Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Yes Man

Duncan has recently started nodding his head "Yes" to questions or in agreement. I ask him, "Duncan, do you want to go upstairs and play?" He nods yes, and starts walking to the stairs. I ask him, "Would you like to go outside and play?" He nods yes, and walks to the door. It works in the kitchen, too. Yes, he wants that yogurt, and he knows that the place to find it is in the fridge. However, I'm starting to wonder if he truly knows what he's agreeing to every time. Yesterday I asked Duncan, "Do you want to go get your hair cut?" Yes! Of course, when we got there he was completely miserable. As a test I asked him later in the day if he wanted to go get his hair cut and he nodded yes. Hmmmm. I think I'm getting mixed signals here. Maybe he just wants to get out of the house and go somewhere in the car. Or maybe he just likes to nod his head! Whichever it is it's a lot of fun, and awfully cute.

Monday, August 27, 2007

What NOT to Read When You're Pregnant

So, here I am. Thirty five and pregnant with little nipper number three, when all of a sudden I happen upon this headline Experts: U.S. childbirth deaths on rise If you read the article, it basically says that a woman's chances for dying in childbirth have raised slightly in the last decade or so. The story about a healthy woman who already had two kids with no complications and then had excessive bleeding with the third and died really has kind of freaked me out. Justin tells me not to worry, because the numbers really are very slight. I've had preterm labor with both previous pregnancies, so I think chances are pretty good that it will happen again (unless I'm very careful.) The last time was with Duncan at 32 weeks. The labor had progressed enough that they put me on Magnesium Sulfate, a drug used to relax the muscles (also used for pre-eclampsia.) I had a bad reaction to it and had a little emergency. Blacked out, once awake I could not move, could not talk. Justin told me later he thought he might lose me. So now, of course, I'm thinking about my history and this new information, and trying not to stress too much. We were relieved after I had my first "old lady ultrasound" last week, and the baby looks great. So, doggonit why did I have to go and read that article? Maybe what I should take away from this is the thousands of women who don't die in childbirth, next to the ten that do. Sigh.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lead Free Toys

I don't know about you, but I'm not just a little concerned about the number of toy recalls in the last year. Some very popular makers have been pulling Elmo and Thomas off the shelves like crazy. We didn't have any of the items listed on the Matel recall, but we had similar items made before the recall date. So, how do I know that that Big Bird figurine is safe? I guess I'll have to purchase a bunch of lead tests, and just test all the toys to be safe. Poor little Duncan has a doctor's appointment on Tuesday, and I've been considering having his blood drawn for a lead test. This to me is not the long term solution.

My parents have been anti-China products for a long time, and frankly, I've always found it a little kooky. Now I'm starting to reconsider. I decided to do an internet search for American made toys, just to see what was out there, and I was happily surprised. I happened upon Still Made in USA.com This site provides links to dozens of toymakers in the US. Some just make one product, but others have more variety. The ones I liked most (as a Mommy of little boys) are: Roy Toy Roy Toy sells little building kits that your child puts together. The kits include a farm, a tree house, etc. It looks like a lot of fun for the 3 and up set. Another site that caught my eye was Whittle Shortline Railroad Their wooden products are based mainly on real companies. They have a FedEx Truck, a Mail Truck, a very cool schoolbus, Amtrack trains, CSX freight cars. They do also have some more simple trains and cars for the younger crowd. The last link is to Maple Landmark Woodcraft This is another company that makes wooden toys and other products. They also have trains, but what really caught my eye were the fantastic block sets. Very nice. I also like how a buyer can personalize almost anything there, from the little steam engines, to Christmas decorations. I'm seriously looking into these and other American made products for Christmas this year. I know a lot of people think that products made in the States will be really expensive, and some are. But I found very reasonable prices throughout my search. If you do choose to buy online, always remember to make sure everything is on the up and up, before you type in that credit card information.

My kid is worth lead free toys and so are yours!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Garden Pictures

Orange Crocosmia and Rudbeckia "Black Eyed Susan"

Even though we are in the midst of a drought and record high temperatures, I still have some plants that are looking good. I haven't taken any pictures of the sorry looking ones that look like they won't make it. :)

Alpen Diamond Dahlia and yellow Lantana

I received Alpen Diamond Dahlia as a freebie when I ordered some other Dahlia tubers. I think it's turned out lovely. The color corresponds nicely with some other pinks in my Butterfly Garden, such as Echinacea "Razzmatazz" and the old standby Purple Coneflower.

Evan Matthew Dahlia

I think Evan would have loved having "Evan" plants in the garden. When we went to the plant nursery together last year, he mostly pointed out the sunshiney yellow flowers, like the Rudbeckia above or poofy Marigolds. Knowing how much he loved the color red, I'm pretty sure he would have loved the Evan Matthew Dahlia, too.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It's Tough Being a Little Guy

Duncan after his first haircut.

Little guys endure all kinds of unpleasant things. Countless boo boos, innumerable colds, cuts, bruises, bug bites, shots and getting their sweet little feelings hurt. Even hair cuts can be absolute torture. I actually had a tough time finding a picture of Duncan crying, because he's a pretty happy kid. Although lately, with some new choppers coming in, he tends to go from zero to screaming maniac in a shorter period of time.

Duncan woke from his nap this afternoon. He sounded happy enough, but that soon changed. Usually I'll let him play a little bit, and then go get him, but today his cries escalated quickly. His little foot was stuck (again) in the slats of his crib, and that chunky little bugger would not budge. I ran and got some lotion and greased him up, and the foot slid right out. I held him, kissed him, called him sweetie, but nothing was working. I took him downstairs for milk and a snack. He pushed away his crackers at first. I plopped him in my lap, turned on Curious George, and finally got him to calm down.

I won't tell him he has a checkup next week. Sigh.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Thursday, August 9, 2007


We got yet another nastygram from our Home Owners Association, and I'm starting to feel picked on. They thanked us for moving the trailer off the premises (actually it's in the garage...Mwahahaha!) The letter mentioned a very detailed letter that was sent last November concerning the fact that our trim did not match the window color. We were told at the time to either paint the windows to match the trim, or the trim to match the windows. This all came about when we put in a request to replace our downstairs windows and front door. The upstairs windows were replaced by the previous owners. As far as I know no mention was made to them about the trim not matching. So, the HOA says we have to fix the previous owners' mistake. Nice, huh? Well, obviously we lost Evan in November and haven't really thought much about working on the house. We're just trying to keep our heads above water with this grief thing. Justin did replace the downstairs windows in the spring, but it was too cool to do exterior painting. We figured we'd do it later, when it was warmer, and when we could afford it. Of course, now it's 100 degrees. I wouldn't ask somebody to paint in that kind of heat. But they want a "time frame for the project." I know my neighbor told the Architectural Committee lady that they were to leave us alone, because we were a "family in crisis." So, do they think that after eight months we should be over losing our son?! I'm livid! Who the hell cares what the paint color is? Nobody mentioned it for the five years before we made the request last fall. So, what's the hurry now? Arrrgh!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Blowing Kisses

Duncan is quite a kissy little fellow. I was forced to buy him a Curious George doll on a trip to the book store, because he slobbered all over it during their little make out session. He literally tackles his stuffed animals and starts smooching. "Mmmmbah!" He mostly kisses his stuffed animals, but if you're very lucky, he may actually condescend to kiss you. Well, Justin and me, mostly. He's very choosy about the humans he kisses. When Duncan blows kisses he will sometimes put his fist to his mouth and say "Ma!" as he tosses it to you. He mostly just looks at his object of affection and says, "Ma!" without the gesture. He does this to the neighbor's dog (Duncan is an animal lover), strangers at the grocery store, the stuffed monkey hanging over the banana bin at the store, and sometimes pictures of people and animals in books or on TV. Most recently Duncan blew a kiss to a large picture of his big brother, Evan. He sees the picture often, and we always tell him it's his brother, Evan. But this was the first little sign of affection. I think Evan would have been pleased.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Take 2 - Vacation Sum Up

I'm having some technical difficulties, so some of these pictures are sideways. Sorry about that.

Unknown Tropical Plant

We were surrounded by beautiful flowers and plants at the Royal West Indies Resort. Justin chose a room with a garden view, because he knew I'd enjoy all of the beautiful plants. He was right!

Here we are at Coco Bistro. A yummy restaurant with a wonderful (although somewhat mosquito-y) ambience.


Many of the gardens were lush and tropical, but the one on the way to the beach was more of a desertscape.

The boardwalk to the beach.

The soft white sand and incredibly clear water of Turks and Caicos. The water was very calm, so it made for easy swimming. I told Justin "We could see a shark coming way before it saw us." He said, "I wish you wouldn't talk about sharks while we're in the ocean!"

Justin defies gravity!

Next time ask me to smile, Justin!

The walks were surrounded by lush plantings.

Unknown tropical tree.

One of the pools. There's a little waterfall on the left.

Here's a bigger shot of the desertscape on the way to the beach.

Thanks Justin for a trip of a lifetime! Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Happy Freakin' Anniversary

So, I guess I should have known that our 8th anniversary was going to be a dud when I asked Justin last week: "What are we gonna do for our anniversary?" And he held out his arms, and said, "This is it." We were at a nice restaurant in the Caribbean. I said something like, "We don't have to go out, but you'll cook, right?" Justin does 90+ percent of the cooking around here, so making that suggestion was not completely outlandish. And honestly, it wasn't Justin's fault that it was just a bad day. Here's how it went:

Got all out of sorts because our HOA encourages tattle tailing.
I dropped off Duncan at school. He cried. I cried.
I was jamming to "I Ran" by the Flock of Seagulls...almost got into an accident.
Duncan fell asleep, so we got some McD's and went to the park for a picnic lunch and playtime (this was a lot of fun, actually.)
Got flipped off after leaving the park.
I decided I hated where we live, and should move.
Got some bad news from the doctor (he wants me to go on some medicine that makes me sick.)
Screamy Duncan
Dinner: Frozen Pizza
I watched the Braves game BY MYSELF!!!

On the plus side:
The trip to the park with D.
Justin got me a chocolate bar.
Got E-cards from my parents and sister

I guess I have high expectations.

Last year I got food poisoning a couple of days before our anniversary. We weren't sure if it was a virus or food poisoning at the time, so Justin kept the kids away all day. Evan would sneak upstairs to visit. He came in the door and looked at me, like he didn't know what to think of a sick mommy. I was pleased that he wanted to check on me, but was afraid he would get sick, too. Justin would quickly usher him out of the room. Unfortunately, on one of these occasions, I was grabbing for the throw up bowl. I did the deed. After seeing Duncan spit up for a few months, Evan knew what was going on with Mommy, and told Daddy, "Mommy spit up" as they left the room. I was recovered enough on our anniversary for us to go to the Aquarium. The grandparents came over to babysit. I had hoped to have fish for lunch, and go view fish, but I just wasn't up to it. I got a baked potato and salad, but the waitress forgot the salad, so she just charged us for my drink. So, that was probably the cheapest anniversary! And I don't recommend going to an underwater sort of exhibit when your tummy is a little queasy.

Well, there's always next year.