Thursday, December 23, 2010


Happy ones to you.

We are off tonight to journey to the West Side to visit with family and friends.  This will be Aggie's first "real" Christmas, meaning she'll get gifts and there will be a Christmas tree, etc.  I'm interested to see how she reacts.  I'm worried she'll be overwhelmed.  I'm worried the dog will be overwhelmed.  I'm worried about a lot...not focusing as much on the fun of being with people I enjoy and the eating and the presents.

My No Complaining pledge?  Not going so hot, but I'm determined to keep trying.

Thank you for all the name suggestions.  We are considering them all.

Something to ponder during this season of joy and abundance: a story, the nonprofit making a difference

Since I will be traveling, I probably won't post again until the new year.  So...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


So, we are trying to pick a name for the BD2.  Granted, we do have 105 days until her arrival.  BUT (my OCD screams)...omg, what if we don't find a name?!?

Okay, here are the contenders:

Jason: Bianca is his favorite

Cora: Esme is my favorite

Jason's second favorite is Lydia.

We also like Phaedra, Persephone and Penelope.

We're trying to go for a Greek name because all our names are Greek - just a fun, little family tradition.

But none of these names seem right.  They're almost right.  We're on the right track, but we just haven't reached the finish line.

Any suggestions?

Pink: The Follow-Up

Last Saturday, we went to purchase a portable hair chair (because some folks, rightly, do not have high chairs in their homes and trying to feed a squirming Ags when visiting is a royal pain).  We found one that we liked and that was on sale.  Only issue - it was branded by Disney - Cars and The Princesses were our two options.  I, of course, wanted Cars.  But Jason rightfully insisted she pick, so he hoisted up both to show Ms. Ags.  I turned my back and pretended to look at other things so I would not sway her decision.  She looked and looked and then picked guessed it, The Princesses.


And when we put her in it the first time she stared and stroked the images of The Princesses on the tray.

Double sigh.

I'm actually not all that disappointed.  At least she picked it and didn't have it foisted on her.  I could argue that she has, thanks to all the genderfication that goes into products, especially baby products, but I'll leave that alone.

I guess I should confess that we had our first pretend tea party yesterday.  She got a tea set for her birthday that I busted out yesterday.  I poured the tea and we took turns drinking, while she put the unused dishes in the dog's basket.

Side note - she can now put things in boxes/baskets, she can stack blocks and walk with her cart.  Over the course of two days, she busted out all these new skills.  Seriously she could not (would not?) do these a week ago.  Amazing how her little brain put it all together and produced these three skills all at once.  Now, on to teaching her how to fold laundry.  And shovel the drive.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I'm a blogging fool today!  (Or perhaps every day...)

So, my friend, Kim, is using gDiapers, a cloth diaper hybrid.  The outsides are reusable, the insides are disposable, flushable or compostable.  Or, you can get a cloth diaper insert.  And the price?  Affordable!  About what we pay for disposables now.  And washing the outsides - like washing anything else!

I'm in love.  Now, how to convince Jason...

A Challenge

Hello again!  I wanted to write this down before I forget.  The lovely blogger at Cup of Joe made a pact to not complain for a week.  She said it was really great and made room for a lot of positive to come in.

I am a complainer.  Though, you knew that.

I need this.  So, here goes nothing...

The real test will be to see if I can keep it up after the Christmas holiday with all of my in-laws (whom I do love and adore - hopefully, not complaining will let me experience that even more!).

BTW, it's a lovely, lovely day outside.  With sunshine.  Le sigh.


So, baby girl's been sick - that is my excuse for missing posts.  Not that I really need any.  But...I feel the need to make one.

Anyhoo, this morning she woke up cheerful, so I got her dressed for day care.  (Is it awful that I wanted her to feel better so she could go to day care?  Yes, I wanted her to be healthy again, but my first priority was me time.)  I held up a cute new onesie and asked if she wanted to wear it - she said "ga."  Then I held up pink flower print pants and asked if she wanted to wear them - again, "ga."  Paired with floral socks and pink cupcake booties*, it was a total girlie (well-coordinated) outfit.

You might think, "what's the big deal?  She's a girl."  Well, it bugs me, and I'm not sure why.  Since I learned we were having a girl, I've been focused (okay, obsessed) on making sure she is not too girlie.  Not  a lot of pink, no princess dolls, no ribbons for her hair, etc.  I've deliberately bought her clothes in the boys section.  I've also bought her a few pink things.  And her room - totally gender neutral.  The focus has been on raising on a tomboy.  Yet, in addition to today, there have been a couple of times she's reached out for the doll in the frilly dress.

But with BD2, I've been drawn more to girlie stuff - not sure why.  Jason thinks it's because the pressure is off.  But, having two girls, I worry about people thinking we're a super girlie household and getting us only pink things.

I don't want to squash the girlie in Ags or her sister, if it's there - I don't want to force them to be something their not.  And, really, if they get obsessed with the Disney Princesses, it will be equally as annoying as them being obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine.  

I think, it comes down to providing the opportunity for them to explore their world as they want.  I was raised by a mom who really liked the girlie stuff and raised by a dad who bought me my own size-appropriate rifle.  I had a variety of wonderful experiences.  I want that for the girls too.

*Why are there no navy blue or brown cupcake booties?  Don't boys like cupcakes?  Why is food gendered?  Aaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!

Thursday, December 09, 2010


So, I started off the day grumpy, but then I got on-line and the Internets whisked my grumps away.  Hooray, Internets!

Despite this change in mood, I'm still going to write about something that has been bothering me lately.  It relates to a posting on Facebook (I want to add, "posted by a friend," but duh):

"One of the kids on the tree at Shopko only asked for a laptop and an iPod. How poor are you, really?"

I replied: "What's wrong with a little wishful thinking?"

And her friends (people I don't know) replied:

"nothing except when you want some of the most expensive stuff in the world when there are kids who are really really in need"


"If these kids are THAT poor I don't know why they wouldn't be wishing for something that doesn't require someone else to spend hundreds of dollars. An IPod is like $300!!! Not everyone is rich.. as they seem to think. Whatever happened to good old fashioned board games, puzzles and books? And IPod is an inappropriate gift request from a stranger. Then when they don't get it? Who's the bad guy?"


What bugs me is that: 1) iPods and laptops are not some of the most expensive things in the world; she must not get out much; 2) the assumption that because someone is "poor" they shouldn't know about or want things outside of their means; 3) the assumption that the 13 year old doesn't still believe in Santa (who would then get the blame for not delivering the requested gifts); and 4) the assumptions about people living in poverty.  It's the second and fourth assumptions that bug me the most.

First, I think a lot of assumptions are being made about how one gets on the Giving Tree at Shopko - I (and I assume these other folks) aren't aware of the requirements.  Perhaps I could, since I am unemployed - who knows.  Second, most Giving Trees (perhaps this one is an exception - again, don't know the rules) are about giving a child a present for Christmas.  Do kids really "need" Christmas presents?  No.  They "need" food, clothing, shelter and love.  I doubt many kids asked for a brussel sprouts, wool socks and a hug on their gift request.  Third, because someone is "poor" (such a vague term to start with), does it mean they cannot want the finer things in life?  And do only "rich" people own things like iPods and laptops?  No and no.  (Plus, she's going into high school - I think a laptop is a very practical request.)

It just bugs me how many rampant assumptions about people living in poverty went into that exchange.  And how many assumptions run rampant in our society about people living in poverty (not "poor people").  And how rarely we look at how privileged we are (myself included).

If it was my child that requested the laptop and iPod (and I was aware of the request - it's her request, why do I need to know?), I'd counsel her to dream big but keep her expectations realistic, that many people might want to give her those things but it's tough for most people to afford to do so, especially at a time of the year when they are buying gifts for others as well, and if she'd really like a gift, to perhaps scale down her request.  Then we'd have a lesson about run-on sentences.

I think, sometimes, people forget the purpose of Giving Trees - to give a gift.  In the past, I've done it because I want to feel good about myself by giving a gift to someone "less fortunate" (what an awful phrase) rather than it being about sharing my abundance with someone who was brave enough to ask me to share it with them.

So, there.  I didn't want to post this all on Facebook because...well, it didn't seem like the right kind of forum.  And I didn't feel like arguing with people I don't know.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

So, I missed a day...

Oh well.  Moving on.

As you may know, I am a reader of blogs.  Love, love blogs.  Well, mainly "mommy" blogs, but I tend to gravitate towards the artistic and hip "mommy" blogs.  I also read a "daddy" blog - Pacing the Panic Room.  He's being doing a video series for The Gap entitled "Do What You Love."  Very cleverly, he is doing what he loves - making movies - about people doing what they love.  While wearing Gap clothing.  I really liked the most recent episode (though all are fantastic) about Jessica.

Growing up, my parents did not appear to do what they love.  Now, with hindsight, I understand my dads where doing what they love - my Dad loves to work (any job) and my Father loves thinking technically (he's an Engineer).  But my mom never seemed to find a job she loved; she had those she was very good at, but didn't love.  I "suffer" (for lack of a better term) from the same fate.  I'm good at many things - accounting, writing, organization, phone banking, etc.  With the exception of writing (and it depends on the type of writing), I don't love doing those things.

I'm really not sure what my passion is.  I thought I had found "it" in the past but it got tedious after a while or boring.  Am I just easily bored?  Am I fickle?  Am I never satisfied?  I envy those people who are passionate about what they do - seeing the sparkle in their eyes, hearing their ideas, seeing them in action.  I want that - those feelings - for myself.

But, I wonder, is it a reasonable expectation?  Lots and lots of people work at jobs they don't love and get along just fine.  Am I putting too much emphasis on finding a job I love instead of finding a life a love?  I think that's the key.  And I am working on that - finding a life I love.  I have two job interviews this week, one full-time, one part-time.  Jason and I discussed the pros and cons of each and I felt drawn to the job that will allow me a bit more balance between work and home time, more time with my girls, more freedom, though all for less pay.  Which doesn't seem quite so important anymore - thankfully, we have the luxury for it to not be such a concern.  We'll see how it works out.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Making Peace with Cloth Diapers

Before I even got pregnant, I wanted to use cloth diapers because they were supposed to have less of an environmental impact.  And, it wigged me out to think of Anthropologists in the future finding my kids' poop in a landfill.

Once pregnant, I registered for a bunch of different kinds so we could find the one we liked best and then invest.  I got one cloth diaper (thanks, Hilleri!).  So, I bought a bunch from a consignment store, not realizing that the diapers and covers did not go well together.  I tried to use them with Aggie, but every-time she wore one, she'd pee right through them.  We were already using disposables, so we stuck with those.

When I became an F-TP, I decided to try again and had the same results.  I consulted my cloth diaper gurus (thanks, Becky & Maralea), who shared some diapers with me.  They said they change diapers every two hours (yikes!), have about 24 of them and wash them every other day.  Now, most cloth diapers cost about $15-20 a piece, so buying 20+ of them is a big financial commitment.  Yes, yes, disposables are too, but I pay $14 every two weeks, so laying out a huge chunk of change at once is a big decision.

I kept hemming and hawing.  Disposables are so darn easy.  Cloth is sustainable and will likely not cause a diaper rash.  We're used to disposables and we're very lazy.  Etc., etc.  Back and forth.

Until.  Until I read about how you have to wash cloth diapers - one wash cold, one wash hot, one rinse hot, line dry.  Despite being the main laundry doer in the house, I know I would mess this up.  Ask Jason how many of his clothes I have shrunk.  And when you mess up with the cloth diapers, you can ruin them.  Yes, it seems like it would be a relatively easy thing to teach myself, but I know me.  And with a second baby zapping my energy and memory, proper wash-age so would not happen.

Plus - all that water!  We live in an arid region.  With giant landfills that no one can find - out of sight, out of mind, right?

I'm still plagued my nagging doubts about using disposables but I'm trying to block them out.  And trying to make peace with the fact that I am taking the easy way out and there's really no good justification for it.  Sigh.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Cora's Rules for Being a F-TP

What's an F-TP, you ask?  Full-time Parent.  I hate the phrase Stay-at-home Mom because it feels so claustrophobic.  And, really, I don't think F-TP fully describes what I do each day, since I also manage the household - doing the chores, paying bills, grocery shopping, cooking meals, etc.

Anyhoo, these are the rules I try to adhere to remain a sane, social human being while also being a F-TP:

  • Change you underwear every day, even if it's 4 pm by the time you get around to it.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day.
  • Shower every other day (in my dry climate, showering daily wreaks havoc on my skin).
  • When leaving the house, look presentable (and by this, I mean cultivate a look that would not leave you embarrassed if you ran into someone you know); if you're not working out, do NOT wear sweats!
  • Pick one area of your physical appearance to cultivate - hair, face, etc.  I have chosen hair and try to have it look neat, if not stylish, when I leave my home.
  • Leave the house once a day, even if it's just to go to the mailbox (if just going to the mailbox, you don't have to dress up).
  • Exercise daily for 30 min. (walking the dog counts).
There you are.  These are my rules for me.  I encourage any F-TP to create their own set of rules to function by.  The importance of these rules, for me, is to keep me at a level of functionality in the world around me.  Otherwise, I could become a total sweats-wearing, stinky hermit.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


RAWR!  This is how I've felt for the past week.  Short-tempered, easily frustrated.  And to make matters worse, I've been taking it out on others.

It dawned on my this morning that it's probably an indication that something(s) are out of whack with me.  Here's what I've pinpointed so far:

  1. I need to go to bed earlier.  Ags goes to bed about 7ish; I stay up to 11ish.  It is nice to have some time with J after she goes to sleep and it's also nice to have some time all to myself as well.  But, I think I can do those and still have the lights out by 9:30.
  2. I need to take my meds regularly.  About twice a week, I miss a dose.  I don't really have a morning routine any more, which is when I take them.  So, I need to try to get in the habit of taking them right after I eat breakfast.
  3. I need to exercise regularly.  Before the snow and cold arrived last week, I was taking a walk or doing yoga everyday.  Then, we became kinda housebound and for some reason, all exercise came to a screeching halt.  I can manage 30 min. a day.
  4. I need to eat less carbs and sugars.  I feel so much better when my diet mainly consists of veggies and meat, which it hasn't.
Now, to go locate some momentum.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Daily Post #1

You may have noticed that I did not do a post about Aggie on 11/10.  And that was on purpose.  Not the, "Shoot! I totally forgot but now I have a good reason for not doing it," but a genuine reason.  I'm bored with those posts.  Not posting about her, per say, but the format and such.  And, since she just turned 1, I figured it was a good a breaking point as any.  I've been blogging mainly about her for more than 20 months, and I thought I'd move on to something different.  (In case you're worried, I do continue to keep track of her baby milestones in her baby book.)

That's that (*dusts hands*).  On to something different!