Saturday, September 27, 2008

In Other News

First - Welcome Auntie Lockett! We are looking forward to hosting Auntie Lockett and Uncle Courtney when they return from Aspen. We were lucky enough to have Lockett come by and spend the afternoon with us. She was such a good sport and read loads of Dora stories to Chase.

Second - We bought Chase a Skuut bike. With a little more practice, she'll be able to keep up with us with no problem. On our walk, we ran into Cooper, one of Chase's little beaus.

Thanks, Nana Cris!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


So I've been avoiding blogging about politics, but I had to post this!

Dear Member,

Yesterday, members tried to deliver our letter--signed by over 21,000 people--to Governor Sarah Palin's office in Washington, D.C. The letter simply asked, "Where do you stand?" on key issues of importance to moms and families.

But, we were turned away at the door.

When pressed, Palin's staff told the group to drop the letter in the mail, refusing to acknowledge the crowd of moms (and adorable baby) who were in the office to hand deliver it.

Snail mail can take a while, and we want to make sure that this election covers more than moose burgers and body surfing. All candidates--male, female, Democrat, Republican, and other--should speak to these issues. Some are, and others aren't (1). So, we're bringing our questions to the next level: getting our questions front and center in the Vice Presidential Debate on October 2nd.

Email PBS Senior Correspondent Gwen Ifill, who will be moderating the debate, to tell her you want these important questions asked:

The team has written five questions we'd like to see posed to both Palin and Biden in that debate (see the questions below (2)). Let's get these questions to the debate moderator so the American public gets a chance to hear both candidates, side-by-side, answering the same questions.

When you click the link above, you'll send a message to Gwen Ifill and cc both of the presidential campaigns to let them know that over 21,000 voters want to hear them talk about these issues (which impact millions of Americans) at the debate.

Tell your friends to email Gwen Ifill, too! She needs to know how deeply important these issues are for millions of Americans--and that we demand they be addressed now!

Thank you!

--Kristin, Joan, Mary, Katie, Laura, Roz, Ashley, and the entire Team

1. MomsRising members are tracking all of the candidates' speeches, tallying any mention of issues that impact moms. See their tallies at If you plan to watch the presidential debate tomorrow, September 26th, you can tally the issues, too! Get your scorecard at -- and keep an eye out for opportunities to get involved as the campaigns continue!

2. Our questions:

* Right now, the birth of a child is the number one cause of a "poverty spell" in America, and 1/4 of families with young children are living in poverty. Do you support a policy to provide paid family and medical leave to parents following birth or adoption of a new child?

* Nearly 1/2 of all full-time, private sector workers in the U.S. have no paid sick days. Do you support a policy to provide paid sick days for workers to use when they or their children get sick?

* In most American families, both parents work outside the home. Please tell us what your administration would do to help parents secure excellent, affordable childcare?

* Studies show that moms are paid 73 cents and single moms are paid about 60 cents to the dollar for doing the exact same job as men. Do you support the Fair Pay Restoration Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act?

* A child is born every 41 seconds without healthcare. What kind of Health Care Policy could Americans expect in your administration?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Littlest Skis Ever

Today we went to get skis for Chase. They are SO cute. They are about as long as chopsticks. Okay, a little longer. But totally cute. We are leasing them for the season; I've heard there are some great tiny tot ski programs at Breck and Keystone. We'll post pics when she's all dressed-up in her bibs and boots.

Baby #2 Update

Nothing much to report, except this baby is REALLY active. Much more active than Chase was. The baby is still really LOW. And as of next week, I'm in my 3rd trimester, so I am starting to think more and more about getting this baby OUT.

Unlike when we had Chase, I feel totally prepared this time around. We have the car seat, the stroller, the baby carrier (that we should have had two years ago), a baby cot, and a baby travel cot (which Nee Nee has volunteered to help us out with).

I have even registered with Babies R Us, so that friends and family who are scratching their heads as the holidays approach have somewhere to go for a list of items we still need. I must also say that while I don't believe in baby or wedding showers, I know people enjoy giving gifts - so gift away if you feel so inclined!

Kitchen - What's Left?

All we need now is our new window (arrival TBD) to replace a very old, cracked window, and some lovely custom curtains from Nee Nee, who was kind enough to volunteer to help us out. There's a little touch-up, that can wait until I can paint, and a cookbook nook.... And then, we're done!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


So we've hosted people over here three nights in a row, and I have to say, it could be the secret to keeping a clean house! It's exhausting, but it's been really fun showing friends our new kitchen.

Hubs did the backsplash this weekend and it looks terrific. It's SOOO close to done.

The one strange thing that has happened, is that ever since we added a disposal, it's like it tipped the delicate balance in the house. Next thing you know, the wallpaper the last people painted over is going to start falling off (oh let's hope not). Anyway, we've got "burping" happening in the second sink (the one without the dishwasher), and last night we experienced some DISGUSTING burping downstairs, caused somehow by water coming up (with veggie bits) in the sink next to the washing machine (strange but true) and then today, there was water coming back up from our the spot where the soapy water is supposed to go. And then there was the standing water in the bathroom next door to the washing machine (really weird).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Got Milk?

This from AFP ... Luckily we never drank Chinese milk or used Chinese formula - but we did love Chinese yogurt. Ah well.

This news makes me so sad - take something you think should be safe and find out, guess what, it's killing you.

Speaking of which, if you want an interesting read, check out the China Study!

Death toll rises to four as China milk scandal escalates

BEIJING (AFP) — China's milk scandal escalated dramatically on Thursday as it emerged the illegal chemical blamed for killing four babies had been detected in a wide range of dairy products, leading to mass recalls.

Authorities in mainland China said melamine, the chemical normally used in plastics that was initially found in infant milk powder, was also in regular milk being sold by three of the country's biggest dairy companies.

In the southern territory of Hong Kong, the government there said melamine had been discovered in drinks, ice creams and yoghurt made by Yili, one of the big brands that was selling the contaminated milk on the mainland.

"We urge the public to stop drinking products from the brand," Constance Chan, the head of Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety, told reporters, after saying melamine was found in eight out of 30 Yili products.

The tainted products in Hong Kong and on the mainland were all being recalled on Thursday.

The discoveries came as Chinese officials reported a fourth baby had died in China's northwest Xinjiang region from drinking infant milk powder contaminated with melamine.

The Xinjiang fatality added to three deaths confirmed on Wednesday by Health Minister Chen Zhu, who also said more than 6,000 babies nationwide had fallen ill.

The scandal had already caused panicked parents around China to besiege hospitals seeking check-ups for their children, and the news that all other types of dairy products may be infected was sure to raise further alarm.

Melamine, banned in foods, was apparently introduced by dairy suppliers in China to give watered-down milk the appearance of having high protein levels.

It then made its way into the baby formula of 22 Chinese dairy firms, authorities said this week.

The three brands identified on Thursday as having melamine in their regular milk were Yili, Mengniu and Guangming, according to a report on the government-run television news station.

Meanwhile Chinese police made 12 more arrests as a probe widened into who added the melamine to the milk, Xinhua news agency reported, bringing the number arrested to 18.

The new arrests came in the northern city of Shijiazhuang, where the dairy manufacturer originally at the centre of the scandal, Sanlu Group, is based.

The mayor of Shijiazhuang was also sacked Thursday, according to Xinhua. Police had also detained the sacked chairwoman of Sanlu on Wednesday.

China's cabinet on Wednesday slammed the dairy industry as "chaotic" and said "flaws" were rife in supervision systems.

Seeking to rectify some of those problems, the government said Thursday it would cancel an eight-year-old system under which food producers could gain exemptions from safety inspections if they had good quality records.

Xinhua said one of the companies utilising that system was Sanlu.

The government also ordered stepped-up tests on livestock feed in an apparent signal of official concern over possible melamine contamination in the wider agricultural sector.

Even before the milk scandal, foreign media investigations had discovered wide use of melamine in China to give livestock feed the appearance of higher protein content.

China has endured a litany of scandals in recent years over dangerous products including food, drugs and toys, many of which were exported.

Two of the 22 milk companies found to have contaminated products exported to Bangladesh, Myanmar and some African countries. However, there has been no evidence yet the tainted products were sold overseas.

While praising China's response since the scandal broke, WHO China representative Hans Troedsson said authorities must determine why it took months for the risks to be made public, even though babies began falling ill several months ago.

"If this was deliberately not reported, that is a serious thing and must be addressed to make sure it is not repeated," Troedsson said.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Changing Eating Habits

So it's not because the doctor told me how much weight I've gained - honest. It's more about my experiences eating in different parts of the world and about three books that have found me (at the same time).

I'm not one to jump into a fad diet, in fact, I haven't dieted or much cared about what I ate since college, I've mostly tried to make solid decisions about what I eat day-to-day.

At any rate, after reading three books (again, they found me, I didn't go off looking for them) - (1) Younger Next Year, (2) Culinary Medicine and (3) The China Study, I am seriously considering the Macrobiotic lifestyle.

I've asked Hubs to read the 1st and the 3rd and let me know what he thinks. But I think it basically comes down to how to eat to live a long, healthy life.

Potty Training Update

So I'm sure Chase will H-A-T-E that I've blogged about potty training, but I have to share that the Make-Believe-Diaper-Fairy is, well, the best thing EVER. Maybe it's because we just got her excited enough to buy in to the entire idea.

First day, five pairs of pants. For the past four days - no accidents. None.

(Knock wood it continues)

Eager Reader

Every day Chase points to things and asks us what they say. It's totally outrageous. We've started reading to her and pointing at the words as we go. I can't believe she's 2.5 years old and seriously cares about words. It's fabulous.

Kitchen Remodel Update

So how is the kitchen remodel coming along? VERY WELL.

We are happy to report we are nearing the end of our project. Hubs is probably happiest, as the only major things left to do are the backsplash and a cookbook nook. There is also just the smallest amount of painting left (thank goodness). I've already told Hubs that after the baby comes he'll never have to paint anything again.

Also happy to report we pretty much stayed on budget. We did end up needing to replace the window over the sink - it's on order. And we will likely give each other a stainless dishwasher for Christmas (oh how romantic). We're also on the look-out for a eat-in kitchen table, although I'm pushing to move one of our couches into the eat-in space and making it an ultra comfy nook.

We're pretty pleased that we managed to update the kitchen and make it feel like it belongs with the house.

And a special thanks to Nee Nee Kar Kar who has agreed to make curtains for the window over the sink and the long window at the back of the eat-in space. I found lovely french tapestry (looking) curtains that I'm loving!

Next time I post pictures it should be done!

And of course -- Silestone countertops...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Itch

No, I'm not talking about my tummy - although it does itch a little.
I'm talking about the itch to move. We're both feeling it.
Singapore? Seattle? Boston (the city Hubs and I both feel is our home away from home)?

Here's the thing. If/when we move, we would/should do it in the Spring of next year, because we really should be *somewhere* we could be for a good while once Chase starts school.

Why not stay in Denver? For me, there's no ocean. And I'm really feeling it. I can't explain it, but I've talked to other people and they "know" the feeling. Hubs is a great sport and always game for a new adventure. So we just need to find somewhere that has an ocean and mountains - oh and a good economy.

The Weight

So I went to the doctor's office yesterday. I told my doctor I was done with being pregnant and she gave me this look like, what could I possible mean. She said, you still have four months to go. I said, no, I have three and a half months to go. And she told me how many weeks, which is like talking to me in Swahili - and why was she arguing with a pregnant woman anyway? Seriously.

And they weighed me. I have to say that I think the British really have it right by not weighing women during their pregnancy - and basically not even caring. I wonder what the doctor would do if I refused to be weighed, like a toddler refusing to eat spinach.

So I thought I could handle any number they threw at me, but I guess I can't. I was horribly upset yesterday afternoon, and even this morning. The doctor, by the way, said I'm on track for the average American when it comes to weight gain. But have you seen the average American lately? So I've totally lost my appetite. I can't bear the thought of eating. I'm sure it will pass, and it's not like I didn't invite it in - by basically eating anything and everything I wanted until now, which included about a half a cake over the course of four days.

So the buck stops here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Potty Training

So we have been doing potty training, on and off, since the middle of Summer. And then I realized Chase was choosing to use her diaper over the potty - she actually TOLD me she wanted to use her diaper instead of the potty. That's when I knew I needed back-up.

So I told her that the make-believe diaper fairy was coming. And that if she put her diapers outside her bedroom, she would get presents and the fairy would re-distribute the old diapers to other children that needed them.

Interestingly, on diaper-free Day 1, she had 5 accidents. On day 2, she had 1 accident. Today, day 3, she had no accidents and she really seems to be getting the hang of it. I guess time will tell.

a - MAZE - ing

Tonight Chase did a maze. It was the first time we have ever showed her one. It was fairly basic, but there were a couple places where she could have gotten mixed-up or confused; she didn't. Not even for a moment. She just took the crayon and drew the line, without backtracking, from the mouse to the cheese. Hubs and I were totally amazed.

Berry Picking

Admittedly, there are no pictures of actual berry picking - Chase mostly did Berry eating, with her friend Linus, at an organic farm about 30 minutes outside of Denver.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Blogger's Choice Awards

Got this in my email from blogger, wanted to pass it along in case any of you blog readers has a little extra time...

Time is running out!
Blogger's Choice Awards voting will end soon.

3...2...1...the countdown has begun! Well, sort of. October 1st kicks-off the two-week countdown 'til voting closes at the Internet's coolest blog voting site,

Know of a hot mommy blogger? Have a favorite Celebrity blogger? Is there a blogger that annoys the heck out of you? Have you discovered the "best blog of all time"? Why not nominate them for a Blogger's Choice Award, and give them a shot at the ultimate in blog bragging rights. Nominate and vote now or they could miss out.

And if your blog has been nominated in any of the 36 categories (or multiple categories) don't forget to have your badge(s) posted so your readers can vote for you. A "reminder" post on your blog might not be a bad idea either. Be loud, be proud...after all, whoever nominated you thinks you're worth it.

New nominations and voting will resume on January 7, 2008. Fresh year...fresh start!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Chase's Great Grand Dad Victor's Frock

A huge thanks to Mom for coming out to visit last week. Chase (as well as Hubs and I) loved having you here. We look forward to having you out again, after the baby is born.

I have baby-brain big time ,so I forgot my camera ALL WEEK LONG.

Mom had a copy of a frock her father had worn as a child. There are pictures of him, pictures of her and a picture of me in the same dress. And now there are (multiple) pictures of Chase wearing it, too. I finally got it together and took pictures. So there are a lot here!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Big Smile

This is Chase's "biggest smile" - and her self-portrait.

We were at Home Depot, paying for the counter (which has yet to be installed) and the woman behind the counter gave Chase a pink pen and yellow post-it note. Chase drew a picture of the woman - the woman took it and stapled it to her orange apron with pride. Chase then drew a picture of herself and stuck it onto her dress and wore it for the rest of the day.

I must say, her drawings are really impressive (said the crazy proud mom of her daughter).

New Dress

The dress Chase is wearing is from Nee Nee, who unfortunately never got to see her in it while she was here. It's in black and white because the color was a bit off - a shame, because she insisted on wearing her little belt with it.