Sunday, May 27, 2012

Why We Are Ill Prepared For The Zombie Apocalypse

It was a pretty typical Sunday night as my husband and I watched Castle on our DVR. But all of a sudden, there was a whine as all of our electricity turned off.

Todd stumbled to get flashlights while I opened the computer to give off a little light. I got the power bill to get the number to call in that our power was out while Todd went to Emily's room to try our breakers.

We weren't very organized about this and weren't sure what to do afterwards. Emily was a little freaked out so we put her in our bed. I laid down with her but I wasn't tired. Todd headed off to the movies.

The lights came on about an hour or so after they went out. I was very relived since it's been so hot lately. But it also got me thinking about the fact that we, as a family, are so reliant on    power.

If a zombie apocalypse (or any type of apocalypse) were to happen, I think we would be toast. We flailed around with just a power outage. I think it would be worse if the undead were trying to eat us.

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Chaos Mandy's Foolproof Potty Training Method

Well, it might not be foolproof, but I'm happy to say that our potty training method has paid off since Emily is now completely potty trained.

We started out slow by getting her one of those training potty's. She used it sometimes, but potty training didn't really start clicking until she was big enough to use the regular potty.

Because of this, I would recommend not getting a training potty. I know think they are a big waste of money. It would probably be a better idea to get the child seat for the actual potty.

Once Emily was big enough to sit on the actual potty, we would sit her on the potty once an hour. This worked pretty well, especially I was a stay at home mom at the time. But this will only take you so far as well.

My big girl!
What really worked for us, was asking her when she had to potty. From there, she started knowing when and telling us that she had to go. At first, she wanted either me or my husband in the bathroom with her, but once she got the hang of getting on the potty (we used a step stool for a while) and getting her pants down, she was able to go on her own.

We also took potty training in stages. First stage was going to the potty at home. Once she mastered that, we worked on going potty in public restrooms. The loud flushing in public potties scares her a little even now, but she'll go, jump off the potty and put her hands over her ears.

Once she had mastered going on the potty during the daytime, we didn't push nighttime potty training. I've heard there are kids who are four or five years old who still don't go to the potty during the night. But it turned out that we didn't have to do any training since Emily nighttime potty trained herself.

It started with naptime, which I wasn't there for because I had started working. But finally we started just letting her wear her undies for bedtime. She only has had one accident so far and will come out to the bathroom in the middle of the night. She does want one of us to come with her, partly because she is afraid of the dark. We have a nightlight in the hall, but can't have one in the bathroom. This is because the lights have to be on for the electrical plugs in the bathroom to work. But that is a minor issue.

So, Miss Emily has been completely potty trained for a little while now. It's pretty awesome to not have the expense of diapers anymore and she's happy to be such a big girl.

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Monday, May 14, 2012

The Mommy Wars and Extended Breastfeeding

Being a parent is hard, especially in this day and age. Thanks the the internet, you can express your opinions about everything. But it also can make it easier to butt heads with parents who don’t agree with your parenting style. This is one of the reasons, I think, for the rise of what the media likes to call The Mommy Wars.

The Mommy Wars were flamed this past week with conversational cover of Time magazine. The magazine cover featured a mom, Jamie Lynne Grumet, breastfeeding her almost four year old son. The pose along with the tagline, “Are You Mom Enough?” seemed designed to stir people up. Extended breastfeeding tends to be a highly debated topic that people, including non-parents, have strong opinions about.

I was an extended breastfeeder, but I didn’t intend to be. It just happened. When I got pregnant, I really wanted to breastfeed, for monetary reasons, since nursing is free! Nursing my daughter was a bit difficult in the beginning thanks to a bad latch in the beginning. But once we got used to it, it was just so easy.

My daughter’s first birthday came and went, and she still liked to nurse so there seemed no reason to stop. Same with her second birthday. Now, we did start her on food at six months, so as she got older she nursed less and less. But it was still great at bedtime and when she needed comfort. Our nursing relationship had a big bump when I ended up in the hospital a few months after she turned two. Nursing was very uncomfortable after I came home and I started to wean her. I still feel a little sad about how our nursing relationship ended but I was glad I was able to nurse her so long.

I was lucky because I had a good supply and besides a few latch issues in the beginning, we had no problems. But I watched other women struggle so hard to nurse and then feel so guilty when they had to use formula. I wish there was less of an attitude of guilt for those moms who don’t want to or can’t breastfeed.

But on the other hand, I also wish people wouldn’t demonize extended breastfeeders so much, because that is what works for their family. In fact, I wish that people would not criticize other’s parenting decisions. The Mommy Wars would die out if we could just have mutual respect for other parents and the decisions that they make for their children. Because honestly, we are all Mom enough for our kids.
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Amazing Journey with GeekMom

Over a year and a half ago, I found a blog called GeekMom. I started reading during one of their theme weeks and I was hooked. One day I saw a little button on their sidebar that said they were looking for writers.

I filled out the information and didn't really think much of it afterwards. But on April 11, 2011, my life was changed forever. On that day, I got the email that welcomed me as one of the new writers for

I was so excited and I jumped right in. I got a thrill seeing my posts go live and as I grew as a writer. It was also so great to be part of such a great group of moms. In my life, I only had one geeky mom to hang out with - my best friend, Dolli. But just having the GeekMoms to talk to via email about a variety of subjects, it is a great support system.

We all worked hard to grow our blog. I was really surprised when I realized that GeekMom was less than a year old when I became a writer. As the time went by, we got our name out there more and more. And I was made a core contributor which made me so, so happy.

All of the hard work paid off this week as GeekMom became a blog. This is a huge deal and I am thrilled. Writing for GeekMom is the best job I've ever had and I'm hoping of years to come of growing this blog and the friendships I've made with my fellow GeekMoms.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Amendment One and Gay Marriage

Today NC voters had their last chance to go to the polls to vote in the primaries as well as for or against Amendment One, which some people are calling the Marriage Amendment.

I've been reading comments on the Facebook page of a local news station and it makes me sad and angry. Gay marriage is already illegal, but this amendment will take away rights, put children in jeopardy and possibly release abusers from jail. It's really horrible!

 Most of the For people that are posting on FB seem to have the stance that Amendment One should pass because the Christian Bible says being gay is a sin. When asked to weigh in about the repercussions this amendment would have on straight, unmarried people, they say that that part of the amendment isn't real.

I really don't think government should be making decision like this. Gay marriage, despite the far Right's claim, isn't hurting anyone. Don't like gay marriage? Don't enter into one! No gay marriage (or any marriage) has any effect on my marriage, positive or negative. My marriage is something that is between my husband and myself.

I think some Christians forget that America is made up with people of all walks of life. Not everyone is Christian, so Christian values should have no weight in government. Instead of worrying about how to fix the economy, the focus is on amendments like this.

It makes me sad that people can't just let people live their lives without trying to force their own beliefs on them. I voted against and lots of people I know did as well. But I do fear that it will pass as last I heard For was ahead of Against.

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Doing My Civic Duty

Miss Emily wearing my "I Voted" Sticker
I'm not the best at doing my civic duty and voting. I tend to only vote in the big elections in November. But because of Amendment One, I decided I needed to go and vote.

So I skipped lunch on Friday and left work a half hour early. While I do think it's important for Emily to see me voting, I wasn't sure what time the polling place closed. So I went to vote before I picked her up from the sitter.

My polling place is a library very close to my house. Since it is still early voting, there weren't the normal amount of people promoting different candidates and other voting issues that I've seen when going to vote on election day.

There were two women sitting in lawn chairs holding "Vote for Marriage / Amendment One" one signs. They asked me if I wanted to know about Amendment One. I said, a little pointedly no and that I would be voting against. The support for this horrible amendment has me a little irrational. I get flares of anger anytime I see one of the "For Amendment One" signs that I've been seeing all over. If you haven't heard of Amendment One, you can read more about it at George Takei's blog.

There wasn't a line so I didn't have to wait very long to cast my ballot. I voted and I got my sticker. I went about my business, going to get Emily from the sitter. She saw my sticker and wanted it. I gave it to her and it gave me a chance to explain voting and why it is important to her.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mommy Immunity

The subject came up on a forum I'm on if moms have an immunity to feeling grossed out when their kids get sick. My gut reaction was no, but then I started to think about it.

Emily is a very healthy kid, so she has only thrown up a couple of times. The most recently was last October when we were in Texas for my cousin's wedding. If talk of puke disturbs you, you may want to skip the rest of this post.

For some reason, Emily got sick the night of the wedding. I woke up just before she started throwing up, but didn't manage to steer her away from her stuffed animals. So she  threw up all over them. This was a big concern to me since we were in Texas and were going to be boarding an airplane the next day.

I comforted her after cleaning her up. We were staying in a room with my dad and his wife, Esther. They stripped the bed for me and called room service for new sheets. She got sick again a little while after, so we had to repeat the cleaning and comforting. I don't remember being grossed out at all, I was just concerned about my sick little girl.

The next day, I spent a long while in the bathroom scrubbing barfed-on stuffed animals. Most of them were too badly dirty and were stuck in a bag to be washed when we got home. I did scrub at least one to the point that he could make the trip with Emily. The smell was awful as I was stuck in the bathroom trying to clean the poor stuffies. But I didn't feel sick then either because I wanted to make sure my daughter had at least some of her friends for the trip home.

As I thought about it, I guess I do have some sort of mommy immunity. When Emily gets sick, my primary thought is caring for her and cleaning up. Under normal circumstances, I get really grossed out by throw up. I get grossed up when my cats have a hairball. But it's different with my little girl.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Of Ma'am and Catcalls

Today was a bit of an odd day. I work in a file room that no-one usually works in. So the old boxes and trash tends to pile up. I have to ask to get the trash removed because no-one deals with it on a regular basis.

Well, I asked my boss about getting the trash dealt with, and there was a knock on my file cave door this afternoon. There was two young men there, and they had been sent to take away the trash. They were very polite, but they also 'ma'am-ed'.

I know I live in the South, but being called 'ma'am' makes me feel ancient. I also know that I'm not exactly young anymore, but I surely don't feel like a ma'am!

It is very warm here in NC this week - the temperatures have been going over 80 degrees. Since the A/C makes it a bit cold at work, I tend to layer. On my way to pick up Emily from the sitter, I had stripped down to just a tank top.

There was stop and go traffic on the road I take to get to the highway. I had the windows open, and someone catcalled to me. I'm not sure why, since I was sweaty and my hair was falling out of it's ponytail. But it kind of made up for being 'ma'am-ed'!

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