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Showing posts from 2015

Auld Lang .. yeah I have no clue what that means either

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Once my birthday passes in July, only child all about me, the year always seems to fly by. That wonderful season of summer is almost at an end by that point and then the frantic madness of school starting, fall activities like apple picking (full confession I do it only for the donuts that are hot and awesome, the rest meh I have no real desire to recreate a pampered version of Grapes of Wrath but I did mention the donuts right?!), kids after school activities, Thanksgiving,  present buying, wrapping, meal planning/ cooking/serving, returns post holiday -- no wonder the year flew by.  The shortening of daylight also makes me feel like the days are ready for sleep at around 5pm.  

Then there is New Year's.  At some point in my life it was all about sneaking booze (slightly nauseous just remembering it) in a shampoo bottle (combo of every type my parents had in their house taken in small quantities - lucky we didn't burp bubbles) to the basement of my parents' friends house, …

'Tis the Week before Christmas

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And all through my house
Every creature is stirring
Including our Guinea Pig in his edible house

Scrunched on the sofa, boys taking up more space, we taking up less
Scanning through our DVR to pick what to watch
From the classics like Rudolph, Frosty and Polar Express

 I am still wrapping and hiding presents from prying eyes
With bows, colorful paper and where did I put the tags?
Can't wait to see the boys open these with awe and surprise

Last minute shopping, hopes that what I bought
Will be well loved and enjoyed
And just what they sought

Enjoy Christmas, the season of good gifts, love and cheer
Raise a glass of eggnog
And make the most of what's left of this year

I love Christmas time as you can see - because it is the birth of a man who spread the word of love, compassion, acceptance.  It is the winter solstice.  I love the decorations and the decorum - the gift wrapping and the ripping open a present.  There is something kitschy yet endearing about all the Christmas musi…

There is a tween in my house ..

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So back in the previous century when I was growing up you were either a kid or a teenager.  There was no "tween" designation though we all were one at one point. 

Yet I think tween is the perfect word for what I am seeing with my child these days.  I have an 11 year old son and parenting him turns out to be quite the exercise for me.  

He is at that weird stage, as if teenager time will be any less so?!, where he is not quite hormonal all the time but just when you least expect it.   He is sort of starting to smell - especially around the feet area - but not quite ready to shower without prompting and by prompting I mean me telling him to do it or else.  He is pretty tall and hungry a lot - like a lot - but I worry when I see a belly.  He has a tear in his voice when I bring up said belly regardless of the amazingly well way I said it, I did so do not get all smug thinking I did not.  I mentioned it in the context of how we all could eat a little better - he was not amused.  H…

Dear Santa - me again

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Every year I ask my boys to write to Santa their wish gift list.   Every year I beam when I read it. 

They are boys who are truly fortunate and they are given a nice home, activities, vacations and plenty of toys (electronic and other) but they are also 11 and 9 and who are exposed to seeing things that are more than they need. 

It is hard, not going to say in today's world as I am sure parents have struggled with this for a long time, to balance your want as a parent to give them the world, to have an explosion under the tree of gifts that their eyes grow exponentially from when they come downstairs vs the balance to not go so over the top they are beyond playing with anything. 

I have done that - one year I ordered at the beginning of December, why you ask? because I got pushed into trying to be someone I am not.  The person who orders, wraps and is all done by week two of December.  That is not me.  I am spontaneous, excellent results oriented procrastinator.  So what happened I g…

Does this brie make me look fat?

I would love to tell you that I have some holiday pounds to get rid of -- but that would be a lie.  I just looked at the Amy Schumer naked pic and here are first thoughts that I admit to popping in my head

1) Why would she do this ?  Look at the rolls on her belly
2) If she would have sat up, turned uncomfortably, airbrushed, held breath then she would have looked so much better
3) Oh man - I barely look in the mirror never mind pose like this
4) Getting over myself and knowing it is all self-loathing issue
5) Her shoes are pretty awesome
6) The girl has great hair
7) Wonder if I borrowed from my 401K to pay Annie Liebovitz to take my pic would be considered a good idea
8) Fuck them - she is sexy and she likes to eat and not obsess over her weight - which I am trying to do -- those are nice shoes
9) black and white pictures are slimming

All within the space of a minute.  That is how my brain works.  I am surrounded by beautiful, fit women - I like to eat, and I like them.   I want to …

What do we have to be grateful for?!!!

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Even if you are a glancer, you know a skimmer of news, in the past week and maybe even a lot of the past year it is so easy to think "what do we have to be grateful for?".  

After all there are atrocities, big/small or somewhere in the middle, happening all the time.  Our politicians sound either like snake oil salesmen with a touch of preacher revivalist thrown in or wait what they didn't or don't read reports unless the report is giving data that only confirms what they think.  There is still death and disease and a host of really ludicrous conspiracy theories on these things, our lack of science understanding is frightening.  The environment is compromised unless it's not because if I don't understand it then it is not true, see previous point.  

What do we have to be grateful for?  I mean from everything you see on most media; races hate each other, religions are battling each other while of course telling everyone how theirs is the one of love and of cours…

I've always wanted to ...

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Maybe because of the Paris attacks this blog which I started sometime last week has become even more relevant for me.

We hear it all the time - live each day,  love deeply and tell people you love them that way, dance and sing and do whatever it is you want to do because there are no promises for tomorrow. Yet do we really do it ?

I've always wanted to ... I think of how many times someone has said that to me and it is usually followed by "but I".  These are rarely huge things - like climbing Mt Everest  - rather they are things that somehow do not fit in with the person's other parts of life.  I lost count of how many times I had said this phrase but then I met a few people who pushed me to try these things and I am so grateful that they gave me permission to not be perfect but to be unafraid.

Recently a friend of mine said to me that he had always wanted to draw, he doodled a lot, and yet he had never really done it.  I bought him some drawing things but that is not …

Couch Confessionals

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We all have that picture of a person laying down on a couch, a therapist sitting slightly behind their head making their inner most confessions less scary since no one is staring at you.  I have been to therapists, my humble (well maybe slightly biased considering my master's is in psych even though I do not practice) is that everyone could use therapy once or multiple times in their lives, and never once has the couch 1) seemed that inviting, both time leather and nice but not quite kick up feet up on 2) have they asked this of me.  They usually like to sit watching you a bit because you see therapists are a bit on to us what we usually start saying is not really what we want .... most people who see a therapist try the "let me see what I can get away with because holy shit why I did come here approach".  They are on to us so they usually watch you and even though at first they will let you think you are fooling them, though at the prices charged not sure who is the foo…

Homework and headaches

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I grew up in a time and place where parents were either not home, out working, or did not speak English well enough to help us with our homework.  Yet the expectation was that it got done and that you got good grades, for many of us there was no discussion on "if" college it was that "when" you finished high school you went to college and if not you found yourself a job.   They did not have the cultural knowledge, the financial means often to do college visits and the like ... we did these things with the help of one another and a guidance counselor.  That was life in an immigrant neighborhood for most of us and you know what we learned really early on how to navigate school, the consequences of not doing well in school and how to get ourselves on track for post high school.  We did that because we had to.

Now my own kids and their friends have to navigate pretty much nothing because we as parents set up social things, school things, activity things.  These kids fro…

Dinner Conversations

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I cannot remember how many articles I have read based on a variety of studies that all came to the same conclusion, not always the case as you may have noticed with studies, and that conclusion was that families that eat dinner together and have dinner conversations tend to have children who are healthier weight, better in school, less likely to succumb to negative peer pressure and more likely to achieve and not get involved in drug abuse.

My own childhood consisted of many dinners together, even if it was not always with both parents and there were nights were my mom worked late so dinner was bit later or on my own but then I kept her company on those nights.  It involved the age old "what did you do in school today"..."nothing" but then somehow it went either really well and at other times depending on my dad's mood really poorly.  The times that it was good it went from nothing, to a little something, to non-stop talking.  The times it was not good it went …

The Inclusion Class

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When we first got the placement letter for my 4th grade son this year I noticed it had 2 teachers' names on it.  I live in a town where this could mean a number of things.  The first which I know was not the case could be that he was in a dual language class.  I know that was not it because he is in 4th and that starts earlier and after much debate and research, I admit my parenting geekness but it is all with good intent, I had already decided that it was not a program I wanted my kids in but is a good option to have.   I still think we should teach kids another language other than English much earlier than we do in the States, maybe starting in 1st grade, as a subject, conversational first and add grammar later.  Two teachers could also mean collaborative class - which is basically 2 classes combined with two teachers.  Neither son would do well with this - the oldest is much too social and the youngest does not have tolerance for that much chaos.   I did what every overbearing …

No this is not gluten free gmo free paleo organic - but it is free

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How important is it to you that something you eat is vetted by the current fad police?  Do you have kale chips that were farmed by fair trade, locally sourced, organic certified made at home ?  Maybe you are more like me you try your best to buy and cook better for the family but do not think that eating the odd McDonald's is the path to one of Dante's circles of hell.   The fact that I had to choose from a plethora of images on this subject actually made me chuckle.

I have tried for years to be more environmentally conscious - I used to say no thanks to bags in the 90s, my friends rolled their eyes.  I tried to use Chinese newspapers for wrapping paper one year - oh that went over well with my Eastern European family - NOT.  I have embraced recycling from the first appearance of the blue bin.  
I had my first son tested at the very young age of 2 1/2 for spectrum disorders - he is a non-specified spectrum disorder child which means his fine motor skills are weak but he is so…

There are no words

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I am not sure how to tell my kids anymore how to deal with school shootings - I just don't.  They have seen it happen in their under 12 year old lives multiple times, in multiple places and with one common theme - they are scary, sad and not going away in the current climate.

The debate on this does not focus on the victims, the parents of the victims or potential victims or how to realistically address this.  The easy fix appears to be usually to make gun laws that are on the books federal and enforce them, to reduce the number of weapons one individual can own, remove assault rifles for all civilian buyers.  Maybe you add in registration, courses, insurance kind of like you have with cars.  There is no real justification in my mind for the number of guns in the US, one for every resident of this country -- over 300 million.  There is also no real argument in the 2nd amendment which has not been upheld multiple times by the Supreme Court and then was upheld in recent times.  You…

Do we even want it all ?!

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Another week and of course another article about motherhood and working.  This one was well intentioned but then again I am hoping even when I do not agree that at it was well intentioned from the author's perspective.  

The subject was how hard it is to be on a career track with goals once you become a mother.  I agree it is hard.  It is hard when moms are working just to make ends meet.  It is hard when you make a choice or finances make a choice for you to stay home and raise children.  Mostly it is just hard to be a mom - sorry Dads I know that you have your own challenges and expectations but this is a mom's perspective and maybe if you are a Dad you read on to see how many of us feel. 

What irks me though about all of these articles, it could be the chip on my shoulder, is that they are about having it all, doing it all and doing it perfectly.  Yet in the same vein we are somehow being made to feel bad for wanting to do it at all never mind perfectly.

I am a woman who is no…

"Without music life would be a mistake" Nietzsche

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I grew up with music in my life.  I cannot remember a time when my Dad was not playing music and my mom introduced me to opera.  At a very young age they had me take piano lessons and I learned to appreciate the classics - never learned to appreciate the practice part though.   

Music is the background narrative of my life.  I escape a bit in my music - okay more than a bit.  It is what I turn on to clean my house, to start my day and at any chance I get.  I am that girl that would sit patiently with her radio turned on, shushing and begging for quiet so I can press record at the exact moment that a song came on to my boom box, JVC - silver - I loved that thing.  I bought big ear phones so I wouldn't get in trouble for listening to music at very loud levels when I was growing up and among my buying staples as I got past the age of 12 were 45s, 33s and Marlboros.  I had priorities. 

I hear a song and it may remind me of a special moment or have been playing during a significant event…

Battle of the bulge

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If you have ever read this blog before, THANK YOU,  you know already I love love love fashion (if you have not welcome to my online world).  I love to look at magazines, update my wardrobe, mix Target pieces with Tiffany accessories and I believe that I pull it all together pretty well at this point. 

It is a struggle to love fashion though if you are a calorically challenged person.  I look at some items and realize the price tag is too wide and my wallet is too thin  - that I can live with because I will buy a piece rather than an outfit and find something so close among the masses, pret a porter if you want to feel better, that it will be on point.  It is harder to work around the fact that if you leave a the land of the single digit sizes your choices start to become slimmer .. pun TOTALLY intended.  

I look at belts - love the things - however, my waist or what should be my waist and I have never bonded with a belt except maybe for a few brief moments in the 80s when those double b…

Home really is only where the heart is

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Between the news on the refugee crisis in Europe, a book I just finished on the mess that is known as the Middle East, 9/11 anniversary and my upcoming participation in the Race for the Cure my range of emotions just really is off the charts these days.  

I am a refugee - an immigrant - and I feel the pain of those folks who are just leaving everything they have ever known, their birth country with it's traditions that are comforting and familiar because it is no longer home it is the rubble, literally or metaphorically, of the life they and their parents thought they were going to have.  I looked at the scene on the train and it brought me back to a trip I took with my mom years ago.  We went back to visit family in Romania and took the train to meet my Dad in Germany.  It was not the nice trains I took this summer in Europe.  It was an old fashioned train and there was a feeling of oppression and menace on it through every stop, every army uniformed checkpoint that we went throug…