Friday, March 27, 2015

Picture Books and Children's Songs for Passover

This post contains affiliate links, meaning...I get all of like a third of a cent if you click on one of the links and actually buy something. See full disclosure here.

I think because of the movie The Ten Commandments people sort of more or less know a little more what Passover is all about than they do about Chanukkah.

For those who still wonder: the short explanation is: Passover is exactly like the movie except instead of different scenes and special effects, the story is told with food.

Friday, March 20, 2015

What I Read on My Vacation (Parent Style)

In the olden days, people used to have to bring books and magazines with them on vacation.  Now-a-days, people can just bring their favorite electronic device and access whatever they want, without toting around so many heavy books.

Me, on the other hand, I just like to read my phone.  

Parenting Humor: Vacation Reading
What I Read on My Vacation

Thursday, March 19, 2015

There Can Never Be Enough Singing Toddlers in the World. Ever.

I had this whole blog post written in my head about how my almost 3-year-old had never seen the movie Frozen.

Shocking, right?  Like...hasn't every toddler and preschooler on the planet seen it by now?  But mine hadn't.  Not for any particular reason really...

I was going to tie it all into the Women's Lives campaign, because my efforts for that campaign have been flailing a little recently.  I figured I would also mention the Head of Demolition's deplorable lack of Barbie dolls. Just, you know...a double whammy for the whole questioning of role models thing.

But then my almost 20-year-old babysat my two-year-old. And so now I present you with exactly what the world desperately needs, another singing toddler.  Because you can never, ever, ever have too many singing toddlers.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Installing Ikea Kitchen Cabinets Requires Many Uses of the "F" Word...and other things we've been up to lately...

We've almost hit the one year mark on the home renovations, but we're making progress!  We're getting in the kitchen cabinets, with much help of course.

Installing Ikea Kitchen Cabinets

Because it always helps to have a toddler speeding things along.  And by "speeding things along" I mean "Getting every last piece put together tightly before she figures out ANOTHER way to destroy something..."

Installing Ikea Kitchen Cabinets: Toddler Style

Installing Ikea Kitchen Cabinets

All in all, it's starting to shape up!

Thursday, March 05, 2015

People in the Sun: The Loss of One Very Good Human

I don't believe there are good and bad humans.  Probably I'm naive, but I believe in good humans, and less good humans: humans that are weak, damaged, hurt, unloved, hungry, addicted, mentally ill or otherwise not their best selves. Good people are not so hard to come by, I think, if you let yourself see the good as easily as you see the bad.

But some are very, very good. We all know some of them, even if only by name.  But they are fewer on this planet than just your run of the mill good human, and now the world has one less.

If, by chance, you have read of a blogging father that recently succumbed to cancer, you might already have read of one of my oldest blogging friends, Oren.  He was probably my second blogging friend, third at the outside.

If you read about him in the Huffington Post or the Baltimore Sun or on his own blog, you already know that he helped people, that he fought for causes that he believed in with all his might, that he loved his family beyond belief.

Oren will be remembered by fathers everywhere.  He is well known for his work in building community among fathers, advocating for fathers, and even encouraging fathers to improve their parenting.  I knew he was building this community and I admired him for it.  Yet I only skirted the sidelines on occasion because...not a father.  Obviously.

I remember the day Oren announced his qualifications for what would become a major part of his life work.  Just as I couldn't believe my eyes from my own pregnancy tests, I looked at Oren's picture on my computer screen over and over as if it couldn't possibly be JUST a plastic stick with some pee on it.  Because a pregnancy test never seems like the thunder claps and confetti and general hullabaloo that should accompany the announcement of new life.

But even before he started working on  A Blogger and a Father, Oren was an amazing, amazing person.   For one, he was an incredible storyteller.  This story from his old blog, People in the Sun was one of my favorites of his, perhaps because it shows how one imperfect human can do his best and have it be good enough.  Or perhaps because Oren and his father reconciled in the end, even if in the most heartbreaking of ways: One Day I Cried.

I can't say anything about anyone with 100% certainty, because hearing or reading a person's words is the closest one can ever come to crawling inside someone else's head.  But I know that there were some things Oren wanted.

So I, with my measly, practically non-existent media influence (it is thanks to Oren that I even know how to tweet), will do whatever I can for his causes:

Oren wanted the media in general, and some companies in particular to stop portraying dads as imbeciles, dependent on their wives to make every last parenting decision.

He wanted Amazon to change the name of their mom program to include dads.

I hope this works so people can just tweet it.  Because despite Oren teaching me to tweet...I wasn't such a great student:

Click to tweet about changing "Amazon Moms" to "Amazon Parents"

Apparently he also wanted people to go for a walk and tag it #lovewalkforOren.  I'll be way better at that than at Tweeting:


I could go on a long, long time.  And I could proofread even, but I've already made myself late for work.

So I only have this to say: Beth, Liam, Madeline, I am so very, very sorry. Oren's mother whose name I can't remember but distinctly remember arguing with Oren over Israeli politics, I am so so sorry. And the same for Granny Franny, who I never met even on Facebook, but I think must be Beth's mom.

The world is so unlucky to have lost him, but so lucky to have had him in the first place.


If you'd like to read more kind words about and for Oren:

Eulogy for Oren Miller

This is another of Oren's great stories.  There are way too many, but here's one: Chicken Nuggets.

A tribute to Oren in the Chicago Tribune.

A tribute on The Good Men Project

And I almost forgot - the tribute video from his funeral and reception:


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