This is cool – Invisible Labels from Mabel

I’ve said before I’m a fan of Mabel’s Labels, and they just keep setting the bar higher with new and interesting products. They kindly offered me and my readers a limited-time special offer discount of 15% off any order to celebrate the arrival of their new line of Invisible Sticky Labels. I’ve often wanted to have a more discreet label,and this would work perfectly. I’m getting them for all my camera equipment. Click through before noon on Thursday to receive 15% off your entire order!


iTunes winner!

Hooray! We have a winner for the iTunes gift card!

Congratulations to the tenth commenter on the original post, Madeleine!!! (Bonus points for her 80s reference, and for the cost-saving tip that you can buy gift cards at Costco for less than their face value. I had no idea!!)

Thanks to iTunes Canada and their PR agency for the freebie, and special thanks to all of you for your music suggestions. I’ll spend far more than the value of my own gift card loading my iPod with cool new tunes!

Edited to add: because I am so pathetic that I could not properly count to 10, I have decided to give away both gift cards, one to Madeleine, who was in fact #9, and one to Andrea. Oops!

When brain is fried, memes are good

Lucas is sick. Not serious sick, just buckets and buckets of snot sick. So much snot that I’ve given up on kleenex and now use receiving blankets like giant flannel hankies. (A good tip, BTW. Works like a charm!) He’s fitfully asleep in my lap as I type, and I have just enough mobility to blog, if not brainpower to come up with something engaging. And lo, I have a meme to do, courtesy of one of my bestest bloggy buddies Dean Dad.

THE FAVORITE MEME. Fill in your favorite for each of the following:
Continue reading “When brain is fried, memes are good”

Granny’s Revenge

I was flipping through Tristan’s baby calendar the other day, comparing Tristan and Lucas at seven months of age. (Heartbreakingly, I seem to have lost my 2004 kitchen calendar with all of Simon’s baby milestones. I have every other year since 2001; I’m hoping it presents itself out of the clutter one of these days.) It was interesting to compare my first and my third. I can see, for instance, that they’re nearly the same weight, give or take half a pound on twenty pounds. (Simon, I seem to remember, hit 20 lbs around four months of age!)

What really surprised me, though, was that Tristan was standing and “cruising the furniture” and up on his hands and knees rocking in a pre-crawl motion at this age whereas Lucas has only just reliably mastered sitting up. I’m sure this has everything to do with their own developmental clocks and nothing to do with the fact that every time Lucas begins to lift himself up I sweep his knees out from under him and squash him back down to the ground. Sorry, kid, I’m just not ready for you to get mobile. How’s two years from now by you?

On the other hand, my mother is on the cusp of getting banned from the house. Every time she gets near Lucas, she’s got him standing up on his feet, holding him while he bounces and encouraging him to walk. And muttering something about “Granny’s Revenge.” I don’t think she believes me, but so help me I’ll ban her from the house if she teaches that baby to walk before his first birthday!

Twittermoms: the friendliest site on the interwebs

As I mentioned recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter. Microblogging (you’re limited to a paltry 140 characters) appeals to where I am right now… only one thought at a time need be expressed, without editorializing or rambling. It’s kind of refreshing.

Twitter must have been featured at the latest BlogHer or something, because all of a sudden this summer all my favourite mom bloggers showed up on Twitter, and that was cool, too.

Any site with the raging popularity of Twitter has plenty of people lining up with add-on features and clone sites. This morning, I stumbled upon TwitterMoms, a social networking site for moms who tweet on Twitter. I noticed that TechCrunch had a post up about them, and I’m a sucker for signing up for new toys, so I joined and took about three minutes to poke around. I’d hardly taken a boo at the front page when Lucas ran out of Cheerios and I left the computer to get on with my morning.

There’s a good chance that I would have likely forgotten completely about the site by now, like so many of the sites I’ve signed up for in the last year or so. (I’m an irrepressible joiner, and I especially love to join things when they’re new.) We went out, ran a few errands, and when we got home I popped on the computer to check my e-mail… and found my inbox full of messages from Twittermoms. In just a couple of hours, I had half a dozen welcome notes written on my “wall” and four friend requests. Yikes! Real messages, too, not just computer-generated ones. It’s a little bit scary, actually. I guess I’m used to the old days on the bulletin boards, when you had to hang around and prove yourself before you started making friends. I’ve never seen people come running out of the woodwork to say hello before.

I feel kind of bad accepting those “friend” requests, even if they are from complete strangers. But considering my bloglines account is practically bulging at the seams and my Facebook status hasn’t been updated in a month or more, I don’t know when I’ll next get around to TwitterMoms again. If you’re looking for a new place to hang around, they’re certainly a friendly crew over there!

In which I inform the world about snack foods

There is no end to the things I’ve learned through blog. Like, how to parse PHP and SQL on the fly. And also, why slings are better than baby bjorns and some great places to shop online. And about a thousand other things.

In return, I try hard to send quality information out into the Interwebs. Say, for example, you need to know “What are cheesies?” Turns out blog is the number one search return. Yeah, baby. Educating the universe about snack food, that’s my higher purpose.

(I still can’t believe “cheesies” isn’t a universal term. “Cheese puffs” just doesn’t cut it.)

Used to be weight watchers and tim hortons, but I’ve been dethroned on that one. I think I’ll keep my cheesie crown.

(Speaking of cheesies, I’ve been thinking of dredging my archives for fodder. That post is a fun place to start: Buttertarts, cheesies and poutine.)

The baby who didn’t like TV

Anyone who has been reading for a while knows I’m (cough) pretty lax about the idea of kids and TV. Baby Einstein came crashing on to the scene just about the time Tristan was born, and I have fond memories of plopping him into his exersaucer and queuing up the Baby Mozart for 30 minutes of blissful diversion. We were equally charmed and perplexed by the boys’ addiction to the DVDs, and called them “baby crack”.

By the time Simon graduated from DVDs to broadcast TV, we had a dozen or so of the Baby Einstein DVDs kicking around — some of them even free enough of scratches, fingerprints and drool that they still play. Not that it does us any good. (As a side note, it’s kind of funny to look back and see what background TV each kid was exposed to. Tristan watched a lot of Trading Spaces on TLC when he was a baby, and Simon listened in on a lot of Tristan’s Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine shows. Lucas, on the other hand, gets a steady diet of Sponge Bob.)

Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that, in this house of four people who are hopelessly addicted to the electric nipple, Lucas shows absolutely no interest whatsoever in baby TV. And don’t think I haven’t tried. Little heretic doesn’t even make it through the first five minutes without fussing.

Scandalous, I know. It’s like Tiger Woods’ kid choosing a paintbrush over a golf club. A child of mine who doesn’t watch TV. Hmpfh.

There is good news, though. There is one thing he seems to particularly enjoy watching, sprawled out on his blanket in front of the TV. He is fascinated by Rock Band on the Wii, and will lie contentedly for long stretches, watching song after song as Mommy and Daddy rock out on the guitar and drums.


(I’d come back from washing my hands after a diaper change and he had inched his way over and grabbed hold of the whammy bar. Rock on, little dude!)

In which I become just a little bit more jaded

Beloved and I have an ongoing debate. I believe the best in people, and for the most part I like people. I think, on the whole, people are good. Beloved likes few people, and mistrusts the population as a whole. Beloved locks doors and windows obsessively; I am cavalier about such things, locking car doors when I remember to do so and when it is convenient.

My faith in humanity has been tested this week. First, someone stole my iPod out of the car. While I’m cavalier about locking doors, I am pretty careful about not leaving valuables in it, especially in plain sight. The iPod was half-hidden under the cup holder, and someone must have been rifling through the van to find it. It took me about three days to decide that it was actually stolen and not misplaced by me, but after a thorough search of the usual places and a clear memory of bringing it out to the car with no corresponding memory of bringing it back in, I resigned to the fact that someone had in fact snatched it some time during a given 24 hour period.

As if that weren’t insult enough, less than a week later I realized the transmitter I plug into the lighter to broadcast the iPod through the car radio had also been stolen. Not at the same time, mind, because it was looking at the empty transmitter that made me realize the iPod was missing in the first place.

Now, I can see someone stealing an iPod. It’s $150 worth of electronics, easy to steal and probably easy to resell or just use. But stealing a $10 transmitter? That’s just insulting, and somehow the latter bothers me more than the former.

And yes, I know, I should have been more compulsive about locking the doors and learned my lesson with the iPod. But when I’m hauling 25 lbs of Lucas and his baby carrier and the backpack and my purse and gods know what else in and out of the van, it’s not always at the forefront of my mind to lock the doors, especially in the never-ending rain we’ve been having lately.

Sigh. Could have been a much more expensive lesson, true, but I prefer to imagine I live in a world where I can leave my doors mostly unlocked. Now I lock the doors regularly, and am just a little bit sad every time I juggle the baby and the bag and whatever else I’m holding, trying to find the switch to unlock the doors.