Wednesday, December 30, 2009


As a new year approaches, there are resolutions to be made. I actually make resolutions every morning, evening, and at the start of each new week. Which some people might read as, I am not very good at the follow through. Yes and no. I do have amazing will power and determination-- I just get distracted sometimes. But lately I have been thinking about all the things I have been putting off and should just resolve to do, perhaps once completed I might even have something to blog about - fancy that.

Just last night, as I was finishing my current, thinkless novel, wondering what will I read next? I realized that I have a bookshelf of books, and while I have read most of them, there are a quite a few titles that I have not. Wuthering Heights, for real people? I was an English major, how did I manage to get through my BritLit class without reading that? And furthermore, I was an English teacher - oh the hypocrisy! Little Women, Canterbury Tales, Lord of the Flies...I am hanging my head in shame right now. I have some contemporary stuff on that same shelf as well like, Five People You Meet in Heaven, which is actually not on the same shelf, because my shelf is arranged mostly by genre by time period...maybe that is another thing to work on this coming year...

The Bro's scrapbook. The kid is a year old already and there is a not a page to show for it. Natalie's book spans four years already, which is also on my list. There are three pages left in that one, that have been earmarked for specific events and it just needs to be done. Definitely worthy of at least one future blog entry.

There are little things, like keeping my office desk clean, which will probably prove to be the hardest of them all, painting the office wall (which I think I will tackle this week, maybe even starting tonight), the continuation of wearing "fun socks" and less black on behalf of my little family.

Good luck to all of you on whatever you work towards in 2010, thanks for reading most of 2009 with me, and I will see you on the other side...

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

It Isn't ALWAYS About Me

As a teacher, the holidays would come and many students would shower my desk with gift cards, homemade goodies, and the like and there would always be one family/student, who in lieu of a gift, would make a donation to a charitable organization and truthfully, I always made sure in in my thank you card, to let them know that this was truly the best gift to give. In the past, I have always made a donation at the holidays, usually to a children's organization, in my grandmothers names. They are old, that is just the truth, and they really don't need or want for anything. I have contributed to The Home for Little Wanderers, St. Jude, Make a get the idea. And I think it is important that even if you have a little extra to give, that you do.

I am lucky enough to have close friends and even not so close friends who are charitable with not only their money, but with their time as well. Supporting the arts, animals, people, schools, you name it. In fact, my friend Tracy has spent the month posting a different organization that can benefit from donations. I am including some links of organization that she has been sharing:

There are more, but I didn't want to completely overwhelm you. She did the work for me, and now I have done the work for you-- you just have to click and donate.

On a more personal note, and old friend of mine and his wife are headed to Costa Rica for the month of January. There they will be working in an orphanage for teenage boys who have been removed from their homes. They too are looking for anyone who is able to, to donate to their selfless cause. So please, if you have the means, consider donating. If not to one of these links, to something that is near and dear to your heart. Rick Deutsch's Costa Rica Blog. You can make a donation via the blog.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Oh Chanukah, Oh Hannukah

With all the fanfare that surrounds Christmas, although we celebrate the eight nights of Chanukah in the house, it sometimes seems to be a week of presents that brings Natalie closer to Christmas. So for the last night of Chanukah, we invited Natalie's besties over, with their parents and had our very first, "Last Night of Chanukah Latke Party." Of course Natalie did not eat any latkes; she has trouble wrapping her head around the fact that a latke and a french fry really aren't that different, but she had no problem eating the jelly and chocolate munchkins. But, I think, she felt pretty cool that she could light the menorah by herself and sing the prayer, and shared that with her BFs.

Mental note for next year, no matter how cool the Razor scooter that has been on the "I want" list for six months is, it is not nearly as cool as the Hello Kitty activity book and gel pens that your best friends got from "Hannukah Harry".

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Week in Numbers

1 - Number of workouts I was able to fit into a small window of free time
2 - Number of full fledged meltdowns, which included tears, high pitched screams, and undecipherable words, that Natalie had over seemingly insignificant things
3 - Number of times Joey tried to climb into the bathtub
4 - Number of nights Dan was forced to eat the same thing for dinner because I didn't make anything.
5 - Number of times Natalie fell off the kitchen chair after repeatedly being told to sit on her bum.
6- Number of guests hosted for "Last Night of Hanukah Latkes"
7 - Number of times Joey tried to eat a handful of dog food
8 - Number of times I tried to get Joey to say, "Mama" to which he smiled a gummy smile and responded, "Dada dada dada dada dada"
9 - Number of times I drove to Littleton this week
10 - Number of small toys (lite brite bulbs, Polly Pockets accessories, etc.) that needed to be extracted from Joey's mouth.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yes, Natalie, there is a Santa Claus

The other day as I was finishing up wrapping Natalie's last gifts for Hanukah, I wondered if she would realize that "Santa Claus" used the same wrapping paper. I literally sat there for five minutes, concocting a story in my head of what I could tell her to make it all ok should she, and she probably will, make that realization. Suddenly, I had Santa Claus and Hanukah Harry together at a holiday party where the Christmas elves and the Hanukah fairies do all the wrapping together while Jolly Old St. Nick and his Jewish counterpart enjoy some ice cold egg nog and nibble on some chocolate gelt. I kid you not, this was the scenario that played out in my head.

Four years ago, when Natalie was just a mere five and a half months, I decided that I wasn't going to perpetuate this Santa Claus fabrication. That there was no reason for me to flat out lie to her about a fat man in a red suit who supposedly comes down the chimney with gifts. I mean really...we celebrate Christmas at my mother's house and she doesn't even have a chimney. WELL, both my father and my grandmother, the two of them "Oh yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" practically in unison. My father even printed it out so I could read it. As though a piece of paper from the Internet was going to change my mind. I wasn't going to tell her that Santa wasn't real, because I am sure that a long, long time ago in a tiny little European village there was a man who perhaps dressed in red and went about giving gifts to good little boys and girls. I just wasn't going to really say anything. I am not denying that this idea of Santa didn't stem from truth, but the North Pole? Elves? Flying reindeer? How long am I supposed to continue to deceive her? Eventually she is going to find out or figure it out and it will be all my fault that I lied to her. This is what I originally in the early months of motherhood, wanted to avoid.

My good friend, Lisa, seems to think this makes me a scrooge and that it is a good lesson in dealing with disappointment. But this is a disappointment in my child's life that I could have controlled and not caused. And I do believe in the magic of the Christmas season. Even with all the people who are stressed and cranky, they are still going about trying to make tiny miracles happen for little people. Let me tell you, there is nothing that compares to the truest, most genuine joy that comes from a little girl who just received the gift that "I've always wanted!" I love that there is a time when people who don't always think to give back, give back; that we find ways to dig a little deeper.

But now I am knee deep in it. So deep that not only do I talk about Santa, but I continue to let her believe that Hanukah Harry lives up the street from us in a tiny little brick cottage style house. And I can't tell her the truth about Santa because what if she tells some other kid and breaks their heart, and yet another disappointment that I have caused.

Next year, all the presents are going in gift bags.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

525,600 Minutes

A year ago, I woke up in the wee hours of the morning-- nine months pregnant and unable to sleep, I headed down to our TV room, scanned the DVR and thought now is as good a time as any to watch It's a Wonderful Life. A movie I had sworn off watching when I was in 8th grade. Shortly after settling onto the couch, which is not an easy thing to do in the last stages of pregnancy, I heard the pitter patter of tiny girl feet coming down the stairs. At 3am I was not about to argue that she shouldn't be up and so she nestled in, as well as she could, next to me on the couch and the movie played on. Not even through the credits, I pushed (truly) Natalie off the couch and (as I remember it) calmly said, "It's time." I always thought pregnancy in television and movies was a little outlandish with women standing in a puddle of water, but apparently it can happen that way.

We changed into some clothing, called my mother-in-law to meet us at the hospital, and ventured into the quiet of the dark morning towards the hospital. Dan's only rule was that I was to make it to the hospital-- there would be no delivery in the car. He dropped me off at the check in, where I provided my information and from there I walked to another room to make sure that I was actually in labor...let me tell you, I was actually in labor. Twenty minutes later, I walked to the actual labor and delivery room and wouldn't you know that the same nurse who was with me for the start of my delivery with Natalie was with me again! My doctor was paged to come to the hospital as things were moving rather swiftly. But there was no time! I told the nurses it was time, and they scrambled to get the on call doctor there in time for the very quick delivery of my baby boy.

Happy First Birthday, Joey!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow Day

This morning is gray and beautiful and still and quiet. That is except for the Bro who feels the need to yell everything to make sure he is heard. But even Natalie, who usually sings at the top of her lungs in the morning, knew that this morning was for climbing in under the warmth of the down comforter an holding onto to that sleepy feeling a little longer than normal.

I know we just had snow, but there is something about a real "snow day" that brings me joy. that fact that for the first time this season we are forced not to go anywhere. The kids and I will stay in our pajamas for the better part of the day and bake until I have run out of butter, which might give us one batch of cookies, since I am usually borrowing a stick of butter from my neighbor, but today is too snowy to venture across the street. Later we will bundle up and brave the weather for some snowy play and warm back up with hot chocolate with marshmallows and candy canes.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

You Don't Say

It must be rough to be a four-year-old with an English teacher mom always correcting everything that is said. Although, it is always a proud moment when Natalie stops and self corrects using the appropriate, "Daddy and I watched Sprout today." And she does emphasize that she is saying "I" rather than "me". But there are some words that she says that I just don't want to correct and sad was the day when she came home from school and told me about the "animals" rather than the aminals that for four years she spoke incorrectly, and I secretly cherished.

Other words that I correct but am never disappointed she refuses to say correctly are:

"sawn" as in: "I've sawn that house before. Gabriella's mommy showed me."
"amn't" as in: Mommy: "Natalie, you're being a freshy." Natalie: "NO I AMN'T!"
"telled" as in: "Aurora telled me all about Air Bud today.
"gooder" as in: "Sorry Mommy, but Daddy is just gooder at building that you."
"recatanlge" as in: "I know it isn't a circle; it's a rec-a-tangle"
"Disaney" as in: "Remember when we went to China in Dis-a-ney? I love Dis-a-ney"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

Right now I should be:


Right now I am:

harvesting fake watermelons
eating a salad
drinking more caffeine
stressing about what I should be doing