Sunday, March 30, 2014

Letter to Target

I like Target. It might be a bit of a guilty pleasure in the super hippie, buy-local, boycott-corporations part of society that I tend to hang out in, but all the same, I like it. The clothes are comfortable (if a bit limited in color palate), the people are really nice, the stores are clean, and they usually have whatever it is I'm looking for.

But today, I really noticed for the first time just how gendered their toy aisles are. I've seen it before, but usually while rushing the kiddo past so he doesn't notice that there are piles of things he might want, like a princess outfit or a drum or a bike or cars or a doll or a new ball or any of the other fun looking stuff that's there. Today I was on my own, and perusing to see if they had a kid-proof digital camera. We're planning to give the kiddo one when his new baby cousin arrives to help him feel involved. "Take pictures, E!"

Anyways, the aisles with the "girl" stuff in them are not only filled solely with toys marketed to girls, but the shelves themselves were painted hot pink. Same thing for the boy aisles, but replace pink with blue. No dolls to be found in any gender-neutral way, no lego sets that aren't "girly" in the girl section...just a message of "These are the toys boys can like and these are the toys girls can like. The end." The only non-gendered stuff was the sports and swimming stuff, but even that has clearly been influenced - lots of black and blue and tan baseball gloves, but no pink ones. Swim stuff was available in all sorts of gender neutral colors, which means blue is an option for everyone, but pink is not. Ugh. I'm so sick of it.

So I wrote to Target Corporate. And I'm gonna Tweet them and Facebook them and hopefully, maybe, if they as cool of a company as I hope they are, they'll make some easy changes to their store setup, and not contribute anymore to making kids feel like they have to be a certain way. Cause kids definitely don't. I should have taken a picture today...I will next time I'm there.

Here's my letter. Fingers crossed.
I'm a regular Target customer, and I really like your stores a lot. But I hate the way your toys section is set up. It's awful. The "girl" toys are in shelves that are painted pink and the "boy" toys in shelves painted blue and the things that are supposedly gendered don't have to be that way. Why are all the Legos for boys? Why is all the dress up stuff only for girls? I get that you have to market things to a target (ha!) audience, but you don't have to play into it THAT much. I would be so much happier as a supporter of your stores if you sent down a directive to remove a significant amount of the pink/blue gendering of toys. Girls like legos, and cars. My son likes horses and crowns. And bikes, and sports stuff, and basically all the toys. But soon, he'll learn from society that some of those things aren't "for him." And it would be so easy for you, as a corporation, to not be part of that stupid message that makes kids feel awkward and inferior for liking things they aren't supposed to. Thanks for your time, and I hope to hear back from you, and see some changes soon.

Friday, March 28, 2014

List #10 - Some good things

1. It's Friday - and not just any Friday! It's Spring Break! One whole glorious week when I don't have to talk to a single teenager if I don't want to!
1b. Dammit, it's like they have radar. The second I hit that exclamation point, my FaceBook dinged with a message from a student. Not that it wasn't for a good reason. But still, it's like he knew!

2. I've been hungry and not-sick enough to eat dinner for 5 nights in a row! Hooray! I've missed food...I think I'm officially back up to my pre-pregnancy weight, finally. This one took a little longer than the last one, but I'm finally definitely feeling better!

 3. I think I felt the baby kick last night. It might've been a dream. But it might've been real. And I feel a little less torqued about the whole thing, so either way, it was a good thing.

 4. This person, Arian Foster, hates Caillou probably even more than I do. Solidarity! Also this is an awesome reason to link to one of my more favorite posts. I'm still pretty proud of that one.

5. Mom's coming up for a long visit starting on Monday!
5b. Which means it's almost time for my nephew to arrive! I can't wait to see my sister be a mother, and can't wait to meet that little boy!
5c. Which means I gotta get my hairs did now before that kiddo gets here!

6. We're gonna watch Scandal tonight, which will mean that I can look at Twitter again in about 2 hours.

7. We're almost through Season 1 of Veronica Mars, and I still don't remember who killed Lilly Kane, so I'm excited to watch the rest. Also Ross had never watched the show before and he's really enjoying it.

8. Someone tried to steal my new OtterBox phone cover today. Which doesn't sound like a good thing, but it is, because that someone was a teenaged boy, who was spotted by my neighbor as he tossed the flowery phone case cover down in disgust on her lawn. She left us a note on our door, then called the cops, who actually came out to take a report, but also didn't seem inclined to do much more about it, because it's not like anything was actually stolen. Best of both worlds. I love this small town island.

9. I have chocolate peanut butter swirl ice cream in my freezer.

10. I won at 2048! It took about a week, but I did it! And now I don't have to play anymore! Wooo!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


One of my biggest inner demons, the thing that keeps me awake lots of nights, (and the thing that's gotten me banned from WebMD), is a tendency to think the worst whenever something just "doesn't feel right." I don't know if I would call it hypochondria exactly (although I think my husband and sister might!) because I don't make up symptoms or use illnesses to seek out attention or get out of doing things, and I'm not constantly obsessing over my health. And it's not just related to health stuff. It's more that I just have trouble shaking off the "what ifs."

My brain keeps running this awful soundtrack in the back of my mind whenever something like this comes up: "He hasn't called because he was mugged while walking home from work and now is lying in a ditch without his phone and with a terrible headache" or "you might have left the stove on when you left for work and now your whole house is filling up with gas and when you get home tonight it will explode." There's a scene from the movie "Amelie" that gets this pretty right on:

And this kind of stuff happens often enough that I have trouble trusting my instincts. I don't want to be a worrier, or a whiner, or a totally irrational hypochondriac. Rationally, I know that most of the awful things I think of aren't true. I can usually talk myself out of a lot of the worry rather quickly, and most of the time, there's a quick fix, like calling my husband or waiting a day (and then the random intense finger pain that just maybe might be cancer is gone and I don't have to worry anymore about what my husband would do for a social life if I were dead). So when something really does scare me, I can't tell anymore if it scares me because I scare easily (and I scare really easy - it's actually pretty ridiculous how easily startled I am), or if it scares me because it's actually scary.

For the past week or so, I've been battling this kind of "disaster thinking" about my pregnancy. I was pretty certain that I felt the baby moving around fairly regularly starting around 14 or 15 weeks in. I'm almost 19 weeks now. And for the past week, I haven't really felt the baby moving. At least, not like I was before. There have been a couple of little things here and there that might be baby, but I haven't been certain. And I know that there are about 700 rational explanations for this. Moms don't usually feel their babies move on a regular basis until about 20 weeks. The baby might've shifted position. The baby just might be doing other things. I may not have been feeling the baby before and only thought I was. Etc, etc, etc. Tons of totally rational explanations for what, in itself, isn't something Drs worry about at this point in a pregnancy (I know this because I called the Advice Nurse. Ross and I agreed that it's probably better that the Advice Nurses get to know me by name than that I spend any time googling things about my pregnancy worries).

And yet, I can't shake this worry. I'm scared there's something wrong. I'm scared to admit that I'm actually scared something's wrong. I'm scared that if I'm wrong about something being wrong that it'll make me seem crazy. I'm scared of sharing this fear and never being taken seriously again when I'm right to be scared. I'm scared of being right and sitting with the fear for another 6 days until my scheduled ultrasound, and scared of being right and demanding to be seen sooner and then finding out that I'm right and having to cancel the ultrasound appointment. I'm scared that I'll be scared for this whole pregnancy and then scared for the rest of my kid's life or the rest of my life and that I'll never manage to just be and to not worry.

Ross says I'm not crazy, or at least this whole thing doesn't make me crazy...I'm not so sure. But then again, I don't trust my own judgment right now anyways, so I think I should probably listen to him.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Muppets Most Wanted Review

Just got home from taking the kiddo to see Muppets Most Wanted. We try as much as we can to see movies at the Alameda Theatre & Cineplex because it's a grand old theater that's really involved in local events, hosts Friday Night "Alameda's Most Talented" competitions, and also it's the only movie theater on the island! Win-win.

The movie was fun. The plot is pretty simple - a Kermit look-alike with an evil mole and an even eviler (is that a word?) Russian inspired accent takes over the Muppets, and with the help of his Number 2 (Ricky Gervais), tries to pull off the stereotypical heist - steal the Crown Jewels of England. In between, there are lots of Muppet Show Acts, a bunch of sight gags and celebrity cameos, and tons of family-friendly corny jokes.

Like any good Muppet movie, there were fun and silly original songs, and a couple of references to pop hits too. My favorite was the bit where Celine Dion sings along with Miss Piggy as her Fairy Godmother. Kelle liked the play on "Workin' in a Coal Mine," staged in a gulag and led by Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo and Jermain Clement. The kiddo liked the Muppet Show theme song best, because he almost always likes best what he already knows. 2-year-olds, man.

Overall, while it wasn't as amazing as the last Muppet movie, it was way better than a lot of the crap that movie studios put out for kids. And to be fair, they acknowledge straight away that sequels are never as good (In a song: "We’re doing a sequel/ That’s what we do in Hollywood/ And everybody knows/ That the sequel’s never quite as good").

We're Doing a Sequel - Muppets Most Wanted Music Video on Disney Video
I laughed plenty of times, the kiddo enjoyed asking "Whas Kewmit dooin?" a lot (and eating the popcorn), and I'd be totally down to watch it again, or listen to it in the background on a long car ride.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


3 of the 4 planes are done! They're going up on Etsy this week!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Just a nice little Sunday

E had his last day of soccer yesterday. He really loved going, but also, he was not at all interested in following directions any more. So I think starting next week, we'll get him signed up for swimming. At least in swim class he can't run off and try to play with the big kids - not yet, anyways! I tried to get pictures of E getting his certificate, but one of the dads picked that moment to lean over to talk to his kid, so I just got  a picture of a Russian man butt instead.

After his nap, the kiddo was super chatty. So much so that I was having trouble dealing with it. He likes to repeat himself, waiting for me to confirm or repeat the same thing. Often an absentminded "uh huh" isn't enough...he'll repeat my name until I look up and say "yes, what can I do for you?" (or sometimes, if it's the 5th time in 3 minutes, "WHAT?")

To help keep myself from yelling (I had a major headache bordering on migraine and Ross was doing our taxes - there was no escape) I kept a count. Between 3:30 and 5:00, the kiddo said:
"Mama" - 75 times"I know" - 5 times
"Not at all" - 6
"Me either" - 3
"This is works" - 2
"I fold waundry" (said only while unfolding laundry that I had just folded, of course)- 11
"Play twains" - 4
"Honk honk honk" (said while honking either my nose or his) - 22
"Oof" (the kid loves pratfalls) - 12 
"Mama awake?" (usually accompanied by a poke in the ear) - 7
"What's dat called?" - 15
"dis is miiiines" - 22
"Mama help me" - 16
"Hi mama, whatsa matter?" - 1
"I's aksin qweshuns" - 1
Around 5, Ross finished the taxes and we headed off to Target (to get me some clothes that are actually comfortable - I can still wear a bunch of my pre-pregnancy stuff, but it just doesn't feel as nice as long cotton jersey dresses do!) and then to a toy store called Toy Safari, so E could give his binkies to the Binky Fairy's Elves (aka the toy store employees) in exchange for a toy. Kiddo has chewed through all his pacifiers in the last two weeks, and it seemed silly to buy him new ones, cause we knew he'd just do it again. So we talked to him for a couple of days about how he could give his binkies to the Binky Fairy, and she would take them to the babies who need them, and he would get to pick out a toy for being a good generous big boy. He really took to the idea, and walked out of the store (after a LOT of indecision) with a play-doh firetruck, which he's super excited about ) and he doesn't even realize it came with play-doh!)

Finished the night off with dinner at Burma Superstar (I think I could eat Tea Leaf Salad every night. Seriously, that stuff is like crack, if crack were delicious and healthy and made of 20 something different tasty ingredients) and then ice cream at Tucker's. They have the cutest little baby sized cones...E had his very first "dis is miiiines" cone all to himself, and it took about 5 seconds for him to get it all over his face. Adorable, but sticky.

I'm thankful today for the absolute lack of traffic on the Bay Bridge tonight, the fancy feeling of drinking juice out of a wine glass, pulling off a good thought-provoking lesson, and my new comfy dress. If society didn't require us to change our outfits on the daily, I'd wear it again tomorrow.

Friday, March 7, 2014

New Item!

Check out this awesome painting Ross did over the past couple days. It's his spirit animal! I'm about it put it up on Etsy, but I don't know what to call it...

Also, we had this very entertaining conversation today over gchat while I was waiting to see my boss...

Lynds how are you guys doing?
Ross fine... I'm almost done w/ the moose... the kiddo is currently working on a piece using opaque pigmented wax and dining implements...
Lynds oooh, creative
Ross very avant garde
his working title is.... crayon on place mat #31
or just 31 for short
Lynds alternately, "daddydrawatrain?"
I have no idea if this is funny to people who don't know us...but since pretty much only people who know us are reading this, you'll probably get a kick out of it.

Monday, March 3, 2014


This is how I'm feeling today... ETA: There used to be a video here...I don't know where it went, and I don't remember what it was. I bet it was funny and full of yelling, though.