Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Drew Ism

It's been awhile since I've posted anything funny for the grandmas. Here was Drew's funny tonight:

Aaron: Hey Drew - look at all those cars you have! Where's Mater? (Mater is Drew's favorite character from the movie Cars)
Drew: Daddy! Mater's not a car! He's a hiccup truck!

Duh! It's the Cereal!

So by now most of you have probably heard about the recent study asserting that a mother's diet at the time of conception may influence the gender of her baby. A recent New York Times article on the study discusses the theory that although X and Y sperm ultimately determine gender, higher food/calorie intake and higher glucose levels during conception makes "conditions" more hospitable for for male embryos. Skipping meals results in lower glucose levels, which makes it difficult for male embryos to survive. The study makes the leap that women who eat breakfast and have diets high in potassium, calcium, and vitamins C, E, and B12 tend to produce sons. Further, there was a strong correlation between eating breakfast cereal and producing sons!

While it will be interesting to see if the theory holds up to further study, it certainly sheds light on my tendency to produce male offspring. While my caveman husband has been walking around pounding his chest about producing a flock of sons, I have long been consuming mass quantities of two of my favorite foods - cereal and bananas. Coincidence? Maybe not!

My love affair with cereal started in college and has lasted all the way to present day, although it has subsided somewhat. There was a time in my single days when my grocery cart literally contained a gallon of milk, a bunch of bananas, 3 boxes of cereal, 10 different kinds of beans, and a bag of rice. Thankfully, my palate has matured a little (I've moved from Lucky Charms to Kashi), but cereal is still high on the list. The boys must have inherited a taste for the stuff in utero because it's high on their list too, as well as their father's. I kid you not when I say that a fourth of our weekly grocery bill is due to the 5 boxes of cereal and 3 gallons of milk we consume each week.

With the news of our third boy, almost everyone asks us if we plan to "go for the girl" and have a fourth. Considering the fact that I have not missed a meal since the day I was born and at least 2/3 of those meals have been cereal, we definitely don't plan on giving this theory a test run. Which is just fine with me. We seem to be pretty good at this boy thing.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Just wandered into living room to find that husband has plugged TV back in and is parked in front of it. Apparently I failed to see the memo that NBA playoff programming is exempt from National TV Turnoff Week resolutions.

National TV Turnoff Week

This week (April 21-27) is National TV Turnoff week. Yes - this is an actual event, started by a group of people who were clearly watching too much TV. I'm not sure about the history of when or where it originated (or who exactly it was watching too much TV), but I've caught wind of it in a couple of places these past few months and LOVED the idea. Gross national statistics aside (the average American youth spends 900 ours in school but 1500 in front of the TV, 66% of US families watch TV during dinner, half of children ages 6-17 have TVs in their bedroom, etc.), I am starting to get concerned about the amount of TV time in this household. Which is really interesting, given the evolution of screen time in our family.

Once upon a time when Cade was a baby (and until he was almost 3), he watched zero TV. I registered for Baby Einstein videos because the few moms I knew told me they were educational and stimulating and really, who can argue with a video that claims to turn your child into a Baby Mozart. But I could never quite bring myself to pop one in. And yes, in case you're wondering, his first toys were age appropriate books, his first taste of cake was at his first birthday party (featuring a nutritious yet baby friendly carrot cake), and he never had a drop of juice to drink until he was close to a year and a half old. I was pretty granola back in those days.

Then along came Drew, 17 months after Cade. Desperate for time to nurse, shower, and pee, I cracked open the Baby Einsteins and wished that Cade would magically develop an attention span long enough to watch one. No dice - I had already spoiled him. He was way more into Clown Mom than watching a pull toy duck crawl at a snail's pace across the screen to an annoying tinkling song that makes you want to punch the TV.

At some point (I'm not sure when since I had long stopped filling out the baby books by this point), Drew became interested in TV. A more mellow child by nature, he was content to watch the duck do its thing and even hung in there long enough to watch the psychedelic swirls do their thing. And then we learned that Cade loved Elmo (through books before he ever saw him on TV) and music, so we could actually buy a little peace and quiet if we picked our programming carefully. It was all downhill from there.

We limit screen time, naturally, but I have noticed it creeping up to uncomfortable levels lately. I almost always count on it for the dinner prep hour - I can't make dinner with rug rats underfoot so The Wiggles are my saving grace. Then I became pregnant (and exhausted) for the third time and realized I was counting on Curious George to keep Cade entertained during Drew's nap so I could catnap. Then there were the assorted times where I just needed them out of my hair - for a phone call, an uninterrupted conversation with their father, or just to read the Sunday paper. And suddenly I found myself feeling as irritated by their pleas for TV as their pleas for junk food - how did we get from carrot birthday cake and fabric covered books to this point, anyway?

So Aaron officially put the kids on notice today. They seemed to take the news in stride, until he pointed out that "no TV" means no DVDs or videotapes either. And he unplugged the TV just to make sure. We survived the first day OK, but I'm still anxious about the rest of the week, mainly because it means more gigs for Clown Mom . And I'm wondering if computer counts as TV (pbskids.org buys me as much time as Maya and Miguel). Stay tuned. And will someone please let me know when National Throw Out the Junk Food Week is?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Voices in My Head

I'm writing over at Atlanta Parent today about my garrulous children. Come check it out.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My Three Sons

I know, I know, so I said we weren’t going to find out the sex of the baby in advance this time. But my husband (and practically everyone else I knew) made me absolutely bonkers by asking on a daily basis and I finally caved. After which, my husband felt bad and told me we really didn’t have to find out if I really didn’t want to, but the mental shift had already been made for me so it was too late.

As evidenced by the title of this post, it’s ANOTHER BOY!!!

Most people assume that I am desperate for a girl, since I have two boys already. Interestingly, this is not the case. Having grown up with two sisters (one of whom is ten years my junior), I feel kind of like I’ve already “done the girl thing”. I’ve attended scores of dance recitals, shopped for countless Christmas/Easter/Birthday/Prom/Formal dresses, and survived exposure to more rounds of PMS than I care to think about. But I’ve never been to a soccer game, saved money on haircuts by just going with a buzz in the summers, or been on the “let’s just be friends” end of a breakup before. I’m pretty excited about all of this. As a bonus, I never ever have to plan a wedding again – I simply perform the mother-of-the-groom duties by writing a check for the rehearsal dinner (which my future daughter in law will plan herself because she will be afraid I will mess it up), wearing beige, and shutting up. And probably, no one will even notice if I wear the same beige dress to all three weddings, so I can spend the cash saved on a really expensive handbag instead.

Aaron pointed out other benefits. We now have enough men in the family for a golf foursome and a two-on-two pickup game. Which means I will never have to play sports to even out the team and when they are older I can spend my weekends perusing the mall (in peace and quiet) while the boys play and watch whatever sports they want to with their father.

So far, these are the only cons I’ve thought of:

  • I will have to listen to a lot of talk about sports. All the time. Forever.
  • Some areas of my home will always be stinky. My own bedroom smells okay since the female/male ratio is balanced, but my boys are only 2 and 4 and their shared bedroom already smells like a mixture of sweaty socks, throw up, and rotting dead animals, even after a thorough cleaning.
  • I will probably make a lot of trips to the emergency room and I should really get used to seeing blood and protruding broken bones now.
  • I will need to take out a second mortgage to buy groceries when they are teenagers. We are already going through 2 loaves of bread, 2 gallons of milk, and a million boxes of cereal a week…
  • I will need to take out a third mortgage (do these exist?) to pay my car insurance in about 12 years.

So yeah, I’m pretty excited. Except there is one last con – we have had so many boys, we are out of boy names. Currently accepting nominations…