|VIA GREER CHICAGO
THINKING ABOUT: Last week, in a group text with my mom and sister, I got the honor of explaining what the acronym "AF" means to my mother when I said Max was being "moody AF" that day. Gulp! Now, my mom is pretty hip, so there was no need to panic like some of you might think, but I was at a loss when she asked WHY people say it. I mean, I don't know! I honestly assumed my mom knew what I meant when I sent the text based off her experience with social media. When you scroll through Instagram, you see it left and right. No, my monogram isn't being sprinkled on t-shirts and captions like I might wish. And NO, it definitely doesn't stand for Air Force, as my mom rightfully assumed. Ha Ha! After our silly exchange of slang enlightenment, my mother decided she still doesn't get why someone would don something that says "Married AF," but she will forever agree that Max is moody AF.
THANKFUL FOR: Kudos to creative types like Jordan Ferney who constantly delivers incredible content and ideas to her readers via her blog/brand/shop Oh Happy Day. This particular DIY is an oldie but goodie that I stumbled upon on Pinterest recently. I completely forgot about it as it was originally published three years ago, but I ended up having supplies on hand to whip up a batch of these keepsakes yesterday morning. I think they're going to be a fantastic addition to our Thanksgiving celebration.
WATCHING: When you have a little boy you end up watching some really odd shows. Okay, I'm being nice. They're just plain weird! And boring. Since few subjects keep Max's interest like transportation (and trash), I decided to stream Mighty Machines on the iPad one morning so I could finish getting ready. Little did I know, I was making a HUGE mistake because the kid LOVES this snooze of a series and now I can't stop singing the theme song. Essentially, it's just a show with really grainy footage of machinery (we're talking film from the late 80s) and a narrator who makes random comments in various kid-friendly voices every 45 seconds. Yikes!
EATING: For all of my fellow salmon eaters who might be looking for ways to shake it up, here are two recipes I tried and loved...
Cajun Salmon with Salted Lime Butter via How Sweet Eats
Sheet Pan Roasted Chili-Orange Salmon with Garlic Green Veggies via Camille Styles
LISTENING TO: Max's fascination with trash is nothing new, but that doesn't mean Flyboy and I aren't going a teensy bit crazy by our kid's smelly obsession. Because our tot's vocabulary is still growing, he often explains his excitement by blurting out the words "trash" and "away" (mostly just "way") whenever he spots a dumpster, garbage truck, rubbish, etc. After a week of encouraging him to use other words to discuss the trash, the word garbage finally stuck. Unfortunately, Max likes to drop the "gar" portion of garbage and he just says "bage". As some of you may have noticed, it sounds a lot like the B word. Paired with his punctuated delivery, I feel like I'm living in this 2002 Ludicras single. Conversations with Max sound a lot like, "move 'BAGE, get out the WAY..."
READING: Earlier this week Elizabeth Logan wrote a piece for Glamour entitled, I Still Love My American Girl Dolls. It's Fine., and it truly felt as though someone hopped into my brain and stole my innermost thoughts. How did she know that whenever I visit my parents, I also sneak in a quick heart-to-heart with m' girl, Molly, when no one is watching (obvi), because I just want to check in on her and not have my parents, sister, or husband worry about my adult sanity. What's so wrong about that?! Try not to judge, but Logan had me at HELLO with a few of the following quotes in her article— I may have got a bit misty-eyed at the end.
Last time I was home, I gave the Nellie doll a tiny kiss on the forehead. It just happened, like a reflex. I couldn't control it and I didn't mean to do it and I think it surprised both of us.
An American Girl Doll, at least in the late '90s, when Samantha came into my life, was a status symbol, because you can't give a kindergartener a Birkin. The dolls were expensive and had to be ordered via catalog; you couldn't just walk into Toys R Us and pick one up last-minute. With the price tag came value. The clothes and accessories were high-quality. The faces were washable and durable. It wasn't out of the question to think that a Samantha or a Molly or an Addy might one day find her way into the hands of her original owner's daughter. They came with books and back stories. Any kid could get into Barbie or Polly Pocket; American Girl Dolls were for the intellectual. In a pre-Rory Gilmore, pre-Hermione Granger world, American Girl Dolls were the go-to for girls who liked history and reading.
I can personally vouch for the quality of the American Girl Magazine, as it taught me everything I know about locker decorating and planning the perfect sleepover. And yet...Samantha used to come in a school-appropriate checkered dress and now she comes in a pink party outfit. Almost everything is now pink or purple or mint green. Which is not only historically questionable, it's insulting. As if girls can't like anything that's not aggressively "girly".
Maybe the rose-tinted version of history isn't something I'm willing to get rid of. Maybe I never will be, even as I acknowledge and learn its flaws. Maybe, actually, I need it, to keep me grounded in a version of myself and a vision of the future I can make good use of. Caring for others and saving the day and learning lessons and, hell, optimism, were values that got me through a lot of potentially confusing years. I have, among so many other things, Nellie and Samantha to thank. And so even though I know they aren't real, I feel like the least I can do is make sure they are dressed okay. Not that looks are so important. But I would hate for them to be uncomfortable.
LOVING: After the shock of last week's election, Emily Henderson invited readers who voted for Trump to share why they voted for the candidate in a polite dialogue in the comments section of her blog (read this post). As someone who also felt confused and disheartened by the outcome of last Tuesday's election, I found her reader feedback to be somewhat helpful. Emily certainly didn't have to open up her blog to controversial issues that have nothing to do with safe and fun topics like fabric swatches and tchotchkes, but I appreciate her intent. She's always appeared to be a very genuine blogger and I think she used her post as an opportunity to learn from those she might disagree with. As a result, readers like myself also benefited from the discussion.