Saturday, November 17, 2007

Happy Scary Shopping

Okay, when I only had boys to shop for, I did run into the 'OMG, I am NOT buying that toy and WHAT PARENT WOULD?' mindset from time to time. No scary bleeding plastic figurines; no demonic action figures and nothing that promoted some movie they were too young to even see. (Same goes for Haloween. You can dress up as a Zombie, but you may not dress up as Jason. How do you know who Jason even is??)

I'm not some crazed zealot shielding my kids from the evils of the world. I am, however, their mother, as as that person, I will guide them away from things that are not appropriate and tell them why, so when they are older they can make their own decisions. It is all we as parents can do. I allow toy guns. They read Goosebumps and Harry Potter and even the Vampire Chronicles, because my oldest can handle it.

And don't get me wrong; I can't WAIT until they are old enough to bring the pillow and blankies out to the living room and watch scary movies with their mother until the crack of dawn. But not yet. I, for one, treat horror movies and books as a rollercoaster ride for my brain. I don't think reading or seeing them makes me an evil person. But, again, I'm an adult and I can handle it.

Having a girl, however, has opened my eyes to a whole WORLD of ridiculous, inappropriate toys. Wow. Barbie, maybe not so darned bad when you place her next to Bratz. Not just the creepy eye surgery and botox lips they sport, but the mindset of these dolls. Shop and shop and shop. Yes, I know lots of little girls who play with them and they are completely fine. But I have my mom as a role model, and where she allowed the 'Sunshine Family' she allowed only one Barbie doll. Did I think my friends who had 20 barbies had a better life than me? Of course. Did it scar me for life? Of course not. Did it teach me something good as an adult? I think it did.

Toy cash registers with pretend money? Great for learning. Toy credit cards and the plastic jewelry to pretend to buy? No way.

Play food? Great! Play McDonald's food? Not so great.

Then I found this great little aisle in Target that had what I'd call snooty toys. Why they had to have their own aisle, I can't imagine except for that impression they want to give their shoppers. They have these cute 'barbie' type dolls that don't have gazonga boobies and dress not so quite inappropriately. I grabbed one and a little baby with supermodel hair for my daughter. Now for the daddy doll,... no daddy doll. No boy baby dolls, no male nothin'. What's up with that? I know that the nuclear family is in the minority, but come on! It's okay to play with boy dolls! It's okay for boys to play with dolls! My boys had baby dolls when they were younger. Are these lesbian dolls who propogate with IVF? Nothing wrong with that for those who want it, but I don't. Make a boy doll for me. Are we teaching little girls that boys are not important? Living in a household with four boys (five if you include the dog), I kind of LIKE boys and think it would be cute if my daughter could pretend with her play family just like her real life family.

That doesn't mean I want to BE a boy. I am extremely happy being a girl and would like to teach my girl that being a girl is cool. But liking boys is also cool.

Which leads me to the whole controversy of the Dangerous Book for Boys and now we have a Dangerous Book for Girls. Don't even get me started down this path. I bought the first for my boy. I will NOT buy the second for my girl. I think it is ASANINE. I don't want my boys and girls to be the same. I want them to be different and cherish their differentness; respect each other for their differences and learn from them.

As a kid, one of my favorite toys was a blue metal pick up truck. But I'm a girl.

As a teenager I wore makeup. But I also trained bird dogs, got a couple of first places in field trialing competitions and my grandfather, who is a gunsmith, gave me a shotgun for my 13th birthday. But I am a girl.

As an adult, at one of the many after conference shin digs I'd go to with my co-workers, smoking a cigar and snarfing beer out of the pitcher (sorry mom), my good buddy told me, "Karen, you are a man trapped in a woman's body". Maybe true, but I am a girl.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Stuff Worth Reading

I love blogs. I love to see what people are up to, and have them lead me on other pathways that I may find interesting because they do. Blogs are kind of like's "People Who Bought XYZ Book Also Bought This,"

Here are a couple interesting things I found on the Internet that I think are worth reading (thanks for the links, Magan!)

Don't knock bibilical home ec from the Oped section of the LA Times. She is what I would say is a conservative baptist (maybe there are no other kinds?), a great writer and interesting blogger.

And something to chew about Mitt Romney, even if you don't lean that conservatively and think you don't care, it is an interesting reflection and for my generation, a bit of history revealed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

All I Needed to Know I Learned From Kindergartners

So I’m helping with the Kindergarten Memory Book, which is no easy task when you are nine months pregnant, have an almost two year old and a part time job. But I said I’d do it and I need to log ‘Family Commitment Hours’ as part of my contract to enrolling my kids in this school. Why don’t they just go ahead and admit that they are ‘Overworked Mother Commitment Hours’? I can’t remember hubby doing anything to help besides get chastised for using a non-digital camera at the pumpkin patch. (serves him right.)

It is cracking me up to see what kids write. There are the usual answers to ‘what is your favorite hobby?’ like ‘riding my pony’ that you would expect from a private school. So, I guess the girl who answered ‘crab’ to her favorite food question also shouldn’t be a surprise. Neither should the ‘ravioli with white sauce’ (these are five year olds for heaven’s sake and I think they eat better than I do.)

Then there are the brown nose questions like the answer ‘vegetables’ to the ‘what’s your favorite food’ question. Yeah, right. Someone tell her she isn’t getting graded.

Then there are those completely made up questions like from my son. His favorite food? Japanese. I don’t remember ever feeding the kid Japanese food. And spending the night at his friend Ren’s house, who does happen to be Japanese, and exclaiming that tofu is gross, doesn’t count as eating Japanese food, much less claiming it as his favorite.

My kid’s favorite color? Black. What does that say about me, oh friend with the child pysch doctorate? It can’t be good.


For those who have asked, my due date is December 12. All my kids have been around 8 lbs, with Sabrina, the only girl so far, being under 8 even though she was number four. Let the betting begin!


And CONGRATULATIONS to Paul and Sarah who are expecting their first in July! Yay! Paul says they are now in competition to have even more kids than us. I say, more power to you!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

No Turning Back Now

Okay, okay, I'm posting. If I had time to post every day, I would have nothing to post about. :)

Thanks to all the neighbors and friends, Church acquaintances, and school friends who are excited to have us back down in Cali. Rob appreciates the kind words as he sees everbody and the references for housepainters. And let me tell you, I'll take an eight year old's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese over the mess he moved back to any day. And that's saying a lot.

On my end, everything is hunky dory. The baby is locked and loaded, head down. No small feat since two out of four pregnancies have been breach. It's such a relief to not have to worry about that. While a version (when the dr. turns the baby around using external manipulation) isn't anywhere nearly as wonderful as full assault labor, it is extremely uncomfortable and,.. weird. Plus it leaves bruises. The last baby didn't turn with that, which led me to asking everyone available for ideas on how to get her head first. I had a lot of interesting ideas from standing on my head (can't do that when I'm NOT pregnant) to sitting on an exercise ball (good to have a use for it, because as I have learned, exercise equipment doesn't give you any of its good advantages unless you actually use it. Having the receipt in your wallet for those 10 lbs. dumbbells doesn't actually help you gain muscle. Such a bummer.) Also, from my Phd friend, as she explained in layman's terms for me, the BA holding one, "shine a flashlight up your hoo-ha." Considering she doesn't know what continent Eqypt is on, I decided not to do this one. Too 'Poltergiest' - ish if you know what I mean. "Carrie Ann, go towards the light,.."

I did finally ask my doctor and he suggested (now, remember this IS southern California, the land of crystals, flax seed and 'finding yourself') to get in a hot tub, with the water not so boiling hot. So, I did this for the whole weekend. Not as relaxing as you might think, with three boys and their friends cannon balling their preggo mother in the hot tub.

Whether this actually worked, or the doctor pushing her half way did, or she did it on her own, she turned!

I'm also dilated to 1 cm, which means absolutely nothing really, except that things are working. They seem to stall, however, when the actual delivery times comes along, making me at least, very thankful I don't like in the old days, as I would have died with the first birth. Here's to pitocin!