Ashley • Personal • November 28, 2013 • 1~2 min read •
It seems trite to write a “things I’m grateful for” post, because I’m not in first grade. I’m old and jaded enough to believe that man, we’re really just into this Thanksgiving thing for the food.
That’s not bad; food is a way to show affection, to bring your people close and shower them with any and all foods that you can coat in butter. I always felt like the whole “things I’m grateful for” part was a bit tacked on anyway — no one says, I’m grateful for colonialism! #TeamPilgrims
Okay, that’s a bad start. Let’s try again.
It seems trite to write a “things I’m grateful for” post, but I think this may possibly be the most valuable year for it. It’s easy to be grateful for things when they’re good, or things that you worked hard for and achieved. It would be much easier to say, “2013 has been a shithole of a year and I can’t wait to be done with it.” That would even be true, but it’s not a complete truth.
2013 has been a shithole year, and I’m deeply grateful for it. Not just because I’m a fan of being alive and the alternative doesn’t allow for writing trite blog posts.
Ashley • Parenting & Family • November 12, 2013 • 1~2 min read •
To say that I have a complicated relationship with faith and Catholicism is a hilarious understatement. With so much uncertainty to my own beliefs, I really don’t care what other people believe — like I have the answers? No way. The bad news is that this grey-area aspect of my faith puts me at odds with discussing religion with Miles.
It’s not as though Andy and I are raising Miles in devoutly Catholic households, especially considering the whole of our romantic and familial history. Some of it is by design and some of it is inherent in our own lapsed practice. I don’t like the idea of telling Miles what he ought to believe. I find it hypocritical to create expectations of his faith when my own goes through so much fluctuation and uncertainty.
Also: he’s four. I don’t feel like he really needs to learn how to say his “S” sounds and understand the concept of a higher power all in one year. Some of this shit can wait until he’s six or something.
Teal dear: Miles probably can’t tell you much about faith or God. So I’m always a bit surprised when other kids can.
Ashley • Parenting & Family • November 3, 2013 • 1~2 min read •
At some point during my pregnancy I’d concluded that I wouldn’t relegate myself to “child-only” events when Miles came along. The motivation was simple (if selfish): we were only the third people in our extended social circle to have a baby; even today, I can count my friends with young children on one hand. Refusing to take Miles along to things would have meant cutting ourselves off socially. I wasn’t ready to make that choice. I’m still not.
That’s not to say that I went out to keggers with a newborn strapped to my chest. But Miles has slept through many a party in his short life. When Miles got old enough that he could be soothed without breastfeeding, a lot of times Andy took over if Miles did wake up. In part it gave him an excuse to take a breather, and in part he put up with it because he knew how much I hated being stuck to the child while I could hear our friends in the other room. It was really kind of him. And our friends have always been very accommodating of Miles at social events, so by now it seems perfectly natural to say, “Yeah, Miles can come along to that.”
Except, I need to evaluate how realistic this is anymore.
Ashley • Lifestyle • September 26, 2013 • < 1 min read •
I would not categorize myself as obsessed with food these days, but I do spend a lot of time thinking about it. My general goal is to cook tasty food that isn’t overly expensive — and I’d say I have mixed success on this front. However, my dinner tonight? I liked it. A lot. So I thought I’d share. This doesn’t mean that it’s good. I’m not the cook in the family; I’ve only ever been average, and proper seasoning still bewilders me. Consider yourself warned.
Ashley • Parenting & Family • September 11, 2013 • 1~2 min read •
Sometimes I like to tell Miles stories about when he was a baby, because he thinks babies are funny. As I was drying off his neck after his bath, I told him, “When you were a little bitty baby and only ate milk, you were so hungry that you would drink too much and it would get all over your neck.”
He giggled. “Mommy, that was milk in your boobies.”
“Yup, Mommy made milk with her boobies.”
“Do you still have milk?”
“Nope. When you got too big for milk, it went away. Someday, if Mommy has another baby, there will be milk in her boobies again.”
He sits on this thought for a minute while I dry off his hair. “Oh. So, I think you will have a baby in your belly tomorrow.”
I laugh. Partially because I’m currently menstruating like Niagara Falls, and partially because no. “Nope. Mommy is not trying to make a baby right now, and besides — it takes a mommy and a daddy to make a baby.”
“Oh. Show me how!”
“Then tell me a story about how a baby gets in your belly.”
Ashley • Parenting & Family • September 1, 2013 • 1~2 min read •
Miles has been really shy the past few months when it comes to nudity. In the span of six months he went from running around pantless from running out of the room if another child is getting a diaper change. He won’t change or use the bathroom in front of anyone. When it comes to bathtime, I just hand him a loofah and instruct him, “Wash your penis and your butt” and hope that it ends with clean privates.
We were moderately concerned for a while, but there’s nothing to indicate that we have a creeper in the rafters — just a kid who has taken the, “Honey, if you’re going to play with your penis, you need to do it alone” message to heart.
So we gave him a list of people he can talk to if something is wrong with his penis, made sure he understood that it’s okay to keep his private parts private, and moved along. (While giggling behind our hands, because small child shame is just a little bit hilarious.)