Friday, April 27, 2007

The Wonder Pets

I have two sweet little boys: Sam, almost 4, and James, almost 2. I have learned that in order to be an effective mother of these two energetic (crazy) angels (little devils), I have to be creative in finding ways to keep them entertained so they don't drive me completely insane. I am not opposed to letting them watch tv but I try to limit it to reasonable amounts, that is, I did until we found The Wonder Pets.

The Wonder Pets are a guinea pig, turtle, and duckling who live in a school house and, upon receiving an emergency phone call from a baby animal of one sort or another, don hats and capes and rush off to the rescue, singing all the way.

Wonder Pets! Wonder Pets!
We're on our way
To help the baby camel
And save the day.

We're not to big
And we're not to tough
But when we work together
We got the right stuff.

Goooooo Wonder Pets!

My kids sing all of the words! In fact, I think we are all a little obsessed. When James wakes up in the morning, frequently the first words out of his mouth are "Hi Mama. Watch Wonder Pets?"
So one day they decided to dress up as The Wonder Pets. They of course, had to dress up their favorite stuffed animals too.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Chick Flicks

I had a conversation with a friend of mine about some of the great chick flicks and how much fun it would be to share them with our daughters (hers actual, mine theoretical). So here is the list, in no particular order:

1) The Sound of Music

2) Pride and Prejudice (The Kiera Knightly version as well as the A&E saga)

3) Anne of Green Gables (Actually, all of the Anne movies)

4) Ever After

5) The Princess Bride

6) Sleepless in Seattle

7) The Little Princess (not the Shirley Temple version)

8) Star Wars Saga (ok, technically not a chick flick, but well loved by all who grew up with them)

9) Sixteen Candles

10) All of the Disney Princess movies (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, etc.)

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I am so sick of this feeling of entitlement that people in this country have noticibly adopted over the last few years. I think it is what makes everyone so lawsuit happy. They feel entitled to have lots of money and since they are too lazy to actually work for what they want they go the easy route and take someone else's money, regardless if it is justified. It is like kids cheating on tests in school - they want the grade but are too lazy to do the work for it. What's wrong with cheating? They "deserve" a good grade.
The reason this is bothering me today is because a friend of mine emailed me a personality test. The first few screens of the test included several admonitions not to cheat. First of all, it is a freaking personality test; There are no wrong answers! Why would you cheat?! Second of all, what does it matted if your answers don't match what you think they should be, there is no one waiting to grade it. Lastly, it is rather insulting for someone to automatically assume that we are going to cheat! It is a sad commentary on our society that we are now prefacing our phoney, just for fun email tests with requests for being honest. If we as a society had any integrity left, we would be outraged!

Friday, April 13, 2007


It is so easy for us to get caught up in our own lives and tune out the problems in the rest of the world. I admit, I frequently do it myself. But occasionally an event half a world away can come crashing down around our ears. This is what happened to me when my brother-in-law, Tracy, was shipped off to Iraq. He is currently serving in Bagdad. I don't know what he is doing. I don't think he is fighting. Originally he was training Iraqi troops in northern Iraq (Kurdish territory, which is relatively safe), but since he was moved to Bagdad I don't know any details. He has sporadic email access but is not allowed to send any specific details in case the enemy intercepts his correspondence. We know he is alive and in Bagdad, that's it. My sister, Lisa, has been a pillar of strength since he left last September. She has kept to her routine as much as possible for the sake of their three small kids. TJ, almost 8, has had the most difficult time missing his dad. But honestly it has been difficult for all of them, how could it not be? I asked Lisa how she does it; I would be a disaster! She said she doesn't watch the news and she prays a lot! What else can she do? Tracy started dating Lisa when I was five years old, so he has been a part of our family for most of my life. I can't imagine what any of us would do if something happened to him. So, I have followed Lisa's example and stopped watching the news. However, when I do happen to hear an Iraq update on NPR, my heart stops. I have to remind myself that I would get a phone call from someone in the family if Tracy were hurt or worse. For now, no news is good news.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Favorite Books

I have had lots of time for reading lately. Here is a list of my 10 favorites -- in no particular order.

1) Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (and New Moon too!)

2) The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

3) The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown

4) Any of the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling

5) Enchantment by Orson Scott Card (OK, really anything by Orson Scott Card--but this one happens to be about Russian fairytales, my specialty!)

6) Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin

7) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

8) Left Behind by Timothy LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins (the whole series is fun!)

9) The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by TE Carhart

10) The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colier (can you tell I am on a juvenile lit kick?)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Our Worst Fears

So much in our society today is about being afraid. We are constantly warned by the government and the news networks about dangers looming over us: terrorist attacks, global warming, increased gun violence, natural disasters and a slew of other things. I think part of all the warnings we receive are an attempt to keep us (the general public) afraid. After all, people who are scared are easier to control. Of course, some of the warnings are legitimate too.
I have found now that I have children, my fear of major catastrophic events has lessened. My immediate fears are centered around the well being of my children. I am afraid that my 2 year old will break his neck falling down our unforgiving wooden staircase or that my four year old will ride his shiny, new bicycle into the busy street near our house. These events have a higher probability than a terror attack in suburbia, PA and would be more catastrophic to me personally than all of the other possible events spouted on the news. I know that that is a shortsighted and incredibly selfish point of view, but I figure that in my own small way I am also trying to improve the world. I am raising my children in a loving and safe home where they are able to learn and grow and become conscious, productive members of society. Would it be better if I raised them to be afraid of their own shadow? Or if I spent all of my time campaigning futilely about the dangers of global warning and left them on their own to figure out what is important in life?
The way I figure it is that if my kids were killed in a terrorist bombing or a natural disaster, I would be devestated; But if they grew up to be the terrorists or the school shooter, the cause of the destruction, that would be a million times worse!
Parenting is scary business because in addition to worrying about exposing our children to all of the mayhem in the world, most of us have no clue what we are doing or how our children will turn out. I guess it comes down to how we face our fears. My mom's favorite quote is, "Courage is action with fear". So I guess the question we have to ask ourselves is not "are we afraid", but do we have the courage to act despite our fears?

Monday, April 9, 2007

Is anybody there?

I talk to myself. I have for years.
Maybe I get it from my mother who used to argue with herself in the car when I was a child. I think she was preparing comebacks for her next fight with my dad. Regardless - it has become a habit for me. So you can consider this blog the physical manifestation of my internal monologue (the edited version anyway).
Anyway, I recently read a fabulous book called Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. In it one of the main characters had the ability to read people's thoughts. I would love to have that ability! I feel like we spend so much time and energy behaving in what we believe is the socially acceptable way. I would love for us to be able to drop the facade and really tell people what we thought and felt. I understand the necessity to be nice so we don't hurt the people around us, but it would remove so much of the world's misunderstandings! Have you ever looked at one of your friends after they say or do something unexpected and realize that you really don't know them at all? You don't know what makes them tick. You don't know what makes them sad, happy, scared, excited, furious.
To be able to just pick your friends' thoughts out of the air, to know what they are thinking, their motivation behind it, would be such a gift.
I recently suffered a bout of mostly chemical/hormomnal induced depression. I know I was acting more than a little crazy and yet my friends all said they had no idea anything was going on at all. Is this true? Do they normally think I am insane,brainless and preoccupied?

Who knows, they could be right.