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Feb 25 2014

A Tale of Two Olympics (Now with Kids!)

By at 10:58 am

Figure_Skating_Venue_in_Sochi

I worked my first Winter Olympic Games in 1998, as a member of TNT’s production team (where I immortalized one skater’s costume as “She looks like she was mauled by a lion while escaping a brothel.” I noted it off-handedly, but commentator Rosalynn Sumners liked it so much she repeated it on-air. It was like the movie, “Broadcast News.” I say it here, it comes out there….).

I spent close to a month in Nagano, Japan, working 28-hour days with no weekends, and came home so exhausted that I proceeded to spend the next 48 hours near-catatonic in front of the TV, catching up on all the shows I’d taped. (This was before Tivo or downloading or watching on demand, so I actually had to pre-program my entire primetime line-up weeks in advance. All on a tape that could only record for eight hours. Truly the dark ages, kids.)

My oldest son was born in 1999. And though I tried to continue working in figure skating production, his refusing to acknowledge my presence after I’d returned from yet another business trip when he was 18 months old pretty much put the kibosh on that plan. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 18 2014

When These Sleep-Deprived Snow Days Feel Like Forever

By at 10:22 am

jordanas-kids

This Will Never End.

I’ve had my fair share of this feeling lately. If you live in the Northeastern United States, you understand. Houses look like they’re auditioning to be an extra in “Frozen” with icicles the size of big foam fingers dangling off every gutter. You can’t so much as drive your car in reverse without hearing the “crunch” sound of car bumper meeting up with mountain-of-aspiring-glacier-that’s-been-plowed-into-tremendous-piles-with-nowhere-to-go.

Between snow days and vacations, it feels like we haven’t had five days of school in a row since the week before Thanksgiving. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 13 2014

Two School Administrators Announce Snow Day With Best Rap Ever

By at 4:26 pm

Despite the apocalyptic weather conditions, New York City schools were OPEN today (because we’re crazy), but just about everywhere else in the country, flights were canceled, highways were gridlocked, and kids enjoyed a national snow day–even in North Carolina, which has been pummeled by an ice storm named Pax.

Well, two school administrators, headmaster Michael Ulku-Steiner and director Lee Hark at Durham Academy in North Carolina, broke the the news to students with a hilarious cover of Vanilla Ice’s ’90s hit–yup, you guessed it–”Ice, Ice, Baby.”

Enjoy the video and for god’s sake, don’t go outside!

(H/t Viral Viral Video)

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Feb 12 2014

Eight Things All Parents Hate About Winter

By at 12:24 pm

Eight things all moms hate about winter

I am a Mom. I am a New Yorker. It is winter.

If you’re a mother in a balmier climate, known to complain about fifty-degree “freezing” temperatures, you probably can’t relate–but feel free to read on, if only to have a laugh while you snuggle into your cotton sweater. Fellow cold-weather moms? You know how we feel about winter. Now let us count the ways:

1. THE HONEYMOON PHASE

On the surface, this a part of winter isn’t that terrible. That first nip in the air doesn’t come as a warning; it’s almost welcome. That little chill is a harbinger of holidays, of cute sweaters, of paper snowflakes and other wintry-themed craft projects. The early part of winter passes by in a blur, what with taking cold-weather clothes out of “storage” (i.e., a trunk or bin stuffed to the max with snowsuits and puffy jackets), the luxury of indoor playdates (no pressure to go outside when the temperature dropping!), or visits to the playground when it’s almost empty (“Gee, it’s not even that cold,” you think to yourself. “Those other moms are total wimps!”). Getting ready for the holidays puts a palpable excitement into the air and the radio plays holly-jolly music twenty-four hours a day. What’s not to love? But then…

The gifts have been opened; the playground is finally too chilly for even the heartiest of families. Then the realization sets in that you are facing months more of this. Months more. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 6 2014

Top 10 Ways Winter Makes Me Feel Like a Crappy Parent

By at 3:35 pm

Top 10 ways winter makes me feel like a crappy parent

There has been some sort of snow or ice on the ground in Pittsburgh since Thanksgiving. I am six months pregnant, driving a brand new (covered in dirt and salt) minivan, and schlepping around two kids. Did I mention we moved a mile down the road to a bigger place at the end of December and then my whole family got H1N1 a few weeks ago?

Yeah, I’m over it.

These are my normal “I’m a mom of two” standards: There is dust on my TV stand but I scrub the toilet bowl and sweep/vacuum bi-weekly (as in, twice per week). My kids don’t eat cereal for dinner but I am not opposed to Trader Joes frozen meatballs or Spaghetti O’s. I shower every other day, and shave at least once per week. My kids wear clean clothes every day but pajamas can be used two nights in a row. Bath night every other night. My kids each get two stories before bed and a song. There must be dessert in my house; my kids aren’t usually allowed to eat it. Milk plus back up milk, fruit, and peanut butter at all times.  One or two TV shows after naptime, and family movie night is Friday with popcorn if you ate a decent amount of dinner.

Currently? There is dust all over my house and pee all over my toilet. My kids ate frozen waffles and bananas for dinner the entire week I was sick. Fruit snacks now count as a fruit. I still try to shower every other day but you could braid my leg hair right now. Kiddo bath every third night, smell jammies on the floor to see if they are clean. Bake to keep the house warm, ration each child one cookie/brownie per day, eat the rest yourself after they go to bed. Go outside only if we run out of milk. Listen to the Toddler Pandora station in the morning, maybe one episode of Daniel Tiger, then a movie after nap. Sure kids! Eat all the pretzels you want for snack if it keeps you quiet. That means you will be less hungry for dinner which is good because I have no idea what we are having which is a problem because it’s 7 p.m. Read the rest of this entry →

A Public Apology to My Friend

By at 10:52 am

A public apology to my friend

Yesterday I wrote a post that I deeply regret writing, and now I would like to post a public apology. My stomach is tied up in knots and my face feels red as I write this, but I think it is important to do so anyway.

I wrote about my approach to managing my kids on snow days, and in the process, I threw a fellow mama (and a friend of mine) under the bus. I publicly dismissed her parenting style, and then went on to write about why mine was so much better.

There is nothing acceptable about what I wrote, and I want to publicly apologize to my friend, and to everyone who read the piece.

For years now, I have read blog posts and books that offer all sorts of suggestions about how I should be raising my children, many of them under the guise of “everyone has their own style of parenting, but this is just how I do it.” This is precisely what I did, as if it’s supposed to make it all OK. It doesn’t. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 5 2014

I Refuse to Spend Snow Days Entertaining My Kids

By at 11:30 am

I refuse to spend snow days entertaining my kids

It’s a snow day here in Boston. You know what that means: kids that have to be dragged out of beds on school days are up before dawn and weary parents are staring glassy-eyed into their coffee as they negotiate who gets to go to work and who will stay home with the Tasmanian devils who have somehow managed to trash the house before the garbage truck has rumbled by.

I logged onto Facebook this morning and wrote: “They woke up at 6:30 AM and are currently wandering around the house in thin cotton summer dresses. My girls are terrible at snow days. At least it’s beautiful out.

It was your run of the mill, slightly less than clever, semi-whiny, halfhearted attempt to garner sympathy from my friends and find something positive about the day. A few friends “liked” my picture of the snowy scene from my front door, and in the midst of a few sympathetic comments, my former boss wrote this:

You need to get in full camp counselor mode! Bake cookies, dance party, art and crafts, story time, sledding, etc… hopefully, by later in the day the roads are a bit more cleared…I am hoping our Y is open to get them out of the house and swimming….good luck!Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 11 2013

How I Relaxed & Learned to Love a Snow Day

By at 3:28 pm

snow days

The true mark of adulthood is not age: it’s whether you react to a snow day with despair or delight.

“Thank you, God!” my 4th grader yelled, as he hopped from foot to foot in a spontaneous variant on the hora with his 3rd grade brother (I had thought the school superintendent was responsible for making the decision on calling off school on account of inclement weather, but never mind). My 2-year-old, upon learning she would not be going to school, promptly burst into tears.

I totally know how the 2-year-old felt. With less than two weeks until the interminable winter break–I mean, that joyous time with no school, when babysitters all have better things to do than hang out with your kids–all work for the work-from-home parent needs to be taken care of today, if not yesterday. Having three kids at school was essential in order for me to accomplish anything, whether that “anything” was work, newborn baby gift thank you notes, or simply sitting down.

I’m also the kind of parent who sees snow as something best viewed through a window or in an Ansel Adams photo. I see snow and I start thinking of snow scrapers, rock salt ruining my shoes, and moving to California. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 8 2013

Being a Homeschooler, I’m Used to Snow Days

By at 12:00 pm

snow with house Here in Maryland we just experienced a nice little snowstorm, and while I can’t say exactly why work and school were cancelled for so people many over just a couple of inches of snow–snow that didn’t even stick to the roads, no less–I can’t say I’m disappointed. I enjoy snow days! Yet so many of my friends on Facebook are lamenting that they are so bored being trapped inside with the kids all day. Read the rest of this entry →

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