I have been trying to improve my craftiness. First, bulletin boards, so simple and increases my organization capacities. Second, diaper and wipes holder, so I can look like a “happening momma.” And third a nursing cover (no I’m not pregnant, just a planner). Thanks to the blogging world which makes all these crafts possible!
The one benefit to living in a small, sardine like, apartment is the access I have to the maintenance guy. I love this guy (a plutonic love of course). I always see him drive around on his little cart and will wave and smile appropriately. Have a problem with the drawer in the fridge? No problem, maintenance guy is there within the hour to fix it. Light burned out in the bathroom? Yup, maintenance guy will take care of it. Every time the maintenance guy has entered our home (of course he’s always welcome), he will leave with the comment, “Wow, that’s the easiest request I’ve had all day.” Maybe that’s because I call on him to fix the garbage disposal when all I needed to do was push the reset button, in my defense it was very cleverly hidden. Or ask him to fix what appeared to be a broken drawer in the fridge when all I needed to do was pull it out and realign it. But the greatest thing that has come about because of maintenance guy (maybe one day I’ll learn his name) is the peace that is now found in our home. Of course my terribly intelligent and handiman husband could fix all these problems but it elimates this converation:
Hilary: Ty can you fix the garbage disposal (repeated ten times a day, for at least two weeks)
Ty: Yea, I’ll do it.
No excessive nagging from me, no excessive nagging for Tyler, equals peace. Thanks maintenance guy, we love you!
Critical Reader I am September 17, 2008
I don’t belong to a book club (but I desperately want to, any takers out there?) so I’ve decided that I’m going to use this blog to occasionally comment on what I am reading. I’ve found that as a stay at home mom I am continually seeking new ways to expand my knowledge. The best, and easiest, way to do this is to be constantly reading. I love it. When I read I feel like my mind isn’t turning into mush (sometimes I can just see it morphing into a jello like substance). So in an effort to discuss this reading, I submit my thoughts to you, dear blogging world.
Awhile ago I finished The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama. I want to comment about a point he makes regarding religion and public policy, because I’ve been thinking about a particular point he makes and was not in agreement with it. I didn’t know how to state my disagreement until I was given an excellent article by Dallin H. Oaks entitled Religious Values and Public Policy.”
“If I am opposed to abortion for religious reasons and seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or invoke God’s will and expect that argument to carry the day. If I want others to listen to me, then I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all” (Obama, 219).
I can see where Obama is coming from with this argument, but I do not agree. When discussing something like abortion I think it is impossible to take faith out of the argument, which is what you would have to do if you were to explain your argument to someone with, as he states those with, “no faith at all.” I just couldn’t accept this reasoning, but had a hard time putting into words the problem I had with it. Elder Oaks says it perfectly in his article (which I encourage you to read) here are a few excerts.
“To avoid any suggestion of adopting or contradicting any particular religious absolute, some secularist argue that our laws must be entirely neutral, with no discernable realation to any particular religious tradition. Such proposed neutrality is unrealistic, unless we are willing to cut away the entire idea that there are moral absolutes…religious values are just as legitimate as those based on any other comprehensive set of beliefs.”
Elder Oaks argues that religion should not have to be buried in public life, and individuals should not have to argue from a secular point of view when putting forth their own ideas of public policy.
I love the quote he uses from Richard John Heuhaus, it states:
“In a democracy that is free and robust, an opinion is no more disqualified for being ‘religious’ than for being atheistic, or psychoanalystic, or Marxist, or just plain dumb. There is no legal or constitutional question about the admision of religion to the public square; there is only a question about the free and equal participation of citizens in our public business, Religion is not a reified ‘thing’ that threatens to intrude upon our common life. Religion in public is but the public opinion of those citizens who are religious. As with individual citizens, so also with the associations that citizens form to advance their opinion. Religious institutions may understand themselves to be brought into being by God, but for the purposes of this deomoctatic polity they are free associations of citizens. As such, they are guaranteed the same access to the public square as are the citizens who comprise them.”
So thank you Barack, but I will argue from my own religious standpoint, and from a moral point of view, about abortion, and gay marriage, because religion does NOT have to be buried in public policy debates.
Exercise Junky I am September 6, 2008
It was destiny. I am one of those people that most people laugh at when I say that I truly like to workout. I don’t just like to workout, I look forward to and schedule my workout at the beginning of the day to make sure it’s a priority. And sometimes (as my loving hubby always teases me about) I will workout up to four times a day (gym in the wee hours of the morning, stroller workout, run, and a pilates video at night- but this is an extreme case-and yes, I know I’m crazy). I am an exercise junky, I just can’t get enough. Therefore, when I met a group of moms in the community that worked out with their strollers (and therefore their children) it was destiny. My hubby calls us the “stroller momma’s.” We get together three days a week for about 1.5 hours, drag our children along with us, and get buff and lean. I love it. I love the women, I love that Carter gets to play with the other adorable kids after, I love that we come from all walks of life, I love that it’s a free activity, it’s perfect. Here we are going on a hike:
So all you mom’s out there living in Santa Barbara, come join our stroller momma group, and all you outside of our influence, start your own. This woman (seen below) is amazing and writes free weekly workouts. We adapt these to be able to use our strollers, switch off planning an hour long class, and then get going! So check out her website and get your own stroller momma group going!
Mother I am September 5, 2008
On my morning run, while Carter was whining because he wanted to get out of the stroller, I was thinking what it meant to be a mother. Here is just ONE simple definition I came up with:
To be a mother means: to teach another individual how to become their best self.
For me this means teaching my son: how to learn so he can be educated, about religion so he can have a relationship with God, how to eat properly and excersise so his body can function right, how to treat others and contribute to society so he can be a good citizen, and so many other things.
There is so much to be said on motherhood (a topic I hope to discuss often on this blog), but as I was thinking this morning about the “big ideas” of what motherhood is (i.e. the goal and aim of motherhood) I was hoping that I used those big ideas of motherhood in my daily life of being a mom. As my child is entering tantrum phase, I find that it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and lose sight of the bigger picture (does that sound too cliche?). But along with the tantrum phase comes the opportunity to teach and instruct my son in how to best live life, which to me makes the tantrums totally worth it, because I’m stoked to start teaching him and watch him learn how he can become his best self! Now…if I could just start by teaching him to never throw a tantrum again!
(Mainly this post is the get all you moms, and non-moms, out there thinking about your own definition of motherhood. Please share, let’s have a dialogue, so I can be inspired by your insightful comments!)
Reader I am September 3, 2008
I just finished it. And I loved it. It took me awhile, but I finally read The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama. Alright, I get the fact that a lot of people despise Obama, I really do get it. My mother (don’t worry, I won’t use her name), cringes at the fact that I will even talk about Obama in a positive light. So, to appease my mother, I won’t get into the parts of his policies that I agree/disagree with that this time. But, after reading his book, I do really admire Barack (yea, I think finishing his book puts us on a first name basis). I think he has a lot of admirable qualities, and would be an amazing individual to sit down with and have a nice long conversation. Now, don’t worry, I’m not going to turn into the Obama girl or anything, but I was impressed with his writing style and ability to express himself. So, if you are brave give it a try, and if you are Barack, give me a call sometime, let’s chat.
Smoothie maker I am September 2, 2008
I am addicted to smoothies. My lunch of choice would be a smoothie from Blenders and a homemade piece of wheat bread with honey on top (I’m addcited to carbs too, but that’s another post). Since I can’t afford to buy a smoothie everyday, I make one at home. My favorite so far (and the the I’m making everyday now until I burn out) is a blueberry smoothie. It’s super simple and totally scrumptious. I thought I would share. (I just throw stuff in the blender so this is an estimate):
1 1/2 frozen bananas (I never knew how huge a difference it makes in a smoothie to freeze the banana)
2 cups frozen blueberries
1/2 cup soy milk
That’s it! Enjoy.