Monday, March 28, 2011


My weekend started Thursday night! I went out with new friends for dinner and wine at an amazing sushi place. What fun! It was such a nice treat to not do the dinner, bath, bed routine and just enjoy hanging out.

Then Friday I took a day off! Woot woot! And met my mom for a morning massage. Followed by lunch and a few hours of shopping! Wow! What a treat that was! No work. Just a mental health day. It was so needed! And the massage was just AWESOME! Nothing like it!

Saturday we all got up and headed to the Franklin Institute which was great! I hadn't been there in decades and forgot much of what was there. It is a bit above the kids' head as it is a Science Museum aimed an older set. But they both really enjoyed it. They had a planetarium show that starred Big Bird and Elmo! Score! I loved watching the kids crane their necks at the wide screen and wave at Elmo.

Then we drove to my parents home and dropped the kids off around 12. They were all packed up and ready for a night of fun with Grammy and Poppy. And Sam and I headed back to our house in a very quiet car. Very quiet. It was so lovely. Then of course, instead of napping and passing out which we should have done we quickly:

mulched the garden beds
vacuumed out of the mini van
cleaned the bathrooms
installed a new shower curtain
replaced the other shower curtain
donated old clothes
vacuumed the whole house

And then got dressed for a night of dinner and dancing! My company was having its holiday party- in March. It was a 'swing into spring' party. Despite the frigid temps, it was quite lovely. Sam looked so sharp and I cleaned up well too! We stayed out 'late' until 11. So nice to have a real dinner, drink wine and dance! Like real adults. But you'll have to believe me because there was no one to take our picture.

Sunday I picked the kids up while Sam did some work on the garden. And we headed to see a private kindergarten option. We applied and threw our hat into the ring but I'm not hopeful that we can swing it. But it was lovely to see another option. And what I loved about it was how much kid-focused art there was on the walls!

Seren and Wyeth loved their night away. They had many stories to tell us. It was really refreshing for all! Thanks again Mom and Dad!

This week will be busy and the next few months will be heavy on travel! I'm already planning another mental health day soon!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tradition: Weekend Snack

The last post was a vent about how challenging Seren's behavior has been. I remember last April/May I thought I was going to have to sell her- her behavior was so crazy! So I anticipate it getting more crazy as we move forward. Then I think it will be fine again.

The thing is, she is soo delightful one on one. She is this little love. Full of questions. Full of ideas! Full of conversation. And she bounces! It is just hard to get that one on one time in the evening. So as a result, it can get ugly. Quickly.

And just this morning, before 7 am, she had a major meltdown over not being able to read us a story. It wasn't that we didn't want her to, it was that SHE HAD to hold the book. And Wyeth wanted to hold the book too. Tears. Sobbing. Heaving shoulders. At 6:55 am. Sharing a life with a little brother is mostly fun. But not fun all of the time. Sometimes I feel that having two disadvantages both kids! On the other hand, they love to play together and he is her constant companion. "Wy! Over here buddy!" And he just follows along. Like a love sick puppy.

This is all to say that I appreciate the one on one time I get both kids. Every Saturday and Sunday, Seren and I have a tradition of a special snack.

She 'naps' for an hour each day. She goes down when Wyeth does. She pretty much sings and talks. And reads. And reads to her dolls. And looks out the window. And sings some more. For an hour or more. And then, when she comes down, on the weekends, we have 'hot coco and crackers and cheese."

I make her hot chocolate and bring out crackers and cheese. And we talk. And we snack. She tells me about her adventures. What is on her mind. And I give her my attention while we snack.

It is lovely! And I appreciate just seeing HER for her.

What amazes me about this age is the paradox. She is so grown up. So tall. So articulate. So funny. So independent. Able to dress herself. Make and butter her own toast. And just thrive. At the very same instant, she is still in pull ups at night. Still wants me to sing her to sleep. Still uses a sippy cup. Still clings to her pink stuffed 'baa baa' sheep that she has slept with since she was two. And still so little.

There will soon be a time when she won't want to have hot coco and crackers and cheese. So for now, I'll put in a little extra chocolate and enjoy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Another First

Last night Seren and I had a great time playing from the time I got home at 4:45 until 6:15. Then it got ugly. We are getting a lot of back talk. A lot of rude, non listening behavior. A lot of calling her brother 'stupid' and 'bad boy'. It is driving me up the wall.

And I feel like I am not quite being an effective parent with my discipline. Time outs ceased to be effective about a year ago. Now we start taking her dollies as punishment. But that is kinda lame too. (Although it is effective). I'm playing with the idea of marks on a piece of paper and if there are fewer marks, she gets a sticker. If there are more, she gets something taken away.

I don't know. I haven't researched this. I'd be open to ideas. All of this 'stupid' talk really gets to me.

ANYWAY, this is all to say that she was driving me nuts last evening. And vice versa.

She turns to me and says with anger spewing from her lips, "I can't wait to grow up and move out of here. I HATE living here!"
I tried my hardest not to laugh. I succeeeded. I calmly said, "I understand you are angry. That's ok to be mad."

"Yay, and Wyeth, when you grow up, do you want to come too!?"

Ahh...another first. Growing up is so bittersweet.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


So I finally joined a gym this month. Yup. You read that right. A $10.00 a month gym but a gym! I had to go check it out THREE times before I got the nerve to sign up. How pathetic!

I used to run. A lot. But since I birthed Seren, I haven't had regular exercise. And I think the jury is still out whether this will help. But I'm going with it.

So far, so good.

I've made a few observations and learned a few lessons.

1)I don't like it when women wear thongs to work out. When it is just obvious? Gross.

2)I don't have the right 'gear' for this. My stuff is some hiking clothes, some old t-shirts, a pair of old yoga pants. I look like a goof. Then again, at my gym, I fit right in with looking 'off'. See lesson learned number 1 for evidence.

3) I cannot drink water while running. Others can. I have decided it has more to do with the type of water bottle I'm using than my 'coordination'. (ahem).

4) Ear plugs that go around your ears/wrap around are essential. I spent more time holding on to my ear phones last night than focusing on my breathing while running.

5)I'm out of shape but that is kinda the point. We bought season passes to a local amusement park- Sesame Place- and if I go, I have to be in a bathing suit for most of the day. This is good motivation. That and the fact that seared into my minds' eye is the image of my butt from last summer. Ugh. I deleted the pic from my camera. But lets just say, the damage was done.

6) I'm thrilled to have this part of my life back (at least temporarily!) After 8 weeks on bed rest, there wasn't much muscle tone. I think it has stayed that way since Wyeth was born. Time to make a change!

7) I have no idea how much to stretch and when. And which muscles. No one there seems to stretch. Aren't you supposed to warm up for 5-10 minutes. Stretch and then run? Or is that circa high school 1995 guidance?

Wish me luck in keeping this up!

Monday, March 14, 2011


Wyeth is Mr. Independent. He wants to serve himself. He'd like to pour milk. He'd really like to put on his own shoes.

I got it Mom and Dad, I can do it myself.

So we here the battle cry of "SELF" quite freqently.

I love it. It means we are working to foster a sense of independence!

Now just ask us about how the whole 'use the potty' thing is going...yay, not so much!

He also continues to go to bed much later than I'd like. Since about October or November, he frequently needs between 30-45 minutes to fall asleep. He sings to himself. He chats. He talks to his stuffed turtle. He'll read a book that he has chosen. But it takes until 9 or 9:15. Which just drives me nuts! But he is thriving so I guess he is just a night owl!

Just seems way too late for a little one!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pork: The Other White Meat

On Friday morning, we went to register Seren for Kindergarten at our local public school. We have had our reservations about the school in general. But who doesn't? It is the great unknown! And then I have my reservations about just sending my 'baby' to kindergarten! We looked into the school where she currently attends and while we LOVE it, it only offers a full day kindergarten and is quite pricy. As long as Sam is home, we don't really need full day kindergarten. The public school offers a half day program and is FREE and we'd get to know our community better. And I'm a public school advocate.

Anyway, so we already were feeling pretty emotional about this whole thing.

We get there with the requisite birth certificate, social security card, proof of mortgage, utility bill, etc., etc. And this is a whole team experience! Seren quickly gets taken to the kindergarten room where she is playing with other kids. She looks at us like "Hmm. What am I doing here?" We quickly explain and go stand in a long line. Once we get through the line, we stand in the office line. Once we leave the office, we sit down at a laptop to fill out more forms. And then fill out paper forms as well and then go and stand in the line we first stood in when we arrived!

Yah. It was that fun.

Meanwhile, Wyeth is demanding a "momo" which is his word for a granola bar. Since we didn't expect this little trip to be the fun "adventure" that it was, we don't have a momo. Or anything edible. He starts getting impatient. Sam and I start getting really impatient as our 9:30 start time has quickly become 10:30. And then nearly 11:00.

During this fun, Seren is being evaluated down the hall to make sure she knows her alphabet and the numbers 1-10.

Two parents in front of us is another family. Also waiting. Also getting impatient. He, however, is an alum of the school and the staff recognize him! He also is tatted up from head to toe. Lots of big beautiful tattoos. Lots of color.

I don't have a problem with tattoos. I have problem with gang signs but not tattoos in principal.


What I read on his forearm is huge, bold and black tattoo ink made me stop in my tracks. It read:

"I am 100% GRADE A, Pure American, Born and Bred WHITE MEAT"

Hmmm!? Lets re-read that tattoo.

Cue over-reaction on my part.

Is this some Aryan Nation we are sending her too? Does he really think that anyone that isn't White isn't American? Does he really think he is Grade A WHITE MEAT!? Does he really think that? Do his children think that? That no one else of different races has anything else to contribute?

Why are we sending her here? What message is this sending?! I want her to be exposed to many different ideas. Many different people in her life. Many different view points. People of different sexual orientations and faith traditions. I want it all- including the craziness that comes with diversity. I don't want to raise her in a bubble. But I'm not sure a 5 year old can navigate bigotry.

And then of course I'm being completely judgemental in my own thought!

Lets just say that after we finally made it through the 1.5 hour maze of forms, immunizations and tattoos, I cried myself all the way to the office.

I'm not ready for her to be a 'big' kindergartener. And I'm not sure this is what I want. My friends all told me, and they are right of course, that this is one person. The school doesn't think this. Most likely the great majority of the parents don't think this. And my dad pointed out, this man with the tattoo may not even think this anymore. I know all of this rationally. I really do. And this would just be one more viewpoint for her to be exposed to.

BUT...I'm not being rational. I'm being emotional!

So what do you think? Overaction on my part? Or would you too go home and do some googling on home prices in the 'other' district?