Monday, August 27, 2007

Add My Vote to The Food War

I was reading my sister's blog, and I was going to respond, and then I thought I would really get out there and add my two cents to her two shekel and see where it gets us.
My sister wrote on her blog about food, and the push for better nutrition. I won't repeat verbatim what she said but she summed up, in my opinion, that she felt pressure it isn't good enough to home-bake something, it has be whole wheat this, fresh from the farm this, and if it isn't you are eating junk. She felt like she got a lot of pressure form people as to how and what she feed her family. I agree with her that the pressure is there.
We both agree that people with food allergies and other issues, like celiacs disease, have to watch what they are eating-constantly. My 9 months as a "dairy avoider" taught me much and people with food issues for whatever reason face a lot of difficulties. They are excluded from the following rant.
Feeding our children has turned into a battlefiled on par with where we send our children to school. Do we home-school? Daycare? Send them to slave drivers? Do you bake at home? Use fresh produce? Feed your kid nothing but preservatives and lead from China? 100 years ago lard was a popular ingredient in everything. Give your kid a candy bar today and you get the cross-eyed look that you must not really care about your child. I manage to give Asa something fresh almost everyday. Fruit, vegetables-something that came from a tree or the ground within the last few months. I never give him pop, eat again after dinner, and I watch his candy intact like a hawk. We push the beans, super watered down juice, and dairy products like some type of dealer. I also give him sugar cereals, noodles and bread bought from a store, and dried fruit. Turn me into child services.
Feeding your child, like everything else we do as parent, should be done to the best of our ability and within a parameter that is fun and educational. I don't want Asa growing up thinking broccoli is a weapon of torture. And I also don't want him growing up thinking that the four food groups include chips, cookies, twinkies, and ketchup as a vegetable. We as parents need to support each other as we do our best to make informed decisions. We are all in the same leaky boat of parenthood and most of us are getting by on little sleep, a lot frustration, a hell of a lot of love, and the willingness to do right by our child. Isn't that enough?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Late Night TV

I was watching late night tv the other evening. This is anything after 11:00p, unless I am super tired and than it is 8:30p. But usally late night tv is late at night. So I am doing my useless butt routine-sitting- and what comes on but a commercial for underwear. The brand name is irrevelant. 10 or so ladies, all dancing around using exercises balls to show me how flexible the material is and how carefree I will feel? I guess I shouldn't be offended because the ladies did have on as much as if they were wearing a bikini, but where on earth do advertisers get the idea that watching half naked women is going to inspire me to buy underwear? That sounds like the way to advertise to my husband. My underwear, if I may be so bold, has two requirements. 1) be cheap and 2) fit. I admit, I have boring underwear. But don't blame the kid I had a few months back. I have never had great expectations from my underwear. I was always under the impression that a Slim Figure, World Peace, and Feeding the Hungry would have to come from somewhere other than my pants. Now, if companies want me to buy their underwear, they need to send Hugh Jackman to my door with a smile on his face and free pair in his hand (after I buy the first three of course). But watching skinny little things with no stretch marks and the flexibilty of a porn star is not going to inspire me to buy the product. I think I have officially taken the title of Grand Crumudgeon Supreme.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Summer Lovin'

I received a lot of comments from many different people that my blogs have not been up to snuff. Well, that is putting it politely. Most have been written when I was distracted to say the least. But summer seems to be like that every year-lots of promises to do this and that and before I know it, it is September. As much as I have been disappointed in my own writing, I am kind of honored that people can tell the difference!
So last night I got one of the magazines I subscribe to on how to be a good parent. I have always had faith in myself that my child won't grow-up to be the next Charles Manson, but any additional help was welcomed. After all, Asa never came with instructions. But now, 2 years after getting my first magazine, I want to know when parenting got so hard? I read two different magazines and each month I can be assured of a deadly disease of the month, activity ideas I can't afford, and lots of tips on getting my child to do exactly want I want, and if he doesn't do what I want, I am doing something wrong. Obviously the days of sending our kids out into the world with a wagon and a horse to play with are gone. Both are too dangerous for anyone under the age of 20. But I think we have forgotten that little kids are little kids regardless of what year it is. When I see Asa play with rocks and garbage, effectively ignoring every "educational toy" he has, I can see in my mind little boys, and girls, from decades before doing the same thing. And when my little angel turns to me and shouts NO!, I am pretty sure that other little communicators are doing the same thing around the world. Besides, the magazine is pretty two-faced in my opinion. One month I see an article encouraging no sugar drinks, and the next month there is a 10 page glossy for the newest juice, loaded with enough sugar to wire up a whole army of kids. Plus, most of my best parenting advice has come from other parents, and the internet can make up for whatever I may be missing.
So now that I have decided to NOT re-new my subscriptions, and am going to raise my child without the help of "experts", here is what you can expect from my child:
*He will be dirtier since I am not reading about the next superbug he could catch.
*He will be low on table silverware use. If he can't use a fork and spoon by the time he is 10, I will send him to a special class.
*He will get some sugar cereals because I did as a kid and somehow lived, but the new "low sugar" juices (with just enough sugar to take out one family instead of an army of kids) will still be watered down.
*No more craft ideas so he will have to make do with every item in the house for playtime-oh wait, he already does that. I guess it means no more eating crayons than.
*He will go to bed to late, dress in mis-matched clothes (no more glossy's for guidance), and go outside in the sun despite the warnings of skin cancer, ticks, bad people, mean kids, possibly deadly scratches, dogs, cats, and water dangers.
* He will continue to do things that amaze me only now I won't be so surprised (but still amazed) because I will have nothing to compare him too. (Except the neighbors dogs who listen as well as Asa. Poor neighbors.)
*I will still love him with all my heart, even though I don't have a magazine to tell me that I should. And I will still avoid beating him because I don't need to pay money to know that is wrong.

Just because I don't want the magazines that are out there though doesn't mean I don't have ideas of what I would like to see by way of information. Below are the articles I am looking for and if you see them, please hook me up.
"10 Ways To Convince Your Kid To Eat By What's On Sale, Not What Taste's Good"
"Daddy Disciplinarian:When To Listen And When To Ignore Him Eating Twinkies Right Before Dinner"
"You To Can Love Laundry:10 Simple Magic Spells To Make It Happen"
"Renewable, Cheap Energy-How To Hook Your Kid Up To Your Hot Water Heater"
"A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned: How To Encourage The Cheap Labor In Your House Without Resorting To Violence and 'Leave It To Beaver' Scenarios"
"Whining: 10 Mental Exercises To Avoid Going Insane"
"Logic: Kids Have None So Fornicator Beware"
"The Black Hole: How Kids Take Every Last Dime Just By Eating and Pooping"
"The Grandma/ Grandpa Paradox: Why Cookies At Their House Are Edible, But Are Poisonous In Our House

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mr. Rogers

Asa and I were watching Mr. Rogers today, again. I love that show for him. Simple crafts, calming voice-invariably one of us falls asleep and today it was me. But am I the only to think that guy always looked old. Obviously when you compare him to 2003, the last year the show had new episodes, to his first season you notice a difference. However, if I were to see him on the street, off the fly, with his 1970's look, I would assume he is old. That is one of the reasons I love the show-the polyester pants, crazy ties, and cardigan sweaters takes me back to being 4 years old. Funny, 30 years later and I still hate the puppets. The king is a condescending jerk and Lady Elaine is a bitch. So much for me being president of the fam club-I think I just lost my fan club membership. Although, I love Mr. Rogers himself and I think the man is practically a saint. Go Mr. Rogers- I am a fan.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

As promised here is my critique of the latest Harry Potter book. Be forewarned, I am not trying to ruin the book for anyone so some of my comments are vague but it is almost impossible not to give a critique without mentioning the book to prove my case so if you want total suprise when you read the book, stop right here!
I was extremely disappointed in this last book, which was a great shock to me as I have enjoyed the series so much. Many people cite the fact that fame gets to authors and their books change over time but I saw an interview with J.K. Rowling and she wrote the end of the entire series before she wrote the first book so I know this is not the case here. Why the change? Can't answer that-I don't know. My mom disagrees with me that there is a difference so I just might be mental-it wouldn't be the first time I have gone off the deep end!
My biggest complaint about the book is the indeciciveness of whether this is a children's book or an adult book. It is sold under children's lit., explores some very adult themes and reads more like a grown-up book, and then at the very end she switches back to a children's book and basically ends the story with "and they lived happily ever after". After spending three days of reading an adult book, I wanted more. On that note, her use of death was appaling to me. I think she proved in books 4, 5, and 6 that Lord Voldemort is a nasty guy with no conscience. Even in the beginning of book 7, she has a few deaths that leave us sad (I got a tear in my eye for the second one). But at the end of the book she seems to almost find glee in killing people right and left and I found it uncalled for. But again, here we go again with my argument are we reading a children's book or an adult book? In an adult book I would expect lots of death, but in a children's book I was disturbed by it. And I don't care what my mom or the media say-Snape is bad from beginning to end. The final child vs. adult book is how confusing it is. 24 hours AFTER I finished the book, I realized why there were Horcrux's AND the Deathly Hallows. True, I am slow, but I can't imagine a 10 year old being that much quicker. Or maybe I just don't give those youngun's enough credit. Either way, when the movie comes out, I will be hard pressed to spend $9 on a first run of it a theater. I am more inclined to wait for the video.
In all of the first 6 books there was always a magical quality that made me feel like I was peeking into a another world. This last book just felt like I was reading someone else's misery. Not that the books have always been sunshine and roses, but you still felt magically transported. The magic was missing from this book. I never felt transported or even magical. There were many ananlogies to World War II and I don't know if that is what got to me or not, but this book could have been the misery of every ethnic group that has ever been outcasted from the main population, adn that is quite a few groups as we all know.
So, overall-thumbs at half mast. I have read better, I have read worse but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Monday, August 06, 2007

August Camping

Asa and I just returned from camping in the Columbia River Gorge. I spent the entire weekend telling Asa to...get out of the garbage, leave the dog food alone, leave the dog alone, leave the neighbors alone, don't cross the street, get out of (Cheryl, Amy, Monika's) chair, leave the dog's water alone, leave the fire alone, etc. etc. It was not restful. Every time a train went by, which was often, Asa perked up like someone had given him drugs and ran to the neighbors site across the street where he would quickly beg for food and than run to the edge of a big hil that ended at the tracks. He is a multi-tasking little devil. And after two nights of sleeping on the ground, I feel like Rocky Balboa took a couple jabs my way. It sucks to get old and decrepit!
But the reality is, we had a great time!! Sitting around ye' old campfire at night, looking at the stars, sneaking smores while Asa slept, gave me a feeling of great peacefulness and a fat butt. And knowing that we may not have the most fun of everyone present, BUT that Asa was exposed to new experiences and elements made me feel like a good mom. He got filthy and gross, but he saw the outdoors as they are meant to be seen, and not through a television screen. We will go camping again, hopefully this year. And again, I will probably yell at Asa the whole time to stay out of whatever trouble he can find. Sounds like a great time to me!! Thank-you to our patient co-campers, Cheryl, Monika, Amy, Dexter, Henry, and Juanita. Very appreciative that no one bit Asa, even when he deserved it.