Tuesday, June 24, 2008

PCB or Bust, Baby!

HA!! Thought you could be rid of me that easily did you?
Alas for you, they have free wi-fi at a smoothie cafe here in PCB, and Hotwheel Hubs ended up bringing the laptop to check on a work thingy.

We're having a great time, the weather is here, wish you were beautiful, and all that. Remind me to tell you about the gigantic spider from Hades, digging for treasure, and the joy that is wrangling two three-year-olds and two not-quite-two-year-olds to nap in the afternoons.

Things to be happy about:
- Pirate cruise Thursday!

- Date Night #1 down, Date Night #2 Thursday night. (Hooray for teenage sisters!)

- Big Boys went to the seafood market and got us some stuff that was swimming earlier this morning to throw in a vat of boiling water and dip in butter.

- For once, I am NOT sunburned on the second day of a beach trip.

- There is Red Stripe in the fridge and mojito mix in the freezer.

Catch you on the flip side....
(big props for anyone who can name that movie line! Er, the one I'm thinking about anyways.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Beachward Bound!

We're headed to the beach and won't be back until we've eaten our fill of crab claws, slathered on enough sunscreen to coat the hub of the Titanic, and worked sand into all TEN of the butt cracks that will be inhabiting the house by the beach.

The laundry is done, the house sitter is briefed, the mail & newspaper stopped.

The computer... is not coming. It wasn't invited. Mainly because there's no Internet connection at the beach (what's up with THAT? It's like they want me to put the damn thing down or something...) and finding a wi-fi location will be way too hard.

Anyways, I'll be too busy soaking up the sun and lazing around on the sand with a fruity drink. Napping until noon and when I decide to eventually wake up, shopping at the designer outlets. Enjoying dinner and drinks and night walks on the beach.

OK, stop laughing...

... I said STOP!

We all know that a beach trip with four wild boys all ages two and three = complete and utter insanity. I'm just choosing to live in my fantasy world because I'm happy there.

I'll see you in a few days and can't wait to catch up! In the meantime, head over to The McMommy Chronicles for POW Fridays!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

BFF's Forever

Finn does this thing where everybody is "his BEST friend."

For no reason at all he'll stop playing, walk up to me, and say "Mommy, you my best friend?" Or he'll hug Eli and whisper "you my BEST friend, Eli." Eli mainly ignores him and continues to obliterate whatever toy he happens to be holding. Every classmate at daycare is Finn's best, as well as every stuffed animal he sees. His affection is touching and sincere, and is usually followed by a "I just love you..." like he feels compelled to give a reason for it.

I learned today from his teachers that Finn is pretty good when it comes to playing with the other kids in his class. I had been worried he was a loner since he enjoys playing by himself so much at home, and was concerned he wasn't being social at school. Turns out 98%of the time he plays with the other kids. The other 2% happens when Eli's class joins them on the playground; when that happens Finn wants to hang out with his brother.

I just love that.


I'm also totally lovin' that McMommy awarded me her revered "Be Frie" Award!!!! (Does it count that I totally bribed her with fabulous children' books? Yes? Great!) It's the Hotwheel's Hacienda very first blog award and I will wear it until it turns my neck green and makes my head fall off.



Pretty soon we're headed to the beach with the boys and some of our RL best friends. I'm counting the days until we can get away from things for a while and lounge around for a week or so!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Copy Cat

Eli is almost two, and it seems like his true toddler personality is beginning to reveal itself lately.

He's talking a lot more, mainly jabbering Eli-speak with great inflection and hand gestures. (I know, where did he learn this? No comments from the peanut gallery please!) This cracks me up to no end. Most of our conversation is pretty pleasant.

Me: "Eli, it's almost time to eat. Are you hungry?"

happy hooty sounds

Eli: "Mmmmm... E! E! EAT! ... Joo?"

Me: "No juice, we're having milk with lunch. Get ready.. here it comes!"

He joyfully walk-dances to the table. Then he sees his plate.

Eli: "Nyo. Nyo. NYO!"

Me: "What's the problem?"

Eli: "Cheeee? I'yon cheee..."

Me: "Oh, OK. You can have some cheese with your sandwich."

Cheese is administered

Eli: "Tan-Too!"

happy joyful munchy sounds

See? He's a delight to converse with. For now, anyway.
I worry it won't last long so I'm enjoying it while I can. Eli worships the ground his brother walks on, and tries his best to mimic Finn in every way. This is probably an indication of what our future conversations will be like...

Future Me: "Eli, it's supper time! Come on to the table, please."

Future Eli: "POO-POO! Poopie poop poop."

Future Me: "Hm. Well... um,"

Future Eli: "Booty!! Dat a booty head!! Pee-pee!"

Future Me: "Now, wait just a minute... you're headed to time-out Mister..."

Future Eli: "Dat stinky! Dat poopie WORMS! Pee-pee poop booty head! You a POTTY!"

For now I'll soak up all the sweet Baby-Eli I can.

Then I'll go invest in some soap.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Somebody Get Me a Napkin

I'm a thief, but it can't be helped.


This video blatantly stolen from Major Bedhead

Procrasti-Nation & More Girls

Things I Really Need to be Doing Other Than Blogging Right Now:

- Finish Father's Day preparations. I got the big ones but need a few small things to complete the gifts for all the Daddy-men in my life.

- Freeze the strawberries we got from the CSA before they get mushy

- Clean & mop the kitchen. Good thing I have my steam mop!

I have an unorthodox relationship with my steam mop...

- Do five thousand loads of laundry

- Fix my Flickr uploader. I seem to have deleted it altogether trying to download the latest 3.1 version...

- Take a shower

- Weed the garden


My sister & her hubs made the Big Announcement at family dinner last night.... they're having a girl!!! She'll make her appearance around Halloween and the boy/girl balance of the grandchildren will be broken. I think Finn & Eli can get a hold of her and turn her to the dark side yet. Congrats Po & H!

Ka-POW Baby!

I'm participating in Posts of the Week over at McMommy's. Go check them out to find some great new bloggy friends.

Also - if my posting becomes more sporadic and in little bunches it's because I'm blogging whenever I can. Between the boys, the garden, the job, and the summertime, I'm not posting on my usual schedule. You can subscribe in the Feed Reader to the right if you get tired of checking up - posts will go directly into your email Inbox!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Nicholas Carr thinks it could be.

This article in the Atlantic Monthly is pretty insightful to how Google has collectively changed our thought process, and not for the better.

An excerpt:
"Karp, who writes a blog about online media, recently confessed that he has stopped reading books altogether. “I was a lit major in college, and used to be [a] voracious book reader,” he wrote. “What happened?” He speculates on the answer: “What if I do all my reading on the web not so much because the way I read has changed, i.e. I’m just seeking convenience, but because the way I THINK has changed?”

A particularly poignant metaphor from Mr. Carr:
"Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski. ...Our ability to interpret text, to make the rich mental connections that form when we read deeply and without distraction, remains largely disengaged."

I can totally relate. But then again, maybe I'm just suffering from the after-effects of baby-brain. (I swear, my capacity of thought has taken a beating since the two Beasties arrived on the scene.)

This article made me take a step back and look at my own process of information accumulation. As someone who has spent many, many hours of her life as an advocate for the public library I observe the way people absorb information and use resources available to them entirely different from how they used to just 10 years ago.

Heck... FIVE years ago.

What do you think? Is the Net THE universal medium?
What has it done to shape our thought process?
Do you read, or do you "power browse"?
Do we "risk turning into ‘pancake people’— spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button”?

More importantly....
Did I remember to pick up the dry cleaning?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Rasta-Finn in the Summertime

It's officially summertime at Hotwheel Hacienda. The ceiling fans are on high, the flip-flop tans are starting to show, and this is blasting from the speakers almost every day:

Finn LOVES this song. He has serenaded his teachers, his grandparents, the entire playground... and now you:

Pardon the poor resolution. I need a new camera.

Here are some other things that are helping us beat the heat, in one way or another. Clicky links added for your convenience...

Kid-Safe Bug Spray with SPF 30
Eli gets eat up every year with bug bites, and last week I heard a horror story about a toddler in our area who got West Nile and it caused nerve damage in her right arm. Meaning, she can't use it. That was enough for me to invest in some dual SPF/buggy action to slather him up with every morning. This stuff is great, even if the blue stuff does take a few washings to get off your hands, but it also helps you see how evenly you are applying.
Plus I like that the boys faintly look like Blue Man midgets.

WWOD? Toddler Shirt

Need I say more?
... I do?
OK, checkout this column over at MOMocrats about McCain and feminism. Note: I advise any and all members of my family to not click this link. If you do anyway, don't say I didn't warn you.

1000000 Miles Away
You know when you were growing up and went through that phase of wanting your name on everything? There were those racks of pencils, or bracelets, or t-shirts, or notepads? My little sister even had a cool song with her name in it that played all the time on the radio.
I've always wanted there to be a song with my name in it, because I'm narcissistic like that, but never knew of any. Thanks to Kip The Music Guru, I have THREE in my iPod now!! And they're good ones too.

Kung Fu Panda
Seriously, it was adorable. Go take the kids and enjoy being in a cool dark theater.

So You Think You Can Dance
SYTYCD = My Guilty Pleasure. I could hardly wait for summer to start to see who the next Benji or Sabra will be. It's been 12 years since I last danced in college (gasp!) but watching this show automatically turns me into a snarky DMA Certified Professional Consultant: Ack! She calls THAT a fouette turn? And just look at that guy's extensions! His lines are fantastic, but his musicality stinks!

The Perfect Father's Day Gift
Unfortunately, cannot be linked or posted because Hotwheels Husband pops into the blog occasionally. But if you want a tip, shoot me a comment or email and I'll share. It's worth it, and perfect for summertime.

TGIF... for Reals

Dear Work:

I am writing this memo to tell you to LAY OFF.

Yes, I know I signed up for this. I know it appears that I have the luxury of a flexible part-time schedule (HA! Part-time?? No such thing.) But a girl can only handle so much and still be sane.

You see Work, right now I am trying to be a full-time wife/mom/daughter/sister/friend/gardener, AND a full-time fundraiser/volunteer-coordinator/advocate/intern/committee-organizer/data-entry/publicist/accountant/mediator... but on a part-time schedule. None of it is getting done well, and the list of balls that I'm dropping is growing bigger each day. As this big fat event day gets nearer, I'm afraid it's going to look like a..

... like a...

... like a big place with lots of balls bouncing around everywhere. Plus it's seriously cutting into my blogging time.

Actually, my kids would love that, and maybe while they're bouncing around in the balls I can throw some laundry in and check my email and work on this invitation mailing and get dinner started.

Just don't forget the bouncy balls.


Another reason to say TGIF is McMommy's POW Fridays.

Stop by and find some new writer's you love!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Because We Don't Have Enough to Worry About This Summer

Dry Drowning Claims 10-Year Old

10-year-old died more than an hour after getting out of swimming pool

By Mike Celizic
TODAYShow.com contributor
updated 8:58 a.m. CT, Thurs., June. 5, 2008

The tragic death of a South Carolina 10-year-old more than an hour after he had gone swimming has focused a spotlight on the little-known phenomenon called “dry drowning” — and warning signs that every parent should be aware of.

“I’ve never known a child could walk around, talk, speak and their lungs be filled with water,” Cassandra Jackson told NBC News in a story broadcast Thursday on TODAY.

On Sunday, Jackson had taken her son, Johnny, to a pool near their home in Goose Creek, S.C. It was the first time he’d ever gone swimming — and, tragically, it would be his last.

At some point during his swim, Johnny got some water in his lungs. He didn’t show any immediate signs of respiratory distress, but the boy had an accident in the pool and soiled himself. Still, Johnny, his sister and their mother walked home together.

“We physically walked home. He walked with me,” Jackson said, still trying to understand how her son could have died. “I bathed him, and he told me that he was sleepy.”

Spongy material
Later, she went into his room to check on him. “I walked over to the bed, and his face was literally covered with this spongy white material,” she said. “And I screamed.”

A family friend, Christine Meekins, was visiting and went to see what was wrong. “I pulled his arm and said, ‘Johnny! Johnny!’ ” Meekins told NBC. “There was no response. I opened one of his eyes and I just knew inside my heart that it was something really bad.”

Johnny was rushed to a local hospital, but it was too late. Johnny had drowned, long after he got out of the swimming pool.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, some 3,600 people drowned in 2005, the most recent year for which there are statistics. Some 10 to 15 percent of those deaths was classified as “dry drowning,” which can occur up to 24 hours after a small amount of water gets into the lungs. In children, that can happen during a bath.

Dr. Daniel Rauch, a pediatrician from New York University Langone Medical Center, told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira that there are warning signs that every parent should be aware of. Johnny Jackson exhibited some of them, but unless a parent knows what to look for, they are easily overlooked or misinterpreted.

The three important signs, he said, are difficulty breathing, extreme tiredness and changes in behavior. All are the result of reduced oxygen flow to the brain.

Johnny had two of those signs — he was very tired when he got home, and he had had the accident in the pool. But like most parents, Cassandra Jackson had no idea this could be related to water in his lungs.

Delayed reaction
Rauch said that the phenomenon of dry drowning is not completely understood. But medical researchers say that in some people, a small amount of inhaled water can have a delayed-reaction effect.

“It can take a while for the process to occur and to set in and cause difficulties,” Rauch said. “Because it is a lung process, difficulty breathing is the first sign that you would be worried about.”

The second sign is extreme fatigue, which isn’t always easy to spot. “It’s very difficult to tell when your child is abnormally tired versus normal tired after a hot day and running around in the pool,” Rauch said. “The job of the lungs is to get oxygen into the blood and your brain needs oxygen to keep working, so when your brain isn’t getting oxygen, it can start doing funny things. One of them is becoming excessively tired, losing consciousness and the inability to be aroused appropriately.”

Finally, there are changes in behavior, Rauch said — another tough call when dealing with very small children, whose moods and behavior can change from one minute to the next.

“Another response of the brain to not getting oxygen is to do different things,” Rauch explained, saying parents should be concerned “if your child’s abnormally cranky, abnormally combative — any dramatic change from their normal pattern.”

He admitted, “It is very difficult to pick this up sometimes.” But spotting the warning signs and getting a suspected victim to an emergency room can save a life, he added.

Victims of dry drowning are treated by having a breathing tube inserted so that oxygen can be supplied under pressure to the lungs. “Then we just wait for the lung to heal itself,” he said.

But for Cassandra Jackson, it’s knowledge gained too late. She and Meekins sat in her home, looking at pictures of the bright and happy son who was no more.

“He was very loving, full of life,” the grieving mother said. “That was my little man.”

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

When You Are Engulfed in Flames

OMG - David Sedaris is on The Daily Show... RIGHT NOW!!!

SO EXCITED!! Stop reading this. Go watch. Or You Tube it after the fact.

A Scooby-Dooby Day

Finn Loves Scooby...
Originally uploaded by BookMamma
We spent another day at the Botanical Gardens today with a picnic lunch and lots of sunscreen. Somewhere in there Finn proposed to Scooby-Doo. Scooby accepted. As a mother I'm a bit worried about the children but I try not to judge.

Also? Our garden? Is working! I haven't broken it yet!
Here's proof:

Who knew dinosaurs liked okra?

I think they'll be big enough to survive a transplant by this weekend and then we'll mulch everything up all nice and warm. It will be a small garden, really only stuff I know we'll eat, but I aspire to the type of garden my uncle has down in south Louisiana. It's a jungle!

Green thumb, indeed!

Not much more to report and I need to take advantage of napping beasties to get some work done....

Monday, June 2, 2008

Dazed & Confused

We're coming off from a great weekend and Monday hit hard!

It was truly action-packed... SATC movie with the Girls Friday night for me, Farmer's Market, Library Fun Run, and Kid's Kingdom Satur-Day, with a fabulous screening of "Dazed & Confused" as the debuting Hotwheel Hacienda Yard Movie Saturday Night. Last year we found one of those cool inflatable movie screens super cheap online and we've definitely got our money's worth. Around 30 friends showed up to watch the movie and kick some booty in our first Guitar Hero tournament. (Liz, I demand a rematch!!!)

Sunday was spent recovering and cleaning from the night before, and we had been invited to spend the afternoon on a friend's family farm. We had driven almost an hour when the pouring rain made it pretty clear that Farm Day was a bust so we turned the car around.

Luckily, Finn could be consoled with gummy worms.
And really, who cares about cows when you've got gummy worms?


It's also the first of the month and that means... Perfect Post Awards!

I nominated Girl's Gone Child for her post, "Three Years Old". You might also know GGC from that little Rockabye book you see over on my sidebar. She's just come off book tour and found out recently she'll be getting a baby girl in a few months... so send her some love and pick up a copy of the book, cuz' we all know girls are SPENSIVE!

Plus the book is really good.

For a complete list of Perfect Posts go see Suburban Turmoil or MammaK.
Perfect Post Award – 0508
Hotwheel Hacienda, 2008. All Rights Reserved.|Blog Design by JudithShakes Designs.
Graphics hosted by Flickr.