Showing posts from December, 2010

Looking back, looking ahead for... a Bridgewater Soccer Mom

Yesterday's entry was bleak. I write today's blog while listening to NPR and drinking my coffee. NPR just went through the decade. A decade ago I lived in a different world - or, well, in a different country. I had a job I loved, but was in the middle of a year-long maternity leave. A decade ago I probably was thinking that it might be the year I would lose my Mom - and I did in July 2001. A decade ago I thought I had the best neighbors in the world - as the decade ends I have even more proof that if you are a good friend to others you'll never be lonely.

January 2010 will always be the month of doctors appointments. Looking back now I counted 20 in my planner. It started with an ER visit and my son's "stapled head". Two weeks later my husband ran over his foot with a truck. Yes, it is possible! That was also the day my son could claim he jumped out of a moving truck. At least he has something interesting to write on his college applications! "When I was…

Looking back, looking ahead for BRRSD

As you may have figured out - we have been away. It was strange to be away on Christmas - in a warm place (Aruba) - and actually both kids agreed they would rather have a traditional family celebration than even be swimming in the sea.

When I came back, reality was in my in-box. One of my friends had sent me this link about the BOE and next year's budget. As I was writing this blog, the Messenger showed up in my driveway with this article. I had originally planned to make the board meeting on that Tuesday night, knowing there would be important information, but, if you read my blog, you knew I was visiting a friend instead. My priorities are in check - sick friends trump BOE meetings any Tuesday night! (Most Tuesday nights I'm driving my daughter home from Tae Kwan Do which conflicts with BOE meetings too).

Still, that doesn't mean I don't have an opinion on the 0% raise as planned in the budget.. if you're interested here it is:

I feel the Superintendent has unde…

Merry Belated Christmas

It's the holidays and time for a break. Christmas Eve the fridge/freezer died. This meant that Christmas morning I woke to lots of food going bad, and a change in plans. It's a  bit too much to expect a new fridge to materialize on Christmas Day (turns out the day after isn't an option either). Like Ralphie's family from A Christmas Story our Christmas Day dinner this year was from a Chinese restaurant - we got take out. Singapore noodles for me... It will definitely be a Christmas Dinner we remember.

Other things I wish I could change: I never got around to sending Christmas cards to everyone on the list. If you didn't get one, please believe the proverbial "it's not you, it's me" because it is true. Finally, my dear brother and his family will have to wait til 2011 to open their gifts, because they still aren't in the mail. I could have sent them something from Amazon to insure on-time delivery, but then they lose something else: the special…

"I see"

Spent a few hours with my dear, sick friend, E. I'm completely heartsick. Promised I will love and watch over her lovely daughter. Forever. But how could I, or an army of surrogate Moms, fill the void in L's heart once her Mom is gone?

Here is a musical interpretation of how I feel.

I see that you are tired,
but I can't walk the steps for you
You must walk them yourself
But I will walk with you
I will walk with you

I see that you are in pain
But I can't cry the tears for you
You must cry them yourself
But I will cry with you
I will cry with you

I see you want to give up
But I can't live life for you
You must live life yourself
But I will live with you
I will live with you

I see that you are scared
but I can't die for you
You must taste it yourself
But I will turn death into life for you
I'll make death a life for you 
(Bjorn Eidsvaag song, Soccer Mom translation)


This parenting thing sucks!

Whenever I am feeling like I want my life to be different I try to remember a friend of mine (whom I've mentioned lots of times before) who doesn't have kids but really really really wants them so that I return to my regular state of gratefulness.... Part of me wants to call her now and warn her that being a parent is very difficult and sometimes painful.

This is one of those nights!

It was blackbelt testing at the Tae Kwan Do school. C was the belle of the ball. She messed up big time right in the beginning.... she almost lost her cool, but her panic forced her to channel her energy and then everything else went very well.

N started strong but he didn't stay strong. He mixed up many of his forms. In sparing he did fine but not great (in my humble opinion, but apparently the judges thought otherwise). Ultimately he didn't break his boards. Not his first, not his second, not his third try - which is 20% of the grade, but worse, horrible on the psyche.

In the end he faile…


They're here...

my MIL and FIL arrived today for a near-3-week stay. Beds were changed, kitchen wiped and rooms with clutter have been made to look like human beings live here. I even discovered the floor below my linen closet which has been covered in mis-matched socks for the better part of 3 years.

My son was home today with a fever, but other than being pale had no other symptoms. He'll probably stay home tomorrow too. C looks like she should stay home, but I doubt she will, she really needs the rest as she is a candle burning at both ends.

Despite this whirlwind of activity (for me it's mostly cleaning today) I have been distracted all day. I got bad news about someone yesterday, then a confirmation of it today and even though she isn't part of my family nor someone I have known for very long (+/- 2 years) I can't stop thinking about how sad I am. I keep inside but it bubbles to the surface not through tears, but through my irritation about completely unrelate…

Treading water

I'm just working toward the goal of getting my to do list done so I can finally relax and enjoy my favorite time of year. I just finished a little item: clean out refridge and wash shelves. But I added a new one "bathe Diego" so it is a zero-sum gain. (Washing Diego also adds to the list: extra laundry, clean floor, etc.). Most of the list is semi-done. For example the Christmas cards, are mostly written - 1/2 addressed, 1/4 stamped  Since I've only received a couple, I'm guessing I'm still OK for time. Gifts are on the final push - still no clever ideas for my husband - got two gifties with low levels of pizazz. Any chance I'll finish the sweater by the 25th so I can give that? I cleaned out the garage after my October garage sale.

Blogging is not on the list of must-dos, so I'll step away from the computer. If I don't return it's not because I wouldn't rather be writing. Hope your to dos are not spoiling the spirit of the season (whatev…

Where did the time go?

Since Monday I have started 3 blogs. But I have been so buys I didn't finish any of them. Now they seem dull. Rereading this blog, you may agree since they were all variations on this theme.

It's the time of year when reflection competes with to-do lists. Reflection of yearly events (the anniversary of my brother's death, my late-mother's birthday and the annual presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize, not to mention the actual religious meaning if that is your tradition.  Yet the to-do list and overpacked schedule seem to dominate.

Christmas gifts for my nephews: check. Get and decorate tree: check. Christmas lights? Check, uncheck, check, half-check (we are a strand short for outside, so back to Target I go. Before Target (bought, returned and repurchased online when the same ones went on sale on Cyber Monday) we looked at lights at Costco, Home Depot, Walmart, Wegmans (bought and returned 8 strands) and Bed, Bath and Beyond. Sound familiar???

And I've been knitting…

It's that day of the year...

Every year on this day I reflect, but today I reflect even more. 25 years ago today my brother Dino died. I have blogged about his death numerous times. Like here and here.  There really isn't much more to say.

Losing Dino has given me lifelong survivor's guilt. When he died I often thought that my Mom's favorite died and her definitive least favorite lived and wished it would have been reversed. But now I see it all so differently, because I know a Mom loves all her kids and any of their losses would be tragic. His death pushed me to try new things, and my life took a direction I could never have imagined before he got sick in 1984. Dino was like the family's own Fonzi... and maybe, just maybe, a little of his charisma lives on in me?

Everyone has some hurdle in their life. Some people face these challenges as young people, others never know loss until they get very old. If nothing else, I know how to deal with something devastating, and that life definitely goes on.

Friday on Sunday

C made a difficult decision on Friday - miss school or miss a day in the city seeing the Christmas Show (which we do every year). I wasn't even intending on making it a choice. On Thursday night I informed her that the next day was Radio City Day and she freaked out. I can't miss school - I can't miss Latin! I pressured her to go to NYC and she refused.

Often I use this blog to criticize my own parenting or the parenting I see around me.  Even more often I criticize the schools.

This week I really can't criticize the teachers, at least not two of them! C Language Arts teacher called me in to see what she can do to keep her challenged in her class. "If I could tell you "just come to my third period e-class" I would, but I can't." So she gave her some books and tips on how to do her best at everything even when it's dull, told her how special she thinks she is and much she hopes she will strive for the higher, more challenging classes next ye…

Art in the home?

I am in a frenzy trying to get everything done, made and wrapped. It's only December 1st, I know, but goal one - the advent calendar (see left) for my kids - is almost done. I just have a few things to figure out - some of the packages aren't gifts but things we do - and it will be 100% complete. Luckily there are more than enough packages for the kids not to miss the few stragglers. I finished the basket and its contents last night at 2am, so I'm running on fumes today.

Against my better judgment, I told C I would hem her dress to make it quite a bit shorter. But I didn't realize the last bit is flared. How do I fix this? If only my Nonny were alive. I'd give it to her - or have her show me how. Even my Mom, who was better with upholstery than clothing, could probably have given me a tip. My Dad, unfortunately, isn't much help, and I really don't want to pay to have it done. I should be able to fix this myself, don't you think??

I took an hour break fro…