Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Dude!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

5 Things I Miss About Boston

In honor of the tradition (5 Things I Miss about TX, 6 Things I Miss about Helsinki) - here's the latest installment of what I've left behind...

  1. My Hairdresser. I never understood people who went on about their hairdressers until I met Juletha. Ah, Juletha, who transformed my disobedient and ordinary do into glamour hair with a few swift swipes of her steady razor. Juletha, who brought extraordinary color to my dark tresses. She'd been trained in Bumble & Bumble salons and was a downtown salon lady until she had her son and wanted to work more flexible hours closer to home. Fate brought her to Green Tangerine in Burlington and then fate so cruelly tore us apart. *sniff*
  2. A decent local paper. The San Diego Union Tribune hardly rises above the Pensacola News Journal in their content or lack of biased coverage. Its great to keep up with local issues and events, but their adoration of Qualcomm is not even slightly hidden as is their disdain of Nokia. Its tough to compete with the Boston Globe.
  3. The lack of creepy crawlies. Its been warm recently and it seems the big black beetles, their hairy legged friends and other tiny critters are testing to see if Spring has arrived. Even though I grew up in Florida surrounded by a bounty of tropical bugs, they make me squirm -- and, I'm really trying not to so Peanut doesn't become as squimish.
  4. Verizon FIOS. Oh how the lame and outrageously overpriced monopoly of Time Warner Cable here annoys me. And, don't get me started on the outages.
  5. And, for the little ones: Ms. Gina's Little Acorns preschool that Peanut loved and the Burlington library which had a great puzzle, block and puppet playspace.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Breaking the Thumb Habit

Almost as soon as she could, Peanut put her thumb into her mouth. It gave her peace, it made her happy and it helped her sleep through the night. Pacifiers were spit out with a venegence that sent them popping loudly into the side of her cardboard KELA-box bed. Her choice was her thumb.

And, its been that way ever since.

Now, as she approaches her third birthday, I thought it was time to start weaning off her thumb. Sure, the pediatrician suggested I try it earlier, but the last year was filled with so much change for her from a new little brother to two new homes, I thought if her thumb helps her through it, that's fine with me. Her dentists have never made an issue of the thumb-sucking, but I think the sooner she can stop, the easier it will for all of us.

We started with a small talk about saving thumb for only bedtime. Then, we added some incentive to it -- the Princesses would reward her for her hard work. Yes, once again, I've recruited our friends Pink Princess (aka Sleeping Beauty), Cinderella, Ariel and Jasmin to help our cause.

Every morning, Peanut finds a little surprise from the princess who visited during the night: a coloring page and stickers dedicated to the princess. These lovely ladies also place a sticker on her wall poster and promise bigger rewards for the weekend.

So far, its worked like a charm. Peanut carefully puts her hands in her lap even in the car -- a very tempting place to suck your thumb. Sometimes she literally bursts into tears with longing, but fights the urge. I am extremely proud of are the princesses.

Testing Mobile Blogging

So, now I can send pictures from my mobile phone directly to my blog!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hooking up with moms via Meet Up

If there's one thing I've learned from the three major moves I've made in the past three years, its making friends is hard work!

But, since having friends is so important to making a new place feel like home, there's nothing else to do than get out, get out, get out, get out. Having children has got to be the best way into many groups in the fastest way. You immediately have some common ground to start on and a topic than can easily wind you in and out of many areas of conversation.

Finding new friends via the web has been one of my latest ventures. The website Meet Up coordinates people around an interest or geography to find each other, plan meetings and introduce members to each other.

I've joined a couple of Meet Up groups in San Diego - some mom's groups in my suburb and a Dutch culture group. (The Finnish ladies have their own group coordinated via the fantabulous and information saturated San Diego Finns website.)

My main Meet Up group has 3 - 4 activities organized each week. Park playdates, lunches, outtings to local attractions and even birth story sharing sessions number among the events. When we're available, I make an effort to get us out to the Meet Up. Sometimes its a great event where I get to meet several moms. Other times, its a total dud because I can't find the members and after asking 5 -6 random people if they are here for a Meet Up and getting that oh-my-god-ewww-creepy-internet-lady look, I call it quits.

Still, I keep going knowing that friendships form only after many, many meetings. First, you have to become a familiar face, then, perhaps get to know a handful of people and eventually, you find your connection grows beyond just the fact that 'hey, we are both moms, let's chat about diapers, food, preschool, lack of sleep, where did you buy that stroller?!'

It all makes me love my lifelong friends just a little bit more :-)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Pies of Julian

Opa & Oma were visiting us last week so we took them on a grand tour of the area. One day we headed up for the mountains to the town of Julian, briefly a gold rush town, but now the local economy seems to depend on pies.

The main street is the central lure in town with its old wooden buildings housing gift shops, pie parlors and restaurants (with their own speciality pies). The elevation allows Julian to harvest a plentiful crop in apples which are the main ingredient in the town's pies. Though I didn't see it advertised, there must be a heated Apple Pie competition each year with probably all sorts of scandals involved from bribed judges, stolen recipes and sabotaged apples.

We sampled a couple - as one must. The Boysenberry-Apple (flaky not crumbly) from Mom's Pies got the family vote.

Outside the town's limits we saw some of the first signs of singed earth and scorched trees from the Fall's brush fires.