Thursday, May 31, 2007


Well, folks, I've decided to up and move my blog. But I'm not sure if I like the new place or not. It's very big and complicated, and I feel very small and simple while I'm there. But go visit and tell me what you think:

Sticking with what I know.

Something seems to be out of whack with my comments. (Oh, isn't that the truth!) No, let me say that differently, something is out of whack, not with the comments I write, but with the comments I receive on my blog. Some come through immediately and I publish them as soon as I see them, and others don't show up until the next day. And it irritates me. However, having no earthly idea what I'm doing on here, I cannot fix it. I can just complain.

But I'm very, very good at the complaining.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Is tying shoes back-breaking labor?

Lately I've been overcome with an inexplicable desire to sleep. And sleep, and sleep, and sleep. But not in a depressed, I'm going to hide in my bed because I can't face the world kind of way, but more because I'm just plain exhausted at the end of the day and morning always comes an hour or two too early. It's not a dull kind of lethargy, it's a bone weary tired. The kind you get after a long day of physical work. But I'm not engaging in any back-breaking physical labor.

My husband is getting very frustrated by my desire to go to bed immediately after the children. He wants me to stay awake and interact. He wants to watch a little TV together, have a little late night snack together. He's been very vocal in telling anyone, once the subject of sleep comes up, about how I'm in bad before the sun even sets. He always says it with tone of voice that says, can you believe it? And I always shrug and say I've always been an early to bed kind of gal.

But really, I'm starting to wonder why I've been getting so exhausted. I know the whole dynamics of energy and rest, and that if you use a lot of energy you will need a lot of rest. And I also am very aware of the fact that being constantly on (and vigilant) with children all day takes a lot of energy, to say the least. But I didn't get this tired before. I seem to remember only getting very cranky by the time the end of the day rolled around last year, but I do not remember being so tired that I collapsed into bed. This year, however, I am tired.

I'm not really sure if I have a whole point in telling you this. There's not a story to regale in any of this . I am just confounded by my fatigue, and I thought I'd share.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Riding off into the sunset...*

*actually, it was away from the sunset, but they're riding all the same.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Actually, I love you, McD's.

Dear McDonald's,

First of all, thank you so very much for the Happy Meal. I mean, who would have ever thought that putting the very same food the children would not be very enthusiastic about eating at home into a box with a cheap toy would mean wonders to a child and have them screaming for McDonald's every time they pass one? (Which, I might add, we do every five minutes or so because they are conveniently located near everywhere and everything .) Who would have thought? Why you, of course, you clever, clever marketing genius, you. So thank you for that.

Now onto the reason for this letter: I would like to say that I agree that making the talking Shrek toys you are currently placing in Happy Meals was a very good idea on your part. Not only does it promote the movie (now showing at a theater near you) but it also makes the kids want more, more, more! And we as parents are helpless to their cries of more and bring them to McDonald's every week for a new toy, buying them more, more, more! But while they are cool and all, I have to ask, why are they so loud? (And by loud, I mean, holy crap, make that thing stop!)Is it because you think we parents are no longer able to hear well after being trapped inside a vehicle with the children screaming for your food? Is it because you don't think the children can hear well after all of their yelling? Is it because you have a test group of deaf children testing the marketability of your toys? Am I even close?

Whatever the reason, I just wanted to give a hearty THANK YOU for putting loud Shrek toys inside your wonderful Happy Meals. Genius, pure genius!

Yours ever so sincerely,

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Even better than being smart...

Have you read this article: How Not To Talk To Your Kids?

It's a long read, but very, very worth it. Go ahead and read it, I'll wait here.


When I first started to read the article, I was getting the impression that I wasn't supposed to praise my children, that I should give more constructive criticism, and I was worried about making them feel like they could never please their mother. Then I read more and realized that it was not really saying that at all. It was saying I need to give more specific praise; praise for what it is they do, not just for what they are. And that is information I can really get behind. It goes on to state that in studies, children who were told they were "intelligent" did not apply themselves as much as children who were told they "worked hard". The "intelligent" children didn't apply themselves as thoroughly because they were then afraid of not appearing as intelligent if they tried and failed, so they just opted not to try. The children who were told they "worked hard", when confronted with a project that was difficult, worked even harder. They knew they had the ability to work hard, and therefore had confidence in their abilities.

I can see this being played out in my very home. My daughter is so very smart. She really is an intelligent girl, and we've heaped boatloads of praise onto her. But she lacks any self confidence, often refusing to try anything she knows she won't ace on the first go 'round. She's afraid she'll look stupid. My son, on the other hand, is also intelligent. But he's had problems with his reading and we've always praised him extra whenever he tried harder, went beyond what he thought he could do. He's not afraid to look stupid. He just tries even harder.

Now, don't get me wrong, both of my children are children, and therefore they want to give up on things that require a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. They want us to do it for them. But I have noticed this pattern of working/not working, trying/not trying in their schoolwork. And you can bet I'm going to be heaping more praise on my girl for the work she does; more specific praise for how hard she tries. And I'll be telling them both about how they can exercise their brains and make them bigger (and smarter) by trying harder things. Also, I'll be telling them that not being able to do something at first just means you have to try and try again. They tell my son that in his Tae Kwon Do class - "Do not give up!" they shout, "You can do it!"

Yes, kids, you can. And now I can help you.