Monday, October 25, 2010

My Beef with Children's Clothing Manufacturers

I'm sure that this will come as no surprise to parents of boys, but there is some serious inequality in the availability of clothing for baby boys versus baby girls (and I expect that this trend continues somewhat as children get older).  Go into any baby department in any store, and you'll notice pretty quickly that the girl's section is about three times as large as the boy's section.  I'll be honest - most of the time, I kind of like this disparity.  For one, I'm a terrible decision maker, so having limited choices is really better for me.  For another, baby/toddler girl clothes are kind of hard to resist - even Jason can't contain his oohs and awes when we happen to wander into the girl's section.  If I had a little girl, I'd be way too tempted to spend money on things we don't really need.

However. There are times when limited choices are a major challenge.  The difference in availability of clothes seems to be even more pronounced when it comes to dressy outfits.  And herein lies the heart of my beef with clothing manufacturers.  It would seem that, unless it is Christmas or Easter, baby boys only want, no, only need,  to wear play clothes or clothes that make them look like tiny versions of some very hip male adult (who is most likely, not a father).  They do not ever need to attend weddings, funerals, or even church.  Unless of course their parents want to spend half a paycheck at some high end children's clothing store.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What Goes Around Comes Around

It is a known fact in my family that, while she loves it very much, my mom really can't sing.  My father, on the other hand, is very musical, and I like to think that I got some of his musical ability.  I've always considered myself a pretty good singer, and I participated in various touring choirs and solo performances throughout my high school and college years.  My dad claims that I could "carry a tune" from a pretty young age. 

Since my parents were divorced, they both had the duty of singing to me when I was little, which I think I enjoyed very much, at least up to a point.  One of my mom's favorite stories to tell is about the time that I came home from my dad's house after the spending the weekend with him when I was about six years old, and as my mom started to sing me to sleep, I clapped my hands over my ears and ran out of the room shouting "No mommy, don't sing!"

Not one of my finer moments.  Don't worry, though, because it seems that the universe is out to even things up a bit.  I have sung to Cyrus before bedtime pretty much his whole life.  For the last few nights, though, he has started making a highly unpleasant sound every time I start singing to him, and only stops when I stop singing. I have had no choice but to assume that he would prefer it if I not sing to him anymore. This is somewhat heartbreaking - what parent doesn't love to sing their child to sleep? Hmm, I guess now I know how my mom must have felt all those years ago.  Perhaps I owe her an apology...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A little dose of reality...

Lately, I've been feeling kind of old.  Not old in general, but old for a mom with a one year old. I didn't realize it until last week, but I think this is because, for the past year and a half, most of my exposure to moms has been through the Mormon church.  In Mormon culture, it seems to be the norm for moms my age to have children who are already in school and to be on child number three or four.  They might even be done having children, whereas I am just getting started.  All of the new moms I've come into contact with are a good four or five years younger than I.  I got pretty used to being one of the oldest "new" moms in any given setting.  Apparently, this started to give me a complex.  

Because of our current family situation (me living in Denver, Jason living in Phoenix), we've had to delay expanding our family.  And I've actually started to panic about this, because Cyrus is a whole 15 months old and I'm not pregnant again! (Another norm in Mormon culture - when child A turns 1, mom should become pregnant shortly thereafter).  And I'm almost 30! And we want to have four kids!  And I'm so old!

And then, last Thursday, everything came back into perspective for me.  For the past three months, I have been attending a Stroller Strides class here in Denver.  On Thursday night, a few of us got together for dinner and some time away from babies.  All of these moms have infants, most of whom are younger than Cyrus.  Throughout the course of the evening, I discovered that, not only was I the youngest mom there, but I was the youngest by quite a few years - in some cases, a full 10.  And, not only did these women all have young children, but most were still planning to have more.

Huh.  Oh yeah... As far as the rest of society is concerned, I am still young.  I'm not this ancient, time-waster who waited too long to start my family.  

Before I joined the church, and, truthfully, before I started dating Jason, I really thought that I wouldn't even get married until I was 28 or 30, and who knew when I would have kids.  But being around all of these young Mormon moms made me forget that there are lots of ways to live life.  Sometimes, I do wish that I had been able to start my family earlier, but that just wasn't in the cards for us.  I wasn't in a place to get married, much less have kids at 21 or 23 - that just wasn't me.  

There are lots of things I like about belonging to a community where people follow similar paths.  It makes a lot of things easier, especially when many of those paths are not followed by mainstream society. (Abstaining from alcohol and coffee, for example).   But, as I've recently realized, it is important to have my social circle extend beyond this community, if for no other reason then to help me maintain a broader perspective on the different ways that life can be lived.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Yep! We're alive...

So. I've decided that going too long without blogging becomes a little like going too long without talking to an old friend. The longer I go, the more guilty I feel, which makes it that much harder to pick up the phone (sit down at the computer) and say hi. Plus, the longer I go, the more there is to talk about and I start to put off the conversation because I know how long it will take us to catch up. Eventually, though, my desire to talk to my old friend outweighs the guilt and overcomes the procrastination. So here we are.

Our little family has been through quite a few changes in the past five months (five!) since I last blogged. A lot of these events deserve at least one, if not more, posts of their own...but if I try to write a post for everything that has happened, I'll get so overwhelmed that I'll never blog ever again! So, instead, here is the reader's digest version of the past few months:

At the end of April, Jason lost his job. It was a contracted position that we hoped would be made permanent, but it wasn't. Along with losing income, we also lost our amazing government insurance plan. We joined the ranks of the uninsured and the unemployed.

Despite applying to well over 100 positions, Jason did not get one single interview - a testament to the dire state of employment in the state of Oregon. So he started applying outside of the state.

In May, we flew to Phoenix, AZ for a job interview with a national pool supply company. They offered him a position as a manager in training. The starting salary is painfully low, but the growth potential is fantastic. So, despite my strong hate of the heat and my love for rainy, gray, fall Portland days, we made the decision to pack up and leave our beloved Portland for Arizona.

Kind of...

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