Saturday Open Thread

It’s the weekend, y’all! We kicked ours off by watching “Moneyball” last night. It was a great underdog story, thoroughly inspiring and entertaining. If you like baseball, you will love this movie. Even if you don’t like baseball, you will probably still dig it. The previews were fun too, as we saw an extended trailer for “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” What movies are you looking forward to?

Quick question: what, in your experience, are the most absorbent overnight diapers? My dear sweet son sleeps 12 hours a night without waking, but lately he wakes up soaked. The Pampers Baby Dry just aren’t cutting it. He is not quite 20 months old and we won’t be attempting potty training for a while yet, so we need a temporary solution to try and minimize all the extra loads of laundry.

What’s on your mind today? Any fun weekend plans? Chat away!


Saturday Open Thread

It’s the weekend, y’all!

And I am loveloveloving my kiddos. Yesterday was one of those rare says where they were both well-behaved, calm, cuddly and so darn cute. It was a pinch-myself kind of day. And believe me, when you have a high-maintenance toddler who loves to screech and hit, and a 6-year-old who is quickly morphing into a tween, those days are rare :-)

So I thought I would invite y’all to share things your kids do that make you smile. My DD, who used to call Old Navy “Old Maybe” (“I know why they call it that, Mami! Because maybe I want to buy this shirt… and maybe I don’t.”) still comes up with the cutest verbal hiccups.

Like calling an enemy and “emeny.” And saying that New York is “Yoo Nork.”

DS, meanwhile, has mastered the art of spilling things with purposeful glee, then opening his eyes wide and exclaiming, “OH NO!” with absolute conviction.

Cuteness is Darwinian, amirite?

What’s on your mind today? Chat away!


Saturday Open Thread

It’s the weekend, y’all!

We’re heading into our last week of the school year. Maya’s kindergarten promotion ceremony is on Tuesday, and the last day of school is Thursday, where parents will staff a mini-carnival before all the kids are sent home early.

It seems like just yesterday I was so nervous about sending my little girl off to kindergarten. The thought that every year of our lives will somehow fly by this quickly just makes me feel overwhelmed and sad!

Adding to that is the fact that Alex will likely stop nursing any day now. Wasn’t he just born like, a few months ago? WTF happened? How did he get to be this walking, babbling, sentient little person?

Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying the ride like crazy. But does it have to feel faster than the wildest theme park roller coaster? :-)

How are you feeling this weekend? Optimistic? Energetic? Nostalgic? Exhausted?

And what are you up to? Chat away!


Saturday Open Thread

It’s the weekend, y’all!

On my mind today: breastfeeding. My son just turned 1 year old, and I’m starting to hear one question more and more frequently: “You’re STILL nursing him?!”

Why, yes. Yes I am. When will I stop? No idea. I weaned my daughter at 14 months, and I was working full time. Now I am home, so maybe I’ll nurse my son a little longer, and maybe I won’t.

I have learned to ignore the general discomfort that many people show toward women who breastfeed. I use a Hooter Hider when I’m in public, so as not to offend anyone’s delicate sensibilities (“EEK! I caught a glimpse of NIPPLE!”).

I get that breastfeeding just weirds some people out. I was one of those people, before I became a mother. That being said, I’d like to offer a big, tall glass of Shut Up Juice to reality star Bethenny Frankel and chef/talk show host Rachael Ray, for theiridiotic exchange on a recent episode of The Rachael Ray Show.

The topic: when is public breastfeeding appropriate?

Shea:  “I’m expecting my second child and strongly thinking of breastfeeding.   What are your rules for public breastfeeding, like where is it appropriate?“

Bethenny:  “I think, unless you are Pamela Anderson, you shouldn’t be showing anyone your breasts besides your husband and your baby.“

Rachael Ray:  “Exactly.“

Bethenny:  “I really do. I think you should find a corner, or there is always a back room, I just think it makes other people uncomfortable.   When you are a mother you think everyone is ‘in on’ what you’re ‘in on’, [. . .] but they’re not.  Because I didn’t know anything about [breastfeeding] until I was pregnant and I was sensitive to the fact that it would have flipped me out.  So I think, just keep it private.  But definitely breastfeed and do things your own way,  but in that one way, I would keep it a little bit private. Whipping out your boob at the dinner table is a good diet tip for everyone else.

Click on the link above to see Bethenny, who is famous for her SkinnyGirl line of products, striking a pose in a bathing suit that shows more boobage than I ever have while nursing my kids.  This is the same woman who hawks infant onesies that say– you guessed it– “Future SkinnyGirl” on them.

So forgive me, Bethenny, if I think you need to STFU.

But Bettina at Best for Babes put it more eloquently:

I get that Bethenny is trying to be a breastfeeding moderate and avoid being branded as a breastfeeding extremist like Gisele.    Unfortunately, her advice to the pregnant woman on Rachael Ray goes to the other extreme; it undermines women because it perpetuates several awful stereotypes that are completely false:  that breastfeeding is disgusting (when actually it is amazing and beautiful);  that breasts should be private unless they are put on display like Pamela Anderson’s (sexual breasts are okay but functional breasts are not); that women “whip their boobs out“ (when actually most of the time they show far less skin than Bethenny herself).    By nodding her head and chiming in “exactly“, Rachael Ray furthered the damage.   Both of these women are powerful and influential and should be using their voices for good:  to cheer moms on to achieve their personal breastfeeding goals, whether for 2 days, 2 years, or not at all, and to help break down the cultural barriers that keep breastfeeding from being embraced and celebrated, much like exercising, eating healthy, or any other positive lifestyle decision.    Imagine if I said, eat your salad, Bethenny, but do it in a corner?

Big fat WORD.

I will now climb off my soapbox:-)

What’s everyone up to this weekend? We have, count ’em, THREE birthday parties today. February is a veritable birthday-palooza! And speaking of birthdays: want your future baby to be born on 11/11/11? Then you need to hop in the sack and get to work!

Chat away!


Saturday Open Thread

It’s the weekend, y’all! And I’ve got a birthday party on the brain.

Alex turned one year old yesterday. How did THAT happen? One year old already. That just blows my mind.

It was a low-key day; we took his first birthday portraits, went out to dinner, then rushed home to continue party preparations. Today we will host 50-60 people, mostly relatives, in celebration of our little munchkin.

I’ve had several people say it’s silly to have a big blowout for a 1-year-old, as he obviously won’t remember any of it. My response: this party is more for his parents! We managed to keep him alive for a whole year… that’s cause for celebration and a couple of cocktails, I say! 😉

It hasn’t hit me yet that my baby is now a toddler (or is he not technically a toddler until he starts, well, toddling?). It was an exhausting, humbling, awesome year. What a joy and privilege it has been to watch this little guy bloom.

How did you celebrate your children’s first birthdays? Any fun memories or anecdotes?

What’s everyone up to this weekend? Chat away!


Saturday Open Thread

It’s the weekend, y’all!

We’ve been enjoying a visit from Elisa and family, despite a cold that hit Maya on the day our visitors arrived. Thankfully, she rallied long enough for a visit to Disneyland, where she and Eli were in Princess heaven during our lunch at Ariel’s Grotto. We had never done a “character dining” experience before, but it was a worthwhile and memorable splurge.

Today we’re headed to the Aquarium of the Pacific. What are YOU up to? Chat away!


Saturday Open Thread: Time Flies Edition

It’s the weekend, y’all! And I’m feeling melancholy.

Maya’s 6th birthday was a three-day bonanza that culminated in an all-out dress-up princess tea party. A dozen little girls converged to primp, preen and bask in all things girly.

I watched my little princess run around in her gown and tiara, so grown yet gangly, and couldn’t help but think: where did the last six years go? I have enjoyed the heck out of her, and reveled in having a daughter. I have blogged and photographed and scrapbooked and still find myself feeling like it all went by in a crazy, wonderful blur.

While I wouldn’t trade the amazing little girl she has grown into for anything, I would pay a lot of money to step into a time machine and be able to enjoy her as a sweet, slumbering baby for just an hour or two. To squeeze those squishy baby thighs and hear that incomparable baby giggle.

As it stands, I just can’t wrap my brain around how we went from this:

To this, in what seems like the blink of an eye:

My children inspire both joy and pain so exquisite that some days it seems like more than my little ol’ heart can handle. Today’s just one of those days!

What’s everyone up to this weekend? Tonight we’ll be attending a 10th anniversary celebration/vow renewal. DH was friends with the wife long before we met; then I became friends with the wife, then she
met her mate and they married, and now we have four children between us and an awesome friendship. Any gift suggestions? I haven’t attended many anniversary parties.

Chat away!


Saturday Open Thread

It’s the weekend, y’all! And I’m annoyed.

I keep coming across stories of women being discriminated against, or just plain humiliated.

Case in point: this ABC News story about a woman who got kicked out of a bar … for being pregnant.

I shit you not.

Lee said she was near the bar sipping water with a friend who’d ordered shots when a bouncer approached her and told her she needed to follow him.

“It was a bunch of malarkey really,” she said, recalling the bouncer’s comments. “He said to me, ‘I have a personal question to ask you, are you pregnant?’ I said yes. Then he said, ‘I’m going to have to ask you to leave.'”

Lee said she was totally humiliated by the incident and agreed to go home without argument. “I thought maybe there was some sort of pregnant woman ordinance.”

Turns out that OF COURSE there’s no ordinance. This was just a case of a big, strong man deciding he knew what was best for this misguided pregnant woman, who had no business being in a bar with her condition.

Even worse were the comments on the story, half of which praised the bouncer for behaving like a “big brother” and scolded the woman for being in a bar when she is “so pregnant.”

I think Terry O’Neill, president of NOW,  hit the nail on the head with this quote:

“We live in a country where people feel increasingly empowered to make decisions for pregnant women.”

Then there was the story about a university professor who was peeved that a female veterinary student would be missing class to have a baby — so he decided to have the other students vote on how to grade her.

You just can’t make this shit up.

This female scientist’s take was spot on:

[What] bothers me is that it is not the responsibility or privilege of students in a graduate program to determine the fate of their peers.  This is why there are graduate faculty and if Dr. Feldman was truly so baffled about what to do with this student, he should have turned to his peers or more senior university officials for guidance.  My heart breaks for this woman to have been shamed in front of her peers this way.  To have been presented as a problem that must be voted on and dealt with.  I can’t imagine what she must have felt like to know that her peers were given the option to assign her an ‘A’ or a ‘C’, depending on what they thought she deserved. How are her peers in any position to determine her performance in a course in which they have no expertise?

This was a professor at UC Davis, who confirmed in an email that he had, indeed, invited other students to weigh in on how to grade this expectant mother.

I hope he gets his ass handed to him.

OK, that’s enough cursing for one blog post… on to a story that helped reaffirm my faith in humanity.

Travel blogger Christopher Elliott wrote abouta Southwest Airlines pilot who went above and beyond to help a grieving grandfather. A man was rushing to make a flight and see his dying grandchild one last time.

Every step of the way, he’s on the verge of tears and trying to get assistance from both TSA and Southwest employees to get to his plane on time.

According to him, everyone he talked to couldn’t have cared less. When he was done with security, he grabbed his computer bag, shoes and belt and ran to his terminal in his stocking feet.

When he got there, the pilot of his plane and the ticketing agent both said, “Are you Mark? We held the plane for you and we’re so sorry about the loss of your grandson.“

The pilot held the plane that was supposed to take off at 11:50 until 12:02 when my husband got there.

As my husband walked down the Jetway with the pilot, he said, “I can’t thank you enough for this.“

The pilot responded with, “They can’t go anywhere without me and I wasn’t going anywhere without you. Now relax. We’ll get you there. And again, I’m so sorry.“

In the wake of last weekend’s tragic events in Tucson, I find myself feeling everything more deeply. Injustice inspires rage, but glimmers of kindness and compassion fill me with warmth and bring me to tears.

I was so glad to be home with my children this week, and shower them with extra-tight hugs.

Whew… sorry to be such a Debbie Downer today! It’s actually beautiful here in southern California, sunny and mid-70s. We’ll be hitting a family party today, and enjoy a “date” tomorrow in anticipation of our 13-year anniversary, which is Monday. Thirteen years! Unreal. Seems like just yesterday I was a blushing bride 😉

What’s everyone up to this weekend? Chat away!


Saturday Open Thread

It’s the weekend, y’all! And for me, it’s the first weekend I’m a non-working mama.

Thursday was my last day as a full-time journalist. Woo-hoo! It felt surreal to turn in my laptop and camera and not know when I’ll write another article again. My colleagues were awesome and we enjoyed some after-work cocktails to say our goodbyes. During a time when newspapers are in flux and layoffs are the norm, I feel fortunate to be leaving the business on my terms and with many fond memories.

And how’s this for a welcome to life as a SAHM? DD’s three-week winter vacation comes to an end Monday morning, and DH is leaving on a business trip early that same morning. So I’ll be flying solo for a few days, just so I can get a good taste of what I signed up for. BRING IT! :-)

On another note… how long does it take you to unpack after a trip? Pre-kids, I was infamous for having a half-filled suitcase littering the bedroom for weeks on end. Now, I usually unpack within two days, just to clear the clutter. But I slacked off after this latest trip; we came home Monday night and I will finally finish unpacking today. What can I say? I’m still in a post-holiday haze!

Also on tap for this weekend: taking the Christmas tree and related decorations down. Blergh.

What are you up to this weekend? Chat away!