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Showing posts from November, 2007

Motherhood is interfering with my reading

My husband use to think that I was sending videos of him to Matt & Trey because each week Cartman would say something that he said a few weeks earlier. Now I think someone's spying on me (not very hard since I blog so damn much!). Amanda Eyre Ward's article at is so me. Lots of mothers I spoke to found that they had no attention span after childbirth. Marritt Ingram, author of Inconsolable , says, "I read young adult fiction for a while. I think the first book I finished was Hatchet ." Hatchet , it must be noted, is the story of a boy who, following a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness, must learn to survive with only a hatchet and his own wits. Sounds like a metaphor for motherhood to me, though my own experience might more aptly be called Chardonnay. I know I was reading after my daughter was born, but I can't really recall what I read. I'm pretty sure one was by Ariel Gore - motherhood books are good for new moms. But I know I did read b

Do All Girls High Schools Create Stronger Women?

This question is in the top 10 that I get asked when I tell someone I work in education equity. Some assume that I must support all girls high schools as the answer for increasing women in non-traditional fields for a variety of reasons including that girls won't be distracted by the boys, without boys there is no harassment (obviously stated by a man or a woman who forgot what high school was like!), or whipping out the old adage that girls just do better in math & science (my bread & butter) in an all girls classroom. Simply put, no. I don't. There are valid reasons to send your child to a single-sex school and I admit to daydreaming about having gone to Smith. But that is more about Smith not the all women thing. A few weeks ago on the DC Metro Moms Blog (sister to the Chicago Moms Blog where I contribute), KC mused about what she would be like if she had gone to an all-girls school and wonders if the only way her daughter will come out strong is to send her to a

Dora the Explorer of Eating Disorders

My heart literally sank when I saw this post about the latest Dora dolls. What happened to my daughter's best doll friend? Just the other day she was a happy-go-lucky exploradora and now she looks like she needs a few tamales! I may need to order " Yum! Mmmm! Que Rico! " for Dora for Christmas. Come on Fisher Price, you're killing us here! Here's a few reasons why I love Dora: She's Latina: How many Latinas can a Latina watch on TV nowadays? I keep our cartoon watching to Noogin, so outside of Dora & Diego's sister, Alicia, that brings us to zero. She's adventurous: She's not afraid of a challenge. Find baby blue bird's mommy? No problem. Take Santa his gift? A snap. She shows that when you need help, you ask for it: Map, Backpack, & Boots are her constant side-kicks aka helpers. Dora's not afraid to ask for help when she needs it and that is an invaluable lesson. Especially for the daughter of two perfectionists with her own perf

The gifts that keep on giving!

Don't know what to get that special someone in your life for the holidays? Are you a flaming feminist? 100% pro-choice? Then shop at Early to Bed this holiday season! They have some special gifts sets that will make someone's night/day/afternoon AND a portion of the purchase price goes to kick ass organizations like the Chicago Abortion Fund , Planned Parenthood , Chicago Women's Health Center , and the Prostate Cancer Foundation . Now, I didn't think there was such a thing as a perfect gift, but come on, what's not to like in these offers? So hurry over to Early to Bed and grab yourself a gift box AND get your holiday giving done too. BAM! It just keeps getting better. Of course, it'll only gets better once the gift is opened! Ho! Ho! Ho! Happy Solstice! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Technorati tags: Early To Bed , Planned Parenthood , Chicago Abortion Fund , Chicago Women's Health Center , Prostate Cancer Foundation

Strategic Holiday Giving

As we near the end of the year our inboxes are becoming full with requests from the organizations we have supported in the past, currently support, or just happen to be on their mailing list. What's a loving & giving mama to do on a limited budget? No matter where you decide to give your money, please keep these items in mind: While giving via PayPal is easy for you, PayPal does take quite a chunk of money out from your donation. Want all of your money to go towards your charity of choice? Send a check. Even calling with your credit card may end up having the organization lose a few bucks from a transaction fee. If possible, give to a few places with larger amounts than "spreading the wealth" by sending $10 to 10 different places. If you give, as you most surely know, you get on the mailing list. That $10 won't even cover the 5 mailings you will get next year. For your benefit, the environment, and the organization's, give to fewer places to reduce the amount

Hey Chicago mama! Wanna get in shape?

Then head over to Chicago Moms Blog NOW ! We have a great give-a-way for Windy City Adventure Boot Camp. Four weeks of butt kicking fitness training! All you have to do is comment and tell us why you deserve the boot camp. Yes, I entered as well. I could really use someone to kick my butt into gear over getting my body in shape.

Selfish headline of the year

"Adoption changes wrench American parents" I've been watching the whole Guatemala adoption fiasco from afar, safely afar. We have discussed adopting in the past, but are no where near even starting the process. We have friends who have discussed it or are actively in the process. Thus I feel that I have compassion for the families who have been hurt by the chaos that is the Guatemala adoption system. But whom I have more compassion for are the parents of Guatemala who might had been duped into selling their children or even had their children stolen from them. The small Central American country sent 4,135 children to the U.S. last year, making it the largest source of babies for American families after much-bigger China . The adoptions are a $100 million a year industry for notaries. Our government is pushing the Guatemalan government to allow the adoptions that are already in process to go on despite up to 1,000 cases where forged birth certificates or even mothers ha

The candidates on Latin@ Issues

Marisa Trevino at Latina Lista has invited the Presidential candidates to post to her blog on how they will deal with Latin@ issues. So far Hillary Clinton , Mike Gravel , and Chris Dodd have taken advantage of this opportunity. Here's a bit of what they said, but I urge you to head over to Latina Lista to read their whole statement: HRC: Unfortunately, our government’s policies have not caught up with the new realities of American life. The traditional family – with one breadwinner and one homemaker – is now the exception rather than the rule. As a result, two-thirds of all of working parents say they do not have enough time with their children. This is a critical national priority, because we all have a stake in the next generation. And it is a particularly pressing issue for the Latino community, 34 percent of which is under age 18, compared to 25 percent for the overall population. That’s why last week I announced an agenda to help parents balance work and family and ensur

Bitch on 'bitch'

You knew that the 'ladies' of Bitch magazine would have something to say about the McCain "how do we beat the bitch?" fiasco. JFTR - I love Bitch magazine . When I say I love it, I freakin' mean it. Last year I organized a benefit at the Hideout where I took this picture of Andi Zeisler. Andi brings it when discussing the b-word in the WaPo , what it means to use it, who can use it, and all the good stuff: So let's not be disingenuous. Is it a bad word? Of course it is. As a culture, we've done everything possible to make sure of that, starting with a constantly perpetuated mindset that deems powerful women to be scary, angry and, of course, unfeminine -- and sees uncompromising speech by women as anathema to a tidy, well-run world. It's for just these reasons that when Lisa Jervis and I started the magazine in 1996, no other title was even up for consideration. Once again, Lisa & Andi, thank you for creating Bitch . In fact, we hoped that we coul

Checking in with the Aurora Clinic

Listen to the latest edition of RH Reality Check's podcast to hear the latest on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Aurora, Illinois. Oh, yeah...there's more great stuff in there too, but you gotta love it when you can listen to Steve chat about the clinic. Technorati tags: RH Reality Check , Planned Parenthood Aurora , Steve Trombley , Amanda Marcotte

Still relevant after 35 years

Ms. magazine is 35 this year and is celebrating in the current issue. There's a lot of great stuff in here, but the most moving piece is an excerpt from Dr. Susan Wicklund's memoir. With permission, I'm excerpting the excerpt. I'm giving you a juicy part of the story, but I implore you, please go out and buy the current issue of Ms. to read the entire piece. This piece did not move me just because it is about abortion, reproductive justice, or feminist. It moved me because it is a simple story of a granddaughter not wanting to disappoint her beloved Grandma. I think we all have moments like that, knowing we have to be honest, yet thinking it would break someone's heart. Fair warning...when you do pick up a copy, grab a tissue. When you're done with your copy, share it. Then buy someone a membership to Ms. for the holiday season. While you're there, do some other shopping for the men and women in your life. I peeled myself out of the car, shed my coat and le


After news of the India GAP slave sweat shop broke , I drove past the GAP Kids on Lincoln and it has an ad with the girl from "Little Miss Sunshine" and this slogan. I immediately saw instead the photo of this man talking with the boys his organization helped to rescue. So I made this. No commentary in this post...just the graphic. Technorati tags: GAP , India , slave workers , change the world

The Me and Mine Meme 100

Me and Mine Meme 100 Directions: 1.) State the name of your blog, your real name or your online name, and link to your "about me" page. Viva La Feminista Veronica No about page...this is what you get. 2.) Say you want to be profiled on BlogHer as a family blogger and link back to this post. I do! I do! 3.) Tell how long you've been blogging. Here, since the summer. Ever? Since 2000. 4.) Pass this meme on to three other bloggers that you think should be profiled/interviewed. a. BirdieRoark b. Marcie c. Kim Technorati tags: blogher , mommy blogging

I'm running away to Wisconsin

That's right, I got accepted to the Wisconsin Go Run training at the end of the month! What's Go Run you ask? Go Run is a two day training dedicated to demystify the political process and inspire a richly diverse group of women to join the leadership pipeline. Go Run provides the nuts and bolts of running for political office by focusing on areas like communications, fundraising, and campaigning - skills you can use in your work and in your community today and up to the day you decide to run! No, no...I'm not announcing my candidacy today, but who knows. After this training I just might. I'm also attending because I do want to work on more campaigns in the future, mine, someone I support, or my daughter's. There is just so much that I still need to learn about the campaign process before I even consider running. I'm also pretty jazzed that my boss was also accepted and we're riding up together. It should be fun to hang out with her off work time and get t

What would you do to keep your job?

Would you: Leave your child with the old lady next door that you really don't like? Leave your child with a the guy you just met? Take your child with you toting a box of crayons & coloring books? Go back to work less than a week after giving birth? Hide your pregnancy as long as possible? My reaction is "hell no!" But I also know I'm one lucky chick. I work for an organization where I get a ton of sick and vacation days AND there has to be one hell of a good reason for me to NOT take a day when my girl needs me. The only time I ever felt like I needed to choose between my job & my daughter was a very short time I worked for a nonprofit and since I was less than six months didn't have ANY sick days. I also know that many women, too many parents, have to choose between their job and their child's safety. Screw the mommy wars, we're talking about choosing between a sick kid with a 102 degree temperature and reporting to your hourly job where you liv


Perhaps after you get use to the system or you're a more relaxed person, like Kathy , than we are about this whole process, but it is overwhelming. I really do wish I could relax and see this as a different system instead of a system meant to confuse parents. This is my recent example of being overwhelmed: Tuesday morning my partner brought the CPS school bible in the car to look through on during the morning commute. I had tagged the magnet, gifted, Classical, and magnet cluster schools that I thought would work for us. We settled on 3 gifted/Classical schools and then I said we needed to rank them. T: School A, School B, and then School C. V: But School C is gifted and that's the highest ranking, what if she scores high enough, but doesn't get in because we ranked it 3rd? T: OK, School C, School A, School B. *a few minutes pass* T: What about School D? V: We didn't like that one, remember? T: But School D is also gifted and closer to work. Let's go with C, A, D