Sunday, September 12, 2004

Wee Sing(tm)...the Devil's Handiwork?

Like many caring parents, I’ve been barraged by much marketing about toys, games and activities that I should purchase so my son grows into a smart, well-adjusted, emotionally stable young adult. In the interests of introducing my son to music (other than the Pearl Jam riffs he hears whilst riding in the car with me), I purchased a CD entitled “Wee Sing for Babies”. The name itself is so cute, you can’t help but like it, with the clever pun and all. With a price tag under $10, it was a no-brainer. I brought it home, plopped it into the portable CD player in the kitchen and voila! Alex loved it! It’s little kids singing very short songs and nursery rhymes.

What good parents we are! we thought. We puffed out our chests and were proud of the fine appreciation of music that we were instilling in our young tot. Until… the backlash.

I was lying in bed on night, after a dinner enjoyed with the Wee Sing CD cutely playing in the background. I could not get to sleep. Was it because I was thinking about work the next day? No. Worried about personal finances? No. Daydreaming about dimply Jeff Probst? Unfortunately no. It was because I had the “Peas Porridge” song on loop and repeat in my brain!

You know how you get a jingle from a commercial stuck in your head? (FAO Schwartz is the big violator here) ALL these songs are jingle-sized! They stick in your brain like toddler snot on your favorite silk blouse!

Meanwhile, I'm laying in bed trying to think of a new song…any song…and I finally did, except it was “Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands”. ARG! Then “Hickory Dickory Dock”…then “John Brown's Baby”. Then I finally fell asleep…and DREAMED OF THESE DAMN SONGS! AAAHHHH!

I mentioned it to my husband the next day, and he had been having the same experience only at work! The next day, I was minding my own business, working hard, and an email came in from Randy (ding!). Guess what it was? He had typed “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old…”. Bastard. AAAHHH! AAAHH! PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!

You’d think we would learn our lesson – toss the CD and be done with it. But the look on Alex’s face when we play that damn CD is just so precious. His little eyes just light up and he starts hopping up and down (toddler dancing, we think). I fear this is a precursor to things to come, but yes, Wee Sing is still resident in our kitchen CD player.

Serve me up some peas porridge…hot please.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Mister Peanut...Friend or Foe?


One of the things new parents learn quickly is that your young darling should not eat peanuts. I heard about this in some baby book that warned about the severity of nut allergies and that babies and toddlers can have life-threatening reactions to just a small exposure to the Evil Peanut.

So...we have been avoiding giving Alex peanuts. No peanut butter. No chocolate chip cookies with walnuts (Evil Sibling of Evil Mister Peanut). No Pad Thai (okay, he really wouldn't miss that one). Once you start looking, everything fun has nuts in it!

Anyway, I got sick of all the "tip-toeing around the peanut" that we were doing, so the other night during dinner, I rubbed a peanut on Alex. Yes, I actually took a peanut and rubbed it on his arm. "What will that prove?" you may ask. Well, I'd heard that some peanut allergies are so severe that someone inflicted often can't even stand to be in contact with the peanut oil, so I figured if he had a reaction to the peanut rub, he had a peanut allergy. We would know the truth and could move on.

Of course, since we have been brainwashed to fear the Evil Peanut, Loving Husband was horrified! "What if he would have had a reaction?!" he ranted. "But he didn't", I cleverly countered.

Following this, we had dinner with some friends and I mentioned the Nut Rub Experiment. One friend said, "Well, you know that with kids, the first exposure actually may cause the antibodies to form that produce the allergy" (or something scientific crap like that). Uh-oh, I thought. Had I just caused Alex to have an allergy? Oh crap!

But then, I had lunch with another friend, who informed me that her sister had been given her two kids peanut butter since age 8 months! "Horrors! How can that be?" I asked. "What about allergies?" "Allergies?", she said. "No, you don't give them peanuts because they can CHOKE on them, not because of allergies". Hmmm....now I was confused (not an unfamiliar state for me).

Is Mister Peanut the Big Bad or just a Harmless Scapegoat?  I still don't know the truth.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

And Alex's First Word is...

"more"...said in a tiny questioning voice with a slightly French (where did that come from?) accent. Kinda like "moire".

After picking myself off the floor from laughter, I began pondering his choice of first word. How stereotypically American is it to have "more" be the first recognizable word springing from your baby's mouth? Are we not the land of MORE? Who has MORE money, MORE power, MORE status, etc. Little Alex has no idea how unfortunately fitting his choice of first word was.

...All he wanted was MORE peaches.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

My Photo Site

Hey check it out! My mom created a new site with lots of photos of me. Take a look and let me know what you think:
http://www.mywhitebox.com/alex/

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Is Alex's Mom an Ebay Maven?

Am I an Ebay Maven? I was labeled this (I hope lovingly) by a good friend of mine, after suggesting to her to buy her expensive Lancome makeup on eBay. I've been buying my unique potpourri of moisturizers, makeup, hair products and sunless tanning cream from eBay for almost a year now, and just thought I was making an obvious suggestion. Then, as I started thinking of the eBay purchases I've made over the past several years, I started wondering if maybe I have a larger problem than I thought... 

Strange things I've bought from Ebay? Hmmm...please define strange. Is it strange to buy your dog's flea and tick prevention serum from Ebay? I don't think so...it saves me about 20 bucks every 3 months.  My dogs haven't lost any fur nor appendages yet, so it must be working, right?

What about razor refills? I remember buying an entire case of 5-pack Sensor refills (that's 60 razors for those mathematically-challenged folks), for about $30. Not a bad deal, I think.  Sure there's a tiny bit of rust on some of them, so I'm a little wary about their age (do razors have born-on dates?  should they?), but no major lacerations of shins or knees have occurred yet, so all is well.  I also haven't lost fur nor appendages, for the record. 

Let's see...how about shoes?  I bought a pair of supposedly $90 shoes for $15.  While I'm skeptical about the stated "retail value", this purchase turned out better than expected, as the shoes actually fit and looked decent.  Cinderella would have been proud.

And...dishes.  I have a set of cheapo-but-cool plates that I bought years ago from JC Penney.  I found out that they don't carry them anymore and I was bummed.  Then one day the Ebay lightbulb came on and I checked for them.  There they were on Ebay, just waiting for me!  I'm now ready for dinner for 12, should that occasion every arise.  Hopefully it won't, as my table only seats 6.

My darling husband is currently pricing poker chips on Ebay.  Just last night he proclaimed "Look honey, only $78 for a set of 650 chips!"  My response:  "Okay, sweetie...no more watching Celebrity Poker Showdown on Bravo!"  Of course, the alternative is for him to watch Queer Eye and then our credit card bill goes through the roof!  "But Carson says stripes are IN now and solids are OUT...I had to buy new shirts!".  But I digress...

What's interesting (and a bit scary) is that Ebay does not let you SEE your purchase history.  Well, to be fair, they let you see about 2 months' worth, then they go into the Ebay Twilight Zone, never to be seen again.   What's going on here?  Are they afraid that folks will see all the crap that they've bought, calculate how much hard-earned money they've wasted and quit bidding?  I've got news for them...Fat Chance!  Once you have Ebayed, there's no going back.  It's sort of an addiction.  What CAN'T I find on Ebay that I need to buy?

..and therein lies my problem.  I'm a sucker for a great deal.  And I'm the curious sort that just needs to know if someone actually sells panti-liners on Ebay.   By the way, the answer is "yes"- last bid was $1.99 for 135 "Jumbo Pak".  If you act now, you can probably get a bid in.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Alex's Little Secret

Okay, so we were planning on taking Alex swimming. There's this wonderful invention called the "swimming diaper" that you buy to take your little darling into the pool, so their diaper does not blow up like an Oompa-Loompa as it tries to soak up the entire pool into its patented "gel coating". I don't understand the technology behind them, but they are usually a requirement at most pools if your child is not potty-trained. I suppose they don't want to keep refilling the pool. Anyway...

I saw some Lil' Swimmers diapers at Target and grabbed a package. I was shocked by the price - $7.99 for 12 diapers - but hey, they were required, so I bought them.

They sat on the changing table shelf for about a month until we got around to taking Alex swimming (this past July 4th weekend). We excitedly got out several of his swimsuits (yes, he has more than one), had him model each one and decided on the one that didn't slip down to his ankles when he exhaled. Then we opened the package of Lil' Swimmers and....OMIGOD!

We were surprised to find that the diapers were mostly HOT PINK! ...with the Little Mermaid on it! ...right smack-dab across Alex's rear, in her full pink and green mermaidenly glory.

Okay, hold on one damn minute here! No one told me that swimming diapers were sold in "girl" and "boy" varieties! There was no warning on the package! I don't even remember it saying "Little Mermaid"! That might have tipped me off that something was amiss! Even so, aren't there cute little BOY crabs and that cool singing lobster dude? Are they hot pink? NO!
See the abuse I have to take from these people!
Luckily, "Alex's little secret" was easily hidden under his manly (toddler-y?), blue and green surfer-type swimming trunks. Every once in a while, a little bit of pink would appear from under his waistband and we would quickly look around for onlookers, then gently tuck it back in.

Shhhhhh...don't tell anyone Alex's little secret! He's got 11 more of these damn things to wear before we can buy new ones.

Friday, June 25, 2004

101 Uses for Decommissioned Laser Printers

#83 – Jungle Gym for the Kiddies

Has your laser printer quit working? Don't toss it away and leave it to sit useless in the landfill for the next twenty years...hang on that valuable piece of beige plastic and metal! Laser printers make wonderful playground equipment for growing young minds!

Sturdy construction ensures durability as the child climbs onto and over this colorless block of non-stop fun! Clever downward-sloping paper tray design makes for great sliding action...Whee! Junior loves using his leg muscles to crawl up and over.

Playing King of the Mountain has never been so much fun...and practical!