Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thanks Giving Thursday -- On Being a Slacker Mommy

Easy is good. I like things easy, like Bisquick Complete. Just add water, shake it, and it makes pancakes. Well, you do have to actually pour them on a griddle and cook them, but still. If that's too much for you, you can buy frozen buttermilk pancakes and heat them in your microwave. Seriously! They sell these.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches? You can buy them at the grocery store ready made. They even cut the crusts off. They're called Uncrustables.

Remember when you had to buy peanut butter and jelly in separate jars, open two jars, dip the knife in each and spread it on bread. Man, what a drag. Well, not anymore. Goober Grape to the rescue.

All winners in my book because they are time savers. And as we all know, time is not a renewable resource.

But the thing that really makes a slacker mommy's life complete is convenience cleaning products. I know, "slacker mommy" and "cleaning" might not seem to go together at first blush. But let's face it, if you have kids, you've got to clean. Heaven knows there's nothing a toddler enjoys more than trying to give you a heart attack by finding that one brown mystery glob you missed and leaning over to lick it off the floor.

Convenience cleaning products are the bomb, because after all, every minute I don't spend cleaning is another minute I can spend buffing my nails, eating ice cream bonbons and reading upscale fashion mags. Uhm, sorry slipped off into Never Never Gonna Happen Land momentarily. So, as I was saying, convenience cleaning products rock my world. And, drum roll please, I have found my favorite. The Lifetime Achievement Award for All Convenience Cleaning Products goes to Pampers Clean n Play Wipes.

They clean everything. AND they're even safe for cleaning things baby might (read inevitably will) put in her mouth. Great for highchairs. Cleans glass without streaking. Works like a charm on stove tops. Good for cleaning grime off of walls. Lovely on counter tops and chrome. If it can't be cleaned with a Pampers Clean n Play Wipe, it pretty much shouldn't be cleaned. Well, except for baby. They're not safe to use to clean the actual baby, but other than that, they're pretty much perfect.

(*I am not receiving any sort of reward for this gushy spiel about Pampers Clean n Play Wipes. I really just find them that exciting. Look out, soon I might be asking for a new washing machine for my anniversary.)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wacky Wednesday -- Back to Mussel Beach

BBC News
Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Mussel's first class sea return
A shellfish has been returned to the sea off the coast of Anglesey after being posted "home" from Shropshire.

The mussel had been picked up by five-year-old Alastair Thornton from Church Stretton whilst on holiday.

His mother contacted an Anglesey website asking for advice to save it . . .

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Toddler Files Tuesday -- The Incredible Floating Rump

The amazing butt-in-the-air sleeping position is well-documented by moms everywhere. You know the one, where baby's bottom is so precariously high it seems the child is destined to topple at any moment.

How do they do this? Now that I'm 37, I'm wondering how they even get the thing up that high without throwing their backs out, much less how they sleep that way.

The crazy thing is, it seems to be a comforting position. Had a big tantrum? Teething? Hoist your heinie in the air, fall asleep, and you'll feel much better.

Who knows how they do it. I'm quite sure I would fall out of my bed if I tried. (You can tell I've considered it.) At the very least, I would wake up unable to stand upright for several days.

Ah yes, to be a toddler again, to fall asleep with my fanny aloft, wear spaghetti sauce on my shirt with pride, and be endlessly amused by random things dropped on the floor.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Mombot Monday -- Keeping It Real, Not Ironing Sheets

My tip for the week? Let's be real. Despite the advice delivered on Oprah this past week, I do not iron my sheets twice a week. In fact, I doubt I will ever iron my sheets, because frankly, I would rather read a book, go for a walk, or volunteer at a homeless shelter. By comparison, ironing my sheets twice a week? Just seems like not such a high priority.

As parents, we constantly face the pressure of the clock. We are constantly prioritizing, then adapting and reprioritizing. There is always one more thing to be done that could make life better. Exercise more. Weed the flower beds. Cook meals from scratch. Grow a garden. Ironing sheets just doesn't appeal to me as adding that much to the greater good.

Maybe ironing sheets is your thing. Maybe it makes you totally happy. If so, more power to you, but if not, don't stress over it. In the grand scheme of things, tasks like ironing sheets and folding a fitted sheet into a perfect square don't have that much impact on life.

Here's my suggestion, each time you feel guilty about not ironing your sheets, or some other such thing, just think of the positive thing you did during the time you could have spent ironing sheets. For example, instead of ironing my sheets today, I walked to the park with my daughters.

I'll choose the walk to the park every time.

Potty Train -- Peezza

It's funny how toddler skills transfer from one area to another. It appears this week we have been blessed by the ability to say the word "pee." Anything that sounds like pee is now known as pee. For example, when we ordered pizza this week, the girls delighted at the arrival of the "pee." No matter that I called it "Pizza." Clearly, it was "pee."

"Pee! Pee!" they exclaimed as I carried two deliciously warm pizza boxes into the kitchen.

"Pee, Pee, Pee," as they went into the highchairs. Someone who didn't know them would have assumed I was making a huge mistake by placing them in their highchairs at that exact moment.

"Pee!" as I cut up the pizza.

And "pee," they sighed as I placed it on their trays.

Maybe we'll go out to eat at a peezza buffet soon, or maybe we'll just drop by for entertainment.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Mombot Monday -- Follow Up

As a follow up to last week's Mombot Monday article about online learning, the animated header above (imperfect as it is) is one I designed by learning from these helpful folks:

Jon Armstrong -- (Photoshop tips from Dooce's husband)

Helpful Bloggers -- (Blogger Help Group messages re implementing new headers)

Russell Brown -- (Photoshop tips from an Adobe guru)

Janee -- (Easy animation instructions)

If you would like more information, just leave me a comment and will be happy to post a more detailed explanation of the steps I followed.

Political Pop

Half a week was spent discussing the inconsequential details of a minor dispute between the Obama and Clinton campaigns. Sadly some major news broadcasters do as much news creating as they do news reporting, repeating the same story ten times or more in one day. It's like journalistic brainwashing.

Should what one Barack Obama supporter said about Hillary Clinton really be headline news? Does it impact the issues? Does it impact who either candidate is or their positions on issues? No. Period.

In this situation, however, the supporter was a wealthy Hollywood power player. CNN, in particular, jumped at the opportunity to add some glitz and drama to the challengingly dry political arena by focusing on something other than the issues. It's like watching reporting perfectly attuned to the interests of 12-year-old gossiping girls.

If I recall correctly, another one of their top stories recently was that Donatella Versace said Hillary Clinton should wear skirts instead of pants. People, leave it alone. If there's no political news to report that you feel the American public would be interested in, then don't report any, but for Heaven's sake, don't just make some up. Donatella Versace said Hillary Clinton shouldn't wear pants? That's not news. Let me help you with the distinction. If Prime Minister Blair said President Bush shouldn't wear pants, that would be news.

What will be next in political news? This week's journalistic feeding frenzy will occur in Hollywood, centered around the Oscars. So we might expect some political news to come from there as well.

The audience viewing the Oscars is larger, I'm guessing, and vastly more tuned-in than the audience for political campaigns. It's only logical to believe messages delivered there have potential to have more impact than those delivered via traditional modes of political communication. So, don't be surprised if your favorite actor delivers his or her own political message along with an acceptance speech, as has happened in the past, because the fact is we remain insatiable consumers of political pop.