STICKY

PERHAPS WE LEARNED SOMETHING.....
…Perhaps we were only mildly entertained. Regardless, please enjoy these Reviews, Responses, Works of Fiction, and Retellings brought to you by one who hopes to someday join the ranks of those who have written something worth reading.
(Kaylia Metcalfe)

Friday Fun! (eye candy and Oscar cuteness!)

Happy Friday!

Don't forget that next week we start the Show Me Project!

(First up, Your Table!)

I hope you had a good week this week... mine was busy with being a part time single mom, a few cultural competency training sessions and working on setting up a few new websites in a project I will share later.

Anyway!

It is Friday!

Let's celebrate with some cute and funny!

First up, in honor of the Oscar's here is a video of kis acting out the nominations:


And then let's enjoy a bit of eye candy for both men and women!

Damn, I love our troops!

Elf on the What Now?

Elf On The Shelf.

If you are lucky enough to not know what this is, let me edify you.

See, in order to bribe/threaten your kids into being good... you stick this creepy adorable little guy up on a shelf in your home and tell your kids that he will be watching them all month and reporting their naughty or niceness to Santa who will then decide how many presents to bring them.

...

Do I really need to point out the creep factor of that? The "be good because you are being watched" coupled with the "be good and you get presents"... and yeah, I see an alarming similarity to religion here ("be good because you are being watched" and "be good and then you get to go to Heaven")

Disquieting to say the very least.... but add to all that the creepy little elf who has movable arms and legs leading several people to use their imaginations for evil awesome comedic affect.




Hee!

But anyway... I thought that the whole thing was behind us, at least until the holiday season comes around again. (So, you know, until September, right?)

And then I saw this.

Birthday Elf!

Now you can bribe/threaten your kids in the month leading up to their birthdays too!

Let's just chuck parenting and teaching good behavior out the window completely shall we?

Seriously. //facedesk/

Am I a horrible person because I don't think the emphasis during the holidays or your birthday should be all about the gifts? Am I the only one who hates the idea of these dolls as a way to get your kids to act like decent human beings? I mean, really? What sort of message are we sending?

And the doll is just creepy. It just is.



Blech.




Going to Do This!



In fact I might invite other babies and make it like a thing!

You are five months old today. Almost 22 weeks. I think we will do it around your 6 month mark.


Coming Soon... The Show Me Project!

Some of you might remember the Show Me.... Project from a few years ago. 

I participated and it was a LOT of fun!

I thought... why not bring it back, change it up a bit, and invite a whole new slew of people to participate?

So, starting March 2nd, I will be hosting the new and updated Show Me Project!

Here's how it works.

Each Friday morning I will post my own submission of that week's Show Me Topic. You are all invited to link to your own submission for that week via the Mr. Linky widget at the end of my post. It is desired that you take a new photo or make a new vlog for the topic as opposed to searching through your personal archives, but this isn't written in stone.

The idea is that we can then visit each other's blog or youtube channels and share the fun!

The project will go for a full 8 weeks. (One submission a week) Feel free to participate in all 8 weeks, but don't feel obligated. If you miss a week or hate the topic... no one is going to hunt you down or punish you.

You are invited to submit one photo per topic . or a series of photos... or a vlog... or a photo essay... or whatever inspired you regarding the topic. After all, this is supposed to be fun, not homework!

And yes, the topics are available ahead of time!

Here is the weekly break down:

March 1st / Show me... your table! (Dining room table, coffee table, or patio table... whatever table gets the most love or tells the most interesting story!)

March 8th / Show me...your mailbox! 

March 15th / Show me...an object or objects of sentimental value! Feel free to tell us the story behind the object(s) if you wish.

March 22nd / Show me...your kitchen! (the whole room or a portion; favorite kitchen appliance; gadget; something you cooked/baked...anything pertaining to your kitchen)

March 29th / Show me...your door! (Front, back, side, office... you get the idea.)

April 5th / Show me...your favorite view from anywhere in your home!

April 12th / Show me...your hobby! (or favorite pastime / best way to relax if you prefer to call it that)

April 19th / Show me...YOU. (e.g. a self portrait; your hands; your feet (I know some of you will be all over this one!); a shielded view of you; any way you want to portray yourself will work here)

Again, feel free to work on the topics ahead of time, but don't post 'em until the date above... and then visit this blog and link to them so we can all share the fun!

I hope you participate and I hope you have fun!



Just to get in the habit, if you are planning on participating, go ahead and link to yourself (blog, YouTube channel, website, etc).

Ruby Tuesday: Fun Outside!

Baby Ella loves being around new people and in new places.

Unfortunately as a non driver this level of novelty can be rather hard for me to manage.

Thankfully it was a bit warm last week and so she and I were able to enjoy some time in the backyard!

Here she is enjoying her red block while in her red seat!






Ruby Tuesday is a weekly photo / blog meme. Join us here!

Monday's Sundays in My City: New Work space!

Like last Sunday, I had a staff meeting at the Fresno LGBT Community Center yesterday.

(We were going over our upcoming Cultural Competency Training Sessions with a few new panelists.)

Anyway, while I was doing that, Ella and her daddy hung out at Starbucks in the Tower and people watched.

Seriously, that kid is happiest when she is out and about surrounded by lots of activity. No wonder she gets fussy at home during the week... I think I bore her!

Fair enough, sometimes she bores me.

Anyway....

Once we got home it was time to tackle a project that I had been wanting to do for a while. See, my desk had been living in the nursery... which mad sense from a "Ella doesn't use the whole room" sort of stand point, but made no sense in the whole "mommy needs to actually do work" stand point.

With it in there, not only was it impossible for me to work while she was napping or after she had gone to bed, it was really hard for me to keep my projects all organized in my temporary work space of the kitchen table.

And it was hard to work while someone else was caring for Ella because she was still Right There.

I needed a place where I could close the door.

... somewhere like my bedroom!

Having a work space in my bedroom isn't ideal... but it isn't a bad either... we figured we would give it a go.

I forgot to take any "before" photos, but you can see (behind the cute)*** my dresser in the corner.


And then the space where it was...



... and now the desk!



I am using my new work space and loving it! Good light, away from the rest of the house, near my iHome stereo, close to the bathroom but further from the kitchen....

I hope this helps me stay organized and productive!

And that, was Sunday in my city / home.

(Sunday's In My city is a weekly photo meme... join us here!)

*** Is this really just a shameless way for me to put more cute photos of my daughter online? Maybe. But can you blame me? Look at her!

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo



The title warns you: this is a book that is going to deal with big seriously depressing stuff.

And WHAM, right off the bat we jump into squalor and grime and a wrongly accursed youth afraid for his life, his ability to scratch out a living, and the the health and well being of his family.

On the surface, this is the book that follows a few of the inhabitants of an Indian slum but like the slum itself, that is just the surface. Really, this is a book about people struggling in a corrupt world, people acting out their baser instincts towards each other, and people overcoming their dismal situation

Or at the very least trying to make the best of a bad, very bad situation.

Boo's treatment of the inhabitants of the slum is interesting. She neither makes them into caricatures of themselves nor paints them as totally blameless angels... she shows us complicated people who's motivations are the same as those of us not living in slums even if their actions are different. It is a fascinating and perspective changing look at a portion of society that is at best ignored and at worst used for political traction.

I strongly recommend reading this book. Feel the weight of oppression  the kindle of revolution, the despair of life's traps and the hope shared by the children that someday things will get better.

Valentines Day 2013

Love is in the air....

And so is sunshine! Seriously, lately it has been so lovely and warm here! Everyday when Ella and I take our walk to the mailbox we just have to put on our sunglasses and revel in how cool we look.


Ahem

Today I made cookies for my fiance and played with my baby. All about the love, my friends, all about the love.

You know who else was all about the love today?

Illinois!


Once it is signed (and there is no reason to doubt it), Illinois will be the 10th state to fully accept and allow same-sex marriage.

10 out of 50.

But still.... that's 20%! We are making progress!

Who knows, this might be the last Valentines Day where DOMA still exists! (fingers crossed)

Anyway, we will be celebrating this Hallmark day of love by eating leftovers and falling asleep early. We are, after all, parents to a five month old. And it is, after all, a Thursday night before a very busy weekend.

And that's ok... no, that's better than ok... that's awesome. There is no where I would rather be tonight than on my couch with my family.

Hope you had a great day as well!

Feminism and Children's Books

I watched a few Facebook feeds explode the other day, and I kept thinking "Is this really happening .. in 2013?"

The subject was feminism.

Do you have to be a feminist if you are a woman?
If you are a woman and you don't want to be a feminist, are you a bad woman?
If you are pro woman but hate the label of feminist, can you decline it?
Can you be a feminist and be male?
Are all feminist raging radical man haters who think women are better than men?

These are interesting questions and judging by the insane number of comments on the threads I was following, they are way more complex than can be distilled down for a quick and easy sound bite.

I would wager that the answers would vary from feminist to feminist as well.

One thing though that kept getting brought up was the idea that the reason feminism got started in the first place has passed... we as a society have moved on and so we don't really need feminism or feminists anymore.

Now, I don't agree, but instead of linking to studies dealing wage gap issues, domestic violence issues, women's health issues, women's rights issues, etc... I'll just drop this little photo.




I'm going to say that when a publisher of children's books still thinks it is ok to teach girls that they need to be pretty while teaching boys that they need to be smart, we still need feminists to stand up and say "Bad!"

Because those sorts of gender roles are bad and they do damage.



My name is Kaylia, I am a feminist.
My male life partner is a feminist.
Neither of us are raging radical man haters or believers that women are superior.

What we are are people who think the system is unbalanced and flawed and that people need to draw attention to that fact whenever possible in order to make long reaching and impactful changes.

Let me also say that I am currently a stay-at-home mom and I don't see that as being out of sync with feminism.

But that's just me. If you want to know what other feminists think, you need to ask them. 




FogCon


I went to the SF Writer's Conference a few years back and it was an amazing weekend... I learned a lot, made some good connections, and came home motivated and full of ideas.

Now, as a new mother and our limited resources, I doubted I would ever be able to attend another conference like that one.

But guess what?


I am going to FogCon thanks to an Angel Membership and the unwavering support of my partner.

I'm excited to be surrounded by other writers and readers of Genre Fiction. I am looking forward to maybe getting some of my "in process" stuff workshoped.

I still need to figure out transportation and lodging, but I am so thrilled that I get to be part of this community event!


Ruby Tuesday: The Return!

I used to take part in a weekly photo blog meme called Ruby Tuesday and I have decided to jump back in.

Basically you post photos of things that are red... I used it as a way of giving a small slice of my life.

The original meme was done by Mary The Teach, but times change and even though she is no longer involved, it is nice to see the new Ruby Tuesday 2!

Anyway, here is my foray back into the land of red!

First up we have my awesome red iphone cover.
I needed a tough cover because my phone goes everywhere with me and has to survive my purse, being dropped, baby drool, etc. I love my case and the fact that it protects the camera lens.


I took this photo in the Tower last weekend. Sitting at a coffee shop, taking photos, reading or writing... this used to be a regular pastime for me. However, with the introduction of Baby Ella into my life, moments like this are few and far between. On this day, I was getting a bit of alone time because I had a staff meeting at the community center... and because there was going to be a parade in the district, I had to get there super early.. which meant time to relax and people watch with some hot cocoa!

My next photo is from that same day. 


Sometimes I am very glad that I am a non-driver. There are indeed issues with having to get rides or take the bus... but sometimes it works out.

Also, I heard a lot of people complaining that they had to park a few blocks away from the parade route.

They had to park... and then wlak... for something like 2 or three blocks... so that they could sit and watch a parade.

Pardon me while I roll my eyes.

Thus endeth my Ruby Tuesday!


Monday's Sundays In My City: The Missed Parade

Back in the long long ago when I was an active part of the Blog-o-sphere, I used to visit a blogger named Unknown Mami. She was awesome.

Right around the time I stopped posting so much I noticed that she did a weekly post called "Sundays In My City and she invited us other bloggers to join her.

I never got around to taking part.. so imagine my joy when I discovered this week that Unknown Mami is still blogging and still doing the Sundays In My City thing!

I decided to take part!

Yesterday was Sunday... and my city is Fresno.

Lucky me, there was a Mardi Gras parade ion the Tower district yesterday afternoon! Even better? I was in the Tower in the afternoon.... BUT sadly I was there because I was going to a staff meeting at the Fresno LGBT Community Center.... a meeting that started at the same time as the parade.

So, I took a few photos anyway... photos of folks getting ready for the parade and then scampered off to my meeting.

Here we go!

It's never too early for beads!


.... or too cold....
Also, never too early to stake out your spot. This was taken a full two hours before the parade was due to start.






A very serious man in beads.




 My favorite little grouping... a mother and her two children (all well past middle age) enjoying the festivities.




Alas... no parade for me...

Although I did get to enjoy this:



Personal Mini Pizzas for the win!!!!

Unknown Mami

Olive, Ella, and Ninja Mom

That awkward moment when you have to be all stealth ninja in order to not wake the baby and the cat foils your plan....

The other day I put Ella down for her nap.

And she fussed, but only for a few minutes.

(This is our normal routine, but it still makes me nervous every time I lay her down... and I still do a tiny happy dance in the living room when she falls asleep without screaming at me.)

Anyway, she had skipped an earlier nap -lots of screaming that time around- so I knew she was extra tired and also extra cranky.  Translation: she needed to sleep but wasn't terribly happy about it.

So, okay. I lay her down, she fusses, but then she quiets.

Per usual, I tip toe in and peek to see if she is just resting and preparing for an onslaught of screaming or if she is actually asleep.

In this case, her eyes are slits and she is still... so... juuuuuust about to fall asleep.

Normally this is excellent news and I can close the door, and retreat to the living room for chores, eating, etc.

Today though I realize that Olive Z Cat is in Ella's room.

To be more specific, she is on my desk eyeing the window.

The window that is right next to the crib.

Ok... I don't want to close the door with Olive in the room. (I have done that before on accident and when Olive decides she wants to leave the room she is not quiet with her request... an aborted nap and a screaming baby taught me this.)

"Olive" I whisper, "Come here kitty." 

Because as we all know, cats are the epitome of obedience.

"Olive... " I made the little ticking sound we make to cats, "Come on..."

She ignored me.

She began to move toward the window.

The window in question has blinds and curtains and I know from past experience that in order for her to get to the sill she has to bumble her way through both. Not a quiet process.

"No!" I whisper-shout at her while glancing at Ella who has now begun to twitch, "Come HERE!"

She looks at me and then sloooowly starts to push the blinds open with one paw.

She's baiting me and I know it.

I drop to my knees and crawl across the room (If Ella can't see me, I can't wake her up... right?)

At the desk I look up at Olive.

She looks down at me.

"Shoo!" I whisper, flapping my hands at her.

She blinks.

"Now!" I whisper louder and my hand flapping become more manic.

She jumps over me and beelines for the safety of under the crib.

"Crap!" I say -no more whispering for me- and dive after her.

Five minutes later. Olive and I are in the living room both licking our wounds. (My licks are metaphorical.) Ella is flopping around in her crib, eyes open but blessedly still calm.

"If she wakes all the way up and screams at me I might just lock you in there with her." I tell Olive.

She gives me a withering look and stalks off to harass my yarn collection.




Cosby!

It's Black History Month.

And what better way to celebrate than with The Cosby Show!

The Cosby Show was an American television situation comedy starring Bill Cosby, which aired for eight seasons on NBC from September 20, 1984 until April 30, 1992. The show focused on the Huxtable family, an affluent African-American family living in Brooklyn, New York.

According to TV Guide, the show "was TV's biggest hit in the 1980s, and almost single-handedly revived the sitcom genre and NBC's ratings fortunes".

Entertainment Weekly stated that The Cosby Show helped to make possible a larger variety of shows based on people of African descent, from In Living Color to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.[2]

Other sitcoms, such as Home Improvement and Everybody Loves Raymond, would later follow that pattern. The show spawned the spin-off A Different World, which ran for six seasons from 1987 to 1993.

During its original run at NBC, it was one of five successful sitcoms on the network that featured predominately African-American casts. The other sitcoms were 227 (1985–1990), Amen (1986–1991), Cosby Show spin-off A Different World (1987–1993), and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990–1996).

Although the cast and characters were predominantly African-American, the program was unusual in that issues of race were rarely mentioned when compared to other situation comedies of the time, such as The Jeffersons. However, The Cosby Show had African-American themes, such as the Civil Rights Movement, and it frequently promoted African-American and African culture represented by artists and musicians such as Jacob Lawrence, Miles Davis, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Lena Horne, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miriam Makeba. The show's spin-off, A Different World dealt with issues of race more often.

The show was noted for portraying only a certain portion of the African-American population.[8] Conversely, it was praised for breaking traditional racial stereotypes, portraying African Americans who were educated and successful.

The Cosby Show is one of three television programs (All in the Family and American Idol being the others) that was #1 in the Nielsen ratings for 5 consecutive seasons.[9]


Enjoy! (Thank you Hulu!)


Reclaiming My Breasts

The end is nigh for Ella and my breastfeeding days.

I'm still trying but she has become more and more adamant that she doesn't want boob, she wants bottle.

To the point where I'm lucky if she will give me a full 30 seconds of latch before she spits me out and weeps at the unfairness of having to wait for her bottle.

I try. I try every day. I try multiple times a day. I try multiple times a feeding.

But no.

She know what she wants, and she wants the bottle.

Of formula.

Pumping just doesn't seem to work for us.

So, yeah.

I keep wondering, Is today the day I admit that this isn't working and move on?

I was about to write "give up" but really, that has such a negative connotation .. and I don't think of it as "giving up" and failing, I think of it as listening to her and to my body and accepting that things have changed.

Someday soon, it will be that day.

And I'm really ok with that.

I'm tired of fighting her, I'm tired of the question of will she or won't she, I'm tired of the pain of breastfeeding on the rare occasion when she sucks for a whole five minutes before rejecting me.

I'm tired of feeling rejected.

And you know what else? I'm tired of my bras not fitting.

My nursing bras are way too big now, my regular bras are too small. Going without is not a -comfortable- option. So, yeah... I'm looking forward to being able to wear my bras again, my non-nursing tops again, etc.

I miss my bras. I spent a fair bit of time and energy collecting a nice variety of comfy and pretty and sexy and pretty bras.


Will I miss breastfeeding? I don't think so.

And yet, despite all my grumbling, I keep putting off the actual quitting.

But I know it is coming.

Soon.

The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak




We picked this for book club.

Another WWII book.

Le Sigh

And yet...

Calling it another WWII book is wrong. Very very wrong.

Because that is oversimplifying it. Yes, the story takes place during World War Two, but the story is about more than that... it is about some of the people who played the accordion and loved and fought and cried and read and stole books while World War Two thundered down upon them and changed their lives forever.

I didn't want to read this book.

I didn't want to think about world wars, or dead Jews, or little girls hiding in basements while bombs dropped from the sky. I didn't want to cry when characters I loved died.... because you know that in a book set during World War Two, a book about a German girl living in Nazi Germany, a book narrated by Death himself.... when you read a book like this, you know that people are going to die. A lot of people.

And yet...

I am so glad I read this book.

I'm glad I pushed past the first chapter when the voice of Death as narrator being almost pretentiously literary threatened to drive me up a wall.  I'm glad I became swept up in the life of a little German girl who's love of reading leads to her stealing books. I'm glad I was introduced to her adoptive father who simply must be one of the best parents in all of literature. I'm glad I had an excuse to add a few choice German words to my vocabulary. I'm glad I got to watch Ruby play soccer and meet Max, the skin and bones Jew who lived in the basement and wrote stories on repainted pages of Mien Kampf.

The story is gripping, tragic, bittersweet, and unforgettable  The writing is crisp, literary, magical, and haunting. The pace is both quick enough to keep your attention and slow enough to build the drama of the unavoidable climax into a fervent tension... Death teases us with glimpses of the future as a way of at once warning us (giving our hearts time to harden) and making us quake with anticipation.

This is one of those up-all-night-reading-instead-of-sleeping books that will trouble your heart, challenge your mind, and enrich your life.

Don't be daunted by the length.

Read this book.


The Blame Game: Facebook Edition!

You know what's stupid? Blaming the wrong thing for your problems.

No, I'm not talking about blaming McDonald's because you are overweight or blaming gun owners for one idiot's rampage (although sure, those fit the rant but others have already blathered on and on about them).

I'm talking about Facebook.

First we have this article which tells us that we should "de-friend" our spouses on FB as a way of saving our sex lives.

Next we have this article telling us that bribing your kid with cold hard cash to avoid FB is totally the best way to keep your kid focused on their schoolwork.

Sigh

First off, if your sex life is threatened by being connected to your partner, I think you have more important issues. While it is true that seeing every blasted thing your significant other is doing might lead you to apathy, hopefully it leads you to apathy of what they are sharing "oh boy, she's eating another sandwich" and not apathy towards the person, "That stupid sandwich eater, I miss the days when she ate soup or salad or burritos..."

And in the case of the first example in the article, if your lover is choosing to hang out on FB instead of have sex with you... again Sign of a BIGGER problem... and this would probably be the case without FB, it would just be something else that you would be jealous of. Something like World of Warcraft, football, your spouse's desire to finish reading her book before she goes to sleep, the kids, ... etc.

My point is that blaming FB for marital problems is just lame... and even if FB can cause strife, is "de-friending" anyone going to make it better? If you are that insecure that you stalk your partner online, I doubt not having access to their wall is going to help ratchet down that paranoia.

Ok, moving on to the dad who is paying his 14 year old daughter to stay off FB until school is over.

You know what? Sure. If that works for them, who am I to judge? The article says it was her idea... which makes me wonder if a) she has another account or b) she doesn't really care about FB in the first place and has found a quick way to make some extra cash. Either way, who cares?

BUT then the article ends with this gem: "Hopefully this experiment will be used as an example for others. Facebook is the ultimate procrastination tool. Many high schoolers will sit with their eyes glued to their profiles, their laptops rested on top of unopened textbooks. Something should be done, and perhaps a simple little bribe is the key.:"

Umm no. No. Just no.

FB is a tool for media and connection and such... and like any tool it can be overused, misused, or used for evil. Calling it the "ultimate procrastination tool" fails to take into account that those of us who are keen on procrastinating will find ANYTHING by which to procrastinate I mean, I have cleaned to put off writing. I have written to put off cleaning. I have laid on my back and stared at the ceiling to avoid both. And the internet is just full of lovely black holes of knowledge or entertainment .. if you want to put of your homework and you are online, FB is not your only -or best- option.

Secondly, this idea that these kids are sitting there like zombies with their laptops and unopened books an that something has to be done... Good grief. Here's a few things that could be done:

1. Take away the laptop.

2. Or leave the laptop but take away the internet during homework time.

3. If a computer or the internet is necessary for school, monitor the use... maybe have all homework done at the family computer in the living room where it an be monitored.

4. Set limits

5. Work with your kids to get their work done, make sure those books are open.

6. You know, be a parent.

But nooooo let's throw money at the problem.

Because nothing says "good parenting" like a bribe of cash.

/grumble

You know what this makes me think of?

This: (NSFW)

Times have changed
Our kids are getting worse
They won't obey the parents
They just want to fart and curse!

Should we blame the government?

Or blame society?

Or should we blame the images on TV?

No, blame Canada!



Oops, I forgot December!

So.... I need to do December.

I have all the days, I have all the photos... and...

And It is February actually as I write this. Getting awfully close to Mid-February.

The last December entry was December 2nd.

Oops.

You are wearing Christmas jammies and I suddenly remembered that I never finished December!

Bad Mommy!

I'll work on it, I promise.....


Anne of Green Gables New Cover Art FAIL

Oh Good Grief.

Longtime blog readers might remember this piece I wrote eons ago when the Sweet Valley High books were re-released.

Yeah I had issues with the changes, but I had a bigger problem with the idea of the art itself being changed no mater how or why. (The books are a form of art even if you don't like 'em... and the changes were stupid... don't believe me? Read my post, I bitch about Star Wars too!)

And here we go again!

Anne of Green Gables

She used to be an awkward 10 year old girl with red hair and freckles.



Now she is this:

What's up come hither eyes and the decidedly NOT re haired or freckled... or ten year old (I hope)??

The book itself appears unchanged, it is just the cover art that has been updated as a way of getting new readers.

Which might lead to confusion as Anne's red hair and freckles are actual plot points and character motivations....



Because every ten year old girl can relate to Sexy Farm girl, right?

Again I say: Good Grief.

Read the books, they are good... but try to find an older copy,






Mom Confessions

I'm going to admit it.

All of it

(or at least what I can remember right now)

Because really? People are going to judge you no matter what. Because I'm tired of not saying it. I'm tired of the quiet guilt and self doubt and loathing and shame that is, quite honestly, misplaced and stupid.

Because my baby is healthy and happy and that's all that really matters.

Here we go.

I hate breastfeeding.

We don;t use cloth diapers... and we probably never will.

I think the idea that as a mother you just instinctively KNOW your baby so just trust yourself and all will be puppies and rainbows is a load of bullcrap.

I do tummy time.

I started sleep training at 2 months. It worked great by the way, Ella goes to bed 95% of the time with no issue at all. (and when there are issues, they are very quickly dealt with)

Ella is a no-screens baby.

But I let her listen to hard rock music.

I ate McDonald's while pregnant. A lot of McDonald's.

I drink coffee.

I hardly ever slept while the baby slept. I think that notion was created by people who aren't responsible for feeding themselves or anyone else, make sure the bills are paid, the cat box is cleaned, the dishes get done, the eternal flow of laundry doesn't get clogged....

My male life partner feeds the baby and changes diapers. I didn't change Ella's diaper until she was something like 4 days old.

I don't wear my baby. The thought of wearing my baby freaks me out and makes me want to hide... from my baby.

Sometimes when Mathew gets home from work, I hand him the baby and then actually hide in the other room so she will stop staring at me... I need a few minutes of Not Being Stared At and Needed.

My baby is vaccinated and if you chose not to vaccinate your baby due to misplaced ideology then I think you are placing your kid in unnecessary risk and I don't want you or your kid anywhere near me.

The baby never slept with us.

At 10.5 weeks the baby wasn't even sleeping in our room anymore.

I let Ella fuss and cry sometimes.

I didn't wait until 6 months to give her "solids"

I use her as an excuse to get out of things I don't want to do. (Not often, but it has happened.)

Sometimes she makes me want to scream with frustration. Especially when she whines.

I'm afraid to cut her nails and I make Matthew do it.

A lot of the time, I'm bored. I'm tired of peek a boo and reading the same books and handing her the same toys over and over and over again... and she is only 4 and a half months old....

I have no idea what BPA is.

I still curse in front of the baby.

One time I let her sleep in poop because I just couldn't bring myself to wake her up to change her even though I could hear and smell the monstrosity that she had created in her diaper.

I don't think breast milk is magical, a cure all for everything, or liquid gold. In fact, the phrase liquid gold drives me nuts.

I think my daughter is cute... but I also think she has funny looking feet.

A lot of the time I just make it up as I go along.

And most importantly?

I think that despite all that, I'm doing a pretty bang up job at being a mom.

-- sound of microphone hitting the floor --

Kaylia, Out!





February's Community Alliance Article

Boy it's good to be writing again!

My February article Coming Out, the Choice Is Yours for the Fresno Community Alliance can be found here.


Here's the teaser....



The LGBT community is made up of men, women, individuals who don’t identify as either, tall people, short people, liberals, conservatives, gun-wielding rednecks and Ivy League elitist types. There is, however, one thing (besides the obvious) that they all have in common: the issue of coming out.

Coming out: when to do it, who to do it to, how to do it…and in many cases, whether or not to do it at all.

The decision can be difficult and as counselors to LGBT youth we are encouraged to remind them that coming out isn’t always necessary. If you feel your life will be in danger, if you are likely to get kicked out of your home, if there are mitigating circumstances, then we caution people to wait, to protect themselves and to come out later.

Read the rest of the article here!

The Wednesday Sisters

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton



This book has a video preview!



Clayton's novel about a sisterhood of housewives in Palto Alto California in the late 60s is everything a book about a sisterhood should be.

We have five different women who while being distinct enough that almost every female reader can find someone to identify with also have enough in common to make their eventual bonding not only believable but encouraged.

We have the end of the 60s and the turmoil of the US in terms of Civil Rights, Women's Rights, and the world at large changing.

We have the theme of empowerment that ties the Miss america pageant into the quest for self expression and drive.

We have a shared dream that is illustrated in a variety of ways... but is no less powerful for being done differently  (This, is perhaps my favorite bit about this book... the focus is following your dream, not anyone else's  So what if your dream is to write something no one else might ever see.... if your goal was to write it and you did, then you succeeded!)

We have female bonding over typical "female" issues of children, marriage, etc... and then we have female bonding through cancer. Through it all we have the focus being on the bonding itself andthe challenges play second fiddle to the strength that the women find in each other.

If the ending is a bit cavity inducing, well we can forgive it because sometimes, even in the midst of drama or turmoil, we cna find a moment to laugh with our friends and in that freeze frame second, we are living in someone's happily ever after.

Clayton does a great job of bringing five different women to life and making each one someone to root for. All in all, the book is a quick read with messages of hope, perseverance , and above all, the importance of close friendships, a funny and mostly light hearted read that is well worth the time.