Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ready for American Idol

. video

Avery and Jack playing together as a stall tactic before bedtime. You can tell by the end that Avery was getting really excited about All! The! Singing! It is also clear that Jack is feeling a lot better these days. We have actually slept all night long for the past 2 nights and he is able to go to sleep on his own again so I think we have turned the corner. Oh happy day!

This weekend I will be cashing in on a bet I won with Matt. At the beginning of the football season I bet Matt that the Dolphins would win more games than the 49ers. I won big time. So we are going downtown to a restaurant that was featured on the Food Network. Technically it is where Matt wants to go but I am magnanimous like that. 

It better be good or I will never let him hear the end of it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If I weren't so tired I might have something more interesting to say

I won't mention that Jack's restlessness that I noted during my last blog entry turned into The Worst Night Ever. Or that he went to the doctor on Monday and was diagnosed with an ear infection. Or that he stayed home from daycare for 2 more days this week. Instead I will just say that Jack seems to be doing better and we are excited that February is just around the corner. Maybe it isn't all of 2009 that can bite me. Maybe it is just January.  I am going to give the other months the benefit of the doubt.

But they are On Notice.

Rather than talk about The Sick that has disrupted our lives for the past month I will write a little bit about what is going on in pop culture.

First off, The Bachelor. Is it just me or are the rest of you wondering why Stephanie is still in the running for Jason's heart? I don't get it. Sure, they have the whole single parent thing in common, but is there truly a love connection there? She just seems...(how do I say this without offending anyone)...well, Stepfordish. She just seems like she is ready to serve him in any manner he deems necessary. And also? I don't think she is the cutest girl on the show. In fact, I find myself staring at her "eyebrows" every time she is on camera. (I say "eyebrows" because they are not actually from nature. I'm just saying.)

Next, the SAG awards. Did anyone watch those? Anyone? Yeah, that's what I thought. I happened to catch it (ok, fine, I recorded it) and I was a little surprised by some of the winners. Super happy for Sean Penn because I hear (ahem) that Milk is awesome and I just generally like him as an actor. And while I LOVE 30 Rock and Tina Fey, I just don't get why Alec Baldwin beats Steve Carelle every time. The Office is such a great show and I think Steve should get an award for being able to make it through the episode without laughing at every line he has to deliver. Maybe it is just me...

The Superbowl is this weekend! And I don't really care that much. We are going to our friend's house as is our annual tradition but I just can't get excited about the two teams playing. I look forward to hanging out with the gang and attempting to prevent Avery and Jack from breaking everything in our friend's not-yet-childproofed house (although it will be soon! yay!), but the game will certainly be an afterthought this year. I can't like Arizona because they used to be the St. Louis Cardinals when I grew up there and their owner moved them (JERK) so we all hated him. And then they kept the Cardinal name, which is ridiculous, so that when a new NFL team moved into St. Louis their name didn't match up with the baseball team, which was something I always loved about our sports teams. (The baseball Cardinals and the Football Cardinals. sigh. Totally loved that.) So I guess that means I will root for the Stealers by default. But really, I don't care.

Finally, Jessica Simpson. Can you believe she is getting so much heat for her size 2 figure? She chose an unfortunate outfit to wear at a festival in Florida (mom jeans. awful.) and the tabs have jumped all over that. I don't want to live in a world where size 2 is considered fat, but that is the reality now. Maybe she has gained 5-10 pounds recently but I still think she is extremely thin. And so what if she isn't thin!?!? Remember when a people used to say "a perfect 10" when referring to a woman's size? Those were the days. 


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Second Verse, Same As the First

Jack has decided to test our sanity by contracting another illness. I am pretty sure that we will meet our annual insurance deductible by the end of the month. This time there was nothing we could do but give him some Motrin and some pain killer made up of Maalox and Benadryl to numb his throat. He was pretty miserable for all of Friday and most of the rest of the weekend. The worst of it was that he had such a terrible time sleeping thanks to his throat hurting and I think we can all agree that everything is much worse when you aren't functioning on a full night of sleep.

2009 can bite me.

Maybe we will start our new year over on February 1st and just forget that January even happened at all. 

Since Jack was sick (did I mention AGAIN) we didn't do anything this weekend in the realm of fun. I wanted to see a movie since it is award season and I still haven't seen all of the Oscar nominated films. If you haven't seen Slumdog Millionaire yet, grab some candy, stuff it in your purse and get to the movie theater. (what? Like you actually pay $5 for m&ms at the theater.) But we did end things well with an awesome Pioneer Woman dinner. Matt made Ranch Style Chicken and Twice Baked Potatoes. It was an amazing dinner! I definitely needed something like that after our weekend. 

I am just looking forward to starting the work week again so that I can hang out with people who can articulate their problems rather than just cry about them. 

Now I am off to bed and hopeful that my eyes do not open again until 6:30am. I hear Jack stirring in his crib now so I doubt that wish will come true.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Day I Will Never Forget

**you will notice that there is nothing in this post about political party or policy. Yesterday was way beyond that. No matter who you voted for and what party you support there is no question that yesterday was historic. I am not looking for an argument about political ideology here, so play nice if you are going to leave a comment.**

Yesterday was amazing for me. I only wish my kids were a little older so they could understand the magnitude of the moment. Avery does go around saying, "Obama is our President!" but she doesn't really remember a time in her life when we didn't talk about Obama so she doesn't know how amazing that statement is. Here are some of my thoughts on the day; listed so I can always remember the feeling. 

the speech: First let me say that when Obama walked onto the podium all alone after everyone else had been announced and seated you could see the look on his face. It was as though he realized how lonely it is at the top and he started to feel the weight of the office on his shoulders. It was stunning to see. 

When he spoke after he was sworn in (we won't even discuss how Roberts flubbed that), he didn't give a soaring speech with lots of prose. He really laid it out for the crowd of Very Excited people. The tone of his speech was more serious, as if he was saying:  look, we have things to do. Today is fun, but things are serious and I am here to do things differently. We are going to make some sacrifices, but we can do it together because it can't just be on me to make the changes on my own. 

When he said that we are a young country but it is time to "put away childish things" I lost my breath. What a great way to tell our leaders in Washington to grow up and start working together.  
When he said to other countries, "we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist" it really gave us an idea of how he will handle foreign policy. So much different than the cowboy ways we have become used to over the last 8 years. 
When he said we are "ready to lead again" I felt both proud and uncomfortable at the same time knowing that Bush was sitting just feet from where he was giving the speech. Man, that took some....guts.
When he talked about how his own father would not have been served in certain restaurants in Washington only 60 years earlier it brought tears to my eyes. If only his parents and beloved Grandmother could have lived to see the moment. 

Just an all-around great speech that matched the tone of our times and the seriousness of the job ahead of him while acknowledging the excitement of the crowd. 

After the formal ceremonies, during lunch, the parade and the balls,  I saw an American Family and not a black family. And the cool thing is that I think (hope) that most people saw them the same way I did. I promise 30 years ago I could not make that same statement with such confidence. 

It really makes you believe in the American dream again. It makes you realize that anyone can do anything! Who would have ever imagined that a black man with a name like his would win the White House?We were very early supporters of Obama and I remember Matt saying (almost 2 years ago) that Obama has great ideas and is very inspiring but with a name like that he will never get elected. How amazing that he did.

Finally, I want to share a poem that I think sums up some of the feelings of this amazing accomplishment. 

I, Too, Sing America
By Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"
Then.

Besides,
They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.



Obviously I don't know what it is like to be black. To have ancestors that were slaves. To have living relatives that feared for their safety because of the color of their skin. To be treated as second class citizens. To be limited about where I could eat or sleep when traveling. To currently deal with racial profiling and prejudice. I don't know how that feels. 

And the best news is that hopefully this election means that many black children will also not know what it feels like to be profiled or treated as "lesser than." We have a long way to go, no question, but we have made a huge down payment on MLK's dream. 

I wish President Obama all the best. I hope people are willing to give him time to implement his policies and plans to improve the country. It will take all of us--Democrats and Republicans--to make a difference. 

Congratulations, America! Today is a new day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Only in America

I have been watching the inauguration all day and night. The formal ceremony, the parade, the parties tonight. It has all been something great to see.

I'll have more to say tomorrow but tonight I just want to say that I am so proud to be an American. 

Such a joy-filled day.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My, How Time Flies

They were both born on a Tuesday; Avery in July and Jack in March. It was the 18th in both cases. So that makes today a special day for both of them. 



The weather was beautiful again today so we spent some time outside playing. Avery has been in "Potty Training Boot Camp" all weekend at Grammie's house. My mom has a knack for potty training. She has been successful at potty training my nieces and now it is Avery's turn. I think I have mentioned already that she (Avery, not my mom) has been fairly good about telling us when she has to go potty but we haven't been great about putting her to the test. We rarely leave the house without a diaper on and we aren't great about making sure that she goes potty first thing in the morning. We do make sure she goes to the bathroom before bedtime but that seems to be more of a stalling tactic for her than anything else. Anyway, this weekend should be the end of it because my mom has a very high success rate for getting kids all the way trained. Since she is over there (the whole thing takes 3 full days), we spent most of the day at their house and I had my camera out for a lot of it. 

Here are some of the shots from today:

Jack's pensive look. He is probably thinking about the inauguration on Tuesday and hoping everyone stays safe and warm.
There are always fewer pictures of Avery because she is 2. Sometimes we forget she is 2 because of her verbal skills but she makes it really easy to remember when we ask her to do something she doesn't want to do. 

This is Jack clapping to "pat-a-cake." As you can see, he is getting more teeth on the top. He has 8 total now but 2 are so new that it is hard to see them. He has 4 on the top and 4 on the bottom.
Ok! Now we're talking! An actual smile! I can't remember what I had to promise for this but I think it involved Dora Snacks. 

I think he was considering the national debt in this picture.
I can't get enough of those big cheeks. Don't even get me started on his eyes!


And finally, a little political talk on the blog. I am so excited about Obama's inauguration on Tuesday and hopeful that our country will start to see improvements over the next year. I am proud that we have a black president within the lifetime of people who experienced segregation and terrible struggles for equal rights. This is going to be an historic event and it makes me a little sad to hear people say that it isn't special. No matter what your political party, this man represents a dream for a lot of Americans who were made to feel (and frankly, thought of as) inferior in many parts of the country. They deserve to be overly happy about this. We all do. 

Obama supporters! I hope if you aren't a supporter now you will at least give him a chance. 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

They Are There To Save Your Ass, Not Kiss It



I am sure the blogs are blowing up with this topic but I really wanted to comment about the plane crash in New York today. The pilot was did an amazing job landing that plane safely today. It was nothing short of a miracle that everyone survived and there were only a few minor injuries. 

Five years ago I was a flight attendant for Delta and I remember vividly the water rescue training that we had to take. No matter what, it is a flight attendant's responsibility to get everyone off the plane in 90 seconds. It is my understanding from watching the news tonight that all passengers and crews were out of the plane in 90 seconds today. Nice work to the entire crew!

In a water rescue the flight attendants in the back of the plane must direct everyone forward because you can't open the aft doors or the plane will sink much faster. I think that would be the scariest place to be in that situation because you have to resist the urge to open the door that is right next to you. You also need to shout at the folks at the emergency exit so they know how to open the windows and direct people onto the wing.

The first class flight attendant is responsible for opening both the front doors to allow people to get out on either side. When you open a door in an emergency a slide automatically inflates. That slide can be used as a raft in a water situation. There are also rafts in the overhead bins of airplanes (you know that big container that is always in the bin right above where you are sitting? that's probably a raft). The rafts are pretty well stocked with temporary supplies that come in handy while you are waiting for rescuers. They are tethered to the plane so if the plane starts to sink, as was the case today, there is a knife in one of the pockets of the raft to cut the rope. There is also a small first aid kit, a water purifier, some flares, and an air horn. The flight attendant is responsible for giving everyone an assignment to keep order on the raft if the wait for help takes longer than expected. Clearly, and thankfully, that wasn't the case today. It was around 11 degrees with the wind chill today in NYC so those folks probably couldn't last long out there without their coats.

The pilot and lead flight attendant are always the last two off the plane (no matter what type of emergency it is). They go through the entire cabin to make sure no one was left behind and then they exit the plane; first the flight attendant, then the pilot. They are going through the same emotions as everyone else. They have the same family members on their minds. And when it is all over and everyone is safe, they will be interviewed by the FAA and the head of their airline rather than NBC news. 

As I mentioned, I remember our water rescue training at Delta vividly. It was conducted indoors in a large pool that had an airplane attached to it. Everything was fully functional. During the simulation the doors opened and a raft opened up. We all loaded on the raft and performed various tasks. We even practiced getting back in the raft if it capsized. At the time I was thinking that we would never use this knowledge because no plane that hit the water would stay in one piece. Today I thank God that I was wrong.

There was an infant on the plane today and I just can't imagine being the mother with that child and having to get off without panicking while caring for a small child. It was so cold outside and I wonder if they had a coat on still. Probably not. The child must have been so confused about what was going on and the mother must have been terrified. I just can't possibly imagine what that must have been like. For any of them.

So next time you fly remember that handing out beverages and snacks is definitely part of the job but it isn't the main reason flight attendants are on the plane. Be nice to them! They are the ones that are going to save you if that becomes necessary. 

And trust me, they are fully capable of handling any situation.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Not Quite Ready for Babysitting Just Yet, But She is Close!

The kids are starting to play together which means two things: We have to keep a very close eye on them to prevent Avery from accidently strangling Jack and there is a lot more laughter in our house these days. 

Jack pretty much laughs at anything Avery does. His absolute favorite is when she makes monkey sounds at the highest possible volume her two year old lungs can produce. There is no such thing as an inside voice when it comes to monkey sounds. 

It has also been cool to see Jack start to become more independent. He is feeding himself more, exploring all over the house, pulling up on anything he can reach and playing with his toys for longer periods of time. Here are some shots of his newfound independence. 





Nom Nom Nom. This boy loves to eat! 

The best news we have gotten this week is that Jack is doing much better. It turns out he was sick from the salmonella outbreak that has been going around the country. We don't know how he could have possibly gotten salmonella poisoning since he doesn't eat any of the foods that are normally associated with salmonella. Our number one suspect is the shopping cart at the grocery store. We have a shopping cart cover but I didn't have it in my car when I popped into the grocery store on January 2nd to pick up a few things. That is the only thing I can think of. 

I am just glad it is over and he is back to his old self again. Avery is, too. She is happy to have her playmate back. 

This trampoline from Santa has turned out to be no fun for Matt and me. It is huge. We stub our toes on it more than she plays on it. And every time I think we can actually put it away she starts to enjoy it again. ugh.
This is Avery in time out tonight for taking Jack's toy away from him while he was playing with it. Here's Matt in time out because he took Avery's shoes off (or "stole" them as she called it) even after she said SHE wanted to take them off. She told him to go to TIME OUT until he learned to "obey." 

Both of them free from time out and ready to keep playing.

There's that thumb. Must mean it is getting close to bedtime. 
Sometimes I think she is going to love him to death. The look of fear on his face is priceless. 


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Definitely Don't Want To See Myself on TV

We all have that skinny friend that says, "oh, I am so fat these days. I ate a whole box of cookies. I made a batch of brownies and ate them all in 5 minutes." And you know they are full of crap but you just smile because clearly they want some kind of validation that they are still skinny and that box of cookies did nothing to ruin their figure. You know what I am talking about? 

Well this is not one of those times. 

My room is a mess. And not the kind of "mess" where I mean that the pillows on the couch are not properly fluffed and there is a DVD on the TV stand rather than in the drawer with the rest of the DVDs. I mean MESS. 

I can't put an exact date and time on how this happened but I know it has something to do with Christmas. I bought a bunch of stuff and wrapped it in our bedroom so there are a bunch of shopping bags on the floor in there. They still have gifts in them that I need to mail to out-of-town friends, which is why the bags are still in the room. It sounds like it makes sense but it really is an unnecessary pile of stuff that needs to be dealt with. I need to box up the things that should be mailed and I need to put the rest of it away but I just haven't. 

And I have no good reason for not doing it. (unless we count blogging. I guess I can't pick up because then I wouldn't be able to blog!) I know I will feel much better when things are organized so I really should just quit procrastinating and get it all done but I tend to find 19 things that seem More Important than cleaning up. Matt hasn't said anything yet but I know that he is thinking that I am 60% responsible for the mess in our room and I need to get my butt in gear to clean it up. And I will probably get mad at him when he says something because it isn't all mine. (although in all fairness, it really is the majority mine)

To show you what I mean I have included a picture...

hey Theresa--you see that box on the floor? The one under my lounge pants? That's Robbie's "Baby's First Christmas" ornament that I haven't sent you. You're Welcome. 

My big plan is to get things cleaned up this Saturday when Matt takes Avery to Gymboree so I will keep you posted to see if I was able to get my act together.

***********************************

In the meantime, here are some pictures of Avery and Jack in the tub tonight. They love taking baths and Jack is always laughing at Avery for some reason or another.

Our eye doctor appointment isn't until the end of February but I think it is clear from this picture that she still needs her glasses for a while.
Jack munching on the sponge. He would not put that thing down for the longest time. He is getting another top tooth and chewing everything is his new favorite thing to do.

Now I should probably start working on my room before Clean House calls and says that I will be featured on their show.



Monday, January 12, 2009

Oh, Hi!

Today is delurking day, so if you have been reading the blog but not leaving comments, today is your chance to reveal yourself and say hello!! 

In the spirit of awards season, why don't you tell me your favorite TV show when you leave your comment. Can't wait to see what everyone has to say. :-)

In other news, I was totally right about Slumdog Millionaire last night. It swept all the awards it was up for. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly suggest that you run right out and buy a ticket. 

And speaking of the Golden Globes (what? I was!) Tina Fey totally bucked the trend of female acceptance speeches last night by telling people that don't like her to "suck it." That could not have been more awesome.  It is easy to see why 30 Rock is such a great show. WHY AREN'T MORE PEOPLE WATCHING IT? I have been hooked from the start. 

Other shows I am loving right now:
The Office
Lost (coming back next week!)
2 and a Half Men
How I Met Your Mother
American Idol (coming back tomorrow!)

Shows I watch that my husband is embarrassed about:
The Bachelor (and the Bachelorette)
The View
The City
The Hills
Bridezillas
The Girls Next Door

I must now go hang my head in shame. I am looking forward to hearing your favorite guilty pleasure in the comments section.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

And the Golden Globe Goes To....

Isn't it so funny when the actors cry and act all crazy when they win an award? I am watching the Golden Globes right now and it is just hilarious how these people can't string a sentence together after they win. And the crying. oh, my the crying. Here are all the ingredients for an acceptance speech at the Golden Globes if you are a female actress:

1. cry
2. stutter
3. apologize for crying and stuttering
4. forget what you were going to say and put hand up on chest as a non-verbal cue that you are really sincere
5. thank your agent and the make-up people on the film for all their wonderful work
6. mention your spouse or partner so that the tabloids don't run a story that you are getting a divorce or breaking up
7. awkwardly hold the award
8. give a shout-out to someone no one knows and tell them you hope they feel better soon. this will give the press something to investigate. now that person will have their privacy invaded by several dozen photographers camping out at their house
9. make sure your voice is trembling the whole time

Oh, how I love award season. Especially this show because it is the movies and TV shows all in one. Plus, they serve lots of alcohol and snacks (but no one ever eats the snacks because you are on TV and GOD FORBID anyone sees you actually putting food in your mouth) so by the middle of the night they are all drunk and the speeches get really good. 

I try and see as many movies that are nominated as possible, especially for the Oscars, but that has gotten much harder since having kids. Most of the movies that are nominated don't come out until December and there is no way to pack that many movies into a single month when you consider all of the Christmas festivities going on all month. But today we saw Slumdog Millionaire (nominated for best picture at the GG and will probably get the same nomination for the Oscars). IT WAS AMAZING. I have never seen a movie like it. I highly recommend seeing this movie if you have the time. It is shot in a way that is totally unique and the storytelling is engaging and keeps you on edge the whole time. I hope it wins a bunch of awards tonight. I have a feeling it will. Now I just need to see Benjamin Buttons, Revolutionary Road, Milk and Gran Tarino

Now it is back to the Golden Globes and all the wonderful speeches. Plus, it appears that the alcohol is kicking in and the facial expressions in the audience are really worth viewing. :-)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It Feels Like We Have Had a Sick Child All Year

Posting has been light this week because Jack has been sick. He doesn't get sick often but when he does he makes it count. We have spent about 10 hours at our pediatrician's office this week, most of it Monday. Needless to say, we have had a tough week. I mean, there are only so many times that you can pick up Wonder Time magazine and feign interest over articles about getting your toddler to eat veggies while waiting to talk to the doctor.

One of the craziest things we have had to do this week is save dirty diapers and take them into the doctor's office for testing. I have been thinking about this a lot and I just can't seem to come up with a worse job than having to check those diapers once we get them there. What kind of terrible crime do you think those people had to commit to be stuck with that job?

He is much more playful and active today, which is a good sign, but he is still experiencing many of the symptoms that he had on Sunday and Monday. The shots he received have helped his fever go way down so we are hopeful that he will be as good as new by the weekend. 
poor Jack, clearly not feeling good and Avery with her "I didn't do anything" look

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To catch up on some things from this week:

1. The Longhorns won the Fiesta Bowl. I would not have normally been up late enough to see the whole game but Jack was awake for most of that time so I was able to see it all happen in real time. (I record them. I just can't stay up that late and then go to work the next day so I always record the games and watch them when I wake up in the morning. Quit saying I am not a true fan. geesh) I was pretty impressed with Colt McCoy's ability to keep his cool in the 4th quarter.

2. Avery spent 2 nights with my parents this week--partly because we thought we might be taking Jack to the emergency room and partly because we knew that he would have the whole house awake with his crying. It was nice to just deal with one baby at a time and Avery had fun with Grammie and Poppa.

3. The weather has been amazing this week and I have had the chance to get out and walk several times. It was just about 80 today so I took the kids to the park after work. Jack just stayed in the stroller since he is still a little sick but Avery had a great time running around. 

4. Having a sick kid during the first week of work after the holiday break kind of sucks. I have lots of help, more than most people, but the stress of work and worrying about a kid is never fun. Generally I don't even realize how stressed I am until Matt speaks and I get annoyed. Pretty much anything he says is wrong or irksome. He pretty much doesn't stand a chance around me when I have too many things going on at once. I try to stay away from him as much as possible since I know this about myself but he follows me into the next room and actually tries to engage in conversation with me. (I know! ridiculous!) 

Or worse, he asks me what's wrong. Jerk. There is pretty much nothing worse that you can ask than that when a woman is feeling too much pressure from all sides. Completely insensitive. 

Oh, sure, I could be patient and just tell him that I would like some space because either a baby is attached to me or I have some deliverable at work that is on my mind but I think it is just much easier to make snide comments and leave the room. Much healthier for the relationship also. 

5. We are planning a trip to Vegas in March. My brother and sister-in-law will be there along with some of their friends from Illinois so it should be a good time. This will be Matt's first time in Vegas so I can't wait to see how he reacts to it. Such a fun trip as long as you only stay for 3-4 days. I think beyond that you start to get overloaded with too much stimuli and you end up marrying some guy you were friends with in high school and then you get the marriage annulled 52 hours later. Or some such nonsense.

************************************

And speaking of nonsense, I would just like to thank my neighbors (THEY KNOW WHO THEY ARE) for the lovely Christmas gift that they gave Jack. My knees and back would also like to thank them. My lovely neighbors were nice enough to give us crayons for the bathtub. Avery took them over right away and drew a masterpiece in the tub when Matt was bathing her. Unfortunately she did not erase her masterpiece while still in the tub so it dried on the walls. And it did not want to be destroyed by the water I sprayed on it. In fact, those colors put up a damn good fight and required bleach to remove. 

I would just like to say that my neighbor's kid is a year younger than Avery and their next one will be a year and a half younger than Jack. Payback is hell. :-)


Oh Clorox, you are a dear, dear friend. 


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Government: If You Think Our Problems Are Bad, Just Wait Until You See Our Solutions


Oh you silly US Government, you have gone and done it again. 

Have you heard about this? The Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act? It is a new law enacted by Congress and while it is not crystal clear (typical), what it basically means is that you will not be able to buy or sell used baby clothes. 

Not at Goodwill.

Not on Craig's List or eBay.

Not at Consignment shops.

As of Feb. 10th, 2009 this will be an illegal act. (Although I don't know how the heck they are going to prosecute this.)

The following information is taken from babycheapskate.com.

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I want to be clearer and more specific about the effect the CPSIA (Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act) will have on reselling when it goes into effect on February 10. As clear as I can be, that is, since it seems there's an awful lot of confusion.

You will no longer be able to place used children's clothes or toys into the "stream of commerce" unless you can prove that they've been tested for lead and pthalates. Items manufactured after Feb. 10 will boast a permanent tracking label which will do just that. As I and others understand it, that means no selling items without such proof on ebay, Craigslist, yard sales, and church/organization consignment sales (See if your favorite sales are still scheduled). Of course, that means no buying kids' clothes and toys without the label from these sources either. This act could easily triple the amount that many families pay to clothe their kid until there are enough second-hand items manufactured after Feb. 10 to replenish the second-hand market (and even then it's likely that prices at thrift stores, etc. will be higher due to the added cost of testing them). It will absolutely eliminate the notion of recouping any of the cost of older items through reselling.

What about donations? My research tells me that you won't be able to donate your used kids' clothing and toys to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or any place that would resells. They'd have to have proof that you had it tested for lead and pthalates. What that means for charities like Project Linus, which gives blankets to hospitalized newborns, or to charities that distribute clothing and toys without selling them, is unknown.

So can you give away your stuff on Freepeats, Freecycle, and Craigslist? What about swap meets? I've found one commenter that says no. Beyond that, there's little mention of it.

(babycheapskate.com is a great source if you want more information)
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So......

Is anyone else just a little peeved that the rich lawmakers in Washington get to make decisions like this for middle and lower class Americans? I just can't imagine that any of them have any experience with this type of commerce. Do you think Kay Bailey Hutchison (our senator from Texas) has ever purchased used clothes for her children in her life? I tend to doubt it. And that is fine for them but they should also consider the effects of passing laws like this on those of us who do. 

Look, I am sure that this law started off as something very positive but it has turned into something that doesn't make sense for most Americans. And with layoffs becoming more and more common the practice of buying clothes at Consignment shops is becoming more and more necessary for families across the country. 

If you are ticked, this is what you can do about it:

How to Get Involved -- it only takes 5 minutes of your time! (information thanks to Cool Mom Picks)

-Find your congress person and senators and write a letter like the sample here.
Particularly if they serve on the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection or the House Committee on Small Business.

-Send an email directly to the CPSC or contact chairperson Nancy Nord at 301-504-7923

-Vote for amending the law on Change.org, With enough votes it will be presented to President Obama in January! (voting starts again on January 5th.)

-Click on this link to put a Save Second Hand button on your blog. 

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Oh, So This is What 2009 Feels Like

Happy New Year! I hope you had a memorable time bringing in 2009 last night. 

We attended Josh's annual NYE theme party as usual. This year was so much different than years past because the crowd was much smaller thanks to friends recently having babies, friends about to have a baby and various other no-good reasons (I'm talking to YOU, Sabrina!). Nevertheless, we had a great time as always and I was happy to be with the group of people that was there. Matt thinks it was one of the best parties ever because he liked everyone that was there and genuinely had a good time talking to everyone. (typical for Matt)

This year's theme was Beerfest (as in the movie) so the food and entertainment revolved around drinking beer, playing drinking games and eating lots of German food. I forgot to take a picture of the food but here is how the other parts of the night went.


playing beer pong in Josh's garage. Blake and Matt were the big winners of the night. Makes sense when you think about Matt's German heritage. I was so proud....

Blake acting serious for the camera. I wish this guy would learn to lighten up. It's NYE, after all. (Also, notice he is wearing an A&M shirt. I think he wears A&M clothes every day of the week. See him at the gym? Wearing a 2001 football shirt. See him at the grocery store? A maroon team logo tee. See him at work? The A&M polo. Cold weather? He could be wearing a sweatshirt, a windbreaker, or a zip-up jacket all with the A&M logo. This guy is prepared for anything and wants you to know how PROUD he is of his school. After midnight Josh immediately played the UT fight song.)


ok. We watched Dick Clark's Rockin' New Years Eve show and I have to say that it was the saddest thing ever. Why do they let Dick Clark continue to host these shows? I get that he probably wants to and that he feels he is up to it but it really is the most awkward thing to watch. The show just didn't instill a sense of celebration. Rather, you sat there hoping he is able to get the next word out and straining to understand what he is saying. We had to change the channel to Carson Daily (I KNOW!) because we just couldn't watch Dick Clark anymore. Plus, did you happen to see Kelly Pickler on the show? That girl had serious eye shadow issues going on. She would have put Tammy Faye Baker to shame.

Just after midnight the kissing began. But don't be fooled. These two (who normally party all night) were gone about 14 minutes after midnight. Derrin was drinking for 2 and Jolene was ready for him to fall asleep.

We stayed until a little after 1 and then headed home. It was our first NYE with 2 children and I will say that the biggest difference was our energy level and the knowledge that we would have to care for 2 kids (who probably won't nap at the same time just out of spite) the next day. I know Josh was a little disappointed in the turn-out but I hope he continues this tradition next year because it was fun no matter the crowd size.

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New Years Day

Avery and Matt went to the park today after nap. I know you can't tell from the picture, but he is wearing shorts and sandals (ahem, Tina) and she is wearing capri pants. It was warm and sunny in central Texas today so it was a perfect day for playing outside.

Here is Jack's first picture of 2009. Those PJs were a Christmas gift from Lauren and Olivia and I just love them!  It is so weird to think that he wasn't with us this time last year. He has been such a fun addition to the family that it just seems like he's been with us all along. He really seemed to enjoy his first Christmas and I am excited about all the changes that 2009 will bring. I loved the age range from 12-18 months with Avery so I can't wait to see how things go with Jack. 

Now I have to figure out what my new year's resolutions will be. I have some ideas but the list is so long and I need to prioritize so I don't fail at all of them by the 15th of January. More on that topic tomorrow.