Hi Gen Xers!

Welcome! Feel free to peruse and enjoy all the material here. Unfortunately, our crazy lives and schedules have changed and we are no longer posting as a team. Some of us, however, have continued on with blogs of our own. Please follow us along on these sites:

The Librarian (Ruth) – The Jedi Musician’s Mama – http://jedismama.com/

The Scrivener (Shelby) – My Year With the Mouse – http://myyearwiththemouse.com/

The PhotoAddict (Renee) – Sprouts Photography Blog – http://sproutsphotography.com/?page_id=154

Thanks for stopping by!

The Gen X Moms

Kipper!

We were at the cabin recently and got a ton of snow. And by a ton I mean check out the picture of the car. It was level with the ground when we pulled in.

This happened overnight. No joke.

Sadly, Mouse is not a huge fan of the snow. He doesn’t like to walk in it. As in, he screams and cries when we try to make him walk in it. But we were all getting a bit of cabin fever there in the cabin. There’s a television and we did have basic cable installed, but just turning on the tv is rather hit and miss. Plus we don’t allow Mouse to watch much tv at all. Prior to this trip, he really only watched Yo Gabba Gabba.

However, luckily for us, we did bring up a new Blue-Ray DVD player that can stream from Netflix, so we set out to find something other than Yo Gabba Gabba (which Mouse calls “Go Ga Ga”) to watch. We sort of stumbled up this British cartoon about a dog named Kipper.

It’s unbelievably wonderful. We are now huge Kipper fans. Kipper is originally a series of children’s books, but those are very hard to find nowadays, sadly. But Mouse is completely enthralled with Kipper, the messages are positive, the animation is gentle (that is, not a lot of fast and flashy movement), and the stories are all very straightforward.

If you’re looking for a new series that you can tolerate in the background, we highly recommend Kipper.

Keep Dreaming

In the Fall of 2010, the owner of Belly Sprout, Christy Funk, posed a question on her Facebook wall. She asked us mamas out there if our dreams were on hold now that we have children or were we living the dream, balancing work that we loved and our children. This got me thinking. I had put my dreams on hold for awhile and I stopped to think about how I could adapt it to include my children.

I let the ideas rattle around in my brain for the night on how to balance children and a music career and this is what I came up with. Why couldn’t I teach a mommy and me music class where my children were present and could enjoy it? No babysitter required. Now, I just had to pitch the idea to the store owner as I clearly had no venue to hold this class. I thought about doing a trial run with the GenX moms playgroup, but I was faced with the limitations of my small living room.

I was nervous about broaching the idea to Christy out of fear of rejection, but I decided to “man up” and just go for it. My mantra was nothing ventured, nothing gained. I wrote her an email and pitched the idea and do you know what? She went for it. Do-Re-Me & Mommy was born. Since the holidays were approaching, we decided to host some free classes to introduce it to the community.  I gathered up some baby-safe musical instruments and cracked open the songbooks. I poured over hundreds of songs to find age-appropriate and popular tunes that most people would know. I found holiday songs set to popular children’s tunes and created song sheets, so parents could follow along. My goal was to make this fun and interactive.

The day of the first class arrived and my nerves were through the roof; I don’t remember eating breakfast. I don’t even think I slept through the night. I woke up early and while all my boys were still snoozing, I headed around the corner to print the colored song sheets at the office supply store. Since it was close to Thanksgiving, I went with harvest gold. I had rehearsed the songs over and over and was getting worried Scooby wouldn’t be interested since he’d heard them a bunch of times, including on the car ride over to Belly Sprout.

It was an overcast misty day, and I was hoping for a good handful of mamas and babes, but I tried to keep my expectations low. All the instruments were displayed on the kids’ table and I set up my IPod and speakers for the end of class boogie. What a joy it was to see friends and new faces coming to class. Eighteen moms showed up with their children in tow. We sang, we laughed, we jingled, we jangled. At the end, we all hung out and had a great time swapping mamahood stories while the kids danced and played. I felt so blessed to have such lovely mamas there who were encouraging even when I got nervous (Thanks Scriv!).  It was an experience that still brings tears to my eyes. The warmth and camaraderie, the new friendships forged, all from a little spark that took courage to share and bring to fruition.

I look forward to the future and I’m optimistic about keeping my dream alive in uncertain times.

Fear and Loathing in the Swimsuit Aisle

It’s time.  I have to buy a new bathing suit.  This isn’t an endeavor I approach lightly nor with little planning.  How do I put it?  I HATE bathing suit shopping.  The main reason?  I hate bathing suits.  I don’t know whose idea they were, but they are really a modern day form of torture.  But, warmer weather is fast approaching, and the day when the girls ask to get back in the pool is just around the corner.  I’ve lost some weight, and my already slightly stretched out suits are not going to cut it for another season.

I went through the ads on Sunday, and saw that Target has every swimsuit on sale this week.  If I have to buy one, at least it can be cheap, right? Armed with the knowledge of a potential bargain, I headed to Target yesterday.

Enter Exhibit A.

 

OMG, this is what I have to work with?  Is that a bouquet of flowers pinned to a bra?  Seriously?  OK, so, yes, suits like this one left me feeling very, very old.  I mean, do people actually wear suits like this?  There were a myriad of similar little tops, covered with animal print and sequins and ruffles.  After scouring all the choices, I found four somewhat age appropriate tankinis.  They all covered my midsection (an absolute requirement!), so I figured I had a fighting chance of finding a winner.  I was confident enough that I was willing to overlook the fact that my back would have been almost completely exposed in all of them.  Then, I put the first one on.  It was made for a boob-less toothpick!  There was no way I would parade around in that at home, let alone in public.

My dear friend Apple hit the nail on the head when she said that no single item of clothing can make you hate yourself the way the female swimsuit does.  There is no room for hiding any flaws, and they cause you to flaunt parts of your body that normally are not exposed to daylight.  And, post-childbirth, they are even scarier than before, because there are a lot more spots to hide!

Unfortunately, my quest isn’t over.  I left without a suit.  I still need one, so there is more fear and loathing in my future.

Interview With Lauren Potter–"Becky Jackson" on Glee **GenXMoms Exclusive**

The moms love Glee. The 80′s tunes are a throwback to our own high school days, the actors are fabulous, the storyline is addicting, and who doesn’t think it’s awesome to just burst out in song every once in a while? I know I do.

But one thing we’re particularly excited about is Glee’s portrayal of a number of different kinds of students. And I’ll admit it–my favorite character on the series is Becky Jackson, Cheerio and Sue Sylvester’s personal assistant. It’s so refreshing to me to see a character with Down syndrome portrayed not just positively, but as though the disability didn’t exist at all. Which is exactly how it should be.

I was thrilled to get an opportunity to interview Lauren Potter, the young woman who plays Becky, and here’s our chance to let you get to know Lauren a little better.

So Lauren, tell us a little bit about yourself–favorite movies, books, music?

I love everything Disney! Right now I’m reading the “Pretty Little Liars” series and they are so good! I like the show too. My favorite music of course is all the music from Glee, but I also like Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber, and I love the guys from Big Time Rush…I met them at Paramount while I was filming and they are sooo nice!

So tell the truth–is working on Glee as much fun as it looks?

Oh my gosh, it is so much fun. It is a lot of work too, but I love the cast and crew and all the producers. It gets pretty crazy sometimes, but it is a blast!

Sue Sylvester is one tough cookie but through the character of Becky Jackson, we get to see her softer side. Is actress Jane Lynch really like Sue Sylvester?

No way! She is so nice in person. She is really nice to talk to and she helps me a lot on set!

One of my favorite episodes was the Christmas episode with the Glee version of the Grinch. I was so thrilled to see Becky Jackson featured. Tell us about that episode.

I loved that episode. I had a huge crush on the director, he is really cute! It took a long time to film that episode but it was really fun, and I loved watching it when it was finished

Can you give us a hint of what’s in store for Becky and Glee?

I really never know, but I hope a lot more episodes!

What other projects are you working on?

I just got home from New York City. I was on CNN and ABC News. My Mom and I did a PSA to stop Bullying of kids with special needs and we went there to talk about it. It is through www.abilitypath.org I also did an interview with People Magazine with my Mom so we can stop bullying.

You’ve been a real inspiration and role model for many young people with disabilities. What advice do you have to give to others who have dreams as big as yours?

To never stop dreaming, no matter what the dream is. I feel so lucky and honored to be acting, but kids with disabilities need to know that they can do anything that they put their mind to! Just “don’t stop believin”!

And here’s the moving Public Service Announcement of Lauren and her mom, Robin, as they work to “disable” bullying.

Silent Sunday

Veggies Part 2

From our contributor, the Cooking Mama!

Spring is upon us and that means that decent produce is slowly finding its way back to the grocery store and farmers’ markets, hurrah! My days of picking through mangled, sad looking, and yet still incredibly overpriced specimens and relying heavily on frozen and packaged fruits and veggies are numbered and I couldn’t be happier. Mom confession ahead: I haven’t tried too terribly hard these last few months to get Goose to eat her vegetables. She seems to have wised up to my tricks and not even cheese, butter, or seasonings have enticed her taste buds. I always offer a bit of what we’re having and she generally turns it down, but she eats plenty of fruit and that still counts toward her five-a-day, right?

Goose shops for bananas

I’m hoping that the coming spring bounty will renew the appreciation for vegetables Goose had as a baby. She’ll still happily eat tomatoes and avocados (both technically fruits, I know), and she’ll pick at a few kernels of corn, but maybe all she needs is a spear of grilled asparagus or some sweet, steamed snap peas to rekindle her love for the green and orange stuff. Or maybe that’s a lot of wishful thinking and I’ll be hiding her vegetables in her food until she moves out of the house. I guess we’ll see soon enough. In the meantime, I’ll share a really easy, healthy, and Goose-approved recipe that sneaks in a lot of protein, vitamins, and fiber.

These pancakes started out as a recipe using shredded zucchini. I had a bag of baby carrots hanging out in the crisper so I used those instead, and tweaked the amount of oil (the original recipe called for more, but the pancakes don’t need it). This pancake batter doesn’t come together in the typical way – mixing the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately and then combining the two – but despite my skepticism, it somehow works perfectly and best of all, requires only one bowl. The cute little pancakes are lightly sweet from the carrots but mostly savory (I served them at lunch), a bit eggy in a good way, and really yummy on their own, no toppings required.

Carrot Pancakes

4 eggs

2 cups shredded carrots

¾ cup all-purpose flour (whole wheat would work too)

½ tsp granulated sugar

2 Tbsp olive oil

4 tsp baking powder

Preheat and lightly grease your skillet or griddle. In a medium bowl, beat eggs with a fork. Add in the carrots and mix well. Dump in the flour and sugar and incorporate with the fork. Stir in the olive oil, then lastly the baking powder until fully combined. Drop by the heaping tablespoon for silver dollar pancakes and cook until lightly golden brown on both sides.

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