Thursday, July 29, 2010

Daily Dose o'Cute - Babywearing Men

I am sad to say that I don't have any pictures of J-man wearing SchmoopyBoy in a carrier and surprisingly few even of me with SchmoopyBoy in a carrier. I think there's a whole whopping two pics of me with him in the ring sling. I hope to correct this with baby #2. In the meantime, enjoy this post from peaceful parenting, with oodles of sweet pictures of men wearing babies.

This random was brought to you today by...

dog vomit.

It's hard to get it out of carpet.

Good heavens dog, couldn't you have at least aimed partially for the floor?! It was only 3 feet away!

sigh. That's what I get for ignoring his scratches at the door. What? I had just taken him out to do his potty business an hour ago? How was I to know he had yuck-tummy?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sarah Palin's "Feminism"

There's been a lot of hullaballoo all over the blogosphere about Sarah Palin calling herself a feminist, and whether she should or should not be considered one.

I'm going to be honest here. I don't like Sarah Palin. I don't like what she stands for. I don't like what she has to say about pretty much anything. And she is not a woman I admire in any way or consider to be any kind of feminist role model.

Why?

For similar reasons that the gay and lesbian community told Mary Cheney to f*** herself when she had her first child instead of rallying behind her.

Because privileged hypocrisy doesn't fly. Because a person with privilege who takes advantage of the hard work of other activists to benefit herself while simultaneously working to take away those benefits from others sucks.

Some of the most insightful analysis I have read comes from Nancy Vedder-Shults, who pointed out striking similarities between Palin's "feminism" and the feminism of Nazi Militants in World War II era Germany in her Tikkun Daily Blog article, Right Wing "Feminism" Nothing New. She went into more analytic detail in her follow up article, Right Wing "Feminism" Nothing New - More Thoughts.

In More Thoughts, Vedder-Shults quotes Abby Scher, editor of The Public Eye - a quarterly publication of a small progressive think tank which tracks right wing movements, who believes that Palin and other right-wing "feminists" want
equal “rules of the game,” not actual equality for women. Palin would like opportunity for women like herself — educated, middle to upper-middle class women — to succeed in a patriarchal society. Clearly such women are the only ones who might “elevate themselves above the masses,” since the rest of us need affirmative action, family leave laws, and other government programs to make sure we have equal opportunity. But these are exactly the types of “big government” initiatives that Palin and these other “feminists” oppose. They believe that it’s up to the individual woman to compete in the market, no matter what her background or resources.


Like the right wing Nazi militant "feminists" wanted a piece of the Aryan pie, Palin and right wing American "feminists" want to advance the status of rich, white, Christian women while taking away opportunities and rights from women who do not share their privilege.

In general, I have to agree with Vedder-Shults' final comment in her original post:
What seems clear to me is that conservative “feminism” may improve the lot of a few, elite women — and even more so the situation of the GOP, if they can entice women to vote for them — but it won’t actually help women as a group. And in order to qualify as a feminist in my book, you need to work for the advancement of all women, no matter their race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or age.


Thank you, Nancy, for articulating so clearly and precisely what I think and feel about Sarah Palin.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Raw Corn Chowder

My dinner cooking style is based on a few premises. First, it helps to know that I am cooking for one adult vegan (the husband), one adult vegetarian (myself), and one vegetarian toddler who tries to go vegan most of the time and has the eating habits of, well, a stereotypical 2 year old. It also helps to know that I work full time traditional business hours, and that when I am off work, my toddler wants my undivided attention until he gets hungry and then he wants to eat NOW!

So, I have a few basic requirements when it comes to cooking dinner. First, if it takes longer than 30 minutes to fully prepare and cook, it’s out of the question. Period. Second, I have time to make one meal and one meal only, which means everything needs to be either vegan or easily veganizable.

As I write this, in the midst of the desert summer, it is about 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 Celsius) outside. This makes turning on a stove, or particularly an oven, particularly unattractive at this time of year.

For all the reasons listed above, I am all about raw soups as the main portion of dinner these days. Here is a recipe that has gotten approval from at least two of the three occupants in my home every time I have made it. In the spirit of full disclosure, the third occupant wouldn’t taste it, so it’s unknown if he would have liked it or not. We’re working on that, but to be fair, I suppose all he sees is green-tinted goop. I might experiment with adding other vegetables or fruits to take away the green tint, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

Raw Corn Chowder (from Wild Oats Marketplace magazine May/June 2007)

2 cups corn cut off the cob (plus ½ cup for garnish) – I typically use 2 ears total
1 avocado chopped (reserve 1 tsp for garnish)
2 cups almond milk
½ tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in blender. Poor into bowls. Garnish with additional chopped avocado and corn.

Wow, how easy and quick is that?! Cool and refreshing on a hot day, ahhhh.


Check out this article for a tip on easily getting corn off the cob!

This post is linked to Vegetarian Foodie Fridays.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happiness and Parenting

When I read the New York Magazine article All Joy and No Fun – Why Parents Hate Parenting, I really meant to write something about it. The article sites research that concludes that, although most people assume that having children will make them happier, in fact parents are not happier than their childless peers, and in many cases are less so.

I noted with little irony that, on the day I read the article, later that evening John and I got into a long draining argument on… parenting, and how to address an issue that has arisen with SchmoopyBoy’s behavior. This was the exact kind of episode that was cited as one factor contributing to parental unhappiness (see page 4 of the online article).

Anyway, as usual, I never found time to write anything coherent about the article. (Too busy with work and parenting, not having enough time to myself - more cited factors contributing to parental unhappiness. No irony there.)

Fortunately, Annie at PhD in Parenting has once again hit the nail on the head with her article Grin and bear it? Parenting, happiness, and the pressure cooker. So, I can just refer you to her article, which I definitely recommend you read in full. She writes:
Before I had children, I was happy. I was in a great relationship. I had great friends. I was involved in enjoyable activities. I went on great vacations. I had a rewarding (but sometimes stressful) job. When we decided to have children, it was because we wanted to and it felt like the time was right. We did it because we had a desire to be parents, not because we were unhappy or trying to fill a void in our lives. I think that people who have children as a “solution” to their own unhappiness are likely to be sorely disappointed.

Ah, yes, children as void fillers. Parenthood as a solution to unhappiness. Who doesn’t know someone who has expressed the idea that “If I only could get X, then I would be happy”, “If I only achieved Y then I would be happy”. If I lost 20 pounds... if I had a boyfriend… if I had a new car… if I won the lottery… if I had a child… then I would be happy.

I myself am guilty. Not with parenting per se, but certainly with other things. I insisted we get a dog because I was unsatisfied with my social community and thought it would be an outlet that would contribute to my happiness – I may not have had the human companionship I craved, but canine companionship I thought would fill the void. Of course I was wrong.

Like Annie, before I had children I was reasonably happy. I was in a great relationship. I had a rewarding job. I had financial security. I had dear friends that I love, even if they did live in another state. When we decided to have children, we also did so because we wanted to and felt the time was right. I will fully admit that I went into parenthood with an unbelievable amount of naivety, and with totally unrealistic expectations of what new motherhood would be like, and for that I suffered. Nonetheless, I don’t believe I ever went into motherhood thinking that I would necessarily be more happy. I knew I would be making sacrifices on my personal freedom, but I was ready to make those sacrifices. I was ready to be less self-centered and live for someone other than myself. I knew there would be a loss of day-to-day pleasure, and I was ok with that.

Annie continues:
I am a complex person. There isn’t one person or a group of people that are responsible for my happiness (or my unhappiness). I think that is a lot of responsibility and also pressure to place on the shoulders of someone else. I am responsible for my happiness and I am responsible for telling others that impact my happiness what I need. I don’t think that having children makes you happy and I don’t think that not having children makes you happy. Children, certainly, can contribute to or take away from the things that make you happy. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that most children will do both, regularly…


to which I say AMEN and HALLELUJAH. Yes, I am responsible for my own happiness. I tend to believe that happiness is a quality that we generate within ourselves, rather than something created by "things" external to ourselves. I tend to think it comes first and foremost from (1) self acceptance and liking who we are despite our imperfections, and (2) meeting our basic needs.

I think that a lot of people confuse pleasure with happiness. However, I can think of plenty of things that I have found pleasurable but did not contribute to my happiness, rather quite the contrary (sex and drugs and rock and roll, anyone?). I can also think of a number of things that I do not necessarily find pleasurable that do contribute to my overall sense of happiness (I would not always describe my job as pleasurable per se, but I enjoy it because it is challenging and rewarding and being good at something I care about contributes to my sense of self esteem and self worth).

In my experience, parenting has been both pleasurable and not so pleasurable. I have only been a parent for 2 years, but my limited experience so far has been rewarding and I do not regret becoming a parent in any way whatsoever. I will say that I am glad I waited until my mid-thirties to become a mother, because I don’t know that my previous statement would hold if I had jumped into motherhood before I was mentally and emotionally ready. I will also say that being a WOHM (work outside of the house mom) has been critical for my happiness. I believe I am a better mother because I work outside of the home, but getting into why that is the case is an extensive topic for another post.

So in conclusion, I think it is important that we take responsibility for our own happiness. If there is a lack of happiness, we should look inward to figure out why – what is the NEED that is lacking? Is it social community and support? Is it physical and financial security? Is it dealing with a long past hurt that has never been properly addressed, perhaps due to an injustice, betrayal, or act of violence? If we can realize what our needs are that are being unmet, and take steps to meet them, I think we can improve our happiness and overall quality of life, whether with or without children.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"Baa Baa Poop Poop"

SchmoopyBoy is potty training his little animal toys.

He'll say "Baa Baa Poop Poop" and take his little sheep and hold it over the potty seat for a minute. Then he might even wipe the sheep with a square of toilet paper, deposit it into the bowl, and flush.

Then it's the horse's turn - "Neigh Neigh Poop Poop"

and then the cow's turn - "Moo Moo Poop Poop".

It's actually quite cute (although I try to get him to wait to flush the toilet until all the animals have gone poop so we aren't wasting so much water).

We have yet to see SchmoopyBoy poop in the potty, but I imagine that's coming too.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I think I just tasted a little bit of vomit in the back of my throat

Read this to find out why.

Thanks to Blue Milk (whose blog I love and can't recommend highly enough) and BitchPhD for the link.

When I read things like this, sometimes I can't help but think to myself, You know those cultures where women have abortions when they find out they are pregnant with girls, or commit infanticide when they see they birthed a girl? Maybe it's not that these mothers don't value their daughters so much as they want to protect them. Maybe they know what is in store for their daughters and think to themselves that it is abuse just to force life on a girl while living in such a world.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Welcome to Two - All About Food



Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Let's Talk About Food



This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about their struggles and successes with healthy eating. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


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I don’t have any hard evidence, but I’m fairly certain my son received the following letter, or one remarkably similar, the day before his 2nd birthday. Did anyone else’s child receive the same letter?

Dear New Two Year Old:

Welcome to 2! You will find this year to be full of exciting developments and challenges. We at the Two-Year-Old Club will be sending you monthly newsletters with tips and tricks to make the age of two your best year ever. This newsletter is all about food. Everything you need to know about food to make year two more interesting for your entire family.
First topic – the rules. There are a number of rules to eating at the age of two:

1. Vegetables are totally for one year olds. You’re two now – you don’t need vegetables anymore. Most vegetables, even the ones you liked when you were one, should be rejected.

2. Eating at two is all about milk. Most types of milk have plenty of protein and are fortified with nutrients. You should try to fill up on milk to the best of your ability, then you won’t have to bother with vegetables and other foods your caregivers might try to tempt you with.

3. Fruit is ok. If nothing but milk isn’t your bag, feel free to eat any and all fruit. (Unless the fruit is the slightest bit squishy, then by all means you must reject it!) In fact, you should probably just prepare yourself to subsist primarily on milk and fruit for the next year.

4. Fast occasionally. We recommend taking a day every so often to consume nothing but milk, or simply nothing at all! It may drive your caregiver to tears, but we think it’s more fun that way. For added caregiver hysteria, draw the fast out for up to three days. Hee hee, your caregivers won’t know what hit them!

The next topic is the food pyramid. Your caregivers might try to talk to you about eating “well balanced” meals, and may show you a picture of a food pyramid. DON’T BE FOOLED! Here is the food pyramid you, as a member of the Two-Year-Old Club, should be following. Note the first three rules listed above are represented:



This concludes the first edition of the Two-Year-Old Club monthly newsletter. Stay tuned next month’s topic, “Crayons and fun things to do with them when your caregiver answers the phone”.

Take care,
The Two-Year-Old Club




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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!



Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:



(This list will be updated July 13 with all the carnival links.)





Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Carnival of Nursing in Public This Week

Art by Erika Hastings at http://mudspice.wordpress.com/


Paige at Baby Dust Diaries and Dionna at Code Name:Mama have co-sponsered the Carnival of Nursing in Public this week! You can check out lots of articles by mamas from all over the world, and get lots of resources on legal rights of breastfeeding mothers. Check out their new web site created just for the carnival at NursingFreedom.org.

Art by Erika Hastings at http://mudspice.wordpress.com/