Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Five Months Old & Photo of the Week

She is starting to look a lot more like Andrew; notice the drool?

My Kid is Better than Your Kid Syndrome

Lately I have been concerned about Ravenna's development. A lot of my friends babies around the same age are already rolling over and sitting up unsupported, whereas Ravenna, not so much. I worry if there is something that I have done to cause her developmental delay. Yeah, I know, babies all develop in their own time frame and the "normal" period of development for these milestones is between 3-6 months. I also realize that I shouldn't compare my child to other children, but hey, I am a mom!

When expressing my concerns to a middle aged female acquaintance of mine with two grown children, I stumbled upon a world of unhelpful advice I never dreamed I would find, and have since noticed its effects far and wide. I call it: "My Kid is Better than Your Kid Syndrome" and it seems to afflict mom's everywhere. The most obvious symptom of this affliction is a classic disregard for normal conversation etiquette in order to insert comments about how great their children are. A classic example, as demonstrated by my conversation with the above middle-aged female subject, you may observe below (this is based on actual events):

Woman: "How is the baby doing?"

Me: "She is doing just fine, but I am a bit worried that she is not rolling over yet."

Woman: "Oh, well, I wouldn't worry, you can't expect your child to be as smart as Devin (name changed) is. Yes, he rolled over at three months, sat up on his own at four, and was crawling by five. But he wasn't a normal baby."

Me: "..." I am speechless as this point.

Woman: "Oh, don't look so worried. My babies have always been smarter than the average. Ravenna will catch up in her own time. Just look at how well she holds up her head."

Me: (Trying hard not to laugh) "Yeah, she will catch up."

Though these weren't the exact words she and I used, they were pretty close and the "you can't expect your child to be as smart as Devin" is spot on. Why on earth do women do this to each other? As if being a new mom isn't hard enough, to have someone tell you that your child isn't up to par or just average is supposed to be helpful? Isn't a little early to be setting the bar so high for kids? Luckily I have a good sense of humor and filed this one away in the old "brain box" to share with y'all in hopes that you can come up with some wittier comebacks.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ravenna Laughing

This is just for you, Rachelle!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ravenna photo of the week!

Sweet Baby Blue Eyes

Being a Conscious Consumer

What does being a conscious consumer mean, anyway? According to the New American Dream it means making informed choices about what we buy and how we consume. But what does it REALLY mean to you? Being "poor," i.e. lacking very much (if any) discretionary income, Andrew and I are always looking for ways to save. There are some amazing crunchy people, and non-crunchy people, I know that have found ingenious ways to save money, spend wisely, and reduce their waste.

Take Lindsay for example: even living in New York City, one of the most expensive places to live in the USA, she managed to set a goal of spending only $150 dollars a month on groceries to feed two adults, and well, I might add. How did you do it, Lindsay and are you still doing it?

One of the things I like to do is to use reusable grocery bags. They aren't very expensive and I get .05 off per bag at Smith's grocery store. It isn't a huge thing, but if you use 10 bags, which I easily do on my bi-weekly shopping trips, I get .50 back. That is $1 a month and since these bags usually cost $1 each you will recoup your cost in just 10 months and have these bags for a lot longer than that.

Or you could be like TopHat: Take the challenge to ditch the disposables. I cloth diaper and I try to limit how many disposables I use but, gosh darn it, it is tough! One of my crunchy friends, Brighton Woman, doesn't use ANY disposables! Her family is an all-cloth bunch. It helps that she is amazing at sewing, although, I doubt that even if I do learn to sew that I will ever stop using TP or Kleenex.

Reduce, reuse, recycle! One of the best ways I have found to be Green and save lots of money is the 3R's, especially when it comes to buying things like children's clothes, books, etc. Buying used is often just as good and SO much cheaper. I learned this lesson in college when just the thought of buying costly textbooks at the beginning of the semester made me feel sick. I saw a great post this week on someones blog (can't remember whose it was!) about fixing up garage sale finds for her son's b-day and it ended up saving the mom $200 over buying all the stuff new! Anyone who has kids knows how quickly they grow out of clothes, which is why garage sales, craigslist, freecycle, consignment stores and thrift stores are such great things. Most of the kids clothes are in great shape and they will cost you a lot less. Things I will not buy used: underwear, bedding, or shoes (unless I know the source).

That is all for now, but if you have great ideas on things you do to be a conscious/savy consumer, post a message and share! Plus for fun you can check out Living Green Below Your Means.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Beef Brisket? Seriously?

Just to illustrate what is considered "news" in our new home, this is a blurg from Gillette's local newspaper. I am sad to say that it really doesn't surprise me.

"A 48-year-old man made a disastrous attempt at stealing a meal from Wal-Mart at 4:41 p.m. Saturday. He first caught a Wal-Mart employee’s attention by sticking a beef brisket, valued at $27.04, into his pants. Caught red-handed, the man ran out of the store, with the employee giving chase. Some customers helped the employee take down the criminal behind the store, where the smell of alcohol on his breath became apparent. Deaton said that the man was charged with larceny and public intoxication."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Man Van

I got a car! This beauty belonged to the Relief Society president's daughter who just went off to college. It is a 1988 Dodge Caravan and has only 35,000 miles! The car is called "the man van," but I am not sure why because there isn't a whole lot manly about this car; it is more like a granny van. Perhaps after driving "him" around a while I will figure it out what makes it so manly. In any case, now I can get around Gillette without having to hitchhike.

Mount Rushmore

At a diner with my mom and Josh

Family Picture in front of Mt. Rushmore
Ravenna is excited to see the "big rock"

The last weekend of August we went to Mt. Rushmore with my family. South Dakota is really pretty and it was nice to get out of Gillette. Now we can cross off one more national landmark off of our list.

Ravenna Picture of the Week

Watching Mommy drink is pretty amazing

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Carrie's Favorite Flicks

This is not an all inclusive list, but I was thinking about one of my favorite films tonight and it made me feel good, so I thought I would share in the hopes that some of you might enjoy these just as much:

Sunset Boulevard: A recent favorite thanks to Netflix. This film is the best of the best of Hollywood, in my opinion. It is gritty, beautiful and just plain mesmerizing. This is truly film as art, as it should be.

Across the Universe: Very original, artsy, stirring and who doesn't love the Beatles?

Pan's Labrynth: Gorgeous! I saw this edited and couldn't help but love it. Again, I love originiality in films and unforunately most of these films come out of Europe and we never get to see them. I am glad that I got to see this one!

Once: I also saw this one edited. It is such a great film, but has an issue with foul language. This film really left me feeling good about life and it had SUCH great music!

P.S. I love you: Ack! My girly heart breaks just thinking about it. A pretty original story and it really makes you want to show those you love just how much you love them. It made me appreciate life even more.

Girl with a Pearl Earring: Vermeer is one of my favorite artists, which is what attracted me to this film, however this movie is BEAUTIFUL! A lot of people I talked to said it was boring, but how could I be bored with this feast for the eyes?! The set and filming techniques in this film are SO well done and the details! Oh, the details!

Ok, there is a very short list of my favorite films, and I will probably update it again after I get thinking a bit more about it. What films do you recommend?