loving lemonade.

hey life, bring on the lemons!

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Getting Bratty over Bratz

The first time I heard of a Bratz doll, I was in college. I said I would never let my potential future daughter have any scantily clad doll wearing far too much makeup with a name that promotes bad behavior, and I still feel that way now. But I also figured that there was no way society would stand for such a product, and I was sure there would be no Bratz dolls for me to worry about with my future daughter.

Bratz dolls from 2010

Bratz dolls from 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fast forward to now, and I’m the mother of a wonderful 5-year-old daughter. Somehow, society has not blacklisted Bratz dolls. In fact, now there are even Bratz movies, video games, a TV series. And yesterday, as Carlene and I were leaving the grocery store, what should she see at eye level but a Bratz movie in a Redbox. “Oh, Mommy, Mommy, can I get THAT movie?!” Upon seeing what she was requesting, I’m pretty sure my eyes actually did bug out of my head. I couldn’t say NO fast enough. Which then caused me to have a very upset daughter. Oh well. I still feel strongly that I will not let her have these toys in her life.

These dolls wear more makeup than I’ve ever owned. Their clothing definitely doesn’t meet usual dress code requirements.  I’m fairly certain that if a girl actually wore such an outfit in real life, she wouldn’t be able to successfully sit down and maintain any sort of modesty. The tag line with these dolls is fashion. This is NOT childhood fashion! I mean, maybe if you are 22 and heading to a club. Go for it. But I’m pretty sure 22 year olds aren’t looking to Bratz dolls for fashion advice.  In fact, the Manufacturer’s Suggested Age is 6 & up. I can’t help but wonder if those running this company (MGA Entertainment) have children, and if they let their children play with these dolls.

I’m ready for the judgment.  “But I bet your daughter has Barbies.” Yes, she does. Quite a few. I too owned Barbies. She dresses with more class, and she wears proper shades of lipstick. And at least Barbie has some life aspirations. She wants to be a veterinarian, an astronaut, a teacher.  What sort of aspirations do these Bratz dolls reflect?

I’m no radical who thinks the world will ruin my children. They watch their fair share of cartoons, I don’t always adhere to age suggestions on toys. But WHY would we want our kids to have anything that contains the word “Brat?”  And to top it off, MGA Entertainment didn’t even spell the word “Brats” right! Yes, let’s spell it with a Z so we’re also teaching our children bad grammar!

Let it be known that I’m not judging any parent who has let their child have these dolls or movies. We’re all just trying to do our best here. But I’m all about open discussion, and I’d really love to hear what sparked it. Was it a gift? Did you find it harmless? Do you think I’m overreacting? Trust me, you won’t offend me, and I have no intention of offending you.

I know I’ve got at least 3 more years of Bratz doll avoidance ahead of me. Wish me luck.


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True Life: I’m a slacker.

Well, I’m officially a slacker. My personal goal for the blog was to post at least once a week. But as you can see, the past couple of weeks are a little bare. I have been full of ideas, and I can’t wait to put them in writing. Unfortunately these great ideas like to pop in my head while I’m working, which is why they haven’t made their ways to you yet. But there is a lot more to come, I promise.

So, what’s with the slacking? Let me tell you. When they say 2 kids is significantly harder than 1 kid, they aren’t lying. I’m exhausted! Being back to work has been a big challenge. Mornings in our house are like a 3 ring circus. They start around 5:15…. well, that’s when my alarm goes off. Baby Blake thinks mornings start at 4. Sleep is not his favorite thing.

So let’s start over. My mornings generally start around 4 a.m. by feeding Blake. By the time he’s done eating and we’re back to bed, it’s around 4:45. I do lay back down but really it’s pointless. When my iPhone alarm goes off at 5:15 with the sound of Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten,” I hit snooze. Usually twice. Must be because it’s my favorite song. Anyway, Don actually gets up when his alarm goes off the first time, so by this point he’s already dressed and downstairs, brewing coffee and making lunches. He rocks! And now I’m cursing myself out for oversleeping, and praying that Blake stays asleep just long enough for me to shower.

Now it’s around 6. Don and I are dressed and ready, so now it’s kid time. He gets Carlene up and ready, and I love overhearing their daily discussions over what she’s going to wear. “Daddy, I want to wear a dress!” “Carlene, just wear jeans today, it’s cold outside.” “Noooo Daddy, I can only wear dresses to school! I’ll wear leggings with it!” It seriously cracks me up that she will only wear dresses to school. She didn’t get that from me, because I rarely wear a dress. She’s just living up to her Princess title I guess!

Luckily for me, Blake couldn’t care less what he wears. His biggest concern is eating again, so I just need to be speedy in getting him changed. All 4 of us are downstairs around 6:20. I feed Blake, Don gets Carlene her breakfast. Whew. Now it’s just a matter of getting out the door by 7.

We load up the van with the necessary 7 bags (see: Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays). Don helps to get the kids in the van, kisses us all goodbye, and hops into his work truck. I take the kids to daycare (school, as we call it). And then I too am off to work. And when I finally get to my desk around 8, I take a big giant deep breath, and stare at the wall for about a minute before diving into my day. After all, I already feel like I’ve run a damn marathon!

I wish feeling like you’ve run a marathon burned the calories of actually running a marathon. I’d have that pre-kid beach body back in no time. But none of this is an excuse for the lack of recent posts! I’ll try to do better going forward, I promise!

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They say elephants never forget…

Well neither do little kids! Princess Carlene is currently 4 years old (going on 14, or so she seems to think, but those are stories for another day). When she was 2 1/2, we took her to Walt Disney World for the first time. Booking the vacation was a little spontaneous, at least for me who usually books everything way too far in advance. She had just received The Princess and the Frog on DVD, and at that time was watching it daily. One night while I was at work, she told my husband she thought that princess castle (Cinderella’s) in the beginning was so pretty. So Don told her it was in this awesome place called Disney World. She was sold.

By the age of 2, she had already figured out I was a sucker. So the very next day, when I sat down with her to watch The Princess and the Frog yet again, she said some magical words. “Mommy, can we go to Disney World?” Don hadn’t even told me at this point that he mentioned it to her, so here I thought Disney was sending my child subliminal messages through their movies. But it didn’t matter to me how she learned, because a few hours later, the trip was booked!

Then I excitedly told some family and friends about our upcoming vacation. I remember being told by just about everyone I mentioned it to that she was too young and wouldn’t appreciate it. I was asked, why take her if she’s not even going to remember it? My answer was simple; she may not remember, but WE will. It turns out my answer wasn’t entirely correct, but neither was the peanut gallery’s assumption. We’re approaching 2 years since our trip, and she still asks to go back to Disney World every day. Every. Single. Day.

So, is there some sort of moral to this story of mine? Not really. Just don’t ever think your child won’t remember something. Your child might just surprise everyone and wind up costing you a Disney vacation more frequently than you had planned. I mean, Carlene will only think those beautiful young ladies are REAL princesses for so long. And if that means that I’m pinching pennies this year to make it happen, I’ll pinch until my fingers blister just so that I can see that look of amazement on her little face once again.