Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hanukkah..and Holiday Time

We celebrate Hanukkah, and Seth is obsessed with the fact that it's eight nights.

Now that he is learning numbers and counting in school, he can keep track, and each day after school asks if he's getting another present.

We did buy a few for him...not big ones....but it's the idea that he is waiting with baited breath for them that concerns me.

I know he's just 5, and who wouldn't want to get presents. But, how much is overkill? And, he got from grandpa, grandma and his cousins. Is it possible for him to even appreciate them all?

Today, we're actually going to give him a Chia pet. It's kind-of a quirky present, but I like the idea that it's not yet another toy. It's a cool plant that he can be reponsible for.

Yesterday they had a holiday party at his Kindergarten class. It was so cute and heartfelt. You could see the teachers really love the kids and were so joyous about celebrating with them and the parents that attended. It was quite touching.

He's off from school starting tomorrow, and we have many plans on tap for the school break.

I'm taking him to some kids shows at our local library and have get togethers scheduled with friends, with and without kids. Seth is so psyched about having a vacation, even though we're not going away. And, I'm glad to be staying home too. As long as the weather holds up, and there's no more snow in the next week or so, we'll be good. Seth, of course, loves to play in it, but mommy doesn't like to drive on icy roads, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Santa won't bring us a white Christmas. (Sorry to those who are hoping for one.)

I wish you and your family a very happy, healthy holiday season!!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day

I was totally unprepared for today.

I live in New York and had heard the forecasts re: the impending snow storm.

I ran all over town yesterday doing errands....the drug store...bank....supermarket, etc., so we'd be well stocked with necessities, mostly for Seth.

Then the phone rang at 6AM this morning. I jumped out of my skin because I don't wake up that early, and we don't get calls that early, so I thought G-d forbid, had something happened to my senior dad, or my mother-in-law, who broke her wrist just a week ago?

Luckily, neither was the case. It was a recorded message from the school district announcing that today was a snow day and that the children would not be attending kindergarten. It hadn't started snowing at that point, but this was in anticipation of what was to come.

So...now what? I thought. I didn't plan any at-home activities for Seth and I. And, I wasn't about to go driving around in the snow. I'm not comfortable with that. They never plow the streets well or quickly in my neighborhood.

So, what to do with a busy 5 year old boy who every 5 minutes asks, "What are we doing today?"

Out came the gingerbread mix that had been sitting in the pantry.

We baked a gingerbread man and made a house. Ok...they both came out looking like pancakes, but it was the effort that counted.

We later made popcorn and watched a DVD.

Seth shoveled outside twice. So, we had two changes of clothing, and outerwear, since he was getting soaked each time.

In between, I hustled to do work, answer emails, tape a radio interview, etc. All the while, watching Seth closely out the window and applauding his shoveling efforts.

Finally, as he continued to climb the walls back inside, we gave in, and allowed him to open his Hanukkah present from grandpa early. It was a Black 'n Decker kids tool station. I'm not sure what Seth loved more. Playing with the tools, or installing the batteries to get it in working order. He's such a boy!

Before you knew it, time passed, as it always does so quickly. Marc came home from work, we ate dinner, and now they're both outside shoveling, as I quickly write this blog post.

All in all, today was a nice bonding day with Seth. But, I must admit, next time I suspect that a snow day might be in store, I'm going to try to do some advanced activity planning, as best I can.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Vacation Reflection

Amazing how much I love my bed when I return from vacation.

We recently got new mattresses, and it's been a bigger adjustment than I anticipated. But, now that I'm getting used to it, I hate to leave it.

The older I get, the more I crave my beloved creature comforts. And, sleeping on a great bed that I'm accustomed to is one of them. Not to mention my pillow and egyptian cotton sheets.

I think back to my younger days when I lived in a college dorm, spent a summer with a family living in Nice, and took many a trip to Europe, staying in affordable (if not downright cheap) hotels in my 20s, and not thinking twice about the bed. It was all about the cost.

And, taking long plane rides didn't bother me. Now, I find I get restless even on a short flight. And, feel somewhat confined in the seats...feeling the need to stretch.

And of course, traveling with a five year old is a whole different experience. My son loves flying, and now that he's learning to read, he took tremendous pleasure in attempting to decipher and spell out phonetically the many technical words on the plane. I didn't noticed them so much before, but he was eager to point them out to me, including the emergency exits.

We returned Tuesday night from a five day trip. I had actually left on the trip earlier to attend an offsite business meeting, and met up with my husband and son who drove to Charleston, SC to pick me up. Then, we headed to Myrtle Beach, where we stayed for two nights. They had stayed there four nights total, and got to scope out the lay of the land.

Myrtle Beach is a great family destination. So much for kids to do.

And, this was off season, so some attractions were closed, but there was still plenty to explore and no crowds.

Children's Museum
Nascar Theme Park
Broadway on the Beach (with rides and shops)
Walking along the beach and gathering shells
Eating at cool places like Planet Hollywood, and Hard Rock Cafe

We had a full agenda every day.

And, in season, there are various outdoor water theme parks, fantasy miniature golf places, etc.

While there are a plethora of places to stay, we enjoyed our stay at the Dunes Village Resort and would totally recommend it.

We had a two room suite which was very spacious. Seth, my son, loved having his own room with a tv, and it allowed us to sleep in a bit, without him readily waking us up. We had a view of the beach, and enjoyed having breakfast in the dining room that also had a water view.

Most of all, Seth ADORED their indoor water park. They have the only indoor water park of all the Myrtle Beach hotels, and it stayed open until 11PM. And, it even featured hot tubs for adults. A lazy river with inner tubes and car floats. Basketball. Squirting elephants. Fantastic slides. Etc. And, because we were there off season, it was not a total scene, which was truly appreciated. Seth would have spent the entire day in the water park, and there are actually two of them on premises, each in a different building. We hung out at both.

Their website is www.dunesvillage.com, and I invite you to check it out, if you're looking for a family getaway.

We would love to go back on another occasion, perhaps closer to the in season, so we could check out some of the other attractions that were closed this time 'round.

Now I'm racing the clock to play catch-up after our trip...and still have to unpack...but I look forward to seeing the photos from the trip and know that Seth will for a long time be talking about Dunes Village and the cool indoor water park.

PS -- If you like to read about travel, you might enjoy the website www.travelingmom.com. A friend of mine, Fran Capo, writes a blog there called Traveling Adventure Mom.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, December 04, 2008

40 Something Mom Memory

How is yours?

Your memory...that is.

This morning, I received a copy of an email newsletter I subscribe to, and they featured an article on this very subject. It came across my computer screen at a timely moment, as I prepare to go out of town and am hustling to remember/tackle all that I need to do before I leave.

I also find this a topic of discussion with other moms my age. Do you?

Since I turned 40, my memory is just not as sharp.

Thankfully I've always been detail-minded, but I find it's even more necessary now. And, there are times when I feel like I have to pick up the slack for others who struggle to keep track because they don't have a system.

For example, I was at the gym the other day and needed to change my workout appointment with my trainer. She asked if I could call her the day before to remind her of the time change. I thought....now not only do I have to write the new time in my calendar, but I have to include a note to myself to call her. That's double memory duty for me. Yet, I knew if I didn't do it, I couldn't count on her to remember. And, she makes no excuses for her lack of effort to remember. She just kids me about being so organized.

But, isn't that a good thing?!

How do people...especially multi-tasking "later" moms...function without some level of organization?

And, believe me, I'm far from perfect in this arena. One look at my home office with all its piles would tell you so. But, I make a point of carrying my datebook with me to record appointments on the spot. And, I have an on-going TO DO list that comes with me as well, so I can add items as they occur to me. And, I've been known to email a note to myself on my Blackberry when it's something I need to take care of workwise.

If I didn't do this, I wouldn't know whether I'm coming or going, personally or professionally.

And, we have a large calendar at home where I record appointments that relate to our family, i.e. upcoming kids parties, school holidays, theatre tickets, etc.

It works for us. Our household/lives needs some semblance of order, and I'm the designated keeper, like it or not. Someone's gotta do it.

Is it you in your home?

Do you find that you're more on top of things than other moms/people in general, or is it a challenge for you to keep track of all that life brings?

There certainly is a lot to handle, and it feels like more 'n more the older I get. Understandably, one can easily get overwhelmed with life's minutia. But, how can we even attempt to tackle it all with grace if we can't keep track of it?

Have you created a system for yourself and your family that works?

If so, please share your tips......

Labels: , , , , , ,