Female Empowerment, My Bootie!

Female Empowerment, My Bootie!

Several months ago I watched a Kickstarter video for a product called GoldieBlox. It was a great video. If you aren’t familiar with GoldieBlox, it it’s a building set geared towards young girls that is supposed to inspire them to become engineers.

Ya know, if I lived in any other town than Huntsville I’d probably be impressed by that notion but since here every other person you meet is an engineer, it kind of gives me a case of the ‘mehs.’

Meh: The equivalent of a shoulder shrug of indifference.

But, I’m all for female empowerment and what not so when I saw it at Target I bought a set for the four year old. There were several to choose from but since GoldieBlox and the Parade Float was was the cheapest, I went with it – plus it was about parades and Stella loves parades.

Goldie Blox Review

We got it home and opened it up together because what I do know about GoldieBlox is that unless little Suzy can read it’s a toy that you have to play with your kid. Dum, dum, dum….DUM! That was supposed to be the scary music you here in movies. 

So, it’s more like a board game then a toy. That’s fine, no problem. I actually love board games.

And then we opened it up:

Goldie Blox and the Parade Float Review

Pa…Pa…Pa…Pageant Day? The book and the building projects are about THE LITTLE MISS PRINCESS PAGEANT?

Are you freaking kidding me? What. The. Word Mom Would Yell At Me if I Used On My Blog.

The self proclaimed ‘disrupting the pink aisle’ toy is about a pageant. A Little Miss Princess Pageant? I can’t even…I mean…y’all…Guess who doesn’t know what a pageant is?

This girl:


And now, thanks to GoldieBlox, I am having to explain what a pageant is.

Now, maybe you’re a pageant girl. And that’s fine. I never was so maybe I’m speaking from ignorance here but…I don’t like it. I just don’t like it. I hear pageant and think Toddler’s and Tiaras.

MOTHER OF PEARL, IT’S ABOUT A PAGEANT! I thought GoldieBlox was about girls learning to love math and science! Should I have just bought a dang Barbie?

At this point, I’m prepared to absolutely hate this toy.

However, I gotta say…Stella liked it.


She liked building the set. She wasn’t super interested in the story and she did keept wanting to feed the little characters it comes with and put them down for naps but she did like the building part of it.


It was a little much for her – ability wise. This particular set is for 4 – 9 year olds. She’s four and doesn’t have great motor skills yet but she thought it was fun to do.


All in all, it was a cute activity. And even though, she has now asked me to pretend she’s in a pageant about eleven hundred times we’ll play with it again. I guess. Even though…flipping pageant! FALSE ADVERTISING, people. Sheesh.

I don’t know. Lego is taking a lot of heat right now for their female oriented ‘Friends’ collection and I know people don’t like Princesses so Lego is also taking heat for their Duplo Princesses collection but…let me give you a little example of how it went down at our house.

Last Monday we bought the GoldiBlox, brought them home, played with them together for 30 minutes, and put them up on a shelf because I can’t risk her losing the pieces. That’s because since you are building super specific things if you lose a piece the toy is basically worthless.

Tuesday we bought Disney Princess Legos (there’s a reason for all this buying but it’s 8:53 and I don’t have the time to explain it – just trust me, it was fine), brought them home, she played with them for TWO HOURS ALONE (alone, alleluia, alone!) and has since played with them, with and without her brothers, several times – maybe even every day. They can be left in a bucket within her reach because if we lose pieces  it’s no big deal. The towers and things she builds just aren’t quite as high.

Lego Disney Princess Review

So, call me a misogynist or whatever but I think we’ll stick with Legos and trust her to find the path to engineering on her own.

Paging Mr Watkins…

Paging Mr Watkins…

This morning, after I pried the minions grubby little fingers off of the Playstation, we took a walk in the woods with my Dad.

We went to the log cabin where he was born and hiked around the creek and the bluffs.

I tried to collect a bouquet of flowers but, ya know, winter.

winter flower bouquet

Even though we didn’t find any flowers we did find out about fifteen different species of moss.

Moss on rocks


Actually, I’m not sure if that’s moss or mushrooms. They’re both fungus’ (fungi?), right?

Stella is in an ornery stage where she has completely lost the ability to smile in pictures.

I have no clue.

IMG_1199It’s awkward.

And ever present.

IMG_1201And almost arrogant.

Well, come on then fussy britches! What are you giving me that look for?

IMG_1205“Driver, take me somewhere fabulous!”

Ya gotta love the tree growing out of the wheel base fender bumper thingy. Let’s just call it the WBFBT for short.


I guess that’s what happens when you forget where you parked your car in 1928.


This cave looked very promising. It had an opening that one person could belly crawl through but none of us did. So, yes, I’m sure there is definitely gold in it.

We didn’t find gold anywhere but we did find this cool old bottle inscribed J R Watkins Co. I googled it and it looks like Mr Watkin’s company sold pharmaceuticals back in the day. Tonics and what not.


We also found a truly disgusting deer carcass but didn’t take pictures of it. You’re welcome.

Perhaps that deer could have used one of Mr Watkin’s tonics.

Meh…probably not.

The Proper Use of a Laundry Basket

The Proper Use of a Laundry Basket

Yeah, yeah, yeah…Go on and insert your joke about how bad southerners are at dealing with snow. I suppose we deserve it. The fact remains though that we just don’t get it enough to become proficient in handling it. Remember the first time you made biscuits? Terrible, right. Right! The more you made them, though, the easier they got. That’s us and snow.

Tuesday night we got a good inch of snow. That is like ten inches in other people’s worlds. Heck, it’s like twenty inches in other people’s worlds!


Since we don’t have sleds we began to google what we could use as a substitute. We quickly learned that cardboard did not work.


Neither did large plastic tubs.

Surprisingly, baking sheets and plastic laundry baskets worked pretty well. Well, well-ish. Go on and click the ‘proper use of a laundry basket’ link. It’s pretty classic Stella. She sleds about like she dances. 

The Proper Use of a Laundry Basket. 

Wednesday night we got positively dumped on – a good four inches.

At night, the kids from the local college showed up on the sledding hill across from our house and made a party of it. I brought them chocolate chip cookies and they played with the oldest. The others were snowed in with my parents.

We used a pool float I found on sale at Target . It worked perfectly!


There’s something pretty magical about snow at night – especially in Alabama.

Providence Huntsville Alabama

The snow was nice and wet. Perfect for snowballs and snowmen.


The UAH kids were so nice. They included James in their giant snowman endeavors. Calling him ‘buddy’ and ‘dude’ and sending him on snow gathering missions.

I mean, it wasn’t quite as nice when I saw that they’d made their snowman anatomically correct but hey, whatcha gonna do.

It’s all about trade offs…