Tuesday, March 29, 2011

More children's art spam

So the children have been creative in the crayon box.
The girl child has become obsessed with Manga lately and is drawing manga pics all over the place.
I couldn't help but share.

It's not her best one, but it's my favourite. She loves to draw pics for the Little League Magazine. Last year her picture of Scorch, the Dragons mascot earned her a football. This year, she decided to Maga-rize Big Dell, the finished picture includes the heading "Red V is a part of me." (She stuffed up the writing on the original, so she cut the picture out and stuck it to a new piece of paper to rewrite the writing. This is before the new writing was added.) 

When I find her other pictures, I'll probably share them too. I just can't help myself!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Conversations overheard and had...

Due to the man cold, man/boy cold doing the rounds in the crayon box, I haven't yet managed to get around to posting.  (Part two of feminist motherhood coming up. Just not today)

But Bluemilk has done it again with the inspirational overheard in our shower where I started remembering the funny shit kids say when learning about the differences in their bodies.  (There is a comment there were I shared an exchange between myself and one of my younger sisters. It's funny and cute to me...)

Got me thinking about my boys and conversations with and overheard about their own penis views.

This first one is a conversation I overhead my oldest son, who was almost 5 years old at the time having with his Nanna while they played on the swings.

M: When I grow up, Gracie and I are getting married. 
Nanny: Are you going to have children?
M: Yes! Loads of them at least 10! 
Nanny: 10? heavens that is a lot. What does Gracie think about that. 

short pause as he ponders this. 

M: Hmm, I think we'll get a dog instead. I'll have that operation Dad had on his penis so I won't give Gracie any children cause I don't think she wants any. 

It's about this time my mother-in-law falls off the swing as she digests the fact that her grandson just said the word penis.... out loud.

The next story happened in 2009. November to be exact. The husband was away on deployment and had been gone for seven months by this stage. (He was due home late Jan/early Feb 2010) We have a very pampered cat named Virgil, that the husband calls "The Thunderbird." (No I did not name him after a Thunderbird, but the husband finds it amusing to tease me by calling him that and threatening to get another cat and name him Nigel. Yeah, he thinks he's funny. Okay, he might be, just a little bit funny.)

Anyway, this cat adores the shit out of my husband. When he was a kitten, he somehow knew, shitting on my pillow was preferable to shitting on the Man's (and certainly ensured his survival). He misses the man terribly every time he goes away. The cat is not normal. He's like a dog. When he hears the car pull into the drive way he goes bounding to the back door waiting...

 Male cats are known fretters. So after seven months in a manless house and the cats bouts of neurotic bulimia increased, I figured he was just missing the Man and made sure to give him extra hugs (while not so silently cursing him for the lovely piles of vomit and thanking god I had completely tiled flooring.)

But then he started missing the litter box.  Which was pretty shallow. So I got one that was deeper and enclosed. Then he stopped eating.  (The peeing thing should have been my tip off, but he's always been an oddly eccentric thing and mistakenly I thought it was his way of showing me his disapproval that the Man was not yet home)  But Virgil not eating was not heard of. This cat makes Garfield look like a rank amateur.

Now I only have a learners permit. I don't particularly like driving and I am not very good at it. so I couldn't just run the cat down to the vet, and of course since it was a Saturday, my local vets were shut anyway. So I called the mobile vet, who was swamped and couldn't come to me, but urged that I get my cat to a vet ASAP. So I called a girlfriend who happily took me and the cat to the vet hospital. (He was so despondent, it was the first time I have ever gotten him in his cage without incurring lacerations akin to being attacked by a whipper snipper.)  I am grateful to M's presence that day and her kindness in taking us over. She assures me it was her pleasure with the support I gave her when her dog was sick and she was dealing with her first ever deployment. (Army wives aren't all back stabby bitches) But still. when the vet tells you if you hadn't brought your fur baby in when you did that he would have been dead by morning....you are thankful for the ride and the sympathetic shoulder to cry on.

My cat had a blocked urethra. So he couldn't pee. They tried inserting a catheter and giving him medication to break down the crystals he had formed in his bladder, but to no avail. As soon as the catheter came out he would be blocked again within minutes.  The only option they had was to cut his penis off.  (Honestly, the look that cat gave me when he got the cone off his head and was finally able to lick himself down there....*shudders* I now sleep with one eye open.)

As I explained this to my boys, my then seven year old starts laughing. (I am not surprised by this, we all have a habit of inappropriate giggling)  I said "J, why are you laughing? Poor Virgil!"  He just kind of looked up at me still snickering and said  "I know, but doesn't that make Virgil a Shim now Mum?"
In my head I am thinking where the fuck did my 7yr old pick up a word like Shim?  But I couldn't help but laugh with him.  I  spoke to the Man that night  as I explained the sudden $3000 hole in our savings account and he had decided that Virgil wasn't a Shim, Virgil has acquired a pocket.  (It once was a rocket, now it's a pocket)

I told him no, and explained what his foreskin was (neither his brother or  his father has one) and what circumcision was. Early this year the merry go round is back and he asked if he could have a circumcision.  I said I could make him a doctors appointment to talk about it to which he replied....
"No thanks Mum. I'd rather Dad did it. We all know what happens when you take male members of this family to the doctor. I saw what happened to Virgil. I'm just not willing to take that risk!"

The little smart ass does not fall far from the smart ass tree.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I can't believe it's not a post....

I have the brain fuzz today.

The News with Nipples asked us to play along with her inner artist. I would love to oblige, really I would if not for a couple of leetle problems.

Firstly, I can't draw. With or without a mouse. Actually, that's not entirely true. I can draw a hairy vagina wearing boots that I call Puss-in-boots. but that doesn't exactly describe my day in pictures.

Secondly, I am woefully inept when it comes to technology. I shit you not. Here's how inept I am. Do Macs even have a paint type program? And if so where the frack do I find it?

So in leiu of me inflicting my stick figures on the Internets, I present for you a portrait.

Meet Tosis. Our Rabbit. This is my sons drawing of him that he did yesterday during his "Go nuts" hour where I tell my children to just go nuts and create, explore, do something of interest.  (And yes our rabbits' name is Tosis, short for myxomatosis. ) 

so there you go Nips. A pic for your game. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Who are your fashion choices killing?

Most of us look at clothes and simply see an outfit. Something to cover up our nakedness and to make a statement about our own individuality. Rarely do we look at our tags  MADE IN CHINA, MADE IN TAIWAN, MADE IN CAMBODIA etc and really think about what that means. The thing we usually look for on our labels are brands, Armani, Gucci, Levi's, Sass and Bide, Peter Alexander etc. Not once do we really look at that MADE IN... label and give thought to the people who actually piece together the clothing that hangs in our stores and closets.

 Whilst from time to time I ponder the notion of where my clothes come from (beyond the department stores from which they are purchased) and how they are produced, I have never taken that pondering as far as where my underpants are made or by whom. I confess, I am not a very conscientious shopper when it comes to my clothing and accessories. I fantasise about being more ethical with what I buy, but I never follow through with the actual implementation and this bothers me greatly.

We've all heard about sweat shops. We've all heard about the appalling working conditions in factories around the world that employ women and children who work 12-14 hours a day most days for a wage of around $14-$20 a month. The conditions in which they work are horrendous. Poor ventilation. No real breaks to speak of. Unsafe conditions. No basic health  standards.   It's heart breaking. It becomes a cycle of poverty from which they cannot escape. No excuses. They simply can't.

Many of these factory workers start out as children. Often orphans forced into the workplace to pay for their upkeep. They work full time, (often working over time for no extra pay) which leaves no time for education. They don't have a choice between work and school. They work or they end up dying from starvation, from cold, from not having any money to support themselves and nowhere to live.  With no education they have no chance of finding a better job. So the cycle of poverty continues.

Aside from the above I had never really thought that my choice to buy clothing might actually put the workers who make them lives at risk.  But it does. Aside from the unsafe factories that often result in tragedies like this one in Bangladesh  (which seemingly happen far too often) there are of course things to ponder such as the way clothing is made that may impact on workers health in the form of debilitating and often fatal disease brought on by the processes used in manufacturing.

Something I didn't know until I started thinking about and looking at the ethics (and lack of) in the manufacturing of clothing is a technique used on denim known as sandblasting.  Clean Clothes has an awesome page on what sandblasting is and how it is impacting the health of the workers who do the sandblasting. They also have a great list of brands that either never used sandblasting or recently banned the practise of it as well as the brands that refuse to ban it and the ones who say they will but are taking a very long time to actually take action on banning.   For how your jeans can kill see this page here.

The great news is there are some manufacturers out there who do care. Who do want to change the world and create an ethically produced product that is pleasing to the consumer and benefits the workers who create them.

whomadeyourpants are a UK based business who make underwear.  Take a look around their fabulous site. The programs they have in place for their business and more importantly their emlpoyees are the stuff feminist dreams are made of.  Whilst 10 pounds  (about AU$16.50) a pair might sound a bit rich, walk into any Bras and things and you'll see similar prices. The question is, are they ethically produced? and which pair will make you feel better about you?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

One of those domestic type updates.

I didn't think my day was going to go very well today. After receiving an overdue notice in the mail for my husbands mobile, the idea of having to deal with Telstra made me roll my eyes like my daughter does when asked to do...well...anything really.

I ended up needing to call Telstra 3 times today. (I had a small brain explosion and couldn't figure out how to change some stuff and update some stuff and delete some stuff. Vague yes but my stupidity knows no bounds. Vagueness is the only mask I have.)  And pleasantly enough, all three calls were wonderful. Which makes me wonder why is it that as soon as I cancel most of my services with them their customer service standards seem to actually become a standard.  I haven't been getting my bills. Something I can verify as I am the type to start hyperventilating if a bill isn't paid the moment I receive it.  Because I am such a good customer they removed the overdue fee from my account. Yay for pecuniary responsibility.

Today is football training for the Biped. He's coming home to get the boys because this year they are going to be ball boys.  He's on his way home now. He just called to see if I wanted a large bag of prawns purchased.  Mostly because he wants me to make this again.

And because he's an all round awesome Dad, he's going to bring home feminine hygiene products for his daughter. Which is saying something for a man who would send me out to buy his porn for him.