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8 posts from May 2006

19 May 2006

Infant Potty Training: One Mom's Diary (American Baby - April 2006)

Cover_abapr06 A diary about my experiences trying elimination communication, or infant potty training, with my son, Chet, appeared in American Baby's April 2006 issue.  Here is an excerpt:

The First 5 Days

I was skeptical about elimination communication (EC), but I decided to give it a go when my 7-month-old, Chet, started on solids and his bowel movements got messy.  Here's the (poop!) scoop.

Day 1:  The first step is observation.  I place Chet au naturel on a pad-covered play mat and watch.  I know that a red face and grunts mean a poop is imminent.  But I get no such signal for number one.  I carry him to the sink every 20 minutes or so, but he only pees on the floor en route.

Day 2:  I take Chet to the bathroom after his nap and feedings, but he just  won't go in the sink.  I hold him over the basin until he wails in frustration and then return him to his play mat.  Almost on cue, he takes a whiz.  As a result, his play mat smells like a week-old litter box.  The only thing that kills the odor:  a special solution I have for the dog's accidents....

(To read the rest of the article, click here).

Hotel Dersaadet - Istanbul, Turkey (National Geographic Traveler - April 2006)

Ngcover0406 My short (uncredited) description of the Hotel Dersaadet in Istanbul, Turkey appeared in the Hotel Central Stays under $150 section of the National Geographic Traveler's April 2006 issue.  I highly recommend the Dersaadet for anyone who is traveling to Istanbul.  It really is a one of a kind place.


Just a few minutes walk from the heart of Sultanahmet and its many attractions (Topkapi Palace, carpet shops, museums), this reconstructed Ottoman mansion offers 17 guest rooms decorated Turkish-style with kilims and painted ceilings...

Normal (Literary Mama - April 2006)

Lmbook_large My essay Normal appeared on the Literary Mama website in April 2006.  It's a piece about my sojourn in the NICU with my premature son.


He lies face down in a glass box, his tiny face glowing golden from the red and yellow lights of the monitor nearby. The neo-natal intensive care unit seems at first to be a peaceful place. The lights are always dimmed. Visitors and employees alike adopt a quiet tone when talking. The machines attached to my son hiccup a gentle beep in time with his heart, often lulling my husband and me into a peaceful daze. Until, that is, the trance is broken with a deafening alarm that signals that someone’s heart is not beating properly. Then a wave of panic erupts across the ward.

During the first few days of our child’s stay in the NICU, this alarm jolted our fight-or-flight response. Each tone caused my stomach to plummet. I found myself gripping the arms of my chair as I frantically tried to get a clear view of my son’s heart and lung monitor...

(To read the rest of the essay, click here).

A Flying Carpet Ride of Memories (Christian Science Monitor - 24 March 2006)

Logo_1 My essay about our trip to Istanbul, Turkey with our infant son, Chet, appeared in the Home Forum section of the 24 March 2006 edition of the Christian Science Monitor. 


We had been in Istanbul, Turkey, for only a few days and already knew that we stood out. When the carpet sellers who lined the streets of the Sultanahmet, the city's ancient historic district, saw us from the back, they took note of my husband's close-cropped hair and yelled out, "Soldier! Soldierman! Mr. Army, Mr. Navy! Come inside and see a carpet. Maybe your pretty wife will like one, you buy it for her! Maybe not. You don't like, you need not buy, but come look!"

But when they got a good look at our fronts, with the small, wriggling bundle strapped to my husband's chest, they changed tactics. As soon as they saw our infant son held fast in his baby carrier - his eyes open wide and bright, taking in the extraordinary and beautiful city surrounding him - they took a slightly less aggressive approach...

(To read the rest of the essay, click here).

A New Balance (Strut Magazine - December 2005)

Header_logo_2006_05 An essay about finding a new balance once I left my job and moved my Germany was published in the December 2005 issue of Strut, a regional magazine based in Detroit.


When I moved to Europe last year, from Decatur, Ga., I expected many questions from friends and family regarding my new surroundings. After all, it's not every day that someone gallivants off to Germany for an indefinite stay. I figured a barrage of interesting questions would be coming my way, including:

"Have you made any European friends, yet?"

"Do people really drink beer with breakfast?"

"Sprechen Sie Deutsch?"

And perhaps, one day, I will actually get to answer those queries – to someone other than the voice inside my head. For, what I did not anticipate was the question I actually was asked. As it stands, regardless of relation, creed, or age, the No. 1 most frequently asked question since I’ve moved to Europe is, "What do you do all day now that you aren't working?"

Our Home's Designer Look, Courtesy of Fisher-Price (Christian Science Monitor - 1 December 2005)

Logo_2 An essay about the home redecoration that a new baby requires was published in the Christian Science Monitor's Home Forum section on 1 December 2005.


Move over, Martha Stewart - I have redecorated my house and it is fabulous! My days of paging through furniture and design catalogs for new, spectacular ideas have ended. Forget Art Deco, French country, or urban contemporary styles - for me, those are so yesterday. And none of those looks support my needs any longer.

I've decided to go a more organic route. My house's new look is casual, but utilitarian. Bright and playful. Practical, with more than a bit of whimsy. And did I mention colorful? It ought to be. The color palette was provided by Fisher-Price...

(To read the rest of the essay, click here).

Topless (Skirt! - April 2005)

Logo An essay about the seemingly shameless older women we saw sunbathing on the Algarve coast was published in Skirt!magazine in April 2005.


On a recent trip to the Algarve Coast, my husband, Nick, and I were a bit shocked by the display of nearly naked women sunbathing on the beach. It isn't so much that we're puritanical about beach attire. In fact, my husband isn't really a beach kind of person so the topless aspect was a crucial selling point in getting the trip arranged to begin with. It was simply that the women adorned in barely there thongs were of all shapes, sizes, and ages - with the mean values being mostly round, large, and old. We had expected the balding, older men in the tight Speedo racing suits, but hadn't thought of seeing their female counterparts...

Shaping Web Usability: Interaction Design in Context

Book In 2002, I co-authored a chapter on wireless devices for Albert Badre's book Shaping Web Usability:  Interaction Design in Context.  This is a fantastic resource for information architects, user interface designers, and usability practioners.  You can read an excerpt of Chapter 10:  From Desktops to Handhelds on Safari Books Online