Thursday, February 28, 2008


"The Hills" - Season Three (part 2)!!! This is my guilty pleasure. Check out the preview for the surprise eight new episodes (which start on March 24 - mark your calendars!):

**Remember to scroll down to the bottom of this page to disable the music before playing***


I was poking around Williams Sonoma this afternoon and found this really smart product that helps prevent cupcake casualties when in transport (even if it flips upside down!):

This is perfect for sending your child to school with a special treat for her birthday or other celebration. What a great way to get a cupcake from point A to point B without losing your icing (because we all know that would be a huge tragedy...)!


I was reading my Daily Candy Kids newsletter this morning, and they were discussing this:

The Nosefrida is a different kind of nasal aspirator than the regular bulb ones that all of us parents are used to using on our babies when they are stuffy. The people at Nosefrida claim that their product is better than the traditional aspirators because nothing actually goes in the nose and you can control the amount of suction you're applying. There's also a filter that is supposed to prohibit the passage of germs. That may be true, but I personally got queasy when I saw this picture and thought about sucking the snot out of Caroline's nose with my own mouth... I'm a huge fan of Daily Candy, but this particular edition truly grossed me out. Yuck.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

COLOR ABOUNDS... Gap right now! I have to say, it's been a bit since I have really gotten excited about anything in the adult side of Gap (although anyone who reads TPT knows I love the kids' stuff), but I think they are trying to break out of their typical Spring neutrals mold. What caught my eye and made me want to set foot in the store were these fabulous colored khakis and lightweight jackets that were so fun and made me think that Winter can't end fast enough. Here are some of my favorites:

Monday, February 25, 2008


A certain toddler was caught vandalizing the bathroom of a home in the suburbs of DC today. The homeowner described the suspect as shirtless, around 2 1/2 feet tall, in desperate need of a haircut, and having a look of mischief on her face. Before the toddler escaped, the homeowner was able to snap these pictures:

Friday, February 22, 2008


So funny that I was just blogging about Lilaguide this week, because I stopped by the site today while I was helping my friend Kristy research strollers and found out that by joining the site FOR FREE, you get a FREE Lilaguide for your city (or closest one to you)! This is a great deal, as the book regularly sells for $16.95. There are no strings attached to this, and it's truly a fabulous parenting resource. This is only available while supplies last, so get over to the site today to snatch yours up. Click here to be directed to the sign-up page...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


The makers of Airborne, a cold-suppressant product that was created several years ago by a teacher who was tired of catching every cold that came through her classroom door, have now put out a really cute product that can actually get kids to wash their hands for the amount of time they need to kill germs! They've created SquidSoap, which leaves a vegetable ink mark on the palm of kids' hands when they press the pump. The mark only comes off after they wash their hands for about 20 seconds. Isn't that such a good idea?!

Monday, February 18, 2008


My good friend Kristy asked me to help her to go register as she gets ready for the arrival of her first baby. So exciting - and so nerve-wracking! Everyone who's ever set foot in a baby store knows that it's absolutely out of control how much stuff there is, and how easily you can get distracted from what you actually need. For example, when we walked into our local Buy Buy Baby to start registering, they gave us a "recommendations" list that said that we needed no less than 12 white onesies in every size up to 24 months, a warm mist humidifier, a cool mist humidifier, and 4 sets of crib sheets. I mean, don't people own washing machines?! Needless to say, we pared down quite a bit and tried to find as much stuff as we could that could do double duty, and save us some space. We relied on the advice of our family and friends with kids when making choices, as well as a few other good resources that are out there. Here are two books that we found to be really helpful as we got ourselves put together before Caroline was born...

Baby Bargains by Denise Fields is a fabulous resource, no matter where you live. It makes good recommendations based on different scenarios (ie - city vs. suburban living), which can help most shoppers make good choices, especially where cost is concerned. A friend of mine who had a baby just a few months before me passed this one along to me after she was through with it. Nothing compares to a first-hand recommendation...

The Lila Guide began as local resource guides for parents, with tips for kid-friendly restaurants, the best parks, classes, and outings for families, and stores for good gear, among other things. Think of it as sort of a Zagat's Guide for parents. The editors then decided to put together The Lila Guide Baby Gear Guide. There are many fabulous parts to this guide, including lists that tell you what you definitely need, what would be nice to have, and what to skip, as well as lists of the best-ranked gear in each section. I think my favorite part is that these guides are comprised of real-world parent recommendations, rather than just having a bunch of editors put together a book about what they think we need. The guides are also available online at , where you can join for free and customize the site to your closest local city and keep a calendar of upcoming events in your area. We still use ours, and Caroline's 18 months old. Not much has lasted that long with her...


Tonight, after we got home from dinner at a neighborhood restaurant, Caroline needed a bath... But not until someone had to change a stinky diaper. Who has to deal with the mess? In our house, it comes down to whoever loses at the "finger-on-the-nose" game, or whoever has the bigger sob story (read: "I already did 2 today, so you're it."). Guess who lost tonight:


When Caroline woke up from her nap this afternoon, this is what her hair looked like:

I think she's channeling 80's band "Flock of Seagulls"...


It's been a few days since we've posted - but it looks like we've begun to shake this yucky bug that struck our house last Wednesday. After it passed through Caroline, it hit Steve and me this weekend - on separate occasions, thankfully! By the way, I heard a report on the news today that said that the flu vaccine is only 40% effective this year. If that's what this was, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we're now in the clear! Valentine's Day around here was pretty uneventful due to the fact that we were still dealing with our first significant virus since Caroline was born, but Steve still tried to cheer his girls up by sending us two dozen fabulous iced sugar cookies from Cheryl & Co. They are absolutely sinful! His note was especially cute - "Some sweet hearts for my two sweethearts... Love, Daddy", and the whole gesture was even more appreciated since his birthday also came and went last week with absolutely no fanfare, once again because of whatever illness was plaguing us... Sigh. We have promised to make it up to him, though!

Caroline was feeling well enough by Thursday afternoon to practice her coloring skills on some paper hearts I had cut out for her. She has these really cute Crayola TaDoodles toddler crayons that I found for her, but is really much more of a classic kind of girl and prefers the plain old Crayola 24-pack. Here's the Valentine she made for Daddy...

All in all, our Valentine's Day was okay. Hope yours was special (and less germy), too!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Teach my daughter to bow to the porcelain goddess. While I know she may one day apply this skill in certain situations that any mother would find less-than-acceptable, what I wouldn't have given for her to know how to do this today!

DC never gets good winter storms. Snow is at least pretty to look at, and makes you want to do fun things like play hooky and make hot chocolate. This apparently would be too much to ask for, as we instead got a big fun ice storm last night that knocked out our power for 9 hours. This is nothing new for my neighborhood, as there are lots of big, old trees that cause outages whenever someone sneezes, but this particular event was made much more pleasant by the fact that my daughter's stomach decided that today would be the perfect day to get a bug and cause her to vomit multiple times around the house.

Thankfully, the power came back on just after the second episode, which made me feel like somewhere there was a God smiling down on me. I can handle ANYTHING life throws my way, even throw-up, as long as a) the lights are on so I can see it, and b) I can clean it up with my washing machine. Poor Caroline - she spent the rest of the morning snuggled up on my lap or in her everywhere chair, watching Noggin and looking at books, and the afternoon napping. This is VERY unlike her, as I'm sure you've read... As I was talking to my best friend this morning - who just prior to said vomiting had graciously offered to take us in for the day - she put it so perfectly: "All you have is cold an puke." Well-said.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Ah, those were the days. Caroline coming home from the hospital,
contained and content. I was using our Flying Falcon infant car seat carrier strap
to keep her car seat on my lap - it was a great find and worth every penny!

Sigh. I don't love Winter. Cold weather just makes me want to hibernate. The Groundhog saw his shadow last week, which means that we're stuck with 6 more weeks of this. At our house we've been stuck doing indoor activities for the better part of 3 months now, and it's starting to wear thin. Caroline's bored, and I am bored. We've been able to get out onto our deck when it's sunny, and Steve's occasionally gotten her out to the park or on walks, but for the most part, we're stuck in this little Winter rut.

As you probably know from your own experience, boredom can lead a person to do things they wouldn't ordinarily think of doing - say, take all the aluminum cans out of the trash, or stand on the sofa. My daughter's new fascinations with our recycling bin and climbing are beginning to drive me crazy, and show no signs of waning anytime soon. On the one hand, I'm excited to see that she's doing things that a normal toddler would do - while on the other hand, it would be nice if it would just get old to her and she'd move on to something else. I am thoroughly convinced that if she was distracted by something better, like the sound of birds outside, she wouldn't have discovered that she was capable of dragging our trash cans out into the living room or scaling the walls, but now that she's got these down to a science, I'm having to choose my battles (and keep the Wet Ones on hand...). In short, I find a good deal of what she does these days both hilarious and infuriating all at the same time.

When Caroline is told "no," she doesn't take to it kindly. What 18-month-old would? Not that this stops us from setting limits with her, but it can sometimes be incredibly exhausting to deal with, especially when we aren't out and about as much because of the cold. I'm reading The Happiest Toddler on the Block, by Dr. Harvey Karp, to see if I can get some pointers. I'll post another time on how it goes - some of his tips seem to be helping. I have to say that this is one place where my wheelchair is currently a bit of an obstacle for me - the fact that she throws a fit like any 18-month-old is not the issue as much as I sometimes just don't feel like fighting the battle in public, and also have come to rely on the fact that in our small house, she'll eventually run out of places to go and I will catch her whenever she runs away. Occasionally, even though there's something to do, we just skip it because I just don't have it in me to worry about the "what if's" in terms of how I'll manage her while out and about. Am I a bad mom for that? I hope not...

Here we are on St. Patrick's Day 2007,
at a local Irish bar. Yes, she was a a bar, but
no worries - it was daylight and there were, like, 10
other kids there! The Bjorn worked so well back in the day...
Caroline's outgrown her Baby Bjorn, which used to keep her on my lap and relatively constrained while we were running a quick errand or two. I found a new brand of carrier, called the M1 by Lascal, which has a higher weight limit. I'll probably invest in it for the next baby, but it seems silly to pick one up now. Her Bugaboo Chameleon stroller - which was another great investment that we made in that I could push it easily and Steve had not trouble either - is getting a bit heavier to push so I don't take it out every time we have to pop into a store. I'm currently on the hunt for a lightweight one that maneuvers as well as our big stroller, and will keep everyone up to date on what I find that works. I'm also now in the process of thinking of our next step - we're not quite at the baby harness (although I think we'll be heading there soon and I've picked a couple up to test out and see), but I need something to keep her from climbing off of my lap the moment we stop moving. I'll be keeping everyone posted about this, especially if I find something that works for us, so that any other parents with disabilities can try it too!

It's not that Caroline isn't generally a really happy, curious kid. In fact, I know that if she weren't happy and curious, she wouldn't care so much about exploring what's around her rather than stick close to her mom. And truthfully, in the long run, I would much rather have raised an independent, inquisitive girl than someone who's a timid follower of the crowds who has no opinion of her own. I want her to take risks - albeit calculated; to wonder; to ask questions. I know the way she is behaving right now means that she will do all these things, and that makes facing the occasional bad day much easier. We are working with the end in mind here.

I know that other "non-wheelchair" moms would commiserate with me on this subject - nothing is more mortifying than having to wage a wrestling match with a grumpy little kid in the middle of the grocery store, which makes me feel better that I'm not alone in feeling the way I do. I just wish sometimes that I could conduct said wrestling match more quickly, more capably, and know that I could win it every time, and because of the chair, I don't have that confidence right now.

When I was pregnant, and even before that, I had myself convinced that managing a newborn while using a wheelchair would be the hardest thing we would face. Luckily, that turned out to be enough of a breeze that I'm convinced I could do it again - no problem. I don't know what I was so worried about! It's this second year that's been much more challenging - you have this little person who you've helped to reach all these fabulous milestones, and now all she wants to do is practice them on her own terms. Too big to hold on to, and too little to reason with. Nothing is more exciting or terrifying to a new-ish mom, at least from my perspective.

Anyways, I think I am ready for Spring. Warm weather always gives me perspective and a fresh outlook on life. Plus, Caroline will be a little older and if I'm lucky, a little more cooperative... I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for all of you moms out there who are in the same boat as I am! We'll keep you posted...

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Steve saw a friend's daughter with one of these while they were at the mall before Christmas, and decided that it would be the answer to our prayers during snack time. The Snack Trap has a rubbery lid that is cut so that little hands can get in and grab just the right amount of Goldfish or Cheerios, and it actually keeps the goods inside if the cup falls on the ground. Caroline, who usually eats as if at any moment someone is going to take her food away, leaving her to starve to death, actually paces herself with this. It's great in the stroller or car because it keeps her occupied for a long time! You can find them in stores at Buy Buy Baby and Babies R Us, to be sure, but at the site you can mix and match the designs and cup colors - which is always fun. Bon appetite!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Still using, still working. Tragically, the very pretty one that my sister-in-law gave me (which was ceramic and looked not unlike a genie lamp) shattered on my bathroom floor last week. This led to a frantic search of all CVS stores in the area, as I could have sworn I saw a plastic version in there once. Steve came to the rescue and picked one up on the way home from work.

I have to say, the results have been so remarkable, and the relief I've felt in my head has been so dramatic that I think I might be addicted. When you start thinking about keeping one in your car so that you have it, just in case you get a sinus headache at, say, the mall, you know you have a problem. I guess that one would argue that being addicted to saline solution is better than being addicted to Sudafed, but the fact that I have actually considered doing this relatively gross procedure in a public place means that I have hit a new low. Oh well - I suppose desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures!

Monday, February 4, 2008


Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this screen to disable the music before playing this video:


Caroline is partial to the "Screaming Banshee" and "Wet Noodle" positions

I was just reading an insightful article that was sent with my weekly Babycenter e-newsletter. In it, the author claims that one way toddlers show love and affection is by throwing temper tantrums - the assumption being that they 1) are testing you to see how much you love them, and 2) trust you enough that they feel like they can express their emotions in such a - uh, er - theatrical way. I guess when Caroline throws herself on the ground quite melodramatically when I tell her for the 30th time to climb off of the coffee table, or goes limp when all I'm trying to do is put on her coat, she's just sending a little shout-out my way...