Monday, September 29, 2008

Mommy Mooseburger Strikes Again

Tina Fey does such a mean impression of Sarah Palin. A must see!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ongoing House-Showing Saga

Well, it happened again. We had a real estate showing of our house, and a young couple came with 3 little kids. One was a baby, one was about 4 and the other was 5. The baby was the most well-behaved of the three. The father carried her the entire time and she was dead silent. The 4 year old and the 5 year old, however, were completely out of control, running all over the house, chasing the cats, climbing on the furniture, rolling around on our floors, grabbing our exercise equipment and anything else they could get their hands on. The mother and father were wrestling with them the entire time, pulling them off our furniture, trying to get them to behave.

What amazes me about these situations is not that the kids are acting the way they are - they are kids, afterall. I don't fault them for being excited. It's that the parents bring their kids with them to a real estate showing. What are they thinking? Can't they get a babysitter for an hour? I mean, they come for a showing and spend the entire 40 minutes wrestling their kids off the cats and furniture. Their attention is not on the showing. They can barely focus on what they are seeing. It's irritating for us because we're trying to give them a tour and tell them about the various features of the house, and we can barely get through one room or one sentence before all hell is breaking loose.

I hope we sell our house soon because I don't know how many more of these showings I can stomach.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Shallow Celebucommentary

After several serious, thoughtful posts, I think we're all due for a dose of shallowness, so let us turn our focus to the celebrity world for a moment, shall we?

To all the people who think they are just SO goodlooking that they simply MUST pass on their genes (it would be a crime not to!), please keep this in mind.

You can be as drop-dead gorgeous as this couple:

And have a baby that looks like this:

Maybe that's why Halle and Gabriel aren't smiling anymore? (Or maybe it's just parenting in general that has them down.)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

God Bless Mr. Peanut

Here is just one of a million examples of why the childfree life reigns supreme. Imagine for a moment that you are a parent and are "blessed" with a child who happens to have an allergy to peanuts. Sounds like a minor thing, right? Think again. Here is what you would be dealing with (this was posted on a discussion board I visit where someone had asked for a recommendation on peanut-free schools):

"Parents with Children of the Allergy World:

Pick your school then- Have a 504 Plan meeting with the following people at the same time: Principle, District Nurse, School Nurse, students Teacher and the Food Service Workers.

Have the Allergy Test results, a letter from the doctor as to how severe the allergy is and what the doctor wants done with the medicines.

You will need to have the teacher (depending on the school and age of the child) get a fanny pack with the students name: allergy: and medical alert signage on it. This fanny pack can be woren by the student during switching classes, bathroom runs etc. If they go out to PE with the teacher, than the teacher wears it. The monitors on the playground should also have fanny packs with the students medicines (epi and benadryl on them) because there is no time to run the student to the office while the reaction occurs. The nurse should have meds also locked at their station.

There needs to be a drill plan: Our children's teachers (at each grade level all of the teachers on the campus should know the plan) have peanut-drills like fire drills. If a reaction occurs in the classroom or while in the custody of the teacher w/ the class then the teacher simply says "PEANUT DRILL !!!" and the class immedicately goes to the nearest classroom (with a teacher) and says the same thing...PEANUT DRILL - that teacher then knows that the class will be with her until the situation is over and she is released. The teacher will phone, radio or send a student(s) to the office to let the nurse know to call 911.

You must let the OFFICE know that you want the nurse to ride with the student unless you are there, especially with the student also has asthma, because there are medications that contain peanut that are used for breathing treatments: DuoNeb, Atrovent, Ipratropiumbromide, Comivent,etc.

Field Trips the cafeteria packs lunches for the students that way the lunches are ham sandwiches for something other than PB&J. You can also provide the snacks for the students as a gesture for all of their help.

We also have hand sanitizer in the classroom after recesses and lunch. If the teacher says there is time- they wash their hands. This is actually beneficial to all of the students. The attendance rate went up over 50 % in our childrens classes because the kids were so clean, they weren't spreading germs all the time. The teacher like the fact that she got to take a vacation instead of using her time for sick days.

The biggest thing is to make sure that the school is educated and will know who your child is and where they are at all times. There are teaching tools for K-8 and up like Alexander the Elephant who is allergic to peanuts.

Also, just to let you...allergy testing can be confusing too. You can have a positive reaction one year and two years later be negative, this is a false reading. The peanut nut allergy is one that you have for a lifetime. It grows with intensity with each reaction. That is why it is so necessary to learn all you can, and educate everyone you talk to. The allergy shots just introduce the peanut protein- they are life-threatening reactions waiting to happen. Trust me.

IF the school doesn't want to do their part change schools or get an attorney. YOU are your child's advocate- it will be hard to start, but well worth it.

Good Luck !!!! Everything will be fine....have a safe nut-free day!

Don't forget to have peanut-free fundraiser with the PTA: there are cookie dough, and lots of others.

Trace Atkins is the Honorary Chairman for the 2008 in San Diego,CA because his child has the allergy. Join the walk in your area and find others who can support you. ~ God Bless."

God bless is right. She will need God's blessings to deal with this all this bullshit. Can you imagine? And this is just one of thousands of burdens parents deal with every day just for the joy of having kids. Thanks, but no thanks. I'll stick with my monthly outings with my nieces and nephews and leave Peanutgate to the blessed ones.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dear Moms

In the event there are any moms reading my blog (I know, probably a longshot, but you never know), I have an important message for you today.

Dear Moms,

An important election is coming this November. All I ask of you is that when you cast your vote for President and Vice President that you make your choice based on issues and on which candidates will move our country in a positive direction, not on whether a candidate looks like you, drives the same mini-van as you, is a soccer mom like you , reminds you of someone you've met at the church bake sale or someone you'd like to hang out with, or has a vagina like you.

We women have to demonstrate that we are much smarter than we are being given credit for and that we are not gullible. We know what a feminist is and we can see through a politician who masquerades as one. We know which politicians will work for the advancement of women and protect our rights. We take offense at the idea that all women are the same and one is easily substituted for another - that any woman will do. We look forward to the day when a woman will occupy the highest offices in our government, but we realize the cost to all women if we put someone in office who will amount to a female verson of W.

Sorry to be up on my political horse today but some pleas just have to be made.



Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Joe Shmoe

I sometimes like to watch Morning Joe on MSNBC in the mornings. It's a political talk show and I like the fact that they are usually pretty good at arguing all sides of an issue (liberal and conservative). This morning they were talking about Sarah Palin and the controversy over whether it was appropriate for her to accept the Vice Presidential nomination given the fact that she has 5 children. The discussion went in directions you might expect, with much of the discussion centered on the question of whether the criticism of Palin's decision to be V.P. (given that she has 5 kids to take care of) is "sexist", given that we would never question a male candidate over such a thing.

Toward the end of their discussion a couple of the commentators began lamenting about how difficult it is in our culture for women to live a full life and to balance everything - with the competing demands work and children pulling them in different directions. This is where the discussion began to get under my skin, because they kept referring to these problems as women's problems. Women struggle with balance. Women struggle with career vs. children. Women feel pulled in different directions and it's so hard for women to do it all.

This discussion illustrated exactly what I wrote about in my last post - that woman is equated with mother. What they should have said is that it is difficult for mothers to live a full life and to balance everything - that mothers struggle with balance; that mothers struggle with career versus children. The underlying assumption in their discussion, of course, is that all women are mothers, therefore, all women have difficulties with balance and competing demands pulling them in multiple directions. The fact is, this is a problem for women who choose to be mothers, not for all women.

Most women (including myself) lead busy lives, but I can tell you that my life is not one of push/pull, of feeling torn between my career and my family, of juggling overwhelming and competing demands and feel guilty about undertaking endeavors outside the home. My family consists of my husband and my cats, neither of which are tethered to me like balls and chains and the former of which can easily care for himself and the latter in my absence without suffering long-term damage. I have no difficulties at all leading a fulfilling life and undertaking any endeavor I choose with ease and without guilt.

So Morning Joe, I implore you to stop lumping all women into the same category. Yes, we all have vaginas, but we do not all use them for pumping out balls and chains.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Woman, thy Role is Mother (first and foremost)

Did you ever notice that if anything unusual or special happens to a woman who happens to be a mother, the fact of her being a mother is always pointed out? It doesn't matter at all whether her being a mother is relevant. Just watch the news. If a woman is arrested, the story is "Mom Arrested for Robbery". If a female politician takes the stage to make a big speech, invariably she mentions that she is a mother within the first 2 sentences of the speech. When a woman is being given an award - even if the award has nothing at all to do with childrearing or motherhood - her role as mother will be pointed out right away: "And the Nobel Prize for Advances in Nuclear Physics goes to Mary Jones - world class scientist and MOTHER OF THREE!" When John McCain picked his female, gun-toting, animal-slaying, mooseburger-eating, "feminist"-against-womens'-rights running mate last week, we heard ad nauseum about her being a mother of 5 (one with down's syndrome, God bless her!) and a "soccer mom", as though this critical, must-know information would push us off the fence and send us racing to the voting booth to keep those wonderful Republicans in office. When Dara Torres won the silver medal in the Olympics a couple weeks ago at age 41, the fact that she is a mother was mentioned almost as frequently as the fact that she was age 41 and winning an Olympic medal.

Here is my question. How the fuck is being a mother relevant to any of this? A woman is arrested. Aside from being a mother, this woman is also likely many other things - a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, an employee, a niece, a granddaughter and the list goes on and on - everyone in her life will be negatively impacted by her arrest. Mother is not her only role. When a man is arrested we never see a similar headline, "Dad is Arrested for Robbery". When a male athlete wins a medal at the Olympics, all we hear about is how well he competed - no mention of how many rugrats he has at home or that he is a "daddy of three". When a male politician is chosen as a political running mate, nobody is talking about how many of his kids are retarded or how many kids he is cheuffering in his mini-van to soccer games.

No, the simple fact is - nobody gives a shit if a man is a dad but we simply MUST know if a woman is a mother.

And why? Because our culture defines womanhood as motherhood. Woman = Mother. The terms are interchangable and the link is continually reinforced. A woman is a mother first and maybe some other things on the side. The message is continually pounded into a woman's head that motherhood is the most important thing she does, the most rewarding part of her life and we must constantly be reassured of this if we are to accept a woman in any other role.

Motherhood is not only equated with womanhood, it is also equated with success and goodness. That's why women like Dara Torres, Hillary Clinton, McCain's Republinazi running mate and every other uber high-profile woman out there wear their motherhood badge of honor like a Wonder Woman costume - and it's also the reason the news media salivates over mothers who are arrested or have other embarrassing scandals befall them. The contrast between the entrenched idea of woman=mother=goodness and the reality of woman=mother=mug shot jailbird may shatter our idea of mother as angelic superwoman momentarily, but it sure makes for some irresistable must-see t.v.!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008