Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Picture

Well, the only Santa Arin's seen was last year and this year at the Library. There are a lot more up on facebook. It was a fun night, involving a real firetruck that Arin got to get up and play in, and the biggest Christmas tree ever lit up all pretty! Lots of fun for the little guy (and me, hee hee!)

Nothing fancy, but here he is:

The past few days when I've had spare moments they have been spent cleaning up baby barf or barfing myself. Oh, and we lost power for a day in that horrible ice storm. Our lines our still ripped off our house and in the driveway. Yey for safety, thanks National Grid for fixing it so promptly! Let me tell you, having to yak over and over again in a 20 degree bathroom is less than fun, in case you were wondering.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mary Eberstadt's Home-Alone America

Tonight I saw an interview of Mary Eberstadt discussing her book Home-Alone America and I had to go and look it up. Basically, she has been researching the impact of parental absence in the home on kids, whether its through working moms, absent dads, uninvolved relatives, etc. Before I discuss why it resonated with me here's a quote from the author.

A summary question from the National Review Online:

NRO: If a parent can take away only one message from Home-Alone America, what would you like it to be?

Eberstadt: Any family already sacrificing to keep an adult at home with kids will be feel affirmed by the research in my book. But I think other mothers and fathers who do not or cannot make that same choice will find a different kind of reassurance in its pages, because so much of what the evidence really shows is something they already know from common sense.

Parents don’t have to be perfect. They don’t have to buy the “right” toy to jump-start an infant’s “cognitive skills” or play Mozart to a dribbling three-year-old — and contrary to what many women have been told these last few years, they also don’t have to be a stellar model of career success for their children to admire.

No, as the evidence offered in Home-Alone America shows plainly, what benefits many kids most is something far more prosaic — just having parents plain show up, whether for purposes of simple supervision or for the intangible emotional safety net they seem to offer as no one else. Speaking as an imperfect parent and human myself, I find that message liberating, and I think other parents will also feel liberated to be in possession of new evidence tacitly underlining how much they matter.
Various Amazon sellers have it on sale for five dollars, which I'm speculating is because its been used as a text in classrooms, conveniently making it affordable for ME and other interested parents out there.
I'm really glad I saw this interview, and I'm really glad Eberstadt is out there promoting this kind of research. I read a lot of psychology and family studies articles and texts when doing my degree and it's very familiar to a lot of other contemporary work being done. The studies are out there and the results are that kids need parents in the home as much as humanly possible. Still, 'on the street' and in the media it doesn't really feel like this research is making an impact yet. I used to write a lot about how I resented the current attitude (at least in the northeast USA where I'm from) that it is unacceptable, outdated and looked down upon for a woman to stay in the home and raise children instead of going out to work. (This was well before Arin was even a twinkle in my eye, I might add, so my resentment was not entirely selfishly motivated.) Now at least, there is a trend more back towards thinking stay at home mom's are not just lazy, unskilled, useless members of society but actually contributing invaluably to their children's mental, emotional and physical well-being (and therefore strengthening society as a whole). Of course, my reading material and social circles have dramatically changed.
I always wanted to stay at home with Arin, and I have made a lot of sacrifices to be able to do that all this time. Financially it won't be viable for much longer and I am worried about how daycare will affect Arin, I hope that I did everything I could to give him the best start I was able to. At the same time I've felt so pushed and driven to go out and 'get a job' and 'make money' and 'be productive', and that I'm being selfish and lazy for 'just sitting at home all day long playing with a baby'. These aren't quotes anyone has said directly, at least not that I remember, but just general and repetitive inferences I've felt from a variety of sources. And personally I feel really bad that I don't have money to fix up the house, to buy nice clothes for Arin, to actually even GO places like a jungle gym or to visit friends who don't live close, nevermind how I feel about not being able to buy anything for myself or presents for holidays.

Anyway, the point of all that self-indulgent blather is that there aren't that many rewards for a stay-at-home mom... but this book's message is one of them. I'm doing the RIGHT THING. This sacrifice MATTERS. I don't care if someone is looking down their nose at me, thinking I'm wasting time. There is NO BETTER use of time than what I'm doing. There is NO JOB more important than the one I work. Thank you, Mary Eberstadt, for taking the time to explore this subject and bring me some reassurance, because the guilt for staying at home can be just as bad for the guilt of going off to work.

Friday, November 7, 2008

New Direction

Yey, a new direction! So, originally this blog was just going to be all Arin all the time, every little smile and giggle and messy faced feeding picture. Obviously, that didn't happen so I'm hijacking this blog (from myself) for myself. Actually, mostly it will probably still be about Arin. But! I get to throw in all the other junk I find myself wanting to publicly blog about.

And, I also have a defunct old beauty blog thingie on this account which I will post on the right so you don't have to click through my profile, just in case you have some morbid interest in my obsession. Maybe I'll even update that once in a while now too! ;)

And I'll try to post pictures, because no one likes posts without pics, right?

So here's Arin symbolizing Mommy being on the ball. At least for a little while.

Did you forget about us?!

Right, so I haven't updated this in about ten thousand years! I know, and I feel bad.

First of all, I have been posting all of the pictures that do actually see the light of day on facebook. So, if you're not already friends with me there, add me. If you're not ON facebook, join! It's super easy and a great stalking tool. I mean, social networking... or something. :) I'm sort of addicted to 'beauty blogs' and 'housewife blogs' and since I'm such a prolific writer (right guys?) I should join in the fun. :)  More updates to come, promise!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Arin's first haircut

This morning Arin got his first haircut. He is a few days short of 6 months old, but his hair was everywhere! In his eyes, over his ears, and forming little rats nests in the back... so it was time for a trim. He was born with dark hair like mommy, but it has since grown in blond... so now that its short you can really see a difference. I think he looks older (and definitely blond), aww! I am also not the best hairdresser, but hopefully in a few days it will grow in and look a little more even. It's hard to cut a wiggly baby's hair (oh well, it'll grow back)! :) Here are a bunch of pictures from the big event:

Look how long that hair is! Shaggy. :)

And a view down the top, look at that hair!
Uh oh, here's the very first snip!
'What are you doing to me mommy!?'

This is how he amused himself during the first half of the cut:

At the end of the cut, this was a bunch that I have saved:
'Why can I feel such a cool breeze on my head mommy?'

'Do I look handsome?'
'Where'd all my hair go??'

Why joo takin' so many pictures?
Guess he's happy with the change...

'Am I so handsome or what?'
Doing a George Dubbya look:

Now it's time to go eat some lunch!

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