Friday, August 22, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

First Day of Kindergarten

Well, today was it, the first day of school. Unfortunately, we were late and missed the teacher's welcome and instructions. I don't even want to talk about how that happened. Just, as a person like me who is always early, it was hard. I kept my calm for Anna's sake. There is always tomorrow.

After drop-off, I went to the PTA meeting, where they tell you why you have to give money and ask you to sign up for things. I knew that was going to happen so I was prepared. I signed up to be one of (or perhaps the only) Kindergarten Art Docent. I will get art instruction from a special district art teacher, then I will teach the Kindergarten kids in the art studio. It sounds really fun. I'll have to get a sitter for Ethan for those days but that's no big problem. I also signed up to be our class "party parent". I asked another parent what that was, and you just help coordinate the one or two class parties. Sounds easy. I noticed that no one signed up to be the lead or co-lead parent in our classroom. I am worried that as one of the only 3 parents that signed up for anything, I may be asked to do more. Well, we'll see about that. I didn't want to look too eager just out of the gates.

Today is a short day, only 2 hours, so it's almost time to turn back around and pick Anna up. Hopefully she enjoyed her day.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Pool Party

We had Anna's pool party yesterday and it went really well. The pool was a perfect place: great entertainment for the kids and easy clean-up. Anna really enjoyed herself. Off to Kindergarten tomorrow! What a week!








Friday, August 15, 2014

five.

Just like on Christmas Eve, we laid her presents out the night before:


A few color books, crayons, construction paper, a giant giraffe and an extremely annoying Furreal Kitty (the one thing that she asked for and she loves it so much). I also put out her birthday breakfast - a hot pink cupcake - with a #5 candle. We had so much fun doing Ethan's birthday first thing in the morning, I think it's going to be a tradition. Also, you may notice that the cupcake is store-bought. I know I was really into home-made baked goods just a short while ago. Since then, Ethan has become really active and we're back into survival mode: no baking, hardly any cooking, just getting through the day.

Anna was so excited to see her presents and cupcake out when she woke up. We sang happy birthday and it was all so much fun.


She is at that incredibly joyful age for holidays, where it's all happiness and magic. She was so glad about every gift and said thank you for each one. I enjoyed seeing her birthday through her eyes because I'm so over mine. Gah, old lady, who cares.

Later in the day, she had a special lunch, just her and Uri, they went to sushi and the toy store. She picked out a horse mosaic project for ages 5+ and she felt very proud of herself. When they got home, she told me she had a special drink at lunch that tasted like cherries and it was so delicious that she just died. Then she dead-panned - not literally. And as annoying as it is to hear adults throw around the word literally, it is pretty funny coming from a newly minted 5 year old. And that's our Anna - precocious, dramatic, intense, endearing, and wonderful.


She starts Kindergarten on Monday and she's just gotten so big - so grown up. I know it just continues on like this but it's so amazing to see. I can't believe we've been on this journey with her for 5 years already. The years flip by so quickly. I'm thankful for birthdays as they are a chance to stop for a minute and look around - to say hey! This is where we are! Wow! Five. Man.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Santa Cruz

Today we spent the afternoon in Santa Cruz, visiting friends. They were staying in an absolutely amazing house, that has been in their family since it was built in 1922. Both Ethan and Anna loved the beach and playing at the house. It was a nice day.







Less (Chores) is More

A few weeks ago, I went to lunch with some of my college girlfriends. It's always so nice to see all of them and hear how they are doing. Also OMG we have known each other for 19 years now what the heck is up with that. I also enjoy getting their perspective on my own life and issues, since they've known me for so long. I was pretty exhausted on the day we all went, I had just spent a week at the beach with the family  (some day vacations will be restful again) and then drove into LA on a Friday - which sucks with traffic. I was complaining a little about the endless chores and my friend Shawna piped up. I wish I could remember exactly what she said. It was some wisdom from her mom - and the gist is that women who always do more will always have more to do. Basically, it's up to you to kick back and take life easy because the work will always expand to fill your time. At first it was just one of many comments in a long and fun lunch. But as the days and weeks went by, this one thing really stuck with me. I think I'm a perfect example of a person who fills my day with work of my own making. Of course, being at home with kids all day long is a mess of cooking and cleaning, but I decided to start thinking about ways to make things easier on myself.

The first thing I cut back on was laundry. I was doing laundry pretty often, and I have cut it back to once a week (for clothes). I have more clothes to wash that day, but even with more washing and folding on one day, it takes less time than washing, folding and putting away a few times a week. Also, it's just nice to go more days in between. I still do the sheets and towels on housekeeper day, but my total laundry load seems much lighter.

I have also decided to let the kitchen go longer between tidying. I used to fully clean up after every meal and snack. Now I'm okay with piling things up in and around the sink. Why spend all day cleaning up in there? Another thing that's helped in the kitchen is more eating out. This kind of goes against a lot of my own ideals. I know that eating out is more costly and less healthy, but right now I'm kind of busy with two kids at home and I could care less if I'm a little fatter and spending money on something I don't fully endorse. Parents of small children don't have the luxury of idealism! Uri was gone all last week and I took the kids out to dinner twice. We had lots of fun and Ethan threw food all over someone else's floor for a change. Also, being out is a nice change of pace; everyone enjoys getting out of the house.

Just these two things have been really helpful but I didn't stop there. I also hired a babysitter for Saturday mornings. This had been one of my long-held judgmental items. I remember back when we lived in Santa Monica, I would see nannies bringing kids to the park on Saturdays and think "geeze, if you can't play with your kid on Saturday morning, when can you?" Forget the fact that some parents may work on Saturdays or the fact that it's none of my damn business. And now that Saturday babysitter person is ME. I realized that I've been with the kids every single day for a year now with probably only 3 or 4 partial days off. Everyone deserves a day off. Uri works hard during the week but so do I. I was getting so incredibly pissed on Saturdays because Uri would go for a long bike ride, then shower, then work on his computer - he wasn't ready for family day until noon or 1:00. With a family that wakes up at 6:30 am, that's half the day. So I decided to do something about it instead of stewing about it. It was so nice to have an adult morning. I planned to have some alone time, but with Uri being gone so much lately, he wanted to spend the time with me and that was fun too. Since I have this lady coming every Saturday now, I'm sure I'll get some alone time soon. It's such a relief. Again, not exactly what I'd love to be spending money on but it's a bridge to get through these little baby years.

I'm sure with Anna starting Kindergarten in just a week, that I'll find some more time for myself. I do plan to get a sitter for a couple of hours once or twice a week for Ethan while Anna is in school. I will be able to run errands alone and/or exercise and I'm so looking forward to it. I love my kids so much but just getting a few hours away from them is such a breath of fresh air. I am a better mother for it. Heck, I'm a better person all around.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

one.

We celebrated Ethan's birthday bright and early this morning - strawberry shortcake at 6:45 am. Uri was sandwiched between two trips for work, and the morning was what we had to work with. I actually really liked it. I think it's a nice way to kick off a birthday and I think we'll do candles and singing and some kind of treat every birthday morning for the kids from now on.

Ethan loved it of course:



And it only got better from there! Since it was his birthday, I let him play with a whole roll of toilet paper:

California knows how to party
He really enjoyed the toilet paper. He has been trying to get his hands on a roll for quite some time, I hope it was all he thought it would be.

We took Anna to horse camp and I thought it would be nice to get Ethan a pair of shoes as he may start walking soon. He liked them well enough in the store but besides that all he does is try and take them off.


Well, I guess shoe wearing is something we have to work on. Tonight we are going to a little tapas place for dinner. It won't be the same without Uri, but I'm so glad we all got to celebrate this morning. One year old. Wow. Happy Birthday Little Love.