Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunny Monday

If you've read the blog for a while, you know that cancer and I have a history. My brother was diagnosed with it when I was 14, and several years ago my Mom died of it. In addition my 2nd cousin has had a bout with it. She seems to have won - NED (No Existing Disease) - go L! I also follow a cancer blog. I discovered it one day about 2 years ago and have been reading daily ever since. It's founder died in August, but the blog lives on, with a group of cancer patients, caregivers and now otherwise unlikely friends.

This weekend I found out that someone I know, not well, but who I really like so far, is fighting her 3rd round of the big C. She's got a very supportive team behind her and good medical care. While she was in the hospital, her daughter scored the first goal in yesterday's game and you should have heard the emotional charge behind the cheers. Parents and kids alike were yelling out her name. I'm am guessing that she was thinking "This is for Mom!"

In light of E's situation, I want to turn over a new leaf. I want to improve my negative attitude that I sometimes have about life as I choose to live it. I need to stop complaining about all the driving I do or get caught up in small quibbles with myself or others. I want to take time to remember that I am so lucky to have all these wonderful people in my life.

Today is a beautiful day and it will be easy to keep this sunny disposition. Keeping it in my heart for the long term... that is the challenge.

Oh, by the way, in the "not sweating small stuff" category - this blog accidentally posted before I was done writing it. My computer had gone in sleep mode (or so I thought from the black screen) and I hit enter - the mouse apparently was just over the "publish post" button and off up it went).

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Small towns are small towns


Last night I spent the evening with my son. I have mentioned before that he often is in his sister's shadow, but last night was all about him. First he had his taekwondo belt test. I have never seen that many kids test at the same time. The school had tons of chairs out. N was the 2nd highest belt rank being tested. It seemed so strange to see him there - as one of the biggest/oldest/most accomplished kids. The school's master was pushing him during the testing of forms to do them "stronger", but technically he knew his stuff. At the board breaking he gave it his all and broke the boards on the first time with ease. It was great.

After that, Boy Scouts. I have to admit I hate Boy Scout Pack meetings. They are noisy and often disorganized (although this week there were very few kids and it was well done). N earned his bear patch promoting him to the next level. He was very proud.

Another reason I hate the pack meetings is that it is mostly Dads who take part, so I feel a bit out of place. I prefer girl scouts so much! I hang out with a couple of the Dads and a few moms that I know pretty well (Dad's of N's friends) and usually I'm OK. One nameless Dad and I decided that since N couldn't play after school with his son we'd get them ice cream after scouts. We drove to Rita's (separately). Rita's was packed on a Friday night. I saw at least 3 other parents I knew when I was in line. The lines were loooooooong and the service a bit slow, so it took about a half an hour to get 2 mistos. N should have gone to the bathroom at the pack meeting because, like clockwork, he was doing the dance...

The dad we were with had a great idea. N could use the bathrooms at the ballpark across the street. As soon as we got the icecream he drove us across the street. We could have walked, but it was pretty dark, and between the crowds at Rita's and the chaos at the ballfield where several games were ending, we decided it was safest to drive.

Icecream eaten and it being very late he drove us back to my car in Rita's parking lot. Someone in line at Rita's (I recognized her as a parent at our school, but have no idea what her name is) recognized him - and then saw me in the front seat with him and you could see her doing the math in her head. She said "you aren't..." gave a sly look and didn't finish her sentence.

SMALL TOWNS ARE SMALL TOWNS.

He smiled and said something to the effect of "it's not what it looks like!" I tried to say something like "we're taking the boys to the bathroom" but couldn't get the explanation out and tripped over my tongue.

Anyway, if you were the woman in line last night. That's what happened. Nothing more, nothing less.

So just a word of advice: if you should decide to have a quiet affair (WE'RE NOT HAVING ONE! I'M HAPPILY MARRIED AND HE SEEMS VERY HAPPY WITH HIS WIFE, TOO) Friday night at Rita's is not the first place you want to go, even if it is around the corner from the Marriott...

*************

One final note: yesterday morning I was on my bike on Country Club, near Burnt Mills Road and a large Mercedes Sedan drove past me at great speed - and at a very close distance. I just want to let the driver know this: "YOU DON'T SCARE ME! BICYCLISTS HAVE A RIGHT TO USE THE ROAD! YOU HAVE TO YIELD TO US!!"

OK, now that I have that off my chest, I can start my day. Look outside. It's going to be a taste of summer!!!!!!!!!! Rita's anyone? I know just who I'll invite - if we take the boys 2 days in a row, do you think anyone will notice???

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Take Your Child to Work Day

My kids are heading off to work with their Dad this morning. They are lucky! My kids love the kids of T's boss who will be there too. The office will take them somewhere cool for lunch - a full 1.5 hours on the schedule - and I'm sure they'll be running amuck in the office all day long.

But WHOOSH did you feel the swift breeze my anger just flew in on? My daughter wanted to wear eye liner and mascara to T's office today. She didn't want to take it off, so this followed with a hostile-toned lecture about how it is important that the kids make a good impression too. I know that the office workers aren't going to change their opinion of C for wearing make-up since they see her several times a year, and generally think she's a good girl. But I don't want ANYTHING to taint how they see T in his place of work.

Why does my anger get the best of me? Why couldn't I take a deep breath and explain she needs to wash her face, please because it is inappropriate to wear make-up to the office. Why did the anger-gene take over my self-control, and I automatically start yelling "THE IMPRESSION YOU MAKE AT DADDY'S OFFICE IS VERY IMPORTANT! WHO DO YOU THINK PAYS FOR ALL THOSE CLOTHES? DADDY! WHY CAN HE BUY THEM? BECAUSE HE HAS THIS JOB!"

Did I really think that T's job would be on the line because my daughter is wearing eye-liner? Of course not!

I was so happy for the kids knowing they are looking forward to a great day. Why did I have to ruin it? It is so hard for me to keep my emotions out of parenting.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Time management 2

The biggest challenge in this life is time management in the hours between 4pm and 7pm Monday-Friday. Last night I put dinner in the oven and went to a girl scout leader meeting. No one thought to take it out of the oven until it was long overcooked. I came home and my kids were eating sandwiches (but my Dad faithfully ate what I had made). It is sometimes impossible to get it all done at the same time!

That said, my daughter desperately wants to add another activity for the fall (I have blogged about this before and because the final deadline is TOMORROW I have 24 hours to make a decision).

I can barely handle the juggling of the week's activities that we currently have. We already eat after 8pm at least 3-4 nights a week. How could I possibly manage another 7 hours per week?

The truth is: I can't. But I still want to give C this opportunity. And, yet, I don't. Cheerleading? YUCK!

While I write this, my father is looking at pictures from the 1970s. Happy memories from my grandmother's porch. My cousins are there and I'm smiling a lot in the pictures just hanging out with family. Living in Bridgewater, my kids don't have their cousins as part of their every day lives. It sometimes makes me sad. We haven't seen my college-aged niece in almost 3 years. We have never seen another niece (who was born in August) and my sister's kids live only 3 hours from here, but we see them fewer than a few times per year.

So I guess it is OK that we have so much going on since we don't have much extended family time. Sometimes I wish our lives now were more like mine was then - where my grandmother was a major focus of my life. Her unconditional love was so important to me. When I was my son's age, we had Saturday night sleepovers with Nonny. My kids demand sleepovers just about every weekend. With Nonny we ate popcorn and watched the Love Boat on her big armchair. It might have been uncool, but now I am so grateful.

I didn't play sports, I took a dance class once a week and sang in our church's choir... but most days we weren't rushing ANYWHERE, especially on the weekends. How did life become so harried? So competitive? So stressed out?

Stop the world, I want to get off! I better hurry up and publish this post - it's rush hour! Tonight its two enrichments (one for each kid after school) and C's soccer practice. Oh, and of course, DINNER....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Results

I didn't think it was possible in this political climate - but the Budget Passed!

Congratulations to Cynthia Cullen, Patrick Breslin and Christine Schneider.

For complete results see http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20090421/EDUCATION/90421032/1025/education

***

As an aside, it has come to my attention that a BOE member wrote an e-mail to an undisclosed number of people calling me and/or other bloggers un-American for criticizing Mrs. Schneider's religious expression because she sends her kids to Christian schools. I have not seen the actual e-mail myself, so I cannot quote it verbatim, nor defend myself directly.

Writing this blog to express MY views is protected by the same Amendment of the Constitution as Mrs. Schneider's religious expression.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

I was most certainly NOT criticizing her religious views or her right to express them! I was questioning her motivation to run for a BOE position in a district that she doesn't deem suitable for her own children. I would be just as critical should she have sent her children to a secular out-of-district school.

VOTE TODAY, FRIENDS & READERS

It may be close, so literally EVERY VOTE COUNTS!
If you want my opinion of the candidates see:

Soccer Mom's Voting Cliff Notes


Vote early, vote often! :-) You can't complain if you don't vote.

Back to parenting blogs tomorrow. But I do want to note that today is the funeral of Mrs. G. I can't go since it's in my hometown. Mrs. G. was simply put a lovely lady and a good friend to my parents.

I keep trying to believe in heaven... and if it's there, there is no question that Mrs. G's gonna get in. Say hi to Mom, Mrs. G. While the girlfriends are reunited beyond the pearly gates, our family will be there for your husband.

Since we can't bring him food in person, I'm going to ship cookies and homemade bread to him overnight. Not the same, but it's the thought that counts.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tomorrow...

Don't forget to vote tomorrow.

I hope you'll join me in voting for Pat Breslin, Cynthia Cullen

and maybe for Christine Schneider... I'm still deliberating.

Support the budget if you feel it is the right thing to do. A strong school system is the cornerstone of a community. I'm going to vote yes and encourage you to do the same. It's more than just "those nasty benefit packages" - it's our kids' education.

More blogs to come... I have had a very busy weekend and today didn't go as planned. I have started 2 blogs this weekend that I never finished.

Friday, April 17, 2009

SPRING IS HERE!

No politics or current events in today's blog. If you want that you can read The Courier News about the BRRSD upcoming election, if you want parenting in jest (sorta) or if you want this week's feel good story watch the video.

Just wrote another check over $50 (OK - I'll admit it, the first check was closer to $100) for the Plant Sale. What does that signify? Mother's Day is coming. I'm a sucker for the PTO plant sale. And now with 2 kids in two schools, I got a 2nd chance when C's form came home a week after N's. I never buy the PTO's pizza or the gift wrap - but the plant sale, watch out checking account.... The first year I was lazy and left the new plants in the driveway overnight only to find a few stubs the next morning - but I got smart: hanging plants = the deer can't reach them.
Anything else? DEER PROOF, if that really exists. Am trying vincas, ageratum and allysum (I think that's why I ordered).

Last year my sister-in-law generously bought and planted something (I'm terrible with plant, tree and bird names) in my front yard last Spring. It became deer food too, but now I think it is coming up again!! Where is my chicken wire?!!

I've spent the last 3 days either in bed or wishing I were and I still have half a mind to cancel my meeting this morning and return to bed. Went to the doctor yesterday and got a diagnosis, and, more importantly, a prescription with a side of common sense advise. The doctor said "If you're miserable, take something!" What he gave me knocks me out, but reduces the vertigo. Can't take it and drive. So I'll look for non-prescription stuff to tide me over. The name of my diagnosis was so cute that I keep repeating it "labrynthitis". Apparently it is a fancy name for an ear infection.

Even though the bed is calling me back to it. I know that as soon as I get spring clothes on and take a long shower, I'll be what my friends call "Fit for Fight".

THE SUN IS OUT! It's strength is enough to lift anyone's spirits.

So I plan to spend the day away from the laptop, out of bed and in the sun. As with all my plans, they might get derailed, but that's what's up today... first on list: hot shower!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In bed with the dog

I am the first number on several people's "just in case" list. How many times has school closed early and I suddenly have 5 kids at my house? Or how many friends have called in a panic with the desperate words "I'm stuck in traffic..." and off I rush to beat aftercare's closing hour? How many times have I taken one extra kid here, there, everywhere?

I don't mind because today is one of those days when I'm cashing in on some karma. Guilt free, and grateful!

As D and I laze in bed, MR is picking up C from school, then GH will drive BOTH ways to soccer tonight and BM will pick up N when he picks up my pseudo-son (his actual son) TM...

It takes a village of drivers to raise kids in Bridgewater.

Sometimes you have to lean on your colleague to get the job done!

Who's gonna drive my kids home tonight?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My BRRSD candidate blog... or "A soccer Mom's voting cliff notes"

Dear Readers,

Today I watched the Bridgewater Raritan Regional School District Board of Education candidates night video. While I am not formally endorsing anyone (who am I to do that anyway? I'm just a parent) these are my opinions.

I will DEFINITELY vote for:

Cynthia Cullen
, current President of the BOE. Cynthia's presidency on the board is an immediate improvement over the previous president. She makes people feel welcome and respects their right to be heard. The previous president was regularly rude to citizens who voice concerns during public comment portions of BOE meetings. Mrs. Cullenhas two children in the district and works as a professional in local industry. She also has a masters degree. I have met her on several occasions, including during strategic planning. She seems very intelligent. Her intentions are clear: raise educational standards and have accountability to the public. I will vote with her without reservation.

Patrick Breslin. I am THRILLED that Patrick is running! He will be a fantastic BOE member. He is approachable and has proved his commitment to the district as co-chair of the Strategic Planning committee. He is a trained educator - the only candidate that is- and would be an ideal BOE member. His experience running the Strategic Planning program will serve him well, as he is already well versed in the BRRSD's challenges. I am happy to attest to his professionalism and commitment to the district.

I also find it commendable that he is a stay-at-home Dad.

Those are the only two candidates that I can enthusiastically (and informally) endorse!


The other candidates and my reservations:

The best thing I have heard recently about Christine Schneider is "she isn't doing any harm"...

Why am I concerned?

1) SHE CHOOSES TO SEND HER SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN OUT OF DISTRICT. Why aren't BRRSD schools good enough for her??? She neglected to mention that her kids don't go to brrsd schools during her candidate presentation.

2) IMHO she came off the candidate's night looking like an idiot. Regarding a question regarding strategic focus with shrinking resources she said (my transcription from the video, my apologies if I made any mistakes.):

"I am so proud, being on the board. We have been doing exactly this: we have been maintaining and improving our programs, while being fiscally responsible. We must count on things that are free. We have to count on our high-quality administrators and staff to use their expertise, their intelligence, their creativity and their commitment to our children to provide them with the highest quality in education possible. In terms of priorities and the strategic use of district resources, I think we need to continue to focus to on making sure we are providing students in Bridgewater Raritan with the best quality teachers. We are improving programs, yes. But programs are only as good as the teachers who are implementing them. We do a terrific job with staff development. We need to continue this. We also need to continue our focus on supervision and accountability."

What in the world did she mean by counting on things that are free? Then she mentioned administrators and teachers and training teachers. NONE of this is free! What is free???

3) I wonder about her motivation for being on the BOE. (See point 1). My impression is that she is on the board because it is an asset for her career. The only time I have heard her voice any kind of opinion was at a recent meeting when parents were concerned about threatened cuts to athletics. At that point she emotionally reminded people that her heart is in sports as she heads the rec department. She also thanked "important" sports people by name. I found that inappropriate brown-nosing!

She does not seem to be in the same camp as those of us who are focused foremost on questions of academics in the district. She mentioned the changes in the math program, but I have never heard her give an opinion, nor even ask a question related to math or language arts. She is therefore IMHO not the best candidate for those of us who are primarily concerned with academics questions in the district.

Finally - when she is bragging about improved communication: she refuses to have an e-mail address on the districts BOE members website. WHY WON'T SHE LET THE PUBLIC E-MAIL HER?

Yet as I write this, I guess Christine is the "lesser of the 3 evils" and to water down the chances for the final two candidates I might vote for her.

The last two are both definite NOs.

Richard Guss already had a strike against him IMHO within the first 2 minutes of his candidate nights opening remarks when he had made a grammatical error. If you can't speak with good grammar in a prepared statement presenting yourself to the public, why would anyone trust you to be in charge of LAL for an entire district of kids? He comes off at meetings as unwelcoming to the public and disinterested in public opinion. His priorities on the BOE are apparently to cut the budget - but I have been to several BOE meetings and never heard his opinion on feasible ways to do this (and during his statement he wants to improve the infrastructure, while cutting costs? It doesn't make sense). But these aren't enough for an emphatic no. Part of it is a gut feeling. Why is he on the board? What are his motivations? He also doesn't have kids in the district? As a lawyer - is he looking for a stepping stone into a political career?

He also refuses to allow the public to contact him via e-mail - yet he claims that he wants to improve communication. His plan to improve communication with the public puts the onus on the public. "The public need to come to the meetings". Then don't be sour-faced when we, the public, come to a meeting and address you. Someone mentioned to me recently that he has been seen checking phone messages and texting while members of the public were addressing the board at the podium at BOE meetings.

Stan Serafin - was just plain scary! There is no way I will vote for him! He has an admitted agenda ("to get rid of the left-wing agenda" - yet, he did not define who or what that is - I would be happy to see more of a left wing agenda - can someone show it to me???). Serafin also has no children in the district, nor displayed any serious interest in academics except saying he wants to keep a strong education at a lower cost and focus on Science and Math. (As an aside my daughter said yesterday that she hates science because the kids in her class can't read fluently, so she doesn't get much out of it when the teacher has them read from the textbook aloud in class and just reads quietly to herself. You clearly can't succeed in Science without strength in LAL - ever heard of LAB NOTES?).

I have never seen him attend a BOE meeting. My sources tell me that he is a disgruntled former BRRSD bus driver who was fired by the district. - Seems there is a story behind this rumor that I'll have to hear (he claimed he is a retired business owner and a Republican politician in county politics)! - He seems to have a personal vendetta against the administration. He wants corporations to sponsor BRRSD instead of relying so heavily on taxes, and claims that companies in the area want to do so. I think that substantial corporate sponsorship is unrealistic in the current economic climate.

He seemed to mix up the Superintendent with the Board of Education leadership during his remarks, and promised he will singlehandedly make sweeping changes, like promising that all mail to the BOE will be replied to in a quick fashion (without offering to write it himself) and making sure that minutes will be posted within two days of a meeting (I'm sure whoever has that in their job description can't wait for him to make these demands!). How is he going to force BRRSD staff to do any of that? And if he is planning to do it himself, why didn't he say so "I take great minutes!"

This is long and wordy and may even have factual errors. But as none of the candidates seem to have a website outlying their candidacy and views, and the district hasn't posted the video I just thought I would give what is in my humble opinion (IMHO) the lay of the BRRSD candidates land. When I write this, I have already given the video to someone else to watch and can't replay it again.

May the best woman (Cullen) and man (Breslin) win and if I have to have a 3rd candidate then may she continue to do no harm. If you disagree with me on most other things you've seen on my blog, Cullen and Breslin aren't the candidates for you!

PS - Last year at least 3 of the candidates had a webpage with their concerns listed and an outline of their platform. It was a good idea, had little or no cost and future BRRSD candidates should take note! Then you wouldn't have to read this synopsis of my thoughts - you could read their actual platforms!


UPDATE per 4/21/09: I just found these:
Patrick Breslin's website is: www.breslin4boe.webs.com
Cynthia Cullen's website is: www.cullenboe.webs.com
The other 3 candidates websites are not listed with the Currier News' breakdown of candidates. See: http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20090416/EDUCATION/90416026/1025

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Universal question...

How do you get your kids to go to bed on time when they have been up until midnight for a week during break?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

NY Times magazine catches BW soccer Mom's eye


Pour yourself a cuppa coffee (or if it's nighttime, a nice merlot) this blog entry was longer than intended...

I read two (cross that out and put three) things in the NY Times Magazine that caught my eye today:

Lisa Belkin does it again (she's the writer behind the Motherlode blog which I have linked to before). This week with Your Old Man. Maybe all of my issues aren't to do with my Mom. Maybe the fact that my Dad was 45 when I was born plays a larger, previously unknown factor. No, I don't have autism, but I wonder if I have some mild form of ADD. It also turns on its head many of our preconceived notions about health issues coming from the egg to the sperm! (ew, yuck, I just thought about my parents' eggs and sperm!) Time to change topic.

The other thing I saw was only by luck, since I don't read the sports section. This was in the Magazine Section, which I usually scan regardless of topic.

Today Bridgewater, NJ is hosting a major soccer name at the former Patroit's Stadium (now TD Stadium). At 4pm the NY/NJ based new women's soccer team will play here(yes, thanks for the warning - why wasn't THIS marketed better?) against the LA Sol. LA Sol's big star, Marta Vieira da Silva, will strut her stuff. I say let's go see it. Ticket info here. It's only $19 a ticket for a single ticket. Great thing to expose my soccer loving kid and her teammates to...

...except controlling soccer Mom that I am, I'm taking her to her own game. Even if I wanted her to blow it off, I wouldn't. Being Palm Sunday there are a bunch of kids away and if C doesn't go they'll have to forfeit. Guess I'll be trying to get the team together to see Marta when she returns in June. So if you don't want to spend $19 for Marta - you can see C play for free in Sussex county. For you non-NJ readers - that's nearly 90 minutes from our house!!!!

This passage was my favorite part of the article:

In U.S. soccer circles, there is an ongoing discussion about how American players, from a young age, are overcoached and coddled. They practice only under a coach’s supervision, and games take place as parents hover with lovingly cut orange slices and juice boxes. The selection of talent for top U.S. teams, from the youth level all the way up to the senior national squads, tends to emphasize speed, strength and aggression over great technical skill or improvisational ability. Marta will present a strong visual image of what can happen with less coaching and a childhood spent learning to pick up the bounces and spin of a soccer ball on nearly every imaginable surface except a groomed field.

Charlie Naimo, the Sol general manager, is eager for his star to be an ambassador for a new style of play — and perhaps new ways of thinking. “What we’re hoping,” he said, “is that having Marta here and people watching her play is going to pose the question: Why? Why is she who she is? Well, it’s kind of obvious. When she was 5 years old, she was out on the street all day playing.”


Guilty - I wish I could pull the coddling gene from my motherhood. I KNOW it didn't come from MY mother who let us roam the neighborhood unattended day or night. Maybe it came from my Dad. Nah, doubtful! It's from Bridgewater - and the thought that other Moms will judge me.

And "lovingly cut orange slices" is a stretch - usually "cut in 2 minutes or less because the forever-late running soccer mom forgot yet again it was her turn" would be more accurate for me.

OK - Again, I was about to post this blog, when I was reading the final page of the NY Times Magazine. This one-pager called Four is Enough was so my life. No, we only have one dog, but I could feel in the pit of my stomach the relationship between this husband and wife.

And if you rip it out the original magazine article to put it up, say on the fridge for the subtle message to your husband that says "Yes, I get it!", you'll have a laugh (if you know who I am, otherwise it won't make any sense). If you get the times, go look at the ad on the previous page. Clearly fate!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Kids - can't live with 'em and don't want to without 'em


I forget how lucky I am to have my kids. When I am angry at them, frustrated with the seemingly endless driving, and feeling sorry for myself for the lack of any viable career, I need to remember that. I can't give in to resentment! When I hurl verbal abuse at the kids, I have to take a ten second break! It's not their faults that I can't have it all (career and kids) at the same time. Some moms do.

I was reminded of the lengths people will go to today when I saw this video on Madeleine Brand's website, "Parenting on the Edge". If you are an NPR junkie like me you will recognize Madeleine as the former host of the recently canceled show :-( "Day to Day". If not, you can explore her site, blog, video and podcast, and get to know what she is doing now. (You might want to check out the video before reading the rest of my blog...)

...

How many friends of mine have admitted that they are "trying to get pregnant", or going/have been through the painful, long, and sometimes unsuccessful process of adopting a child? Too many. I feel guilty that I was just fertile enough.

So it is important for me to remember that having my beautiful children is a privilege.

Getting them was pretty easy. Pregnancy wasn't bad. Birth was painful but not the near-death nightmare some friends have experienced. My babies were yummy but never slept well enough, darling as little kids... and somehow they have grown into these two independent-minded beings. But kids are a lot of work! I don't go out much with my husband or my friends. Every decision I make, big or small, takes them into consideration. They have become the focus of my entire world.

Very funny: as I am editing the blog tonight, my friend just sent this from the motherlode. Why are these two guys so desperate to have kids that they are spending a fortune to go to India?

Let's juxtapose these two sites. One is a video of people desperate to have a baby. The other is a column looking into research claiming that people who don't have children are happier than those who do. All these years I've felt sorry for people who never have kids... guess who is having the last laugh? Answer: My friends who have the great jobs, or all those famous women who have done great things sans strollers!

So, motherlode's questions: Why did you decide to have children? Are you happier than before they were born? And was “happiness” even one of the reasons on your decision tree?

Why did I decide to have kids: because I couldn't imagine life without them.

Am I happier than before they were born: yes. I am. Possibly because I am more confident now. I don't know if that is because I am a mom or just because of my age.

Was happiness part of the reasons? Probably, but I think I was afraid I wouldn't have them. The truth is that two of my Mom's closest friends (they are both well over 80 now) didn't have kids. They both had typical careers - one was a teacher, the other, a nurse. My Mom felt bad for them, but I think one of them feels regret, the other one doesn't. My Mom had a heavy influence in my thinking - which is ironic because I don't think she thought kids were the be all and end all of a happy life.

Yes, I have a college degree (actually two). Yes, I have traveled. Yes, I have had lots of cool experiences, had at least one somewhat cool job and I've met many interesting people. I've even had my 15 minutes of fame twice. I've been in love and married a wonderful man. I was fortunate to have the parents I do. But if I died tomorrow I would be especially grateful that I had kids.

And they're great!

Good luck Kevin and Richard. Kids don't guarantee happiness. But I am happy I have mine.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

BOE Candidates

OK - so can someone explain why the BRRSD would go to the expense and hassle of having a board of education candidates forum that they broadcast on regular television, but didn't post on BRRSD's own website? Someone could have posted it on youtube! That would have made sense so that those of us who forgot to watch, have to borrow the single video that each school got?

BTW - if you search youtube with Bridgewater as the key work "Bridgewater Bitch Lady" is the first hit!

(It's not me!)

I don't usually blog twice in a day, but I was hoping to do some homework for tomorrow's blog tonight.... guess I'll go watch LOST instead.

Wednesday roller coaster

It's Wednesday - this Wednesday is just as jammed-packed as last Wednesday, and I am suddenly grateful that we have no big plans for the break next week. After school C has volleyball, girl scouts and soccer practice. N gets to go to girl scouts - the awesome art teacher at N's school is doing a 2-week project with the girls and their siblings.

I felt jet lagged yesterday after all the crying at the wake on Monday and funeral on Tuesday. I slept poorly 3 nights in a row and that didn't help either. At P's funeral I thought about my own life. If I died what would people say about me? Who would actually show up? A certain person refused to go to either P's wake or the funeral. It made me wonder who goes and who doesn't and why.

But that isn't the thought for the day. Today my cleaning lady is actively turning my bombed-out house to a comfortable living space again. I wish she could come every week. Every day. I know one thing they will say about me at my funeral: she was so messy! (Loud, obnoxious, pushy...)

I woke up thinking about the school year. I don't want my son's year with Miss Teacher to end. She is so good for him. While I laid in bed this morning, I thought about what I could do for her as a token of my thanks. I think I have a plan. Do I vote yes as a tribute to the great teachers or do I vote no because I think they aren't doing enough to cut costs - administrative salaries, the "need" for a copy boy, and the expense of hiring external consultants to find out what the "issues" are, for example.

But now it's time for thankless (and countless) errands. I have forgotten to write a check for something, so I'll have to bring it myself later. Messy AND disorganized. If only I were as perfect as I describe myself in cover letters to potential employers.

...wonder how the Albany election is going to turn out...
(But I don't think that calling it a referendum on Obama! This is a totally republican district!) Strange to disagree with NPR.
Hear NPR's take on it:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102590710