6.06.2013

Splash Pad.

We had a fun filled day at the park today.
Met up with Brian for lunch and then the kids played.

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Natalie (niece)

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William (Son)

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Now they are both zonked out.
Perfect timing to start making dinner......
Well after I am done with this post.
:-)

5.29.2013

"Boys will be boys".......

My ever loving little guy has started hitting, pushing and kicking others. I have somehow have become that "helicopter" parent that when I see that this happening I will rush over or if I feel like its going to happen that I will be the one to stop it. I explain to him why we don't do these things and why it has to stop. All kids, regardless of gender, can learn manners and learn to control themselves. So "boys being boys" will not be allowed for destructive behavior because of their gender.

Thankfully, I have yet to hear someone tell me "boys will be boys". I have heard from other parents with children my age who have said that its pretty normal for them to act this way and I should just stay on top of it and discipline accordingly. Which I have done. So I do see a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Anyways the reason I bring this up is because its something that I ran into online. So I thought I would share that article. 


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/the-problem-with-boys-will-be-boys_b_3186555.html




For months, every morning when my daughter was in preschool, I watched her construct an elaborate castle out of blocks, colorful plastic discs, bits of rope, ribbons and feathers, only to have the same little boy gleefully destroy it within seconds of its completion.
It was obvious that this little guy got massive joy out of doing this. The first time, my daughter just stared in amazement and I tried to help her rebuild. Second time: sadness. Third time: The Injustice! "Why did he do that again?" Fourth time: Royally Pissed Girl wanted to know why his parent didn't stop him. And what about me? Fifth time: She was ready with some ideas about stopping him.
During the course of this socialization exercise, we tried several strategies and his parents engaged in conversation with us, but mostly me. One or the other of them would occasionally, always after the fact, smile and apologize as they whisked him away. Figuring out what they would say next became a fun game:
"You know! Boys will be boys!" 
"He's just going through a phase!"
"He's such a boy! He LOVES destroying things!"
"Oh my god! Girls and boys are SO different!"
"He. Just. Can't. Help himself!"
No matter how many times he did it, they never swooped in BEFORE the morning's live 3-D reenactment of "Invasion of AstroMonster."
I tried to teach my daughter how to stop this from happening. She asked him politely not to do it. We talked about some things she might do. She moved where she built. She stood in his way. She built a stronger foundation to the castle, so that, if he did get to it, she wouldn't have to rebuild the whole thing. In the meantime, I imagine his parents thinking, "What red-blooded boy wouldn't knock it down?"
She built a beautiful, glittery castle in a public space.
It was so tempting.
Her consent didn't matter. Besides, it's not like she made a big fuss when he knocked it down. It wasn't a "legitimate" knocking over if she didn't throw a tantrum.
His desire -- for power, destruction, control, whatever- - was understandable.
Maybe she "shouldn't have gone to preschool" at all. OR, better if she just kept her building activities to home.
I know it's a lurid metaphor, but I taught my daughter the preschool block precursor of don't "get raped" and this child, Boy #1, did not learn the preschool equivalent of "don't rape."
Not once did his parents talk to him about invading another person's space and claiming for his own purposes something that was not his to claim. Respect for my daughter and her work and words was not something he was learning. It was, to them, some kind of XY entitlement. How much of the boy's behavior in coming years would be excused in these ways, be calibrated to meet these expectations and enforce the "rules" his parents kept repeating?
There was another boy who, similarly, decided to knock down her castle one day. When he did it his mother took him in hand, explained to him that it was not his to destroy, asked him how he thought my daughter felt after working so hard on her building and walked over with him so he could apologize. That probably wasn't much fun for him, but he did not do it again.
There was a third child. He was really smart. He asked if he could knock her building down. She, beneficent ruler of all pre-circle-time castle construction, said yes... but only after she was done building it and said it was OK. They worked out a plan together and eventually he started building things with her and they would both knock the thing down with unadulterated joy. You can't make this stuff up.
Take each of these three boys and consider what he might do when he's older, say, at college, drunk at a party, mad at an ex-girlfriend who rebuffs him and uses words that she expects will be meaningful and respecte, "No, I don't want to. Stop. Leave."
Based on Boy #1's parents blanket gender essentialisms and explanations, my daughter and the kids around her could easily have come to the conclusion that all boys went through this phase, are so different from girls, cannot control themselves, and love destroying things. But, that's not the case. Some do. Some don't. There are also lots of girls who are very interested in ripping things apart systematically.
I have one of those, too. "Destructo Girl" was our nickname for this daughter. Given the slightest opportunity,she would grab whatever toy either of her sisters was playing with and run, giddy with power, to the top of a landing only to dash whatever was in her hand down two flights of stairs. She beamed with joy as it clattered and shattered. But, we figured just because she could do it, didn't mean she should and eventually she understood that, even if she wanted to and it was fun, she couldn't continue to violate her sisters' rights as citizens of our household.
"Girls will be girls?" I don't think so. Nor do we say things like, "She just can't help herself." I have heard parents of daughters so inclined say things like, "She's just so rambunctious!" But, in my experience, most people assume girls, as a class, can control themselves better, faster, more completely, and that boys have a harder time. There are many studies that indicate the reasons why this might be true, including the fact that we teach girls to delay gratification more and also to put their needs last. But, it does not appear to be innate.
Boy #1? Yes, maybe he had impulse control issues. Maybe it would take a lot of time to teach him about self-control, like Daughter #2. Maybe it would take even longer to teach him about personal boundaries and other people's rights. Maybe he had genuine problems with all of those things that needed to be addressed in more thorough ways than morning time social interactions.
But that boy -- and many others like him -- never got the benefit of the doubt. This behavior gets rewarded or not, amplified or not, sanctioned tacitly or not. Both on individual and cultural levels. To be clear: I'm not saying that there is causality between knocking down blocks in preschool and assaulting people later. I am not saying that all boys with bad manners, poor impulse control, ADHD or other behavioral issues will be rapists or abuse spouses. I'm saying the world would be a different kind of place if children were taught to respect other children's rights from the start. Rights to be, to do, to look certain ways and not others. And that teaching children these things has profound implications for society. Anyone who has studied or worked in the field of domestic violence can tell you that the "overarching attitudinal characteristic" of abusive men is entitlement and the belief that they have rights without responsibility to or respect for others. Similar attitudes feed our steady stream of sexual assault and rape.
In general, I'm a strict non-interventionist when it comes to other people's children, unless I am explicitly responsible for them and their safety. But, one morning, when it really became clear that Boy #1's parents were utterly useless as people who could teach their son to be aware of others, empathetic and yes, kinder, I picked him up and moved him away from my daughter. I asked him gently if he understood the word "forever." He said yes. Putting him down, I added that he was to stay away from my daughter and her castles for that length of time. So far, so good.


Naming Babies.

I ran into this post online and thought "how funny". So I thought I would share. Please excuse the bad words. Not my style, but don't want to change the character of the post. 


1.Names should be gender appropriate.
If you choose a unisex name for either gender, it should always be paired with a name that is solidly one gender or the other. Despite the fact that employers shouldn't discriminate, they do. It doesn't help your case if a potential employer doesn't know how to address you when the call to set up an interview. Also, not every name is unisex. Ryan, Evan, Dylan, Cameron, Jordan are all acceptable unisex names. Justyn, Davyd, Nolan and Tucker are not.

2.Ys should only be used in names that are meant to contain them.

Grammar lesson for the day: Contrary to popular belief, Y's do not make every sound. They are also not an indicator of creativity, love, or intelligence. When I see a name with an arbitrary Y, I assume the parent is young and quite possibly illiterate.

3.Names should be spelled correctly.

F*cking up a perfectly good name is not creative. There are acceptable variations of names; use those. Unless you plan to call your child in from the playground by spelling her name out loud, she will still be one of many Avas. Spelling it Aevah doesn't change that, but it does change my opinion on the parents' IQs. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a trend setter, but before you go off thinking you have just hit pay dirt with the best mane ever, make sure it follows the grammatical rules of its country of origin. Example : Siobhan - This is an Irish name and follows the rules of the Irish language. This name will never be Sigh-o-bahn, unless you want to look like a complete ass hat.

4.Apostrophes have no business being in names.

Apostrophes are used to indicate possession or the intentional removal of a letter, not as an indicator of a syllabic break. When you spell a name My'Kira, you look uneducated.

5.Hyphens only belong in last names.

Double first names can be an acceptable choice, but there is no need to hyphenate them. When I see a hyphenated first name, I assume the parent thinks that if they don't employ the"how to say my baby name for dummies" indicator, nobody will ever get the name right. If you tell me your name is Mary Kate, I will call you Mary Kate. I don't need a flashing sign that says"Yo, jackass, this is all one name."

6.Listen to and apply general feedback.

If you decide to name your daughter Whyte Sapphyre and over 50% of the comments you receive state "This is a stripper name", move on. I don't care that all of your friends said it was great. It's not. Friends are not honest, they are friends. They don't want to hurt your feelings so they say"oh, that's different" or"Wow, I haven't heard that before" These phrases are nothing more than a polite way of saying"Holy hell, why would you do that to your child."

7.Naming a baby after a luxury item is not an indicator of class.

I promise you that nobody will think that little Chanel, Diamond, Bentely, or Porshe is so named because their parents are classy people. In fact, quite the opposite. When I see these names, I assume the parents are living in a trailer park or renting a room at the local Extended Stay.

8. Puns don't make cute names.

Brooke Lynn Bridge (yup, that is what it says. Ms. Bridge was my roommate a few years ago) Winter Solstice, Demin Jean and Silver Belle are absurd - Stop it.

9.Give your child options.

I get that not everyone likes the"traditional names" but for the love of all that is holy, if you decide that you simply cannot live another day without naming your child Butterfly, please give them a more mainstream middle name to fall back on should they decide that the professional world is where they belong.

-finally-

10.You are naming a child, not playing scrabble.

No extra points will be given for working high value letters into a name. There is no need to spell Alexander - Alyxzander unless you want people to assume you have suffered a head injury.

If I have forgotten anything, please feel free to add on to this.

5.01.2013

Adding to the Family

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This was our first announcement


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This second announcement


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William kicking the ball. 


2.05.2013

January 2013

I haven't added anything since November. I am feeling very behind. The holidays where amazing. We spent Thanksgiving with my parents and siblings. Its gets crazy in the house but I wouldn't want it any other way. This year for christmas Brian and I decided we just wanted something small. So it was just William, Brian, Natalie, Sofia, and I. We LOVED IT!!!!! It was perfect! Very laid back and fun. So, we might have to make this a tradition every other year. We actually opened presents christmas morning, had the nice diner christmas eve. No running around with our head cut off, no stress of making a big dinner. Like I said "Perfect". But I do look forward for when my parents come over on Christmas...... Its fun not to be boring every other year, right! :-)
Then it was January. I can't believe we are in 2013. Man do the years just fly by. So here are some fun pictures of our month of January.

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William just being William. He loves this chair. 

11.27.2012

Journey to the North Pole.

We really enjoyed this journey. We might do this every year.

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Christmas Shopping

This morning we had a few errands to do. Once we got that done we did the last of our christmas shopping. 

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11.20.2012

Christmas Trees and William

We finally got the tree up at the Salon and at our house. Its so much work be it so worth it. William is already enjoying the tree at home. Now just a couple of days for the family to show up for our Thanksgiving celebrations.

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11.01.2012

Thankful.

In all honestly I couldn't wait until halloween was over... Why? Because I am ready to decorate for Christmas. But the reason I am on here today its because I am feeling extremely thankful for a lot of things.
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10.30.2012

Fall fun.

I absolutely love the fall. I look forward to everything about it. The hot chocolate, the leaves turning different color, the weather cooling off  and all the fun activities that we get to enjoy. We made our annual trip up to Greenbluff to pick our pumpkins. Last time we went william was barely 2 months old.  We had so much fun.

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