May 31, 2013


If you didn't hear about the big commotion regarding Pixar's Brave character Merida I guess I'm not that surprised.  In the grand scheme of things, it wasn't too big of deal.  But, in order for this post to make any sense to you, you need to know a few of the details.

A few weeks ago, Merida was inducted into the ever inclusive Disney Princess Club.  As part of her induction, Disney gave her a little bit of a make-over.

Obviously, the princess club Merida was much more sexy, slimmer and without her most prized possession - the bow and arrow. 

Thousands were outraged by the change, claiming that Merida was the first Disney princess that was different.  The first Disney princess that wasn't about beauty and whose only hope in life wasn't to meet her handsome prince.  The first Disney princess that was actually worth admiring.

A petition was started.  Thousands of signatures were collected.  The petition demanded Disney restore Merida to her original settings.  And, after a few days, that's exactly what happened.  The official Disney princess website was changed and Merida was once again portrayed just as she did in her feature film.

So, here's my dilemma.

I am raising a little girl that loves princesses.  She adores them all:  Rapunzel, Cinderella, Tiana, Ariel, Belle, Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, Merida, etc.  She owns many of the princess dresses and would wear them 24/7 if I let her.

As I watch my little girl prance around our house in her dresses and then think about the outrage over Merida's makeover, I find myself conflicted.  I wonder, "Am I setting my daughter up for complete and utter doom by letting her love and adore princesses?  Is she going to grow up feeling like the only thing that matters in life is how you look?"

And then I think about the stories behind some of these princesses:

Belle is an outcast in the village where she lives.  She prefers to read and seeks adventure.  She refuses a marriage proposal from the most dashing, handsome man in town.  She supports and defends her father even when everyone else makes fun of him, and, she ultimately sacrifices her freedom to save his life.  She eventually falls in love with the Beast because, despite his appearance, she has learned that he is kind and gentle and caring.

Cinderella is treated horribly by her family.  She is a slave in her own home.  Despite the cruelty she endures, she always has a positive attitude.  In the end, her dream of a better life comes true, illustrating that, despite the difficulties we may have now, things can turn out for the better.

Ariel dreams of a different life.  She has a curious nature and wants to learn everything she can about life above the sea.  She is rebellious, knows what she wants in life and makes sure she gets it.

Mulan lives in a country where tradition means everything, and where women are viewed as worthless.  Because she is not male, the only way she can bring honor to her family is by getting married.  Even though she wants to honor her father and mother, she knows she has more to offer than just being "a little wife."  Despite the risk of being killed, she disguises herself as a man and takes her father's place in the Chinese army.  After a lot of hard work and determination, she eventually becomes a great soldier and brings honor to her family all while remaining single.

Are all the princesses mentioned above beautiful?


  Does that make their stories any less meaningful?


I don't want my daughters to grow up thinking the most important thing in life is to be beautiful, but I also don't want them thinking being beautiful is bad.

I want my daughters to know that, regardless of physical appearance, everyone has strengths, weaknesses, dreams and fears.  No one is exempt from times of happiness or difficulties.  And, even though no two people are exactly alike, it is safe to assume everyone has similar, basic needs and desires.  And because of all of this, it is important to treat everyone with kindness and dignity.

When my oldest daughter finds herself feeling insecure about her appearance, will I think back on this time and say, "I never should've let her wear that Rapunzel dress everyday!"  My guess is, no.  Everyone feels "less than" at some point in their life.  It's just apart of life.

And it's not that it happens that matters.  It's how you handle it that is the most important.

Does this mean I am indifferent about Merida's makeover?  Of course not.  It was ridiculous for Disney to change her appearance.  (However, I should mention that all of the princesses on the website have been altered in some way, begging the question as to why no one has gotten all up in arms about that.  But, that's besides the point.)  All I'm trying to say is that loving princesses isn't all that bad, and that we should focus more of our concerns on why people like the cast of The Jersey Shore and the Kardashians are so popular.

In the end, I'm glad that people took a stand for something they felt strongly about and won!  It just goes to show that your voice can be heard, even when you're going up against huge corporations. I'm glad to have a daughter that loves to wear dresses, play make believe and who whole-heartedly embraces her femininity and thinks pants are for boys.

And, I'm glad that, thanks to Merida, she can't wait to get her own bow and arrow.

May 29, 2013

INSTAGRAM wednesdays: her HAIR

There's a really good chance that I totally and completely LOVE my daughter's hair.

I think it's so beautiful.

May 27, 2013


I love it when I find a really awesome cover.  I love Simon and Garfunkel's song "Sounds of Silence."  Isn't it a great song?  Of course, nothing can replace the original, but this cover by Emma Louise and Husky Gawenda is absolutely stunning.

I may or may not have been listening to it over and over again for the past few days.

This is the best video I could find of the song.  You can also check it out here on iTunes.

Enjoy and happy MUSIC mondays!

May 16, 2013

to each HER OWN

When my oldest daughter was born, I pretty much learned that I had no idea how to raise a child.  I read a lot, asked a lot of questions and relied heavily on my intuition.  When it came to getting her on a good sleeping schedule my days were filled with a lot of trial and error.

Pretty soon, I found something that worked.  She was sleeping through the night at 4 weeks!  And, she was napping very regularly at least twice a day, for at least 3 hours each time.  I found myself with an unusually large amount of free time given the fact that I had a new baby.

When my latest bundle of joy arrived, I was committed to trying out my same sleeping strategies with her.  And, it worked!  She slept through the night at less than 2 weeks old.  I informed her pediatrician about her amazing sleep habits and she told me so long as she was peeing and pooing regularly, I didn't have to worry about waking her up during the night.

Over the next few weeks, things were pretty smooth sailing at night.  She was going to bed at a good time, only waking up once for a feeding and easily fell back asleep until the morning.

Nap time was a completely different story.  I couldn't get her on a schedule and I found myself wondering if she was going to be a no-nap little girl.  And that just seemed so wrong to me.  Kids needs naps!  I was determined to get her on a good schedule by doing the exact same thing I did with her big sister.  It worked then.  It should work now.

Then things got worse.  She completely fought going to bed.  She was waking up shortly after being put down.  She woke up multiple times during the night.  And, all of this was going on while she continued to not nap during the day.

I decided to face reality.  My methods were not working with this little one.  I thought about all the things I had tried with my first daughter that didn't work.  I wondered if they would work now.  It just seemed so weird that what SOO did not work with one child would easily work with another.

Then, on Mother's Day, I got sick.  I'm pretty sure it was vertigo.  It kicked in later in the day.  By the time it was ready to get the girls down for bed, I was completely useless.  I could barely walk because everything was spinning.  I told my husband all I could do was go to bed, leaving him in charge of getting the kids to bed.  While in bed, I could hear him struggling with both girls.  Both seemed to be fussy and uncooperative.  Eventually, he got the oldest one in bed.  That just left the baby.  She wasn't responding to the usual routine, so I told him to just put her in her bed and let her cry.  Nothing else was working, and I felt comfortable that she was old enough for the cry-it-out method.

So, he put her down and she began to cry.  And cry.  And cry.  And cry.  I told myself I wouldn't let it go on for longer than 30 minutes.  Despite her crying, I could tell she was fine and just crying out of sheer exhaustion.  Dustin first put her in bed at 9:59.  The crying stopped at 10:32.  And she slept through the night.

Because that had gone so well, I decided to try it for nap time.  Isabelle, my oldest, refused to nap in her crib, so she napped in her swing and LOVED it.  This time around, the swing was less than thrilling. 

To my surprise, nap time went splendidly well.  She cried minimally and slept for hours.

That night, she cried for only 20 minutes.  The next night, 15 minutes.  And last night, she didn't make a peep!  And, nap time, has continued to be a success.   She has never napped this consistently her entire life!

I've learned a very important less this week:  my daughters are not the same.  Even at their young ages, they already have their own personalities, their own likes and dislikes and their own preference in sleeping patterns.  What works for one, doesn't necessarily work for the other.

And in order to make my life a little more sane, I need to embrace their differences and not be so rigid in how I go about doing things.

I know we'll have our not-so-fun nights again.  I know all phases, whether good or bad, don't always last, but at least now I am more aware of my daughters' differences.

And being aware is a very good thing.

May 6, 2013

CURRENTLY {may 2013 ed}

  I want to start on my goal of reading all of Jane Austen's novels.  I have them on my iPad, but I find myself torn between reading them on a device or holding the actual book in my hands.  One of the reasons why I want to read more is to be a good example to my kids about the importance of reading, and I think a stronger impression could be made with the actual book.  Thoughts?

Water.  After the caffeine withdrawal headache from hell I finally decided to cut out pop from my diet.  I'll make exceptions here and there, but for the most post I am completely done with pop.  The stuff went straight to my stomach anyway, so it's a small price to pay in order to feel and look better.

Getting tickets to the Joshua Radin concert and seeing Jerry Seinfeld perform live.  Both of them will be in my area this month.  Ah, if only I had all the money in the world...

Curbing my sweet tooth.  It seems as though my need for sweets is completely out of control.  I'm trying to substitute a donut or candy bar with yogurt.  It works pretty well, but I still crave the good stuff every single day.  Every.  Single.  Day.

The nice weather!  It's finally nice enough that I can take my girls outside for a walk.

I'm handling the whole two kids thing better than I expected.  It's not easy and there are definitely days when I wish I could just do whatever I want whenever I want.  But overall I've adjusted to my new normal just fine.

What Dustin will get me for Mother's Day.  I'm more of a practical gift sort of person.  I'd love it if my gift was getting all of our carpets cleaned.

Being more active, planning FHE every week and planning dinner one week in advance.  
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