Monday, October 24, 2011

Life with a Toddler is like Living in a Charlie Chaplin Movie

We watched a Charlie Chaplin movie with my class last year, and I was struck by the constant motion and the constant mishaps that ensued. 
As I write this, Ruby has just entered the room with a tube of diaper rash ointment in each hand.  I had just put those tubes away in the drawer where they go.  Prior to that, they were sitting on top of the toilet in the bathroom.  As I walked into her room to put them away, she was busily walking out with a jar of baby lotion. I don't know where she put it, but I'm sure I'll find it soon.  A few moments before that, she started carrying off dirty laundry that I was trying to put in the washer. 
Now she has knocked over a pile of papers for my class, systematically flung them around her, and looked up at me and said, "No, no!"  in exactly the tone of voice I would use to correct her. 
To be fair, she did pick them up for me (although this necessitated putting down the tubes of lotion in the middle of the floor.) 
There isn't a floor in the house that doesn't have something of hers on it.  She spends a good chunk of the day toddling from room to room, picking up one thing and then depositing another.  We also find things from Toby's room deposited around the house, especially his XBOX controller.  She really likes to get into that for some reason.  The older ladies at church all say things like, "My, what a busy girl!"  when she is in this mode.  "Busy" is a nice name for it! 
But even though I feel like I'm stuck in some sort of endless loop of putting away the thing I JUST put away five minutes ago that she got out again...I wouldn't trade it for anything! 
Now to go off to Gleaners to see if we can be helpful.  I'm wary that Ruby's "busyness" will not be an asset when the job is to sort out what food goes into what container, since she likes to take things OUT more than to put things IN...or put things into the wrong container.  But we shall see. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011


What a treat! Last night I got to go to a crop!  A crop, in case you don't know, is kind of the scrapbooking equivalent of a quilting bee. People go with their scrapbooks and spread out and work companionably on their own stuff.  I've been meaning to go for a while but things always came up.  But last night, Andy and Allen took turns watching Ruby so I could go.  I got several pages done and enjoyed being in the company of other ladies (several of whom had little kids, too). One of the best hings about a crop is that the consultant who holds it usually has a lot of Creative Memories tools (punches, cutting tools, fancy scissors, etc.) that she lets us use.  Good deal! 
Yesterday I also had an ultrasound.  The tech said that it would be too soon to tell the sex of the baby...darn!  I kept my eyes peeled as I watched the screen, and for a fleeting second I thought I saw some, ah, boy parts.  But I certainly couldn't swear to it.  But the baby is definitely looking more like a baby and less like a speck.  I have felt movement every so often, too.  My 20 week ultrasound will be in a month or so, and that's the one where I will hopefully find out the sex.  So excited!  Excited to start feeling more of the baby kicking, too.  I'm just starting to show a bit now.  I will put up some pictures when we get a new computer.  I don't know if I can get pictures from my camera onto the computer we're using now (my school-issued laptop, a PC, blehhh). 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Suffering from wedding fever...

My brother-in-law is getting married in a few months and I'm in a frenzy of wanting to help with their wedding planning.  I know.  NOT MY JOB.  I already had my wedding.'s the creative crafter in me that just wants to jump in and do cool things.  They, like us, are working on a tight budget.  I think we spent between $2500- $3000 on our wedding (that is including contributions from my parents for things like hiring a photographer, which I'm thankful for).  In this day and age, where it is considered a "budget" wedding to be under $10,000, that's pretty good.  I think they are shooting for a $500 wedding.  So, it will require a lot of creativity and friends pitching in.  I find myself looking at things in Goodwill or browsing online for ideas and getting excited for them. 
But I also don't want to step on their toes, particularly the bride-to-be's. After all, planning a wedding is very personal and something you only get one shot at (usually).  So, I'm trying to find the balance of being available to help but not getting in their business all the time. 
Just my random thought of the day!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Warning: Rant Ahead!

[Thanks to Eleanor Clark for bringing this to my attention on Facebook.]

Watch the trailer, but be forewarned that there is offensive material in it. Alas, that is the whole point.  It's about how nearly everything the media portrays about women is OFFENSIVE.  When we're not being cast as promiscuous, sex-crazed nymphs, we're either "bitches" or "dykes" or "hags" or somehow all of the above.  Women in politics can't catch a break.  They're evaluated on how they do their hair or what they wear as much as what they say.  Their tone of voice is measured and found "nagging" or "mom-like."  God forbid we have a female president, because then what would happen to the country when PMS or mood swings hit her? Because men are never irrational and always get things done in government...ha! 
Look, women aren't perfect and they have flaws; and men certainly aren't portrayed as perfect by the media.  Men are told by the media that they need to be tough, womanizing, powerful, ruthless, sexy, and strong.  "What, you're 12 and you haven't looked at porn?  What are you, gay?"  That kind of talk is going on in the homes and on the playgrounds of schools right now, maybe even the school I work at.  There's tremendous pressure exerted on boys and girls alike to be a certain way and look a certain way and conform to certain ideas of how (and who) they should be.  I know that right now at my school some girls are getting teased and bullied because of the way they do their hair and makeup.  Of course, their teasers are sophisticated enough to know exactly the right moment to make the comment, write the note, or make a face so that they don't get caught. Kids aren't dumb; in fact, they can be be frighteningly brilliant when it comes to bullying effectively.  I think we've all heard enough stories lately to assure us of that. 
I know that it isn't fair to blame everything on the media.  And I don't really think the solution for this is going to come from the FCC cracking down or new government regulations.  After all, we're complicit when we watch or click or buy.  We support it, whether passively or actively.  I think it needs to start in more homes just turning off the tube or getting rid of it altogether.  We have a good solution: a tv set that only works to play DVDs and video cassette tapes. I can bring in what I want to watch with no ads. I'm going to do my best to keep Ruby from watching things until she is at least 2 or maybe older.  I heard a report on the news that the age domain that spiked the most in use of video games and apps was the 2 to 5 age bracket.  They can't buy the stuff, but they are playing it!  Yikes! 
But here's the really weird thing about all of this: why is it that women keep on buying into offensive stereotypes? Check out this ad:
Dolce & Gabbana ad showing a woman, fully clothed in a tight dress and spiked heels, lies on her back, hips raised as a bare-chested man holds her down and four other men look on.
  I bet you this ad can be found in magazines that are marketed to women.  Most high fashion ads are.  There aren't that many in men's mags, by and large.  It's usually magazines that have high women readership.  WHY?  What woman is going to look at this and think, "Hey, time to buy myself some Dolce & Gabbana (at outrageous prices, no less) so I can look good while I'm gang raped by a strange Art Deco pool!"  But it is in women's magazines and something about this kind of campaign is obviously working, because people by D&G products.  But wait, there's more!
Calvin Klein advertisementHey ladies, were you feeling in any way okay with your body? Not anymore, thanks to Calvin Klein and associates!  This woman looks like a weird misshapen Barbie that got left out in the sun too long and warped; but it's Calvin Klein apparel so it must be fashionable and sexy, right?  Everything about women's magazines are actually quite misogynistic.  And yet, when I am in airports or check out lines, my eyes are drawn to them against my best intentions.  The women on the covers are usually clad in something scanty and/or fancy, and they have flawless skin, hair, and makeup.  I know they are airbrushed, but somehow I find myself thinking, "Gosh, I wonder if Allen wishes I looked like that?"  I've asked him, and he looks at me like I'm crazy.  "Why would I want that? That's not real.  You're real!"  he replies.  But even he has had to fight off the conditioning that constantly goes on telling men that they should be satisfied with nothing less than some kind of living, breathing Barbie doll.  The porn industry has done fine work (please note the sarcasm) in making men lust after living breathing Barbies, by the way.  Women in those pictures and movies don't look like normal everyday women.  If this is what boys are growing up seeing (along with everything peddled on TV, movies, and the internet), how the heck are they supposed to have ANY clue about what real women and real sex and real relationships are like?  ESPECIALLY if their dads either aren't in the picture or aren't saying anything helpful to contradict what society is putting out there? 
I hope and pray that I can bring up my children and students to see the lies in culture for what they are: lies and deception trying to enslave people to things that will never make them happy.  May we see shackles in every offensive ad or image; they are binding us to something that is not going to satisfy. In the words of Sara Groves, "What a relief it is to know that I'm a slave to Christ.  Of all the masters I have known, I'm compelled to live this life, free for you."

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October is here

And it has been here for over a week, but what of that?  I thought I would update you all on Ruby's growing lexicon.  Here are words she says:
up (pick me up!)
ball (used for balls, pumpkins, and anything round)
hi (greetings, used sparingly)
bye (also used sparingly)
ba (book)
huff (the sound a dog makes, and also the word for dog)
mao (the sound a cat makes)
guk (duck)
gak (quack)
no (nose, but also no)
eye (eyes)
mo (mole, like on your body)
mama (although she never says it to me, only when we are reading a book with a mama in it!)
dada (same as with mama)

She can also point to her (or other people's) nose, eyes, mouth, teeth, ears, hair, toes, feet, fingers, and bellybutton.  When Daddy's not wearing a shirt, she can point to his moles and nipple. Useful, I know.
Right now she is holding the screen of the laptop and trying to close it, then saying, "No, no!"  (anticipating what Mommy is going to say, no doubt!)
That's what our little talker is doing now.  I'm trying to teach her to say "help" and "please" so she can communicate better instead of just grunting and whining for what she wants.  It's slowgoing, though.
Today was the Harvest Festival at school.  Ruby had a great time.  There was a petting zoo with rabbits, chicks, dogs, goats, and someone even brought a tiny little kitten.  Ruby loved that area and made lots of animal sounds.  We went on the hayride (kind of scratchy!), bought some granola from Mrs. Ally's class's booth, ate a hotdog (thanks Tungate family!), and visited with lots of people.  The weather was PERFECT.  Probably the last sunny day in a long time...