Friday, January 30, 2009

My Pink Prison

Those that really are in prison will laugh at this post. Fortunately for me I don't think they have internet access. ;-)

My prison is pink. It comes complete with cell phone, laptop with wireless internet, remote control, a cold glass of ice water, and various snacks. My prison is soft, it reclines, and its comfortable to sleep in. The problem is that I don't always want to be in my prison. That is what makes it a prison.

This is actually my 2nd prison. My first was also pink and a bit larger. I originally bought it when I was single and I enjoyed sitting in my pink chair with the massage feature. But after a child or two the electric cord was lost and my chair no longer massaged, although that's when I needed it most. Then after sitting it the chair for hours on end with a sleeping newborn or a pukey toddler. After cleaning the various bodily functions out of it and mickey mouse repair jobs in an effort to resurrect it, it was retired. A new pink prison was purchased. I cried. Yes, I mourned the loss of my original pink prison. The one I had nursed my 2 babies in. The chair that had been background to all the monthly infant photos.

Flashing Lights @ CEC

Chuck E Cheese gets a bad wrap; its loud, its sticky, the food is mediocre, its loud, did I mention its loud? We only go when I can go with a friend. We are able to sit and visit while the kids burn through 200 coins in 2 hours. But if you plan it right its really not that bad. We go during the off hours and have found a newer franchise so it isn't quite so sticky. We have picked the best table so we can keep an eye on the kids and keep the babies entertained.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Contact Info for Pregnancy Loss

Here are a few resources for those with stillbirth, neonatal loss or miscarriage.

SUPPORT GROUPS

HAND -- Helping After Neonatal Death
Detailed online resources and newsletter; www.handonline.org.

PAM - Pregnancy After Miscarriage
Chat rooms, forums and mailing lists for those who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or have had a baby after a loss; www.pamsupport.net.

SAND - Support After Neonatal Death
Local support groups in San Francisco/Bay Area; (415) 282-7330. Grupo Amparo (Spanish); (415) 764-0211. In the East Bay; (510) 204-1571; www.sfsand.com

SHARE -- A Source of Help in Airing and Resolving Experiences
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Group – Online and local support after a loss, including monthly meetings for subsequent pregnancies; (800) 821-6819, www.nationalshareoffice.com

SPALS - Subsequent Pregnancy After a Loss Support
An online member support and resource group, www.spals.com

Compassionate Friends
National and local groups for families who have lost a child of any age; (877) 969-0010, www.compassionatefriends.com.

Monday, January 19, 2009

No More Cell Phone

I just confiscated Connor's cell phone. Yes, he is only 4. But today as a special treat each child got a Disney character cell phone. Connor got a Cars cell phone. The rest of the day the kids chatted about having to make a phone call or send an email. Several times during the shopping trip Connor would say, "Hold on. I need to call Quinn." At bedtime they both put their phones next to their pillows, but they didn't stay there. I could hear the buttons and them 'talking' on their phones. At one point they even argued over who had the best phone number. Finally I said enough. No more cell phones tonight. They can have them back in the morning. It was eye-opening to see my own phrases and behaviors parroted back at me.

If anyone else needs to see a reflection of themselves they are currently on sale at Target.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Balloon Popped

The sound of the balloon popping broke my heart. I wanted to turn back the clock and save him from this heart break. I wanted to hold him while he cried and I wanted to cry too.

Connor is a shy guy. If you ask him what he wants to do he usually answers, "What Lainy Ann is doing." At the commercial shoot he was great about following directions if I was able to separate him from Lainy Ann. He even had fun doing it.

Near the end of the other actors started making balloon animals for the kids. He was making flowers for the girls and swords for the boys. Lainy Ann is so forward she was one of the first to ask for one and one of the first to get one; a pretty pink flower with a green stem. I had to shush her because she kept asking for a second one. The balloon maker went on to make swords for all the other boys, he was patient, he waited. But he was persistent. He made sure the balloon maker didn't forget. Connor would tug on his sleeve and remind him that Connor wanted a sword AND a sword holder.

4 lbs of grapes

Being a family of 6 in today's society has its challenges. Although when you watch shows like the Duggars or Jon and Kate +8 our 4 children doesn't seem like a lot. But when we go into a restaurant by ourselves we get an extra large booth. When we add the grandparents our number is 8. And on the bottom of most menus 8 qualifies as a large group where they add the gratuity to our bill. If I join with just one other family to attend a museum, zoo, or other outing we can often times qualify for a group discount. Its just shocking.

Recently we traveled north to visit family. The trip is too long to do in one day so we stop off on the way and spend the night. So I called ahead to make our reservations. It was required that I book 2 rooms. Only 4 people are allowed per room. In Vegas its only 2 people per room then they start charging $25/additional person.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Look What I Can Do!

Alexander is getting so big. He is 5 months old now and 17 pounds and I can't believe how grown-up he is getting.

Check out his newest skills.


sitting

A on tummy

Eating apples for the first time.

A eating apples

The Melting Pot: A Review

Recently Caskey, Alexander and I went to The Melting Pot for date night. I want to review that restaurant. First off, its important to note that I believe the definition of fondue to be cheese and bread.

The Melting Pot prides itself on its 4 course menu; cheese fondue, salad, entree, and chocolate fondue. Well, I personally believe cheese fondue can be the entree - no reason to go to a fondue place and not dip everything in cheese. YUM!!!!

Breaking into The Biz

Yup! Take a walk at Grauman's Chinese Theater and you will see the name Dickson on the sidewalk. We are ready for the limousine, the paparazzi and the red carpet. Sort of. But the Dicksons have made their first television debut, sort of.

Living in Los Angeles everyone knows someone who is in the business. Its really hard not to. There are so many people that go into making a commercial, tv show or film; from the big wigs like the directors and producers all the way down to Craft Food Service and the chauffeurs. So we have a friend who knows someone who is shooting a spec commercial. For those not in the biz (and me, just a week ago). That means this person is shooting a fake commercial to be added to his portfolio so he can get a job. It won't actually be aired. And the kids didn't get paid.

It was advertised as a chaotic birthday party or a parent's worse nightmare. So we signed up! We took extra on-camera clothes, towels and lots of wipes. The kids had a blast. There were scenes of kids running with frosting on their faces, unwrapping gifts, swinging on a jungle gym and all of them with no parents around. Connor did such a great job following directions that he was picked to be the lead kid in the 'spilling the dog food' scene. I was so proud of him. The director and his team kept talking about his great look and facial expressions.

So, now I am hooked! I think I am going to get Alexander signed up to do some work - I got a bunch of comments about him too, especially with his easy going disposition. I also told the director that Connor would be available for more shoots. He seemed excited about that.

It certainly did make for a fun day, although a bit long. There was a lot of hurry up and wait. But a lot of our friends were there and the kids had free-reign on the play equipment and snack table. Here are some pictures of the more exciting moments.

C getting directions

c dog food

frosting

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Linus II

William drags his blankies everywhere. And the more the better. The number of blankies he is using at any given time ranges from 3 to 8. Yes, I know he is nearly 2 1/2, but we have a lot going on with speech, a new baby and potty training. It seems blankies and the pacifier have become acceptable, even though the dentist and speech therapist would like the pacifier gone . . .

At bedtime William goes through this involved process of piling his blankies on the pillow, then he puts his head down and a few more on top of his face. The covers must also be all the way up to his neck, more covers is better. He has his favorite of the blankies, the blue one with the strings all pulled out. He will hold one string stretched out all the way against the tip of his nose. He is also quite fond of the tags on the blankets.