Archive for the ‘family’ Category

My Mother’s Typewriter

June 11, 2008

My daughter wants to play with my computer. It is a brand spankin’ new MacBookPro and she is two years old. It just ain’t happening.

I can remember back to when my Mom’s typewriter (Yes! I am that old.) was something I wanted to play with and bang around on. It was a Selectric Quiet Touch I think – very cool and BLUE! I loved it because of its color, and because it made these amazing soft clicky sounds when she typed. It was a magical thing. We didn’t watch television much when I was very young so I can remember days when I would sit and play and color and just watch my Mom, in the morning sunlight, sitting at the dining room table typing away. These were always good days, peaceful days filled with the wonder of what she might be doing on those beautiful sheets of creamy white paper. She could type so swiftly and rhythmically that it sounded like music on the keyboard.

It’s amazing that after all these years I can still remember the sound, almost exactly, as if I had just heard it a few minutes ago. It had an impact on me. And I think that watching her type away made me appreciate words – words that I could type, that I could read, that I could write. And I remember the day, oh, I must have been three or four, when I was finally allowed not just to approach, but to touch that beautiful electric machine. I was breathless. I only typed a bit because I was afraid I would break it, and I had grown to love its sound and the joy it brought my mother. But she encouraged me and I typed a bit more. I learned my A-B-Cs on that old typewriter. I learned my numbers. I learned to spell my name. I learned to spell Mom.

And so I relented, sort of. I dug out my old laptop, the one I had finally retired after months of battles. I couldn’t get rid of it, and now I’m glad I didn’t. Yesterday I sat in the sun at the dining room table with my daughter, a little younger than I was with my Mom, and I let her start banging away on the keys. The look on her face as letters started popping up on the screen was priceless. The memories it brought back made me appreciate once again the gift of words my mother had given to me all those years ago. It made me realize my obligation, my gift of being able to share my love of words with my daughter. Today, that love of words is taught with a computer instead of a typewriter, but the love is conveyed with the same joy, the same breathlessness.

My Mom’s typewriter is long gone now, drowned in a flooded basement. Mom uses a really nice computer and she still can type faster than anyone I know. Her fingers have arthritis and cause her to occasionally drop things, but when she is in front of that machine, dreaming of beautiful words to share, the pain goes away and her fingers fly.

________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

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Can a Kid OD on Corn on the Cob?

June 3, 2008

So, I was from one of those “you will sit there until bedtime if you don’t eat” upbringings. I’m not fat, but I soon learned that just shoving it all in even if I wasn’t hungry made Mom and Dad infinitely happier than seeing me pouting at the table all night. From there comes my emotional eating that I have attempted to control my entire adult life.

I do blame that mindset, although not my parents who truly did what they thought was best at the time. This is obvious to me because my second sister and I have always had weight issues, whereas my youngest sister has always been quite thin (same body type) and never relied on food as a crutch. My Mom admits that they realized maybe they should have dealt with my second sister and I differently and changed their approach with the youngest.

So here is my question to all of you? What are your parenting choices when it comes to eating habits? Do they change (and how) as your child develops emotionally? Do you ever resort to food as a reward (other than “potty treats” which I think are a very different story)?

My daughter is closing in on three and while I work part-time she attends a local daycare 2-3 days per week. I give her lots of fruit and veggies and low-fat yogurt. I basically feed HER the way I wished I had the gumption to eat myself. Her teachers are amazed. They have never seen such a thorough and healthy eater.

When she arrives home at around 5:00 I hang out with her and then cook dinner. She rarely eats more than a few bites of veggies and maybe some rice or veggie burger (she isn’t a big fan of meat and it helps us to cut some of it out). She prefers to sit with us for ten minutes or so and then she’s off – busy! busy!

I’m fine with this because she eats so well throughout the day and I know kids won’t starve themselves (at least not normally and she is very healthy). My hubby thinks she should be expected, even if not hungry to sit there with us the whole dinner. I think he’s nuts. She is only two and oh my God, to sit still that long is tough for me sometimes let alone a toddler.

Now this is (bless his otherwise sweet and loving soul – hell, it IS almost Father’s Day don’t forget) the man who if there is some (and I mean ANY) sporting event from golf to basketball (super ick!) to baseball to Nascar (Go Dale Jr! OK I’m on board with this one) on television he goes against the rule we decided on of the television OFF during dinner. I can’t WAIT until we move and can’t see the stinkin TV from the table! That will be the end of that. (Who am I kidding – then the plates will head for the living room… tune in someday soon for a rant about HOW parents can stop undermining each other).

My suggestion is we talk about her day and ask her questions and establish a dinner “relationship” and when she’s done and off to play then we actually take a few minutes to talk to each other – IMAGINE THAT!

Just looking for comments on how all of you deal (or have dealt) with this.

And check back tomorrow if interested in the very weird poopy I’m sure we will experience.

________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

More Polygamist News – Breaking News from MSNBC!

May 29, 2008

I have to say that in light of the MSNBC story
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24878696/,
I am just sad.

I wrote a blog post about a week or so ago
https://sugarsprouts.wordpress.com/2008/05/22/comparing-the-polygamist-mormons-flds-church-with-the-amish/ and I was so hoping this wouldn’t happen. But it did. So the shout outs to Texas are reneged. Come on guys. You KNOW this is happening and you know to date, Arizona and Utah have continued to sit on their hands. Why can you do nothing to protect these kids? I just don’t get it.

“Under Texas law, children can be taken from their parents if there’s a danger to their physical safety, an urgent need for protection and if officials made a reasonable effort to keep the children in their homes. The high court agreed with the appellate court that the seizures fell short of that standard.”

The women and young girls who have managed to escape this life, (and given the identically abuse-ridden tales that are told, it is NOT extreme to say they escaped) agree. Young girls are forced into nonconsensual sexual marriages with significantly older men, and when under a certain age (which differs state to state) that is rape. So when did rape stop being abuse? Is it no longer “a danger to their physical safety”? Rape?

And what of the girls from Colorado City Arizona who tried to escape only to be captured by their own fathers, beaten until almost dead, and returned to their “husbands”? Was this not abuse? Is there really no “urgent need for protection” against being beaten and returned to a rapist, dirty old man?

I agree with religious freedom. I tend WAY toward the left in wanting to ascertain that all of our rights as American citizens are protected. Saying it is worth giving up our freedom to stay free doesn’t ring logical in my mind. But this goes well beyond that. I guess if a grown woman, with no outside pressure chooses this life for herself she has that right (although legally she actually doesn’t). But if that right is taken away from a young girl and this lifestyle is imposed upon her, then that my friends IS abuse.

I hear so many people say it is religious freedom and we shouldn’t interfere. But wow are those same people up in arms when they hear of the welfare system abuse, and tax law abuse that goes on. We’re terrified of venturing forth into abuse that disguises itself as religion but let’s make sure we protect the almighty dollar.

I’m sure to some degree these mothers who want their children back truly love them. But it is these same mothers who will willingly give their daughters away as soon as an antique of a church elder decides he wants a new plaything.

I live practically next door to the Colorado City sect. It IS abuse wise Texas citizens. It is abuse in your state, in your back yard. I was hoping Texas could accomplish what Arizona and Utah don’t seem to have the balls to do.

Shame on Texas!

God bless those poor girls.

________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

Can’t Quit Thinking About It – VOTE HER OUT!!!!

May 29, 2008

Help me to gather some extra funding to research autism and educate the public about it. Go to http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts and buy a Vote Her Out or Vote Her Ass Out custom shirt or accessory. I will donate a portion to the Autism Society of America! And we can let people know in our silent protest, that they CANNOT treat our children this way!!!! If it happened there it could happen to your kid too!

If you haven’t read about this and have no idea what I’m ranting on about, click here:
https://sugarsprouts.wordpress.com/2008/05/28/oh-my-holy-hell-fire-this-evil-teacher/

Also, you too can vote that teacher OUT at:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Fire-teacher-for-unprofessional-conduct

Will it do anything? WHO KNOWS! But at least your voice will be heard!

My sister has informed me that there is an actual Elementary Education teaching method that this woman was supposedly using. I usually think the best of people, but even after having read what she sent me, I can see NO reason or excuse.

_____ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:

http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

Oh My Holy Hell – FIRE This Evil Teacher!!!

May 28, 2008

THIS I cannot believe – and the school claims it ISN’T emotional abuse – it sure as hell is, and to ALL the kids to allow this kind of obnoxious abusive behavior from a teacher.

Teacher lets Morningside students vote out classmate, 5

By Colleen Wixon (Contact)
Saturday, May 24, 2008

PORT ST. LUCIE — Melissa Barton said she is considering legal action after her son’s kindergarten teacher led his classmates to vote him out of class.

After each classmate was allowed to say what they didn’t like about Barton’s 5-year-old son, Alex, his Morningside Elementary teacher Wendy Portillo said they were going to take a vote, Barton said.
By a 14 to 2 margin, the students voted Alex — who is in the process of being diagnosed with autism — out of the class.

Melissa Barton filed a complaint with Morningside’s school resource officer, who investigated the matter, Port St. Lucie Department spokeswoman Michelle Steele said. But the state attorney’s office concluded the matter did not meet the criteria for emotional child abuse, so no criminal charges will be filed, Steele said.

Port St. Lucie Police no longer are investigating, but police officials are documenting the complaint, she said.

Steele said the teacher confirmed the incident took place.

Portillo could not be reached for comment Friday.

Steele said the boy had been sent to the principal’s office because of disciplinary issues. When he returned, Portillo made him go to the front of the room as a form of punishment, she said.
Barton said her son is in the process of being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a type of high-functioning autism. Alex began the testing process in February at the suggestion of Morningside Principal Marcia Cully.

Children diagnosed with Asperger’s often exhibit social isolation and eccentric behavior..
Alex has had disciplinary issues because of his disability, Barton said. After the family moved into the area and Alex and his sibling arrived at the school in January, Alex spent much of the time in the principal’s office, she said.

He also had problems at his last school, but he did not have issues during his two years of preschool, Barton said.

School and district officials have met with Barton and her son to create an individual education plan to address his difficulties, she said. Portillo attended these meetings, Barton said.
Barton said after the vote, Portillo asked Alex how he felt.

“He said, ‘I feel sad,’ ” Barton said.

Alex left the classroom and spent the rest of the day in the nurse’s office, she said.

Barton said when she came to pick up her son at the school Wednesday, he was leaving the nurse’s office.

“He was shaken up,” she said.

Barton said the nurse told her to talk with Portillo, who told her what happened.

Alex hasn’t been back to school since then, and Barton said he won’t be returning. He starts screaming when she brings him with her to drop off his sibling at school.

Thursday night, his mother heard him saying “I’m not special” over and over.

Barton said Alex is reliving the incident.

The other students said he was “disgusting” and “annoying,” Barton said.

“He was incredibly upset,” Barton said. “The only friend he has ever made in his life was forced to do this.”

St. Lucie School’s spokeswoman Janice Karst said the district is investigating the incident, but could not make any further comment.

Vern Melvin, Department of Children and Families circuit administrator, confirmed the agency is investigating an allegation of abuse at Morningside but said he could not elaborate.

________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!

The Day After Memorial Day

May 27, 2008

I’m getting really excited about the upcoming season of Army Wives. Not being an Army wife myself, but having been an Army brat of sorts makes the show especially appealing to me. I have many close friends who WERE (and are) in fact true, live-on-post, deal with all the pride but still all the crappy rules Army (and Navy and Marine) wives. They tell me that some of the storylines proposed on the show aren’t really plausible (friendships between wives of officers ranging from privates to generals is a good example). I have to comment on this one. It does seem implausible, but refreshing on the show that cliques are in some ways undermined by the show’s heroines. That the women portrayed by this small group of actors is actually being represented in at least one television show is a huge step. Sure, the post commander’s wife probably wouldn’t “hang” at an off-post bar with the wives of enlisted men, but come on. There is one show to tell the story, and only so many characters. We wouldn’t tune in as frequently if they didn’t interact – that’s what makes it so juicy!

And that is really the point of this post. Yesterday was Memorial Day. As we remember and pray for the brave soldiers that through the years have gone to war for our country (regardless of whether you believe in the war itself – this is irrelevant in the face of the ultimate sacrifice), we should also remember the families left behind. Especially in the current world situation, where our soldiers are called to fight a war that is unjust, but do not have the right to refuse, the families feel the pain of loss every day.

So let’s hear it for the soldiers, those who have been lost, those who have returned from the many wars we have fought, and those who with hope will come home soon. And let us not forget the families, the husbands, wives, parents, and children who are left behind to hope, and to worry and to pray for their loved ones.

We honor you.

Let your kids show their pride for what Dad does if he is in the military.

________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

Spanking is Violence (not discipline)

May 25, 2008

OK, my opinion on this is one I will admit cannot be changed. Perhaps I may gain some more respect for those “spankers” out there (and I am referring to children – what you do in your bedroom is your own business) and their views, although admittedly, I doubt it.

What brings this up? A friend of mine was recently talking about “having to” spank her little girl (about 3.5) and put her to bed early. I think by my silence on the phone line she knew what was coming. I’m not exactly known for being meek. And how could any adult HAVE TO perform an act of violence on a child. Aren’t we supposed to be the ones in control? Not just of our actions and emotions, but of the physical and emotional well-being of our kids?

I held my tongue and it was the hardest thing I have ever done. And it was totally chickenshit on my part. SO I am unleashing here (and she’s a reader so hopefully she gets it).

But so many times you hear a parent say they lost control. That makes it acceptable to hit?!?! Anyone, let alone a child? Or perhaps these are the types of parents who explain to a child WHY they will soon be humiliated and physically harmed as a “sensitive” way to inflict violence.

And you question whether spanking is a violent act? REALLY?!?!

Consider these scenarios:

==> You go into a bar, get into a fight and pop someone in the nose. You get arrested. You cannot hit a total stranger;

==> A husband hits his wife (or vice versa, or boyfriend is hit by girlfriend, or partners, but you get the picture). This is called domestic violence – hopefully someone gets arrested (although we all know that is not always the case and is a topic for another time);

==> You punch your best friend in the nose because she does something shitty to you. You get into trouble. She could press charges, and YOU could get arrested;

==> Your boss hits you because you used work email for personal messages.

(Alright, some of these seem to be kind of far-fetched examples, but really, aren’t they just far-fetched because laws prevent them from being prevalent?) In our society it is NOT OK to hit (unless you are a boxer for sport, which is barbaric, but just my little ole opinion inserted here). Or unless you are hitting a child or an animal.

We teach our children that the strong should not pick on the weak. Yet, if we in turn hit our children, we are teaching them that it is actually OK, not just to hit, but to beat up on the weaker among us. We become hypocrites, violent hypocrites. Is THIS the lesson you want to teach?

You may not believe it, but your kids really do watch what you do. They really absorb what you say. You really are molding them emotionally, intellectually for what and who they will become.

So why can’t my hubby go in tomorrow, and because his co-worker didn’t complete his job, thereby causing hubby to have to work a longer day, hit that co-worker.

Because he would get fired.

Because hitting is wrong.

Because hitting is violence.

Violence/hitting in the workplace is illegal.

And spanking is hitting.

Therefore spanking is a violent act. One of the only violent acts that is ignored by society (this and, once again, hitting animals). That is another topic and one that I could rant on about for days. And maybe sometime I will.

We can ignore the weakest among us. Because they are weak and have no voice. And so we do.

Isn’t that sad? It makes me so angry. I am ashamed that I didn’t say something to my friend, that I didn’t question her actions. Especially when I hear parents say they were forced, their child pushed them to that point. These are CHILDREN. THEY can be pushed, but YOU are the adult. You are supposed to have control. You may have to walk away and calm down, try another form of discipline, but hitting is never the answer.

Ever.

Get it?

Spanking. IS. Violence.

________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

David Cook Wins American Idol!!

May 23, 2008

OK, I just have to say it. From my more serious polygamist post earlier today, I cannot help but go a little “pop”.

I love David Cook.

There. I said it. I am over ten years older than him but I love him for his talent, his humble nature, and those eyes. WOW! Those eyes. Hey. A Mommy can look can’t she?

The other David was awesome too – of course he was. He was flawless. But there was something special about the gritty way Cook approached his songs, the creative ways in which he changed classics (Billie Jean and Hello anyone?), and the notes. Ah, the notes. As a former music major myself, I know one of the more difficult things to master is the long-held, in-tune last note. And David is a master. Just like an Olympian ice skater throwing in a triple axle at the end of a program, these notes at the end of a lung-blowing rock song were astounding.

Don’t forget though, in the hubbub of Cook’s win, that for our kids, as much fun as American Idol might be, there REAL American Idol has a day all his own. Father’s Day is coming folks. Check out some new ideas for Dads (from shirts to beer steins, we’ve got it!) and carry on the ideal that is American Idol.

________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!

Comparing the Polygamist Mormons (FLDS Church) with the Amish?

May 22, 2008

A great big shout out to the Life on the Run blog for it’s heartfelt and informative post of polygamy and plural wives.

I actually live VERY (frightening) near the FLDS community of Colorado City (otherwise known as Short Creek). **** It is not at all unusual to go into town and see one man, five wives, and a multitude of children entering the WalMart together. It is just accepted as the way things are. I have in fact heard people comment that it is no different than venturing into eastern Pennsylvania and seeing the Amish pull up in their buggies.

**** SIDE NOTE: Colorado City is actually two towns – Colorado City, AZ and Hilldale, Utah. Word is, whichever state is hassling them at any given time, they claim to be the OTHER state’s residents. Neither state has done much though, or these problems would have been quelled years ago. The town’s share law enforcement and politicians – they are in essence the same town. People don’t own their homes or land – the FLDS church does. Tick ’em off, you are out on your ear with nothing. Oh, and one way to tick ’em off GOOD is to NOT allow a perverted old man to marry your thirteen year old girl.

Now I grew up near the Amish and this is very, very different. The Amish do not force young girls into servitude as sex slaves. (And yes, call it religion if you like, but when you marry off a thirteen year old girl against her will to a 60 year old man for the purpose of reproducing and satisfying that sick old man’s sex drive, then THAT my friends IS a sex slave). The Amish honor their children.

The Amish also do not believe in multiple wives. Now, if an adult wants to willingly go into a plural marriage, part of me want to say OK. You’re decision honey. And in the case of television like “Big Love”, the women really do seem like they have made that decision freely. But what if you are, as the Life on the Run blog indicates, indoctrinated into this way of thinking? Is an 18 or 20 year old who has been told her whole life that God will only love her and allow her into heaven IF she is a plural wife any different than a thirteen year old?

Back to Amish briefly. At around 18, before being baptized, and most likely married, young Amish adults are allowed a time of Rumspringa (German for “running around” or “jumping around”). During this time a young adult may even leave the family fold for a short time to experience the world. But most Amish return home. They are not attempting to escape in the dead of night only to be captured and beaten and tortured before being returned to their 60 year old husband/captor (where they are likely beaten and raped again). Most Amish return home because of the love and tranquility they feel there. Amish subscribe to something referred to as Gelassenheit or humility, calmness and serenity.

So don’t go comparing the Amish to the FLDS polygamist sect of Colorado City and Texas. I have experienced watching them firsthand in public and in their communities. Yes, I have ventured into the community of Colorado City/Hilldale on occasion if I happen to be driving through and need gas, or a candy bar (no Diet Coke though – and heavens, NO beer!). It is like being in the middle of a macabre Stepford Wives horror film – the children (girls in their long dresses and boys dressed in crisp shirts and ties to play outside – not really a commentary on style but more a visual for you who have never been there) step back in unison as an unfamiliar car trolls by. Mothers warily enter their yards and gather their children near. They seem the protective and loving parents. And in some ways I’m sure they are. But can a Dad who has fathered forty children (not an exaggeration for an “elder”) even know all of his children’s names? Does he even care? And those same little girls playing in the yards will soon be auctioned off like cattle to the oldest man with the largest brothel. It is heart-breaking to watch.

And let us not forget the boys, Many of them, unless they are pegged to be something greater and therefore, cherished and protected, are set out. They are seen as a threat to the old men in their quests for younger and more beautiful wives. So they too are victims of this cult.

And don’t be fooled. This offshoot of the mainstream LDS church IS a cult. Any organization that attempts mind control, body control, financial control of its members is nothing else. And when you throw in a bit of sexual deviation and out-and-out rape of young girls, well, there you go. You have yourself an American born cult.

THANK YOU again to Life on the Run blog for bringing this issue forward today!

Also, kudos to Texas for at least in the present, appearing to have the balls to do what Arizona and Utah have been unwilling to do for decades.

Also, check out http://gosw.about.com/od/southwesthistory/a/polygamy.htm

_________________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

Running Naked Through Sprinklers

May 20, 2008

It is HOT here. Hot in Arizona, but we aren’t in Phoenix or Tucson. We are in northern AZ, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon area. We’re in the mountains – it’s SUPPOSED to still be cool and nice. The last five or six years though, we have reached highs in mid-summer of near 100 degrees. That was unheard of fifteen years ago. So it’s hot.

And you will likely hear me whine about it quite a bit.

But one thing that has me smiling is watching my little one start to recognize the change in season. She is picking out her dresses every morning (as only a two-year old can do – awesome combinations of patterns and colors that only a child can wear and still look cute!) and lovin’ wearing her little pink Crocs. The days are longer and so warm that she can play outside until almost bedtime.

It reminds me of my childhood. But with one big exception. I feel badly that she will never run through sprinklers, in her swimsuit, or again, like all two-year olds, happily naked without a worry in the world, feet wet in the soft, sweet-smelling grass. Because you see, we don’t have grass. We have dirt and woodchips and cactus (yeah, even in the mountains). The only grass that would take root here would be the course, stuff that grows in clumps and thrives in the arid climate. I feel a tremendous guilt sometimes that she will never romp wild and free and BAREFOOT outside.

Now let me digress for a moment. We live in a spectacular place – truly. We have Flagstaff, AZ, Grand Canyon National Park, Williams, Sedona, Prescott and more. We have mountains and canyons. Views are breathtaking. Kids can grow up hiking and biking and enjoying the outdoors in a clean environment, breathing clean, relatively unpolluted air. It IS a great place to grow up. It is very different than my memories, but wonderful.

But still, no grass. No sprinklers. No running carefree through the water all day.

Except Sunday, we were invited to a friend’s house. I was advised we should bring her swimsuit and I thought she’d splash in a kiddy pool for awhile, then get all covered in the AZ mud that takes so long to scrub off because of it’s sticky resiliency. Ah well, if it makes her happy…

When we arrived I was surprised to see that our friend’s driveway had been turned into (sans grass) the play area of my youth. A HUGE sprinkler was set up for the kids to run through. Big towels and blankets spread out for relaxation (many layers because, hey, they WERE on hot asphalt, but still). The Moms hung out drinking cold drinks while the kids played. For hours. Running and squealing through the water, which in the desert they don’t get very often. The joy on my daughter’s face made me realize that it doesn’t matter if she has the east cost, grassy memories of MY youth.
She is happy. She is growing. She loves the experiences SHE is having, and that is what truly matters.

And sure, eventually some of the kids DID run naked through the sprinklers (but they were wearing their Crocs)!

__________________Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

Jogging with milk-filled boobies, and nursing in public

May 18, 2008

I tried to exercise while nursing. I really did. But my daughter and I kept this relationship going for over a year-and-a-half and frankly every attempt I made was thwarted with squirting milk and leak spots on my workout shirt. So I gave it up. Which is why I’m going after this marathon thing now.

But I’m thinking more about another milestone today, because today marks the anniversary of the surgery I had that ended the nursing relationship. And I must admit I am feeling a little blue.

I look back at how complicated developing the whole nursing routine was. My daughter was a severe preemie and couldn’t grasp my oh, so huge boobies. Her oxygen tubes kind of eliminated that for several months as well. But once that O2 came off, watch out! She was a nursing fool. And not a leisurely nurser either – she got right down to it and ate and ate – making up for lost time having her milk through feeding tubes and then pumped and served to her in teeny tiny preemie bottles.

But that was the easy part. Go figure. It was trying to keep my very hungry preemie baby fed when I ventured out of my house that was the pain in the butt. Not feeding her, but the comments from all and sundry. Family members actually scolded me for nursing her in public (aren’t we a little past that already?). One family member held a blanket up around us like a huge curtain so I wouldn’t be seen (AHHH! Scarlet letter “N”!!!!).

A woman with VERY nasty breath lectured me at a local restaurant for feeding my baby at the table. Apparently her husband was offended. Side note, it was a booth, well hidden and fairly dark. And no, I never used a blanket – talk about calling attention to yourself. And it’s not like I was doing something illicit. I was feeding my child. Besides, sorry, after all that O2 I wanted my girl to have fresh air to breath. And what kind of message am I sending her at that tender young age if I am HIDING her under a blanket. No way sister.

By the way, to what I thought was my hubby’s chagrin, but I later pleasantly found out was true PRIDE, I told that bitchy woman that her breath was far more offensive to my meal than the tiny bit of boob I was flashing. And if you don’t want to see it, don’t look. She huffed away I recall (as her husband gawked from their table). He sure didn’t LOOK offended to me.

Seriously though, I had friends who have never had children (and one who had but chose not to nurse, HER choice yes, and one that our of respect for her I didn’t question, but I never understood. I seem to recall she “wanted her body back”. Hmmm, she’s in for a rude awakening.) who all had opinions. I digress. Anyway, I had friends who at one year proclaimed it time to wean.

Didn’t know I asked them to weigh in. I mean, this is the only child I will have. I am OLD. And this relationship is very special, to her from a nutritional and hopefully bonding standpoint, and for me the same. Breast-feeding lowers risks of breast cancer. The benefits to the baby are well documented. And the relationship between mother and child cannot be described.
But hey. Many people just felt the need to comment. Family, friends, the general public (I lived in a very small place at the time). And I chose to ignore them all. This was between my daughter and me and no one else.

And by the way, for those of you who suggest that nursing women should go to the bathrooms to nurse, why don’t YOU take your greasy, dripping burger and beer and try and prop your fat ass on a toilet and eat.

You don’t eat on the pot where you crap. No way in hell my baby does either.

(Wow! I just reread this. Didn’t realize I was still quite so pissed off. Oh well.)

____________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!”

Check out this site for some cool insights: http://wetfeet.typepad.com/wet_feet/2006/07/boobie_talk.html

More thoughts on the Preakness

May 17, 2008

I think I feel guilty. Now as I wait for the Preakness to begin I am watching the clips of the Derby and the whips. I know, my “horsie” friends tell me the whips don’t hurt, but how could they not? Maybe I was too quick to believe the horses weren’t harmed in any way because I just enjoyed watching too much.

There is much talk now of two things: banning whips, although jockeys and trainers say it would be disastrous. But you know, I never even tap my dogs nose with a newspaper, and I would NEVER hit my child for any reason, so I go back and question myself, and again my personal motives and wonder why this never bothered me before.

Also being discussed is disallowing pain killers, not to cause the horses pain, but to make trainers and owners pull horses that are hurting and allow them to heal instead of racing themselves to injury, or in the case of Eight Belles, even death.

Ultimately I wonder where we stop. Are the breeders today breeding for strength and durability, or are they breeding primarily for the Triple Crown races and later stud line? If it is the latter, how ethical is that? If, as horsie people say, the animals love to race, is breeding only for the few big races that will bring millions in sales and stud feeds really in the best interest of the horses. Why is running a horse who could be injured seeming to become more and more predominant? Is it because, like we are all hearing about Big Brown, that he may never race again after this season? Are horses really being bred for money and not sport? Do I even want my daughter exposed to that? Or can those who just love horses keep the spirit pure?

I would be really interested in hearing from all of you, many of whom have more horse experience than I. There are lots of opinions out there and I am open to hearing them all.
But I must say, the Budweiser ad with “Frank” in training rocks!

____________________ Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

What I see every day influences what I create, so writing this blog and creating my designs are natural extensions of who I am.

If you are interested in viewing my designs, primarily for kids but also some cool stuff for adults and also doggies (who we all know are integral parts of all families) check them out at:
http://www.cafepress.com/sugarsprouts

See you around the mountains and canyons of northern AZ!

“If you don’t laugh at life, it sneaks up and bites you in the ass!