Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic Dreams

For so many years as I've watched Olympics I've related with the athletes. After Mary Lou Retton won gold I balance-beamed on curbs and practiced headstands against the wall. I tried to do my hair like Katarina Witt and I think I had a crush on the entire 1984 men's gymnastic team.

This year is the first year I'm not relating with them so much. I think Michael Phelps is cute but SO YOUNG! Dang he makes me feel old. No, I'm thinking about the parents, and all those meets and practices they've taxi'd for and sat through. I'm thinking about how much it must cost, financially and emotionally to raise an Olympian. I'm thinking about how heart-breaking it must be to see your child try and fail so many times.

I also wonder how and when do you know that your child has that kind of talent and dedication? And how much of it starts out with the parent pushing them in that direction?

Seeing as I took my daughter out of ballet and tumbling after one class each because it's obvious she's just not ready, and she still can't swim or ride a bike, I'm not sure we'll be an Olympic family. At least not for the conventional Olympics. I'm still pretty sure I could be a serious threat in a Freecell competition, and my daughter can out-whine your kid any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

What (real or pretend) events can you see your kids competing in?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Zero Trans Fat Lie

I took the kids on what was supposed to be a quick run to the store to pick up a few essentials: bread, milk, lunch meat, pasta, etc. Of course we were there longer than I expected - that always happens. But the really frustrating thing is that the reason it took so long was because of all the reading I had to do.

Up until today I'd been buying bread that was labeled, "Natural and Healthy." We liked it because it didn't have any partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (PHVO). But now that we're cutting out high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) too it's no longer an option.

All but one brand of bread had at least one or the other, and I spent a good 10 minutes reading fine print on labels trying to translate chemistry terms into choosing bread least likely to kill us eventually. My kids were fussy and whining that we weren't getting close to the pudding section, while I wondered if hydogenated and hydrolyzed mean the same thing. By the time I left the store I was hopping mad.

What especially makes me furious is why is it okay to advertise ZERO TRANS FATS (per serving) on something that HAS trans fats in it??

I imagine a conversation took place similar to this:
Government: You have to stop putting rat poison in food. Someone told the public it's poisonous and now they're all up in our grill about it.
Big Business: Impossible. It's in everything we make, and it'll cost us too much to take out. Not to mention the public actually likes the taste.
Gvt: Well the public knows that WE know that you're putting rat poison in the food, but we'd hate to see your profits take a hit.
BB: How about we keep putting it in, but say we aren't?
Gvt: Good thinking. Where are you treating us to dinner tonight?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


My baby's got so many ADORABLE places to kiss, I can't pick a favorite. Maybe you can help me decide.

Could it be his squishy, tickly belly?

That's the best place for blowing raspberries, but it's also dangerous, since it puts me right in range for some big-time hair pulling. (See that grabby hand, poised to grab my hair and yank it out by the handful?)

Maybe his dimply, pudgy knees? Or his wriggly little piggies?

No, I think it's actually a tie between his neck and his cheek. I mean, how can you resist nibbling on those chubster cheeks? But he is so giggly when I kiss his neck that I just can't decide between the two.

Guess I better stop taking pictures before he falls off the changing table.

Here's a great book called Counting Kisses that's really fun to read to your baby while you give them lots of kisses on all their kissable bits.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Step Away From the Pillow

One quirk I forgot to mention is my pillow quirk. I think I'm pretty good about sharing things with my family: fries, shoes, showers, attention, cheesecake (though my husband will beg to differ). What I'm not good about sharing is my pillow. I don't like people sleeping on my pillow. Do you know how sweaty and drooly (other) people get at night on their pillows? EW. I also do a lot of pillow flipping during the night because I am definitely a cool side of the pillow kind of person.

My husband was oblivious for years to the depths of my pillow possessiveness. He'd sometimes accidentally fall asleep on it, and when I'd come to bed and see him there on my pillow I'd yank it out from under his head. Then he'd wake up all bleary, grunting, "What.. what.. ugh.. are you okay?" And I'd tell him (well, more like SNAP at him) to go back to sleep.

Last night I stayed up pretty late and I heard my 3-year-old go get in my bed with my husband. I figured she'd be in there on my pillow, but I would try to get it nicely without waking her up. No snatching or snapping. This is personal growth for me. Really. It never even occurred to me until THIS VERY MINUTE to just let her sleep the night on my pillow.

So I went in there to get my pillow back and this is what I found:

And like the Grinch, my withered, dried-up old heart grew three sizes and I let her stay on the pillow.

(Until the flash from the camera made her roll right off and I snatched it before she could roll back onto it.)