Nothing So Mundane: Pop Culture’s Disney Darling

I’m getting really fed up about the hype surrounding Disney’s Frozen. To be fair, I haven’t seen it, just a few clips on YouTube, but I’m wanting to less and less because it apparently brainwashes otherwise reasonable people into forgetting other cool Disney characters and plots.
Frozen anna and elsa

Now, I always have to take Disney with a grain of salt because I despise a lot of what they have become, but even I can’t argue that they’re all bad. I was never the biggest fan of the Disney Princess movies and there’s pretty uniformly nothing worth scavenging from them when looking for good role models and representation. If you like them, I’m not judging, just saying they’re about as far from progressive as it’s possible to be so I will mostly be looking elsewhere.

Numerous blogs and articles keep popping up on my feeds lauding Frozen for being the most progressive and egalitarian film Disney has ever made. That Anna and Elsa teach girls that romantic love isn’t the be-all and end-all and that family is most important. That girls can damn well save themselves. I’ve even seen a compelling argument that they included mention of a gay family. It questions, even mocks, the marriage trope that Disney arguably helped create in the first place. (One right does not correct that wrong, Disney.) Overall, kudos Disney. It’s great to see it all come together in a one movie, but let’s not forget the other (baby) steps they’ve taken along the way. And seriously, can we not pretend Frozen doesn’t have some issues of its own, small though they may be in comparison to certain other Disney movies, or delude ourselves into thinking this one movie redeems the entire questionable franchise.

Can we talk about the awesome sisters thing first? They’re strong, they’re active players in their own lives, I get it and it’s great. But Lilo and Stitch did it first, and that movie didn’t exactly suck. (It’s possibly my favorite.) Why was Lilo and Stitch something of a moderate feel good movie while Frozen is lauded as groundbreaking and revolutionary? I can only assume it had something to do with placing the sisters in a traditional princess story and, I won’t sugarcoat this, making them white. Yay, progress. Oh, and Lilo and Stitch totally did the whole ‘family being the most important thing’ first, too.

stitch family
Empowerment is great, and I’m glad Elsa got some. Mulan did, too. And because empowerment isn’t all about physical strength or magical powers, I’ll point out that Pocahantas, Kida (Atlantis: The Lost Empire), Jane (Tarzan), Jasmine (Aladdin),   Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Rapunzel (Tangled), and of course Merida (Brave) all surpassed their initial expectational molds and were active in altering the plots of their own lives and those around them. Whether by owning their intelligence, sexuality, abilities, or just plain being stubborn all these women proved themselves to be empowered. I’m not saying there are not serious issues with these movies, or that they were the pinnacle of girl power, but they weren’t Sleeping Beauty, either. I’d like to make special mention of Esmeralda (Hunchback of Notre Dame), who was actually portrayed as less empowered as the movie went on, but is still totally awesome.

mulan and esmiralda

How about Anna and Kristoff’s great partnership as equals, then? I think David and Nani’s relationship in Lilo and Stitch is maybe the best canon Disney romance precisely because they’re friends and equals. He respects that he’s not her priority, is supportive, and continues to be a stand-up guy, respecting it when she turns him down at first. In The Rescuers Bianca and Bernard work as a team of field agents, in Chicken Little the main character and his romantic interest are good friends and work together to stop an alien invasion, in The Lion King Nala is a powerful lioness that is integral to getting the pride to back up Simba in his coup.

But Frozen finally took on Disney’s most problematic trope; that a woman needs a man! Did nobody watch Brave? That was kind of the point of the film, as it pertains to marriage and being your own savior. Mulan saved China without a boyfriend. Esmeralda called out the powers that be on their hypocrisy and cruelty, not to mention lived by her own rules and made her own money and took care of herself.  Dori, in Finding Nemo, defied every trope for a grown woman, becoming neither the mother nor the stepmother, never entering into a relationship with the main adult male character, and having none of the delicate or graceful qualities expected of a woman but none of these possible ‘faults’ were treated as problematic, and she still is cool and integral to a positive outcome. Alice doesn’t have a significant other, but she stands up to the Red Queen.  And, unlike Brave, in Frozen the quest was not complete without a romantic plot  line. Which isn’t in itself bad, but is also probably not the best progress has to offer.

merida
This is also the point where I’d like to make note that Disney is a powerhouse, but they are not the only name in the business, and we the viewers actually have more power here than we realize. We need not be confined to Disney alone. How about these awesome non-Disney girl power movies; Quest for Camelot, where a girl and a blind hermit take on evil and become knights, or Chicken Run, where a group of cunning (and not so cunning) hens dream of having autonomy in their lives and escape the farm to live the dream? How about Shrek, where a princess doesn’t have to be delicate, or Fern Gully, with a powerful fairy princess who saves the forest from consumerism? Think outside the Disney box, is all I’m saying.

I’m sure I will see Frozen soon, but as it stands I’m more than a little concerned with the way the world is embracing this tale into its bosom.  A story doesn’t have to be awful for us to think analytically. You don’t have to dislike something to think critically about it. And let’s not get carried away with thinking about Frozen as a discrete work; its part of a franchise and a legacy, and for good or bad we need to look at it within that framework to see what it’s really doing. Disney has screwed up a lot, but it’s also a reflection of our culture. I’d rather attribute Frozen’s progress not to Disney but to us. We’re changing the world and Disney has taken notice and is slowly starting to cater to what we want to see. We can fix the problem with Disney. We can change the world. But it won’t happen by hand waving things we don’t want to look at.

Yay, things are getting better. This is only the beginning. Just think about what children’s films could look like in the future! So stop celebrating, because we’re not done yet.

Kirsten J.Greetings, I’m Kirsten. No nickname, but feel free to try. I recently completed a degree in Sociology, with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. My favorite season is winter, which tends to work out well, living in Montana and all. I have two cats that prefer my roommate’s company to mine. I will take cake over pie or ice cream any day. I am a geek of rather epic proportions and love sci-fi, action, kid’s movies, brit-coms, anime, books and webcomics. I like classic rock and metal, roller-coasters, cold spaghetti, and playing devil’s advocate. My hair has been known to suddenly, if temporarily, become pink and my nails, when I bother to do them, are each a different color. I can be extremely socially awkward. I’m not setting out to do anything big, I just want to be the best me I can be, but if I have to change the world to do so then I’m damn well going to give it a go.

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She Who Dreams of SuperHeros: Being an adult, being scared and being 29

I have typed, deleted, edited and re-edited this post so many times. It’s on my list of things to do this year, see? – to come back to this blog and write. As was promised at the start of this idea/ project. As much as I am constantly looking for reasons as to why I shouldn’t blog, I see them all being very similar to when I was smack in the middle of “the situation that shall not be named”.

And that’s when I realized – the only reason this was happening is because I still sort of am smack in the middle of the situation that shall not be named. But know what, I am going to name that situation. Stare it in the face and call it bad words.

This situation is called “adult life”. Where unless you are lucky and I mean very, very lucky and privileged, life is always going to be a situation that shall not be named.

Such wise words I speak (write), eh?

Must be because I turn 29 in two days.

Twenty.nine.

Last year was the twenty eight meltdown. I have a confession to make though – that birthday day was a secret harrah because of all that I thought was in store for me that year with a dash of anxiety about getting older.

This year, there isn’t a secret harrah. This year is the actual meltdown. I said to friends that I didn’t want to do much because it was a blah year till they said “it’s not a blah year, it’s your last year in your twenties!”.

And that’s when the internal meltdown began.

Last year in my twenties. Where the heck did my twenties even go?

Also, for the first time, I really don’t know what in the name of everything that is holy is even going on. I don’t have a career, I don’t have savings anymore (they are depleted), I still don’t have a car and we could go on and on and on.

So last year in my twenties and all I want to do is pretend that it’s never January 18th. Maybe if we went from January 17th to January 19th, we could just skip my birthday all together and I could not turn 29 just yet and we could come back another time? Maybe when I am more prepared to be 29?

Not a chance? – OK. Well then, I’m going to have to find a way to deal.

Ages ago, I had a professor that taught the class what “happiness” was. And there was this whole debate about how happiness means different things to different people. Yadi-yadi-ya. How about if I just take that exact same theory and shifted it to my situation? Who the heck decided what life should look like at the age of 29, right?

I have always been a sucker for a good story. Can you imagine this one – when it’s all done and we know how this horrible phase ends? Add my dramatic recitation of events, and it will be one to sit down, with a cup of your favorite beverage, in your most comfiest pj’s and listen to, that’s for sure!

Unnecessarily long story short – it’s going to be the start of my 29th year. I don’t know what the heck is going on. 2013 was the most challenging ever (bar a few EPIC moments). I am a pit of nerves on most days and I don’t know where my life is going and I am rightfully pissed off about it. Want to be a part of this ride with me? Here is to 29 being fabulous!

Nams KHello! I’m Namrata. I believe in God, family, good friends, cupcakes, John Mayer, a good song – like a really good song, Neal Gaiman’s talking voice, jokes that really make you laugh and shoe therapy. I believe that a hot cup of tea can solve more or less anything and that Spider-man really does exist – we just haven’t seen him yet. I also believe that if you want to love someone or something, you love them or it madly (go big or go home). And thanks to believing in loving madly, I have often been referred to as obsessive – I however, like to think of myself as passionate. I think telling a good story is the most important thing in this world and I hope I can tell a good story. And I also hope you are going to like them.

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Getting Over the Hump: The List

In life, there are many things to reflect upon. We each have our own formula for a successful life whether it is a list on paper or one in our head. I have found a consistent happiness of my own, and figured it wouldn’t hurt to share. My list is not about obtaining wealth or social status, because those are after all, trivial, impermanent things. My list is simply a list of things to leave behind and things to take with you throughout life.

THINGS TO LEAVE BEHIND

Grudges

They take up energy that can be channeled in a much more productive manner and are completely useless. Think of them as empty calories. They are tempting and you always regret them later…which brings be to my next point.

Regrets

They only slow you down. There is no more surefire way to make the present absolutely miserable than regret. When you hold regret, moving forward seems pointless and personal accomplishments do not matter.

Self Doubt

Just don’t do it. Seriously. Don’t go there. If you spend your life tiptoeing across the frozen pond, you will miss the beauty in the lake around you and will almost certainly fall in. Sure, you might still fall in, but I guarantee life will be much more enjoyable with a steady stride and head held high. The best advice ever given to me was by my orchestra teacher. “Always act like you know what you are doing and play with confidence. Rarely will people pick up on your small mistakes.”

Judgment

What’s the point? Honestly, judgment comes from a bad place and turns good people sour. No matter how good you think your intentions are, judgment hurts everyone. We’re all on our own paths. Don’t try pulling people off theirs and onto your own.

THINGS TO TAKE WITH YOU

A Mirror

Not to pick apart or criticize your personal appearance, but because without it you are the only one that cannot look into your eyes. It’s extremely corny, but when I’m with a group of friends and need to use the restroom, I always make a point of it to smile at myself in the mirror. This way, I can see myself when I am most beautiful…when I’m happy. Also, always remember what you look like when you smile in the mirror.

Family

Not necessarily blood relation. Anyone you hold dear enough to call, text, email, or talk to when you are having a bad day or need advice. Someone who holds your trust and will not let you down. Those whom you deem worthy enough to be family are worth more than any amount of money. These are the people that make you smile when you look in the mirror. They help keep you beautiful.

Self Worth

Know it and own it. It is very easy to lose and even easier for someone to take away. Guard it with your life.

Love

All the love you’ve ever given and all the love you’ve ever gotten. Love encompasses all of the emotions, even the bad ones…and it is what most people strive for in life. Love hurts, is scary, fun, happy, bittersweet, and many more things. It is the most valuable thing I own and the only thing I care to take with me as I leave this earth.

Sara M-FHello all! My name is Sara. I support my writing/music making addiction by working as an IT technician. I love exclamation marks! And smiley faces :-) I am blessed to have been raised by an incredibly strong woman. I of course, used the strong will my momma gave me to wrangle my supportive, talented husband into my musical exploits. I have worked for years to be ahead of the game early in my life and am now focusing on making up for all the times I had not allowed myself to let loose and mohawk my hair.

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Nothing So Mundane: Women and Geek Culture

I need to talk about this myth that geeky girls are rare and mythical beings.

Geek in PinkThe biggest problem among self-identified geeks is in certain circles of geeks thinking they constitute the entirety of that group. Like the predominately straight, white, middle-class feminists who think they somehow represent women everywhere.  Just because we’re not right there with you doesn’t mean we don’t exist.

But where else would we be?  Why wouldn’t we want to hang out with our male-identified peers?

The visible geeks out there, the ones who can afford to be seen and who have staked a claim on that identity, are also the ones who possess the most institutional privilege.  Straight, white, middle-class, educated men carry the same set of privileges whether they’re jocks or nerds.  Just because an individual may not feel they have full access to the benefits of these privileges does not negate the existence of the system.

So when those men create a community identity in which they can access and manipulate power structures they’re really not being any better than the people who beat them up in high-school, they’re just organizing themselves into a position to have the same power that bully had. Geekdom isn’t necessarily and more egalitarian or enlightened, and it doesn’t necessarily create space for alternative expression.

I want to be clear; there are some great geeky men out there. I have been lucky enough to know some who are open minded and sensitive to the problems of inequality. They are wonderful allies. The spectrum of personalities among geeks is just as great as among society as a whole, so this by no means applies to all of them, just them as a group, as a social construct.

Yes, I am relying heavily on stereotypes. Stereotypes have power. They’re more than an idea; they are a reflection of a shared agreement upon the state of reality. Any feelings of allegiance to an abstract social group necessitates the development of an us verses them mentality, and stereotypes are the foundation upon which members of the in-group (such as geeks) and the out-group are collectively defined.

As of 2000 there are more women online than men, and no, we’re not all writing mommy blogs and sharing make-up tips. There are few reliable demographics out there but many (I’d put money on the majority) of people involved in fandom and geekery are female identified. Transformative works, analysis, and community endeavors are dominated by women.  Even a full 47% of self-identified gamers are women over 18.

option 2

So why aren’t we out there?  Honestly, it’s not a pretty place for women to socialize. For example, I know people who play Friday Night Magic, and I’ve been playing with those same people and others for a while now, but I’ve never been to a Friday Night Magic event. I don’t feel comfortable showing up. I know that there are women there, but the space (metaphorically and oftentimes physically) is not a woman-friendly zone. So even if I might kind of like to go, I mostly just don’t want to go through the potential trouble.

So don’t tell me we’re few and far between.  We’re just not where you are, and for good reason. There are lots of people who aren’t made to feel welcome in mainstream geekdom, so we’ve gone elsewhere and made our own communities. I read a blog for geeky men about how to get their girlfriends interested in comics. How insulting. We’ve also rallied around things that speak to us, the same as you, but it has apparently not occurred to geeks that just as they maybe don’t have the same interests as their peers, we may not have the same interests as them. This doesn’t make us any less geeks, nor does it make our interests less valid.

Let’s not get into whose fandom is better. If men outnumber women in comic books, then maybe women outnumber men in fantasy or sci-fi (take my word for it, we’re all over that). Or however the demographic spread actually is; that’s not what’s important. Women-identified and female-bodied individuals, as well as other marginalized groups are flooding the internet with their own fan communities; creating, rethinking, reworking, expanding, analyzing, and generally participating in fan culture in some ways that many men barely scratch the surface.

Check out this infographic by fempop.com if you want an idea about the kind of numbers and creativity I’m talking about.

internet fandom

It’s good, we’re out there and we know we’re out there. But it’s also very limiting, because if you don’t know where to look or what these online niche fan collectives tend to do, then we’re largely invisible.  It provides a measure of safety, sure, but it also renders us mute in the mainstream cultural narrative. And, apparently, unavailable for romantic overtures by overbearing patriarchal jerks who somehow think they’re enlightened.

We come out when we feel safe and for now geekdom, as defined by those who have a visible presence, is not a safe space. If you can’t find us, we don’t want you to. There are a lot of strong feminist geeks out there, but until we have a voice beyond our isolated spheres of influence, the world of geeks (as straight, white, middle-class, educated men know it) is going to be a society of inequality and underrepresentation.

Kirsten J.Greetings, I’m Kirsten. No nickname, but feel free to try. I recently completed a degree in Sociology, with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. My favorite season is winter, which tends to work out well, living in Montana and all. I have two cats that prefer my roommate’s company to mine. I will take cake over pie or ice cream any day. I am a geek of rather epic proportions and love sci-fi, action, kid’s movies, brit-coms, anime, books and webcomics. I like classic rock and metal, roller-coasters, cold spaghetti, and playing devil’s advocate. My hair has been known to suddenly, if temporarily, become pink and my nails, when I bother to do them, are each a different color. I can be extremely socially awkward. I’m not setting out to do anything big, I just want to be the best me I can be, but if I have to change the world to do so then I’m damn well going to give it a go.

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She Who Dreams of SuperHeros: Apples, hot yoga and taking control

I have this relationship with apples. I used to love them as a kid. As long as it was a crisp apple, I loved it. The slight sign that it wasn’t a totally fresh apple and that’s a totally different story. But for the most part, I loved apples.

22 and at dinner at Applebees (I know what you are thinking but there really weren’t too many restaurant options in Mankato, MN at the time), I found out I had alopecia. My sister, roommate and I were enjoying our appetizers when I happened to run my fingers through my hair. I felt something on my scalp and turned to ask the ladies at the table as to what exactly was stuck on my scalp. Their faces prepared me for the worst. When I ran into the bathroom to check, there wasn’t anything stuck to my scalp alright – it WAS my scalp.

Wondering what this has to do with apples? Well – I’m getting there.

Apple1

Three months later I had moved to dubai (after said discovery) and I was worried that my mother’s hair was going to fall out because of the stress of that hair fall issue which was caused by stress in the first place, was going to give her. She insisted I see a dermatologist; who turned out to be awesome. She assured me that my hair was growing right back and that I had nothing to worry about. She gave me a pretty intense shampoo and conditioner treatment. Towards the end of my visit, she spoke with me about my diet. It was at that moment, when she was speaking with me, that my mother insisted that she heard the awesome doctor say I should eat a lot of apples.

Ever since then, for the two years that followed, during my stay in Dubai, my mother ensured I ate if not two – at least one apple a day. You might think that’s a little much and it probably was, but hair means the world to an Indian mother.

I was also determined to have my hair grow back. Given I was a vain 22 year old who cared so much about appearance it would shock you, I decided I would try this apple thing. After 6 months of having two apples everyday though – I couldn’t eat them anymore. But just because I made that decision, it didn’t mean that was the case. My mom is a lot more resilient than I. Even when my hair came back, I was still told to eat apples – yes apples, not apple, everyday.

I ate too many apples for ones liking. Eventually, the sight of apples made me feel a little sick. Anything apple – apple flavored candy, apple pie, apple flavored lip-balm and even appletinis. If it was apple – I wanted to throw it out a window of a very tall building so that there was no chance of survival.

Then yoga happened. Not the yoga I spoke about a while ago. The unsuccessful one – the one that only had me thinking about falafel? – Yeah, not that one. This is a new one.

Since the move back here, I have been determined to find a goal to work towards. Well, other than finding a job and being all independent again, because there are too many factors in that situation that I cannot control. And the Lord knows I need control. I needed to find an attainable goal that I could control.

A friend told me about this Bikram Yoga deal she heard of at a studio nearby. She had mentioned this 10-day deal months ago and for some reason I thought this would be a FABULOUS idea. Every week we told each other that the two of us would sign up, but never did. I finally took control and drove to the studio. My goal would be to attend 7 of the 10 days minimum.

For those of you who do not know what Bikram Yoga is, it’s basically hot yoga. So as if yoga wasn’t hard enough, someone came up with the idea to practice yoga in what feels like the center of the sun.

My first class. 7 minutes in the room, surrounded by people who once again looked a lot more in control of what they were doing than I – same as last time, and feeling sweat drip off of every single part of my body and I wondered what exactly it was I was doing there. But I powered through, folks! I made it through the class. And after I stumbled back to the changing room, drank some cold water and was walking out of the studio, the person at the front desk pointed at this bowl on the desk. He said it would make me feel better. This means I probably looked like I had been to hell and back and from the temps in that room – I probably had been. I walked over to the bowl hoping to God that it was a bowl full of Kit-Kat bars. I needed me some chocolate.

It wasn’t.

It was a bowl filled with freshly washed apples.

Apple2

I stared at them. I felt a little dizzy. I don’t know if it’s because I was staring with loathing for as long as I was or if it was because I had been through 90 minutes of trying to make my body do things it really didn’t want to do in a sauna. Maybe it was a combination of both.

I grabbed one and walked out of the studio and sat on the steps outside to enjoy the nice cool breeze which for some reason felt so much better than the air-conditioning inside. I stared at this apple in my hand and I said out loud “you think this is funny, don’t you! Well funny this” and I took a big bite of the apple. And then another and then another and then another until it was all gone. Finally coming to the dreaded realization.

It was delicious.

At the moment that my body rolled out of that yoga studio and it needed something, there was this lone apple that provided comfort. Funny how an old foe became a new friend, eh? And doesn’t that happen sometimes? And doesn’t it just catch you off-guard? People you think you would never get along with because of some small insignificant thing that happened in the past, turn out to be alright if you give them a chance. It’s a crazy world we live in.

And at this time of me wanting control, the universe is probably on its back letting out big belly laughs because out of all things in this in this whole world that would help me make it through to the other side of each crazy 90 minute session, helping me meet my goal, is the bite of a fresh, crisp apple.

Apple3

Nams KHello! I’m Namrata. I believe in God, family, good friends, cupcakes, John Mayer, a good song – like a really good song, Neal Gaiman’s talking voice, jokes that really make you laugh and shoe therapy. I believe that a hot cup of tea can solve more or less anything and that Spider-man really does exist – we just haven’t seen him yet. I also believe that if you want to love someone or something, you love them or it madly (go big or go home). And thanks to believing in loving madly, I have often been referred to as obsessive – I however, like to think of myself as passionate. I think telling a good story is the most important thing in this world and I hope I can tell a good story. And I also hope you are going to like them.

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Getting Over the Hump: Time and Frustration

If I could buy more hours in the day I wouldn’t hesitate to do so. This past week, I have crammed as much productivity into each minute as I can. We started moving into our house last Friday and have hardly stopped to relax since. Cleaning up after the previous owners is testing my limited patience. I know we now live in an older house, but keeping it clean has nothing to do with it’s age. Argh!

Then, the over-ambitious me decided it was a grand idea to go to IKEA the day after we “moved in”. (a.k.a. cramming all our belongings into whichever space they will fit). Aside from being exhausted, I of course had PMS complications during this trip. The complications included frustration because I couldn’t find things on my list, rage at the people that walk at a snails pace, and almost crying once we hit the self service part at the end. The almost crying was mostly due to the fact we had too many items for BOTH the carts we had. Yeah….we had to go back into the fray after the first round through the check outs.

Luckily, we have amazingly wonderful friends and family. They put our furniture together and helped up in general ways more than they should have.

Right now we’re in the home stretch. We just have some touch ups to do here and there along with decorating. Things seem a little more settled, but there are still many small projects that need to be done. For instance, a beautifully landscaped yard in the summer means maintenance in preparation for the winter months. We have had a tremendous amount of help and support from our friends and family. Without them, I think I might have flipped. All of this chaos has made me both realize and cherish the importance of friends, family, and time.

Sara M-FHello all! My name is Sara. I support my writing/music making addiction by working as an IT technician. I love exclamation marks! And smiley faces :-) I am blessed to have been raised by an incredibly strong woman. I of course, used the strong will my momma gave me to wrangle my supportive, talented husband into my musical exploits. I have worked for years to be ahead of the game early in my life and am now focusing on making up for all the times I had not allowed myself to let loose and mohawk my hair.

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The Everyday Fabulous Woman: Layla

Layla

Today is Miss Layla’s second birthday. As I wrote a post for my son, I thought it only fair to tell you about my little Layla Bear.

First, her nickname, Layla Bear, is from the Berenstain Bear books. When I was pregnant with Layla, we tried to prepare Parker for the upcoming arrival by reading him books about getting a new sister. One of those books was a Berenstain Bear book. If you haven’t read these books, the characters are Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear. Of course we changed those names to Daddy Bear, Mommy Bear, and Parker Bear. When the baby bear was born in the book, we called her Layla Bear. It stuck.

Layla’s birthday is 11/11/11. No, it wasn’t planned. I actually started contractions on the 9th (my birthday). I didn’t progress enough to keep me in the hospital so they sent me home for two days, eventually inducing me on the 11th. For those keeping score, no, she wasn’t born in the 11:00 hour. She was born at 6:32 pm. Everyone always has a great look and sound of excitement when they find out her date of birth and always this pitiful sound of disappointment when they find out it wasn’t in the 11:00 hour. So sorry to disappoint those people but I just couldn’t hold out any longer.

Layla is going to give us a very hard time as a teenager. She loves getting her way and will do absolutely anything in her power to get it. Her most effective tool is her contagious smile. You should see the way she slyly grins at me as she’s doing something she knows she’s not supposed to do.

Layla loves eating and the child will eat absolutely anything. Her favorites include salad with ranch, ice cream, and chocolate. She’s obviously her mother’s daughter (except the salad part……). The only time she won’t eat is if Parker isn’t eating. I have to threaten to give Parker her food. Then she shoves it all in her mouth at once.

Layla has a big personality. At two years old, I can only imagine how much bigger this personality will grow and how infectious her laughter will be to others.

We love you Layla Bear-Happy Birthday!!!!

Cindy S.Hello, my name is Cindy, and I am a singer (All together now: “Hi Cindy”). I own my own business as a private voice instructor to hundreds of students all over the world. As the wife of a musician, mother of two adorable children, and motivator/inspirer/teacher of singers, I am always pursuing the goal of becoming SuperWoman. If I’m not singing or cleaning up after the many loves of my life, you can find me hiding in my shoe closet with a bottle of red wine and a box of chocolates.

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