Tuesday, September 20, 2011


My house can best be described as "eclectic".  Because that sounds a hell of a lot nicer than "third-hand furniture and crap that doesn't match".

Don't get me wrong, I love my junk.  I love my stuffed piranha that my grandparents got from Brazil, I love my eight bookshelves of novels alphabetized by author, I love my large framed painting that Batman says looks like "gorilla butts".

  Horses, people.  Not gorilla butts, not plums.  Don't hate on the Franz Marc.

More and more, I start looking around when I'm at people's houses--people my age, not "grown-ups" (we are not going to discuss how I don't consider myself a grown-up yet) and their stuff actually matches.  Their kitchen furniture is a matching set--not a table from a thrift store that is embarrassing looking without a tablecloth, two folding chairs, and two chairs that I painted turquoise on a whim and are falling apart.

I am never going to have a pristine, beautiful museum of house.  It's not my style.  I really do love eclectic decorations, bright colors, and unusual paintings.  I think homes should be comfortable--you shouldn't be constantly afraid you're going to break something or dirty something up. 

Still...I'm starting to tackle the little things and make an attempt to coordinate.  I've started with our bathroom.  I got rid of the accumulated clutter left over from the last three bathrooms we had--the trash can, the soap dispenser, etc. and bought an inexpensive but matching set of turquoise accessories from Target.  I also made these:

They are darling, no?  And they were ridiculously easy to make.  

1.  I bought frames from a thrift store.  $1.25 each

2.  I spray-painted them.  I did another frame at the same time with a different color--the high-gloss of the royal blue turned out better than the matte finish of the other one.

3.  I used Google images to find "octopus silhouette" and "shark silhouette" and copy and pasted the ones I liked into a Word document.  I re-sized them to fit inside of the frame and printed them out.  I cut it out and used it to trace the shape onto scrapbook paper.  Pay no attention to the bird, that's for a different project.

4.  Cut out the scrapbook paper silhouettes, rubber cemented them onto a piece of card stock cut to size, and framed them.  Viola!  I have art that matches my the colors of my bathroom.

Now if only getting a new set of kitchen furniture was this easy...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sexism, McDonald's, and over-thinking the whole shebang

When I ordered the Happy Meal tonight at McDonald's, the cashier asked me, "Boy or girl?"  My response:  "Girl.  I mean boy.  I want the boy toy."

Because, quite frankly, the girl toy sucks.

Really, McDonald's?  This is the best you can do?

 It is a small replica of Skechers shoe that lights up.  

How in the world do you play with it?  Do you pretend it's flying?  Maybe pretend that it is looking for its other half?  Nah.  You watch it light up, clip it to a purse, and say how pretty it is.  Maybe you're inspired to start begging for some real shoes like it.  It's so....passive.

The boy toy is pretty cool.  They are a series of Batman figurines.  We got Joker--his lapel squirts water, so I'm just going to toss him in with the tub toys. 

Waaaaay cooler.

I've been thinking a lot about "boy" vs. "girl" toys and clothes.  I grew up with two brothers.  I played with their GI Joe's, they played with Barbies--but we only wanted to play if we could be the "right" gender.  (I had one small GI Jane and a helmeted GI Joe I insisted was a girl, my brothers played with Ken.)  I had a set of Legos I adored, but only felt comfortable playing with them because they were pink.  This wasn't a mindset that my parents encouraged in any way, it was just something that I decided.

I love shopping for Mo-mo.  Pink, purple, ruffles and hair bows can be fun.  But I also like Back To The Future shirts.  I think monsters, trains, and dogs should be for girls too.  Orange, green, and blue are great colors.  And do you know how hard it is to find a girl's shirt with an "I love my mommy" sentiment?  Nigh impossible to find.  

Mo-mo is an awesome mix of girly-girl and tom boy.  She loves playing outside, playing with balls, and trains.  She also loves high heels, her purse, jewelry, make-up, dancing, and playing with her baby dolls.

My biggest worry is that world will box Mo-mo in.  I don't ever want her to feel as if she has to pick something or behave a certain way because she's a girl.  She can choose soccer over ballet, green over pink, airplanes over princesses.  Or not.  I want it to be her choice.  The moment she tells me that she would prefer the girl toy, I will let her have it (barring anything Bratz related).   

Until then, she can have the Joker figurine.  Because really....a light-up shoe?  It's lame.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tea, Baby

My two-year old daughter loves hot tea.

I found out this curious fact last winter, as I was sipping my morning cup of Earl Gray.  Momo climbed on my lap and demanded some.  I figured it would be one of those things where she has a sip, makes a face, and never bothers me again about it. 

She had her sip and her eyes lit up.  "More, more, MORE!"

I had created a monster.

Before the internets starts to judge me too harshly, let me tell you this--she only gets very weak decaffeinated tea, lukewarm with tons of milk, and only as an occasional treat.  I no longer drink my morning tea at home because I refuse to let her have it very frequently.

Last week, my family went out to breakfast to celebrate my father's 60th birthday.  There were coffee cups on the tables at the restaurant and so my daughter started asking for tea.

"Let me ask if they have decaf," was my answer.

She slumped down in her high chair and started pitifully moaning as if she were in physical pain.  "Deeeeeeeeecaff!  Deeeeeeeeecaf Mommy! DEEEEEEEEEEECAAAAAAAAAAAAAF!!!!"

Everyone in the restaurant turned towards me and my child who was requesting "decaf" at the top of her lungs.  They probably thought she was jonesing for her morning coffee fix.  I could tell they were smiting me in their minds for getting a toddler hooked on coffee. 

Life is never dull when you have a toddler.