Author Archives: Joshua Jarman

She’sWrite: Getting Ready for Kindergarten (I’m So Not Ready)

Thursday, May 10th, 2012 by

I’m preparing my entry into the scary world of elementary school. Logan starts kindergarten in the fall, but there’s already been registration, Parents Night and class screenings. Oh. My.

Photo by hakaider on Flickr.A lot of the activities (rightfully) focus on getting the kids ready. But what about me? I’m not talking about the usual “my baby is growing up” wistful feelings most moms have. I’m talking about all of the crap you have to do before you ship them off. I’m so not ready.

The school year is four months away still and I’m already ready to be done. First there was registration, which required form after form after form to be filled out, not to mention the immunization records, the physicals, eye exams, dental exams, proof of residency, vial of blood… OK, clearly kidding on the last one.

On the day of registration I came with my mountain of papers and seeing how I didn’t have some of the required paperwork for proof of residency, I brought a copy of our mortgage. The entire, 11×14 cumbersome packet. One of the PTA volunteers had to help me thumb through the reams of paper to find the information that qualified our family of residents of our quaint burb.

▶ Read More

She’sWrite: Nuggets of Truth in the ‘Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful’ Piece

Wednesday, Apr 11th, 2012 by

Many have gotten their knickers in a bunch over journalist Samantha Brick’s piece about the downsides of being a pretty girl.  Namely, she says other women are mean to her because they’re jealous.

Samantha Brick wrote a column for Britain’s Daily Mail that there are downsides to being pretty. Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail. Naturally, this has sparked a firestorm of criticism, mostly aimed at if she’s hot or not. Some of the comments are downright ugly. But she touches on something that I’ve seen happen.

Sure there’s plenty of upsides to being pretty. It can make it easier to get past the velvet ropes life offers, but like everything there can be challenges. For example, some attractive women have a hard time being taken seriously by male co-workers unless they present the (and I hate to use the term) bitchy exterior.

I certainly don’t have the problem that Brick says she has due to her looks. I’m just your average brown-skinned girl, but I have a friend who is drop dead gorgeous. Stunning. Well, I’ve got a lot of them, but this one is particularly striking and she too has had problems with women.

I remember the first time she told me: “I have no girl friends.” I was surprised because she’s shoot-the-milk-out-your-nose funny, fiercely loyal and honest. But I gave her a good once over, her perfectly petite, yet curvy frame, glowing olive skin, thick healthy mane, piercingly green eyes, yaddayaddayadda you get the idea. I responded: I bet so.

▶ Read More

She’sWrite: Forgetting to Exercise My Right to Vote

Thursday, Mar 22nd, 2012 by

I looked at the clock. It was 6:55 p.m. on Tuesday, and I still hadn’t voted. Not because I was turned off by the candidates, the barrage of abusive political ads and empty promises.

I simply lost track of time.

I got up this morning, whirred around the house to get everyone ready for school.  The family headed out the door and I made a mental note to vote on the way home. I was pretty aware of the issues and who I wanted for what positions, so it wouldn’t take long.

Naturally after dropping off the kids, my mind was racing with different iterations of my To Do list: Buy diapers, return Ken’s email, check on Huffington Post piece, check my account balance, wash the boy’s clothes, I wonder if I’ll have time for a nap…

I got lost in the busyness of my day and didn’t vote. That is sad and shameful, but there is a bit of triumph in it. Bear with me as I explain.

▶ Read More

She’sWrite: Planes, Trains and a Step Ladder

Wednesday, Mar 7th, 2012 by

This weekend my 4-year-old son got to hang out with a few from the octogenarian set. Simply watching the way they talked with each other, it was clear they shared an understanding.  It was a deep, unabashed passion for the all powerful locomotive.

The High Wheeler Train Show is held every March at Harper College in Palatine.The first public railway came in 1803 in London and choo choos have been wowing kids and adults ever since. On Saturday, we went to the High Wheeler Train Show at Harper College in Palatine, where there were 23 detailed displays of moving trains.

The train cars ranged from being as small as a thumb drive to as tall as an iPad. They chugged along tracks that twisted through mountain tops, tunnels, the island of Sodor, a Hershey’s Chocolate-themed town and Legoland. They passed firefighters dousing a burning house, a Ferris wheel, log cabins and a parade through a German city equipped with revelers at a Biergarten.

The amount of detail that goes into these pieces is amazing. I love peering close to the displays to be surprised to find the most minute treasures. Like the woman in a bright pink dress who’s cooling off in a water tank or the two men playing a raucous round of checkers.  It’s also fun to talk to the train hobbyists because they’re ecstatic to share their love of trains. The model trains attract all kinds, creeds and ages.

▶ Read More

I Wonder What Happened: Kids Retailer Closes After Only Three Months

Tuesday, Feb 21st, 2012 by

You know, I kinda hate it when this happens. I go to a new store and fall in love, vow to frequent it because it’s local and then I fail to return. Next thing I know, it’s closing.

That’s what happened to the big-box styled children’s store WONDER! in suburban Deerfield. Except instead of it closing a year or two after opening its doors, it was a mere three months.

I was invited to a pre-opening of WONDER! and was awed by every square inch of its 135,000 square feet. It had everything a parent could want and more. I blogged about how it was Babies R Us, but with Whole Foods class.

But something went wrong. According to media reports, lawsuits were filed against the company and its owner Shane Christensen alleging unpaid bills that were in the tens of thousands. Then came the announcement about its closing.

I got yesterday’s statement from the company that said it couldn’t keep its doors open “due to balance sheet considerations that impacted dwindling product availability, technology systems, and planned improvements.”

I have to admit I WONDERed how such a seemingly costly store would stay afloat in this economy, but I was rooting for them. I wasn’t the only one, the village of Deerfield extended tax breaks for the company and at the time, a trustee even called it “the biggest thing to happen to the village this year.”

▶ Read More