Showing posts from July, 2012

Rachael Ray?

I have one comment. 30 minutes my ass. I do love the yogurt-cucumber-cumin sauce, though.  Fish tacos....mmmmmm. * * *

Spelling Lessons

When you have older siblings, you hear certain words and phrases earlier than you should, certainly before you understand what they mean.  And then, it's quite possible that you will try to use them. Case in point. My 7 year old, with my phone in hand, composing what she thought would be a fun little text to Daddy:  " Mommy, how do you spell screw ?  I already know how to spell you ! " Only if you sign your name to it, sweetie. * * *

Willie's Got Some Looooooong Fingers

Say what you will about the decline of Western Civilization. All I know is that when I logged on to Facebook this morning, I saw that a friend of mine had posted one of my favorite Shakespearean resources, the Shakespeare Insult Kit , which I have posted about before and from which I got the following fabulous insult: " Thou reeky, onion-eyed malignancy! "  I cannot wait to come across someone I can use this on. Next, I piled the kids into the car and carted two of them off to the first day of Shakespeare Camp.  In two weeks time, my 13 year old will be in a production of Hamlet, and my 10 year old will be in a production of King Lear. Next, I went off to work a few cities away, where my organization is sharing space with a summer camp, and found my office space occupied by a bunch of teenage thespians at -- you guessed it -- Shakespeare camp. Will Shakes is everywhere , man. Did you know he gave us these (and more) common phrases? dead as a doornail

Thank You Linda Wertheimer!

We have two teen boys.  Well, one teen and one almost teen.  Teen culture is rampant around here, complete with flat brimmed baseball hats (ick), bad music, and hip lingo du jour. Most of the time, I feel like I'm doing battle against pop culture, trying to show my kids the bigger picture, coaxing them away from questionable influences, keeping them aware of other ways of being in the world. This morning, NPR helped me out.  Of course, the stories on NPR are interesting and go a long way towards educating my kids about what's going on in the world.  But I had no idea NPR could also actually change their behavior! Today, during the Sunday Puzzle with Will Shortz, Linda Wertheimer was describing to one of the listener-players what he would get for playing the puzzle game, and she referred to the prizes as "NPR swag." And from the backseat of the minivan, one of the boys piped up: "I'm never using the word swag again ever." NPR: making teen cult

Farmer T

We are chicken sitting. A neighbor down the street is away for a couple of weeks, and since we never go anywhere, we are taking care of her chickens.  This means fresh eggs for us! Confession?  I inwardly groan every morning when it's time to go "do the chickens."  I described the whole thing to a friend like this: " Yet another thing I should not have said: ' Sure!  That sounds fun! ' to ." Sigh. Little T is thoroughly enjoying it though. Will this exposure to local chickens just complicate my life?  Am I going to be dealing with Pleasemommypleasemommypleasemommycanwehaveourownchickenspleasemommypleeeeeeeese? Oh dear.  I hope not.  I'm not quite ready to walk my local food talk in that particular way. But oh-so-yummy were the fried eggs we had for breakfast! * * *

I'll See Your Stubborn and Raise You A Little T

Two sisters were wrestling on the couch, and the fun was getting out of control.  I told them multiple times to stop.  They ignored me.  I warned them that one of them was going to get hurt.  They ignored me. WHAM!  The 5 year old slammed her head hard against the couch frame, and looked at me with equal parts fury, panic, sheepishness, and pain. My mistake: My immediate reaction was not one of sympathy but of annoyance.  "Didn't I JUST tell you that you were going to get hurt?  Didn't I JUST SAY TO STOP ???"  Within about 5 seconds, I was feeling bad for her throbbing head and trying to coax her into my arms for a little love.  She was having none of that. She spent the next 10 minutes sobbing in a heap on the couch, holding her head, and screaming: "I MEANT TO DO THAT!  I MEANT TO DO THAT!" Yeah....riiiiiight. * * *

7 Quick Takes, Volume 55

Friday, I hardly know ya'. Here are 7 Quick Takes for today; please visit the original and leave 7 Quick Comments for the posters participating today. ~1~ Happy brains work better!  Visit  The Hawn Foundation to learn more about an excellent program designed to create optimistic classrooms, mindful children, and brighter futures.  This incredible organization is where I'm working now, and I'm very proud to be part of its efforts to help kids lead happier, healthier lives. So much of what The Hawn Foundation does resonates with my aspirations for my own children and speaks to my ongoing search for ways to promote confidence and hope in them.  I feel very fortunate to be working on issues that are critical to the future of both our society and my own family.   ~2~ Do you like Shakespeare?  And wineries?  And super cute kids?  Have I got an opportunity for you! Sonoma Shakespeare and Avalon Players presents A Midsummer Nights Dream at Buena Vista W

Never Enough

I am a list maker.  But since starting my new job, I have fallen away from the habit, at least in my non-working life.  It's discombobulating, this traveling through the day willy nilly, not knowing what I really want or need to get done.  So the other day, I made a HUGE list, of all the things large and small that are occupying my brain these days.  Some are straight-up "to-do" items, some are things to think about, some are more like long term goals.  There's a random shopping list of things we need...there's some parenting advice I'd like myself to take...there's ideas for organizing our household more effectively.  Here's a gander at my big ole list of brain stuff: Tonight, after what was on the whole a pretty good day, I found myself wondering what exactly I had managed to do.  I looked at that big ole list, and discovered that I could cross exactly nothing off of it, after waking up 16 hours ago. That was rather distressing.  So I did wha

Good Policy

Grandparents have all the good ideas. Little T emerged from Papa's studio on Sunday, came over to me with a stumped look on her face, put her hands out to her sides with the palms facing up and announced: Papa doesn't answer WHY questions! And off she went. Do you know what this means?  It means he found the off button! Unfortunately, it's a single user button. Darn. * * * ps: I did ask her if she asked him why.  She just looked at me like " Really ?" and walked away disgusted.

Today, I Am Grateful For...

...leverage. * * * Even on my worst days ( and not that this is one of those days or anything ), I am keenly aware that I have much to be grateful for.  My kids have much to be grateful for.  We are truly and richly blessed, even if we all gripe too much. But today is special.  This past week, my parents got bicycles for all of my kids.  Two of them got brand spanking new ones, and three got refurbished ones from my garage, complete with new paint jobs, tires, chain guards, and whatever else they needed.  We get to drive up to Sonoma tomorrow and pick up the two new ones, and then all five will be riding in style. All week long I've thought about how lucky these kids are.  The bikes...the mid-week trip to the beach with dad...the professional soccer game with mom last night...the milkshakes and art classes and shakespeare plays. So you'll understand if I get a little put off by any sign of complaint or entitlement when I ask them to clean their rooms or do chores.  Ty

Indignation and Glee and Hypocrisy

Finally home after a long day, I pulled the leftover paella out of the fridge, mouth watering in anticipation. Then I took a look, and my indignation flared.   How dare she go through here and pick out all the chorizo!   She would be my 10 year old epicurean, and she's been known to raid a dish for tasty shrimp and juicy sausage.  Once, she sat with Rick and I, and while the two of us bantered on in some conversation, she selected 30+ pieces of shrimp out of our paella pan, piling them up on the bench next to her and then slipping away to watch a movie with her siblings, a small bowl of pink and white jewels by her side.  We figured it out too late. So when I first looked at our leftovers, I was not pleased.  I was down right affronted.  However, on closer inspection, I saw plenty of dark red disks nestled in the luscious saffron rice, and my disappointment turned to glee! What did I do next?  I mined that sucker for as many bites of chorizo as I could find.  Whoever might


So....I've gone back to work. Some things I've realized: Coming into the house at the end of the day requires approximately the same amount of energy as powering a small nation. Using my brain in a new way all day long is a strange and wonderful experience. I really, really need a new wardrobe. I really, really need a new haircut. There are TONS of chores around my house that I have been doing that my kids can and should be doing.  * * * My kids, I'm sure, have their own take on my return to work.  I hesitate to ask, because I'm not sure I want to know the answer.  My 7 year old daughter's unsolicited commentary on our new state of affairs? "It's like we don't even have a mom!" Blacking out now.  Will return momentarily.  * * *

From Across The Room

Across a crowded church hall, over the heads of families eating a celebratory dinner at the close of bible camp, amidst the noise of people laughing and talking, I watched my 13 year old son greet and hug some very dear friends.  And I watched him let Grandma Nati ooh and aah over him, I watched him meet the new baby, I watched him answer questions and smile and nod. This is the same 13 year old with whom I have been clashing of late.  The same one who shakes his fists at heaven and demands to know why, WHY, he got stuck with these two for parents.  The same one in whose name I shake my fists at heaven, desperately wondering if he will ever be a responsible, contributing member of society. * * * The family he was talking to is really my children's second family.  14 years ago, heavy with him, my first child, we interviewed potential daycare providers, anticipating my return to work after an upcoming 3 months of maternity leave.  Goodness gracious, were we clueless the