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Thursday
Oct302014

Five Months

Welp.

This magical little creature is now five months old.

FIVE. MONTHS. OLD.

I don't really know how that happened.

As of this moment, she's still very tall for her age. So tall, in fact, that she's wearing 12 month clothing. Her sister was always a big baby, but not like this. Alexis wore one size ahead all the way until she was four. Never two sizes ahead.

Mila is a very proficient roller, but she seems to have derailed in her quest to be mobile. There is something about feet that captivates her muchly, so instead of figuring out how to get to that thing over there, she's now focused on playing with those things that are always close by.

I'm very much so OK with that. I'm especially OK with it because I didn't have to whip out the duct tape to make it happen.

Mila is 90% the sweetest baby ever and 10% SCREW YOU. She's never afraid to voice her opinion. She will tell you that bottles are still stupid, but she might be willing to give in if her only other choice is bananas. Indian food is still the best, and Mexican food can shove it.

Fun fact: I couldn't eat Mexican when I was pregnant with her. I survived off of Indian food.

Mila's ability to sleep has been completely destroyed by two colds. You can't sleep if your nose is stuffy. Oh, and nobody else is sleeping either because STUFFY NOSES SUUUUUCK. Maybe she will go back to sleeping 7 consecutive hours at night. Eventually. Like, when she's 15.


Mila. She's magical, fantastic, perfect, and so very much so exactly what we needed.

(And she's screaming and refusing to sleep right now because cold number three is settling in. Oh joy.)

Wednesday
Oct292014

Cross the street

"F*ck*ng racist b*tch," the words reverberated through the dark, empty streets.

What he didn't know was that I had no idea what he looked like. All I knew is that it was dark, I was alone, and there were footsteps behind me. I crossed the street to get away from the footsteps because that's what you do when you are a woman walking alone in the dark.

You clutch your purse, put your finger on the panic button on your phone, and you cross the street.

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There's a video that hit the internet this week that shows a woman being harassed as she walks the streets of New York. There has been a lot of discussion about the video, but the thing that stands out for me is how very normal it seems.

Every woman on earth has had one of those moments. 

Or several of them.

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"You're becoming such a feminist," he said in a condescending, annoyed tone. 

The statement came at the end of a discussion about the NFL and how they don't want me to care about football these days. 

The thing is, I'm no more of a feminist than I was 20 years ago. I am, however, now the mother of two girls. All of the things that I have ignored or brushed off are suddenly the things my daughters will face.

My choice is to teach them how to deal with it all or to start screaming.

I would rather scream.

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There's a thing that happens when you aren't sure if you're safe or not. Your chest tightens, your heart races, and your mind goes places it shouldn't. As Alexis and I walked down the street hand-in-hand, the familiar fear raged. There was a group of men yelling and carrying on right in front of us.

I nonchalantly engaged Alexis in a conversation as I led her to cross the street right then and there. There was no reason to think the men would do anything to us, but there was no reason to think they wouldn't either.

You clutch your purse, put your finger on the panic button on your phone, and you cross the street. And you try to keep your young daughter from noticing, if only for the moment. She will have plenty of time to experience the fear for herself.

Later.

Hopefully much later.

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"Maybe it's like that in New York, but not in Pittsburgh."

"He was just being friendly."

"Since when is it not ok to just say, 'hi?'"

The themes of the discussion on social media have been consistent. There are men who don't understand why they can't talk to strange women in public without it being considered harassment.

They should be able to.

But, there are far too many men who go beyond "friendly" and genuinely harass women in public. Sometimes they stop at harassment, but sometimes they don't. If men wore badges that helped us sort it all out and so that we could know when it's OK to smile and say "Hi" back, it would be fantastic. As it is, though, sometimes smiling is considered an invitation.

Sometimes a smile is considered consent.

It's not.

So we ignore the so-called compliments and cross the street.

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I tried to think of all of the times I have felt the nervous fear the woman in the video must have felt when she was followed by the guy who asked, "Is it because I'm ugly?"

A friendly gesture escalated for no reason, with no invitation, and it became threatening.

It happens.

It happens in downtown Pittsburgh. It happens aboard a shuttle at the Houston airport. It happens in the middle of an upscale mall in Akron. It happens on a beach on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. It happens in the middle of the day and late at night.

It happens everywhere all of the time.

If you think we're imagining things and that it isn't really that bad, read the comments.

We cross the street because evil doesn't wear a badge.

Tuesday
Oct282014

I Bet You Can Guess Who Picked The Shirt