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  • HyperHam 1:02 pm on July 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ffs,   

    Dear Nursery; 

    Dear Nursery;

    When you have people who only go to you part time, don’t you think it’s a good idea to call them and let them know about any issues in the week? For instance, I should not have to find out that someone in care has chicken pox AS I AM DROPPING MY KID OFF, forcing me to stand at the door and read the notice and wonder what the fuck I am going to do in the 10 seconds between me knocking and you answering to take my child. You don’t know if my kid is immuno-compromised, you don’t know if *I* am immuno-compromised, and you have not given me a chance to decide whether or not to allow my child to get sick during an incredibly busy time, you have simply sprung it on me. FFS, could it kill you to pick up a phone?

    No Love,

    A mother who is now freaking the fuck out that she made the choice in letting her kid stay because she is so busy with school she desperately needs the 3 hours of peace to study. Fuckers.

     
    • Tribble Wife 1:48 pm on July 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The hell…?

      That's just totally screwed up!

  • HyperHam 2:38 pm on June 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    So, I’m currently on the front page of the Huffington Post… 

    Eight years ago, my diagnosis was a death sentence.  This morning, I ‘came out’ to the nation.  I am unafraid of my bipolar.  I want you to be unafraid, too.   If you could click the links and tweet/blog/facebook the hell out of them, it would mean a lot to me and to an amazing charity, Time to Change.  Thanks.

    My mental health article. 

    My chubby face in cartoon form in a video!

     
  • HyperHam 1:05 pm on June 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    God Save Us All 

    Jubilee weekend is upon us.  Four days of all things Lizzie 2, courtesy of the British taxpayer.  While I don’t see much use of a monarch (we did, after all, have to lay the smackdown on your King George III oh so many years ago), I get that the royals are a major tourist draw, and heads of state do have their purpose – we look to them in times of trouble to gauge the nation.  As the monarchy does, so does Britain, all that.  Since I have to take a Brit test in a few months, I’ve been trying to learn more about the kings and queens.  I know every monarch from William I to Lizze II in order, and can even sing a cheeky song to the line of ascension!  And honestly, from everything I’ve read of Liz, she’s a decent lady.

    Imagine if you were born under the world’s eye, knowing that the only way you will ever do the job you were born for is if your dad dies.  That has to fuck with a kid’s head.  Not only that, but because of the order of your birth, you’re now essentially the Pope of your nation’s religion, ordained by God to lead the church.  I can’t even manage my checkbook, and this lady at my age was (in spirit)running the nation’s church and land.  That has to do a number on you.  But she’s never had a sex scandal, or a drug issue, or any sort of silliness.  And while her husband is a cray-cray racist (although my BIL says he’s a very nice fellow), and her kids are all sorts of a hot mess, compared to the elected officials that she has ruled with, she’s come out smelling like a rose.  She’s never had a day off, or been allowed to seem as anything else but perfect.  That’s some ridiculous pressure.  You may not like the office, but you have to appreciate the woman.

    Someone being interviewed in E’burg said it best about the day – “Whether you’re a royalist or a republican, this day is about the community coming together and having a wonderful day”.  I like that.  I was watching the protest from the republicans, a dour group with little placards and an old dude in a Guy Fawkes mask (where it must have been stuffy, as he took it off 3 minutes in), and they seemed so…ugh.  Instead of trying to remove the monarchy (which sorry, isn’t going to happen in the next few hundred years), why not do everything you can to educate, inform, and inspire the royals to do everything in their power to help all of the British public?  Because while I’m a 99%er, even *I* was turned off by them.  And those who say, “Well, if we don’t protest, change won’t occur”, you can suck it.  My nation wrote a massive ‘Dear John’ letter to Georgie 3, and then stopped paying taxes.  Take off that idiotic mask and put your money where your mouths are, sunshine, and then we’ll talk.

    So, you go, Liz.  Enjoy your weekend.  Here’s to another 10 years, if nothing else, to piss off your eldest son.

     
  • HyperHam 1:00 pm on May 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: memorial day   

    Remember, remember, the…something 

    It’s May 28th, Memorial Day.  In the US.  Here, it’s Monday.  It’s always a bit odd to see a lack of flags and marching bands on these days.  We were married on July 4th, and a tiny part of me expected to hear fireworks when the sun set.

    Memorial Day is always a weird day for me.  Though I am a child of military, and my father is a DAV, I’ve never quite understood the concept of dying for God and country.  I’d die for my kid, my husband, but my country?  I’d rather fight to fix it.  And therein lies the issue.  There has been in the past few decades a creeping strain of patriotism that disallows the mere mention of dissent.  USA IS #1.  There is no other point of view, no other perspective.  And that, my friends, is a dangerous ideology, not the least bit because we’re not #1.

    We are woefully inadequate in our education system, testing far poorer than other 1st world nations.  We have much fatter kids than other nations of the same type of GDP, and higher infant mortality.  While our state of medicine is world renowned, that’s only for people who can afford it – overall, our healthcare system ranks near the bottom worldwide.  We have an incredibly weak system of checks and balances for some of the most simple things, like food production, chemical consumption, and even where toxic waste can be stored.  And let us not forget our global reputation for shooting first and asking questions…when we get around to it.  If we get caught.  And enough people get upset with us that we even have to address what we did.

    So no, we’re not the best in the world.  But to the ideologues, simply whispering the above facts is tantamount to treason.

    The ironic thing is, this concept of smoke-and-mirroring that the US is the greatest is what will eventually lead to its downfall.  As every good businessman knows, innovation is key to continued success.  You look at your competition, see what they are doing right and wrong, and learn from their mistakes and triumphs.  You don’t dig your heels in and proclaim “Our way is the best, so we’re sticking with it!”.  That is a recipe for disaster.

    Look at Canon and Kodak.  Both gained prominence as photography businesses, happily making film-based cameras.  However, Canon saw that the market was changing, and that one day, film might be obsolete.  In 1992, they debuted their first digital camera, and amongst many other innovations (such as branching into calculators, printers, and the like), became a world leader.  And what about Kodak?  Well, in 1975, almost a full two decades before Canon, Kodak unveiled a digital camera…and then scrapped the product, fearing that it would interfere with its film based sales.  Had Kodak looked ahead without fear, it would be an American powerhouse.  Instead, it recently filed for bankruptcy.

    One company looked at its environment, its consumers, and itself, and knew that it needed to change.  One dug in its heels, assured that the world would bend to it.  I know which one I would rather have stock in.  And while it’s simplistic to think of a nation as a corporation (because as we all know, corporations are people, my friend), the concepts remain the same.  While much of the civilized world had embraced social concepts decades before, the US dug in their heels on things like slavery, women’s voting rights, interracial marriage, and even equal pay and universal health care (which to this day, the US does not have either of).  Rather than looking at countries who are doing rather well in this current economic climate and seeing how their strategies can be adapted, the US digs in its heels and expects the world to bend.

    The world is no longer bending to the US.

    It’s adapt or die time.

    And maybe they’ll turn it around soon.  Maybe they’ll stop putting crosshairs over political opponant’s districts.  Maybe SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE will learn the political differences between communism, marxism, and socialism and use them correctly, and not just as the catch all word for someone you don’t like.  Maybe we’ll stop comparing everyone to Hitler.  Maybe we’ll look back to 60 years ago when blacks and whites couldn’t marry because the various churches said it was ungodly, and a lightbulb will go over our heads regarding same sex unions.  Maybe, just maybe, someone will read the 1st Amendment all the way through.

    Maybe if we do that, those lives lost in battle won’t be in vain.  Maybe we’ll honor their memory by learning, growing, and succeeding, not burying our heads in the sand and waiting for life to stop.

    Maybe.

     

     
  • HyperHam 12:58 pm on May 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: come round, philips, steam iron   

    Product Review: Philips PerfectCare CG9230 Steam Iron and Board 

    My biggest gripe out ironing is not the schlepping of the board, or the setup, or even the mind-numbing movement – it’s the maddening way that an iron is always either too hot or too cold.  My old iron has, like many of yours I imagine, a set of numbers with corresponding fabric names, and a slider bar.  You slide the bar to the fabric setting, and *allegedly* your iron will match the fabric.  But, we all know that’s not the way it works.  Here’s how it actually works.

    The item says cotton blend.  You set it between polyester and cotton on the iron. You wait for 5 minutes. You attempt to iron. The fabric actually looks more rumpled by your efforts. You turn it up to the cotton setting. You BARELY touch the fabric, and it hisses in that evil way that tells you the article of clothing is now consigned to the rag bin. Repeat till you are in tears.

    Ironing should not be that difficult.  That’s why I am so happy that Philips have figured out how to take the guesswork out of ironing with the new PerfectCare Steam system.  You don’t check labels (except to make sure the fabric should be ironed in the first place).  You don’t pray silently and curse loudly when it messes up.  You just plug it in, wait 2 minutes for it to heat up, and then start ironing.

    I don’t know how the iron does it.  My best guess is pixies.  All I know is it works.

    Don’t be put off by the size, it’s actually rather light (and the actual iron itself is exceedingly light).  It fits well in the hand, has enough cord length that you don’t feel you have to keep adjusting, and best of all (especially with London water), it has a anti-calcification system that helps you very easily remove hard water build up.

    I know £250 or so for an iron seems like a lot, but think of it this way:  You’ll spend £7.50 to have 5 shirts cleaned at the dry cleaners.  If you get five shirts done every other week, that’s already £195 spent, in ONE YEAR alone, on other people chucking your clothes in the wash (with goodness knows what else), slapping them in a big press (where invariably a button gets broken), and then putting them on a cheap hanger that stretches the neckline.  Why would you spend £200 a year to have your clothes barely looked after, when you can spend just a few bucks more and know that for years to come, all your most delicate pieces will be well cared for?  It’s a no-brainer.

    I used this iron in conjunction with the [[ASIN:B0079V0AW6 Philips GC240/05 Easy 8 Ironing Board]], as it made for an even better experience.  The board is GINORMOUS (in a good way), with enough bobs and gizmos on it to keep my techie husband amused for a week.  From fly-out shoulder press pads, to a swing arm that can hold 4 kilos of hung clothing, to the extra large iron base (just perfect for your new iron!), it takes all the guesswork out of a frankly infuriating activity.

    Be the domestic god and goddess you’ve always wanted to be, check out this product!

    And if you don’t believe me when I say it’s amazing, believe your own eyes when I took the 5 minute challenge!

     
  • HyperHam 2:20 pm on May 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Happy Towel Day! 

    My son and I, approximately 30 mins after birth.  Notice my towel on my left shoulder, as well as his new towel.  Obviously, we are waiting for the Babelfish to arrive before we can make formal introductions.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I love Douglas Adams.  I’ve read Hitchiker’s more times than I can count, and find something amazingly new every time I read it.  We lost a massive voice in not only science fiction, but humanity the day he passed.  RIP.

     

    (PS, I know it’s the blabbity blah anniversary of Star Wars Episode IV, and I have a great shot of baby in Star Wars gear, but Lucas has broken my geek girl heart so many times, I can’t post it.  DAMN YOU LUCAS!  STOP RUINING MY CHILDHOOD WITH YOUR 3D BLU RAY LIMITED EDITION BOX SET IDIOCY!)

     
  • HyperHam 3:48 pm on May 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    I can’t get over it till you get your head out of your ass. 

    So.

     

    So, on Come Round (a party/promotion thing), a group photo won first prize for an Indian food feast.  In the photo are 3 women dressed in lovely approximations of Saris, a dude with a sombrero on his head (okay…), a guy doing a cartoon facial approximation of an Indian man, complete with giant bindi (which makes no sense, as Indian men generally don’t wear bindi, but whatever), a guy who browned up with a bald cap and round glasses for a Ghandi look, and a woman in a Pocahontas outfit.  Yeah.  Wrong Indian.

    Anywhoo, some dude on Monkey’s f-list  just didn’t know what the problem was, and that everyone nowadays was way too sensitive, blah, blah, blah, and I immediately thought of the recent brilliant essay by John Scalzi, where he defines life as a game, and that Straight White Male is the easiest setting.  This guy happens to be gay, but we’ll let the premise stand.  In the game of life, certain people get bonus points right off the bat for having a certain parentage, nationality, etc.  Now, whether they choose to acknowledge the leg up they got is irrelevant; the fact is, they got it.   Fact remains, other people didn’t.  What bugs me is when people like this dude try to gloss over stuff like this in an effort to minimize the yuckiness that comes from it.

    Fact is, I used to do the same thing – put people and situations in little boxes in an effort to not have to think about them.  Gays were gross because they went against God.  Then in college I met  a girl named Trinity, who happened to be a lesbian.  She was a nice girl.  Studious.  Funny.  She wasn’t gross at all!  And from that moment on, things became more difficult.  I was forced to look at how other people were treated, and their history, and that stuff is hard, and made my head hurt.  It’d be easier to just pretend that pre-conceived notions were correct, that everyone is equal (except the ones we don’t like, like the gross gays, or the lazy blacks and Mexicans, or the shifty Jews, or the power hungry Chinese, or…), and that if everyone was just as cool about shit as we were, then it would all be okay.

    And here’s the eventual problem with that kind of thinking.  Just because *you’re* cool with a picture like that, doesn’t actually make it okay.  As I said to the fella who said it wasn’t fair that I was assuming that they were being racist, and they could just be getting into the spirit of the Indian food party:

    “Historically, in the US, white people have not blacked their faces in an effort to seem authentically black, hispanic, indian, etc. They have done it in a long standing effort to mock, belittle, and in many cases in the south, threaten. Perhaps, however, here in the UK whites have been far more advanced, and blacken up their faces, slap a MASSIVE red dot on their foreheads, and put costume facial hair on in an effort to truly understand the history, dignity, and commonality of the Indian people. But somehow, I doubt it. I’m willing to bet if you asked the bloke on the right about his bindi, for instance, he would probably not be able to tell you that it is a sacred symbol representing the most holy of chakras. Maybe, he would. But I doubt it. And maybe the lady on the far left, in the outfit 4 sizes too small, could tell you the history of the tribe of First Peoples of the Americas that she fashioned her outfit from. (fun fact: Pocahontas was of the Algonquian tribe). Or, and this is more than likely, she would say “Oh, it was Indian food, so I went as an Indian. HAR HAR”. So while I *could* go out on a limb and say that the fellow in the bronzer with the bald cap and sheet is going in order to bring awareness of Mahatma Ghandi and his nation’s non-violent resistance and eventual overthrow of one of the most powerful armies in the world, Occam’s razor would tell us he’s more than likely an asshole who thought it would be a larf.”

    As expected, his argument followed that I should be just as upset if a Brit put on a beret and pretended to be French, etc, conveniently forgetting the fact that he was describing another predominantly white, first world nation.   In his mind, because no one has ever lorded any kind of power or influence over him in an effort to take away his dignity, it no longer happens.  Black face?  Just a way to get in character.  Making a slanty eyed face around an Asian person?  All in fun!  Because he has never been victimized for his skin tone, everyone else should just get the fuck over it.  (I do wonder what his reaction would have been had they all been dressed in unfair gay stereotypes – the fey ‘faggot’, the pedophile, the butch lesbo, the early 1980’s dude rotting from AIDS.  I wonder if he’d have gone to bat for them so quickly then…)

    I think it’s this type of self-enforced ignorance that bugs me the most.  It’s one thing to never pay attention in class, and not understand the history of blackface/using the Asian features as a vehicle of fear-mongering/zeroing in on a ‘lower’ group in an effort to further push them down/etc, it’s quite another to see a complete representation of that, and then brush it off as someone else’s problem, and if they get upset, it’s them being over-sensitive.   It’s pathetic.

    A month or so ago, Monkey met me at the door with some news.  Seems he and Baby Alex were playing alone in the grass, when our drunk, racist as fuck neighbour yelled from inside their home “FUCKING CHINKS”.  Classy.  I wanted to go over there and rip their faces off, but Monkey stopped me.  He’s been called Chinky so many times, it doesn’t even surprise him.  Hurts him, yes, but doesn’t surprise him.  So you can say, “‘We’ve moved on”, but I know better, because I live in the world where this stuff still happens.  Where assholes haven’t “moved on”, and where only slightly less assholish people make excuses for them.

    I’m sure the guy I got into it with today over the photo would make excuses for my neighbour as well.  He’d probably say that because they were in their house, yelling outside to my husband and child, (who were alone in the garden), that I can’t be sure what they were yelling about.  Maybe they are Renaissance faire enthusiasts who accidentally ruined their chain-mail armor, and now needed to resolder the individual chinks in the pattern.  Maybe they were doing some DIY home renovation and found a fissure in the undercoating of the wall, meaning it was now structurally unsound.  Or maybe, just maybe, the neighbours who are historically known for making horribly racist jokes and being drunks, were combining those two, and called my baby a fucking chink.  Because in his world, it doesn’t happen.  To him.  So, it doesn’t matter.

    I accept that it’s a crooked game, but the only game in town.  You accept Occam’s razor.

     

    I’ll get over it, when you stop doing it.

     

     

     

     
  • HyperHam 8:39 am on May 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: amendment one, bigots, burn bridges, , north carolina, north versus south   

    At the next civil war, just let them LEAVE. 

    Monkey jokes occasionally that he’d love to live in the US again, and I roll my eyes and humor him. Lately, it’s been much easier to roll my eyes, and much harder to find the humor in my home country.  Actions like those of North Carolina on Tuesday make it even more difficult to think about ever returning.

    For those of you not in the know, North Carolina residents voted to pass an amendment to their state’s constitution that would define the ONLY legally recognized union as a marriage between a man and a woman.  While the surface stupidity is plainly obvious to anyone who paid attention in 8th grade civics class (the 14th Amendment clearly states:  All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws),  there is a fantastic additional layer of idiocy to the law.  Essentially, if you are a heterosexual couple who are unmarried, or had a civil partnership (versus a marriage), you no longer have protection under the law.  Good luck if your kid gets sick and needs to go to the hospital, or one of you dies and you were hoping to have instant access to the rest of the estate – you no longer get those rights.  Ha!  It’s funny because it’s horrible.

    Now, North Carolinians who voted for this will claim that it’s a completely fair law, and simply codified the current understanding of marriage.  They, of course, are morons.  It did far more than that, and now impede on the rights of anyone not married.  It’s the very textbook definition of un-Constitutional.  Of course, if anyone who had drafted the amendment had bothered to ask a lawyer, any lawyer, they would have known that.  But, they didn’t.  Even when every law school in the state came out against the wording of the amendment, they still went ahead.  And as predicted, the petition to repeal the law has already begun.  Now, unless they get a judge that has recently suffered a brain injury (or is Southern, duh), this amendment will hopefully be relegated to the trash heap, much to the cries of ‘librul judges!’ and ‘state’s rights!’.  And the process will begin anew.  Idiots will try to legislate their idiocy, and when they are legally smacked down, will cry martyrdom of their rights to hate everyone else.

    You may have voted for this law, and think yourself safe in the knowledge that your union will be fine.  But remember, with the slippery slope of bigoted and discriminatory legislature, comes your chance to get screwed.  Say you voted for this law, and are in a heterosexually but interracial marriage.  In 2011, 46% of Mississippi GOP members surveyed wanted to make interracial marriage illegal again.  Let me say that again, so you get it:  Just a year ago, 46% of Mississippi GOP members wished they could make it illegal for your marriage to exist.  All they need is a few more years, and for 5% more people to take their white hoods off before they enter a voting booth, and it will be done.  Say you are a woman and voted for this amendment.  Hold the phone, sister!  The good reverend (and frequent Fox News contributor) Jesse Lee Peterson thinks the biggest mistake America ever made was giving women the right to vote.  What’s to stop him from holding a referendum next year?  All he needs is a majority in a male-laden state (I’m looking at you,  Alaska), and the womens’ right in the northern most state are stripped.  And as a bonus, he is using Scripture to get rid of your rights, the same way you did with amendment one!  Bonus irony!

    And this is why we should have let the South secede 150 years or so ago.  These people are morons.  And yes, that makes me sound elitist, because I AM.  

    I AM BETTER THAN THEM.  

    AND SO ARE YOU.  

    We, the rational states, the blue states, the libruls, are better than most of the south.  We make more than they do, and pay more into federal taxes while taking less out.  The leeches on our federal tax dollars?  Overwhelmingly southern.  If the silly bitches want to go on about pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, I WANT MY FUCKING BOOTS BACK.  Massachusetts has had gay marriage for almost a decade now, and not only has civilization not fallen, their divorce rate is less than half of the Godly states like North Carolina.   Red states are by and large dumber than Blue states in math and science, and overall in education, of the bottom 10 states in ed. rankings, the deep south takes 6 spots.  In fact, the only category that southern states top out on is which states are the most unhealthy.  Great, when universal healthcare is portioned out, I get to pay for your sickly asses too?   So, the northern states have to carry the nation for taxes, for education, for health, and for family values like divorce rates, and yet the South, and moreover the Conservatives, are the “patriots” who wave flags screaming ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ while they legislate everything from what two consenting adults do in the bedroom, to how deep a woman should be forcibly penetrated before she can have an abortion?

    BULLSHIT.  

    I CALL BULLSHIT.  

    And so should you.

    Aren’t you sick of being labelled traitors for understanding how the whole Constitution works, not just the 2nd Amendment?  Aren’t you tired of being beaten over the head with the same lies and bigotry wrapped up in a religious text, only to be told you are intolerant when you disagree?  Don’t you think it’s fucking ridiculous that ignorance is prized as a virtue, and getting an education, any kind of education, is frowned on as ‘snobby’?

    Then do something about it.

    Stop biting your tongue when these idiots let loose with whatever bullshit Fox News fed them that night.  Don’t be the one who wants to make peace at family gatherings.  Pull their heads out of the sand for one damn minute of their lives and show them the straight facts.  Because we can placate these morons till the cows come home, but nothing will change – it will just get worse. Yes, you will lose high school friends you never bothered to keep in touch with till Facebook arrived – oh well.  Yes, that one weird uncle of yours will stop sending you a Christmas card.  You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few bigots.  Stop being nice.  Start being factual, honest, and belligerent with the damn truth.

    I can’t do much from here – while I am still forced to pay taxes to the US, even though I no longer live there, I cannot vote in most elections (because I don’t have a residence, thus cannot meet residency requirements).  As a super bonus, my kid, born in the UK but with US citizenship, will be forced to pay taxes every year to a country he does not live in, and has to sign up for Selective Service when he turns 18, and can be drafted the next time some numpty decides to invade Iraq for the umteenth time, buthe can never vote.  Taxation, without representation.  So when I say it’s on your shoulders, it’s on your shoulders.

    Monkey says I am being overdramatic, that if we moved back, of course we’d live in an uber educated, liberal area.  But what is to stop the crackhead state next to us from pulling this kind of crap, and tangentially affecting our lives?  Because in this moment, there are families all over the nation who were planning on moving to NC for a job, or higher education, who are now scrambling to understand this ass-backwards law, and if they will lose their legal rights as a married gay couple, straight unmarried couple, or civilly partnered couple.  They are shitting bricks now because yet another stupid state couldn’t be bothered to read the laws on the books before shoving this idiocy into the world.  In this moment, there are thousands of unmarried couples who lost any legal protection they had, and have little to no recourse.  They can’t just up stakes and move, they are stuck in a state that considers them sub-human.  And I hope no foreign investors are looking at building in NC – can you imagine a company from Denmark, or Norway showing up to build a factory, only to find out that this shit is on the books?  They will pull out so fast it will make your head spin.  And why?  All because some bigots are too…fucking…stupid to do any better.

    Sorry, folks, I wish this was funnier.  I love dark comedy, but my country circling the drain can’t even be put into subversive humor.

     
  • HyperHam 7:31 pm on May 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Keeping up with the Junior Joneses 

    I was wondering about baby Alex’s food choices today.  He’s 15 months, and I figure he should probably be eating less mooshy food, and more grown up fare.  So, I asked my yummy mummy group what their kids are eating.  Oh, nothing much, just

    Quiche

    Salmon

    Steamed veg medley

    Mini Pizza

    Fish fingers

    Bolognaise…

     

    Awesome.  So, I should just get my kid fitted for a helmet now.

     

    I own a number of books about baby/toddler development, and have thus far refused to read them, for this very reason.  I OBSESS over every perceived flaw or difficulty.  In some ways it’s good – it was being uber anal about my infant son’s weight loss that we helped to identify his lactose intolerance, but in most every other way it’s bad.  Don’t get me wrong, my kid is fabulous – early pincher grip, doesn’t bite, and is a master block stacker.  For serious, the boy can stack some blocks.  You don’t even wanna be steppin’ in my house with no unstacked blocks, or he will straight stack those, ya heaaaaarrrrd me?  But he doesn’t say much more than the occasional mama, dada, baba (food),bye, and today was play.  He doesn’t know his body parts, he walks with finger help, but not on his own, and — see how ridiculous I am getting?  All I see is the negative, and by extension, my failures as a parent. I let him watch tv – BAD.  I haven’t taken his binkies away yet – BAD.  He still has his night-time bottle of milk versus beaker of milk – OMYGODWHYAREYOURAISINGASERIALKILLER?!?!  So I panic, and look up the schedules of every children’s center within 5 miles of me, convinced that we’re going to hit every playgroup that they offer.  And when we miss them, I beat myself up, and drown my sorrows in a bowl of ice cream while my kid watches Horrible History for the 3rd time that day.

    I understand now why there are Tiger Mothers, women who push for absolute perfection in their progeny – I feel as though I have failed if he is not perfect.  How fucked in the head is that?  My wonderful, sweet little boy *IS* perfect.  He’s the perfect 15 month old named Alex.  That should be good enough for me.  That will be good enough for me.

    No one should keep up with anyone, just be the best Jones they can be.

     

     
    • Tribble Wife 9:17 am on May 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I think that too much emphasis is put on what a child ought to be doing at a certain age. It's a complete load of donkey balls, because all children are different.

      Obviously I don't know the first thing about "normal" children, but Alex sounds as though he's growing up at his own pace and without you trying to rush him – which is brilliant. YOU are brilliant.

      Alex himself, is always going to be my favourite Mini Five 🙂

  • HyperHam 1:46 pm on May 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: mumsnet, product review   

    Tesco’s Naturally Powered review 

    Mumsnet sent me a sample of the new Tesco’s Naturally Powered Anti-Bacterial Multi Surface spray.  I was excited as it’s always great when companies figure out that less chemicals in the home = happier home overall.  The bottle arrived, and looked promising – 100% recycled packaging, and no neon colors, just clear fluid.  Then I took a look at the ingredients.

     

    Oy.

     

    There are a few things that bother me about cleansers nowadays, the first being when they scream that they are anti-bacterial.  ALL SOAP IS ANTI-BACTERIAL, that’s the bloody point of soap.  Bacteria are built on lipid chains, and soap, by their chemical compound, breaks those chains.  So yelling about being anti-bacterial isn’t a great start.  Then I looked at the ingredients.  Below is a breakdown of Tesco’s cleanser, versus my cleaning products.  Enjoy.

     

    Ingredients in Naturally Powered:

    Chlorhexidine gluconate.  Weirdly enough, this is an antimicrobial agent in mouthwash.  I don’t know why my surfaces need anything based off of glucose, but okay.

    Benzalkonium chloride:  Another antibacterial disenfectant, it is highly toxic to fish (LC50 = 280 μg ai/L), very highly toxic to aquatic invertebrates (LC50 = 5.9 μg ai/L), moderately toxic to birds (LD50 = 136 mg/kg-bw), and slightly toxic to mammals (LD50= 430 mg/kg-bw).[5] Benzalkonium chloride solutions of 10% or more are toxic to humans, causing irritation to the skin and mucosa, and death if taken internally.  

    Didecyldimethylammonium chloride.  My chemistry classes are pretty old, but I see ethyl there (alcohol), ammonium, and as a class type, it’s a fungacide.  Well, anything that can kill fungus can kill most everything else.  Indeed, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) named it ‘Highly Toxic’.

    And as fragrance, d-Limonene is the major component of the oil extracted from citrus rind.

     

    Ingredients in my cleansers:

    Baking Soda

    Vinegar

    Lemons

    Salt.

    And for fragrance?  Orange rinds stuffed in the vinegar bottle.  Sorted.

     

    ***

    So, we have a bottle full of stuff that can kill almost everything (including my kid if he ingested it), versus my stuff, half of which doubles as food.  Not a great start.  But, let’s see how they work against my bathroom, kitchen, and baby’s high chair.

    Scrubbing a bathroom is no fun, but spraying down surfaces with vingear, dusting with baking soda, waiting a few seconds for the bubbling action to work, and then scrubbing lightly with a green scouring pad does the trick.  For super stains, a half a lemon with sea salt sprinkled on the surface makes a great abrasive, and a lemon rubbed over the chrome fixtures strips off even the most stubborn hard water stains.  Even the toilet can be cleaned with vinegar and baking soda!

    sophie shows off the hard water scale cleaning action!

    Nice clean kitchen sink (I had yet to do the taps in this pic so you can see the hard water!)

    rub lemons on chrome/metal to easily erase hard water scale

    Even the toilet is cleaned with vinegar and baking soda

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Tesco’s stuff did…well, it did exactly the same thing.  Cleaned well, did great on the London hard water, all the rest.  It did leave a fine film on the surfaces, which meant I wasn’t going to let it touch the baby’s high chair – didn’t want any of the remaining bits getting into baby’s mouth.

    Now let’s look at the cost.  On mysupermarket.co.uk, a 500 ml bottle of cleaner goes for £1.80.  A bottle of vinegar, canister of baking soda, and a lemon costs £2.30.  However, while my stuff costs 50 p more, the peace of mind I get with knowing my baby can’t kill himself drinking my stuff is well worth it.

    So, while the cleanser does the job, I wouldn’t rush out and buy it up in an effort to be green.  Fact is, it’s using the same chemicals that are found it many of the other cleansers out there, without much of a ‘green’ or eco-bonus.  And as always, it’s very very toxic for children.

    I know as busy parents its sometimes easier to just throw chemicals at the issue and get on with it, but cleaning the house with safe materials really is easy, it just takes a small amount of planning and elbow grease.  For our family, it is worth it.

     

     

     
    • nanlt 4:53 pm on May 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for this. I too am trialling the Naturally Powered products and must admit that I was quite taken aback by the list of ingredients in this "environmentally friendly" eco-product.

      • HyperHam 6:49 pm on May 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Exactly! I\’m telling you, on hard water stains/scale I have had more luck with a lemon rubbed into the surface and rinsed off an hour later than anything else. Lemon, Soda, Salt, Vinegar, and some tea tree oil, and you are set! Please feel free to link here to your blog post when you finish reviewing it.

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