Friday, April 29, 2011

Ah, well.

Yesterday, I turned 46.  Though I am not particularly bothered by this, it was...just a yucky day.  Humid, sticky, grey.  My mood rather followed suit.  I thought it would be elevated by a "family night" project of using washers and wire to make minions.  (Who couldn't use minions?  I think that's one of the best things evil overlords have going for them.)  Alas, it was not to be. 

I love the washers.  They were a (requested) birthday gift.  No, don't ask.  All I know is that one day recently I encountered a washer and it sang to me, called to be put to use creatively. 

However, it was a lot more difficult to make minions with them than we thought it would be. It took an hour to make four, ragged-looking little guys:

Plus, they just end up in a pile when not attended. 

This is not, however, the last of the (compelling, if I do say so myself) saga.  I/we will figure out a way to make minions, and we will create with washers--we just won't try to do both at once.  I am nothing if not persistent (it's where the boy gets it from).  Stay tuned for further episodes! 

I'm open to ideas: How would you make minions?  What would you create with washers?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

It's the Little Things

Last night, I looked at my salad...and smiled.  It's a simple salad--arugula, dried cranberries, almond slivers, and goat cheese.  I've been eating it often for a few years.  And, I still love it.

That got me thinking about how it's the little things that bring cheer to the moments of my day.

Like this picture Howie gave me for Chanukah one year.  Every time I see it, it makes me smile:

Or how much Samuel loves the new suit we gave him for his birthday (he's always wanted a suit; probably because we never forced him to wear one):

Or the world's teeniest origami frog (hops really well, too):

I guess whether it's a good day or a bad one depends on which details we decide to notice.

What are the little things that brighten your day?  Can you bring a couple of them into your day today?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How is this possible???!!!



Hard to believe, but Samuel turned TEN at 7:17 this morning.  In the spirit of sibling parity, I share ten things about my ten-year-old boy on his birthday.

1.      Samuel and I have a weird, telepathic connection—there are many times that he’ll walk into a room and start discussing something I had just been thinking about.  This has been going on for as long as he’s been able to talk. 
2.      Samuel’s creativity never ceases to amaze me (see earlier posts on “Flipping the Night Away,” “Proud Parenting Moment,” and “Art and Life” for examples!)
3.      I love how Samuel can get lost in a book or a building project (such as one made with legos or his erector set) and have the entire world just melt away.
4.      Samuel is persistent.  He learned to wink when he was 3 years old, simply because he would not give up trying until he mastered the skill.
5.      My boy has a good heart and always wants to help, and to make others happy.  See that long hair he has?  It’s because he’s growing it to donate to one of the programs that does wigs for kids with cancer. 
6.      Samuel loves jokes and riddles. 
7.      This child is an interesting mix of junk foodie and healthy eater.  He prefers water over all other drinks (and refuses to drink most).  Loves chocolate, burgers and other "kid foods"--but also loves salmon, and pesto, and fresh fruits.   
8.      Samuel has faced challenges in his short life with bravery and, often, good humor. 
9.      Samuel is always negotiating—or, at least, trying to cut a deal.  He’s good at it, too.
10.  He’s a rule follower who loves reliable routines.  Structure is his friend.  (Interesting how this merges with creativity in the boy…)

Am I the only parent who looks at my kids and still can’t believe that I’m their MOTHER? 

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Here is what Anya thinks makeup looks like on a woman.'s what Samuel thinks it looks like.

Gotta say, I'm with the boy on this one.  One of my sisters used to try to put makeup on me once in a while in my youth.  I always felt like it was Halloween. 

What cultural norms do you question?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Middle Age Reconsidered

Here I am, almost 46, decidedly middle-aged.  It’s easy to think of the disadvantages of middle age: the wrinkles and grey hairs that keep sprouting, the “spread” that never seems to stop, the weird muscle aches in places that I was previously unaware of having muscles.  Today, however, I want to look at the silver lining of middle age.  So:

It’s good to be middle-aged because:

1.      I was never cool, and I don’t have to try or pretend to be anymore. 

2.      The world is no longer full of unending possibilities—but I have found the kinds of things that I am good at and that make me happy, so I don’t have the same need for endless possibilities.

3.      That said, when I try new things (knitting, for example), I have no pressure to be “really great” at it.  I can let go of big goals and just do what I can because I enjoy it.  I read somewhere that this is what happens when you try something after you turn 40, and I think it’s true.  This actually frees me to try more new things than ever before!

4.      Having young kids at middle age is exhausting.  However, I am also old enough that I no longer care about appearances, so I am able to give myself over to the magic and silliness of childhood fairly frequently.  

5.      I have built a home and traditions that I love; beats the heck out of the insecurity of my 20s.

6.      My work and my heart are in better alignment now than they were when I was young.

7.      I know what I like and no longer care about trends…yet I am still open to new experiences.

8.      I notice the beauty in the world around me more than I ever used to do.

9.      Gratitude and contentment come more readily to me than they did 20 years ago.

10.   I have far more fabulous, eclectic jewelry.  (Hey, not everything should be deep.)

What do you love about getting older?