CSS Drop Down Menu by PureCSSMenu.com

Tip(ful) Tuesday: Non-Toxic Flea Elimination

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Is it me or are the fleas really bad this season? Our poor dog was scratching his butt off so our vet recommended that we give him flea control every 2 weeks rather than every 4 weeks. I thought the flea problem was over until little bite marks started appearing on Marlie's legs. The fleas were setting up a society in our carpet and biting her when she crawled around! I resisted the urge to bomb the house with pest poison and did some internet research instead. I found very detailed instructions for a environmentally safe way to get rid of the nasty buggers from a professional carpet cleaner:

  • First vacuum all your carpeting thoroughly. After vacuuming take vacuum outside and empty the bag or the canister.
  • Next step have your carpets professional cleaned, or rent a Rug Doctor and do it yourself.
  • After carpet is completely dry sprinkle all the carpeting with Borax, or if Borax isn't available, use Boraxo laundry detergent. Work powder into carpet with a stiff broom or carpet rake .
  • Vacuum up carpets the next day, and again make sure vacuum bag or canister is emptied after vacuuming.
  • Last step, and perhaps the most important, is to reapply the Borax in eight days. If it is indeed a flea infestation, the flea eggs deposited by the adult fleas hatch in eight days.

I tried it and it works! Marlie can crawl on the carpets again. :-)

*postcript* after receiving an email from a concerned reader, I want to caution that Borax, although a natural mineral, can be toxic when inhaled or ingested. Please use caution by wearing a mask or glove and keep it away from children and pets.

Baby Log: Week 44

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Before I delve into Marlie stuff, I have to share this information from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on the latest crib recall. Seven (7!) manufacturers have recalled 2 million drop-side cribs for safety concerns. The companies are Child Craft, Delta Enterprise Corp., Evenflo, Jardine Enterprises, LaJobi, Million Dollar Baby, and Simmons Juvenile Products, Inc. Imagine my dismay to find Marlie's crib on the list. Go to the CSPC website if you think your child's crib might be on the list to get details on how to request a free drop-side crib immobilization kit.

This week finds Marlie on lots of play dates and me in fitness boot camp at 6 am twice a week. The reason is I have been mindless snacking all day long ( I even eat the food Marlie leaves on her plate). The weight has been slowly creeping on. It's time to nip it in the bud before my butt balloons. As for Marlie, she is enjoying steamed baby carrots and mashed potatoes this week with her chick peas. She is still boycotting being spoon-fed. What else?
  • She went to school again on Wednesday. I ran errands and then watched Twilight: New Moon without interruption.
  • Her 1st birthday party is on! We booked Mother Goose to come and entertain the babies with nursery rhymes that the performer revised so that the adults get to enjoy the humor too. I got the idea because Marlie loves the baby bounce reading hour at the library. Her favorites are Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.
  • He latest moves are: rubbing food in her hair, offering you a bite of her food and then snatching it away (cute!), and the copy cat game (if I blink, she blinks; if I cough, she coughs, and so forth and so on).
  • She is so eager to learn to walk and is so proud of herself when she takes steps. She took three steps while holding onto her daddy with one hand and was showing off at our play date at a kiddie gym. Her push walker finally arrived on Friday and she nearly walked the length of the front room by herself. Video coming soon.
  • I won a $50 gift certificate to Stella & Dot from the blog Theta Mom! I used it to get a pair of awesome earrings and a bracelet for my niece's birthday.

Soapbox Saturday: I HATE Baby Commercials!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I never understood why some parents are so neurotic until I started paying attention to commercials for baby products. You know the ones with the perfect babies...plump, flawless skin, head full of hair, rosy red cheeks, eyes that twinkle and wide smiles sporting at least two front teeth. They are also perfect babies because their mommies use Brand X baby food and diapers. The subliminal message being that your baby will be perfect too if you just use this lotion. I hate this one most of all...

So if I just bathed my baby in Johnson's Bedtime Bath that she will peacefully drift to sleep at night without engaging in her usual fight to the death? I better run out and buy me some of that!

Flashback Friday: I'm Not Your Dorm Room Bunny!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Photo Credit: Lee Bey/CC 2.0

I was watching an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond last week (it's my new thing). If you are not familiar with the show Ray is the goofy, lovable, and often insensitive husband. His wife Debra is the long-suffering homemaker constantly nagging Ray to be more involved in their home life and dealing with her meddling mother-in-law who lives across the street. The have three kids (three blond kids despite the fact that their parents are both dark-haired). Anyhoos...

In this episode, Ray gets an opportunity to go to the Super Bowl and cover it for his newspaper. He decides to take one of his friends and Debra gets upset because she would have enjoyed a weekend away without the kids. Ray tells her he doubts that any the other reporters will bring their wives, but when he get there that's exactly what he sees. He feels bad so he flies Debra down. Ray thinks he'll go play golf and drink with his buddies while Debra hangs out with the other wives. When Debra asks when are they going to spend time together, his answer is in the hotel room. Debra gets mad and announces that she will not be his hotel floozy.

Whoa, I got a case of deja vu at that moment. Way back to 1995 when Damon and I just started dating. He was a resident assistant (RA) at one of the dorms on campus. This meant that every few weekends he was on-call and had remain inside from Saturday to Sunday night to monitor the entire dorm. One weekend he called me
at the last minute to say he wanted to go do something with his friends, leaving me with nothing to do on a Friday night. To add insult to injury, he tried to soften the blow by inviting me over on Saturday because he'd be on-call and couldn't go anywhere anyway. Right then I yelled one of the most quoted lines in the history of our relationship, "I'm not your dorm room bunny!" and hung up the phone.

That could have spelled the end of our relationship, but we worked it out. :-)

Baby Log: Week 43

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I know today is Father's Day, but I couldn't bump Marlie's updates so I did my blog ode to dads yesterday. Marlie and Me are making her daddy a big breakfast of homemade sweet potato pancakes this morning. Yum! Please pray that I didn't burn or mutilate them in some way. This has been a very busy week in Marlieland:
  • She's been to two birthday parties this week for her little friends who turned 1. The first was at a kiddie gym and the other was at a kiddie pool. Marlie had lots of fun at both (it was her first time in a pool, and she enjoyed it after she got past her initial fear). I am rethinking my stance on not having a 1st birthday party for her. I know these parties are more for the parents since the babies are too young to realize what's going on. If we did it have a celebration it would have to be baby-centric (a cool activity for babies to enjoy), low-key (not some elaborate production), stress-free (no cooking or clean-up), and affordable (<$100 ballpark). I welcome your ideas!
  • Marlie attended her first day at the Montessori community school in our neighborhood. She did wonderful, I was the one suffering a panic attack in the car after dropping her off.
  • Her latest moves are: out of the blue she started hitting...like open-handed smacking you in the face. We are nipping this one in the bud, not cute sister! Also not cute...biting while nursing! She has done this a couple of time, but not on purpose. She will start to fall asleep on the boob and then clamp down when she feels the latch slaipping. Each time I have to resist the urge to yank back. Luckily, she hasn't broken any skin, surprising since her four chompers are quite sharp (and, no, I will not discontinue breastfeeding). On a brighter note, she took her first step this week! She was balancing on her two feet and just took one little baby step forward. She got so excited that she fell on her butt, still a giant leap for babykind! I have been trying to take a picture of her standing or cruising, but she becomes aware of the camera and sits back down.
  • New foods this week: chickpeas and coconut milk. She loves drinking the coconut milk! I love that it's non-dairy and so nutritious. It's a brand called So Delicious and it can be found in the refrigerated section at the grocery store next to the soy and almond milks.
  • I've racked up some awesome wins this week: a $75 gift card to the NOVICA website from the blog GoGrahamGo!, which I used to buy Damon a replacement wedding band and a cute shoulder bag for myself. I also won a HAPPYBABY organic food package from the blog Adventures of the Domesticated Mama. Neat!

Soapbox Saturday: Dads

Saturday, June 19, 2010

photo credit: my father, circa 1968

I haven't talked much about my parents on this blog. There is good reason. My mom and I are still recovering from the fallout in on our relationship that resulted in her being uninvolved for much of my pregnancy. My father is a whole different story. I could devote another blog just to my daddy issues and never run out of material. I haven't seen him in almost fifteen years. I last talked to him over the phone during the repast of my grandmother's (his mother's) funeral because his deportation prevented him from paying last respects in person. It was a tense, 30- second conversation.

My father was a successful man of many talents and handsome to boot. He was also narcissistic and reckless. Long story, short...he became addicted to drugs in the high times of the 1980s and our family was irrevocably fractured. It has been impossible to have a any kind of positive parent-child relationship with him simply because he cannot exercise any will power. Meanwhile, I have moved on with a kind of stoic regret.
photo credit: Damon, 2010
The thing that I will never get over is that he could have been a great dad. He was just too selfish to think and act beyond his own desires. I think that is what hurts the most...that he couldn't get clean and stay out of trouble for his kid's sake. Sometimes I can't help but wonder what my life would have been like if I had grown up with my father intact...riding his shoulders at the Dade County Youth Fair, dancing on his feet while listening to his records in the den, learning to drive a 5-speed with him in the passenger seat, picking out my college classes for freshmen year together, being escorted down the aisle at my wedding.

I will never have these memories and there is nothing I can do about it (I've made peace with this). But I am doing everything in my power to make sure that my daughter does not suffer my fate. My husband Damon is proving to be the kind of daddy that every little girl (and boy) deserves. He is doting and hands-on, a good provider and a good role model. It's amazing to see the bond between Marlie and her daddy. She is truly daddy's little girl.


Flashback Friday: My First Shave/My Last Shave

Friday, June 18, 2010

Photo Credit: Telstar Logistics/CC 2.0

My mother wouldn't allow me to shave my legs (or under my arms or nether region). She said it was because I didn't need to shave since the hair was too fine to be noticeable. I think she was trying to keep me a child a long as possible. So the first thing I did when she dropped me off at college was to buy a razor and shaving cream and go to town on my legs, armpits, and bikini line. I felt so grown-up! A few days later I also felt itchy as the hairs began to grow back. Hello, new pain-in-the-a** grooming ritual! I wondered if my mother was right. Maybe I should have left well enough alone. I mean the hairs on my legs weren't like my aunt's, which were so long and thick that they poked through her pantyhose! Say it with me...ick! I kept shaving anyway because that's what ladies do and I began to look forward to taking long, hot showers and coming out clean and smooth.

This is my first summer as a mommy and I've shaved my areas only one time. All you mothers out there know that we have exactly five minutes in the shower. My legs are full of scab-covered nicks from rushing. I can avoid tank tops, but it's too hot to wear long pants. I think I need to rethink the smooth legs aesthetic. Society needs to cut mothers some slack. We have enough on our plates without worrying that you are eyeballing our hairy legs!

Winner of Ballpark Coupons

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The lucky recipient of three (3) coupons for FREE Ballpark products is...

#66, Laura said... "email subscriber." Congratulations Laura, get your grill ready! Marlie and Me love our followers. Thanks everyone!

Tip(ful) Tuesday: Renew Baby's Interest in Played-Out Toys

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

photo credit: jbcurio/CC 2.0

Marlie has very few toys compared to other babies. This is on purpose. I personally don't believe kids need a ton of toys. Reason one: they are usually made of toxic, non-biodegradable material that glut our landfills. Reason two: kids always prefer playing with your keys, remote control, and pots and pans anyway. Reason two: kids get bored with toys really fast.

Case in point, I bought Marlie a developmental plush bunny toy when she was around 6 months old. It had textured paws and crinkly ears. She loved that stupid thing...for about a month. It didn't surprise me that she suddenly lost interest in it, but I was shocked when she started showing outright contempt for poor bunny. She would toss the bunny out of her crib like a used up Kleenex.

So I put Mr. Bunny away and kept him out of her sight for about a month. I recently introduced the bunny into her toy rotation and it was like she was seeing him for the first time! Eureka! This probably only works on babies.

Winner of the $30 Kroger Gift Card

Monday, June 14, 2010

This was my most popular giveaway to date! After conducting the random.org drawing, the winner is #48, Sewing-Chick...congrats! She has already claimed her prize. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Baby Log: Week 42

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It's been a slow week. It's too hot to go outside and Marlie and me are getting so bored! Keeping her entertained (and out of trouble) during the day is not easy. Starting next Wednesday Marlie will be going to a Montessori nursery school in our community. I feel like I should warn her teacher that she runs on batteries. Stuff that happened this past week:
  • Marlie is going through a phase where she doesn't want to be spoon fed. I'm all for her being independent and self-reliant, but she cannot manage utensils yet. So she is only eating foods that she can pick up and feed herself: Cheerios, artisan breads, noodles, chunks of soft fruits. All her beautiful pureed veggies are just sitting in the freezer. Does anyone know how long this phase will last?
  • New food this week: blueberries! She loves them and I love trying to get blueberries stains out of her white tees.
  • New objects I fished out of her mouth this week: lint, a plastic screw, a staple.
  • I had my first sewing lesson this week. Sewing is a lot harder than it looks!
  • There has been a paucity of photos on this blog lately because I hate my rickety point-and-shoot camera. I am jonesing for a digital SLR. Maybe I can win one...just putting it out there into the universe.
  • I won a $50 gift card to CSN Stores from the blog Stereos and Souffles!

Soapbox Saturday: Zombies

Saturday, June 12, 2010

We watched Zombieland on DVD last weekend. It's a good movie, funny and poignant. Woody Harrelson turns zombie-slaying into a fine art and his sidekick is a hilarious, neurotic geek who becomes a hero. Plus there is a surprise cameo by a star comedian that kills. I won't spoil it for you. Go rent the movie! Now onto to my thoughts on zombies...

My mistake was watching the movie before going to bed. I dreamed that zombies were attacking the city, but the three of us managed to get away in our car. Along the way Damon got hold of a CB radio and heard a message inviting anyone who was alive to take refuge a military base. So we go there, but it is a trap set by half-zombies who still had enough human intelligence to trick people into becoming their next victims! We start running back to our car, but a hybrid zombie tackles me and bites me. I tell Damon to take Marlie and get out of there. I cry as I watch them escape because I know I will never see them again.

I wait to become zombie food, but they don't try to eat me. The hybrid zombie leader tells me that they are trying to save people by biting them so they can become half-zombies. He explains that full zombies don't mess with half-zombies, only full-humans (I was confused in my dream, too). For some reason in my dream, I am a biologist and I come up with this brilliant theory that if a bite from a zombie turns you into a zombie, then the reverse must be true. I tell the hybrid zombie leader that they can become full humans again if they bit the zombies! The rest of my dream consists of proving the theory, fighting our way through a pack of full-zombies into a radio station tower to broadcast the news, saving humankind, and reuniting with my family. This would make a good movie don't you think?

I have been analyzing this dream to death (ha!). I think I have a subconscious fear of dying before I get to see Marlie grow up. What do you think?

200+ Followers Giveaway: 3 FREE Ball Park Product Coupons

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

hotdog Ball Park Frank Marlie and Me achieved 200 plus followers this week so I thought it would be nice to express my gratitude with another giveaway...Win It: 3 coupons for any ONE (1) Ball Park product, up to $4.79. Just in time for your 4th of July cookout!

How to Enter:
Just leave me a comment telling me what your plans are for July 4th. You must be following this blog publicly via Google Friend Connect to participate

Extra Entries:
Earn one (1) extra entry for completing each of the following (leave separate comments for each):
  • Be a current or new subscriber of Marlie and Me via email (subscription must be activated)
  • Grab my button (leave the URL where I can find it)
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post (leave the URL where I can find it)
The rules:
  • This giveaway will end on 6/15/10 at 11:59 pm CST
  • Winner will be chosen randomly from all comments posted using Random.org
  • The winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond. Please make sure I can contact you either by having an email address visible on your blog profile or leave your email address in your comment(s).
  • By accepting the prize, the winner is granting permission to be identified as such.The winner's mailing address will be forwarded to the sponsor for prize fulfillment.
  • In the event the prize is not claimed in the allotted time another winner will be chosen. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Must be at least 18 years of age to participate. Void where prohibited.
  • Entries that do not follow instructions or are falsified will be disqualified
*This is not a sponsored giveaway*

Monday Morning Parenting: Spare the Rod...What Rod?!

Monday, June 7, 2010

I remember the fear of a spanking was enough to keep me in line and on the rare occasion that I overstepped that line, a warning look from my mom was enough to stop me dead in my tracks. This seems to be a lost art in today's parenting culture. I thought I wouldn't have to think about disciplining my child until she was at least a year old. But, as with other developmental milestones, she seems to be ahead of schedule. Marlie is showing early signs of misbehavior like shaking her head no when you tell her to give you whatever she's hiding in her hands or flailing her limbs and screeching like a banshee if you take something away from her or turning into dead weight when she doesn't want to be picked up.

One of my greatest fears is being THAT mother. You are familiar with her. She's the frazzled mom at the grocery store, mall, playground, school recital, doctor's office with the unruly kid(s). They are climbing all over furniture, running through the aisles, throwing things, wailing at the top of their lungs while mom either pleads with said kid(s) to behave or ignores it. I used to shake my head at these mothers and their lack of control over their kid(s). I no longer judge.

I was with Marlie at Target last week. I should point out that Marlie is usually a perfect angel in public. Back to the story. So we're in the detergent aisle when a blood-curdling scream pierces our peaceful shopping atmosphere. Uh oh. I quickly grabbed a box of Borax and headed for checkout. We pass a boy, about 4 years old, and his mom in the next row over. He is having a full blown tantrum on the floor complete with fist pumps, kicking, and shrieking until his face turned red. I tried not to stare as I slowly walk by, but he was giving an Oscar-caliber performance. His mother was saying something about taking him straight home and skipping a trip to the park. Wrong move, sister. His tantrum escalates and he starts shouting loudly, "I hate you mommy!" over and over. As I am waiting in line, I see them approach. Everyone at the registers is looking at this sad picture of a mom cutting her shopping trip short because her son wants to tell all of Target that he hates her. How does a child even learn to use this word? They exit the store. I look at my angel and realize that she has been watching the entire episode. She looks right into my eyes, opens her mouth, and lets out a tentative cry. Excuse me? I stare right back, wag my finger and say "no way missy. you aren't learning any bad habits today." Amazingly, she stops the fake crying. Did I successfully reason with her or am I imagining it?

At what age did you start disciplining your child(ren), what disciplinary methods work for your family?

Baby Log: Week 41

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hello! Thanks for hanging in there with me while I was going through a blog slump. I think I am over it now. I realize that blogging is like exercise...if you miss too many workouts you wind up quitting. It really helped to have at least one thing to write about each week. So, I give you Marlie at 41 weeks...
  • Marlie is dancing! She does this adorable bee-bop bounce when she hears music. She'll stop whatever she is doing when she recognizes a TV commercial that plays a song or jingle that she likes (like the J-E-L-L-O one) and start dancing. Her favorites are the AT&T imagination at work and the Willy Wonka exceptional chocolate commercials. I think she has a crush on Willy Wonka.
  • Her second front tooth is coming in right on the heels of the other one. oh joy!
  • I gave her a bubble bath this week. She tried to eat the bubbles. Not by picking them up and putting them in her mouth. She put her face in the bath water and then inhaled. She freaked out as water went up her nostrils and I panicked as I tried to remember what I learned in CPR class. It took a few seconds to get her to breathe, but it seemed like an eternity.
  • She has become quite the Cheerios addict. It's my crutch ace-in-the-hole when I need her occupied while I get something done.
  • Marlie got lots of outdoor time this week. First we went to the butterfly garden with our friends Brandy and Orlaith. Then Damon took her to the zoo on Saturday. He said she loved the elephants.
  • We finally got a play yard. It's HUGE! I am so relieved to have a safe space for her to play when I need to do stuff around the house. I was not keen on putting her in her crib because I didn't want her associating her crib with play time. Now she has 10 sq. ft. of romping room.
  • A quick update on me: I cut my locs off last week. I sporting a micro fro now. I just got tired of the same style and the maintenance involved. I'll post a pic soon. :-)

Soapbox Saturday: Lucky Charms

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I'm trying something new...a weekly post dedicated to emptying my mind of the random thoughts that clutter my brain and seep into my dreams. I'm going to start dumping them here...

has anyone else noticed that several E! reality show female stars are married to or dating athletes that have played for championships this year? Are these women lucky charms? There is evidence to support my theory:

exhibit A: Kendra and Hank Baskett (he played for the Colts in the 2010 Super Bowl...the losing team, but still)

exhibit B: Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush (he played for the Saints in the 2010 Super Bowl...the winners)

exhibit C: Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom (currently vying for NBA championship on the Lakers team)

My verdict: those E! "reality" girls do have some kind of mystical powers, but the Kardashian magic works better than that of former Playboy models.

CLOSED...Lose Big! $30 Kroger Grocery Gift Card

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"As the official supplier of the Biggest Loser Ranch and partner of the Pound for Pound Challenge, the Kroger Family of Stores wants to help you achieve your goals. If you're a fan of the Biggest Loser, you may have seen several great General Mills products featured on the show. These products, including Yoplait Greek yogurt, Total, and Multigrain Cheerios, are available at your local Kroger Family of Stores and can help you stick to your weight management plan. Through June 30, 2010, for every pound you pledge to lose, the Pound For Pound Challenge will donate 14¢ to Feeding America® - enough to deliver one pound of groceries to a local food bank." -statement taken from sponsor message
I've taken the Pound for Pound Challenge sponsored by The Kroger Co. Family of Stores, General Mills, & NBC's hit TV Show "The Biggest Loser" by pledging to lose 5 lbs by the end of this month. I hope you will join me by making your own pledge and helping fight hunger in your community! To kick start my weight loss I went shopping at my local Kroger grocery store where I picked up some a box of Cheerios, some LaraBars for healthy snacking on-the-go, and a pack of Yoplait Yo-Plus yogurt. Bye, bye extra weight...hello swimsuit!

Win It: One lucky Marlie and Me reader is going to receive a $30 gift card to to purchase the General Mills products that have been featured on the Biggest Loser at the Kroger Family of Stores
Mandatory first entry:
Visit the Pound for Pound Challenge to make your pledge to lose weight then come back here and tell me how much you pledged to lose! NOTE: You must be a current or new follower of Marlie and Me via Google Friend Connect before you leave this comment...
Extra Entries:
Earn one (1) extra entry for completing each of the following (leave separate comments for each):
  • Be a current or new subscriber of Marlie and Me via email (subscription must be activated)
  • Grab my button (leave the URL where I can find it)
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post (leave the URL where I can find it)
The rules:
  • This giveaway will end on 6/12/10 at 11:59 pm CST
  • Winner will be chosen randomly from all comments posted using Random.org
  • The winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond. Please make sure I can contact you either by having an email address visible on your blog profile or leave your email address in your comment(s).
  • By accepting the prize, the winner is granting permission to be identified as such.The winner's mailing address will be forwarded to the sponsor for prize fulfillment.
  • In the event the prize is not claimed in the allotted time another winner will be chosen. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Must be at least 18 years of age to participate. Void where prohibited.
  • Entries that do not follow instructions or are falsified will be disqualified
Related Posts with Thumbnails