I am home with four kids - two girls, two boys - ages 14, 6, 5 and 3 (and when I started this blog, just a little over two years ago, I had an infant, a 2yr old, 3yr old and 12yr old - feels like a lifetime ago, but it wasn't ;-). Until about four or five years ago, I worked in marketing. I have been and done many things - dancer, magazine "multi-tasker", advertising copywriter, gymnastics coach, resort town waitress, grad student, etc. Now my areas of expertise are different and diverse. I am savvy, efficient, patient and earthy (like it or not). I am a better cook, an Ok herb gardener, an impressive artist to my kids, an active and prolific photographer, a childrens' clothing stylist (in my head), a manager of all things "household" and a news enthusiast (from politics to celebrity). I am more cynical though less of a worrier / hypochondriac than I used to be. I am increasingly proud of what I do with kids, family and home, but I do still present myself as a "freelance writer".
So... have started the holiday by forgetting to thaw the turkey (Food Network said to go frozen, so... I listened - though will be riveted to Martha Stewart on Today this morning - not kidding - will really be riveted - need to figure out the perfect brine - like I don't have better things to do :-). Also - one kid home with scratchy throat and... as oldest of the babies and, therefore, "leader" / instigator - has pulled a bunch of glow sticks from.... somewhere????... and they are running through house glowing. Oldest going to ice skate downtown today - around the tree, I guess. I used to work downtown - saw the tree go up after Halloween - However - noticing this year that retailers on holding off - decorating for Christmas when appropriate, so... hopefully, the tree will be up (the one Christmas "thing" that I think should be in place before Thanksgiving - let the festivities begin!!). Anyway ..... happy, happy all. I am prolific in the blogging arena right now because, oddly, I have all these little snippets of time in my chaos.
Last thing before I go.... give to St. Jude's Hospital this year. I am watching a story now in which a family had given to the organization for years, and... is now depending on St. Jude to save their little girl's life. That hospital does amazing things....
And btw - any turkey cooking triumphs and / or horror stories?? If so - share :-).
I have a couple of local, new and / or super cool businesses and products to check out.
First, if you're looking for a new dessert idea for Thanksgiving or a yummy treat for your kids (or you...), check out http://www.ladorita.net for some La Dorita Dulce de Leche (great back story and history on this recipe / product) a natural, preservative-free milk spread brought to you by two Pittsburgh super moms - Josephine Caminos Oria and Amanda Montgomery Carvelli.
Second, for those admirably environmentally conscious washable diaper fans, check out local mom and businesswoman, Maggie Broderick's, site www.burghbabygear.com to get your custom-made soakers and more - handpainted yarn, woolies, custom-made, BEAUTIFUL baby clothing!
Third - check out the Natural Attachment blog that I follow. Michelle, the author, provides a link and more info. on her unschooling blog, for which she has been nominated for an award. Definitely worth a look / read - whether or not you homeschool, unschool or public / private school. If you're a parent, you'll be interested.
And, lastly, I have to promote an old college friend's new show (he's producer) on Bravo - Chef Academy - 10 pm on Monday nights. Really fun - dreamy, delicious chocolate pots last night - tomato sauce (I'm told) next week - great, simple, tasty recipe - plus, there's some of that reality show drama that cracks me up (this time a cute French guy - with some culinary talent - was, apparently, a porn star in a past "professional life" - tune in next week... ;-).
Currently researching our local Pitt fashion scene... I'm told there are some new clothing lines out there.... being conceptualized, etc. right in our own back yards.... So.... I guess "stay tuned" is the theme for this post.
If you're not shoppers, go to your "happy place" this Friday and lay low (I've added a photo of my "happy place" - doing gymnastics on the beach with my daughter and her friend... fun, calming, invigorating ...). And, of course, Happy Thanksgiving!!!!
OK - and I don't mean the - "Oh yeah - I forgot to mention this kind" - I mean, leftovers - like - tonight's dinner is either the spaghetti from Sunday - the burgers from last night - soup and sandwich or breakfast for dinner - Place your order quick - the short order cook only remains in a good mood until.... oh - I'll give it until 7 pm tonight (I am basking in the warmth of knowing my little one had fun with me today - my preschooler made a funky little "Indian"(my part Cherokee mother would beat me with a stick - kidding) headband - my two oldests are happily at their school's Turkey Games). Anyway... I am thankful for my hard-working, understanding hubby - partner for life :-).
I actually don't truly understand that statement - seems to negate all the "and the meek shall inherit the earth" stuff. I mean - in my case, I feel like - shamefully - "bitch and ye shall receive" is more in line with my recent mood. I do need to be thankful, though, and, so... aside from the obvious, I am also thankful for harried trips to the mall with my 13 year old - my weekly donuts with preschooler - my kindergartner's endless questions (lately - What do lizards chase? Bugs - What do tigers chase? Everything - And even the existential - What do donuts chase? Coffee. What do teeth chase? Food. What does underwear chase? Bumbies.)- and my silly, silly two year old and her wild, unkept hair that she constantly brushes from her sweet, little face.
Anyway - I lamented not being able to spend time with friends and family - or really focus on people, situations ,etc. recently, and.... have to say - dinner with old work friends last night (have known them almost 10 years - been through many girlfriends, boyfriends, babies, jobs, etc. with them) - knitting class last week - shopping with daughter and friends - field trip with kindergartner - gymnastics with both youngests - hot dogs and beers with hubby's "band friends" over the weekend - big cousin sleepover coming up - a baptism to attend - dessert to host on Thanksgiving - breakfasts out with pals.... We have hit the mother lode of love :-). OK - I am even cracking myself up now. Expressions of love must make me "cheesey". All good.
OK - first of all - here's my fab, famously sought-after corn pudding recipe:
I use a large souffle dish (very deep so it needs to cook in moderate - not hot - oven - around 300 - 350 degrees - for a long time - up to an hour or more like a bread to make sure it gets done through but doesn't burn on top) - though you can use a 13 X 9 baking dish and make the oven more like 375 degrees. It will stay hot in the deep pan so can be made before other things that may need to cool before serving). Depending on the size of the pan and your preferred ratio of one ingredient to another, you may need to add more of one - scale back another :-). Two disclaimers: 1. This is a southern recipe so it is not going to be low-fat fare unless you customize it - AND 2. It would be ideal to use fresh corn and cream it yourself with whatever salt, pepper, sugar, heavy cream mix you use, but.... during this season, the corn is either not available or not sweet or tender enough to be good. When you do use canned corn, it will be a little sweeter, so the savory needs to be pumped up a bit and salt may need to be added (taste as you go). I suppose flash frozen organic corn may be a good option. Anyway ....
2 cups corn 2 cups creamed corn (corn, salt, pepper, sugar, heavy cream and either tapioca or corn starch to thicken - stir, stir, stir :-) and blanch corn first - OR - just use organic canned - still tastes good - just a bit sweeter. 2 eggs 1/2 cup melted butter 16 oz. sour cream 2 cups fine, sweet corn meal (in the latin american markets - the "massa", correct?? would be great) pinches of sugar, salt and pepper to taste (you can add eggs last if you're tasting) 1 cup cheddar cheese
Mix all the above - butter sides of dish - pour in and cook to specs above :-)!!
Not a lot of time this week, but I have a couple retail tips - specifically for the mall shoppers :-)... Nordstrom is doing one of their annual sales, and... I have to say.... things are going fast (major designer, mom-friendly bags on clearance :-). Lucky jeans has a huge percentage off all women's thermals and kids' stuff .... Janie and Jack has super cute stuff - practical, fun, retro play clothes on sale .... Juicy Couture has nothin' (yeah - shopping for my tween) - lots of bundled gifts, but... like boy boxer underwear or knee socks that are "over the top, can't wear them everyday" stuff and over $40 for like 3! Anyway.....
Happy Thanksgiving! I'm loving that my kids are telling me daily what they are thankful for..... which is great. But - of course, we also have Black Friday to deal with, so.... good luck there too!
1. My boys love the "smiley cookie place" (Eat n Park restaurant), so me and hubby happily take them - get eggs benedict or the salad bar - whatever (little known fact - they do use organic and local produce and ingredients, so... all you "responsible types" out there, take note :-).
2. My oldest daughter likes to reminisce about my Dad, her Grandfather (who died three and half years ago), so... I tearfully and eagerly listen to her stories of how she remembers sitting on his lap while he did bills or other work-related stuff (he was an executive with Goodyear) - she would draw with a highlighter pen in a notebook that he saved (when he died, it disappeared with a lot of other things... makes me sad) - how she, to this day, still reminds herself of her left from her right hand by remembering how - at the end of my parents' long winding driveway, their big house with the wrap-around porch and pristine, sprinkler-kept lawn behind her - her friend, Corey's house was to her right and the pool was to her left :-). She remembers watching football games in the big TV room with the vaulted ceiling and attached giant sunroom - drinking cokes on trays and eating pretzels. I miss that house (my Mom sold it).
3. I look forward, every morning, to my coffee - hot Illy brand coffee with milk and sugar in an oversized Starbuck's mug (well - a witch mug for Halloween - my only break in the routine ;-).
4. Secretly, I like when my 2 year old wakes in the night and needs to be put in "dog bed" by the couch with me next to her - I soothe her, change her, cuddle a little then snuggle into the delicious warmth of our big soft couch, warm comforter (my hubby's from high school - funny), then... on occasion, I get to watch late night movies and make hot tea (truthfully, the latter sometimes makes for a sleepy day the next day, but.... it's like a naughty pleasure leftover from my childhood - I get to stay up by myself! I get to watch movies on TV! :-).
5. I get SUCH satisfaction from a day, like today. Midday - I had a NUTRITIOUS lunch on the table for everyone on time (3 yr old had cold, so I had a cold drink and favorite movie for him - he got to snuggle under comforter on couch) - I did homework with kindergartner in an orderly fashion (he was home too - upset stomach early am that disappeared later in day) - we had fun drawing pictures, playing games, etc. I had the two year old's room neat and clean so she could play with dolls, teasets, trucks, puzzles - all easily and with such joy - I made some doctor's appointments and other "efficient", organizational calls. I made soup and sandwiches for dinner - baked cookies - read stories to little ones - chatted late night with "tween". I know it's very 1960's housewife of me, but... I liked it.
Just woke from a nasty dream - one of those that leaves you with an unsettled feeling - is is loss? fear? sadness? A vague notion that the dream was bad enough to imply harm to a family member. Is it my brave 8th grader - my sweet kindergarten guy(the two who come to mind because I am responsible for them yet I send them off into the world all day long)?? Is it me?
Alone at night, I go to my comfort areas - look at my iPhoto pictures, read, think about recipes, make a hot bevy, turn on silly movies.... tonight, I went to see updates from friends on Facebook - get caught up on email, etc., having let the kids do Noggin / Nick stuff for part of the evening (I had laundry, dinner dishes, social studies homework, bath for the three wild ones ;-) - don't get me wrong, for all my "to do" list complaining, I also bake and eat cookies, watch The Next Iron Chef, enjoy the fact that hubby grilled our dinner, minimizing my "workload" - whatever - quite a bit, etc.). Then... I came here :-). In both places, I found encouraging posts, info., messages from friends. And.... I must say, I feel much better.
So - these dreams / nightmares / thoughts... Do they come from the occasional hostility I feel from family members, my own guilt in forgetting things like the Book Fair (me and my special guy read his new book tonight at bedtime - something about Charlie and his superhero underpants - funny for us since little bro often walks the house in a cape and Underdog t-shirt - so...all is good - forgiven / forgotten about that, btw :-), my current harried lifestyle causing an overflow of shoulda, coulda, woulda, H1N1 hysteria??? Who knows. For now, I'm just grateful that my hubby is asleep with our boys in the "big bed" - all of them snuggled together in the big fluffy white bedclothes (having all had bedtime "issues", ranging from stuffy nose to "I can't sleep", they all fell asleep together, and I don't even mind hanging with the baby / 2 yr old tonight and her cough - like hubby said earlier, all of this little kids stuff is not forever, which is totally food for thought, eh?) - my oldest daughter, after an intense, somewhat tearful but productive conversation with me earlier today about how much we've been through together and some recent "intrusions" from well-meaning people that have left us a bit deflated, hurt, confused, had turned our interaction into playful banter and sincere chat about taking better care of ourselves, friends, family, etc. After working on and adding wonderful brother and sister prose and sayings to a very sweet black and white photo of she and her brother (the kindergarten guy) hugging (I'm sure this bit of artwork is Facebook bound ;-), she is sleeping peacefully. I am not, however. I've never been a sleeper - chronic insomniac since childhood. Tonight or this morning, rather, I am, once again, embracing the idea of some hot tea and a mindless movie.
I do feel better. Thank you, friends (and, of course, thank you, hubby and babies - yeah, they're all still my babies ;-).
I hope you all remember this "aforementioned" ;-) post - the eve of my 2 year old's birthday. I have to say - there are things you remember for a long time. I remember dressing my oldest - then not quite 2 - for her first day of daycare at Old Dominion University; I remember getting tears of relief in my eyes when I went to visit and saw her peacefully napping. I remember my kindergartner - then only a few months old - sucking his "paci" in his baby swing - same time everyday - I would watch him and drink hot chocolate. I remember getting my 3 year old's room ready when he was an infant still in the NICU - the neighbor's Christmas lights twinkled through our frosty third floor windows - wee hours of the morning - my Dad was still alive - visiting us, sleeping downstairs as I worked. And.... I'm sure I'll remember this special night with my "baby" :-) - dancing, singing, cuddling - Halloween on the way - autumn in the air - so cool.
... a couple of glasses of green tea - more than a couple Trader Joe's dark chocolate almond clusters - a dumb movie like Bridget Jones' Diary (GOTTA love the turkey curry, Tarts and Vicars party and the fight - "a real fight!")- a great game of Trouble with my little Book Fair guy - and a fun, relatively calm, successful (everybody ate, colored, etc.) breakfast out with the family can make!
Happy fall... y'all. Don't worry - my renewed sense of "I can do this" will no longer include rhyming :-).
So - despite my feelings lately that I'm organized and on top of it all (I have semi-clean bathrooms, seasonal kids' clothes organized, an indoor herb garden going, meatloaf, lasagne and post roast-type dinners on the table every night, homework done, etc.), I am feeling a bit suffocated, and... I'm screwing up a bit.
Today, hubby had to travel early in the am, so.... I got up at 5am - got him going, laid (sp? correct? the editor in me emerges ;-) back down for a bit (on the couch, mind you - two year old up coughing all night so was in dog bed next to me - hubby with boys), got up for good before 6 am (to finish leftover laundry, read my email, fold towels and blankets left from yesterday as well), woke middle schooler and kindergartner, made breakfast, occupied one with computer games - made sure the other was up and moving, got uniforms out of the dryer - dealt with two youngests waking cranky and wanting granola bars, juice, etc. - made lunches - continued short-order cook type breakfast making - made beds - turned off all night lights, humidifiers, etc. (typical early am "straighten the house" stuff) - got everyone dressed into warm jackets and appropriate shoes.... I don't really remember making myself presentable at all - no shower - not even sure I brushed my teeth or hair - though I did throw on my daughter's hand-me-down Uggs, a pair of ugly brown flared leg sweats, a 20 year old Harvard sweatshirt (forgot a jacket for myself despite having to de-ice the van) - then drove everyone to school (oldest had her revised report that I proofread the night before, was wearing new uniform shirt I picked up day before - hubby off to DC with the ID card he needed to do some family paperwork, which I turned the house upside down to find the night before - kindergartner had his library book to return, homework turned in early, money for ice cream at lunch that he had been asking for, etc. etc. I even gave strict instructions to all - oldest walk with kindergartner to class, kindergartner remember to turn in book, etc. - really felt OK with my mental "to do" list).
All day, I stayed in my "uniform" (sweats or yoga pants, t-shirt or hoodie, flip flops) and worked tirelessly on organizing bedrooms (got rid of useless old art shelf, continued Good Will piles and seasonal clothes updates), I mopped kitchen floor, made bacon and eggs for little ones, baked cookies for schoolkids, cleaned bathrooms, did several loads of laundry, washed dishes AND ran dishwasher - oh, the list goes on (and this is the "treadmill" I've been on lately - for weeks). I even managed some sitdown game and movie / popcorn time with my two youngests AND sent the requisite emails and Facebook updates to friends and acquaintances - my 15 min. on computer before Noggin games begin :-). Anyway, much to my horror - I remembered as I watched my kids walk home from the bus stop - that I had forgotten to send money in for my kindergartner's first book fair (and it might sound like I'm over-reacting, but... this little thing - THESE little thingS that come up ... do mean a lot to me). My oldest, of course, immediately relayed the story of my kindergartner's school "buddy" (an older kid assigned to help them with misc. things throughout the year) desperately seeking her out for money that she didn't have - my little guy about to cry - finally had to borrow from a teacher - just so sad and embarrassing. I should have remembered to send that money! I don't want to picture him upset, thinking he's the only one in his class who can't shop for a book (he finds books and other such book fair trinkets really enticing when we're out at the regular stores - I can imagine how happy then disappointed he was). So ...grateful for everyone's help, I fired off some thank you emails and sent some follow up correspondence to his teachers... when.... I also remembered that it had been our snack day as well, which I also forgot (turns out, after some apology and investigation, that they have an over-abundance of snack and juice overage, so... have asked me not to send anything in because they are trying to plow through reserves - hope they're not just saying this to be be nice :-). Now... as I'm up, sleepless, having been awakened by yet another 2 year old coughing fit (and, yes, she's back in dog bed and I'm on the computer working out my "issues" :-), I'm remembering that we also forgot show and tell. Oh well.
After weeks of everyone sick - trips to medical specialists - the ER - all the H1N1 clinics - plus, regular orthodontic appointments and well visits for immunizations, then..... hubby traveling and doing a lot of consulting..... my health not so great (headaches, stomach pain, probably cavities from dental neglect, put-off doctor's appointments when I'm usually really good about my own check-ups, sore muscles, scratchy throat, runny nose and earache, probably uti) .... no break (mother lives in another city and is rarely able to visit, mother-in-law not crazy about me so ... that situation is what it is) to even get my hair cut, buy a new bra for me, socks for the kids or necessary groceries (I mean I shop with little ones, but they are feisty, prone to tantrums and often run from me). When I do drop one at a morning out program, I have the other to take to gymnastics or the doctor or preschool, etc. Anyway, I'm not complaining.... I'm just trying to cut myself some slack.
Truly, I marvel at these mothers who are put together and manage some social time for themselves - or actually have time during which their families are around them -eating, watching TV, playing games - whatever. I am usually alone. Either I'm stealing 10 min. of TV time or squeezing in a solitary workout on the Wii or sitting alone at night - everyone asleep - me trying to wind down or.... I'm going through my day, kids in tow, no time to talk to other moms or make friends - just enmeshed in errands and housework and pure carpool, appointment duty or other automode. I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water. I get lonely. I feel inadequate. I wish my husband wouldn't work so late all the time (we never sit down to dinner as a family unless I force it - the middle schooler hates my cooking - my three year old doesn't currently eat real food now anyway and the baby won't sit in her high chair or any chair, for that matter - would rather eat from our plates on the run, so to speak) - I wish my middle schooler wanted to shop with me or hang out more (currently, I long to chaperone her dances or get involved in other school events but have to send her off with friends while I wrangle babies - plus, I'm usually not presentable anyway - yukky, greasy hair, dumpy clothes - I should pull it together - maybe then she would have sleepovers here more instead of at friend's houses - because her friends seem to like me - fascinated by my dance abilities even as a "mom" or my stories of my odd, hip friends from back in the day AND they think I look young - which makes me feel kinda good :-).
I'm really not complaining. I know how lucky I am. I'm just trying to wrap my brain around why I can't seem to pull it together enough to actually pleasantly volunteer in my kindergartner's classroom - take my oldest daughter shopping - have some evening time with my husband - get my volatile 3 year old into other productive outlets, classes - spend time with the baby before she's not a baby anymore - sit and scrapbook or even make time to get some photo prints or upload photos regularly (things I enjoy - I have an iPod full of songs I like but don't have time to listen - I would clean up and go on a fun shopping trip or get my hair cut, dyed or just "fixed" - but I have few clothes that look good on me and my current state of hair has me pretty embarrassed - a salon outing would be stressful, at this point - selfish, eh? ;-)..... I mean, it is well past 2 am, and I am up - upset stomach, headache -realizing I have not showered in a couple days - my temporarily heartbroken kindergartner on my mind as well as the fact that my daughter is at another sleepover and I did not get to hear about her fun school dance. Hubby was distracted and tired after his trip - I missed dinner in the chaos of the evening (though I am basking in a sense of accomplishment - bedrooms organized, house clean, kids happy and full of "I love yous" and other shows of gratitude that I need to notice more - albeit I did leave a wet load of laundry in the washing machine - just remembered :-).
So ... off I go - 2 year old spit up her bedtime snack milk during one of her coughing fits, so I need to deal with that. I'm going to check on my boys - make sure they're comfy and sleeping - text my daughter a good morning message - then maybe actually brush my teeth, put some soothing, aromatherapy lotion on, clean myself up a bit, have some tea and try to watch some late night TV on the couch (maybe actually fall back asleep :-). It actually doesn't sound too bad ... in fact, sounds like quite a good plan to me. So my hours aren't what everyone else's are - my daily function a little harried right now - the word "lonely" does creep into my vocab now and then.... I'm working on it.... looking forward to holidays.... just glad everyone else - little ones, hubby, mom, etc. - seems really happy. Oh - and on the bright side.... I did manage more than one HOT cup of coffee today (quite an achievement) and I painted my toenails red! High five!
I am at peace in terms of how me and hubby are making individual time for our kids lately. My kindergartner has been helping me make breakfast on a regular basis lately, and... he helped me completely with dinner the other night - I mean REALLY interested in what to do. The wild three year old and I have a weekly routine - gymnastics and doughnuts once a week with lots of together time on other days while baby sleeps. Both boys have enjoyed Daddy's company too - he coaches the kindergartner's soccer teams, and he spends a lot of evening time with the three year old who likes to have Daddy lie next to him as he falls asleep (big brother falls asleep a little earlier). Our middle schooler is looking at high schools, so.. we've been doing the tours with her (plans to go to dinner to discuss our findings thus far were waylaid by an antsy babysitter,but... we have plans to dine out, just the three of us, soon...), and poor Daddy is, again, on coaching duty -this time basketball (though, don't be fooled by complaints - he loves every minute). The baby and I have a morning out once a week - plus some afternoon cuddle time while middle schooler does homework and the boys enjoy after school time playing together (they miss each other during the day - bittersweet, really - successful in their own endeavors but miss all our previous years of outings together as toddlers and preschoolers).
So... in an unrelated comment (though it fits with the zenlike peace I am trying to create for myself).... I am currently OK with my blog style - write something - throw up some photos..... though .... I'm thinking it may be more soothing and helpful if I actually paired comments with photos... Hmmmm... food for thought.
So - in gymnastics today, I was waiting on the trampoline and snuggling with my equal parts volatile / equal parts "I love you" little 3 yr old guy, and... noticed that he smelled like a fabulous mixture of coffee and bacon and laundry detergent and apple juice - just like our humble, cozy house - every morning. A later trip to the baby aisle at Whole Foods had me thinking... wouldn't it be great to bottle these memory trigger or comfort smells?! You know - something beyond vanilla, linen or apple pie - which is what all the holiday candle places entice us with. Anyway..... I'm in love with that baby aisle. So... my tip for today (something cool for parents - something cool for kids) is to check out your Whole Foods kids' toiletries section. I mean, it is a little pricey, but... they have everything from tasty, useful toddler toothpaste and gum brushes to bubble bath that soothes stuffy cold and flu noses. They have sweet little Peter Rabbit bottles of detangler (which I desperately need - having 2 curly heads and one fuzzy baby head) - they have California Baby items (the little cover girl looks so much like my oldest did as a toddler that I get a lump in my throat). Love it. While you're at Whole Foods, pick up a huge, only $12 rosemary cone - smells great and rosemary is, of course, in many, many recipes. Gets you thinking holidays, really.....
Have the world's easy recipe to share today too - 5 min. guacamole. Cut up some avocados - add salt and lime - mash with a semi-strong white onion - stir in some diced tomatoes and an optional chopped Serrano chile. REALLY good.
Love having some "trendy mom cafe- like" discussions, so... think on this.... Is anyone else getting completely conflicting info. on H1N1 vaccines as they try to get their kids and themselves taken care of? I'm usually ON this stuff, but.... am having trouble discerning fact from fiction lately... Anyone else????
I, first, have to disclaim this post by saying that I have spent a lifetime as a physically fit individual (sometimes fanatically so) - I was vegan for a long time - I always buy organic and cook fresh food - and, while I condone physical exploration and some risk-taking in my little ones (learn your boundaries), I am a germaphobe as well as a safety freak...
OK - so... after a day of FANTASTIC school conferences (our kindergartner'e teacher just loves him and his intense interest in nature and animals and is astounded by his improvement in letter recognition, writing his name, etc. - our 8th grader is on her way to becoming a great writer and has Honor Roll grades - our three year old is making friends and adjusting to his classroom), my hubby went to work, my middle schooler went to lunch with friends, and I was left with the three little ones who begged for (in this order) - Fast Food, Blue Slide Park and a trip to Trader Joe's for balloons, so... we did it all...
Had a big french fry-ish, sloppy fast food lunch, took cardboard "sleds" recklessly down the big blue slide and had a marginally successful trip to Trader Joe's (managed to get stuff for dinner, but... focused more on our acquisition of apple juice, peanut butter cups and popcorn instead of other veggies or proteins). I would have topped the day letting them play Wii while I watched some Bravo or BBC reruns, but... the Wii is acting up, so... it was the recent Monsters and Aliens Halloween special, which they wanted to watch over and over.
I liked today. Sometimes ... you just have to "go with the flow"...
Thanks fellow feminists and women who care to discuss with other women... :-)...
I think we all sort of said it all.... We should just be a bit more tolerant of one another. Who is to judge who is fat, who is chesty, who is "slutty", who is sloppy....??? Does personal expression and - yeah - something as simple as comfort (thought it is not that simple, right? It is important to feel comfortable - confident - whatever) - go out the window because we want others to view us as more chaste, more fashionable, more "together" - and beyond that, smarter... more interesting..... just because of our body type and / or what we wear - ????? I mean... currently ... because of this type of thinking.... I often wonder if I'm not included in other "Mom lunches" or play outings (sometimes, I'm just not approached at all despite showing great interest) because I let my straight hair hang, wear little to no make-up and suit up in baggy clothes (so used to nursing, not fitting in old clothes) - while other moms dress up for school pick-up, always have the latest bag, get their hair cut and dyed often.... Hmmm....
I'm encouraged that all the comments I got via blog, email, Facebook - whatever - were all sensitive and, though, varied in perspective - concerned that other women were entitled to some individuality. Discouraging, of course, are the stories of judgement and disdain from our supposed gentle gender ;-). Read below .... discuss further.....
... women who bash other women for their appearance? And... I don't mean in a "she looks bad - why doesn't she pull it together" kinda way (though we all know that happens too), but... in a "she has a big chest - I bet they're fake - she had on a lowcut Halloween costume, therefore, she's a slut - she wears tight jeans, I bet she's easy and definitely not a feminist - oh, it goes on - you know it goes on....). And... for those of you who know me... I am not saying this because I've been anywhere from a 34DD to a 36D+ since I was 15.... I've just had it with this blatant, mean-spirited gender-bashing.
I would stay on my soapbox a lot longer, but.. I have kids to deal with. And, yes, I realize that these same women would probably think that I should be "working" outside the home if I'm a true feminist. Truly, such thinking sets feminism back many, many years.... as does condoning the plight of female graduate students who are not taken seriously in coursework because they look "like aerobics instructors" per their male professors, for example, or women who are deemed "sluts" at first glance because they are wearing something lowcut or clingy or spend too much time on fashion - never mind that they are, often, multi-degreed or hold positions of great responsibility and intellect in their respective careers.
I'm just tired of it.... these women who sit around and speculate on the morals and intellects of other women based on an outfit, a bra size or a first visual impression. These supposed feminists who use words like "sluts" liberally or actually spend time wondering if someone has a breast or butt implant - or chastise teens who wear appropriate but more form-fitting clothing because they like it, it looks good, it covers everything (like yoga pants - I mean come on! yoga pants are "slutty"??!!) - whatever (and, further, even speculate that their permissive mothers must be slutty or have implants - and, yeah - I was just made aware of a Facebook "conversation" to this effect - replete with the standard "ugh - I feel like I'm wasting my time as a feminist" - type comments - to which I say - yes, you are - until you open your mind, stop trashing others and get some self-esteem yourself. Anyway......