Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
What Parents Need to Know
About Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Parents need to know that this is no PG movie -- in all ways, it's very similar to the previous two movies, which were rated PG-13. This film continues the series' trend toward darker, more intense material. For young children, the death of a major beloved character could be extremely upsetting. Other characters are bloodied, kicked, and cursed in frightening ways, and a very scary scene involving scary, skeletal characters is sure to scare the pants off of little kids. There are also some big emotional upheavals and scary attacks. And there's notably more sexuality -- albeit playfully depicted -- than in the past movies. Because the characters are now teens, much of the interaction between them and their friends centers on getting a boy or girlfriend, and there's plenty of snogging (making out). While Harry and his friends continue as strong positive role models, other characters' motives and plans become more ambiguous. And there are also a few scenes that include alcohol consumption -- including one in which a professor serves his students. SourceAlong with an overview, parents can find out more about the messages in the film, positive and negative
Role models:Professor Dumbledore is an excellent, selfless role model. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny are flawed teenagers, but that helps make them some of the most relatable characters in children's literature -- as well as admirable, since they're also loyal, brave, self-sacrificing, generous, and empathetic. On the flip side are the Death Eaters and the unreliable, enigmatic character of Severus Snape. Tom Riddle (Voldemort as a boy) is cruel, calculating, and cold -- but it's clear that most characters recognize these troubling qualities. Draco Malfoy, who has been "promoted" to Death Eater, is still shown as conflicted and scared about the task Voldemort assigns him. Professor Slughorn means well, but his head is turned by fame and fortune. Still, in the end, he manages to be brave.Professor Dumbledore is an excellent, selfle… More
What to watch out for
Violence :As in the book, the sixth movie includes the death of a beloved major character. Voldemort himself isn't shown in this installment (young Tom Riddle appears instead). Aside from the one murder (via killing curse), there are several injuries and close calls: a curse severely bloodies a character, a character is bruised and beaten, two characters are accidentally poisoned, a main character is seen having a life-threatening seizure, and Death Eaters set a house on fire and destroy buildings and structures both in the magical realm and in the Muggle world (as well as kidnap a Diagon Alley denizen). Harry and Dumbledore must also fend off the very frightening, skeleton-like creatures during a dangerous mission.As in the book, the sixth movie includes the de… More
Sex :Lots of flirting and "snogging" (kissing) among the Hogwarts students, both main characters and extras. Several discussions about attraction, romantic relationships, unrequited feelings, love potions, jealousy, and adolescent dating. Several kisses and instances of hand holding and longing gazes. Random couples are shown making out in the halls and at parties. Talk of getting together and/or breaking up threads through the whole movie.Lots of flirting and "snogging" (kissing) among the… More
Consumerism:Not an issue.
Drinking, drugs, & smoking:Harry and his underage pals (the legal drinking age in England is 18) drink butterbeer, mead, and what looks like wine at the Three Broomsticks pub and a couple of dinner parties (it's unclear to those not versed in the books whether butterbeer is actually alcoholic). In one scene, as a celebration, a professor offers alcohol to Ron and Harry; the same professor serves drinks to several teens at a holiday party. Harry also takes a "luck" potion that alters his behavior in a way that seems slightly high, and Ron is thrown for a loop by a powerful love potion. Professor Slughorn and Hagrid get pretty deep into their cups in one scene.Harry and his underage pals (… More
Families Can Talk About
- Families can talk about the best age for kids (and eager parents) to start getting into the Harry Potter series. Is it OK to read all the books (and see all the movies) at the same age?
- What do you think of the way the movie depicts the teens' romantic relationships? Are they believable? Is the story too hormone-filled for younger viewers?
- What do we learn about Voldemort's past in this movie? Does that change the way you feel about him?
- If you've read the book, what parts of the novel were left out? Which were faithfully adapted? How does this movie compare to the earlier ones as an adaptation?
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Come on people, you can do it...yes you can!
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I have never had a planned pregnancy. I hope that didn't come out wrong. It sounds negative, but it isn't. Birth control has not failed me, in fact I failed birth control...three times. And I am likely to do it again. It is for this reason that I got a tubal ligation on Monday. I love my three darlings more than life itself, when I am without them for too long I feel as though I am missing my limbs. I would be unbearably miserable without them. But what if they never came into play? What if they were still only twinkles in my eye? It's possible I could have found a life full of happiness and fulfillment. But as of now, I have crossed over. I could never, would never go back. Once you become a mother, it becomes an indelible mark on your path in life; a map tattooed in your mind. All arrows point north and the terrain leaves scars on your belly. I don't believe that I was meant to have my kids. I do not follow the faith that fate lead them to me. I believe that I am simply very blessed to have them and that I should feel obliged never to take them for granted. I also believe that if I let the cards fall where they may, I will become overwhelmed and lose all my hair at the hand of twelve children. So, for reasons stated above, I am not Catholic. I support birth control, I praise fertility science. And above all, I thank the universe for my beautiful family. We are now complete.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Here is a story about a boy who at the beginning of third grade was reported to have a first grade reading level. He was however, blessed to have two amazing teachers who believed in him. Here he is, 9 months later, engaged in Micheal Crichton's Jurassic Park. These are the moments my heart beats for.
Friday, June 5, 2009
If you've ever attempted the "landing strip" when it's been months since you've seen the "runway", you know where this is going. I am what you might call, a Yeti Betty (intended to be said in the fashion of Austin Powers...yeah baby). I might even go so far as to call myself a Sascrotch. I have yet to meet a razor that didn't run away in horror upon seeing the task set before it. I am the reason plumbers are still in business. The drain snake has been my savior since I hit puberty. Have I said too much?
My point is that I am now 7 weeks postpartum and am finally able to be intimate with my husband again. This is BIG news! And yet I feel like a raggedy old sac of skin. So I thought I would spice things up a bit and get out the ol' shave gel and the new (of course) razor and have a go. All I can say is "Dayum!" Razor-burn is evil! Now, I know Nick accepts me for me and does not need any fancy tricks to be happy, but I just like the idea of feeling sexy. So...exactly how sexy is razor-burn? On a scale of one to ten, how sexy can one feel with red bumps along their bikini line (or in my case, granny panties line)?
I forgot about all the troubles that come back into play once my playground is in view again. It's almost a good enough reason to have another baby. It's a good thing I'm getting my tubes tied in just 10 days.
Which leads me down a whole new road of neurosis; surgery is, A) not fun, B) painful, and C) I'm not even getting bigger boobs in the process. But I am doing my due to society and keeping to my promise to only bring three perfect beings into this world so as not to make everyone else jealous. My perfect beings are asleep at the moment, so of course I want more of them because they look so...well, you know, perfect.
Where am I going with all this? I have no idea. I have a constant broken record in my head (in the voice of Austin Powers, of course); surgery, turning 35, pay the garbage bill, surgery, turning 35 and so on. Here's to neurosis!
Friday, May 29, 2009
Verb; to grind with the teeth, and with a crackling sound; to craunch.
The opportunity to use this word shouldn't be hard to find. The other night I was completely unable to sleep due my husband's scranching habit during sleep.
Thankfully I am not a scrancher.
Friday, May 22, 2009
With all my ramblings about the new baby, I think I may have failed to show my love and passion for my oldest two sprouts, Aidan and Oona Lea. In an attempt to rectify this, I am going through our photo and video folders to dig out some gems to show off. But for now I have some recent stuff. Here they are showing me their new secret hand shake :
(Oona is the drama queen, she has to fall down every time she is in a video)
4 bags of Moroccan Mint and two bags of Red Rose.
Steep in 8 ounces hot water, add honey, stir.
Add heaps of frozen fruit and a little ice if desired and hit puree.
Word of the week: Anorgasmies
–noun; inability to experience sexual orgasm.
Fascinating, isn't it? Now try using it in a sentence..."Well hello Mr. X, I hear your wife has come down with a case of Anorgasmies, too bad, really. Have you tried turning off the television? I hear that works wonders!"
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
As long as I have unsustainable life in my yard I am ceasing all care. I refuse to make any attempts at bringing the kiwi plant back, and there isn't a chance in hell you'll see me fertilizing anything. If a plant cannot thrive in this natural environment without my assistance and does not provide some sort of service such as food, shade or nectar, it will be replaced with a regionally sustainable plant life. Most of our neighbors do not see the value in this philosophy. One neighbor however, is on the same page and his car sports a clever bumper sticker that reads, FOOD NOT LAWNS. Oh, if only we had a goat.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Poor little Jack has very sensitive skin, every time he nurses, his little baby zits get puffy and red. I have tried to figure if it's something in my diet. I can't think of any thing on a daily basis that would cause it. As is apparent in the collage, he has a hard time figuring how he really feels lately. Very moody, this fellow. I'm taking him into the baby "clinic" at the birth center tomorrow. They will weigh him and I'll talk to the LC about my diet.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Jack is 3 weeks old and he is so awesome! He has the most adorable baby acne...even in his ears. And he does this smiley thing when he wakes up and it melts my heart.
My Mothers' Day started with breakfast in bed. Nick had to work this morning but he made it happen with the help of the deluxe breakfast from McDonalds. We went to the park to meet my mom and had brie and crackers while Aidan and Oona played in the sand. The weather held out just long enough for us to make it Nick's parents house for the BBQ. Didn't have to cook a damn thing today.
Nothing ends the day like a bottle of Pinot Noir, from Nick; a bag of dark chocolate, from Oona; and beautiful tie dyed flowers, from Aidan.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Cherish these days. These are the days that go by so fast that before you know it, your little one is drawing on walls, pulling books off shelves and refusing to poop in the toilet despite their adept skills at cracking the locks on the liquor cabinet. This is when a parent can put their little one in a bouncy seat and go take a dump with the confidence that when they return from the bathroom, their child will be in the same place they left them. Having a newborn is merely boot camp, it just gets us ready for what lies ahead; play-doh in the carpet, bubble gum in their hair and glue on your toothbrush. And that only gets you ready for the next set of phases, all leading up to "Mom, Dad, can I have the car keys?".
Friday, April 24, 2009
This is how awesome my husband is:
To my most dearest wife,
You are so wonderful! I love you more than I could ever express with words. I'll never understand how any husband could have taken you for granted or not have appreciated how amazing you are. I am so grateful that you are the mother of my children. I can't imagine a better co-parent than you. I learn so much from you every day about being a good parent; you are my best, most favorite teacher. I have never been happier in my entire life, and I will never be able to thank you enough for this most awesome experience and the wonderful, long life we have ahead of us.
All the love in my heart,
*wipes away tears* Damn I love him!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Somewhere in the depths of Dante's Inferno there is a circle tucked away reserved for the mothers who foolishly think that this time breastfeeding will be different, this time it will be easier. How do you know you are in Lactation Hell? The first clue is when you ask yourself what would be more painful, letting your breasts dry up, or allow your lip-smacking baby another go on your chapped and bleeding nipples. My milk arrived roughly 24 hours ago and Jack took his sweet time taking advantage of the surplus, resulting in an overflow and a need to pump, which again leads to an even bigger surplus and the cycle continues.
It was 3 AM when he woke up, making the adorable fussy sound of a hungry baby. I was lazy and didn't want to sit up and work on a good latch. Instead I pulled him close to me in the bed and let him root around until he found me and then he moved in for the kill. Half asleep I jolted at the pain and tried in vain to get him to let go. I tried the finger sweep. No luck. I tried to startle him. Again, he would not let go. He was on me like a toothless pit bull, he showed no mercy in his pursuit to gum me into submission. It wasn't until I pulled myself free from his grasp that I was able to breathe. I scooped him up, changed him and sat down with him in a chair and gave him his fill for the night (yeah right, it will last him about an hour). At this point, there was no avoiding the pain. But he is asleep now and I am nearly there. Another night of tender boobs almost over and another day of engorgement soon to begin.
I learned my lesson; do not attempt to feed a baby while sleeping until you know for certain that the latch will be progressive.
Monday, April 20, 2009
In my determination to have an intervention-free childbirth, it escaped me that it might actually happen. We set a date to induce with the hope that I would go into labor on my own before the countdown would finish. It had occurred to me many times that I would most likely be plopping myself yet again, into a hospital bed and opening my veins to Pitocin and other yummy fluids to bring on another stubborn labor. While I knew of the possibility of Jack making his way out earlier, I really never considered it a true reality. Maybe that's why I waited so long to go in to the hospital. Maybe that's why I couldn't have known how it would take hold of me and run me over like a train.
The first clue was at 8:00 on Friday night when I sat down with the fam for our weekly movie night. I was having the typical night-time contractions that had been haunting me nightly for weeks. I decided to time them and was surprised they were about 8 minutes apart. "But I feel fine" I would tell myself. However, I could not wrap myself around the movie and I felt very distant from Nick and the kids; like they were in another room. My sister called at about 8:30 and I retreated to the bedroom to talk. She lives in New Zealand, so when she calls I answer. About 10 minutes in I felt a whole new kind of contraction, a whip on my back and a bolt of lightning in my guts. My conversation with her after that was brief as I had another one less than ten minutes later. I called the midwife and she suggested I take a shower, lie down and time them. I was familiar with this phone call. I had this conversation with another midwife on-call only the night before, and a few days before that. I followed orders, showered and rested. It seemed like even though the contractions were more intense, they were choppy in their presentation; some climbed my back like the claws of kittens and others were only glorified Braxton Hicks. But at 11:00 they started to get regular and more intense. I had had my hopes dashed so many times before I decided I would lie down and attempt to sleep through them. Nonsense! I called the midwife at midnight and she talked me through a contraction and suggested we come in. I called my mom to let her know we were bringing the kids over and arrived at the hospital at 1:10 am. By this point I couldn't go three minutes without a gripping contraction. The new hospital looks like a giant ski lodge, adorned with random sculptures and wrought iron details in the lobby. If you are in labor, this is where you enter. Needless to say, I felt very out of place when we made our way up to the receiving desk to check in. The man at the desk asked me if I was in labor and I was afraid if I said yes I would jinx the whole thing, so I said, "I think so..."
Did I still doubt I was in labor? Yes. Was I prepared to go ahead and have a baby? No. In all my anxiety to get things moving, I was still scared shitless! We passed labor and delivery triage, which was my second clue; we were not stopping to "check", we were going straight to a delivery room. I passed my midwife, Patricia (who is awesome, by the way) and she said, "You're a bit smiley for someone in labor", I told her yes, because this is what I wanted and then in the back of my mind I said to myself, "Are you sure?"
My body reacted to the delivery room like a cat to a can of tuna; labor hit hard before I had my hospital issued socks on. This is where it all blurs together. At some point she checked me and I was dilated 6 centimeters! Soon after that I was leaning on Nick, who was also not entirely convinced until now that this was it. We both "danced" in the room, he rubbed my back while I buried my face in him and moaned. Then the moaning turned into groaning and soon I was in a bed and I was wailing. My mom arrived shortly after and while Nick prepared to catch the baby, he supported me in every position possible. My mom was on fan duty (damn that room was hot!) and keeping the wash cloth cool and wet. We tried squatting, tried lying sideways and finally I was on my hands and knees. My hair was dripping with sweat and stuck to my face while I pushed with every ounce in me. My cheering section assured me I could do it, so I pushed continuously for what ended up just under an hour before his head was clear. It was then that we learned he was a big baby; a baby with the shoulders of a line-backer. Jack arrived like toothpaste from a tube, his shoulders pressed together under his chin. And he of course couldn't leave the womb without offering a parting gift and took a giant dump upon his arrival. There was meconium in the water and who knew what condition his shoulders were in, so he was taken to the NICU station just behind me and Nick was right by his side while they suctioned him and checked his joints. It took some work to get him to cry a good cry, but despite his dramatic entrance, he is in ship shape (although a little red and scaly from being late) and his shoulders are intact. I had a bit of a tear and required a few stitches, so that way I'd have something to bitch about for a few days. He latched on very nicely, but I am afraid it has been hard to tear him away from Nick for very long ever since. Daddy has a serious case of perma-grin!
Jack was born on April 18th at 4:10 am weighing in at 9 pounds, 12 ounces and stretching out at 21 inches. Who knows what he would have weighed in induction day!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Sweet, non-intervention childbirth! I thought I would never really know you. I had doubts from the moment you appeared. I looked you in the eye and shuddered. But after two hours of "singing" through your pain, my little Jack came weighing 9 pounds, 12 oz. So alert, so content in his new world. I feel like I can fly!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Jack has been given his one week pay or vacate notice. I have been renting my body to him for free for 41 weeks now. Unless he can convince me to take a bribe, he is coming out on the 21st via induction. It pains me to think if it; EFM, Hep lock, laboring in a bed, on my back. No bath. No shower. Please babe, put down the book and head for the nearest exit, I swear this building should be CONDEMNED! It's old and rickety and I don't care what the midwife says, I need you to get out so I can board it up for good.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
We're ready for Jack save for the painting ladder still occupying the room. We also have a border to put up that matches the rug, but I'm certain he wouldn't notice if it went up a little late. The way things operate in this house, it will be up in time for us to move.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
...I need to call a mechanic.
OK, I realize that the above would never happen because I do indeed wear my seat belt. But still, I just feel the need to get my point across.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Four weeks...give or take some. This octopus is writhing within me as though he is slowly trying to dig his way out with a spoon. Each day he chips away a little more at my insides and each night he throws in the towel sometime around one AM and lets me sleep before he starts his next shift bright and early the next morning. My guess is, he'll be a night owl like his daddy. I am enjoying painting the nursery a little bit each night, just me and Regina Spektor on full blast, flinging paint spatters all over myself...I'm so very coordinated in my current condition! Here's to the next few weeks of sudden bursts of energy matched by equal urges to sleep all day. Oh maternity!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I am due in five weeks. Am I cutting it close enough? Probably not; I am a better procrastinator than that. I'll give it another few weeks and then I'll be sure to be done.
Yet to do:
Paint walls and trim
fix hideous contrast color on the dresser!
Set up the crib
Set up toys, decorations, wall hanging
Oh, arrange for wall hanging to be made
Hmmm, I know there's more...
I feel as though my life has been consumed by the various colors of green. Apparently I am in love with it. I gathered all the green items I could find to try to come up with the color for the walls and the trim in the nursery and discovered it is no coincidence that the very color I am searching for is all over my house. I always thought my favorite color was red. It turns out I am not as cool as I once thought I was. Red is bold and brash, green is thoughtful and aware. Who knew?
On a side note, I must add that it is odd that I am even remotely interested in having a nursery at all. If you ask me, they are not for babies, but for self-indulgent mommies who are under the impression that they are about to give birth to a shallow human rife
with disdain for bare walls. Like this little guy in here cares about hue
and contrast. I doubt he'll notice that the rug clashes a bit with the trim and despite the fact that he is the son of an opera singer, I'm sure he won't care if he has drawers designated for certain items. So why am I doing this? I call it "Last baby syndrome". It is a right of passage as well as an insurance policy that I may not screw this one up and I can be sure not to end my days in a retirement home. After all, if I can pull a nursery out of my ass, I can surely atone for all the mistakes I made with the first two.