Monday, March 30, 2009

Froggymama Feminist Confession

I have a Froggymama confession. I listen to Dr. Laura... a lot. I can't help it. Her radio show is the equivolent of watching a trainwreck -- a trainwreck with very judgemental subtitles. It's fascinating, and I guess the real reason is that deep-down it's comforting to know everyone has problems.

Their step mom is mean, their daughter is a runaway, their wedding is going to be a disaster if Aunt Lorraine attends. Everyone, no matter what, has something that keeps them up at night. And there's a camaraderie in this notion that we're all seeking answers, trying to make the right decisions.

Dr. Laura is my mid-day soap opera, my dirty little secret that I enjoy while doing dishes, running errands and boiling nebulizers. I've tried to quit her, to turn the dial to NPR, to listen to my liberal local radio stations. But like a vice, a drug, everyday I rendezvous with this republican, this judgemental, harsh and morally superior woman.

Politically Dr. L and I could not be more different. I'm a Obama-lovin' democrat and feminist. Yesterday while listening, I was especially struck by a point she made about stay-at-home moms (SAHM's). She said that SAHM's are the most hated people in the world. I was eating lunch in my car about to drive into Beverly Hills to run an errand for my boss, and when she said this, I almost choked on my taco salad.

I am a stay-at-home mom and I have never, not-for-a-second felt hated in my left-coast, liberal-lovin' home of Southern California. So how, how, could I be the most HATED minority, when I've only felt love and support? Shouldn't I be feelin' the hate in Los Angeles where we are all career-driven opportunists?

Dr. Laura read a letter from a dad who praised his wife for staying home with their three children. The good doctor then commented on how some women choose fancy cars or big tv's over quality time with their kids, how these selfish "working" women choose European vacations and keeping up with the Jones' over their children. Hmmm.

I am a stay-at-home mom who works from home. I was LUCKY enough to have a job that allows me to raise my child while bringing home some proverbial bacon. It is really tough and I know both Froggy and I suffer from this compromise. Most of my women friends also work... some from home, some not. But here's the thing... my women friends who go into the office aren't working for fancy cars or vacations, for jewelry or to fulfill their selfish feminist desires. They're working because their husband's job doesn't provide health insurance, or because to live in Los Angeles two incomes are necessary just to stay above the poverty line, because to afford life, to pay bills, to put food on the table, they must. It isn't selfish, it isn't a comment on feminism, it isn't even always a choice. It's reality and they're just trying to make ends meet. So to make moms feel even more guilty for all they do, makes me incredibly sad.

Dr. Laura blames feminists for basically all the problems in the world. And she's not alone. I've taken classes in feminist theory and criticism. I'm not just a Gloria Steinem feminist, a bumper sticker feminist, I've read Judith Butler, Germaine Greer, Julia Kristeva, Simone de Beauvoir, Diana Fuss, and Luce Irigaray. And in all of my studies, do you know what I've learned? Feminism is not about man-hating, it's not about being selfish, it's not about putting children second, and it's not about keeping up with the Jones'. True feminism is not even about women being equal to men. Because there is no point in comparing apples to oranges, right? And yes, some of the feminist theory was "way out there" but it had to be. It was challenging a norm and had to challenge those subtleties with extremism. Like the black panthers had to challenge racism, like hippies challenged the war in Vietnam. It couldn't be a gentle transition. It had to be jerky, like an earthquake, a volcano with tectonic plates and magma exploding under the surface of society.

Feminism is essentially about women finding their place, and most importantly finding balance. It is not about making children suffer or about being the "angry wife." Feminism, in it's philosophical form is about women searching for answers, about being an actual human being while playing the role of mother and wife, sister and daughter. Feminism was about breaking the stereotypes so women could just be human beings. Feminism challenged the legality of "domestic abuse," and how by adding the word "domestic," abuse was somehow lessened. Feminism was at it's essence about protecting women and children. It was about strengthening and protecting the family, not about breaking it. And those who say otherwise have never really studied feminist theory.

My female friends are feminists and a lot of them are also stay-at-home moms. Some work a 9-5, some work from home, some are lucky not to work outside the home, some work part-time so they are able to attend soccer and violin lessons. Some have to work from the wee hours until dusk in order to provide for their family. And when I tell these feminist women friends that I work from home and am a SAHM, they always say, "Oh, you're sooo lucky."

I have never, not once felt hated. I've never felt 'less than' because I care for my child full-time. None of my female or male friends have ever questioned my integrity because I make mac n'cheese and do treatments, because I'm a personal assistant instead of pursuing my writing career. No one, not a single woman friend has ever said, "Oh, you JUST stay at home," or "So you don't work, you're just a mom."

Interestingly enough, a lot of my friends who are intelligent, career driven and believe that women can be anything they want, also choose to stay home. In my experience, I've found no correlation between feminism and the judgement or hatred of mothers who choose to stay home with their kids. I was absolutely astounded by the statement that SAHM's are the most hated minority.

So who is doing the hating? Working moms? Not from my perspective. Singletons? No, I have a lot of single friends. Who exactly HATES SAHM's?

Are SAHM's getting killed while picking up their kids from daycare? Are they receiving death threats via email or facebook? Are people spending millions to make "Stay-at-home-moms" an illegal institution? Are religious organizations picketing home of these "rebel moms?" Who in the world HATES SAHM'S?

Here's my answer. I think Dr. Laura is sooooo out of touch with the real world that her paranoia has taken over her ability to think rationally. I think that there is a strange rationale of the majority to feel like they are the minority, to feel persecuted and victimized when they aren't. I don't feel victimized or persecuted as a feminist who chooses to stay home with her child, because I'm not. I don't know of a single person who thinks I'm an idiot for choosing my child over my career.

I will always be a feminist. I believe that women are so amazing that they can be anything, an astronaut, a writer, a president, a mama. And as a mama and woman I know that I am changing the world positively by raising a strong, talented and healthy little girl, probably more so than walking on the moon or ruling the world.

And when Froggy is grown, or spending more time in school than at home... I will fulfill my "selfish" writing desires. I believe that this is the true form of feminism... protecting children, providing love and a foundation of health and success so that someday they will have choices in their life. I don't feel hated. Not for a second. But I do feel patronized, by people like Dr. Laura who choose to manipulate women against each other. We as moms are all in this together. And we're doing the best we can. So stop judging, stop accusing, and just accept the fact that this is a tough job, the toughest job ever and we will prevail.
We will prevail.

Friday, March 27, 2009

An 'ohhh so true' poem by Jay Hopler

Meditation on Ruin
by Jay Hopler

It's not the lost lover that brings us to ruin, or the barroom brawl,

or the con game gone bad, or the beating
Taken in the alleyway. But the lost car keys,
The broken shoelace,
The overcharge at the gas pump
Which we broach without comment — these are the things that
eat away at life, these constant vibrations
In the web of the unremarkable.

The death of a father — the death of the mother —
The sudden loss shocks the living flesh alive! But the broken
pair of glasses,
The tear in the trousers,
These begin an ache behind the eyes.
And it's this ache to which we will ourselves
Oblivious. We are oblivious. Then, one morning—there's a
crack in the water glass —we wake to find ourselves undone.

"Meditation on Ruin" by Jay Hopler from Green Squall. © Yale University Press, 2006.

Care for a little research anyone?

As you all know Froggy is incredibly pancreatic insufficient, more so that a lot of kiddos with CF. The CF Foundation spends the majority of it's resources on the pulmonary aspect of CF because it is the fatal aspect of the disease. However, malnutrition and the pancreatic scarring and a host of other health issues result from the blockage of pancreatic enzymes in people with CF. I rarely read about enzyme research so to read this article made my day!

And some even more incredible research can be found here!

I swear I'm going to get my Great Strides Team together soon. So get ready to raise money so even more research can be done for all the little Froggies out there!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Meds and Mousy

These are just some of Froggy's meds/equipment. There are three more in the fridge, and some in the cupboard. But you get the picture. It's a lot for one little tadpole.
Is she a frog or a mouse? Lately, she's been wearing her Mousy costume the park, the pharmacy, around the house, and always when she eats a cheesy snack.

Monday, March 23, 2009


While doing treatment, Froggy was watching the childrens' network "Sprout". Moose A. Moose comes on screen and says, "I'm Moose A. Moose, what's your name?"

And Froggy, as dry and serious as can be says, "Jose."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fancy Mice

A quick Froggyism:

While tucking Froggy into bed, Froggy asks...

Froggy: Mommy, where do mice live?

FM: Well, they live in houses and barns sometimes. But mostly they live in the woods.

Froggy: Like Hollywood?

I think when she said this my farmer grandparents rolled over in their grave. We gotta get this kid out of LA, or atleast on a hike!

Real Letters

I sat down tonight and thought, "Oh, I'll write my Aunt Dorothy a letter."

She died a couple months ago, but the desire to write her remains.

I usually wrote her once a month - placing some bougainvillea in the envelope to brighten her long Iowa winters. Dort was the only person I wrote REAL letters. She was the last person I knew without email or a facebook account, without a cell phone or fax, blackberry or iphone.

I miss the ritual of sitting down, looking through my stationary, finding a good, black writing pen and telling her what my little hellion Froggy has been up to. Something is missing in the technologically improved letter, the email and text, yes even the blog. The ritual, like the sacrament or kneeling, bowing one's head is lost in the flickering screen-- that tradition of pink stationary, a pressed flower, and words written by hand, just can not be replicated in our cyberworld.

With Aunt Dort's passing, also went my reason for sitting down, opening up my black box with stationary, and finding the perfect pen to jot down the day for someone I love.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

At the beach with Auntie Honka

Yesterday we spent the afternoon in Venice, playing on the beach, at the park and stopped by our favorite bookstore to visit the shop cat, Esme.

Auntie Honka (aka Auntarctica) has been here an entire week, and tomorrow morning she's flying back to Iowa. We're so sad to see her go. After spending an entire week with a crazy toddler and two bickering spouses, I assume she'll sigh a sigh of sweet relief as the plane takes off. We're definitely not the Ritz. And you all know what Froggy does in the tupperware.

While Auntie was here we.... shopped, ate copious amounts of Thai and Indian food, saw the movie "Sunshine Cleaning" (sooooo good), walked on the beach, saw a taping of "Chelsea Lately", read trashy celebrity magazines, drank about fifty mochas and even more wine, had playdates, and walks, did dishes, snuggled Froggy, Buddy and the kitties, and laughed so hard I peed my pants a little. Ahhhh, that's what sisters are for.

And now a couple funny Froggyisms:

While jumping on the bed, Froggy stops abruptly, looks up at me like "Eureka!" and says...

Froggy: Diarrhea and Bougainvillea rhyme!

What can I say, she's a genius.

While watching the movie "Milo and Otis" Froggy picked up the phrase, "You're dead meat." So she's been using it all the time and has absolutely no idea what it means, for example:

(To the cat)

Froggy: Hey deadmeat.


Froggy: Let's get dead meat.


Froggy: That's dead meaty.

Another favorite expression of her's is "Shut your pie hole." I say it to the dog when he's barking at the mail man. Ooops. I better watch it, or she'll start telling her little friends to shut their pie holes.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Chelsea Lately

Getting ready to go to the taping!

Yesterday, my sis and I went to a taping of "Chelsea Lately." It's a silly talk show on the E! network. We showed up 45 minutes early and were still put on the "stand-by" list. We were number 7 and 8, so for the entire time in line, we weren't sure we'd get in. Low and behold, we made it in!

It was so much fun, and the guest was Rob Schneider promoting his straight-to-dvd independent film - haaaa, funny stuff. Not really.

The show was hilarious and sometime next week, you can see the back of our heads on "Chelsea Lately!" I will be sure to post more, because the back of my head has always deserved those 2 seconds of fame.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sailing with Sissy and the Sea Lions

The determined sailor.

FD and Froggy soaking in the rays.
I sail, I sail, I'm a sailor!
Sea Lions sleeping on the buoy.

My Sis, Grandma W. and Grandpa J.

Friday, March 06, 2009


Froggy has been into rhyming. And she wasn't quite getting the concept. Today in the car this was our conversation:

Froggy: Do bath and sidewalk rhyme?
FM: No.
Froggy: Do car and dog rhyme?
FM: Nope.
Froggy: Do cat and swimming pool rhyme?
FM: No, but car and jar rhyme.

(Long toddler silence of deepest thought)

Froggy: Do dream and ice cream rhyme?
FM: YESSSS!!!! Wooo Hooooo! And what a great example!

At the pharmacy, Froggy was allowed to pick out a little present. She chose a stuffed animal bunny. In the car, she was trying to take the tags off. But first, she pretend "read" the tag and it said, "Don't never pull tag off bunny!" Then she tore the tag off. See, even in imaginary world, she disobeys.

Before going to the pharmacy, Froggy would not get dressed. I told her that people are not allowed in the pharmacy unless they have pants on, and there's a sign outside that says, "No shirt no shoes, no pants, no service." This takes the pressure off Mommy when other people make the rules. She begrudgingly agreed to put on her clothes, but in the car she asked, "Why doesn't the pharmacy let girls run around naked?" How do you answer that?

After eating some candy, Froggy opened her mouth and said, "Mommy look, my teeth are all jelly beany!"

We are still potty training. But one of Froggy's favorite things to do is get tupperware from the cupboard, take it into the living room and pee in it. Note to all guests, skip the leftovers.

While on a walk with Froggydadda, FD pointed to a car and said, "What kind of car is that, Froggy?," to which she replied, "That's a Chevy." And it was!

And today was the first time Froggy pooped in the toilet. She has digestive issues, so we've really been working on this one. Too much info, but still... wooo hooo! We did a festive poop dance, and she got five jelly beans!