Queen Girls Has 5 NEW Inspiring Stories!

I’ve partnered with Queen Girls to promote diversity and positive content in children’s books.  They have created a collection of fairy tales, inspired by the lives of real women – Marie  Curie, Isadora Duncan, Savitri Phule, Bessie Coleman and Frida Kahlo. I have not been compensated for this post. All opinions shared are my own. Read to the end for your free copy of a Queen Girls story and activity book.

Today I am excited to tell you that Queen Girls is launching a whole new series of books written to empower young girls! I only share with you the things I love most and this is one of them! I love the illustrations, the language and the stories. Most of all I love sharing these age appropriate true life stories with my own girls. I hope it plants the seed that they can be and do anything they want to in life.

Meet The Queens


This new book series includes 5 new stories about Frida Kahlo, Savitri Phule, Junko Tabei, Isadora Duncan, Bessie Coleman ​&​ Marie Curie. These are the souls behind this collection.

Each book combines reality with elements of fantasy, captivating the attention of our youngsters while at the same time showing them the power of determination. These fairy  tales are geared at girls aged 4 to 8, definitive years where perspectives are sharply  defined. They show our girls that anything is possible if we set our minds to it!     Queen Girls wants to stir the conversation around stereotypes in children’s literature. More  often than not, women are portrayed simply as exotic beauties, love seekers and  homemakers.

‘We believe that as parents, we need to be more conscientious about the content we read to our children. Story telling is an intimate, powerful and often underestimated privilege. It is not just about acquiring new vocabulary, but also instilling ideas and perspectives that will support our girls’ dreams. Telling them new stories will hopefully change theirs.’

 

Queen Girls is a collection of books for CONSCIOUS families, for parents who are  aware of the importance of the content we consume and read to our children.    

The Collection 
Diversity is at the core of this collection. Every woman portrayed comes from a different  walk of life and diverse background. The writers and illustrators are also unconventional.  Jimena Durán, Founder and Creative Director, intentionally invited different women to be  part of this adventure, hoping to create alliances beyond stereotypes.

‘We want to teach girls that our diversity makes each one of us unique beings, equally capable of doing anything we set ourselves out to do!’

How Queen Girls was born 
As a new mom, Jimena started paying closer attention to children’s literature. She found  herself changing the lyrics of songs and books because their messages didn’t always  resonate with her. She did not feel comfortable delivering much of the content to her son  and wanted to do something about it. Her sister in law, Andrea Doshi, Co Creator, speech  pathologist and passionate traveler, didn’t hesitate to jump into the adventure. Together  they brought this concept to life with their first, co authored book, ‘Bessie, Queen of the Sky’  (image above).

How to get involved? 
The first book was printed thanks to a supportive community and successful Kickstarter  campaign. They are now running a second Kickstarter campaign with 5 new titles! They need all the love you can give them to make their dream to publish this collection a reality!

Learn more here: Queen Girls Publications

SHARE to receive free e-book + coloring book + activity book of ‘Bessie, Queen of the  Sky’ – fairy tale inspired by the story of Bessie Coleman, the first black woman to receive  her pilot’s license ​https://goo.gl/DSt4vBi​ #queengirls  Share this and tag Queen Girls on social media to receive your free download of Bessie, Queen of the Sky!

 

 

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s Why I am Such a Terrible Blogger

Probably not the title you want to see from someone trying to become “profesh.” But most days I feel completely terrible at my job as a blogger. It isn’t for a lack of trying, or working hard, in fact I write stuff all the time. I am usually writing it all in my head while I’m driving the kids to gymnastics or to the grocery store. I am always taking snap shots of the craziness that happens in my day, but then forget to upload them later. If only I didn’t have to mom all day I’d be a much better blogger, I say to myself every night as I turn out the light and pull the covers up to my chin.

I attempted to work outside the house for about 9 months and it totally threw off my blogging flow. I thought I’d get back into it during the summer and that was harder than I thought. I barely had enough time for my morning coffee before the kids and I were off an running. It was an amazing summer, but not much proof of it in the way of blogs and photos.

The truth is I love blogging and I love writing. But the kid noise and household demands always come first. Call me crazy, but I do enjoy having fresh undies and a clean glass to drink my wine from. #priorities I am often choosing between writing and holding it all together. It feels unfair at times because this is my creative outlet AND chance to make an income for my family. It isn’t that I don’t make it priority, it’s just that there aren’t enough hours in the day. I don’t know how my favorite bloggy moms do it!

On top of all the mom guilt I have, I can now add blogger guilt. The guilt of letting time pass without sharing. The guilt of not connecting enough. Then there is the anxiety (and reason I don’t sleep) that everyone has moved on because I’ve been too busy to stay on top of things. My blogging mission has always been to share the “realness” of my my messy life as a mom. I think I am the same as any other mom just trying to keep up with life and squeezing in a little self-care.

Maybe you can relate to this feeling even if you aren’t a blogger. Do you ever feel like you fall behind in some part of your life? How do you handle it? I wanna hear from you in the comments below! Leave me your best tips and ideas for getting back on track with your creative pursuits, self-care and general flow of life.

I hope you have a great week!

Love,

The World’s Okayist Blogger

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

Marvel Universe Live – A Must See Show!

Marvel Universe Live is back!!! My family and I cannot wait!

We caught this show live at the Albany Times Union Center over a year ago and we are ready to go back for more! This super energetic show is entertaining for kids of any age (and kids at heart). There isn’t a moment to sit still with this action packed super hero adventure.

 

Shows start in just 2 weeks!  

Thursday, October 4                     7:00 PM

Friday, October 5                           7:00 PM

Saturday, October 6                  11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 7:00 PM

Sunday, October 7                    12:00PM, 4:00PM

Don’t miss out – order tickets now:

Online at Ticketmaster.com

By phone at 1-800-745-3000

At the Times Union Center Box Office

We absolutely loved this show and can’t see what new additions they have this time around. It’s a family friendly event my kids look forward to.

Have you been to a Marvel Universe Live show before? What did you love?

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

#TheWhateverMom Army Still Charges On

The term “Mommy Wars” just doesn’t sound right to me. As moms we are supposed to be peaceful role models for our children. We teach our kids not to fight, to think of other people’s feelings, and to be kind to others. So how can we be at war with each other and still teach our kids how to be decent, inclusive, thoughtful humans? We can’t. Four years ago, I was inspired to create my own photo montage in protest of the mom war struggle I was feeling. I enlisted the help of my local mom friends and got to work.

 

All the moms in these photos are friends I met as members of a mom’s group on Facebook. Over the years we’ve celebrated birthdays together, brought each other meals, and have encouraged and supported each other through the trials of motherhood. On this day four years ago, we were standing next to each other smiling and holding signs reflecting our “opposing” mom choices. It was all the proof I needed to see that even though we make different choices for our families, we can still be friends and even respect each other’s personal choices. I have come to realize that without the different opinions and choices lived out by other moms in my circle, I wouldn’t know I have options in my parenting.

 

 

 

Seven years into this mom gig and I have learned to let go of the pressure to make the same choices as other moms. I have also learned that it is par for the course for every new mom to grapple with her confidence as a mom.  That’s really where the mom wars start. It begins with that first wobbly step into motherhood. As we put one foot in front of the other, we learn the path that works for ourselves and our families. We also begin to realize that choices other moms make in their own homes really do not affect us. For example, nothing in my world shakes when another mom feeds her kid formula because she can’t breast feed. There isn’t a slight shift in the wind when someone feeds their kids McDonald’s for dinner because they are too worn out to cook. And if a mom uses bleach to clean her floors instead of the finest essential oils, I can still sleep at night. I firmly believe that if a mom falls at the playground and no one is around to hear her she will still swear like a trucker (all moms do that right, not just me?).

 

 

I haven’t done any hard research on this, but I have yet to see any viral social media clips of a Harvard grad mentioning their mom’s meticulous house as the reason for their success, or that her perfect dinners and over the top birthday parties drove them to the top of their class. If at the end of the day your kids are safe and alive, you deserve a round of applause. We all bear the same burdens of motherhood so why do we put so much pressure on ourselves (and each other to be perfect?).  No matter what your style of mothering is, we will all run the same course: stomach bugs, sleepless nights and feelings of self-doubt. All of these quintessential mom moments level the battlefield for the “Mommy War.”  Certainly none of us makes perfect decisions, but we all have the same end goal- to raise healthy, happy and productive humans. Does it really matter what path we follow to get them there?

 

My call to arms remains the same: do whatever it takes to let go of your fears and worries that you are not enough. Take up the charge to own your mom choices. Decide right now to be confident in your decisions because any decision you make in the best interest of your children is the best decision you can make for them. Never ask yourself, “Which side am I on?” Instead ask yourself, “How can I stand with my momrades?”

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

 

What to Pack for Your Next Family Road Trip

Car with map

Summer is here and for us that means a lot of time on the road. The kids get so bored in the car, even after their fill of movies and electronics. Having a few extra activities on hand can help maintain sanity and squash boredom levels.

There are times I travel solo with the kids to see my family which makes me the ship director and the activities coordinator all in one trip. I discovered filling up a basket of new-to-you activities for the kids makes a really great co-pilot. I can pull out a new distraction with a free hand and pass it back to the kiddos before they begin their first argument. The trick is to not use all the stuff up before you get to the end of your road trip. Then you drive back home empty handed and that is no bueno.

Here is what I keep in my basket of tricks:

Books – especially ones with stickers my kids can peel off and stick again. Those keep them entertained and won’t stick to the inside of my car. Trust me, a lesson you learn only once.

Snacks – and lots of them! I’m talking the rare treats they never get like gummy things, barrels of Goldfish crackers and sticky, sweet granola bars. Kids can’t argue if their mouths are full. Rare treats also work well for bribery, “Simmer down back there or the gummies get it!”

Wet wipes – to take care of the sticky granola bars.

Bubbles – this is great for younger kids. I use them at the rest stop when we get out to stretch our legs, or to give the other kid something to do while we are in the bathroom (besides complaining sister got to go first).

Art supplies – my kids love the adult coloring books. I keep a few on hand with a mega set of colored pencils. Not only does this give them color options, but it means I won’t have to go digging for the only blue pencil they just dropped under the seat for the 10th time in the last five minutes.

White board – to use the dry erase markers to play games like Pictionary or hang man. This of course only works if they are in a amicable mood. Otherwise you’ll have to endure listening to high pitched whaling, “she drew a picture of me with 3 eyeballs!” Also get the washable, dry erase markers. (Another lesson you only need to learn once).

Patience – it is typically somewhere near the bottom of the basket. I have to rummage around under all the other stuff to search for it and eventually I find it. Traveling with kids is stressful at some point. You have to manage emotions, attitudes and temperaments along with hunger cues and bathroom breaks. Not to mention defend everyone’s personal space. Being prepared with favorite comforts can really help. But what works best is dropping any expectations for a tranquil journey. And if you pull out the electronics to find a little peace – go for it! Driving with screaming kids can contribute to road rage, so really handing your kids an iPad is a simple safety measure.

Happy travels!

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

Wholesome Family Fun @MonsterJam

I received complimentary tickets in exchange for a blog post, but this review and opinions are solely my own.

Do you have a little kid who loves trucks? Maybe they love Monster Trucks? Ill bet seeing these giant trucks up close would make all their dreams come true. My kids both LOVE to watch YouTube video clips of Monster truck rallies. They love the tricks and the super slow-mo replay with pyrotechnics. All of it. Today we were treated like VIPs at the Pit Party at the Times Union Center. We arrived a few hours early so we could meet the drivers and get photos and auto graphs. It was really special. Since we were among the first 10 guests to arrive, we nearly had the arena to ourselves for the first half hour. Then suddenly the crowd was immense.

I have to say I had no idea what to expect at a rally, in fact I didn’t even know the rallies are competitions! All the stunts and tricks these drivers perform are voted on by the audience. Spectators log onto a voting website. After each driver takes their turn at impressing the crowd voting lines open for about 20 seconds. There are several rounds of competition, speed, two-wheel stunts, donuts and freestyle. In between the trucks competing their companion ATV drivers compete on an obstacle course. That was really fun to watch! I was on the edge of my seat watching a truck called Stinger Unleashed completely flip over and land upside down. And there was an ATV driver that flipped over his vehicle, but got right back up an finished his run. It was such an adrenaline rush watching, I can’t imagine what it must feel like performing!

I was most impressed by the female drivers. They said over and over again during interviews that they felt like they could compete on level ground with the male drivers, and that they were inspired by the female drivers they watched growing up. The driver of Scooby-Doo is a new mom and she returned after a year off to prove just how relevant she still is by kicking a little but on the dirt. She won the two-wheeled stunt and donut competition before landing among the top 3 winners (even beat out the most popular Grave Digger). I was also excited to see several women equally qualified in the pit crew. I was so nervous someone was going to make a comment about me bringing both my girls to a “boys” event, but there were just as many little girls there as there were little boys. I thought the female drivers were perfect role models and really demonstrated that women can be whatever they want to be.

This entire event was a really wholesome family experience. The competitors were good sports, playful with each other, but took their own roles seriously. Every driver was gracious and expressed gratitude for each other, the pit crew and their fans. Even during our autograph session they were really generous with their time and their energy. Everyone was eager to put a smile on a kids face and go the extra mile to take a photo, or sign extra t-shirts and copies of programs.

Overall, this was a really great day out with the family! If you are in the Albany area and looking for an exciting break from the cold winter weather check the listing for their next show on Sunday January 14th! Get tickets here.

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia

Free Subtraction Worksheet from Education.com

Over the summer I began using lesson plans and worksheets to beat the summer slide. This week we are home from school for our winter/holiday break and it is the perfect time to do some math practice. That’s why I am so excited to share with you this free printable math worksheet directly from the creators of Education.com!

Float through two-digit subtraction with this kayaking themed worksheet from Education.com. Your child will gain valuable practice with this cute themed worksheet. Get more fun subtraction resources here.

My first graders have mastered single-digit and double-digit addition, and single-digit subtraction, which they are really good at (obvious mom brag). Now, they are ready to move on to double-digit subtraction, which will be a challenge. But I’ll be ready to help with this kayak themed worksheet that we can use for practice at any time. Thankfully, there is also an answer sheet available. I’m pretty confident I have a handle on subtraction, but this is a great way for my kids to check their own work.

Download your free Kayak subtraction page and answer key.

 

 

My kids enjoy the  math games, worksheets, puzzles and everything else offered on this comprehensive site. It’s easy to choose activities and lessons by grade level and I trust this site to provide age appropriate content. I am confident your child will enjoy interacting with these playful learning tools as well. If you are homeschooling you can create your own custom worksheet with their worksheet generator to accommodate to your child’s needs. The best part is every family can count on this trustworthy site created by a crew of experienced educators to support their child’s learning.

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Favorites – Disney on Ice Presents Frozen

Contributing writer: Kelly Fears

I was lucky enough to be given tickets to see Disney’s Frozen on Ice at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY.  I can’t think of a better story to watch performed on ice than Frozen.  It’s an obvious choice.  If you’re one of the few parents left who doesn’t know the story it’s about two sisters, one with the power to freeze things, who experience some growing pains in their sibling relationship. But they find that true love is what can solve all their problems.  It’s a snowy, icy adventure filled with an ice castle, a snowman and most importantly an ice queen.  However, if you’re like me and your little prince or princess has watched the movie on repeat for the last 4 years you’ll still find plenty of fun in this ice skating rendition to pique your interest.

The production starts with some of Disney’s favorite characters over the years discussing the different types of love: friendships, marriage, siblings etc.  It’s hosted by the iconic Disney classic characters Mickey, Minnie & a generous mix of friends from throughout Disney’s past and present.  They quickly move into the story of Elsa & Ana and the characters voices are the same as the movie which makes it feel more real. The songs ring true just as you’ll remember them.  It’s really special to see how the ice rink can transform so beautifully to the many different scenes and landscapes.  You’re transported from the rink to inside a bedroom, to a ballroom, a snowy mountaintop, to a castle made of ice complete with real falling snow!

The details are amazing! The costumes are perfect replicas of their animated versions but throw in a little Disney magic of extra sparkle, lights and glitter to really make it all come alive.  The opening half whimsically takes you through the story song by song and ends with Elsa’s iconic solo, “Let it go.”  The show keeps a great pace to keep the young one’s entranced,  but doesn’t lose any of the important plot points or iconic songs.  At intermission we grabbed some snacks, some Frozen memorabilia, of which there is plenty and read through our program.  We couldn’t wait for the show to begin again!

The show resumes after intermission with the lovable Olaf and his “In Summer” Solo number does not disappoint.  This song was met with the loudest screaming cheers and giggles of all the songs in the show. Even finished with an on point kick line! The show keeps a swift pace throughout the second half and isn’t short on the magic that keeps you wondering how they make it all come to life so perfectly.  It truly is magical from start to finish.  The characters get close and stand on small stages to wave and greet the crowd throughout the show.  If you’re looking for a little Disney magic and some pretty impressive ice skating complete with flips, lifts and jumps, this is the show for you!

Catch the Disney on Ice Frozen at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY December 14-17th!

 

Kelly lives with her husband and a prince and princess who love all things Disney and Frozen. She is a stay at home mom who contributes her time and talents to her community and her friend, The Whatever Mom. Thanks Kelly! 

Christmas is Made of Perfect Moments Not Perfect Gifts

The Christmas season is in full blown panic mode. It’s time to buckle down and find the PERFECT gift for everyone! All the emails filling my in box are YELLING AT ME to open to find the PERFECT gift for everyone on my list, including the postal carrier, my kids’ bus driver and the lady down the street that once stopped to chat with me for five minutes about the weather. Everyone has to have THE PERFECT gift!

Every year as I panic to make all the gifts happen and I worry if I am buying something useful and am I including everyone, I think back to one year I found exactly the perfect gift for everyone on my list and it only cost me $20. I was a poor college student in between jobs. I was determined to somehow give my friends and family a meaningful gift. Something truly from the heart, but still fit in my budget.

I had to get creative since I was down to the last $20 in my bank account. Now, to be fair at the time I was a college student $20 stretched just a little bit further than it does today, but it still couldn’t stretch as far as I needed it to. I had some really wonderful people in my life that I needed to thank and tell them just how much I love them. I decided to write each person a letter.

I purchased some pretty stationary and planned to hand write everyone a personal letter telling them what they mean to me. I was so excited I started composing letters in my head as I walked up and down the aisles of the drug store. But it didn’t feel like enough of a gift to simply add a stamp and drop in the mailbox. I keep pacing the aisles looking for inspiration. I started looking at all the pretty things I couldn’t afford and realized there was no way I could buy one gift for each person. But I could buy one thing to share and divide among my friends. I decided I would invite everyone over for a spa party and hand deliver my letters.

I scooped up some pretty candles, borrowed my mom’s best table cloth, scattered some rose petals on top and laid out all kinds of facial masks and nail polishes. I even had enough to purchase some chocolates and crackers and cheese. For a poor teenaged college student this felt super fancy! Then I invited everyone to come over for some pampering, a nosh and just spend time together.

It turned out to be one of the most memorable gifts I have ever given. We all had so much fun just being together talking and laughing. There was no pressure to exchange gifts of equal value, no worry about guessing sizes or accounting for taste. It was just all my important girl friends gathered to spend a few hours connecting and enjoying the season together.

In fact, the memory of this day drives me to slow down at every Christmas and just enjoy who I am surrounded with. I have spent many Christmas’s with many different people over the years. But the ones I cherish most are the ones with my kids. To wake up with their wide eyed wonder staring at the magic before them, with a heart so full of belief is priceless. And I could never find a gift under the tree as special as that.

So this year give up on finding perfection in gifts and material things. Instead, look for the perfect moments spent connecting with friends and family. Those moments will sustain you longer than any seasonal candle, electronic or new gadget. Take photos even if you don’t feel “perfect” and eat that extra Christmas cookie if it brings you joy vs. the perfect calorie count. And I challenge you to look for perfect moments well passed the holiday season when we expect every moment to be perfect. There is no rule saying we can’t connect with friends and family in the same way in July as we do in December.

Slow down, take a night off and stop to enjoy all the warmth surrounding you. Merry Christmas!

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

 

 

Friday Favorites – Stocking Stuffer Ideas from Cool Cats Lead

You may have realized by now that I really love the leadership products from Cool Cats Lead. We enjoy using them in our home and I am impressed by how much my kids want to use them. I was provided some new products to share with my kids in exchange for this review, and these have quickly become my favorites!

a-z leader alphabook is a must have leadership primer for school age kids! It gives an alphabetical listing of the important characteristics of a leader. This book builds a positive vocabulary for children to use, and gives kids ideas to aspire to. My kids like to flip through this book at the breakfast table, or while waiting their turn to sit with me to do homework after school.

22 Easy Ways 2 Lead – this one is hands down my favorite. Anything that gets kids to think critically is a sure win! And this set does that and more. Kids can read the descriptions for things like, “initiate” and “passion” and “inspiration” on the front of a card, and then flip it over to fill out their own list of inspirations and passions. This is a great tool in helping kids connect with those characteristics very early in life.

Top 10 Tips on Leadership poster – I have this hanging on our fridge! My kids like to review this with me while we are in the kitchen waiting for dinner to finish, or while I’m making their breakfast. We make it fun by identifying ways we’ve used some of these characteristics in our day.

In a world where toys and material things abound, why not give your kids the gift of self-confidence this year? All of these make great stocking stuffers! You could even include one of these products in a classroom supply basket as part of a teacher gift. Be sure to order by December 10th to ensure delivery by Christmas. To sign up receive their seasonal news release click here.

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia