It’s because of the heat!

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My mom lives on the south side of Chicago with a one air-conditioning unit to cool her house. So, I asked her if she would want to stay with us knowing that the temperatures will be (and are currently) in the 100’s.  She gleefully accepted and has been here since Tuesday.

I forgot what it was like to live with  someone addicted to extreme weather conditions. My mom is in love with Tom Skilling, our local weather forecaster, and watches his forecasts religiously. During the winter months, she even goes so far as to telephone me and repeat his forecasts word-for-word.

Well, Chicago’s heat is breaking all kinds of records. This is fantastic news for my mom. Yesterday was the hottest day, with temperatures reaching 103 F and heat index of 112. She loves talking about the extremities and is now continuing to blame everything on the heat.

Act I

Me: Oster isn’t eating as much as he usually does for breakfast.

Mom: It’s because of the heat.

Me: But it’s cool in the house.

Mom: It doesn’t matter. It’s hot outside.

Act II

Me: I think I put too much salt in the egg salad.

Mom: It’s because it’s hot out.

Me: What?!?

Mom: Yeah, your body loses salt in the heat so you should eat more of it to make up for it.

Me: Ummm…what? That doesn’t make any sense.

Mom: Yeah, well…whatever.

There is never a dull moment when my mother is around. She knows her weather obsession is over-the-top and allows us to laugh with her about it (although she’s 100% serious).  She has mentioned the heat at least 25 times since she’s been here. She even changes the subject of whatever we are talking about just to talk about the weather.

With most sincere love, I seriously think my mother would be a great Saturday Night Live character.

Eat Your Heart Out

As most of you know, Oster is allergic to dairy. My dad is staying with us for the week (from Georgia) and it’s taking him awhile to get used to our “no dairy” policy.

Every time my dad visits, he carries-out not one but two or three Italian beef sandwiches during his stay.  This is a problem in our house since most bread has some sort of milk content.

Well, I didn’t want to deprive my father of his beef, so I let the rule slide yesterday. I even let him bring fries into the house.

My dad was amazed at all of the precautionary measures I had to set up before I let him open his wrapped sandwich.

I was quite pleased that my father was understanding and really followed the rules (he tends to be a rule-breaker when he stays with us ). We were on high alert with the sandwiches and extremely careful in washing our hands and mouths after eating them.

Yesterday’s lunch just proved to me that I can put a little cream in my coffee sometimes and even enjoy a chocolate cake with real chocolate and real butter. I’ll just indulge in these luscious dairy treats when Oster is asleep, like right now…it’s 6am and I’m eating chocolate cake.

A Pool with Rules

Summer is here and we’re finally breaking out the killer gift my mother-in-law gave Oster: a splash pool. 

Before we could set it up we had to remove a very large sticker and an Owner’s Manual. I thought it might be wise to read the manual to see if there is anything we need to concern ourselves about (since this is the first splash pool we’ve ever owned).

According to the manual, there are a few safety measures that we are instructed to follow:

First – “Keep unsupervised children from accessing the pool by installing fencing or other approved barrier around all sides of the pool.”

Second – “Do not dive into this pool.”

Third – Apparently only women can watch their children swim. Sorry, Andy:


As we were putting Oster to bed I recited one of his favorite books to him while my husband put Oster’s pajamas on. It’s kind of a ritual we do…I occupy Oster and my husband does the overnight diaper, gets him dressed, and puts him to bed.

My Audience

I try to “mix up” the book selection every now and then. However, for a couple of nights now I have been attached to Tumble Bumble. I have memorized this book (without my knowledge) and recited it to him so many times that tonight I put a little drama into my production.

I think I found my next monologue for that audition* I’ve been wanting to go on!

*There’s really no audition. I have no acting talent whatsoever. I think I literally scared Andy tonight.

Tell Me About Yourself Award

A big “Thank You” to Boomie Bol for nominating discover and devour for the Tell Me About Yourself Award!  She is a talented writer who writes short stories and poems to share with the world. Her inspiring words are always a great read. I find myself in the story at times, smiling at the screen. Boomie is passionate and dedicated to her calling. If you haven’t visited Boomie Bol, take some time to check her out. You won’t be disappointed!

There are only a few simple rules to accepting this award:

1. Thank the person that nominated you (hello) and provide a link back to their blog.

2. Tell the world 7 things about yourself that you have not yet shared.

3. Nominate 7 fellow bloggers and let them know.

Seven Things You May Not Know About Me:

1. Short Term Goal: Learn how to cook a perfect Beef Wellington

2. Long Term Goal: Write a children’s book

3. I recycle

4. I always like the book better than its film adaptation

5. I prefer Caribou to Starbucks

6. I am an avid viewer of France 24

7. My husband and I are teaching Oster how to speak French

I nominate the following bloggers for the Tell Me About Yourself Award:

Blessed with a Star on the Forehead

Lazy Hippie Mama

Parenting is Funny

Pug Life

The Memory Book

My Twice Baked Potato

Coffee Camera Love

Baby Brain Development

I recently read an article entitled, “Want Success in School? Start with Babies!” by Dr. J. Ronald Lally. It is available only in print form in KAPPA DELAT PI’s Record.  Since I cannot provide a direct link to the article, I would like to share some highlights of the author’s words.

By age 3, an infant’s brain is already at 85% of the size it will be once he/she reaches adulthood.  With that being said, it’s only natural for one to believe that important learning and social structures should be put into place for the first few years of a baby’s life.

The stages of a baby/infant are broken down into 4 periods:

Brain Cell Creation (conception through delivery)

Beginning as early as conception, babies could be seriously affected as to how they will achieve later in life.  What the mother eats during pregnancy, how much stress is put upon the mother, drugs, exercise, etc. all play a factor in the developing of a baby’s brain.

Bonding (birth to 9 months)

Of course we all understand what bonding with our child means to us as parents. It is a complex definition but to simplify it, one could say it is to meet all of the needs of a baby and provide unconditional love.  These first 9 months are crucial in learning about relationships and communication.

Supported Exploration (7 to 15 months)

This is the time in which infants become a little more independent and start doing things on their own (in short-time bursts).  They are comfortable doing these actions because of the trusted connections they have made and the assurance they have received in the previous stage.  There is so much observation taking place during this time that they are developing a sense of self.

Self in Relation to Others (15 to 30 months)

Infants begin to become more expressive with their language, social behavior is learned, imitation from caregivers takes place, and confidence building all fit into this stage.  They are learning how they “fit in” to their surroundings and society. At the age of 2, most skills that are needed to succeed in school (“emotional/social, learning assumptions, and character traits”) have already been formed.

Dr. Lally provides recommendations (for both parents and educators) on how to guide babies to be successful in school. He believes prenatal health-care should be accessible to ALL families.

Paid parental leave for the first 6 – 9 months is another recommendation from Dr. Lally, along with having professionals regularly visit the home for the first 18 months of the child’s life.

He suggests that American child-care facilities should pay their caregivers a rate comparable to what K-12 educators receive. These workers are underpaid and provide such important care to these infants during a crucial time in the children’s brain development.  Stronger regulations should also be put into place at these schools.

Lastly, he writes that services should be available to parents for help with their child’s development (emotional, language, motor, etc.).

Last month, Dr. Lally was interviewed about his article in this podcast.

How do you feel about Dr. Lally’s recommendations? Are they realistic?