Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Baby/Logic Dichotomy

After nearly one complete year of parenting, I have come to the realization that babies (and all that concerns babies) defy logic.

Today I was struck by this defiance of reality-based thought when I entered my daughter's room for the fourth time in less than an hour with the mission of "checking" on her-- to make sure she was: safe, still breathing, still sleeping, not in pain, not crying, happy, etc.

Yes, this does sound like normal parenting behavior to a certain extent. However, the irony is that I was worried because she hadn't woken me up at the crack of dawn, after falling asleep just before the crack of dawn.

You see, we had a nice play session from approximately 2:15am to 4:35am because I felt the need to enter her bedroom to open her window around 2:14am. Apparently she's a light sleeper.

So then, when the husband arrived home from work at 8ish and I was still asleep he thought the baby was just sleeping in a teensy bit and I was relieved she wasn't awake at her normal early hour. I got up and out of bed around 9am and made myself breakfast, cleaned up a bit. I was impressively productive.

Then, at approximately 10am the panic set in. I decided the baby had slept for far too long and began to worry. Then, the obsessive "are you still okay?" trips in and out of her nursery began.

When she was still soundly asleep at nearly 11am I decided to wake the husband to share in my panic. He said she was probably still tired and rolled back over.

Fast forward to late afternoon, the baby girl is napping again. She was/is perfectly fine-- just giving herself and her mama some extra rest time, and I am not looking forward to another night of her jacked-up sleeping schedule from our previous week of vacation.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Daddy Loves Baby

My husband has decided he actually REALLY likes our kid. He's known her for eleven months. Twenty if you count cooking time.

I love my husband too, but even I can see that nothing compares to the camaraderie he feels between himself and his little mini-me. It makes me nostalgic for times like that with my own dad... but I digress.

Their relationship has progressed over the past few months, from baby-as-blob to baby-as-partner-crime.

Exhibit #1: Baby-as-Blob. Husband is trying SO hard to make a connection with this little "intruder". SO hard.

Exhibit #2: Progress. On our sixth wedding anniversary these two were obviously growing on each other.

Later, at swim lessons... not super excited, but TOTALLY willing to get into the water.

Exhibit #3: (Close to) Success! Partners in (many some) crime(s).

Sunday, July 29, 2012

1st Birthday Party Pink MADNESS ~ part deux

The party is fast-approaching. Just today I purchased the pinking shears necessary for making the bunting that my one-year-old is SURE to love (yeah, right.) along with the PERFECT fabric to tie-together all of the loose, decorative ends. Here are five of my MOST inspiring Pinterest Pins for PINK PARTY MADNESS 2012.

MOST inspiring Pin #5: A gift for the babe?

From nightstand to play kitchen
I'm hoping the bebe's gift from ma-ma-ma-ma-ma and da is something similar to the above utter CUTENESS.

MOST inspiring Pin #4: Dad deserves some input.

erfect for Darin this dad's day. f my auto correct.

This was initially going to be the inspiration for some Father's Day goodies, but it turned into my reason to consider (and reconsider) all of the husband's input for Birthday #1-- most important, all future birthdays should be "destination birthdays". We'll see, but I TOTALLY get his point.

MOST inspiring Pin #3: Try to do at least most of it... even if you fail?

Ha... I guess this is pretty true...
Between gym time, baby time, husband time, and "miscellaneous get shit done" time, I have very little time for "me" (how trite is that?!) Even so, I, along with WAY smarter women, still worry about not being good enough knitters, crafters, bakers, and athletes. What the fuck?

MOST inspiring Pin #2: CANDY!
I heart this set-up for a little girl's party. So 'sweet'.

Again: CANDY!

MOST inspiring (drum roll please...) Pin #1: This is ALL about baby!

I must have a pic of Catie & us just like this!
I hope to capture a picture this precious, but nevertheless, it espouses one important belief: it's BABY's birthday-- make it about the kiddo, not the ma-ma-ma-ma-ma and da.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Currently...Numero Uno

I saw this sort of "list" blog entry on another NaBloPoMo blog, Life of a Lost Muse. It's a nice idea for taking a snapshot of where you're CURRENTLY at, and what you're CURRENTLY doing. So, I'm stealing borrowing this cool blog post format (I will probably use it as a way to check in with my students next year as well):

Reading: 19 Minutes by Nicholas Sparks. I started it the evening before the incident in Aurora, Co. A little eery.

Writing: A blog post every day for July's NaBloPoMo on Blogher! I haven't written this much since finishing my MA in 2006. Woot woot.

Listening: At the moment-- to the sounds of my computer trying to overheat; musically, just listened to Telepop Musik station on Pandora this evening during a dinner of stuffed bell peppers with the husband. And, looking forward to listening to No Doubt's newest single after reading about it on  Life of a Lost Muse.

Thinking: Of how lucky I am to have a husband willing to provide for his family and a daughter who is happy and healthy... and how excited I am to only go back to work for a couple of hours a day in August. I don't think I could be anymore excited about a schedule that allows me to indulge myself professionally for a bit, while also allowing me about twenty-two hours per day with my little family. Ah-maze-ing! I wish all teaching jobs could be like that. (I guess we'd just have to get paid more to make it livable... oh well, maybe when education is eventually privatized...)

Smelling: Wine and homemade soap-scum-cleaner. How's that for an interesting evening?

Wishing: I was still in the minority of people who didn't have "issues" with their parents. Even up to LESS than one year ago, my husband and I used to comment upon how lucky we were to have our respective in-law situations. It's not so much that way anymore.

Hoping: That it's true: it SHOULD all work out for the best in the end. Right?

Wearing: Pajamas! Specifically, a white shirt I bought to make my Halloween costume last year and some of the comfiest pants EVER that were a gift from my grandmother close to ten years ago. They're too comfy and memory-ridden to remove from my current PJ wardrobe. One day, they'll probably end-up as a square of a quilt (that I probably won't make) or a pillow or something.

Loving: That in a relatively few short hours we (baby, husband, dog, and me) will be in the company of some of the greatest friends in the WORLD!

Wanting: Another trip to Vegas with my husband in the relatively near future! Maybe August? Our trip in July was a lot of good times... maybe we'll make it to a Thursday evening "Ducky Party" so we can grab some rubber duckies for the babe.

Needing: Sleep. I am perpetually tired (and, unfortunately, awake) since having a child. Too much can happen if a mom's off the clock... right?!

Feeling: So, so tired. I'm ready for sleep and ready for our trip to the Lake (Nacimiento) all at the same time.

Clicking: Incessantly upon my Pinterest account. I'm trying to get all of those "likes" pinned. Down to 118 from 546... not too shabby.

And, I'll add one of my own (for good measure):

Missing: I am prematurely missing my sister. She's planning on moving away later this year and, I want her to know, I'll miss her.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Today at Zumba

Today at Zumba there was a crazy woman, probably mid seventies, yelling at gym-goers/ Zumba-"dancers" alongside her.

It was fabulous. It panicked the other gym-goers. Panicked them, I tell you. Twice, people ran out to alert the front desk personnel (all young, white, women) and they came in to "talk" to said crazy-lady. It solved nothing and she yelled at quite a few others as she was, eventually, escorted out of the gym.

So, it made me think about all of the lessons I've learned since I've been working out over the last year and these are my top five gym lessons:

5. Tell the Gym Daycare where you will be-- not just class/ weights/ cardio-- but mention where in the class you plan to stand. The last time somebody tried to find me I was right next to the window, nearest to the door... and they couldn't find me.

4. Don't bother with a class number if you're more than five minutes late. I used to be an avid rule-follower. Even for the most asinine rules. Now, I tend to pick and choose which rules to follow (yes, I'm one of those people) and one of the rules I detest is the one that says you have to reserve your spot in certain gym classes. I'm perpetually late, they should have a "mom" section, but alas, they do not. So, I sneak in about seven minutes after class is set to begin, which means I only miss about two minutes of the actual class and no one is the wiser when I skip the reservation part. (Or, at least they don't let on about it.)

3. Some peeps are SERIOUS about saving their spot in class. One day I walked in to class exactly on time. And, apparently another woman had just walked out before I came in. Nevertheless, I saw an open spot on the dance floor and grabbed it. Two songs in to our workout that other girl walked up and told me I was in her spot. Then she proceeded to talk about it with her buddy who didn't say anything to me to begin with. What the fuck?! I don't care if I end up in the back, especially when I'm not even close to early... but you can't be gone for ten minutes and get all pissed when someone else accidentally takes your spot.

2. Smile at everyone, but if you don't want to high-five the instructor, you don't have to. I struggle to smile at people. I have had to make myself do this since I was a senior in high school. In fact, the biggest reason I do smile at people randomly is because my high school boyfriend (now husband) was so impressed by a girl who smiled and waved -- all normal and friendly-like-- when he passed by her house in high school. So anyways, I use this at the gym too. I don't really want to strike up a convo with anyone, but I do smile. However, I do not high-five. I have abnormally sweaty palms and it's really gross to a lot of people. So I'm happy to smile, say hi, and explain to the instructor why I don't want to touch... but I refuse to high-five.

1. Compliment others. This one is something I didn't learn until I took my first step class in over a decade. I decided to get all crazy and try it out with two steps instead of one. I was super uncoordinated, and thus was hindered by the double steps, but I made it through without too much embarrassment. At the end of the class, another woman came up to me and complimented me on my ability to keep up with everyone else in light of my dub-steppin' (hahaha). It made me feel good for going to that class, and now I look forward to going to another step class, but in the meantime I look for people who do something cool and I TELL them about it. It makes people happy.

What rules have you learned at the gym?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mom Challenge Part 2 - 16 to 30

Recap: I originally saw the 30 Day Mom Challenge on Pinterest, and then at iMom.com; the iMom website offers a section about relationship building, so I figured I'd check it out and I am glad I did. I'm sure the 'challenge' will be of help in the future, but for now it was nice to use it as a checklist for how I am meeting the needs of my little one.

Here's the list:

Here's the second half:

16. My child at 25. Interestingly, I often parent with this in mind. I want her to be thoughtful, but hardheaded.  I also want her to be understanding, but to stick to whatever she decides her principles are (at that time). I think she might already be there.

17. When I laugh with my daughter, my husband wants in on the joke. Thus far, my favorite laughing memory is she and I laughing while I tickled her. It was just after she learned to laugh "for real" on her own, and was actually amused by stuff we do. So much fun.

18. My own "role model" moms: my mom, mom mother-in-law, my grandmother (granny), and my grandmother-in-law. I actually "mother" with each of these women in mind on a daily basis.

My grandmother has passed away, but she left me with the lesson of loving (and at least partially accepting) unconditionally your child's choices-- even if you disagree with them. My dad married a girl he barely knew after a couple of months of dating; my granny accepted that; that girl's my mom.

My mom was oftentimes more of a friend that a mom-- she's  actually lucky in the sense I was more of a mom (in some ways) than a daughter. But, her parenting reminds me that I can't over think EVERYTHING. I have to just "go with it" in some ways, and the rest will follow.

My mother-in-law and I are similar. We're A-type in MANY ways, and (at least with our kids) have somewhat overbearing, but strangely non-confrontational, personalities (in relation to the kids at least-- in other ways I am WAY more confrontational and over-bearing). However, I appreciate the way she still strives to take care of EVERY need for each of her kids. I don't think I'll manage to do that, in fact I know I've already failed in some ways, but it's a cool thing to see.

My grandmother-in-law is a cool lady. When my husband and I were younger and freer she declared us "free, white, and 21"-- and in that, sort of excused any partying and drinking that came forth. She also raised two daughters throughout the fifties to the seventies and they both became successful adults. Sadly, her oldest daughter passed away at a very young age, and her husband passed away not too much later. Nevertheless, she's hung on for decades and managed to become a great-grandma (to my girl) in the process. How can you not have mad-props for such a cool grandma?!

19. One thing I've taught my kid to do on her own: walk. (Sort of.) We're still working on this every day, and my therapist demonstrated some very pertinent ways of helping me (and the kid) along. So, the walking is coming along slowly (she's taking two steps on her own to get to us) and we're hoping this improves.

20. Patience. I practice this every day. Right now we're specifically working on two concepts that require mucho patience: being "gentle" with the dog, and learning to "stop" when directed to do so. Counting helps with my patience. So far.

21. Forgive yourself. You have to, especially after the first fuck-up. (I think) My first (or at least worst-first) fuck-up was dehydrating my kid because breastfeeding was going so poorly. I am just now forgiving myself for that.

22. I hope my daughter remembers always that I have loved her fiercely and dearly from the moment I knew she'd been conceived. I hope she knows I will have tried my best to do good by her, and I hope she knows I love her. I hope she also knows I'll do (almost) anything she wants-- she just needs to tell me what that is. And, I hope she knows I don't ever want the sort of riff between she and I that has erupted between my parents and me and her dad.

23. The twenty-third challenge actually said "replace sarcasm with kindness". So far, I don't use a ton of sarcasm when directly interacting with the kid because she barely understands most of my words. However, this is a teaching challenge for me this year because I just don't want to deal with a lot of the other stuff. It'll probably rub-off into my parenting.

24. No interrupting is so easy when they are just learning to hold an ENTIRELY ridiculously gibberish conversation. But, that's what we do. I hope I have the foresight to continue without interruptions when the nonsense turns into sense.

25. My kid, believe it or not, is incredibly opinionated already. So, I don't even have to ask her opinion to know she hates super-cold, or super-warm food. She LOVES songs, dancing, and talking on the phone. She definitely likes to see her friends (unfortunately all adults right now) at the gym, but nap time is most important. But, tomorrow, I guess I can double check.

26. Encouragement. I encourage her daily: to eat, to talk, to think, to walk, etc. Parenting a (sort of) toddler REQUIRES encouragement. Fo' sho'.

27. Do something that's good for your health. I hope mamas do this EVERY day, it's the best way to make a healthy kid! I do this every day. I typically share oatmeal or yogurt with my girl during breakfast and then we head to the gym-- she plays and I workout. If we don't head to the gym, I focus on some part of my health that I don't typically focus upon-- and she and I get to PLAY more. WAY healthy!

28. A new word: No. I know, I'm sealing my fate with this term, but it has to happen sooner or later. So, "no" it is. I've done this. Usually it just ends up involving lots of cleaning. Not much fun for baby.

29. No phone, computer, or TV. I've done this. It involves a lot of cleaning. Usually.

30. Love. Love has been the theme of the last year... let alone just one day. EVERY day I fondly think about my love for my girl and reflect upon how I can better show it the next day. Again, bliss.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

Isn't this an oddly-shaped head? 
It's my kid's, right after she was able to quit wearing her helmet. 
Do you have an oddly-shaped head?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mom Challenge #1-15

I originally saw the 30 Day Mom Challenge on Pinterest, and then at iMom.com; the iMom website offers a section about relationship building, so I figured I'd check it out and I am glad I did. I'm sure the 'challenge' will be of help in the future, but for now it was nice to use it as a checklist for how I am meeting the needs of my little one.

Here's the list:

So, I went through the list. It turns out raising an 11-month-old is all about relationship building. Here's what I discovered about each "challenge":

1. Baby and I find things to do together ALL day long. It's her our favorite thing to do. And, if I forget about it momentarily, she cries until I remember.

2. SO far. I don't yell at my kid. This is SUPER weird for me, because I remember my mom (mostly) and dad yelling at us and at each other a LOT when we were growing up. I'm sure I'll yell at some point, but I'm glad we've gotten off on the right foot thus far.

3. I hug my kid three times before she's out of her crib. Done and done!

4. Every time she lets me, I kiss my girl when she's asleep. Talk about bliss!

5. I treat my girl like she's a 1 year old boy all of the time... this totally works for #9!

6. I bake, make, and buy many foods. My child's favorites are the processed ones she tries on accident with me, or on purposed with other people who shall remained unnamed. So, I guess this one's super-easy too. Although she doesn't get crazily sugar-laden or fried foods EVERY day, she gets them sometimes (even with me).

7. Sweet notes come in the form of blog posts and text messages, of late.

8. There are less than 1000 weekends before the girl graduates. As of the 1st bday, there are approximately 888.

9. At nearly one year old I have no real idea of how I felt, but I can guess that I felt happy when my parents praised me, and otherwise pretty stressed out. But, that's the same at almost EVERY age until very recently.

10. Joy. SO many forms of joy. But today: two things that are joyful are my sleeping child, and the fact that she picked up her phone yesterday (she has two cell phones... longish story) and said "Da" (Dad). So we called her "Da" and while she gurgled (very excited) nonsense he got really excited about being a dad. That was joyful.

11. I usually tell baby I'm glad she's my kid. I don't think she totally gets it, but I do tell her. Fact of the matter: no other girl-kid could SO be the embodiment of her mama and dada. She's US to the maximus.

12. Pray for wisdom. I don't tend to pray. For a LOT of reasons. Not because I don't think of myself as Christian-- I do. But, more so because I tend to ask for help in particular areas. I guess I start asking for help in this arena. Although, I generally do ask for parenting help. (BTW- I don't think "God" just keeps that wisdom to his/herself-- as far as I can tell, it's OKAY to seek out other PEOPLE in this matter.)

13. Don't criticize. I need to work on this. Some days I don't. Other days I do. I'm a critical person, as it turns out. But, I realized the other day, I don't want the girl to be "best" at this or "most" of that. I just want her to be happiest in as many things as possible (and generally well-behaved). I think I'm doing OKAY at being not-so-critical. Hopefully.

14. Motherhood is a gift. This is one of the easiest things to forget. Being a mom is something I wanted more than ANYTHING for quite some time. I am lucky to be a mom, lucky to have a family, and so happy to watch my little person flourish.

15. Firmness, but not harness. It's not really fair to be harsh to a less-than-one year old. So, even if I feel that way, she doesn't get to see so much of it. (Right now) firmness comes in making rules, sticking to rules, enforcing rules, and giving THREE tries to abide by rules before enforcing consequence. Lack of harshness comes in the choosing to not be "mad" at my 11-month-old, explaining to her the reason behind the discipline (i.e. it's not acceptable to run keys over the wood coffee table since they'll make marks, or stop standing in the tub because you'll fall and hurt yourself... followed by lots of kisses. And reminders. Hopefully this works for awhile.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Where's Mama's Toes?

My child is a big eater. She is also extremely oral. She LOVES to put just about anything in her mouth. Yep, anything.

I recently read a blog post about the oddest things children put into their mouths. Feces seemed to be the biggest no-no. And, I agree, feces are one of the last things I'd prefer my child to place into her sweet little mouth.

However, I cannot say that feces is truly the oddest thing my child enjoys "tasting", though we did have a bout with dried bird poo the other day. (Don't worry, I took it out of her mouth as soon as I figured out what it was.)

My child has put a number of odd things into her little pie-hole. She picked up some dried hamburger meat at a cousin's house and munched on that. My cousin-in-law was concerned when I finally figured it out, so I attempted to alleviate her concerns by explaining (in complete truth) that I honestly wouldn't have bothered removing it from her mouth if I had known what it was.

My kid also likes to "taste" those snacks and drinks meant for other kids... at a recent play date my friend remarked, as moms we don't really pack lunches for our own kids-- just others kids. How true is that?!

My sweet little baby girl has also been known to eat dog and human hair, though she doesn't prefer it on her tongue after the initial swallow, and she has no problem picking up anything the dog has licked-- or partially eaten-- and chomping on it.

My kid also eats bugs. Just like the one pictured below, among others, but this is one in particular that I decided to document for the baby book (i.e. teenage embarrassment).

Mmm... protein!
Nevertheless, in my opinion, the absolute oddest thing that my kid enjoys is toes. And, we're not just talking about the nice, shiny, and newly pedicured toes that I sport once a month or so. I'm talking about any old toes. But, mostly my own admittedly gross, sweaty, dirty, calloused, non-pedicured (for awhile) toes. Blech!

But, it's the truth. Every now and again, I spy a little girl crawling over toward my feet and before I know it I feel a slimy, gummy, little baby mouth (thankfully? with only two teeth) on my toes. It's absolutely disgusting. 

How about you? Does your kid enjoy sucking on toes?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Perhaps the Greatest Social Service...

The following quote is one I came across while reading a NaBloPoMo blog participant, Enemy of Entropy, I liked it so much that I decided to comment upon it myself.

"Per­haps the great­est social ser­vice that can be ren­dered by any­body to the coun­try and to mankind is to bring up a fam­ily." —George Bernard Shaw

I know... right?! This quote sort of sums up what a LOT of people believe to be the "problem" with today's society, that not enough families are raised by any parents.

Unfortunately, I then saw the following little ditty on a friend's FB page:

Remember when the Public Education turned out employable students, Planned Parenthood let the same number of people in and out of the building, NPR or PBS had anything useful enough to be able to sell advertising, or when public employees appreciated the hard work and contributions of the self employed? Remember when Liberals considered people who pay their all their bills, take no handouts, go to church, raise useful children, employ others and donate unending amounts, Patriots? Me neither.

Argh! That's my response. Because...

How are you gonna say that in my presence without me getting all "teacherly" on you?! I've come across enough students to know the education system alone is --unfortunately-- not what's keeping MOST people from being "employable". Typically it's socio-economic status. And, as a graduate of a PUBLIC university I'm happy to say that I'm plenty employable-- even in this shitty economy. Also, it should be Public Education System, or drop the "the". Just sayin'. Plus, I feel like you shouldn't say this if you went to a public college.

How are you gonna say that without me getting all "liberal" (-ish) on you?! Yep, I'm middle class and I want to give away a bunch of money. Even my own money. (That's typically where the husband and I TOTALLY and UTTERLY disagree.) I DO enjoy "nice things"; however, I am plenty willing to go without them in the name of liberalism (or just helping out other people) as long as it doesn't jeopardize the general health and welfare of my little family. But, that's WAY easier to say than to do. (In fact, the best example of this that I've ever seen is my own brother. He's NOT a liberal, but he's also NOT a conservative... and he works in semi-retail. Nevertheless, he took a demotion to allow someone else -- with a wife and kids-- to keep their position. That's pretty fucking awesome... and non-political.)

Lastly (because I have to end this, otherwise I will go one FOREVER) patriots are defined (by dictionary.com) as "[people] who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors". 
That means it's not UNpatriotic to accept handouts, but I would like to know how that goes for you when/if you begin to accept more social security than you paid in and medicare. 

And, for the record, yes. I am a total weenie for not just calling this person up and saying all of this to their face.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Favorite Suffix... it's the ISH

Ha. There's some English teacher humor for you.

But seriously, I really do love to add "-ish" to words that don't need it, even a little...-ish.

It just works out so well for so many terms.


We're married-ish.
I'm a parent-ish.
I work-ish.
We have money-ish.
I'm having fun-ish.

What's your favorite suffix?

Friday, July 20, 2012

On Going to that Bachelor Party Last Weekend

I've told myself this weekend you should have this time with friends
and I still believe that's true

But, right now it's 12:16am
and I have a list titled "Honey Do":

-Remember to watch the baby
when I go out next time

-Remember all the songs she loves
when you think she's crossed the line
(by yelling and screaming and making a mess
even though it will EVENTUALLY be just fine)

-Remember all the hours
with our daughter I have spent
when you think that too much time
to my own friends I have lent

And, thanks for your parenting ability
I really do think it's great

You have that certain able-ness
to complete those chores I really hate.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tonight, I Drank the Good Wine.

Earlier, I drove four hours
the baby screamed most of the way

I used up all of my will powers
attempting to keep toddler yelps at bay, SO...

Tonight I drank the good wine
I'm sorry I couldn't wait

The baby went to bed at nine
not at seven or even eight

I wish I could've waited
but I didn't think I should

I know you'd probably hate it
if I didn't sleep real good

But now I know I'll sleep
like a piece of some dead wood!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


hard battle

If we are to be relativist, this is the thought with which we SHOULD begin. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Have Baby, Will Travel.

My kid has been ALL over the place.

Admittedly, not so many places as her second(?) cousins (Thailand, Dubai, Hawaii), but WAY more places than my husband or I had been by the time we were a year old (Pismo Beach, Seattle, Tahoe, NYC, Zion, Red Rock/ Vegas, Arizona, Lake Nacimiento, to name a few).

And yet, I find it's getting more difficult to take her anywhere. Even the grocery store.

Every trip now has to be planned around her schedule. The catch is, she has the least schedule-y of schedules. Without fail, she wakes up somewhere within a two-hour(ish) period of time. Then she takes a bottle, plays and about an hour later snacks. Then she takes a mid-morning nap-- the time of which is entirely dependent upon that morning awakening.

The only thing we have nailed-down is her bedtime, but that's a joke after a couple of days away from home.

Nevertheless, not only do we have multiple (5+ hour) trips planned for the remainder of the summer, one of our lengthy car trips will be just me and the girl baby.

I guess, the only thing I can say is: Wish me luck!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Our Secret to Vegas Success Part 2: Flexibility and Forgiveness

I am typically what one might refer to as "rigid" in my every day goings on. I like to stay relatively scheduled and I love it when everything has its own place.

My husband is not all that similar to me in this respect. He puts up with it, but tends get to things on his own time instead of my time.

When we go to Vegas we both try to err on the side of flexibility and forgiveness.

I love to gamble. Usually I set aside money (I will refrain from admitting the amount) and use those funds to feed my entertainment. Then, I usually run out of money because I decided to "go big". Then I take out more money... never does the husband tell me not to, or get angry with me. He's always understanding and sometimes even a little too encouraging.

Likewise, I do my best not to freak out when we have a change of plans. Sometimes, I like to make a little mental schedule of the day/ weekend/ lifetime. And, sometimes when that little schedule doesn't go as planned (by me, in my head) I like to think it ruins the rest of the event. Sometimes somebody's (my) plans change because somebody else (he) wants to nap. When in Vegas, I do my best to forget about the "plan" and just "go with" whatever happens. Usually, I succeed in being flexible, when we're in Vegas. Other times... not so much.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

1st Birthday Pink Pre-Party MADNESS

The little girl's first birthday will soon be here and I have to admit, although I was all for a small party, I am pleased we are having a larger-than-expected group of friends and family to help us celebrate the big day... or at least the guest list is larger than expected, we'll have to see who RSVPs!

Since the event is a first birthday party, the birthday girl herself hasn't given me much direction. So, I am choosing to mesh a few little ideas together in a sea of pink to make the overall effect appropriate for our little "Gus". (Gus is the nickname our girl received after her dad and I decided no one that looked so squishy and alien-like could have her given name, so for us it has stuck... much to the chagrin of her grandparents.)

Little Gus also LOVES rubber duckies, so we are now the proud owners of forty-eight miniature, first birthday, pink and purple, birthday hat wearing, rubber duckies. 

We are also in possession of twelve (or so) pink wands, multiple bags of pink and white marshmallows, eight pink water guns, twenty pink leis, twenty-four pink flamingo drink stirrers (I know...), twenty-five feet of pink tulle, seven pink plastic tablecloths, two pink trays, twenty four pink party blowers, forty-eight pink, white, and purple balloons, three over-sized pink bows, two rolls of pink wrapping paper, and a variety of pink napkins, plates, and utensils. And I still feel like there should be more listed. 

Do you have any PINK party ideas?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Our Secret to Vegas Success Part 1 - Location, Location, Location

We spent four days in Las Vegas without the kid. It was tough (for me)... but it was fun (for all). Since we had such a good time, I'm sharing our first secret to Vegas success-- as a married couple, in our thirties, with plenty of willing and reliable grandparents to babysit their one-and-only grand-baby while her parents hang out for a long weekend.

Secret #1 - Location, Location, Location 

We like to stay at the Palms, we've had some good luck there-- both gambling and otherwise. This trip didn't bode well for the gambling, but we wanted to party and we found plenty of parties at the Palms.

During the summer season, Thursdays kick the weekend off with a Rubber Duckie pool party at Palms Place (we didn't attend, but we wished we had), Fridays are always good for the Ditch Friday celebration, Saturdays are now hosted by a DJ as well, and Sundays are all about relaxing by the Palms pool. There is a scene nearly every day at one of the Palms pools.

The clubs at the Palms tend to be fairly popular. They rank fairly well on tourist (and local) sites and they are usually full on the weekends. The Ghost Bar is open late on Friday and Saturdays, plus there's a GBDC (Ghost Bar Day Club) every Saturday at 1pm. Moon is usually fun with its retractable roof, and top-40-ish music, although we had more luck with the Ghost Bar DJs during our recent stay. Rain seems to be better known for its House/Techno style music, and we skipped it since we didn't love our experience there during our stay for my birthday earlier this year.

Although we feel like we've had a great run at The Palms, in the future we would like to try out some of the hotels in City Center, or possibly something else on the Strip. The Palms is a lot of fun, but unless you're staying in the Fantasy Tower, the rooms are a great deal, but only in so-so condition.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Random Vaccination Rebuttal to a Friend...

Background: I feel very strongly that IF your child is healthy enough to be immunized, he/she should be. Still, I don't think you should do it if you find the evidence compelling you to do otherwise. That said, PLEASE make sure the evidence is credible when making your decision.

That said, below are a few of my notes on some information a friend posted from the Natural News Network.

Please take my notes as exactly what they are-- one mom's internet-based research in response to another mom's internet-based research. My research is not meant to be definitive, necessarily advisory, or otherwise. I only mean to point out some of the inconsistencies I keep on seeing in the natural health news sites I've seen thus far.

[For your reference, my framework for evaluating said sites is similar to what you will find HERE.]

Some information about the Natural News Site itself:

The following is included in the Natural News website Terms of Service:
No information on this site is intended as, or shall be construed as, legal, financial, medical or expert advice of any kind. NaturalNews is not responsible for typographical errors, editing errors, or news source errors. THE NaturalNews NETWORK STRONGLY SUGGESTS THAT YOU SEEK ADVICE FROM A COMPETENT PROFESSIONAL REGARDING ISSUES IN ANY PROFESSIONAL FIELD.

The “Declaration of Journalistic Interdependence” on the Natural News Website which explicitly states, among other things, that the site makes money from the products it endorses. This, according to the Vaccine Report you messages me with is a “conflict of interest”—one so concerning that the Natural News website condemns pro-vaccine doctors for (seemingly lesser) conflicts of interest, but fails to do so for its own organization.

The “Health Ranger” himself posted incendiary (and pretty blatantly WRONG) information about skeptics, such as myself at this link: http://www.naturalnews.com/028012_skeptics_medicine.html This post in and of itself is pretty damning to Mike Adams’ credibility to anyone outside of the anti-vaccine crowd.  

Some information about the “Vaccines: Get the Full Story” PDF

Compositionally and analytically speaking, the way the Vaccines document is written is rhetorically misleading. It uses sweeping generalities and red herring to “prove” vaccines are bad. However, the misinformation does not disprove the effectiveness of vaccination. It only points to common information readily available on the CDC website, and a few pieces of misleading information (sweeping generalities).  
On page 2, the 1986 National Vaccine Act is mentioned because . However the 1986 Act also meant the federal government enacted the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program which does allow for recourse in the event of adverse vaccine effects. It is also important to note that these acts enabled the costs of vaccine to remain as low as possible, and a $0.75 excise tax allows for a fund that pays out on Vaccine Injuries as decided by three government agencies (listed on the HRSA site below).

The first link in the “Vaccines: Get the Full Story” PDF doesn’t work, the survey page cannot be found. Source: http://www.generationrescue.org/pdf/survey.pdf

On page 3, the following (very propagandistic) language is used: “The only people who benefit from being healthy are you and those you care about.” This is incorrect; especially in light of the current status of “Obamacare” (also deemed “Romneycare” by some admitted leftists) means healthcare companies benefit greatly from not having to subsidize our illnesses.

The document makes a point of stating: “Autism is associated with vaccines.” This is true; it is true BECAUSE of the usage of the word ASSOCIATION. An association is: the “correlation of elements  of perception”. This means that, by definition, the term association refers to the way perception influences correlation—if a particular population (i.e. Natural News) perceives a connection between two ideas (like autism and vaccination) they are then associated.

I found ONE study on incentives and HMOs—it was dated 2001. Source: http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp340.pdf

Some information about http://www.fourteenstudies.org/
There IS a (non-US, German) study that was done on vaccinated versus unvaccinated children. And, (according to the site listed below) the results don’t show a whole lot of anything other than more pertussis, measles, mumps in the non-vaccinated group. Not a big surprise. Sources: http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=211 & http://www.aerzteblatt.de/pdf.asp?id=80869

The following site: http://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/vaccine-injury-compensation-programs offers reliable (i.e. well-researched with applicable sources) information about the history of vaccinations that you may find interesting.
The International Vaccine Counsel touts a membership of “hundreds” of doctors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there were over 691,000 doctors as of 2010, which means an extremely small portion of doctors has subscribed to this set of beliefs.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Kids (and students) Just Don't Understand...

Huffington Post featured a blog post by a young man, Sam Koppelman, entitled "Parents Just Don't Understand" in honor(?) of the Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff's twenty-four year old (ahhh!) hit. After ten years of teaching, thirteen in education, and giving birth to (and parenting) a girl-child (so-far)... my response:

1. KIDS just don't understand that we know not all teens like Justin Bieber and One Direction.
Kids, in our day there was Boyz II Men, New Kids on the Block, and N'Sync (or Back Street Boys.. depending on your allegiance). There was also: The Descendants, Rancid, Bad Religion, Blink, and Green Day. We KNOW not every teen LOVES Bieber and One Direction... but they ARE super dreamy. 
2. KIDS just don't understand that we know they know we weren't perfect in high school, either.
Kids: we get super mad at you for two reasons: #1 (and the MOST important)- we don't sleep unless you're safe at home; and, #2 - we DID go out in high school, so we know EXACTLY what you're doing. Major ICK factor on all counts. You've seen the hair from the eighties... but have you seen the greasiness of the early nineties or the greasiness combined with hairspray of the late nineties? OMG. We weren't even the generation that invented the "out past curfew boots"... our parents did that.  
3. KIDS just don't understand that we KNOW we don't need to apologize for cursing...
Kids, we know you know curse words. We prefer to think otherwise (most of the time), but if you really think about it... you know that we know. You probably heard us say them before you heard them elsewhere... and (for the most part) we're okay with that. We taught you because we KNEW you needed them... and not just for test scores and annoying classes, but also for: when you learn to drive, breaking up with girl/boy friends, and college acceptance. And you thought we didn't care...
4. KIDS just don't understand that we know they've heard worse than Howard Stern.
Similarly, kids, we know we don't have to change the channel on the radio or the TV whenever Howard Stern comes on the screen. We know that you can stream his radio show or watch America's Got Talent on the computer. We could all enjoy Howard together... if we all enjoyed Howard. Even MY dad was over Howard by the time I was into him... and now that I'm over him, I think my kid should be too. Oh well. 
5. KIDS just don't understand that we know they don't "Twitter," they "Tweet".
Oh jeez. Get over your (thought to be) neologisms... most of the in-the-know peeps are at least in their thirties... yep, their THIRTIES. To twitter means: to give a call consisting of repeated light tremulous sounds. For examples see your TWITTER page. BTW-- Kids: you should never say you're going to "text" someone (it's a noun) or you will "Facebook" someone (it's a proper noun and should be two words)... OR, you should because you're kids and that's what you're not paid to do. 
6. KIDS just don't understand why we wouldn't want to them to make their photos look "old."
Kids: you're entirely correct. We are SO self-conscious about aging. (Or, at least most of us are.) That's totally normal! But seriously, when you make photos look old on Instagram or Hypstamatic, you aren't giving yourselves wrinkles and turning your hair gray: aging photos and aging middle-aged parents are not the same thing,  you make your photos black and white because old photos look cool... unlike old people. And we know that. Too well. 
7. KIDS just don't understand that a movie being rated "R" doesn't mean we don't know you won't go see it.
Seriously, kids, do you really think we don't know you go to see the films we wish you didn't?  As much as YOU like acronyms (LOL, OMG, JK) please realize they are NOT a secret language (I figured this out in 5th grade... possibly a little "L8" for my generation). R-U-2-Q-T2C-U-4-R-A-Q-T?! W8-4-Me! OMG LOL ROTL LMAO!!! Really?
8. KIDS (usually boy-kids, but still) just don't understand that we find it creepy when they start to like the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
Kids: we know you don't need any endorsements (ESPECIALLY boy-children) however; we would LOVE to think (especially moms) that you DO want us to give you the go-head. Just PLEASE keep those mags outta my sight when I come to clean your room. Thanks.

9. KIDS just don't understand that we know that they know what going away to "celebrate our anniversary" means.
This is just to bug you, so no further explanation needed. Ew.
10. KIDS just don't understand that we honestly do love them.
No matter how annoying they are or how much they don't understand, we know how much they love us. And we love them back!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Long Days of New Mommydom

Recently, I have been starkly reminded of my last days of pregnancy and my first days of motherhood. Close to a year later and I still have not forgotten some of those more tortuously poignant moments as most people, including close friends and my mother, told me I would.

This is my open letter (of sorts) to new mamas who are understandably struggling with the entire process. 

Dear New Mommy,

Some of you will enjoy every moment of your new status as a mother, and I feel so happy for you. In fact, I'm a little jealous. This letter, isn't really to you.

This letter is to the new mommy who struggles in some way that she never dreamed she would, be it external or internal. Your struggle, while it is normal, is still difficult and frustrating, and yours to be recognized and dealt with-- no matter how large or small.

For the first months of my daughter's life, I struggled with both internal and external forces that made my life difficult. I made it through those moments just fine, but not without many days/nights of both my daughter and I crying while we were home together.

I struggled with: breastfeeding, with leaving my daughter with other people (even with letting other people hold her!), with not being able to be by myself anymore, with some nights of seemingly incessant crying (and she didn't have colic), with my relationship with my parents, with my marriage, with not working, with being my daughter's primary caretaker, with my husband not having to be at home all of/ most of the time, household finances, with health decisions for myself and my daughter... it wasn't pretty.

When my little girl was three months old I spent the night away from her for the first time. That just opened up a whole new can of worms. At the time, I thought the night had gone relatively well, only to find out a few weeks later it just reminded my husband that the baby was now "always there"-- meaning, it wasn't just us anymore (like it had been for five years of marriage and six years of dating). That's a fun little part of what he and I still work on as we attempt to figure out what a third little human means in our relationship with each other.

Now, I've been away from her a few times. Only once was without her dad, and I didn't like it much because I didn't feel like it was time well spent. (It was for a family member's bachelorette party with her friends, so it was a different brand of fun with a different brand of friends, and it was a great reminder that I need to remember to clarify my priorities to myself if I don't want to spend unnecessary time away from my baby.) 

Our My constant refrain for spending time away from the baby is "time management". I do my best not to feel guilty, and as it has gotten easier over time to spend a little more time away, I am realizing it makes me happier to be a mama when I get back. 

I am also prepping for my return to work in August. It's slightly nerve-wracking because I've never had to make three schedules (me, husband, child) work in concert with one another. I guess everybody loves a challenge.

The husband and I are in constant contact over how we can have the best-possible chance at surviving this kid-thing as happily and successfully as possible. We both have our less-than-stellar moments, but we know that the best way to give our kid the best-possible chance at happiness is to model happiness. So, it gives us less reasons to pick fights and be critical of each other. (Being that I am historically the one to pick a fight and be critical that has made at least one of our lives much easier.)

So, to all you new moms that might be hating life for the moment: after nearly a year of this bullshit I think I'm getting the hang of some of it. And, it's gotten a little better, but it's always going to be different than it was.

I wish you lots of uninterrupted sleep and happy babies.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Beware of Tipsy Lady Touting Parenting Advice

I don't drink as much as I used to, but when I do I am happy to give anyone and everyone parenting advice. This results in a very hungover and embarrassed me slinking over to a very amused veteran parent later the next morning and offering my apologies for my well-intentioned and fully inappropriate words of wisdom.

We love to camp with other families, we make a point of doing it as much as we can and we especially love to camp with a particular group of friends. All of the dads (and non-dads) are work friends of the husband, we have known them for not quite a decade, before most of us had babies. All of the moms (and one mama-to-be) are awesome women who are lovely to hang out with-- so lovely in fact, when I'm with them I don't find myself with the familiar thought "I *need* that glass of wine"... but drinking wine with them is also fun.

The first time we had been around this group of friends after the little one arrived, I was incredibly excited to have a few drinks, hang out around the campfire, and share the latest of what life had offered up for us. In reality, I found myself having a few drinks, hanging out around the campfire, and sharing ALL OF MY AMAZING TIMELESS PARENTAL WISDOM that had been provided by my many decades four and a half months of parenting. 

Two glasses in, I decided the ice was broken and it was time to educate another parent. Of course, I chose to go for not just any parent, but the most sage parent at the campfire that evening. As the newest parent, I clearly had more knowledge than he about how to parent his (super neat, and going-to-be an amazing babysitter) eleven-year-old daughter. Yes, you may now cringe. Cringe like you know exactly how obnoxious I was-- 'cause I was most definitely worse than that. 

The best thing about this dad friend was he just laughed at me, then, and the next morning when I mumbled my apologies with the reddened cheeks of embarrassment. I like to think he knows me well enough to know that I think he's great and I cannot wit until his daughter is old enough to really babysit, because she loves my daughter like a little sister already. But, even if he doesn't know me well enough to know I was just drunkenly rambling through my verbal vomit that evening, he is cool enough and wise enough NOT to listen to me. 

Thus, I learned a couple of valuable lessons after my camping/parenting faux pas: 
1) Shut up when it comes to other people's kids (unless it's going to harm someone, especially my kid).
2) Just laugh at other people who are full of BS when they try to tell you how to parent (unless they're not full of BS, then you can listen to them as much as you like). 

What sorts of embarrassing parenting blunders have you made? Have you ever had to listen to someone else try to tell you how to parent while you just laughed?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Gargoyling for America

In recent months many people have taken part in such activities as owling, planking, and even draping. What you haven't seen much of is the original phenom: gargoyling.

Gargoyling began in the early 2000's when a close friend decided to perch atop the nearest raised platform and make a face that (somewhat) resembled a gargoyle-- yep, like the kind you find on Gothic cathedrals and such.

Over the past ten years or so, the gargoyling has become less pervasive, but more creative. We have received random text-pictures of our friends on boats, in bathrooms, and in various public places. We have also sent a picture of our daughter engaged in a gargoyle-esque pose, as well as the husband atop our kitchen counter.

I think this Fourth of July garoyle pose, in honor of America's day of independence, takes the cake because of its authenticity. (The husband and I climbed onto the roof of our house to watch our city's firework show.) What do you think... impressive Gargoyling or not?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Funny? Baby Info to the Grandparents

In anticipation of leaving town over the past weekend, I sent the following email to all of the kiddo's grandparents-- they split the babysitting time amongst themselves.  I also cc'd the husband who informed me my email was "a little funny"... I figured, if it's that funny, I should probably share it. Can you find the humor?

Hi Grandparents, 

Below is (hopefully) everything you will need for this weekend; but, of course, if you guys have any questions please call one of us. The Emergency Info is still in her diaper bag. We'll be staying at the Palms & our flight numbers are at the bottom of the rest of the information.Thank you very much for watching  Baby, we both really appreciate it. 


Courtney & Darin

6am to 7am  Baby wakes up somewhere in here. Usually I give her a full bottle in bed, she plays by herself and goes back to sleep for a little while. She usually gets out of bed around 8am. This is the only bottle she gets in bed, and it's after she wakes up. 

9am to 10am After  Baby gets up we usually play for awhile or get ready for the day. Between these times  Baby usually gets a snack of some sort and a sippy cup of whole milk, almond milk, or rice milk. She does not drink any juice

SNACKS - Her morning snack is usually two of the following: some oatmeal (1/4 c.), a banana, a nectarine, a pouch of applesauce, twenty or so goldfish, three or four low sodium saltine crackers, thirty or so Cheerios. She can have just about anything, but I try to stick with fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, and beans with just a little bit of bread and pasta. 

10am to 12pm After  Baby plays for awhile and has her snack she usually takes a morning nap between these times. We put her down when she starts getting fussy and/or rubbing her eyes. She might cry for a little bit, but if it's only a few minutes that's totally normal. At this time she will sleep anywhere from 30mins to 2hours if she's in a quiet room by herself. 

12pm to 2pm After her morning nap and into the afternoon time,  Baby usually has another snack (this time it's usually ONE of the snacks listed above) and a full bottle.  After this time, if she's thirsty before 6:30pm, she gets a sippy cup with water or one of the milks listed above. 

3pm to 5pm After three and before five,  Baby usually has a second nap (the time and length of this nap depends on how long/ what time her first nap was). At this point she will usually sleep about an hour, but might sleep for longer. After her nap, usually around 5:30pm  Baby gets dinner which is typically a less salty/sugary/fatty version of whatever we eat, along with some milk or water in her sippy cup. 

6:30pm  Baby's last bottle is at 6:30pm, at this point we give her a bath, after she's done with the bottle she gets changed and ready for bed. 

7:30pm We read her a book and put her to sleep at 7:30pm. She usually cries for a little while, but falls asleep within ten or fifteen minutes. Sometimes she also plays by herself for a little while, or looks at a book. We found it was really helpful to have music playing in the room when we were at the lake, it helped her sleep longer and more soundly. 

Miscellaneous Info

Waking Up During the Night - Every time we've traveled lately,  Baby wakes up during the during the night at either 2 or 4. At home if this happens we let her cry for five minutes or so. If she cries longer then give her 1/2 of a bottle, let her drink most of it with you and then put her back in bed with the rest of it and she should go back to sleep. Please don't put her to bed with the bottle otherwise. 

Our Travel Plans - We're staying at the Palms in Las Vegas, we'll fly Jetblue from -------- to Las Vegas on Thursday and come home on Sunday. 

Who Catie is Staying With, etc. - Baby will be with the B--------s from Thursday mid-morning until early on Saturday morning and then with the E---------s from Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon, we will pick her up on our way home. 

Fussiness/ Teething – She’s been touch and go with the teething, I can feel her top teeth ready to push through, but they aren’t doing so quite yet. If she seems overly fussy, give her the recommended dosage of infant Tylenol every four hours, along with the teething tablets (in the green bag), until she stops fussing. You can also try alternating between Advil and Tylenol every four hours. I have done both and both work just fine since she doesn’t tend to have a fever. (If, for some reason, she develops a fever go with the Tylenol and a cool bath.)

Diaper Rash – She shouldn’t have her diaper rash anymore, but she did have a slight rash a couple of days ago. We just made sure to change her often and put baby powder (the cornstarch kind, not the talcum powder) on her when we changed her. If she gets a bad rash, we usually use the purple tube of Desitin, it works really well for her.

Bruises – (forehead & chin) she has at least two bruises one on her forehead & the other on her chin. They are from crawling around and standing and falling, but in case you’re worried we do know they are there.

Nails – Feel free to clip her nails if she needs it, I hate doing it. 

So... What did you find most humorous about my baby info email to the g-parents?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

My New Shorts

I went shopping this evening. I wanted to find a pair of shorts for a short vacation to Las Vegas that the husband and I will be taking later this week, and I did find a cute pair-- in white, not my typical color choice for bottoms (if you're curious as to why I do not typically wear white shorts, please check out this entry in Urban Dictionary). They look like this, but I paid $12.80 for mine, so I don't think they're exactly the same:  
Cute, right?
I was happy to find something within my budget (for $12.80 I am not going to worry that they will be ruined and never worn again) and versatile. 

It took me three trips to the store, at least a combined ninety minutes of browsing, two people referring to me as ma'am, and the help of one salesgirl (she was an actual girl) to find these shorts. 

Yet, the thing that I took from my shopping experience is not my mini-victory. Instead, I am remembering the little baby girl crying the store and my fairly physical reaction to those VERY tired cries. 

The girl was about the same age as my own kid, making the moment even worse-- of course, and she was hanging out in her stroller. The person who appeared to be her mother looked like she'd had too much fun in her past life, and was struggling to cope with having a rather new baby around. 

On the one hand, I get it. Sometimes, all I want to do is mindlessly stumble around the mall for a few hours like I used to. Without anyone crying, yelling, or pooping. I'd also like to be doing this at nine o'clock at night. 

But, I don't usually get to do that. Sometimes I do because I am fortunate enough to have a husband who willingly hangs out with our kid, listens to her tired cries, and interprets them to mean: "Dad, please put me to bed. NOW!" Even on the nights he's not around I have many willing family members willing to take my kid for as long as I need/want. (Did I mention I'm lucky?) 

Even realizing my own luck, I was SO incredibly sad and mad and actually sort of sickened by those tired little cries because all that little girl wanted was to go to sleep. But, I couldn't do anything about it for her. 

So, all I did do was remind myself of how lucky I am and how happy I am that I do get to enforce a strict bedtime for the little girl and I do get to wrestle her down on the nights her dad works and no one else has to hear her tired little cries in the mall at nine o'clock at night and feel badly for her. (But, they do hear her cries at eight in the morning because my neighbor's girls-- ages nine and ten-- let me in on that one the last time I saw them.) 
Check out more Nablomopo posts on Blogher!

Friday, July 6, 2012

50 Shades of Lame: Follow-up

So after I had my Facebook run-in about Fifty Shades of Grey and porn and whatnot, I did eventually receive a reply to my question about what was specifically the matter with Showgirls, Magic Mike, and Fifty Shades (sort of).

The answer, as one can see for themselves, is a non-answer. Thus, I remain frustrated by this stupid Facebook run-in. If you don't know what BDSM erotica is about, how do you know it's stupid? I'm not saying people can't choose to think that it is stupid, I'm just saying I'd like to see those people back-up their opinions with tangible evidence.

For example, in my opinion it is in poor taste for a person to make blanket statements about something they refuse to learn more about out of a seeming sense of allegiance to Christianity. I think this is in poor taste because (this is where my TANGIBLE evidence comes in handy) this same "Christianity" thing also requests its believers to do such crazy things as "love thy neighbor", "judge not lest ye be judged", and "turn thy other cheek"... all in seeming opposition to the actual actions taken.

Another example: I think partaking in pornography (as a married person) is a personal decision that should be made by couples. I think this is a personal decision that should be made by couples because (here comes that tangible evidence again) while sometimes couples do not have the same ideas about said pornography and it can easily becomes a contentious topic, other times couples enjoy partaking in such activity and do so in a fulfilling manner.

For me, what it ultimately comes down to is this: I may not agree with what you say or do and I may voice that opinion; but, as long as you're a consenting adult and not hurting anyone to the best of your knowledge, I  find it difficult (and usually wrong) to condemn your lifestyle choice simply because someone tells me they think it's stupid, or unhealthy, and don't offer any further explanation. In this case, I find it harmful to others that someone can so easily condemn others for what seem to be harmless acts (i.e. watching a mainstream movie with friends or reading one of the all-time best sellers). And, thus, I do wholeheartedly disagree with this point of view.

One last thing: the last commentator makes the point of saying that his/her family does not have cable at their home and for that reason they lead sheltered lives. We don't have cable either. Any thoughts on why we aren't we more sheltered in our household?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

50 Shades of Lame

Everybody else seems to have read, written, posted, discussed, and opined in reference to the vastly popular  erotica by E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey. There are talks all over the web that a movie will be made and Pinterest is full of Christian Grey prospects.

It's all over Facebook too, as I am sure most of you have already noticed. This morning I came across a particular post that annoyed me more than the others because I already know the context in which the comment was made, so I felt the need to comment (of course).

Here, for your perusal, is the offending comment (not offending person, the person is very nice I'm sure, but the comment annoyed):

The truth is I am just as tired of hearing about 50 Shades of Grey as the next person. Like an overplayed pop song on the radio, the topic getting a little tired. As far as the literature goes, it's okay book from a literary point of view, and contains some fairly tantalizing scenes. However, my literary analysis of the piece is a moot point because the reality of the book's reception is: more than ten million copies have been sold in the United States alone and it is the all time highest selling book in the United Kingdom. Plus, I'm  tired of hearing about it because people are reading it, and discussing it. It's become a relevant topic of our popular culture, right up there with Lindsay Lohan and apparently Magic Mike. It's so popular, my brother almost downloaded it onto my father's brand new Nook, since it's on the NY Times Best Seller's List, but luckily read the description before doing so. (I would have loved to see the look on my dad's face if he had started reading it.)

I did read all three of the books in the series, and since family members read this blog I will refrain from explaining any impact the book did or did not have on my marriage. I will say my husband is happy I like to read. In college I also read The Delta of Venus by Anais Nin. That one wasn't so accessible, relatable, nor as easy to read, but they were written for a private collector in the forties; Nin's audience was not Twilight fans. I would argue the literary merit is different than that of Fifty Shades, and in its time it was generally well received by many reviewers. (I've also seen the movie Showgirls and I concur the movie is stupid, but that's because I think the director focused more on Berkley's booty than her dialogue... but that didn't mean the movie made no money despite its initial NC-17 rating.)

But, back to why I find this post so annoying: in response to my FB friend's last statement that all of those aforementioned texts are "stupid", I asked "Is there something in particular that made you feel that way when you saw/read them?" I haven't gotten a response yet, because there's none coming. Because to answer my question one would have to admit they have no real basis for calling them stupid because they haven't seen them, or they would have to admit they think they're stupid because they have consumed said media. And, I'm not sure which scenario would be more damning in this case.

This sort of blind turning away from anything that reeks of sex is what turns me away from engaging with people who term themselves as religious (usually of the Christian denomination) and then come off as completely holier-than-thou without even allowing a new thought to permeate their bubble of blind faith to their brand of Christianity.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this subject? Have you ever engaged in a discussion about Fifty Shades of Grey with someone unwilling to consider that it might be something they could like?