Saturday, September 29, 2012

Disney Princesses. Fairy Tale or Reality?

Disney Princesses
Disney Princess Clipart
I have a problem.  And this problem is a tricky one.  I don't like the Disney Princess culture.  It bothers me.

Another part of this problem is that my daughter is noticing the princess stuff everywhere we go - everywhere.  (Standing in line at Lowes they're selling Disney Princess color books!)  She's really drawn to it and loves being a princess.  Thus, why it's on my mind.

Let me set the record straight...

I love dress up.
I love pretend/make believe.
I love girlie-girl.
I love, true love stories.
I love true princesses.

But I don't love having my daughter bombarded with fake-ness.  The original fairy tale stories are wonderful, but it's how Disney has manipulated and over sold them hits me wrong.  I feel Disney has capitalized on a natural part of a growing girl - learning about herself, her self-image, her dreams.  (Smart business move!)  Every girl wants to be thought of as pretty.  Every girl wants to be loved and adored by someone.  Every girl wants to be strong and confident.

 Morbidly Obese Disney Princesses
Somehow this artists rendering of Belle seems a bit more accurate.  Not all little girls are teeny tiny.  But if you get a steady intake of Disney Princesses, you swallow the lie that you have to be super skinny to be a princess and get the prince.

Also, to be a real Princess, you're going to have to rebel against something.  Your dad, your mom, your culture - something.  You're going to have to fight (as a child, or very young adult) to get what you want or what you believe in.

The original Princess stories were about a damsel in distress - Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella - true make-believe, fairy tale stories.  Their handsome prince comes to fight away the evil and save the day.  Disney started with a sweet foundation and twisted in various religious beliefs, self-centeredness, self-sufficiency and a lack of respect for authority.  (And more!)

This "not-so-current blog" has much to say on this issue, PrincessCulture also has this link to a clip from ABC News back in 2007.

PrincessProduction is also an "out-of-date" blog, but one that makes some great, more detailed points.

Please, if you have a precious princess of your own, take some time to consider what I and the blogs above have said.  Don't just buy in to a culture for your little one that was created by a business move.

I believe if we allow our children to become absorbed with any one thing for an extended time - a food, an action character, a series of books, etc. - it can become harmful for them.

As far as this house, we are going to continue playing dress-up, purple eye shadow included.  But we are not going to glorify the Disney Princess culture.  We are not going to have a favorite princess, or on purpose buy as much Princess pinkness as my daughter's heart can handle!  We will graciously accept Disney Princess gifts from those who don't know my view.  (Honestly, we may exchange the gift for something else if possible.  If we can't, then we will gratefully play with the toy!)

I want my little one to enjoy being a child.  I want her to play pretend.  I want to to experiment with hair, make-up and clothes.  I want her to have fun, giggle and read books with me - lots.  But I also want some reality thrown in - honesty, respect, hard work and a firm foundation about what she believes and who she is in Christ.

So you!  (As we creeeep towards October.)  *winks*
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Garden Fresh Salsa

So, as I posted a couple days ago, my daughter and I just returned home from vacation.  My friends had a wonderful, wonderful garden going full steam.  The tomatoes were so ripe and begging to be used.

Somehow in all my years, I've never made blender salsa.  This seemed like a task a toddler and Mommie could tackle.  (My friend of one her kiddos also joined in!)

Being away from home, my computer and "regular" internet (yup, out in the boonies!) I turned to my phone for Google.  "Blender Salsa" turns up some significantly different recipes, so I blended my own blender salsa.  Turned out super yum if you ask me...and my friend, and my husband, and my daughter, and...and...*smiles*

Ingredients I used...not measured, but a handful, a dash and to taste.  *winks*

Yellow Onion
Cumin Powder
Garlic Powder

If you're a stickler for exact cooking, here is a marvelous looking recipe similar to what I tried...

Mountain Mama Cooks

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Kids Get in the Way

All I wanted to do was get my house clean.  Company was coming over and I wanted to "put my best foot forward."  It was one of those "distract my child as easily as possible day" so I turned on Ni Hao Kai'lan, Curious George, Pooh and whatever other "babysitter" that was needed.  But, all SHE wanted was her Mommy.

"Mommy hold me."
"Mommy, come play with me."
"Mommy, sit with me."
"Mommy, rock me."
"Mommy, read me a book."
"Mommy, eat with me."
"Mommy, help  me go potty."

My child was in the way of me achieving my goals.  I had this list of things that needed to be done, and I mean needed.  And there she was, causing me to literally stumble over her.  My little ankle biter was crawling up my legs.  Crying for me.  Begging for me.  Seriously, she was getting in my way!  A couple hours into this that wave of conscience, or better judgement or whatever you call it hit me,

"What better to do with my day then spend it with my daughter?  She is my life's work.  She's more valuable than a clean house or the reputation of being one of those "put-together moms" who has a perfect house."

There I was with a self-conscious need to "look good" for company, while my daughter had a genuine need for some TLC from her Mommy.  This is a lesson that is so hard for me to learn!  

Kids get in the way - but in the way of what?  Yes, my life has to slow down.  Yes, my sleep is interrupted.  Yes, my goals are often put on the back burner.  Yes, that nap or fussy time made me late.  Yes, I was embarrassed at my child's behavior during dinner.  Yes, I don't get to spend as much time crafting or practicing music as I used to before baby.  

But are kids really in the way, or are they helping us get our priorities right?  Do all those little "getting in my way" scenarios help me see my own self-ish, self-centered heart?

If she doesn't do this exact thing, my exact way, at my exact time, there's something wrong with my child - she's strong-willed, disobedient, etc.  Perhaps it's not the child (granted, it might be, depending on the instance!) but instead, is it me trying to live my life around my kid, instead of living joyfully with them?
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Airport Etiquette - The Make-Out


Dear Dramatic,

Kissing your 20(ish) year old, foul mouthed, headed to the Navy boyfriend, in the terminal for 5 minutes straight - while crying, and groping his head, with everyone standing in line ready to board the plane -  really does nothing but prove're desperate, over-emotional, silly and quite immature.  At least, that's what your behavior would make things appear.

A nice kiss, maybe 2,a hug and a few tears with a goodbye are all that are needed in public.  (And you're lucky, in some cultures that's waaaay over the line.)

I appreciate your exuberance and feelings, but next time, say the dramatic goodbye before you go your separate ways.  Or like everyone says, "Get a room!"

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Airport Etiquette - Bra Wearing


Dear Stressed Mommie at the Airport,

If you are very enlarged and engorged from nursing, traveling alone with your baby, hurrying to catch your next flight, and have chosen to NOT where a bra...please, please, please...wear something appropriate OVER your tight, linen tank.  The swinging from side to side, "headlights" and general eye trap just don't add to the sweetness of the mother and baby concept.

I traveled often when my daughter was an infant - by car and by plane.  I nursed my daughter until she was 15 months old, then continued pumping a couple months after that.  I KNOW what it's like to be stressed while on the go with a baby, while nursing.  Eliminating the bra in such a public way, well, is it really THAT much of a hassle to pull up a sports bra when needed?

It's totally your choice to wear or not wear a bra but, if you're not wearing one, save the rest of the people sitting in their terminals at the airport from a site that they will long remember.

Thank you.

**Just my personal opinion, from my personal observation.  *smiles*
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Airport Etiquette - Movie Watching on a Plane


So, as you know, I recently returned home from a vacation.  While on one of our plane rides, the man in the aisle seat, one aisle ahead and to our left (my toddler daughter was in the aisle seat with me in the middle) pulled out his lap top and ear buds and began watching a movie.

Suddenly, scenes of skulls, dead bodies, gyrating bodies, blood, masks, etc. began flashing on the screen.  Images from KISS, Marilyn Manson and other such shock rock concerts barraged the open eye-waves.  Obviously, this was an explicit documentary on a debatable topic.

As soon as I realized what was being viewed, I told my daughter to turn and face me.  Naturally, she was curious about what he was watching and kept trying to peek around.  The couple across the aisle from us saw what I was doing, and peered around the seat to take a gander.  Their eyebrows went up, and I got a nod.

I knew our flight we coming to an end shortly, but was I ask the guy to turn off his movie because my toddler daughter was RIGHT THERE?  If she had been sitting straight forward - knees to the tray table, she would have been watching the whole movie.  Instead, I distracted her.  We played with her few toys, the plastic cups and paper napkins.  A stewardess walked by, saw what was going on, and just kept walking.

Thankfully, the "put away all electronic devices" call came about 20 minutes later.  But this incident left me thinking...
  • Did he really have the right to watch a "viewer discretion advised" movie on a public plane in front of my innocent daughter?
  • Should I have asked him to turn the screen or turn off the movie?
  • Was he simply ignorant to this situation or did he not care?
  • Airlines edit movies (or at least they used to) that were for public viewing during a flight, so shouldn't passengers, who are subjecting other passengers to their choice of entertainment, also have to follow some guidelines or decorum?  Especially when a minor is clearly able to see everything!
  • When I turn on the TV, go to a theatre, etc. I get to choose what I deem appropriate for myself and my child, but on a plane, I'm expected to just accept whatever the guy across from me wants to watch - even if it's not child-appropriate?
Personal stories, ideas, rants...anyone?

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FALLowing A Vacation

So part of my silence (again!) has been because I went on vacation!  First to visit with the in-laws and celebrate their 40th anniversary!  (My parents also celebrated 40 years of marriage.  What a blessing for BOTH sets of parents to be together...still!)  Then we traveled next to see my friend and her family - in another completely different State!  Yes - 2 trips, within 2 days of each other.  8 planes later, I'm sooo happy to be home and getting settled in to our old routine.

And on that note...

Why do we ALWAYS get sick from being on a plane?  We used Airborne, saline, extra immune boosting vitamins and lots of hand sanitizer!  *sneeze*

Why does it ALWAYS take my child 2 weeks to re-adjust to life at home?  I know I've heard other Mommies share this same exasperating feeling, but really kiddos...!  *smiles*

Moving on, away from ranting...

Fall was just arriving as I flew to my vacation destination - weather got into the 50's a few nights and stayed in the 70's most days.

I thought I'd share some pictures with you of a bit of "country farm life" we got to experience while staying with my friend.  My daughter surely enjoyed the array of fruit trees and plentiful garden she was allowed to explore and taste!  The goats and calves also added for some new experiences and fun.

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