Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cool Kids Show in NYC

I'm taking quick departure here to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you had a good one.

We've been running around a lot this weekend, doing all kinds of cool stuff with Seth. Tomorrow we are going to see Bolt. And, today we went to see Gustafer Yellowgold's Mellow Sensation in NYC.

If you are a New Yorker, or even if you're not, you can check out their offerings on

Gustafer is a whimsical, little yellow creature from the sun who now lives on earth with three friends, a pet eel named Slimothy, dragon named Asparagus and pterodactyl named Forrest Applecrumbie.

The 50 minute show features a "funny and touching multi-media concert of live songs, stories and animation." It was delightful. Talented founder Morgan Taylor, songwriter/illustrator and creator of Gustafer, leads the musical group of four and tells stories, interacts with the audience, etc.

Whether this is your child's introduction to a live theatre event, or they are a veteran of children's productions, no doubt they will enjoy, as will you.


Saturday, November 22, 2008


To give you an update....we made it through week three without a nanny unscathed, and things are gradually shaping up on this end.

We decided to enroll my son in an after school program for two days. Turns out a bunch of boys he knows are also in the program, so he's a happy camper about going there. And, we feel good about him having further socializing opportunities. Having him there is also helping me to straighten out my schedule, since I know that I have a bigger chunk of time available during the day to get things done. I feel a bit less like I'm racing the clock, though there still never seems to be enough hours in the day these days.

I've been sharing our nanny story with people gradually...those who knew her...and everyone is a bit stunned at the way it sadly concluded. Myself included, of course.

It made me think back to when Seth was a little one and how we've always had help. This is a whole new experience for us. So many moms I know have family support, which is so wonderful.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I become accutely conscious of family. I was speaking with one mom friend yesterday who mentioned she is cooking for 16. And, that she and her husband are going away in a couple of weeks to stay at a friends time share. Her parents or her husband's parents will stay with the kids (she has two) while they're gone.

I wondered...what is that like?

I am a "later" mom who is herself the product of "later" parents...and my mom passed away 10 years ago. My dad is a senior with health challenges. And, my husband lost his dad, and his mom is a senior. So, we have no parental help with Seth, and little family to spend holidays with. My sister and her family and my husband's brother and his family are all traveling for Thanksgiving.

I'm not a big entertainer, so I don't mind not having a crowd over for dinner. But, I do get a bit melancholy when I think of what holidays were like for me growing up. My mom would cook, and the whole house smelled great. And, I remember her signature recipes, i.e. matzoh stuff and pumpkin bread with chocolate chips. My husband now makes the pumpkin bread, which my son loves, and I feel like we're sharing a bit of my mom with him, who he never knew.

I mentioned to a new friend the other day that my mom never met my son and how much she would have loved him. I'm sad for that, though we talk about her and share her photos with Seth. And, one day (when I have the emotional strength) can show him videos. But, they remain hard for me to watch.

So, if you have your parents, I urge you to enjoy them and not just during the holidays. Stay in the moment. Treasure their presence in your family's life...even if the relationship isn't perfect. You'll miss them when they're gone, regardless, and perhaps wish things might have been different. So, seize this time and try to create as loving a scenario with them as you can.

I'd love to have my mom back, even for a moment, so she could smile at my son.

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Monday, November 17, 2008


My nanny left two weeks ago, and I've been counting the days, for better or worse.

I was spoiled, I admit it. We've had a nanny since Seth was born, and now I'm in a bit of culture shock. laundry? Me....cook? Me...make the beds?

But, really, it's for the best. It, sadly, ended in a more dramatic fashion that I ever would have imagined. And, it wasn't planned. But, it was a long time in the coming.

Our nanny wasn't well suited to Seth anymore. She is wonderful with babies who she can love and care for. But, for a busy five year old, he's more than she could handle on a daily basis. And, I understand. I'm 48 and peri-menopausal. Some days he knocks me out too, but he's my's not a job I get paid to do.

We've all been adjusting. I feel like I'm racing the clock more these days since I have no flexibility with my schedule as I did before, since she was live-in.

But, we've decided to enroll Seth in an after school program for two days, starting today. I'm crossing my fingers that he'll like it. I feel like it's a good thing. More social time for him with peers. Also, probably, more exposure to germs, from what I hear...but hopefully his immune system can withstand it.

Part of me feels a bit guilty for putting him in a program after school because he won't get home until after 6PM now...a longer day than he's had. And, then we'll have homework. But, the other part of me is relieved that I have a greater chunk of time to get things done, and to hit the gym at 5pm, at least on Mondays, as I was used to. I've always been a night person and like to be out after dark.

Unfortunately, these days, my son is becoming a night person too, in that he doesn't want to sleep. He's seen monsters on 'n off since the nanny left. My guess is that he's feeling the loss and he's having nightmares. It's tough and sad. So, we've been reassuring him that mommy and daddy aren't going anywhere, in an effort to build back up his security. At his young age, he can't articulate all that he feels, so it's manifesting in restless nights.

I'm happy there's alot less tension in the house without our nanny. At times it felt like I had two children since they would disagree. He always loved her, but didn't learn to respect her since she never disciplined him. She always just wanted to be loved.

So, I wish our nanny well, and I know that we'll all get used to the new situation. Letting go is part of growth, and we're working on that a lot in my house these days.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Same wave length

I just finished reading Robin's blog and I find I have a case of déjà vu. I too recently returned from a business trip that involved a little vacationing time for myself. A movie, a massage, a little shopping...a very interesting prospect for a woman who only has alone time late at night. Sadly, I forgot my journal or not, since as a writer I am doing absolutely no writing at all. I teach writing, but have no landscape in which to think. I have even stopped checking the Lowe's ads for the storage barn, 10' x 10' that I promised to buy myself and make into an office once I started back teaching full time. The question of self-care is something I am grappling with in an ongoing way.

When I first started teaching in NYC and was working on my masters, I had a professor tell me that I needed to put in one hour per day so that I could really get some work done with my poems. After a day of teaching I would usually lay down around 6:30pm and wake up the next morning at 6:00am. I realized I was too wiped out to work in the evenings. At that point in my life, I was single. I finally decided to get up at 5:00am and write till 6:00am. I bought a calendar and on it I recorded every hour of writing with a smiley face. At the end of a month I would count my smiley faces and regularly reached 20 to 25 hours per month. So here's the rub, I keep thinking that I should and could do that again, but now...I get at 5:00am so that I can get myself ready for my day, then get my daughter ready for school, and then leave for work by 7:30am. I wistfully think I could get up at 4:00am, but realistically I sleep so poorly that 5:00am comes quick. Actually, I am rolling out of bed at 5:20 or even 5:30am. Oh yeah and I am now 44 and then I was 36. I am a high energy woman, but not Superwoman. So how do I fit self-care into my life? I haven't resolved this. I am hoping to really make a commitment here on this blog. One of the great side-effects of the one-hour-per-day-each-morning system was that I had done the thing that was most important to me first and as a result tended to feel happier overall. So maybe one hour per week could improve my mood...One hour per week though significantly less than one hour per day would add up and maybe even help create momentum, something every writer needs. The beauty of this blog besides Robin's persistence is that the publishing component makes for instant gratification, which in a busy life is quite satisfying.

When a dear girlfriend from college days--who had children five years before I did and who is four years younger--had her second child, I quipped to a friend "she's going to need a pick ax to carve out time for her work as an artist now that she's got her hands full with two kids." How prophetic those words are since I became a mother.

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