Monday, August 12, 2013

It's been a long time since I have written on here. Not surprising. It's Summer. Vacations. Birthdays. Etc. 

Those delays seem to be the definition of motherhood. When I talk to my other mom friends, we tell each other we will call again soon, but months go by before we do. And making plans to go out? Forget it. As a mom, a close friend is someone you have gone out with even once in the time since your children were born. It's worse for single moms. Since we pack our kids with us, a close single mom friend is someone I have ever finished a sentence with. (It takes real dedication.)

Every mom I know has a list of un-sent thank you cards, uncompleted Pinterest projects, un-run errands.

A successful day is a day when I only put off half of my plans. 

Oddly, some of the things that get delayed seem downright stupid. Going to the bathroom shouldn't get delayed. Eating shouldn't get delayed. But they do! It doesn't matter what is on the schedule when one of my kids says they need to poop. Or cries because they're hurt. I drop everything and take care of that. And kids get hurt a lot. 

Outings get delayed or cancelled because sometimes that's the only way for the world to impose penalties on screaming, throwing things, or hitting. Some things get delayed because I just can't get back up off the couch once I sit down. 

I wish I could get everything done in a day, but days are just so short! So forgive me if I forget to call when I said I would. Please forgive me for the thank you card that's 2 years late. Please understand that I'm thinking about you. But I have a kid on the potty and I really need to go myself. 

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Great project by CNN. They are addressing women's issues by asking women what they would say to girls around the world. 

Here's a link to America Ferrera in a letter to girls.

"When one girl in the world suffers for being born female, every girl in the world is made vulnerable."

I will be following this project. 

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Just finished the book The Malice of Fortune by Michael Ennis. Great book. Admittedly, the changing perspective can be confusing and it becomes a bit of a slog in a couple of spots, but otherwise it is great. 

The characters include Nicolo Machiavelli and Leonardo DaVinci. And the book traces a story that purports to outline the development of Machiavelli's beliefs in The Prince. For a serious part of the book, I was thinking that this is not the Machiavelli I know. But the book outlines his transformation in understanding. It is compelling and the story is great. It really draws you in. 

I wish the author had done more with the female lead character. I got the impression he was floundering in how to fill that character's understanding of the world out. But she had a good story that he could have worked with more. 

It was interesting to read the notes at the end and see where things had come from in the story. I love a well-researched story. I recommend this book.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Here is a list of a few things I want to know right now: 

1. Why does the dog sleep across the top of the stairs every night? I would think getting your face stepped on would be a deterrent, but clearly not. Is that spot on the tile really that much more comfortable than the carpet? 

2. Why is the dryer so excited? When the load is done, the dryer sings a little happy tune. It goes on for a while and it's the most chipper thing I have ever heard. I like to make up words to the song. 

On good days, the song goes something like, "I'm done drying your laundry. Your laundry. Your laundry. Your whites are really fluffy. They smell good too." 

On bad days, it's more like, "Go on and stick your head in. Or the kitten..." You know, I'll just keep that to myself.

3. What is up with my son and buttons? It doesn't even seem to matter what the button does. It's 90 degrees in here? The fireplace has a button! Now, we are in the firey pit of Hell. Why can't he have a button on him that just puts him to sleep? He could push it all day long and we would both be happy. 

4. Who thought it was a good idea to domesticate cats? Some Egyptian sitting around thinking, "I don't much like sleeping. I'd like something around that is awake at night to make noise and wake me up at 2 AM biting my toes. That'd be awesome."

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On the radio program, The Take Away, they were discussing outdated gadgets we still own. People talked about smartphones, game systems, Walkmans. And I wondered when I became so old.

I still used a rotary dial phone until just a few years ago. I remember when I got my first cordless phone. I would stand next to the base to talk on it, to the endless amusement of my friends. What's sad is that, at the time, I was a computer programmer. 

I suppose I solidly walk in the new and the old when it comes to technology. I have a huge, new, "smart" TV. But, I also have an old, 27" box TV that is heavier than the giant screen. We use them both. And we probably use them both the same amount. I am equally confused as to why we would get rid of the old one when it still works as I am about why I would want to use Facebook on the new one. 

When I use my shiny, tiny laptop at work, I sit next to a machine that looks like it is out of the 1950's. The technology used in modern medicine often looks like it is out of the technological stone age. Especially in specialty areas where equipment is not mass produced, the boxy equipment can give people who walk in with their more powerful smartphones pause. But the equipment does the job, so we hang on to it. 

I recently caught flack for being the only person at a meeting taking notes with a pen and paper. And I admit that sometimes I take photos of my notes and organize them electronically. But taking notes with a pen allows me a flexibility I can't comfortably find on my laptop. 

In 2001 (a virtual lifetime ago), the author Marc Prensky coined the terms "digital native" and "digital immigrant." Those raised with the modern technologies and those who were not. But I think we have missed a large group. 

I believe I'm a digital bi-lingual. A Tech-Luddite. Like a Latino-American who is raised in one culture and language with family and friends and another in the state and country where they live. I can communicate on a tech and non-tech level. I suspect a lot of people are the same way. 

And I think there is an advantage. I don't get itchy if I step away from my smartphone to enjoy a sunset, but I still get a kick out of watching a show in 3D on that giant TV screen.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

I have been looking for a good alternative to the sticker chart for the kids' chores and today, I found a link to a good one. It meets all my criteria:

It doesn't use stickers or markers.

It lets me use my laminator (something I always look forward to).

It lets me change the chores at will.

And I can be a bit creative.

Here's the link to the great idea.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013
Category: Nursing
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Category: Motherhood
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rihanna, for all of her beauty and talent, has become the poster-child for partner abuse and it's issues. I feel so sorry for her. What was done to her and her relationship has come to overshadow her many accomplishments in the public eye. 

I don't condone abuse. Does anyone taken seriously condone abuse? But, somehow, we continue to blame victims. This is so destructive. 

Abuse victims have a hard road. Manipulation and control can feel so much like love. Abusers are well versed at making their victims feel like they don't deserve better. I know that in my personal situation, my abuser was the master at convincing me that I was unattractive, unintelligent, unlovable, but he loved me. It was incredibly effective at making me feel like I was not valuable in the world, but I was valuable to him.

While I clung to him and felt like the pain was somehow perfection and he would do anything for me, in reality he felt like he could do anything TO me. He was the nice guy. The hero. He would never intentionally do anything wrong. But me? I was flawed. And my flaws meant that I was a horrible person. If he was hurt, I had done it intentionally. But he loved me anyway! How could I not love this man who was willing to love such a monster? 

Rediscovering how wonderful I am and what flaws my abuser has didn't happen until he was gone. I could never have figured that out while I was in something that felt that special...and isolated. 

But as a culture, we help those isolating abusers. Check out this article about Rihanna from February 7: 

"She's a disgrace to women"

A disgrace to women? Yeah, we all think she needs to get out of the abusive relationship. But, calling her a disgrace to women isn't helping. Why do we think she needs to get out of that relationship? Not because she's a disgrace to women. It's because she's a beautiful, talented woman who we see other girls looking up to. She's a role model, a beauty, and talented. THIS is why she should get out. And THIS is how she gets out. 

Only when Rihanna realizes that what she has with Chris Brown is "special" only because he makes her feel like she could never feel that loved by anyone else will she be able to get out. She has to first realize that she IS a beautiful, talented, amazing woman who can feel that loved by any number of respectful, wonderful people. Because she really is that great. And she has to realize that the "special" she feels is amped with a little fear and a little confusion. Feeling special without those things is actually so much better. 

But having society scorn her. Having articles about how she's a disgrace. Having society know her as a victim instead of an amazing person. These are all great ways to make the "love" she feels coming from Chris Brown feel safer than going out into the wolves without him. 

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Hi. I'm Shelly and this is Isis, my introduction to the world of parenting. I'm not claiming to be a Parenting Expert. In fact, I'm mostly laying claim to my parenting failures. Failure is what happens when you try to do everything RIGHT as a parent. Yet, somehow, she is turning out to be a fairly cool little person....who throws crayons.

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