Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Raising E to be Strong

We waited to find out if E was a boy or girl until she was born. The most important thing to us was to have a health baby, but I was pretty excited that E was a girl. I am a girl, so I felt I had a better understanding of girls (probably not true, but I blame the hormones). What I didn't realize at that moment was the additional challenge that raising a girl in today's world means.

I am happy that she lives in an era where there are a lot more opportunities than she would have had in the past, but it doesn't mean that there still isn't work to do. Sexism still exists and many workplace policies still make it difficult to have both a career and a family. The difficult part is that it is now more subtle than it has been in the past.

A quick glance at recent news includes US Women's National Soccer Team suing for pay equal to the men's team. (The worst part of this one was that the U.S. soccer federation was disappointed with the action (source).) ESPN W just put together a PSA with men reading Tweets directed at female sports writers. It is sad that it is 2016 and we still have issues like these.

Throughout my childhood and young adult years, my parents owned a hardware store and lock shop. I spent many years working there and encountered my share of people, both male and female, that didn't think I knew what I was talking about because I didn't have boy parts. (My mom had it way worse.)
I know that as E grows up, there will hard conversations and situations I am not looking forward to. Things are moving in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go.

For the time being, I am trying to surround her with good role models and remind her that she is amazing and strong. I also want to instill that women need to support other women. 

Supporting other women at the first home
Orlando Pride Soccer Game
Right now E has a fearlessness and determination that I love (even when they give me a heart attack.) I hope she can hold on to some of that as she grows up, because "well-behaved women seldom make history" -- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.
Continue to do things your own way

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Date Night at the Beard in Baldwin Food & Wine Festival

As part of my birthday present, my husband arranged for a date night. I was super excited to have a meal with adult conversion and no crayons, tears or anyone crawling under the table. (Yeah...going out to dinner is fun right now.)

We were trying to decide where to go when we stumbled upon the Beard in Baldwin Food and Wine Festival. It was on the day we had a babysitter for E and many of the restaurants we wanted to try were going to be there (Double win). Tickets were purchased pretty much immediately.

The festival started at 7 p.m., so of course, like parents out without a toddler, we got there about 6:15. We checked in and got our wristbands. Then we headed down to sit by the water and chat for a bit. The weather was beautiful and it was nice to have an uninterrupted conversation. (Of course every toddler that walked by made me go awww. I don't understand how you can miss some one and desperately need a break from them at the same time.)

Getting there early gave us plenty of time for photos

At 7 the eating and drinking began. There was so much yummy food and some very nice adult beverages. The funny thing is that while it was a food and wine festival, I didn't have much wine. I like wine, but when there is good beer and bourbon around, it definitely takes third place.

A tasty Tripple from Copperhead Brewery
There were too may good things to describe all of them, but some of my favorites were the foie gras corn dog (Highball & Harvest), the cornbread biscut slider (Se7en Bites), pulled duck confit sliders (F & D Kitchen and Bar) and the blueberry lavender cobbler (P is for Pie.)

There is a reason I am not really a food blogger.
(I always forget to take pictures of the food before I start eating.)

This is the plate from Se7en Bites and it was amazing
My favorite drink went to the honey bourbon rosemary lemonade (also Highball & Harvest). It was amazing.

Highball & Harvest was one of my favorites

We also hung out and enjoyed the live music and some time sitting by the water and enjoying the view. Yay for adult conversation.

The festival was a lot of fun. It was well organized and even though it got busy, you never really had to wait to get food or drinks.

Sadly parenting on Sunday was not a whole lot of fun because I was super tired, but it was worth it. The best part was E took a nap with us on Sunday afternoon. Since naps are typically a fight, this was a huge win. 

Now it is back to our regularly schedule life of toddler friendly dining options. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Pool or No Pool....That is the Question

When we were house hunting, only about 3 years ago, we wanted nothing to do with a house that had a pool. The work, the maintenance, the upkeep...we wanted nothing to do with any of it. Then I gave birth to a child who is part fish.

E loves the water

E loves swimming. We started with Mommy and me lessons when she was just under a year and then did infant self rescue lessons last summer. That was an adventure, but it taught E to love the water. (I wrote about our awesome experience and instructor on the blog.

Our swim instructor is awesome.

We have a community pool in our neighborhood, so it is a relatively short walk to be able to swim. Last summer we were there for a couple hours every weekend. But the community pool closes at sunset and is often busy, especially during weekend afternoons. It is also a bit of a production to gather up all the swimming things and get out of the house.

All of a sudden, the idea of walking out the back door to our very own pool has become much more appealing. We looked at moving to a house with a pool, but we are picky (part of why we built instead of buying a preexisting home), and the older the pool the more likely it has problems. (The idea of moving also makes me want to poke my eyeballs out. I don't think I want to move ever again.)

We have an idea of what we would like our pool to look like and are in the process of talking with builders. Building a pool is not cheap, so we want to make sure it is the right decision. I go back and forth between super excited and this is a great idea and no way, not going to happen.

Is having a backyard pool worth the work? Did you build your pool? Any tips or builders we should check out?