Harassment?

Nov 1, 2013 by

A few weeks ago, my mom and I visited Cracker Barrel with G$.  Maybe I’m just an overly sensitive pregnant lady but when a complete stranger came up to us and commented that G$ is “almost too pretty to be a boy,” I was seriously pissed.

 

WTF is that supposed to mean?  Are boys not allowed to be good-looking?  Should I have birthed an ugly child to meet your taste level?  In fact, I wasn’t aware I had a choice in how he looked.  Personally, I’m just happy he was born with all his “pretty” body parts intact.  Perhaps this is just another reminder of how much we slop on praise over little girls’ appearances as compared to boys?  Or the fact that it’s somehow “ok” for boys to be running around dirty and disheveled (in fact, many consider it cute), but if a little girl had messy hair or a stain on her shirt, GOD FORBID.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH HER MOTHER?!

 

I know this lady didn’t mean to be offensive; in fact, I actually think she intended it as a compliment…as bizarre and backhanded as that may be.  But can we not just keep our thoughts to ourselves?  Are we all so emboldened by social media that we really believe people want to know every thought that crosses our minds?  (As I sit here writing a blog about all my thoughts and opinions…)

 

When I explained my irritation to my mom, she informed me that a Pennsylvania county is making the news for a harassment lawsuit filed by a pregnant woman after a (male) stranger rubbed her pregnant stomach more than once.

At first, I thought that seemed a little extreme.  Pregnant women deal with rude and intrusive comments, unwarranted “advice” and much more, for basically the entire 9 months.  None of that is a crime (unless being rude and extremely annoying is a crime, in which case I’d be filing suit left and right ;)).

ON THE OTHER HAND, I don’t even like it when people touch my arm while they’re talking.   Seriously, stop it.  Are you touching my arm to pull me back from an oncoming vehicle I failed to see?  Ok.  Touch away.  Are you a friend or relative who likes to hug?  Ok.  Are you a stranger at Target who just can’t help yourself every time you see a pregnant stomach?  Not ok.

 

According to my mother, this is a generational thing.  For the sake of this blog we will call it “mom generation” or MG.  Supposedly, people in “mom generation” did not mind this behavior when they were pregnant.  Evidently, they also feel that pregnancy is a community event that should be celebrated, which is what they are doing when they touch stomachs of pregnant strangers…celebrating.  According to her, people of the MG are starting to feel that all us “kid generation” members are too sensitive and don’t think anything is anyone’s business, which is why there is so much crime.  Nothing is our business, so we don’t report child abuse, creepy would-be abductors and pedophiles, etc.

 

Maybe she is right.  I probably am more sensitive about strangers touching me…because we were all brought up in the 80s learning about STRANGER DANGER.  Remember that?!  Guess who taught us all about it?  The “mom generation!”

 

I don’t think she’s correct about it being our fault the crime rates are up.  I call the police if I see someone left their dog in the car on a warm day, let alone if I witnessed someone harming or harassing a child.  Give me a break!  Though I see lots of creeps here in the Ridge, if I saw some truly whackadoo person lurking around my “neighborhood,” you bet your ass I’d be on the phone to someone!  In fact, we’ve done it before!

 

My general feeling is this…if you repeatedly touched my hair, which isn’t even a body part, I wouldn’t like it.  If I asked you to stop and you did not, that would be harassment and I don’t think anyone would find it odd that I’m upset.  So why in the world are people soooo shocked that touching someone’s stomach, which IS an actual body part, might be offensive?  I don’t get it.  Whatever happened to common sense?  If you do not know someone, do not touch them.  Unless they are about to get hit by a car, stabbed, abducted, or otherwise hurt.  I know I’ve blogged about this 5 gazillion times but becoming pregnant does not make your body community property (even if every doctor under the sun has seen every body part you’ve got!).

 

I understand the criticism that we “can’t have a law for everything” and that we’re all too “lawsuit-happy.”  In a general sense, I think that’s true.  No, you cannot legislate common sense.  But at some point, don’t we have to draw a line in the sand between what is appropriate behavior and what is not?  Isn’t that why we have LAWS?  To inform citizens of what is legal and what is not?  If you don’t like it, move.

 

Part of me wants to applaud this woman for filing charges against Mr. Touchy-Feely.

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Speech Therapy Works if You’re Smart Enough

Oct 30, 2013 by

It’s no secret that G$ has been in speech therapy for a few months now.  The improvements he is making are shocking (not because I didn’t believe therapy would work but because it seemed like he simply would never speak).

 

With that being said, sometimes the speech therapy works in unexpected ways.  One of the first things therapists did was teach him a few basic signs, just to show him that his actions communicate with us and he can get what he wants by doing them.  It’s the first step towards using words for the same purpose.  The first one of these signs was “more.”

 

Once we moved on to teaching him words, he picked up all the best ones: burp, poop, pee pee and toot.  Gotta love little boys.  🙂

 

Yesterday, he kept going to the pantry as if he wanted a snack.  He kept signing “more” and saying “toot.”  I sat there like…I really can’t help you toot more, bud.  Maybe you want beans?

 

We finally realized he was trying to say FRUIT.  More fruit.

 

So yes, for those of you who are nervous that speech therapy will not work for you/your child, let me assure you it does work…so long as you are smart enough to understand the child’s words once they start using them! 😉

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Drama Drama

Oct 29, 2013 by

Being pregnant for the second time, I thought things would be relatively calm.  You know, not much to worry about, not much to decide other than room decor and baby’s name.

 

I was wrong.

 

Since this will be a repeat c-section delivery, I thought we would just go back to the same hospital we used before.  We know what to expect and the only sucky nurse has since been fired.  Win-win, right?

 

Wrong again.

 

There are three hospitals in our area which, for the sake of this blog, will be called Hospital 1, 2 or 3.

 

Hospitals 1 and 2 are in-network with our insurance (Blue Cross) and Hospital 3 is not.  I hate hospital 2.  I would only go there if I had absolutely no other choice, and I do mean NO.OTHER.CHOICE.

 

But now, Hospital 3 is buying Hospital 1, and this transaction will be completed by the end of the year…just in time for Navan’s birth in January.

 

What all that confusing mumbo-jumbo really means is that I have no idea where this baby is supposed to be born.  We could go back to Hospital 1, but we aren’t sure if it will still be in-network since it’s being bought by the only out-of-network hospital.  Hospital 2 sucks big time.  Hospital 3 is supposed to be great but, again, who knows what is covered and what isn’t?

 

With all of this nonsense going on, I decided to make some calls and get some answers so we aren’t left with a $20k+ bill when all is said and done.

 

Blue Cross tried to tell me Hospital 3 IS in-network…until they realized that the hospital they were referring to is actually 3 hours away.  Then they said I should call back in December and see if anyone “knows more” at that time.  Uh…doubtful.

 

Hospital 3 said they have a matching program for anyone on Blue Cross (aka out-of-network) and I should go there.  Of course they did.

 

Hospital 1 said I should go there because nothing is changing for at least a year.  Of course.

 

The OB’s office said they stay out of insurance because it’s too complicated.  Finally, someone is honest! 🙂

 

After my 4th phone call, I still have no idea what is true and what is false.  I still have no idea what is covered and what is not.  I still have no idea where this baby will be born.  ARGH.  Not what I wanted to be thinking about this close to delivery.

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Girl Code

Oct 14, 2013 by

After I processed the fact that we are having a daughter this time around, I decided I needed to really get into “girl mode.”  I wasn’t exactly sure how to do that, so I came up with three main ideas.

Idea #1: Find new “girl” crib bedding.

I thought this would be the easiest as I love fabric and, considering how much time I spend shopping for quilt fabric for other people, I have a pretty good idea what’s out there.  Plus, the simple fact that I’m not a first-time-mom (FTM) anymore meant I’d already been through this process once and knew where to look.

Wrong.

The set I had in mind was discontinued.  Not even available on eBay.  Not a good sign.  Everything else was either full of owls, the wrong colors or super freaking expensive. (Hello, Restoration Hardware Kids.  Wow.)

Lest I risk sinking back into negative thought patterns, I decided to move on.

 

Idea #2: Look into girl names.

I used to think finding boy names was hard because boy names are boring.  Let me just tell all of you mothers of boys, girl names are 10x worse.  While it’s true that boy names are somewhat boring, girl names are WHACKADOO!!!!!*  Seriously.

(*I hope I don’t offend anyone with this portion of my post.  I honestly don’t care what anyone else wants to/does name their kids, this is  just my opinion on naming MY child, NOT a judgment of the naming skills of any other parents out there.  Naming is hard and it’s not my place or desire to critique others.)

Whew.  So, as I was saying, I didn’t think my personal naming criteria was that crazy.  Maybe I’m wrong.  You guys tell me.  These are my rules:

1. No top 10 names.

-This is only because my name (Lauren) was extremely popular in the 80s, to the point that I frequently had up to 6 other Laurens/Lauras in my class.  It’s frustrating.

2. Name needs to have very few, preferably zero, alternate spellings.

3. No “regular” names with -lyn or -leigh tacked on the end.

-Apparently, this is the new trend.  Example I heard the other day: Quinnleigh.  Again, not a judgment on anyone who uses or loves that name, it’s just not my style.  I would rather stick with regular Quinn, in that case.

4. No G names.

-Too confusing with G$.

5. No “80s names”

-This is my biggest one.  Maybe it’s just me, but I’m starting to think that when I was born (early 80s) there must have only been about 20-30 girl names in the entire universe.  I guarantee I could name 90% of girls who are currently 28-36 yrs old with about 30 names.  Check the list, see if I’m wrong.

Laura/Lauren/Lindsey

Jennifer

Amanda

Kelly

Sarah

Rachel

Anne/Anna/Annie

Brooke

Julie

Elizabeth/Liz/Lizzie

Erica

Katy/Kathy/Kaitlin/etc.

Caroline/Carrie/Keri

Karen

Bridget

Kristin/Kristina/Kristi/Chrissy

Jill

Melissa

Michelle

Whitney

Alison/Ali

Ashley

Amy

Jamie

Courtney

Brittany

Nicole/Nikki

Megan

Emily

Heather

 

See what I mean?  So now I associate that whole list (plus a few more) with the 80s and they’re all out the window.  So I moved on.

 

Idea #3: Find girl clothes.

If you are in the group that thought my name rules were crazy, this will probably only enforce your opinion. 🙂  I very much do not believe in the whole “blue is for boys, pink is for girls” BS.  G$ has a pink button down and Navan will undoubtedly have a lot of blue hand-me-downs.  So what?  How about everyone can wear WTFever color they want?  Is that so unreasonable?

I don’t hate pink but I do prefer other colors, such as purple.

Since we bought way too many  most of G$’s clothes from Carter’s and Target, I thought I would start my search for girl clothes there.

Mistake.

I went through FOURTEEN PAGES of girl clothes.  Out of those 14 pages, not including Christmas or Thanksgiving outfits (which we won’t use this year anyway), there was ONE purple outfit.  And it had giant owls all over it.  Gag.  Out of 14 pages, guess how many outfits did not feature pink somewhere on the outfit?  ZERO.  I swear.

I mean really, Carter’s?  For people like me who don’t hate pink but would prefer oh, I don’t know, CHOICES, this is a major blow.  Look, I know some of you ladies out there are thinking “Is she crazy?  Girl clothes shopping is so fun!  Look at all the accessories and tutus and shoes!”  Much to my surprise, I don’t hate that stuff either.  But I DO hate not having any other choice than pink.  All I’m saying is would it be so terrible to offer aqua, mint green, coral, purple, navy, something other than pink?

Here’s the other thing that gets under my skin.  I never noticed the animals on G$’s clothes, but boy am I noticing them now.  Boy clothes will feature a giraffe, a penguin, a fox, etc.  The fox might have a scarf if it’s a winter outfit but, mostly, they’re just plain old animals.  On girl clothes, it’s a whole different ball game.  It’s never JUST a fox.  It’s a fox with eyelashes, a hair bow, a tutu and, my personal pet peeve, alllllllllllways accessorized with a creepy ass smile.  Can we not just have gender neutral animals please?  Just a fox?  Just a giraffe?  AHHHHHHH!

Anyway, rant over.

 

If any of you mothers of girls have similar feelings about baby girl clothes where do you shop?  Where do you find cute headbands?  How do you avoid the giant black hole that is girl accessories?  I feel like if I get started on the hair bows and shoes I’ll never stop!  Adam and I welcome all suggestions!

 

 

 

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Gender Reveal Parties

Sep 6, 2013 by

Since our anatomy sonogram is coming up next week, Adam and I have been really interested in baby stuff lately.  One thing that has come up repeatedly is the idea of a gender reveal party.

 

Typically, people have showers to celebrate their first baby, but we obviously will not be doing that this time around.  Another new thing I’m learning about is the idea of throwing a “sprinkle” which, for those of you not in the know, is a small party/shower for someone who is having their second/third/etc. child, and that child is usually a different gender than their previous children.

 

Since we won’t be having a shower or a sprinkle, we wanted to have some fun and celebrate Navan with our friends, and what better way than with a gender reveal party?

 

So I hit up Pinterest, looking for party ideas.  There were some cute ones, then there were some owl ones…and you all know how I feel about that! 😉  But man…if I thought the owls were bad, they were nothing compared to what I found next.

 

Top 3 Theme Ideas from Pinterest

1. Guns or Glitter

2. Cowboy or Diva

3. Lures or Lace

 

For crying out loud!  I guess I am a real prude but seriously, people…you do know these are for BABIES, right?!   I love guns as much as the next girl but I don’t think they’re an appropriate theme for a gender reveal party.  Not to mention, guns or GLITTER?  Does it really seems smart to promote this bizarre idea that guns are as frivolous as glitter, something to be just thrown around like nothing?  I don’t think so.

 

Then we come to cowboy or diva.  Wow.  Why can’t it be cowboys and, oh, I don’t know, cowGIRLS?!  Again, call me a prude but I don’t think DIVA is really the label I want to start my potential future daughter’s life.  They always say parents put their hopes and dreams onto their kids but, sorry, “diva” doesn’t make the hopes and dreams list this week.  Give me a break.

 

Lures or lace is not offensive, I was just curious how one decorates for this party.  Tape doilies to the walls and then stick fishing lures in the holes?  (If men out there are considering this, please make sure you clean the guts off the lures BEFORE you hang them on the lace.)

 

So it looks like our party will be having a really simple theme: come hang out and eat free snacks.  Oh and, hey, while you’re here, maybe you can find out if Navan is a boy or a girl.  Ok?  Ok.

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Room Decor, Part 2

Aug 23, 2013 by

Well ladies and gents, it looks like once again I’ve made a mistake.  You put yourself out there…sometimes people like it and sometimes people don’t.  Welcome to the not-so-fun part of blogging.

 

Yesterday, I wrote about my struggles to find G$ some big boy room decor.  I got completely  a little sidetracked talking about my hatred for owls, but I thought I made my point clear.  Unfortunately, based on several messages I got from concerned friends and family, I was mistaken.

 

It seems that many of you read my post and thought I was trying to decorate G$’s room like it was for an adult, or to my personal taste only.  First, thank you all very much for your concern.  I appreciate all of you caring enough to message me your thoughts.  So, as a token of appreciation, let me assure you that you are worrying for naught.

 

Although, as an adult, my taste probably runs a little more “grown up” than “kid-friendly” sometimes, I want to create a comfortable, warm and inviting space for both my kids to live and grow in.  What I hard a hard time accurately portraying yesterday is that, although I may not like certain animals or themes, that isn’t the real issue.

 

The real issue is this: it’s very easy to find things for a nursery.  Finding things for toddlers is more difficult.  What caused me such trouble is two-fold:

First, most things I’ve found are too cartoony or too grown up.  Not much in between.  Second, I am dealing with a two year old.  What he likes changes every other week.  So it doesn’t make much sense to decorate with, say, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, right now when next month it will be airplanes and hot wheels.

What I am looking for is simple:  Things that are appropriate for a wide age range, fit our general color scheme (blue, gray, white, green, etc.) and make him feel at home.  If anyone out there has helpful tips on decorating toddler boys’ rooms or can point me in the direction of someone who can, please let me know.  I need help! 🙂

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