Patting underwear-clad bottoms

Lovely things:

Who knew patting a bottom with just cotton undies on top of them was so much better than patting a diapered one??

The butter on an Spring Brunch table.

When given the choice, Hollis picked the hot(test) pink potty in the store.

The woman behind the make-up counter at Nordy's told me, while looking at a 4 different lines of skin care, that I didn't need repair or wrinkle treatment, but just needed PREVENTION.

The mornings here have been gray.

Butts, in general.

I gave freely to people I care about and who would never ask for it, because I could.

A real conversation between Hollis and my mom about his new hot pink potty.

Hollis a techy Texan bunny.

Hollis has an eye for design.

I rearranged Hollis' room and got real, grown up dressers for mine.

I've reconnected with old friends on levels I didn't know even existed between us.

My life.

[Ed. note: all photos are taken with my iPhone 3G. Some were taken with my Camera Bag app (using the Colorcross feature), others with Hipstamatic (using the Kaimal Mark II lense), and others just plain and then messed with in iPhoto. I don't know what I'd do without my trusty little black box.]


While the husband's away

Anthony's gone for another week this week and I've decided that this is the best time to give potty training a go.

I figure that with just one parent steering the boat there will be less mixed signals and different communication. I've often done major parenting things when I was solo for this reason and it's always worked out the best.

I feel lots of guilt about it, too.

I have really grown to like my time apart from Anthony. Everything's just easier. The house, life, the snoring and sleeping, just everything. There's another upside to the distance, though: I miss him. All the drudgery of everyday married life dissipates and I can find that kernel of longing that so often goes missing with everyday contact.

I don't know if it's our relationship in particular, or what every couple experiences, but where we're at today I would go crazy if Anthony and I never got some space from each other. How different my tune is today than it was two and a half years ago when his travel began, or even a year ago. I would miss him terribly and I was terrified each night, imagining that disgusting ghoul figure from The Ring dragging itself all over my bedroom floor ready to hiss at me and eat me on its way back down to hell (yeah, really).

Now, I drink wine, watch a TV show or Facebook, do chores, and go right to bed with the covers laid securely over me with my arms and legs pointing out like a compass; not a twitch of worry in my body left as I sink off to sleep dreaming of past and future presidents getting randy with me.

I think this is the [early] middle-age crunch. I'm not just going crazy and my relationship isn't just staid - it's just the nose-to-the-grindstone phase of our lives where we push and fight and bust our balls for Anthony's career so we can be stable and cruise a little later on, right? Right?

In any case, Hollis and I have already had a lovely morning where he's wearing colorful underpants and an oversized t-shirt. I'm staying in my pajamas all day and he's staying in just his socks and potty-training attire. He's already yelled, "Mama! Wet!" once when he peed and we went and sat on the potty with his special "pink potty-paci" and select books. Nothing in the pot, yet, but I have hope, patience, and a pretty good sense of humor about all of this.

There's something that says "commitment" like nothing else when it's just you, a toddler, and a pair of cotton undies.

Meanwhile, I'm going to also enjoy my alone-time and focus on happy dreams, happy reunions, and happy nights with friends. Of course all of this will happen while I'm sprawled out spread eagle on my bed in pajamas I've been wearing for 48 hours.

Ahh, the solo-life.

Daily Digby: Crazy eyes


Excuse me, I have a poop question

Welcome to the April Carnival of Natural Parenting: Vintage green!

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month we're writing letters to ask our readers for help with a current parenting issue. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

Dear Interwebs and Nets,

I feel like we're on the brink of potty-training. My son has begun to tell me he'd like to sit on the potty after he's pooped. So, I take off his diaper, grab his poop book and set him on the potty where he chatters away and flips the pages of his book. Sometimes he asks that I sit on the big potty and hang out with him, other times he shoos me from the room.

He understands that big boys (and mommies and daddies) go in the big potty and that he will some day, too. My question is this: What's my next step? Should I just let him go commando and see what happens? I'm clueless and I've been unable to find a book on potty training that I like.

Please help!

Sincerely Yours,
Poopin' in Austin

[Ed. note: My original submission included a question about Hollis suddenly stuttering in the last 2 weeks. He's still doing it, but I'm much less concerned than I was. I did a little research and it seems it's all perfectly normal (for some kids) when their brains are thinking much faster than they can make their mouths move. If you have any cents to throw in, I'd love to hear it!]

Visit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:


"Mom jeans" and the curse of the MILF

This post is participating in the Body Image Carnival being hosted by Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! and Maman A Droit who will be posting articles on themes pertaining to body image all week! Make sure you check out their blogs everyday between April 12-18 for links to other participants' posts as well as product reviews, a giveaway, and some links to research, information and resources pertaining to body image.
Why isn't anyone talking about the innate derogatory nature of the "Mom Jean"?

It's used to insult people's sense of style and figure, and ultimately, it continues to marginalize mothers - not women, but mothers specifically - because as we all already know to become a mother is to lose the desirable, beautiful woman she once was. MILF, anyone?

Looking like "a mom" is an insult, a dig, a dis in any case it's used to describe a person's look.

Remember President Obama and his "mom jean" debacle? His choice of comfortable, slouchy jeans was plastered all over the journalistic and blogging world. NY Magazine, The Today Show, Yahoo! News, The Washington Post, and many more. I mean, REALLY?? We spent how many valuable man hours reporting on the man's choice in pants because they look like "mom jeans"?? (To be fair, had he been wearing hipster jeans, I don't think it'd have gone over all that well, either, but that's not my point.)

And let's not forget Jessica Simpson. A size 6 on a bad day, she recently told Oprah, she was ridiculed and vilified for wearing "mom jeans" during a performance. Personally, I thought she looked great: curvy, healthy, and didn't have to worry about her butt-crack hanging out or her love handles spilling over.

In both cases, I don't take issue with people not liking the style, it's the branding it MOM JEANS that I find so ridiculously rude, degrading, and ignorant.

In modern society mothers are discarded by the mainstream as sexy, powerful women based on the caricaturization of a few. Yes, some women wear clothing that is frumpy and ill-fitting. Yes, some women choose not to wear make-up or do their hair. But that does not mean it is a "mom look." It is that particular woman's expression of herself and she might also be a mother. It's not the mother in her that makes her dress in an unflattering way. It's the woman that she is that fuels those decisions. They are separate.

That's the fine line here: It's one thing to say, "Hey, I don't like those jeans on that lady," and "Oh my God, she's wearing mom jeans!"

This SNL skit pretty much sums it up with the line, "I'm not a woman anymore. I'm a mom!"

I did a little research on this and UrbanDictionary.com had seven independent definitions for what a "mom jean" is. Basically, they're ugly, high-waisted, butt-flattening jeans that moms wear.

And I want to say this: NO. Some women wear them. Why do we gotta dis moms like that?? I also want to ask: What's so wrong with looking like a mother, anyway??

That question brings it all back to that fucking MILF thing again. Mothers are taken out of the pool of attractive women because their shapes change from nubile, firm, and young-appearing to that of a body well-used and stretched-out from creating life. The women who manage to remain attractive by mainstream standards look mostly like their pre-mother selves: slim, perky, and svelte; and certainly "put together" that many harried, exhausted mothers cannot muster the energy nor gather the time to do for themselves.

I remember a haircut I once got that was a soft, layered bob. I thought I looked like a soccer mom and I was devastated. Even I, a bright, intelligent, feminist didn't want to look like a mother even though I was one. That was early on in my transition to becoming the mothering, feminist woman that I am today and if I sat down and received that haircut today I'd flaunt it proudly, swing my child-bearing hips, jiggle my baby-feeding breasts, and boldly show off the mother in me. Because why not?? It's beautiful and wonderful and really should be the envy of all things right and normal in this fucked up world.

We have got to stop ridiculing women for their clothing choices, for the changes that happen to their bodies when babies enter their lives and we also have to stop putting women who freeze-frame their looks on a pedestal. I'm happy for the women who either have the time or the genes (or both) to look like they are without children, but it shouldn't be the standard for all mothers.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here since most of my readers (if not all) are mothers themselves and know exactly what I'm talking about. But I've been thinking about this for months and needed to get it out there. Just like calling someone a MILF is a back-handed compliment, calling jeans "mom jeans" is an outright insult and we need to get the word out.

I dunno.... what do you guys think?

[Ed. note: I think the SNL skit is hilarious. It's taking a mainstream idea and humorizing it. I get that. But I also think the entire point that being a "mom" usurps a woman's perceived womanness is sad. That's the whole point.]


11:14 am: Wordless Wednesday

I know it's not wordless if I say anything, but I have to say this: Only this 2 1/2 yo knows why a pile of my (formerly nicely folded) clothes are necessary for his enjoyment.



So, sweet baby Jaxson is here and kicking and so far, everything is going really well.

This is his blog. I've also put a link to it in my right sidebar.

I shared with Sheree all your positive thoughts, prayers, and love over the last few weeks and she was so moved. This community rocks.


Meanwhile, I'm going to continue with my anemic posts of pictures and little commentary.

Peace out-