Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Obama's Letter to His Daughters vs. Trump's Letter to American Daughters

As a mother of 2 young girls, I'd like to take the time to type out the words President Barack Obama wrote as a letter to his daughters, in the book "Of Thee I Sing," and juxtapose them to Donald Trump's actual quotes. Please try to understand why, not only as a woman, but as a mother raising strong young women, I am still horrified that this man has been elected to be the leader of our country. I cannot allow his morals or words or anybody who condones them, permeate my home or my family.


"Have I told you lately how wonderful you are? How the sound of your feet running rom afar brings dancing rhythms to my day? How you laugh and sunshine spills into the room?"
-President Obama


“It doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
—Donald Trump to Esquire in 1991 


"Have I told you that you are creative?....Have I told you that you are smart...brave? Have I told you that you are a healer? Have I told you that you have your own song? Have I told you that you are strong?" 
-President Obama


"If Hillary Clinton can't satisfy her husband, what makes her think she can satisfy America?" 
-Donald Trump, on his Twitter account, 4/16/15 @ 5:22 PM 


"Have I told you how important it is to honor others' sacrifices? Have I told you that you are kind? Have I told you that you don't give up? Have I told you that you are an explorer? Have I told you that you are inspiring?" 
-President Obama


"(Lindsay Lohan)'s probably deeply troubled and therefore great in bed. How come the deeply troubled women, you know, deeply, deeply troubled, they're always the best in bed? You don't want to be with them for long term, but for the short term there's nothing like it."
-Donald Trump on the Howard Stern show, December 2004


"Have I told you that you are part of a family? A man named Abraham Lincoln knew that all of America should work together. He kept our nation one and promised freedom to enslaved sisters and brothers. This man of the people, simple and plain, asked more of our country-that we behave as kin. Have I told you to be proud to be American? Our first president, George Washington, believed in liberty and justice for all....Have I told you that America is made up of people of every kind? People of all races, religions, and beliefs. People from the coastlines and the mountains. People who have made bright lights shine by sharing their unique gifts and giving us the courage to lift one another up, to keep up the fight, to work and build upon all that is good in our nation." 
-President Obama

“And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything...Grab them by the pussy." -Donald Trump, Access Hollywood with Billy Bush, 2005

"Have I told you that they (Americans) are all a part of you? Have I told you that you are one of them, and that you are the future? And have I told you that I love you?"
-President Obama
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I don't know what to tell my daughters. I don't know where to go from here. This is not a difference of political persuasion. This is electing a dangerously misogynistic man in office. There are literally dozens more quotes that are equally (if not more) offensive to women. This doesn't even include the statements he's made about minorities. 
For those people who don't understand why Americans are still upset about this election, maybe this clears it up. We are downgrading, big time. Put all politics aside for just a moment. Look at President Obama: the man, the husband, the father. Look at him as the leader of this country and this world. His values. His morals. Look at what we'll have for the next four years with Trump. I will do my best to shelter my children from his words + actions. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't deeply worried. How ironic, the party that touted "family values" and claimed to be the party of Christianity, elected Trump. Never have I felt so conservative in my life. I'm worried for my daughters. I'm worried for women. I'm worried for minorities. I'm worried about America's future, and I'm grieving the loss of President Obama. 

xo,
L

Friday, November 4, 2016

Dear Daughters,

Sweet Girls,

You have been rockin' my world lately. We are definitely in a sweet spot. Lilah Grace, you're 3 1/2 years old and you have me laughing on the daily. Everleigh Rose, you're 10 months old, and your personality has really been emerging! You girls are my world. I find it difficult to get my mind off of you for more than an hour. When I'm at work, I'm constantly showing off your pictures to co-workers and patients. When Dad and I go on dates, we talk about you. Our favorite people to be with are our family members, so we can all obsess over yall. They get it. Strangers would be bored to tears.

For as long as I can remember, my greatest fear in life has been losing my people. But a close second has been losing my memories. I've had such awful short-term memory loss after Evy was born; this motivated me to document as much as I can now, to save for later.

Fortunately, we have dear friends and family members who are extraordinary professional photographers. Aunt Yana came over the other day, and served as a "fly on the wall" to document a typical afternoon so we can remember what life was like for us now. I hope when you look back on your childhood, you smile and feel warm + fuzzy like I do with mine, and like I know I will when I think back on raising yall. These truly are "the good 'ol days."

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I go to work, but on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we spend the days together, just us girls. The weekends with dad are sacred.

A typical Monday/Wednesday/Friday starts when Everleigh cries in her crib. Either Dad or I will go get you, and bring you into our bed. I am still breastfeeding you, even though I don't think I'm making any milk anymore. We both still enjoy the snuggles, and it buys me a slower wake-up time. Hehe. Shortly after, we hear Stella's collar jingling, and Lilah Grace, you're headed straight to the pantry for your granola (("canola")) bar. You ask Dad for chocolate milk (("the sweet kind")) as if he hasn't done this before, and he gets you your milk and my coffee. The four of us snuggle in bed, and usually watch an episode of "My Little Pony." LG, your favorite is Rainbow Dash. Dad's is Twilight Sparkle. Mine is Princess Celestia. Everleigh's is, umm, my boobs.

After my coffee kicks in, I put Evy in the highchair with finger foods and make LG's lunch. We get you both dressed, and it's off to school. I drop you off in the drop-off line and you go in there like a champ. You love school. Evy naps immediately after ((usually) and I catch up on groceries/laundry/cooking/cleaning. After what seems like a couple of minutes, I go back to pick you up, and the three of us come home. Home..I absolutely love our home. I hope you both do, too. It's definitely more than just a house; this place feels like home to me, and I never want to move.









After school, we go straight to the kitchen and have snacks // Everleigh eats lunch. When my phone isn't broken, you both are begging to play with one of your apps. I usually let you, because I pick my battles. :)

Evy, you are a CHOWHOUND. I have never seen a baby eat as much as you. You eat basically everything I do, and honestly, more, just in tiny pieces. When you're fussy, I throw food at you, and that usually does the trick. Lilah Grace, you used to eat basically anything, but you've been pickier lately.

After snack, if Evy is a mess, we'll do a sink bath. Honestly, we sometimes do three sink baths a day. I just let you get totally messy feeding yourself, and then straight to the sink we go. Sometimes you hang with us, LG, and sometimes you go to your playroom and play for a bit. Sometimes I put you in your high chair and give you paints. You've been really into painting lately, and I've been really proud of your masterpieces. Your favorite game on my phone is this vet game, where you get to "fix" the animals. The game helped you overcome your fear of spiders, and taught you all about the purpose of x-rays. You love fixing the animals, and seeing them "party" after you "fix" them all. I know people have their judgments on screen time, but honestly, in moderation, I think it's fine, and you're adorable and so excited when you get to play with it!




Evy, after filling up your tummy and cleaning you off, we make our way to the nursery. I put either clothes or PJs on you ((it's never too early for pajamas)), and put you down for your afternoon nap. Lilah Grace, after I put Evy down for rest, while she's crying it out, I'll read you a book and/or tell you a story. You've been really into stories from when we were kids, or "tall tales," where we make up stories that are just pretend. You've definitely figured out how to stall. You probably actually take your afternoon nap 50% of the time, but if you aren't sleeping, you're at least quiet, and having some downtime while I have some, too.






The simultaneous afternoon nap is rare, but a treat for me. I love my time with you girls when we're reading, laughing, eating, or playing, but it's nice to turn my brain off for a little while, and have some "me" time. The first thing I always do is straighten up the house. I like the house to be tidy before I unwind. After straightening up, I'll do something for myself. I try to go inward. I'll meditate, play with Tarot cards, or journal. My favorite gratitude practice is writing thank you notes. I've also been enjoying getting a little bit of time in on my yoga mat and stretching out. Sometimes I just drink coffee in bed and watch a "grown up show" to decompress. I usually always do laundry and prep for dinner. Usually, it's not too long until one of you is awake!



Evy, your crawl is cute + funky. You pull yourself with one leg and drag the other and it looks like an army crawl. You're getting faster everyday. You're pulling yourself up and can even balance on both feet without help for a second or two! It won't be long before you're walking. You have 4 teeth completely in ((top two + bottom two)) and are currently cutting two more on top and two more on bottom for a total of 8! You're a little irritable, but we caved and got you an amber necklace, which I swear has been helping! We give you teething tablets and ice rings, too. Lilah Grace, you've been learning how to cut with scissors in school, which reminds me, I need to buy kid scissors for the house. You know all letters and numbers up to 30. You got an outstanding report card just a couple weeks ago! You are seriously a genius; I want to continue to foster your inquisitive nature ((your questions are never-ending)) + love of the human body + interest in animals. You've considered yourself to be a "mama wolf" for the past couple of months, and howl at the moon. You ask me what's inside your body at least three times a week, and we go through organs, muscles, and bones.






I usually call Dad around 5:30 and ask for his ETA. When he comes home, we feel complete. I really look forward to his arrival, because he's my best friend, and I love the energy he brings to our home. We eat dinner together around our cheap kitchen table after we each say what we're grateful for. Lately the sun has been setting earlier, and with the darkness comes the nighttime routine. Sometimes yall rock the sister bath, but if Evy had a sinkbath in the afternoon and is still clean, sometimes you fly solo, LG. I've been weaning the nighttime feedings for Evy, so I'll read her a book in the rocking chair and then put her in the crib while Dad does story and bedtime with LG. Everleigh still loves her Gentle Baby oil every night, and Lilah Grace still loves sleeping with Stella. 

My favorite part of each day is when you both are safe + sound + asleep in bed, and your dad and I can Netflix and Chill. I love yall something fierce, but he is still my favorite person.

I usually fall asleep within 30 minutes. 

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I've become more interested in the elements since realizing Everleigh Rose is a "Fire" sign. Once I realized this, I had an "aha moment." You two girls are so different. And I love you each so much, in such different ways! There is more than enough love to go around. I'm a sucker for personality typing, so I did a little research, and found that Lilah Grace and Dad are "Earth" + I'm "Air" which means our little family is "Earth, Wind, and Fire," hehe. This also means I'm on a quest to have more "Water" signs in our home to help cool things off a bit! 

What I've found to be consistent with both Lilah Grace and Dad, is "Earth" people tend to be grounded + practical. They thrive with a dependable routine. They are loyal and they ((unsurprisingly)) have a deep personal connection with the earth.

Everleigh, my "Fire" girl, is enthusiastic, humorous, dramatic, and fun. Much like other "Fire" people, you are a natural performer with your dancing and singing. You are always reaching for an instrument. You also easily swing from one extreme to the other, and I believe as you learn to talk, you will speak straight from the heart. You're not even a year old, but you are so passionate. 

"Air" people are curious, independent, observant, and impractical. Thankfully, I have my practical "Earth" partner to keep me in check. "Air" people are described as intellectuals always on a quest for new information. We are apparently the best storytellers ((I do love writing; but I think Dad does a better job in the "tall-tale" department at bedtime)). We often struggle with grounding ourselves and can be fickle. 

Element info paraphrased from Debra Silverman Astrology.

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To my sister-in-law, Yana, thank you from the bottom of my heart for capturing our daily grind. This is exactly what I want to remember. I know I'll blink and these precious girls will be grown and out of the house, and I'll want to look back and remember these moments. My favorite days are ones without plans, without a disruption to the routine, so I can totally soak up the Here and Now. You made our minutia look beautiful, and you saw my family the way I do, and that is truly a gift. Thank you for sharing your gift with me.

And to my babies... I still can't believe we made you! You're both pure magic. I hope you know my love for you is unconditional and unwavering. I absolutely love being your mom. I think Mary Oliver said it best:

“Still, what I want in my life

is to be willing

to be dazzled—
to cast aside the weight of facts



and maybe even

to float a little
above this difficult world.” 



Thank you for dazzling me by being the most authentic human beings I've ever known. When I'm with yall, I'm able to float.

xo,
Mama


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