Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dear Spammers

I am not going to allow you to leave comments that read like nonsense and include crappy links to spam sites that sell your jackets or your online degrees or whatever it is that has nothing whatsoever to do with anything this blog was about. Quit trying to comment spam my blog. Seriously. Knock it off.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Baby Turns Two

Ignoring the (sad and shocking) fact that this is the first update since February, and moving on to today.

Fiona turned two today. She is officially a toddler, a child. Not a baby anymore, although her impossibly chubby cheeks and thighs beg to differ. I remember a year ago doing something similar to what I did today, albeit with more fervor being still so close to the year prior. There were several moments of, "Two years ago right now, I was knee deep in the misery known as labor. Two years ago right now, I was realizing there was no turning back. Two years ago right now, I became a mother."

But Fiona's second birthday today seems to be much more about her than her first birthday was. Last year we had a big party with friends and family. There was a huge cake, presents galore, older (and a few younger) children galloping around the place like little fiends. And there was Fiona, who really couldn't have cared less. But for M and me, it was a serious milestone. We had survived our first year as parents. This year the party counted just the three of us, an oversize cupcake to share, the video camera, and a couple of presents. It appears as though M and I also survived our second year of parenthood, though not without some scars and long term trauma. Most importantly, Fiona survived it, too, and with not a little aplomb.

What's next on the agenda? Well, after cake and presents, a quick video chat with Nae Nae out in Arizona, a bath to deal with the remnants of cake, and one final singing of "Happy Birthday," Fiona's in bed, and I'm left to wonder what on earth really is next. It's been pretty easy up to this point. Fiona has her issues, but we've dealt with them as best we could. But she's starting to get stuff now that she's getting older, and I'm exaggerating only a little when I say I think she may be smarter than I am. How we will manage this is beyond me. But then, it's quite possible that two years ago right now, I was thinking the exact same thing.

Birthday Girl

Friday, February 13, 2009

Favorite Photo Fridays - February 13

Only one this week. I think you'll be able to see why.
My child is freaking AWESOME!

Happy Valentine's Day, Everyone!!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

UPDATE! CPSIA Delayed for one year!

Great news!
The CPSC has granted a one-year stay on the requirements for testing certain products.

This is the result of the actions of countless people making their voices heard. What a great country we live in!

Read more about it at the CPSC Website. In short,
"The stay of enforcement provides some temporary, limited relief to the crafters, children’s garment manufacturers and toy makers who had been subject to the testing and certification required under the CPSIA. These businesses will not need to issue certificates based on testing of their products until additional decisions are issued by the Commission. However, all businesses, including, but not limited to, handmade toy and apparel makers, crafters and home-based small businesses, must still be sure that their products conform to all safety standards and similar requirements, including the lead and phthalates provisions of the CPSIA.

Handmade garment makers are cautioned to know whether the zippers, buttons and other fasteners they are using contain lead. Likewise, handmade toy manufacturers need to know whether their products, if using plastic or soft flexible vinyl, contain phthalates."

So while it's not necessarily a done deal permanently, this allows for enough time to put in additional feedback and make sure the law is written correctly.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Favorite Photo Fridays - January 30

By popular request, I'm getting myself in gear with some exciting new favorite photos of young Miss Fiona. With one month of 2009 already almost in the can, perhaps it's time I start working on my New Year Resolution to post more on this blog. Because goodness knows, you people deserve it!

Enough chatter. On to the good stuff!
1) This one was taken in late December. I can't handle the awesomeness of these blue eyes.
2) Another late December shot. We were psyched that Fiona had eaten all her green beans. Of course, she loves green beans, so she always eats all of them. Maybe we were just looking for an excuse to high five.
3) Fiona makes this funny little face when she's particularly happy and running around the house like a tiny fiend. It never fails to make me laugh out loud.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Slightly OT: Like supporting small home-based business? Yeah, me too...

Ever since I found out I was pregnant with Fiona, I've been addicted to the Web and all the glorious shopping opportunities it offers. There must be millions (ok, maybe just thousands) of small, home-based businesses out there that make awesome, unique, beautiful, and reasonably-priced stuff for babies and mommies. And that's pretty valuable in a world of the cookie-cutter, generic crap you'll find in Babies R Us and other such stores.

I'll be honest, I have done my fair share of shopping at BRU - heck, I even had a baby registry there. But that was more out of a sense of ease. I was able to find most of the basics of baby-rearing at BRU, and people who wanted to give gifts from a registry had it easy between the stores and the online option. But I wasn't super-psyched about it. Most mass-produced stuff for babies is garish, frilly, or just outright ugly. And that's fine if you like that kind of thing. M and I do not.

So back to the glorious shopping opportunities. When I was researching cloth diapers, I found a small affordable producer and bought a bunch of her adorable flannel all-in-ones. When I couldn't stomach the price of a sexy Hotsling or Mayawrap - especially without knowing how Fiona would respond to a sling - I went on eBay and found a woman who makes beautiful, simple slings. And Fiona and I loved it. When it came to The Great Bedding Search of 2007, I managed to track down a company that made cute, semi-affordable stuff that was made in the U.S.A. What's not to like about that? And a co-worker makes the most adorable sock monkeys you've ever seen, selling them on Etsy (incidentally, the best site EVER).

OK, so I have a point to all this. The point is early next month on February 10th, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act goes into effect, and this spells very bad news for a huge number of these small home-based businesses. It sounds like a fine idea. After all, who among us doesn't want to strengthen the requirements for testing and ensuring the products our kids wear, play with, and use don't contain toxic chemicals?

The problem with the CPSIA is that it requires every component of every toy, article of clothing, or other item intended for use by children under the age of 12 for lead and phthalates, and this can be a very expensive process. A process only large producers of these types of goods can afford. It's a well-intended law that was clearly created without much forethought. The cost of testing will be too much of a burden on small businesses, and they will be forced out.

Which means no more adorable bibs from craft fairs (like my mother-in-law bought Fiona for Christmas). No more cool jackets, like this one that I am coveting like crazy. No more adorable and affordable cloth diapers. To that I say, "BOOOOOOOOOO!"

What can you do to help? Contact your representatives. Tell them this law is great in theory, but really screws the little guy. Check out CoolMomPicks for some excellent resources and even more information. And thanks for your consideration!

Save Handmade Toys

Friday, November 14, 2008

Favorite Photo Fridays - November 14

As if the fact that it's Friday and the weekend starts in approximately 4 hours isn't enough! New favorite photos, coming at you in 3...2...1...

All of these were taken in the latter half of October. In the first two, you can see that Fiona had recently discovered Ollie's bed was awfully fun to hang out in - especially when he was in it. I love the first one because she just looks so damn pleased with her situation. Meanwhile, Ollie is just tolerating it. He's a pain in the ass in a lot of ways, but he's really good with Fi, and I consider us very lucky in that regard.

The other two are from an apple picking trip we took in Franklin, MA, with some dear friends and their one-year-old son, Ethan. What's cuter than two little fall babies hanging out together and eating apples straight off the tree?

Happy weekend, all!