Friday, June 20, 2008


It's already late, so this will be a short, random Ari update. The first picture is Ari on the train at the UTC mall. They say you have to be 3 to ride alone, but they don't really uphold that and Ari loves riding in the engine which she has to ride alone, so here she is braving the tracks like a big girl in the lead car!The next picture is from Ari's soccer class. Last week we had the last day of class and on the last day, they gave them a medal for doing so well in class. You see it flying around her neck. She was so happy and proud of herself. It was really cute!

Other than that...

Has anyone else been watching DISCH L? It is now called Planet Green. I am learning so much about what we do that is not good and what we can do that can help. It is really affecting me. I always felt that I at least knew most of the things we are doing wrong (not recycling enough, too many plastic bottles, etc.) but there is so much more! I am hooked and changing a lot of things slowly but surely that I am doing to make our lives a little less environmentally unfriendly.

Now... don't think that I am becoming some crazy tree hugger nor do I even really consider myself an environmentalist. I'm not doing this because I am worried about the planet. I am doing this because I am worried about my daughter and my grandchildren's future. So.. I'm a people-ist. The planet will be here no matter what happens to it and it doesn't care in what state it exists. We on the other hand can't live on just any version of this planet. We need it to stay as close to the same as possible. That means that while I believe that the earth will eventually become unlivable just like it once was, we should do our best not to speed things along because we haven't figured out how to live somewhere else yet.

I also do believe that a lot of our decisions in the past to make life easier, have turned out to be poisoning us and I want support business that are creating products that are not full of harmful chemicals for us and for our landfills. What we have done to our food supply and to our soaps and moisturizers, etc. is amazing when you start reading about it.

Again, I am working towards a healthier life one step at a time, even if they are very little steps, they are something. One example of a baby step that someone pointed out to me, which is a good example, is that we have a real problem with how many plastic bottles we use in our society. Even though they can be recycled, there just aren't enough things made from recycled plastics that we are willing to buy to make sure we use up all the bottles being thrown away. One place to save on this is of course to get a water service instead of buying bottled water. It is really price equivalent, for the most part, is delivered right to your door, and you just need to get some bottles that you can use to refill. Another place though, which is the great baby step suggestion I mentioned above, is to buy only bar soap instead of pump soap. It just never occurred to me, but bar soaps are surrounded in paper which does have a high rate of recycle ability versus the pump. There really is no reason to have the pump. Another one that I would love to see is bulk shampoo. Why should I buy a new bottle of the same shampoo I get every time when I could just as easily bring my bottle to the store and refill it instead. If only this were available. *Sigh* Come on companies! Lets start figuring this whole thing out. Change is in the air. :)

Okay... Like I said in the beginning. It is late and time to go to sleep. Goodnight all!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

6 Word Memoir

I was tagged by my friend Dana at Tutu Monkey

This originated over an idea that was prompted by the book written by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser, Not Quite What I was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure. It's a compilation based on the story that Hemingway once bet ten dollars that he could sum up his life in six words. His words were- For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Here are the rules:
1. Write your own six word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like.
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
4 .Tag five more blogs with links.
5. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

Are we ready? Ok. Let's GO!

Not very sentimental, I know but we are trying to describe our lives in 6 words and that about sums mine up. I have always been one to stay active. I don't stay still for long. I'll give you a few examples.

1. When I first graduated from high school, I just didn't want to go to college yet (to the sadness of my parents for sure). I decided instead that I was going to go to Israel and live on a kibbutz for a year. That didn't last as long as I hoped because I got very sick with my Crohn's while I was there and medical attention was near to nothing on the kibbutz where they didn't know exactly what Crohn's was or what to do about it. Anyway, a couple months later, I was back in the states and working a full time job in an office. At the end of the intended year off, I planned to go to college, but not the normal way. I went to a study abroad program through the Missouri State University in Kirksville (now known as Truman State). I studied in Seville, Spain even though I had never had even 1 Spanish class before and had an amazing time for my first semester in college. When I got back, I went for my next semester to the university in Kirksville, but decided that I wanted to study anthropology. They didn't have an anthropology department there, so for the following semester I went to University of Missouri, Warrensburg. Unfortunately, by the time I was in Warrensburg, I had decided that I had a change of heart and really wanted to pursue another love of mine, fashion design. They didn't have a fashion design department, but they did have fashion merchandising so I did course work in that. While I was there, my Crohn's flared up really badly and I ended up having to come back to St. Louis and get hospitalized for a while. When I got back, at first, I planned on staying in Warrensburg, but after having already moved my stuff into my new dorm room and everything, we decided that it would be best that I come and live at home while I am getting better so that my mom could watch over me. An agreement was struck between my parents and myself that I would pursue my love of fashion design (which may not be practical) and also pursue a degree in computers (the earn a living degree that I wasn't passionate about but was good at). So... I went to Forest Park Community College where I attended figure drawing and other art classes AND Univ. of Missouri, St. Louis where I was attending programming classes. For those keeping track, I went to 5 different educational settings located in 4 different locales in 2 years.

2. When I was working on a degree in Business Information Systems (read programmer) in Denver, CO, (if you are curious about how I got from number 1 to number 2, I guess you'll just have to stay tuned in :) ) I got a job working in my field so I could earn a living. I went to school full time (15 credit hours) and worked full time (45 hours/week). I also would go out with my girlfriends clubbing all the time. Sleep is for sissies after all!

3. Ari and I attended music, dance, gymnastics, and soccer classes together. We also go to the park by ourselves a lot, run errands, attend playgroup meetings, and spend time with Safta.

Did I mention that I'm not one for standing still too long? I love to travel and I love to experience new things and places. The world is an adventure so lets explore it to the fullest! You can't explore if you aren't on the move... so... Are we ready? OK. Let's GO!

Amusingly, my parents had a different 6 word biography that they would say suited me since I was a little girl... "Don't tell me what to do!" LOL There is an old song that goes "You don't own me. I'm not just one of your little toys. You don't own me. (don't remember this line) So... Don't tell me what to do! Don't tell me what to say! And please when I go out with you, don't put me on display!" I use to think of it as my anthem. Hehe...

As far as tagging anyone else... I haven't been blogging long enough to tag other people, so I'll take a note from my friend Sonya who also got tagged by Dana and just not tag anyone. Sorry for being lame. :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Using the Potty!

My mom has been telling me that Ari is using the potty occasionally with her. Usually it is because she is in a bath and suddenly needs to pee and she has learned not to pee in the bath so it is easiest to put her on the potty and she will go real quick and back into the tub.

Well, today Ari was again hanging with Safta and my mom asked her, "Do you want to pee in the potty?" Ari yelled yes and ran up to her potty, apparently. She went potty, poured it in the toilet, and flushed just like a big girl. Of course, I just get to hear about it. *sigh*

So... tonight she had a bath, but when we first walked into the bathroom, she yelled out, "Need to potty before bath." So I pulled off her pants and diaper and she sat down and as mommy and daddy looked on, our little girl became a big girl. She peed in the potty. We were both there to witness it and it wasn't a fluke. Not only that, but she did it twice in one day.

I'm sure we have days/weeks until we are fully there for waking hours, but we are definitely on our potty way. :) I'm so proud!

What things have I done? Nothing really. We bought her potty a long time ago, maybe right around turning 1, and she used to like to sit on it like just a regular chair. Nothing more happened with it for a long time, though I often talked while changing her diaper about how if she didn't want to have her diaper changed anymore, she would need to learn to use the potty. A few months ago I bought her a DVD called Potty Power and she just loved it. She watched it multiple times at first, but still didn't really show interest. Lately she asked for it again and occasionally when I would ask if she wants to go potty, she would go sit down, but never pee. The rest of the story is above. Just kept asking, making it fun, and making it about her choosing to use the potty, and here we are on the way to potty trained. :)

Dungeons & Dragons Meme

This is for all the geeky kids out there like me! :)

What kind of a Dungeons and Dragons Character are you?

You Are A:

Lawful Neutral Human Cleric (5th Level)

Ability Scores:
Strength- 12
Dexterity- 13
Constitution- 11
Intelligence- 14
Wisdom- 17
Charisma- 15

Lawful Neutral- A lawful neutral character acts as law, tradition, or a personal code directs him. Order and organization are paramount to him. He may believe in personal order and live by a code or standard, or he may believe in order for all and favor a strong, organized government. Lawful neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you are reliable and honorable without being a zealot. However, lawful neutral can be a dangerous alignment because it seeks to eliminate all freedom, choice, and diversity in society.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Clerics- Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron's vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity's domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric's Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day Weekend

We started out on Friday night celebrating our father's day weekend with me going to a mom's book club meeting. John and our good friend Bruce (the guy who takes most of the pictures on this web site, Thank Bruce!) took Ari to a park we like a lot in La Jolla. From what I hear, fun was had by all. Unfortunately, dusk was playing tricks with our friends camera and most of the pictures were too dark to see much. Here is one that shows our pretty girl from that night out with the boys. :)
The next photo is from Saturday morning. We went to a kids indoor playground called Super Play. It was a lot of fun! Here Ari is showing off her inner domestic goddess...
and practicing her driving preparing to ask Daddy for the keys to the car already.
One of the favorite things there for our thrill seeker is a go cart ride. You can check out how tall they are here:
And how much she loves speed here:
Saturday afternoon we decided to check out the San Diego Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The first thing we ran into that Ari just HAD TO DO, was the pony ride. She was disappointed that she forgot her cowgirl hat in the car, but she was still adorable and super happy on her horse, Franky.
Then we found the Kiddieland area and boy was that a mistake, I mean fun. After riding a nice kiddie boat ride......Ari was back to needing SPEED! There was a children's roller coaster and she just had to go on it. Of course, she also decided to sit in back and as I was flinging about because it was meant for someone 37" tall, I'm thinking... I hope she isn't scared against roller coasters after this. So what did she say afterwards? MORE!
We decided that instead of more, we would go fishing which she would like as well. So here you see her and I maneuvering a fish rod as we caught a fish. We won a small prize which has become a HUGE hit! What could this prize be?
A pink hedgehog. LOL You can see it in her hands here as Daddy holds her after the victory.
If you thought we were finished with our thrill seeking... You were wrong. She saw a boat that went not only rocking back and forth, but also spun around as it rocked back and forth. I made sure that this time we at least sat in the middle! Oh.. and afterwards... We yelled, "MORE!", again.
Once again, we distracted her. I took her through a mirror maze and showed her how to feel our way through. I'm not sure if she totally got what it was all about, but we smiled at each other in the mirrors and I didn't have to get flung about. Hehe...
After this we saw a really cute train that we just had to ride on so here we are sitting in the caboose all buckled up. :)
The next three pictures are a combination. You may be wondering why I'm giving a sarcastic thumbs up in this first shot...
...while Ari is having such a good time (holding her hedgehog) in this shot.
Well... All these rides charged you 3 tickets for the child and 3 tickets for the adult as well even though I'm only there because she needed me to be there. In the picture below you will notice that Ari is driving a truck with me in the back. Not only in the back, but there isn't even a window behind her head so she can check that I'm there. In fact... I had no idea if she was doing okay or not. I couldn't see her AT ALL. John had a better idea of whether she was doing well. So... I was essentially there for my own happiness at riding the back of the truck. Hence... the need for sarcasm. Hehe...
This was a cool shot our friend Bruce took of John and Ari with the lights of the fair behind them. I think it turned out amazing.
Here is the evidence of what a bad mommy I am. Would you like some chocolate and ice cream before bed time? More? OKAY! It's a fair. You can't leave without having a treat!
So... we spent father's day weekend being a family for the most part. On father's day, John did get to choose where to eat breakfast, spend time in his garage doing woodworking, and eating a steak dinner. As far as his gift? Well... that happened weeks ago. Ari and I gave Daddy a hammock and stand. He loves it. :) I chose the best Daddy for Ari possible! We love you John!

Similac Organic.. Can I have Sugar with that?

So I recently posted this on my mother's playgroup message board and someone pointed out that the language is MAY and not DOES or MIGHT but not IS. Anyway... aspertame might have cancer causing side effects that might be worse in children, but I'm not giving that to my daughter either.

Apparently, the organic version of similac baby formula has had a lot of sugar put into it to sweeten it up. Will it cause babies to potentially turn away from other foods because they have developed a sweet tooth? Will it cause them to become obese as babies? I don't fully know, but the bottom line, I think, is that there are plenty of Organic products out there that don't feel the need to sugar their formulas up like this and so it obviously doesn't add any nutritional value, just makes it sweeter and therefore more appealing. You know... like sugary cereals for children. If there weren't such sweet options, children wouldn't be tempted to eat them.

For me the disappointing thing and the thing I hope that articles like this (and hopefully the backlash from it) will alter, is that lately everyone is jumping on the organic bandwagon, but some of these big companies are doing their bare minimum that they have to do to get the organic label on their product instead of understand the consumer of organic foods and wanting to provide what they are looking for. Someone who is buying organic is generally someone who is concerned about their health and food intake. It is morally wrong of these companies, in my opinion, to not follow desire of the customer but instead deliver something that if they knew what was truly in it, they would cringe and then label it organic. It may be legal, but it isn't what the Organic movement is all about. We want healthy food for healthy living.

Thank god that this didn't exist when we first started Ari on formula. When it did come out, she was already used to hers and we didn't want to switch her, but I always looked at it thinking, if only it had come out sooner. Now... I am so happy it didn't.

You can still choose to use this formula, but better to be informed than to go in blind. :)

Happy Father's day to all the fathers out there and especially to Ari's amazing father, my amazing father, and my amazing father-in-law. We love you all very much!