1. We had a lovely time this morning getting coffee at Big Dog Coffee and brunch at The Zenith tea room & vegetarian cafe with our friends Sonia and Bryon today.

Big Dog Coffee

The Zenith

I love Big Dog, it’s such a friendly, classy neighborhood coffeehouse.  The food at The Zenith was good, but it was distractingly cold in there.  There were lots of kerosene heaters and heat dishes, and I’m not really sure WHY it was so cold.  Since Baby Beez has been walking, ALL she wants to do is walk, which means that going out to eat with her is nothing short of torture.  The newest trick I’ve learned to keep her less-annoying is to let her watch Yo Gabba Gabba on the iPad.  This worked for a while today, but then she was bored with it, and determined to walk around (or howl).  The Zenith is not the most friendly place for small children to walk around (no blame on their hands–they’re also an antique store, which inherently means lots of small and breakable things), but Baby Beez did a good job of keeping her hands to herself.  Going out with Sonia and Bryon is always a lot of fun!  We had a lovely time with them.

2.  I went to Toys R Us to pick up a certain 2 year old’s birthday present today, and got incredibly depressed.  It’s no news to me that kids toys are heavily gendered, but baby toys are fairly gender neutral so I didn’t really appreciate it yet.  While wandering around today, he differences between the “girls” section and the “boys” sections really hit me.  I’m not keen on how the boys section is weighs so heavily on fighting with the action heroes and guns and everything (sports don’t even seem to be as much of a theme…it’s all guns and fighting).  The girls section, though, was all pink and princesses and Barbies and playing house.

You can even get your little girl her very own hotel maid cart.  Obviously, all this makes me mad, but more than anything, it stresses me out.  I feel like princess obsession looms a few years in the future and is unavoidable. And I hate it.  Maybe there is some way I can keep her out of Toys R Us for the next 17 years. It’s an issue so much larger than my own kid, and it feels overwhelming and undefeatable.  I’m just glad that there are organizations like Princess Free Zone and Girls on the Run fighting the good fight, because it is all so much more than I can handle.

3.  On a COMPLETELY HYPOCRITICAL note, Mr. Beez and I have big plans tonight to drink a lot of wine and watch the Miss America competition.  I’m going to a Miss America party next weekend, where each attendee picks a state and dresses up, usually with that state as a theme.  Last year I went and was “Miss Kentucky.”  I wore a horse t-shirt and a tutu.  It was too scary for me to post a picture.  There is a talent competition at the party, and last year for Miss Nevada’s talent, she sang a song while writing out this mind-blowingly complicated algorithm on a whiteboard, and it was the best thing I’ve ever seen.

This year I will be Miss Virginia.  I picked Virginia because that’s the state I wrote about for my “State Report” in 5th grade.  I have to think of what my talent will be for the talent portion.  Last time I did a completely terrible interpretative dance.  I still don’t have my costume picked out, so if anyone has great ideas for a “Virginia” themed costume, please do share them.

This year’s Miss Virginia is Elizabeth Crot.

This year’s party is not until next weekend, so we’ll know who the winner is before the party (everyone has already picked their states, so we can’t cheat and pick the winner state after it’s all over).  The winner gets a donation made to a charity of her choosing.

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