Beet Salad: February 2022 Edition
🇺🇦 Ukraine on my mind, 🏛 Greek mythology, 📺 TV rec and a couple of ideas for throwing a 🍼🧷 baby shower
👋 Hi from Helen. Welcome to our first Beet Salad of 2022 - this is a format we use sometimes that provides a compilation of quick-read tips, lessons, and recs across the full spectrum of topics we discuss on Mind The Beet. Perfect for those who just want to skim and graze yet still soak in a few ideas on how to live your best life as a 21st century grown up!
🇺🇦 Ukraine on my mind
As someone born in Russia and so much of my immigrant community being from both Russia and Ukraine, this has been a particularly heartbreaking week for me and my family. It is unimaginable to watch Moscow bomb Kiev. It is also inspiring to watch Volodymir Zelensky rise as a leader of hope as he unifies the world in a fight for the heart and soul of democracy in Europe and beyond.
This is also a whole new ball game for me, because while our kids are not necessarily watching the news or are on social media, I am processing what is going on not just as a Russian immigrant or a concerned American citizen, but also as a parent.
Here is what I am reading and watching:
10 minute video addressed to the Russian people by Zelensky recorded on February 24, 2022
How to talk to kids about what’s going on in Ukraine (behind a paywall for NYT)
Key takeaways: Take cues from your kids, look for signs of anxiety, don’t bombard kids with news and images of war, alleviate concerns while taking them seriously
How Volodymyr Zelensky found his roar (behind Economist paywall)
Key quotes: “If, as Mr Putin once wrote, Ukraine is the anti-Russia, then Mr Zelensky is everything Mr Putin is not. He is young and charismatic. He has been embraced by his own people and by the world. And he is fighting for his country not in the name of a dark imperial fantasy, but out of the conviction that Ukraine is sovereign and independent.”
“We will be defending our country, because our weapon is truth, and our truth is that this is our land, our country, our children, and we will defend all of this.” If fortune favours Mr Zelensky, it is because he carries the virtue that Mr Putin lacks: he speaks the truth for his people.”
How to donate and support Ukraine:
Here is a summary of organizations to donate to that support humanitarian efforts published by Seattle Times. Click through to the full list but here is the one that we are donating to:
Ukrainian Association of Washington
What they do: UAWS leads cultural and education initiatives to promote Ukraine in Washington state. Currently, the group is organizing rallies and events to bring attention to the Ukraine crisis.
What you can do: The group is collecting monetary donations to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine. For more information, visit: uaws.org.
Content recs: Revisiting Greek mythology
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Miller tells the story of Archilles from the perspective of his best friend/partner Patroclus from childhood until his death. It’s a great way to re-read Greek mythology, which I haven’t interacted with since childhood.
Circe by Madeline Miller
Since I loved Song of Archilles so much, I dug into the next book by Miller. Circe is a sorceress, the daughter of Helios, the sun god, and of the ocean nymph Perse. It’s beautifully written and covers many famous myths - Odysseus, Icarus, Minotaur and more. I tried to listen to it on audio, but found myself preferring reading the book instead.
TV to tune the world news out:
If you are looking for an escape (as I am), here is what I’m watching:
A Netflix series about three mothers in a Southern town opening a boutique spa together. It’s been fun to escape into the world of Southern hospitality and small town drama.
Virtual Event Tip - Create a Background
Zoom parties are here to stay. I was throwing an in person baby shower this weekend and we added a Zoom option for all the people who couldn’t make it in person but wanted to participate.
To make the online event more fun, I crated a custom background, sent it to everyone in advance and asked them to make be their background so when the mother to be joined, she saw a screen of congratulatory backgrounds and all the smiling faces. My team did this for me at work for my birthday (which is where I got the idea) and it’s a really great way to make someone feel special. Instructions on how to upload a background on Zoom and Teams.
Baby Shower Pro Tip
When I started attending baby showers, I learned that a common gift/center piece is a diaper cake. It often time looks something like this and can be made or purchased:
A more advanced/creative version of a “traditional” diaper cake is a motorcycle diaper cake, which was introduced to me by a friend of mine and now is my standard go to craft/gift for a baby shower. I have heard multiple times that this gift gets used as a decoration in the baby room and then dismantled when there is a diaper emergency and it’s the only stash available.
I made one of these this past weekend (pictured below) and it is always a hit at the party and for the mother-to-be.
Core ingredients include diapers, receiving blanket, baby mittens, a stuffed animal, a couple of bibs and a baby bottle. You can then add other things like pacifiers, teething rings, and even bottle cleaning brushes.
I linked a YouTube video below that I followed when I made it for your reference.
Thanks for reading! Drop us a line (reply to this email or email email@example.com) with any content recs or feedback.
Great post! I agree with your view on the war in Ukraine: it's hard to watch and process.