Wednesday, December 31, 2008


button for MU

Kristin at Motherhood Uncensored has challenged other mom bloggers to "write a post on your blog about how you're going to take better care of yourself in 2009" which she is officially calling 2009 - The Year of the Mom.

So I'm accepting the challenge.

In 2009, I'm going to try to:
  • write more, but spend less time on Facebook and on the Internet
  • enjoy my family more
  • spend more time with friends
  • actually hire a babysitter every now and then and go out with my husband
  • read more
  • complain less
  • exercise more often
  • bring lunch to work more often
  • be less stressed
  • see more movies
  • encourage (demand?) that my family help more with household chores
  • enjoy the moments
Wish me luck! And happy new year, everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The trauma of Christianity

I try my best to be open and honest with my son, age 9. I've told him all about sex, I'm honest with him about politics, and so on. When he asks questions about sensitive topics, I try to answer them. But today, I think I did the wrong thing.

I told him about Christianity.

We were making Chanukah cookies together, and somehow Christmas came up. I asked him, "do you know what Christmas is all about, anyway?"

"Santa Claus?" he replied.

"Well... that' s part of it." I continued, explaining about Jesus, Mary, the virgin birth (he didn't buy that one - remember, I'd already told him about sex), being the son of G-d, and so on. Then we got to the crucifixion.

"They did what to him?" he asked in horror. Uh, oh.

We actually looked it up on the internet, and he saw a picture of Jesus on the cross. I mean, kids see this all the time, right? But then we found a photo of a real person nailed to a cross. I mean, someone from right now. They were re-enacting the crucifixion for Easter, I guess.

Now I've traumatized him. You should have seen his face.

How do Christians explain this part of the story to kids? I should have asked our next door neighbor for advice first.

I tried to backpedal. "Well, think of all those bible stories, they're kind of gross, right? Like the Egyptians drowning in the Red Sea? Or Joseph being thrown into the pit by his brother?"

"Mom," he said, looking at me, disgusted. "They weren't putting nails through someone's hands."

True enough.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Can I interest you in Chanukah (so funny!)

Happy Chanukah from snowy Boston

Our flag tries to brave the ice and snow.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The search for a Wii

So we decided to get a Wii this year as our family Chanukah present, although we forgot to actually acquire one. My son (J) was starting to get upset, so my husband (A) started searching.

Turns out, EVERYONE wants a Wii this year, and they are hard to come by. Amazon didn't have any, Toys R Us didn't either, etc. etc. J was really starting to get frantic.

"You mean we won't have our Wii by Chanukah?" he cried. Really, he was screaming, not crying. The only good thing about it is that he pronounced "Cha-nu-kah" in a very authentic and Israeli way.

A is a big bargain hunter, so he had to scour the internet for deals, but this wasn't really working. So he started calling stores. Turns out, they get a shipment in, and then you can wait in line, in the cold, to get a ticket or a wristband, and then acquire a Wii. I never, ever thought we'd be doing this. I remember the years of Cabbage Patch Dolls and Tickle Me Elmo, when frantic parents waited for hours to get their children these extremely annoying toys... And now we were part of that tradition. Waiting in a line for a Wii.

So A discovered that a local store was getting a shipment in on Sunday morning, and he planned to go early on Sunday morning to get in line, and hopefully to snag us a Wii. It was a very cold night, so he set out flannel lined pants, a very warm sweater, his heaviest winter coat, etc. He was planned to wake up at 5:00 or 5:30 am.

At 5:30 am, he woke me. "I don't have to go to the store!" he announced. "I just got an email from Amazon. They have Wiis! I ordered one online!"

"You woke me up to tell me this?" I thought. I thought it, but I didn't say it. "That's great!" I said.

So... the Wii is on its way. We hope.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Annual Bah Humbug

It's time for my annual rant about the holidays. I am SO sick of being inundated with emails, telling me to BUY BUY BUY this or that amazing holiday deal! And buy quickly because the deal will be gone tomorrow!

We have decided (well, my son and I have decided, but that's another story) to get a Wii as our "family" Chanukah present this year, the assumption being that we won't be buying a lot of other presents (maybe just a few little ones). So I'm really not the market for gifts this year. And all these ads are just annoying. Plus, what is the deal with all these ridiculous items that come out in the stores JUST around Christmas? Things you would never want or need any other time of the year, but somehow around Christmas, they are things that people actually buy. Argh!

So, in actuality, we haven't purchased the Wii yet. I have a few small gifts, but still need to find some more for various people in my life. I have our holiday cards, but still need to work on the holiday letter, and then send out the cards. Chanukah is in less than 2 weeks, and I'm not ready. Winter Break is in 2 weeks and I'm not ready for that either. I'm just not ready for anything this year. Bah. Humbug.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The dark days

Been wondering why I've been feeling so tired and cold and out-of-sorts lately, and then I read an op-ed by James Carroll this morning, and it all makes sense. Carroll says:
NOW BEGIN the darkest days of the year. This phenomenon of the revolutions of the Earth has long defined one pole of the human psyche. For the next two weeks, the days shorten, the nights grow longer, and the eyes of all people lift to see what's coming. Now is when theaters should mount "Waiting for Godot," or "Waiting for Lefty," bringing alive the national melodrama, which could be called, "Waiting for Barack." In fact, it is appropriate to these weeks that America's election euphoria has given way to the low-key stasis of, as we say, an administration-in-waiting.

Of course, what the nation overwhelmingly awaits is the economy's recovery, a hope that has been magically tied to the coming inauguration. Waiting is normally the most passive of experiences, yet in these weeks ahead of the comeback of the sun, waiting is positively exhausting. The seasonal observances - whether religious feasts, the festivals of light, the parties, or only shopping - all give expression to a fundamental longing, which in turns reveals the built-in contradiction of awareness.
You can read the rest here.

Monday, December 01, 2008

World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day.

During this past year, we've heard a lot more "media buzz" about teen pregnancy than about AIDS, but HIV and AIDS are still here. People are still being infected, though sexual activity, needle sharing, and through childbirth, and even though treatments are more effective than they were before, not all those who are infected are being treated. People still die of AIDS.

But there is hope. This is part of an email written by the President of the AIDS Action Committee here in Boston:
On this World AIDS Day, we are on the precipice of a huge opportunity to make history. President-elect Obama has committed to implement a National AIDS Strategy in his first year in office and demonstrate the leadership necessary to end the epidemic in America. NAS calls for measurable outcomes, coordination of federal programs and accountability.

While we are making progress, barriers remain. State, federal and foundation coffers shrink. Our clients, who live on less than $10,000 a year, struggle to meet their most basic needs. Together, we can overcome these obstacles and help those most in need.
Looking at the National AIDS Strategy document, I am pleased to see that it calls for coordination among agencies and researchers; and a focus on people of color, who are over-represented in proportion of HIV cases and whose outcomes are worse than those of whites. It calls for increased HIV testing, which comes with its own set of problems, yet since early treatment improves outcomes, now it makes more sense to push for early testing. I personally would like to see even more of an emphasis on prevention in the document, but hopefully that will come, as well.

Please, on this important day, consider donating to your local AIDS organization, or else to Boston's AIDS Action Committee. We have all been affected by HIV/AIDS. We must not forget.