Sunday, May 28, 2006

Why i joined the YMCA

No, I didn't have any gradiose intentions of working out daily (although i do sometimes dream of languidly swimming laps in the sparkly pool - which i could do if i could only bring myself to leave my children in the well run child watch and bear to wear a swimcap (the horror). The real reason I joined must be because I like to shoot myself in the foot-- no not with adding extra errands (running smart son to his classes)--with laundry.

Yes, we paid 900$ a year, not so i could get in shape, but so i could increase my laundry stress.

I am a "let-it-pile -up-and-get-it-all-done-at-once-laundry gal" I have found the 5 load pile up to be ideal- it allows optimal sorting and grouping of like items and allows for maximum washer capacity usage-- 1 really dark, 1 medium dark, 1 whites, 1 lights, 1 mediums--Now I have to worry about having the soccer or basketball clothes clean, and the swimsuits and towels washed and ready for the next lesson or family swim time-- of course this has wreaked havoc on my laundry world- even more so that adding a baby (blowouts and spitups caused minimal disruption by comparison) now i have the urgent soggy chlorine laden towels and suits which against all my efficient and task maximizing sensiblities forces me to do a less than large load...

So if you are thinking about joining the Y- get ready for your laundry world to be rocked!

Yes lets amend that motto to "we build strong kids, strong families, and strong communities- and crazy mothers"

Thursday, May 25, 2006

the psychoananlytic value of bubbilicious

I have an idea- a new direction for psychoanalysis (Freud had to make another blog appearance)-- Food association therapy- using flavors from the past to conjure up deeply buried memories....

I thought if this this week when I was suckered in by the dollar tree's "strategically placed by the register impulse buy item"-- bubblicious gum- a four pack for a dollar--

the second i popped a piece into my mouth-- i began to float nostalgically though memories of days gone by... I remember many roadtrips- trapped in the car for days with my mom, dad and sister as we traversed our great nation visiting family and friends. Listening to Mini Pops and playing my Speak and Spell. Each day brided to take a nap with the promise that when we awoke we could have a piece of gum--not just any gum-- bubblicious gum- so soft and chewy in a variety of scrumptious fruit flavors- strawberry banana, watermelon, grape, lemonade-(sadly that flavor sensation quickly dissipates and you are left chewing on rubber)

As I continued to chew, more buried memories surfaced- I remembered being in 6th grade, rumors were circling that this guy Mike liked me (certainly reliable information gleaned from a note passed to him which said rank the girls in our class, his rankings were subsequently leaked) Mike was infamous for giving out candy to whomever he happened to be crushing on at the moment-- Yes, I will admit to glancing his direction a few extra times that day, giving some encouragement, in hopes of of him passing me a piece of bubblicious when our teacher wasn't looking.

My hot tip for the world of psychoanalysis- ditch the couch and get some gum...

On another note sorry i have been scare around the blogs lately- smart baby has decided to run a 104 degree temp the last 3 days and smart son graduated from preschool (yes we are so proud- what a life accomplishment)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

10 GREAT Foreign Things- Morocco Edition

Here in America we are often a little haughty and think we have cornered the market on all good things-- well I am here to say after traveling the world, some other places definitely have some things up on us-- so over a few weeks i will highlight some of my favorite things about countries i have been to --Country of the day- MAROC aka Morocco- you want a fun, exotic, cheap, trip (okay cheap once you get there) go to Morocco

1. Moroccan food--rocking tagines-- love love love moroccan food. I fell in love with the food before I ever went to Morocco, I first encountered it on a high school field trip to Mahtam Fez in Denver. It is so savory- the lemon and olive chicken, 7 vegetable couscous-- mmmmm. Sadly, there aren't many moroccan resteraunts in the US! ( a great moroccan feast)

2. Communal eating, many courses, the whole social experience, even eating with your hands--(I can now form a mean couscous ball) perfect for a girl like me who loves a great dinner party

3. Best fresh orange juice 10 cents a glass in the souk

4. Killer Hot Chocolate-- the best cups of hot chocolate I have ever had hands down--i think it was European but i will never know I couldn't get the waiter to sell me a can, i think he thought i was joking (although they are quite obsequious to blonde american women)

5. Schwepps Citron (not to be confused with Absolut citron) think bubbly lemonade

6. Melody arabia the MTV of the arab world (24 arab music videos--great tunes and definitely not risque) nothing like getting ready in the morning to an arabic version of the sinatra classic "My Way". Seriously if you want a taste- get this CD it is one of our family favorites ARABIC GROOVE -- favorite song L'histoire - Cheb Tarik (listen to the snipet on amazon you won't regret it)

7. Shopping in the market-- I bargain like a native- and the goods in morocco are fabulous- the plates, the wood work, the lanterns, the shoes, the jewelry, the rugs, the food. Sadly when returning from a medical mission one of my suitcases was lost never to be found (thanks Royal Air Maroc) and I still mourn the loss. (some of my treasures in our family room)

8. The general art and style- love the islamic art, archways, tile work, intricate carvings-- my dream home would defintely have strong moroccan elements

9. Bedouin tents-- okay you see them in the movies but seriously they are so cool I still remember arriving at the hospital the first day and what did they have set up for the patients being screened- a giant bright colored striped tent- with tassels and carpets on the ground-- totally love it!

10. The hospitality- the people are so warm, so friendly- I can't say enough good things about my Moroccan friends. (me in the playroom with some patients)

family fun tip- instrument time

As you all know i love few things better than great play-- and one of my top toy picks for kids- musical instruments.- i believe they are an absolute must and a perfect developmentally appropraite gift for the ever difficult one year old-- Today the smart boys and I were doing "instrument time" one of our favorite activities (yes we have as many instruments as some elementary schools) In addition to endless hours of noisy play, they totally spice up our family night singing time. Here is smart baby with our all time favorite instrument time music-- This CD rocks (thanks smart baby for the promo- one of our favorites for 5 years now!)-- it has all the great opera classics (getting all cultural on you today) it reminds you of how great music can be (even more than itunes) Smart son (5)'s first song he ever sang was the la-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la chorus from the barber of seville and that is one of my favorite memories. So tonight-- 2 thumbs up for family instrument time and 2 thumbs up for this fabulous CD--

what are your favorite family activities??

Friday, May 19, 2006

smart baby's birthday

Smart Baby is 1!

The party theme we are going for this year is understated. Since smart daddy-o was returning from a week south of the border there has been little time for the crafting of a great party production- It was just the four of us because smart daddy-o gave me less than 24 hr notice of his return date and breezed in from the airport 30 min before bedtime. I was not about to invite guests over to my house in it's "week of single parenting aka disaster area state"

I decided to break out the star tip and my 15 year old cow cake pan (yes I still remember making one with my friends ryan, brad, and andrea for our friend amanda's birthday)-- All i can say is this one is NOT going in the smart mama cake hall of fame--that afternoon I had smart baby wailing, attached to my legs, tossing things out of the garbage and wreaking general havoc and mass destruction on the kitchen. I attempted with great hinderance (lets just say for the white frosting alone i went through 4 parchment bags- yes it was a cursed cake!) to squeeze out a million icing stars- I decided he is one and has yet to develop any aesthetic sense, smart son was still WOWed by the awesome cake spectacle as my fine motor frosting work still school his 5 yr old "skills" and all smart daddy-o and i care about is eating it! So when faced with a great moral dilemma (ignore wailing child vs. produce a masterful cake) I chose the child and so don't look closely at the cake!

Smart baby rocks my world- even with waking up in the night, pulling my hair, extreme mom attachment phase, making a b-line for the stairs with a crazed maniacal laugh every couple minutes, throwing onto the floor every food he gets tired of- I totally adore him! And with his birthday i learned he did inherit one great thing from me-- a love of cake. Here's to many more great years and many more great cakes!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

feeling a creative urge

Some people go and pound the pavement to relieve stress, work things out, not me- I make things- usually I have these highly prolific create bouts followed by great lulls...

so instead of washing the dishes tonight what did I do? made bows... yes you are correct i have no daughters- this is a totally random activity-- (maybe it is leftover energy from last months Bowmania) so here are my first self created bows

(yes would you believe I had all that ribbon and oodles of yards more just hanging out in my basement-scary I know) what to do with them.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

what are you listening to...

nothing like itunes--I love picking out new songs-- it is so nice to just pick and choose all your favorites--sadly such freedom can lead to wild reckless itunes abandon-- to keep my impulsivity in check they sit in a hold list for a week or two while i decide if it is really worth my 99 cents... but i love music and i think it speaks interesting things about our personalities... heres a peek at the top items on our playlists at the moment

Smart Mama (yep i've been mellow lately)
Stranded (Van Morrison)
Dream a Little Dream of Me (Mamas and the Papas)
Walking After You (Foo Fighters)
A Little Less Conversation (Elvis)- (I totally missed my go-go girl calling! Love to shake it!)

Smart Son (highly skilled in itunes)
Spider-Man theme (Michael Buble)
Rainbow Connection (Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band)
I Will Never Clean up my room (brave combo)

Smart Baby (just starting to dance!)
Barnyard Dance from Rhinoceros Tap (Sandra Boynton)
Keep The Customer Satisfied (Simon and Garfunkel)
3Rs (Jack Johnson)

whats on your list?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

when i grow up...

smart baby is almost one- that is a big milestone a big milestone in the life of a "recovering infertile" (as Rachelle aptly describes it) I had to get this off my chest so his birthday honorarium wouldn't be so "heavy". For those who don't know all the sordid details of my life yet- I had 3 grueling years of secondary infertility in the form of recurrent pregnancy loss. It was an emotional trauma I could have never imagined as a little girl saying "when i grow up i am going to....". Sometimes hard things hit us, really hard things, things that alter us and utterly change us in ways we could never imagine.

My story- I was a medical mystery- no one could figure out why i kept losing perfect looking pregnancies (heartbeats at 8 weeks, good u/s, normal karyotypes, all tests normal). Each time they thought- really this shouldn't happen again- but it did. My doctors were dumbfounded. Why was this happening to a woman in her mid twenties who had successfully carried her first pregnancy. Meanwhile I floundered in the absolute despair of so many losses, wondering how there could be no answers. I tried to get through things the only way i knew how- by giving back. I started volunteering for RESOLVE (Natl infertility Organization) writing articles (using all those great professional "coping skills" for those experiencing infertility and pregnancy loss) and leading pregnancy loss drop-in support groups. I did want to be the person who wrote the rosy articles you always read that always have a happy ending. I had to be the one to sit across from you and be able to feel your pain, not remember the faded pain of the past. I had to make sense of it all in the middle of all the darkness, without the ending-- happy or sad. I had to make my own hard peace out of all the cliches-- meaning of life, why bad things happen to good people, and why you get hit when you are already down. I did. I hope that is the hardest thing i ever encounter, i don't know that it will be and to be honest the thought of anything harder terrifies me (yes you can't escape a trauma like that without a little emotional fragility). I learned one lesson though-- "When I grow up... i will experience things that will break and tear me down into pieces but will build me again stronger"

(to finish my story smart baby came only after the work of a smart pathologist in NY, more tests, and the great care of a perinatalogist and OBGYN --oh yah and how can i forget, and endless barrage of drugs, lovenox injection 2x a day, and gagging down 15 pills each day, amid my vomitting, and 40 weeks of being so scared out of my mind-until i held my 9lb 9 oz baby boy in my arms!)

The graphic is my plug for a great product from Smart Women (my favorite kitschy stuff) to support RESOLVE and other women out there learning the hard lessons of "when i grow up".

Monday, May 15, 2006

Day of Awareness- Vascular Birthmarks

Well today is offically the Day of Awareness for the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation- and I am doing my part. Smart baby (almost 1 yr) was born with a port wine stain (PWS) on his forehead. I diagnosed it before the pediatrician (probably due ot the fact that i saw many vascular lesions in my medical missions with Operation Smile) I had him in for a consult and he began treatment at 4 mo. Since then we trek to a great derm laser doc every 6 six weeks for a pulsed dye laser treatment. To date he has had 6 treatments, and we are so pleased with his response. His PWS is relatively small, light in color, and easy to treat. Many others are far more extensive, vary widely in color, and often may not respond well to treatment.

The VBF is a great organization that educates, and provides resources to individuals and families with vascular birthmarks. I volunteer my time as a CCLS and serve on their "expert" panel as the Developmental Specialist. I presented at their conference in CA last year and can't wait to conduct roundatables for families at the Boston conference this year. I enjoy answering questions sent by parents and individuals with PWS and addressing coping and psychosocial/emotional issues both for the VBF and

Linda, the founder of the VBF told me how she thanks God that her daughter was born with a hemangioma. Truly, from that experience, she has written books, conducted research and started this foundation which helps hundreds of thousands of families each year. Something that others would consider a tragedy has truly changed the world for good. I too consider myself blessed to have a son with a PWS. It has helped me view the world with greater clarity, and also helped me use my skills to do a greater good in the world. (smart son (5yr) and I also donate artwork in honor of smart baby for their annual polo event--you are never too young to make a diiference!)

So today I want to raise visible differences are just just that. In my work in the VBF community, I have come to meet many wonderful people who have dealt with some challenging things. Years of staring, rude comments, teasing, difficult treatments, ostracism, physical hardships (vascular lesions are often associated with other more complex syndromes) and even parental abadonment. I honor them and their experiences.

And today I honor my smart baby for changing my life for good!

Sunday, May 14, 2006


I have always been impressed by this quote from Mother Teresa because it seems to capture the true essence of motherhood.
" We must not drift away from humble works, because these
are the works nobody will do. It is never too small. We are so small we look at
things in a small way. But God almighty sees everything great. Therefore if you
just go and sit and listen,- go visit somebody, or bring somebody a flower-
small things, wash clothes for somebody, or clean the house, very humble work
.that is where you and I must be. For there are many people who can do big
things. But there are very few who will do the small things.”

To my great mother and all the great women today-- Happy Mothers Day thanks for being BIG enough to do the little tasks of love

Thursday, May 11, 2006

now that's smart

i love "smart ideas". i hate stupid ideas...generally smart ideas are not praised enough and stupid ideas are not "boo"ed enough. At least once a week there will be sometime I will say to my husband-- "Really who thought that was a good idea?"

So here are some "smarts" and "stupids" i have been contemplating lately...

1. local library magazine swap bins-- out in the hall there are 8 giant bins for magazines (put in your gently-read magazines- take others magazines to read) it is a great form of recycling- i love grabbing a stack of scientific american, country home, elle decor for my bathtub reading pleasure. (also appeals to "cheap mama") So SMART!!

2. the velcro patches on my new britax carseat that hold the straps open while you put your child in (also appeals to "time saver/tired of wrenching my babies arms mama")-- So SMART!

3. Robeez shoes- they stay on babies all day (also appeals to "conservation of energy mama") - So SMART

1. Straps on highchair that cannot be removed for washing (booed by "the attainment of clean is impossible mama"-- c'mon what were you thinking!!

2. A white cotton skirt with a dry clean only label (booed by any "wear it more than once mama")

3. People litter out their car windows-(booed by "wanna see me decorate your yard with fast food cups and cigarette buts mama")

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

double tagged

okay you know when you are playing tag as a kid and if somone barely grazes you you can act like you didn't get tagged but then as ithe first person argues i got you and you keep running invariably a second person tags you- Or two people get you at the same time. Well I have been double tagged-- different games of tag though- so today you can learn more about me thanks to gabriela and JD

The 4 Tag
Four jobs I've had:
1. Artist
2. Child Life Specialist
3. Religion TA
4. Floral Designer

Four movies I watch over and over:
Pride and Prejudice
Rear Window
Move over Darling

Four places I have lived:
Ankara, Turkey
Rapid City, South Dakota
Panama City, Florida
Littleton, CO

Four TV shows I love to watch:
The Office
PBS specials

Four places I have been on vacation:

Four places I would like to go on vacation:
anywhere with a warm beach

Four websites I visit often:
my gallery
my blog
google (always searching for something)

Four favorite foods (I love to eat, so this was a hard one):
Beef and Broccoli from Cheng Du
Checkerboard cake
Sonic onion rings
Ukrops chocolate iced donuts

Where I would like to be right now:
Duck, N.C.
In bed--sleeping
Anywhere where my friends are
In Morocco

2 Tag
Two for Togetherness.
2 things you compliment your husband on while in his presence.
1. His green eyes
2. His helpfulness
2 compliments you make about your spouse to your friends about your spouse.
1. He is spontaeous cleaner and chore do-er
2. He is spoils me
2 traits you married him/her for.
1. His discipline
2. His integrity
2 Days you charished the most with your husband being together.
1. Our wedding day.
2. Birth of Boys
2 Material things you could give your husband if you just inherited a fortune.
1. A vacation house in Duck, NC
2. a Cobra kit to build with the boys
2 things you would miss the most if she/he left for two weeks.
1. no massages
2. no help with the dishes
2 thoughts that crossed your mind when you first met/saw your spouse.
1. he seems really GOOD
2. he's cute
2 favorite dates
1. Playing guitar on the deck at my aunts vacation house
2. Golden Gate Park in San Francisco
2 funny odd things you love.
1. His good man legs
2. His good man feet
2 two places you have lived with your spouse.
1. San Ramon, CA
2. Richmond, VA
2 favorite Vacations
1. Duck N.C. (all 6 trips)
2. Florida

I would like to Tag the following… go for it gals- you can take your pick which tag to accept
itybtyfrog ideas
Rarely Home mom

Monday, May 08, 2006

my bollywood dreams

I have never aspired to make it big in Hollywood-- but Bollywood- thats another story. I am revealing one of my deep dark secrets- I would really like to be a Bollywood movie star- I really dig the singing and dancing- I really like the way they move, I love the facial expressions, the storylines dramatic, and the costumes are fun. After seeing people dance all over the world, you really realize how regional "moves" are. (okay some other time i will blog about one of my other favorite things -Melody Arabia- the 24 hr music video channel of the arab world)

So if you are looking for a good taste of bollywood you can check out, a must see is Lagaan. You think it sounds crazy to have a musical about a game of cricket- but really just watch the movie. The song and dance numbers are really fabulous (okay except for the one sung by the English lady).

I am afraid my blonde hair, green eyes, and inability to wag my head well will ultimately cut short my bollywood dreams.

what highly unlikely thing sounds fun to you?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

7 years

I had to show-off my anniversary gift from our Smart Son (5yr)- a giant painting of the Washington DC Temple-(complete with gold leafed angel Moroni )where we were married 7 years ago.

For those who have never been to a dinner party at our is the condensed although convoluted story of how Smart Mama and Smart Daddy-o came to be...

He was starting his sophmore yr just back from a mission- I was a 17 yr old freshman at BYU. I liked him/he liked me- we went out- i didn't want to get serious- because he was the husband material type- I maturely decided if I ignored him it would all go away. Well it did for awhile. I dated my "college boyfriend" until after i graduated (With one date with allen mixed into that 2 yr relationship) I finished BYU in 3 yrs., taught school in Virginia, and went back to grad school. Well my first Sunday back guess who i ran into- yep- smart daddy-o (at first i thought- what is he still doing here-- he must be a total slacker, he should've graduated when i did- but I found out he was 1/2 way through an MBA/MS in mechanical engineering (okay maybe he wasn't such a slacker). We kept bumping into each other on our way to the grad student parking lot-- and finally at the end of that year-- We started dating again-(after i dreamt about him 3 nights- i decided to bring him cupcakes- yes food has always been a theme with me - see i really was interested in this other guy mike at the time and I guess I needed something to get me refocused on smart daddy-o --every story has to have some cheesy element- the dream thing is mine) of course this was march- 1 mo before the end of the school year. he was finishing his thesis- i was going to johns hopkins to do child life clinical hours all summer and then planning to go a mission - so it kind of threw a kink in the works- we pulled the long distance thing- i called my dept in july and said i was coming back at the end of the summer- not engaged and not going on a mission after all- As soon as i got back to school- smart daddy-o took a job in CA and i finished my last year of grad school. So luckily i worked my grad schedule so i could fly to CA every 2 weeks to see him (got to love 49$ southwest internet specials)- we got engaged in october and married may and the rest is 7 years of history...

So smart daddy-o this one is for you-- thanks for giving me everything these last 7 years... 7 down/eternity to go-- I can't wait! As to your anniversary gift--how about a romantic dinner for 2 (uh make that 4-- no babysitters), I'll write you up some "good fors" (that never get redeemed) and give you veto power on the new dining room rug design.

XOXO, your favorite smart mama

Thursday, May 04, 2006

uni jr.- the therapeutic unicorn puppet

I had knee surgery when I was 7. We drove from our home in FL to Emory in Atlanta so i could have a great pedi ortho. surgeon- Anyway after my surgery, my parents gave me a stuffed unicorn which i so creatively named "Uni" (yes thats You-knee). Uni was a great childhood pal. I look many girls in middle childhood love all things pink, purple, unicorns, and stickers. Well today I stumbled into the Childrens Orchard- a consignment store where I often find killer deals--and i found this amazing, huge mahattan toy unicorn puppet in pristine condition. For 3.99-- i couldn't pass it up- despite the fact that i have boys and it is relatively girly (puprle ribbons and iridescent lame- really i am a gender neutral toy gal).

all childhood nostalgia aside, I was lured in by the actual mechanics of the puppet. I tried to explain to the lady who worked there that it was a fabulous puppet because you could actually fit your hand inside and move the entire mouth without hand fatigue...but i think my discourse was lost on her.

You probably didn't know this but I actually attended entire workshops on the therapeutic use of puppetry- it was part of my child life training at Johns Hopkins. the art of it all is so interesting-- choosing a good puppet, creating a persona, proper hand mechanics to create realistic speaking action, ways to engage children. And nothing is more fun than playing with a truely masterfully created puppet (those thousands of dollar ones--like those on sesame street) that literally are so well constructed that they exude life- so much so that, you as an adult, have to remind yourself they aren't real. Children really do connect with these fictional beings that come to life with a special voice, and persona in a way they don't connect with a person.

I rememeber my 1st graders used to beg for me to read our stories "in puppet". A little friend in Virginia also asks whenever we visit if we remembered to bring cow and giraffe- puppets we had played 3 years earlier- they are her favorite things. My son loves it when smart dad and i do family night puppet shows from behind the red couch.

The moment i put uni on and began interacting in the uni voice- my 5 year old was entranced. I was surprised he was so attached. Uni began asking all sorts of questions and my son has never been freer or more excited to answer- he talked about everything-- from living in heaven before we are born to what he likes best about his parents, the states he has visited, etc etc. After an hour of questioning, I had to give my "uni voice" a rest. He begged for more-- He explained to my husband when he got home from work that Uni was his favorite thing to do and "Uni asks so many questions I can't even remember where the questions started. I just like talking to uni too much!" I can only imagine the experience for him was like meeting someone you instantly hit it off with - the conversation just goes and you wonder how it all go started...I offered to let Uni do a story before bed--"No I just want more questions".

Even though I am sitting right there, saying Uni's words, it is somehow different. Uni brings him animation, gives him a special freedom, someone there for you and you alone. Someone to share yourself with. With Uni he feels proud of himself, more expressive, and unabashed (he even sang him a song- a true rarity for him!)

Today was a wonderful day-- for 3.99 I got a rockin' puppet, the academic pleasure of seeing how therapeutic puppet persona in action and best of all a special glimpse into the world of my son.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

My voice

Time for another one of my soapboxy posts about women...

I was talking to my friend Catherine yesterday (c'mon join our blogging ranks) she is working on her PhD and her dissertation on literacy (hopeful literacy of mothers). She was asking about motivations in writing and I began thinking more about my motivations in blogging- I love it because it is journalling, with all it's rich details, pictures, etc. But I also blog to make a social statement. I blog to glorfiy, to validate the life I live. To show I am happy, to show I am proud of my choices. I blog because I am a smart mama.

I am grateful to the feminist movement for paving the way to greater opportunity in work and education. I loved growing up in a post- feminist revolution world, and with parents who provided the perfect scaffolding of security, ability, and confidence. I knew with out a doubt I could be or do anything I wanted. Endowed with power, by always moderated by my own choice. As I selected a profession it was moderated by my life goals (Yes I chose not to pursue certain professions or programs because I couldn't fit them with motherhood in a way that was acceptable to me) As we teach our children every choice has a consequence, and it is a truth of life that you can't have everything- so pick what is most important. This is a choice for men to-- my husband chooses not to have a job that requires heavy travel, long hours, or intense stress- yes he asks his boss for time to volunteer at preschool, yes, he sacrifices career for family for quality of life- is he walking out on manhood? Should he refuse to allow his paid work to be shorted for relationships...

There has been so much talk lately, of this of "us" the "opt out generation". The women who are "turning their backs" on the opportunities now available to them to stay at home. I listened to such an interesting discussion on NPR- polling young women in elite colleges- expressing their likelihood of stying home in the future, many feminists troubled by the numbers. Thinking our society must be sending the message you can't do it all- the clocks must be rolling back. Why is it "Choice feminism" is not accepted. How is choosing to care for others not a choice? I am deeply troubled by the way caregiving is undervalued in our societies. This extends to caretaking professions as well-- the pay and respect meeted out to a teacher is far less than that of a lawyer, business executive. Linda Hirshman contends the only way to flourish as a human being is through paid work.

To her I suggest the only way to flourish as a human being is unpaid work. The work that is the great equalizer of men and women across cultures, across all history and time. The work of care. I feel far greater satisfaction at night when I help someone far more than when I get a paycheck. I am not Godless or a slave to the god of self glory-- development of my own personal morality is far more rewarding than another plaque on my wall--

So my social statement is this- I am a woman, a smart woman, I don't want another woman to speak for me. I have a voice, my own voice. The press may not quote me, like Linda Hirschman, so my voice may not be as loud- many whispers can create a great sound--I am one woman just as she is, of equal importance, with a voice as unrelenting, as strong and as valid- Don't pity me, don't trouble yourself that society has done me wrong, don't fear I may never escape this domestic drudgery and become enlightened--This life, as a mother, as a mother who stays home, is my choice. I walked away from a tenure track college teaching job because I wanted to. I wanted to experience motherhood without distraction. Homemaking is not drudgery, paid work is not bliss. I am still the same girl who grew up knowing she could do anything she wanted--And guess what- world is still on a silver platter before her and she is still choosing all the greatest delicacies of life to enjoy.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Arnie the Robo-spudnut

One of our favorite children's books is Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller (as you know i love food and many of my favorite childrens books are also about food- like the all time greatest Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) For the last week or so smart son (age 5) has wanted to make doughnuts- "just like Arnie" (with working eyes, arms and legs) I told him I didn't think we had those "parts" he said we could make bendable robotic ones!!! I told hm maybe his engineer dad could but I didn't take any robotics classes in grad school and he'd have to settle for non- animated, non- robodonuts. So last night after our family night lesson on our family value of excellence (which was very well recieved- love those days) we made spudnuts (potato doughnuts)- Smart son was more than skeptical about potatoes in doughnuts- but spudnuts were a tradition in my family-- and a tribute to my idaho pioneering paternal grandparetns, great grandparents-- and in the end he loved them and now loves saying "Do you know another word for potato is spud?"

weekend update

We had a quite a weekend- friday at 5 pm I came down with mastitis - and I still hadn't finished preparing a 45 minute talk I had to give 3x on saturday at a youth conference in Albany, NY. I was so miserable I couldn't even think and things just weren't coming together cohesively. My husband kept telling me i had to call and cancel- there was no way i could go in my current state. I said no I wouldn't cancel yet- I had to just had to pray, and go to bed with advil and antibiotics and hope for the best. Saturday morning, I woke up feeling okay and finally had the inspiration to get my workshop finished and gather the necessary supplies. We get the troops in the car and head out to Albany a couple hours away.
My talk was on "Keeping up with Technology While Staying Wired in to the Spirit". I had a fun display (the teacher in me has to have visual aids) which was Lessons you can learn about the wise use of technology from... clock (the imperative nature of our society, time can't be recycled), ant farm (this was a big hit- my sons gel antworks ant farm-- for keeping eternal perspective- staying focused), a watermelon (acted out a great story from elder oaks talk about valuing what you have), white noise (the busyness of our lives that keep us from pondering), plate heaped with junk food and 1 carrot (the unimportant stuff that we let fill up our time the balance of nourishing spirits) and seeds (law of the harvest, eternal nature of our choices). We talked about how different technologies are changing our culture for good and bad and then some questions to ask yourself that were all technology lingo (what are you downloading to your Spirit? are your batteries runnign low? are you secure from the adversary? etc.) I am so grateful for the Spirit and how it guides us, it makes things come together and it makes the words come out, I love when you get to witness and be a part of that process. I have given a lot of talks, but this one was different, it was a very memorable experience for me. I felt totally miserable on the way out, miserable on the back- but fine when I was there- I know there was a purpose in me going and i know prayers are answered.

Smart Dad took the boys to nearby Howe caverns where they enjoyed touring the caves and cracking geodes while I gave my talks- and out to dinner at Friendly's.

oh and no early morning meetings- we all actually got to go to church at the same time in the same car-- a 2-3x a year occurrence-- yeehaw!!!

And that is my weekend update...