Monday, August 23, 2010

teaching my son the human races

One of my biggest fears, living and raising a family in North Dakota, is failing to expose my children to different cultures. Not only do I live in a state who's population is more than 90 percent white, but it's also mostly Christian and predominantly German- and Norwegian white. 

Don't get me wrong, living in a state so small and area so rural has SUPER advantages for child-rearing, namely, my child will never have to walk through metal detectors on his way to school. Check mark: pro. 

I grew up in a bigger city and at age four, still touched the head of a little black girl at Sesame Street Live. I wanted to know what her hair felt like. Even with my upbringing, I didn't and don't know nearly enough. 

I don't want my son to walk the graduation stage without ever meeting someone who's skin tanned faster than his does. 

So what to do? 

* Cable TV, movies, media is a start. Watch a show with black people in it. And if I'm feeling really civil rights-y, I can throw in "The Color Purple" or "How to Kill a Mockingbird." I guess that has potential. The problem is, reality TV is so seldom realistic. I don't want him getting the impression that these over-the-top personalities represent any one culture as a whole. And he won't have much by way of real people and local examples to teach him any different. Plus, I don't subscribe to cable. Figures. 

* Art: I can't think of any other offering here that would expose him to more cultures and perspectives. Even if the project is a little cheesy, like: here, make a fan. That's what Asian people do... A project like that at least it opens the door for opportunities to explore that fan and the reasons and culture behind it. He and I can read books on the topic or research "Asia" on the internet. In fact, I like that idea. I'm pretty sure hand-held fans don't represent modern Asia, but perhaps making one represents an opportunity to explore another heritage. 

* Travel: Duh! It's the bottom line frightens me. On our budget, traveling to relatives and friends in Colorado and small-town Iowa will have to suffice. As much as I'd love summer vacations in India, Egypt and Ireland, something tells me they'll have to discover oil in LaMoure County first. 

So what would you do? How did you grow up? 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

North Dakota bois

After watching this video multiple times and even Levi laughing, I figured I'd better share. As of today, 93,000 people had watched the video. That's like the entire city of Fargo. My goal is these bois will reach 700,000 and surpass the population of the state of North Dakota.

My favorite parts in the song are about knoephla and kuchen. Those dishes are totally German and totally regional. My grandmother is 100 percent German, and even she hadn't heard of them. I *may* speak ill of N.D. from time to time, but one joke I will not crack is the food. Unless you count lutefisk. Shiny, see-through fish really shouldn't count as food.

Enjoy the video.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mommy blogger? Don't mind if I do.

So I pitched the idea of a mommy blog to my bosses at work and amazingly, they bit. It's an audience we don't target, they said. We think it's a great idea.

Hence, why I love my job and never left North Dakota. Oh and the husband/baby thing. I guess you could count that too. :)

Anyways, we're still in the planning stages and I'm rounding up content, guest bloggers, images, house ads and desperately trying to develop a clever name relating to "Jamestown" and "mom." Advice? I'm all ears.

I'm so excited about this opportunity and hope that it turns into half of what other newspapers have done. It's an opportunity for both revenue and readership growth in a struggling industry and best of all, that growth comes from providing useful and helpful information to readers - exactly why newspapers exist and what they do best.

These blogs won't be the same. This blog is totally personal and frankly, Katie-centric. Sometimes, I don't even care to read it. Who cares about that Katie-chic anyway? The mommy blog will have silly, fun stories, but also informational posts as well, sometimes straight from the source's mouth. Already, I've asked the police and sheriff's departments if they want to take part. Again, all parties expressed interest. Success.

So far, so good on the mommy blog front. I feared the start-up would require more work, more convincing than this. I'm so happy to be wrong. So happy, in fact, I might even knit an extra reindeer on Levi's Christmas sweater. :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

i couldn't post because i have a new man in my life

I fell off the planet.

Ok, not literally, just in the figurative way that makes it sound like I have an excuse for not posting. Also, I got stuck in a cave with a wildebeest watering at the mouth and because it was a cave, I had no internet or cell phone service. (A guy told me that once, it worked.) Forgive me too?

With the exception of about six thank you cards for which I have no address, all are mailed. Phew!

And with the exception of this post, none of you have read (on this blog at least) about the new man in my life:

Meet Mr. Feisty. The ultrasound tech gave him that name after the child refused to remove his hands from his face. 

Maybe he's shy, I said, eyeing my son for the first time and trying to soak up every detail of his appearance and learn all I could of his personality. 

Maybe, the tech said. But he doesn't seem to have a problem when I photograph his rear end.

He gets that from you, I said to Levi.

I'm due Sept. 25.

Ok, perhaps I could have mentioned this pre-seven weeks before my due date, but I wasn't ready to release it until all was legal. You know, the get married THEN get pregnant type rules and regulations drilled into my head by many a nun wielding welt-giving yard sticks. 

I've never understood the theory. I mean, if a girl's knocked up, she has three options. Catholics frown/protest/fast for the abolishment of abortion, so why judge a lady for keeping the baby, even if its conception is out of wedlock? But I suppose that argument is for another day.

Today is about beautiful baby Cole. Cole Ryan Anderson. AKA Mr. Feisty. I hope he lives up to his nickname. For then, I'll forever have blog material. 

In other news, I'm not quite a new mommy yet, but the maternal instincts have already kicked in. Like decorating. Oh how I long for winter (did I really just say that??) so I can decorate my house in stockings, lights and a trimmed tree. I'm so into decorating, I've shopped online for Christmas/winter-themed bedding. Levi balked at the idea, he doesn't understand.

But then again, so did my mother. And she added outlets to her house specifically for string lights and a Department 56 Christmas Village. 

"There is a line you can cross, Katie," she said.

Well, if they won't appreciate it, Cole Ryan will. I'm sure he'll LOVE wearing the Santa hats and matching sweaters I buy for the family ever year. 

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