Trendy Tot Tuesday: Summer

Sorry so late today guys – I cut my hand badly last night, and this morning Guinevere was diagnosed with an ear infection, so its chaos as usual around here…

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Its the last week of summer here in Northern Virginia, where the kids return to school the day after Labor Day. Guinevere starts preschool this year (and I’m DYING over how cute she is in her uniform) and I’m starting to have major guilt about not doing enough fun things this summer.

We did get to go to Smith Mountain Lake for two days, but that trip was cut shorter than anticipated. We had a few afternoon trips to a water park and local zoos, but in general, nothing like the summers I grew up having – camping, multiple trips to amusement parks and the beach, etc. So on Friday I kept Guinevere home from her nanny and we had a hooky day. We went to a playground and lunch, and saw the movie Planes at University Mall Theatre – she was great through the whole thing!

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But apparently I wore her out. After we left the theatre, she suggested we go to the mall. “Okay!” I replied enthusiastically – I needed a few things. We didn’t even make it onto Braddock Road before she looked like this in the backseat:

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That kid NEVER sleeps in cars, so this was pretty amusing to me – guess we had too much fun! I tried to drive straight to the Splash Pad by our house, thinking some water fun would perk her up, but she was beat – just wanted to go home and “welax”. So we did.

On Sunday, we went to Chuck E Cheese for the first time. We were shocked at how clean, cheap, and fun it was. I assumed it was gross and germy and overpriced, but we were among the first customers there and you could smell the disinfectant on the rides and machines. Additionally, we spent under $30 for a pizza, two drinks, and 30 tokens, aka 30 rides and games. Tyler got to play Guitar Hero, I got to play SkeeBall, and Guinevere used up all the rest. SO much fun!

And then yesterday, we played hooky again. This time, we headed up to Great Country Farms to pick apples. This place was kid heaven – tons of playground and imaginary play areas, animals, pedal carts, water mazes, and a cow train:

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But my FAVORITE part was this giant, inflated orange blob bouncy thing. No clue what they call it, but I was so disappointed that A) adults weren’t allowed on it and B) I only had my 50mm lens and couldn’t show off the size and awesomeness of this thing. I’m also disappointed that I”m so terrible at editing photos, because the shiny orange surface reflected back on Guinevere and so the color is really weird on her in these. But I love the shots of her suspended in air!

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What does all of this have to do with Trendy Tot Tuesday? My amusement at Guinevere’s new “uniform” – every day, she now insists on wearing a tank top and a tutu. In fact, after getting back from Great Country Farms where she got very dirty, she ran upstairs and changed into this:

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At which point we went to Target, because she was so darn proud of dressing herself – who was I to say anything?!

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Won’t you please join us?!

tttuesday Our guest host this week is Amy from Baby Mama Juice. Amy is a mama and stepmama to three sweet girls – Pilar, Marin and Ivey. I just LOVE their names! Her “About Me” is the cutest I’ve ever seen, with such a great visual of snippets about her life – don’t you want to be BFFs with her right now?!

Baby Mama Juice
  • Trendy Tot Tuesday is a chance to talk about kid’s style, and pretty much anything goes.  Pictures of your cutie, talking about their style (that you buy and dress them in, ahem!), a Polyvore board, linking to the new kid’s line at the Gap – anything!  All ages welcome, from you sweet pregnant mamas stocking up a closet to the teenagers that probably pick all their own stuff out now ;)
  • This is a hop-style link up – please follow your hosts (myself, Megan and Amy – we are in spots 1-3.  Also, jump around to meet other bloggers!  We hope everyone gains some new followers from this link-up and finds some fabulous new blogs!
  • Please link back to (at least!) one of us, and feel free to steal our badge if you’d like. If you’re a tweeter or instagram-er, use #trendytot
  • Interested in guest hosting? Please email Megan to get added to the list!


Trendy Tot Tuesday: Three

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Its official – three is my most favorite age ever. She’s funny and smart and sweet and still a bit cuddly. She pushes her limits but is generally respectful and I wish I could bottle this age up right now.

Lately she seems to be very into things that used to be mine. We read all of my old Berenstain Bears books before bed, and I love seeing my mom’s handwriting scrawled on the inside cover “To Kelly, Christmas 1987, Love Mom”. She’s obsessed, and I had to pick up a few new ones when “Mama’s New Job” and “The Bad Habit” got old. She also loves my old toys, which have been moved into her room.

Every morning, we hear the click of her door and she comes into the hallway after waking up, and she chirps “Good morning! Guess what? Its a beautiful sunny day! The sun is awake now!” Granted, only on mornings we sleep in – typically I have to wake her up for school, in which case she will growl and hiss at me and burrow under the blankets. But this particular morning was a chipper morning, and she wandered in with my old Pound Puppy stuffed dog, Barkley. She thought he was “great!” and asked – ASKED! – if I could take pictures of them together.

While this girl loves to throw a “model pose” to any stranger that barely even glances in her direction, she often asks me to put my cell or camera away and to please not take pictures of her. So this was pretty huge. Of course, we were late for the nanny’s house, but I snapped some as quick as I could.

Yep, I love three :)

_MG_3738_MG_3740_MG_3745_MG_3751_MG_3754_MG_3758Dress | Purse (altered to fit a 3yo’s height!) | Boots: Kohls (sold out, similiar here) | Headband: H&M

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Won’t you please join us?!

tttuesday

Our guest host this week is Darby from Life with the Hawleys. Darby is a fellow June Bug mama (and he is PRECIOUS!) and has some beautiful and honest posts about the journey with infertility – a must-read for anyone that has struggled with similar issues.

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  • Trendy Tot Tuesday is a chance to talk about kid’s style, and pretty much anything goes.  Pictures of your cutie, talking about their style (that you buy and dress them in, ahem!), a Polyvore board, linking to the new kid’s line at the Gap – anything!  All ages welcome, from you sweet pregnant mamas stocking up a closet to the teenagers that probably pick all their own stuff out now ;)
  • This is a hop-style link up – please follow your hosts (myself, Megan and Darby – we are in spots 1-3.  Also, jump around to meet other bloggers!  We hope everyone gains some new followers from this link-up and finds some fabulous new blogs!
  • Please link back to (at least!) one of us, and feel free to steal our badge if you’d like. If you’re a tweeter or instagram-er, use #trendytot
  • Interested in guest hosting? Please email Megan to get added to the list!


Toddlers, Ferguson, and Rants

As Guinevere grew into toddlerhood, I thought about how she might process race. I naively thought she wouldn’t.

She watches cartoons about talking magical ponies and Care Bears. She sees creatures interact with humans, such as Ninja Turtles or Barney. There are muppets and puppets that are green and pink and all sorts of talking animals. Surely a friend with darker skin would merely be a fellow human – how normal, right? Absolutely nothing to bat an eye at, or even remotely worth noticing or commenting on?

Our street is pretty diverse – by my count, of 15 homes there are four black families, two Asian families, two Middle Eastern families, and a Latino family. The little girl to the left of us has flaming red hair, and the kids to the right have white-blond cornsilk hair – resulting in all of the kids on our street looking wonderfully, beautifully unique. At which point – isn’t that what all people are? You might look like your siblings, but what a blessing that we aren’t all the same. So yes, I really thought that my child would honestly view the people of the world as just people – not singling out people that look different than her, because everyone looks different than her. That different is normal.

Until two weeks ago at Target. A black gentleman was behind us as we waited to check out. He kindly carried on a conversation with Guinevere, and she started talking about how he was a doctor. He corrected her and said he wasn’t a doctor, but she was adamant – yes, he was.

It clicked a bit later – her doctor and the nurse she sees most often are black, and so is her dentist and the dental assistant. As well as Disney Jr’s Doc McStuffins. I’d never realized the connection, but in her mind, all doctors were black – they all had the same color skin.

It made me realize that even in the most perfect environment, children can start to mentally compartmentalize “same”, “similar”, and “different” – of course she can tell the difference between a boy and girl. So of course she’d start to compartmentalize similar people (or professions, in our case), according to how they look.

It also made me realize how essential it is that we continue to raise her in an environment that is genuinely respectful and promotes equality for all – whether it is an individual’s preference on whom they marry, how they vote, or their religious views. And never, ever making judgments about a person simply based on appearance.

All that, to say that the events happening in Ferguson, Missouri hurt my heart. Last night, I was glued to Twitter watching the events unfold, and couldn’t believe that this was happening in America. Land of the Free? It made me sick thinking that in 2014, there is still so much hate and fear and force out there. At one point, people in Gaza were tweeting supportive messages to those in Ferguson with advice for handling the tear gas. And that is the first time I’ve ever felt shame as an American. There is SO much going on here, its difficult to wrap my head around it all.

  1. Issue #1 is clearly, the murder of Michael Brown. I think its important to say his name, because everything is quickly spiraling about “Ferguson” – but when a child (and really, an 18 year old is still a child) is fatally shot while following police orders and holding his hands up, his name should be remembered. And my heart just breaks for his mother.
    1. EDIT: A commenter brought up a good point – we don’t have all the facts. Some reports are saying Michael was shot because he was reaching for the officer’s gun. I’ll leave my original text as-is, but want to note this for future readers that I acknowledge there may be another side to the story here.
  2. Issue #2 is the militarization of the police. Tanks? Snipers and assault rifles? Tear gas and rubber bullets AIMED AT PEOPLE? Full riot gear? This was a community that wanted answers and justice. All of the live footage that I watched last night showed community members singing and gathering in protest. Their intent was peaceful, and in my opinion, the police turned the incident into a war. This community has EVERY right to protest peacefully – and this police force that has turned into some sort of fascist military has been alienating rights left and right.
    1. EDIT: I want to clarify here that my issue is with this particular department – not the police in general. Some good conversations in the comments  below if you’re interested.
  3. Issue #3 is the treatment of the media. The way that the media was ordered out of the town, that journalists were arrested and weren’t even told reasons, being refused the names and police badge numbers of arresting officers, and were handled roughly terrifies me. The fact that everyone was ordered to shut off cameras is horrifying – the public has a right to film police activity. And the brute force of the department in this city is baffling – how has the governor or even federal entities not stepped in? They managed to make the area a no-fly zone, limiting as much media exposure as possible, and even fired tear gas near the Al Jazeera media crew, and TOOK THEIR GEAR after they fled from the gas. My blood boils just thinking about it.

Yesterday’s lack of news coverage was scary. Terrifying. Today, this is on the main page of all major news sources that I checked, but still not to the extent that I think it should be covered. Still, the Ferguson community and the social media community should be proud that they were finally able to get some information out. I have no ties to Missouri, the city of Ferguson, or the police in general. I’m an upper-middle class white woman who has never been racially discriminated against, and would never raise eyebrows of law enforcement officials. Guinevere will be the same, and how lucky we are – but shouldn’t all children be able to say that? It shouldn’t fucking matter what color someone’s skin is, and its infuriating that this is still an issue in 2014.

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Source

One report I found interesting in a “rip my heart out and smash it in the dirt” sort of way was this article about how the media treats black victims compared to white killers and suspects. 

Which then led me down the rabbit hole of the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown. And I cried looking at some of these pictures – of course kids take goofy or tough images, I’ve got my fair share of pictures that will never see the light of the internet, but if I were born 10 years later – they’d be out there too. And I could tell looking at these comparisons that this is exactly what has been happening…and it isn’t fair.

This isn’t the world I wanted to bring my daughter into, and something needs to change.

I have always known people who “definitely aren’t racist!” and “have black friends!” but don’t feel bad telling a racist joke – after looking over their shoulder to make sure no one who is black is standing nearby, of course. Guess what – you’re still racist. 

The lady next to me at the nail salon last week was loudly talking to the tech about how much she loved Korean food, “Kimchi and all that other stuff.” The nail tech politely told the woman that she was Vietnamese, and the woman goes, “But all ya’lls food is basically the same. Damn good!” and went on to tell a story about a Vietnamese person she knew. Like that made it okay that she just stereotyped about an entire nationality. Guess what – you’re still racist.

If you’re telling a story about someone, and find it relevant to mention “that black lady” or “this Asian guy”, then I am deeply saddened that you can’t find a better way to describe a person if its necessary – but often, the race is completely irrelevant. And so I’m sad that it made so much of an impression on you. There are certainly times where it might be relevant information – for my story at the beginning of the blog post, you needed to know that the fellow shopper was black to understand how my daughter associated him with her black dentist and doctor. But in general? Sorry, but I think you’re racist.

I’ve started correcting people in front of Guinevere, and now that I’ve been aware of it, I realize how normal these are in my life, how commonplace by peers – particularly the “glance around to make sure xyz race/gender/sexual orientation isn’t near by” action. Just a suggestion, but if you’re saying something that would be offensive to some people if they were present – maybe you shouldn’t say it at all.

And think extra hard about how your words and actions will be adopted by your children. Let’s strive to make a more tolerant and respectful generation of adults by setting the best example possible. Its a shame those police officers in Ferguson didn’t have the same example set for them, and I grieve for Michael Brown’s family as I pray that these incidents start to become something for the history books – not tomorrow’s front page.

 

Trendy Tot Tuesday: Sunflowers

There is a local flower farm near us that has quickly become one of my favorite spots to visit. We went last May when the tulips were in bloom, and snuck out again two weeks ago when the sunflowers were starting to make an appearance. I thought Guinevere would adore these tall, happy flowers, but she and Tyler both deemed them “creepy” and she was far more interested marching along the rows in between until it was just too hot to stay out a moment longer. Shocker, that also meant she had no interest in posing for pictures, so I had to snag a few where I could. Unfortunately not as exciting as what I’d imagined – but thats a three year old for ya.

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Won’t you please join us?!

tttuesday

 

Our guest host this week is Hollie from What Lies Within Us. Hollie is a mama to a sweet girl named Ella and this kiddo is SERIOUSLY cute – curls and bows and the most adorable outfits! Swoon!

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Also, make sure to check out Megan’s blog today, as she gives a review of Alex and Ally with the cutest custom bibs and burp cloths, and has a coupon code – woohoo!

  • Trendy Tot Tuesday is a chance to talk about kid’s style, and pretty much anything goes.  Pictures of your cutie, talking about their style (that you buy and dress them in, ahem!), a Polyvore board, linking to the new kid’s line at the Gap – anything!  All ages welcome, from you sweet pregnant mamas stocking up a closet to the teenagers that probably pick all their own stuff out now ;)
  • This is a hop-style link up – please follow your hosts (myself, Megan and Hollie– we are in spots 1-3.  Also, jump around to meet other bloggers!  We hope everyone gains some new followers from this link-up and finds some fabulous new blogs!
  • Please link back to (at least!) one of us, and feel free to steal our badge if you’d like. If you’re a tweeter or instagram-er, use #trendytot
  • Interested in guest hosting? Please email Megan to get added to the list!

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Social Media and Kenny Loggins

I love social media. I love feeling close to people I care about when they share snippets of their lives on Instagram (I also stalk total strangers on there for snippets of their lives #creeper). I love posting a comment on a company’s Facebook page when I have an issue and seeing them promptly reply with a solution. I love tweeting about Guinevere’s favorite book and asking for recommendations for others, and having the author (that I didn’t even tag!) reply directly to me to jokingly plug another book he wrote. That worked, by the way. I immediately ordered it.

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And what I really love is when people who love social media use it to their full advantage, in a fun and global way.

A guy that I went to college with, Erick, is someone that has amused me in his use of social media. He somehow manages to rope people like Sinbad into conversations on Twitter -

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And has even called out stores like Walmart for injustices (who thankfully, replied to him and addressed it!) -

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Most recently, he’s back at it again for starting a Kickstarter campaign to have Kenny Loggins come play a show in his one bedroom condo in DC. Seriously. I have no idea how this started, but he’s already been covered by USA Today, Local News Channel 8, Fox 5, Gawker, and probably a ton of others. (This is why I’m not cool on the internet, my Google finger is already tired of hunting all of this information down.) Footloose! Danger Zone! Can you even imagine that much awesome in your own living room? I’m so sad I didn’t think of this idea first.

Apparently, Kenny’s team loves this idea, and Erick and Kenny Skyped last week. SOCIAL MEDIA!

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Which I guess Skype loved the publicity over, because then they made this -

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And now Erick’s saying on Facebook that he was just interviewed by Jimmy Kimmel for tonight’s show. Which is yesterday’s show by the time you’re reading this. So I don’t actually know what was said…but we can all imagine, right?!

So anyway, Erick needs to raise $30,000 for this to happen, and is currently at ~$8K. And its so ridiculously awesome, I had to throw him some money. And I think you should too. Especially if you love Kenny Loggins, Twitter, or you know, America.

Also, if they don’t reach their goal of $30,000 and the concert doesn’t happen, you don’t get charged. So its not money wasted. But seriously, spread the word. For America.