Monthly Archives: September 2011

Good blogs to check out

If you are looking for something good to read today, you should check out these blogs. Wayward Spark is written by my friend Camille who lives in the area. She is doing a whole week talking about food preservation! Then you should hop over to: An Austin Homestead (Miranda recently relocated here). Miranda is an […]

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Camille - September 20, 2011 - 10:34 pm

Thanks for the boost, Kara!

Yes, I’m Mormon

Most of you who know me well obviously know this, but just in case you didn’t know, yes I’m Mormon. Like the kind who goes to church every Sunday. Why am I randomly sharing this you may wonder? Well, I often talk about going to church and some of my beliefs with close friends and […]

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adrienne w - September 19, 2011 - 6:32 am

For the record, you are one of the most non-judgmental and accepting people I know!! You are an example to people of ALL religions of how to live your own beliefs without letting it affect how you view others.

Elisa - September 19, 2011 - 6:45 am

I don’t know Adrienne W. but I couldn’t put it better words.

Angie - September 19, 2011 - 7:51 am

You’re Mormon?!?

Kim - September 19, 2011 - 8:01 am

I know people are my good friends when they can poke fun at the quirks of my mormon faith rather than dance around or fear it. For example: This weekend I went to a mormon women’s retreat and my friend Brad commented “Oh, so I guess Donny will just have a few of his wive home this weekend”. So poke fun friends and I will laugh with you. But ask sincere questions that you have and we will try to dispell the myths and solidify our feelings or beliefs (and they vary!).

Audra - September 19, 2011 - 10:08 am

OH MY GOSH YOUR MORMON! I so like this post :). I probably would have said to your friend, I don’t know about you but I didn’t just pop out my Babies there was a little more effort then that lol. Anyway I really appreciate this post. I think it is so easy to just lump people in a certain category and assume we think and speak as a collective! I know the more Mormons who speak up and out about this the more understanding there will be :)! Also I would have to say Religion became really important to me when I was pregnant with my first! For me I felt like I didn’t have time to figure things out later anymore. Funny how little ones change priorities.

kara - September 19, 2011 - 10:59 am

Adrienne and Elisa,
Thanks ladies. Your kindness made my day!
Haa…you know as well as anyone my dear :).
I want to hear more about your retreat!
Love your perspective and I’m so glad you guys moved here!

Amanda O. - September 19, 2011 - 12:35 pm

Many of my ‘besties’ are Mormon -maybe because of their strong family values making them such good friends/people..? anyways I’m guessing that being Mormon is probably part of why you are such a wonderfully cool person, Kara :)

Sonia - September 19, 2011 - 4:37 pm

Ha! I have had this same thing happen, though instead of being Mormon it’s about being gay. Then it’s usually “Oh, well, I have a good friend who’s a lesbian…” In the end, I think people are generally more alike than different. I always try to keep in mind that we all just want to be loved and accepted, especially when someone is on my last nerve!

EmmaJ - September 19, 2011 - 5:25 pm

Kara, is that why you were at girls camp with me? This was a great post and I love the story at the beginning, I’ve been there. I had a similar situation happen with a boss…

Amanda N. - September 19, 2011 - 8:06 pm

Oh yes– totally had the same experience growing up in NJ. I remember one girl saying, “why are you going to Utah for college? Aren’t you scared of all those Mormons?” I said — uh…I am Mormon. It was awkward. Anyway, growing up there, there was so much diversity that I don’t think many people noticed or cared. And now that I’m in Utah — Provo, specifically…it’s easy to think we’re in some bubble and everyone is part of a herd of Mormons, but I think it gets too easy to generalize. Everyone has such unique life experiences that shape them.

And although I would have considered myself “strong” in my faith before kids, it becomes exponentially more important once you have kids. When they start asking questions, it makes me really feel that I need to know and understand my own beliefs so that I can be clear when I talk to them.

Cressa C - September 19, 2011 - 8:13 pm

well done! BTW: i don’t think that you were speaking your mind..i think that you were speaking from your heart!

Margaret - September 19, 2011 - 8:19 pm

I love this post…seriously, probably one of my favorites of yours. Probably because I can relate to it so well. I agree so much that something can be said, the exact same thing even, and how it is said and the intention behind it changes everything.

And although I was a very committed mormon before kids, it became an entire new level and deeper level of commitment after kids. It is humbling and wonderful.

kara - September 19, 2011 - 10:48 pm

Love all of your comments everyone! I feel blessed to know you all!

Sofia’s first day of Kindergarten!

Our big kindergartner right before I took her to school! I am thinking there will be more school lunch posts in the future to see what you all pack for your kids and how much. I had no idea of what to pack or how much to pack since she is in full day kinder, […]

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Wendy M. - September 16, 2011 - 7:04 am

Cute pics (as usual!) Glad to hear she is enjoying kindergarten…we’ll have to get together and swap stories soon!

kara - September 16, 2011 - 4:00 pm

Yes Wendy, let’s meet at Cloverland one afternoon next week maybe??

Susan Klinkhammer - September 19, 2011 - 8:13 am

What really sweet pictures of Sofia’s first day. These are classics and must bring back memories to all of us of our children’s first days and our own. She will have a wonderful year I’m sure. Her kindergarten teachers will love her and love having a supportive family like yours. I’ll look for you at school!

kara - September 19, 2011 - 11:00 am

I know that Sofia will have a wonderful year once she gets used to this new long schedule. I will look forward to seeing you as well!!

Sonia - September 19, 2011 - 4:38 pm

I’ve had a good case of the crazies as my little one went off to a morning program for the first time a few days ago. It’s tough to reign in! But it all comes from a good place, I figure. : ) I would love some lunch-packing stories; we are struggling, too!

kara - September 19, 2011 - 10:49 pm

I hope your transition is going well… you must have so much going on right now getting your store ready!!

The Barbie Dilemma-Ask the Mamas

I have talked to many friends about how they feel about their daughters bonding with Barbie, and I feel like most people I have talked to have mixed feelings like I do. Sofia has asked for a Barbie for the last year. My response so far has been that maybe when she is a bigger […]

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christa - September 13, 2011 - 10:51 pm

first, i am ALL about “we do ___ in OUR family” and other people do other things in their families.
i feel like my barbies never ruined my self image…it was the magazines and models. i grew up in the heroine chic era and it did a number on my self-image…i thought i was fat because my bones didn’t jut out of my hips and my ribs didn’t show. BUT my mom did a great job in always telling me how beautiful I was and even though I wanted to be thinner, I thought I was really hot, seriously, I thought I was super hot! HA!
anyway, my point, as long as we are good mamas and being good examples and talking about being healthy and telling our little ladies how beautiful they are inside and out…no plastic doll will do damage. :) p.s. i’m hoping to get into your baby class this fall!

Kellie - September 14, 2011 - 6:54 am

My girls have Barbies, although it wasn’t until just recently that they got them. Our one rule is that they must be wearing something modest (well, modest for Barbies…no bikinis). They played house with them for awhile and now they have fallen to the side for some of their tried and true toys. On the flip side, kids are only innocent for so long and there are loads of toys out there that we don’t allow in the house. Each family has to weigh where that line falls, but I feel it’s important to explain to the kids why any given toy is not right for us.

Katrina - September 14, 2011 - 9:23 am

I loved barbies as a kid, but I don’t think I would have bought them for Lizzy. My sisters, however, bought them without asking, and now we have several. Lizzy and Barak both love them. Lizzy herself has commented that their clothes are not very modest. We tried making our own for them, but the truth is that they mostly hang around naked anyway. I still have those same mixed feelings that you mentioned, but they’re already in the house. :P

Wendy M. - September 14, 2011 - 9:30 am

I avoided Barbies as long as I could (Allison asked early because her older cousins have them and she found mine from when I was a kid!) However, it started to become an issue where I felt like I was making a really big deal about not buying her one. The solution came last Christmas when Santa gave her one. She thought it was pretty funny that he would buy her something that I would not. Honestly, once she got it, she hardly played with it (she still loves her ponies and stuffed animals.) I think adults are much more aware of the body issue than little girls…after all, no one their age looks like Barbie, so I don’t know that most of them even think about it.

Jennifer - September 14, 2011 - 9:37 am

I did my final paper for my capstone undergraduate class on Barbie as an American icon and this is a hugely controversial subject. There is a lot of…interesting…literature out there on this subject. On the one hand Barbie is a HIGHLY sexualized object but on the other hand there is nothing, literally NOTHING that Barbie hasn’t done and can act as a roll model of a strong woman who can do anything – be a doctor, president, vet, mother, big sister, best friend, mermaid – whatever.

In my opinion Barbie is just the same as any other highly gendered toy and it has more to do with how you approach it then the doll itself – especially if you are white. My niece who is half Hispanic and at 4 years old told her Nana that she was not beautiful because she doesn’t have blue eyes like her dolls (all Barbies).

Audra - September 14, 2011 - 10:05 am

Ok Well my feelings on Barbie are nope not going to happen no way!:) I feel like friends that she makes my have barbies and she can play with them at her house. I grew up with Barbies and remember wanting to look them. I wanted the long hair the breast the high heels and short skirts. I feel like my children should play with things that resemble there age not a grown women with breast! Maybe I am a little overboard but Elizabeth is already concerned about self image. I have to set limits on looking in the mirror and how long she can have putting an outfit together! I won’t even go into the meltdowns she has when she feels her outfit is ugly. So frustrating! If we brought Barbie in the house I think it would just add fuel to the fire.

adrienne w - September 14, 2011 - 10:05 am

This is such a good debate! I love all the comments and agree with a lot of what is being said. I really struggled with getting a Barbie for Macartney. I used to play with them a lot when I was little. I don’t think that affected my self image, but I remember thinking that to be beautiful you had to have blond hair and blue eyes, but that was also from seeing models and beauty pageants and other women in the media in the 80′s. But I remember when that started to change and I latched on to any dark haired doll or character that was pretty. Anyways, I tried to get Macartney some different dolls that were more child like, but they never held her interest. Finally she got a Barbie for her birthday from Grandma (with my permission). A friend of mine gave us some more modest homemade, vintage Barbie outfits which really helped. And now, we have several Barbies (of various races and coloring) and it’s not a big deal at all. The girls hardly ever play with them. As far as modesty goes, I agree with what Kellie said, they are naked most of the time anyways. Macartney really likes the Barbie movies. We don’t own any, but we’ve borrowed some. I was really wary of them, because I assumed they would be dumbed down or love stories about Barbie and Ken, but from the ones I’ve seen, they are actually pretty good. They always have a positive message and are often just about friendship. Macartney also has a Liv doll, which I find are a little more child appropriate and she likes it a lot. I very much like what Jennifer said about how you approach it. If as mothers, we make an issue over how Barbie LOOKS, that will be what our daughters focus on. Most of the time for my girls, it’s about putting clothes on and brushing hair. I often hear them playing family, which is actually wonderful.

Kara Jimenez - September 14, 2011 - 10:33 am

Lucia hasn’t asked me for a barbie yet but I don’t think I will mind her having one in the future. I think as adults we see barbie as sexual but as children I don’t think they view it the same way. I think they just see it as a woman doll, like a mommy.

I like the idea someone mentioned of only having barbie wear modest clothes.

There are some dolls I definitely don’t like such as Bratz dolls. I don’t want Lucia to have one of those.

kara - September 14, 2011 - 11:46 am

I love love all of the comments!
I would love to have you take baby class. Yeah!! You can register now! I agree that our influence is much greater than any doll.
I am really interested to see (and also dreading) what Sofia will think is a cool toy now that she is in school. I have a feeling there are lots of parents like minded around us who are also thinking about these things.
This brings up a whole different topic about what to do when family/friends buy things for your kids that you wouldn’t ever buy for them.
Yes, I am hoping that I am not sending out weird “Barbie” vibes.
I love your Barbie background :). I can totally see how for non-white girls, Barbie could not be a great thing. I also like to hear the other side of Barbie doing a lot. I’ve never thought about that.
I can see how with how you have described Elizabeth’s personality to me, how you are avoiding them. Hmmm….e very kid is so different.
I like the idea of vintage Barbie clothes. Interesting perspective my dear.
Although I may be wishy washy about Barbie, I do know for 100% fact, that Sofia will not own a Bratz girl.

Diana - September 14, 2011 - 12:11 pm

So this might offend some, but it’s a part of my history and my experience with Barbies… My mom bought me Barbies as early as five ( I saved change to buy my first “Pretty Perfume Barbie”) At a certain point I realized the Barbies didn’t represent my family (I grew up with lesbian moms) so I cut their hair and put shorts and t-shirts on them from my ken dolls. Looking back at what I did, I realize that my association with Barbie was that she was a grown-up and all she did was shop for clothes and look pretty, so I changed her into what I knew of grown-up women. I can’t believe my feminist parents bought me Barbies, but it hasn’t skewed my perspective too much because they also bought me books like “Free to Be You and Me.” I saved two of my Barbies for a daughter (and now I have one) She can’t have them until she’s older but they are Dorothy Barbie from the Wizard of Oz, and the reproduction of the original Barbie in the 1950′s. Maybe she will see that they are characters instead of role models.

Sunny - September 14, 2011 - 12:43 pm

I did not have Barbies as a child by my own choice, but I did play with them at friends houses.
Grace has all of the Disney Princess Barbies and a few others. When she gets a new one (usually a gift) we talk about her outfit etc. Like the vet that was wearing a micro-mini dress “Do you think vets really wear this? Why/why not?” She and Liam play family a lot and I hear her acting out friend issues with them. I think body image is influenced by a lot of things, but mostly by parental input and example. Unless you never turn on a t.v., go to a store with toys, let your child attend school, or never let her go play with friends, she will see Barbies. Talk to her, and see what she has to say about Barbie so you know what she is gaining from them.

Rachel - September 14, 2011 - 2:24 pm

In the early 90s there was a “High School Barbie” that talked when you pushed a button on her back. She said three things, I like boys, Let’s go shopping, and Math class is hard. Needless to say, I would pay A LOT of money for one of those dolls. They were quickly pulled from the shelf and I don’t think there are many in existence. What I wouldn’t give!

Debra - September 14, 2011 - 3:36 pm

I love Diana’s comment because it shows that Barbie or any toy is what the child makes it to be. Like Diana, my sister cut our Barbie’s hair and re-styled her clothes often. My sister is now a professional hair stylist for a living ;) I think it might be a good approach to let her have one (I know you’re waiting till she is 7, which is cool) and see what she does with it. If you find that she is acting inappropriately with it, like dressing her too sexy or something, then you could take it away and explain why. “Real women don’t look like this, and they shouldn’t dress this way…etc.” That might be a more positive message than denying her one, since she has already decided she likes Barbie, thinks Barbie is pretty and wants to dress up like her. I played with Barbies a lot, I always used them as Mommy, or Teacher or the Friend or whatever, and I don’t think it had a significant bearing on my image. Just my two cents…but I don’t have a child this age so all this might change when Evie is older ;) Thanks for the great discussion starter Kara!!

Holly B - September 14, 2011 - 8:00 pm

The Christmas that Ally turned 3 she asked for a Barbie. In this age of DVR’s and hulu we were perplexed as to how she even knew about Barbie. I, myself, with feminist era Mama, was not allowed to have them. I had one friend that had them and I longed to have my own (and her canopy bed.:)) But by the time Ally asked for one I understood why my mother had made that decision and respected it, but even so, we got her one. I agree with so many of the comments that have already been made. Here are a couple of highlights of our “Barbie experience.” 1)Ally becomes good friends with a child of Indian decent in preschool, and longs for dark skin and a dark skinned Barbie. We find Barbie’s of different skin/hair colors to add to the mix, albeit all with long legs and perky breasts.:) 2)One day we have lunch with a friend of mine and after, Ally makes the comment that “she looks just like one of her Barbie’s.” She also mentions how nice she is, and how well behaved her children were. 3)The girls are now 3 and 5 and are pretty much over Barbie’s. They still play with the plane and the house, and the cars get much use carrying stuffed animals around, but the poor little Barbie’s with matted hair and their sparkly outfits pretty much get left in the drawer. (unless I am playing with them because they were forbidden to me.:)) j/k

Chris - September 14, 2011 - 8:53 pm

I’m curious how you ladies feel about male action figures like He-Man. Do they give boys a complex that they also need to be blonde, but with muscles rippling? Is there double standard when it comes to the sexualization of dolls?

kara - September 14, 2011 - 8:56 pm

Love love all of your feedback and ideas. You are all such thoughtful parents and ladies!
I know of a lot of creative little girls who cut Barbie hair and change their looks. I imagine you as a little girl (and artist) funkifying your Barbies :)
Ha…. the math comment must have completely ruined Barbie for you :)
Good ideas Debbie

Thanks for sharing, and I totally always wished that I had a canopy bed as well :)

juliette - September 14, 2011 - 8:56 pm

Barbie Schmarbie.

Amanda N. - September 15, 2011 - 8:02 am

I will have to cross that Barbie bridge when I get to it. Sophie doesn’t even know what that is yet. BUT….she does know who Ariel is. That almost makes me more crazy! Because she literally IS wearing a bikini the whole time. And since she is a “character”, there is a whole story. I didn’t give it much thought until Jeff mentioned it, but in the movie she is 16 and so love-lorn and pathetic. She falls in love at 16??? That bugs me. And yet, Sophie just LOVES Ariel and so I don’t have the heart to take it away. I don’t know that barbie would bug me as much because she is just a doll. Granted she’s a size zero with boobs, but there’s no story associated with her already. As others have said, you can make her into whatever you want. Better than being stuck as a 16 year old mermaid with a shell bra??

Krista - September 16, 2011 - 3:36 pm

I’m neutral on the Barbie debate. I remember having them when I was little but my mom said I hated them…(I don’t remember hating them, but good for young me!). So for the dolls, I can go either way…but the books! Have you all read any of the Barbie books? Mia checked out a Barbie library book once and after we read it she said, “That was a boring book, mom. It had, like, no plot.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Miriam Update

Sneezing Miriam Slobbery teething Miriam Excited Miriam   I was just looking at some of Miriam’s newborn pictures, and I can’t believe how different she looks now and how big she has gotten. Here are some updates on Miriam! She is almost 8 months old She has been crawling for a few weeks. She is […]

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adrienne w - September 13, 2011 - 9:07 pm

She is just so cute and pudgy! I love it!! She has beautiful eyes.