Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I Judge...

I try not to be a judgemental person, I really do, but there are some things that just bug me to no end.  My #1 peeve right now?

People with too many children.

I know, I know... this seems too general and horribly judgmental, but it's been on my mind a lot lately.  Ever since our day at the Mall of America and seeing hoards of poorly behaved kids running around I've had this burning desire to grab their parents and yell, "did you really need THAT many?!"

What's too many you ask?  To me, 3 is too many.  Children shouldn't out number their parents; it's a recipe for disaster.  Now I don't mean to say that people should never, ever have many children (as I sit here right now I can think of a co-worker, a friend from my childhood and a girl I went to high school with who all have 3+ kids and they seem to be doing amazing jobs) but, for the most part, the families I see with many children are chaotic, frantic, disjointed balls of mess.  I don't believe parenting is an innate skill, procreation may be, but actual positive parenting does not just happen.  It is learned, honed, practiced and perfected over the years and it is a rare women (or man) who can literally go for years on very little sleep with multiple babies and not lose their mind to some extent.  I know I couldn't.  I feel the biggest factor in successful parenting is patience, and it's hard to be patient with so many kids to attend to.

And we haven't even touched on the social implications of more people being born than our earth can sustain.  In the U.S. alone the population is projected to increase to 392 million by 2050 - more than a 50% increase from the 1990 population size.

I know I'm bias as I come from a family of almost exclusively only children on both my mom and dad's side and we're 99.9% sure Eva is going to be an only child, but I just wish more people went for quality over quantity.  Newsflash people, if you're having a difficult or stressful time of being a mom to just one, adding number 2 and 3 into the mix is NOT going to make your life easier.  You should work on improving the quality of life for your first born because, like I've said before, I'm sure junior would appreciate a sane and happy mommy over a(nother) sibling.  Children are not accessories and you do not garner any awe or respect from me by being physically able to pop out multiple kids.  You do so by being an attentive, doting, hands-on parent who raises well rounded, well adjusted and well behaved children.

If you break into a cold sweat at the thought of going out in public alone with your children, you probably have too many.

Crappy Blog

I've never done a plug for the blog of someone I don't actually know, but this blog - http://crappypictures.com/ - is the funniest, most accurate blog about parenting that I've come across in a long while so I figured I'd share with you all.

It's work safe, so no worries :-)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Minneapolis Institute of Art

Minnesota Public Radio put on a free, family friendly event called Rock the Cradle at the Minneapolis Institute of Art today and we took the chance to head down there after church.  It was a very busy place- and I literally screamed like a banshee at a lady who tried to steal our parking spot- but it was wonderful to see Eva's face as we went through the exhibits.  In addition to the normal art there was a lot of live music and dancing, but Eva actually enjoyed the art and quiet of the exhibit halls better, which I was not expecting.  We plan on going back on a normal day sometime soon to have more time to look at the art.

Biggest surprise of the day?  Eva correctly identifying Jesus in a sculpture of the passion.  I don't think she's ever seen a graphic representation of Jesus' death, and we don't even have Jesus on the cross that's in the front of our church, so I wasn't really expecting her to know it, but she did.  I have to start giving her more credit I suppose. 

Coolest car ever

Watching the music show

Tattoo time

This is the one that she knew was Jesus...
and then she stared at it for a good few minutes, not saying anything- pretty intense

Had to take a photo of this one... this is a woman. Ha!

Prepping to jump aaaand...


Buffalo Wild Wings

Yup, we're those parents.  The ones who have their preschooler out with them at Buffalo Wild Wings to watch a UFC until so late that she falls asleep in our arms.  It's pretty redneck/white trash/ghetto if you ask me but hey, we can't be perfect all the time ;-)

At least she's not one of the annoying or fussy kids who makes a scene, that would just not do.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Birthday Inspiration

With Eva's 4th birthday just six weeks away, I've been busy getting everything together for her party.  We're having a Fancy Nancy themed party and below are some of my inspirations for the party- can't wait to post pro photos from the party later in April.

Balloon- will be added to pink and purple ones to make a bouquet

We did not buy all of this, just some plates and cups

Candy necklaces, complete with princess crowns on them

Photo is blurry, but they are super cute pink and blue lollipops


Ever since we went to Benihana for my birthday back in December, Baba has been hooked.  We went again on Tuseday with our besties Michelle and Maria and, as always, a good time was had by all.  I even ended up with a free filet mignon as they over cooked Maria's and I got to have her freebie- bonus!

My dinner, crunchy shrimp roll- mmmmmm

Staff singing happy birthday in Japanese to Baba

Old Age

I am not 21 anymore... and I'm fine with that, really I am... but I don't know if I'm ready to be 30.  Okay, okay- I know I have 2 years until then but my ever increasing age came up while talking about my 10 year high school reunion, which is this year, with my friend LaRae.  We then realized that her husband will, sooner than she likes to admit, be 40 years old. 

Here is our email exchange from today:

"Hahaha stop being old!!!  I don’t want to be 30… ever, but I know I can’t fight it off" - me

"Lucky for me I had Bradley to distract me. He was only a few weeks old and I was in total new baby mommy mode. Brad will be 40 in 2015 – OLD!" - LaRae

"Oh my God no way! I cannot know a 40 yr old, I refuse." - me

Aaaaaand that concludes my shallow gossiping for the month- stay tuned for the next inevitable thing I decide to find repulsive!   

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Original Gender Neutral Preschool

There's a lot of hype these days about making education gender neutral.  There's even a preschool in Stockholm where they are taking it to the extreme. At this school there are rules banning any form of dress, speech or even bathrooms alluding to a difference between sexes.  "No Hes, No Shes, No Hers, No Hims.  There are no dresses allowed or even gender specific hairstyles.  Even the bathrooms are going to be completely gender neutral, meaning there will be no urinal and the bathroom is for both sexes."

Now this might seem odd, revolutionary, forward thinking, crazy, intriguing... the list goes on, but it's not all that different from what Montessori kids have been experiencing for years.  Eva's classroom doesn't have a single doll, kitchen set, toy truck or any of the other - usually gender specific- things you often see in preschools.  They also have just one bathroom for boys and girls.

The following in an excerpt from Eva's teacher that I pulled from our monthly newsletter: 

One year my class was studying dinosaurs and another teacher gave them a big plastic dinosaur that she found at the garage sale for scrubbing. Both of us thought the boys would think this was great work.  Well, weren’t we surprised to see that it wasn’t the boys, but rather the girls that found the work very exciting! So I decided to ask some boys who were intensely concentrating with heads down, engaged in an activity, “Hey, I thought you boys would love this dinosaur scrubbing work.  How come you’re not doing it?”  “Cause we’d rather do this,” they casually replied as they were sewing a button on a piece of fabric. Children have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of activities, not just what is expected of them because of their gender. This creates an atmosphere of acceptance and respect for the interests of others.

Love it!

P.S. I know some of you are scratching your head thinking, "Wait, Eva is a total girly girl. She is in no way gender neutral!"  You are correct, she is very "girly" in the socially understood sense of the word, but 1) she has mostly chosen it herself, I do not force her to wear dresses, on the contrary, she begs to wear them and 2) I don't mind her being girly at home or out in public, but in a learning environment I'm happy that she sees education as an open field.  Boys don't do one thing at school and girls do another; everyone does everything as everyone is equal.  I don't remember the article I read but it was recent and it said that almost 100% of kindergarten girls say they could be president someday.  Re-ask the same question at 6th grade and something like less than 40% still believe it is an option for them... and the number keeps dropping as girls get older.  That is shameful and I pray Eva will grow up knowing she can do anything she sets her mind to. 

Baba's Birthday

Baba turned 39 this week, so to celebrate we went to the Mall of America on Monday.  It actually wasn't too crowded, even though it was President's Day, and Eva was really well behaved, which always makes things more enjoyable.  This is the second year we've gone to the MOA for Baba's birthday and I do believe I feel a tradition in the making.  We even did a number of the same things that we did when Baba turned 39 last year- like going to Build-A-Bear and riding on rides at Camp Snoopy.  All in all it was a wonderful day with my two favorite girls and I feel so blessed to be able to do special things with Eva that I did with my mom when I was little; I had such a wonderful childhood and I hope I am giving Eva the same.

Where else to start the day off but at Godiva?

Disney store! This was a new one for us

Princess Castle inside the store

Finagling Baba into buying her not one, but 2 Disney dolls

Candy store!  we scouted out goodies for her birthday party but ended up buying them from a candy wholesaler online instead

Kiddie Mecca

Praying over the Bear's heart which is in her hands- lol

Giving Annabelle a bath before getting dressed in her nice sundress

Riding comfy

Merry-Go-Round with Baba (because Mommy doesn't do spinning rides)
Jewelry shopping at Macys, duh

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Vampire Diaries

Many of you know that I am a vampire dork.  I love all things involving the sexy immortals and their dealings with humans... think Twilight, True Blood and- for tonight's blogging pleasure- Vampire Diaries.  It's a TV show on the CW channel (major teen fan base but I am not yet 30, so I continue to consider myself within their demographic!) and it's currently in his third season.  It follows Elena, a human girl, and her life in small town Virginia as she meets two 160+ year old vampire brothers Stefan and Damon.  As you could imagine, they both fall in love with her and drama and craziness ensue.  It's fantastic! 

And I'm not the only fan they have, according to the interwebz, "At the 2012 People's Choice Awards, the show gained four nominations: Best TV Drama, Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Drama Actor for Ian Somerhalder and Drama Actress for Nina Dobrev. While the show and Ian Somerhalder lost out, Nina Dobrev won in her category, becoming the first write-in person ever to do so."