Thursday, June 30, 2011


I often bask in my good fortune. I have an amazing husband, truly, 93% of the time amazing. Two great kids, 85% of the time. As I write this, Natalie is having a total meltdown in her room. But over all, I think those are some above average marks for my little family-- and I am a tough grader. But today I was lucky enough to have lunch with my dear friend Jess, of whom I am in awe. She is absolutely fabulous and simultaneously modest and above all just plain lovely and a genuine light. Tomorrow I have the privilege, although I had to act like a desperate girlfriend to get it, of lunching with my confidant, Steve, for whom I have the utmost respect and some of the deepest love. And both of them, are willing to lunch with me and the tiny little terror, my constant companion, the bro.

I am so very, very blessed in this life.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Decluttering is a Writer's Muse

Yesterday I started to blog about all the stuff that has accumulated in our house mainly due to the two small children, and the one larger man-child that likes to also collect "toys." And by "toys" I mean eight pairs of hiking boots, snow shoes, three tents, two sleeping bags, three hiking if your mind went somewhere else, gross, this is a family blog. Anywho, I am not a fan of "stuff" and it is taking over! I read a blog recently that talked about a 365 declutter, where one throws away one thing every day for a year. I love this idea! We have so many stuffed animals and books and plastic toys that are everywhere. Making it feel as though it is absolutely necessary to clean house. This happens to me around the holidays when I know things are coming in and in three weeks will be Natalie's 6th birthday, so out with the old, because it is inevitable that there will be new. And we are always thankful for everyone's thoughtfulness, please don't misinterpret.

Birthdays and holidays happen and they should be celebrated with giving and receiving, especially if you are going to be six. And I am guilty of giving and cluttering up other people's houses. So this morning, belatedly, I asked by BF what she would like for her son's 2nd birthday, she asked us for some art or a letter that she would put into a scrapbook. I totally get it. We just don't need more stuff, unless it is in the form of groceries or a Trader Joe's gift card to buy groceries. But this request of her, everyone wins. It became an arts and craft project for me and the kids at the end of this rainy week and a thoughtful, heartfelt gift for little Z. Truth be told, the art work was no going to be that great. Well, not the bro's anyway. So we decided that we would write a story book for our friend, Z. It was a total collaboration. The bro came up with the title and from there I prompted Natalie to get a storyline going. Even the bro added his thoughts, and I worked it in there. It was so much fun to make, and if I do say so, not a bad little tale. Complete with original mixed media illustration, in which again, the three of us took part.

Perhaps a customized tale will come to your for your next birthday written and illustrated by Kristen, Natalie, and Joseph Rabinowitz.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Tonight was a beautiful night for me-- it marked then end of another dance year. I don't mind that Natalie takes dance class; I love watching her bring it home and do her interpretive ballet around the house and, truthfully, she has decent rhythm. What she doesn't have is discipline. I have been watching her dance class "perfect" their "Under the Sea" dance rountine for close to three months. Invited into the studio for the last five minutes of every class to watch the cutest group of six year olds try to follow their teacher and not be distracted by their beautiful faces in the wall of mirrors before them, I have watched, my child specifially, spend the last three months doing the first two moves and then totally stare at herself in the mirrors for the rest of the song. I asked Natalie about this. To which is simply responded, " I just get bored (read: distracted) and so I stop dancing."

Thursday was her dress rehearsal and it was abnormally painful for me to watch. I kid you not, I will forever be proud of Natalie's many impressive qualities, but that dress rehearsal was not one of them. It was simply awful. I know I am her mother, but she was terrible. Her months and months of staring in the mirror paid off in that she had NO IDEA what was going on. She couldn't see the teacher, at the foot of the stage, making hand movements in an effort to direct the girls, so instead she looked at the girl to her left who also knew not what was going on. I tried to prepare Dan for just how painful it would be to watch her. He was prematurely upset for her, that she would be that kid up on stage doing nothing. Although, when a group of little girls get up on stage dressed in cute little tutus, it really doesn't matter what they do.

But wouldn't you know my daughter, the hustler, got up on that stage an actually performed. She almost knew all the steps and I was, for sure, one proud mama yet again!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Getting It Together

I know I have to get my act together. Normally, it is the sunny weather that keeps me from writing. However, recently we (I) have started the heart aching process of preparing myself for the end of yet another school year. This school year, in particular, was becoming a bitter pill for me to swallow. Not only did it mark the end of our yearly routine, but I was also struggling with the fact that it would be the end of our time at our beloved Oak Meadow Montessori. I don't know that there are really words that I can come up with that would ever express how truly great this school is.

About a month ago, at a teacher luncheon, my friend Amy and I were charged with watching the middle schoolers while those teachers enjoyed a catered lunch. Middle School is my area: they are sassy and fresh on the cusp of learning how to be a young adult. As the teacher prepared to leave for her lunch, she interrupted two middle school boys, "Excuse me, Blah Blah," she says, to which Blah Blah replies, "No, of course." I don't know that it translates well in writing, but Amy and I looked at each other, and hoped that our little six year olds would one day be as mature and respectful. Blah Blah then headed off to play some symphony on the piano. The moral of this segue is that this is the type of child this school breeds. They are not only taught great lessons academically, but at the very young age of three, they are taught to listen, respect, and be kind.

My heart was heavy at the thought of sending my child into the public school system. I am not ashamed to say that.

Endings are hard for me, I cried when Beverly Hills 90210 ended; I cried when Friends ended. I do not like change-- deep down I am 100% Type A control freak. I mask it under the guise that we are simply a well routined family, but the truth is I need things to go a certain way and I plan, plan, plan so that I don't have to deal with the unexpected very often. Dan and I wavered and talked in circles from October to June. What is best for Natalie? What is best for our family? As it turns out, there is some truth to a happy mom = a happy home. Because we were gifted with another year at this school and so I didn't have to say good-bye. I didn't have to say good- bye to her teachers, to my friends, or to this school community in which I am very much a part. And today I was able to watch my baby girl "move up" from Kindergarten and just be a proud mama, not a sad mama.

Congratulation to my Natalie Gabrielle!