Posted: October 13th, 2016 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Misc. | No Comments »
I couldn’t vote in the 1992 election, I was only 14 years old. But I remember the saxophone, and the Man from Hope, and the crazy half-brother.
And I remember the cookies. And I remember the headbands. And the cankles. And I remember the woman trying to change healthcare in our country being reduced to a punchline.
I remember the “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights” speech.
I remember voting for the first time.
I remember Monica Lewinsky. (That news brought the first breathless phone call regarding a news event that I can remember.) I remember the impeachment trial.
I remember the move to New York, and the race for Senate.
And I remember 9/11, of course.
I remember the 2008 election. I remember having to convince myself that it wasn’t her time, that there was still a chance, that I could wait a little bit longer.
I remember Benghazi. I remember the emails.
But this is it. We are finally here.
I’m voting for Hillary because I have watched and admired her for the better part of my life. She is not the “lesser of two evils”. She is calm, compassionate, and serious. She has the temperament and the intellect to lead our great democracy. She is a quiet fighter.
Posted: June 17th, 2016 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Minneapolis Schools, Misc., Out and About, Parenting, Stream of Consciousness | No Comments »
I just want to write.
Every night as my head hits the pillow, my eyes blink open and that thought flashes across my mind. I just want to write. But when? How? What do I even write about?
I’m in the deep end of the parenting pool, and I’m treading water like crazy. Everyone is so loud. Everyone needs me all of the time. Yesterday I actually told my kids that I was going to run away and never come back. And for a few minutes, I think I actually meant it. We aren’t far enough into summer for me to be losing my grip here. Don’t even get me started on the state of my house.
There is a lot of energy in my house. My almost 6-year old is without his best friend Monday-Thursday, and spends the day antagonizing everyone from dawn til dusk. There is not enough coffee in the world to enable me to start the day on the right foot with him. I do not do mornings well to begin with, and I dread getting up when I hear him downstairs at 6am. Which is in itself a problem- 6am?! It’s summer, we have nowhere to be in the mornings. Why must my kids get up at 6am?
My 2-year old just figured out how to climb out of his crib, so naps and bedtimes are a nightmare, and we are suddenly back into up-all-night sleep deprivation mode. I was completely spoiled by the ability to put him in his crib, let him snuggle in and be awake for awhile, and then fall asleep on his own. Now we are all rocking and shushing, and sitting in front of the crib and putting him back when he climbs out. Did I mention he is still nursing? He’s still nursing. We’ve been trying to wean for a good year at this point and although I think we are close, I’m completely over it.
My 7-year olds are (as usual) the easier of the four to keep entertained during the day, mostly because there are endless screenplays to read on the internet, and the yoga balls are in abundance. Easy if you ignore the fact that one of them likes to dump all of my jewelry out and drag it all over the house, and the other one won’t wear pants. Easy if you ignore the fact that we are all on constant lockdown because they are an elopement risk and my biggest fear is one of them leaving and me not being able to track them down and/or catch up to them. But they aren’t yelling at me at 6am, so that goes a long way.
We wrapped up all spring sports and activities! Newsflash: much to my surprise, I am not cut out to be a sports mom. I have zero patience for watching games, and even less patience for chasing my other kids around parks and fields while their sibling plays. I also really like not having things scheduled at night. Maybe it’s good none of them like hockey.
Speaking of sports moms, I got to witness another mom walk out onto the field during a game to yell at MY KID for throwing sand. Of course every other kid was also throwing sand at the time (this is T-Ball after all), mine just happened to throw sand at her kid. Asher’s Mom- Your face is seared into my brain.
We spent approximately 10% of our income on various car repairs and major appliance replacements in May. So that was fun. I’m never getting a new couch.
My 5-year old took it upon himself to open up a can of paint, and proceed to paint on our walls, and his bed frame when I allowed him to stay home while Yogi Dad was on a conference call (home, but not supervising). I guess I need to actually get the painting done this summer. Anyone like to paint?
We finally figured out what our upstairs ceiling was made of. The weird ceiling that when we bought the house we told the realtor we would eventually replace because it’s weird, and ugly? ASBESTOS. The ceiling is made from asbestos. Because OF COURSE IT IS. I guess we just paint over it and live with it, because we probably aren’t going to be replacing it anytime soon. Shouldn’t that have been in the truth in sale of housing documents? It feels like that might be important information.
Another important piece of information that we recently learned was the fact that the teacher hired from Spain to teach in my 5-year old’s brand new Spanish dual immersion program last year, was a gym teacher when he taught in Spain. Nothing against gym teachers, but I think we can all agree that this was a major oversight on the hiring team. He was not a general education teacher. He was not a dual immersion teacher. He was not a kindergarten teacher. I’m not sure how many times I asked what he taught, but it was never specifically stated, and the answer always led me to believe that he just taught a grade other than kindergarten. Of course, I didn’t learn this information until we had already pulled our kids from the school for next year, partially due to the fact that the Spanish immersion experience had been so poor. I am disappointed on so many levels. But mostly I fear that we wasted my son’s entire kindergarten year. We put a lot of faith in the district and our administrators that this was going to be great. We knew it would be hard starting a new program, but we trusted that it would work out. It was a total fail.
(Now I’m just sitting here angry. Think Lovely Thoughts!)
Libraries. Dude. I finally updated my card and I’m newly obsessed with working on my To-Read list without feeding my Amazon addiction. The best thing so far is the audio books. I spend way too much time doing dishes every day, and listening to something I want to read is making those hours feel like less of a loss. Also: podcasts. I’m sorry I ever turned my nose up at the podcasters at the blogging conferences!
Ice Cream. This is the summer of ice cream. Northeast Minneapolis needs a good ice cream shop, it sounds like we have donuts figured out, but our ice cream options are lacking. In the meantime we are eating our weight in DQ.
Neighborhood pools- best invention ever.
My gardens are really coming along, there wasn’t much here when we bought the house, and we have since removed all of the shrubs and replaced with perennials, so it’s a work in progress. If I like it, I stick it in the dirt, so there isn’t much rhyme or reason to what is happening there, but now that things have had a year or two to establish, I can see where we need to move things around a bit.
Our summer is pretty well stocked with fun things to do. I hope the boys enjoy our daytrips and vacations. I hope that I can enjoy them and not just be constantly stressed. Cross your fingers for me?
Aaaannnd we’re back to negative, so I’m going to stop right there for now.
Posted: December 20th, 2014 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Misc. | No Comments »
I’ve done it- I actually got my Christmas cards ordered, addressed, stamped, and MAILED…this year! BEFORE CHRISTMAS!
I actually had 4 different orders.
When you have such a hard time getting them out, you don’t buy 100 right out of the gate. You buy 50. And then 20. and then 10 (because there couldn’t possible be anyone else). and then you realize there are lots of anyone elses, and you buy 20 more. And then you get over it and start sending out regular cards without family photos.
This was the first rendition. It’s probably my favorite. Except for some reason the photos of Silas and Lincoln are switched here and look all weird. Oh well- they looked good on the actual cards.
It feels so good to be on top of things for a change, instead of dragging ass and not getting anything done. Christmas is pretty much going to rock this year.
Posted: October 30th, 2012 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Misc. | Tags: Christmas Gift Ideas, Gift ideas, Guest Post | 3 Comments »
I know some people who have their Christmas shopping lists halfway done by now- that’s just not me. We are just starting to make out our list, brainstorming ideas for family and friends. With the addition of 11 new teachers/ therapists/ aides to the mix this fall (bring our total to 19, not including drivers), our budget is stretching even further. I don’t even want to think about that yet though. Right now we are focusing on what to get the kids.
It’s tough to buy toys when toys don’t get played with and you are already tripping over them all day long anyways. Books top the list for our avid readers. A kitchen they can all use. Slippers (but maybe not since I doubt they will actually wear them!).
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Posted: October 29th, 2012 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Misc. | Tags: Gift ideas, Guest Post | No Comments »
I’ve been feeling kind of stressed the past week or so. So much to do! So many things happening! When I get stressed I like to spend money.
Good thing I don’t have any money to spend!
Instead I will do some online “window” shopping. Mindlessly filling up my shopping carts and abandoning them all over the internet. Creating a gift registry of all of the replacement pieces to bring our dishes and glassware back up to snuff after 10 years of marriage and 3
tornadoes children. You should try it sometime. It’s FREE, and it’s nice to let your mind drift aimlessly around.
If you are in the mood to shop for real though, here are some great Fall gift-giving tips!
Fall is a wonderful time of year. The trees have bright, beautiful colors. A whole bunch of holidays fall during the season. Not to mention all the pumpkin goodies that get made while the trees shed their leaves.
So if someone’s birthday or wedding falls during Fall, it’s natural to want to get them something to reflect the season. But not something too tacky or typical. So let’s count down some of the best presents you can get a man, woman or child during Fall!
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Posted: September 12th, 2012 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Misc. | Tags: Kids Activities | No Comments »
As I get my act together now that the boys are in school for 6 hours a day, I promise here will be more frequent blogging from me in the coming weeks and months. Today I bring you a guest post from Sam Peters with some great ideas for spending time with your kids!
When parents spend time with their children the whole family benefits from the shared bonds and memories that are created. Adding a competitive element to family activities can enhance the benefits for the entire family by incorporating social skills such as teamwork and leadership into the activities. Creating exciting games for parents and children to play together is simple and only requires a small amount of ingenuity to be mixed with some common household products that will enable everyone to get involved in the excitement of family fun.
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Posted: September 10th, 2012 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Misc. | Tags: First Day | 1 Comment »
All things considered, we did pretty well with our first day of the school year pics this time around.
There wasn’t a lot of eye contact (Wyatt)
…and when there was we had a tongue sticking out (Lincoln)
…and when I tried to get them together they jumped off the steps and made a run for it!
I would say it was a pretty successful undertaking!
Posted: June 29th, 2012 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Misc., Reviews and Giveaways | Tags: Giveaway | 14 Comments »
Not that I want to throw my hat back into the ring or anything- that ship has sailed. But I just love a brand new shiny store.
There is just something about seeing a new concept being rolled out, aisle by aisle that is so satisfying. When you can finally unveil that new store experience to your customers, they don’t necessarily see all the little things that went into the new design, but hopefully they will be wowed by the big picture.
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Posted: June 21st, 2012 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Misc. | 2 Comments »
This week we are talking about What breastfeeding advocacy means to us.
I admit, I got caught under the wheels of more than a few lactivists on Twitter when I was struggling so hard to keep my head above water that I really started to think that everyone that promoted breastfeeding was bad news.
But then I realized that as with anything, there is a happy medium.
Over the past couple of years I have decided that although advocacy and activism as it relates to breastfeeding can be many things to many people, there are things that I believe DO NOT qualify as advocacy:
– Bullying women who do not breastfeed
– Making women justify their reasons for *not* breastfeeding
– Making Breastfeeding an all or nothing endeavor
– Shaming women who use formula vs donated milk
– Shaming women who us formula period
Breastfeeding is hard, and I think sometimes a gentler approach will get a better reaction than an in your face my way or the highway one.
Unless of course we’re talking about advocating for Nursing in Public. Then I recommend everyone feel free to go all @Wolf_Mommy on anyone who calls out a mother for feeding her child the way God intended. Seriously. If you aren’t following Wolf Mommy on Twitter- Go- NOW! Follow this woman because she will make your heart sing as she takes on the ignorant men, women and (sometimes) children who populate Twitter. I am in awe of her finesse daily.
As always, this weeks Breastfeeding Blog hop is brought to you by The Gnome’s Mom, Happiness Redefined and Me! Please link up with a post about Breastfeeding Advocacy and don’t forget to add the linky to your own page so we can all hop around a little easier.
Posted: June 11th, 2012 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Misc. | 12 Comments »
It’s funny how reading a Facebook feed can bring me right back to being a kid. Being left out. Feeling rejected.
Not good enough.
I’m 34 years old, I should have a tougher skin by now, but apparently whatever toughness I’ve patched on is easily pulled off with the scroll of a finger.
I’m pretty introverted by nature. Always have been, always will be. It takes me awhile to come out of my shell, to trust people, to feel comfortable putting myself out there and dipping my toes in the friendship waters. That’s what I love about my husband, he’s kind of the opposite (matching parts). He paves the way for me in some ways.
But blogging. Blogging is my thing. It’s been my thing for over 5 years. Over the past year, well, 6 months really, my focus has drastically changed and I have lost much of what I loved about my little corner of the internet.
Everything is a business transaction now. What builds a better back-link. Who has the better following.
Those things make you worthy as a blogger. At least that is how it seems from where I sit this morning. I never wanted to look at blogging like a business.
I’ve always said I would never go to a Blogher conference. I said it would be too overwhelming, and that is mostly true. But I also know that I would feel terrible rejection, by not being recognized, by not being invited to something, by many tiny slights that everyone deals with. Some people can just let it roll off their back. Some people, like me, are left a puddle on the floor, unable to recover.
I never expected to feel that way over something as trivial as a run of the mill giveaway event.
But it did.
The dams broke and all of the emotion I have over holding everything together day in and day out came flooding out. The isolation of being a special need parent. The isolation of being a stay at home mom. Sitting on my couch at midnight. Crying silently while my family slept was not the way I wanted to start my week.
I’m sure some people won’t understand, but blogging is my escape.
The friendships and to some extent, the partnerships, I thought I had built mean a lot to me. They make my escape what it is.
It’s the kind of reality check I thought would come with a large conference.
Thankfully I didn’t have to waste money traveling to New York City to get it.