Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sesame Street, Skin Color, and a 4 Year Old

Yesterday on Sesame Street, the "Proud to Be Me" episode aired.  It was one "snazzy" episode!  My 4 year old son came running into the kitchen to tell me all about what he had just learned.  He told pointed to his arm and said "this is my skin".  He asked what color his skin was, and I told him it's called tan, or white.  So very proud of what he had just learned, he told me that some people have brown skin, some people have black skin, "pan" (tan) skin, "wipe" (white) skin.......and maybe people have blue skin and pink skin!  as I mentioned, my son is only 4, so the topic of skin color and race isn't one we've had yet.  He has noticed that his baseball idol, a young man named Nicco who plays for my father-in-law's team, has dark brown skin.....and that he doesn't.  My daughter, who is 10, was about his age when she began to talk about skin color.  She would compliment people on their beautiful different shades of skin colors.  At one point, she was told by an young African American woman at the grocery store, that her skin was that beautiful shade of brown because she drank all of her chocolate milk as a young girl.  You could imagine my little girl's excitement when she realized that she always finished off her strawberry milk.......pink skin was in her future for sure!  I'm discussing this topic, one that seems to be a very sensitive one here in St. Louis, because it shows the innocence of young children.  They are blank canvases just waiting to soak up all the knowledge they can.  Shortly after the skin discussion with my daughter, it soon turned to why everyone is different, and how boring the world would be if we were all the same.  How have you, or how do you plan to address the topic of race, skin color, and overall differences among human beings with your child(ren)?  If you have a toddler, might I suggest you look no further than Sesame Street.

Monday, February 23, 2015

My Remodel Headache

So the hubby and I decided to a mini remodel on our home.  I'm not an overly picky person, so I don't require anything extensive or over-the-top.......just something that makes our house (that we bought almost 5 years ago) feel more like a home, and add storage/work space (especially in the kitchen).  We're starting out with a small budget which is fine, that just means we've got to pick and choose our projects wisely.  Instead of replacing the cabinets, we're going to refinish them......again.  You see, when we bought our home, it was a foreclosed, bank-owned home, and the previous owners left it in quite a mess.  Pipes had been cut, there were holes in the walls, horrible 80's style track lighting, and obnoxious paint jobs in the bedrooms.  Since I was pregnant with our son when we were getting it ready to live in, I'll admit, we cut corners.  We had replaced the horrible laminate tiles on the kitchen floor, with more horrible laminate tiles.  Since our home has an open concept, I would like for our hardwood floors (which are pretty much generic, gunstock oak planks) to flow into the kitchen.  The problem I'm having is finding said flooring for under $6 a square foot.  Then there's the main bathroom........the walls were covered in wallpaper originally......horrible green wallpaper.  We removed that, what was left was three very different types (and colors) of tiles.  The shower tiles seem newer, as does the flooring, and while they don't really "match", I think we can get them to work.  The walls are a different story.  Pink porcelain tiles.  Since we plan on doing all of the work ourselves, this bathroom has given me a headache out of this world!  Do we paint it (and still not have it match the other tile), or remove it and attempt to put up new drywall?  I thought remodeling headaches were supposed to happen after you've started the work.....not before you even spend a dime!  Since our budget is small, and we plan on doing our kitchen, bathroom, and living room closet.........I think I'm going to have to get really resourceful.  Wish me luck, and if anyone has a tip to share, or a pin they have found, I would not object to hearing all about them!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Chicken Debate

Over the past few months, I have been doing a lot of research into raising backyard hens.  The benefits, for my family, outweighs most of the cons associated with having hens.  Healthy food supply from my backyard, free fertilizer for my garden, and something to get the kids outdoors so that they can learn responsibility and life cycles.  I am ready to raise my own hens.....there's just one problem.....my city doesn't allow it.  I live in a small municipality in suburbs of St. Louis.  The city itself allows backyard hens, and a good number of municipalities in my county allow backyard hens.  My city, however, does not.  The mayor claims there isn't enough interest (which is far from the truth).  Over the past month or two, I've become friends with quite a few people in my area who are pushing for the same thing, the right to have chickens!  Missouri is a right to farm state (which is still unclear to most of the residents what exactly that means for backyard farming).  If you have never been to Missouri, it's basically a bunch of farmland, with a few urban cities like St. Louis and Kansas City.........but when I say it's mainly farmland....trust me on that one!  We have a petition (CLICK HERE TO SIGN!) going around just to get the mayor to listen to us, and hear us out......because it seems whenever the topic is brought up, those who oppose the idea, shoot it down, cover it up, or more recently, delete the Facebook discussions/comments about the topic!  I am still searching for people who have gone through this fight and came out successful to help our city out.  But in the meantime, I'm still researching chickens that would be the best to raise in my backyard (one day).