First things first. I’m hoping to write more this week.
Then, I bought Kellen a monkey leash at the consignment sale. I almost bought the puppy leash… more on that tomorrow when I write about our great consignment finds.
I taught my kid to say “Fuck” today.
It was an accident. Really. But I knew it was coming.
I am firmly in the camp that believes that cuss words have significant meaning and power in our language and that they are appropriate in many circumstances (not that I don’t admit to abusing these words *on occasion*). I will teach Kellen that they have a time and place (and that time is probably not at school or in the presence of other parents!). But I won’t reserve these words just for adults either. For Kellen, “fuck” is no more of a word than “applesauce” or “outside.” It’s an expression, one that mommy uses when an old man nearly runs her off an overpass. “Shit” is a word mommy uses when the radiologist doesn’t tell her that she’s sticking her with another IV needle. There just aren’t other words that express my feelings better.
For now, I just try to limit the parroting so that my child doesn’t walk around telling the cashier at the grocery store “oh shit” when he drops the cantaloupe.
Got something to confess? Join us for Fess Up Friday!
I’m a bad blogger this week. Dizzy is bad. And all my tests are normal. Good? Yes. But I’m still dizzy.
I’ve been doing home decor stuff. I finally got some frames for Kellen’s first birthday pics. I’m only seven months behind!! I also bought a giant frame for all the fire photos. Speaking of photos, I REALLY need to print off photos from the last six months.
Yesterday I worked on Kellen’s bedroom. It’s almost done. Stay tuned for the unveiling.
I hate my master bedroom and am looking for some design ideas. So question of the week, what’s your master color scheme?
This is going to be quick… mostly because I have a ton of stuff to get ready for the consignment sale. I was hoping to get my stuff dropped off today (whoops. Oh well, Confession #1).
I’m getting Kellen a leash backpack. Yep. I’m that mom. It’s either that or dealing with the repercussions of a child who runs out into the middle of the mall when mommy is shopping at Gymboree and blindly believes that the child is watching Yo Gabba Gabba (have I told you how I think that Muno looks like a giant one-eyed penis with genital warts?). Last weekend he was halfway to the zoo when we realized that he has no attachment to us and will keep running. So the kid gets a leash. Judge all you want. I’m hoping this gets us to at least age 2 (at which point there will be another child crisis that threatens his safety).
This week’s topic, hosted by Perpetua: Does gender matter?
I’ve taken psych classes. I know all about the gender studies. The one that stands out most for me is the study about how adults treat different-gendered infants and that what we assume is biology may, in fact, still be to a large extent environment. (I would post a video or at least a link to the study if I knew what it was… and unfortunately all my psych notes and books burned in the fire.)
I still call Bullshit on gender studies showing that men and women aren’t biologically different and that it is an imposed gender construct that makes them different.
First, I believe that gender roles are well established throughout history. While there may be a few examples of women who defied traditional female roles, most hunters, fighters, gladiators were men. There were no psychology textbooks or “experts” qualifying the environment and behavior of adults. Granted, there was an expectation of roles and there were vastly different opportunities available for men and women. But I still believe there was a reason for the gender roles in the first place, and that is the innate differences in biology.
Second, I have studied gender extensively, and I would cite a lot of research if I had any of it left (for those working on a thesis or dissertation, imagine what would happen if all of your research burned up… kind of makes you want to cry!). Men and women are biologically different without any environmental influences. Men have more testosterone. Women have more estrogen. Women have babies. Men get prescribed pain pills for a cough (there’s a reason for this, eh?). There are studies showing that an ideal learning environment for boys is different than that of girls, which may explain the educational gender gap (if you think that girls are lost in the educational system, I challenge you to rethink that position). Boys are more likely to be referred for behavioral challenges. They are more likely to fall behind in reading, which is the foundation of learning. Yes, they are more likely to excel in math, but I think that there is a large subset who do not succeed in school at all. I was a tutor. Nearly all of my students were boys. I also worked as a teacher in a classroom with kids who had emotional and behavior disabilities… mostly boys. There is some research that suggests that the optimal temperature for boys to learn is a few degrees lower than girls. Most teachers are… women! Full disclosure: I went to a women’s college for two years. I believe strongly in single sex education (but there aren’t boys schools here for Kellen, so I look for active learning environments which are known to be better suited for boys).
Since having a child… A BOY… I believe even more in the biological differences of boys and girls (but you also tend to find what you are looking for, right?!). Kellen likes to go to an indoor playground nearby. They have a train and car section and a doll section (as well as blocks, books, coloring, and a jungle gym). Where is my kid? At the train table. Who is in with the dolls? Girls. I tried to give Kellen a Cabbage Patch Doll the other day, and he wanted nothing to do with it. (I thought it couldn’t hurt to ingrain some nurturing right? I mean, I do want him to take care of me when I’m old…) He loves to make noises. Before anything had a label, it had a sound. He loves to throw rocks and dirt. (He also loves to throw himself on the floor, but something tells me that is toddlerhood not being a boy, although I catch my husband trying to engage in this behavior as well.)
I also notice differences being married. Apparently there is a gene that makes men predisposed to forgetting to flush. And maybe one for leaving open cabinet doors. There is certainly a gender difference in one’s need to drop one’s pants the minute one walks in the house. And I won’t even get into the gender differences with sex.
Do I believe that some gender differences are environmental? Sure. But I think that our environment reinforces the innate differences between boys and girls.
Hop on over to Perpetua and grab the badge by Accidentsss and join in the controversy. Opinions are good for the soul.
This morning was the MS Walk. We were walking for our friend Christina, whose attitude about chronic disease is an inspiration. It comes at an interesting time for me.
Monday I am having an MRI and spinal tap to rule out MS as well as look for Lyme in my central nervous system (which would be present in my spinal fluid). My neurologist is still not convinced of the Lyme diagnosis because my positives are confusing. In order to start IV antibiotics locally, I need the PCR to come back positive. I know I respond to antibiotics, but my neurologic stuff is still stubborn. I also want to make sure there isn’t co-morbidity with something else (like MS or intracranial pressure).
I was going to write about proverbial “spoons“, but mine are all but used up for the day. Off to watch a movie or something (and eat my coconut milk ice cream!).
If you want more to read, this is an interesting post about the differences between Lyme and MS (because the symptoms do overlap a bit).
Welcome to Fess Up Friday. It’s like an online weekly confessional.
Oh I am such a bad mom.
Kellen burned his hand on my flat iron on Tuesday. I’d like to blame him. I really, really would. I’d also like to blame him for the time he launched himself off the countertop at my mom’s onto the marble floor when I was just trying to finish putting on mascara for their New Year’s party. But I guess I AM the parent in this relationship and have to take *some* responsibility for this tragedy (and oh, it is a tragedy). We were going to a playdate, and while I am more than happy normally to wear a ponytail with some fringe hair on the bottom, I know it’s not my *best* look. I’m working on doing something with it (but man it sucks having thick, wavy hair that you actually have to DO). I had finished blowing it out, and Kellen wanted up (shocker!). I put him on the countertop (where I was much better about holding him than in the accident above). I even put some makeup on him. (He wanted it. He wanted it.) In fact my confession this week WAS going to be about wanting a girl and using my child’s porcelain face as my feminine canvas. (kidding. Kind of.) I was in the middle of wetting Kellen’s hair so that I could hairspray the curls to make all the girls in play group swoon. (I know his cuteness is all in the hair. Gotta play up your assets, ya know?! Even at 18 months.) I had left him sitting on the countertop (yikes) and moved a foot to his left when he reached for something and put his hand into the flat iron to catch himself. In my defense (your honor) the flat iron was OFF and pushed to the back of the countertop. I actually didn’t even realize it was hot still and didn’t pull his hand out fast enough. I’m sure he’ll have scars. It will be the first of many things he can blame me for.
It’s actually a pretty bad burn. And I did ALL the wrong things. Like barely running it under cold water (we were in a hurry, ok?). And then I put on greasy Neosporin (it says to use on burns). And then I didn’t put anything over it, and the darn kid picked the blister on the way to play group. Oops. Even worse?! I didn’t even realize he had a second burn for nearly three hours. I’m going to burn in hell while mothers all around me ignore my burning flesh.
It’s better now though. We have wrapped it in gauze, and I am now putting Neosporin on it, now that the heat has dissipated.
One more confession? The *worst* part about this is that *I* don’t get to play outside in this gorgeous weather because I don’t want him to get dirt in it. It’s his fault, right?!
Got something to confess? Post it on your blog and leave me a comment. I’ll link you up. You’ll be forgiven. It’s like Catholic school. Only without the plaid skirt.
Dan and I have been so good about eating in! And I’ve been taking pictures. The only thing I’ve yet to do is set up a blog with a link here for my meals so that I can add recipes through the week. Here are this week’s highlights:
Pollo Cheestoso (or Cheesy Chicken)
Instead of chicken enchiladas this week, which are super yummy too, I decided to make some Pollo Cheestoso, which is my take on my favorite meal at our local Mexican restaurant. They add in roasted potatoes, which also tastes awesome. I just wasn’t up to waiting for the potatoes to be done.
3 chicken breasts
A half block or so of Sharp Cheddar
Old El Paso enchilada sauce.Cook chicken until browned
Add in cheese and enchilada sauce until cheese is melted
Eat. Can be put into tortillas or eaten alone.
Hamburgers with roasted potatoes
How about that for a picture, huh?!
I got the hamburger recipe out of the Barefoot Contessa At Home. She used blue cheese. We used cheddar.
One pound lean ground beef (grass fed preferred)
1 TBSP Steak Sauce
2 egg yolks
Salt and pepper
Lettuce and TomatoMix the meat, steak sauce, egg yolks, salt, and pepper with the tines of a fork, careful not to mash.
Carefully form hamburger patties. (She says to add a thin pat of butter, encasing the meat around it, but I found that the meat kind of fell apart that way.)
Roasted Potatoes- I make these all the time, and you can do lots of variations
5 or 6 red potatoes, washed, chopped into small chunks
fresh lemon juice
Mix together and bake at 400 degrees for 30ish minutes (check regularly to test for doneness. Occasionally turn with spatula to prevent burning.
This is the best lasagna recipe I think there is. It is based on the recipe from the Bride and Groom Cookbook, but I’ve changed it a bit.
2 pounds lean ground beef (or turkey)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 large jars marinara sauceBrown the ground beef in a saute pan (adding in salt and pepper).
Add the marinara sauce once meat is done.
Refrigerate. (I learned this by mistake this week. You can do a lot more spreading with it chilled.)1 pound part-skim ricotta
1 pound cream cheese (if you can get it from a local bagel shop, even better)
1 cup Parmesan
Combine and set aside.
Cover the bottom of a 9×13 pan with the meat sauce. Spread cheese sauce over meat (this is where you will be glad you chilled the meat). Layer lasagna noodles (I use whole wheat noodles). Do the meat, cheese, noodles again. Put meat sauce on top of the noodles. Tear up basil and layer on top of meat. Shred mozzarella cheese and sprinkle on top.
Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes at 375. Remove foil. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until brown. Cool before serving. (This is even better the next day!)
And my favorite new recipe: Lemon Cake
This is from the Barefoot Contessa, and was a HUGE hit. Dan has added it to the must have list.
It’s pictured here with bran muffins, which were ok.
Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt.Whisk together 1 cup whole-milk plain yogurt, 1 cup sugar, 3 eggs, 2 tsp lemon zest, and 1/2 tsp vanilla.
Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ones.
Fold 1/2 cup vegetable oil into the batter with a rubber spatula until incorporated.
Pour into standard bread pan. Bake for 50 minutes at 350.
Melt 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice with 1/3 cup sugar in small saucepan until sugar dissolves.
When bread is done, take out of oven and place on wire cooling rack. Drizzle lemon-sugar mixture over allowing it to absorb into bread.
Combine 1 cup confectioner’s sugar with 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice. When bread fully cooled, drizzle over bread. Eat.
Pot Roast made with Lipton’s French Onion mix
Roasted Chicken with potatoes and carrots
Margarita Pork Chops
ControverSunday: A weekly blog thing hosted by Perpetua with a lovely badge designed by Accidentsss (see sidebar) where intelligent women (and men I suppose) engage in civil discourse about controversial topics (usually related to motherhood).
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By our tenth ultrasound I knew we were in trouble (I’m not sure the exact count, but it was somewhere close to or in the double digits).
In every ultrasound we had since he was big enough to tell he was a person and not a large misplaced black bean his hands were in his mouth. It’s cute when they’re all cuddled up inside you sucking their thumb. But I knew that his behavior wouldn’t change once he was outside. And I certainly wasn’t planning on having my boob in his mouth 24 hours a day (I had a house to rebuild and contractors to hang out with… and well, I’m all for supporting breastfeeding in public, but you have to know your audience, and I wasn’t all that interested in being oogled while I nursed). So we stocked up on pacifiers. Someone donated a bunch of latex ones, which stressed me out since I know that latex allergies are becoming more common. So we bought Soothies, which looked cute and seemed developmentally appropriate for my unborn son:But I had also read the breastfeeding propaganda and been fully indoctrinated into the “pacifiers will harm your breastfeeding relationship” mantra. I wrote on my birth plan “no pacifiers” and stored ours away for at least two weeks until I was certain that our wonderful, loving, boob-in-mouth experience was protected.
That lasted until night #2 at home when said child was SCREAMING his head off at 3 in the morning. Dan and I were taking shifts so that someone could stay up and watch him breathe, but neither of us could sleep with the screaming. I had already fed him and just needed sleep. So I stumbled around in the kitchen looking for the “damn pacifier now.” It worked.
Doesn’t he look happy? (He was.)
Kellen uses the pacifier every night and sometimes in the car. He usually spits it out soon after he falls asleep, though sometimes he wakes up to find it.
I know people who think that once children are old enough to walk and talk they shouldn’t use a pacifier (Hi Beth!). But they get to have that opinion because their kid rejected the pacifier or gave it up on their own. Kellen loves his pacifier (which is why they are all kept above eye level except for the stash that Kellen seems to be making somewhere in the house- I’ve yet to find it!). He also loves his stuffed dog.
His blue crocheted dog is under his arm, pacifier in mouth, decidedly not in his bed.
I don’t believe in giving my child a pacifier throughout the day. I think it hampers language development, though when he says “thank you” with a paci in his mouth, it looks pretty darn cute. I have had to repeatedly ask daycare not to give him a pacifier during the day (when I’ve just dropped in to drop something off or when they’ve shown me a picture of him working on an art project). He needs it for sleep. And I can’t promise you that I’ve never judged a mom whose near-kindergartener is still walking around on the playground with a pacifier.
At some point (I think around 2 or 2.5), it becomes the parent’s responsibility to set boundaries for their kid for what is developmentally appropriate. It would be great to say, “hey, if it works for your kid, awesome.” But at some point, that kid can’t use a pacifier. Say college graduation? And if your child is still using the bink at 4, methinks that he or she isn’t giving it up without a fight. Or a visit from the paci fairy (who will be visiting our house when the time is right). But 18 months? I think it’s still developmentally appropriate to need the pacifier to sleep, even if he is sleeping in a toddler bed.