Archive for the 'Holidays' Category

What’s Really Scary About Halloween

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This Halloween has been kind of, well, scary.

First, while researching Halloween costumes for little girls, I google-imaged female comic book characters. Oops. Mostly erotic fan art of our beloved princesses, heroines and lady sidekicks. It breaks my heart a little seeing one objectified female character after another online. The geeky art lover in me and the protective, feminist mom in me are torn. OK, there was that one somewhat tasteful, cartoon pinup of April O’Neil, though.

Secondly, that Fargo, N.D., woman and her fat-shaming letter to parents of obese kids? (I’m not even going to link it – google it if you have a burning desire to be angry today.) Mission accomplished. She’s a troll and she won. And even WAY before the actual holiday. People, please stop perpetuating people like her by reposting their stories. She’s literally one in 314 million Americans. Stop making assholes Internet infamous.

Third, if your town is banning teens from trick or treating, that’s super lame and I’m sorry. Slow clap for the people in charge of your town who made that rule. I don’t know the magic age, but 12, 13 and 14 year olds? They are kids. Let them enjoy the day. I was still playing with Barbie dolls at 12. I was certainly trick or treating.

Fourth, let’s talk about news outlets posting sex offender maps this time of year. It’s public information being used as a scare tactic on a slow news day or to boost online content. Pretty sure those losers are not opening their doors to trick or treaters today (by law). How about a useful story about coming up with a game plan for trick-or-treat scenarios like a creep inviting them into the house? Or what to do if they get separated from their group? Oh wait, you can’t simply grab that off of another site, lazy, mediocre journalists? (Yes you can.)

We have a lot of Halloweens ahead of us. I love this holiday and I refuse to let the media, and a very insignificant group of “authorities” and creeps take the fun out of it for my family and me. I hope the same is true for you and yours.

On a lighter note, and speaking of creepy stuff, this year I have been obsessed with vintage Halloween pics. If a gang of shorties showed up at my door tonight in some old-timey masks, I would surrender all of the candy. Enjoy!

And Happy Halloween!

Photo: http://horrorhomework.com

Halloween Mixtape!

halloweenLeaves rustle and the chill of the autumn breeze tingles your spine. Aliens, superheroes, wild beasts, curious creatures and masked monsters are at every turn – EEK! It’s Halloween! On this magical night of kiddie cosplay, a child’s imagination is king. Our Halloween Mixtape is chock-full of  tunes by musicians who dare your little trick-or-treaters to dream, dress up, be thankful for their treats, share their treasures and of course, dance and sing along like it’s Saturday night, every night. No tricks here, just good jams:

Side A: Boos and Ghouls

  1. UFO – “Did they pull us into space? Or am I just a head-case? Or maybe I’m now part of the alien race?” Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights, from “Bandwagon” 
  2. Superhero You “Doing this, doing that, doing all that we could, using our power for good!” Steve Songs, from “Orangutan Van”
  3. Wild Things – “I love when they do the wild romp in the jungle and the swamp.” Miss Nina, from “Sha Doo Be Doop”
  4. Space Monkey – “If I could hang please from that big piece of cheese, I’d be the first monkey on Mars.” Jambo, from “Hootenanny”
  5. What Do You Wanna Be?“Farmer, doctor, fireman, what do you want to be?” Milkshake, from “Got a Minute?”
  6. Song in the Trees – “There’s a song in my dreams, it’s calling me … it’s singing ‘oooooh.'”  Preschool of Rock, from “Everything Makes a Sound”
  7. Share“Share, you’ll get a turn, too.” Renee & Jeremy from “The Best Foot Forward Series: SHARE!”
  8. Tyrannosaurus “You’re the mightiest beast to ever feast!” Alex & The Kaleidoscope Band, from “I’m So Glad”

Side B: Tricks, Treats and Treasure So Sweet

  1. Tattoo Me“Tattoo me with dragons and skulls that stick right to me.” Recess Monkey, from Deep Sea Diver
  2. Walkin’ The Dog“If you don’t know how to do it, I’ll show you how to walk that dog.” Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble, from “I Like Everything About You (Yes I Do!)”
  3. My Treasure“You’re my treasure, carried you the whole way home to my dresser.” Recess Monkey, from “Desert Island Disc”
  4. Move Like Saturday Night“I can see by the look in your eyes, you’re ready to move like Saturday Ni-i-ight. “ Francis England, from “Blink of an Eye”
  5. Itsy Bitsy Spider“The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout, down came the rain and washed the spider out.” Frankie D & Steven Bernstein, from “15 Songs Every Kid Should Know (and Will Love!)
  6. The Colors of the Sky“When nighttime arrives, the white moon shines above.”  Johnette Downing, from “Reading Rocks”
  7. Only Take What You Need“Choose a little, use it a lot and only take what you need.” Earth Mama, from “The Best Foot Forward Series: Gratitude Attitude”
  8. Whatever I Want To Be “Let’s run around and be just what we want!” Young Avenue Kids, from “Whatever I Want To Be”

CDs

Photo 1: http://mrpottersfuntimeblog.blogspot.com; photo 2: Mommy’s Alright.

Milestones and Musings

The cousins Christmas portrait was a bust. Nothing a meme can't fix!

The cousins Christmas portrait was a bust. Nothing a meme can’t save, though, amiright? Totally showing this to Delilah’s first love interest, BTW. “Hey Delilah, memba when you were a drooly old man? Lol!” Click for the gif.

Fair warning: This is another one of those looong, all-over-the-place posts. It’s not too late to resume facebooking (or whatever you were doing).

And They All Went the F to Sleep … 31 Days Later

I use the term “milestone” loosely when discussing a one-month old, but last night I got decent sleep (which I consider a milestone) because Delilah slept like a champ – up only twice to eat and went down without a bunch of drama and noisemaking. But it took some planning. J stayed up till after midnight with her forcing her to stay awake so she’d be tired once they went upstairs. I don’t remember us having to work this hard to get sleep with Ollie, but I am certain I have baby amnesia because I forgot like 75 percent of what it’s like to have a newborn and am continuously like, “Really, dude?!”

Mostly, though, I’m super-duper smitten with this child. Even when she is up for a three-hour stretch in the middle of the night griping about nothing, I’m like, damn. We’re lucky. Not to mention, I know it could be worse. I don’t even wanna know about colic.

Speaking of sleep, she’s also been napping in her big girl crib in her room. That makes me happy seeing her among her forrest creature friends in the nursery. And a little sad because that means, yup, another milestone.

What else? She also hit the 10-pound mark (and 23 inches), and is hella strong holding up that noggin and flexing those stems. Hercules! Hercules! Hercules!

Here, Feel Like a Superhero for a Few Days. Then Imma Take it Away Like *Poof*! You’re Welcome. Signed, Hormones

You might recall in my previous post boasting about having super-human energy (especially for a new mom on zero sleep recovering from a c-section), plus weight loss like wut. Yeah, that is over, folks. I’m tired. Requiring my morning coffee again. Some of that weight that magically disappeared, magically returned. Not much, but enough that I’m on notice. Which also kind of sucks because I’m nursing and not supposed to be calorie counting. Oh, the paradox!

Which brings me to the fact that I was totally warned about all of this (although not by my OBGYN or all the Dr. Google’ing I’ve been doing about EVERYTHING under the natal sun). No, it was another mom who enlightened me.

So before we had Delilah, I reached out to a friend who, like me, has two kids and writes for a living. She’s a freelancer working from home and I wanted to see how she pulled it off because that’s my goal. She emailed me some amazing advice – down to earth and honest with a dose of funny, just what I needed, but I put off reading it because I got distracted by, um, being a new mom. There was one part in particular I regret not reading sooner. She warned me about the adrenaline/hormone boost you get right after birth and how even though it’s tempting, don’t’ give in. SLEEP. SLEEP, damn it! But I didn’t. And here I am. But it’s getting better.

Silver lining: that little boost came in handy when I was putting out a magazine FOUR days earlier than our normal deadline – just weeks after I was home from the hospital. If you call me supermom or wonderwoman or whatever, I promise not to be all modest about it. I summoned some gritty, primitive part of myself to make this happen, but that’s what you do when you want something bad enough. Or multiple things, in my case. And I’ll do it again. And every time I do it, it, too will get better.

I’m Sorry to Every Mom I’ve Judged for LHIP (Looking Haggard in Public)

Moms can be mean. Harsh. Judgey. Sometimes I’ll see a mom that just looks, um, beat. I think, man, just put some lipstain on or something. Comb yo hair. Lose the sweats. Put on some jeans, lady. But you know what? It’s not always that simple. Life goes on despite your desire to look and feel human.

Sometimes you have to go to the pediatrician looking like you just rolled out of bed (because you did. Because you were up half the night). Sometimes you go to family functions in a button-up flannel instead of that cute, new sweater because it’s easier to nurse with a button-up. Not that you’re doing it in front of everyone (because that’s taboo!), but still. It’s about function.

Sometimes you put off getting your hair did because there’s no time, or let’s face it, no money. It’s not that you don’t care. It’s not that you are oblivious that you have 2-inch roots. It’s not that you’ve given up. You haven’t given up, but there are greater needs and there’s a bigger picture and you know someday you will be your bad bitch self again, skinny jeans and all. Or you tell yourself that, anyway, to get through another day of sweats and spitup.

Seriously, though, being a parent is rough and we have to be easier on moms and dads. From now on, when I see a haggard mom (or look in the mirror), I’ll remember we’re doing the toughest job on the planet (no joke. Oprah knows what’s up) and we’re getting important shit done.

Time for My Guys

I know I can’t give Ollie equal time these days, but you better believe when we’re one on one, I make it count. Like last night during his bedtime, J was at band practice and Delilah was snoozing, so it was just the two of us. I loved curling up with him in his bed and, get this, reading WITH him, not to him. When did THIS happen?!

I remind him how proud I am of him. How big he is. How he’s my “sunshine” and my “best guy.” I indulge his goofy 4-year-old questions (they are endless), I applaud his sometimes hapless efforts to be independent,  but I also keep him in check if he’s pushing his luck. Because you can’t slack on the discipline as difficult as it can be to dish out to a preschooler when an infant needs you.

I thought it would be impossible to share love, attention, pride, joy, etc., between kids. I could not fathom it, right up until the day Delilah arrived. The good news is, you relish both kiddos for different reasons, at different times – sometimes together all at once. And there are moments when both are crying bloody murder and you’re just like fuckthisshit! And that passes.

You might be wondering how my relationship is going with the guy who got me into all of this trouble: J. I don’t know what to say other than, correction: Single moms, you have the toughest job on the planet. And to the people who help single moms – you are soooo awesome.

Having a partner keeps me sane at 3 a.m. when the baby is on her third hour of utter neediness and I want to sleep in the car; makes me laugh despite all the chaos and drama even though my face is too tired to smile; relieves me even if it means he has to stay up WAY late on a work night to entertain/wear out the baby; and takes Ollie pretty much everywhere with him and does his bedtime routine almost every night so I can care for the baby. In addition to all of this (and more), this past weekend, he managed to deck out the house – inside and out – with Christmas, pretty much all by himself (with Ollie’s supervision). I never think I care about Christmas decorations, but they instantly make me all fuzzy and gah when I see them. 

As for how J’s taking to fathering a baby girl, let’s just say a) he’s head over heels in love (naturally) and b) Delilah, you’re going to need ninja skillz if you ever want to hang out with boys before you’re 30. Sorry, but also, you’re welcome.

Halloween Reads

BOO! We love Halloween books. This October, the books below have been permanently on Ollie’s nightstand.

Tell me about your favorite books about Halloween, Día de los Muertos, the fall, the harvest – heck, Thanksgiving … basically great children’s books about this time of year. We can’t get enough!

 

Rockin’ Gift Guide Part 5: All the Rest …

Okideoke Sing-Along Mic: Psychobabyonline.com

Yellow Owl Workshop City Stamp Set: Buyolympia.com

Retro Pedal Cars: Myretrobaby.com

Wind-up and Pull-back toys: Zwindups.com

Melissa & Doug Band in a Box: Psychobabyonline.com

Portable Electric Guitar: Firstactdiscovery.com

My First Music Science Kit: Shopwonder.com

Baby Corn: Etsy.com/shop/SteffBomb

Teddy Bear Parade: Holgatetoy.com

Chalkboard Matryoshkas: Spoonsisters.com

DIY Recorder: Uncommongoods.com

Rockin’ Gift Guide Part 4: Favorite Kids Music from 2011

We reviewed a bunch of children’s albums this year – here’s what we liked the best and think would be music to the ears of the little ones on your list. (Plus a song/vid we couldn’t get enough of in 2011.)

“A Life of Song” by Ella Jenkins: She's a children's folk music institution. Whether you're familiar or listening to Jenkins for the first time, you will no doubt learn something about our history and be moved to sing and dance along.

“Gustafer Yellowgold's Infinity Sock” by Morgan Taylor (CD/DVD): Ollie loves it. I love it. I sing along when I'm putting on my makeup in the morning. What can I say? This odd little yellow man, his whimsical cast of friends and their silly and catchy songs are the jam.

Lucky Day” by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band: Children's music is always better when you're enjoying it as a family, and the fact that this folk-pop record is a family affair makes it that much more relatable.


“Beethoven’s Wig” by Richard Perlmutter: We're not huge classical music people, but Luddy never sounded so much fun thanks to Perlmutter's twist on the legendary composer and pianist!

This is good time rock'n'roll plain and simple, channeling T. Rex, The Stones, Skynyrd, The Cramps – garage, surf, country, pop rock. It's all here!

 


 

 

 

 

 

Rockin’ Gift Guide Part 1: Ideas For Big Kids

For the first Rockin’ Gift Guide installment, we’re sharing some “sound investments” for the grownups on your list.

DIY Uke – Spoonsisters.com (in stock 3/2012)

Tattoo MOM Ornament or DAD Mug – Sourpussclothing.com

"The Rockabillies" Book (on sale!) – Brokencherry.com

Punk Shirt ("Metal" also avail.) – Buyolympia.com

"Cool Bands" Gum – Perpetualkid.com

Perosnalized Pick & Key Chain – Etsy.com/shop/LoreleiRose

Jam Band Ornament Set – Perpetualkid.com

Gig Posters Vol. 1 & 2 – Gigposters.com

Flying V/Coffee Shirt – Soundopinions.org

Mix Tape Flask – Etsy.com/shop/whimsyandink

"You Weren't There" Ltd. Ed. LP/DVD – Regressivefilms.com

Amp Mug – Sourpussclothing.com


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