Archive for December 2009


December 25, 2009

It’s Christmas and I’m the only one up.  I was always the first one up as a kid on Christmas morning, and apparently that holds true as an adult as well.  Can’t believe it.  Aliza is a big talker about how she’s going to get up in the middle of the night to see if Santa had come yet.  It’s 6:30 and she’s not up yet.  I’m ready for her anytime — camera in hand.
The Christmas Blizzard of 2009 has basically lived up to expectations, so far.  It’s stunning to see all the heavy snow everywhere.  After the kids open presents we’ll have to dress them and throw them all out in a snowbank.
Our cable is out, I’m sure due to the pounds of snow sitting on the dish on the roof.  Luckily we have dozens of videos the boys can watch.  I remember one summer storm where the power went out for a couple of hours, and Zack was so upset with the change in the routine, and in the atmosphere — the darkness in the middle of the day.  He whined and cried and I rocked him and tried to calm him, and he fell asleep.  In the middle of the day.  It wasn’t unprecedented, but it was pretty unusual for him.  He just couldn’t take it, and so he “checked out” for awhile.  Poor kid.  So, good thing we can put on a video and simulate normalcy for him today.
Last night we let the kids open one present.  So this means Aliza opened one present, and I helped AJ open one while Zack was across the room, not paying attention.  AJ opened a package of soft balls with Wonder Pets on them, and we got a little paper off it so you could see what was in there and he yelled “ball!”  and got so excited he couldn’t finish opening it.  It was the most enthusiasm I’ve gotten from either boy opening a present ever in their lives.  I wish I had 10 more wrapped up under the tree.


My Dream

December 22, 2009

I have this dream, that one day I’ll have 3 children who excitedly tear open their presents on Christmas morning, instead of just 1 excited child and 2 whom we have to coax into paying attention to the presents instead of their Dora video.  I dream that all three kids will shout things like “I wanted this!” and “Cool!” and “Can I go show the neighbors now?”  They will all three then clamor for pancakes and scrambled eggs, which they will eat 2 bites of and then rush back to their new toys.  The phone will ring, it’s grandma & grandpa, and all three kids will have to talk on the phone with them.  It’ll take forever because the boys especially have a lot to say.  They will build a train track, arguing over which way the track should go, and then finally race the trains around the track and crashing them into each other.  They will harass their sister by taking her new American Girl doll and trying to run her over with their new trains.

Then they will all get their snowpants, boots, coats, hats, scarves and mittens on and play out in the front yard with the neighbor kids.  The boys will play in the snow in the yard, and not even try once to run into the street.  The girls will build a snow fort, which the boys will then destroy.  Aliza will come into the house crying.  It will be hard  for me to punish the boys for wrecking her snow fort, but they will tell her they are sorry.

Well, maybe next Christmas.

2 Books That Made Me Think

December 20, 2009

I recently read Three Cups of Tea for my book club, and was a little startled to actually like it.  It really showed me what life is like in Pakistan and the Middle East, especially for children.  I couldn’t agree more with its message:  we can best combat terrorism with education, not war.  They are teaching young children to fight and hate.  Kids are such like wet clay; we can turn them into almost anything. 

I also read Angela’s Ashes, and that, if you’ve not read it, is also a story of poverty and a difficult childhood.  Actually that’s quite an understatement.  I just read an article about Frank McCourt, the author of Angela’s Ashes, and it mentioned how he tried for years to write about his childhood but couldn’t get past the anger, until he realized he could write it from a child’s point of view.  Children don’t know anything other than what they’ve experienced in their brief lives, so as a child I guess he wasn’t as angry as he was once he became an adult.  Reading it, I couldn’t imagine how he couldn’t absolutely hate his father, so it was interesting to read that he actually was very disturbed by his pathetic childhood.  It makes a good story that much better to know it’s true, all of it, and to read how the adult who wrote it coped with things and worked through it to write this amazing story.  Truth is a better story than fiction because it’s absolutely real.

This of course doesn’t mean I don’t like fiction.  Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, I love a good story.  I’m reading American Wife right now, and it’s a good story too.  Based on a real life, supposedly.  I’ll read more about that later.

Mizithra Cheese

December 19, 2009

See. look at me go already — two posts in one week, and it’s not even 2010 yet.  I’m so on top of things.

Had a nice dinner last night with some old friends.  Not nice to my diet, perhaps, but very nice to everything else, and what the heck, it’s the holidays, and I’ll crack down on my diet next month.   We went to the Old Spaghetti Factor, and I’m the only one who got excited about the Mizithra cheese.  My one friend who appreciates the cheese, Bobbie, could not come, which diminished the joy of the cheese for me a little.  I have no doubt she’d be thrilled to hear this.

Therapists are here in a half hour, I better get cracking.

An Update and Snippets

December 17, 2009

I intend to update this blog more often in the new year.  Call it a resolution or whatever — I’m going to do it.

By the way — the post just before this one, about how Zack was sick — he had H1N1.  A day or so after he got sick, AJ got sick, I got sick, and Aliza got sick. We all came down with it except Mark, I don’t know how he got off so lucky.  Aliza nearly had to miss Halloween, the boys did miss it.  Mainly because the only reason they were going out was for me, and I wasn’t feeling up to dragging them out.  It was a joyful 2 weeks!

Kids are doing well.  Aliza is not the smartest kid in her class, and she’s keenly aware of it.  Last night she told me that Kaleah can finish a chapter book in only one night; and Kaleah gets picked first for everything; and Kaleah always gets 100% on spelling tests…..good grief.

I had this great plan to put a little surprise in Aliza’s stocking every night, for a week before Christmas, for her to find in the morning.  And then I thought, why should I do that for her and not for the boys?  They won’t care…..but she will definitely notice whether they get something too.  I swear sometimes, half of what I do for them, I do for her benefit more than their own.

So anyway I think I’m going to go ahead and do it for her.  And maybe I’ll put something in the boys’ stockings a couple of  times too, even though she’ll have to get it out for them.