Thursday, June 22, 2006

Oh My God: The HEAT!

... And I ain't talkin' 'bout the Miami basketball team, either.

Holy shit, it's hot here! Summer barged in without knocking, and made itself right at home. It was 96 degrees yesterday, and it's inching closer to 100 today. It's brutal.

It's good preparation for our vacation, though. Saturday is D-Day; we take off with two other families for 10 days at a cabin in Balsam Lake, WI, where the weather is pretty much like it is here, except with more humidity. Oof.

The past week has been errands, packing, laundry and shopping. We all got new bathing suits and flip flops. I got some hippie bug spray for the girls that probably won't do much, but smells really nice. I've made peace with the fact that I'm going to be wearing little more than a bathing suit most of the time, and I'm in a good place about it. My philosophy? I deserve to love my body, for all it's done, and all it is. It's not what it used to be, but it's what I've got, and it ain't half bad. Self-love: it's the ultimate vacation. Who knew?

Wishing everyone a happy and relaxing summer -- see y'all in July!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Last day of school! Who wants to babysit?

Though Hazel only attends preschool two days per week, I will really -- really -- miss the time she spends there, and I know she will, too. It's been a long time since I heard the words "Have a nice summer vacation!" but I heard it fifty times this week. I have to say, it makes me a little giddy.

Hazel's totally into the party aspect. The last week has been a flurry of special projects and goodbyes and a big, end of the year "picnic celebration!", as Hazel says. She searched her closet for something appropriately festive, and this is what she settled on. It's the dress my great-grandmother made for me when I was a little older than Hazel is now, for polka dancing.

You heard me. Polka dancing! My great-grandparents, and grandparents, used to take my brother and I with them back when were very young; I think I was 4 or 5, so that would make my brother 2 or 3. We loved it. The music, the attention, the chance to get all jacked up and jump around and not get in trouble. We especially loved the dancing. My grandparents always made room for us to hold their hands and dance with them. I wish I had a picture of them to include in this post. They were, and are, so cute. They still dance, to this day! I dig that.

This cute, ruffly red number is one of the several beautiful dresses, including a bubble gum pink cowgirl dress with silver embroidery, that were made especially for me, meticulously saved, and lovingly cared for, by my grandma. Hazel wore it with white socks, which I thought dumbed the ensemble down a little, but then she made up for it in her choice of footwear: the "fancy princess" mary janes that Stefania got for $1 in Chinatown.

This is Hazel's first summer vacation. Every other summer for her has just been... warm. Last year she didn't know seasons, or school, or even what a vacation was. This year she knows that school is ending, and won't start again until the fall. This year she has a calendar she'll be counting the days on. This year she knows we are taking an actual trip, our first family vacation (excluding trips to visit family, which, pleasant though it is, it's not really a vacation). This year the prospect of summer feels like it used to, when I was a kid -- something to look forward to. Something special.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Strap Seen 'Round The World.

I love this. I love, love, love this! Angelina Jolie, regardless of what you think of her as an actress or person, is the most famous mother on the planet right now. Everyone is watching her every move.

What a huge statement Angelina is making in that photo with her nursing bra clearly visable. I could not speculate as to whether or not she was trying to make a statement, although she seems to be a pretty media savvy gal, so my money says it was a conscious choice... But either way, that small, simple strap, all by itself, will probably encourage a good many thousands of women to breastfeed, even some who thought they wouldn't or couldn't. I really believe that Angelina's influence on today's young women and mothers is that strong.

Breastfeeding is such an awesome, powerful thing, and it's been a big part of my life for three and a half years, now. While I think that all mothers are amazing regardless of how they choose to feed their children, I feel a special kinship with nursing mothers, and am proud to be part of the movement that's bringing breastfeeding into mainstream society, without apology or awkwardness.

So I want to take this moment to congratulate Angelina, and welcome her to the club. Now you can put that million dollar rack to work, girl!

(I'd love to see Angie rockin' a "Nip/Suck" shirt on the pages of People magazine... do you think I should send her one?)