Thursday, March 28, 2013

Boxes of Books!

I always get children's books given to me by people and I'm happy to take then off their hands.  Here is my latest "gift" from my uncle.  Thanks Greg!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ted Talk-Vulnerability

Here is a talk that was recommended to me about a researcher in social services about Vulnerability.  I've never been one to like to dive into the psychologies but this one was quite interesting to me and I realized that I'm starting to feel like a researcher.  Here's the link and the highlights:

Brene Brown
The Power of Vulnerability

It “changed the way I live and love and work and parent.”

“If you can’t measure it, it does not exist.”

“Life’s messy, clean it up, organize it and put it into a bento box.”

“Lean into the discomfort of the work” is a motto in social work.

“I am interested in some messy topics, but I want to make them not messy.  I want to understand them.  To hack into these things that I know are important and lay the code out for everyone to see.”

“Connection is why we’re here.  It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”

When you ask people about love, they tell you about heartbreak.  When you ask people about belonging, they’ll tell you their most excruciating experiences of exclusion, and when you ask people about connection, the stories they tell you are  about disconnection. 

Shame is the fear of disconnection.  Is there something about me that if other people know it or see it, that I won’t be worthy of connection?  It’s universal.  We all have it.  No one wants to talk about and and the less you talk about it, the more you have it. 

We all have that feeling.  I’m not _______ enough. 

Vulnerability…In order for connection to happen, we have to be seen.  Really seen. 

This is my chance to beat it back with my measuring stick.  I’m going in.  I’m gonna figure this stuff out.

The one factor from the thousands of data and stories is that A sense of worthiness.  They have a strong sense of love and belonging. 

There was only one variable with people who had a   believe they are worthy of love and belonging.  That’s it.  They believe they’re worthy. 

The one thing that keeps us out of connection is the fear that we aren’t worthy of connection. 

Wholehearted people...
What they had in common was a sense of courage. 

Courage, the original defiintion was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. 

From her research all the people had:
The courage to be imperfect

The compassion to be kind to yourself first, and then to others. We can’t practice compassion with others if we can’t treat ourselves kindly. 

They had connection, as a result of authenticity.  They were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order  to be who they were.  You have to absolutely do that for connection.

They fully embraced vulnerability.  What made them vulnerable made them beautiful.  They didn’t talk about it being comfortable, nor was it excruciating, they just talked it being necessary.

The willingness to say I love you first.  The willing to do something where there are no guarantees.  The willingness to invest in a relationship that might not work out. 

I couldn’t believe that I had pledged allegiance to research where I couldn’t control and predict. 

Research is “to control and predict”

Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness but it appears also as the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love…

Why do we struggle with vulnerability so much?

We numb vulnerability. 

We are the most in debt, obese, addicted, and medicated adult cohort in US History.  You can’t selectively numb emotion.  Here’s the bad stuff, here’s grief, here’s shame, here’s disappointment.  I don’t want to feel these. 

You can’t numb those hard feelings, without numbing the affective.

When we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness,  and then we are miserable and we are looking for purpose and meaning 

We need to think about why and how we numb.

We make everything that is uncertain to certain. 

Blame is “a way to discharge pain and discomfort”

We perfect.

We perfect most dangerously our children. 

Children are hardwired for struggle when they get here. 

When you hold those perfect little babies, our job is not to say look at her she’s perfect.  My job is just to keep her perfect.  Our job is to look and say, You are imperfect and your wired for struggle but you are worthy for love and belonging.

She hopes:
To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen

To love with our whole hearts even when there’s no guarantee

To practice gratitude with love and joy

For us to say,

I am enough

Monday, March 18, 2013

Vintage Sesame Street

This is stuck in my head!  Remember this classic clip from Sesame Street?

"Loaf of bread, container of milk, stick of butter!"

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Toys Around the World

Stella – Montecchio, Italy

This was very interesting in a photo-editorial format.  The photographer, Gabriele Galimberti  says about his"Toy Stories"  project...

"Everyone remembers their childhood toys....Indeed, when Galimberti hit upon the idea of photographing children from around the world with their toys, he was not expecting to uncover much we did not already know: kids love dolls and dinosaurs and trucks and cuddly monkeys, and will construct worlds around them before eventually, inevitably, disregarding them for ever. 

“The richest children were more possessive. At the beginning, they wouldn’t want me to touch their toys, and I would need more time before they would let me play with them,” says the Italian, who would often join in with a child’s games before arranging the toys and taking the photograph. “In poor countries, it was much easier. Even if they only had two or three toys, they didn’t really care. In Africa, the kids would mostly play with their friends outside.”

Chiwa – Mchinji, Malawi
Yet even children worlds apart share similarities when it comes to the function their toys serve. Galimberti talks about meeting a six-year-old boy in Texas and a four-year-old girl in Malawi who both maintained their plastic dinosaurs would protect them from the dangers they believed waited for them at night – from kidnappers and poisonous animals respectively. More common was how the toys reflected the world each child was born into: so the girl from an affluent Mumbai family loves Monopoly, because she likes the idea of building houses and hotels, while the boy from rural Mexico loves trucks, because he sees them rumbling through his village to the nearby sugar plantation every day.
Ultimately, the toys on display reveal the hopes and ambitions of the people who bought them in the first place. “Doing this, I learnt more about the parents than I did about the kids,” says Galimberti. 
Ben Machell – The Times Magazine

Botlhe – Maun, Botswana

Pavel – Kiev, Ukraine

To see all the photo's by Gabriele Galimberti's project titled Toy Stories, go  HERE

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Children's Museum Part 2

Here's the second report of our trip to the "Treehouse Museum" in Ogden, Utah.  We spent hours there playing, touching, climbing and learning.  And to top it off, we got it at 60% off with coupons I found.  That make me happy!

The Hero Area emphasizing storytelling

You can make your own movie, change backgrounds, use puppets or other props.  

 I loved the chairs!

Hero Hat's were our favorite!


You can tell we loved that astronaut hat!  Even I wore it!

All sort of Hero games too!

We LOVED it!  I highly recommend going!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Don't Dumb Down Dad's

There was a recent article in a local newspaper that grabbed the attention of my husband.  This is one of his pet peeves.  He hates the "Doofus Dad" stereotype.  

Some of my favorite excerpts are:

"It's not hard to find. If you watch TV, then you've most likely witnessed the portrayal of the modern-day husband and father as lazy, incompetent and stupid. Just these three characteristics are sure to bring to mind one commercial or sitcom that personifies this type of man."
The doofus dad stereotype isn't new. There's Fred Flinstone, Dagwood Bumstead and even Charlie Brown's monotone parents. But according to Tierny, the consistency of these new portrayals has slowly created a new norm opposed to what being a father used to mean."

"Where did we fathers go wrong? We spend twice as much time with our kids as we did two decades ago, but on television we're oblivious ('Jimmy Neutron'), troubled ('The Sopranos'), deranged ('Malcolm in the Middle') and generally incompetent ('Everybody Loves Raymond'). Even if Dad has a good job, like the star of 'Home Improvement,' at home he's forever making messes that must be straightened out by Mom."

"While dads in 'Leave It to Beaver' and 'The Donna Reed Show' had flaws, they were close to what was then thought of as 'perfect,' part of an idealized white American family," Bob Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, told CNN. "Later, shows such as 'The Cosby Show,' 'Family Ties,' 'Growing Pains' and 'Full House' showcased caring dads of a new generation.
"But by the late 1980s, more shows wanted to distance themselves from the 'corny, syrupy stuff' — and in stepped shows such as 'Married With Children' and 'The Simpsons.'"
And that's just to mention a few examples within the sit-com sphere. Commercials have also created their own standard for men.
"Ad after ad makes doltish Dad the butt of all jokes,"wrote Seth Stevenson with Slate Magazine. "He’s outwitted by his children. He’s the target of condescending eye rolls from his wife. He’s a dumb, incompetent, sometimes even selfish oaf — but his family loves him anyway."

For example, a Huggies diapers commercial which aired early last year stated, "To prove Huggies can handle just about anything, we put them to the toughest test imaginable: dads, alone with their babies, in one house, for five days."
The assumption that dads can't take care of their own children was offensive to one man in particular. Chris Routley of Breinigsville, Penn., is a stay-at-home dad who decided to take action. After viewing the Huggies commercial, Routley put together a petition on In his statement, Routley wrote, "Why not find a way to celebrate dads in a way that doesn't minimize, stereotype and judge us as — at best — well-meaning but second-class parents?"
In March 2012, Routley received more than 1,000 signatures on the petition. Huggies contacted Routley promising to remove the ad and to create a new ad that showed caring, competent fathers. CNN reported the new commercial slogan produced by Huggies which stated: "To prove Huggies wipes can handle anything, we asked real dads to put them to the test, with their own babies, on spaghetti night."

Matt Campbell, an administrator for, expressed his own concerns about the consequences of such media content.
"Negative general portrayals of fathers/husbands/men in TV commercials and sit-coms contributes to a decrease in men wanting to assume those roles in society, and creates the impression among others that men need not assume such roles anyways, that such simply aren't important."

"Men have always made fun of themselves," said New York Times best-selling author and social philosopher Michael Gurian. "The kind of things that are done with men in the media would never be done with women, and that's just sort of a given. But men don't mind. They live by joking and putting each other down and lifting each other up. But the negative is that they can only be OK if the rest of society has a basic understanding and respect for boys and men."
Kelly believes that the problem is larger than merely what is shown in the media, but how we act within our own home.
"I think we as a culture have a blind spot when it comes to the role of men in families — men and women both," Kelly said. "I don't believe it's a manner of injustice or anyone being victimized, I think it's habit. The habit is that men are of secondary importance in the life of a family. Therefore we all kind of expect men to be secondary. And it's not surprising that attitude plays itself out in many ways in our culture: in media portrayals and in the habits we have as families."
"They're kind of stupid and they're not needed," Gurian said regarding fathers in the media. "So the message to the young people is that males are not needed, or Dad is not needed. That's dangerous because it's going to set up guys who will not take care of their kids, and kids who will not respect or understand the males and women who will say, 'Ah, they're not needed anyway.'"

The recent article is found HERE with the original article from the New York Times found HERE

Sorry for the long excerpts, but you can see why I did.  This topic is so true and so disturbing.  I've noticed that with commercials for cleaning products, they only show women and they always show her wedding ring.  Don't Dad's do dishes?

What do you think?  Do the portrayals of the father figure in the media bother you like it bothers my husband and I?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Children's Museum Part 1

Have you ever heard of the tree house museum in Ogden, Utah?  It is a field trip destination and a very hands on place to take kids.  We ventured out there one Saturday and had a blast!

Heres my son participating in an impromptu play.  He was a rabbi.  Plays are put on by the children every hour.  

Another son as a "Little Piggie."

Climbing the tree house.  

The interactive floor map

The scaled model of the oval office

My daugher's response to "Look smart!"

Buttons, buttons and more buttons...

The music area

The Ship.  They played on there forever!

The Hospital

More to come in Part Two.  I told you we had a wonderful visit!