Bee snow day


We had a pretty minor snow here this week. Not a lot of snow, but good for snowballs, so the kids and I had a snowball fight.

img_0618.JPGHere, the Bee shows off her no-gloves rounding technique.


February 27, 2007. the cutest kids ever!. 5 comments.

mash notes

One of the Potato’s more endearing habits, of late, is that he’s started writing little ‘notes.’ They’re not really notes of course–while he has learned to write some letters, he still lacks an understanding of the propering ordering of letters within words, or that they should all be on the same line. Earlier today, he asked me how to spell ‘mommy’–his resulting word took up half a page, and was in no particular order–and yet it warmed the cockles of my matronly heart.

Every once in a while, when I go to bed, I find a little note from him under my pillow, or in the drawer of my bedside table. It’s so endearing, to think of him potatoing up to our bedroom and sneaking me a surprise for later. Last night, he left us a mini-Magna Doodle with a sketch on it.I think he learned this from his sister–who from time to time will leave me a picture or note under my pillow. She generally tells me that I can’t look at it until the next morning–I’m supposed to sleep with a piece of paper crackling next to my ear all night. But princess-like, I can’t, so I usually move it, and replace it the next day.

When I go away on a trip for work, I always leave the kids notes that landisdad gives them in the morning after breakfast. They’re usually not much–just a few lines to let them know I’m thinking about them–but I know they matter. The Potato has taken his to school on occasion, and the one or two times that I’ve forgotten, and had to send an email for landisdad to print out for them, it doesn’t seem quite the same. And whenever I’m traveling, I always have a note or two that the Bee has written, stuffed into my briefcase. Soon enough, I’ll have a mash note from the Potato, too.

February 25, 2007. the cutest kids ever!. 10 comments.

a mendacious meme

I was tagged by Christie to do this meme: six true things about me and one false one. See if you can figure out the lie:

  1. I gave my daughter her paternal grandmother’s name for a middle name, because I lived with my grandmother for a while as a teenager/young adult. She kept me alive then, and in my own way, I’m keeping her alive now.
  2. We gave the Potato a middle name that belonged to my maternal great-grandfather and landisdad’s paternal great-grandfather.
  3. I let my son paint his finger- and toe-nails when his sister and I do it. Right now, he’s sporting two different shades of green.
  4. I have a bunch of extra holes in my head. Eight, to be exact.
  5. I bought more stationery this week, even though I have enough to last a lifetime. What’s better than a new notebook?
  6. I’ve had pinkeye twice this winter. And as far as I can tell, I didn’t catch it from my kids.
  7. My mom turned 65 this week. She’s thinking about retiring. Just thinking about it.

Updated, 2/25/07:

Well, it was kind of a trick question. The lie was number 4–I do have a bunch of extra holes in my head, but the number isn’t eight. The Potato does have a name from great-grandfathers on both sides of his family–it’s his middle name, though.

February 23, 2007. memes. 7 comments.

Carnival of Feminists #32

I’m not sure if I’m lucky or unlucky to be hosting this Carnival. On the one hand, it covers a period of time when the feminist blogosphere sustained an attack of tremendous proportions on two of its favorite daughters (does the blogosphere have daughters?). On the other hand, I’ve seen a pretty amazing outpouring of support for those two women. I’m talking, of course, about

The Great Edwards Campaign Kerfuffle of Aught Seven

For those of you living under a rock (or just outside the US), in short, the Edwards Campaign opened up a Pandora’s box by hiring feminist bloggers Amanda from Pandagon & Melissa from Shakespeare’s Sister. That hiring was subsequently criticized by crazy Catholic William D*n*h*e, leading to My people call it accurate.. by Angry Black Bitch. For a hot second, piny from Feministe thought Edwards might have a spine after all, and Jill from the same blog took the opportunity to point out that it was the real extremists who were calling Amanda an extremist. Sara E Anderson at f-words pointed out that lots of people with strong opinions have run for office or worked for candidates. Raging red opined that her vote for Edwards was less secure as a result of his handling of the situation.

But in the end, first Amanda and then Melissa left the campaign. Amanda wrote eloquently of her decision at Salon, and Melissa announced her resignation on her own blog. Many, many bloggers wrote about their reaction to the news, some of which are collected here under I Am Spartacus. But I’m giving the last word on this topic to my blog-friend Elizabeth over at Half-Changed World, who lamented the current level of political discourse in our country.

Hooha about Hoohah

Some spineless clever folks down in Florida decided to rename Eve Ensler’s play, The Vagina Monologues, after someone complained about seeing the word “vagina” on the theater’s marquee. Bitch PhD (caution, some folks thought it was NSFW) wrote about the irony of a play that tries to keep women from feeling shame about their genitalia being censored. I was mildly amused, to see on f-words, this defense of the play by an anonymous nun. And stroppybird pointed out on her stroppyblog that now every kid will know what the play is about.

Policy Pandemonium

Lots of folks had good things to say about women’s health. There’s been a fair amount of controversy on the parenting blogs about the HPV vaccine, and the decision by the state of Texas to make it mandatory for sixth grade girls, so I was interested to see what some non-parent feminists had to say about it. Debbie from Body Impolitic wrote an interesting post about the disturbing potential that Merck is trying to get the vaccine made mandatory to protect themselves from liability. And *e from A Blog Without a Bicycle wonders why the mandatory-ness is aimed at tween-aged girls, and not other at-risk populations?

In other reproductive health news, Rachel from Women’s Health News reported on the move by a Tennessee Republican to propose death certificates for abortions, Terry from I See Invisible People asked readers to write to Wal-M*rt’s CEO Lee Scott to make Plan B available in all their stores, and Rachel from RachelAPP’s Blog wrote about how her monthly cycle reminds her that her body needs care. C-A at Figure: Demystifying the Feminist Mystique wrote a post about Governor Rendell of Pennsylvania’s proposal to efforts to ban lay midwives, Bean from A Bird and a Bottle spoke up in favor of the need of women in drug treatment to have reliable child care, and Thirza Cuthand from Fit of Pique dashed off a post about bipolar disorder and sexuality.

Laura from 11D informs us about the Bush Administration’s decision to seek comments on the FMLA, in the interest of making every working parent’s life harder. But Miriam from Everyday Mom points out the complexities for feminists, as women small business owners lead the charge against a New Jersey bill to provide paid family leave. On a somewhat related note, Shawna from Girlistic wrote An Open Letter to her co-workers, asking them not to focus all her attention on the fact that she was leaving her child to come to the office.

It’s all over but the shouting

And last, but definitely not least, a little category I like to call “miscellaneous.” In a post title near and dear to my heart, sailorman wrote about raising feminist daughters. I’ve done a fair amount of flipping genders while reading stories to the preschooler set, it’s an interesting exercise. Several bloggers had something to say about money—Penny Nickel penned an excellent post about the long-term effects of sexism in salary negotiations, and what to do about it. Joolya posted a letter to a colleague about why ‘marrying up’ might still make sense to some women.

Uma from Indian Writing produced a great post on racialized makeup advertising. Naiades from Mind the Gap also wrote about advertising, with an emphasis on over-sexualized images. Sue from Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents wrote about a lack of women political bloggers in her local community. And I’m giving the final link in this Carnival to Heart from Women’s Space/the Margin, for her great profile of Nawal Al Saadwi.

Thanks everyone, for the wonderful submissions–I’m sorry I wasn’t able to use them all. This was a lot of work, but I truly enjoyed having the chance to focus on such fine feminist writing. And now, back to your regularly scheduled mommyblog…

February 21, 2007. meta, politically motivated. 22 comments.

this should bring me some interesting searches

How do you tell if a cat has dementia? One of our cats has recently started to wander around yowling at odd hours of the day and night. Also, he’s preventing the other cat from going into the basement to use the litter box. Which is So! Much! Fun! And has resulted in the second cat peeing on all sorts of things in our house. Like the Potato’s favorite blanket. And his second favorite blanket.

The first cat is fairly odd to begin with–he’s terrified of all humans, including us. I’m not sure if either of the kids have ever touched him. I don’t think I’ve touched him in the last five years, come to think of it.  He hides in the basement whenever we have guests. About once every six months, he’ll let landisdad touch him, but other than that, he’d like it if we just left him a pile of food and never bothered him again.

But his behavior lately is even more odd than what we’ve come to expect. It’s a little hard to diagnose a cat who’s already deranged, so I’m not sure if we’ll ever know.

February 17, 2007. family life. 4 comments.


Don’t forget to send in your submissions for the Carnival of Feminists!

And a brief detour into pop culture criticism. Landisdad and I finally watched Crash last night (I know, we’re huge romantics!), and I have to say, we both walked away wondering what all the hype was about. I mean, I realize it was supposed to be this big, transformative movie about race, but jeez, any episode of The Wire is more thoughtful about that subject. Part of the way through, landisdad pointed out that almost every scene consisted of two people, one of whom was invariably yelling at the other one about why she/he was a racist. Of course, it became impossible not to watch the film through that lens from that point forward. And what a shame, because some truly talented actors were utterly wasted in it. Last year, the only Oscar-nominated film I had seen was Brokeback Mountain, and I couldn’t help but be sympathetic to the outcry that it was robbed of the Best Picture Oscar–now I know that outcry was right.

February 15, 2007. random other things. 8 comments.

If I ruled the world…

every day would be a snow day where the Bee still got to go to school and have a Valentine’s Day party, then came home to play with her brother.

February 14, 2007. family life. 1 comment.

crafty people needed

So I volunteered to run the craft room for our school’s Family Reading Night. And now I’m stuck, searching for inspiration in the book-related craft field.

I turned to the fine people at google, and here are some of the exciting & cool things I found.

These are kind of cute, but  I can’t see it taking that long to make a nametag.

I also like these, but where am I going to find that many laundry boxes on such short notice?

This is kind of a nifty idea, but again, not a lot of spare cargo pockets lying around our house. Same goes for this one, although how cool is that bookbag?

I’m definitely leaning toward this one, because I do have a lot of old paper bags.

There also seem to be a fair-amount of religiously motivated book crafts, but I’m not going there. Not even for this Kwanzaa family book-cover project (though I might do this one with my own kids).

Any other suggestions out there? Come on, crafty people, I need you!

February 12, 2007. books for kids. 9 comments.

sometimes, you just gotta say what the ‘f’?

the ‘f’ in this case being short for ‘feminist’

The 31st Carnival of Feminists is up in two parts, over at petitpoussin’s blog, truly outrageous.

Guess who’s hosting the next Carnival in two weeks? None other than yours truly.

Because I, apparently, am insane. Do you see how many posts that is? Two parts, people! Start sending me links! (take deep breaths, LM, take deep breaths)

February 7, 2007. meta, politically motivated. 4 comments.

Thor, Zeus, Jupiter, Seth–just tell me what I need to sacrifice!

The Potato is a very inquisitive boy. A kid who really wants to find out how the world works. And I’m happy about that, really I am.

But must he destroy every piece of consumer electronics in our home? Here’s a short list of the things that the Potato has wreaked his mighty vengeance on, in his brief 3.5 years in our home.

  • my alarm clock (twice)
  • a wireless mouse (ack! good thing we had an old wired one still hanging around)
  • at least one CD player (the Bee might have had something to do with the second)
  • the DVD/VCR player (by putting a DVD into the VCR side)
  • more video tapes and DVDs than you can shake a stick at
  • the humidifier in his room
  • every remote in our house
  • including the one for an overhead light fixture I can’t reach (^%#!&*$@)

It’s gotten to the point that I automatically assume that it’s his fault, if something electronic stops working. Sometimes, I think he might be surrounded by an invisible force field that causes things that plug in to self-destruct. Landisdad and I are contemplating buying a new TV, but I’m afraid to bring anything new and shiny into the house, without figuring out a way to keep the Potato from destroying it through his natural curiousity (and maybe that force field).

What do you think? should I just make sacrifices to every lightning god I can find? and is there something that they’ll accept as a sacrifice that isn’t shiny and electronic?

Or is there some other way of keeping our precocious pre-schooler from destroying the appliances?

Is there some kind of Future Inventor kit out there that’s appropriate for a three-year-old? Mini-Mad Scientists R Us? Give me direction!

February 5, 2007. family life. 8 comments.