About Me

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I'm Beth. I'm married to my best friend, and he's pretty awesome. We have two equally awesome kids, Gavin and Sophie.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Boys and Girls and People

We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.
-Gloria Steinem
I posted this quote on my facebook yesterday and I have been thinking about it since.  I am a huge advocate of teaching my daughter to be a person, not just a "girl".  You will never hear me say she can't do something or have something because its for boys.  I am not for that.  Can you wear that Star Wars shirt? Yes, you can, because its for a person, and you are a person.  Can you play with those awesome Legos?  Yep.  They're for kids (or, adults, my mister would argue), and you're a kid.  Can you wear that Captain America costume? Yes, because Captain America is awesome.  And you're awesome.  (Really, I don't care that he is a male super hero...he is strong, and kind, and moral and does the right thing.  Who wouldn't want their kids to look up to that??  Also,he doesn't wear his chones to fight crimes, so that's a plus.)
I don't try and shove this girls and boys are equal stuff down her throat, but it is woven into our daily interactions.  You are a girl, yes. Embrace that!  Have tea parties and learn to cook with me and wear the dresses you love.  First and foremost though, you are a human being.  A person.  A person with strengths, and brains, and talents, and things you need to work on.  You can be whatever you want to be and do whatever you set your mind to.  Somewhere along the line, some girl had to have the dream of being the first female astronaut, and had to work hard to achieve that.  And she did it.  A long time ago, a bunch of strong awesome fearless women had to fight for their right to vote.  And they did it.  It was hard.  But they kept at it!  And kicked butt.  You can do that, little girl!  You can go out back and chase our chickens around and clean out their coop, and then go play basketball, or shoot a gun, then come in and help cook dinner and wear a dress.  Its all for you, whether everyone else thinks its for girls or not. 
As much as I embrace all of this, do I take the time to make sure my boy knows this as well?  I like to think so but I am not sure that I spend the time telling him its okay if he wants to sew, or wear pink, or scrapbook with us.  All those things are for people.  And he's a person.  And we NEED to let our boys know these things.  I tell you what, I am so thankful that the man I married knows how to cook.  And vacuum. And do laundry. And some people (a lot of people?) would argue that those are "womanly" tasks.  (And to those people, I say...shut your dirty mouths.  Don't leave all the household drudgery to me just because I am a lady!)  We will all serve our sons well to teach them to be not only manly men, but well rounded human beings.  You can like the movie Frozen if you want.  Ain't no thang.  If you want to learn to knit...that's super cool.  You can do that and then still go out and work with tools.  Because for all these chicks kicking butt and blazing paths because we've spent the time to tell them they can do whatever they put their minds to, there needs to be boys who have been told the same thing.  Because not only will that give them the abilities to be well rounded people, it will keep them from being the people who oppose these girls doing "boy" stuff.  If we teach the boys and girls equally, maybe eventually we can just get rid of that.  Get rid of the resistance.  And I would definitely be okay with that. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Stinky Guts

Man. Time goes too fast.  My mister and I are always looking at each other and laughing over the funny things Sophie says to us, or the ways she mispronounces words, and he often tells me we need to write these things down! 
Because sooner than we think these days will be over, and we won't remember these things that we find unforgettable right now.  I'm realizing just how quickly these years pass by.  There's a thing going around on facebook about only having this day with your kids once.  And as I see my nieces grown up: some going off to college, others graduating college, getting married (!!), moving away...I realize it more than ever.  It was just a few short years ago that they were tiny.  Tiny little girls whose nails I painted and hair I braided.  And now they're the grown ups.  And I look at my sweet little Sophie and see them in her.  And I see that today is the only today I get with her.  Tomorrow, she'll be one day older.  Its not a sad thing.  Its a good reminder to cherish everything as its happening.  She is so funny and creative.  When she's grown up, and knows the right words to use and how to say things, she'll probably have lost a little of her wild imagination.  And I want to remember it. 
Just tonight, tucking her in we had the cutest little conversation and I made the decision right there to come straight to the computer after I left her room and record it.  One day I will be able to look back and remember "oh yeah!"  She has a thing where she tells me she loves me "with all her guts".  Its changed, from just plain guts, to "I love you with all my guts, but not the stinky ones." Here's tonight's bedtime convo:
"Mom, I love you. So much.  With all my guts, but not the stinky ones.  The shiny ones. They shine like jewels!"
Me: "I love you with all my guts too."
Sophie: "I love you more than jewels that are shiny like my guts. And more than princess dresses.  And more than Juno puppy! And more than the Avengers and Loki and Spiderman! And more than the color green!...I also love the dog though. Oh and since daddy farts a lot, I love him with my guts that are a little stinky, with fart balls of air around them. And I love Gavin with my hairy guts. And the dog with my stinky dog licky guts. But remember, I love you more than shiny jewels."
How could I not love all of that?!

Friday, August 16, 2013

My sweet gift

Today was momma-daughter date day. :)  Since I spend the majority of every single day with Sophie, we don't really "do" that.  She's had a date with daddy before, but the movie theater in town is having a buy one get one free matinee movie tickets on Fridays, and I love me a deal!  So I asked Sophie if she'd like to go to a movie this Friday, just her and me.  She was super excited and has been mentioning it all week.
She woke up super early and immediately got ready for "her date".  We went and saw the movie Planes.  It was pretty cute!  Sophie had a great time and ate too much candy. 
After the movie, we went right on over to get her hair cut because she had her first self inflicted hair cut last night.  I have never worried about that before, because she knows the rule with scissors and is such a good girl.  Unfortunately, I didn't think about accidents.  Sophie didn't think about it either, and was scared to tell me she accidentally cut off some hair while she was making puppets.  Poor little thing cried and cried...but it didn't look too bad and she got a professional fix so all was well.  Then we went out to lunch, and she told me "mom I don't want to go home yet". :)  Which was surprising to me.  I mean...she is with me all day, every day.  It touched my heart that she was so happy to be spending quality time with me.  I realized though, that so much of the time its quantity, and not always quality.  She has to run my errands with me, be with me while I do chores.  Do I ever dedicate a day to doing only what she wants, even if its "wasting" productive time? Not usually.  So I happily took her to the dollar store, which is where she asked to go. (You know you live in a smaller town when having a Dollar Tree open up is exciting news.)  She got herself one of their little carts, told me she is the mommy today, and I needed to follow her.  So i did.  Since I had no real agenda while we were there, I also got to observe the other shoppers.  Like the young man who kept telling the toddler boy with him to shut it.  And the kids who wouldn't stop whining and asking for everything and then throwing fits when their mom told them no.  And the mom who had a bunch of kids with her in front of us in line who was telling the cashier how awful her 6 kids were, and how they don't listen and won't keep their grubby hands to themselves, while she also told them to shut up. :(  I don't know what was happening in these people's lives to cause these attitudes/actions I witnessed.  But I do know that listening to that particular mother made me look down at my sweet little girl, waiting patiently in line beside me, and thank God for her.  So often I'm busy, and rushed trying to get everything done.  I like to think I take time to savor the moments with her and appreciate her but I know that I don't always think about it.  I know I don't speak as harshly to her as I heard this other mother speaking to her kids, but maybe sometimes I make her feel less than important just by not paying attention.  So I'm glad we had this day for her to be assured that she is one of God's most precious gifts to me.  I'm glad she looked at me when she heard those things and said "momma I love you" and I was so happy I was able to let her know I love her, too.  And walking out to the car with her, holding hands, was one of my favorite parts of my day.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

This Kid...

I had a c-section.
I'm pretty sure I've discussed this with Sophie before.  Not in detail, but she's asked before about coming out of my tummy.  I'm not sure when this information left her mind, but tonight she brought up her birth again.  She said "mom. I came out of your tummy right? Do babies just drop out on the floor?" I don't know where she got *that*, but I told her that maybe some babies do (haha), but that they had to cut open my belly to get her out.  
Maybe I should not have just busted out that info like that, but really I thought she'd remember.  Her eyes got gigantic.  Bigger than normal.  "What? Who? Who cut me out? What did they cut you open with??"  I told her it didn't hurt, and a doctor did it who was trained how to do that sort of thing.  They gave me fancy awesome medicine that ladies get when they need babies cut out of their tummies and I felt nothing!  
That did not satisfy her, because she sat and thought a while, and then starts crying.  "Momma I am never going to have a baby!"  I told her she didn't have to, and she calmed down and I figured that was the end of it.
Nope!  About half an hour later Sophie said "mom. I do not ever want to be a grown up."  I don't blame her.  But I asked why, and she said that she doesn't want to have to have a baby in her tummy.  I told her "well, you really don't have to have any babies if you don't want any when you grow up."  She is whimper-y by this point and says "I am too scared to have my tummy cut open! It will hurt and I hate shots even!"  She thinks about it and says "I will tell the nice boy I am going to marry that I do not want any babies.  And he'll say okay, and if he doesn't say okay, I'm going to come stay at your house."  
Sounds good to me!
We then got on the subject of this 'nice boy' she is going to marry.  She told me she wants it to be someone she already met who doesn't have a girlfriend.  GEEZ. Raising a girl.  Who knew?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Raising a Farm Girl

I did not grow up on a farm.  I didn't even grow up anywhere near the country.  I've usually lived in bigger cities, but I always thought "farm life" seemed awesome.  I'm sure that surprised my family, and one of my brothers even said (sarcastically, of course) that he always imagined I'd be the one to grow up and do farm chores every day.  
My daughter definitely will not have the same childhood experience I had.  We moved out here to the country not long after she turned 4, and man.  She sure has taken to it.  Who knew I'd be raising a farm girl?  I can't imagine her any other way than the way I see her every day: running outside in her boots, hair flying everywhere, and telling me she's gonna go catch a chicken.  And I love it.  I think its a really healthy way for the kids to grow up.  
We have made it clear that the purpose of our animals is to provide for us.  They're not pets, they produce food (eggs) and will eventually be food, themselves.  I've worried just a little bit about her 4 year old mind getting that.  Because she also is very tender hearted and loves animals.  And even though we say the chickens and ducks are NOT pets, the kids have of course named them (doh!) and talk to them like they're babies.  I guess it really sunk in to me, last night, that she has made the transition to full blown farm girl...I noticed one of our momma ducks (we have two sitting on nests right now) is injured.  She can't put any weight at all on one of her legs.  When I came in from doing my nightly chores I told Sophie. I wanted her to be prepared just in case.  I thought she might seem a little sad.  She said "oh. One of the momma ducks?  So how many girl ducks do we have?" I told her right now we have 4, and one boy.  She stared out the window at them for a little bit and said "well, I guess we may have to just eat her then."  I think the boys in the house are the ones who would have a harder time with that than my sweet, tender baby girl.  Who woulda thought??

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


On this day where I'm really hating this shared parenting thing and feeling so overly frustrated, I am struggling.  I'm trying to remind myself that I am SO blessed and I have to admit, its really hard to remember this sometimes.
Today sucks in some aspects.
But I have a sweet husband who would do anything for me and the kids.  He would work his hands to the bone if he had to to take care of us.  
I have an awesome step son who I've gotten to watch grow up for the past 6 years who is super kind hearted and loving, just like his dad.
I have a sweet baby girl that has a tender heart and is hilarious and keeps us on ours toes.
I get to stay home and take care of my family and watch the kids grow and change.
I get to live in this pretty neat house with enough room to have the animals and garden we want, to help us feed our family.
I have wonderful parents and siblings and nieces and nephews.
We are all healthy! 

^^^^ That's a lot of stuff to be thankful for.  And to top it all off...I have coffee.
Okay, I feel better now. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The impossible quest for grown up friends

My sister's BFF posted this clip from Seinfeld on her facebook recently, and it inspired me to write this post.  It fit perfectly how I feel.  See, I have some "best friends" (which reminds me, I do believe that "best friend" is not a title held just by one person)...but they live thousands of miles away. (Maybe. I'm not good with distance/geography.)  They also are friends I made as a 4 year old, and a very young adult.  What makes young adult different than now? A lot. I was single, I had no kids, and I was still (relatively) cool.  Of course the friend circa 1986 was the easiest friend I ever made.  We had stuff in common: we were friends. *see video clip, if you didn't watch it.  By the way, why didn't you?
So, here I am now, 30.  I am married, with kids, and I'm a stay at home mom.  I feel like all those things are negatives against me, at least in the 'making friends' area.  Some people would think "oh, that's not true! Make friends with the parents of your kids' friends!"  Uh, have you tried that?  I mean its awesome when that works. For reals.  But I take Sophie to dance class and just...no.  And you know, there are probably lots of other moms that feel this way but we don't have an identification system worked out, so how do you know who feels the same as you, and who is just rolling in the friends and as happy as can be, and has no room for any other friends?  HOW DO YOU KNOW?  When I was younger that wasn't something I ever thought about.  I don't know why its the deal now.  But it so is! I have some acquaintances, some casual friends...but I miss having those friends who are so close that you know everything about each other, and you can be *real*.  Friends who will just come over whenever they want and walk into my house like they live here because that's how close we are.  Its been a long time since I had that and I miss it dearly.  My BFF/roommate from my early 20s and I did everything together.  We talked about everything, we knew everything each other was feeling.  But now we live states apart and we both are lame and have husbands and kids so...womp womp.  I like to think that if she lived down the street things would be the same as they used to be.  My best friend from childhood and I still talk nearly every day thanks to the wonder that is facebook, and I am so grateful for that.  That's 26 years of friendship!  You don't get that often.
But how do you just learn to be real with friends at this age?  How do you allow yourself to go from acquaintance to REAL FRIEND?  I do not know the answer and it seems as if its some sort of riddle.  I don't think I know how to let my guard down.  There's this thing with appearances, etc., that I get hung up on.  I'm not sure exactly how to explain it.  But I didn't feel it when I was younger.  Do they want you to be a surface friend?  In my head, the answer is yes. In my head, everyone already has their "close friend" quota and I'm not needed.
Whine whine.  Its hard! I'm glad at least that Jerry Seinfeld sorta knows how i feel.  A little.