Thursday Open Thread

Every year they show up at my door, usually a little later than all the little kids: overgrown trick-or-treaters. Sometimes they don’t even bother to wear a costume. And I’m left feeling like I’ve just been shaken down for candy by a bunch of high schoolers.

But this column about teenagers that are “too old” to be asking for candy made me see them in a whole new light.

When a crowd of under-costumed teens shows up on your doorstep, welcome them. It’s a big group because they find strength in numbers. They’re not wearing costumes because they didn’t realize that they’d want to go–nor how badly.

Give them big bars. Don’t tell them they’re too old. They already know that.

Let them pretend it just isn’t so.

I think I will be much more welcoming this year. What say you? At what point do you say, “No candy for you, Sparky!” Or are you happy to give goodies to all comers?

What’s on your mind today? Chat away!

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Thursday Open Thread

How much weight did you gain while pregnant?

Because people seem to have strong opinions on the topic. While some (including feminist author Germaine Greer) have criticized Princess Kate for gaining too little weight while pregnant, this unhinged woman wrote a column for The Daily Mail condemning undisciplined lard-asses for using pregnancy as nothing more than an excuse to pig out. But while she judged all the fatties, she claims the fatties were judging her just as harshly– because they were mad jealous, natch!

‘When are you due?’ a woman asked me. ‘Four weeks,’ I replied proudly. Her eyes dropped immediately to my compact bump, and I could see her mental processes working overtime.

Her initial incredulity rapidly morphed into anger at me and pity for my unborn child. ‘Anorexic,’ I could tell she was thinking. ‘Obsessive. Narcissistic. Putting her own vanity before the health of her baby.’

In a word, she was seized by jealousy – the green-eyed monster that seems to turn the most sensible and intelligent of women into bile-spitting harpies when faced with something they wish they had.

That is . . . a whole heck of a lot of projection, right there! Like, Olympic-level mind-reading! Wow.

I exercised right up until my daughter was born, and still gained 35 pounds. When pregnant with my son after a miscarriage, I was too nervous to exercise, and ended up gaining 40 pounds. Some would say that I gained too much weight, but I wasn’t really fussed. My babies were healthy, my pregnancies were smooth (joyous, even!) and my deliveries were uncomplicated. Weight gain was the last thing on my mind. And I will admit to enjoying a lot of Nutella while gestating. :-)

I have always marveled at the pregnant women who stay skinny, acquiring the perfectly round belly and nothing else. I carried my babies ALL OVER, if you know what I mean. But I also never experienced any morning sickness or significant swelling.

In short, it’s different for every woman, and it never occurred to me to judge anyone for gaining too much weight or staying too skinny while pregnant. It’s sad to think that for some, the Mommy Wars start while their babies are still in utero.

What do you think? What else is on your mind today? Chat away!

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Thursday Open Thread

From the “My Kid’s Life Is So Different Than Mine Was” files:

photo (42)

DD9 went to Cotillion last night. I had never heard of Cotillion before last year, when local friends started posting pictures on their facebook feeds of their kids all dressed up, awkwardly dancing the cha cha with other kids. Cotillion is basically an opportunity for young children to learn and reinforce proper manners, practice social graces and conversation, and even dance together.

In short: SOFA KING CUTE.

When DD heard her friends start talking about it, she was all ears. Once she figured out it involved dressing up and dancing and drinking punch and wearing white gloves?! She was all in.

It was so fun to watch her out there, to see these sweet little boys offering girls their arms, cutting in to dance, giving them napkins and handing them their punch. They chatted amiably and had a great time together. There will be a holiday party and a costume party and a formal dinner. Frivolous, yes, but oh so fun. I want my kids to experience as much as they can, including how to dance a waltz with a boy who’s a full head shorter than you. :)

Which new experiences have your kids enjoyed lately? Are there some things they do that you wish you could have done when you were a child?

What else is on your mind today? Chat away!

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Tuesday Open Thread

We had quite the chat in yesterday’s open thread! Let’s keep it going!

I’ll throw out a few topics.

Gone Girl: the book vs. the movie.

Homeland: how much did it creep you out that Carrie’s baby looked like an itty bitty Brody replica? And then there was the bathtub scene. DEAR LORD.

My 4-year-old son thought it was funny to poke my “booboos” repeatedly during our shower last night. THOSE AIN’T YOURS ANYMORE, KID.

Pumpkin spice: threat or menace?

Chat away!

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Weekend Open Thread

I’m going to a family wedding today, and shizz is getting real, ladies.

I am the eldest grandchild on my father’s side, and one of the oldest on my mom’s side, as well. So I have stark memories of most of my cousin’s births and babyhoods. Now my cousin is getting married! I cradled him when he was a baby. Soon, he will be having babies of his own. The passage of time can feel so bizarre. But here we are! I’m pushing 40 and my cousins are no longer kids.

DS has been asked to be a ring bearer, so that should be interesting (and cute!). My cousin is also bucking tradition by not having a big Catholic Mass in the morning, followed by a party at a huge reception hall in the evening. Frankly, I’m glad! Those all-day affairs are exhausting, and then you have to find a way to kill the time in between. With kids in tow. No, thanks!

Instead, they will have a ceremony at the outdoor venue, immediately followed by cocktails and then dinner and dancing. This is a radical departure and it has caused some harrumphing among some of my more traditional aunties, but I’m applauding the young couple. Plus, my cousin’s soon-to-be wife is of Polish descent (just like my DH) so we’re feeling a bit of a kinship with them. Of course, we made my family go apoplectic when we eloped, so I guess we were the first to step outside the box.

Another twist: we’re experiencing a crazy late summer heat wave. Good times!

What kind of weddings do you enjoy attending? Do you like traditional or untraditional affairs? Big or small? I will say the two most fun weddings I’ve attended did not include kids. And this was after I became a parent. Hee.

What are you up to this weekend? Chat away!

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Thursday Open Thread

Do you ever get “hangry?” While DH suffers from this condition far more frequently than I do, I will admit to going without breakfast far too often, and being a starving, snippy mess by the time lunch rolls around.

I know breakfast is important, but I’m just not hungry in the mornings. Then there’s my penchant for going without breakfast AND skimping on lunch when I know I’ll be having a big, yummy dinner. Because I need to save room, y’all!

Sigh. Do you have any bad eating habits? If you have conquered them, any advice for those of us still wrestling with them?

What else is on your mind? Chat away!

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