Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Beauty Queens and ABCs

Okay, now yesterday thebrowndaddy and I watched a clip on UTube of Miss South Carolina, a contestant in this year's Miss Teen USA pageant, stumble her way through the question and answer portion of the contest. I don't know if you've seen it (although it's been viewed MILLIONS of times on the site), but it's about 30 seconds worth of pure blubbering idiocy. The question went something like this: A recent poll showed that one-third of all Americans cannot identify the USA on a map. Why do you think this is? What followed was an ironic answer to this country's education system -- it just plain sucked.

The girl stammered through incomplete sentences, uhs, and mindless trains of thought that took us to subjects including South Africa and how it was our fault because most Americans don't own maps. Was she truly serious? Seriously.

And then tonight my husband comes home from a teacher conference with our son's first grade instructor and she even said his class started the year performing "below average". This ain't even algebra, people, it's ABCs and what number comes after 2?! Sure, the year will speed up and reading and maybe even cursive will come into play. But during the second week of school, in what part of first grade can you underperform?

I know, I'm looking at this all too ignorantly, right? I'm just a little frustrated with our education system being what it is under "The Decider" -- a little frustrated that by the time kids are 18 years old and standing before a national audience representing the cream of the crop (supposedly), they still can't answer questions intelligently.

I might have to just channel this frustration into volunteering in my son's class, working extra hours afterhours to make sure he has things down, and make myself a fixture at that school. Guess I need to employ more strategies at home like posting flash cards on household items (a la The Color Purple), allow my son to write his own stories and then read them, or tutor him in fractions using our Friday night pizza dinner (I think he can wolf down one-fourth of a medium).

Or maybe we just need to get more maps.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Milk and clogs

My spirits are lifted this evening....the clog is gone. No, not in the sink, not the toilet -- my breast. I know you're thinking how can breasts get clogged?? And do I really want to know??

Baby boy is now 9 months and I'm trying to make it to a year with this nursing deal. Usually, things go well -- he nurses, comes away with a satisfied milky grin, and all is right with the world. There is no purer food in life, and it makes me feel good to know I can at least feed my child this way during his first year of development. But, every now and then, something gets jammed up, the plumbing doesn't work quite right, and the milk stops flowing. Baby boy often comes away and looks at me as if he doesn't understand what's wrong with the tap.

Clogged milk ducts are also extremely painful. There's a lump or a whole portion of the breast that feels hard and tender and all I can do is take to the couch with a heating pad and some Tylenol. Oh, and continuously (PAINfully) keep feeding the baby.

This time, it took almost 48 hours for this clog to resolve. A dear friend recommended taking Lecithin to keep reoccuring clogs from happening. The two older kids now know the routine and ask if Mommy's breast is feeling any better. Have you ever heard a 3-year-old ask about a breast? They are wise beyond their years!

And I am looking forward to ending nursing altogether. If he gets his year, I'll be happy. I am sure with his four teeth, he's looking forward to other things like chicken picatta and tacos. Mmmm!

'Til next time...signing off...

Friday, August 17, 2007

thebrownmommy emerges!

It's about time I've finally gotten on the bandwagon with this blogging thing. thebrowndaddy hates the word "blog" but that's what it's called and who am I to change it?

So, I'm thebrownmommy and you can learn all about this new venture at http://www.thebrownmommy.com/. You might even discover that you or someone you know is a brownmommy, too! I felt the need to create a place where moms like myself could talk about and share the things that affect us as mothers raising brown children in this world. We face some real unique challenges indeed and I have yet to find a place online that really deals with my personal circumstances: a stay-at-home mother of color, with three children, a husband who works from home, living deep in the suburbs of a rather undiverse city, a crafter, a writer, an entrepreneur... this list goes on.

Anyway, check it out and hopefully you'll get what I'm going for.

I plan to also use this blog to let you know what is going on with me and mine -- chances are, you'll see yourself in these stories. Or not. Either way, you'll see I'm trying to get through everyday, just like you, with grace, finesse, sanity! The joys of motherhood -- will you take the journey with me?

'Til next time...