Sunday, January 22, 2017

Gender Coloring Sheets

So I didn't march. For a few reasons, but mostly because I wanted to enjoy the day with family, the leader has already been elected (who obviously doesn't care about gender equality) and there is a free conceal and carry law here in Nevada. You never know.

But what I do know is that gender should not dictate what toys children are allowed to play with or what pieces of paper they are allowed to color.

I've been spending a lot of time at the doctor's office with my darling daughter, so when we saw a file holder on the wall with two specific files labeled "FOR GIRLS" and "FOR BOYS" and coloring sheets inside, I wanted to drop those file folders in the garbage as a protest for gender equality.

In every sense of the word, equal means EQUAL. As in, men and women, boys and girls are entitled to play and learn together. With the same toys and especially the same coloring sheets. Like really. It's paper.

Inside these gender specified files were coloring sheets of Santa Claus, elves, Pooh Bear, etc. I imagine that during the normal months of the year, they have My Little Pony, Barbie, Ninja Turtles and Superheroes. And I'm just going to go ahead and assume that girls get pink, purple and submissive roles and boys get to save the world and be domineering.

Benjamin walked over and went to grab a Pooh Bear Merry Christmas sheet but realized it was in the FOR GIRLS file. He announced to Claire that he can't have that because he's a boy. I grabbed those files and immediately distributed the sheets inside (Pooh + elf) that they each requested, correcting him that there is no such thing as a gender specific coloring sheet and the files are inaccurate and unnecessary. And that having those divided was ridiculous. Apparently I was loud enough because both the secretary and another patient turned around, laughed and spoke words of agreement.

For goodness sakes, friends.

I'm finishing up The Good Girl's Revolt on Amazon Prime and I highly recommend it. It's empowering and maybe even had me more up in arms about the divided gender coloring pages than usual. It's based on the true story written in the book with the same namesake by Lynn Povich, who was one of the researchers at Newsweek Magazine that filed a lawsuit citing gender discrimination in the workplace in 1970. Women at Newsweek were not allowed to be writers; only men. It's shocking to me that these lawsuits weren't that long ago, and even more striking is to see that in everyday places, this sort of separation still exists.

A woman's place is in the revolution, indeed.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Pee Protester

It seems partially fitting to include this post the day after a new... eh... leader... has been inaugurated. I'm unable to suck in my pride enough to call that person the POTUS, so I'll just leave it as leader, which I think is generous enough.

On inauguration day, I spent the day in the doctor's office with my very own protester (as her mother was silently protesting the day's events in a different way in her mind).

On Thursday, Claire complained of painful urination. She even rejected all attempts for me to convince her that peeing was downright necessary after one has slept for 12 hours and before preschool. There's something not cool about peeing in your carpeted preschool classroom you are brand new at attending.

No pee at home. Finally, pee at school. In a potty.

I pick her up from preschool after a glorious morning of me-time and heard that she and Benjamin exchanged hugs while in line to use the restrooms before lunchtime. (Oh how I love this.) But no speak of urinating herself.

Complaints of needing to pee and it hurting continued. Refusal to pee continued. It's around 4:45 p.m. and I suspected a UTI, so I called the doctor's office that sent me immediately to a message that told me to call back in 15 minutes due to high call volume, precisely when they were closed for the evening. Clever. Doctor, 1. Brandy, 0.

Called the urgent care and they told me they were closed until SUNDAY. Excuse me, what? You're urgent care, right? Like, when I can't go to a primary care because they are closed or it's uh... urgent? Apparently all of their docs are sick. So they closed the joint down! For three days! The closest next urgent care? 18 miles away. And a call to them at 6:10 p.m. informed me that they took their last patient of the evening already. I'm not understanding this definition of urgent care, clearly. The closest next was like 25 miles away and I just cut my losses.

The on-call doctor just recommended I monitor her and wait until the morning. I booked an appointment for 11:15 a.m. Friday.

She begged for me to take her to the doctor who she was angry with just two days prior for updating her immunizations at her 3-year well visit. Finally, with insane amounts of crying, screaming, and potty dancing, the full-bladdered little lady peed all over the wood floors. And I never thought I'd encourage my potty-trained children to pee as much as possible right there for me to clean, but I needed it out! She was relieved. I was relieved. Bedtime it was.

The following morning, the same resistance to urination continued. "Ouch," I was reminded. Instead of waiting for the appointment, I just threw a bunch of games and books in a bag, dressed the kids and got them moving. In the car and arrived, I was hoping someone missed their appointment due to large amounts of snow falling and Reno having a huge lack of snow removal equipment (because omg, if they cancel or delay school anymore for 3 inches of snow, I'm gonna start shoveling this joint myself!). We showed up to no appointment. The nurse failed to actually book the appointment she offered me. Instead, they got me in earlier!

Pushing liquids, Claire and I had a 1-hour standoff in the doctor office bathroom as I attempted to get her to pee 168 different ways. I offered all her favorite things: looking at baby dolls at Walmart, chocolate shake at McD, playing at the dirt hole playplace there, tablet use... I was going there.

Finally, the nurse insisted that the doctor just wanted us to head to the ER so she could get a catheter because it had been nearly 18 hours since her last urination. We clothed the struggler and headed back to the office to be written our document when the nurse pulls out one last stop.

"Claire, what's your favorite candy?"

"Chocolate." (Nevermind that I offered this myself and the opportunity to choose ANY candy bar at the store she wanted.)

The nurse comes back in with two mini-sized Hershey bars and offers them to Claire if she pees. The nurse asks if she will try for her and asks if I wanted to accompany them in the bathroom. I decided to stay behind, thinking that the nurse might have more clout if Mama wasn't present. Not three minutes later, seven ounces of golden liquid were presented in the pee hat.

Are. you. kidding. I was basically promising Claire a freaking pony and she still wouldn't pee for me. And this nurse offers her two small pieces of chocolate and she makes things happen? And quickly?

An antibiotic prescription given (and sending me to two different pharmacies and difficulty with insurance, because of course) and finally we had the glorious bottle of medical magic in our hands. We're still recovering and had one more major dance-off and small pond on our wood floors, but I think we're finally on the mend.

Might I note, Benjamin was the most supportive and awesome brother ever during the pee standoff and waiting game. He earned himself a chocolate treat from that nurse as well.

We had our very own monumental inauguration dance and celebration here, too.

And let me tell you, it was YUGE. ::smirk and eye roll, obviously::

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Recent Favorites

Well, look who decided to show up and dust this thing off? Yeesh. I have plenty of excuses, but my favorite is that I drove 9 hours with the kids around the mountains to avoid snow that eventually got us to Los Angeles to visit my family. Then, on Sunday during the bucketing rainfall and massive flooding in Reno, I drove TEN hours back. It's an 8-hour drive that I added 150 miles to with road closures and crazy weather, but after that insane day, we were safely in our cozy little Reno rental.

As I was sitting eating my favorite new popcorn today listening to more rain fall, I was thinking of all my new (to me) products I've been enjoying as 2016 came to a close and we're already into our second week of this new year. I love a good list, so here's a list of some of my new favorites:

Qalo (wedding) ring: I'm totally that person who takes off all jewelry the moment I enter my house. And when I'm running, forget about it. We actually dabbled in the silicone ring business just enough to have a prototype made, but with some steep competition, we closed that idea down and left it to the experts. This ring is one of the samples we purchased from Qalo. I have a pink one that has a small heart on it. Sitting and having a beer with some good friends in LA, we realized we both jumped on this train. So much better for an active lifestyle and I don't think twice while washing dishes. For $20, it's a total steal of an idea.
Quinn Snacks Popcorn: I typically pop my own on the stove, but these are great for a quicker snack with fewer dishes. Delicious. My kids are requesting these daily now. These are popped in compostable bags with no chemicals or plastics and it's organic and Non-GMO. And available on Amazon for delivery. #duh
Amazon Fire Stick with Remote: We don't have cable. Haven't for years. We don't even really watch TV. But when people are in town or a babysitter is coming, it's nice to offer them something, so we got this to stream our free Amazon Prime videos. It's awesome. Currently hooked on a series about feminists. A la Pan Am (remember that awesome show)? You're not surprised, right?
Good Girls Revolt: Currently Reading. The Amazon Prime series I referred to above is based on this. The husband bought this for me at Barnes & Noble when I was driving approximately 589 hours back home from LA the other day. He said it's because he knows I don't like flowers. I mean, when you married a feminist...

Eddie Bauer Stowaway Packable Sling Bag: The last has been potty trained, but I'm still toting around stuff and have full hands. And there's no reason this couldn't be a diaper bag. I never carried one anyway. This bag doesn't fall when I bend over and has a great spot for keys/phone or a bottle of water. I love it so much, I bought two. I have one in Adriatic Blue and one in Black. The husband commented about how much more crunchy I look wearing it, but obviously I consider that a compliment. #westcoastroots
NibMor Daily Dose Dark Chocolates with Cacao Nibs: Ridiculously delicious and just the right amount of dark chocolate to sustain your chocolate cravings. We're smitten. And also, they're so freaking cute.

Yankee Candle Scented Snowflakes - Sparkling Snow: I realize these are no longer a thing because holidays are over, but I'm obsessed with the smell. In addition to having a "fun" backpack made for the kids for our long drives to/from LA, I had a pack of these my SIL gave us and whenever the cows came out to play (often), I'd hand the kids one of these to smell. Claire's gag reflex is impressive, and the only way I can get her to calm it around stinky odors is to mask it with something pleasant. I think I might find my way into our local YK store tomorrow to pick up a few more. I never realized how people could become obsessed with this sort of stuff but I can't get enough!

Crayola Model Magic 1-oz Packages: This has been one of my favorite items to tote around during long car rides or to have in waiting rooms for a long time. I keep two individually wrapped packages (comes with 75! I've used for B-day party favors paired with some markers as well) in my bag to whip out when needed. Super clean and can paint, draw on with markers, cut it, make creations of all kinds. Wait for the price to drop on Amazon to about $15 or get an Amazon Warehouse Deal and you're golden. These were another hot ticket item during our long road trip this week.
What are some of your new fave items? Let's hear it!