Friday, January 29, 2010

Pink, Pink: you stink!

Pink: avoid it like the plague of anti-girl-power it may be or wrap yourself up in it's warm cuteness?

We've been boycotting the all-pink-all-the-time look for Uli. When we could find alternatives, that is (have you seen the girl's section in the stores? It's like the Energizer bunny exploded in there!

Our boycott started when I was pregnant. We'd decided to wait until the birth to learn the sex of the baby. And then we observed people* FREAKING OUT because they believed we shouldn't buy anything but "gender neutral" colors for the baby: anemic duckling yellow, been-too-long-in-the-fridge celery green, and new-apartment-white  items only. Apparently a boy's skin will burn if it touches pink and a girl wearing blue will always be assumed to be a boy (and thus forever endure emotional hardship? Or something?).

And because clearly women never wear blue or red or orange and men never wear pink or salmon or anything other than blue, thus neither should their babies.

Whatev. We were over it.

And then our boycott got serious. 
Because, you know, we began to worry about Uli getting sucked down the
[Girls Are] Sugar and Spice, Barbies are soooo pretty, I want ten plastic surgeries by the time I'm 23 to be sure I'm the best me I can look be, I wear pink because I'm soft and squishy and genteel and girlie and 'Who cares if I don't understand math 'cause I'm cute!'
rabbit hole.

But, OK. Really, what's up with the pink? Here we've been, hating on it, but, I mean, it's a color.
Of candy.
Of a fish.
Of flowers.
Also: the name of a rather fierce and fun pop star

And where would Floyd be without it?

So, yes, pink is a color.  "Just" a color.

But colors convey messages. Colors say something about their wearer. And at this time in this place of the world pink is for bunny ears, not for a smart, powerful, important-person.  Not even among the new fashionables of Washington. I didn't see any women wearing pink suits to the State of the Union last week. Red, yes. Purple, yes. Bright crazy yellow, yes. But no pink. [Edited to say:  okay. So there was that one woman (see the yellow link) in an all pink suit. But you think it looks weird, no? She sticks out like a sore thumb (i.e. not in a good way!)]

However, should the fact that others think so and such about something dictate our choices always? Of course not. I'm pro- cardigans, tie-dye, nose piercings, tattoos, and penny loafers (even if they're all on teh same person at the same time!). I've just got a thing about pink on little girls.

Pink, pink: I think! About all kinds of stuff. Like why are you always taking my picture?

Also, remember the evil professor lady from Harry Potter? She wore all pink all the time. And if being anti-her on principle isn't enough reason for you to avoid the color, ask yourself why she chose pink as her badge. Perhaps just because she liked it, but perhaps she wore it because she found her sneaky underhanded cruel sucker-punchy ways were well camouflaged by a cover of adorable soft pink. Pink screams, "Don't take me seriously";  she could womp on people without them seeing it coming. And then, when her victims cried Foul others wouldn't be certain who to believe. I mean, come on, she's dressed all in pink! You can't be serious and smart an evil and devious woman if you're wearing pink!

Anyway, as you may have gathered by the photo above, regardless of all our former/current concerns, Uli is now wearing pink. We recently received a generous box of hand-me-downs from a very kind and nearly total stranger. And, of course, being "girl clothes," all the items are pink.

And, honestly, I think I'm okay with it. I wear pink. Her daddy wears pink. Pink is nice. But I don't like that pink is so overwhelmingly the "girl" color. It should just be a color. For people. And for bunnies. It annoys me that if I am going to buy clothing for Uli I have to search to find something that's not pink. Let's get a little variety in here, designers! Girls like blue (and green and orange and black and crazy bright yellow) too!

Active, intelligent and good at math [and funny faces]

*Strangers. People at the stores. And a few co-workers. Our families, however, were totally cool and bought us both blue and pink things. THANK YOU!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I need a coffee [table] break

Such a happy girl! Bouncing, clapping, squealing.
She dances and then bends down, touches her toes, then stands up to reach for the sky.

Look at me! her laugh seems to say. She's so excited with her movements, her freedom, her abilities.

But Mommy says, "No!"

Mean Mommy.

It's just... she's on top of the coffee table! She loves it up there, but it's not okay to dance and prance atop of a table, right?


Or is this just another one of those "rules" that are there just because adults say they should be, but they don't really matter? A fall from the coffee table would hurt, sure. But I let her climb and dance on the sofa. And the chairs. And her little wooden stool. Falling from any of them would hurt too, but I'm willing to watch her and let her climb and perhaps even take a tumble now and again because it's all part of growing. So... why the issue with the coffee table? It's not like it's a nice piece of furniture (in fact, if she were to wear off its ugly crackled yellow/gold paint, I might like it better!) and it's sturdy. It can handle a one year old doing the macarena.

As a parent, I know (well... I've read) that I'm supposed to be setting limits for her so she doesn't feel out of control. And both Justin and I are helping her to learn that it's not okay to hit or bite, pull the cats' tails, nor stand up in the high chair and toss food down to the animals. But does it mean I have to tell her not to dance on the coffee table? I don't know.

I honestly don't care that she's up there. It's just... well, I don't dance on the coffee table. But does that mean I must tell her not to? She does a lot of things I don't do [anymore], and I do a lot of things she doesn't do [yet]. And that's okay.

Maybe I should cultivate my own dancing skills and stop worrying so much about my daughter's.

Tell me. Is it okay to dance on the coffee table? (Or just on the couch/chairs/stools/bed/floor?)

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Housework Homework

Does anyone else out there have difficulty maintaining their house (we're not even going to talk about sanity)? Or are you all June Cleavers?

I feel like it's a never-ending struggle. I want to be good at housekeeping, but I'm afraid I'm failing miserably.

I know. I have a toddler. And two dogs. And five cats. There's bound to be some sticky surfaces (out of the dogs' reach, that is;  otherwise, they take care of most spills!) and hair balls.

But it's not their messes that are the worst. It's we (us?) adults of the house. I'm a pile perfector ("No, no, don't move that! This is a pile of magazines I've read which have articles I want to keep, here's a pile for recyling, here's a pile for clothes that are too small, here's a pile of laundry to be washed...") and he's a handy hider ("This might be useful someday if all of civilization breaks down and we have to defend ourselves against bandits and make wind turbines and fix our own cars, so I'll store this thingamajig in the basement just in case...").

Together, we're unstoppable -ly messy.

I've been trying to change my ways this month. I've discovered that I can use the time I spend supervising Uli in the tub to handwash her diaper covers from that day (I wash them in the bathroom sink with a squirt of BioKleen and then hang them over the shower bar to dry overnight). And I've tried to remember to rinse all the dirty dishes as I'm putting them into the sink so that they're not difficult for Justin to wash-up later (we don't have an electric dishwasher).

But I still need to do more. I need to be more consistent with the deeper cleaning (I scrubbed the outsides of our kitchen cabinets last month for the first time... since I moved in!) and I need to get into a rhythm of mending (rather than piling clothing with holes into the corner of my room "for later") as well as continuing to rearrange the furniture in our house so it's more useful (I'm very pleased with my husband's use of the antique radio: rather than just being a place to pile things it's now a working stereo thanks to new speakers and the iPod dock cleverly stashed inside).

And I'm really really intrigued by the thought of putting together a Homemaking Binder. Have you heard of these? Do you use one? Tell me all about it! I'm getting ready to make one for myself and would love to hear personal experiences if you have any to share.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Whatcha Readin'? Wednesday

Ah, reading.  My original True Love. Thought it might be fun to occasionally share a review of what I'm been perusing. Fun for me, at least.  ;-)

This week's book: Why Painting is Like a Pizza: A Guide to Understanding and Enjoying Modern Art.

While I don't believe I'll be confusing the two (perhaps because I'd say a pizza is more of a sculpture than a painting), similarities between making a balanced, tasty pizza and an attractive, interesting painting do, in fact, exist. And I see that now thanks to Nancy G. Heller's engaging book.

If ever there were a book deserving to be on all our required reading lists, this is it. (Okay, so there may be a few other books that deserve to be on that list as well. One post at time, people!).

And before you say,  I love [or hate] pizza! Perhaps I already know all I need to know about modern art
"Clearly, paintings are not the same as pizzas, nor are clay pots the same as compositions made with oil pigments on canvas. However, both the individuals who create these things and the people who look at (or eat) them have to consider remarkably similar factors, including a well-balanced composition, appealing textures and colors, and an effective presentation."

If to that you reply,  I don't get it. Some of those crazy paintings don't look like anything, are made out of junk the "artist" found lying around, may have taken only 20 minutes to put together, and sometimes they're all one color!  To that I say, Indeed. Yet Heller assures her reader,
" with no apparent subject matter, and even art that is difficult to recognize, at first, as art, can also provide viewers with great intellectual stimulation and sheer, visceral joy. More than that, avant-garde art can transform our perceptions, enabling us to see, feel and think about the world in a completely new way."

While I believe even a reader already enthusiastic about modern art would enjoy this book (especially as a way to describe the appeal to others), Heller is primarily writing to the uninitiated, the citizen who isn't sure why certain pieces, unrecognizable and incomprehensible to her,  are chosen for display in museums or purchased for thousands (even millions) of dollars.

Heller's writing is accessible, uses specific and interesting examples, and suggests that by helping us to recognize a few essential points about the development of modern art a reader may find her eyes, emotions, and mind better able to analyze the forms of artwork she sees.

 "The purpose of this book is not to survey the recent history of art or to convince anyone to like all types of modern art. Rather, it is to encourage both casual and devoted gallery- and museumgoers to feel more comfortable around art they don't understand by demonstrating that all art, no matter how strange it may seem, is made up of similar aesthetic elements. Therefore, even the most avant-garde art can be looked at, and analyzed, in much the same way as traditional works."

I believe Why A Painting is Like a Pizza , in spite of its rather silly name, accomplishes the book's stated purpose. Heller discusses performance art, installation art, abstract art, art in unusual mediums, and public uproars over particular pieces (think Chris Ofili's Holy Virgin Mary made from various materials including elephant dung), all with the goal of providing her reader enough information to enhance and perhaps understand her gut feelings and initial- (and later-) reactions to certain pieces or styles of art. She also gives the reader tools to discuss likes/dislikes more purposefully and insight into understanding why many people may have very different reactions to the same piece.

That's a lot to pack into a 9 chapter, 172 page book. But it's there. Knowing some basics about how to approach work you are unfamiliar with and may find difficult to understand is an invaluable resource. Please do your brain a favor and pick up a copy or request it from your library. You'll be glad you did.

Monday, January 18, 2010

What time is it? Play time, of course!

Through the variety and depth of his play experiences the child learns and grows. Experiences in social and motor skills, in mastering situations (balancing, carrying, pouring, throwing, lacing, running, catching, hammering, painting, observing, speaking, smelling, feeling, listening, and decision-making) highlight any child's play period. This is serious business because in these everyday activities real life comes to the preschooler. This is his world.

~The Family Game Book (1967)

Uli's favorite types of learning right now:

Balancing on the rocking chair (Momma says no!)
Balancing/Standing on her rocking cow
Climbing up onto her stool and balancing
Climbing up onto the couch arms and balancing (Momma says no!)
Standing up in the tub & pretending she won't slip (she inevitably does. Momma says no!)
Playing catch with (or watching Mommy & Daddy kick) her giant puffy orange ball
Playing tag with Lula (and screaming/giggling madly all the while)
Pulling all her books off their shelves (but then reading them)
Pushing her new wooden roller toy (kind of like this one)
"Where's your eye?" (points to her ear)
"Where's your mouth?" (sticks out her tongue!)
"Where's your nose?" (points to her ear)
"Where's your belly button?" (spot on)

Busy, busy, busy. Learning all the while.

Observe this documentation of the phenomenon known as the Awake Yet Somehow Still Toddler. 
Rarely seen & commonly believed to be a myth.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Nursing [my toddler] is Normal!

*This post is an expression of my personal belief in child-led weaning. This post is not meant to criticize the mother who wasn't able to breastfeed or who chose to stop but may have continued if she'd only received adequate support from her society/family/job/doctor. 

I'm getting ready. Preparing for the criticism.

I can already handle The Anti Public Breastfeeding Look.  I wrote about how pro- public breastfeeding I am in one of last winter's posts and since then I've developed an even deeper appreciation for my ability to feed my child when we're out and about, uncovered and unapologetic. And I'm happy that I have some legal protection to do so in my area (it would be scarier if I didn't and I'd probably feel less confident).

So no, the raised eyebrows and concerned comments I'm expecting aren't specifically about public breastfeeding, they're going to be about how I'm still breastfeeding. Still. As though it's dragging on and on.

As current American main-stream opinion has it,  if there's anything worse than breastfeeding your baby in public it's breastfeeding your toddler anywhere at all.

It can be difficult for me to use words to express the deepening well of frustration I feel about our society's anti-child, anti-woman blind reliance on "progressive" ideas of wellness and independence. It would be easier to scream and flail about angrily. But I am trying to model good behavior for my daughter and need to choose words over a fit.

So here are my words.

For all the huffing and puffing you may hear from those anti-breastfeeding folk, breastfeeding your child beyond her first year has numerous benefits for both mother and child:

Nursing my toddler is approved by "experts" 

Note: I don't agree that we as parents should just buy everything "the experts" say, hook-line-and-sinker, but for those who like to see what The Establishment says:

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that "Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child... Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother... There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer." (AAP 2005)
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that breastfeeding continue throughout the first year of life and that "Breastfeeding beyond the first year offers considerable benefits to both mother and child, and should continue as long as mutually desired." They also note that "If the child is younger than two years of age, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned." (AAFP 2001)
  • A US Surgeon General has stated that it is a lucky baby who continues to nurse until age two. (Novello 1990)
  • The World Health Organization emphasizes the importance of nursing up to two years of age or beyond (WHO 1992, WHO 2002).

Nursing my toddler is good for her social- and self-development
  • “And breastfeeding makes the toddler dependent? Don’t believe it. The child who breastfeeds until he weans himself (usually from 2 to 4 years), is generally more independent, and, perhaps, more importantly, more secure in his independence. He has received comfort and security from the breast, until he is ready to make the step himself to stop. And when he makes that step himself, he knows he has achieved something, he knows he has moved ahead. It is a milestone in his life. ~Dr. Jack Newman, world-renown breastfeeding expert in Toronto.
  • "Research reports on the psychological aspects of nursing are scarce. One study that dealt specifically with babies nursed longer than a year showed a significant link between the duration of nursing and mothers' and teachers' ratings of social adjustment in six- to eight-year-old children (Ferguson et al, 1987). In the words of the researchers, 'There are statistically significant tendencies for conduct disorder scores to decline with increasing duration of breastfeeding.'" Sally Kneidel in "Nursing Beyond One Year" (New Beginnings, Vol. 6 No. 4, July-August 1990, pp. 99-103.
  • According to Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq. in "Extended Breastfeeding and the Law":
    "Breastfeeding is a warm and loving way to meet the needs of toddlers and young children. It not only perks them up and energizes them; it also soothes the frustrations, bumps and bruises, and daily stresses of early childhood. In addition, nursing past infancy helps little ones make a gradual transition to childhood."
  • Baldwin continues: "Meeting a child's dependency needs is the key to helping that child achieve independence. And children outgrow these needs according to their own unique timetable." Children who achieve independence at their own pace are more secure in that independence then children forced into independence prematurely.   
See's Extended Breastfeeding Factsheet

Nursing my toddler is healthy for me
  • "The protective effects of breastfeeding over a long period of time have been well documented. Studies have shown mothers who breastfeed past a child's second birthday are half as likely to develop the disease as those who stop at 12 months... 'Because the evidence that breast-feeding reduces breast cancer risk is convincing, we recommend women should breast-feed exclusively for six months and then continue with complementary feeding after that. Reducing your breast cancer risk by about five per cent might not sound like a big difference but the longer you breastfeed for, the more you will reduce your risk.'"
  • "A study of Chinese women found that their breast cancer incidence dropped by 63% when they breastfed for six years. Though that tends to be longer than most choose to do so, your reduced risk can be determined by the cumulative amount of time you've spent breastfeeding over the course of your life."
  • Breastfeeding also provides protection against:
ovarian cancer (Schneider AP, NE J Med, 1987)
uterine cancer (Brock KE, Med J Australia, 1989)
endometrial cancer (Petterson B et al, Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand, 1986)
osteoporosis (Blaauw R et al, SAMJ 1994).
Breastfeeding also has been shown to decrease insulin requirements in diabetic women (Davies HA, British Med J, 1989).,,3x5j,00.html
Nursing my toddler is healthy for her
The benefits to the child don't suddenly cease because she's walking and talking!
  • Breastmilk is, after all, milk. Even after six months, it still contains protein, fat, and other nutritionally important and appropriate elements which babies and children need. Breastmilk still contains immunologic factors which help protect the baby. In fact, some immune factors in breastmilk which protect the baby against infection are present in greater amounts in the second year of life than in the first. This is, of course, as it should be since children older than a year are generally exposed to more infection. Breastmilk still contains factors which help the immune system to mature and which help the brain, gut, and other organs to develop and mature.  [sorry, I lost my link to this quote! I'll search around for it...]

Nursing my toddler is convenient for my family

  • I can nurse anywhere, anytime. There's not as great of a need for me to carry crackers, sippy cups or other snacks with us on quick about-town trips; if my toddler gets hungry, she can have some milk!
  • Breastfed children in daycare have fewer and less severe infections than children who are not breastfeeding. Thus, the parents of a breastfed toddler are less likely to have to miss work to care for their sick child than parents of a weaned child.   
  • Toddlers who breastfeed at night are less likely to be dependent upon soothers at bedtimes (i.e., pacifiers, blankets, stuffed animals). If you have Mama, you're ready for bed, as opposed to a soother which if lost or damaged could result in a bedtime meltdown.
  • Breastfeeding can save you thousands of dollars a year, depending on the brand of formula or type of milk products that you would otherwise need to provide. A mother, eating her own food and producing milk for a child, is a more efficient converter of energy than a glass of milk gathered, trucked-in, and purchased at the grocery store. And talk about eating locally! 

Nursing my toddler is special to me
I cherish our moments of breastfeeding. My daughter has changed so much this past year and will continue to develop her little self and I'm thankful to have breastfeeding sessions during which we can both calm down, relax, connect, and just be mother and child. I want to continue to provide her with all the comfort she needs to grow into a self assured, healthy child for as long as she thinks it's necessary. Are there other ways of keeping the bond and comforting and encouraging a child? Of course. But this way works for us and I see no reason to rush to something different. Not as long as we're both happy with how things are. 

Does all the above mean I'll be nursing Uli until she enters kindergarten? I don't know. Honestly. Probably not. I don't think my husband would be thrilled with that and his wishes are something that I take into account for our family. And I imagine we'll have a second child by that time, and since nursing during pregnancy doesn't work for everyone I can't say for certain whether we'd be forced to nurse at that time or whether we'd continue on and be tandem nursing after that. I just don't know. But that's kind of the point. I'm not going to be locked into some arbitrary time line that society has concocted. I will continue to provide milk and enjoy nursing until the milk stops or nursing is no longer enjoyable for one of us. I can't say when that will be. But it's not now. It's not going to end just because Uli is a toddler. I trust that she'll let me know when it's time to stop. Until then, we will enjoy being mama and nursling.

I'm a big girl! But I still like mama's milk.

While I haven't yet read them, these three books are on my To-Read list this year:

Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives (I've heard this one is academically oriented)
How Weaning Happens by Dianne Bengson
Mothering Your Nursing Toddler by Norma Bumgarner

I'd love to your thoughts about the books if you're familiar with them!

    Friday, January 8, 2010

    Enjoying the now

    I don't know my mother remembers this, but when I was nineteen she and I were driving around the neighborhood in the minivan and I'd just finished blathering on about some heartache or other that was mighty and present in my life and which I thought would be with me forever. She told me, "One day, this will all be a long time ago and you'll think back on these days and they will seem far far away and quite different."

    Which brings me to this post. I learned a new word via Facebook's link (yes, I read the dictionary. On line. Via Facebook.)

    From Merriam-Webster on-line


    Pronunciation: \kwō-ˈti-dē-ən\
    Function: adjective
    1 : occurring every day
    2 a : belonging to each day : everyday b : commonplace, ordinary
    quotidian noun

    And what does that have to do with the diapers in the dryer? Nothing, I suppose. Or everything.

    The people on Facebook who were trying-out sample sentences using the word were making the everyday sound so droll, so lifeless. Quotidian ideas. Quotidian chores. The horror.

    But I was sitting here thinking about how it's the quotidian that makes up our lives. Is our lives. It's not the big and flashy but the small and usual that gradually makes up who we are.

    You know those country songs that twang on about how we'll miss this everyday business once time has moved us to ten years from now? The songs that remind us that this won't last long?

    They're talking about the quotidian. The everyday humdrum that bores us to tears. The heartaches that seem so intense at first, until we step away and realize they're not breaking us (or we decide we're not going to let them). The days so normal they make us pull our hair out just so we can say something happened.

    And I think about what I know of children and scheduling and how routine is so important to them. A chore we might consider quotidian (in a condecending, mean way) may be to them a comfort. Surely Uli knows that after we let the dogs out in the morning it's time to get into the car to go to daycare. She is learning that after supper it will soon be time for her bath. But it's not tiresome to her. To Uli the quotidian is important stuff.

    And yet I and many others complain about it. What's our deal?

    I think we either get lost in the routine, forgetting that it hasn't always been like this, won't always be like this, nor must it be like this. The everyday isn't forever, but we forget that. We long for the movie moments: the big speech that inspires us to action, the kiss that reminds us whom we truly love, perhaps even the battle to end all battles. But where are we the day after we rally? What do the kissers say to each other the next morning and the next morning and the morning after that? What were those soldiers fighting for?

    It all leads us to to the everyday. The routine. The regular. Real life.

    It's common, yes. Waking in the morning. Eating the food you know how to cook. Watching your child build her skills, learn something else, move on to more. Diaper after diaper. Grocery store for toilet paper and bananas. Summer evenings on the porch, winter evenings on the couch.

    It's nothing special, perhaps. And that's just it. It's not the hands-off pristine ivory tower ideal, it's my life. Our lives.

    It may be a struggle, remember that there's little as precious as this day. But I'm determined to use this year to celebrate the quotidian, to be thankful for "just another day" of routine.

    Because someday Today, in all it's quotidian sameness, will be gone. Someday this will all be a long time ago. And I'll miss this.

    Nurse, nurse. Run around. Breakfast. Read. Lunch. Nap. Nurse. Run. Dinner. Read. Bath. Nurse. Sleep. 
     It's all very much a Good Thing.

    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    my personal Geiko commercial

    Today I added sugar to my coffee. That in itself is nothing new. I've worked at kicking the sugar habit before with varying degrees of success, but I haven't bothered to worry about the evils of refined sweets this past year nor have I worried about anything as mundane as counting calories.

    But today I starting thinking about how I wish I weren't always gorging myself on sugar. How I really do need to get serious about my health. How pretending that all is well isn't the same as everything actually being right and good.

    And I found myself thinking, "If only I were on a reality television show. The constant scrutiny. Knowing that people were watching my every move. Being aware that they were drawing conclusions about me from each of my yawns, my meals, the incredible amounts of time I waste on Facebook."


    "If I thought anyone were watching me as closely as they watch those people on TV, I'd stop adding sugar to my coffee for sure. It'd be a snap."
    Yes, I thought, I need to live as though I’m being watched.

    And suddenly it struck me. There's no need to pretend that someone's watching me.

         Sniff, sniff, snot, snot.   Like this, Mama?

    No need to pretend any phantom watchers into existence because I am being observed closely on a daily basis. The model I provide for my daughter will not only form her impressions of me and set the basis for our relationship, but it will form her first impressions of her own early self.

    Talk about motivation.

    Sugar is for wimps!

    Friday, January 1, 2010

    In which I make lofty goals for the next year

    Resolutions. You're either a person who loves them or hates them. And then there are those mythical folk who actually follow-through with them (elves? satyrs?).

    For what it's worth, here are mine:

    • I will read a Book of Importance every month instead of continuing to let my mind shrivel on its current diet of teen pop lit and the pictures articles in Vogue
    • I will work on embracing my two halves and letting each express herself without overly harsh censure, because both have merit:  the me that reads Vogue cover-to-cover and the me that thinks fashion is wasteful frivolity in this post-modern time; the half that wants to grow my own organic food and the half that buys pop-tarts and can eat an entire tub of movie theatre popcorn; the part that strives for order and simplicity and home versus the part that misses going out to the bars and dancing the night away; the city girl, the country girl. Etc. 
    • I will create in 2010. Meals. Mittens. Puppets. Songs. Something each month on which I can smack my "Made By Me" label and feel that, if not talented, at least I'm a doer. 
    • I will actually and for reals try and get something published. Which means actually typing something up and actually sending it to someone. Actually. In real life.
    • I will train the dogs. No kidding.
    • I will lose the pounds (count 'em: 40) that I've accumulated this past decade. Not (just) so that my clothes fit better but because I want to be active and whole for my family.
    • I will be a better mate to my husband, who works incredibly hard for our family and whom I'm afraid I sometimes take a bit for granted. 
    • I will remember that this IS my life--it's not something coming up or that I'm still planning for, it's NOW. And it's good. And I should enjoy it, every moment. Even cleaning the bathrooms. (Well...)

    How about you? Any resolutions you'd like to share? (It helps, making them public. There's a fear of ridicule if you don't follow-through that is remarkably invigorating.)

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