Monday, December 24, 2007

Calm before the storm??

It's Christmas eve and I'm sitting here listening to Martin make breakfast with Allie at his side. I love it. She's soaking up so much right now and I feel like the pressure is on to be the best role model for her. Brushing teeth, opening doors, yes ma'am, no thank you, please sir, cleaning up toys, kisses and hugs, sharing, living in the moment, prayers, being thankful..... the list just goes on and on except there is no list!

Friday, December 21, 2007

We made it!!!!

Tonight was our 5 year anniversary. We got all dressed up, dropped the kids off with my mom and dad and went out to a nice dinner. It was wonderful. I didn't realize how busy we've been since we had kids. Martin and I have been together for 10 years now and for the first 7 years of our relationship all we did was obsess over each other. Every fight, walk, kiss, look and touch felt like it lasted for an eternity. We could take the time to focus on why we were upset and how we were going to be more considerate of each other's feelings. Good Lord, I'm lucky if by the end of the day, I remember what, if or why Martin and I were fighting. We usually just pretend like it didn't happen, since neither one of us has the energy to argue or the memory to make valid points. Earlier this week, Martin and I called a truce, to forgive and forget, well just forgive each other for all the petty little fighting we've been doing. After our truce, we really needed to spend some time together reconnecting. So tonight was much needed.

In preparation for our big date, I finished up all my chores, took a long hot shower, did a mini facial, and pedicure. I was trying to bring sexy back, so I had on a cute little dress with my fancy leopard heels. I carefully applied my eyeshadow, just the way the MaryKay lady showed me and I even wore matching bra and panties!!!

When we got to the restaurant, The Melting Pot, Martin had a bouquet of flowers waiting for me at the table. We sat close to each other and talked and laughed and flirted like we did when we were dating. Well in my attempt to be all seductive, I gave the hostess at the restaurant a little more than she bargained for. She came to our table to take a picture for our anniversary, and this is what she saw......

yeah, so I guess you're not supposed to put nursing boobs in a regular bra!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

To all the confused supporters,

I know there are a lot of people who are confused about why I took away all of my babies beloved toys. I've written lots of emails, talked for hours on the phone and probably annoyed the hell out of my family talking about it all. So I'll unleash here for awhile to give them a break. First I want to say that the choice I made is very in sync with my personality. I'm a very passionate person. So this issue has been added to my crusade to rid the world of wrong-doers. =) Second, I whole-heartedly believe that everyone/mother who puts thought and a sincere effort into raising their children and doing what they think is right for their family is a good person. With that said, I just want you guys to know that just because I feel so strongly about this issue, doesn't mean that I look down on anyone who doesn't. So here it goes..
Getting rid of the toys -
I know what I did was extreme. I wanted it to be, so that I could get the attention of anyone who was looking in my direction. My hopes were that if I took it to the extreme it might, just MIGHT influence someone else to make a small change.
Why so extreme -
Our relationship with China has always bothered me. Their human rights policies, international policies, military tactics and the extremely uneven import/export relationship we have with them are some of the issues that come to mind. When the toy recall issue exploded, it was an opportunity for me to do something.I know there is nothing I can do to change China. My goal is to change US policy on how we deal with China. I know this is a huge thing, but my Dad always told me that if you aren't doing something about it then you have no right to complain. So I'm doing what I can. From what I've read, OUR policies are what are failing us when it comes to the safety of our children's toys. We simply don't have the money and man power to monitor and test ALL of the toys coming from China. (Actually the The Consumer Product Safety Committee doesnt test products until there is a complaint ) AND since we can't trust our own companies (not all of them but Mattel and FisherPrice to be exact) to test their own toys, then we really need our government to step it up.
And for those of you who think what I did was TOO extreme, here is a list of other things you can you do to show your protest-
Write your Representatives. A bill has been passed to improve the CPSC, but show your support.
Write to Mattel
Don't buy any more toys from China until something changes in the US screening of imported toys. Here is an interesting article on how upper class Chinese are buying foreign toys. FYI- If you are buying MIC.... Most local toy stores get their toys from smaller factories in China which were not part of the big recalls.
Check out this site. They have screened toys for lead and other chemicals that the US doesn't regulate. HomeDepot sells lead kits to test your toys, but if you are really concerned, which I wouldn't be, you could always have your kids tested at the doctors for lead. I really don't think that any of our would have lead poisoning, but if you are worried, you can go to the doc.
Every time you walk into a store make sure that the owner knows you are looking for toys not MIC. It wasn't too long ago that we, as Americans, took pride in buying our own brands, maybe if we support our toy makers they will be more available to us.
Buy your family this shirt. **unless of course it's made in China**Now that would be funny.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A little pick me up

So I've just been down lately and my brain is fried. I'm posting this picture to cheer me up!
They love each other so much and that makes me happy. When I'm having a bad day I try my best to remember that I brought two people into this world and I am responsible for providing the best life for them. No matter how tired I am or how grouchy someone made me that day, my babies deserve the best me. So that's it, short and sweet!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Yeah I said it.... BOYCOTT!!!!!

So I took the plunge and I'm surprised at how many people are NOT being supportive. I'm just so pissed and I really don't know what to do, but get all that crap out of my house. I cannot stand the thought of my babies putting something in their mouths that could later be recalled. It's bad enough that we've already had to throw out some toys, but if I continued to let them play with toys from China, knowing what I do now, I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if they issued another recall. So they're gone. All of them. I cried and I don't even know why. They're just toys and I had to keep telling myself that. Well I'm lying, not ALL of them are gone, I kept two for sentimental reasons.

So it's official, I'm boycotting China toys. That's right I said it... boycott! I had already bought all of my kids' Christmas toys but there was no way in hell I was going to give those to them now, so I had to start all over. I was pretty successful buying their Christmas gifts at IKEA. My cousin and I had a great time buying the kids toys. I know these aren't BIG toys, but I'm happy with what they're getting. Allie got - a train set, accessories, wall lamp, pots and pans, a baking set, Martin - stuffed animals, rattles, balls, play rug, musical toy, push toy and finger puppets.

**This was all that was left of our toys**

So I'm all set for Christmas, but after our toy purge yesterday our toy bins looked so pathetic. I had to go and buy the kids a few toys, and I mean few since that's all that's available. Allie got a drum set and a puppy and Martin got some noise makers and cars. I also had to replace the people from Allie's Little People set, since they were made in China, but the house wasn't. So I found a Playmobil which is made in Germany and I LOVE their toys. They are so detailed and fun, but a little too old for Allie. So for now I'll just settle for a few pieces to fill in our gaps.

I know it looks like we found a lot, but Dear Lord it was pain. First of all, when I tell anyone that I'm not buying China toys they look at me like I'm insane and abusing my children. Then comes the "all toys from China aren't bad" lecture.... Yeah I know, but come on!!! when it's in the millions then I'm pulling out! Oh and then I love "the '80%, no,90%, no 98%, no 99%???? of toys are made in China so why bother?" lecture! Well I'm bothering because I don't feel like I can complain if I'm not willing to put my money where my mouth is! What ever happened to the American tradition of boycotting? If we want something to change then we have to hit them where it hurts. How else will big companies like Mattel and big chain stores like ToysRus, know that this isn't acceptable? I might not make a dent in their earnings, but you know what, at least I'm not choosing material objects over my principles. Regardless of what Walmart, Target and ToysRus will tell you, MY kids will still love me and be happy even if I don't buy the the latest and greatest China toys!

So all in all, my kids won't be the most popular in playgroup since they don't have the 'must-have' toys of the season, but at least I won't be frantic every time the announce a new recall.

And a formal farewell to our toys.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Catching up

We are in full swing at the V residence. Thanksgiving was good, not great, but for my first time hosting I think we did ok. There was a whole blending family, how to carve a turkey and cold food dilemma, but we survived. We're all set up for Christmas and I even finished my shopping!!!

Just one picture since I have to go wrap presents.