ooooooo! My first App review for iGameMom! Fun. This is a great App for little ones. We visit it often (I sometimes visit it without G…so embarrassing)!
In other exciting news, I’ve been offered the opportunity to become a contributing blogger on a few new(ish) websites. So while I don’t have oodles of time on my hands I just cannot resist the opportunity to sharpen my writing teeth on topics I’m really passionate about.
The first is iGameMom.com, a site run by an amazing Mom. She tests and reviews all the educational Apps out there.
I love this site. I’ve followed it from its inception when there were really only a few educational kid’s Apps out there to choose from. In just a year’s worth of time there are now about 80 bajillion. iGameMom does a terrific job of sorting through them all, plus she keeps you in the know when certain Apps become free for a limited time.
I am really excited to review Apps for this Mom brewed site and will re-blog them here whenever I do.
More to come…
Oh New York, it is so hard to leave you. After 15 years together, I’m still as giddy as a school girl when someone mentions your name. You’d think after all this time I would just be sick of you.
Well…to be honest…I was sick of you for a bit. When you are lucky enough to live in what you consider your favorite place on the planet, it does not change the fact that you live there.
Life has certain inescapable daily responsibilities: work, appointments, errands, children, etc. So when you move in down the street from some gorgeous museum or fantastic restaurant and you think, ‘I will go there every week,’ it says something when you realize you have been to said museum/restaurant once, if at all, in the past several years.
When you realize all you really do at the end of a day is lie down on the floor exhausted while you eat the left over Chinese food you lazily ordered the night before, you begin to feel as though you might appreciate that beautiful museum and fantastic restaurant more if you could just come to visit New York City one day.
Absence does make the heart grow fonder, New York, and now that you have been set in relief for the last 3 months I can take this opportunity to romanticize the idea of you again.
But what I discovered during this week long visit to NYC was something very different than what I had expected to find. Yes, I miss Fairway (a dream of a grocery store, if they would just let me live in a storage closet there, I would leave my family to do so), I miss a good plop down in Sheep Meadow with the Sunday Times (although, I’ve missed that since G was born), and yes, I even miss the potentially frustrating hustley bustley way of life.
But what I miss the most are our people, our fabulous friends who we have known for years, who we’ve watched grow and change, who have cheered for us when we’ve reached
huge milestones, and who have scooped us up when we’ve hit dicier times. Modern technology does provide the reassurance our nearest and dearest are always a click or two away, but it’s really no substitute for that spontaneous coffee or that walk around the block when you just need someone’s ear or they need yours. You know what I’m talking about.
So, when we went to New York City for just one week we planned all sorts of touristy adventures, but instead we ditched all those plans and broke bread every day with people we love. That is what makes it hard to leave you New York. I’m sure Sydney has its charms, but I know it does not have our people.
The next post contains all the photos of dinner with friends and will be password protected by order of the Queen to protect the innocent…or something like that. If you forgot the password you can use the form below to email me. There are some goodies in there.
Over these last 3 years of Motherhood not only have I started capitalizing the M in this loaded word, but I’ve realized every, single person I know contributes to this marvelous, overwhelming task of raising a human being.
Thank you for sharing your:
- and above all, Distractions
Cheers to you.
And now I will share A Mother’s Prayer for Her Daughter by Tina Fey because it makes me laugh and almost weep at the same time.
First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.
May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the the Beauty.
When the Crystal Meth is offered,
May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half
And stick with Beer.
Guide her, protect her
When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the nearby subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock N’ Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.
Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance.
Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes
And not have to wear high heels.
What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.
May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.
Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen.
Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long,
For Childhood is short — a Tiger Flower blooming
Magenta for one day –
And Adulthood is long and Dry-Humping in Cars will wait.
O Lord, break the Internet forever,
That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers
And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.
And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister,
Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends,
For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.
And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord,
That I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 a.m., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.
“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck.
“My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental note to call me. And she will forget.
But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.
We came down to St. Martin for a vacation. We don’t go on “vacation” vacations. Michael and I are very similar in our tastes and we’d always much rather explore a place for its culture, food or history, rather than just plop down on a beach somewhere.
But our life currently feels like a constant vacation and from that we needed a vacation. There is something to be said for the all inclusive resort tucked away on a Caribbean Island. It’s not our style (for reasons I will spare you from), but in the end we all decompressed with no internet, phones, or errands…just a pool, a beach, an ocean, a book.
St. Martin is in the Caribbean, it’s half Dutch and half French and that was all I learned about it. There was also this spider. G checked on him twice a day to be sure he was alright.
The whole week Michael kept asking me if I was ok, he said I had a look on my face he wasn’t used to seeing and it concerned him. We finally decided it was just how I looked when I was relaxed.
Our next stop was New York City.
Click here for the full story of the Traveling Gnome Calendar.
But several things just happened that make me feel compelled to revisit this topic.
1. What would have been my Grandmother’s 91st birthday passed a few weeks ago and as she was the Resident Childhood Librarian in our family, I want her to feel I am passing the torch she passed to my mother and my mother so generously passed me.
2. G’s birthday just passed over the weekend, his 3rd birthday. Not sure how that happened, but it happened nonetheless. It made me realize, among other things, I have not posted about any glorious books we’ve read for an entire year.
3. Lastly, I have a little bit of a girl crush on Pamela Druckerman. If you have not read her book, Bringing Up Bebe and her follow up title, Bebe Day by Day, you should. It doesn’t matter if you have children or not. I think her books are more important than just parental how-tos, they are social commentary on the potential pitfalls current parenting techniques may have on the next generation of Americans. Anyhooo…when I tweeted her about how excited I was about her new book, she not only came to visit my blog (eeeeeeee!!), she tweeted links to her followers about my Fab Kid Lit pages (EEEEEEEEEEEeeeeee!). So naturally I feel I have to post more and not slack off anymore…
There were so many books this year, I had to divide this post into 3 separate posts. and after I publish them all I’ll chuck them up into the Fab Kid Lit Pages you see up above. We still read all the books from those lists as well…and will until he can read them to me himself.
Richard Scarry’s Best Storybook Ever! has a very special place in my heart. While I really try to go for books that have a real story to them, a message about life, Richard Scarry‘s books are more about learning by memorization. The illustrations are just so adorable they essentially taught G the words for different foods from A to Z. He would bring the book to me every night and recite the words that matched the illustrations. When he’d forget one, he’d look up at me with his great big eyes and wait for the answer…ack…delish.
The Carrot Seed by Crockett Johnson was a gift from our nephew. He says the book taught him about self confidence. I could see how it would since it’s a story about how everyone doubted the growth of his carrot, but he stuck with it and persevered.
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown just has great illustrations of farm animals. G was a late talker so to have these adorable pictures to look at over and over helped him to cement the words into his brain. Plus, it is a lot of fun for him to find the butterfly on each page.
The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell (the author of Wag) is essentially a Christmas book, but imparts a lovely message any time of the year. When the little kitty in the story has a hard time finding a gift for his best friend he hunts down the gift of nothing…which turns out to be everything.
Mr Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss is the best. It just really doesn’t get any better, but you have to be game. If you really let yourself get into this book you might find yourself exhausted and your little one really revved up. It’s never a great idea for us to read it just before bed. In fact, I really hope no one else has ever heard us reading it out loud…we get a little weird.
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper is a classic for a reason. A train and its passengers in need come across some snooty trains who won’t help them (aw), but they hang in there until a very affable and good mannered train uses all her strength to help out. She thinks she can and then she does, like the Carrot Seed, it’s a nice introduction to what can be accomplished if you believe in yourself.
We love Harold & the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson because it takes so much imagination. Everything is so easy for kids these days, so many electronic options with all the bells and whistles. It’s lovely to watch your little one’s mind light up at the idea of a purple crayon that can make so much happen.
I have to confess Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman always scared me. It STILL scares me, but I guess life can be scary sometimes, so why not get used to it at an early age? I always enjoyed the book when the little bird asked the cow or cat or dog if he was his mama. But then he got to the scary rusted out car and noisy construction equipment and the whole thing got so dystopian. But in the end G thinks it’s hilarious that a bird would think an airplane was his Mama, so there you go.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter has finally happened in G’s mind. This is one of my all time favorite books on the planet. It’s also a little scary, what with Mr. MacGregor making Peter’s father into a pie, but I guess that’s the lesson. G understands and gets a little kick out of Peter when he’s naughty, but it is not lost on him that Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail get the berries and cream for supper becuase they were good little bunnies.
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf is a classic introduction to the idea that it’s ok to be different. Maybe you’re a bull, maybe you’re supposed to want to fight and be tough and strong, but what if you don’t? What if you want to quietly eat grass and read your book? Ferdinand will help your little one begin to understand that it’s ok…we can all play to our own strengths.
G’s Godmother passed down this Olivia book to us by Ian Falconer. I wouldn’t have picked it up otherwise. She’s a little girl pig after all, but just like Madeleine, Olivia has some very important, universal attributes. She’s a kid, sometimes stubborn, sometimes dramatic, but always an individual. To me there is nothing more important than to teach your child how to be an individual. Plus it cracks me up that she tried to make a Jackson Pollock painting in her bedroom, so she had to have a time out.
More to come…
WARNING: While this post is tagged under family, it is not quite family friendly. It addresses themes of an irreverent political and social nature. It may, in fact, even represent bad parenting. In short, Tatiana would highly disapprove…
But if you have a late night sense of humor (GG), or an SNL sense of humor (not you, GG), read on.
If not…well, consider yourself warned.
A lovely friend came to spend some time with us in Worcester, Mass a couple of weeks ago.
To the best of my recollection I said, ‘Oh ha ha ha, have you seen that video on SNL? It just cracks me up because that guy from Maroon 5 is so ridiculously serious.’
Then I played it for her while G sat on the floor and feverishly did a puzzle in the type of trance only a 3 year old can get himself into.
Now, before you read any further, click this link below to watch the full video or the rest of this post won’t make any sense. Then click back!
So later that day on a trip to Trader Joe’s, G started to sing, ‘I ran, I ran….ecuse me, what next MaMa?’
‘Uhhhhhhh. I don’t know sweetie,’ I replied stunned, ‘I-ran so far away?’
‘I-ran. I ran so far away,’ he sang out, ‘what next?’
‘Uhhhhmmmm…You’re home and in my heart you’ll stay?’
Stop it…stop it, Elizabeth! Don’t teach him the words to this song.
I can’t stop! I can’t help it, I’m so shocked he knows it at all, I just have no control over what I’m saying. Besides, it’s harmless. What are the chances he’ll ever sing it again after this car ride? He doesn’t even sing wheels on the bus anymore.
‘Uhhhhh…I don’t know…how about…I look up to the sky, I look up to the sky, I look up to the sky, hiiiiiiiiiigh!’
Well, 2 weeks later, not only has he refined his technique in terms of pitch and rhythm, he performs this little chorus daily, constantly, ad nauseum, everywhere.
Baltimore Aquarium? Busts it out with dance moves in front of friends and strangers alike. Grocery store? Sings it out while he runs down the aisle. Maryland Science Museum? It was not spared.
And while it is esoteric enough, I rue the day when he busts this little number out in front of that one, circa 2008 SNL watcher who gives me a shocked and appalled look—until then—may you learn from my mistakes.
My father and stepmother have a dog named Tatiana, otherwise known as TaTa or Totty, but ever since G was born she has been known as the Nurse Maid.
One of the first times I brought G down to her house, he still had some sleep issues and would sometimes cry himself to sleep at nap time. I put him in a pac-n-play on the enclosed patio so he could nap in the cool breeze. I was tucked just inside, out of his sight, but he was not out of my earshot.
Tatiana was completely unimpressed with my behavior. She went out onto the patio and circled the pac-n-play, clearly in distress. She barked and howled to get my attention as if to say…
‘UM HELLLOOOOOO!!!! Your child is clearly suffering out here while you’re what? Watching Oprah??’
Then she’d come inside and bark in my face. ‘Your. child. is. crying.’
When G visited this time, nothing had changed. Totty slept outside the guest room door to protect him from would be predators…clearly she assumed I was not up for the task. The moment he woke up in the morning we would hear the click click click of her nails on the hard Spanish tile, coupled with her eager panting that said, ‘Move over lady—I’ve got this.’
When I took G out to the playground, apparently without her permission, I returned to quite an earful. She gave me a little nip on the hand that said, “Next time you take him somewhere, just ask me first…or better yet, take me along.”
So it was no surprise to us when we were mulling over photos of G at his grandpa’s house that Totty was in practically EVERY shot, lingering in the background just to make sure no child labor laws were broken.