Saturday, October 11, 2014

5 Things - The Tea Leaves, Christmas Dreams, and Foxy Things Edition

1. So, subscription boxes are all over the internet now. Everyone's probably heard about Stitch Fix, Gwynnie Bee, and the other clothing-centric boxes. You pay a certain amount per month and get sent a box of clothes, based on a questionnaire you fill out giving your interests, sizes, style - that sort of thing.

And those are all well and good, but I guarantee there's no one who is going to pick out stuff I like with any consistency, because I am an inconsistent and fickle person. And they would probably choose too many neutrals and my love of colors borders on the clownish.

So those definitely don't work for me. I just skim any blog post talking about them and move on.

But this post by Kaelah Bee? Well, that caught my eye.

Tea Box Express is a new subscription box being started up based around tea. For your monthly payment, you get a different tea each month and a set of accoutrements based around a certain "theme". For example, the theme for October was bees - so all the things in the box were bee-themed.

I gave some thought as to whether I could afford to sign up for it, although I'm nominally planning a Year of Stop Trying to Figure Out If I Can Afford Things - where I have this idea I'm going to live more frugally. I have it all planned out! I have great intentions towards saving more effectively!

But I am so weak.

(who are we kidding, though - if I just stopped buying Starbucks I'd be able to afford it just fine.)

Who doesn't need more tea? I need more tea. We all need more tea.

But... coffee.


This is a dilemma.

2. I am unapologetically baby-clothes shopping still.

Okay, it's mostly daydreaming - Do we need baby clothes? Not really. But after my impulse-sale-shopping on Carter's website one night, I've ended up with a series of onesies I really love and am putting Audra in nonstop.

I've gained a terrible sense of power, and have a child who isn't old enough yet to be pouty about getting clothing for Christmas.

We're about to pull the 3 - 6 month stuff out, as she's rapidly outgrowing 0 - 3 (which is kind of a heartbreak in and of itself, isn't it? She'll never be that small again.) and it's got me staring, rapt, at line after line of baby clothing on Target, Old Navy, and... Gap.

Gap has a lot I love for babies this fall/winter. The dress above is... it's calling me. I'm trying to plan out some kind of family photo shoot, and this gives me an all-too-convenient excuse for trying to find something spot-on perfect for Audra to wear. I've found a dress, and navy leggings, and wee little shoes... The world is full of adorable baby clothes.

So I stare.

And click.

And stare.

... and click.

3. Wheeled and Free is a blog I just picked up recently - it's a couple (and their dogs) who have decided to sell all the stuff tying them down, take off in an RV, and see the country. I'm the kind of person who is always inexorably tied to the landscape I'm living in; I'm not much for longer-term travel because I love coming home to the mountains or the flatlands (depending on where I am).

Matt and Kate, though, decided to do things in a little more vagabond.

I've been following along as they packed everything up and started up their trip, with their first destination being, oddly enough, Alabama.

What's actually kind of surprised me is how much I enjoyed reading their RV Remodel posts. I'm actually not very into the whole DIY/Remodelling trend, so I didn't think I would like those posts and initially skimmed them, but have gone back over them since when I realized I was kind of fascinated.

The idea of living in such close quarters is pretty fascinating, and I'm looking forward to seeing where they go.

You should follow along too. Because I said so.

I'm a mother and I get to say that now.

4. This article from The Daily Beast that a friend of mine shared on facebook, called "Why Are America's Post Partum Practices So Rough on New Mothers".

They really are.

I was exceptionally lucky; I was not injured all that much. I did not have to have a C-section that would have made my recovery take longer. While I do feel like hospitals shove you out before you're really ready to try this whole 'parenting' thing out on your own, we were reasonably ready and I think for us the forty-eight hours was the best choice.

This could, of course, be affected by the part where we had been living in the hospital since Sunday night at that point, even though the baby decided not to show herself 'til Tuesday evening.

I did not go home to a house devoid of help. I had Jason with me for six weeks - which I would argue was the best piece of fortune. We took shifts right off the bat so each of us could have at least half the sleep we needed.Having a partner available nonstop for that long is pretty rare in the American workplace. Although his time off wasn't paid (granted, neither was mine), we had both been working to save enough to make it possible for us to take the hit of losing both incomes for that long. We were both working jobs willing to give us that much time off, no questions asked once the doctor faxed the forms in. We'd been fortunate enough to live near family who could be called on, to have friends willing to clean our house so that we came home able to do nothing but take care of the baby and the animals.

I was able to take almost ten weeks off, in the end, between being put on bedrest and then the eight weeks after Audra's birth.

But my "exceptionally lucky" would be your average Canadian woman's "exceptionally unfortunate". They would look at my eight weeks, and then at their full, at least partially compensated calendar year, and shake their heads. In America, we treat the aftermath of pregnancy as a niggling discomfort, something a True Woman can just shrug off and move away from. We say "Well, you chose to have kids, you should have known" while not actually educating women on all the things that are going to happen afterward. We treat it as an annoyance that we are forced, occasionally, to uncomfortably acknowledge but which we would prefer to ignore or avoid. Women are shamed for wanting time off from work. Comments are made about them "taking a vacation". They face a reduced chance of a good yearly review, as being seen as less than "committed", because the American concept of work/life balance is primarily to work its employees into the ground and then wonder why they're too tired to stand.

This is definitely true when it comes to the time after having a baby.

A woman nursing in public can rapidly find herself a pariah, but we simultaneously roll our eyes at women who aren't up and out of the house within just a couple of weeks. That nursing mother is name-called and shamed and harassed while we simultaneously push "breast is best", leaving her very little options beyond becoming an unwilling face of public breastfeeding or isolating herself inside her home - even knowing that isolation is one of the key triggers to post-partum depression.

Like I said - I got very, very lucky... or, at least, I was very lucky to have the options I did in the place I live in. But even my 'lucky' is a very definite 'we can and should do better than this.'

5. Um. Why do I not own these already?


That is all.


1 comment:

  1. PREACH. The U.S. is such an ass backwards place. Such a high standard of living. And such an utter lack of basic support for the fundamental process through which humans perpetuate the damn species. Ridiculous.

    Those fox slippers are adorable, btw.


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