Saturday, November 29, 2008

Did I buy nothing on Black Friday?

Well, yes and no. I was making brownies and realized I didn't have enough sugar, so I bought a few groceries, but that was it, and I don't think food counts.

Continuing my commitment to the environment (and anti-commercialism), I am also accepting the Crunchy Domestic Goddesses "No Plastic Holiday Challenge."





Will you accept the challenge? Limit the plastic this holiday season-- buy gifts that have less packaging, make gifts... the possibilities are endless!

Friday, November 28, 2008

OK. It does get worse

A shooting at a Toys R Us store. Really? Yes, really. What happened to "goodwill towards men," and who brings a gun to Toys R Us? Jeesh people! Even if it is not the result of Black Friday deals, I am disgusted.

And, more on the story below...

"When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling 'I've been on line since yesterday morning,'" she said. "They kept shopping."

Wow!

Consumerism at its Worst.

A Wal-mart worker was trampled to death and a pregnant woman has been hospitalized after both were pushed to the ground at a Wal-mart. Ridiculous if you ask me, and the people who failed to stop to help them aught to be ashamed...not to mention those who toppled and trampled.

Excuse me while I go vomit now.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Buy Nothing Day!

I have been on an anti-commercialism kick lately. The holidays really bring this out in me. The complete excess of the season really is a problem for me. The implications on society and the environment are troubling.

I've written about what we do to limit The Boy's exposure, but really-- it extends beyond children. I wrote in a comment, "kids are bombarded with marketing everywhere they turn, and it only fosters a society where everyone wants more and more and more and more becomes an entitlement instead of a reward."

Some might find my statements to be harsh, but in reality, it is the truth. We are a consumption based society, and we waste-- a lot.  Kevin and I have already made a commitment to purchase less overall-- decrease our spending and reduce our debt.

So, I am accepting the Crunchy Domestic Goddess's challenge to buy nothing on the 28th AND reduce my overall consumption during this holiday season.

Will you accept the challenge?

 

Being Thankful in All Situations

This past Sunday Pastor Mike spoke on giving thanks. How appropriate for the weekend before Thanksgiving, right? He has an amazing gift for applying the Bible to every day life.  Before you leave this page because you do not want to discuss religion, I urge you to hold on... the message applies to non-believers as well.

Mike's focus was on giving thanks IN all circumstances and learning the art of contentment.

As a Nation, I think we struggle with both of these items-- we worry about keeping up with the Jones's-- the continual acquisition of "stuff" as a nation and a people. At no time is this more evident to me than during the holiday season.

We spend one day a year being thankful for the things and people in our life when we should be thankful throughout the entire year-- about all things. We should choose an "attitude of gratitude" and "fake it 'til you [we] make it."

I know that I have fallen woefully short of this message in the past year, so I am committing myself to be grateful and thankful in all circumstances and be content in what I have and do. I am going to chose to follow Paul's example (Philippians 4:4-11) rather than the Israelites (Psalms 127: 1-4) and be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

My cup is not half empty...

...it is not half full...

My cup overflows. (Psalm 23:5)

I am thankful today...

...and will be thankful tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2008

CCFC Guide to Commercial Free Holidays!

My timing couldn't have been better with my previous post. The CCFC published their Guide to Commercial-Free Holidays! Check it out for even more ideas!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Holidays, Commercialism, and My retreat

It is that time of the year again-- the time when everything goes on sale and temptation reigns supreme. You thought I was going to say something else, right?

Really, I could write this post any time of the year, because I have really grown tired of the way children are marketed to in this country. Adults too, for that matter, but I have grown more aware of it due to The Boy. And while it is rather key to this post, I am going to ignore the fact that Christmas decorations were out before Halloween had come and gone. Is that REALLY necessary? Argh. Back on topic.

This time of the year is especially hard when you have a young child who is growing more aware of commercialized products-- from toys to videos, The Boy knows more of the characters. I have limited his exposure at home, choosing Haba and Plan Toys (primarily), but it is not as easy to limit his exposure elsewhere.

When a non-profit organization came in to The Boy's school to test his development and hearing, they used Elmo and other Sesame Street characters. When out shopping, he sees other products that he is drawn to. At other people's homes, he is exposed to things I might not have at our house.

Commercialism is everywhere, but I can do things to limit The Boy's exposure. Below are a few of the things we do.

  • Buy toys that encourage creativity and lack the commercial flair (i.e. two equal products, one has a character, one doesn't-- we go with the one without).
  • Preview programs he will watch at home. We allow one show at this time-- Backyardigans-- in part due to their limited product line (and it's the show I can stand to watch too!).
  • Other than sporting events, we don't watch live TV.
  • Do not purchase character books (i.e. Sesame Street, Thomas the Train, Dora, etc). Those that are gifts, we do keep and read, but we don't buy those books.
  • Encourage family members and friends to consider non-character gifts.
  • Give others non-character/non-commercial gifts.
  • Avoid purchasing clothing with commercialized themes (again, characters, etc).

For more information, visit a favorite site of mine-- Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood.

A great shopping site for non-traditional (i.e. not found at Target or Toys-R-Us) toys-- Oompa Toys. I keep a running wish list for The Boy on their website to help make toy buying easy for my parents.

Do you limit the commercial items in your home? If so, what are some of the things you do and how do you do it?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A pop quiz

Match the following definitions with the terms below. No cheating. No looking in the dictionary. No googling/yahooing/etc.

 

Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.

A theoretical economic system characterized by the collective ownership of property and by the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members. A system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people.

A political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority. An economic theory in favor of laissez-faire, the free market, and the gold standard.

The inclination, especially in politics, to maintain the existing or traditional order. A political philosophy or attitude emphasizing respect for traditional institutions, distrust of government activism, and opposition to sudden change in the established order.

The terms are communism, liberalism, conservatism, socialism.

I promise there is a point.  You don't have to post your answers publicly, but I wanted to do something a little lighter after my great quest in last night's post. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christianity: Who's doing it right?

Let me begin by saying, I don't know the answer!

Recently, Erin posted an interview of Obama's thoughts on religion as they relate to politics. We read the same interview, but walked away with a completely different perception. I do not believe that either is right or wrong, but it has me asking the following.

Why do many Christians believe that "their" Christianity is the right way while they fear or condemn the others? Do I do the same in my own practice by defending those who believe differently?

Living in Southern Baptist country, it is not hard to find examples of this denominational behavior, but I question whether or not this is The Truth. I should not pick on the Southern Baptists. Evangelical, Catholics, Assembly of God...almost no denomination is immune. Add in the Jews and others, and the issue only becomes more complicated.

Add in the Bible, which has gone through multiple translations and mis-translations, the challenges of applying it to current times, the unwillingness of some to look at the historical context, the challenges of interpreting customary behaviors and times of two thousand years ago, the love of sound-bites (i.e. taking short excerpts in to consideration rather than the big picture) and the contradictions contained within its text...just to name a few things.

All of this complication leads to uncertainty and different methods of practicing Christianity. Yet there are some Christian denominations who believe that their way is the only way. Many of the same denominations (and the followers) believe Christianity holds a privilege in this country and only Christianity should be expressed publicly. In other words, other denominations and religions should be suppressed, while Christians should be allowed to exercise freely without restriction. (I'm going to ignore the Second Amendment here, because the argument of the Framer's Intent will take far too much time and space with little bearing on the outcome in this post.)

Yet, in this uncertainty, each denomination believes they are "the ones" getting it right.

Quite honestly, I think that I do the same through my defense of Christianity as a whole. I admit my imperfection. I try to understand, but when I read and study the Bible, I am awed by how loving, compassionate, and forgiving Jesus was.

We are not mandated to approve, and there is a difference between approval and tolerance.

"Three things will last forever - faith, hope, and love - and the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT)

In any translation of the Bible, the verses in Chapter 13 emphasize what love is and isn't. Without love, nothing else matters.

It seems to me that we are directed to love-- irregardless of our approval.

Many different religions also believe in the power of love. Yet, many Christians fear and hate rather than love.

So-- I ask, what happens when you arrive at heaven's gate and find out you were wrong?

Me? I'll hope and pray that my love was enough.

Monday, November 17, 2008

My interesting friends

My most intriguing friends are those who challenge me. They might not be my BFF. I might not share my private life with them, but they challenge me to think about my position, to go beyond my comfort zone, and to explore new ideas. That is not to say that all of my friends aren't important to me, but some challenge me to think more than others, and those are the ones I favor in discussion.
Some friends hold similar positions to me. Some do not. Really, it doesn't matter if we agree or disagree on a personal level, but what does matter (especially with those I do not necessarily agree with) is that we have fantastic non-accusatory, non-threatening discussions. We disagree, but remain civil and intellectual. We explore many different sides of a topic.
Where am I going with this? Well...
Recently, through basketball, a new friend came in to my life. Erin's blog, Married to a Baller, has challenged me to reexamine my position on a variety of topics-- many of which you will probably see appearing here. She challenges me to think and explore, to examine how I apply my opinions in my actions. We do not agree on everything, and that is ok with me. I look forward to when her posts pop up in my Reader.
So. If you notice that this blog is a little more random and discusses some new topics, it is because I am reading new and challenging information on Erin's blog and elsewhere. I'm engaging in discussions that go beyond breastfeeding (44 posts. Seriously? LOL!), and I have a lot on my mind. I am revisiting topics I hadn't given much thought to since I was in college. Everything is fair game. Re-evaluation is a character building experience!
It's a new day...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fuzzi Bunz + Potty Training = Uncertainty

The Boy is potty training at school, but at home, he does little more than sit for a minute or two. I'm not really worried or pushing it, but if necessary, I might resort to bribery if he continues to use the toilet at school, but not home. We'll see.

I know I said on his own time, and really I'm cool with that, but why is he going at school and not home? So far I have it narrowed down to peer pressure and hand washing. Peer pressure... well, that's obvious. His classmates are going, so he wants to go too! Also, he LOVES to wash his hands. With soap. The sink in his classroom's bathroom is just the right height for a toddler. So is the soap. Dangerous combination.

The Boy's teacher also says that he knows what he wants and when he wants it. I wonder who he gets that from? Anyway, he wants to go at school, so he does. He doesn't want to go at home, so he doesn't.

What does this have to do with fuzzi bunz? Nothing really. He's still wearing them at home, and we still love them. I don't know why it took me so long to start using cloth. LOVE 'EM!

However, sometimes The Boy asks for a pull-up. That's fine. Other times he wants to wear big boy underwear, and that's fine too. Messy, but fine. Tonight, he decided he didn't want to wear anything. That was fine too. He stayed dry for several hours, but then he fell asleep nursing without anything on. Oops.

Potty training. Who knew it was so complicated?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Being present in my son's life

I recently posted on What My Parenting Looks Like. Way down in number eighteen (did you make it that far?), I discussed being present in my son's life. This means a lot of different things to different people, but this post will better articulate what it means to me and our family. If you are interested in what being present looks like for others, Attachment Parenting International has a category on its blog for Presence.

In my previous post, I summarized my Attachment Parenting style as the following.

Attachment parenting principles guide our life as a family. This means I respond to my child’s needs—physical and emotion—when he needs it. I treat him with respect. I am present in his every day life—not just physically in the same room, but we interact with one another. My love is not conditional, and I am mindful of the balance necessary between my work and my family.

Being present means all of those things in our family. It means that when my son cries out for me, I respond. We interact rather than dictate. We teach on his level rather than directing from above. It means when there is an activity at his school, I take off work. I slide down slides and look at bugs. I get dirty, wet, and sweaty with my son. I try hard to spend most of our time together completely there for and with him. We continue to nurse and co-sleep.

On the flip, I also include him in my life (so does Kevin, btw). The Boy goes to football and basketball games. He visits me at work. He goes to dinners at non-fast food establishments. We take him almost everywhere we go, and he behaves well. He also gets plenty of attention by charming wait staff and really all of those around him.

Some might wonder why I parent like this-- after all, children need to learn independence and by catering to his needs I'm spoiling him and dooming him to a life of dependence. Honestly, I find that idea to be rather ridiculous. Isolating a child and forcing the child to sooth or entertain him/herself before the child is emotionally and physically ready is counterintuitive and teaches the child to cling to you when you are around.

By raising a child who is secure in knowing I will always be here, The Boy is more likely to explore his independence. So far, it has worked. He blows us kisses goodbye at daycare. He can play independently when something must get done (i.e. dinner or an important call). He explores at the park. He does this because he knows in the end, he can fall back in to my arms. He knows he can curl up beside me in bed-- put his hand on my arm and know that I am there when he needs me. After surgery, he could nurse, and we'd snuggle together.

The Boy doesn't rely on a pacifier or blanket. He needs no teddy bear. He has me. Some might consider this a burden. I view it as a true joy. Soon enough, he will want his bed to be his. Until that time, I am soaking it in along with him.

So there you have it-- being present in The Boy's life. Attachment parenting is my life-long gift to him.

I'm more than happy to entertain questions. :)

Back to our regularily scheduled programming

No. I am not tired of politics. I never tire of politics. Government is fascinating to me, which is probably why I continue to work for the Government! None the less, I know others get bored of reading about current political events (i.e. the election, results, Obama...). I do have a bunch of posts started (in my mind and electronically) that I hope to get to soon, including:
  • Being present in my son's life.
  • A new friend and the challenge to question and think.
  • Separation of church and state and its impact on my view of abortion.
  • More fuzzi bunz madness and potty training!
  • Holiday commercialism and limiting its role in my family's life.
I know there are more, but that's my list for now. Hopefully I'll get time to really schedule posts this weekend.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fitting in

On voting day, I reflected on my first two elections and not feeling like I fit in. Well, in spite of the results, 2008 left me feeling the same. Yes, the results of the election give me hope, but I think my lifestyle and values differ from the culture of America. In a lot of ways, we're the same, but in so many, I stand alone. Well, not really alone, but I certainly don't feel like I belong. Or maybe the fact that I obviously am not a native while abroad is something I truly enjoy.
Self-exploration and discover is a challenge. Someday I'll figure myself out. LOL!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes we can, yes we did.

I am writing from bed, because The Boy called out for his mommy. This is not unusual, but what is unusual is that I sit here with my laptop, watching the election unfold before my eyes. As I watch, I am reminded of the following video...

... and the hope it inspired in millions of Americans. The video still brings tears to my eyes.

What really makes the tears roll? The fact that history has been made, and I can look my mixed race child in the eye as he grows up and say, "yes, you can. You CAN be President of the United States of America." I can say it not based on hope, but based on history. I look at him and see a future with unlimited opportunity. I see another ceiling shattered...a wall torn down.  I see The Dream alive AND attainable. 

Yes, we can.

Yes, we did.

Now what are we going to do about it?

How are we going to continue to engage the masses of new voters that were compelled enough to show up at the polls.

How are we going to unite a deeply divided and wounded populous?

Those questions will shake out in the end. I still believe we are in for more pain before we recover as a country, but for one night (and maybe an extra day), I see nothing but a future filled with opportunity.

And for now... a lot of tears.

I'll be cross-posting this on Life on Both Sides of the Pond. It only seems appropriate.

What my parenting looks like.

One of the great things about my husband's career is that I get to connect with a wide variety of women whom might otherwise not be a part of my life. Primarily, I am talking about my fellow basetwives. Each one has challenged me to think and expand my mind in different ways. Recently, I have begun reading the blog of Erin Crispin. While Erin and I are quite different and have never met in person, she has already been a positive influence in my life. Recently, she posted on Issues in Parenting. The post really has me thinking about how I would categorize my own positions on parenting and how my thoughts have changed from before I had a child until now. The road I often times started out on has changed (Co-sleeping, for example), and I think that is ok.

The first 15 topics were Erin’s. The ones at the end, I added.

1. Religion- Moderate. While I am a Christian and will educate my son on Christianity, I firmly believe that he needs to make the decision to accept Christ in to his heart on his own. As he ages, I will not discourage him from seeking or educating himself on alternatives, and honestly, Christianity is so broad that I will not guilt him in to choosing based on my own (well, mine and Kevin’s) choices.

2. Feeding- Liberal. I would probably re-title this breastfeeding or infant feeding, as nutrition is covered later. I’m going with it as is for now though. Not only am I a nursing mother, but I believe firmly in the benefits of nursing beyond one and encourage others to at least consider it. It’s no secret and is spread all over this blog. LOL! I’m also in favor of nursing in public and beginning solids with highly nutritious foods. We used one of those little mesh bag deals a lot instead of feeding a lot of store bought baby foods, and I was horrible about feeding The Boy cereal. Honestly, I have some rather strong thoughts on the introduction of “solids” (mush) rather than regular food, but that’s for another post some day.

3. Diapering- Moderate. I am a cloth diapering convert! I’ve written about our conversion to cloth, but am fighting Kevin on some occasions to use them. He doesn’t like poopy cloth diapers. If I had another child, I’d cloth from the start. I love them and don’t mind the laundry. That being said, long car trips and plane trips generally are met with the use of disposables. Or if I am flying and want to fit everything in to one suitcase, sometimes the cloth gets left behind. He also wears disposables at daycare due to our daycares policy.

4. Potty Training- Liberal. The Boy will use the potty when he is ready, and when he decides to do it, that is fine with me.

5. Sleeping- Moderate. I went with moderate, because, like Erin, I think a lot of children are sleep deprived, and as a parent it is my responsibility to ensure that my child is getting the sleep he needs. It also means making sure I get the sleep I need. That puts me on the conservative side, I think. However, in our family, to get that sleep and for other reasons, we co-sleep. I’m a fan of Dr. Sears and Attachment parenting (addressed later) and believe in the benefits of co-sleeping. (see link above) I also believe that like with other developmental milestones, The Boy will learn to sleep through the night, etc when he is ready.

6. Scheduling- Moderate. I believe that children do well with schedules, but everyone needs to be somewhat flexible. If The Boy wants to color now instead of read a book, no problem, but bed time is bed time, and nap time is nap time. Other than the RARE occasion, those are set in stone.

7. Television- Conservative. This is a source of disagreement between my husband and myself—not only for our son’s television watching, but for our own. I prefer no tv except for limited occasions (primarily sporting events), while he likes to have the tv on non-stop. Before Kevin came home from Lebanon, The Boy was watching 20 minutes a week (so on Saturday’s I could talk to Kevin on the video conference). However, since Kevin has been home, The Boy has watched more TV. I think I have Kevin on board with limiting it, but he still probably watches a total of an hour a week and only shows we have previewed.

8. Schooling- Moderate. This one is tough, because The Boy is not a preschooler yet, and Kevin and I come from very different backgrounds. I think everyone knows, but Kevin was homeschooled, while I went to a small town public school. At this point, we don’t think homeschooling is for us. I see the benefits of both situations (public and home school). That being said, if we continue to live in our current home, we will probably be sending The Boy to private school. Why private? Primarily, because I believe in child-lead learning and most private schools are better set up to deal with that philosophy than public schools.

9. Vaccines- Moderate. This is one of those if I knew then what I know now, I would have done it differently deals. I’ve said so on this blog, and hold true to that opinion. The Boy is on the regular US schedule, but if I were starting over, he’d be on a delayed and staggered schedule. I saw an interview with a CDC doctor that put me over the edge. To sum up my thoughts on his statements, the way the testing is done certainly is not optimization and the cumulative impacts of multiple vaccines are barely addressed.

10. Circumcision- Moderate. I made Kevin decide, but if I were making the decision, I’d say no. Kevin said yes.

11. Allowances- Liberal. I think. The Boy does not get an allowance yet, but I do believe that allowances are a crucial part of learning financial management. I don’t think that his receipt of allowances will be tied to work, because the work will be expected with or without the financial reward. We are a family, and with that comes certain responsibilities.

12. Family Size- Conservative/Liberal/Something? This is hard to pin down, because I’m not sure what is the liberal and what is the conservative position once you move beyond birth control. When it comes to birth control for my body, I don’t like hormonal methods. I have not given too much thought to surgical intervention at this point either (tubes for me, snipping for Kevin) other than a few off-hand and in hind-sight in poor taste jokes. However, outside of my own family, in the big picture, I think each family needs to chose for themselves and it is not the place of government, doctors or pharmacists to limit access to birth control. So, personally, I suppose I am conservative, but as far as deciding for society, I am liberal (because I refuse to decide for society). Beyond birth control, and taking away unintended/unwanted pregnancy discussion (which is vital, but I need to simplify for the sake of this summary), each family needs to decide what they can afford, the life they want, and what they want to offer the child or children. This means looking at the big picture-- not just your own home. I do believe that there is an environmental footprint for each person on this earth, and we do need to decide responsibly based on a variety of impacts and personal beliefs. For us that means once child right now. We are open to reconsidering at a later point, but for now one.

13. Discipline- Liberal. I think this one is obscure as well. As an attachment parenting family, I do not believe in hitting my child. I was spanked. I turned out fine, I suppose. Ha ha. However, I prefer gentle discipline, which at The Boy’s current age means identifying teaching opportunities and modeling appropriate behavior. I do not want him to hit me, so I do not hit him. However, if he does something life threatening, we do use time out, which has been highly effective in our home. It’s taken some patience on my part—both in dealing with The Boy and convincing my husband that this is the way to go—but it has been worth it. Overall, we praise positive behavior and discuss poor behavior. So far it has worked. Also, I should point out that my own short temper has helped me to make this decision, because it forces me to maintain my control. I’m not saying others spank when angry, but rather that I fear I might lose control and spank too hard or inappropriately. I hope that makes sense without making me sound like a true uncontrollable hot head.

14. Nutrition- Conservatively Liberal. Ha ha. OK, I couldn’t decide if my strict nature makes it conservative, or the fact that we are primarily an organic foods, careful about what we put in our body, family makes us liberal. Junk food and sweets are a treat, but as a whole, we avoid HFCS, eat limited amounts of meat, have steered primarily to raw and whole foods. My goal is to model and teach that other foods need to be consumed sparingly, but definitely consumed, but our primary foods need to be high quality. Also, while some people tout the benefits of cow’s milk, we consume it sparingly, and do not use it as a “cure all” food. In other words, we get the vitamins and minerals from other foods, so cow’s milk is not used to fill the gaps.

15. Pacifier- No true opinion. The Boy refused a pacifier. I think it was in part due to my delay in introducing it, because I wanted to make sure our breastfeeding relationship was well established and reduce the potential for nipple confusion, but he wouldn’t do anything but chew on it. Even to this day, we have two in the house, and he will take one to chew on for a bit, but that’s it. That being said, due to the problems with development (teeth, jaw, etc), I’d prefer that he didn’t take one anyway. It’s another of those things I changed my mind on after having my own child, but I don’t think that every parent should refuse to give their child a paci.

16. Weaning- Liberal. I believe in child lead weaning and gentle weaning techniques. As for timing, at least a year is important. Like my position on feeding, this position, I think, is documented elsewhere on this blog.

17. Commercialism in Childhood—Conservative. I think children are exposed too young and too often to commercialization. It is everywhere. As such, we buy (and have others purchase when asked for gift suggestions) primarily non-commercialized toys. Wood toys, Haba, Melissa and Doug, etc. Creativity is everything!

18. Vitamins and supplements—liberal. I believe that even for children supplements need to be whole food and not chemically derived. Flintstone vitamins and other such items are not in our best interest and not a part of our home. I continually reevaluate The Boy’s eating habits and offer him a variety of foods to prevent the use of supplements. I, however, do take a whole food derived vitamin due to my own limited appetite and dietary shortfalls.

19. Medicine—Liberal. Liberal, not because I dose up my son, but because I generally go for natural remedies and alternative medicine first, and then if they do not work, I look in to more traditional medicines. This means use of chiropractic care, herbs, etc. I also believe that fevers occur for a reason and are the body’s way of treating itself, so unless The Boy is struggling to get the sleep he needs to heal, we allow fevers to run their course. That being said, he has tubes in his ears, and his adenoids were removed. Sometimes medical intervention is necessary.

18. Overall parenting style—Liberal. I am a big fan of attachment parenting and its benefits, which I think shows in my previous answers, but I thought it deserved its own category. Attachment parenting principles guide our life as a family. This means I respond to my child’s needs—physical and emotion—when he needs it. I treat him with respect. I am present in his every day life—not just physically in the same room, but we interact with one another. My love is not conditional, and I am mindful of the balance necessary between my work and my family.

So that is where I am, and where we are, as a family. Often times, ok…usually, I write “I,” because Kevin is not physically there to make family decisions while he plays abroad, which means sometimes I have to decide for our family, but overall, we are committed to a loving happy household and a lifelong marriage, and this is where we are with parenting.

Where are you with your own parenting? Do you have thoughts or want clarification on my post?

Voting question

The past two presidential elections have left me wondering if I belong (as in fit in) in the U.S. of A. It was especially true for the 2004 election. I can't pin it down exactly-- a reason or logical explaination-- other than that I swear I was born on the wrong continent. Perhaps this is why I have enjoyed Europe so much?  
For the past few days, I have wondered if I will feel the same after this election.  It'll be fun to come back tomorrow with an answer. Hopefully. LOL!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Starbucks is giving free coffee to voters!

On November 4, 2008, Starbucks will give voters a free tall brewed coffee at participating U.S. stores. This initiative kicks off with a 60-second ad during the final pre-election edition of Saturday Night Live on NBC this Saturday.

After voting, voters must go to a Starbucks store, where they’ll be given a tall (12 oz) cup of brewed coffee at no charge (limit one per customer).

This is an extension of Starbucks commitment to community through Starbucks™ Shared Planet™. It lets us immediately support customers who care about the same things we do and who want to make a difference. This idea has also come up a number of times on MyStarbucksIdea.com our on-line forum for sharing customer and partner (employee) ideas.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Election humor

Some say I can't laugh about a candidate I support, but they are wrong. This video is funny!


Obama Undertakes Presidential Internship To Ease Concerns About His Lack Of Experience

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