Sunday, October 19, 2008

Time for . . . a Cool Change

As the holidays near and things get busier with Bitsy Birdie and another new venture I will share with you here soon, I will be focusing most of my blogging efforts here: I will still be around, just refocused, talking more about kids and toy safety, less about domestic splendor and potty training.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In a time when economic turmoil grabs the headlines, this month is a reminder that there's something even more valuable than money -- our health. Whether it's an aunt, a cousin, or friend, most of us know someone who has had breast cancer. With today's early detection and treatment methods more women are winning this battle. Learn more about early detection and winning the battle against breast cancer here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Why Indeed

During dinner tonight:

Three-year-old Z: (chanting) Caul-i-flower! Caul-i-flower! Caul-i-flower!

Me: Hey, what's up?

Three-year-old Z: Mama, why we not have any cauliflower?

Me: (refraining from dancing in jubilation) I don't know. Would you like some?

Three-year-old Z: Yes.

Me: Okay. I'll make some.

So does this redeem me for that day in the grocery store a couple weeks ago in the grocery when they both began chanting, "Chocolate! Chocolate! Chocolate!"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

She's Got a Great Sense of Smell

A few days ago as I was cooking dinner --

Three-year-old Z: Mmmm. I smell something good.

Me: What is it?

Three-year-old Z: Mmmm. I smell macaroni and cheese.

Three-year-old K: Mmmm. I smell something too.

Me: What is it?

Three-year-old K: It's bracelets!!!

Should I be worried?

The Hazards of Three-Year-Olds' Haircuts

Tonight as I was helping Baby K with the potty --

Me: What are you doing Z?

Baby Z: Picking up brains off the step stool.

Me: What? That doesn't sound right. Say again.

Baby Z: I'm picking up brains of the step stool.

Me: What?!

Baby Z: I'm picking up brains of the step stool!

Me: Oh, bangs! You're picking up bangs off the step stool, Honey.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Things I Never Thought I Would Have To Say . . .

No, don't put the fork in your pants.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

All Hail the Power of Three

Three is the best number ever. I'm convinced, or at least I was until it actually got here. Don't get me wrong. Three is good, very, very good. Perhaps just not as magical as they claim.

All those labels on toys that read "For Ages 3 and Up." I totally took those to heart. "Woo-hoo!" I thought, "We're no longer relegated to giant wooden blocks, Legos the size of bricks, and fabric-only dolls sadly reminiscent of aging 70's sock monkeys."

My mind was filled with visions of my soon-to-be-three-year-old twins happily playing with girly dolls with shoes and coats and handbags, leaving the tantrums of the terrible twos behind, and accepting pink flowery stickers as rewards for their good behavior. I could maybe even see a vision of us going to the grocery store, strollerless and serene.

Fool that I was.

Those toy labels really should read, "Absolutely, positively, not ever, under any circumstances, for any child under three. Maybe, maybe, in some cases, for children who are technically three, nearing four, and whose parents have bewitched them into not putting any non-food item into their mouths."

This unfortunately, does not describe my children, wonderful as they are. In fact, I managed to retrieve one dolly shoe from the mouth of Baby K just moments before it was unceremoniously swallowed as part of a pretend meal. I still haven't been able to find its mate.

Really, I should have known that just turning three held no magical power to stop them from eating doll shoes or putting dirty flip flops in their mouths or feeding each other things off the floor, but a girl can dream. Right?

And, oh yes, speaking of dreaming, I never dreamed what phase would come after the tantrums of the terrible twos. It's the Yeah-Right-Time-Out's-Not-So-Bad phase. Trust me, if they knew what the finger meant, they would give it to me. Brazenly. And smile.

Admittedly, it's way better than the tantrums of the terrible twos, and indescribably better than the constant sleep deprivation of infancy. All in all, it's pretty good, amusing really, with Baby Z saying "My heinie did it." and "I can't believe my eyes!" and Baby K saying "I have super powers."

Their imaginations are in full bloom, with monkeys chasing us down city streets and dragons prancing through our living room. They tell each other stories at bedtime, wake each other in the morning, and tuck one another in for pretend naps in the afternoon. They're not babies anymore, and even though there are things I will miss and things that are different than I expected, three is really hard to beat.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

You're Invited!

It was preceded by two sleepless nights of ear pain and vomiting with two cranky almost-three-year-olds, but it happened. Bitsy Birdie is launched!

I'm really excited about the lines we're offering, especially Kate Quinn Organics, a beautiful line of organic children's clothing, and Plan Toys, awesome eco-conscious toys with a focus on fun and learning. I hope you'll stop in and have a look around.

To visit, drop by or just click here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Busy Birdie

It's where I've been investing my non-mommy time lately -- Bitsy Birdie, launching April 26, 2008. I'll fill you in on the details soon, but for now, I'm chest deep in the startup hoopla and loving it.

Cool site design changes should be showing up soon, possibly as early as this weekend. Even better, the store launch will include some super fun giveaways.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Dog Ate My Blog Post

Okay, I admit it. I've been non-blogging, not writing new content, playing outside in the California sunshine and investing lots and lots of time here.

More to come soon . . .

The Democrats and the Delegate Process

A timely reprint from January, 2007 . . .

The media attention focused on the upcoming 2008 presidential primary and the already common use of polls to predict who might win could give people the impression that the winner of the popular vote would be the winner of the presidential primary. Unfortunately, it is not that easy.

For example, following state primaries and caucuses, Delegates at the Democratic National Convention will select the party's presidential candidate through a complicated process, in which some Delegates are obligated to vote for a candidate based upon primary election results and other Delegates may vote for whichever candidate they favor, regardless of the popular vote.

Surprisingly to many voters, the candidate who receives the most votes in your state may not receive all of your state's Delegates' votes. Some are allocated based upon the percentage of votes candidates receive in primaries or caucuses.

In some states, however, the presidential primary is only a "beauty contest" or "loophole primary," a non-binding primary intended to gauge public support for candidates. Participants at party caucuses may ignore the primary vote and elect Delegates pledged to support a different candidate.

Additionally, at the Democratic National Convention, the popular vote may be ignored by up to about 20 percent of the Delegates known as "Superdelegates," a group comprised of the elected Democratic National Committee Members, elected Democratic Governors, U.S. Senators and House members, and "Distinguished Party Leaders." Superdelegates constitute a significant slice of the Delegate pie and may "vote their conscience," selecting any of the candidates still officially in the race.

Add to the mix that states do not have an equal number of voting Delegates, but instead are awarded Delegates, by the Democratic and Republican parties, based not only on population, but also on how well the state has performed in electing that party's candidates to office, and it is easy to see why a candidate who is incredibly appealing to the general public may have no chance of winning the nomination.

The whole process is something of a quagmire on both sides. Unfortunately, the only way to have an impact is to jump in and swim.

Helpful links:

The presidential primary process explained by

Explanation of the math behind Delegate allocation for Election 2008 from The Green Papers.

A synopsis of the Republican Delegate allocation process from Republican Source.

CNN article discussing the 2004 Delegate selection process.

Democratic proposal pending to coax state organizations to have their primaries later in the season by awarding extra Delegates to states who have their elections later from The New York Times Politics Blog.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

It's All About the Presentation

Coughing and with great drama after a sip from her cup, "Mommy . . . I have . . . water . . . in my mouth . . . I need . . . apple juice."

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Obama, the Movement

Barack Obama represents true change. The excitement about him comes as much from what he doesn't represent as what he does. He doesn't represent back room deals. He doesn't represent big money donations. He doesn't represent buddying up with lobbyists. He doesn't represent divisiveness and dirty politics. He represents genuine honesty and a willingness to work together. He is the candidate of hope, a kind of hope we haven't seen in a long time.

For people tired of half-truths and parties controlled by political power brokers, his candidacy is the opportunity of a lifetime.

Before the first vote was even cast in the presidential primaries, the word among party insiders was that Hillary would have the nomination. For the first time in my lifetime, a candidate is raising a serious challenge to that sort of predestined selection of presidential candidates, putting power back in the hands of the voters at large.

Obama will have to win the presidential primaries overwhelmingly to win the nomination in the party's selection process heavily weighted with Superdelegates. And it looks like he can do it.

In the best ways, a vote for Obama is a vote for change, and proof that "Yes, we can!"

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Yes, We Can

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Obama '08 -- Donate Now, Vote Feb. 5

I'm proud to support Barack Obama. I hope you'll consider supporting him too. His views are well-explained here:

Ack, Ack, Cough, Gag, It Got Me

It got me. The girls' germtastic circus is bringing me down. Just one more thing I must post, then no more posting until the circus leaves town . . .

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ear Infection Number Five

Dear Daddy,

As we are not feeling all glittery and sparkling in our sore-throated-runny-nosed-croupy-coughing-over-tired existence today, we, The Wonder Twins (as we shall herein be referred to), have determined it is appropriate to issue the following demands:

Someone must bring us the following before midnight, or there will be no sleep tonight:

1) The biggest jug of Martinelli’s apple juice in the county. Don’t screw with us. We’ll know. You know how we like it. Straight up. No chaser.
2) Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash, unscented, the good stuff, man. The doc says this will help our oozing eyes. We intend to use it to make a slip-n-slide in the kitchen.
3) Dry erase markers and an eraser. Mommy thinks it’s so she can keep track of when she has given us which medicine, but we’re going to use them to decorate her with tribal tattoos once she’s asleep. The eraser is for her headdress.
4) More organic whole milk. We’re not going to drink it. We just want to watch you and mommy squirm every time you pour a warm cup of that $7 per gallon creamy goodness down the drain.

Babies Rule!

The Wonder Twins

Monday, January 21, 2008

Are You Ready?

I'm an Obama mama. How about you?

Be sure you're registered to vote. Deadlines to register before primaries are approaching quickly.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Try It, You'll Like It

If you've never read Dooce, you've got to try it. Today's post is short, hilarious and typically Dooce, a perfect-sized appetizer portion of reality. Just click here.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I Can Bring Home The Tofu, Fry It Up In A Pan

My new friend Lori recently spent six months living in China. Her stories are fascinating, especially the ones about taking cooking classes while there.

Today she generously shared her skills with us in a class she hosted in her home. The food was delicious and learning to cook it in person, rather than from a book, was even better. Thank you, Lori.

For a better view click here.

P.S. The company and conversation was great too!

Where Have I Been Lately?

If you've been wondering, the answer can be found here and here and here. I've been busy finding my CafePress mojo. But I will blog again. I promise. Maybe even tonight.

Lessons I have learned from my travels:

1. You should not try to draw with a mouse, unless you are a glutton for punishment. Surfer girl at Surf School Designs was drawn entirely with a mouse from scratch. Oh gluttony, thou art my favorite sin. Luckily for me, Santa (read Wacom) was delayed and will be bringing me a graphics tablet, either that or wrist splints . . . and a shoulder brace.

2. In the battle of mouse v. human, it's really a draw. While the human eventually manages to force the mouse to do said human's bidding, mouse has also encouraged human to remain tethered to it during time that in all logic should be spent sleeping.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

This Toddler Moment Brought To You By Life In Preschool

When the girls began preschool part-time I wasn't sure what to expect. Runny noses? Check. New friends? Check. Learning to eat playground mulch? Check.

But what really surprised me was the explosion in their vocabulary. Chatting with fellow two-to-three-year-olds must be inspirational.

"No, mine!" quickly became a staple.

"Hey, wait a minute," was added too.

"No, way!" in response to "Would you like more macaroni and cheese?" resulted in a brief lesson on manners.

I was most befuddled though when Baby Z began bursting out with, "Psych!" and then laughing hysterically. She's two. Is my baby really using that irreverent teen slang my friends and I wore out in high school?

"Psych!" she would yell, smiling, and then run off laughing.

I was still trying to decide how I felt about this new addition to her repertoire when I sat down with her one day to put on her shoes. As I reached for her sock, she pointed to it, yelling "Psych!" and laughing hysterically. To her, "Psych!" is clearly that brightly colored, cozy little thing that goes on your foot just before your shoe.

Now when she yells, "Psych!" I just smile and laugh to myself.