Archive for March, 2010

Random Bits

From the Only at Our House File…

Yes, that is exactly what you think it is.  A squirrel’s tail with no squirrel attached.  I found this under one of our big oak trees one morning this week when Happy and I walked outside.  So, the question is did the squirrel get in a fight in our tree and lose his taill (and is that like a girl losing a shirt in a fight?), did the squirrel get snatched up by its tail by a bird of prey and it wiggled its way free from its tail and then said bird of prey dropped said tail or did someone lose the tail of his or her fancy squirrel hat?  I have been keeping an eye out for the tailless squirrel in the ‘hood but have yet to spot him. 

From the “That’s good parenting” file…

Happy has a thing for my wallet.  For reals.  He is obsessed with getting his hands on it and then likes to get rid of the evidence.  When I do catch him, he is fingering my driver’s license and debit card.  I tell him we are going to fight about money and driving soon enough, let’s enjoy the honeymoon period. I am pretty sure he rolls his eyes at that.  Anyway, I was moving rapidly through the house the other day to prepare to meet a friend for lunch when I realized that Happy had done it again.  My wallet was MIA and I couldn’t find it to find it before lunch time.  I ran to the car, loaded Happy up, and searched my front seat and such just in case my wallet was there.  Nope.  How will I pay for our lunch?  I wondered.  And then Happy’s piggy bank flashed into my mind.   I’ll pay you back, I practically chanted as I busted that bad boy open– only to be met with a handful of coins because I had recently deposited all his cash in the savings account that the good mother in me had actually opened for him. Glad my good mother episode thwarted my bad mother episode.  I ended up calling BF and having him bring me some lunch money. Later, I found my wallet on the kitchen counter behind the cereal box.  Guess baby didn’t hide it after all.     

And from the awkward conversation file…

Happy and I were out and about this week when a woman came up to me and told me how adorable he was.  I thanked her and she followed with, “So I am thinking you must have gotten him from somewhere.”  Yes, that is how she asked if he was adopted.  I politely explained that he is Ethiopian, but her phrasing has stuck with me ever since.  I so don’t mind if people are curious about our family, but wow.

March 31, 2010 at 6:20 pm Leave a comment

Cross a Finish Line

A few weeks ago, I ran a 5k race with various Circle de Luz volunteers and our Circle de Luz hijas.  I specifically ran with Jenny, my longest friend (it just doesn’t feel right to say oldest), and 2 Hijas from the program.  As we approached the finish line, there was music playing, people cheering, a big clock counting our seconds as we sprinted to the end.  Turning towards the girls, I saw their faces light up.   
“There’s nothing like a crossing a finish line, is there?”  I asked.  

They nodded in agreement and in awe of themselves for having made it to the end.  

That feeling, the feeling of crossing a finish line, is one of the most powerful feelings I’ve had.  I came to athleticism as an adult (I call it adult-onset athleticism), but what I love about being active is that it gives me confidence in what I can accomplish and clarity (I gain great insight while I quietly run, walk, ride, weighttrain, swim, or whatever).  Being active has been a gift to me in many different ways.  I am not terribly fast, but I do my thing and in doing my thing, I gain great perspective and that’s all I ask for in my quest.     

Now, if you are in Charlotte, there’s an opportunity for you to go on your own quest through Tri It for Life-  a non-profit that specializes in nurturing each woman’s goal of completing a triathlon by helping them break down barriers they often impose on themselves.  Those barriers might be physical or mental or, even, financial. 

This year, through the generosity of sponsors and the family of athlete Beverly Staton (who was paralyzed in an auto accident in 2004), Tri It For Life is sponsoring up to 12 first-time female triathletes through a multi-leveled scholarship fund. The TIFL Scholarship Fund will award up to $3,700 in fees and equipment leases to qualifying athletes, easing the financial burden that is often associated with multi-sport training, from race-entry fees, to Tri It For Life membership to the cost of running shoes and bicycles.  Applicants to the scholarship program must: 

• Reside in Charlotte or surrounding area 

• Commit to register for the 2010 Huntersville Ramblin’ Rose Sprint Triathlon on or before May 1, 2010 

• Commit to participate in the 2010 Huntersville Ramblin’ Rose Sprint Triathlon 

• Demonstrate a financial need 

• Submit a completed application 

For more details and to download a scholarship application, visit www.triitforlife.com and click on the SCHOLARSHIP link. All schoalrship applications must be post marked by April 16, 2010. 

Tri It For Life, a 501(c)3, was founded by Dr. Alyse Kelly-Jones, who saw women like herself in her Charlotte OB/GYN practice every day. The mother of three could relate all too well: many women are devoted to jobs and family, but they spend too little time on themselves.  Kelly-Jones found improved physical health and balance in her busy life through triathlons. She knew first-hand that if women spend some time focusing on themselves each day, they would be better mothers, wives and partners. They would be better at living their own lives by challenging themselves, getting healthy, gaining self-confidence and self-esteem while building nurturing relationships. 

For 2010, Tri It For Life expects to have a membership of more than 300 athletes, including 200 first-time female triathletes. Members don’t just learn how to compete, they receive self-reliant education about bike maintenance (how to change a tire, clean a bike chain and other functions of the machine). Along the way, the athletes challenge and better themselves by getting healthy, gaining selfconfidence and self-esteem, developing relationships with like-minded women. 

 

March 30, 2010 at 7:33 pm Leave a comment

Put Your Records On

Three months into always going to the YMCA for my workouts and I gots to tell you, my playlists are tired.  TIRED.  Or maybe I am tired (of them).  Anyway, I need some fresh tunes.  What songs get you moving?  Help a sister out.  I need some new motivation come Monday morning on that treadmill and elliptical (and I like just about anything).

March 27, 2010 at 7:25 pm 5 comments

Random Bits

So, Happy threw a little tantrum the other day at the Farmer’s Market in town (it was over strawberries).  Happy was in front of me and Lola was beside me.  As I turned all my attention to Happy, Lola walked away, turned her back, and sat down as if she didn’t know us.  As it got worse, she cuddled up to one of our friends as if she was hoping everyone might believe that she belonged to Leslie and not us.  I think Lola would totally sell us out for another family without an almost 2 year old if she could.  Ultimately, I had to walk away with Happy and BF had to go get Lola in order for her to come. 

 

I think I shared that I am taking a photo a day of Happy in his second year of life.  I just looked back at a few of them and I cannot believe how the kid has grown (well, I can, but still it shocks me to see these older pictures of him).  Here is a sampling…

a year and one day old

Almost 13 months old

14 months old

15 months

16 months

17 months

18 months

19 months

March 25, 2010 at 6:40 pm 3 comments

A Beautiful You signature

One of the things I talk about in Beautiful You is the simple joy and confidence that can be found in having a signature piece of jewelry.  A signature piece doesn’t need to be expensive but it should be expressive of who you are or where you are, a remind of what you want to hold true.  As I think about the publicity plan for Beautiful You, I want to also think about things that can be done in support of the book that promotes the message that what needs to be changed is how we see and not how we look.  So, today’s publicity plan question has to do with creating a signture item to promote the message of Beautiful You (keep in mind that all of the proceeds would be donated to a non-profit).  Please answer the poll questions below to help me decide what to do!   And if you haven’t shared your thoughts yet on bumper stickers, please do that, too!  Thanks so much!   

March 23, 2010 at 6:26 pm Leave a comment

Housekeeping

So, I’ve been doing some editing of blogs and web-sites.  The pages of this blog have been updated to include information on Beautiful You and my latest events and the pages of my separate web-site have been updated so feel free to go survey the scene.  In other news, I am on Twitter (@rosiemolinary) so come join me there if you tweet.  Alright, the end of housekeeping.  Yep, that is about how long it lasts at my house, too.

March 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm Leave a comment

The difference a good hair day makes

So, you know that I have been considering straightening my hair.  You guys gave me lots of much needed encouragement and so I called my hairdresser and said, “Alright, I am thinking about it.  What do you have available before you move?”  Well, it turns out that what she had available was an appointment the day before I fly to a college to speak which is all well and good EXCEPT that you can’t wash your hair for three days after you get it straightened while the goop coats your hair and changes it’s shape. And so I was conflicted about getting on a plane and flying somewhere to give a talk with goop that I had no way of knowing what it would look or smell like in my hair.  And so I tentatively said yes and hung up the phone. 

Except then I woke up the next day, didn’t really do my hair like I don’t really do it any day, and it was the cutest damn curls I’ve seen this side of 2007.  For realz (and wouldn’t you know that I had no wear to go exciting that day?).  And so I balked about getting my hair straightened on the day before I travel to another state to give a talk.  Because knowing what my hair looks like when I travel feels much more comfortable to me than the unknown- ie. what if the goop smells weird or something and I make people pass out while I am signing books.  I could not live with that.

So I texted my hairdreser and told her I was too much of a wuss to do it the day before traveling.  We’d have to figure something else out.  And then, in the interim, I started thinking about how what Happy and I have in common, physically, is our curls.  And one day– not yet– he’s going to look around and see that his big people don’t look completely like him.  And I am going to hoist him to a mirror and say, “What do you see buddy?”  And when he says ‘brown eyes’, I think I want there to be more that he can add to the list– not because I want to confuse him, but because I know the relief of just sharing one thing in common with someone else like curls or black hair or tan skin.  Now, granted, this conversation with baby isn’t happening any time soon but still I am thinking about this and wondering and considering and searching.  Every day, we work on Baby’s hair like it’s our job (well, it is our job).  It’s natural, it’s beautiful, and we know how to do it after much trial and error.  It’s interesting to me that I am willing to put the time and trial and error into his hair, but not mine. It’s also illuminating to me that, as a mother, there may be value in keeping my curls.  Maybe the answer is to straighten it now while my time is so compressed and then let it revert to curly when he’s a bit older and I acutally have time to do something with it (and he’s at the age where he notices these things).  Maybe it’s some other variation.  I simply know that in considering what was initially a simple question of should I or shouldn’t I, the question has become more complex.  I know that is the whole nature of parenting, though, and I am intrigued about where I’ll end up.

March 21, 2010 at 8:26 pm Leave a comment

Unhappy and the awful, no good, very bad, terrible day

So, I totally meant to be funny with that Dear Town Resident post. I swear it wasn’t an SOS, just seeing the humor in what is the theatre of absurd that is our life.  And if that wasn’t funny enough, catch how our day went down today:   

As an aside, the crud has been diagnosed as a sinus infection and ear infection.  When I called the doctor and asked for an appointment, the receptionist said, “And why are you coming in?”  I told her “Because I have the crud.”  She was not amused.  Okay, back to today.  The morning started well enough except I awoke with no hearing in my ear infection ear.  Zero.  It’s like cotton balls have taken residence in the canal.  I’m assuming that’ll go away, but I tell you this just to let you know that I did go through the whole day at a significantly louder octave than I normally go through the day.  And I am fairly loud on a quiet day. 

Anyway, I loaded the baby in his stroller and we walked to the grocery store.  We had not been gone more than 5 minutes before Happy’s sock and shoes were off.  We just rolled on like that because I wasn’t going to cause a fight and wake people up at the crack over socks.  Back home, I unloaded the groceries and then Happy and I went to the back yard to plant spinach, strawberries and Bibb lettuce.  Except he unplanted everything I planted and then stepped in dog poop.  Dog poop undoes me.  Meanwhile, I get an email from a friend who tells me that I hip called her during that ordeal.  Isn’t that just what you want to hear when you pick up your cell phone?  She said she was laughing her tail off.  I can only imagine (imagine this all in a very loud octave since I can’t hear):  “Baby is that what I think it is?  Oh, yep, yep it is.  Oh, gross.  Baby, seriously?  Lola, seriously?  Seriously, you had to walk in that?  Seriously, Lola, you had to do that?  Okay, Baby, no, don’t touch me.  No, don’t touch it.  Baby, no!” 

I wrangled the baby’s shoes off (I had wrangled them back on when it came time to play in the backyard), stuffed them in a grocery bag and left them for BF (because that is how I roll.  Since I have been poop scooping lately– clearly not all that well– I figured he needed to know what he was missing).  Then Happy had a breakdown because we had to go back inside to get more socks and shoes and he didn’t want to go back inside (he never does).  The breakdown continued until his speech therapist arrived (we’ll talk speech therapy in another post).   Then, for an hour, Happy figured out how to interact with the speech therapist without saying a word.  It was really quite clever and even when she left he only waved goodbye rather than saying his very favorite words “Bye Bye.”  Dude, he even says bye bye to me when he comes and closes the bathroom door while I am in there.  But he sure as heck wasn’t going to say those words to the speech therapist.  Parenting the strong willed child, anyone?  Anyway,  as you can tell, that was time and money well spent. 

When the speech therapist left, Happy immediately wanted to get back outside.  So I had the brilliant idea of walking to town to meet BF for lunch.  I called BF, he said he’d meet us at a little cafe we love and so baby and I were on the way.  Except baby saw the park on the way into town and proceeded to throw himself on the ground and tantrum because we were walking past it.  I eventually picked him up and tried to walk with him and he tantrummed against my body the whole way.  Of course, it’s lunch time, and the downtown was packed and so I smiled at folks who I knew had older kids than Happy and just said, “Aren’t you glad this isn’t your life anymore?”  Everyone nodded sympathetically and got the heck out of our way.  We had a VERY wide berth walking down the road.  Saw BF which I thought would make everything sunshine and roses and nope.  So we decided there was no way we could go in a restaurant, and, instead, we loaded up in BF’s car and headed home where Happy promptly went to sleep and took half the nap he should have taken.  He woke up just as devastated and so we worked our way through another 45 minute breakdown until I finally calmed Unhappy down enough to eat lunch.  After lunch, I thought, “We could both use a break.”  So I loaded him in the stroller and pointed us  towards the YMCA where I could get a workout in while Happy played with kids his own age (I had foregone my morning workout for speech therapy).  When we got to the YMCA, I was wowed by the empty parking lot– I always go to the Y when it is jam packed in the morning and actually had the thought, “Maybe we should start coming every day after Happy wakes up.”  I wheeled Happy down the hall to Childwatch where it was silent.  The director looked at me like I was a wild woman and said, “Ah, we’re closed from 12:30 to 3:30 every day.”  I almost grabbed her and said, “For the love of all that is good and holy, you can’t do that to us.  Have mercy on me.”  Instead, I looked at my watch.  2 pm. I will not omit the fact that I called my sister at this time and said, “I want a do over.”  And by do over I meant a whole new day.     

So, Happy and I walked to the park instead where he was about to get worn out of me and my stroller pushing antics for the day when a cute 3 year old girl showed up.  And that was it.  I no longer existed, and all he wanted was for her to hold his hand at all times.  Even down the very narrow slide and up the ladder.  There was one more colossal meltdown to end the day but there was that glimmer of sweetness at the playground and I am banking on that to get me through the next dark moment and the replanting of the spinach.

March 18, 2010 at 7:54 pm 4 comments

back away from the baby’s feet

Note the bare feet

Dear Neighbor Town Resident (it was not my neighbors, I promise),

I know our baby’s cute.  I understand from what you said that you have a thing for baby’s feet.  I get it.  But, seriously, you don’t really know us and taking his socks and shoes off while he sits in his stroller and coos and then kissing his feet is a lot  bit much.  Nonetheless, if the “kissing my baby’s feet in broad daylight thing” was the only moment that gave me pause about the whole interaction, I’d let it go.  But here’s the thing.  You taught the kid a trick that I wish he had never learned.  Because now, unless he is running outside, he refuses to keep his shoes on.  It’s like the lightbulb went off that day in Happy’s brain.  It said, “You do not have to wait for your mom and dad to take off your shoes.  You can take them off whenever you want.”  And, now, he always wants to take them off.  I am assaulted with sneakers and grey socks while I drive.  We lose them in the house because he takes them off and hides them.  Yesterday, I spent twenty-three minutes looking in all the usual hiding places for his sneaks so that we could leave the house.  I gave up.  I didn’t find the missing sock and shoe until dinnertime when I pulled the tray off his high chair and TA DA!.  He takes his shoes off as we stroll through town and then tosses them like the quarterback he is sure to be one day.  I slam on the stroller brakes to run into traffic to retrieve them because Stride Rites don’t come cheap.  While he gets in the car with shoes on, we never arrive at a destination with his shoes still on.  So then I have to crawl in the backseat and get his shoes back on.  And while I put on the second shoe, he takes the first shoe off.  It is an unending, exhausting cycle.  Would it shock you to know that I now grumble your name every time I am dealing with the shoe situation?  I do.  It’s not right, but I just can’t help myself. 

So, please, no more kissing of babies’ feet because you have a thing for those toes.  Just let it go.  Seriously.  Because while you have not given that interaction one more thought since it happened, I think about it 5, 6, 7 times a day and not with fond memories.

Signed,

Back Away from My Baby’s Feet

March 17, 2010 at 8:44 pm 1 comment

Beautiful You: the bumper sticker??

So, I am just starting to work on my part of the publicity plan for Beautiful You.  When a book comes out, there are things that an author’s publisher will do to support the launch of the book and then there are things that the author should do to promote her book.  So, for the next few weeks/months, I am brainstorming the  things I’ll be doing, and I need your help/ input.  

Today’s publicity topic is bumper stickers (but of the magentic variety).  A local artist advertises one of her art projects on her car with a magnetic sticker, and it makes me wonder whether or not it’s been an effective tactic (I don’t know her and I’ve never seen her in her car– just the parked car with the sticker- so I can’t ask.  Hence, I thought I’d ask you).  There are two poll questions below about book bumper stickers. 

Poll # 1

Poll # 2

Know that you want to be on the bumper sticker list if I go with that idea, feel free to email me at hijasamericanas@gmail.com, and I’ll get your name down for it! 

In the coming weeks, I’ll run other ideas by you, but do send any brilliant ideas you have my way, too!

March 16, 2010 at 7:09 pm 1 comment

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What does it mean to be beautiful in America? For years, pop culture has insisted that beautiful women are tall, thin, and blonde. So what do you do if your mirror reflects olive skin, raven hair, and a short build? Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina offers a provocative account of the struggles and triumphs of Latina forced to reconcile these conflicting realities. Rosie Molinary combines her own experience with the voices of hundreds of Latinas who grew up in the US navigating issues of gender, image, and sexuality. This empathetic ethnography exemplifies the ways in which our experiences are both profoundly individualistic and comfortingly universal.
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