Friday, January 26, 2007

Breastfeeding Dads

Cookie Magazine's Daysitter Blog muses about lactating males. Check out this clip. Is it a documentary or a mockumentary? What do you think?

New book review posted at Chicago Parent

The February issue of Chicago Parent includes my review of Paula Spencer's hilarious and empowering book, Momfidence! Read the review here. For a daily dose of Momfidence, check out Paula's blog at http://www.momfidence.com/.

Coming in March to Chicago Parent's soon-to-be-revamped, totally cool new website:

an interview I did with Paula

and

(drum roll please)

Scrambled CAKE! I'm honored to be one of eight featured bloggers on the new site. Join my hungry boys and I as we eat our way around the city. We'll expand on the current CAKE offering with kid-friendly dining tips, cookbook reviews, and more.

Coming in March, 2007.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Save the Date

Illinois gifted education advocates and their families are encouraged to head to the Springfield, IL on Wednesday, April 18 for Please Don’t Leave Our Children Behind.

It’s a day to focus the attention of the Illinois legislature on the issues of gifted children and the horrible disservice our fine state does to them.* Don't believe me? Check out the chapter on public education in Alissa Quart's book, Hothouse Kids: the Dilemma of the Gifted Child. Illinois provides the textbook example of what happens and who suffers when a state removes mandated funding for gifted education. But I digress....

Join me and the boys in Springfield as we attempt to influence our elected officials. We won't be doling out generous campaign contributions (remember, all our spare cash goes to pay for the private gifted school), but when they see Splinter in his little blue blazer with his big pleading eyes, our legislators will have a hard time saying No. At least, that's what happens to me. Contact Springfield@ArvaMont.com for more information on this special day.

Anybody wanna carpool?


*(Until they get to high school in which case there's a free public institution that serves the best and brightest science and math students.)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Why have kids?

As Smartypants and his carpool buddy were going crazy in the car this afternoon, I asked in a comically exasperated manner, "Ugh, why did I ever have kids?"

Carpool buddy shot back, "So you can be a grandma some day."

My gosh, he's right!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sleep is the new sex

Did I read that right? First the New York Times declares that messes are okay and now this other great news for tired, disorganized moms!* Sleep is the new sex. I'm going to get me some right now.

*I read about this article on Paula Spencer's Momfidence blog. My review of her book of the same name will appear in the February issue of Chicago Parent.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

And you thought the Mall of America was over the top

Check out the Mall of the Emirates (as in, United Arab)--it has an indoor ski hill!

Slate.com has an interesting and amusing take on Dubai, complete with photos of said ski hill here.

I recently had a fun mini-reunion with some high school classmates, one of whom was visiting from Dubai. She amused us with tales of expat life, stories about her work with CNN, and the hassles of traveling overseas with kids in tow.

Sure, she has two boys like me and works part-time and faces the universal work-life dilemmas and mothering issues that we all do, but still, I mean, she lives in Dubai! Things just don't get all that exciting here in Skokie (I hear DH's voice in my head, "but we like it that way, remember?") I should note that the local paper published my letter to the editor today! Wa-hoo!


Must mention that my Dubai-living friend looked fabulous. I understand why she's at CNN and I'm blogging, pajama-clad, from a dark corner of my basement. *sigh*

DH made up this related and very catchy tongue-twister:
When in Dubai, do buy a bidet.
Try it ten times fast!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Expired rubbing alcohol inspires

I'm a sucker for expiration dates.

I'm not sure if an unopened bottle of rubbing alcohol can truly expire, but that's what the bottle says. What the heck, it's January; out with the old and in with the new. I didn't want to simply dump the old stuff down the drain, though.

So I called upon my good friend Google to help me find a simple craft idea using rubbing alcohol. Here it is: The Rubbing Alcohol and Sharpie Marker Faux Tie-Dye. (Google never lets me down.)


To make it, stretch the dry t-shirt over the pan/bowl or put aluminum foil or cardboard inside the shirt. Make a series of dots using the Sharpie markers and use an eyedropper or cotton swabs to gently apply the rubbing alcohol over the dots. (I'm told you can also use a spray bottle, but spray bottle full of rubbing alcohol + two energetic little boys seems like a dangerous combo.) As the shirt soaks up the alcohol, the color spreads, creating a tie-dye effect.

Allow the shirt to dry and then iron or put it in the dryer on high for 15 minutes to set the design. (Again, fabric drenched in combustible liquid + intense heat = danger, so let the shirt dry before setting the design in the dryer.) Wash as normal. Do this in a well-ventilated area or outside project to avoid a build-up of fumes from the alcohol.

Smartypants, on the Sunday (not-so) funnies

For well over a year Smartypants has been reading The Lockhorns, a comic in which a middle-aged husband and wife repeatedly make stinging (but theoretically funny) comments about one another.

He looked up from the funnies this morning and asked:

Why don't they just get divorced?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Yet another award

And the award for first sick family member of the year goes to...Smartypants, for a raging case of Strep Throat!

Instead of going back to school today, Smartypants and I hightailed it to the doctor.

Looking on the bright side, there's no better time to start chipping away at our $5,000 deductible than the first week of January. Let me repeat that so you know it's not a typo: we've got a $5,000 family deductible on our medical insurance. This means that until we reach the magic number we are privy to the insurer's "provider discounts" but no actual payment of fees on their behalf. Except for yearly physicals. In theory. DH's "fully covered" wellness exam still cost well over $100 out-of-pocket.

Since we started on this employer-sponsored plan last September, our fairly healthy family managed to accrue over $4000 in expenses by the year's end. None of which applies to this year's deductible.

This is the wave of the future, people.

Start eating your veggies, washing your hands, and saving your money.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Sometimes I'm right

Happy new year everybody!

Last January I predicted several things that were unlikely to occur in 2006...and I was 100% correct!

Here's what I said:

Even though I don’t have a crystal ball, I am pretty sure I will not receive any of the following awards in 2006.

Perfect Attendance

Ms. Punctuality

Best-Dressed

Cleanest House

Neatest Handwriting

Most Beautiful Garden