Archive for February, 2009

A Miracle Product

Posted in Motherhood with tags , , , on February 28, 2009 by Ms. Ex

The scene:  Walmart, last night.  The detergent department (yes, it’s a whole department).

From across the crowded aisle, I hear a voice, “Mommy, here.  Here!”

Ethan comes hobbling up to me, lugging an impossibly heavy bottle.

Whether it was the angelic, smiling girl on the bottle, or some other, more subtle message that made him decide what the product was, I’ll never really know.  But he shouted to me:

“Look, Mommy!  This is for you.  It makes your children GOOD!”

It might not make your children good, but it sure was good for a laugh.yo

It might not make your children good, but it sure was good for a laugh.

“In that case, buddy, I’ll take three.”

Fiber Friday Giveaway: Bunny In Disguise Mixed Media Necklace

Posted in Fiber Friday, Giveaway with tags , , , , , , , on February 26, 2009 by Ms. Ex

Fresh from Bunny in Disguise over at Etsy comes this versatile mixed media necklace.  Bunny has been crafting cool pieces for a while to let off steam from her real job as a promotions manager for a local television affiliate, but this is one of her totally new, original ideas and I ADORE them.  She started clicking around Etsy and wanted to try to create something really unique, and I think she found the perfect plan.

Her mixed media pieces blend delicate but sturdy chains with ribbon and yarn for textural detail, then some kind of really fun, funky focal point.  God I just love alliteration, don’t y’all?  This one features a vintage flower earring in a bright spring yellow- green.  The beads are white and golden freshwater pearls with a few metallic glass beads for extra sparkle.  The 30 1/2 inch necklace is secured with an antiqued brass toggle clasp.

I have seen her sport some of her creations around town and I love every one of them.  You can wear these as long necklaces, doubled up as chokers, or even twined around a wrist.  Even more fun are some of the names of her Etsy items.  How could I not love a woman who makes something called the “Original Sin Necklace”??  And her blog has some great writing.  She is just getting it started and I would definitely put it on the list to watch for up-and-coming blogosphere talent.

And if a tongue in cheek reference to original sin doesn’t win you over, how about this:  her Twitter name is HolyXuxa!  Like, Holy Xuxa, Batman!  Except, Xuxa is this whack Brazilian Grammy Award Winner, television actress, singer and children’s television show host.  Apparently she was a centerfold model in Playboy, which over here might raise a few eyebrows if one were working in children’s television, but kids need hot icons too, you know, and Xuxa looks better on knee socks than that Montana kid.

giveaway-necklace-2

Here is a photo of the necklace gracing the neck of Bunny’s busty friend who is, you guessed it – a bust.  I think we should name her.  In fact, I hereby announce the comment theme for entering this giveaway:

Name Bunny’s Bust.  Leave a comment below with your best, humorous name for a torso with no head or arms.  The comments will be locked at 8 p.m. EST Sunday March 1, and I will choose a random winner from both entries and announce it by Monday March 2 at noon.  Please only enter once, and only if you have a U.S. shipping address.  If you amuse me mightily, I might be extra kind and mention you personally, so you will get the thrill of being famous for 15 seconds.  Call me Andy Warhol Lite.  And get over to Bunny’s Etsy shop to see the other goodies she has for sale.  Happy commenting!

The Perfect Easter Basket Gift

Posted in A Bit on the Dark Side, People Are Idiots with tags , , on February 25, 2009 by Ms. Ex

In case you were wondering what I want for Easter this year, or Mother’s Day, or for my best friend’s birthday which is next week, here it is:  the best Barbie ever.

Alfred Hitchcock anyone?

I mean, birds are a sign of spring, right?

Block Head

Posted in Mental Stability, Motherhood, Writing with tags , , , on February 24, 2009 by Ms. Ex

I’m blocked.  Completely.  I cannot finds the words to complete a sentence.  Okay, well – maybe that’s an exaggeration.

I want to say the problem is Beckett the terrible the toddler who will not tolerate me being out of his presence and who is right now screaming because I had the audacity to leave the room he is in.

Or maybe it’s the fact that I took away TV watching from Ethan because he pitched a remote at the screen and shattered it (I must say, Amy Sedaris kicked butt on The Closer despite the fact that I could not see the right half of the picture).

But maybe the problem is just me.

My proposed topic for yesterday was “why we need barriers to personal communication” or something like that.  It was suggested to me by someone who sees that I prefer to have those barriers.  And I notice that most people do like the artifice of online communication and social networking.  They allow themselves to be both more open, and yet more deceitful.  If the receiver can’t hear the nuances of speech, there is a whole world of meaning lost.   And since we don’t have to face most people in a real way after we blog about our poor mental health, we don’t always have to address our issues, either.

I have tried to explain this to my daughter, who wonders why she and her boyfriend keep having difficulties communicating – via TEXT MESSAGING!

“Where is she going with this?” you might ask.  A fine question.

Once I can get my point across with no confusion, I’ll be sure to fill you in.

Hormotional* and Green: Feminine Hygiene Products go Eco-Friendly

Posted in Fiber Friday, Going Green, Sewing with tags , , , , , , on February 19, 2009 by Ms. Ex

WARNING:  The following post is for women.  Actually, it’s only for some women.  If you have get dry heaves at the thought of using anything but a scented plastic applicator near your hoo-hoo, this post is probably not for you.

In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock without wi-fi for the last few years, you should know there is a movement afoot to go green with our lady gear.  Now, not only can our babies have soft tushie padding, we can too.  Most of the information out there seems to be coming from the same group of women who, like me, are totally obsessed with cloth diapers, natural parenting, recycling…all that crunchy stuff.  And there is some wacky wear for the derriere out there.

Um.  Yeah.

Greenyour is a site dedicated to lessening your carbon and/or maxi-pad footprint.  At least, this part of it is.  Included on this page are some truly awesome shops that have been making these for years.  They have great reputations and excellent products.

I should also mention the New Moon Cloth menstrual pads.  This company has been around for almost twenty years, and their site is filled with great information and a simple, easy to use product that looks good, too!  Not that you’ll go around showing it off, but every month you’ll get a little serotonin boost knowing you’re wearing something cute down there.  And who doesn’t want cloissone elephants in their undies?

Etsy, of course, is chock full of choices as always.  My personal favorite?  Say it with me gals – SOCK MONKEYS!  Yes, that’s right.  The perineal favorite (ha!  get it?) stuffed toy right there in your crotch.  But if that doesn’t shock your monkey, there are over 1200 results for a tag and title search on Etsy.  So add an extra tag like your favorite color, or “sugar skulls” (like it’s not scary enough, right?) and happy hunting.

“So,” you say, “what if I don’t like pads?  What kinds of alternatives are out there for me?”

Ladies, have I got some good news for you.  If your pelvic floor is still sturdy enough to use a tampon, there are several options available.

The first are a variety of cups like the Diva Cup and The Keeper that you simply insert (similarly to a diaphragm) and rinse out.  Then reinsert.  Easy peasy!  They are made from natural gum rubber or silicone and are phthalate and Bisphenol A (BPA) free.

But surely you know I’ve saved the best for last.  Or at least, the most humorous.

I’m not called Barely Knit Together for nothing.  Check this out:  Knitted tampons!  (cue choir of angels singing)  Aren’t they cute?  I haven’t tried these yet, but you bet I’m going to.  The pattern is super cheap at $0.50; it’s at least worth it just to laugh with your friends about your latest knitting project.

And if you just can’t do without your disposable feminine hygiene products, at least have the decency to hide them with these.  Someone please buy those squid, pronto, or I will have to do it myself.

As always, here are some links for you DIYers out there.  Free patterns to sew your own!

Cloth Menstrual Pads (free pattern)

Multi-layered with removable liner (dries faster!)

A fabulous site with tutorials, info on fabrics, sewing on-the-cheap, and different styles

These can all be laundered just like you would cloth diapers or towels or other such items.  Cold first, though, so as not to set the blood, then hot if you want them sterilized.  Of course, if you aren’t planning to eat off of them, you might want to save your hot water**.  Your call.

And just so you know, even though I’ve handled this topic glibly, I do mean what I say about this being a great idea.  I, for one, am glad to never again have to hear the crinkle sound of plastic and paper when I walk.  And as a bonus (can I say it again?) –  Sock monkeys!

Stop in for next week’s Fiber Friday giveaway, featuring a free jewelry item from the Bunny in Disguise Etsy shop!

*Ooh!  I got to use a new word 🙂

**Kidding!  Sheesh.

And which action finger would YOU be?

Posted in A Bit on the Dark Side with tags , , , on February 18, 2009 by Ms. Ex

I love super heroes.  There is something about the clarity of the issues in their worlds.  Batman’s never-ending, depression-inducing fight against evil.  Spiderman torn between love and the “great responsibility” that comes with great power.  The ostracism of the X-Men.  Watching them or reading their stories makes me feel a little thrill inside.  Maybe even the difficult area between right and wrong, good and evil, is not so unnavigable after all.  And boy, it sure would be nice to have some amazing power to harbor as my secret, my ace in the hole against fearing that I am not a useful human being.  Sacrificing my own happiness for the greater good?  Check.  Preventing crime?  Check.  Saving lives?  Check.

But when confronted recently by this list of super powers on a Facebook quiz, I was left thinking maybe it’s all a bad idea.

These were the choices: flying, mind-reading, x-ray vision, invisibility, shapeshifting, invulnerability, super speed, telekenesis, time travel, and super strength.  Let’s take a look at these, shall we?

Flying:  Okay, that doesn’t sound so bad, right?  Sounds kind of helpful, actually.  Except for the whole homeland security thing, and the possibility of being mistaken for an RPG or something.

Mind-reading:  Seriously?  I wouldn’t want people to know what I’m thinking about them.  I doubt I want to know what they actually think of me.  At least this way, I can hold onto the hope that someone likes me.

X-ray vision:  Can you say, “Cancer”??

Invisibility:  This one has intriguing possibilities.  But again, the compelling desire to find out what people are actually saying about me when I’m not around might outweigh my good reason.  Ha!  Kidding.  I don’t have good reason.

Shapeshifting:  Is this like the Wonder Twins?  Form of an ice cube, shape of a marmoset?  Would I be limited?  I could totally see being a rock.  Or maybe a cownosed ray, my favorite animal.  But I’m not sure how that would help me save the world.  I can only see it contributing to my avoidance of it.

Invulnerability:  Good grief, no.  Someday, I’m going to die.  I am glad.

Super speed:  Then I would feel even more guilty for not getting done the things I need to do every day.  I couldn’t use my lame excuse of “not enough time” if I could zip around doing my thing.  Forget it.

Telekinesis:  Okay, for some things, this would be great.  House cleaning without lifting a finger!  But many moms already fall back on the whole it’s-easier-to-do-it-myself-than-to-get-a-kid-to-do-it philosophy.  This would definitely not help.  Children everywhere would suddenly find themselves with no chores.  Anarchy would surely follow.  Hmmm.  Wait a minute…maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all.  Oh, I mean – I am a LAW ABIDING, well-behaved CITIZEN who does not believe anarchy is an appropriate response to the deterioration of society!  No, siree!  Absolutely not.  Moving on…

Time travel:  This brings up the whole problem with science fiction stories that include time travel.  If you go back in time, you necessarily change that time, so the future would be different and you would not have gone back under the same circumstances, which means you would not have changed the past in the same way, etc.  It’s too much for us to wrap our poorly developed brains around.  Besides, which thing would I change?  I’m sure the idea is not to just go back and witness the past, but to alter it in some way.  Where would I even begin?  How do I know I wouldn’t be making my present and future even worse?

Super strength:  Isn’t it enough that moms don’t get to be all that vulnerable?  That we are sort of the go-to gal for day to day life?  Would we ever be able to ask for help opening a jar or carrying luggage again?  I think not.  Keep your super strength.

So where does that leave us?  Well, my son loves playing with his “action fingers.”  I’m thinking maybe that will just have to do for now.  Until, of course, I’m bitten by a radioactive spider.  Then we’ll just have to see.

The Real Mom Quiz

Posted in Homemaking Made Easy, Motherhood, Why you should maybe rethink the whole reproducing thing with tags , , , , on February 17, 2009 by Ms. Ex

Disclosure:  I occasionally, in a fit of mindlessness, click on those ridiculous quizzes from Facebook.  Go ahead, mock me.  You’ve all done it too and I know it.

Yesterday, there was one purporting to tell me what kind of mommy I am.  From five questions.

I don’t think anyone should be pigeonholed into some arbitrary category of parenting by a mere five questions, so I’ve decided to develop a much more scientific quiz for my amusement your edification.  Complete the following statements with the choice that most fits you.

1.  The only reason I would allow my 18 month old to continue to squish his hands around in the puddle of glue he spilled on the train table is:

A.  I am busy paying bills

B.  I didn’t  see him doing it

C.  I would never, EVER leave a bottle of glue out where a child could get to it.

D.  I am blogging and just need five more minutes.

2.  My child likes to fish his waffles out of the toaster on the floor with the hook from my tea strainer ball.  I:

A.  Tell him it’s dangerous and not to do it anymore.

B.  Wonder why he’s so quiet in there…

C.  Your toaster is on the FLOOR??

D.  Unplug the toaster and tell him he can only do it when mommy’s right there.

3.  My four year old starts saying “Damn” on a frighteningly regular basis.  I:

A.  Explain to him that some words are not nice and we shouldn’t use them.

B.  Convince myself he’s saying “Dan” and that it’s all just a cute misunderstanding.

C.  Refuse to leave the house for fear of being mortified by this foul-mouthed child.

D.  Try really hard not to laugh, then tell everyone that all words are just tools and if we don’t pay attention to it he’ll get over the novelty of it.

4.  My little ones decide it is TONS of fun to slide down my back from my bed to theirs and crash into the pillows and blankets.  I:

A.  Hmmm…I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying.

B.  Uh, I’m on Facebook, not horsing around on the bed.

C.  OMG!  Your children sleep in the same room as you?!

D.  Laugh hysterically and think that this bed arrangement is the coolest thing ever.

5.  I am trying to write a quiz for my blog, and my kid keeps saying, “Mommy come in here and play the tickle game with me!”  I:

A.  Say, “I am working, sweetie, and I need just a few more minutes.  Then I will come in and play.”

B.  Shout, “For the last time, I’ll come in there when I’m ready!”

C.  I don’t have time for that sort of thing.  There are cupcakes to make for the PTA bake sale and then the Junior League meeting is tonight!

D.  Say, “Here is the $200 wireless keyboard.  Come in here and you can sit on the floor and write just like mommy!”  And decide that maybe five questions is enough, after all.

Scoring:  If you answered A, B, or D for any of the questions, or any combination of them, or if your answers would change around among those choices depending on the day (or time of month), congratulations – you are a real mom.

If you answered C for any question:  you are definitely reading the wrong blog.