Friday, February 29, 2008

There's a first time for everything

Spunky Daddy and I had a wonderful dinner out together last night with 11 of our friends and then stayed overnight near the restaurant rather than driving 1.5 hrs home just to drive back this morning. Our first baby-free night since his birth! Spunky Grandma offered to watch Spunky Baby overnight, so when I left for work yesterday morning, this was the last thing I saw...

Does this hat make me look fat?

As Paula Abdul said "You are ridiculous. I want to squish you, squeeze your head off, and hang you from my rearview mirror."

Well, not really, but you get the point.


Don't say I didn't warn you

So, if you read my next post, we spent the night last night at a hotel near the restaurant where we ate dinner. I spent two days agonizing over whether the room would be nice. I'm afraid of dirty hotel rooms (thanks, mom...) and just wanted a safe, clean room to spend the night - from 11 pm to about 6 am. That's all.

Today I open up my email and TA-DA! I wish I had this yesterday.

Here's a resource for others out there like me.

It gave my hotel (Wingaersheek Motel) a thumbs-up and I agree.

And if you ever are on the North Shore (Mass) and want an excellent dinner, I can't say enough good things about The Windward Grille in Essex. I've eaten there twice and had two of the best dinners of my life - very reasonably priced and excellent.

Now I know where to look to find out about hotels - and if you want to cringe, read the reviews of the hotels that made the naughty list. Yikes.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Workaholics? Check.

According to a new study by Men's Health Magazine, and published by WebMD, my city is the most overworked "in-need-of-a-vacation" city in the country.

Bravo, Manchester, bravo. (you can read the study here, here, or here)

Summary: We are a bunch of workaholics who are overstressed with high blood pressure and long commutes and desperately need a vacation.

But what I want to know is why the subtitle is "Where men work too hard"?

Ummm...what about us working gals?! OK, I'll cut them some slack since it IS a men's magazine. Just know that it SHOULD apply to both genders!

On the brighter side, my reporter friend noted that Men's health also says Manchester men are in great physical shape, have great credit, and meet lots of women for fun dates. So, it's not all bad.

Vive La Manchester!


Few things in life are as happy or innocent as a baby and his first balloon.

If you have trouble viewing this video, the direct link is:

and if you want another laugh, you can see the sequel...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Does you child drink bottled water? Important!

This week 6-month-old Carter is staying with his Auntie Rachel while Mommy works (our sitter is on vacation). Auntie Rachel runs a daycare and is in-the-know on all things kid-related (she has 2.5 kids - 7, 5, and one on the way).

I dropped Carter off yesterday morning and told her that she can use filtered tap water or bottled water to prep his bottles. She asked what I use at home (filtered from the fridge door). Then she asked a question which surprised me:

Does your city offer water with fluoride?

Huh? Um...I don't know.

A visit to the city water works page, click on FAQ and it's the first question. I confirm that the city began fluoridating treated water in December 2000 at a dosage rate of 1 ppm as recommended by the NH Department of Environmental Services and Centers for Disease Control. OK...

But then she says, "OK, but does your water filter remove the fluoride from the tap water when it filters."


Google search that one, and I find out that the fluoride is still there.

Double what?

Come to find out, this is important!!

She explains that her doctor and dentist told her that children need fluoride and that bottle-water babies have problems with their teeth because they are deprived of this fluoride (I think breast-fed babies get some via mom, but formula kids don't).

Carter has had a little of all three: breast milk for a couple of months, bottled water for a couple more, and now filtered tap for some time.


Call the pediatrician...

The nurse says that coincidentally they had a meeting with the dental association just yesterday (timely question!) and YES YES YES! It is recommended that ALL formula-fed babies drink fluoridated water for dental health (regardless of whether they have teeth yet or not). And that they recommend starting babies on water with fluoride at six-month but if you are using it earlier, even better. If your child drinks only bottled water or well water, you should consider giving him/her fluoride supplements.

Her pediatrician agrees and we live in different states.

However, this is not a universal recommendation. There's a huge debate out there about what is recommended!

I would be interested in hearing what your child's doctor says! Please post comments and share.

I understand there is controversy over this though. With my family's history of bad teeth, I figure this is a good thing, so Carter will continue to enjoy filtered tap water (bonus: it's cheaper!) However, all ideas are welcome...

Friday, February 22, 2008


So, the Spunky Daddy (for this post his name will be Henry-san) invited a bunch of friends over last weekend for a make-your-own-sushi party. We do this a couple of times a year and it's always a hit. I mean - how often can you make your OWN sushi and enjoy all the sake you can drink with a diverse group of friends?!?

He went to a great fish market in's what we had:

  • WHOLE 15-lb salmon (sake)
  • a BEAUTIFUL chunk of tuna (toro)
  • live scallop (hotategai)
  • surf clams (hokkigai)
  • broiled freshwater eel (unagi)
  • roe (eggs) of flying fish (tobiko - both regular and wasabi)

and we (well, Alex actually) julienned pieces of:

  • cukecumber
  • carrots
  • avacado
plus we had the fix-ins:
  • nori (seaweed wrap)
  • sesame seeds
  • rice vinegar
  • srircha sauce
    japanese mayo
  • soy sauce
  • eel sauce
  • wasabi
  • OH! And last, but not least (and most importantly!) - the sushi rice.
Then he invited people - we had some new neighbors, co-workers, and friends but had to keep the party to about 15 people - otherwise it's hard to get a turn at one of the four maki-rolling stations we set up.

We made two types of sushi: Nigiri sushi is an oval-shaped ball of rice topped with a slice of fish. Maki is a roll with rice, nori (either can be on the outside) and a filling of fish, veggies, sauce, etc. For this party, the maki is the fun part! Click here to find out how to roll maki with a bambo mat.

We had a GREAT time and ate very well that night! Plus we had lots of sake and wine to enjoy.

Arigato, Henry-san.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Teary Commutes Stink

Some mornings are worse than others. But no matter what they say, it's never easy.

Carter is six-months-old and so much fun - he's always happy. I hate to leave that behind to go to work. It doesn't matter if you like your job or hate it - the best job in the world can't compete with the chubby theighs and a crooked smile waiting for me at home.

It's 7:32 a.m. So I give him a teary kiss and hug and as I hand him to his WONDERFUL sitter I say "See you tonight, pumpkin..."

Update: 8:52 a.m. - I cried for 42 miles on my way to work this morning. Most days aren't that bad. But I'll never get used to this.

Wanna win some cool mod*mom stuff?

Anyone want to wins some COOL stuff? One of my favorite blogs, mod*mom, is giving away a ton of stuff for St. Patrick's Day. You have to check it out. Odds are great and the stuff is! Go, moms, go!! Just remember if you MIGHT have to share! :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My Little Fred Astaire

Has this ever happened to you?

So, here I am, sitting at work writing a bio and my work phone rings...


Me: Hello (and then my normal business-opening when I pick up my work phone...)

Male Caller: HOLD ON!!!!!!!!!!!

Me: OK.... (wait about 30 seconds)

Me: Hello? Is anyone there?

Male Caller: Did you hear about Jason and Nicholas? Well blah blah blah. Let's check out the mogels over there...(female voice in background...)

Me: Hello? (snicker)

Male Caller: Whew! That was a great run. (crinkle crinkle) I can't believe Nicholas did that all by himself!!! (female voice in background...)

So I hang up. I think I know who it is but emailed him and he emailed right back. Nope.


Me: Hello (and then my normal business-opening when I pick up my work phone...again)

Male Caller: "The blue trails are to the right!"



Male Caller: (female in background) Where do you think Dan is right now?

Male: Well, it's almost 4:00 so blah blah blah...

I CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHO THIS IS! Am I spying listening trying to figure it out? It's comical - but I'm not learning anything. One guy who is on the phone, another guy and a girl in the background - skiing. I'm kinda sad it's time for me to go home so I'll miss these calls - but my voicemail won't so I'll listen tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Male: You gotta stay way up top. Where are we going? Do we want to go back that way? Blue is the outside guys stayed right, very nice. Yeah. Yeah. Right.

Anyone ever have this happen to them? Share your stories in the comments! Now, to figure out who this is...

AFTER NOTE: Mystery solved! I won't reveal his identity - sorry!

Confessions of a Bad Mommy

That's it. I caved. I had PILES of papers to sort before taxes (since I haven't filed anything since before Carter was born!) and with The Big Kid (aka my hubby) busy with house-stuff...enter the exciting world of children's movies! Anyone that has met Carter knows he is glued to the television if it's on and he's in the room.

So I resorted to "Finding Nemo" last night while I sorted through an enormous pile of papers. I made a little blanket-and-pillow fort in Collin's bedroom and voila! Instant distraction to the boring chore. Please don't report me - with all the articles out there about how bad TV is I understand - but this was a rare "treat" for the little man. And Nemo won't hurt him just this once.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

For Valentine's Day...all I need is...

The Beatles would be proud...
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
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Monday, February 11, 2008

The envelope please..."Best Name for a Store"...and the award goes to...

Cuter than a Duck's Butt

I just had to laugh at the name. How wonderful!?

Great product idea. The prices do seem kinda high but Babble's is right - if you look at it every day for the next four years then it's a reasonable investment!

(Oh, they sell carseat and shopping cart covers in custom fabrics...)

Friday, February 8, 2008

This photo made me cry

I can't imagine having to make this decision.

"Trapped by smoke, the parents of a nine-month-old baby girl faced an excruciating dilemma: if they threw her out of the window, would she be caught four stories below?"

She is fine - caught by a police officer - and hopefully her parents will be out of the hospital soon.

Stop Snowing Already!

I love winter. The white snow, the warm jackets and hot chocolate, the fires in the fireplace...

But I've had it.

It has snowed almost every day. I have had to deal with snow storm commutes for the whole winter season and I'm sick of it. Maybe it's because I'm now a mom, but I'm downright nervous driving in the snow. I don't like taking the little man out in weather, and I want to make sure his Mommy (and Daddy!) return home in one piece from work every night. So, I hate driving in the white stuff. I wasn't always this way. The week I received my drivers license they declared a state of emergency due to a blizzard. Did I care? No! I was out there putting around in my 1988 Plymouth Reliant (aka "The Tank") - the car we inherieted from my great-grandmother (Memere). I attribute my great winter driving skills to my years of experience driving in snow.

So what gives?

Every day this week I drove in snow. On Tuesday morning when I left my house at o'dark-thirty (5:00ish) to drive to Boston the snowflakes were as big as dinner plates and it was...LIGHTNING! Seriously! It was dark and snowing and the sky would light up like noon every so often. I guess it's call "thundersnow." Truly bizzare.

And the headline today is "More Snow Likely Over Weekend: Several Inches Could Fall Saturday Afternoon."

Welcome to New Hampshire - Live Free or Die.

Hey, at least it's not ICE.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Baby Einstein Recalls - BOO! HISS!

Maybe it's just me, but companies that promotes the well-being of children should know better. Carter has a handful of "favorite toys". I think all kids do. But at the top of that list is one toy he received from his Aunt for Christmas: "Baby Einstein Baby Neptune Soothing Seascape Crib Toy." It's a turtle (one of my favorite animals - who doesn't like turtles?) whose "belly" is an aquarium with swimming fish and lights that flash in blues, greens and oranges showcasing an underwater world of plants and animals. Awww...

Baby Einstein (owned by Disney) has a slogan: Trusted by Parents! Sounds good...

Then I receive an email from one of my mommy sites...

"Kids II Inc. Recalls Crib Toys Due to Choking Hazard"

OK. So, it must be one of those cheap discount toy makers...NO! It's BABY EINSTEIN!

"Name of Product: Baby Einstein Baby Neptune™ Soothing Seascape Crib Toys"


I guess the straps on the back can come loose. No children were harmed and it's a voluntary recall. Great...then no big deal...I check the code...yep, Carter's turtle is part of the recall so I follow instructions, receive a USPS Priority Mailing Label via email, pop the battery cover in the mail and in 4-6 weeks Carter will have a brand spanky new and improved turtle back in his crib.

Then I talked to the sitter.

Carter misses his turtle. He's looking for it. He falls asleep with it. We brought it to Florida as our "home away from home" comfort toy! (Oh, and it's suppose to hang on the side of the crib - we just weren't able to mount it to the Pack n Play so you'll see him in the photo with his arm around it - we just placed it next to him - it worked...) Explain "4-6 weeks" to a five-month-old! I want him to sleep and this is a great helper - please don't take this away!!!

Oh, well. You have to wait awhile for this one, kiddo.

So then I have something else to look up and I google "Baby Einstein Recalls" - and (poor Carter) his blocks he received at his baby shower are included in a recall too.

"Kids II Recalls Baby Einstein Color Blocks Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard"

Double ARUGH!

This photo is of him playing with, of all blocks, the BLUE BLOCK in October!!!!!! And it's the only block with a TURTLE on it! Darn those turtles! So cute, but evil...

Tomorrow I have to pop the blue block in the mail.

I'm disappointed to say the least. I mean, anyone can pick up a lead testing kit at Home Depot and learn if there is lead paint in toys - if you purchased the toy in 2007 and it was from a reputable company (I know, I followed all the recalls around the holidays too...) you'd think you were safe!

So I signed up for SEVERAL newsletters prompting me on children's recalls.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission seems to have a good daily email - I signed up for "child" products only: to register...

Parents have enough to worry about. Just make our children's toys safe, please?!?!