Monday, June 24, 2013

Baseball, Not the Mall

I'm sure I've mentioned it on ye ol' blog before, but Kev is a rampant Sox fan. Rabid. Hates the Cubs. Won't wear blue to Wrigley. Ironically, both Cubs games at Wrigley that he's attended this year, they've won. I think he is secretly their lucky charm, but I digress. We live in the city, and we are fortunate enough to attend baseball games frequently.

While I rarely sit and watch a baseball game at home, I love going to the stadium. I love the noise, the collective gasps of the crowd. I love being outside, in the open air. I guess what it really comes down to is that I love the tradition of baseball. In my mind, my grandparents, my parents, myself, and hopefully, my kids will all have a very similar experience or memory when attending games. Maybe we keep score. Maybe we eat peanuts. Probably, we eat a hot dog. Ideally, the Cubs don't choke.

One thing I love about Wrigley Field as it is today is that it preserves my time capsule of baseball memories. When you look around, you don't see more screens with ads. You mostly see the field. A scoreboard that requires you do actual math to figure out the score and that you actually pay attention, because there is no instant replay. Just by nature of being at Wrigley, you get away from the technointerference that can so permeate our world and chill. It is the antithesis to U.S. Cellular Field, which is covered in ads and at times feels like a mall with a baseball diamond.

I know that change is inevitable, and for the most part, I'm okay with Wrigley being renovated. Honestly, I think they should keep the red marquee in the front and replay the ivy. However, I think the old, green scoreboard needs to say. It is updated by hand, and mercifully free of all the electronic clutter that clouds the rest of my life. Plans are already in the works to add a jumbotron, and I'm going to cry. Sometimes, a baseball game should just be a baseball game. Taking away the old scoreboard just feels like another place where I can't escape technology when I need to. Sometimes, low-tech is better than high.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Changing the Conversation

This morning, as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, I noticed this conversation a girl I knew in high school posted between her and her two year old daughter. Names have been changed.

Me: So Peyton, can we try the gym play place again tmrw so mommy can work out.
Peyton: No. I love you too much. You r my favorite friend in the whole world. I miss you when you work out.
Me: I know. I miss you too but it will be fun for you and mommy can go get skinny.
Peyton: mommy, you are the skinniest mommy ever. You are so pretty too. 
Me: well played, kid. But we are still going  

Lets hope we have less tears tomorrow!

I was livid.

Granted, as a non-parent, I can appreciate that things may fly out of your mouth when you don't expect it. The girl in question is very small, and looks healthy. But why, why, why, why, oh, why would you tell your two year old daughter that the reason you are working out is that you want to get skinny?

Judging by this little peanut's reaction, she can already recognize that her mommy worries about being seen as skinny and pretty, and that these things are important. But more important? Emphasizing, from an early age, that skinny isn't as important as HEALTHY. We look at all the Dove beauty ads, and the articles about including more plus size models and applaud, thinking that the beauty norms are changing. I argue, though, that nothing will really change until we start changing the way we talk about how we look to our children.

Growing up, my mom told me over and over again that I was beautiful, that I should work out to be healthy, that I need to watch what I eat to ensure that I have a lot of years of life to do the things I want to do. However, she herself constantly gets dressed and comments on how this looks big or that looks fat or that she needs to work out to lose weight. While I feel like I could lose weight, I also know I need to do it for health first, and hearing my mom narrate her expectations for my body in terms of health but hers for herself in terms of beauty always bothered me.

I don't know what kind of parent I'm going to be someday, and I think raising daughters in today's world is an incredibly difficult task. After reading that discussion on Facebook though, I've realized that we need to start from the ground up. We, the well educated, multitasking, sometimes put together moms  and future moms of the world need to shift the focus in the way we talk about ourselves in front of our kids. Let's start today, shall we?

How do you talk about yourself in front of your kids? Am I crazy for thinking this conversation is horrid?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Things I've Been Doing with My Summer

....instead of blogging.

Even though I've been out of school for a few weeks now, I was still doing professional development and doing some pre-work for a tech class I'm taking this week and next. Throw a couple of weddings and a trip out of town in there, and things were crazy! Here's a little recap of some of the riveting things I've been doing while I haven't been here.

1) Graduations- May was full of graduations. My brother, Michael graduated from Eastern, sister-in-law Catherine from St. Mary's of Winona, brother Pete from law school (pictured below with my dashing husband and I) and sister Laura from Madison AND I had six eighth graders from my caseload move on to the high school. Whew! What a smart, educated bunch. While I'm extremely proud of them, those ceremonies do tend to eat up the weekend. At least I have a bunch of life lessons gleaned from the graduation speakers to carry me forward. Love them all. Anyone have jobs for a lawyer, nurse, biology major, or business communications major? I'm only half joking here.

2) Baseball On May 6th, Kevin turned 30 and we celebrated with a 55 person block of seats at US Cellular Field to see the White Sox. I've also been to two Cubs games (biked there! Sidenote: did you know they have a locked, manned bike valet for FREE? Love this city) and a Kansas City Royals game. Love that my summer has been full of lounging in the sun with beers, even if I've only seen one win (by the Cubs!) while I've been out there.

3) Drinking and Lounging with Friends. In between birthdays, graduations, and trips, I've been trying to spend some quality time with the friends that, sadly, get neglected when times get busy. Of particular note is the fact that two of my friends, Jason and Brad have been working for the past few years on getting a small brewery going. On my second wedding anniversary, I was drinking test batches of their home brew in Brad's backyard. Now, approaching my fourth, their beer is in stores and it is very tasty and strong. Shameless plug- you want some. Go get it. Also, see that guy on the label all the way on the left? That is one of my very favorite people. He's so famous now.

4) Spending time with my much neglected cats. I originally put that chair in the corner thinking it would be a great summer reading nook, but the cats have taken the space over as headquarters from which to organize their retribution towards the birds that sit outside the window and mock them. Poor kitties. Dante on the left, Felix on the right. 15 pounds each. The vet has told us they are the two biggest boned cats in her practice. Sigh.
 5) Walking other peoples' dogs. See that blob in the middle of the floor? His name is Ernie, and he is very melodramatic. For instance, when walking down a busy neighborhood street where many businesses have treats out for puppies, Ernie likes to pause and stare dolefully up at me near EACH DISH. As if his mommies didn't love him and feet him. He also collapsed in this pitiful heap immediately after going on a mile long walk. Silly puppy.

6) Housewifing Kev loves when summer comes. He gets his maid, laundress, cook, grocer, and all around errand girl back. The cats also like to spend more quality time together. They think I just make these nicely heated piles to warm their behinds.
7) Reading So far this summer, I've read Gone Girl and The Great Gatsby. Next up will be Somewhere, Somewhere, Maybe by my girl Lorelai Gilmore (I don't care, that's who she is) and Paper Towns by John Green. Sprinkled in there have been issues of Self, Womens' Health, and of course, my beloved People magazine. Sidenote: isn't this a strange ad for Fathers' Day?
8) Lovin' Oven We got a new oven! It is an LG, which is very entertaining because it plays a ten second song instead of beeping. Kev and I dance every time. Yahoo! We are getting so fancy! That griddle in the middle makes a mean grilled cheese.....
9) Big Girl Makeup I sucked it up and bought my first big girl lipgloss after trying my friend Lindsay's and subsequently begging for swipes from her all night. I'd show you a picture of what it looks like on me, but I don't do selfies. Ever. Trust me, it's better that way. Rest assured, that this color, loud and lovely, is indeed just that. Bright and trendy without being too obnoxious.

10) Wedding Celebrating! Kev and I have been to the weddings of both two dear friends and my cousin this summer, with two more coming our way later this summer and into the fall. Magnificent. I love a good opportunity to get dressed up, sit by my man and think about our marriage, and then to celebrate later with lots of champagne and dancing. Love, love, love. As I think back, it is hard to believe we started this blog almost five years ago to chronicle the days leading up to the big one. I can't wait to see what comes next :)