Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Kids' Graphic Tees Can Stop Having a Moment

I'm trying to do a better job of looking for the bright spot in what seems like a bad situation. Take for example all the cold, snowy weather that we've had the last few months. Yes, it was very stressful and maddening to have the children home from school for basically all of January and February, but look at it this way: less of an opportunity to get lice, a lower probability of contracting a stomach bug, and as long as it stays cold you can postpone spring clothes shopping. This last item is key, because have you seen some of the options for children's clothing? I'm pretty sure that I've stumbled onto what is corrupting America's youth, and it's the graphic t-shirt. In other news, get off my lawn.

But really, please look at this:

Okay, so Target may have pulled this shirt out of stores because of complaints, but still, someone thought that Rainbow Bright, Robin Thicke's rapey song, and Flashdance-styling would all combine to form a perfect little girl's shirt.

The boys don't fair all that well either. They get the likes of this:

Who decided that it is cute to see kids wearing clothes emblazoned with sassy, dated pop-culture references? It's like some executive at Wal-Mart said, "Classy clothes, ain't nobody got time for that!"

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Three Ring Circus

If the last two weeks had been sponsored, they would have been brought to you courtesy of Valentine chocolates, rainbow looms, deep breathing, and on-demand movies (not necessarily in that order). Just in case you don't live in the DEC, the week of February 9th featured a whopping 1.5 days of school. Then, because all that school time left everyone quite fatigued, schools were closed for the entire week of February 16th. My Facebook feed was full of pictures of friends' ski vacations and sunny beaches, but when I turned away from the computer my real life was littered with teeny-tiny rubber bands, empty juice boxes, and whatever the dog dragged in.

If there was one comic bright spot in the last two weeks it was our trip to see Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Now, for certain go read some other blog if you want a straight up review of the circus. Here you're going to get the weirdest moments of the whole experience: Protestors! Elephant poop! Clown shortages! Acts that defy gravity...and logic! First, let me tell you that I was blissfully unaware of the controversy surrounding the circus. So I was caught off-guard when I saw all the protestors in front of Phillips Arena. They had hand-lettered posters decrying the torture of circus animals and some poor soul drew the short stick and was dressed in a ratty-looking elephant costume and writhing around on the ground. Of course it was all quite alarming, but I wanted to check out the show to see if you could tell whether the animals looked happy like the animals in "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" or if they looked like they were trying to make a break for it.

image via

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fouls and Profanity or Basketball Season Wrap-Up

When I'm feeling a little angst-y, I think of the lyrics of the Talking Head's song "Once in a Lifetime," and specifically the line that David Byrne sing/chants, "You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?" How did I get to this place where my life revolves around sports seasons for a 10 year-old, an 8 year-old, and a 5 year-old? I never played sports, but I have three sports-obsessed children. Well, two who love sports and one who doesn't necessarily love sports, but who aspires to be a professional cheerleader. I've doomed her to this destiny because she's basically been an amateur cheerleader for her older brother and sister since she was born. The first full sentence she spoke was "are we late for [sister's] soccer game?" Now I've created a record for her so that she can bring my archived blog posts to her future therapy sessions. 

We've just finished up basketball season and, as always, everyone learned something. The Girl added a new cuss/curse word to her growing repertoire, the Boy learned that when you make big plays you make yourself a target, the Baby figured out how to stack the deck in Spot It!, and I learned that seven and eight-year-old basketball players foul out on the fifth foul, just like in the NBA. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

What You've Missed in the Winter Olympics

It's becoming increasingly clear that I can't keep writing long blog posts because, the time, she is short, so I am going to try something different. I am going to post more often, but with shorter posts. Because, honestly, sometimes these thoughts just pop into my head and I'd like to share them, but they're not long-post worthy. For example, here is what you are missing by not watching the Sochi Winter Olympics:

1. Henrik Harlaut (or as I like to call him, Stockholm's Most Wanted) - Have you all seen this guy?

Don't let the waist-length dreads fool you, Henrik is a  Swedish Freestyle Skier who wears quadruple XL pants and coats to ski in, despite being 5'6" and 161 pounds. He was also skiing with a raw egg in his pocket for luck, which is pretty much the failing idea for that project where kids have to devise a way to protect an egg from breaking when you drop it off the top of a building. Henrik's pants were around his knees for the entire Freestyle Slopestyle (I'm sure I have the name wrong) competition, which seems like it would be a hinderance to walking, much less flipping in the air five times and landing backwards on your skis. Who knows, though, perhaps worrying about your pants falling off or an egg cracking in your pocket is just what you need to keep your mind off the fact that you could break your neck at any moment.

Henrik literally lost his pants in one of his falls:

I asked the kids what they thought of Henrik's outfit, just in case I am too old to see the coolness, but the kids thought he was ridic, as well. And if looking silly wasn't enough of an embarrassment for Henrik, the Americans swept the Freestyle Slopestyle event and even wore proper-fitting ski pants. Go 'Merica!