Friday, December 30, 2011
That's why when the other mothers are writing about how much they love Christmas break, I just want to scream. I am not the biggest fan. Sure, I love not making lunches and hurrying the kids to get dressed. I love no schedule. Well, sort of. I just can't stand the fighting.
My aunt always says that her two boys never fought when they were young. I don't believe it for one minute. I think you forget.
I know other mothers keep their kids busy from morning to night. I am not that ambitious. Plus, with the toddler, we try to get her home for a nap right after lunch. The Terrible Two's get a lot worse with no nap. So, we are stuck at home a lot. So, there is plenty of time for brawls.
So that is why after screaming at Kyle and making Ryan go to my room to rest, I am having a cup of tea, writing this post and on my way to get another piece of Amish Friendship Bread. I am exhaling and trying to savor this time with my children. My next stop is the school website to make sure I have the start date for school. It cannot come a moment too soon.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
10. I might be losing my mind. Or at least it feels that way. Three kids are making me a bit nuts. A toddler might be the main reason. Either way. I just can't focus and write anything without her pulling on my leg. I can't get anything done. My house is in shambles. Honest.
8. When you write a blog, it is either super cheery, boring or you are complaining about something. I am tired of other people's blogs so I just thought people were tired of mine. And everyone time I tried to come up with a topic to write about, so many people were giving me advice. I am just writing to write. I wasn't looking for solutions.
6. I was also working out like a dog. All of the weight I lost this past year takes a lot of maintenance. Before my 40th birthday, I was on the treadmill most school nights and lifting weights after that. Instead of writing, I was running and walking.
5. Three kids are a lot of work. Did I say that? I can't keep up. It is worth mentioning twice.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I never got around to sending an acquaintance a sympathy card when her sister passed away. We don't really know each other well. We're more Facebook friends. But every time she posts on FB, I feel bad. At the time, I knew she'd get a million cards. I didn't think it mattered. But, I have been on the other side of this. It matters. It all matters.
At my mom's funeral, a friend came. She also came to the calling hours. We weren't the closest friends. So, it was a big deal. And it was a long drive to my home town. Every time I see her, I think "Wow. She came to my mom's funeral." Every time I see her I think about it. I have thanked her a gazillion times for coming. Now, it just gets embarrassing. But she will never know how much it meant to me. You don't realize how much it all means until you are are in the midst of a family crisis and are hoping someone can help you along the journey.
Another friend lost her mother-in-law last week. The card sits in the kitchen. I know I must write it out and send it. One thing I learned from losing my mom is that it is never too late to send a sympathy card. People grieve much longer than people think. So a late card is appreciated. It means that someone remembers that they are still struggling to work through their grief.
So if you ever forget to reach out, know that the person grieves every day. Over time, it gets easier. But, a card is always appreciated whether it be days, months or ever a year later. Their loved one is always missed and any chance to hear someone aknowledge that makes the journey a little easier. I am going to send my FB friend a card. It has been months and months since she lost her loved one. But, I know she is still grieving and it is never too late.
If you are wondering why there is a rose on this page, it is for my mom. She loved roses and gardens. When I saw it, I thought of her.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
We set off for PA last weekend in search of a boy band and a chocolate bar. We had the best time! It was tough. We were exhausted but it was a good old fashioned family road trip. Complete with sandwiches on the way to get to Hershey before midnight. We had snacks galore and tons of movies to watch thanks to my friends who lent me some videos for Elle.
We spent a good day at Hershey with a cute little ride that explains how they make chocolate. The ride is free and comes with a little treat at the end. Kids loved this. We also got totally sucked into their gift shop. We spend a gazillion dollars on a t-shirt, candy and even presents for their teachers. We loved it! We also went to the amusement park. It isn't Cedar Point but it is a good old fashioned park with a great water park included in the price.
Sunday was the Allentown fair. Once again, a good old fashioned fair with rides, food and circus freaks. We rode and ate before the concert. Great time for the kiddos and us. Elle enjoyed the farm animals and it was a great summer night. Big Time Rush was also that night and honestly, I might have enjoyed it more than them. I just loved that they got to see a "real" band. Hot Chelle Ray opened and as parents, we loved seeing a real band play a hit song from the radio (song Tonight, Tonight).
Our trip gave us an insight into whether Elle is ready for Disney or not. I am leaning towards waiting another year but I don't think I will win this battle. She loves Princesses but isn't a big fan of rides. A lot can change in a year but we'll see. That would require that we get back into our van for a very long road trip. Wrappers, old Capri Suns and a weird smell all occupy my Chevy Traverse. I won't be putting a deposit down on Disney any time soon.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Here is the first:
"I Want to be Famous."
It will be my children's first concert.
Oh yeah. We are driving to Allentown, PA to see my son Kyle's favorite band. Big Time Rush! We bought him tickets for his birthday back in March. He looooooooves them. I can't wait for him see them in person.
Do you remember your first concert? Mine was Whitney Houston. Back before crack was whack. They had a parent tent so my dad let my friend Carrie and I go to the concert alone. Yikes! And he sat and waited for us all night. I bought a navy t-shirt that I kept for years and years until there were holes in it. I loved the whole concert experience.
Since then, I have seen most of my favorite artists. Some over and over again. But as I got older and more spoiled, I can't stand the nose bleeds and have to either get great tickets or stay at home. It has been more home than great seats lately.
Why couldn't he love U2? We could have visited Pittsburgh instead! But instead, we will pile into our car right after school on Friday. We will visit Hershey Park and have a sweet day at the amusement park on Saturday. And then it is off to the Allentown Fairgrounds on Sunday where Big Time Rush will be the headline act. I think I might be more excited than the they are right now. You never forget your first concert. You won't catch me in the parents tent. I will be rocking it out to BTR with my boys. Sweet!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
We looked from cage to cage searching for the perfect cat. I kept track of our top five. The room was hot and crowded. I needed some water and I was ready to go home. My kids on the other hand were on the search. I wasn't so sure I was ready to replace my dear Indy.
But the search continued until a fight erupted over the perfect cat choice. After a few threats of "We are going home without a cat unless you agree on one," they finally decided on our new sweet kitty. She is a year and a half old but seems so small and young.
She is so talky and friendly. She is getting used to our house that is much larger than the small room she shared with 6 other cats. Right now, she is only hanging out in our bedroom. But she is starting to sit in the open room. I can't wait until she is on my desk here driving me crazy when I type.
When she glides past me and meows, I sometimes miss my old cat. I still can't believe she is gone. I just buried her ashes on the day we brought this new little rascal home. I knew it was time. Time to say goodbye fully to my old cat and time to open my heart to a new little fur ball.
Thank you to the Cleveland APL for running your cat special this weekend. She was only $7 with all of her shots and spayed. It helped push me in the right direction. In time, I know this little cat will be a family member and my kids love her so much. Even Gracie our dog is adapting to her new friend better than I expected.
Welcome sweet no name kitty. I have read online that you are a tuxedo cat. Who knew that's what they are called? We will work hard to find a name for you. If we can ever agree on one.
This cat picture is of Socks, Chelsea Clinton's cat when she was in the White House. My toddler, Elle, must have hidden my camera. I haven't been able to find it since the first day of school photos. Ahhh. The life with a toddler. Our no name cat looks very similar to this cat but her hair is a little longer.
Friday, August 19, 2011
The Carnation Festival. Somehow, the small town comes together and puts on the most amazing hometown festival I have ever seen. There aren't rides for the kids. But, there is a boy scout booth where the kids play simple games to win old fashioned prizes like suckers and the mom-dreaded goldfish. In the background, you will see the Carnation Queen walking around greeting small girls who are giddy to meet a real queen and her court. Bands from the area play oldies for the brave to dance to and provide a fun atmosphere. And the most important part of the festival...the food.
The food is amazing. I am sure some of it is nostalgic for me. I eat the same menu each year. But the best part of it for me is that the prices are EXTREMELY LOW and all of the proceeds go to local service organizations in the city. Churches, Ulster Project, the high school class of 2012, Key Club, Kiwanis, Republican/Democrat clubs, etc. It blows my mind every year I am there. They have it down to a science. No one can sell anything that another vendor sells. All are non-profit. All of it delicious.
I can go to this festival and say yes to every request of my kids. That's how cheap it is. And I do. They play games, eat cotton candy, beg to win goldfish and ask to do it all over again.
Alliance struggles but they put together an amazing week of activities for the Carnation Festival. We'll be taking the family down there on Saturday evening. When you stand over the festival on your way down the hill, you feel a real sense of community. This isn't a suburb. It is a real small town struggling to make it in this new economy. If they can put together such a fantastic festival year after year, there is hope for Alliance. I know there is.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Little changes over time can add up to huge changes in your diet (or your budget). You hear it all the time. Try it. You know how you see the ladies with their marathon stickers on their vans? That's how proud I am. I would love to put a sticker on my car. I just can't believe it. And while this isn't the most thrilling post you have ever read, it is for me. Yahoo!
Friday, August 5, 2011
Elle is two. So, my days as a SAHM (Stay-at-Home Mom) are probably numbered. There are braces to pay for, college in less than ten years and prom dresses to buy.
To be honest, I have checked the Sunday job section of the Plain Dealer since I resigned in 2002 to have Ryan. It started by being nosy. I knew everyone in my field at most universities. So, I wanted to stay up to date with who was where. And then it became dreaming. Dreaming of the old days where I got to eat lunch with other people that didn't need me to cut their food. And now I check the help wanted ads to make sure I am not missing a great part-time job.
I never expected to be a SAHM. If you would have bet me a million dollars in college, I would have bet you I'd work. But the reality of a newborn hit me like a ton of bricks. I wasn't sleeping. I couldn't manage. I was not fuctionioning at all so working was just not possible for me. And my husband was at a law firm that required long, long hours. The decision was easy to make but hard to grasp when it actually happened.
So yesterday, I joined Linkedin. A friend asked me if I was diving in. It's more like I am dipping my toes in. Not ready to jump but just thinking about the future. I saw on a friend's refrigerator once a magnet that said "Days with children are long but the years are short." As we creep closer to the start of school, the days are really, REALLY long. It always causes me to start thinking about work and my future. I just hope I can hang on until August 17.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
I have killed about 30 flies in the last three days. At least. I am going crazy. I have no idea where they came from. But, I know where they are going.
I usually don't kill anything. I will escort a bee out the door or slip a spider in a cup and put her on the porch. And any insect outside of our house is safe. I don't let my kids kill anything. But houseflies are nasty and I can't stand to have them in my house.
So where are they coming from? I have no idea. The weather has been not so great and very hot. So, the kids have not been running in and out. There is no way that this many flies simply flew in. There has to be a source. And if you have seen maggots, you know that source is a nasty source.
I have looked around my window frames. Looked in my basement. Cleaned out my recycling bin and changed all of the garbage bags. There is only one thing to do. Keep my trusty flyswatter with me. And let the kids help.
So now that I have grossed you out, where can I look? Where are they coming from? They are unwelcome in my house and I will win this battle.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
As I wrote in my last post, we are trying to follow a budget and only spend a certain amount of money each month on groceries. There has been so much talk about coupons and how to get things for free. So, I spent the last week in between making many, many meals researching all of the coupons using sites. They are a gazillion out there. And so much passion.
I am not so passionate but I do love a bargain and the game. I am not ready to get all crazy but I am learning how to use a store coupon at Target and combine it with a coupon from the Sunday paper. I had no idea you could combine them and save big. I was floored! So, if you wanted to buy shampoo for three dollars and had a Target $1.00 coupon and a Dove $1.00 coupon, you could get it for a dollar. How cool is that? Or you could buy Suave like I always do for $1.00 and save yourself the hassle. That's what I am wresting with.
I would love to learn more about this coupon craze from a someone who really does it. Not someone that writes about it but someone that can talk to me about it. I don't want to create a closet of freebies like the ladies on the Extreme Couponing show. I just want to maximize my budget. Or maybe I will just go back to work, hire a cleaner and hopefully a great nanny who will do the grocery shopping for me.
Monday, July 25, 2011
About a month ago after our family vacation, my husband noticed that we were getting a little crazy with our finances. We were eating out weekly, picking up fast food, ordering pizzas, huge trips to Target and traveling quite a bit. We were definitely spending more than we were making. And bam! It hit us. We have to go back to budgeting. If you've done Weight Watchers, it is a lot like tracking. We have a monthly budget and we have to stay under the set amount for each type of spending. It sounds awful but if you've never done it, you'd be shocked to see where you money goes. Until you track it, you might think you know but you really don't. We spent $300 on gifts this month. I wouldn't believe it but we did. We had a wedding, a few birthdays and my baby Elle's collection of Cincerella that we had to buy.
I love to buy groceries. I can buy and buy. So in order to try to stay in our range for food, I am attempting a Thursday night of leftovers and one night we call "Budget Tuesday." The cool thing is that I don't have to cook these nights. Saves us money, hubby is happy that I am following our plan and we eat all of the weird food that gets stuck in the back of our frig.
This month, we've done great with our budget. It is a lot like a diet though. You can be super strict at the beginning. And when you diet, you really want something you can't have. I have to keep reminding myself to make good choices so that we do come in where we are supposed to. I said to my husband yesterday that if can do this, we'll have more money to spend in the end. More vacations, more name brand shoes and even more trips to my favorite grocery store.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
As I climbed on a ladder trying to get a vine off of my house on my deck, I started to think how different real lives are compared to the silly Housewives shows on Bravo. While I love the trashy shows, it is such a lie.
"Reality" Show/Real Life
A stylist brought me clothes to try on today. I tried on three dresses at Target.
A stylist sent me clothes to wear on the show. I tried to shop at Marshalls first because I had a gift card.
A gardener has been working on my gardens all season. I had big plans to weed and make our gardens look nice. It is not going to happen. Hope it gets dark before anyone notices.
Our front lawn is beautiful. Our lawn has patches with no grass and looks rough.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
When I cringed last week at the Toys R Us ad for Back to School, my husband said "Aren't you counting the days?" Well, yes. Sort of.
I hate to rush summer. The weather is so awful here most of the year that I hate to rush past all of this sunshine and vitamin D. I also know how busy the school year gets. I am also cringing because I have not been working with my kids to prevent the "Summer Slide" that all of the magazines, newspapers and TV programs have been talking about.
As I complained about it to my sister who is a teacher, she confirmed my worst fears. The children that excel, their parents work with them over the summer. The ones that struggle, their parents don't. I am a parent to each type of child. And one child has worked on his summer packets and one has not.
Mommy guilt has set in. I know better. I will do better. But when the doorbell rings and the little neighbor boy asks my sons to play, I encourage them to go and play. I want my kids outside, riding bikes and yes, playing the Wii with friends. I want them to have lazy, happy summers without me yelling at them to sit and do math facts. I am choosing another Popsicles over the pencil.
The Target trip today was a nudge. I will do it. Maybe we will start with five minutes before we get going in the morning. One math page a day is all I can probably manage with Kyle before I pull my hair out. And Ry will do five on his own after he sits and reads for an hour an a half.
Summer is in full swing and I love it. So, we will squeeze in a little of the "half to's" and get to the fun stuff. And we'll get those summer packets done. Somehow.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
You can have the best hospital in the area give you a diet. You can have all of the materials from Weight Watchers. You can be Oprah Winfrey. But, until you DECIDE that you are going to do it, you won't. It is all a mental game. All of it. Each meal, each snack, each workout is a mental choice of either doing it or not. No one else can make you do it. And no one can really hold you accountable. Only you can.
Here's how the game is played. Yesterday, I added a little bit of sugar to my tea. Just a bit. I told myself that it was only a few extra calories or so. Didn't really matter. Then I didn't work out last night but told myself I'd go in the morning. I didn't even set my alarm. Told myself I could workout later in the week. Ate a little extra snack last night. I didn't over eat at dinner. So, I "rewarded" myself. Sounds crazy reading this. I am only hurting myself. Listen to your own voice talk youself into a bigger piece of cake or an extra cookie. We all do it. All of the small choices add up to either weight loss or gain.
It is all choice that we have to work through. When I finally decided that a size 16 in women's was not a size I could live with, I made a list of why I wanted to lose weight. I reread this many times throughout the year. I also watch Dr. Oz regurarly because he remind me of why it is medically necessary to not be overweight. He has scared me thin.
My grandma used to always say to me "Don't get fat." She meant this with every bone in her body and I could hear the pain in her voice. It was a warning. She lived a very long life. She outlived all of the other grandparents and saw me graduate from college. But, she couldn't walk in a mall without sitting down. Her legs hurt and she was always embarrased by her weight. She hated being fat. I want a long, healthy life. I made the choice and I make it at every meal and every snack. It is a constant struggle. I wish my grandma could see me now after three kids (and four pregnancies) and see me at a size 6. She would love it! And she would be shocked to know that I carry her warning with me and use it to keep my head straight.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Every three years, we take a vacation with my in-laws to Myrtle Beach. When my husband was a child, they went every summer. We rotate our vacations so that we can go somewhere with my family and then on the off year, we take one on our own. This year was our Myrtle Beach year. I was impressed with the changes and growth in Myrtle Beach.
If you visit, don't miss the new boardwalk downtown. You can't see it from the main strip downtown. You have to go towards the water and walk. They built a gorgeous wood boardwalk that invites you to walk near the beach or sit and enjoy a margarita at a local restaurant. A good place to start is near the new, amazing ferris wheel, called SkyWheel. We ate lunch and had margaritas at Land Shark after playing in the arcade. My sons loved the Ripley's Believe It or Not and it was fun to be downtown. Great job Myrtle Beach for building this new boardwalk and creating an updated downtown.
When in Myrtle Beach, we always stay at the Dunes. It is perfect for families. It has an indoor water park on the ground floor so when you get too much sun or need a break, your little ones can play in the splash park or zoom down the water slides. There is a great kids program to keep your kids happy and the little ones like my Ellie can play in a new little playground. We had an amazing, huge four bedroom condo that provided room for 13 of us.
Our favorite buffet in Myrtle Beach is Captain George's. It has the highest quality seafood and buffet that we have come across. It is located right across from Broadway at the Beach. We always go early, just as soon as they open to avoid a line. We were there in early June and didn't have to wait at all.
We always visit Alligator Adventure, the Ripley's Aquarium and this year added MagiQuest to our visit. The boys LOVED it. My mother-in-law took the kids to the new pirate show called Pirate Voyage and everyone enjoyed the show. It is very pricey but I am sure it will be a memory that the kids will never forget. They loved it.
Myrtle Beach is a great beach vacation for families. It is located about 14 hours (with many stops for the kids- 12 hours for normal people) from Cleveland. We left at 4:30 am so the kids would sleep (did not) and we drove straight. Totally doable (with alcohol as a parental reward at the end of the drive). A vacation we will never forget. And one we will do again when Ellie is about 5. And it will be her turn to yell "Are we there yet, Dad?"
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I am in the process. Most woman form tight bonds with their stylists. I have had two really good ones. My last stylist left me for another place too far away. So I am on the hunt. The salon assigned me to this chica and my gut says I must keep looking. I made an appointment in my town with a place down the street. It was almost as pricey but I left feeling like I was overpaying for the experience. (Notice how I am avoiding all use of salon names here! Protecting myself in case I go back!)
So I want to stay with my fancy salon but I don't want "Alice" to know that I am leaving her. I just called and made an appointment with Alice, casually asking what days she works. I will then cancel my appointment and make it was some Jane Doe on her day off. Cross your fingers! I hope I find someone good. We used to tease my Dad that he was never happy with any barber or stylist in town. I am starting to feel like my dad. I wonder if he found someone yet. Or if he is as big as a chicken as I am about leaving them. And if you know someone at a big salon in a nearby city at a shopping complex, let me know who you like. It might just work out. But keep it on the down low. I am a chicken.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
My name on this blog has been Indy but my real name is not Indy. It is my cat's formal name. We now call her KiKi. She is about 13 years old and we've had her since we were first married. We lived on-campus because my job at Lake Erie College required that I live in the residence halls. My lucky husband!!! So, we had Indy at LEC and she was our first baby.
My husband brought her home from work. Someone at his law firm had kittens that needed a home. She was so sweet and little. We named her Indy because she was a wild cat, jumping from high places in our apartment and running all over the place like Indiana Jones. Our dear friend (that also unintentionally named this blog) named her Indy. We loved the name.
In the middle of the night when I would get up with each baby, Indy would keep me company. She would purr so loud when I was feeding the baby that I thought she might wake them up. She loved the smell of babies and would always come running to any of our crying children. She never had any of her own babies but she mothered mine.
When I got back from Vegas in April, I was shocked to see how skinny my thin cat had grown. Each week, she has gotten thinner and weaker. And last week, she spent the week in the animal hospital. Everything has been tried short of a neurologist. So a decision must be made.
I have laid down beside her to say goodbye many times this week. She doesn't act like my KiKi anymore. So, it doesn't feel the same. I just keep hoping to hear her purr and make her know how special she was and is to me. My first pet. My first baby. Bye Bye, Sweet Indy, KiKi.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
This is your warning. If you are a parent of a small child in preschool or a primary school, start practicing the word "No." You may soon be asked by your teacher if you'd like the classroom hermit crabs, hamster or fish. "No."
You could say you already have your hands fun, someone is allergic, your husband will kill you, your kids already have ten pets, you are moving, your cat will eat them or that you had the pet as a child and you are still recovering.
I did not say no. I thought they would be fun and a great learning experience. I am the only one learning. It has been four years since my oldest was in Pre-K. We still have the hermit crabs. All three of them (Bought an extra one the first weekend because I thought one was dying. He was only moulting). The ones that I thought would die by August. They are in my hallway upstairs. Why the hallway? Because they hit the glass with their shells at night (nocturnal!!!) and my kids complain about it and wake me up to tell me. So, I moved them in the hall. They were in my closet for awhile and that seemed dumber than the hall.
I also have a frog that we raised as a tadpole. STILL ALIVE! How is that even possible? More on this another day.
So the moral of this story is to not expect silly little animals to die. They won't. And your kids will move on and you will be left taking care of these pets. It will cost you money and you will hope (and dread) their death.
Sorry Miss C. from Pioneer. You'll have to find someone that doesn't read this blog to adopt "Sammy and Timmy" from your Pre-K class. Parents, you have been warned. Just say "No"!
Monday, May 16, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
I have read time and time again about the new Suave dry shampoo. People were raving about it in magazines. I didn't think it would work for me because I have super oily hair and I work out a lot. So, in my attempt to not be gross, I thought it was worth the $2 to give it a shot. Guess what? I LOVE IT! I think my hair looks better with it in it even on the second day without washing my hair. You don't see the powder at all. It gives my hair body and it smells great.
I am in love. And I just want to shout it from the roof top that I found a product that does what it says it is supposed to do. It does more! So girls, add it to your list. You may have to search a little bit for it. I found it near the other Suave products after two attempts. It is a new product so not all stores may have it yet. You will love it. You really will.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Yesterday, Ry flies into the house screaming something that he has to go upstairs and check his room to see what the leprechauns brought him. I caught him before he ran up the stairs because Elle was napping. "Sorry honey. Leprechauns do not come to this house." He said he didn't understand. I was just in Ireland and we decorate for St. Patrick's Day so they must come. They came to school.
I exhaled and put down my tea. Since when was St. Patrick's Day a kids holiday? I know this sounds horrible. I think of it as a party day. Maybe some West siders really go downtown sober to watch the parade but most of us either party or wish we were. Teachers have really gotten into stories about leprechauns and each classroom has a story about their desks being turned over, gold coins being left and little tricks being played. When did this all start? And isn't Ryan done with the Easter Bunny, Leprechauns and Santa? If he wasn't, I better get in the game.
I exhaled again and grabbed our big tub of old candy. Sorted out the gold and green ones and hurried up the stairs. Messed up their messy room unsure if they would even notice and left the chocolates on their pillows. I left Irish flags in their rooms and green things on their beds.
As Elle woke from her nap, Ryan ran as fast as he could up the stairs. I felt relieved that I made the right choice. I knew I was holding onto these special days where he and Kyle still believed in magic. He loved telling me I was wrong that the leprechauns had come after all. I was completely wrong Ryan. Thank goodness I was.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Here is Tamara from Orange County getting Botox.
So thank you Housewives of Whatever County. Continue to get your plastic surgeries. Would you also start showing a downside to fabulous make-up, hair and shoes? Thank you.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Yesterday I was driving through Hudson on my way to a doctor's appointment. It is a quaint little town with a cupcake shop, a private boarding school and above average income levels. The McDonalds even blends into the community. So as I drove passed the McDonalds, I saw a man with a sign asking for money. Not even sure what it said, I was too surprised to read it. I just couldn't believe it in Hudson.
So what to do? Part of me wants to give him every dollar I have. The other part of me says that his sign looks old and he begs for a career. But what if he doesn't? What if his family needs food or medicine. I have more than I need. I should give more to others. But then what if it goes to alcohol and drugs? But what if it doesn't?
We all are faced with this downtown. We look the other way. We say we donate more to the Cleveland Food Bank. We throw a few dollars into the saxophone players case. We feel good if we give a few away. But to see it in the suburbs, it is a shocker.
I still feel torn up a little today. I guess all I can do is say a little prayer for the man, bring more food into our church collection and send off a check to the Cleveland Food Bank. Times are tough for so many and even in the suburbs, people are in need. I hate to ask anyone for money. But I will ask you to do a little more. Whatever you do. Let's all give a few extra cans to the pantries. Donate a little more at the grocery store when they collect for the Food Bank. And remember those that are struggling around us. Yes, even in Hudson.
Friday, February 25, 2011
For the armadillo report, we had to create as a family (code word: parent) an armadillo. Can you imagine what this would look like if I let Kyle create it on his own? I should have. I Googled armadillo art projects (yes, you can find everything on the web) and found one that I could get started and he could make his own. I definitely let him do the work once we had the bare creature created.
The John Glenn report will be done this weekend. I am not sure if there is enough strength in my body to get to it on a snow day. But, the baby is asleep, the boys keep fighting and I need to keep Kyle busy. He has trouble staying focused so I am sure the five sentences we need to write will take at least an hour and some chocolate for mommy.
Tiger Woods was done last week. Ryan did an excellent job on it. He didn't read the book I bought him, he went straight to the internet. I was a little worried about what he'd find out about Tiger so I warned him ahead of time. Ry didn't really care, he just needed to find the answers to write his simple report.
Kids this age are not ready to really write reports. I have to keep reminding me that it is the PROCESS not the actual report they are doing. I get super frustrated that most of the school projects feel like parent projects. I completed my Masters. I will not be doing extra credit in primary school for my children. I feel that the teachers really expect too much out of children on these reports. If you walk down the hall and look at the animal report exhibits, they are amazing. Children are not completing the assignment. Their parents are.
I think a better requirement for the reports would be to keep them simple and let the children draw a picture. If a child has trouble reading about a subject, how is it possible for them to internalize and communicate about the subject on paper. It is impossible at this age. But, it is required. My children are bright and are good readers. So, it will get done.
As I work on these projects, or I should say, work with my children on these projects, I often wonder about the parents who are barely getting by. I often feel that I am barely getting by but what about the parents that are working two jobs, grandma is raising Johnny or dad is drinking? Is it fair to these children? I guess it isn't in all respects.
So, now I will shut down my computer and look up some info on John Glenn for Kyle. We will sit at the kitchen table. I will make a cup of tea and find a snack to keep me busy. And I will help Kyle figure out what he can share with the class about Mr. Glenn. And I will be grateful that I am not the one that had to create the pinewood derby cars for Boy Scouts. My poor husband! Another family project that took every bone in our bodies this week.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Last night at dinner with friends, my old blog came up. I was encouraged to keep writing. When you write, you assume no one really is reading or caring if you do. So instead, I have exercised at night instead of writing and have been completely obsessed by Bejeweled. (A Facebook game or an app that you can download. Beware: You will be unable to function if you download it and get even a tiny bit good at it. If you are competitive, you will spend hours trying to beat your friends and relatives.)
So, I am attempting a come back here. No major promises. I will just see how it goes. With Elle, I am still finding it extremely difficult to keep up. As I write, two basket full of clothes sit in my hallway and I have a sink full of dishes (and a broken dishwasher). But, one of my friends says you make time for things that are important to you. I guess I can squeeze a few minutes in on my main computer to write and put the iPad down for Bejeweled. And if you start playing, I will see you on main score page and I hope to beat you.