Saturday, June 30, 2007

Is this a guy thing?

Most moms I know have a photo of their son or daughter like this one. Lucky me, I have two now. Jim really thinks it's funny to put pants on our son's head. At least Dan didn't seem to mind this time around.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Save the earth, empty your wallet

Whether global warming is real or not, attempts to capitalize on this issue should give anyone pause. A report “confirming” man’s role in global warming has given rocket fuel to a cottage industry that had been on the fringe.

Isn’t it interesting global warming is pinned on a group of people with the deepest pockets? And it’s even more interesting that the U.S. is the main target of global criticism while China and other rapidly developing countries are exempt from the Kyoto agreement. It’s kind of hard to get money from a volcano or a geyser or a flatulent cow, but humans, especially Americans, have two things marketers prey on: money and guilt.

Here are a couple ways to spend that money burning a hole in your pocket and absolve your guilt about destroying the planet:
  • An Australian company is offering to make your cat carbon neutral for a year at a cost of U.S.$6, while U.S.$16 offsets two years of flatulence from your significant other. The company says it offsets the climate-warming effects of emissions from cars, planes, humans, and pets by installing energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs and water-saving shower heads in houses in New South Wales, Australia.

  • Landowners planting trees are paid a set price for each ton of carbon stored by newly planted trees or undisturbed fields. Then businesses that emit carbon dioxide buy credits on the Chicago exchange to help offset their emissions.

I knew it was just a matter of time before someone found a way to sell air.

And here’s the saddest part … just who do you think is most vulnerable to these fears? Children. A recent study claims children are so concerned about global warming that they have trouble sleeping. The study says children are concerned that their parents are not doing enough to save the planet. Children are the holy grail for marketers of products and ideas. Convince them and not only do you have a customer for life, but you turn them into little advocates who chide their parents for not recycling or for buying a gas guzzler.

It’s a very effective strategy: Scare the people with predictions of natural disasters, tell them their lifestyle is the cause of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, teach their children the gospel of Global Warming, then hit them up for carbon taxes, flatulence offsetting and whatever else you can convince people to buy.

A venture capitalist at a conference recently said that “Going green is the largest economic opportunity of the 21st century.” Indeed.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

And another thing ...

Since when does the Supreme Court get away with making a ruling that isn't even based on the facts? In his ruling, Justice Roberts actually referred to the event as school-sponsored, school sanctioned and a class trip. Furthermore, he stated that it happened while school was in session. This could not be further from the truth.

The event was sponsored by Coca-Cola and some other local private businesses and was not held while school was in session. In fact, school had been let out for the event. Finally, a columnist reminded us all of the facts, of which I had not seen in articles about the case. I was beginning to wonder if my media colleagues had all developed amnesia. Click here for a more eloquent opinion than I could ever write.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Why my child will never go to public school

Reason #3

The Supreme Court this week ruled against a teenager who unfurled a banner saying "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" because the message could be interpreted as promoting drug use. The case grew out of an incident in which Juneau, Alaska high school senior Joseph Frederick unfurled a banner reading "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" on a public sidewalk during a privately-sponsored rally where townspeople watched the Olympic torch pass by. Students were released from school to attend the rally. The high school's pep band and cheerleaders were there, but an Alaska court found that teacher supervision of other teenagers at the rally was "minimal or nonexistent." (note my emphasis)

The justices stated reason for ruling against this young man misses a much bigger point. Since when does a public school have jurisdiction over children's activities when they are on a public sidewalk at a privately-sponsored event? Notice I didn't call them students. Just because they go to school doesn't mean they should be called students. When they're not in school, they're not students. So why did the school administration punish this kid for something he did outside of school? If it was a public disruption, the police would have handled it.

Nowhere else in our society are first amendment rights so severely restricted. And now, it appears that the court's have just widened the school's jurisdiction. So, a child can be punished for actions deemed inappropriate by the school even when they're not in school. Great.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sugar baby

Dan has had a few bad nights with crying jags and lots of night waking and nursing. Our current theory is that the days are longer and his internal clock is confused. But, really, who the heck knows? Last night, he did sleep from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. then again from 4ish to 7 a.m. Jim took him downstairs, fed him breakfast and Dan went back to sleep at 8:30 until 10:00. All this after a night where he was wide awake and active until 11:00, then up every hour and a half after that.

Dan has been very active lately. This evening, he "talked" to us for about an hour straight. He just went on and on and on, gurgling, shouting, shrieking in delight, clapping his hands, rolling over, trying to crawl, trying to climb over Jim. And this was at around 9:30 p.m. I'd hate to see this kid on sugar.

He finally fell asleep around 10:00 and we made the transfer from our bed to his crib. About a half hour later, I checked on him and turned on his white noise machine. He started to scream. Jim then tells me that when he's turned the machine on the past few nights, Dan would wake up screaming. Thanks ... important info I could have used BEFORE going to check on him.

I do check on him often during the night. After work, I climb the stairs to his room, peek in and put my hand on his back to feel him breathing. At first, all I can feel and hear is my own heartbeat and a small, panicky voice in my head asking, "Is he breathing?" Then I exhale as I feel the steady rise and fall of his body. It's one of those irrational mom fears. But Jim does know someone whose baby died of SIDS a few months ago. It crosses my mind every once in a while, as it probably does other moms.

Three nights a week, I am paid to read about politics, crime, corruption, death, war and lately pregnant women and children being killed or hurt. And of course, the soldiers, who are and always will be somebody's child. There hardly seems to be good news these days. When I come home on Saturday nights, I feel relieved. The next four days I'm in a cocoon, taking care of our son, watching him learn and grow, being with my family. Yet I know that deeply painful experiences exist, like that of a mother whose son was killed in Iraq. When she learned of his death she said "my heart flew out of my chest." When I read that, it left me breathless for a second, and then I felt fragile, like my own heart could fly out of my chest with one twist of fate.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The big adventure

Last June, we were looking forward to our last vacation without children. This year, we experienced our first vacation with a baby. It was the perfect set up and Dan was the perfect age. Next year, it'll be a whole new ball game.

We went to Daytona Beach with mom and dad, two people who are absolutely ridiculous about their grandson, Dan. And Dan, at six months old, is a bit ridiculous himself. He's not quite mobile, but able to sit up and entertain himself and everyone else. And I mean everyone. Hardly an hour would go by without someone commenting on Dan's incredible cuteness and just how good a baby he is. I should have invited them over to our place at 3 a.m.

So much happened last week, that I'll have to post stories separately. For now,
click here and enjoy some photos and videos from our week in Daytona Beach.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Home again, home again, jiggety jig

We're back from Dan's first vacation. It was about 1200 miles roundtrip to Daytona Beach. When we were two hours from home, the we-could-have-flown conversation began. (The verdict: next year we will. Really.) Honestly, it happens every year, not just this year because we traveled with Screamy Screamerson. A trip that we normally could have taken without a night's layover off the Interstate became a two-day, ten hour race against Dan's internal scream clock.

Right now, I'm taking inventory of e-mail, cupboards, freezers and snail mail and planning a trip to the grocery store. So here are a few photos from our little trip. I will post more later.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

No side effects, my ...

Check out Dan in action in the latest video post. Click here and scroll down.

Ask any parent and she will say that when a child gets his vaccinations, he's just not himself for the next 12 to 24 hours.

Yesterday, Danny had his six-month check up at the pediatrician's office. He weighed in at 15 lbs and half an ounce and is 25 1/2 inches tall. He's still in the middle of the growth chart. The doctor was impressed that Danny was clapping his hands. Dr. Green said you don't usually see that in a 6-month-old. Of course, this just confirms what his father and I already know ... he's a genius!

Danny got two shots and an oral vaccine. So last night was just horrid. Dan didn't want to stay asleep. He fussed and cried every two to three hours. Even when I nursed him, he wouldn't settle down. Finally, at five in the morning, I dumped the baby on his father who was reading the newspaper and practically screamed "I can't take it anymore. No sleep, all night long. Just take him." The rest of the morning was a whirlwind of nursing, putting him back in his crib and then returning to his room when he started fussing again.

You can't tell me that essentially injecting a virus, active or otherwise, into a child doesn't have any side effects. Every mom I know is wise to the side effects of these vaccines. So if some doctor tries to tell you otherwise, ask him if he'd like to spend the next 24 hours at your house.

Monday, June 04, 2007

A memorable scent

Dan is only six months old, but somehow, the phrase "When Dan was little" has already entered my lexicon. I look at (relatively) old photos and videos of Dan and recall past routines and how he's outgrown them. For instance, I miss our little breakfasts together. He would roll around while I sat on the floor eating my breakfast, reading the paper and listening to the BBC newshour. I'd make fun of the broadcasters' accents just to elicit a smile from him. Now, he tries to crawl and grabs at my newspaper. The radio no longer interests him and the funny accents are old hat.

Even certain smells can take me back to Dan's early days ... as my husband points out, "You mean a few months ago?" Exclusively breastfed babies have a rather pleasant smelling poop. Over the weekend, Dan went through a spell of not eating much solid food. So when I opened his diaper and got a whiff, I was suddenly overcome with a wave of nostalgia. And believe me, this was pleasant after a few weeks of sweet poo-tato and other rather frightening diaper surprises.

I never thought it would come to this but I've become nostaligic over poop. Thankfully, I get to go to work tomorrow. I need a break. (Yet another post started earlier and not finished. As I write, it's Wednesday night. To say I've had my hands full this week is an understatement.)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Teething tyrant

This post was started a few days ago, but not finished. Hmmm, wonder why? Anyhow, he is doing much better, but we still have no teeth.

For some reason, one of my first "oh crap" newly pregnant moments came when I realized that sometime in the next year I would be faced with a teething infant. Now, the teething tyrant has arrived.

Not only is he teething but he is trying to crawl. He cries in pain from teething and in frustration from trying to crawl. And, to make matters worse, what once seemed like a possible routine is now all shot to hell.