Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Life: Boys 24/7 (School Can't Start Soon Enough)

We've been hanging in our partially furnished house for a week now and the boys have loved running amok in the neighborhood with their old gang. This is super for them and barely tolerable for any adult who happens to be present when the thundering herd arrives in their home. As far as I can tell, the pack wanders from house to house all day long, searching for snacks and unlimited TV time inside alternating with water balloon wars and nerf gun volleys outside.

God grant me the serenity to make it until Thursday when school finally starts. And then grant me the ability to make it through each and every day of this school year, as my children are divided up, thanks to our wacky school district, between THREE schools. The Animal is starting kindergarten at the k-2 school, Destructo is going into 4th at the 3-5 one, and then Capt. Chaos is heading to middle school (God bless his pre-adolescent soul). The good news is that they will all be safely ensconced in their various schools, or on a bus heading there, by 7:30am.  Then I can coast until 2:30 when they all start arriving home.

Did I say coast? What a joke. Our container, recently released from a customs check (that we were charged $310 for enduring, thankyouverymuch), arrives the same day the boys start school! And then we are hoping to get back to the cottage in Iowa for the Labor Day weekend.  It is going to be really tough leaving the house full of unopened boxes, but I've got high hopes that I will be able to let it go.  And after two months of living completely out of the suitcases we brought from England, I think I might be able to make it a few more days.

Meanwhile, I am just finishing up my first month writing for StrollerDerby at Babble.com. I love having a place to talk about the many things I'm interested in that don't really fit here on my blog and I really love that I am now getting paid to read the NY Times and for the feverish link-clicking that I used to do for free!  Heh.

If you want to check out some of the highlights from this month, here's a round-up of some of my favorites:

Why We Need to Encourage Our Boys' Friendships"Stop acting like a little girl." "Big boys don't cry." These are the kinds of things parents say that reinforce the our culture's idea of masculinity that says men need to be unemotional, in control, and self-reliant. Gender stereotypes continue to plague boys and recent studies have shown that their effects can impact their physical health, not just their emotional well-being. MORE

Humorous Toddler Tshirts: Merely Inappropriate to Downright OffensiveAs the old saying goes, "There's no accounting for people's tastes." And so it is with this round-up of t-shirts available for your 1-6 year old. I won't lie to you, a few of them made me laugh. The same kind of naughty cackles that fuel every viewing of Superbad and The Hangover. But just because we laugh doesn't mean we'll actually help our child into one before we leave the house.  Unless you want to and that is totally your prerogative!   MORE  

Ten Ways to Tighten Your Gucci Belt In a Bear Market - As I watched my children's college fund disappear in the stock market free fall over the last week, I resolved to start cutting back on the extras that I am guilty of indulging in. Don't worry, I'm not thinking about changing my entire lifestyle or anything! I just want to figure out where I can save some bucks and make some of those much-touted "baby steps" toward fiscal responsibility that the economists keep harping on about.  MORE

Photo: Where Children Sleep
Haunting Images of "Where Children Sleep" From Around the WorldThe 56 diptychs in his book, Where Children Sleep,  cover a wide swath of children in all kinds of living situations and the overall effect is one that is haunting and a little disturbing. The children's rooms are portrayed as their occupants desired, full of their belongings, personalities, and "cultural circumstance." The children, in an effort to put them all on equal ground, were photographed in front of a neutral background.  Their outfits, striking in some cases, and eyes, striking in every case, are what will stay with you in the end.  MORE to see the slideshow.

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