Monday, September 15, 2008

The First Time I Ever Found Myself Rooting for Another Man's Sperm

One of the first blogs I ever read was A Little Pregnant. I was newly pregnant myself (hence the obsession with blogs that had the word 'pregnant' in the title) and had plenty of free time (since I had no kids yet) and so I spent the better part of a work week reading Julie's archives. It became an obsession, but in a good way. As I would later find out, having a little insight into an infertile couples' struggles helps when dealing with the situation in real life. I have been very fortunate to only have know a few people who have dealt with/are dealing with infertility and I feel I was, perhaps, slightly more aware of my words and actions because of reading this blog.

Enter Maybe Baby, a book by Matthew M.F. Miller, who also pens a blog of the same name. This story of infertility is somehow entertaining and gut wrenching all at the same time. It's also unique because it is written by a man, baby. In this whole slew of parenting blogs there is a good corner devoted to daddy bloggers, but this was the first infertility blog/memoir I had heard of that was written by the less fair sex. 

Miller delves into his past as an overweight adolescent and the road to becoming healthy in a way that makes you really invested in his story. Once he's met Constance, his wife, you can't help but root for the guy. When they decide to buy some Pottery Barn crib bedding before they even begin trying for a baby, though, you know you're going to be reaching for the tissues by the end. 

And if this story doesn't quite convert you to Matthew M.F. Miller fan-dom, check this out: He's going to run 22.6 miles (the distance between their first apartment and the fertility clinic) and get sponsors in order to help fund another couples' fertility treatments. He's calling it the 1st Maybe Baby IVF Scholarship. Constance is a lucky woman.

I've become a total fan of Miller and his story, and am now an avid follower of his blog. I won't spoil it for you, but I have a feeling there's a happy ending in store for them down the line!

Thanks to the Parent Bloggers Network for bringing this book and blog my way.  As if I didn't have enough blogs to read, now I'm hooked on one more! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How the Good Lord Helped Me Learn About Finances

When I had my first communion I received over two hundred dollars in gifts. To a seven year old it was like hitting the lottery. My parents took me to the bank and helped me open my first savings account. They also let me keep ten bucks out to buy myself a toy, which made handing over the rest of the money a little easier. They explained how the savings account worked, and even though the interest I was making amounted to less than a dollar a year I was enthralled. 

As I got older I worked as a baby sitter, a bingo waitress and at McDonald's. Every time I got a paycheck I went to the bank and made a deposit into this same savings account. 

I started thinking about that day a few months ago when Sam became aware of money. Coins, to be exact. While I'm not sure he understands their specific value, he seems to grasp that you can exchange it for goods and services. When he uses the potty he often requests a quarter for his potty prize in lieu of a stickers or candy. As soon as he gets the money in hand he darts upstairs to put it in his bank. Unfortunately he doesn't quite understand about paper money. This became immediately apparent when we took him to trade in his full bank of coins for paper money. He pitched a fit of epic proportions in the bank lobby. As he gets older we plan to let him start buying a toy or treat for himself with money he saves in his bank.

We often play grocery store and use pennies to pay for our baskets of pretend apples. I've bought him a play cash register for Lucy's birthday (although I never did give it to him because so many other people brought him gifts!) and once we break it out I'm hoping he'll get a little better understanding of things. 

Once they both get a little older we'll start assigning some simple chores that they can do in order to receive an allowance. Then the savings accounts will be opened, and allowances and birthday moneys will be deposited with great gusto. 

I think my parents did a pretty good job teaching me about money and savings. I can only hope I can do the same for my kids.


One way I can help to save money now is by winning and iphone instead of buying one! Capital One and The Parent Bloggers Network are giving away THREE iphones this weekend! Just write a post about how and when you taught/plan to teach your kids about money and then email the post to the folks over at PBN

Monday, September 1, 2008

Moe' Yoyo Mommy?

A few weeks ago we got a coupon in the mail for some Yoplait Kids products thanks to the Parent Bloggers Network. I've seen them before in the supermarket, but honestly I usually spring for that other 'Yo' brand yogurt for kids and babies. The main reason for that is that I can't stand when a product has licensed characters plastered all over the packaging, and these Yoplait products seem to be Nickeloden's whore. Dora, the Backyardigans and Blue's Clues adorn every container. However, the claim that they have 25% less sugar than the leading kids yogurt and are supplemented with DHA always caught my attention, so I was glad to give them a try for free! 

I picked up the drinkable yogurt in mixed berry flavor and the yogurt cups in vanilla/banana. The drinkable yogurt was a huge hit. I tasted it, too, and I found it to be pretty yummy. As an added bonus Sam was able to drink it through a twisty straw. It's actually a double bonus because not only does he love it but it's good for his speech therapy! 

The yogurt cups went over well, too. We usually mix yogurt with some fruit and cereal. The banana and vanilla flavors lend themselves to this very nicely. The texture was smooth and Sam gobbled them up.

One thing I really liked is that when you visit the Yoplait Kids site you can get all of the nutritional information for each different style and flavor of yogurt. 

Because Sam isn't a huge milk drinker (unless it's chocolate milk, of course) it's very important that he gets calcium from other sources. He likes cheese, but he loves yogurt. Since these yogurts contain less sugar, they are a plus. However sugar is still the second ingredient in most all of the flavors.  I would love it if they made a plain yogurt as well since we usually just mix our own flavors with fruit purees, but these are a nice, quick snack. Plus they are a little cheaper than that other 'Yo' yogurt brand I usually buy.

And I know they are a big hit because I constantly receive the request for 'Moe' yoyo Mommy!' after every helping!