Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Why do we gender children? — How to approach kids neutrally

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

I have three boys with long hair, and one in particular who favors bright colors and sparkles, so I have something to say about our habit to gender people.

When we go out, it seems like everyone we interact with has to say something to make it clear they have interpreted these children as girls — whether it's a cashier offering a sticker as "one for you and one for your sister" or a waiter calling them "sweetie" (which I wouldn't have even caught but that sets off Mikko's spider senses) or a stranger outright saying, "What pretty young girls you are!"

Note a few things upfront:

(a) These are not mean or rude people. They're interacting with my children and doing so in a pleasant, friendly manner. I appreciate that a lot.

(b) There is nothing wrong with being a girl. Or a boy. Or a person born as a boy who identifies partially or wholly as a girl, and vice versa. There is nothing wrong with being gender fluid.

(c) This is probably the biggest one: I'm not here calling out individuals for being problematic. Heaven knows such individuals exist, but most of our interactions are with well-meaning folks. And I know that I am one of them! I'm sure I do this type of thing as well when I awkwardly try to interact with a stranger's kid. I'm more thinking of our culture as a whole and questioning why we feel the need so strongly to gender-identify people in general and children in particular.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Happy America Day!



When Mikko was young, that's what he called
the Fourth of July
, and it always made me smile.



Even now, the kids like shouting out,
"Happy birthday, America!"

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Turn a baby wrap into a kid hammock

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

Did you know you can repurpose a woven wrap
into an indoor hammock?

If you're an avid wrapper, probably so.

If not, let me BLOW YOUR MIND.




I learned this trick when trying to break in
and soften up a new-to-me wrap that
was still a bit too stiff.


Choose a sturdy table,
and tie a sturdy knot.

Longer wraps can run the length of the table,
shorter ones the width.

Pro tip: You'll want to tie the hammock
tighter and higher than you think it needs to be,
because it will stretch down
once someone lies in it.


Then pop in a kid or two,
and let 'em chill.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Family at the beach

Every year, my sister-in-law comes over to
help us document our growing family.


Karsten at 2 1/2, Alrik at 6, Mikko at 10.


The boys just keep getting taller!


Digging.


Playing it cool.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Photobucket phail, or How to ruin a hosting site, on LaurenWayne.com

UPDATE July 3: Photobucket keeps sending me autoresponses and demands for payment, so that's no help. BUT, I did find a viable workaround for myself, so I've updated what I'm doing at LaurenWayne.com.



I try not to blog too much about blogging on here for fear of having it get too meta. However, there's a situation going down with my archive images that warrants a head's up. I explain it all over on LaurenWayne.com — here's an excerpt:

The pirate's sign that you must
pay the ransom or forfeit your photos
A few days ago, without any advance warning, Photobucket sneakily changed its terms of service to disallow third-party hosting, or hotlinking, on nearly all of its plan tiers. Most people use Photobucket explicitly for the ability to link from images on Photobucket to other locations such as blogs and forums, so this seems like a baffling move.

Until you realize the scam that's afoot: The only way to get your images to show up again is to pay Photobucket $400, upfront, as an annual subscription to its most expensive plan.

Ah, I see. It's a ransom demand.

I'm livid. I'd been using Photobucket to host my images on my Blogger blogs for ten years. For several of those years, I paid Photobucket an annual subscription for the benefits of unlimited bandwidth and extra storage.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The perspective of a cosleeping kid



Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

We visited my parents this month and stayed in my old bedroom, complete with its sheep wallpaper that my mom and I had hung and the dollhouse I had received as a Christmas present.

Karsten and Sam enjoyed an air mattress in my younger brother's old room. Mikko, Alrik, and I squished together on my old queen bed, handed down from my older brother before me, after both refused to endure an entire night on the floor mattress that had been set up. Too many spiders in my parents' house, so I don't blame them.

Alrik was fascinated with the historical sleeping arrangements.

"This was your room when you were a kid?" he asked. "Who did you sleep with?"

No one, just myself, I responded.

He was agog. "You slept by yourself when you were a kid?"

Yep.

He digested this for a bit. "Wow, you were brave."