Friday, June 15, 2012

Is Your Brand Red or Blue? Apparently, it Matters.

If you like Starbucks, does that make you a Republican or a Democrat?
What about Dunkin Donuts?
Are Animal Planet lovers Blue or Red?
And name the brand with bi-partisan support: Visa, Subway, or MLB?

The answers might surprise you.  An article in yesterday's LA Times highlights where Democrats and Republicans differ in their brand preferences. 

We'd like to suggest that the next time there's a stalemate in Congress, peeps pass out the Coca-Cola instead of coffee.  It's the little things that bring us together, you know.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Please, Don't Let Me Blink

Today was mini's last day of first grade.  She's definitely not a baby anymore.  So what did this mother do? Yup, same thing mothers have done for generations before us.  Have lunch with a friend and the children and spend the hour lamenting about that fact that you spend all this time taking care of a baby who grows up the second you blink.

Silly woman. She blinked.

It all goes by so fast.

You've heard this cliche before.  You don't understand it until you actually have kids, but it's really true.    However, what they fail to prepare you for, is just how much of your life ends up revolving around theirs.  We're going to botch this explanation horribly, but we'll try to articulate what we mean.

See, their first day of nursery school is your first day of school.  The first day they read on their own, it's just as much a milestone for you.  You begin looking forward to and enjoying their birthdays more than your own.  You get the idea, peeps.

So every year is different.  As they get a year older your life changes in ways you never thought possible.  Your life ceases to revolve around your age, your marital status, your career level, and exists solely on the basis of your child's age, grade, developmental level.  So at the end of first grade, when people tell you what to expect in second grade, they're telling you just as much about how your life will change as how your child's life will.

And so, because your life revolves so much around theirs, the last day of school becomes your last day of school.  So today, we bid goodbye to a first grade we haven't attended, and to a classroom that wasn't ours.  And because they're all growing up faster than you can say "mini", all we can do is sit here quietly, holding our eyes wide open, praying we don't blink.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

After the Men, the Mice...

Alone. Finally.

As many of you know, Poker Chick Brother moved out not too long ago, leaving this girl with a quiet evening at home alone.  Or so we thought.

Something looked like it was on the floor next to our handbag so we went over to inspect what mess we made this time.  Except this mess was moving.  And furry.  And it had a pink tail.

And so, the freakout began.

Next thing we knew we were digging out the only mousetrap we thought we had stashed in an old cabinet from years ago and going on YouTube to find out how to set it.

Minutes later we had successfully set our first mousetrap, taken one brief minute to pat ourselves on the back, then sat barricaded in the bedroom, blankets pulled up to our chin, looking all around, hoping not to see or hear anything.  Needless to say, we didn't sleep much that night.

Married for mice.  For months the brother slept on the floor... and nothing.  And now,  NOW that the mice-catching men have left, NOW this thing decides to pay us a visit?  Now, this isn't to say that a woman isn't just as prepared to catch a mouse as a man is.  We're just saying that THIS particular woman happens to be a bona fide wimp when it comes to the crawly things.  Why, why, why did this happen right when we were doing so well with the independence thing?

We were prepared for being a single parent, but we were not prepared for this.  Perhaps independence is overrated.

Let's just say if we suddenly become yet another single mom with a cat, you'll know why.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Least Grateful Houseguest You've Ever Had

What do you get when you put two 30-something divorced siblings into a small Manhattan apartment together for several months?  (Three months, one week and 3 days to be exact, but who's counting?)
Sibling rivalry, revisited in adulthood, still looks like this
Strained relationships? Lots of snapping? A child that delights at seeing her Uncle dressed up in a suit, because she's put together the fact that job interviews will lead to his moving out?

Well, we wouldn't know about any of that.  But we do know for sure that it leads to high comedy.

Today we bid dear Poker Chick Brother farewell .  You may remember him from guest posts such as "Clumsiness Runs in the Family", which we sort of hate because it's the most read post on this blog ever.  Don't read it, ok? Definitely don't click that link and give him the satisfaction.   We're not bitter at all.   Nope, not us.

Poker Chick Brother and his amazing sturdy back spent a few months blowing up and deflating an air mattress every single day and sleeping on our never-as-neat-as-it-should-be living room floor.  He grudgingly *tolerated* being woken up at 7am every day, as mini would stare at his but crack over her breakfast cereal, which according to him she slurped unnecessarily loudly.

Most people, we'd venture to guess, do not get the pleasure of living with their siblings all over again after everyone has left for college and started their own lives.  That said, you were all horrible teenagers, right?  It would be much more civil in adulthood, right?



Turns out all those immature fights as children had nothing to do with childhood and everything to do with two siblings living together, period.  Bumping into each other while trying to brush teeth at the same time in a tiny bathroom.  Running out of the room in disgust as one sibling laughs with glee after encouraging a malodorous waft of you-can-guess-what into the other sibling's direction.  Coming home late from work excited for leftovers only to find out they are gone.  Fielding insights and criticism into one's housekeeping or lack thereof...

We got to relive that all over again.


You'd think after all this we'd be happy to see the least grateful house guest in America finally leave, yes?

After finally living alone for one night, it is eerily quiet and not nearly stinky enough around here.  You see, the sibling moved out.  After months of mooching, he moved all the way cross country to the West Coast.  Moving out and not even staying in the same city to babysit?  That, we believe, is the least grateful thing he's done yet.

Congratulations on finally landing a gig, Poker Chick Brother.  This floor is always here when you need it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Food Allergy Awareness on the Rise

CDC chart showing incidence of food allergy in children rising at alarming rates. 
Things are looking up for peeps with food allergies.  While the CDC reports on the rising incidence of food allergies, a highly scientific and statistically sound poll by Poker Chick shows awareness and food-allergy friendly policies have increased by 324% in the past year alone.  We're talking better labeling, more nut-friendly schools and camps, more routine Epipen training in those who work with children, and better awareness and training in restaurants.  This explosion in the level of awareness and accommodation in the world makes it much easier for a child to live a normal life despite severe allergies.

Oh, wait. You were looking for scientific proof to back up our data?

Behold.  This week alone we had a few excellent experiences:
  1. A mother, on her own, made an egg, nut, seed free cake for her child's birthday party simply because mini was attending.  While this has been done before, note in this case the person in question is not an old close friend of yours truly, simply a lovely member of her community who wants to be inclusive.
  2. We are sending mini to a day camp for the first time which is not only a half hour bus ride outside of the city, but a place where someone else will be providing mini's meals, for the first time in her little life.  While we'd be lying if we said we weren't having heart palpitations, the numerous calls from camp staff (nurse, head of her age group, head of catering, head of the whole camp) have reassured this mother completely that they are taking all concerns seriously, not mocking or judging this mother as "neurotic" (see earlier post on this topic) and making every accommodation one could possibly hope for.
  3. Just this week, Delta finally changed their allergy policy* to restrict peanuts on the whole plane vs. just clearing a 3-row area.  As a mother who watched her daughter start to sneeze repeatedly by the end of a 3 hour flight with said "3-row area", we are most relieved to hear this news.  It may even make us feel safe enough to try a *gasp* 5 hr. flight.
Thanks to our friends at Home Free for sharing that last bit of news.  You can read more about research they've done on food allergies on their latest blog.

*If you're looking at the link, scroll down to the section marked "peanut allergies"