Interviewed by my daughter

If the Washington Post is still around when Vivien is an adult they should take note, the kids a born interviewer.   I only asked her, “would you interview me?”  Figuring that whatever she asked me would be cute/funny, i.e “mommy, where do unicorns sleep at night?”  “What’s your favorite color?”  But, no, the kid went straight for the jugular.

That a girl!

Stay at home moms are screwed

Did you see that piece last week in the Sunday NY Times?  About 40 something moms trying to regain footing the job market.  It was depressing.  These woman had taken 10 years off.  The most I didn’t work was one year, yet, my jets have cooled a bit the last couple of years so this article scared the shit out of me.

If you went to an Ivy league college and kept up with your contacts it might not be so bad for you.  But, for the 99% of us the message seems to be, don’t quit your day job.

But, which one?  That’s the pain the modern mom continues to struggle with.

The no plan protein

The  game I have with myself right now is protein roulette.  I buy the protein I’m going to cook and then challenge myself to use whatever is on hand.  The purpose is twofold:  to make me a more creative cook, and 2) get rid of that stuff that’s been sitting on my shelves for too long.

Rex is basically a vegetarian, but he does like chicken legs.  I’ve made then 20 different ways.  I went out on a limb and did thighs this night.  I did two different versions.  This one worked out the best.

Homemade ceasar dressing from a few days previous, chopped onions ( half chopped, sitting in plastic wrap) chicken broth and hot pepper jelly.   It turned out great. The crispy skin was a hit. Marinated over night and cooked long and low in the oven.

I made another wing it batch with broth, onions, paprika, cumin, but it cooked a tad too long and wasn’t as fun. The skin was still popular though.

I know, it might not look fab, but it’s pretty tasty.  Hey, you don’t have to be a chef to make food. Since I do more of the cooking than my home chef I have figured this out. So many people eat food out of a box or a freezer.  Don’t be afraid to cook.

local councils, Oh the glory!

I’m a board member of our Neighborhood Council.  Volunteer, natch, but we are given a budget by the City to do things for our area, we have to take really dull webinars like a city worker with a paycheck and benefits and supposedly we have the ear of City Hall.

Long story short, some guys with gusto came to our council to get funding for surveillance cameras in a local park.  It is a mixed area.  Lots of families, normal, good park activities and couple of gang shootings a year.  The police always tell us, “It’s so much better than it was”.  Which it is. Here I am recently in said park on National Night Out.  I was getting people to sign up to get emails about our council.  If they did I gave them a t-shirt, a flashlight or a reusable grocery bag.  Some of them thought they could just get the t-shirt without hearing from me about their neighborhood council.

They were wrong.

So, I felt that our council member, Herb Wesson should have listened to these local heroes when they emailed his field deputy about this issue. Crickets.  We only get so much dough a year so I don’t want to fund all things that cross our desk, and didn’t we give the council man some scratch for movies in the park? I’m also still waiting for my stop signs.. another story.   Cut to: we fund half and I say I will help them contact the council office for the other half.

Then 3 weeks of my life was spent lobbying, email, phone calls. My favorite was the one from the field deputy Vincent , “Thanks Debra, do you have a number I can reach you.”   Yeah, my name is not Debra, but here is my number.  He never called.  Some headway with his boss, high up deputy, not enough.  Went the Mayor route, which looked promising, but our council meeting was now coming up and I felt the momentum would be to fund or dump the project.  Frankly, it was less than 6 grand and there was a thick petition to go with the request.

A friend of a friend is in this HILarious video that takes place in a city council meeting.  It bears some resemblance to the dynamic of these groups. Good satire

The night of the meeting Wesson’s rep Sylvia Lacey was there.  Now, if you have ever been involved in a board meeting or city gov’t NOTHING runs zip, zip along, so it’s hard to break this down and give you, the reader info, and not want to stick a fork in your head at the pace of things.  Bottom line, the council voted to be contingency funding for the cameras if the council office couldn’t “find the money”.  I was also able to bring to Syliva’s attention that our community was feeling like they weren’t being heard… or called back.  She wrote down our laundry list of issues, from problems with their website to badly placed traffic lights.

This has a happy ending.  Two days later the council office funded it.  I was so relieved as I didn’t have the time to start the recall my council member campaign ( must cancel that T-shirt order).   I have other unpaid projects to work on.

 

How to get your son to read

Rex is nearly 4 and half years of cute.  He is soon going to start HIS LAST YEAR OF PRESCHOOL. ( insert photo of me here, sad, dejected, empty armed)

I sent him to a more progressive, it’s about the process, not the results kind of preschool.  Which is cool…but the kid needs to know a few things in the next year.  Letters, shapes, wiping his own butt.

I was thinking of how to connect with him on learning letters, a couple of words when I got pitched to review alphabet flash cards that are that are called “He’s All Boy”.  I’m not paid to write this, I liked the idea and it’s a kickstarter funded product created by a momand teacher.

(CLICK HERE to see Rex Enjoy them)

Here is the gist:  isn’t a little boy going to be more interested in words if P is for poo, R is for robot?  Yes, V is for vomit.  Is it gender biased, yes I guess, and frankly, my daughter thought they were pretty funny too. In fact, I handed them to her to “teach” him and they both cracked up.  But, look, all kids love poo poo cacka jokes ( not sure how to spell ka-ka), but boys REALLY love them.  A while back a friend of Rex’s mom drove both our boys to school because I had work that morning.  When I talked to her later she said, “Oh, it was great, they had a great time.  Rex was very comfortable.  He and Jimmy talked about poo and farts the whole time.”

When Vivien was first in preschool I volunteered to  organize their library.  I was shocked to see all these cartoon related books.  “Barbie, why a book about Barbie? ” Or whatever brand it was.  I put them in the “to be thrown out box”.  Fortunately before I chucked them I spoke to the school director who very kindly said to me that it didn’t matter if it was Sponge Bob or such, the point was to get the kids excited to read ANYTHING.  Duh, of course, my bad.  I emptied the box and put them on the shelves and was later THRILLED when Vivien wanted to read a Disney Princess book.

So, that’s what I like about these cards.  Hit them where they live.

Cover up your kids, dang it.

All summer it boggles my mind.  Little girls in bikini’s and one pieces.

lordy, the kids a red head! She should be in a tent

I’m rolling up my big boy pants and wading into JUDGE LAKE.  I don’t get  the recklessness I see in the sunny months.  Why am I often the only parent putting my kids in rash guard style swimwear?

In my lifetime we went from a country that worshipped the sun, let people smoke on planes, made it illegal to have kids sit in the front seat.  Let alone on the arm rest like I use to, next to my groovy Ali McGraw looking mom in the 1970’s with her deep brown tan.  YET, there is a great disconnect when I see kids at the beach and poolside.  Their swimsuits make me look to see a dangling cigarette in the hands of their moms, to hear if people are calling grown black men, “boy”.   The world changed, became more aware of cultural flaws and safety issues, subsequently we buckle our kids in a special seat in the back of the car, advanced civil rights, but knowing the dangers of the sun 99% of parents I see dress their little daughters like this when near a body of water.

I don’t get it

NOT to mention the odd sexualization of childhood these suits represent.  I’ve long been bothered by little girls dressed as if they have developed bodies.  Just looking at this from a health issue, parents are exposing their children to the sun at the worst times to do so.  Sun exposure when we are under 25 is the most dangerous for our skin.  Later, our goose is kind of cooked.  A burn in childhood follows you for life.  I had been stewing about this issue of unprotected kids in the sun and today an OP ED piece propelled me to write about it. It’s about the dangers of tanning bed by a doctor who had a scare.

Not Cute

The doctor advocates for warnings on tanning beds.   where is the warning on little kids swimsuits?

The other day at a party for a friend of Rex’s a blonde boy was running around playing shirtless.  I said something to his father and the father said something along the lines “It’s okay, he was by a lake last week.”  I was confused.  I think he was using that old myth about if you have a base tan you are protected.  The little boy was obviously getting red.

from CDC

When Vivien was a baby we were given a baby bikini.  Barf.  We couldn’t throw that out of the house fast enough.  We know we have a dirty planet.  As Woody Allen said in “Annie Hall”, “Everything our parents said was good for us is bad, the sun, milk, college.” We know melanoma is on the rise,  PARENTS WHY DON’T YOU PROTECT YOUR KIDS IN THE SUN.   I hear, “I slathered on the sunscreen.”  Yes, that’s good, but c’mon it’s not as good as having material covering the body.  I put on sunscreen on the exposed legs of my kids and they still get tan. They jump in the water, run around.  DO you really keep reapplying every 30 minutes?  I doubt it.  Plus my son is wiggly and it’s hard to get as much on him as I would like.  I have a long sleeved shirt for Rex sometimes, but I’ve been getting push back from Vivien for my Victorian ways because all of her friends are dressed like Kiddie Sports Illustrated. I’m firm.  Sun is up, rash guard swimwear is on. She’s lucky I don’t throw her in a burka.

what my kids wear

 

It’s fun to have your kids in cute clothes.  That’s what dresses, and little ties and vests are for.  Cover up your kids in the sun, humor me.

 

 

 

 

the amazing summer get along of 2013

I’d like to take credit for the diminished rancor from my children.  But, not sure I can.  Sure, there are still dust ups, but this summer these guys are getting along better, for longer periods of time than I can remember.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Db4T7QtkZOw&feature=youtu.be

Maybe school is bad for their relationship?