Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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The Ongoing Battle Between Moms


The other day when I went to the library I picked up Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families by Leslie Morgan Steiner. It's a pretty quick read because it has essays from numerous women regarding their choice to stay home or work part-time/full-time with their kids. The title of the book is pretty appropriate because there can sometimes be a level of tension (albeit a small one) between working and non-working moms. The conversations usually between the two typically includes the stay at home mom asking the working mom if she feels guilty and the working mom asking asking the stay at home mom if she feels bored. But as I continued reading the book I realized that these questions are really meant for the middle class and above social circles. Honestly, if you have to work those questions simply do not exist.

Another point of the book which I found particularly interesting was this notion if you are a stay-at-home mom you are the only care giver with no outside help needed, which can be further from the truth. We all need that grandma, sister, brother, or day care worker who can lend a helping hand from time to time. After all, support for raising children is a pretty ancient tradition, hence family compounds and the need to live close to relatives.

One common thread throughout the book, regardless of the mother's choice they all unanimously agreed that motherhood changes your life. You have to be selective of what you put on your plate. From the stay-at-home mother who spends more time volunteering than spending time with her bambinoes to the corporate working mom who is too driven to have dinner with her kids, we all need to strike a balance.

What's your take? Could you be a stay-at-home or are you happy with a 9 to 5?

I must admit, staying at home seems more and more appealing and I found myself daydreaming of museum trips throughout the day, walks in the park and just a quieter life. That's probably why my favorite blogs of the moment are from stay-at-home crafty moms. I guess I'm sneaking a peak of what that world is. Could I be slowly drifting over from the pencil skirt and stilletto crew to the snazzy strollers and crocs crew?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bikes


It's that time of year when we see the stationwagons, SUVs and in-betweens on the interstate with a trio or quartet of bikes on the fendor. I never fully appreciated a family of bicycles until recently. With so many choices to choose from, it's quite easy to be cycling enthusiast. Just in case you're not ready to plunk down $800 on a road bike, I have the perfect alternative for you moms out there who may not want to be the next Armstrong, but may just want to be able to ride with your kiddos or perhaps to go to the local grocery store for some staples. The Linus bike provides you with chic French image without the St. Bart's price. The price of their bikes start at $385. Not too shabby. No not at all.

Now when you own a bike like this, it will also make it imperative for your kiddo to be equally as cute. I'm loving the wooden trike from Plan A.



Thursday, April 8, 2010

Got Skills?

I think each of us has an alter ego, or perhaps a person we aspire to become. I've noticed of late I would really like to be that "cool" chic. Trust me, my definition of a cool chic has changed over the years. A cool chic in middle school was a girl who had the latest fashion and always seemed comfortable in her skin. My interpetation of cool has morphed a bit over the years, yet still includes that criteria of finding peace in being who she is, but has grown to include one who can make the mundane interesting if not glam, on a shoe-string budget. That person who could whip up a Carolina Herrera inspired dress for that wedding in two weeks, rather than scouring the mall for the perfect dress. Or that woman who can take a desolate backyard and design a romantic garden.

I guess I'm on a quest to build those skills. The quest to roll up my sleeves and develop skills that's pertinent to survial. I'm not saying I'm going to be a homesteader with chickens and pigs running around in my backyard, nor am I going to grow all of my vegetables, but I would like to have that common ground and as of late have found digging around in the soil a soothing conrast to the stressful demands of the world around us. Maybe its in my genetic make-up to be a lady gardener/seamstress or maybe its the wave of the future. Could it be in this microwave, tech savvy, gadget lusting society we are now welcoming the slower activities of life? We don't have to look far to find recipes for slow cooking meals, homesteading, and sewing clubs. Are we in fact returning to whence we came? Yo no se. But what I do know is that I for one don't particularly mind reflecting the slow, contemplative lifestyles of the Waltons, when everything wasn't done in a haste but in due time and with skill.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Two Favorite Library Books



I picked up these two books a couple of days from the library. Great reads. I like the Barry Moser's Psalm 23 because its nicley illustrated and a good way for Sweet Pea to learn the scriptures. I also loved Nikki Giovanni's and Chris Rashka's, The Grasshopper's Song: An Aesop Tale Revisited because it sends an important message of the value of art. In fact, I continued reading it long after Sweet Pea fell asleep. I hope you'll give them a try.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ready for Some Spring Gardening



As you probably have already noticed, I'm not much of a winter person. I welcome Spring and am ecstatic about summer. This year I'm especially excited because I just purchased a bunch of seeds from Botanical Interests (www.botanicalinterests.com). If you haven't checked out their online catalog, you got to stop by to get inspired. I ordered a bunch of different types of pansies but there are also unique flowers such as Sunflower Evening Sun to choose from on their web page.

Above is a pic of my beloved hydrangea from last summer. One more month of winter and spring will soon be here. Grab your seeds!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Goodbye Natural Hair... For Now


Dear Natural Hair,

You have been there from the start of my motherhood journal. In fact, it was shortly after I cut off every strand of my permed hair, I found out about the soon-to-be birth of our first child. You were there when I went into labor and my Sweet Pea only knows mama with a puffy twist out, cornrows, braided extensions or an afro. But as Sweet Pea approaches her second birthday, I realize I need a new do. A sleek bob that can only come from .. alas a perm. That's right, my dear friend, I am saying good-bye to you ... for now. I will miss working out and not having to worry about curls or stepping into the rain and not worrying about my perm going bad. Add to that going swimming and not having to time it with the next relaxer or the cost of hair appointments. I will definitely miss being mesmerized by the curl pattern of kinky hair, how it is so unpredictable and spontaneous in nature. But as much as I will miss all of that, I miss that image I've had for much of my life with a bouncy bob or a short sassy pixie.

Perhaps our paths will cross again. Better yet you know we will meet again. This is my third time going on this journey with you. Until another 2 or 5 or even 10 years, stay beautiful and true.

In Afro Chicness,

Christine


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