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May I Interrupt Your Back-to-School Madness...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007
...for this frivolous message?

You see, I'm making it my personal mission to distract you -- to keep you from going full-out for weeks on end during this crazy-busy time of year.

Get yourself a coffee (decaf, if you must).

Now see if you can resist ....

... Mr. Breakfast.com's tribute to classic breakfast cereal commercials.

... Found Magazine's Find of the Day. (Read today's and you'll find out that the neglected plants at the office really are in good hands.)

... the temptation to shop for fun school supplies for yourself -- or to try making your own. (I've been a school supply/office supply junkie forever and I think it might be possible to come up with a homemade variation on that Real Simple card wheel theme if I think about it long enough.)

Okay, break's over. Back to whatever you were doing. (Or you can hang out here for a while, looking busy. I'll never tell.)

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| posted by Ann D @ 4:03 PM

Girlfriend Power

Friday, August 17, 2007
I've had some fabulous cottage visitors lately (and for once I'm not talking mice):

  • my high-school friend Cathy, whose two daughters have come up with entirely new rules for Monopoly;

  • three blogging buddies and their lovely daughters: Marla and Josie, Andrea and Frances, and Jen and her daughter, who looks like a half-height version of Jen.

  • It's been great to be in the company of so many females -- young and, ahem, slightly more mature. My own female offspring is nineteen and busy working, which leaves me almost exclusively in the company of boys this summer. I hadn't realized how much I was craving some serious estrogen immersion. Ahhh. That feels better.

    Note about the photo: WOMAN'S LIFE: A 1944 issue of a woman's magazine that Marla brought up to the cottage. We tried the "Does he love you quiz" and read articles such as "Unwed schoolgirl mothers," "Build a business personality that wins," "My first baby at 35," "You can marry the man you want," "Your plan for a pleasing appearance," and "I'm shy no more."

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    | posted by Ann D @ 3:03 PM

    What a Mammogram Feels Like (In Case You're Wondering)

    I had my first mammogram this morning. I had been a bit freaked out -- so freaked out that I hadn't resorted to my usual research overkill, for fear of freaking myself out even more.

    I'm happy and relieved to report that the mammogram was no big deal. I had visions of some breastologist trying to flatten one of my breasts between two sheets of plexiglass until it was the thickness of a pancake but that's not what happened at all.

    Each of my breasts was compressed in a downward direction and then in sideways direction. None of the compressions was painful at all. In fact, I've experienced more discomfort on the various occasions when a toddler (with or without shoes on) decided to use one or both of my breasts as a step-ladder to climb up on to my shoulders.

    So if you have a mammogram scheduled anytime soon and you're freaking out, try not to panic. On a scale of one to ten with a stubbed toe being a one and childbirth being a ten, it would be pushing it to give it a one (at least based on my experience). Anyone else want to chime in and share their experience?

    By the way, in case anyone is wondering why I had a mammogram at 43 (a bit early for your average Canadian female) it's because my mom had breast cancer -- one of the three types of cancers she had in her lifetime. I still don't know the results of my mammogram -- and won't for a few weeks, but I'm going to assume that everything's fine until proven otherwise.

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    | posted by Ann D @ 2:45 PM

    Toddlers and Discipline: Your Toddler's Strong Will is a Good Thing

    Thursday, August 09, 2007
    Here's one of those stuies that is designed to give hope to those of us moms whose patience has been tested time and time again by extra-challenging toddlers. (Ask me about the unplugging-of-the-cash-register-at-the-liquor-store incident, circa 1991.)

    Your toddler's active resistance (a.k.a. will of steel) is a good thing --
    or at least it will be in the long run.

    While you may worry that your child's stubborn, dig-in-his-heels defiance doesn't bode well for his future success or the quality of your parent-child relationship over the long-term, researchers in human development at the University of Texas have reached the opposite conclusion. Their research has shown that high levels of defiance in toddlers predicts favorable developmental outcomes and is simply an indication of a young child's growing confidence in his ability to exercise control over events in his world.

    The Grey-Bruce Public Health Unit: Toddler Discipline
    CanadianParents.com: The Seven Deadly Sins of Discipline


    | posted by Ann D @ 2:13 PM

    Sleep Tests and Toy Stories

    Tuesday, August 07, 2007
    I used up my daily word quota elsewhere today, so I'm going to be a blog slug and just post the two links. One is a light read. The other is anything but.

  • Sleep Test for Tired Parents: Are You a Sluggish Snail or an Ambling Armadillo, Like Me?

  • A Toy Story
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    | posted by Ann D @ 9:47 PM

    Parenting Magazine Addicts -- Listen Up!

    I've updated the lists of parenting publications in the sidebar of my blog. Let me know if your favorite one is missing, if you notice a broken link, etc. As you'll see, I've made an effort to include a mix of mainstream and alternative; regional and national; U.S. and Canadian publications. (I'm sure I mixed up the lists in other ways, too. That preamble sounds far too orderly to me.)

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    | posted by Ann D @ 2:22 AM

    I, Robot

    Wednesday, August 01, 2007
    For some reason, Blogger's robots have decided that my blog is being written by a spambot as opposed to a human. I had to pass a test to prove I was human in order to upload my previous post -- this after more than three uninterrupted years of blogging. Odd. Anyway, I think I passed the test.

    In my family, we were raised to make lemonade (or lemon meringue pie) with lemons, so I decided to seize upon this bit of spam serendipity. I'm going to write to Blogger to find out how I can make contact with one of these highly talented spambots.

    Stick with me and you'll see the logic.

    I figure the spambot could function as a co-author for my next book project. Sure, I'd have to give the text a bit of a style polish (e.g., put a million things in brackets, since that's my stylistic calling card), but that's easy. The book would be ready to go to the publisher's in no time. Spambots are much speedier authors than human authors.

    Naturally, I'd share editorial credit and royalties with my new writing partner, Spamela, so that her status amongst her fellow spambots would soar ever upward in the spambot world. (Surely, they must have their own splog index sites; their own online bookstores -- Spamazon.com; and spambot social networking sites -- Spacebook, I presume?

    And as for me? I'd have more time to research random topics that become endlessly fascinating when assignments are due -- or overdue. In other words, life would be bliss.

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    | posted by Ann D @ 1:06 PM