Kitty Time

Motherhood, babies, life, celebrities, politics…kitty’s claws come out when she’s in the mood.

Be Grateful for Ginsburg May 31, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood,Politics — Wired_Momma @ 1:48 pm

First, let me say that I have been very remiss in blogging on the spate of decisions the Supreme Court has made, of late. In particular, the wholly disappointing and neanderthal decision to uphold the federal ban on partial birth abortion.

I will try to make good on that today by calling attention to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As we all well know, she is the only female Supreme Court Justice on the Bench right now. Which in and of itself speaks loud and clear about how important the Bush Administration views women as representatives of the people.

That being said, Ginsburg has done something remarkable and very unusual this Spring. She has spoken out in dissent of two decisions the Court has made. Most recently, a few days ago, she spoke out against the Court’s decision to rule that workers may not sue their employers over unequal pay caused by discrimination.

More specifically, the case was brought forth by a woman alleging that she had been unfairly underpaid over the course of the almost 20 years she worked for Goodyear because she is a woman.

Ginsburg read a dissent from the bench for the second time in six weeks because of the consistent decisions by the Court that set back the rights of women in this country.

Ginsburg said: “In our view, the court does not comprehend, or is indifferent to, the insidious way in which women can be victims of pay discrimination.”

According to the same article from yesterday’s Washington Post:

 “Last month, Ginsburg rebuked the same five-justice majority for upholding the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act and for language in the opinion that she said reflected “ancient notions about women’s place in the family and under the Constitution — ideas that have long since been discredited.”

I would urge you to read the article in it’s entirety here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/29/AR2007052900740.html

I don’t really have anything witty or smart ass to say about any of this. I remain disgusted by the Bush Administration and the ways that this President has managed to infiltrate every aspect of the lives of all of us – and not once for the good. He has caused countless setbacks. I truly cannot tolerate or comprehend how anyone in their right mind can support him or any decision he has made for our country. In particular, women. All you need to do is spend a few minutes paying attention to just these two decisions made by the extremely conservative majority of our Supreme Court.

The time for a new President and Administration really can’t come soon enough. Sadly, I just don’t know how many years it will take to undo the colossal mess this current Administration has created. After-all, just these two decisions alone affect not only every single woman you know, including yourself, but they will impact our daughters until enough of the current Justices move off the court and some wrongs can be righted.

Advertisements
 

Setting a good example May 29, 2007

Filed under: Celebrities,Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 2:15 pm

Happy Tuesday kittens. I hope you all enjoyed a long weekend with your young ones. Mine tromped around the beach in her adorable new swimsuit and sun hat. To my surprise, she actually only ate sand when it was coated in watermelon – by her own doing.

Almost like a coconut glaze over a shrimp. She carefully would coat each side of the watermelon piece and then happily eat it. I was OK with that seeing as how I was actually envisioning fist-fulls of sand going into her little mouth. I’ve seen the mud beard from the spring. I know what she is capable of.

But she is older and wiser now. She’s much more worldly now than she was in say March – or maybe she’s finally past the oral phase?

Speaking of oral – somehow that word conjures up images of Hohan or Paris in my mind. And you?

Anyhoo….speaking of my daughter and celebrities, I was a little alarmed when I read the piece on tweens and celeb gossip in Sunday’s NYT Style section. Did you read it?

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/29/health/29baby.html?pagewanted=1&8dpc&_r=1&adxnnl=0&adxnnlx=1180445022-x2pF5m79y5yRoxgv90DzeQ

It made me realize there is a whole additional realm of example setting behavior that I am responsible for, that I never thought of until Sunday.

Curbing my appetite for celeb gossip?

GASP.

C’est vrai?

As parents, we all have standards we need to uphold in front of our children. There are the obvious: watching your words carefully (anyone picturing Vince Vaughn in “Old School” right now – “Earmuffs!”), treating others with respect, saying “please” and “thank you,” the list goes on and on.

I was prepared for all of this.

I’ve been working on cleaning up my mouth for months now, sort of, in preparation for speaking like a Catholic nun in front of darling daughter. And the time has come. The other morning my husband said “Oh no!” and two seconds later, out of the mouth of our young babe came “Oh no!”

Except it sounded way cuter when she said it.

But back to the point – celeb gossip. Do I need to curtail my voracious appetite for celeb gossip as my daughter gets older?

The Sunday Styles section discusses how today’s tweens, as early as second grade, are well aware of what the celebrit’ho’s are up too in Hollywood. And they are even passing judgment on them.

Fortunately for parents everywhere, at least the tweens interviewed in the piece, were busily judging the celeb’s for the right reasons. Even more sophisticated reasons than moi.

I don’t know about you, but when Brit shaved her head, I wasn’t wondering why she didn’t give her hair for cancer patients, like the sweet girl interviewed in the piece wondered.

Hell, I was too busy laughing at what a freaking idiot she is and thinking about how much fun this was for the rest of us.

Whoops…my bad.

OK – so my morals and judgment need a little cleaning up along with my mouth. But seriously – this had never occurred to me.

I will need to curb my gossip rag purchasing and discussions while at home. Sure, my darling daughter will hear it other places and will learn all about it at school. But at home, does she really need to know that mommy will drop everything to get onto tmz.com and learn what the latest celeb gaffe is?

And then obsessively email her friends about it?

Is this something she really needs to know about moi?

I’m thinking  – not so much.

Nothing like the NYT Style section giving me an invaluable tip on parenting, right?

 

Friday Round-up May 25, 2007

Filed under: Celebrities — Wired_Momma @ 2:28 pm

Gather round summer kittens, what better way to kick-off the Memorial Day weekend than with some empty, bottom feeding, celeb gossip?

Hopefully you are headed to the beach, but in case you have a tyke in tow and won’t really have time for lounging and reading gossip rags, I’m here to get your weekend started and make sure you are up-to-date in the goings on of the Celeb World.

First – Britney and Angie Jolie have one thing in common. They seem to never be photographed with their youngest child, their own flesh and blood. I recently saw a grainy pick of Jayden James, so it would seem that he does exist and appears to have only one head and only four appendages.

Certainly I prefer the rumors of some kind of Satan’s child or something, but still, he appeared to be a mini-Sean P. But why is Sean P the fav?

Just like why do we never see Angie lovingly cuddling Shiloh like she does Z or Madd?

Here’s my example:

http://popsugar.com/275288

Ahoy matey JJ – where art thou?

And while we’re on the subject of Angie and Brad. I missed her interview with Ann Curry the other day but honestly – did anyone really think she’d say anything worthwhile? She is busily taking Cannes by storm with her beloved Brad and I have to say, I was a little surprised to see her wearing a bright color – check her out in this pretty YELLOW dress:

http://popsugar.com/gallery/71036?page=0,0,4

Surely you will notice there is a gallery of photos and those of you who know and love moi must know that I had to pick that particular pic to link too. My ass is better than Angie’s, so imagine what Brad would be doing if I were standing there next to him?

Moving on, how about Matt Damon. Some of you might have been on the fence about him before. Is he really THAT hot? Is he very tall? Is he maybe just like a nice guy and not as sexy as some of his co-stars?

Well, in case you needed some persuading, what tugs at a woman’s heart strings more than an incredibly wealthy movie star who also happens to be a devoted and doting Dad?

Link it up, sisters:

http://popsugar.com/gallery/69249?page=0,0,4

Now, moving on to preggo stars. Does anyone else watch  “Access Hollywood?” Because I do when I can and honestly, it annoys the hell out of me that they seem to hide Nancy O’Dell’s pregnancy. When she’s on, they very rarely show anything below her neck. God it pisses me off.

But how about this – Naomi Watts. Adorable – but not loving this dress:

http://popsugar.com/271752

By now, we’re all well aware that Sheryl Crowe adopted a little white baby boy and named him Wyatt. For some reason, reading her interviews about being a new mom really annoy me. I think it’s because she seems to always mention the baby nurse.

Why is that necessary?

Why do you even need to mention it?

And frankly, it fires me up. She wasn’t preggo. She didn’t endure 10 exhausting months. She sure as hell didn’t go through hours of labor and pushing that kid out of her. SO why the f can’t she wake the hell up and tend to her newly adopted kid? Or at least shut up about the damn baby nurse!

http://popsugar.com/269704

And finally, moving away from motherhood to just plain cool (who also happens to be a mom) – SJP’s new clothing line launched last night – it’s called Bitten and apparently is inexpensive. Think SJP is trying to go head-to-head with Madonna’s line at H&M?
http://popsugar.com/273797

With that, I leave you summer cats, to prowl the beaches looking fine, remember your sunblock, and you’ll hear more from me next Tuesday.

And if at least one of KT’s pregnant BFF’s don’t have at least ONE of their kids by next Tuesday, I’ll be all sorts of fired up!!!!

 

The New Whipping “Boy” for Mom’s and the Media May 23, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood,Politics — Wired_Momma @ 1:38 pm

You know. We all knew it had to happen. It was bound to happen the minute it became public news that she did it. She couldn’t have just stepped out of her career, cut back her hours, and moved on with her life. Oh no. This is America people.

Instead talking heads had to clamor onto it.

Until the day after election day in 2008, and possibly beyond that date, someone, somewhere, is going to be criticizing my new favorite candidate’s wife: Michelle Obama. Even if Obama doesn’t receive the Democratic nomination. They’ll still be talking about her.

Oh- they’ll talk about her for a lot of reasons. I mean, not only is she African American. But she’s a mom.

So there’s two biggies.

Oh – and she used to work.

Until the other week.

And that is what I’m going to dish about today. I previously linked to the Washington Post article about her and her decision to cut back her hours to only 20%, to support her husband and have time with her children.

To me, the most poignant part of the interview was when she indicated that she’s been struggling with whether to work or stay home with her daughters every other month since she had her daughters. Hell, that was like my Jerry Maguire moment with her.

She didn’t have me at hello.

She had me with that true mom confession.

I struggle with it every single day. I should find some pain in knowing that her children are much older than mine, therefore this struggle is like a noose around her neck. But the thing is – I know that. I don’t expect the struggle to go away.

So she had me with her confession. Sold. Love her. Wish I could nominate Michelle for President.

And then I read this piece in Salon, “Michelle Obama’s Sacrifice”:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2007/05/21/michelle_obama/index.html

And it pissed me off. Big time. Kitty’s claws are really out now.

Now – I’m pretty certain the writer makes several valid points. Personally, I cannot speak to the experiences of black women and what Michelle might represent for them. So I sure as hell am not going to try.

But it was this that really got my knickers in a knot:

“It’s also quite likely she’s making this sacrifice so her children will have at least one parent available. But the result is the same. Our daughters grow up knowing that their freedom to work at hard-won, beloved careers hinges on the doings of their husbands.”

Really? Is that what Michelle is teaching her daughters? Is that what every other woman who steps out of the workforce is teaching her daughter?

Isn’t that extreme and RIDICULOUS? I expect it out of Rush or Imus.

After first wondering if this reporter really is just Rush Limbaugh writing under a pseudonym, I then decided to poke around and learn more about this “Debra Dickerson.” More specifically, is she really a she? And if so, is she a mom?

Turns out my conspiracy theory was once again just that. She is a she. And she is a mom.

But that doesn’t make what she is saying any less egregious in my mind. In fact, the very nature of the fact that a working mom said it, makes it the most egregious offense.

How dare we judge a woman for making a decision on behalf of her family, and more specifically, how dare we continue to set forth this notion that making the tough decision to “opt-out” of the workforce means we are failing to set a good example for future generations of women.

That is what chaps my ass. 

Since when is going to a job every day the sole representation of feminism and teaching our daughters to be strong, independent, smart and strive for the stars?  

My own mother raised four very independent, strong-willed, hard working daughters – and her job was us.

Until women, with working women being the most egregious offenders, cease and desist judging and criticizing other women for stepping out of the workforce to tend to our children, we cannot expect anyone else too. We cannot expect husbands, men, other women without children, and most importantly workplace culture, to provide flexible work arrangements or be willing to hire back someone who has stepped out for a few years – if we ourselves aren’t doing it.

End of story.

So before we go off and hear more studies about women “opting out” and all the repercussions it has on the workforce, and on children, marriages and careers, let’s first take a step back and mind our own business.

Let’s stop judging and criticizing women for the decisions they make for their own personal lives and instead, focus on the bigger problems: no federally mandated paid maternity leave, and really almost no corporate culture that enables women to work flex time, part time or from home.

I am really fired up.

 

Velcro is a Mom’s BFF May 22, 2007

Filed under: Fashion,Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 1:58 pm

Ok summer bathing beauties, gather round. With Memorial Day Weekend upon us, let’s talk swimsuit fashion for our little tykes today.

Caveat: The brightest among you might quickly notice that my links are taking you to girls clothing. That’s because I’m a mom of a girl. And frankly, let’s be honest, girl clothes are more fun.

But for those of you with sweet little boys, fret not. We are still linking to some of KT’s fav places for kids clothes, so you can just link yourself over to the boy section, I have great taste and have honed in on the best of the best, so really, you’re still in good hands.

Never doubt moi. So with that. First up, swimsuits:

I am a big fan of mini-Boden clothes. They are adorable, not everyone has them, and well, they hail from Britain. Everything is always cooler when they cross the pond. Here’s a link to a suit that I swooped up for darling daughter way back in March when it first caught my attention – we have it in strawberries and pink, of course:

http://www.bodenusa.com/col.asp?segname=Mini&styid=36024&segid=5&gpname=Swimwear&desname=Girly+Swimsuit&gpid=21&gen=1

JCrew also makes clothes for kids and I’ve noticed that they run really small. Darling daughter could fit into the size 2T back when she was barely 1, and well, at that time she was still just wearing 12-18 month sizes from Baby Gap. So caution – they run small. My biggest beef so far with the Crew Cuts clothes is that they are just mini-reproductions of adult sized clothes. And frankly, I think it’s a little weird to have a 2 year old wearing the same thing a 35 year old would wear, for the most part. So – I’m not loving most of their swim wear for girls but here’s a link anyway, I think it makes my point:

http://www.jcrew.com/catalog/product.jhtml?id=prod88368381&catId=cat180957

Should my 18 month old really be prowling the beach, channeling her inner-sexy leopard?

Here’s where my inner-sleeping Republican rears its ugly head.

No. Quite plainly, is the answer.

Now, moving on. Baby Gap has always been a tried and true favorite. First of all, the quality is good and the price is right, particularly because it goes on sale really quickly. Secondly, the sizing is really well done. You can actually buy an 18-24 month size, for example, and it will fit your 18-24 month old. At least it does mine and always has. Sure I had to buy them a little bigger for a while when she was growing like a weed as a 6 month old, but more often than not, they are sized really well. I think this one is particularly cute:

http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=35362&pid=484217

Now for beach accessories for tykes. Hats are a must-do for all of us, particularly the little ones, every day of the year. We all know that most children rip the hats off their heads faster than you put them on. Oddly, my darling daughter loves an accessory and actually seeks out her hats in our house so she can wear one as much as possible, but she’s the exception. And even with her fierce love of hats, if it doesn’t have a Velcro attachment to keep it on the head, then forget about it.

It’s difficult to find the velcroe attachment but I’ve found Janie and Jack, also one of my fav places to shop, particularly for dress-up clothes, is good about the velcro attachment under the chin. Here’s an example:

http://www.janieandjack.com/shop/dept_item.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524443452877&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374303716283&bmUID=1179840509119&productSizeSelected=0

Note the wide brim which is also very important. If you’ve ever tried to apply sunscreen to a toddler, you know it’s no small feat, so any added help you can get with a wide brim to block the sun from their precious face, the better off you are.

While we’re on the subject of wide brimmed hats, I’m particularly pleased with the Hanna Andersson selection. The only flaw is that you have to tie the string under the chin – no velcro.

Velcro makes a mom’s life easy.

But still the amount of shade this particular hat provides from the sun makes the extra pain of having to tie the strings together, worth the effort:

http://www.hannaandersson.com/Style.asp?from=SC|5|1|156|47|8||&simg=22568_D42&mwc=D42

Now the only thing left is footwear. This is an area where I could really get carried away. I mean, the options are endless and adorable. But again, the inner practical mom in me comes out as I feel myself moving towards the cash register at Nordstrom holding an adorable pair of $60 shoes for my daughter.

I remind myself the following:

a. it is impossible to get a pair of shoes on a toddler to begin with. If your kid isn’t walking yet, then you might still think shoelaces work. If your kid is walking, you know better. I’m here to tell you – shoelaces – forget about it. No matter how cute the shoe.

b. Velcro is again your best friend.

c. So are crocs.

And so, of course you could spot my darling daughter strolling down the beach in these this summer, if you’re on the Delaware shore by any chance:

http://shop.crocs.com/pc-21-4-kids-cayman.aspx?reqid=21&reqProdTypeId=41p&subsectionname=footwear&section=products

I can get them on her feet in a jiffy, they stay on, and they’ll protect her little toes from the burning hot sand better than sandals.

But, speaking of sandals, how adorable are these:

http://www.janieandjack.com/shop/dept_item.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524443452874&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374303093469&bmUID=1179841826749&productSizeSelected=0

And note – no latch that you have to waste time trying to get hooked while your toddler moves a mile a minute.

And so, dear kittens, go forth and enjoy purchasing swimwear for your tyke. The beauty of it is this – they look good in anything. They don’t have to be tortured by glaring at themselves in changing room mirrors with unfriendly lighting. You can just buy it, go home, put them in their little suit, and melt when you see those chubby little legs moving around in their new summer 07 swimsuit.

But don’t forget – velcroe is your best friend.

 

Stay-At-Home Dad’s May 18, 2007

Filed under: Husbands,Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 2:22 pm

We all know there is constant talk among the media about stay-at-home mom’s and mom’s “opting out” of the workforce and all the barriers they face when trying to “re-enter” the workforce.

I think there was something on this morning on the “Today” show but I wasn’t paying attention.

All this talk and drama has gotten me to thinking, what about Stay-At-Home Dads?

Yes, I realize there are much fewer of them than there are SAHM’s but they’re still out there. And I suspect the number of them is slowly on the rise over the years.

It seems to me that when a couple is evaluating their childcare situation when the wife is pregnant (NOTE: there is no “We” are pregnant on KT. Until “We” are constipated and peeing ever 2 hours all night and gain 40 pounds and carry a life inside of us, there is no “we” in pregnancy here.) – so back to when the wife is pregnant. Each couple evaluates who will take care of the child after maternity leave. Every couple has their own personal list of reasons why they make the decisions they do – and whatever – it seems to me that when the Dad ends up staying home, it has much to do with the same reasons why the Mom does.

The wife is probably making more money and/or happier in her career – is likely the biggest reason.

So what I’m left wondering is – what happens when these Dad’s want to re-enter the workforce?

Let’s presume that these young Dad’s don’t actually plan to be out of work for the next 20 years. Let’s say they figure maybe 2 years tops.

So what happens?

Are they faced with the same kind of “on-ramp” issues that the media so shrilly declares that women face?

How do employers evaluate a job candidate when they see this man has been raising children full-time the past 2 years?

I really want to know. I’ve been curious about this a while. And well, because I do have a full-time job that isn’t KT, I only had limited time to do an online search.

But I did one.

I poked around to see if I could find figures on Dad’s re-entering the workplace and if the hurdles they face are no different than women. And frankly, why should they be?

In fact, I wonder if they have bigger hurdles because it would require a progressive workplace to think it’s valiant and admirable for this man to have let his wife support him and the baby as he stayed home and cleaned poopy diapers and did the laundry all day.  And read Elmo’s Potty Time day-in-day-out while he potty trained the young tyke.

SO really – what’s the deal?

Why did I find very little online about this trend?

Here’s what I did find from a Salary.com survey last year:

“Given that the U.S. Census Bureau estimated only 143,000 dads stayed at home with their children while their spouse worked in 2005, out of 26.4 million married fathers with children living at home, it was difficult to calculate precise statistics on how stay-at-home dads spend their time,” said Cuddeba.

OK – so that data is a little dated. But still – it’s a start.

After a few more key word searches, I found out that Colbert did a funny piece on Dad’s at Home and there is a “At Home Dad” Convention:

http://www.athomedadconvention.com/

But still no commentary or research on dad’s re-entering the workforce after staying home.

What I did find was that it seems more common that these at-home dad’s are keeping a link with the workforce. They might be consulting or freelancing, but they are maybe keeping some kind of link going.

So if that’s the case, then why?

If you have read anything on this – send me the link. I want to know if men are treated differently than women? I want to know if they are given more or less flexibility with employers when they want to stay home.

I want to know more about this because of the 143,000 at-home Dad’s in 2005, surely some of them have gone back to work full-time.

 

Superheroes’ R ‘Us May 17, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 1:59 pm

Yesterday afternoon I wasted an inordinate amount of time in the post office, in line. We’ve all been there. And while the clock was ticking, I started having Ally McBeal style fantasies about how I could move things along quicker and get out of there faster.

And then it hit me.

If only I were a Superhero. I could whisk in there so fast, that no one would notice that I cut to the front of the line.

Or even better. If I had Superhero powers, I could bust through that horrid plastic shield between me and the postal worker, and expedite the process. Could she work ANY slower?

By the time I was out of there, I was Transporter Girl, defying space and time, transporting myself to the places I needed to go, thereby wasting no time waiting in line, and ultimately maximizing my time doing more important things. Like being with my darling daughter.

Even better, as Transporter Girl, I never waste time commuting. Mais non!

I instead walk out my front door and BAM!

Land behind my desk.

Even better, wish to leave work and BAM! I am home playing with darling daughter.

Isn’t life grand as Transporter Girl?

So then I got to thinking. What would other Mom’s be if they could choose Superhero powers? And I knew that by asking other Mom’s, they would immediately recognize the importance of selecting powers that will make their life easier as a mom. Not to waste time saving the world and fighting an evil nemesis. Hell no.

Superhero powers that make everything happen more efficiently, better, faster – all for the kids and the simplicity of life. And maybe a hot pink leotard and some hot pants to accompany our superhero status, of course. If we’re going to be Superheroes, we’re going to be Super Hot as well.

Interestingly enough, I then conducted an unscientific poll.

Think of it like a focus group. And I found consistencies.

In fact, two mom’s, independent of one another, quickly said they wanted to be Elastic Girl from The Incredibles:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elastigirl

Why, asked KT.

Because of the bendy body. They could then stretch to incredible lengths and fill a sippy cup with milk without leaving the room and stopping doing the dishes. Or if their kids are being suspiciously quiet while playing in the other room, she could bend her neck all the way down the hall and around the corner to check on them, all the while still working on the computer.

It’s ingenious.

And you know what other Superhero status Mom’s requested?
Again, independently of one another.

Bewitched!

You got it, a throw back to the 60s.

http://www.bewitched.net/

These mom’s wanted to just wiggle their nose and things would be done. Wiggle her nose and bam – dinner is made, bed is made, hair is done and perfectly. Wiggle nose and son is stopped from being injured. Wiggle nose and idiot person stops saying stupid thing and no one is offended.

Wiggle nose and not only are all the groceries purchased but they are put away in her cabinents.

NOW you’re talking.

I think Bewitched could take on Elastic Girl but Bewitched could kick Transporter Girl’s ass in terms of time management and efficiency.

As part of the non-scientific research, KT decided to ask her husband what superpowers he would take. And a dear KT friend asked her husband the same. This particular friend followed it up with “I’m sure he’ll pick something totally gay.”

HA!

Keep in mind, the husband portion of the experiment is certainly not statistically significant but yet, I’m going to go out on a Elastic Girl bendy arm and say: Me thinks it is still representative of the American Husband.

Just as you might suspect, rather than selecting Super Powers that will make life easier as a parent, they instead just picked Super Powers for the sake of it.

One unsuspecting husband picked “Silver Surfer” because he’s cool.

Mine? He said “I’d fly.”

“Why?” said KT.

“Because I’m lazy and then I wouldn’t have to walk.”

Enough said.