Sunday, October 30, 2005

Happy Halloween!

I wonder if everyone has certain superficial things they look forward to with life events like marriage or having kids? For example, when we were registering for our wedding I really looked forward to going to Williams Sonoma and picking: Henkels or Wusthof? Calphalon or All-Clad? I had been preparing for these important decisions since the day I tagged along with Dave and Lee Ann when they registered for their wedding in Albany. When it came time to make those decisions with Deanna- it was a snap! Wusthof. Check. All-Clad. Check.

As we prepared to celebrate Sam's first Halloween, I thought back to my nephew Connor's first Halloween. Kevin's cousin got Connor a Tigger costume that was *so* cute. I thought to myself- "Now this is one thing that is really cool about having kids. When I have kids, I'm going to put them in super-cute costumes for Halloween." A few weeks back, we were at Babies 'R Us and I saw this Winnie the Pooh costume that really suited Sam. I wanted to get it, but decided not to- we already had a little pumpkin onesie that he was going to wear for Halloween. As Halloween drew closer, I kept thinking about the Pooh costume and started pestering Deanna to get it. She finally relented, but when we went to the store, not only were they sold out of the Pooh costume- they were sold out of *all* their costumes!! For the first time I felt like I had failed my guy (as if he cared what he wore for his first Halloween). After some relentless searching on the Internet and calling around to local stores, Deanna found the Pooh costume! And it was half-off, can you beat that?

So, here I share with you Master Samuel Garrison all dressed up for his first Halloween! Gosh- he is so cute...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Flagstaff Trip

Deanna's dad was in town this past weekend and on each of his previous visits we failed to take him to the Grand Canyon. This time we finally managed to get him to the Canyon, but in my book the time spent in Flagstaff was the highlight of the weekend.

As you may know, I had the privilege of attend the prestigious (cough, cough) Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Flagstaff is a bit of a mixed bag. Lots of junky motels and fast food restaurants, but there are some redeeming qualities. Further, I think the town is moving in the right direction. That's right- master planned communities have come to Flagstaff!

We got to Flagstaff after a day at the Canyon, and since Sam was a little fussy (and it was late) we got take-out from August Moon. Ahh- good stuff. The Moo Shu was right on target, and not the slightest bit funky. Every bit as good as I remembered it.

For lunch the next day, we considered the Black Bean but ended up choosing to eat at The Flagstaff Brewing Company. What a great atmosphere- eating outside amongst the Aspen trees, the locals with banjos and their dogs, and the charm that is "downtown" Flagstaff.

I asked at the Student Union, "What happened to Central Dining?". The girls at the Information Desk looked at me like I was crazy. The dining hall was inside the student union where Mountain Jacks used to be (previously it was in a separate building), The Atrium was now a coffee house, and Chick-Fil-A had opened where the deli used to be. Everything changed!

I don't want to make you think we spent the whole time eating. We had to check out the bookstore to get the whole family suited up in the latest NAU apparel. The best deal in town was the student discounts offered on iPods! Bring your credit cards next time you visit. The 20GB iPod can be had for only $229.

We hadn't been to Flagstaff in almost a year and a half. I always enjoy visiting a familiar place after being away for a while. This trip was no exception. The town was full of changes, and for the better in my opinion.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

From the mothering frontline

Yesterday was a landmark day here at the Dwyer household. Prince Samuel (he was so dubbed by his father) has, in the last several days, begun crawling. It's amazing how one day he rolled everywhere then the next I noticed him pulling himself along with his arms and now he's actually getting his knees in on the action. Although I'm thrilled to see this development, I'm also frightened by the prospect of a mobile toddler rocketing himself around this place. Despite my efforts, I know microscopic bacteria, tiny spiders, and more typical dangers I haven't yet thought of abound.

In other related news, last week I joined a Yahoo! discussion board for Arizona mommies thinking that might be a good way to meet other like-minded women and potential playdate companions. Boy was I wrong. What I found was a bunch of outspoken and judgmental women anxious to validate one another's hard core parenting philosophies. Although the group was founded as a place to discuss "Attachment Parenting," it supposedly caters today to parents with all views. If that's true, I'd hate to see what it was like when it was more exclusive.

While I like the term "Attachment Parenting" (what mother wouldn't want her child to be attached?) I don't agree with some of the philosophy's tenets. For example, I believe co-sleeping would be divisive for our family and I think vaccinations, although they pose some risks, are ultimately more a benefit than a detriment. It only took me a week but I think it best for all involved if I start looking elsewhere for a discussion group. Although I love a good debate, the mommy in me thinks it best to keep all things in which I immerse myself upbeat and positive. There are plenty of parenting dilemmas to bring me down without subjecting myself to the critique and insensitive comments of the APers. To that end, I offer an uplifting quote for the day, "Women do not have to sacrifice personhood if they are mothers. They do not have to sacrifice motherhood in order to be persons. Liberation was meant to expand women's opportunities, not to limit them. The self-esteem that has been found in new pursuits can also be found in mothering." --Elaine Heffner (thankfully, she is no relation to Hugh)
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