Thursday, July 21, 2011

Amazon, Color, and Gender

I love shopping on Amazon. You get free two-day shipping with Amazon Mom plus huge discounts on things I use all the time, like diapers! We've had so much luck with Amazon that we now use it for everything that we would otherwise have bought at Target. It saves us time and money. However, it does have some downfalls. Take pacifiers for instance. My toddler bit a hole in his and needed a new one. So I ordered one. The trick, though, is that "colors may vary. You will receive either blue, green, orange, or purple". No big deal I think when ordering. He only uses it for naps and night-time, so color is really a non-issue.

But then it comes and it's purple. And so I hesitate to take it out of the package and use it. Why? Because I associate purple with girls. On the surface this may seem like a perfectly natural thing. After all, lots of things in our society associate color with gender. But I don't like to think of myself as having these gender stereotypes. After all, I'm a woman who loves science and math, majored in engineering, and now teaches engineering to high school students! And I know the studies that show that gender stereotypes prevent women from going into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. I know how important it is to expose everyone equally to things, regardless of gender. Give everyone trucks, building block, and dolls. But give my son a purple pacifier?

Yes. Yes, I think I will.

And a purple & pink sippy cup. Thanks Amazon and your "colors may vary" ;)


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Routines

One of the hardest things about newborns is the lack of routine. They nap at different times on different days and sleep for different amounts of time no matter what you do. They also are completely unpredictable. Was it the noise machine that made him sleep better? Or the massage? Trying to replicate what you think worked, almost never does. Each day and night is just completely its own entity.

At 7 weeks now, our baby has developed two consistent things. First, he always wakes up at 6:10 AM. No matter when he went to bed or when he had his last feeding. 6:10 AM. The other consistency is a rather strange one... if he sleeps for more than 5 hours in the first chunk of the night, he will sleep terribly for the rest of it. If he sleeps less than 5 hours in the first chunk, the rest of the night will be smooth. I have no idea why this makes sense. So now it's crazy how we've now begun hoping for only 4 hours of sleep! He seems more likely to sleep only 4 hours if he goes down earlier, so we try for as early as possible. (This is doubly good since he wakes up at the same time each day!)

I'm really hoping we can develop a bit more of a routine before I go back to work... less than a month, now. Here's hoping!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

An Introduction

I'm a 20-something (OK, almost 30!) wife, mother of 2, and high school teacher. I love to read blogs. I spend at least 30 minutes a day doing this. I particularly enjoy blogs about the everyday lives of ordinary moms with their kids. It's my way to connect with other moms, since working and spending time with my own kids leaves little time for cultivating friendships.

My love of blogs makes it seem almost natural that I would want to write one. However, I'm not the best writer and find often find myself over-analyzing every last word I write! But I've had the desire to blog for quite a while now and it's time I at least try it out!

In 2008 I registered the blogger address. I had just gotten married and moved to a new city. My husband and I had never lived in the same place before and I had never lived so far from home. Then I almost started to write blog posts in early 2010 when I went back to work after my first son was born. I was on the borderline of postpartum depression and had a lot of thoughts in my head that I wanted to write down. But I never did.

So here we are in mid-2011 after my second son was born. The postpartum depression is a bit worse this time and I want to refrain from taking meds if at all possible. So the doctor says I need at least 1 hour a day by myself to do things for me. I think I'll try to use this blog as my outlet - a way to reflect on the struggles and triumphs of being a mother. Here goes nothing!

FYI: I picked the title of the blog back in 2008 (Oh, The Places You'll Go*), but think it's just as appropriate now. In case you don't recognize it, it's a Dr. Seuss book that I love. You can get the full text here, but I'll leave you one stanza that I love and that I think aptly describes me.

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

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*Author's Note: The title of the blog was changed in March of 2012