. I'd get a Boost smoothie at the airport. Again, the anticipation was way worse than the actual event(s). My DH did fine as 100% sole parent for those days each week - even got her hair into a neat ponytail for school. Not to make it sound as if this was an unexpected miracle, but sometimes it is assumed that Dads just can't hack it alone and it is bullshit (or, should be).
Toggle Commented Apr 10, 2010 on Q&A: Moms Who Travel For Work at Ask Moxie
OMG, it just occured to me ... imagine if Patricks "academic success" HAS been hampered by a gross-motor or lateralisation or whatever issue. Lordy, where would he be now if he could tumble - Harvard at 7?! ;-)
Toggle Commented Apr 9, 2010 on Chunky at Julia
I agree with the commenters that said find a similar tumbling (or gymnastics or circus) class with a different teacher. BTW, food for thought, kids in Kindergarten (we call it "Prep") and sometimes into grade 1 here do a "PMP" Perceptual Motor Program at school (in addition to PE). I guess the theory is that gross- and fine-motor skills, body and spacial awareness, etc. etc. all relate to cognitive development and academic success. Anyway, it is sort of an OT program once a week at school where they do stations that include stuff like jump over and around hoops and little hurdles and tossing and catching and visual puzzels and other stuff. Usually parent volunteers help the teachers run it based on edu dept guidelines, I think. So, if it is important enough to do in school, per Victorian educators, seems to me it is important enough to do something similar out of school - i.e. something that can help him with his gross-motor skills and lateralisation, etc. Maybe an OT could recommend a different class or program. My DD got bored at "Little Gym" after awhile and switched to circus classes and LOVED it.
Toggle Commented Apr 9, 2010 on Chunky at Julia
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Mar 15, 2010
Oh, BTW, if your coffee maker doesn't have a built-in timer, you can get a timer that plugs into the wall that it plug in to and it is just the same. I MUST HAVE my coffee ready when I stumble outa bed! Plus lunchbox ready to go, etc.