Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Free Giveaway from My Memories!

I aspire to be a digital scrapbooking queen (some day). My Memories will help me get there - and can help you too. To whet your appetite, I will periodically post free templates from My Memories! Please note that all of these are .png files only, not MyMemories Suite Templates. They are usable in any software, and are for everyone!! These freebies include 2 Quick Pages, and all of the papers and elements used in creating them.

Visit this link
to download the FREE designer pack.
At any time, you can purchase the My Memories software with this code and receive $10 off plus a $10 coupon - a $20 value! The Code is: STMMMS40533.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why? Blogging Is My Thing!

My blog seems to be an object of curiosity and mystery for those who know me. "Why do you blog?" they ask. "Why do you put your ideas and opinions out there for anybody to judge?" ask others. A very good friend recently wrote me in an email:

I am really trying to get my bearings on the concept of a whole life outside my family (and work) but still within myself. A sort of emerging from the fog of mommy-dom- does that make sense...Is that why you blog? Does it keep you sane?

Yes, my dear friend, that makes perfect sense. I'm right there with ya. And Yes, I think that is why I blog. It is writing, which I enjoy and do not have time to pursue in a paid format. It is not required of me, it’s optional not imposed, which is nice. On my blog, I can be a little cheeky and controversial, which I rarely get to be at home or work (eye rolling accepted here). It’s a separate space that’s all me and people can take it or leave it.

Insanity has been defined as continuing to do the same thing but expecting a different result (einstein?). I think too often, women continue to put everything and everybody else first, do what we're expected to do, then wonder what happened to our 'selves.' This is by no measure a 'fault' or shortcoming. It's a reflection of the reality of usually shouldering a greater role of caretaking and household management.

I believe everybody has something special to contribute to culture beyond those things which are required of them or for which they get paid.... that each person possesses their own 'thing' that is uniquely theirs, that they enjoy, that makes them feel connected to society in a world in a meaningful way, separate from what others ask them to do or make them do. Some people know what their thing is from day one. Some people spend a lot of time searching for it.

I'm not saying blogging is my end-all-be-all 'thing' but it is one of my 'things' for now and yes, it helps keep me sane. What is your thing?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Scientific(ish) Parenting: Getting Big Sis to Eat Her Vegetables

Two posts in a row?  And two in Scientific(ish) parenting?  Goes to show you I've been thinking about this a lot!  I have quite a few more lined up too!  Unlike the potty training graph, this one is a current experiment in progress for Big Sister.  (Potty training is in progress for Baby Genius, however... stay tuned for a comparison chart in the coming years).  I think the graph below and accompanying text say it all.  You might ask - why don't you use the 80% success rate approach more?  I have two cookbooks to help me in this quest - one from The Sneaky Chef and the other from her arch-nemesis, Jerry Seinfeld's wife - here.  I am working on figuring out what things the whole family will eat that I can hide veggies in.  Would love recipes if you have some to share!  :) MB

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Scientific(ish) Parenting: Potty Training Success

There are no perfect parents. For those of us trying to be mindful, strategic,
successful parents (hopefully all of us), this is a hard pill to swallow. Maybe
it's just me, but I like to think that there are people out there who've figured it out. Somehow, that idea
gives me hope that I, too, will figure it out.... or that "it" is "figure-out-able."

However, I also know there are no right answers, no golden gooses, no silver bullets, and no more good analogies for me to use in this sentence. We all do the best with what we've got. There seems to be a lot of stretching of the truth on parenting websites. Pish posh, I say, to reports of perfect children sleeping through the night from day one and always sleeping in their own bed. Pish posh, I say, to reports of potty training 13-month old with narry a soiled diaper to be had again. Pish posh, I say, to reports of children demanding to eat vegetables at every meal. Such reports, and others like them, just serve to make the rest of us turn green with envy and wonder what we're doing wrong.

In the midst of all this pish-poshing, and in the spirit of "doing the best with what we've got," I've decided to periodically post a "scientific(ish) parenting" post in which I create a graph reflecting a
parenting reality as we have come to know it.

Click on the graph to see the enlarged version - It is graph #1: Potty Training Success. I believe it reflects a reality of our parenting. We set our goal and learn something about how to get there. We try something - usually involving praise, candy and fruitless convincing! If it doesn't succeed like you had hoped, try again. Something new this time.

It took Big Sis probably 1 year to learn to use the potty, from age ~2-1/2 to a little past age 3. We still have occasional accidents, but they are few and far between now. In the end, all us 'adults' did was lay the foundation. She had to decide for herself when the time was right!