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Archive for February, 2008

Get Serious

I have so much to say about so much that sometimes my brain feels like its sprinting in three different directions.

I read this article the other day about EcoMoms. The day proceeding this article, a friend emailed me a link to a website called EcoMom Alliance. Though it may seem like a funny picture: a group of uber-educated, wealthy women in Palo Alto lounging on the leather sofa sharing gazillion dollar bottles of wine while discussing how to manage their garden (or have Pedro manage their garden) in an environmentally sensitive way, this is exactly what we need right now. Of course, we need more people, from every sector of society, to get involved in litterally saving the planet.

Every time I talk about the environmental crisis, I see my father rolling his eyes at me. I see a lot of people rolling their eyes—at the EcoMoms, at Green Peace, at Al Gore, and at everyone who is truly doing something about this. They say that we have 20 years before global warming really wreaks havoc on our surroundings- on our children’s world. I’m sorry, but what is there not to be serious about here? And what is with the eye rolling and making fun at these people are are trying to make change happen? We have a very short amount of time to drastically change the way we are used to living… so that our children and grandchildren have even a chance.

Though people are talking more about the environment, and that is all good, how many people are really changing the way they live? I’m not. I think about it a lot. I recycle, and do the easy things. But in order to stop the mess that we have created over the past 100 years, we have to make some uncomfortable changes. Driving wherever and whenever we want, taking hot showers once or twice a day, eating meat every day, eating raspberries in February. We are so used to getting what we want and when, that we don’t stop to consider the price we’re paying for that. And it is up to us to realize that because Company U.S.A. isn’t going to remind us.

It’s time to get serious. For our kids.

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Steve Songs and Superman

I have to write down this four-year-old moment before it’s gone. My children are Steve Songs addicts. Since the first concert we saw, over a year ago, they pick up their guitars every day and sing with or without his voice in thebackground. They know every word to every song; Boo wears his red shirt and jeans and jumps around with his guitar every day.

When Boo is not Steve Songs, he is Superman. (I don’t think I need to explain what Superman play looks like.) Until today, Superman and Steve Songs had never inhabited the same space in our living room– very different moods, very different play and very different costumes.

From the kitchen yesterday, this is what I hear coming from the living room (Boo is, surprisingly, not in costume of any sort):

(singing) On a flying guitar, we can go anywhere…”

“Oh no….. I’m falling from a high high high high tree. Help! My guitar!”

Different voice tone: “Don’t worry, Steve Songs [pronounce with lisp as Theve Thongs], I’ve got you.”

“Thuperman! I knew you’d save me!…. But my guitar, it’s broken!”

“No it’s not. Thee, I can fix it for you, because I’m Thuperman.”

I can’t remember how the rest of Steve and Superman’s conversation finished, but I’m sure their fast friends by now.

I love my four-year-old, and I LOVE his imagination and absolute filter-less play. Oh, that it could stay this innocent and fun, and perfect…especially for Steve.

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Oatmeal with syrup

Hubby came home the other night from the gym complaining that he weighs more now than he ever has, and it’s time to do something about it. “Yeah,” I say, “honey, please pass the cheese and olives.”

The next morning, as I’m heading downstairs to get breakfast going, he yells from Baby’s changing table, “No maple syrup in my oatmeal anymore, please!”

What?

Are you kidding?

Now, if he were a candidate for bypass surgery, I might be more supportive. But he’s not. He is just fine. Which makes me think, if he thinks he needs to leave out maple syrup, what the hell should I be leaving out?

When it comes to dieting, you see, I suck. Super suck. I rebel against the very idea… which is probably a problem. When I even think about starting to watch carbs, I purposefully march to the corner bakery and get a chocolate strawberry scone (which was delicious, by the way) with a large latte. Dieting feels oppressive, and I want no one telling me what I can or cannot eat. I honestly thank the gods often for giving me a life free of food allergies.

So, if dieting doesn’t work, I guess the lbs need to be shed at the gym. This is a really good idea because I belong to a pretty swanky gym, complete with steam room, sauna, and massage rooms. Yum! Oh, and child care, which is the only way I can possibly justify my membership.

I go to the gym today, full of angry fat energy and ready to burn, baby, burn! Then I run into a good friend, just as I’m signing up for treadmill #7. “Hey!” we’re so happy to see each other. “How was your weekend. No way! And then what? Well, get this…” And shaaaahhh-ling, the time just slips on by. But wait, I have 15 minutes before my 1 hour of child care expires— off to the steam room!

Whew! That was so worth the $$$ I pay in membership fees. But as for these thighs and ass…hmmm… love them or leave them, I say.

Now, where’s my wine and cheese?

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Whooo-Hooo!

Obama Defeats Clinton in 3-State Sweep obama1.jpg

I’m sorry, but who gives a s**t about delegates?

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Being Present

I just finished bathing Baby, who is now 15 months old and all that. While, only 30 minutes ago, I was cursing at him under my breath (but obviously not totally under my breath because Sunshine said, “Mommy, babies don’t understand. You just need to be patient.” Thanks, Sunshine), now I find myself alone in the bathroom and absolutely in love. Sunshine and Boo are downstairs building a fort out of sofa cushions and the rest of my kitchen, and it is just me and Baby, and isn’t he lovely.

What made this moment so special is that I was 100% there with him, in all his naked splashing, giggling glory. We took turns yodeling into the the big rinse cup, giggling at each other’s echoes. And I just stared at him; HE who clings to both legs yelling the indistinguishable but ever present “aaaaa?” while I”m tryinp1060093.jpgg to prepare dinner (while yelling at Sunshine and Boo to clean up their DARN paints, set the table and wash their hands– for the seventeenth time); HE who follows behind me while I’m picking up all his discarded “toys”, pulling out all the paper bags from the side of the refrigerator, digging into the highest kitchen drawer, which he cannot see into, and randomly pulling things out and throwing them all over the kitchen floor. Argh!

But not now. Not when it is just him and nothing else.

I catch glimpses of this sometimes, but not often enough. This pure joy that motherhood is really all about. I think I felt it more often with my first, of course, because there were fewer distractions (though I was battling the “How the eff did I end up here and where did all the grown-ups go?” dilemma).

It is so easy to get caught up in the everything, to get resentful, and feel like there is nothing left for me. But in truth, if I allow myself to slow down, sit with the kids, look at them, play their silly games with them, and really be there and not somewhere else in my mind, I realize that this is what it is all about. And hold the eff on to it, because come ten years from now, it will be me asking “Boo, will you please play with me?”p2040017.jpg

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As I have mentioned, March 20th is Match Day for us, and all medical students across the country. But before March 20th arrives, February 22 arrives. On February 22nd, we have to submit the list of the residency programs we want, in order of preference. Then, the programs do the same thing on their end, choosing who they want, and then on March 20th, we find out if the folks we like like us (him, really:), too.

Our top two choices right now are Portland, OR and Northampton, MA. The trouble is, they are both dreamy places to live– in very different ways.

PortlandPortland is a city, for better or for worse, beautifully planned, environmentally very progressive (all restaurants have composting and public transportation is free!), it has the Cascades on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, and it is categorized as rain forest! Since it is the west, the people are super friendly, and the schools are supposedly good. And finally, Hubby and I are from the west coast, and feel our roots there.

NorthamNorthamptonpton is a small-ish, college town, which would be refreshing after five years in the Boston area. The cost of living is far better than Portland– we could afford a house AND a sizable yard, or farm! The schools are great. It is nestled up to the Berkshire Mountains which, though no Cascades, they are intimate and beautiful just the same. And we have friends in Northampton who are some of the friendliest people we know– and who are parents who are plugged into all things Northampton. AND it would be an hour and a half from Boston and all our friends here. The move would be cheaper (much!) and easier. Selling our house and buying one there would be easier, as we could go back and forth.

But, Portland and the Pacific Northwest just sounds so dreamy. Northampton sounds so much more practical, and still dreamy…

I wish I could meet someone, preferably a mother with schoolaged children who has lived in both Northampton and Portland. Anyone?

Less than three weeks until decision-making time. (And then, after all the nail biting and comparing and stress, we may not even get our #1, or even our #2. New Haven?— really?)

What we could buy in Portland What we could buy in Northampton- check the space!

What we could buy could buy in Portland

vs.

What we could buy in Northampton

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