Thursday, March 29, 2007

The JOYS of Internet Shopping

I LOVE Internet shopping. OK, I love shopping altogether. But Internet shopping makes it so easy for this busy mom (much to the chagrin of my busy husband). Here are a few site that I have been having fun with recently:

  • ETSY - a cool site that sells all things homemade. Cute clothes, art, jewelry. Great search devices too!
  • Piperlime - The new GAP shoe store. How can you not love these cute shoes??
  • 1154 Lill Studio - These totally custom handbags are so cool. Haven't got one yet, but really want to!
  • Knock Knock - cool office supplies
  • DealTaker - Of course I check Deal Taker every day for the good buys out there!

What are your favorite shopping sites?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Can you Fake Happiness?

Another blogger I read has decided to be happy. She is sick and tired of feeling tired and frustrated and has just decided to stop. She is on a mission to be happy. She's only been doing it for a week, but so far its working for her. It got me to thinking -- can you just do that? Can you just change your attitude and do it.

I have a friend who is generally a glass-half-empty kind of gal, but married a guy who is seriously the MOST negative person I have ever met. If you said, "isn't it a beautiful day?", he would counter with, "but now we have to watch out for skin cancer" or "but all these flowers make my allergies hell". Once they were driving us to another friend's wedding. Our babysitter was late in arriving, so I called to see where she was. She was on her way, and apologized saying she thought she was supposed to arrive at 5:30 and not 5pm. When I relayed this to our friends, the husband says "she did NOT think that, she just lied to you". Now this was a woman who had been taking care of our kids for a long time, who we loved. He had never met her. But he just has that -- the world is out to get me -- kind of attitude. Makes me insane. And has, to a degree, made my friend a little more negative about life too.

Anyway, I thought this experiment was interesting. Instead of griping about the little things, just let them go and decide to be happy. Decide to have fun with the kids instead of cleaning the house, or nagging them to clean up. Decide to give attention to your husband, even if he is driving you crazy (not that you ever do that, honey!). I think she may have something here. Or will she then just be "acting" her life? I don't know. I lean towards thinking that this could work -- just decide to be happy. What do you think?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Grey's Anatomy -- Shonda do you hear me?

I love Grey's Anatomy. I really do. But the last two weeks have me very worried about one of my favorite shows. First, the whole Meredith drowning thing. She comes back to life and just goes on like normal. Did anyone miss the thing with her choosing not to fight and let herself drown? The girl needs help and pronto. McDreamy mentioned it in the most recent episode, but nothing has come of it. She should not be back at work without getting some serious therapy. Then came the Izzy/George fiasco. I mean, NO! It just makes me so mad. First of all, we saw how drunk they were. We're supposed to believe they had mind-blowing sex when drunk out of their minds??!! George is THAT good? I think not. But more importantly -- how could they do this? A horrible plot mistake. I seriously thought it would be repaired this week by us finding out that Izzy was mistaken or had dreamt it. But no, they had to keep it going. I'm sorry, but I don't think Izzy would do something like that, even drunk. And George, after his horrible experience with Meredith, he would do this again? I think not. But the plot goes on. George is going to break Calli's heart and that will just kill me.

I am so mad at the show right now and pray they haven't jumped the shark.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

John Edwards - campaigning and cancer

I was so saddened to hear the Elizabeth Edwards' cancer had come back and spread. I was really routing for them. I thought they were a strong couple and I really liked him as a candidate. But I am not sure how I feel about the announcement of his candidacy continuing despite his wife's cancer. On one hand I say, good for you -- don't let the cancer win, keep on trucking. But on the other hand, I can't believe they would try and do this. I mean, what can be more important than focusing on her health and spending time together. A campaign trail is stressful, unforgiving, and so much more than exhausting. That can't be good for either of them. While I agree they shouldn't just sit at home obsessed with cancer, I think this is well beyond the other extreme. I mean, he is young, he still has many more years to seek higher office. Shouldn't they focus on their family now? I don't know, on a base level this just bothers me. He should be focused on his wife and not the Presidency. Don't you think? All in all, it is sad.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Time with Kids Increasing, Along with Guilt?

Every working mom can relate. You never spend enough time with the kids. Well. A new study by the University of Maryland posits that mothers actually spend MORE time with their kids now than in the 60s. The study was cited in today's Washington Post.

The most interesting part to me was the distinction between primary time (time spent wholly focused on the child (reading, playing games, etc)), secondary time (time spent with the child, but while doing something else), and time spent available to the child but not engaged. It is the primary time that has increased, and I agree with the argument that since many of us have less overall time with our kids the time we have is "quality" time -- ie, time we really engage with our kids.

The article also talks about less time spent on housework. I think this is really true. As there are more two-parent working families, we have more money and less time. So things that aren't critical can be subcontracted out. We subcontract out our house cleaning and our laundry. This is a BIG help. Especially the laundry. We have someone who comes in every two weeks, washes up to 7 loads of laundry, folds it, and puts the kids away (ours she leaves on the bed). This is SUCH a help. The cleaning is key for the bathrooms and kitchen, but just so/so for everything else. We probably need it either more often, or perhaps we need a different cleaning service.

Anyway, interesting article, and I have to say I agree with much of it. I know I work hard to try and plan activities and things to do with my kids when I am home (either after work on or weekends). In fact, when my Dad visited recently for a day, he said he wondered what we did on the weekends. And says he now sees that weekends are "all about the kids". Thankfully, we work to keep it that way.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Geocaching or Hunting for Treasure!

So, yes, I am a geek. A few months ago I finally got my stuff together to go geo-caching. For the uninitiated, geocaching is like a scavenger hunt with people you don't know. Basically, someone takes a waterproof container, puts some stuff it in (usually a logbook, pencil, and some tchotchkies) and hides it. They then post the coordinates on the Internet. Then you, with your trusty GPS, download the coordinates and attempt to find it. When you do, you sign the log book and trade an item they have for one that you leave.

Anyway, I had wanted to do this for a while, and Christmas 2005 got a GPS. I was so excited. About 8 months later I actually opened the box, reread my Geocaching for Dummies, and was ready to go. I did my first few forays with some girlfriends when we were away for the weekend without kids and hubbies. They were totally just humoring me, but I was hooked. I really like it! Using the GPS is cool, searching and finding is cool, sort of being in touch with a bunch of people you don't even know is kind of cool.

Now I've gotten the kids into it. They call it "Hunting for Treasure", and we save up happy meal toys and other trinkets for them to trade. The best part, as we have found, is not just the hiding and seeking, but the places that we've found on the way. Lots of new playgrounds and parks, some cool amphitheaters near us, and lots of other stuff. Just yesterday, while on two failed treasure hunts, we found a nature conservatory pond. Right around it was the weirdest sound -- i was convinced it was wild turkeys. was dozens and dozens of these really freaky frogs, who would only start squawking when you were really quiet. The kids loved, it and we thought it was pretty neat too. As my DH said, sometimes you find a treasure different from the one you are looking for!

For more info on geocaching, visit I highly recommend it as a great way to get outside and enjoy time with your family!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Back from My Trip, Breastmilk Survived/Husband Suffered!

Yayy! So I went on a 3 day trip to Chicago for work. I was all stressed about travelling with breastmilk, but it was really not that big a deal. A friend in the office came up with the brilliant idea of shipping myself my freezer packs in our office over-night package. That worked great. So I was able to carry the pump and my suitcase on the plane without checking. Then I did my meetings, going to my room to pump, using the room fridge for storage, and the hotel freezer to keep my freezer packs in. Then, when I left, I got the freezer packs, put them in a cooler in my luggage, and checked it. Then after I went through security I was able to pump and keep it in my pump at room temperature. Worked fine.

Course my poor husband had an awful time. Pretty much when I boarded the plane on Tuesday, daycare called to say our oldest has pinkeye. He picked her up and tried to keep her away from the other two. So on Wed, she was at home with him and the others went to school. By 2pm they called to say Isabelle had it. Poor hubby he had to go get her, and call the dr for more antibiotics. So he could bring #1 back to school on Thurs, and keep #2 home, and pray #3 didn't get it. Poor guy. He was really a great sport about the whole thing. Both girls are doing fine and babyboy seems to escaped (for now).

Gotta love business travel..never a dull moment.

Monday, March 5, 2007

TSA Prohibition on breastmilk on airplanes

So tomorrow I have to go on a business trip to Chicago. My son is 7-months old, and I am still breastfeeding. Being a working mom, that also means I am pumping. According to the geniuses at the Transportation Safety Administration, breastmilk can only be brought aboard a plane if the baby is travelling with you. That is just crazy because for the most part, if you have the baby with you, the breastmilk can be contained in the breast for ready access by the baby. It wouldn't be in bottles of other containers. This is so frustrating. So..for my 2-day trip I have to bring a cooler and check my pumped milk. It also means that any milk I pump before I get on the plane tomorrow I have to drop off at home or daycare before I leave.

Nevermind the part about keeping it cold. So, i bring my pump with freezer packs on the plane to Chicago. Then I get a fridge in my room for the milk (which I don't want to freeze, because if it defrosts it has to be used within 24 hours, where if it is just kept cold is good for like 2 weeks) and try and keep the freezer packs cold in the little freezer. Or, ideally, I can put them in the hotel freezer. Then I check out on Thursday morning, putting my bags of milk in my cooler bag with the frozen packs...and am in a training class all day. So I pray my bags of milk stay cold, meanwhile pumping new milk that I am adding that will decrease the temperature in the bag. Then I take the whole thing (that is still barely cold), put in my hard-top cooler bag and insert in my luggage, which I will have to check in Chicago. I don't want to even think about what happens if they lose my luggage. Arghhh.

I had someone in my office actually suggest that I just don't pump while I am there, and pick up when I get back. I didn't have the energy to explain why this wouldn't work.

But I will do it, for my little guy. Who could resist this face?