Monday, April 26, 2010

Birthday Surprises

For my dad's birthday recently, my sister had an awesome idea, to give my dad a "build-a-bear" animal, and outfits.

We all got together, and chose cute little outfits for him, and I hoped more than anything dad would like it. So when he opened his present (in this awesome cardboard closet my sister also made), it was full of outfits! He just had to choose what went inside of them.

It was an untraditional idea, and dad loved it! He picked out this cute little monkey, (who is now named "Zip", and this will probably be a very spoiled stuffed animal. This is Zip in his Air force outfit. :-)

Zip got a church outfit, cowboy outfit, scrubs, military outfit, and I can't even name everything! He even got a little sleeping bag and tent.

We went along with him to choose Zip (with some excuse about the kids might enjoy it, but the truth is Ben and I both wanted to go, and couldn't decide who should stay with the kids). The monkey has a monkey sound in his hand, a beating heart and ... you know those little hearts they let the kid kiss and put inside so he's filled with love? Zip has two - because my three kids were there. Jacob kissed the first one and they put it in, but Brandon and Megan wanted their love to go in grandpas monkey too, so they both gave one some love.

It was so fun, and he left the shop in his darling church outfit. However, yesterday morning he was in his Air force outfit, and rumor has it that he'd already tried on his fishing outfit, and two other outfits already that morning.

So, here's for untraditional ideas. .... I think that is probably my favorite present we've ever given my dad for his birthday. He loves it, and we'll all remember it for a long time. (And it makes it easier to get something for fathers day - Zip needs a star wars outfit.).


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Texting Etiquette for 2010

I've been thinking today, in regards to several major faux pas recently, that I would love to vent on a subject near and dear to my ... hands. All the time. Texting. As texting becomes more and more popular, there are certain rules of etiquette that must be followed.

1: Know your Audience: Simple enough. If you are texting a friend, family member, or acquaintance, it makes a huge difference to know one thing. "Do they text." Do they have an unlimited texting plan? Or are they charged per text? Although many many people text these days, some do not. And I remember receiving many texts before I texted, and that extra charge on my bill irked me. I am careful not to make the same mistake. When getting a number, ask a simple Question: "do you text?" this should be closely followed by "if I send you random text forwards that are really dumb - will it irritate you?"

2: Rule of 160: a typical text is 160 characters. If you are within the same network; you can often get longer texts. However; network to network doesn't work. If you are lucky, you'll get their first 160 characters; then another text message with the next. And so on. (Usually split within a word). If you Aren't: (like my phone to non [company I use]), they get ONLY the first 160 characters. In other words; missing a lot! So please, check what they get. If it's only the first 160- sent in spurts! If it's split up, put spaces at the 160 mark.

3: Watch the clock: if your friend has children, it's probably best not to text between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. If they don't, you can probably text until ten or so, but no later. If they work night shift, don't text while they are sleeping. If you don't know when they will be Sleeping: simple rule of Thumb: don't text between 9 and 7!! Many people use their phone for an alarm these Days: so their phone is on at night. They don't need to hear you texting at midnight when they'd rather be asleep.

4: Texting Pictures: this is much like the texting plan. Will it go over their data for the month if you send them pictures? If you have children; we LOVE to see pictures of our nephews, nieces, friends Kids: etc .... but only if it's really cute, and not all the time. (Like a few times a month). Don't send one more than once a week. Don't send your belly pictures. This is what facebook is for.
Don't get me Wrong: I adore seeing pictures, but not all the time. I look at them on facebook, smile, and comment. Along with This: if it's not a spouse, or a really good reason: don't send videos!!!! Many phones don't accept it, and honestly, I'd rather see it on facebook.

5: Don't text and drive - do I have to explain here? If it's really important and the person can't talk on the phone, pull over. Wait until you get to a red stoplight. I've seen the swerving .... don't text and drive. I want you to live.

6: Don't drink and text - if you are drinking; on medications that make you loopy, or anything like that, don't text. If you know you'll be out of it, password your phone. If you don't remember the password, you don't need to be texting. Your friends love you, but hearing about the purple frog on the ceiling is not a necessity- you'll never live it down.

7: CAPS IS BAD- it's like shouting. And it's harder to read. Please - one word on rare occasions is fine, but I don't want entire messages in caps, no matter how excited you are. It's rude; obnoxious, and gives me a headache.

8. Check your Recipient: this should be obvious - right? How many of you have received - (or sent) texts to the wrong person? Usually it's slightly funny - but if you don't get in the habit, you may send something embarassing to the wrong person. It could be about that person. Or my favorite - you could send something to somebody else that was meant for your spouse! (Does your mom really need to hear what you wanted to tell your spouse that you have planned?)

9: C U l8r Allig8r: I'm fairly certain that I'm not 12. Neither are you. Therefore: unless you are a teenager trying to be "cool" ... textspeak is nothing but bad grammar! I know that you know how to talk. Write it out. Use 2 messages if you Need: but typing "u" because you didn't want to type "you"? It isn't professional, isn't adult, and honestly, makes no sense.
(Disclaimer - I'm ok with occasional LOL - that's turned into something like "haha", but please ... no ROFL... or any of that stuff. LOL = I acknowledge whatever you said is funny. ":-)" is acceptable too.)

Logically I should have ten items, don't all good lists? But 10 is so cliche; so I'm leaving it with 9.
Do I need to go through these again?
9: Textspeak- don't.
8: Recipient - watch
7: CAPS - screaming
6: Drugged - don't text
5: Driving - watch the road
4: Pictures - within reason
3: Night - for sleep
2: Rule of 160 - careful
1: your audience - know them
So - I love you all! Have a great Day: and Remember: if you offend me with a text- I won't tell you. I'll just blog about it. :-)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A very Squishy issue

As most people have learned by the time they are mothers "breast is best" ... but is that always the case?

First: Yes, i believe breastfeeding is very good for baby.

But sometimes it's not always possible, or even the best option for the child.

Here's some random (sort of made up) scenarios.

Mommy A - baby is having trouble latching on. Mommy is getting discouraged with nursing, and is considering quitting.

Mommy B - Had (necessary) surgery on her chest in earlier years. She can produce milk, but it's painful.

Mommy C - baby appears to be nursing fine, but isn't gaining weight, as mommy isn't producing the milk baby needs to survive.

Most of us will agree that mommy A can work hard and keep nursing. I'd recommend it. But B and C? If it's going to be painful the whole time ... is it really better?

Sometimes the fact is simple, sometimes mommy can't nurse baby. Sometimes the child doesn't gain the weight, the mother doesn't have the milk, or the child is adopted. Sometimes there are actual REASONS the mother chose not to breastfed.

I nursed my oldest for 9 months, until he completely lost interest. My second I only nursed for a couple months, and the third for only a few months. I know its' better, but it's not possible!

Every situation is different; in my case, I has severe post partum depression. I didn't know it with the oldest, and I suffered for it. To tell the honest truth, I don't know when he first rolled over ... I survived those months, but I didn't enjoy them.

With the second, the doctor gave me a simple choice. "I can give you medication for the depression, or you can nurse. But you can't do both, it isn't good for the baby." I chose the medication, and we weaned. Do you know something - I made the right choice.

With the third, the Dr. (yes, very pro breastfeeding), said the baby wasn't gaining any weight, and I needed to start her on formula, because my body wasn't giving her nutrients.

I don't feel that formula feeding separated my child and me, we share a close bond, and always will. In fact, it brought us closer together, because I did what I knew was best for both of us. I've seen both sides of the issue, but sometimes I feel that the world is becoming so pro-breastfeeding that those mothers that choose not to, or can't, feel as if they are harming their child.

The theme is "breast is best." It's nailed into us in the hospital, in the doctor's offices, and through nutritional programs. you've probably heard of WIC (woman, infant children), they help middle income families with things like formula, milk, and things like that.

I admit I've had to use WIC, and I know it's best for the children, as they have breastfeeding counselors, and they make sure the kids have milk when they need it most.

I was delighted to see their new food packages include baby food, it's so good for baby. But ... the anti-formula prejudice rears it's ugly head. Here is two pictures:

The first picture shows how much baby food a child will receive each month, at the age of six months - if they are only formula fed. The second is what a breastfed baby will receive. This bothers me. I understand rewarding breastfeeding mothers with extra food, but this isn't the mother ... this is the child. They don't take special cases. If mommy can't breastfeed because of any reason, surgery, cancer, medication, etc, ... the child is being punished by getting less than half the amount of baby food.

Things are tight these days. Chances are, baby won't get any more babyfood than that. A baby who gets some breastfed, and some formula, gets somewhere between the two amounts.

I feel the child is being punished for something beyond the mothers control. In fact, sometimes purely nursing can be harmful to the child and the mother. The mother, whose hormones are insane, is unable to leave the baby for any more than an hour at a time, because the baby wants to eat, and often doesn't accept a bottle.

Somebody I know had to have her appendix out while she had a nursing child. Two days later in the hospital, her breasts were swollen, because the nurses hadn't figured out they needed to get a pump from the maternity wing, and the baby was grouchy and starving under her Aunt's care, because she didn't want a bottle, under any circumstances. But the mom was unable to nurse while in the hospital - the hospital didn't want a baby there!

My question is simple; why do we not understand that not all mothers can nurse their children? it may be true those nutrients are essential for a child at the beginning ... but can we lay off the mothers who choose to formula feed? Can we accept that formula has come a long way in the past thirty years, and the baby is getting enough nutrition, even if it's not from mommy?

As a mommy who has done both, I can't tell you how grateful I was for the opportunity to allow my husband to feed the baby for those 2 A.M. feedings, in fact, it brought daddy closer to baby. The opportunity to leave the baby with a sitter, and know they would be able to eat, and not be hysterical because my boob was too far away.

It is, and always will be, a raging issue. But please, lets remember that a mother is not harming her child by formula feeding. She's making her decision. Let her decision be, and don't give her a hard time for making either decision. Each baby is different, each mother is different, let them decide what is best. Don't force your ideals upon a mother. It's her life, and if she can't formula feed, being told in a snotty tone that she made the wrong decision, doesn't exactly make her life easier.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Evil DMV

So today I'm sitting in the drivers license office ... waiting. I was in line for about an hour ... to get a number. :-(

I'm serious! Now I have to wait until they call my name, if I don't get my book test done by 430 (as if), then I get to come back tomorrow.

So the great injustice of the system ... wait hours, then come back? There's a reason I brought the computer. It has nothing to do with having anything to DO ... and everything to do with the sanity factor.

Good news, I don't have kids with me. That would make this worse. I even sat in the back, because I am smart enough to know that if I sit next to a plug, I'll not go quite as insane.

So what do I do in my spare time? (Which this is, because it's definitely not useful time) ....

Check one-mail, catch up on my favorite blogs, be so grateful we lived in logan before, because until I remembered that, they were going to send me away, because I didn't have my marriage certificate!

What blogs and stuff do I read? I'm so glad you asked! (Or I'm really that bored).

Cake wrecks: pictures of cakes gone wrong. Great for a laugh, every-day of the week! ( Even if I only have a few minutes, this is on my "check" list.

Awkward family Pictures: Not always worth the time, but often interesting, just to see the funny bits in photos. I'm afraid my favorite will always be the bride touching the window as if looking into the Future: with the roof guys outside the window perfectly arranged so it looks as if she's touching another mans butt. I spit pop out my nose for that one!

Twitter: yes, I tweet. And I love it. Why? Cause it's fun! Geordi chats with Data, and there's a history thing going on about winter quarters. Honestly, it's interesting. It keeps me up the date with the news, and lots of moms from all over. (I'm there, @Laura_fahn, if you want to look me up)

Facebook: the best way to keep in touch with friends.

thinkgeek: because it's awesome! Where else can you find titanium sporks, Lego cameras, computer stuff, and just about anything to make a geek, or non-geek, drool?

Family Blogs: go to my "family blog" (, and on the left is a list of places I waste time ... yeah, it's all there.

Anyway, they haven't called my number, but I'm gonna run anyway ... and sit here ... for who knows how long ....