LEGO and learn

On Friday, Grandma offered my perfect children a treat–any toy they wanted from Toys R Us. As I took them there, I knew their selections would be modest and appropriate, but I also understood that choosing one item per child from myriad options would be challenging.

My 3 year old son was easy–the male gene kicked in and he picked a truck within the first 5 minutes and could not be persuaded otherwise.

In contrast, My 5 year old daughter spent 10 minutes circling the store and half an hour in the Barbie aisle. I encouraged her to expand her options and to my surprise she headed to the LEGO aisle. Moreover, I was surprised (although she was not) to learn that LEGO makes projects specifically targeting girls. My daughter picked one (building an ice-cream shop) and not only has it given us endless bonding pleasure, but it’s also given me the opportunity to teach math concepts in a fun way. As you know, math is something girls lose confidence in relatively early on.

For example, how to follow instructions from a manual, paying attention to detail, comparing and describing objects and their relative positions, and exercising good judgement.

Now this is a toy that I can believe in.

LEGO Girls rule ok!

Faux real?

Unlike Hollywood’s narrow interpretation of beauty involving inflated or plastic lips and boobies, emaciated appearance, extreme self-denial for the passage of time, and a strong desire for sameness–my observations of women who age beautifully are those who maintain a youthful look and vibe through their:

Irrepressible spirit.
Great energy.
Incredibly relaxed yet good posture.
Good bone structure, clear skin, & healthy hair.
Appropriate weight for their frame.
Intelligence.
Sensuality.
Confidence.
Positive outlook.
Individuality.

At little or no charge.

Send in the clowns

I spent Valentine’s day with a clown with big feet. You know what they say about men with big feet don’tcha?

It was a spur of the moment thing but what the hey?

The Chick-fil-a location near me offers free kids meals on Tuesdays and they had a clown entertaining the children and making characters out of balloons and giving these creations away for free. Tons of parents and giddy children were there!

The children and I had a blast.

However, the clown did take a much needed break to ask me and my friend whether our husbands were so cheap that they sent us to Chick-fil-A for dinner on V’day. We both admitted that we had none.

Luckily, none of the couples who were having dinner there overheard him.

Because…he was a nice clown.

Ain’t nothin’ but a candy…

I’ve learned that women can be jerks too.

You know the ones who try to play “the okie doke.” For example, the “friend” who asks you to pick her daughter up from after care to be retrieved an hour or so later from your home but doesn’t until four and a half hours later (i.e. after 10pm on a school night). The reward for inconveniencing you and your perfect children? “You would save my life!”

Then 2 weeks later, said friend approaches you again for similar favor, but this time with a twist. Not only does she want you to pick her daughter up from after care, but now she wants to drop said child off at your home at 7am to catch the school bus at 8:05am. So that friend, can travel out of state, for a business meeting that she “thinks”she’ll be returning from on the same day. Afterall, I would be such a life saver!!!

No matter, that she knows I’d have drive all of the children to the daycare to drop my son off before even tackling the school bus.

I told friend that while I empathized with her situation–like herself, being a single parent and all, I couldn’t handle three children in the morning under such time constraints and recommended that she pay the $40 before care fee for the day. As a show of goodwill, I offered to help her with after care pick up if she was willing to observe my pick up guidelines.

Her rigid back the next day made it clear that she did not expect such a response from a lifesaver.

I guess I’m not that sweet.

Dancing with the stars

A few days ago I had the difficult chat with my perfect daughter.

Not the one about the birds and the bees.

It was the one about the As and the Bs.

Or more specifically, smiley faces and stars which are indicators of classwork performance–since my daughter is 5 years old and in Kindergarten.

She now understands that smiley faces mean she needs to try harder, stars mean excellent and that Ws (with help) on her report card are not desired!

For motivation she now charts stars and smiley faces on a calendar everyday after school with the understanding that when she gets more stars than smiley faces, she’ll receive a treat at month-end, like a visit to Chuck E. Cheese.

Trust me. It works.

She is now better focused on understanding concepts like gravity. But now I have headaches!

“If gravity causes things to fall down, then why don’t airplanes fall out of the sky, Mom?”

Or concepts like gas, liquid and solid.

“If white lines in the sky created by planes are really a solid then why is steam a gas, Mom?”

Sigh.

My Yellow Brick road

Somethings I’ve learned and enjoyed over the past few years, creating greater life pleasure for me and my tribe:

The library is now my third place–I don’t subscribe to cable and haven’t watched tv in years, but we love renting movies and books!

I’m gluten -free–wheat wasn’t a part of my forefathers/mothers diet, which is likely why I’m intolerant and it is no longer a part of my diet.

I’m always in motion–I walk my ‘hood where nature rules ok! I do weights/pushups at home. I don’t believe in dieting but hey, to each his/her own:)

I prefer consignment & discount shopping–where possible I avoid buying new. This way I can afford to buy the best quality products (my clothes last forever:) Except when it comes to food:( Organic food is pricey but health is wealth!

I make home cooked meals (from scratch!)-of course I use 5 for fewer ingredients most of the time! And I’ve not purchased sugar in over 10 years. Brown and colorful foods rule okay! And I confess…I’m borderline obsessed with my elimination, which um, keeps me regular.

I listen to the classical and Public radio stations–avoiding those commercial stations promoting consumerism.

I drink lots of green tea–and the odd glass of wine on weekends. Salut!

I floss twice a day–cuz I don’t like gingivites nor cardiac disease.

I’ve become a do-it-your selfer (or I ask a friend who has the skills): I remember asking a friend in London for recommendations on a nail salon–she wanted to know why. When I told her it was to get my nails done–she was like, I’m sorry we do our nails ourselves. I was so embarassed!

My look is simple and low maintenance (pixie hair cut anyone?) but I’m more stylish than ever.

I take my work seriously–because it pays the bills!

I get rid of something old anytime I bring something new in to my home–this makes me thing twice before purchasing more stuff.

I learn from my perfect children–how to play, laugh, look beyond (yes, those scribbles are an airplane) and make friends!