March 31, 2013

Sunday Blogaround - 3.31.2013

Hello, lovely readers! And welcome to another blogaround!

This week, I had a round three interview for a full time job. Which has me constantly sort of thinking about what it might actually mean to be out of the house and away from my kids, all day, every day.

I never expected the wave of differing emotions- but that's not what this is about. This is about the blogaround! And this week, there seems to be a theme going around. My theme. Being out of the house and away from your kids to work.

So enjoy those musings along with these other treatises on sharing and gorgeous whale videos and whatnot.

Happy reading!

Robot Love: Adventures of a Geek Family"Actually, being a working mother IS pretty traditional..." - Robot Love
The Robot Mama is a working mom, but aren't we all? At any rate, she muses about the history of work and motherhood, and I am with her all the way. Regardless of how we feel about working or not working, or about motherhood in general, I think we can all agree that standards of living are better now than in those cave days.

"Missing the Actions" - The Kopp Girls
Kyle works, and the kids keep doing things. And he misses them. I feel for him so hard.

"In Defense of Sharing" - Ask Your Dad
I had no idea that not-sharing was becoming a thing. I'm a little stunned, and I am in complete agreement (as usual) with John (Dad). Sharing is important, but absolutes are never a good idea anyway.

Trailer Gypsy"Parents Trying to get Science Teacher Fired for Teaching Science." - Trailer Gypsy
No, it's not a joke. You might be familiar with the headline. A teacher was teaching human reproduction- straight out of the textbook- and is being threatened with dismissal for saying the word "vagina." Well, the school where all of it went down is Trailer Gypsy's boyfriend's alma mater.

"A White Boy's Observations of Sexism and the Adria Richards Fiasco" - Scientopia
In case you're not familiar with the story, Adria Richards was an executive at a Silicon Valley startup. She was fired after she tweeted about two men behind her in a conference, making lewd and inappropriate jokes. This writer has a pretty good theory why sexism continues to persist in American culture, and in particular in industries like this. I highly recommend the read.

"Trippin' Out" - 649.133
Replace "Easter" with "Passover" and this was us last weekend. Same length drive, same routine. Look at that! Janel just saved me a blog post! But seriously, I'll still be writing about Passover

The Family Pants
"The Pearl: I'm a Fairy Princess" - The Family Pants
Every child should be permitted to indulge in make believe. In pretend. In the fun of just being a kid and being silly and finding profound meaning in that. It doesn't matter what gender they are, and why should it? Or maybe it DOES matter. Maybe playing pretend when you pretend to be a girl, you learn more empathy for women. Maybe this is part of the solution to problems all over the world. Maybe the solution is, let our children learn what they want to learn. Not what we think they need to know to become us.

"Whale Watching" - Antarctica. Srsly.
In case you've missed previous blogarounds, my friend is living at the south pole for a spell. And while he's there, he is taking SPECTACULAR photographs of whales and penguins and icebergs and what-have-you. It's pretty amazing.

"The Seals are Back!" - Antarctica. Srsly.
Okay, if you enjoyed whales, or even if you didn't, this might be even better. SEALS. Lots of 'em. With some penguins thrown in for good measure.

March 28, 2013

Job Interview #4

This is as put-together as it ever gets at home.
It's official- I am out of interview outfits. Two was apparently my limit.

I'm working on it. Thanks to changing styles, the skirts I've tucked away for "when I lose the weight" (HA!) fit around my waist instead of my hips now, and it looks kind of intentional with a kick-ass belt on it. I have a thrift store belt that sort of applies. I also have a pretty formal dress that I think I can dress down to interview appropriateness. So, there's that.

Last time SI saw me on my way to an interview, her jaw literally dropped. She gasped out, "Wow! You look BEAUTIFUL!" It actually kind of helped, despite the fact that M was pointing out the hole in my leggings. Yeah, I was stitched together and safety pinned that day.

Today, I am off to my fourth interview in three weeks- the first being over the phone. This is the third interview for the same job. I know it's down to me and only one or two other candidates.

And here's the thing, I'm still not 100% sure that this is a good idea.

I never wanted to work full time while I had babies at home. RH is only nine months old- it seems so soon to be leaving her.

It's so far from home. It would complicate so many things.

I would miss my kids so, so, so much.

I would miss this more than I can say.
And I'm terrified.

I haven't worked outside my home since 2007. Yes, I was a student with two babies at home, but that's not the same. It was very much part time, and I did most of my work at home, where my children had (sometimes too much) access to me. Leaving the house to go across the city, out of the city on a daily basis... that's different. M would become the de-facto emergency parent. He would be orders of magnitude closer to home.

At the same time, I feel like I have to take this job. We're getting by right now, but just. We don't have any savings, we don't have enough to put away anything for the future. To buy a new car, or a new house, or anything. We have nothing stashed away. But we're getting by. With this job? I would be taking home real money, even after the cost of childcare and travel. It would change that equation. We wouldn't just be getting by, we might actually be secure. It's hard to explain the difference, but it's there. The difference between knowing that you're going to pay all your bills, and knowing that you have a safety net. It's a big difference, and it doesn't really take a lot. But it matters.

We have all kinds of travel plans in the next few months. To New York for my cousin's bar mitzvah, to Iowa for my father's honorary doctorate, to New Mexico for another cousin's wedding. To Michigan and Minnesota to see Grandmommy, Poppa, Grandma, and Grandpa. Would I have to cancel all of that because of a new job? Probably.

And then there's M.

He's fine, of course, but there's always that lingering doubt. What if he isn't fine? What if the cancer comes back? What if he needs to quit his job and take care of his health? What if something even worse were to happen?

How is it at all responsible of me not to be prepared for that? To have back-up insurance, a career that can support us if things go south?

But how is it a good choice to plan for for the worst?

I recognize that I am lucky to be afforded a choice. I recognize that there is no right, no wrong answer. That I am in charge of my destiny, and that I live in a time and place that allows me that freedom. Yet, and not surprisingly, none of this helps.

I haven't been offered the job, of course. But I'm confident, once again, that if I enter the room with confident, stay cool, and own it the way I did last week... I'll rock it just as hard. I'm confident I can get this job, and excel at this job.

I can do that.

I still don't know what I should do, though.

My interview is at 10am. Wish me luck.

March 27, 2013

What We Teach When We Teach Equality

"This picture means 'All Love is Good.'"
Today is the second day that the Supreme Court is hearing arguments about marriage equality, and I feel it incumbent upon me to say something about what my kids are getting out of all of this.

You see, I believe that the government has no business deciding who can love who, and who can call themselves a family.

I don't care if it's a man and a woman, two men, or two women, or any other arrangement. If every adult involved made the decision of their own free will, to love and support each other, to care for each other, to provide for each other, who has the right to tell them that it's wrong?

When somebody tells their child that marriage is only between a man and a woman, they're teaching their child that some love that adults experience is wrong. And if some love is wrong, than the people who experience that love are wrong.

And if those people are wrong, they are bad.

When we tell children that love is only okay in the way they think that God wants love to be, we are teaching them that their own feelings are probably wrong- that unless they adhere specifically to a book we only like to half accept, they are wrong. We teach them to fear and loathe their own bodies, their own emotions.

And if they fear and loathe themselves, they must be bad.

And if our children are afraid they are fundamentally wrong, or bad, and if our children believe that people who don't meet some far flung ideal of one specific faith are bad, hatred boils over. Acts of violence are committed. And frightened children become adults full of fear that they can only mask with hate.

I have three daughters. I have no idea if they're gay or straight, and I don't care. I care that someday, they may want to share their lives with another person, and I want them to have that freedom.

I care that someday, they might be physically attacked for who they choose to love.

Marriage equality isn't just about marriage. It's about how we treat each other. It's about denying a grieving widow or widower their own home, a pension, their investments against the terror that is life after your spouse's death.

It's about holding your family together after the unthinkable- about keeping your children with you after the death of their other parent, rather than tearing them to pieces because their lone surviving parent is the same sex as the one they lost.

It's about letting people who love each other support each other through illness. Visit each other in the hospital. Cry together. Pray together.

It has nothing to do with God. It has to do with human dignity.

Whenever my kids see pictures on the computer of boys kissing boys, and girls kissing boys, they say nothing. They say nothing because I have done everything in my power to make sure they know that this is NORMAL. That this is HEALTHY. That boys can love boys, and girls can love girls, and they can love anyone they want.

I've told them that some people don't want other people to love each other. They are utterly perplexed.

And they're right. They should be perplexed. We should all be perplexed. Love is nobody's business but your own.

I say, forget these "slippery slope" arguments. This has nothing to do with religious ethics, this has to do with adults making adult choices.

If two men or two woman, together, decide they want to love each other and support each other and protect each other and provide for each other, forever, who's to say they can't do that?

Consenting adults are entitled to their own choices. They're not hurting anybody. They're not hurting each other.

My marriage is diminished by the denial of equal rights to other people. My marriage is strengthened by the idea that any person can commit to an equal burden, and an equal comfort. Marriage is a fundamental human right.

So when I teach my children this, I teach them to treat all people equally. I teach them not to otherize those who are in some way different from them. I teach them not to fear people. I teach them that their feelings are valid and healthy and normal.

I can't undo the hateful things that other children have learned. But I can combat it by showing love. Constantly.

And that is what I try to do.

March 24, 2013

Sunday Blogaround- 3.24.13

Hello, lovely readers! And welcome to another edition of the Blogaround!

Today, I'm cooking my tukhus off with Aunt Genocide in preparation of our Passover Seder, which is tomorrow. Yes, we're watching the Ten Commandments on a loop. I promise you.

This does mean, however, that in all the buildup towards Passover, a few blogs might have slipped through the cracks. I'm sorry about that. No doubt next week's selection will feature a veritable cornucopia of Passover related posts. Or at least, nonsense scribbled by drunken Jews after their fourth cups of wine.

In the meantime, enjoy the blogaround!


"Let's Bring the Holidays Down A Notch"- Rage Against the Minivan
I don't normally do this, but rather than describe this post, I'll just quote a few of the comments. "Slow clap." "Amen!" "Oh, the joy this post brought me this morning.""You're my new favorite person." So yeah, definitely go read this one.

"I Am Not Your Wife, Sister or Daughter. I Am A Person" - The Belle Jar
I have been saying this since long before I was a wife or mother. I HATE being defined in terms of my relationships to men. I am a person- if I had simply popped into being without parents, I would still be a person. The fact that I have relationships simply does not define me. And if I didn't have relationships, mistreating me would be equally as wrong.

"Fake It Till You Make It" - The Kopp Girls
If you need a quick little dose of adorable, this would be it.

"Tiny Burgers" - 649.133

The Family Pants"Two Versions of the Same Tale" - The Family Pants 
Boy do I know this one. Aunt Genocide and I are stilli fighting about our differing memories from our early childhood. And about the truth regarding the untimely demise of the family guinea pigs. Memory is a bizarre thing.

"Keeping Up With The Neighborhood: Knowledge from Fred Rogers" - Departing the Text
There is never a bad time for a lesson or two from Mr. Rogers.

"On Cancer and Ass-kicking!" - Dad of the Decade
You probably recall that Ben of Dad of the Decade is a phenomenal writer. You may also recall that his ten year old (or is she eleven now?) suffered from a rare and incredibly terrifying form of cancer. Really, go read all his stories. Anyway, he's doing a fund raiser. Go give the American Cancer Society (direct link on the above blog post) some money, and get a totally kick-ass guest blogger. DO IT NOW!

Photobucket"baby, baby, baby. ohhh..." - googiemama
googiemama has done it again. She has created a sewing project that I would LOVE for the two or twelve hours it takes to recreate. Well, maybe once I'm a grandma or something I'll make these awesome things. The poop is my favorite part. NOW you're going to check it out, aren't you?

"That's Why They Call It Creative Writing" - Mobyjoe Cafe
This mom has a teenaged son, and I LOVE her stories about him. This story, in particular. Because how sweet it must be to have a moment to really teach your kid something important. And even more special, in the terms of something so important to you.

"Kids These Days" - Embracing Chaos
I may disagree somewhat with Sarah at Embracing Chaos about what constitutes "good music," but I completely agree that indoctrinating your kids against their other parent at an early age is essential. That's why I will soon be training DD and SI to say, "Pink Floyd is better than Led Zeppelin!" every time their dad wears his Icarus t-shirt.

Down Wit Dat"Make World Down Syndrome Day a Day of Action" - Down wit DAT
Thursday was World Down Syndrome Day. Learn all about it here.

"It's Gonna Be Okay" - Finally Mom
An old Chinese fable: Once upon a time, an old man was wandering through the countryside. A kind farmer let him into his family's home, and gave the old man a bed, and a meal. In the morning, the old man began to take leave of the family. The farmer stopped him, and humbly asked the old man to bless his home and his family. The old man paused, and then said, "Father dies, son dies, grandson dies." The farmer was outraged. "Is THIS how you would bless my family?" The old man nodded and replied, "Would you want it in any other order?" That story might not bring any comfort to Christina, but its moral seems to bring comfort to Oma. And that is what's most important.

"A Letter To My Sons About Stopping Rape" - Ask Moxie .org
THIS. This is what parents of sons need to teach. They can't just assume their sons *know* not to rape, and they can't just assume that their sons won't HELP. What a wonderful script to use while talking to your own children.

March 20, 2013

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

In case you ever wondered, this is how I eat breakfast.

March 19, 2013

In Which Becoming SuperMommy Has An Epic Freakout

My current co-workers don't know I have plans to change positions.
The last time I had a job interview, it was 2007.

I was young, smart, sharp. And I knew for a fact I had the job before I walked through the door. In fact, the interview was purely a formality. The job had been invented for me. I knew I was going to rock it.

And so I did, and my job began.

And then M was diagnosed with brain cancer a few short weeks later, and I resigned to take care of him.

That was the last time I had a job interview.

Since then, I've gained twenty five pounds (it looks worse than it sounds), had three kids, finished my degree, and done... very little that can go on a resume.

In four and a half years, I haven't had to look professional once. 80% of my clothing have tears, rips, stains, paint splotches, or just generally look like they're falling apart. That's because they are. They are LITERALLY sewn together with bits of string, mostly by hand, in my free moments.

This is my wardrobe, people.

But the fact is, I have marketable skills. I have useful experience. I am still a totally awesome choice for pretty much any position in a non-profit- I'm awesome. And I don't have any reservations saying so. See what I did there? You totally want to hire me.

So why am I having a meltdown of doom?

Maybe it was realizing that my "interview clothes" are COMPLETELY inappropriate given my nursing related breast enhancements. Wow, it's not even cool. I mean, I look awesome. but maybe for a nice, romantic dinner. NOT for an interview.

Maybe it was realizing that I have managed to give away or toss out ALL my lipstick in the last three years. Perhaps during the great makeup cull resulting from the nail polish apocalypse. Who knows.

Maybe it was noticing for the first time in a wave of mortality realizing narcissism, "Holy crap I have a wrinkle." I know. It's absurd.

Whatever it was, I am FREAKING OUT.

Do I have pantyhose? No. No I do not.

Do I have an outfit picked out? Sort of. But yeah, it's stitched together by hand in a quick effort to look presentable, and yeah, it's partially held together by safety pins.

I am so nervous I am actually breaking out. That's right, I have a wrinkle AND pimples.

And as I panic harder and faster, as the interview draws nearer and nearer, I keep asking myself...

Is this the right thing to do for my family? For my kids? Is going back to work, now, full time, really what I want?

As though to highlight the sacrifices of childrearing that going back to work entails, my interview is forcing me to miss my kids' preschool's Passover Seder.

I'm actually going to miss something I really care about with my kids, because of work, and I don't have a job yet.

And so, I am panicking. If I didn't have littles all over the place, I would be trying on outfit after outfit, I would be obsessively rechecking my route to and from the interview. I would be putting my head between my knees and hyperventilating.

I know that the job is mine for the taking. I know that. And I also know that if my heart isn't 100% in this, if I don't go in with the confidence that this is a job I WANT, and a job I'm going to GET, I am not getting that job.

T-36 hours and counting.

Wish me luck.

March 17, 2013

Sunday Blogaround - 3.17.2013

Hello, and welcome to another edition of the Blogaround!

I'm afraid this week's roundup is a little brief- we had a minor family medical emergency here at Casa SuperMommy. Which you'll hear all about in due course. That said, it seems that minor family medical emergencies (and, sorry to say, not so minor) seem to be a theme this week.

"Six Things They Didn't Teach Me in School" - The Spin Cycle
This. sounds. awful.
Fortunately, the Desperate Housemommy shares a philosophy with me- if it's going to going to be funny, it's going to be okay. Seems that her brood will be just fine.

"In Praise of Mark" - Short Fat Dictator
First of all, Short Fat Dictator looks AWESOME! Just had to say it- she may want to can the title and go for Short Chic Dictator. Moving on. Despite her concerns, I'm certain that CPS isn't posting a warning sign about a crappy mom on her doorpost any time soon.

"Boy Pink Shoes" - Don't Mind the Mess
This little boy wanted pink shoes. And why not? I love the way that his mother tells this story, and I love the lessons she's trying to teach. Like being true to yourself and ignoring bullies. What an awesome family!

"Pinterest & Body Shame" - A North Star in an Eastern Sky
Good on you, Kate! This blogger writes about the flip side of the fitness obsession on Pinterest. I want to look good in a bathing suit as much as the next gal, but there are more than one ways to do that, you know?

The Family Pants"Stick Together, You Two" - The Family Pants
I think I have something in my eye. I have a cold. I'm thinking about something else that was really really really sad or something. It has nothing to do with this blog post. You just go ahead and read it.

"The One Where She Talks About Joining a Cult" - Life With A Parasite
As an urban mother who has recently joined the same cult, I completely get this. And our pantry and freezer have AMAZING AND MAGICAL things in them. All hail the Leader.

"'Evil' Lawyer Who Lept From Building with Infant Left 13 Page Suicide Note" - Gawker
Now, this isn't a blog post. This is about a news story- a real story. And it breaks my heart. My heart breaks for the baby, who miraculously survived. My heart breaks for the husband, who finds himself a widower. And most of all, my heart breaks for this woman. I know what PPD is like, and I know how horrible this woman's last months must have been- how consumed with misery and fear and guilt she must have felt. And while I am more grateful than I can say that I never sunk so low, I pity her. And I weep for her. And my heart goes out to all the women suffering through PPD and PPP who see stories like this and only take away the comments about what a monster she must have been. Having thoughts like this doesn't make you a monster, it makes you ill. Seek help. It's out there.

And now, I will leave you with this wonderful video. It's also not really a blog post, but it's marvelous. And it tells a story of a family, and what that family wants most. It warmed my heart in ways I can't even say.

Sheila and Jeremy Want to Adopt from Bum Bul Bee on Vimeo.

March 13, 2013

Dual Religion Reality Check

There are internet cats for everything.
When M and I were first engaged, I was talking to my sister about our plans to have children. "Would they be Jewish?" she asked me.

"Well, I'm Jewish," I hedged.
"Yeah, fine. But will they be raised Jewish?"
"They'll be raised both."
"Do you really think that's going to work?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean- can they really be Jewish if they're raised half Christian?"
"Well, they can make a choice when they're old enough. If they want to."
"But you'll want them to."
"And if they're raised with a Christmas tree, if they're raised learning that Jesus is the messiah, can they ever really be Jewish?
"I don't know."

And I didn't know. And M and I had a lot of long talks about religion, about what parts of it were important to us, and why. I put my foot down on Hebrew school. I told M, I don't always believe in God, I don't always know that I believe in God, and I am certain that I don't believe in God the way he's described by the majority of religious people, but I believe in my culture.

And I tried, vainly, to explain that Judaism isn't really a religion. Or isn't only a religion. That it's a community and a heritage and a birthright. That being Jewish doesn't mean speaking Hebrew or making aliyah, but that those things are important because they help Jews connect to each other.

And M was perplexed and exasperated, but understanding.

And then we had kids, and now they go to Hebrew school, and things are a little different. They're different because our children play Shabbat, light their little wooden candles and mumble their Hebrew prayers, and sing silly songs about challah on the sabbath.

And M feels that this has nothing to do with his own culture, his own heritage.

At first, he tried to tell himself that Judaism is the precursor to Christianity, and therefore anything that Jews did was in some way related to what Christians do. He has quickly learned how incorrect that assumption was.

Shortly after Channukah, we had a conversation that seemed eerily familiar to me. The kids were all sleeping in the back of the car, and M and I had started talking about his desire for the girls to go to Sunday school. He said he wanted them to go, but he didn't know why.

"Is it because the girls go to Hebrew school?"
"Yes, sort of."
"They can do both."
"That's not what I want. It's just... hard, to feel like there's something important in their lives, and in your life, that I don't have any connection to."
"Yes, you do."
"No, I don't. For you, it's a culture. It's your identity- and I don't have anything like that. I'm just... sort of boring. I don't have any traditions. I don't have any culture."
"You're not culture-less. You're American."
"Gee, thanks for that."
"Really. You can't know what it's like to grow up Jewish, because you've never been part of a minority. You're a white, Christian, American male. Your culture is THE culture. You don't know what it's like to feel like an outsider in your own community. No matter how many Jewish people I knew, every time Nickelodeon played a Christmas special, I felt weird and different. Every time the teachers handed out candy canes, every time I went to a friend's house and they had Christmas lights or a Christmas tree, every time Christmas songs came over the radio, every time they put up a Christmas tree downtown, I felt like I didn't belong. Like I wasn't welcome. You might not have any sort of cultural identity that you SEE, but I see it. And because of that, your kids will never feel as alien as I did. And maybe that will make them less Jewish. Maybe part of being Jewish is cultivating that feeling that you're not the same as everyone else. It's the whole "chosen people" business. But it sucks feeling like you don't belong in your home.
"Your kids are going to grow up with a Christmas tree, with a dad who watches claymation specials or whatever it is you do, with a sense that the phrase 'Merry Christmas' isn't actually a subtle way to say 'Fuck you if you don't celebrate Christmas.'"
"That's kind of harsh..."
"Yeah, but it can feel that way. More and more it feels that way."
"I'm sorry."
"I don't want to make you feel bad, I want to make you feel better. I might be giving our kids a sense of cultural identity that you don't have, but you can give them something that I never had, and that's feeling safe and welcome in their own country. I can never give them that. I can never make them feel that way."

Then we carried our three sleeping children up to bed.

Lighting candles
The thing is, neither M nor I is particularly religious, but we're both fairly spiritual people. And the problem with religion in general is that it's divisive.

Most Jewish kids in the United States are familiar with a short conversation. It starts with the Jewish kid doing/saying/having something foreign to the other, and the other asking why. The Jewish kid answers, "Because I'm Jewish," and the other kid says something like, "Oh, I guess that you're going to Hell, huh?" because that's what they've been taught- that without belief in Jesus you go to Hell.

This year, I googled "Channukah Cookies" and found a site completely dedicated to trashing Jews who were trying to "cash in" on the "Christmas tradition" of making cookies. This isn't an isolated incident. This is what it's like to be Jewish in America. This is what it's always been like to be Jewish- to always be a minority.

Jews are all about history. We can trace our family tree back to which son of Jacob we were descended from. We can trace our direct lineages back hundreds of years. Our shared history and shared culture is what is important to us.

We know that the Passion Play was a tool to rile up mobs to attack Jews hundreds of years ago. That's history, but when the news is covering the local churches' performances, it still makes me worry that my Catholic neighbors are getting ready to enact some sort of punishment against me. Because I'm Jewish, and the lesson that used to be taught about the Passion is that all Jews are responsible for Christ's crucifixion.

M will never know what that feels like, but our kids will.

Every time I see a Confederate flag, I think about the people attacked by White Supremacists, and I worry for my children.

I don't know if M has ever felt that fear from those symbols.

Right now, my children are watching Lambchop's Passover special. Shari and Dom DeLouise are singing about the items that go on the seder plate, and my kids are playing with their very strange baby Moses story book doll.

Here's the thing- around Christmas, there are HUNDREDS of movies to choose from about the holiday. And another three or four come out every year in movie theaters

Every year M can take his children to go look at Christmas light displays at the zoo, and harbor no resentment that his tax dollars are paying for something that is fundamentally denied to a minority- a minority he isn't a part of.

M doesn't feel that he has a culture to share with his children, but he does. It's a culture of inclusivity, despite my own exclusion.

So I have no idea if my kids can really be Jewish if they've grown up being included. Being part of the Christian mass of the American public. Trimming their Christmas trees, going on Easter Egg hunts, being told by their parents that there is such a thing as Santa Claus, having Santa Claus play any kind of role in the story of their childhood. They'll grow up ingesting the constant messages about Christ and Christianity and especially Christmas that America is utterly saturated with.

Visit from Santa
Most Americans don't see it. They don't see how Christianity is fundamentally a part of American culture. They decry the "War on Christmas" because they don't understand how thoroughly it is already won. Already, to be an American, really an American, you have to be intimately familiar with a subtle language that pervades everything. The "War on Christmas" is non-Christians asking not to be forced to participate in Christmas, that their children not be forced to participate in Christmas, that they can live one day of their lives between October and the New Year without having to know what "the reason for the season" is.

But my kids? They will never feel that way. My kids are part of this, thanks to their father. And that makes me feel distant, alien.

I don't like that feeling. Just as I know that M doesn't like the feeling that the girls and I are part of a culture that he can't share.

The fact is, M and I will never really be able to ignore our cultural differences. M will always have the culture of his family, his childhood, his nation. I will always have mine.

But our kids? Who knows. Who knows what happens when you teach your kids they are members of a group that is fundamentally separate from all others, and when you simultaneously teach them they are members of the collective whole.

Who knows?

I don't. I don't know what it's like to be Jewish and to feel completely included in the culture of the majority.

I don't know if it's possible to be Jewish and to feel that American culture isn't constantly attacking you.

But I suppose we're going to find out. And no matter what, M and I always address these issues the same way- with love and kindness and open minds.

Maybe watching us struggle to explain Passover and Easter in the same week will teach our kids something greater than religion. Maybe it will teach them to transcend religious divisions. Maybe it will teach them to cherish their heritage and cultivate their sense of history on both sides. Maybe they'll become militant atheists, who knows.

What we know, M and I, is that we really don't care about religion. What matters to us is the peripheral stuff. For us, it's about us, nobody else. So if the girls grow up with a sense of awe for the universe, respect for life in its myriad forms, and a strong moral compass... we've done a good job.

We just need to keep that in mind as we try to teach them our own histories, our own faiths, with consideration and respect for each other's.

You'd be amazed how little of an example is out there for how people can do that.

March 12, 2013

Lisa the Puppy

SI, RH, and DD- the crazy people who live with me.
Sometime, not too long after we brought RH home from the hospital, SI began to change.

I had been warned. "Your older children may begin to regress," they said. "Potty training might take a giant leap backwards," they said. "Language might suddenly seem to disappear," they said.

I held my breath, and I waited.

But nobody had warned me of what might truly happen.

Nobody had told me about complete and absolute devolution. Nobody told me that my child would turn into an animal.

I remember the day it happened. I was nursing RH, and DD and SI had begun a standard argument. DD was a princess, and SI didn't want to be the prince anymore. I wasn't available to play prince in her stead, what with my breast's preoccupation as a milk bar. When suddenly, it happened.

SI looked up at DD, and said, "Woof."

"Don't be a dog, prince! Be a prince!"
"Woof. Woof woof. Woof."
"SI? Are you a prince?"
"Oh. Are you a dog?"
"Woof! Woof!"
"DD, I think that SI is a dog today."
"But I think she wants to be a dog. Is that right, SI?"
"Woof! Woof! Woof!"
"Maybe if you use a magic wand you can turn the dog into a prince again."
"Well, looks like we turned the dog into a cat. Do you want to be a cat?"
"Meow meow."
"Okay, bippity boppity boo. Now you're a dog again."
"Woof! Woof! Pantpantpantpantpantpant."

SI barked and woofed for the rest of the day. She didn't stop until she was brushing her teeth at bedtime. She has, in fact, been a dog ever since.

She's a friendly, personable dog. She plays fetch. You throw a ball (she has a favorite little football toy for this game) and she scampers to it on all fours, picks it up with her mouth, and carries it back to you.

DD has begun taking her for walks. They walk up and down the hall, DD holding the "leash," and SI crawling on all fours, panting and woofing.

They've named the dog. It's Lisa the Puppy.

Lisa the Puppy does tricks. She rolls over. she plays dead. She begs. She sits.

She loves to have her heat patted, to be scratched behind the ears, and to have her tummy rubbed.

She wants to go outside to use to potty, because puppy dogs don't poo and pee in the potty.

She licks people. If she really likes them.

I'll be sitting or cooking or going to the bathroom, and suddenly SI will run over and start panting.

"Hello, Lisa," I say.
"Woof! Sllluuuuuurp!"

And so, now my family has a dog.

One baby, one preschooler, and one dog.

This has been going on for more than four months. FOUR MONTHS. That's half of RH's life.

Hopefully she'll get over it before I try to put her in Girl Scouts. I'm pretty sure they have a "No Dogs Allowed" policy. But for the time being, I keep putting her snacks in a bowl on the floor, and she keeps eating them there.

And believe it or not, DD has gotten over not having a prince around. Turns out, having a dog is better.

March 10, 2013

Sunday Blogaround - 3.10.13

Welcome to another edition of the Blogaround!

It's been a great week in the blogosphere. I feel like with spring coming, lots of bloggers are shaking off their winter blues and getting to some marvelous story telling.


BWS tips button"Awkward" - The Writer Revived
We've had a few awkward conversations around here. Talk about death has come up, but never in much detail. While I'm confident that when we do have the big death talk, I'll know what to do, it would probably be best not to have its subject sitting right in front of us. You know, breathing.

"Things I Love Thursday- Part 67" - I Want A Dumpster Baby
Kitkatkootie recently brought home her twin dumpster babies- Hall and Oates (how cute is that?). Her thing she loves this week? Grubling circuits. I got all swoony over my own remembrances of DD and SI and tummy time. So cute!"

"Being Half the Sky" - Thirdeyemom
Friday was International Women's Day. I wrote about it here, but I think Thirdeyemom really did a fantastic job expressing the importance of the day as a celebration. DEFINITELY go check it out.

"First Birthday Parties in the Age of Pinterest" - Robot Love
Robot Love: Adventures of a Geek FamilyLittle Isla is getting ready to turn one whole year old, and the Robot Mama just had to go looking at first birthday pins. Her response is great.

"She Wants a Little Sister... Hah!" - parentwin
Recently, DD also decided she wanted another little sister. I have no idea why. But she's SOL for the time being.

"Say My Name" - The Kopp Girls
Kopp girl #3 has learned to say "daddy." You'd think that after you had a few kids, the little things would stop being big things. I guess you'd be wrong.

Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom"Butterflies" - Confessions of a Stay At Home Mom
Okay, this just might be the sweetest little conversation ever.

"Four, or How Laziness and Procrastination Occasionally Pays Off" - 649.113
I can't wrap my head around the fact that my little girls are on their way to four years old. I've got their whole birthday party planned, from the food to the decorations, and still my mind is kind of blown. I think it's great that this kid got such a phenomenal day- the most important thing about making your kids happy is knowing what's going to make your kids happy. This mom nailed it.

"Happy Birthday, Theodor Geisel!" - I Am About To Lose My Mind
I love this story. I love Dr. Seuss. I love librarians. I love all of it.

House Unseen. Life Unscripted."Eats on Feets: 'cause babies luv the boob juice" - House Unseen (life unscripted)
I love this. I think it's a WONDERFUL thing that Eats on Feets sounds like a fabulous organization, and I wish I'd known about it when the girls were tiny. But mostly, I love that Dwija is talking about alternatives to formula without shame or judgement. She's not attacking women who choose formula, she is merely presenting an alternative. And that? SO refreshing!

"Rockin' Friday: Day-O" - Dude of the House
Thanks to the Dude for reminding me of this song. The girls had a blast dancing to it. :)

March 8, 2013

International Women's Day

A lot of people in this country prefer to believe that we live somewhere where men and women are treated equally.

I have to say it- that takes a lot of cognitive dissonance.

We live in a place where every single woman has a story about being followed and heckled, leered at, threatened. Every single woman has a story of the time they were terrified that they were about to be raped, or worse.

We live in a place where one in three women is sexually assaulted, where women STILL only earn 75% of what a man in her position would earn.

And you know what? Women in the United States have it pretty darn good.

At least, in the United States, women are allowed to vote. Women are allowed to work. Women are allowed to own property.

But we're still couching it in those terms- we're allowed to do these things. As though we need a man's permission. As though equality is not our fundamental right.

For some reason, "feminism" has become a dirty word. "Feminism" implies militant, angry mobs, bent on domination.

That's not at all what feminism is. Feminism is the belief that all people- men and women- are equals.

I'm proud to have married a feminist.

I'm proud to be descended from feminists.

I'm proud to be a feminist.

Today, on International Women's Day, think of all the child brides across the world. Think of developed countries like South Korea where women send head shots with their resumes, where plastic surgery is a tool for high school students to use in order to ensure a good job. Think of developed countries like the United States, the ONLY developed country with no standard paid maternity leave.

Think about how far we've come. Think about how far we have left to go.

Think about what you want for your daughters.

That's who this day is for.

Happy International Women's Day.

March 6, 2013

Katie Couric, You're Not Helping

Yesterday, a woman that I admire and respect was on Katie Couric's talk show. It was kind of surreal to see a real person in the place that the green, black, and white button I usually picture in my head, but Honest Mom was... well... honest. She really impressed me.

Not so Katie Couric.

You see, the conversation was about moms who use drugs or alcohol to be better parents.

And that's where I started getting upset.

Yes, it's important to be a good mom. To be a great mom. But as I've always said, the most important thing that you can do to be a good parent is to be a happy and healthy human being.

Over and over and over again, Katie squeezed in occasional remarks about how "weird" it was that moms drink together, or how hazardous antidepressants can be to natural brain chemistry. Not once did she discuss what it is like to be a human being under constant pressure.

You see, our culture has utterly fetishized motherhood. I've written about it before, here, but it's much deeper than that. In the last decade or so, motherhood has been elevated to heights in our social consciousness that are frankly unreasonable.

Seventy five years ago, child abuse (as we know it today) was incredibly common. It was standard practice- if you were bad, your parents would hit you. And slowly, that has changed.

But when child abuse (as we know it today) was so mundane, the expectations on mothers were entirely different. The mother was part of the economic unit- and that meant work. It meant laundry and dishes and food preparation in a way that we simply don't understand it now, culturally. It meant actually knowing what to do with lye, it meant knowing how to can produce, it meant putting the laundry on the line and taking it down every day, no matter how much snow was on the ground. It meant walking to the market and carrying your food home without a fancy stroller with baskets or cupholders.

And when you have to do all of that, and one of your many children is hampering your progress, stopping you from doing what you need to do, you react as you would if anyone was threatening your domestic peace. Sometimes that meant yelling. Sometimes hitting. But things still needed to be done.

Now, we live in a very different world. It's full of electric dishwashers and clothes dryers and bread machines and two cars in every garage.

And now, we're "enlightened" about child rearing. And we've idealized our grandmothers- fetishized their accomplishments.

And here's the thing, they weren't bad parents. They sometimes hit their children, they left their children home alone- seven year olds in charge of infants- because they had to if they needed to leave the house. They didn't put babies in car seats. Their cars didn't have seat belts at all. they sometimes drank. They sometimes yelled. And they were not bad parents because of this.

There have always been drunks who have kids. There have always been mentally ill people who have kids. And that made them what they'd always been- people. Perhaps flawed, but still. People.

Now, we as mothers have these expectations. We're expected to look like we've never popped out a baby. We're expected to be full time moms- even if we work outside the home, we're expected to be constantly thinking about our kids. We're expected to have jobs- even unpaid, volunteer or temporary jobs- if we ARE full-time stay-at-home moms. We're expected to have Etsy shops, or make all our holiday cards by hand, or constantly be baking, or sewing, or something. We're expected to ensure that our kids are always well groomed, always well behaved. And we're expected to be super-wives as well. Always with dinner ready for our husbands, or to be super-cool about guys-weekend. We're supposed to have our homes decorated appropriately, with different shams for our throw pillows so that they can rotated seasonally to match the shifting and carefully arranged holiday or season specific decorations.

AND we're supposed to have hobbies. Like running, or salsa dancing, or scrap-booking. Hobbies that take time and energy, and give us something to show for it when we're all done.

And then, after all of those expectations, we're told that if we need to relax, we have to do it on our time. That if we're going to have a drink or two, it has to be out of the house, at a restaurant or something, with our friends.

Which means that if we want to relax with a drink, we need to a) pay three times what the alcohol is worth, and b) get a sitter.

In short, we are expected to treat our homes as though we are merely guests in them, as though they are places where we are not entitled to relax and enjoy ourselves. If we need to relax for ten minutes in our own homes, we're supposed to grab a book and read a chapter and a half, and laugh about how long it's been since we took a nice long bath by ourselves.

Because the worst part of the whole thing might be that it's a running joke that moms just want to sit down for five minutes once in a while.

The truth is that having kids isn't like any other endeavor on this planet. The fact is, when you are home with kids you cannot do anything without having your kids around. And you know what? It's exhausting. And it's frustrating.

And sometimes, although we are NEVER supposed to admit it, we just don't feel like we like our kids very much. Love, always, but like?

It's okay for a married person to have a day where they're just sort of pissed off at their spouse. It's expected. Cohabitation is hard. But cohabitation with children is harder.

They need you to do everything for them. Put their cereal in their bowls, clean all their spills, explain to them over and over again why you wear a bra, let them "help" with every chore that interests them.

You spend every waking second interacting with them at their pace. And kids? They set a manic pace. It's constant running from A to B to W and there's no stopping.

Seventy five years ago, if your kids bugged you incessantly while you were trying to make sure that the family was taken care of, you'd probably hit or yell at your kid. It's what people did. Now, when your kids won't let you fulfill all of your constant, varied, and unreasonable expectations, you don't hit them. You don't yell. Instead, you refer to your child-rearing technique of choice, have a conversation about it, breathe deep and remember to communicate with them on their level because they're just children who don't understand the world.

And so, instead of brushing them off and going going going, you slow down and you have yet another emotionally taxing conversation with no logic to it and no sense of direction. And yes, it's amazing. And it keeps you young. And it keeps you laughing because you can't imagine a world where the most logical explanation about why something like a fork isn't scary is, "It doesn't have legs." And so yes, being a mom (or a dad) is incredible.

But it is hard. It is frustrating. And sometimes, you need to do something to change the way you're looking at things.

Sometimes, you need to have a drink. And you know why? Because you've been working 24/7 since the moment your kid was born, and you will never get to stop, and you need to do something that reminds you that you are still in possession of your own being. That you're not a slave, that this is your home. YOUR HOME. That you can do the things that help you relax, AND be a parent at the same time.

Katie talked to women who used Adderall, meth, Prozac, and alcohol. And she very carefully divided them into two categories. Women who legitimately have some sort of problem that permits them some tools, and women who are at risk of having a problem.

If a woman had a job caring for a house full of somebody else's kids, and then went home to their own home, and had a few drinks with some other nannies? No big deal. Because they're not the mom. We, as a society, have elevated the importance of motherhood so high that as soon as you're a mom, you don't get to do the things that help you relax anymore. (There's some great discussion about it in this TED talk.)

Is it so traumatic to a child if a mommy waits until dinner time, when all that's left is bath and bed, and has a drink? Is it so horrible if that mom took a few puffs of marijuana? Is it so bad if she pops a Xanax? No. Because what she's doing is finding a way to let her stress go. To remain a happy, healthy person.

The fact that she's a mom is irrelevant. There have been moms since the dawn of humanity  And none of them have ever been perfect, because all of them are human. But now, now that we've put motherhood on this outrageous pedestal, we all believe we have to be perfect. And we judge each other. And we shame ourselves.

And that is a hell of a lot worse than getting a bit silly when you've been up to your elbows in somebody else's feces all day. Being a little silly can even help you relate to them when you're too wrapped up in your adult responsibilities to remember what is really important in the mind of a child. And they appreciate it. They enjoy playing with you. And sometimes, relaxing involves a little help.

And that's okay, for other people. It's okay if a guy needs a little "liquid courage" when he's introducing himself to people at a company party. It's okay if an adult woman has a beer or two when their friends are celebrating a birthday. It's okay when old friends on vacation sit by the pool drinking margaritas all day for a week.

So long as they don't have kids. So long as their kids aren't there. The minute a child is in sight, somebody must have a problem. Somebody must be making bad choices.

Is it a good thing when the only responsible adults in a child's life are so drunk, or so high, or so sedated, that they can't usher their family to safety if the house burned down? No. That's bad. That's not what most of Katie's guests were doing, though. Even the "drunk" mommy, she realized she'd had too much to drink before driving her kids home, and never drank again.

Is that the lesson to give our kids? That if you make a mistake, and you realize that you've made a mistake, you never get a second chance?  Or do you teach your kids that they can relax, they can socialize with friends, and they can still make good choices?

I remember my parents' parties from when I was a kid. I remember a kiddie pool in the back yard, filled with ice and turned into a cooler for bottles of beer. I remember a dozen Passover seders, my parents and aunts and uncles and grandparents getting sillier as their drank their fourth glasses of wine. I remember my mother, at a backyard party of some friends, having a drink and then breaking her wrist on a pogo stick.

These aren't bad memories. These are memories of responsible adults who behaved responsibly with liquor. My mom wasn't a drunk who went pogoing into traffic. My dad's friend in the gorilla costume wasn't some pedaphile, leering at kids while chugging beer from a kiddie pool. My grandmother wasn't suddenly angry or abusive. They were all adults, acting like adults. Not like they were suddenly the wardens of my innocence, keeping all exposure to the potential hazards of foreign substances at bay.

I don't want to teach my children that their lives have to end when they have kids. That the things they used to do to relax will be forever off limits. Because there are always choices that you can make.

Me? I choose to get a little loose at the end of the day, instead of running a bath and putting myself in a position where I can't see or hear what's going on in the house. Available mommy with a martini shaker is a lot more useful than other-end-of-the-house underwater mommy.

Happy mommy who maybe got a bit silly and LOVES watching Care Bears is a lot more involved and engaged than the mom who just doesn't have the energy to explain for the tenth time in a day why the dirty silverware doesn't get put into the clean drawers.

And is it really so bad if, even once or twice a week, a parent wants to just sit down and not do all that stuff- the cooking and cleaning and crafting and working and phone-tree-ing and school-play-costuming and piano-practice enforcement and yoga and laundry and baking and tweezing and PINNING and just have a freakin' drink?

Why on earth should somebody have to justify themselves to anybody for that?

And Katie Couric, who undoubtedly means well, all she did was point out how very, very, very careful us mommies have to be. Because if we're not careful, we'll be terrible mommies. If we're not legitimately in need of antidepressants or what-have-you, we're walking a slippery slope.

Katie Couric, like so many other talking heads these days, is telling us that now that we're mothers, we have to abandon all our flaws as people. All our pre-parenthood coping mechanisms. From now on, it's not our home. It's their home. We're just maids and cooks inside of these houses, and any freedom must be bought.

Katie, let's have a conversation about motherhood. Let's have a conversation about why women are only referred to as "wives, daughters, and mothers," instead of as "hardworking Americans" or "brave citizens." Let's talk about how mothers are just people, like any other person, and how conversations like this- conversations that make the standard use of anti-depressants or the occasional drink a big freakin' deal because the person in question is a mom- let's talk about how those conversations are hurting us as a culture.

Katie, let's have a conversation about how failing to teach children what responsible use looks like might be the cause of American problems like binge drinking in college, of cataclysmic declines into drug use in teenagers. We might talk about how those sorts of problems only exist in the periphery in countries where alcohol and drugs aren't put on a pedestal until kids don't even know how to comprehend them.

Let's have that conversation. That would be something new.

This? This is just more fuel to the fire.

March 5, 2013

Thus Ends this Upwards Success Spiral

Evenings with my ladies
My name is Lea, and I am totally friggin' bipolar.

I don't have an official diagnosis. I don't need one. I've seen myself in the mirror at least dozens of times.

Sometimes, I get depressed. I feel sad for no reason, and then I make it worse. Sometimes, on purpose. I binge on junk food, become less than friendly to my loved ones, neglect showers. Then I'm sad that I feel and look like crap, and the cycle repeats.

But fortunately for me, I get both sides of that particular spectrum. Once in a while, I jump out of my downward sadness spiral, and find myself spinning through my upward success spiral.

RH and Becoming SuperMommy
I don't know why this is, precisely, but I know that when something good happens, I immediately have the impulse to run with whatever streak I might have hit.

Had a good dream? I guess I'll eat a healthy breakfast. Got a job interview? Skip the Walking Dead, I'll catch up on the office while putting away my laundry.

And so on.

Next thing you know, I've actually exercised and bathed and started dinner.

And then the next day, and so on, and so on...

Until that one day... and suddenly, I'm skipping breakfast and crawling back into bed. The downward spiral of misery begins again.

I'm happy to say that right now I'm working on the positive side of the spiral. But it can't last forever.

Sometimes I worry about how my ups and downs effect my kids. What kind of lessons I'm teaching them by giving them two different versions of myself. Happy, involved, positive mommy... and angry, sad, tired mommy. Do they gage me for which side of my spirals I'm on before coming in to give me a hug? Will they learn to wait to introduce boyfriends, to ask for favors, until they know which side of spiral is going to serve them best?

Me and SI lighting the Channukah candles
Will downward spiral mommy be less cautious about letting them to to parties with strangers? Will upwards spiral mommy be nicer about new boyfriends? Are these the things that they'll need to know as they grow up to cope with me as their mother?

I want to be consistent. I want to know that my children can trust me, that they're not afraid of downward mommy when they need upwards mommy... that upwards mommy is there when they need her.

Or better yet, a mommy who isn't on her way up or down.

I want to be that mommy.

March 3, 2013

Return of the Sunday Blogaround!!!

Hello, lovely readers, and welcome back to the blogaround!

I wish I could catch you up on all the wonderful blog happenings for the last three months, but I'm afraid that would take... well... three months. So instead, let's just focus on the past week. :)

Photobucket"a whale of a... whale" - googiemama
I love googiemama! And I love this whale! SO CUTE! I think the next time I have a free afternoon (HA!) I'll be making whales for little RH. Who knows? Maybe I'll use this as an opportunity to plan her a whale-themed birthday party.  OOOOH! Actually, that's a GREAT idea!

"Boys at Play" - Short Fat Dictator
I completely get this. I also believe in close-together kids. And in getting them to play together, AWAY from you. And I also know what disasters you reap when a little time alone is what you sow.

"Gay Rights, Chicken, and Fireballs" - Something Clever 2.0
I just recently discovered this blog. This story made me laugh out loud. First of all, kudos to that mom! Way to go teaching your kids about bigotry and activism in a positive way! And second of all, this kid is HILARIOUS.

"We Found Our Son on the Subway" - The New York Times Opinion Pages
I know, not really a blog post. But probably my feel-good story of the week.

The Crafting Hobbit"6 Weeks and Counting" - The Crafting Hobbit
Now, this is something I wish I had been keeping you updated on. Irene had a preventative, bilateral masectomy six weeks ago. She found out she has a genetic market that gave her more than an 80% chance of developing an incredibly aggressive form of breast cancer. So she made the (very brave) choice to have both breasts removed before the cancer could develop. I highly suggest going to her blog and learning about the genetic mutation, and her journey through this treatment. Her bravery has been truly astounding.

March 1, 2013

The Best Birth Control is Other People's Kids

They're incredibly charming creatures.
Recently, a friend of mine spent the weekend with us.

She doesn't have any children, and I sincerely doubt there are children in her short-term future plans. My kids made sure of that.

Now, don't get me wrong. My children are charming. Really, truly, adorable and friendly and all sorts of fun.

...but they're still small children, who act like small children.

In a brief few days, Aunt Ginger was introduced to all manners of experiences that are normally reserved to the few, the proud, the parents.

Perhaps my favorite moment of the weekend in this respect was when SI decided that her butt itched.

Now, once upon a time, I let my kids try to wipe their own butts. (Oh yes, it's that kind of story.) I put that particular milestone on hold, because... they were terrible at it. SI ended up with this itchy rash, and I explained to her that it was because there was still a little poo stuck to her bottom.

She has never forgotten that. Every time she has an itch- almost anywhere- she tells me that she has poo stuck there. Ah, three year olds.

My little insane person
So, we're sitting in the living room, watching some post-breakfast cartoons, and suddenly SI announces that she has a little poo stuck to her bottom. I happened to know for a fact that this was fiction, and proceeded to tell her so.

It was at that point that she began removing her clothing.

"Look at it mommy! Look at the poo on my bottom!"
"No- SI, please stop... don't take off your underpants..."
"SI- stop! Please stop! Just leave your bottom alone!"
"Get your hands out of there! Don't do that!"
"Puh-please stop! T-t-take your hands away..."
"Oh God, SI, please... please stop pulling your butt cheeks..."
"It's like the cutest little Goatse I've ever seen..."
"Get your butt out of my face, please! Just please stop! Please stop!"
"Please get your hands out of there!!!!"

At this point, as I'm sure you can imagine, all the adults in the room were in tears laughing.

"Yes, I see, you're right. There's poo stuck to your bottom. Let's go wash it off."
"I have poo stuck to my bottom!"

I expect that Aunt Ginger is inoculated against baby fever for at least two years.

FYI- Aunt K is a stand up comic. And yes, her misadventures with my kids have found their way into her routines. Take a peek at about 3:30. NSFW.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Vote for me!

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!