Monday, March 30, 2009

Goodbye for now

I am sure most of you have guessed by now, but I have taken a hiatus from the parenting blog to focus on my fiction writing.

I am happy to report I am gaining some traction with my work and will let you know more when I know more.

Ta ta for now!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth

Since the last time I posted a month ago, Nate graduated preschool, my basement flooded causing serious mold, and we took the kids to Disney World for a whole week.

And the only thing, I really want to share is that Jacob asked Matt, "When I'm a grown-up will the hair on my head grow out of my face, too?"

He is SO fuuny, especially when he doesn't try. When he does try he uproarious also.

Both boys will be in camp starting Monday, and I hereby dub this the Summer of Writing! I plan on having a good chunk of my novel completed by August. Wish me luck.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day- the nice version

In my rant below, I neglected to mention that my boys gave me lovely, handmade pieces of jewlery. I proudly wore both large pins on my blouse today. Now, objectively, I could look at each pin and recognize that they are no David Yurman pieces, but to me, they were the most beautiful treasures in the world.

Too special to wear just any day. So I will pull them out just once a year on Mother's day to wear happily.

Happy Moms Day

Aaaah, Mother's day again. A day to lie in bed, have breakfast delivered on a tray with a rose, and get pampered all day. Oh, wait, that's on TV, not my life. Got my usual 6:30 wake up, everyone snuggled in bed till after 7. Nice. Shuffled downstairs to make breakfast.

Matt- totally jetlagged and in severe back pain. I let him sleep in.

Got downstairs to see that the house was a disaster zone of Hurricane category 3 proportions. Yikes- family coming at noon for lunch.
Clean, clean, clean. Break up a few fights between cranky toddlers.
Make breakfast. eat it.
Clean, clean, clean.
Negotiate a peace treaty between two warring and violent factions.
Set the table.
organize an art/painting project for reconciled countrymen..
Clean said paint project.
unload and reload dishwasher.
Toss a salad
Clean, clean, clean
Settle territorial dispute over TIVO
Get dressed
Wake up Matt and send him to Whole Foods for breadand soda.
Come back downstairs to see coffee table is once again covered in art supplies. F-it. It's just family.
Ding Dong- family arrives.
Eat, eat, Eat.
Chat, chat chat.
Bye, Bye, bye
Clean Clean Clean

Oh, and did I mention Jacob wet his pants twice during that time.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

My family's gone green this year. Some of you may think we're trying to be trendy and jump on the bandwagon. I say great, let's all be trendy and jump on this bandwagon together- much better than the skinny-jean bandwagon.

Jacob's happy about going green, because green is his 'favoritist' color. Not to say we've gone Ed Begley-vegetable oil-powered car- green, but, we've made a few small changes that help reduce our footprint. Here's a list of some things we've done in a hope to inspire even the laziest environmentalist.

1. We sold Matt's car and became a one car family. Yes- it is a huge SUV like car, but when we bought it, there were no hybrid/fuel efficient cars with a 3rd row. Unfortunately, Matt still racks up tons of airline miles for work, but when he's not in the air, he's hoofing it to work. (ok, this is not an easy thing) Try something below:

2. We took a local summer vacation. Instead of the San Diego trip, we wanted, we went to Baltimore, a 45 minute drive from our house. (Yes, we could have taken the Marc train, but it seemed silly to lug suitcases etc.. on the Metro, then through Union Station, then on the train). Here in DC, there are a variety of local trips that still feel like a vacation- Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh (yes, Pittsburgh- Great zoo, Children's Museum, Andy Warhol museum, & KennyWood), I bet most of you could find a destination close to you that the family would love.

3. We stopped using plastic & paper bags- not just at the supermarket. By keeping the reusable, cloth bags in our car, we remember them more easily. I also keep a tiny foldup bag in my purse to use for other purchases. (see link

4. And speaking of other purchases- we have reduced our shopping, and try to think in terms of "need" versus "want"

5. We bought a rain barrel. Though many of you have been laughing at me going out in my PJs on rainy days to adjust hose settings to prevent floods. 50 gallon barrels fill up VERY quickly as I've learned.

6. We replaced our chemical cleaners with natural ones. I found a website that lists tons of homemade cleaning products. Matt found spray bottles made of recycled plastic at Home Depot. The boys & I filled them with concoctions of vinegar, baking soda, cornstarch & water. Voila- chemical free cleaning products. The best part is I hand spray bottles & rags to the boys and tell them to get busy cleaning. They LOVE it- they lover to spray the bottles, and I have no worries they are exposed to toxins.

7. We freecycle. Find the local Yahoo Freecycle group and prepare to clean your basements!

8 And the Number 1 thing we've done to green, that the boys are most excited about is our Bat House. We hung a bat box in the hopes of attracting bats to our yard. It is the single most effective mosquito repellant since each bat can eat up to 600 mosquitos per hour. Cross your fingers that the bats find our Craig's list ad. "Apartment Offer: 15 Ft. High Bat house- Pine Floors and walls, solar heating, Rent $0, Utilities included. Avail Immed."

We've done quite a few more things too,but we still have the following goals:

1. Composting- so far, the composters are too pricey for me to get one.

2. Take the bus to school at least one day a month and go car free.

3. Recycle more- We still produce a lot more garbage than recycling. I want to balance it out more.

4. Solar panels on roof- way out of our price range still.

5. Air conditioning & heating- I like it warm in the winter- I set my thermostat to 71 instead of 69.

So.. This Earth Day, what have you done, and what else will you do to help our planet? This is not just an environmental issue. It is the ultimate parenting issue. Love your children enough to give them a cleaner, healthier planet.


PS If I sound pedantic, I'm trying to be. I feel passionately about this issue, and want more people to live a greener life. Green building products and other items will be more affordable if more of us demand them. Every little thing you do will make a difference. Start today!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I'm not saying this aloud, but...

I am whispering this in case Jacob hears and gets the wrong idea. For the last 3 days, he has not gone in his diaper and uses the potty all by himself! The key with Jacob is that he has to be in control. As soon as I showed him how to pee standing up and left him alone in the bathroom and to go whenever he chose- he is being really good about going. As soon as I remind him or ask him if he needs to use the potty- he rebels and refuses to use it.

So this method is working so far at home. I haven't figured out what to do in public since he can't just run to the mall bathroom on his own, but for now, I'll take what I can get. And some pee in the potty is better than no pee.

Now, I need to stop talking about it in case he decides to rebel. Anything that makes mommy happy is not in his agenda, so I need to totally ignore his diaper/potty usage.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Horrible Parenting spotted at Potbelly in College Park

I would desperately love to point the finger at someone else's parenting, but I'm afraid Matt and I get all the credit for the worst 15 minutes in parenting we've done in a while.

Granted, everything is relative- our children were not physically abused, left alone or mauled by wild animals due to our negligence. So in perspective, it's really not totally horrible- just mildly embarassing.

On Saturday, Matt and I took the boys to Ikea. I wanted to get some cheap flatware for Passover. (Why I was shopping for a new kosher flatware set on Shabbas, remains a mystery). Nevertheless, we decided to eat at the Potbelly sandwich place after our shopping. I took the boys over first while Matt was checking out of Ikea so we could get a headstart on ordering food.

Food ordering went fine, if albeit complicated. Why are the servers there mystified when I order 3 sandwiches for myself. If they would just lower the damn counter there, they would see I'm not alone. Anyway, I digress..

So, food was ready and paid for. We turned around to find a table. All indoor seating was full. Nate happily suggested we sit outside. I made a move to go outside, when Matt spotted a man getting up from a small, bar table. He grabbed it. Nate started to complain. He wanted outside. MAtt succumbed and agreed to sit outside with Nate. I protested- I had a very complicated system to ordering food. 3 different sandwiches with different halves for everyone. Plus, Nate and I were splitting a bottle of water. So separating did not work. Nevertheless, Nate and Matt made a move to exit outside.

Jacob then decided to flip out about the high table. He wanted a booth. At that magic moment, a booth opened up. So I sat down, with a slick move involving a full tray of food. NOthing hit the ground. Jacob emitted more shrieks. "NOT THIS BOOTH!!! I WANT A SOFT BOOTH!"


Matt, who has no tolerance for Jacob's shrieks, was busily trying to arrange the sandwich halves so everyone got what they wanted. Suddenly, a different booth opened up. I stupidly got up to sit there. Was this the freaking 'soft' booth? Nope- More shrieks from Jacob. All eyes in the restaurant watched us. "What else would the lame parents do to appease their whiny brats of kids? How long would they keep up the game of Musical Tables?"

"Jacob, if you don't stop shrieking, you will lose your milkshake!" (Potbelly makes awesome milkshakes)

At this point, I was so angry and embarrased that my family could not do something so simple as pick a table, sit down and eat lunch, I shoved the tray into Matt's hands, picked up Jacob and stormed outside. Nate happily followed. I grabbed my salad and started to eat, ignoring Jacob's full-blown tantrum.

Matt can't ignore shrieking. He grabbed Jacob and went into scary dad mode. They he caved completely and told Jacob he would take him inside and eat at a booth with him. My protests that he was caving to a 3 year old fell on deaf ears. They went in; Nate and I ate outside. My salad might have been delicious, but "fuming" is not a good dressing. It was tasteless.

Why did our toddler have any say at all, let alone, the say in where we sat? Whew, normally tantrums don't bother me in public cause it is not my fault, and I usually handle it pretty well. (I have lots of practice thanks to Jacob). BUt this time, I was so embarassed. We handled ourselves and the tantrums so poorly, we got what we deserved.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Busy little bees

I hate the whole concept of overscheduled kids. Childhood should be playing outside, building forts out of every chair and sheet in your house and just hanging out. In fact, NPRrecently ran an article about free play for children. See it here

So, with all this, I managed to undo 5 years of hanging out in one semester. Currently, my boys have the following schedule. (If you are a stalker, please know I am a fully certified Krav Maga instructor).
Monday- free play!
Tuesday-My Gym (Jacob) & Swimming (Nate)
Wedneday- soccer (Nate & Jacob)
Thursday- Physical Therapy (Jacob) & Art Class (Nate & Jacob)
Friday- Playgroup (Jacob & Nate) & play therapy

I had signed up for a Sunday morning t-ball class, but I cancelled it. It would be too ridiculous to add that on top of everything else. I look at each thing and wonder what we could lose. Clearly all of it, other than Jacob's PT. In a generous move, Nate says he would give up swimming. I can't let him make that sacrifice since it is important to me he learn to swim.

This summer I am dropping it all other than the Therapy. We will hang out in the sprinkler in the backyard and eat popsicles.