Friday, June 29, 2012

I've created a monster. Or a very small metrosexual.

About 18 months ago, out of necessity, I began taking Batman with me when I would get a pedicure.  I would jokingly ask him whenever we got there if he wanted his nails done and he would get bashful and say "NO!"  He would play with his legos or Leapster in the reception area, waiting patiently, and I would take him to Subway for a cookie when I was finished.

Then, after months of saying no, last fall he said "yes."

And he liked it, he really liked it.  And he's wanted to go again ever since.

I don't go to fancy spas, just the small nail shop across town.  (NOT the one down the street.  They pissed me off when I was pregnant with Robin and I haven't been back.  That was four years ago.  But I'm not one to hold a grudge...) At $20 per pedi, I can't afford to support his nail habit.  Don't get me wrong, I would love to indulge it, but it's just too expensive.  I've thrown out every excuse in the book and have begun doing my own nails again because I'm "too busy" to go.

This week, out of boredom, we gave ourselves mother/son pedicures on one of Batman's sick days.  His toes are red, blue, and yellow while mine are a deep dark blue.  A little weird, perhaps, but fun.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Now and then I think of when I was in power....

I know my loyal fans get antsy when I'm away.  Sorry, folks, Batman has been sick since Friday.  High fever but no other symptoms (until a nasty cough settled in on Tuesday.)  I used the last of my sick leave for the year (the plight of the working mother) to stay home with him.

Once the strep test came back negative and he started to feel a little better, there was nothing to do but sit back and enjoy the time away from the office.  The weather was gorgeous (a rarity in these parts) and I luxuriated in the peace and quiet of being home with a sick kid.

Some of the things that entertained me while I was away:

And this is what I'm promoting right now (work related):

These guys are great, except for being K-Staters...Really cute, too.  I wonder if I should set my nieces up with them?  But that would lead to a Jayhawk/Wildcat battle.  Not sure I can be responsible for that.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

WTF is wrong with people?

I was hassled Tuesday night as the kids and I were leaving the polling place.

The woman handing out the Republican sample ballot asked me if I needed one. I declined (note: I also don't take the Dems sample ballot. I work in politics and policy and do my homework before I get there.  I resent the implication that people are too stupid to know how to vote if left to their own devices.  Of course, most people are, but I digress...) and she said she was surprised I wasn't a Republican because of the boys and that good mother would care about their future. I replied that I did care about their futures and that's why I vote for responsible energy, environmental, and job policies. She began yelling after me as the boys and I walked through the parking lot. Sheesh, what the fuck lady?!?  I showed up to vote in a freakin' primary.

This prompted a ton of questions from Batman about whether he was a D or an R. I told him that we are all Americans but that Republicans and Democrats want the government to help people in different ways, just like our friends who go to different churches because they support GOD differently than we do. He pressed again whether he would grow up to be a Democrat or a Republican.  I said that I very much hoped he would be a Democrat, because that's what Mommy believes, but I will still love him if he were a Republican (but maybe not if he's an asshole that yells at people outside the polling place.)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Three Cheers for Monday!

1) I have impetigo on my nose, vitiligo on my arms, and a migraine.  I'm pretty sure the itching on my lip is a cold sore erupting. Yea!

2) Leo, the fucker, tore up the carpet in our bedroom down to the subfloor.  The hole is about 10"x20".  I don't understand why he would do that after all this time, but he solved the New Carpet vs. No New Carpet argument we've been having.  Now we get to recarpet the entire house.  Yea!

3) After showering, but before getting dressed (I was in a robe, get your minds out of the gutter!), I was in the kitchen making breakfast and packing lunch for the kids.  I knocked a can of coke out of the fridge and it busted open at my feet, spraying the inside of the fridge, the kitchen, and my hooha with icy cold diet coke.  I cleaned up most of it, but the kitchen is going to require a detailing tonight.  Yea!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Where the Hell is Jill?

Here is where I've been, because I sure as hell haven't been here (at least last week, this week, probably the next few weeks):

  • Storming the Castle - The little fucker Bane is still hitting Batman and recruiting friends to hit him, too.  The Spouse and I have stormed the front office in a show of force and are now reviewing every aspect of our lives (summer camp, play dates, martial arts classes).  It's time consuming.
  • Watching the C-SPAN 2 - It's not the greatest Farm Bill, and likely not the "real" Farm Bill, but it is a Farm Bill, it is being debated, and it is my job to watch.  History in the making, kids.
  • Talking to our Mortgage Guy - Asking questions, getting answers, becoming more freaked out.  
  • Being woken up by Robin every five minutes during a three hour period the other night.  He is currently my least favorite child.  How does you not being able to sleep become my problem?  Oh, yeah, right, you're three.  I guess it IS my problem.  Fuck.
  • Trying to pack a box here and there.  My time frame for listing the house has really slipped, but I'd like to get it done sometime before the kids leave for college.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Only Mommy War Worth Waging

The Only Mommy War Worth Waging

Posted: 05/14/2012 5:46 pm
By Kristen Howerton

If you watch the trends of media, whether it be print, internet, or TV, you've probably noticed that every couple of months there is a new version of the "mommy wars" being played out. Last month's battle du jour was surrounding moms who work vs. moms who stay at home. Now, a firestorm has ignited over a provocative photo and article in TIME magazine about extended breastfeeding and attachment parenting. These manufactured mommy wars are predictable because they tend to provoke strong reactions from mothers who feel judged, as well as mothers who want to feel superior for their choices. A litany of analysis, outrage and defensiveness usually follows. Women tear each other down, while the entity responsible for initiating the battle reaps the benefit (whether it be a hot debate on a talk show or a political playing card). The insecurities of women surrounding their parenting choices are frequently pawns in the ratings game, and I think the most recent TIME magazine article and photo of a preschooler breastfeeding are intended to incite such a reaction.
I don't much care if you breastfed your kid until they started kindergarten or if you fed them formula from day one. I don't really care if you turned your infant car seat forward-facing prior to age 2, or if you homeschool, or if you send your kids to daycare while you go to work. Do you cosleep? Did you circumcise your son? I DON'T CARE. Do you "babywear"? Push your kid around in a stroller? Use a leash for your kid at Disneyland? Whatever. Good for you.
When it comes to issues of motherhood, there is one issue I care about: some kids don't have one. All of these petty wars about the choices of capable, loving mothers is just a lot of white noise to me, Quite honestly, I'm often astonished at the non-essential parenting issues I see moms getting upset about. Particularly when there are so many kids in this world not being parented at all.
This is the only mommy war I'll wage. I'm confident that most mothers are doing the best that they can for their kids, even if their choices are different than mine. I think it's ridiculous that so much energy is spent on debating largely inconsequential parenting decisions when so very little attention is given to the children who DON'T HAVE PARENTS. Why isn't this causing outrage? Making magazine covers? Inciting ranty twitter posts?
This is the war I'll be involved in: We, as a society, are not doing enough to protect at-risk and motherless children, both in our country and globally.
(Because apparently we're too busy worrying about that kid whose mom gave him formula.)
The kind of war I'll get behind will advocate for kids with bigger issues than a mom who goes to work. Or doesn't.
I'll get upset about the fact that LA County's family court system is so atrocious that they recently allowed press into court hearings for minors, in the hopes that this might finally provide some accountability for social workers who aren't doing their job. Let me repeat that: social workers are so understaffed and/or screwing up so badly that reporters are allowed into confidential court proceedings in the hopes that it will shape them up.
I'll be disturbed by the 18-year-olds I regularly see on adoption photolistings who, despite being old enough to live independently, place themselves on national photolistings because they desperately want a mom and a dad in their adult life. Because, in one teen's words, he "wants to become a member of a permanent family".
I'll whine about how, when we called our Christian agency about a healthy African-American boy from LA county who was in need of a home, we were told that they had no prospective adoptive parents willing to accept a placement of a black child. NOT ONE.
I'll get upset about a system that requires foster children to be placed in an adoptive home for 6 months before terminating parental rights, regardless of an absence of reunification efforts by the birth parents. I'll be angry about how this scares away prospective adoptive parents, and hurts children by leaving them in a limbo even after years of no contact or even abandonment by their birth family. I'll rant about how children whose parents have failed them should be made legally freed for adoption AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, so that more people would be willing to step forward and adopt.
I'll get behind complaining about how the government renames orphans and calls them "wards of the state" and renames orphanages and calls them "group homes", and how we collectively turn a blind eye to the fact that we have hundreds of thousands of children waiting for families in the US.
I'll be appalled over how many children around the world will age out of orphanages due to lack of paperwork or other factors that make them ineligible for adoption.  I'll continue posting about the deplorable conditions of third world orphanages and the developmental challenges that neglected children will face.
I'll fight for the moms who don't have access to prenatal care, or for the moms who have to abandon their children because of poverty.  I'll be mad that such inequities exist, and I'll support organizations that help change it.
The only mommy war I support involves moms banding together to talk about the number of children in our world who are missing out on basic human needs. Security. Love. Affection. Let's wage a war about that.  Not everyone can adopt, but we can all do something. Even if it's just using our voices for something more productive than personal parenting choices.
Let's stop quibbling about what competent mothers are choosing for their kids, and step it up for the kids that don't have one.
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