Saturday, March 07, 2009

Ava update: sleep trouble, spray cream and smiles

Life is grand with our nearly 1 1/2 year old. New words are coming along weekly, including wow, what?, nice, mice, up, yay!, doggie, and my personal favorite: book. 

We did have a rough week sleep-wise with Ava, possibly due to molars coming in and the transition from two naps per day down to one. The upshot has been lots of tossing, turning and waking up for no apparent reason throughout the night. Well, for her and me. J. can somehow snore through a writhing toddler next to his head. Grrr. It's no picnic for her and it's particularly hard on me since I've always been a light sleeper and have trouble staying asleep even under the best conditions. There have been several nights with less than five hours sleep for me, making the whole working mom thing more like the walking dead.

One thing that has helped Ava during the half days she spends with my mom is having a little bed/couch to call her own so that she can get some solid naps when she does go down. We finally snagged one for our place this week to try to transition her to her own bed. 

She loves having a piece of furniture just her size that she can open and close on her own. And now that she's bigger (about 23 pounds) having one at our house like the one at my parents' means some consistency and it means that J.'s Great Aunt who lives with us no longer has to hold her while she naps when she's visiting with her, although I think she loves holding Ava as much as Ava loves being held. 
Although it's branded with the kid Diego from the Dora the Explorer program, it's less annoying to me than the ones slathered with disproportionately shaped and non-diverse princess characters.  And of course, it's NOT PINK.

In other news, I had the pleasure of introducing Ava to spray whipped cream this week. Suffice to say, it will henceforth be known as Toddler Crack at our house.

Seattle: most wired, but digital divide danger still looms

Seattle made Forbes' list of most wired cities for 2009. Article and list here. Back in 2007, when I was puffily pregnant and still had what I realize in retrospect was a RIDICULOUS amount of free time to sit in tea shops like the one in the picture and read and write, I wrote an article that appeared in the National Urban League's Urban Influence magazine about the digital divide in communities of color. 
A year and a half later, Seattle's Forbes ranking notwithstanding, the digital divide I wrote about still exists for some communities. This article highlights some of the efforts underway to bridge the gap by building and improving information and communication technology infrastructure.

Another local organization, the Technology Access Foundation, is also working to narrow the digital divide by preparing underserved children of color for higher education and professional success through their rigorous and relevant K-12 curriculum, which has a technology focus. It sounds a little wonky but the organization's leaders and staff are amazing, committed and down to earth, the curriculum is top notch and the kids in the program, like the one I mentored who is now a poised, successful college student, make my heart swell every time I see them because they are such shining embodiments of what's possible for every kid if given the right education, support and encouragement. 

Want to help? Their annual leadership breakfast is coming up in a couple weeks. It’s guaranteed to leave you inspired and saying, “These kids are awesome. How can I help?”