Explanations, Memes, and Human Kindness


ETA: We have a winner! Congratulations, MommyMae!

A few months ago, I mentioned that if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll notice that I finish nearly every one of my thoughts/tweets/whathaveyous with #momspotting. I also pointed you toward the awkward video I made to introduce myself AS a Momspotter.

When the Momspotting gig began, Rita Arens wrote a really excellent article explaining exactly what a Momspotter does. In a nutshell, twenty moms were hired to be part of a six month citizen journalism project that involves making daily observations about technology and parenting. These observations (or tweets) are being watched for trends. And I know it’s pretty confusing, so here: I get paid to be aware of technology in my daily life and how if affects my family. I employ Twitter fifteen times each week, and three times each month I post to the Family Connections community at Blogher. As a total bonus, BlogHer is syndicating a few of my blog posts. (One of them is right here! Hooray!)

To celebrate the final two months of Momspotting, Rita has written a meme and asked that we invite our readers to participate! And *I* have decided to sweeten the pot by turning the meme into a giveaway! (And before we get started, please know that Yes. These questions are geared toward parents, because this particular journalism project is geared toward parents. And I know that seems unfair to people who are not parents. And I get it. Believe me—for reasons I won’t get into right now, I really do get it. If you do not have kids, please skip the questions and go straight to the bottom paragraph of this post. You can still enter the giveaway!)

Here are the questions (with my answers):

1.       Which expensive electronic device do you most often let your older children abuse or your baby drool on?

None. I am one of those wicked parents who can’t really afford to replace expensive electronic devices, so drool and abuse are not tolerated.

2.       How many take-out restaurant numbers do you have programmed into your phone?

None. Although, I know Gokul’s number by heart. Mmmmmm. Delhi’s Chaat.

3.       How many hours of television do you so totally not let your kids watch a week?

I would say my kids probably average about ten hours each week. Is that high? Low? I really have no idea.

4.       Do you think people who say “we don’t watch television” at play dates but really mean “we just watch DVDs” are lying liars from Liarville?

My theory on play dates? Do What You Need to Do to Survive and Stay Sane. We recently had a play date during which things got a little crazy. I quietly slipped a movie into the DVD player, and within minutes the girls were sitting down, snacking (on fruit! really!), and NOT arguing. After finishing their snacks, all was well, and the movie was turned off.

5.       How many miles have you driven with your child and not one device of electronic entertainment in a single car trip?

250 miles. (We have never used electronic entertainment during car trips. Color me curmudgeonly!)

6.       What’s your record for calls to the pediatrician or Ask-a-Nurse in a single day?

Three. Meredith was very ill when she was six months old, and I really don’t want to talk about it. Bad memories. (I spent most of that weekend rocking her in the rocking chair and reading East of Eden. Meredith LOVES that book!)

7.       What’s the sexiest thing your partner could text you after a hard day?

“My car is loaded with Delhi’s Chaat.”

8.       What’s your favorite iPad joke?

I was going to write my OWN joke that had something to do with how Momspotters NEED iPads, but then I cringed and made hot tea instead. You’re welcome.

9.       What’s the dumbest parenting tool, gear, gadget or device you ever bought?

A bottle warmer. I nursed both of my kids, and neither of them ever took a bottle. (Several years passed during which I couldn’t leave the house for more than two hours at a time. I was really fun to be around during those years.)

10.   How many years will it take for your child to become more tech-savvy than you?

It won’t take long. My six year old is already using the Internet for research, and both kids know how to use the DVD player and the Wii. They’re fearless, which is key.

Okay. Here is where you come in. In one week, I’m going to knit a hat. If you answer the ten meme questions in my comment section, I’ll enter you in the drawing for the hat. If you answer the questions at your blog, leave a link in my comment section, and I’ll enter you in the drawing for the hat. If you tweet about it, leave the link. You’re entered. AND, if you do NOT have kids, leave a comment below just telling me that you want the stinking hat! You’re entered! (Let’s make this official. I’ll do the drawing on February 7! AND, if you win, we’ll pick out the pattern and color together!) In the meantime, feel free to visit the BlogHer Family Connections Forum! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

I have toothpaste in my hair.

This afternoon I had a dental appointment.

Once again, we discussed my sensitivity. (Oral. Not emotional.)

Once again, I sang the praises of my night guard.

Once again, the hygienist had to numb my mouth before cleaning my teeth (I tend to kick my legs and howl like a (very unsexy) werewolf when she touches my sensitive spots).

As she finished the polishing, the hygienist accidentally let her instrument (seriously, I tried to come up with a better word, but I’m sort of in a hurry over here) slip, and it buzzed over my face and bonked me on the back of my head, where it left a pea-sized dollop of orange-flavored polish. (I always choose the orange. I’m a real sucker for anything that smells or tastes like citrus. With that said, please know that I’m entirely unable to eat citrus fruits (or tomatoes, for that matter) because of the way my face responds.)

I’m burning a lemon-scented candle as I share all of this information with you. (Shout out to Tempe for the lemon-scented candle!)

Finally, we’re now in the home stretch of NaBloPoMo. And I know I’ve sort of sucked—what with the puking up of photographs and videos and whatnot. For that, I halfheartedly apologize and hang my head at a roughly thirty degree angle.

In semi-related news, today I received this:

Maizey, Chilling with the Bananas

It’s a phone and it’s made of corn and it’s the first phone I’ve ever had that holds a QWERTY keyboard.

In other words, I’ll now be a lot more active on Twitter—if you care about that sort of thing.

Specifically, I’ll be Momspotting. (This has absolutely nothing to do with blood, so you can turn off the wince.)

Personal message to Diana Ellis: I have your old phone number. In fact, within minutes of setting up my new phone’s voicemail, I received three messages for you. The first two calls were not pleasant. (I won’t go into specifics other than: One of my Christmas wishes is for you to get your credit back on track. And Heaven and Nature sing.) The third? Well, it’s past time for you to schedule your eye doctor appointment! (I don’t mind taking your messages, but I’m not going  to set up your appointments, Diana. Call the eye doctor. You look pretty today. You’re welcome!) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

This is what I know.

Mitchum Huntzberger as Russell Fabray is, in my opinion, a brilliant idea. (Yes. I’m a fan of Glee, but please know that I’ll never refer to myself as a Gleek.)

I am not going to see New Moon tonight, and I may not have a chance to see it before it leaves the theaters. With that said, if I was forced to choose a team, I would make sweet love to the vampire.

I bought some jeans last week, and I found myself to be between sizes. Obviously, I purchased the smaller size because I tend to wipe my eyes and set lofty goals when I’m standing in my underpants looking into a department store mirror. Today I have placed myself inside of the jeans, and I’m finding that I’m experiencing that dreaded phenomenon known as Muffin Top. It’s appalling, really. I now need to either punch myself for not getting the larger size, or speed up the progress in the Firm That Pudding category.

This year I am once again contributing Caramel Apple Salad and Mashed Sweet Potatoes to the Thanksgiving meal. My grandmother, may she continue to rest in peace, was always in charge of the apple salad and the sweet potatoes, and when she died I was more than happy to take her baton. This is my twelfth year of Apple/Potato duty, and every year I feel like I’m just not getting it right. One week from right now I’ll be making the decision to either retire from Apple/Potato duty or to sign on for another dozen years.

In a few days I’ll be receiving a phone made of corn, and this excites me for a number of reasons, not entirely limited to this:
pattinson ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

The only problem: Tomatoes aren’t so good right now.

Our parent/teacher conference is on Thursday evening, and I have volunteered to bring a food item to school for the teachers to snack on during the conferences. Because my mind tends to swim around in paltry waters and I want my food item to be a Memorable and Thoughtful food item (preferably containing a protein of some sort because that’s what I tend to crave these days), I’m obsessing about what to bring.

My brain is telling me to buy a 30 pack of Taco Bell tacos.

My heart is telling me to create an out of this world vegetarian taco dip casserole thing.

My daughters are telling me to bake brownies.

My husband is telling me that he’s leaving town on Wednesday and won’t be returning until approximately two minutes before our first conference.

Any recommendations?

In completely unrelated news, if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll notice that I’ve come out of hiding (I’m not so good at Twitter, if one may be considered Good at Twitter) and am now completing nearly every one of my thoughts with #momspotting. I’ll be telling you more about that in the coming weeks, but for now, here’s a video that will surely catapult you to the edge of your seats.

Vegetarian taco dip, right? ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>