Mom Time vs Dad Time

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We have been parents for just over three years now. Parents of two for two years in two weeks. And in that time I’ve noticed a distinct difference in the amount of time it takes the Mom and the Dad to do things. Here are two of our most recent examples.

 Going on a Walk.

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Mom Time: One Hour

Pack snacks in individual snack things with no spill lids. Fill individual water bottles and put in wagon. Put shoes on both girls. Put socially acceptable clothes on me. Put shoes back on both girls. Put coats on girls. Put hair in ponytail and sunglasses on. Put shoes back on the little one. Shove extra pacifier into my pocket. Open door and encourage movement toward the wagon in the garage. Wait 7 minutes while they slowly amble to the door and make their way outside. Do not touch the little one to help in anyway or she will yell “no mommy help” and take an additional 3 minutes just to prove to you that she can do it.

Head out for the walk. Get as far as the mailboxes before tantrums, fighting and pleading to hold me mommy begins. Kick some rocks, find a slug, hit your sister and we head back home.

Dad Time: One Hour

Put coats on kids and big boots. Go outside for a walk.  Have a great time with our delightful children. Return one hour later and hand kids over to mom because they are hungry.

Going to a Christmas Party

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Mom Time: 3 hours

The party starts at 6 so take a shower at 3. Dry your hair while alternating blowing hot air at your children with the dryer to keep them entertained and out of your good makeup. Run after your 3 year old, while still in your towel, who has run off with your dress to partly be funny, partly be naughty and partly to dress like mommy, and hope the neighbors can’t see you. Feed the children big late snacks so that they aren’t too grumpy before we can eat at the party. Put the little ones dress on. Put your own dress on. Do your make up while singing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and swatting little hands to keep said big snack off of your party dress. Put the older ones dress on. Make first attempt to do daughters hair. Do half of your own hair. Make second attempt to do daughters hair, be successful with one out of two. Finish your hair. Third and final attempt to do other daughters hair, be mostly successful. Put shoes on everyone. Get everyone into the car. Run back inside to grab a bottle, lipstick and take a final look the mirror only to discover you don’t like your party dress after all. Make a quick change and run to join your family in the car. Enjoy the party.

Dad Time: 28 Minutes

Party starts at 6 so work in the yard then fiddle in the garage. Tell the little one she looks pretty in her party dress. Shower at 5:18. Tell the other daughter she also looks pretty and that you like her hair.  Catch the end of the game. Get dressed and into the car. Wait for wife who is doing who knows what. Tell her she looks pretty too. Enjoy the party.

Disclaimer: I think mothers and fathers play distinct and different roles in the lives of our children. In no way do I expect my husband to be as sensitive and pack as many snacks as I do. And in return, he does not expect me to never pack diapers or to have the whole family actually ready for an event in 15 minutes.  We fulfill our unique rolls differently…and on different time tables.

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Hey Parents, don’t dress your girls as tramps

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This first trimester has rocked my world, and not in the awesome sort of way. I have been more exausted than I ever remember being before and the morning sickness has been any time all day all week and even in the middle of the night sickness. Mercifully, this trimester is coming to a close and the sickness has subsided and sometimes I can stay awake until 9 at night, and thats a long way past 7:30.  So in an attempt to get back on my blogging feet here is one of my favorite old posts by LZ Ganderson.

An article worth sharing in my parenting opinion. This one is written by a father, LZ Granderson writes a weekly column for CNN.com. A senior writer and columnist for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, he has contributed to ESPN’s “Sports Center,” “Outside the Lines” and “First Take. Here are his words about they way some people dress our little girls.

I saw someone at the airport the other day who really caught my eye.
Her beautiful, long blond hair was braided back a la Bo Derek in the movie “10” (or for the younger set, Christina Aguilera during her “Xtina” phase). Her lips were pink and shiny from the gloss, and her earrings dangled playfully from her lobes.
You can tell she had been vacationing somewhere warm, because you could see her deep tan around her midriff thanks to the halter top and the tight sweatpants that rested just a little low on her waist. The icing on the cake? The word “Juicy” was written on her backside.

Yeah, that 8-year-old girl was something to see alright. … I hope her parents are proud. Their daughter was the sexiest girl in the terminal, and she’s not even in middle school yet.

Abercrombie & Fitch came under fire this spring for introducing the “Ashley,” a push-up bra for girls who normally are too young to have anything to push up. Originally it was marketed for girls as young as 7, but after public outcry, it raised its intended audience to the wise old age of 12. I wonder how do people initiate a conversation in the office about the undeveloped chest of elementary school girls without someone nearby thinking they’re pedophiles?

What kind of PowerPoint presentation was shown to the Abercrombie executives that persuaded them to green light such a product?
That there was a demand to make little girls hot?

I mean, that is the purpose of a push-up bra, right? To enhance sex appeal by lifting up, pushing together and basically showcasing the wearer’s breasts. Now, thanks to AF Kids, girls don’t have to wait until high school to feel self-conscious about their, uhm, girls. They can start almost as soon as they’re potty trained. Maybe this fall the retailer should consider keeping a plastic surgeon on site for free consultations.

We’ve been here with Abercrombie before — if you recall, about 10 years ago they sold thongs for 10-year-olds — but they’re hardly alone in pitching inappropriate clothing to young girls. Four years ago the popular “Bratz” franchise introduced padded bras called “bralettes” for girls as young as six. That was also around the time the good folks at Wal-Mart rolled out a pair of pink panties in its junior department with the phrase “Who Needs Credit Cards” printed on the front.

I guess I’ve been out-of-the-loop and didn’t realize there’s been an ongoing stampede of 10-year-old girls driving to the mall with their tiny fists full of cash demanding sexier apparel.

What’s that you say? Ten-year-olds can’t drive? They don’t have money, either? Well, how else are they getting ahold of these push-up bras and whore-friendly panties?

Their parents?

Noooo, couldn’t be.

What adult who wants a daughter to grow up with high self-esteem would even consider purchasing such items? What parent is looking at their sweet, little girl thinking, “She would be perfect if she just had a little bit more up top.”

And then I remember the little girl at the airport. And the girls we’ve all seen at the mall. And the kiddie beauty pageants.
And then I realize as creepy as it is to think a store like Abercrombie is offering something like the “Ashley”, the fact remains that sex only sells because people are buying it. No successful retailer would consider introducing an item like a padded bikini top for kindergarteners if they didn’t think people would buy it.

If they didn’t think parents would buy it, which begs the question: What in the hell is wrong with us?

It’s easy to blast companies for introducing the sexy wear, but our ire really should be directed at the parents who think low rise jeans for a second grader is cute. They are the ones who are spending the money to fuel this budding trend. They are the ones who are suppose to decide what’s appropriate for their young children to wear, not executives looking to brew up controversy or turn a profit.

I get it, Rihanna’s really popular. But that’s a pretty weak reason for someone to dress their little girl like her.

I don’t care how popular Lil’ Wayne is, my son knows I would break both of his legs long before I would allow him to walk out of the house with his pants falling off his butt. Such a stance doesn’t always makes me popular — and the house does get tense from time to time — but I’m his father, not his friend.

Friends bow to peer pressure. Parents say, “No, and that’s the end of it.”

The way I see it, my son can go to therapy later if my strict rules have scarred him. But I have peace knowing he’ll be able to afford therapy as an adult because I didn’t allow him to wear or do whatever he wanted as a kid.

Maybe I’m a Tiger Dad.

Maybe I should mind my own business.

Or maybe I’m just a concerned parent worried about little girls like the one I saw at the airport.

In 2007, the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls issued a report linking early sexualization with three of the most common mental-health problems of girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression. There’s nothing inherently wrong with parents wanting to appease their daughters by buying them the latest fashions. But is getting cool points today worth the harm dressing little girls like prostitutes could cause tomorrow?

A line needs to be drawn, but not by Abercrombie. Not by Britney Spears. And not by these little girls who don’t know better and desperately need their parents to be parents and not 40-year-old BFFs.

A conversation about Ice

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A conversation about ice with a 2 1/2 year old

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Georgia do you want ice water?

No. Yes. Just water.

Ok, so no ice?

Yes.

Yes ice?

No.

Ok. No ice.

Yes.

(filling up orange cup with water)

Mommy noooooo!

I’m putting water in your cup. You asked for just water.

No, Mommy. No ice.

So you want ice?

Yes. No.

So no ice.

No. and she starts to cry

So, water with no ice in your orange cup.

No. Yes.

Here is your water with no ice in your orange cup.

Thanks Mommy. Then she goes about her usual business of bossing around her little sister.

Motherhood can be so confusing…

Obituary for a Chicken

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Henrietta the Chicken

Born probably about 4 years ago- Died August 26th 2012

Henrietta, at least I think your name was Henrietta. I can’t really remember what I named you all when we moved in last year. But I’m pretty sure you were my favorite and I would have clearly named my favorite chicken Henrietta.

She was a loving chicken. If a chicken can be loving. She was the most vocal, anyway, when the 4 of them accidentally got locked out of their coop on their weekly afternoons in the yard. She was always the most friendly of the ladies, and would walk up to a child sitting on the ground and peck at their sweet little hands sending some of them running to their mothers in tears.

Henrietta passed away at the hands of our bird dog, Roscoe. While staying the weekend, my Well Intentioned Mother In Law let Henrietta out  of her coop at the same time as Roscoe Dog was out in the yard. Roscoe, being a born bird dog and a well bread English Springer Spaniel took her life somehow. I don’t know, I wasn’t even home.

She was found by my Well Intentioned Mother In Law and laid to rest under a cardboard box in the yard until my husband got home to move her to her final resting place, the garbage can. Luckily for her, it had recently been trash day so the garbage can was empty and clean.

Henrietta gave us months worth of delicious farm fresh eggs in the year we have known her. At least I’m pretty sure she did. They all lay their eggs in the same nesting box ,but I’m sure she contributed. She was my favorite after all.

Our first Eggs & Hazel in her Spica
Summer 2011

Henrietta is survived by the other three chickens out in the coop, all whom have names that I can’t remember.

RIP Henrietta.

Words Matter. Learn the good ones.

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Drink, drank, drunk.

Swim, swam, swum,

There, their, they’re.

I love words and words matter so chose your words wisely.

Words can wound and words can heal.

Words can build you up or words can tear you down.

Words can make you cry or….

Word can make you laugh!

I love words. Little words, big words, and the way you can put words together.

words, words, beautiful words

I suppose I’ve always loved words because I’ve always been good at them. The same way someone with a penchant towards math, like Winnie from The Wonder Years, has always loved numbers. My abilities with numbers is laughable, in fact, it is one of our longest running family jokes. That and how Mom always burnt the last waffle on Sunday mornings.

I  regurarly find myself irritated with the people who have to use a cuss word to make every point they have. Seriously folks,  most of you are smart so get a bigger vocabulary!

All that said, I finally became a good parent• and bought my first flashcards for my children.

Big Words Flashcards

I’ve always felt myself to be Abnoramous. And my love of these Big Words flashcards may just prove that.  I find these big words to be Mellifluous and humorous, especially coming from a child’s mouth. Right now the most humrous words coming from my youngests mouths are the words Frog and Croc. To hear what they sound like when she says them ,take the r out of frog and add a ck and just take the r out of croc.

This morning as the neighbors rooter Ululated, I Preambled over to the coffee table and found my daughters preparing for their daily Shenanagins. With any luck, I will raise myself a few Loquacious children. They laughed at each others various Onomatopoeia, “Buzzz” “Bop” “Bang”. Not wanting to Lollygag, I Skedaddled over to the coffee pot for my morning coffee then returned to the Smorgasbord of big words splayed out in the living room. I laughed and basked in this strange joy words bring me.

Inspired by the words I was looking at I set about to write a piece about words. I’ve had to stop numorous times to take care of my Cantankerous little lady and stopping to Mollycoddle them, if only for a few minutes.

I don’t want to be a Nincompoop or a Rapscallion, or Persnickety for that matter, but I have now finished this post using all but six of the Splendiferous words in the Big Words Flashcards box.

To buy your own box and cause a Kerfuffle writing your own big words blog go to KnockKnockStuff.

Make that all but five.

Words matter. So learn the good ones!

• The term Good Parent should be read dripping with sarcasm. I find most flash cards HogWash and and am not at all Hoity-Toity about early education. Love your children, talk to them often, read to them regularly, play with them daily and they will learn what they need to learn by the time they go to Kindergarten.

A Letter to My Daughter by Tina Fey

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 Today I am yoga sore, my bank account is shopped out, my belly is sore from laughing, and my heart is filled with joy and memories and inside jokes from our girls only, no kids, no husbands, no sleeping, all female family reunion.
I am also spending the day wading through all of the  “Mommy’s Home Meltdowns”. So while I recover and download photos here is one of my favoritse to from the incomparable Tina Fey. Follow the funny lady on twitter here https://twitter.com/TinaFey123
                                                  A Letter to my Daughter by Tina Fey
First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.
May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the the Beauty.
When the Crystal Meth is offered,
May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half
And stick with Beer.
Guide her, protect her
When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the nearby subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock N’ Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.
Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance.
Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes
And not have to wear high heels.
What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.
May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.
Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen.
Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long,
For Childhood is short — a Tiger Flower blooming
Magenta for one day —
And Adulthood is long and Dry-Humping in Cars will wait.
O Lord, break the Internet forever,
That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers
And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.
And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister,
Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends,
For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.
And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord,
That I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 a.m., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.
“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck.
“My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental note to call me. And she will forget.
But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.
Amen.