Showing posts from 2014

Resolutions ?

I used to make resolutions but gave them up when the only resolution I ever seem to stick to was making resolutions.

So instead I try and look back about my year and the good memories that were made, look at my accomplishments.

Trips and time spent with family and friends, books read and music listened to, movies and shows that took me away and time spent laughing.  Basically time spent not doing anything but enjoying life. Accomplishment number 1 - check.

There were the moments that tested me - the loss of my beloved cousin much too soon, my understanding that not all things last forever, including people you love,  but the time spent together is still worth the loss vs never ever having had that time.  The terrible things that just pepper the news every day.  All of those things I learned from, some I took action on, others helped my resolve and most I used to help my boys understand that life is what you make it. I learned from these, I found my strength in these and they are part of…

Countdown to Christmas

In many, many years I have not missed sending out the cards and along with the cards a small poem that covered our family's year.  For 9 years even if it was close to the wire I got them out.  This year they will be late. 

I fretted, I woke up one night and started them, I look at the set up on my home office desk where it is assembly line worthy and somehow I cannot seem to sit myself down to get them out.  
Now this is not usual for me - I do it all right?  I order the presents, for Hanukkah, and for Christmas.  I decorate the house, I wrap and I find the right match in presents for everyone who gets one.  I manage the organization of the teacher gifts, for my boys and as a class mom for one of the boys, I also make sure we have the gift cards on hand for the many people who I am grateful to do something with my children sports clinic coaches, day care workers.  I make sure the special orders are done prior to the holidays rush.  I make the menus for the holidays dinners.  This is…

It's Christmas time in the city

I love the whole hoopla around Christmas.   I cannot get on board with the uber granola crowd and while I respect that they consider growing a tree in the back solely for the purpose of using it as some sort decorated pagan symbol of winter (cause PC says you cannot call it .. come closer so I can whisper a Christmas tree)  and wrap granola bars in recycled hemp for presents.  I for one want to buy my tree, have someone hoist and tie it to the roof of my car and then put it up in my house as a Christmas tree with pretty, shiny wrapping paper and bows on the gifts underneath.   I know the reason we use an evergreen is closer to the granola crowd's explanation but I like to bring my pagan rituals inside when it is cold enough to see my breath outside.  Should this change to say decorating palm tree on beach outside in the future then I will do it with fruity cocktail on side.  However, they are wrong when they say this is not about gifts.   If you are going to combine the tree ritu…

What does the color of my skin say

It is impossible to not think about the statement "what does the color of my skin say" with all that is going on these days in the States.  

I believe the media does like to focus only on the negative but they are not the sole cause of the problem.  There are of course few pictures of people working together, loving together, making a family together who are of mixed races.  Yet we see, or maybe some seek, mostly the strife with few exceptions.   A friend and I who were speaking the other day also feels that to choose only one of the races that makes her who she is does not line up with how she defines herself. As the world becomes more and more multiracial these definitions have to give way - we are all more than the box we check off on a census. 

I do not assume anything based on skin color  - now I may or may not like you, I may or may not befriend or love you but it is not based on your skin color either way.   I see kids every day doing this too and I hope that the next g…

Mess free

I am often more than a little envious looking at magazines or pictures of other people with kids' homes that do not seem to have the trail of kids passing through that my house often does.

Now we do live in a regular size home, built in the 30s it is not the spacious McMansion of today, but I swear no matter what I seem to do, what I ask them to do they leave a trail.

So how do people do it ?  I mean I put away things all the time but the amount of paper they come home with is bit overwhelming, I try and go through it within a day but that is one small pile that seems to shrink only until they return from school -  why does the school feel the need to send me everything these kids no longer need ? I mean I know I try and stay on top of them by reviewing homework but I am not reading every worksheet done in class.

They are past the point of playing with toys but somehow cards, like deck of, seem to be everywhere.  There are Pokemon, playing, FIFA, Football cards and though they a…

I am thankful for

My good friend who owns a wonderful online site, Hampton Paper Designs, that makes just gorgeous stationery has these great cards that say "I am Thankful for".  The idea is each person at the dinner table can write down what they are grateful for and then we can share during dinner.  Did it last year and loved it.   Doing it again this year.  Her name always goes on my what I am thankful for list  - she is a really good friend with a great sense of humor and "distance" is not an issue ever to our friendship.

Oddly enough I do not, unlike the vast majority, love Thanksgiving for the food but it is my favorite holiday.  I mean if I was to be honest I love all holidays but Thanksgiving is always #1.  How could it not be - it's not too cold outside, the leaves around here are gorgeous still, there is no big list of gifts that I somehow try and fill in like a week every year and there is time to just reflect on all the good stuff we all have to be grateful for.

It is…

Some days it's breakfast for dinner

I am chalking up the past few weeks where work has been frenetic and activities at home seem to be on the rise to not my finest motherhood moments as it relates to feeding the boys. 

I usually make dinner for the family at least 4-5 nights a week - and not just dinner but a variety of food paired with a veggie, starch, protein you get the picture.  I know that I may not meet the new food plate division and hell I know I would have toppled the pyramid that used to show what your daily diet should look like but I do try.  

This is not easy  -- one kid does not like meat that much, in particular pork (for ethical reasons since he wrote a paper in 1st grade - there is so much snark am holding back at the thought that a 1st grader had to research and write a paper - and found out pigs are quite intelligent, so he won't eat them since you should not eat things with that much intelligence -- wonder how he will react to learning about Idi Amin?).  He also only eats the burger that I make an…

I can't make you successful

I have fairly easy to raise kids - I am aware of this and feel lucky to be able to say that.  However, they are kids and that means no matter how easy it may seem for the most part it is still going to come with challenges.

My boys have to read on weekends, now most of the time they want to read and they like to read, but there are times when on weekends between activities and their just general I need a break from school moments when I have to poke and prod to get them to do it and then complete the reading logs they are assigned for the weekend.

One of the things I spoke with my older son about this weekend when he reluctantly completed the reading log was success.  Rather than bug him about doing it I thought it was a good moment to talk about success.  It does not matter what he will choose as a career path but I do want him to be successful in it and more than this I want him to want to be successful at it. 

I spoke to him how his Dad could impose rules, how I could explain my expe…

THINK before you speak

Out of the mouths of babes -- we not only teach our children as parents - if we are paying attention we often can learn so much from them too.

My 8 year old over heard his father and I arguing, we were not having a fight but we were arguing with an escalating scale of sound, and he shook his head.  Now as a rule you try and not fight in front of your kids but in reality sometimes the moment does get more heated than you can control.  That is not a bad thing for them to see either - we all have tempers, we all make mistakes and we all lose our shit once in a while.  You can show them how to rebound and possibly if you are super evolved even how to argue really productively.

This particular incident had moved past productive and into the not so productive.   I know my boys do not like it especially when said discussion (I am so editing here people) is about something that happened by one of them.  We have different styles - I am of the let's discuss, try and get them to come to th…

I don't like that kid

I distinctly remember my mother and father not liking certain friends I had.  I remember this because they were vocal about it.  Of course many of the kids they did not like I liked for all the things they saw in them that I disagreed with them on  - Supreme Court judges have maybe heard the level of detailed argument I often made on these friends' behalf.

I also remember the superiority argument that I told them and told myself even older before having kids that " I would never do that with my own kids".  Yeah that is a long list of the "parent" I would be which includes; will never yell at child, will always negotiate, will have perfectly mannered Tiffany for Teenage Table Manners worthy fork and knife holding by age 8, will never say because I said so .. yeah you know we all say these things in our balcony view of parenting.  I will admit that I do try to adhere to some of them but I have long ago learned that parenting is about understanding in a flash what…

You know you're getting older when....

I was watching Scandal the other day - hint number one that I am getting older I fall asleep earlier and get up earlier.  Therefore, watching one of my shows usually means On Demand, DVR or Netflix/Amazon Prime because I also now like to watch on my own time.  It rarely means actually seeing it on the day it airs even if I am up say past 10 pm.  So as I am folding laundry, sign 2 that I am getting older I tend to multitask those things that I used to rush through so now folding laundry is done while catching up on said shows, watching the last episode I had missed and they reference a teenager making a consensual sex tape with boys (yes plural) her own age.  Here is how the "you are no longer twenty" hammer came down in my head 1) oh that is someone's child 2) kids today - they make a bad choice and zoom through the ether forever haunting them - not like getting your number written on a bathroom wall somewhere with a crap rhyme about something that rhymes mouth 3) what d…

Billy Joel and Me

There are times when I look back and think my life can be told in Billy Joel songs.  I like Billy and find him sort of a broken, funny, gifted musician whose songs never get stale for me. 

In the my teenage years it definitely would have to be "Only the good die young".  I mean really who is not invincible at those ages???? Everything you have to wait for that is just right at your fingertips, is right there but slightly out of reach and there is a point where every moment, which at the time seems like forever, is about why oh why should I wait ?? What's the point of not doing something ?  Some of those choices were correctly "no" but the whole world of possibility and discovery is as great as when you first learn to walk and talk.... Come on Virginia!
In my late teens to early 20s which were in the height of the 80s, height being the word for hair, for shoulder pads, for heels, for shortness of skirts that showed heights of leg, for Bonfire of the Vanities momen…

The Talk .. yeah that talk .. birds, bees and queasy parents

On a show that I watched recently, Blackish - which is only mildly funnish so far, the topic was having the talk ... I mean "the talk" with your children.  The mom mentioned she had it, had dealt with the son's questions.  The Dad felt that this was his domain, though he is by far more inhibited then her, his father who lives with them (some of the best moments of the show Mr Fishburne) basically felt today's generation needs to stop having so much talk with their kids. 

So it got me thinking about my own 10 year old son.  I know that kids are moving toward sexual experimentation much younger then my own generation. I do not actually think they need to move faster and it is not because I am a prude thing, cause of the many things I may be that is so not one of them.  It is that I genuinely believe that it is ok for kids to be just that kids for a while longer then they seem to be.  We were, am sure faster than our parents, unless of course your parents were hippies li…

The Battle for Independence

I love history and always have.  I see the truth in the adage about repeating it if we are not familiar with it playing out over and over.  One of the things in history that I have read a lot about are struggles for independence.  The power in charge being fought for equal voices at the table when making decisions - the break from a monarchy  - the break from dictatorship even if it is benevolent.

However, I did not expect to be living through my own 1789 Vive Le Difference, 1917 Soviet style proletariat uprising in my own home so soon.  I understood that my reign, benevolent dictatorship to them and Royal Queen to me, would have it's challenges from my two sons but you know 1789 and 1917 and 1776 all happened hundreds of years after being under these reigns which in human household years roughly translates to teenage years.  Before you get ready to call Child Services, you know once in a while I could use an office called Mommy Offices that comes in and I don't know gives me …

Captain oh captain

I like to start my blogs with facts, imagine if reporters put that in their stories a little background on how they feel so you know what the story will be like.  So here are some facts I find baseball boring for the most part, live or on tv.  There are moments that are exciting but overall snoozer for this girl.  Ironically though I have been to a lot of ballparks, I enjoy the history or architecture of some (Fenway, Wrigley Field, Camden Yards, Yankee stadium old and new) and wonder at the pure ugliness of others (the old Expos stadium in Montreal, the Oakland Raider park which was so hideous the name eludes me).  I like the whole camaraderie of it (and those hot dogs at Wrigley Field this girl can chow down).  I am beyond annoyed at current ticket prices because to me this game is working class family time and it has been robbed from them, first with the games moving to cable from tv and then with these exorbitant ticket prices.  
I also have enjoyed a lot of baseball themed movies,…

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman

Really Tammy "sometimes it's hard to be a woman" ?  Umm am thinking it is mostly hard to be one but I wouldn't change being one for anything.

I read a book about empowered women and how women need to be comfortable with ambition, go for things they may be only partially qualified for and not feel as if doing that they are asking to "have it all" perfectly it would stick.  Then I get to work and within the first 30 minutes at work instead of saying "Sure that's a great opportunity" to a comment made that I should lead a project I say "umm yeah sure okay if no one else wants to do it"  Really ??? I almost slapped myself - what does that say "if there is no one else who finds this a worthwhile project and you need to scrape the bottom of the barrel well then I'm your choice".  As a mom instead of thinking I do all I can for my boys even while I work outside the home full time with commute time added in I say "Oh I wi…

The Blame Game

I have, along with many, seen the recently released video of a football player hitting his girlfriend, knocking her out and then dragging her out of the elevator.  I wince when I see it every time.  Yet our dialogue on this has been "should he be allowed after a X number of game suspension instead of the firing he got" "there are others who have done as bad if not worse" and many other statements about him.  Those about her have been anywhere from the insensitive "she seems out of control prior ..." to the usual "but she married him the next day".

I did not mention him by name on purpose, publicity is good even when it is negative and I am not here to give him any.  This is about her and all the other victims of domestic violence and violence against women.  There are men and boys who suffer from partner abuse but this blog is about women and girls only.  Not to marginalize the others but men have a powerful voice that is often heard women and w…

Nowhere near the finish line

My younger did not 1) like playing sports except for kickball and handball which outside of urban areas am not sure either is even frequently played 2) did not care that I did not like sports and 3) did what I had to (pain, fake asthma with Primetene mist, lots of menstrual cramps) do my Oscar worthy performances to get out of gym.  I did not like high school gym in particular - I went to a school with a dress code and there is nothing appealing about taking off a white button down shirt, stockings and having to do them back while maintaining make up in place and hair not looking like a Brillo had decided to make it it's poster child.  I also had no desire to hit the soccer ball with my head, pretend that the mere fact that I shared an ethnicity with Nadia Comanici meant I had any interest in hanging from uneven bars, walking on a toothpick sized, high off the ground wooden beam and jump (say whaa?), tumble (see Brillo hair comment) or let's see maim myself jumping over some …

School's in Session

I packed up my kids backpacks last night with all the supplies that they were required to get - seemed like a lot for elementary age children and in some ways so different then my supply lists.  

I actually like buying school supplies, always did.  I like the smell and the crack of a new marble notebook, wish they had the variety of colors they have now when I was a kid.  These composition notebooks always remind me of English classes, which I loved, and of journal keeping which was my therapy, memory keeper and at times even the version of text that we had before cell phones were an option.  I used to love those denim bound 3 ring binders that I could draw on - bubble letters, the bands I liked Led Zep's ZOFO sign comes to mind.  I also have always loved a good pen.  Some of these have carried with me as an adult - I buy my own notebooks for work and they are rarely the conventional kind, I do not write in black ink if possible and a good blue, not fine point, pen of any kind is s…