Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A New Author

I have a new entry up here.


Monday, August 30, 2010

The End of an Era

I am 37 years old. Until this weekend, I had never dyed my hair. Nothing. Not a highlight, not even a spray as part of a costume. Nothing. I vowed though that as soon as the grey appeared this would change.

For at least a year now I have been fighting with a few stray grey hairs. I would go weeks without seeing them but then they would appear. They took hold at the very front of my face and they were strong. They would defy gravity to stand up straight or to point out from my face like fingers. And they never came out right before bed or on my way to the gym. They would appear if we were going out with friends or to a wedding or to a party. In fact, I think they had brains and I'm pretty sure they were laughing at me.

On Saturday, an era ended. I walked into my salon and got my hair glazed. According to my stylist, this is entry level hair dying. Barely more than a deep conditioner with a hint of color.

No one will even notice. But I know. And I know that I am both stronger and smarter than my greys.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Stand Up

Mockingjay was released this week.

For those of you not in the children's lit world, Mockingjay is the third book in the ever popular although slightly disturbing Hunger Games trilogy. I was able to meet the author, Suzanne Collins, at my favorite children's bookstore, Books, Bytes and Beyond on Wednesday night and have been trying desperately to sneak in reading moments since then.

Yesterday the sun was shining, the humidity was gone and the girls were drawing with sidewalk chalk in the driveway. I ran to get a beach chair and Mockingjay and opened up to my dog eared page.

I had read one sentence when I heard "Mommy!". I looked up to Katherine who then said, "Can you stand up and have fun with me?"

I guess she's caught on that I have a hard time reading and standing up at the same time. I went on spend the afternoon learning how to perfect my faulty hula hoop performance instead of diving into the world of Katniss Everdeen.

Maybe this afternoon I'll be able to sit down and have some fun...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It Worked

We have read and read and read to the girls over the years. Not only do I love children's literature but I know professionally that reading aloud to children will work wonders in creating independent readers. Caroline began reading in earnest this year and I'm now thinking that Katherine may not be far behind. I was reminded of how strong her book knowledge was last night as I was telling her a bedtime story. For a few months now, she has requested that I tell a story after our books...

Last night, I was telling the story of a little girl named Chloe who went bowling for the first time with three of her friends. Katherine asked me which friend was the best bowler and because I was tired, all I could come up with for a response was "I don't know." My weak attempt failed when Katherine said, "But you do know. It's your story." As I was recovering with silence from her wise comment, she continued. "The best bowler should be Chloe because she's the main character."

Maybe tonight I will turn the story telling over to Katherine...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


When Katherine was a baby we were all in awe of the calm little being that was our second daughter. I would sit on the couch and watch Katherine watch the ceiling and think how Caroline would never have done that. Rob's parents would talk about how they finally had a mellow grandchild for while they loved the first three each was a bundle of energy both physically and emotionally. But not Katherine we all thought. Katherine was our 'yes girl', the one who would just go with the flow. I can remember worrying that Caroline was going to walk all over her.

And then she turned three. I had heard that for many children the terrible twos really didn't start until three so I figured I was in for a rough year and then we would get our mellow little girl back. Well, we're a few months in to four and our seas have not gotten any calmer.

In fact, the other day I heard Katherine running around the house shouting, "O.N!" "O.N!" It only took me a few moments to realize what she meant. While she can say her favorite word with conviction, it seems like maybe we need to practice it's spelling...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Best Seat in the House

Caroline turned seven this summer and things began to change.

She watches shows on the Disney Channel that I have always felt were inappropriate. I am letting her watch them now in small doses so she can talk with her friends. I know that I am right in my distrust of the shows though because she asks me to leave the room when she is watching them as though she knows they're not right for her either.

She begs for sleep overs and play dates. She still follows me around the house and reads over my shoulder but her alone time is growing.

I knew we had really turned the corner, and sharply, the other day when she came downstairs to tell me that her clothes were all foolish. I had really been pushing my luck... dressing her like the little girl she is in Hannah Andersson and Land's End while her friends explored the Gap and Justice. At that moment I knew I had to make an important choice. Did I choose to fight with my persistent and independent girl every day or did I find a way that we could both be happy? That afternoon we went shopping and found many ways we could both survive. Caroline now has tee shirts that have writing on them and glitter and jewels but no clothes with lace. When I told her a top looked like lingerie, she asked what that meant. I seized the opportunity to tell her that anyone who didn't know what lingerie was shouldn't be wearing it.

This morning I stumbled upon a quote by an author that I read awhile ago and was lucky enough to find again, Karen Maezen Miller author of Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood and Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life.

Talk about the right words at the right time...

"My girl was a big girl, her own girl, with her own loves and her own life. I was a spectator, but the show was splendid and I still had the best seat in the house. If I were forever looking forward or lingering too long backward, I would miss too much. I would miss it all." - Karen Maezen Miller

So here are some views from the best seat in the house...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Yankee Game

So I am obviously way behind here but I've decided that instead of trying to catch up, I am going to just jump in where we are...

Today we took the girls to their first Yankee game.

Strangely, this was not the case of an over eager father dragging his daughters to watch his favorite team play. Since Caroline began playing softball this spring, she has been an avid viewer and fan of the Yankees. She knows the players, their numbers and their stories. And she has been asking and asking and asking to go to a game.

After much debate over whether this should be a father-daughter event or a family outing we finally decided that we should all go- at least this one time.

And I couldn't be happier that we all went. We were reminded of why living in New Jersey is such a great thing. We had no traffic driving in and made it from our house to the stadium in twenty five minutes- the gates weren't even open yet. Our seats were great. Even though it rained off and on our seats were covered and we weren't bothered at all by the weather. And just seeing the look on Caroline's face made all the entertaining of Katherine that I did worth it.

It sure looks like a new fan is born...