Showing posts from 2017

It’s Christmas there’s going to a list

If you celebrate Christmas you always have a list, no matter what age you are.   Even if you are one of those people who will just buy most of it yourself, you still have a list.

When my children were younger we asked them for a list and they always pleasantly surprised us with the shortness of them.  Now it is funny when kids write those super long ones because if you look at them it is actually a lot of funny stuff.  Kids have no idea that Santa doesn’t subsidize the gift giving, they think he makes these things, nor do they really grasp cost.

As my kids are now past the age of Santa, they get the spirit of it but understand there is no actual place that makes it, the list is still short but it is a good time to talk about the finances of these things without making it a painful talk for both of you.

My older son this year asked for a sweatshirt, a sweatshirt that on sale was $204.  Yes you read that right.  It was originally $400.   Now I do remember my own teen begging for a pair …

Please step outside

You know the day is coming, you prep for it and then when it does there is a small, gut punch reaction that you cover with a smile.  You nod and agree as if you too were on board with the decision. 

I am talking about the first time your child becomes a teenager and they get the option to have you leave the room when having their annual physical. 

I get it, I have boys, he wants "privacy" but this is important stuff, what if the doctor asks a question I need to know the answer to?  What if he tells the doctor something he has not shared with me?  What if, what if, what if???? "Please step outside"...hell them's fighting words where I grew up, ok minus the please, but you get the idea.

Of course I smiled and said "sure makes sense" and sat outside and hugged his not yet teenage brother who I had been in the room with, who had no objections to me being there.  The waiting room !!! What was I waiting for him to come out a kid again, the one that dealt w…

I got nothing to grateful for

There - easy.  Nothing to be grateful for.   Not one little thing.  Nothing.   Life is unfair.  It seems that the vile are ruling the world and that hateful behavior is the norm.  The whole holiday is a sham.  No one even likes turkey.   Nothing to be giving any thanks for.  “It stinks to be me” is the universal sentiment.  The planet is going to pot and you either care or think well it’s sucks anyway so the science is not relevant.

That is what it feels like.  This is my favorite holiday.   Yet more than ever somehow it feels like the above.   If we let it.

I have so much to be grateful for.  My blog, which is read across the world.  It reminds me how good technology can be, it can connect us.  We do not always agree but at least when you are reading something you are paying attention to what the other has to say.  Besides you formed an opinion reading that first paragraph but if you got to here you know that reading just a snippet tells you nothing about the entire discussion.

I …

From only child to chosen sibling - guest blog

My best friend, chosen sister, wrote the below one day and sent it to me.  I can relate to so much of this - I would not change being an only child because I have the good fortune to have met people who are my chosen family and she is my sister-other half-bestie.  She knows when to tell me I am better than I am currently feeling I am and when to tell me to cut the crap and get over my own issues.   She is having her recurring 29th birthday soon and I love her dearly for everything she is.  

This morning on the Today Show there was a piece on Sisterhood and the special bond between sisters. They had Hoda Kotb and Savannah Gunthrie and their sisters talking about their special bond and showed images of them playing when they were young. Being an only child and having only one child, I sat there wondering if I missed something not ever having the experience of having a sister or a brother.Is my child missing something never being able to experience that bond?As I sat there looking at the …

Stranger Things

I needed to take a break from writing the blog.  Like many I am emotionally and mentally drained by the state of the country, the world and the lack of discussion that seems to have infected our lives.   There are no conversations, we are all guilty of this, there is only your side and my side.   For many facts no longer matter, for those for who they do shouting them does not make them easier to hear on the other side.   We cannot go on like that, I cannot go on like that.  I am not that person - I am a facts person, I am a debate person, I grit my teeth and support your right to an opinion, not when it differs with mine but because it may differ from mine.   So I needed some soul searching, recharging time.  This blog was never meant to be my political platform only, yes it is sometimes but it is not it’s main purpose.   So here I am back, on a day where I can take my frustration and actually do something.  It is voting day - a most precious of rights that I never miss because I kn…

When disaster strikes ..this who I see as Americans

In the recent news from around the world there reads an underlying "I knew it"  tone.   The despots and dictators seem to like the whole nationalist undertone they are seeing, they should they use it in their own justifications.   The rest of the world though has always had a bit of a chip on it's shoulder about the U.S.   Now they say it - see I told you so -- they are arrogant, only care about themselves, are bullies. Yet I wander much like we assume things by seeing them on tv can we all do what Depeche Mode says and "let me see you make decisions without your televisions?"

Some of it is warranted.  In many ways the US is this giant baby that looks over the world.  The curiosity, the sense of possibility, the occasional drool, the odd naiveté that always thinks it can do something even when chances point to no.  It is omnipresent even in countries that denounce it, it after all is part of that conversation just as much.   It is also temperamental, needs a l…

Looking backward

Much like many of you I see a lot of memes on FaceBook and Instagram, some of them so clever I tip my imaginary hat to the person who created it and some so ridiculous they make me laugh.

I see a bunch of them with the Like and Share option at the bottom that go something like this - group of kids, picture roughly from 70s or early 80s based on clothes, outside and the tag lines are lengthy tomes to days gone past, childhood activities that I engaged in as did many of those of my or older generations and inevitably they end with "I am glad I grew up then and not now or Too bad kids these days will never know the joy of" like and share.

Yes I had fun doing those things that most parents today would not let me do  - run around the neighborhood without supervision, without cell phones, with streetlights to guide me to my curfew for most of my childhood.  I rode in cars without seatbelts to go to the beach with baby oil, SPF no where to be found.  I drank from and partook in o…

Raising Sons

I remember being pregnant with my first child and knowing that I would find out the gender of the baby. Now some people like to wait, for the surprise they say, I for one wanted to know.  I also quickly found out after giving birth that there is no lack of surprise, for knowing the gender means you know almost nothing anyway once the baby comes.  I wanted to know because I wanted to prepare for the colors, not a big fan of mint green stuff and yellow that seems to be norm when you don't know, and I wanted to think of a name.   It was same with second child.

As a pregnant mom I thought it would be crucial that I take a baby class, I did not babysit and neither had my husband, my exposure to babies minimal and frankly I am not a baby person.  They smell good and can be super cute but I was never one to rush across a room to offer to hold a baby. In case you are wondering I did question my maternal instincts as I was a hormonal, pregnant mess but apparently and luckily for my boys t…

Money, money, money

There are two songs that come to mind when the word money comes up for me.  The first is ABBA's "Money, Money, Money" and the second is "How much is enough?".

I am pretty sure that is not unique to me but putting it to music might be.  Music is never far from my mind and it is background in my head for most of the things that mean something to me.  Before you wonder I do not mean I hear music and not understand that it is a conscious addition to the emotion I am feeling - meds not needed (yet).

Recently was texting with my friend who is reading a book about the relationship we have to and with money.   As a woman of 50, as a woman period, money and I have a relationship.  It has not always been a healthy one and yet it was also an empowering one as a woman.  It is now becoming a side note as a means to the end that it should be for me. 

I do not understand the whole "you don't need money" line.  Usually uttered by those who do not need money, because…

The art of censorship - for parents

For those of us who are liberal the idea of censorship is truly abhorrent, unless it is plans or outright calls to violence then we are probably our own worst enemies in the belief that we should uphold free speech.  Yet it is who we are and the notion is built on the belief that people are good, that they will try to see through the negative rhetoric.

However, as parents, us same folks who consider ourselves liberal are censors that would rival the Soviet era mail readers.    I love the quote from Judy Blume that I used for a pic, it applies to everything from books to games to whatever media is out there.  It is how I try and censor, not with only denial but also with discussion.

When my kids were really young this censorship thing was easy because no one questioned it, I had total control and most of all they were young,  really there was much less that tempted them to look at things they were not ready for.  It was easy to turn on Sprout or PBS or maybe even Nick Jr when they ha…

Still crazy after all these years

I am going to be 50 tomorrow ... 50!!!  Man, I thought that was so ancient, at best middle aged, nah ancient when I was younger.  I mean 50 - wasn't that the time you retired and started to eat at like 430 or something?  Broke out the white shoes with the thick soles?  How wrong our perceptions of age are when we are younger - or maybe we keep busting those perceptions as we refuse to let the number dictate to us and we chose to write our own stories of aging.

The insanity of youth is that anything slightly older than it seems outdated, to be put out to pasture.   Yet as my friends and I, mostly my  high school classmate friends, started this year with a foot in the last year of our 40s and a weary eye at a cake with many candle, somehow 50 didn't seem old anymore.

We tell each other it is the new 40.  In the scheme of how much longer people live that isn't quite wrong, and at some point 40 was something those who are young did and do still think of as over the hill.  It …

Love it or leave it

In my many years of living in the States, choosing to be a citizen of this country, defending the US even when I disagreed with the politicians I never was told to leave here as much as I have been since the current president's run for office and even more so since he got into office.

As if caring for a country, disagreeing with the government, not supporting the person in the office because of his policies and lack of acumen (or his crass and morally repulsive behavior) and blindly bowing down is more patriotic. It is not it is nationalistic, the stuff of fascism, bolshevism, and yes nazism.  Patriotism is loving a place enough to see it's problems and looking at how you as one person can make a difference for the better.  Nationalism is seeing the flaws, blaming everyone but yourself and then following blindly anyone who only agrees with you.

People have forgotten they too are not from here, at some point even if they were born here, because the people who have told me if I…

School's out for summer...

Can't speak for anyone else but I hear Alice Cooper every year when my kids and their friends go to their final day of school, more energized then ever, antsy to have the day start so it could finish and then they are out for summer.

Man I miss that -- bit jealous always of my teacher friends who have it too - the idea that I could have a whole summer off.   I am a high energy person, not quite hyper, so that would include keeping busy but it would also include doing a bunch of nothing except pleasurable things, like reading, beach going, travel, painting, writing.  Doing those things without wondering what chore, work thing or commitment I needed to get to.

For those of us that are parents in this day and age we are also told about the planning we have to do for our kids.  I do not mean for wee ones that need actual caretakers, I mean for every age group living under our roof.  After all we cannot have kids do ... brace yourselves ... NOTHING.

Yet isn't nothing, no schedule,…

Summer time and the parenting advice is not easy

I appreciate good advice, knowledge as much as anyone I know.  I am totally comfortable with my dorky nature of wanting to know things, to seek things out, to be grateful for those who offer advice and help when I need it.

Yet I am so over and so annoyed with the vast amount of parenting advice out there that is not really advice. It is all about waxing poetic on how wonderful that person's decision was to do whatever and how if you aren't doing it you fall short.  I am over being told how I fail as a mother, as a woman just to be told a few weeks later that whatever I tried to switch too will pretty much be the end of any hope for my children.

It is easy these days to be an expert - I mean I could blog about it and pretend that it is based on professional opinion when in fact a blog is pretty much the editorial section of the newspaper. Yes some facts will be there but opinion is not fact, though this seems to be very blurred on all levels these days.

So as I raise my kids t…

Hey hey daddy-o

Father's Day is coming up - there I told you, no excuses to forget to get something for your dad, father figure, male who acted as your father or just a guy in your life who fills that need.

Fathers have evolved through time, and we do not always take the time to acknowledge their contributions to the family as much as we do for Moms.  It makes sense, even in the most egalitarian of houses I still see the mother organizing what dad executes, managing and doing the workload and most of all let's be honest there is nothing like a mom.  Moms love with some super elevated emotional nerve that the best of fathers only get close to.

Yet I am so really overwhelmed with emotion when I see how fatherhood has evolved.  There were always good fathers, bad fathers and the average bit of both of those things fathers when I was growing up.  They were there but not present, they were often loud, often the discipline stick used and many a time they were the ones that were in need of taking …

Then there were 5

My parents surrounded themselves with several families when they moved to the States, families who were the same ethnicity.  Families who they could speak their native language with, share the same foods, the same cultural norms and had friends who were around my age.   We were 6 girls.   Three of were only children, one was an only child for a long time until her parents had another son much too late for us to be anything but annoyed by, and two were sisters. We had each other's families known over for dinner parties that lasted until the wee hours of the night, for weekends driven to the beach, all of us crowding in the back of one car, begging to put on Top 40 Casey Kason and dealing with listening to whatever they wanted to as well.  My father was notorious for having us also answer various school related topics, I am pretty sure all of us know capitals and geography more from those trips then from school.  
These are my memories, these girls, endless hours spent together tal…