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Heather Grabert
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Heather Grabert

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Watching a commercial for an upcoming episode of Jake and the Neverland Pirates it seems Captain Hook will race Jake in hopes of winning Jakes ship. The same theme was part of an NCIS rerun Brian was half watching last night.

I don't get it.

Other than screwing over your opponant (which there are more fun and effective ways with less risk of losing your stuff) what is the prize in winning a vehicle that lost a race to you already? Do people really covet losers? If that is so I think it's high time the mommobile be put on the street race circuit.
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Heather Grabert

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James is progressing quite well learning his manners. Not only does he tell everyone, including toll workers and my phone's navigation voice, thank you he knows he must say please and that his fork goes on the left of his plate and the knife and spoon go on the right.

I think that is brag worthy.
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Heather Grabert

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The Mommobile. My conversion to suburban motherhood is now complete.
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Add the occasional devilish laugh and this is my life.
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I'm trying to decide on which sit and stand stroller to get for the big road trip. I used to have a Graco DuoGlider and although it was better than the travel stroller I still hated it. It took an act of God to fit it in my trunk, it was crazy long which put the shins of the kid in front in danger and the multi-part straps were a pain during the many times James changed his mind about whether he wanted to walk or ride. The sit and stand style seems to solve most of these problems but finding a time when I can compare brands/models is a problem. My budget has narrowed the field down to:

A standing board attachment for our current stroller
Pros- least expensive option, not bulky at all, I love my current cheapo stroller
Cons- least value for cost of product, stroller not designed for it so I'll have to walk weird to not trip or hurt James, no seat if James refuses to stand and ride
Unknown- is it easy to remove when not in use and does it interfere with the stowing of the stroller

Two Graco models of sit and stand strollers
Pros- one model is budget friendly
Cons- those stupid straps, one model at top of our price range
Unknown- quality of construction,ease of use, will it fit in my trunk and how does it steer

Baby Trend Sit n Stand
Pros-
Cons-
Unknown- quality, ease of use, fit and steering

Joovy Caboose Stand on Tandem
Pros-
Cons-
Unknown- same as the other two

As you can see I have more questions than answers. Reading online reviews is only making it worse. I was hoping someone had tried one of these and could help me fill in some blanks or point out things I'm overlooking. Help? Please? 
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Heather Grabert

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If they were really concerned about saving much needed funds they would stop sending donation requests to people who have requested 5+ times to be taken off their mailing list.
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Absolutely ridiculous.
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Heather Grabert

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This is one of the many reasons James is awesome.

Me (after dancing goofy in the car to get Emily to stop crying): I just made an ass of myself for no reason
James (in his super hero voice): No reason!
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Heather Grabert

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Since I already let the cat out of the bag on Twitter I'll post it here too. Baby number three should be making an enterence end of March/beginning of April.

Yes, I am crazy. 
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Thank you everyone!
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If you have the opportunity I highly suggest watching the Olympics with a crowd.  In 2008 Brian and I were in PA for a wedding.  Some of the events I watched in the hotel room. As with football, while it is still exciting it fails to compare to the thrill of cheering in a crowd.  Standing in the tiny hotel bar filled beyond capacity with a few hundred bodies cheering, hugging, chest bumping, buying complete strangers drinks and who was that guy passing out real Cuban cigars? Even the normally quiet, brooding Brian (yes, only during sports) found himself joining in the merriment.  It's just not the same sitting on the couch quietly hoping not to wake the children. At least the time difference means that I can watch with the kids rather than fearing waking them up.  Sports are meant to be shared with a crowd. The more, and the louder, the merrier.
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Better was when we watched the January 2007 championship game at the O-Dome in Gainesville. That was a crowd!
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Heather Grabert

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While James has only just turned three Brian and I have had several discussions about the kinds of activities we want the kids to be involved in as they grow up. We came up with a few guidelines:
1. They have to want to do it (no forced piano lessons or sports)
2. Until high school they can only do one at a time. They can do more than one in a year (ie: different sports in different seasons) but they can't overlap. In high school the limit increases to two. We want to limit it because we feel it's more important to give a few things your focus than many things your inattention. We also value family time and balanced living.
3. Mom and Dad will participate as the child wishes but the commitment is theirs. Projects are 100% their's to do, practice is 100% their's to do or not do, etc. We will not push them nor will we put in more time or effort than they do.

One of the activities I had hoped the kids would get into is scouting. There is a lot of good taught by scouting- both skills and values. It looked pretty likely that the kids would become interested in it because their friend Dakota is a Daisy Scout. At the age of six and as the only friend they see on a consistant basis the kids look up to her. Obviously we have a few years. Still I was disappointed when the Boy Scouts of America decided to affirm a policy of bigotry. To me this seems completely inconsistant with the values I have come to associate with BSA but then again bigotry seems completely inconsistant with Christian values yet the groups pushing legalized discrimination against the GLBT community are largely ones that claim to do so because of their Christian values.

So now I am left with a dilemma. If James wants to join Boy Scouts when he is old enough what do I do? Do I tell him no? Do I tell him okay but stress that there are a lot of good things about them but they don't allow some people who have done nothing bad and that is wrong? Do I enlist his help in finding an organization that has the good qualities of BSA without institutionalized bigotry?

All of these scenarios involve having to teach a young child about ignorance, discrimination and depending on his level of curiosity about sexuality. Obviously it would be kept age appropriate. The irony of being put in this position by the BSA's policy which they justified with a statement about not wanting to push parents into conversations about sexuality before they deem appropriate is not lost on me. Instead of a remote possibility of having to explain that sometimes mommies love other mommies I now more than likely have to explain that sometimes people are mean to people who have done nothing wrong and we have to decide whether the good those people do is outwheighs their being mean for no good reason
~and~ that sometimes mommies love other mommies. Which has led to the creation of another guideline:
4. In an age appropriate manner the child had to be aware of all the pros and cons of an activity before making a decision to do it.

For that I guess I have to thank the BSA but their bullshit policy is still wrong.
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Church going and South might be a stretch. Once a month or two and south of the South are more accurate.

It's not so much that I'm worried that they will influence his beliefs about tolerance and understanding but more about supporting organizations that promote bigotry and discrimination. Especially as someone who faced much of it growing up (according to many I was supposed to be a drug addicted, high school drop out, teenaged single parent of neglected welfare babies). Most likely, if the situation comes even comes up at all, we'll go with telling him the pros and cons and letting him decide if he still wants to join or if he wants to find another organization. My mom is amazing at taking issues like that and talking about them in age apropriate ways. It would be a good life lesson about how we have to weigh the good and the bad and make decisions based on what is best for our own situation and beliefs. I wonder if there is a badge for that?

The sad thing is this whole thing flies in the face of much of what BSA is about. Every man I know who was a scout, including many Eagle Scouts, say that the values they learned from scouting included tolerance, inclusion and kindness. Most of the ones I've spoken to since the whole policy has come to light say that they believe this has more to do with religious sponsherships of troops than concerns over the discussion of sexuality. It is all very frustrating.
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Heather Grabert

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I love it when I read a news story online about a person who is speaking out against something. They believe what they are speaking against is wrong but are not suing the offending party because they only wish to raise awareness. Inevitably the majority of commentors say they are only doing it for the lawsuit settlement. I'm not sure if it means we are a cynical society or one that fails at reading comprehension. Either way the consistancy is comforting.
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Heather Grabert

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Made in the USA?  Check
Eco friendly?  Check
Encourages creativity?  Check
On the birthday girl's wish list?  She said arts and crafts supplies so I guess check
In my budget?  Check
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Then again I can realize the order didn't go through two days before the birthday party. I suck at kids parties.
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