Friday, December 5, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
So, click here to see a play-by-play of a day in my life as the mother of two young girls on Monday, November 3, 2008.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Now, I have to tell you, last year was my first winter in 12 years. It was novel and fun...for the first 3 months. Our kids had never experienced snow or cold weather or sledding. Sliding down the many hills in our area, we felt like kids again ourselves. But that was last year and, like I said before, it had been 12 years since I had done that. Now, a mere 6 months later, we are gearing up for another one, and I am not ready....I need another 11.5 years!
Fall has been great, though, and since I haven't really updated this blog since it began, here are some of the highlights from the last month:
- Going to Minnetonka Orchards for a beautiful day with the family
- Celebrating Ava's 3rd birthday with family and friends
- Playing in the leaves with the girls
- Going to Iowa City to see my beloved parents and their beloved Hawkeyes; reminiscing with my college roommate over dinner and drinks in our old "stomping grounds"
- Taking a ride on the Excelsior Ghost Trolley with the family
- Packing kosher meals for needy Jewish families with Maya thanks to Project Elijah
I'm also currently reading (more like "muddling through") Middlesex for my book club, planning a unit on Jewish Short Stories and Poetry for 7th, 8th, and 9th graders, and taking a Spanish class....all secondary to being a wife and mother, full-time. So, now you know why I can't keep up with this blog!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
10 Years Ago I:
- Taught high school English
- Lived near the beach in Southern California
- Was planning our December wedding
- Drove a black Chevy Cavalier that was completely paid for
- Still got perms
5 Things on Today's "To-Do" List:
- Email tonight's lesson plan to Meryl
- Meet with Maya's psychologist
- Snuggle and read books with Ava
- Decorate pumpkins with the girls
- Teach at Bet Shalom
5 Snacks I Enjoy:
- Honeycrisp apples
- Celery and peanut butter
5 Things I Would Do If I Were a Millionaire:
- Hire an awesome nanny
- Pay off our mortgage
- Invest in the girls' educations
- Donate to worthy causes
5 Places I Have Lived:
5 Jobs I Have Had:
- Waitress (my least favorite)
- Bank Teller
- Childcare provider
- Wife/Mother/CEO of Household (my most favorite)
The rules say I have to tag 5 people. Well, I don't know 5 bloggers to tag, but I will tag the ones I know who most likely haven't done this yet:
Thursday, September 25, 2008
We have a bin of "conversation starters" that we sometimes use to spark discussion at the dinner table. The other night, Maya picked one out and read me the question: "What is the best part about being the age you are? The worst part?" Well, the best part was easy to answer--I have everything I have ever dreamed of having at this stage of my life: a great husband, two adorable, healthy, and happy girls, a comfortable lifestyle without financial hardships, good friends, a great family, and a great community. I am healthy--mentally and physically. And I appreciate all these things even more because I haven't always had them. So, what's the worst thing about being 36? The only thing I can think of is that it won't last forever....that one day I will be looking at my grown children and wishing, if only for a moment, that I might be able to cuddle with them as little ones once again. Yep, this is a great time of life, and I am lucky enough to know it now, while it is happening!
Monday, September 15, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Well, contrary to what the article says, Maya did feel badly about how she behaved towards me yesterday. She woke up this morning and did everything I expect of her without being told--including her 30 minutes of reading and Summer Bridges activities. She was clearly contrite.
Of course, this doesn't mean I will use this technique again. In writing this I am vowing that, even in my weakest moment, I will do my best not to personalize my child's behavior. But, apparently, I got lucky this time--the "Parenting Police" let me go with a warning instead of a ticket.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Maya's record for winning tickets through the Hennepin County Libraries is now 3-0. Last year, she won tickets to the State Fair. She also won a free book for a book report that she wrote. This year, she won State Fair tickets once again, followed by a family of four pack of tickets to a Twins game....and, yet another book for a book report she wrote.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
We had some great couple time for a week, kayaking, snorkeling, tubing down the White River, and climbing the Dunn's River Falls, which was absolutely amazing! We also spent a lot of time on the beach, just lying around doing nothing. We had candlelit dinners by the beach. We read books for pure enjoyment, and we didn't once think about ways to improve our parenting skills. Watching many young couples enjoying their honeymoons, some getting married right before our eyes on the beach, took us back to when our love was new. Was it really ten years ago? In many ways, it seems like it happened in the blink of an eye. I don't feel any older, and I hope I will be able to say the same in another ten years. All in all, the trip was a great way to refresh ourselves and begin another adventurous decade together. We will always remember the beauty of Jamaica as a great backdrop for fun and romance. (If you are interested in seeing more pictures from our trip to paradise, you can click here.)
Monday, July 28, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Fast forward to yesterday. I took Maya to the allergist; her pediatrician had referred her there to see if she has any allergies that trigger her asthma (she doesn't.) The doctor asked her if she had any cats or dogs at home. She replied matter-of-factly, "Yes, we have a dog, but when she dies we aren't going to get another one."
Monday, June 23, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
Oh, to be young again, Michael and I mused. When we were six, frigid water wouldn't have kept us from swimming, either, if we really wanted to do it.
But, it appears, even childhood fantasies have their limitations when the truth is told. Last night, when we put Maya to bed, we said prayers and asked her the usual four questions before tucking her in:
- What are you thankful for today? I am thankful for going to Lake Minnetonka again!
- Who did you help today? I helped you by picking up my pretend carnival in the basement. (That's an entirely different story!)
- Who helped you today? You helped me by taking me to Lake Minnetonka.
- What did you learn today? I learned that it is still too cold to swim in Lake Minnetonka!
And there you have it, folks....straight from the horse's mouth!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
The other morning, before leaving for the bus stop, Maya was pulling her hair back with her hands, so I asked her, "Do you want a ponytail today?" She replied, "No, but I want a ponytail for the KinderMusical on Friday." I remember that she will be wearing a baker's hat type of head piece for her costume on Friday, so I reply calmly, "Okay, but it might be difficult to put your headpiece on if you are wearing a ponytail." She immediately gets frustrated by this answer, so, again, I calmly tell her, "We can work out a way to wear a ponytail with your head piece." "NOOOO!!!!! I didn't want you to say that! I don't want you to say we can work it out!!!!!" I obviously can't win here. She doesn't want to problem-solve; she wants life to be problem-free. And when it isn't, even in the most trivial sense, she copes by making me the scapegoat for her frustration. She fusses all of the way to the bus stop. I try more than once to change the subject and focus on our morning game and story time. She is relentless in her fussing. Consequently, we miss our time to do our usual morning story or game while waiting for the bus. The bus arrives, and she glares at me and says, "We didn't get to do a game or story! I hate you!" as she climbs up the steps. She takes her seat and glares at me out the window. What just happened here? The words of James Lehman echo in my mind: "A day with a child who has Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a series of battles in an undeclared war." Oppositional Defiant Disorder: The War at Home
Fortunately, this is not a typical morning. She is usually very good about getting ready for school, having special time while waiting for the bus, and blowing me kisses from the bus window. But this is typical ODD behavior that stems from her anxiety that can occur on a daily basis, at any given time, and it can be very disruptive to our lives. Often, being her mother, the scapegoat is me, but I have seen her do the same thing with her "best" friend. Thankfully, she has a patient mother and friend who are both willing to tolerate her quirks until she can utilize a better way to deal with her anxiety. But there are no easy answers, no quick fixes. It is difficult to know where to begin.......
Then, sometimes beginnings happen when we aren't looking for them. Last night, when it came time to fill in Maya's daily chart, we got to the category of "Respecting Mommy and Daddy." We asked her if she thought she deserved a "smiley," a "frowny," or an "okay" for this category. She said, "I deserve a frowny because I was mean to Mommy this morning. I shouldn't have fussed and said 'I hate you.' I was just frustrated and didn't know what to do."
Recognizing the problem is half of the battle, and for her to acknowledge that she handled the situation inappropriately is a huge breakthrough for all of us.
Friday, May 16, 2008
This morning I, along with several other parents, came to help Maya's teacher while she had a guest come in to do a puppet show and help the kids make puppets. I arrived while they were in the middle of making their own puppets, and I was greated at the door by another mom explaining to me, "Maya is sad. We don't know why." I looked over at Maya's table to see her crying, her half done puppet sitting in front of her. Her friends were all trying to console her, but they didn't know what was wrong. They look at me for an explanation as to why Maya is crying. I can't explain it to them, either. I take Maya out in the hallway to have a chat. She just says she doesn't want to make a puppet, she doesn't have a reason. I say, "There has to be a reason." She says there is none. I offer several possible reasons to see if she will respond: 1. She doesn't like the way her puppet looks so far (it is adorable, by the way...see posted picture) 2. She thinks her puppet isn't as good (in her eyes) as her friends' puppets 3. She is having an argument with a friend. She denies any of these reasons, and, quite frankly, I believe her. When she does have any of those issues, she typically tells me so that I can help her deal with it. But this time, no reason. I tell her I can't help her if she doesn't tell me what the problem is. She says she simply doesn't want to make a puppet. She continues crying and starts to have a bit of a kicking/screaming tantrum in the hallway. I am starting to lose my patience. I tell her that it doesn't matter if she doesn't "feel" like making a puppet---that if the teacher says she should make a puppet, it is her job to do so. Just like Daddy listens to his boss and does what he is told at his job--even if he doesn't feel like it. Just like I make dinner and do laundry every day, even if I don't feel like it. We all have our jobs to do, and her job is the be a respectful student and listen to her teacher---even if she doesn't feel like it.