Thursday, August 30, 2007

Breastfeeding Mom Denied!

Dear MomsRising member,

Doctors agree that breastmilk is best for infants, but their own licensing board isn't following doctor's orders. Sophie Currier recently learned that when it comes to supporting breastfeeding, many of our leaders--whether they are in the medical establishment (as in Sophie's case), business sector, or elsewhere--still don't "walk the talk." You see, Sophie was denied breast pumping breaks during her nine hour medical licensing exam. She's not alone. Even in this day and age when the medical evidence is clear that breastfeeding is best for infants, women are regularly denied the time and location to pump.

SUPPORT THE BREASTFEEDING PROMOTION ACT! Sign the Statement of Support for breastfeeding moms everywhere now: "Healthcare professionals inform us that breastfeeding is the best possible way to ensure that babies thrive. In turn, we must ensure that breastfeeding mothers are able to breastfeed, and given the time and environment to pump at work or during other professional obligations." Congress and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) need to hear that breastfeeding must be supported for all moms, and that we support the Breastfeeding Promotion Act which is currently before Congress.

*To sign the Statement of Support for breastfeeding moms, just go to:

After you sign the Statement of Support, please forward this to friends and family so they can sign on as well! Your voice can make a difference: When a subsidiary of Delta Airlines kicked a woman off an airplane for breastfeeding, we sent them a petition with more than 20,000 MomsRising signatures, and shortly afterwards the airline apologized and instituted a new training program for their employees.

STAND WITH SOPHIE, JANEE, AND MOTHERS ACROSS THE NATION! Women like Janee McConnell could also use the Breastfeeding Promotion Act. Janee worked in a grocery store that had a health consciousness she admired. She was such a committed employee that she rose to a management job quickly and was called a "rock star" by the other employees. After her third child was born, she tried to pump at work but there was no private place to go other than a dirty, windowless electrical room. When her milk supply dropped she spoke up but store management was unsympathetic. She resigned from her management position and eventually from the store all together.

Frankly, we all lose when we don't support mothers; businesses lose excellent employees; infants lose important nutrients; and women lose needed jobs. No mom should have to choose between keeping her job and feeding her baby and protecting her own health.

SHARE YOUR STORY: Many of us mothers know personally what it's like to juggle breastfeeding babies and work. Some of us have also experienced the pain of engorgement and the risk of mastitis when feeding or pumping doesn't occur every few hours. Stories like this are common. You may even have experienced something similar yourself. *Share your story on our blog at:

All too often women aren't able to breastfeed their babies even though the American Academy of Pediatrics tells us it's one of the most important things we can do for a child's health. Let's send a strong message together that it's time to "walk the talk" for healthy infants and mothers.*Don't forget to sign the Statement of Support to tell the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and Congress that we want breastfeeding to be supported for all moms?and to forward this email to friends so they can sign on too. Just click here to sign on now:
Best -- Anita, Nanette, Kristin, Mary, Joan, Ashley, Katie, and Donna

P.S. THE LOWDOWN ON THE BREASTFEEDING PROMOTION ACT: Representative Carolyn Maloney's Breastfeeding Promotion Act would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to protect breastfeeding by new mothers by providing tax credits to employers who provide a place to breastfeed and/or provide breast pumps. This makes it a lot easier for women who want to give their babies breastmilk and keep their jobs. As you may know, 82% of American women become mothers by the time they are forty-four years old, so this issue is critically important to a large portion of our nation. To read the bill, go to:

SOURCES:1. Boston Globe article on Sophie Currier: 2. Data about breastfeeding: See also

-Your donations make the work of MomsRising possible. To donate today on our new, secure website go to:

Saturday, August 25, 2007

You can save SCHIP!

As a member of the MomsRising executive team, I've decided to spread the good word on my blog and post copies of the latest action items. We've been quite successful, having learned a thing or ten from our founders' experiences (Joan Blades co-founded; Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner directed an environmental PAC in WA State). I have learned an enormous amount about how to be politically savvy from them. In just a little over a year, MomsRising has built a strong, active base (100,000+ members and growing daily).

And so I give you our latest outreach-- saving the state children's health insurance program! (I promise, it's exciting. And just below it is my latest Good Life series post, on shelter. I'd love your comments.)

Dear MomsRising Member,

Imagine being told you couldn't take your child to the doctor for a full year. What might happen if your child got strep throat and had to go without medical attention for months and months? This sad scenario will be a reality for many U.S. families if the rules aren't fixed: Under new rules, made by the President, some children who depend on lower-cost health care coverage will have to wait a full year--with no insurance at all--to qualify for help.

This outrageous requirement is part of a slate of changes made to limit the number of children who can benefit from the lower-cost health care coverage of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). We can't believe that in a country where 1 in 9 children go without any health care coverage at all, there is any thought of more limits. This senseless rules change is especially surprising because SCHIP is supported by Democrats and Republicans alike.

Everyone, it seems, except for the President, sees the value in giving kids healthcare. Let's send a strong message together. TELL CONGRESS THAT KIDS CAN'T WAIT FOR HEALTHCARE BY GOING TO THIS LINK:

When Congress returns from its recess in September, it will take up funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program again. Tell your representatives that they must reverse these new and backward-thinking rules (described below), and fully fund the program.

THE SCOOP ON SCHIP: This federal health care program (one of our favorites!) helps families afford health coverage for their children (and this help is critically important because right now 1 in 9 children are without health care coverage at all!). Here's how it works--it gives funds to the 50 States, who then use the money to create health care coverage programs for kids. Families that don't meet the low-income standards for Medicaid coverage, but still don't make enough to purchase private insurance, can apply for their children to be covered by the state-run plans.

What makes this program so powerful is that it allows states to decide what level of assistance makes sense for their populations--taking into account the state economy, local cost of living, and the total number of uninsured children in their state.

ABOUT THAT 1-YEAR WAIT FOR THE DOCTOR: Sadly, the just released rules undermine a state's ability to administer their program in the best way -- helping the most kids get much needed health coverage. These problematic changes include the following:
* Requiring a 1-year waiting period--with no insurance at all--for some children before they can be covered;* Pushing states to only cover children whose families are at 250% of the federal poverty level, regardless of the cost of living in that state;* Tying children's health coverage to private insurance enrollment rates: if private insurance enrollment is down in a state (for any reason), then the federal government won't cover more kids.

This just plain doesn't make sense-particularly because private insurance enrollment is often tied to a job so there could be a scenario where unemployment would go up, but help for kids' health care would go down!As a part of a nation-wide, bi-partisan effort, we've been working long and hard to re-authorize SCHIP this year. MomsRising members have already sent over 30,000 emailed letters to Congress urging them to fully fund this essential federal program. Now, these new administrative rules threaten to undermine that hard work. Let's tell Congress to stop the madness.

TELL YOUR FRIENDS, DON'T LET THE SCHIP GO DOWN: Forward this email to all your loved ones. Let's make sure that kids can go to the doctor when they're sick, regardless of their families' ability to pay.*Don't forget to email Congress now to tell them all children need health care coverage: Best --Katie, Kristin, Donna, Nanette, Joan, and the MomsRising Team

P.S. Want to know how SCHIP works in your state and see if you might be eligible? Check out this great resource from PBS: P.P.S. BELOW YOU'LL FIND ARTICLES & RESOURCES ABOUT THIS ISSSUE:
- Administration's letter to health officials: - New York Times:;hp%26amp;oref%3Dslogin and;ex%3D1187841600%26amp;en%3Daf37007e15249f06%26amp;ei%3D5087%250A - Seattle PI: PBS: Fox:,4670,ChildrenapossInsurance,00.html
-MomsRising is a bootstrap organization which covers a lot of ground with very few staff. Your donations make the work of MomsRising possible. To donate today on our new, secure website go to:

Friday, August 24, 2007

the good life- SHELTER!

Have you dreamed about what your perfect home would be like? I love daydreaming about this! I sometimes envision the Family Home to be something modest, along the lines of the Von Trapp abode. Living in the Bay Area makes this daydream perhaps somewhat unrealistic. I mean, where would I find a nun. Church of the Perpetual Party (the founders of whom we saw at none other than Party Sushi)? Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence?

My sister proposed that I keep a journal of sorts dedicated to the care and feeding of my imagination's dream home. I decided that for such a grand operation, nothing less than an orange hardcover Clairefontaine notebook would do. (Speaking of the good life, anyone who wants a little bit of affordable luxury in their penning lives must pick up a Clairefontaine notebook.)

I've pasted in the flyer for the sale of an amazing California Bungalow (which included amenities such as a custom bathroom with a heated tile floor). I've made lists of the qualities the home would have on the inside. On the outside. What the neighbors would be like. I've gotten down to the details, pulling everything I know from green design.

We'd have neighbors we love. The public schools would be excellent. There would be redwoods trees in abundance, an ocean view, hardwood floors, plenty of southern exposure, a Sunset-worthy landscape design in front, Sunset-inspired outdoor living principles in back. The house would have been designed by an iconic Bay Area architect (Maybeck, Morgan, Howard?) and I'd take a lot of pleasure in preserving its original architectural details. The kitchen would be very well-appointed. My notebook has details from the brand of oven to the brand of knives. But "elegant" would describe the home in a nutshell. And hanging in my closet would be Verrieres and Sako.

Ok, now I'm veering into other aspects of the good life, but I've included every minute detail in my orange Clairefontaine because at the end of the day, the "shelter" aspect of the good life doesn't just mean a roof. Ideally, it's every expression of home I can think of-- safety, and beauty, and comfort, and family.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

uh oh... shoe fetish!

My name is Anita and I am developing a shoe fetish. I've never had one before. I will admit that I thought it was a little, well, cliched. But the fact is that Minkie's toes are the cutest little things ever and my own feet have improved so much since pregnancy (I hated having skinny toes, and now they're a little plumper. I think. It is probably my imagination. Anyhoo!). Ergo, a shoe fetish is inevitable.

I saw these See Kai Run shoes at a mama/baby store here and I might have to get them (they're cheaper at the store than on Zappo's, but still not cheap). Then there are these, with the completely ridiculous faux fur edge. And these boots that would be adorable with fall/winter tights.

This shoe fetish thing has only just blossomed and I have not yet succumbed to the siren call of adult shoes (she writes, knowing her next stop is to google "fabulous shoes...").

11th Hour

I'm interrupting my Good Life series to post about Leonardo DiCaprio's new film, "The 11th Hour." Here's the trailer:

Were you shocked by the polar bear, too?

DiCaprio fortunately has the big bucks to make a film and website that's highly watchable, not only because of the obviously high production value but also because of the nature of the storytelling. The angle he takes is: yes, there is a scientifically irrefutable problem. And that gives our generation an incredible opportunity to solve it. We can be the ones who will be remembered for our ingenuity, our resolve, our morals.

That's a tempting sell, especially to us as the generations who have had to follow the so-called "Greatest" Generation (did you hear the eye-roll there?). But a strong sales pitch is what's needed now. We know our consumer culture and our own participation in it perpetuates environmental degradation. Many of us recycle, some of us reuse goods, but reducing consumption in the first place isn't a notion taking the nation by storm. It's a hard pill to swallow for most folks.

And it's the American way to say, "Hey, I've worked hard all day. I deserve a little fun, so I'm going to buy myself [the XBox, the new shoes, etc.]." (Can I just say it was a little self-flagellation to write "the new shoes" because I am just now developing something of a shoe fetish, because Paloma's little feet are TOO ADORABLE and also for myself because I like how my feet look so much more after pregnancy... oh boy, I'm making myself the bad example here...)

But maybe this is the new American. Maybe it wasn't always this way, when we had more free time (which we really need to protect in our overworked society) and didn't have to buy as much to fill the leisure wells of our souls, and maybe didn't even have such thing as "retail therapy." According to Wikipedia, retail therapy hit the dictionaries in the 80s (surprise!).

There's a lot to analyze here. But maybe the first (well-shod) step is to strongly associate environmental redemption with our own moral redemption, and to place the power of redemption in our own manicured hands. There's conflict there, perhaps even after we make the decision to act. But what DiCaprio's trying to do is inspire us to see this monumental challenge as a monumental opportunity-- to act, yes, but also to shift our thinking. Allowing the everyday person to think like an athlete, like the person who has conditioned for months and now welcomes the chance to face his or her tough competitor.

I don't know that we've 'trained,' exactly, but I do think the time has come for us to accept the fact of our "reluctant superhero" status. We might just save the planet after all.

Monday, August 20, 2007

the good life- FOOD!

FOOD: At the top of my good-life list is fresh, organic, local, Slow-Food Movement-approved deliciousness. That might sound way too precious to some, but to me it equals the highest form of healthy eating as well as mindful living. I like that.

I've mentioned it before on this blog, but I highly recommend the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmer's Market Cookbook. It's a mouthful (how appropriate!). The recipes are, for the most part, fantastic and interesting. For example, right now is the perfect time to try a peach bruschetta. This one isn't from the cookbook, it's from Slashfood, which I love.

The good life grocery bag is canvas and filled with:

- 1% organic milk

- Fage 2% Greek yogurt- the best stuff ever

- cheese (ok, lots of good stuff is made in NorCal but lots is imported. It's still on my good life list!). Specifically Spanish manchego, bufala mozz, havarti... I could go on...

- grass-fed beef

- arugala

- heirloom tomatoes

- handfuls of vanilla beans (there is nothing as purely decadent, sensuous, beautiful or delicious as scraping out a vanilla bean and having the scent on your hands for hours)

- Semifreddi's baguette

- some fabulous wine

- pink lady apples

- long line caught trout

What's in your grocery bag this week? What's your favorite food that symbolizes the good life?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

the good life

I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to live the good life. I think mothering has prompted me to consider what I want for Paloma and any other babies we have. Everyone has their own criteria, I suppose, for what's necessary for a comfortable, happy life. Here are a few:

- The basics. Food, shelter, clothing, education.

- The specifics. Ah, but what food! What shelter! And don't get me started on clothing and education.

Over the next few blog posts, I'll get into the specifics. Share your thoughts on the specifics that interest you most. I really want to hear your input.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Bar Method!

I am totally on the Bar Method bandwagon!!! (Can you tell how much I wanted to get that out? I couldn't even write a civilized intro paragraph.)

I'm now officially past nine months postpartum, and it seems like my energy levels are getting back to normal (though I've heard fabulous things happen to your energy and weight when you wean...). My pregnancy weight came off pretty smoothly... at 9.5 months out, I'm almost back to normal.

But I hadn't been finding time to exercise enough (can I get an amen from the other moms out there?!), and I really started to get motivated to change that. I knew when I did, I'd have a lot more energy and feel happier. So I popped in an old Bar Method DVD and realized how similar it feels to a really good, hardcore dance class where your muscles are at their limit. Then I bought the second Bar Method DVD and now I am totally hooked.

I mean, come on. Burr Leonard is 60 and she looks like she's 25. And she swears that if I do this workout just three times a week, I too will have the Bar Method body (taut, narrow, limber). I believe, I believe!

Also, maybe I am giddy right now because Paloma is napping totally peacefully and we might actually be approaching a nap schedule. Pardon the giddiness. !!!! (Sorry.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Harry Potter...Swan Lake?

Late last night, I had an idea that Harry Potter's theme music sounded a lot like the main theme in Swan Lake.

D and I are reading the books together. We're just starting Book 3. (I read 1-4 a long time ago, but law school got in the way, and that was four years ago, so we're starting over.)

I don't know all the surprises in store for us, but I do wonder about the Harry-Voldemort connection. Odette and Odile? doesn't comment on my (silly) music analysis, but it does vindicate my rambling late-night thought that there is indeed a touch of Swan Lake in the HP.

Fun stuff!

Monday, August 13, 2007

weekly menu

M: whole wheat couscous drizzled with garlic oil; Trader Joe's creamy corn and roasted pepper soup

T: roast turkey, coppa, smoked fontina panini

W: mixed baby greens salad with Brianna's; bruschetta with heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil and olive oil; whole wheat pasta with lemon pepper

Th: fish moli and rice (beautiful recipe for fish poached in coconut milk and curry)

F: little burgers with Trader Joe's smoky bbq sauce

life (expectancy) in the US

This article, "US Slipping in Life Expectancy Rankings," is interesting on all sorts of levels.

The quote at the end especially provides food for thought: "Policymakers also should focus on ways to reduce cancer, heart disease and lung disease, said Murray. He advocates stepped-up efforts to reduce tobacco use, control blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.

"Even if we focused only on those four things, we would go along way toward improving health care in the United States," Murray said. "The starting point is the recognition that the U.S. does not have the best health care system. There are still an awful lot of people who think it does."

I remember having a conversation with a couple of friends who were convinced that the U.S. does have the best health care system. If you can pay for it, you can see the world's best specialists. In Canada (or other places with single payer health care), even if you can pay for it, you have to get in line. This was, they decided, the mark of a system worth having.

I agree that it's nice to get good health care if you can pay for it. However, if you're getting it and the next sixty or seventy people aren't, it leaves you in rather poor company. What I mean is- I don't really want to live in a society in which 6.8 of every 1000 babies die before they turn one-- and double that if they're African-American. To me, that reflects a society that doesn't prioritize its own long-term health.

It's troubling enough that I can see how this issue (which is really many issues) could seriously destabilize the nation. An unhealthy country is not going to be on top for long, no matter how wealthy. Democracy depends on an engaged, educated, healthy populace. I'm not saying the U.S. is going to crumble tomorrow, but when it feels like our democracy is failing us, I have to ask myself what's preventing popular participation. It's not far-fetched to guess that one reason is lack of health (related to stress, related to obesity, related to environmental health issues, etc.).

Reduce tobacco use, control blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and regulate blood sugar. It's interesting that these top four recommendations to turn this quite shocking statistic around all have to do with preventive measures. And three of the four have direct links to what we eat. What would have to change in our society for us to become more aware of the links between what we eat and how we live? To recognize the profound improvements in health we could enjoy if we decided to prevent rather than treat later?

Well, let this blog play some small but positive role: if you are working on any or all of these four recommendations, I'm completely supporting you from cyberspace!! You are doing more than you think. Not only are you improving your own quality of life, you are also contributing to a healthier American people and freeing up resources for our creaky old health care system to help others. You are doing great things!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

a body in motion

Lately I've been thinking about how important dance has been in my life. The best experiences I had were at Shawl-Anderson, where I had a jazz teacher, Reginald Ray-Savage, who I compare to Debbie Allen in "Fame"-- a you-will-pay-in-sweat! kind of teacher who bangs his big wooden stick on the floor. Old school and proud of it. He was all about strong ballet technique, then creating athletic, gorgeous combinations to jazz greats like Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, and local legend Marcus Shelby. (We're talking true jazz here, not street dance or hip hop, which are fine but not jazz. Also- no jazz hands! Sorry, Fosse lovers!)

And did he get results. He could whip you into shape- if you let him. The studio received plenty of letters from people complaining that his teaching style was too harsh, too physical, too loud, too brash. These people found out too late that Mr. Savage does not teach a feel-good kind of class.

I was fortunate enough to be warned before entering his class that I should let his yelling flow over me "like water off a duck's ass." (This was from one of his veteran students.) He yelled, true, but he was always right about whatever was the subject, whether it was a stretch, a plie, or a pirouette.

Especially if it was a pirouette. He often said that no one west of the Mississippi could teach a pirouette better than he could, and I believe him. When I was at my peak dancing with him, I could regularly do triples and stop on a dime, still turned out and on full releve. That was as much his success as a teacher as it was mine as a student. Maybe more- it wasn't like I was the only student who could do that.

I think about the confidence in my body that dancing with him gave me. Lots of people talk about the way ballet and other disciplines warp a child's body image, and I can see how that's true. But I was lucky to have an amazing teacher who focused less on what a body looked like in place and more on what it could do in motion. What lines it could make, how long an extension was, how strong a back was.

I suppose most athletics can provide that to participants. But for me, the great thing about dance is the art of it. I could express something, tell a story, make something beautiful for beauty's sake, all with my body, all without words or two-dimensional representation.

I'd love Paloma to have that experience-- both of the athletics and of the art. Finding a teacher like Mr.Savage isn't easy, though. And she probably needs something a little different as a youngster anyway. But whoever it is, I'd want that person to respect the art of dance and the importance of proper technique. (I'm trying to avoid letting this post spiral down into a polemic about the utter crapola that is children's dance. I swear, "Little Miss Sunshine" says it all. There's way too much butt shaking, shoulder shimmying, sequin-and-tassle wearing TACKINESS. People, if a 20 year old doing a move could be called "sexy," a three year old SHOULD NOT BE DOING IT! Oh wait, I'm spiraling... you get my point, my dear tasteful, non-tacky readers.)

Monday, August 06, 2007

chocolate review! Blanxart Dark Chocolate

Blanxart Dark Chocolate, 7 oz. (200 g)
Made in Spain

I received this from a very food-knowledgeable friend for my 30th birthday. What a treat!

As I've said in previous reviews, dark chocolates are wonderful if you can find a good one-- that is, one that's not waxy, flavorless, bitter or grainy. It's a tall order.

This is a very, very good dark. The scent is a strong, simple chocolate note. The flavor is true and rich. The finish is just as pure, with the slightest suggestion of warm vanilla. I'm someone who usually likes nuts and spices and things (except fruit!!) in my chocolate, and I enjoyed this a lot.

I've noticed that some dark chocolates can veer too much toward buttery, while others can break your teeth. This one has a nice snap-and-melt quality, though like all darks (and most other chocolates) the room and chocolate temperature has a lot to do with how you experience that.

Definitely worth a try if you're in the mood for a high-quality, straightforward chocolate. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

the new normal

When we became parents, I discovered and adopted a few very helpful perspectives:

1. Change is constant. There's always something new to learn or adjust to. True, I'll never again be a novice at changing a poopy diaper in a public place or figuring out the top ten uses for My Brest Friend. But as this baby grows, she changes, and my parenting techniques have to change with her. What worked yesterday to soothe, entertain or distract her might not work today. Remembering this keeps me on my toes instead of feeling constantly inadequate!

2. The little person isn't going away. Funny and true. There's no going back to how it was. Letting go of how things were and embracing how things are made it much easier to live in the present. So instead of resenting what I couldn't do (head out with Derek to a spur of the moment movie, or take a five hour road trip without stopping more than once or twice), I figured out what I could do for now (do things with the baby; accept that it's going to be a seven hour road trip). And I remembered to be grateful because in a few years, P will be participating in family life as a talking, walking person. Interacting in English! I can't wait.

3. The "new normal" applies to my body-- and my vacation, my meals, my life. When I realized that how my body feels isn't "back to normal" but the "new normal"-- that is, that I'd never feel quite like I did pre-baby, it was a lot easier to settle into life.

But we recently got back from vacation, and let me tell you, there were more than a couple times during it that I felt "This is vacation? But I'm still working hard watching this baby..." And that was a struggle. Then I realized that vacation with a nursing baby meant that I probably wasn't going to be lying on a beach chair with my umbrella drink. But hey, what a narrow view of vacation anyway, right?!! (she writes as she longs for an umbrella drink!)

But don't despair!! Being with baby doesn't mean we have to limit ourselves. We got to enjoy new places and experiences, like hiking in the Roosevelt National Forest; tooling around fabulous Pearl Street in Boulder, the Flatirons in the distance; driving up the highest elevation road in the lower 48- totally epic. Letting go of the beach chair vision made it easier to enjoy the trip.

I guess all this is to say, the Buddhists had it right when they said (approximately and much more eloquently) that letting go of expectations helps relieve one of suffering. Being present in the moment and releasing all longing to be someone or somewhere else, and being grateful for (and even proud of) who and where I am right now, is the best way I know to not only be a happy mother but a happy person in general.

And for your further reading pleasure, I give you MojoMom! Go and start taking care of YOU!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

photos from Boulder

I've got some Boulder photos uploaded! Enjoy!

You're a grand old flag

I'm back from a glorious vaca in beautiful Boulder, CO. We were there for a physics meeting at NIST and then D participated as best man in a friend's wedding, which was held at the breathtaking LionsCrest Manor.

Miss P said her first adorable word (other than "mama")-- duck! She was awash in rubber duckies (they had them as playful favors) and as we were squeezing one and saying "duck!" to her, she said "k... k... duck duck!" Oh my GOD it was so cute. We nearly died.

Speaking of cute, we were staying at a house with another couple and their 3 year old daughter. She's a happy, energetic girl who loves Elmo and Clifford. And she loves imitating voices. Her dad related the story of when he found her alone in her room, singing "You're a Grand Old Flag" and alternating the voices of Clifford and Elmo for each line. Stop and imagine the scene:


(Gruff Clifford voice) "You're a grand old flag!"
(Little Elmo voice) "You're a high flying flag!"

I was on the floor laughing when he told me.