Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway: Bullyproof Your Child For Life

Hi, Bloggy Giveaways people! I've vaccuumed and set up a couple of gallons of coffee and tea and baked up some pigs in blankets in anticipation of your arrival. Oh, and some potato puffs and a veggie platter for the vegetarians among us.

This is my first bloggy giveaway. Yay, me!

I'm giving away one of my books-- your choice between Bullyproof Your Child for Life and The Street-Smart Writer.

Bullyproof Your Child for Life is a book I co-wrote with Dr. Joel Haber ("The Bully Coach"). It teaches strategies for warding off current bullies and making your kids less attractive to bullies in the future. It covers a variety of situations: school, camp, sports, and online, with a special section for kids with special needs. Read more here.

The Street-Smart Writer is a book I co-wrote with publishing attorney Daniel Steven about avoiding scams and seedy characters in the writing and publishing world, so you can publish your work without worrying about getting ripped off or taken for a ride. Read more here.

The winner chooses which one she or he wants, and I'll gladly autograph it. U.S. mailing addresses only.

To enter, you must entertain me. Tell me one little funny story about your family. If you can't think of funny, I'm all for touching stories, too. I'll pick one winner at random on Feb. 1st and e-mail that person (so make sure you have an e-mail address in your profile, or leave an e-mail address in the comment).

Thanks for visiting me! Hope you'll come back again sometime. I'll woo you with pictures of my sweet, sweet baby...

And this one is my entry for the silly pic for ...and the rest is history.

There's more where that came from! See you soon.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sometimes I am Stunningly Stupid

So, I went to a thrift store yesterday and bought a couple of outfits for Sarina and some foam alphabet tiles-- the kind you put on the floor. I was very excited about this purchase: costs $25 new, but I got it for just $3! Yay, me!, I'm thinking. Sure, they were a bit dirty, but nothing a sponge and soap won't fix.

An hour and 11 minutes into the scrubbing, I thought perhaps there might have been a better use of my time.

That's when I began calculating. The gas money it took to drive BACK to the thrift store today when I realized I left these fabulous alphabet tiles on their counter. The sponge I used up while washing my brains out. The soap. The hot water for an hour and 17 minutes (which eventually went cold and turned my pruny hands to ice). The fact that I could have written something during that hour and 17 minutes that would have earned more than the $22 difference in prices. The fact that there are still pen marks I couldn't remove.

And then. Then, there was this.

This is one of those "Find 3 things wrong with this picture" games. Can you find the three things that are missing from this picture?

Yes, that's right. Three LETTERS are missing from this alphabet! A, L, and M, if you must know.

I need a cookie.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

She knows her parts!

I think Sarina's been holding out on me.

There's this book, Your Baby Can Read! My First Words, a "slide & learn" book-- you slide the windows to see pictures of the words. Anyway, she's really into that book. She slides the windows across herself, and lately, she's been acting out the actions in the photos. For example, the word "hi," or "clapping," or "book." She waves at the girl who says hi, she claps along with the babies, and she does the sign for "book" when she sees the picture of the girl reading. It's been amazing, and again, all at once. She reacts to about 8 of the 30 photos so far.

So, we were looking through at some of the words she hadn't yet reacted to (like "eyes" and "ears"), and I said, "Where are Sarina's eyes?"

And she pointed to them. I almost fell over.

"Where are Sarina's ears?"

Duh, right here, Mommy.

Head? Check. Mouth? Got it.

She didn't react to "nose" right away, but then I asked where Mommy's nose was, and she pointed right to it.

You know what this means?


(Yes, leave it to me to find the selfish interpretation of this amazing event. But I was never sure if she knew "Mommy" was me before!)

This girl totally knows stuff. Stuff I had no idea she had already learned.

Also, she has two more bottom teeth, for a grand total of eight so far.

And I love her even more than ever.

P.S. For those in Canada, I've done two tapings for Celine Dion specials lately: one for the Star! network, and one for E! True Hollywood Stories. I think they're both to air in the spring or summer, but I'll give details when I find out. The E! one may also air in the U.S. and other countries later.

Friday, January 11, 2008

An End of a Superpower

Well, I've pumped my last pump.

It took me three sessions just to get one bottle (and not even a full bottle, at that... five ounces), so I had some time to think about how I wanted that last bottle to go.

That's right-- we had "dinner by candlelight." Lullabies in the background, snuggled up on the glider. It was a fitting ending.

I had a very big sense of pride that I was able to provide for her for this long, and the truth is that I feel a strange sort of loss that it's over. I sure won't miss the pump, but there's been a loving feeling that goes along with feedings-- "Hey, I made that for you. Hope you like it!" My original goal was to make it to 6 months; my later goal was to make it to 12. I made it to 10 and a week.

Holy Potatoes, I Suck!

I bit her! By accident!

See, remember a few posts ago, I told you she loves to share stuff now? Well, she reached out to offer me a bite of her delectable wheat teething biscuit. What I failed to detect was that, apparently, moments before my mouth made it over to accept said biscuit, she dropped it. So instead of sinking my teeth into a biscuit, I bit her fingers.

And what's worse is that I didn't realize it right away.

I bit harder because-- "darn, this biscuit is hard to bite through." And that's when she looked at me like, WHY, MOMMY, WHY? And cried. And I realized I had just nearly taken a chunk out of my wonderful child's tiny fingers. I bit the hand that fed me.

She forgave me quickly and even offered me another bite, but I can't help but think she's going to have a messed up psyche now, thinking that people who love you might turn on you at any second and attempt to bite your fingers off. I fear she will join a baby gang and get caught stealing Peach Puffs.

Make me feel better. Tell me about a "stupid parent" thing you've done.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Baby Loves Books

I forgot to mention this yesterday: I'm quite pleased to announce that Sarina is in love with board books. Whereas earlier, she mostly just tried to eat them (I even had a much-repeated motto for her: "Books are for reading, not for eating!"), now she flips the pages, looks at the pictures, touches the touchy spots, and listens while I read. It's the coolest.

Every day, several times a day, she goes over to her bookshelf and takes all the books down (yes, cleaning up after her is a bit tiresome). She finds one or two to focus on, then we read them. Her favorites are Don't Be So Nosy, Posy and Rainbow Rob. I'm glad, because honestly, I don't "get" some of the more popular ones-- like I Love You, Little One: "I love you as the river loves you," it says, and I want to scream, "No! The river is an inanimate object! It has no capacity for love. I love you waaay more than the river loves you!" And each "I love you as the ___ loves you" is so repetitive in meaning: giving you food, giving you shelter, giving you water. No, these are not the proofs of love. Giving an infant food and shelter is just a responsibility. It's the time you spend building towers so she can knock them down that shows you love her. No river is gonna do that!

*Cough.* Sorry.

Steps Away from the Finish Line

and I'm stalled again. Here I am, over word count, at the end of the Marilyn Monroe book, and I've been stuck for two days trying to think of an ending. I've already written about her death. Now how to close it? Everything I can think of seems too obvious and anticlimactic. "Lookit, all these years later, she's still such a legend... her legacy lives on... blah blah."

Other biographers have wound it up with a really good quote or anecdote, which is what I'd like to do, but I don't have one that seems fitting as an ending.

She's been in my dreams nearly every night. It's interesting... I don't remember ever dreaming so much about a book subject before. I think it's because I keep going to bed with my own little conversation with her in my head-- I ask her how she'd want me to write this book, what the truth is, how she'd want to be remembered. I guess it's sort of a prayer.


Here is the shot I caught of Sarina walking yesterday:

And a pic of her after I blow-dried her hair... I didn't mean for it to be so bouffant, but it's also kind of neat that it's now long enough to be so bouffant!

It's actually turning curly, but I keep brushing it straighter because the curls stick up funny at this length, especially after naps!

That's Teething Bling she's chewing on... she's mighty fond of it.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

To Sleep, Perchance to Sink into Squishiness

There are certain things in life that, once you've had the "good stuff," you can't go back to the regular stuff. I have just discovered that this is true of smooshy mattresses. Toward the end of my pregnancy, when I couldn't get comfortable, my mom gave me one of those squishy memory foam mattress toppers. The other day, I pulled it off the bed with the intention of cleaning it (before I was stymied by the actual process-- how exactly do you wash queen-sized memory foam? With soap and a hose in the backyard in the summer, maybe, but in the winter? I'm stumped). Anyway, it's still off the bed, and I'm miserable. How did I not know that I was sleeping on a pile of bricks before? For roughly 7 years?

Oh, and I did finally buy Sarina that tutu, after all. It arrived on Christmas Eve! I even wrote to the post office to thank them for such amazing delivery-- it arrived overnight, even though it was sent Priority Mail. I had no hope of receiving it before Christmas.

She took about six steps today, twice. It was so exciting! She doesn't walk-- she runs. She stood there looking like she was getting herself all pumped up for something, then... runrunrunrun, kerplop!