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May, 2014 | Everyday Childhood

Archives for May 2014

I’m Feeling a Little Icy about “Frozen”

 By the time I saw the movie “Frozen”, I had been hearing for weeks about how it was the best Disney Princess movie yet.  The movie was so well done, and everyone seemed to rave that finally the princesses save themselves instead of depending on a dashing prince. But when I left the theater after finally seeing the movie I was uncomfortable.  I didn’t feel satisfied.  That’s the movie that everyone I knew was raving about?  Eh.  As a story, it was entertaining but I took issue with too much of it.  I’ve kept quiet about it until now and I wasn’t going to say anything, but we’ve served some time in the children’s hospital lately and this movie is running on a loop.  After watching it roughly a dozen times last week I just couldn’t take it anymore.  Let’s get this storm raging on, shall we?

Okay–I wouldn’t go that far.

How exactly did Elsa come into her freezing powers?  She inherited them genetically, but when the king and queen brought the unconscious Anna to the troll he suggested that there’s another more sinister way but it was never elaborated upon.  Was that half-explanation necessary?  Am I missing something?  I found this a weak plot point, but let’s move on.The girls’ parents then tragically perish while away from their daughters.  Elsa retreats to her bedroom suite for ten years, mourning and lamenting the loss of her parents and also of her special powers.  “No it’s cool, we’ll just let the girl martyr herself and shut herself off from the entire world while she obsesses about her flaws and responsibilities and there’s no need to mentor her or otherwise monitor or ensure her mental and emotional health since her parents just died and left their ten year old and her younger sister in charge of the entire kingdom.”  That pisses me off to no end.  The implication that her parents had no backup plan–no Vice President to take charge and not even a Mary Poppins to care for their progeny–seems out-of-this-world irresponsible.  Gah.


She’d be on those girls like cheap plastic flowers on a macramé  hat.

 

And let’s talk about the sexualization of this female protagonist–as Elsa sings “that perfect girl is gone!” up on that snowy mountain, her modest gown and cape transition into a shimmery, off-the-shoulder, clingy gown with a side slit that goes all the way up to here as she sashays her way toward the camera with her sexy long hair flowing behind her.  She went from a tortured, chaste young adult to an unapologetic Jessica Rabbit with the power to kill.  She went from spending her days protecting others from her unpredictable ability to harm them by locking herself away to effectively saying “screw you people, I don’t care and I don’t want to hear about your problems.  Now maybe this snow monster I just made will chase you and kill you since I failed to kill you myself”.  Huh?  I’m still looking for the lesson in all this.


I’m not buying what she’s selling.

 

Elsa sure seemed in control of her ability to murder innocents when she first arrived at the top of that mountain, making sparkles and frost with a few flicks of her wrist.  It’s too bad she had to endanger everyone’s lives with uncontrollable ice daggers a few minutes earlier when she could have just made some chilly little poofs of prettiness.  She ran away from that problem and didn’t have to be accountable for her actions or even empathetic to the discomfort and inconvenience of a sudden and bitterly cold winter on her town.  In fact, she lacked empathy all around.  Elsa grew up obsessed with the negative aspects of her special gift and then when she was finally pushed, she couldn’t hack it and decided to abandon her sister and her frozen kingdom in favor of living alone as a martyr.  Am I the only one conflicted about Elsa as a role model?  As a parent I found her character disappointing–I mean, the character of this character.  Her character lacked character and integrity.  That’s how I felt when I left the theater and it’s how I feel each of the three times per day that one of my kids is watching this movie at home. (Sigh. At least three times.)

Not to mention NO YOU CANNOT MARRY A MAN YOU JUST MET.  What is this girl thinking??  She’s not thinking.  Anna has been abandoned by her parental units and ignored by her older sister, left to her own devices.  And what happens when the sheltered, smoking hot daughter is cast off into the world with zero guidance?  Well, in this case she was ready to cast aside all common sense and marry the first loser she finds, vulnerable to the influence of this handsome, selfish man who ultimately not only breaks her heart but also tries to kill her.  Anna lives in a fantasy land where everything and everyone are there purely for her delight and she lacks any sense of reality.  Her naivete is adorable until it’s not.  In the real world you don’t even kiss someone you just met five minutes ago, much less finish each others’ sandwiches and then marry them.  I’ve had more meaningful relationships with the mouth-breather sitting next to me on an airplane than Anna and Hans ever had.  It’s not adorable or endearing to completely commit yourself to someone you don’t know–it’s not a good idea at all, and it’s obnoxious to the rest of us.  I don’t want my kids to look up to Anna or emulate her, either.

You got on a boat with that sociopath?  Do the names Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood mean anything to you?

 

That leaves us with just two characters to hope my children will find inspiration from:  Kristoff and Olaf.  Kristoff is a realist, a hard worker, has is act together, does right by others and is willing to help those in need.  Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.  Those are all traits I try to instill in my kids.  And Olaf, well, he’s just adorable.  If he could just keep his face and his limbs from falling off, he’d be someone to look up to, too.  Everyone needs a little humor in their lives.  And “some people are worth melting for” might be my favorite line of all.  Yes, as long as you’re not a naive teenager and he’s not an evil jerk-face whose last name you don’t even know, some people are indeed worth melting for.

Get yourself together, Olaf.

 

Okay so yes, in the end the sisters saved each other.  Let’s ignore the fact that they wouldn’t be their situation at all if either of them had a healthier sense of self esteem or operated logically on any level.  The good guys eventually win, the scenes and colours are beautiful, the soundtrack is great.  I don’t mind if my children want to watch the movie (again. And again. And again.), but you know I’m standing over their shoulders pointing out most of what I just pointed out in my above rant.  Yeah, I’ll rain on that parade as long as there are lessons to be learned.

Let it go, indeed.

This better not be a thing, you guys.

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Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl.  Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why they have hope for a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy at byrdsforacure.org.

Water Park Woes: A Wet Tale of a Water Slide and My iPhone

Picture this:  It’s a hot, sunny mid-summer day in Phoenix.  I dropped about a hundred bucks on admission tickets to the local water park so that my child and I could eat five dollar popcorn and drink seven dollar sodas while we wait in lines for forty-five minutes each–behind neck tattoos and women with very ambitious bathing suit fashion–in order to experience a ninety second trip down a water slide.

It costs seven bucks to rent a locker there for the day, but I perfected the art of not needing a locker: put sunblock on at home, bring old beach towels which you wouldn’t cry if they were stolen, and bring a plastic baggie with your phone, car key and cash inside of another plastic baggie (to prevent any water from getting in).

That was a great plan, until that ninety second water slide thrust me so furiously into the pool at the end that my bag escaped from my hands and submerged completely.  My cash got wet, but it dried.  My car key became wet, but it still worked.  My phone, though.  My phone never fully recovered.

I have bitter memories of that day and swore off water parks and beaches because of that experience.

And then yesterday I noticed this on SkyMall:  a waterproof phone case with a strap and lanyard.

BE STILL MY HEART!  And just in time for summer!  $59 is much cheaper than the replacement cost for my iPhone!

Waterproof case for iPhone
Waterproof case for Samsung

 

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I do not have personal experience with this product (yet) and have not been compensated for this post.  I just think some of you folks would appreciate such an innovative product to make your lives easier this summer.  Happy Water Parking!

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Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl.  Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why they have hope for a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy at byrdsforacure.org.

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Smart Products to Send with Your Kids to Camp

Let’s talk about camp. I haven’t yet sent Rachel or Allison to an overnight camp, but I know it’s coming. From scout camp to field trips… they’re bound to be camping at some point in the near future. You may have already experienced sending your child to an overnight camp for the summer and you’re an old pro. I’d love to hear some of your best tips in the comments below. For now… I’m going to share with you a few products that have been recommended to me to send with my kids to camp:

Hope Paige medical ID bracelets:

Flower Power rubber kid's bracelet

·         Hope Paige bracelets are the perfect camp accessory for your kids diagnosed with an allergy, illness or medical condition.

·         All stylish accessories can be customized with an engraving on the back to alert EMT’s of medical conditions and provide necessary information.

·         As a parent you can ease your mind knowing your kids will be safe while having fun at camp!

·         All information can be found online at www.hopepaige.com or at your local Kroger store.

 

4id:

PWR-BudzO

 

·         4id PowerBudz light up with movement and help make you more noticeable

·         Send your kids off to camp with the 4id light-up products and feel comfort in knowing they will be noticeable and safe while having fun!

·         All information can be found online at www.4id.com

 

Welch’s Fruit Snacks:

 

·         Perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth, but keeping your kids healthy, Welch’s® Fruit Snacks come in an abundance of colorful and flavorful varieties.

·         80-calorie pouches provide 100% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C and are gluten-free and preservative free.

·         Visit www.welchsfruitsnacks.com for more information

 

Sparkling ICE:

·         Refreshing, zero-calorie beverage combining naturally flavored mountain spring water, fruit juice, vitamins and antioxidants

·         Available in eleven refreshing flavors and six refreshing Lemonade flavors

·         Sparkling ICE can be found in retailers nationwide.

·         Visit www.sparklingice.com for more details

 

Lance Sandwich Crackers:

Lance® Xtra Fulls® Cracker Sandwiches

·         Baked crackers, made with real peanut butter

·         6 grams of protein, No trans fat or preservatives

·         Available in two varieties: Toasty Peanut Butter and ToastChee Peanut Butter (cheese cracker)

·         Available at Wal-mart, mass merchandisers, and grocery stores nationwide

·         www.lance.com

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I chose to share about it because of it’s timely editorial content! xo

Party In a Jar Book: Monster Slime!

I’m so excited to share with you a project from my friend Vanessa’s new book: Party In a Jar! Today…. we’re going to make Monster Slime! Your kids will love making this stretchable, green putty and decorating the jar. After the fun… you can even help your child come up with a name and a story about their monster. The fun learning possibilities are endless. So let’s get started!

Party in a Jar

Materials (makes 6 – 4oz jars)

2 – 5oz bottles clear school glue
¼ cup water
green food coloring
1 cup water
1 teaspoon Borax
scrapbook paper
googly eyes
pipe cleaners
craft glue
scissors or circle punches
acrylic paint
sponge brush

Directions

1. Paint 6 baby food jar lids in your color of choice. Set aside to dry.
2. Shape pipe cleaner to look like monster arms and glue to the front of the jar.
3. Cut out 2 circles, 1 slightly larger than the other, out of different colored scrapbook paper. Glue circles to the jar, on top of the pipe cleaner, placing the larger circle behind the smaller circle.
4. Pour 2 – 5oz bottles of clear school glue into a large mixing bowl. Add ¼ cup water and 10 drops of green food coloring, mix well.
5. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of Borax in 1 cup of water and add to glue mixture. Use your hands to mix and knead until a solid glop is formed.
6. Store slime in monster jar when not in use.

Jar Tip:

Be creative and use different sizes of googly eyes, different paper and pipe cleaner colors. You can add some yarn hair, fangs or maybe even some antennas.

You can buy the Party In a Jar book on Amazon now!

More Book Tour Projects:

Shaping Up To Be a Mom

Eclectic Momsense

Pink Cake Plate

See Vanessa Craft

 

And… I wasn’t compensated for this post. I just love helping out my bloggy friends when I get the chance to! xo