I love the snow. There. I said it.
I love the gifted day at home with the family. I love cooking a warm hearty meal. I love the silly weathermen stating the obvious on marathon newscasts. I LOVE the ridiculous names each storm receives – Christmas Blizzard 2010, Winter Blast 2011…..
This year, however, my love for the snow is being tested. Two school closings, too many delayed openings, cancelled meetings and work functions and missed girls weekend with my bestest ( Miss you Ali!) – all which need to be rescheduled into an already tight schedule. This week alone, I was in the office for no more than 5 hours!
So this morning I beg La Nina, El Nino, Arctic Jet Stream or whatever your name is, to please stop. One big storm per month is acceptable in my book. Once every week is excessive. My waistline, my sanity and my work load implore you to give us a break.
That being said, snow this weekend – just a dusting. Next Wednesday into Thursday may be another significant storm which I will go ahead and name “Busting My Snow Balls Storm Feb 2011″.
Late last week the forecaster reported that arctic air was headed our way. Expect the coldest temperatures of this season on Saturday. Greeeeaaaat!
So dressed in multiple layers and with some wise advise from a more veteran Girl Scout Troop (hurry, run inside Wal-Mart and buy the hand and foot warmers and put them in the girls boots and gloves…thank you Susan!), our Daisy Troops battled the cold and the wind and embarked on a timeless tradition of selling Girl Scout Cookies.
Almost immediately, the girls made their first sale. ” Hi! Girl Scout Cookies” greeted shoppers as they exited Wal-Mart. Maybe it was their cute faces bundled in scarfs and hats, maybe it was the guilt of seeing us brave the bitter cold or maybe it was just because those Girl Scout cookies are so yummy, the girls made sale after sale.
I had drilled with Bella the cost of each box. She could tell a costumer how much 1 or 2 or 3 boxes cost. She could also tell you what change was required if the buyer used a $10 or $20 bill. But when a sweet older woman bought 4 boxes, she was overwhelmed and shocked. With the help from a fellow mom, she closed the sale and nearly knocked me over with excitement. ”Mommy, that woman bought 4 boxes. How many do we need to sell to go to Disney?” I could see the light go off in her head.
So on that very cold Saturday afternoon, standing in front of Wal-Mart, our Daisy Troop battled the weather, learned hard work really does pay off and spread cheer with their sweet smiles and faces. Running a Girl Scout Troop is hard work for this working mom but I am thankful I did it. And of course, I couldn’t run this Troop without the help of all our Daisy Troop moms – all of whom are working moms …Alison & Lisa for being the best Co Leaders, Arlene for rocking the cookie mom position and Jenn, Irish, Cyndi and Katie with helpful hands and contagious laughter.
Most of Daisy Troop 70773
The day before my precious first-born came into this world, I had banked 210 hours of sick time – which in our office equals 30 days. In addition to my disability, I was able to take my sick days at full pay. It was a wonderful bonus!
Two years later, our second born was greeted with only 84 hours…aka 12 days. Not as much as my first maternity leave, but a bonus just the same.
Two year after that, with the children then 4 and 2, I barely accumulated .30 seconds at year’s end.
Now, over six years after my first-born entered this world (and with the help of family and a very flexible work schedule) I am starting the new year with a healthy bank of days thanks to a few which carried over from last year. So you would think I would take a sick day if lets say I was in pain from what feels like 100 wisdom teeth cutting through my skin numbing my entire right side of the face. If you answered yes folks, I am sorry to report the answer is no. I went into the office and with a liquid breakfast and lunch and 4 Motrin made it through the day.
Why is it that I have lost the ability to take a sick day? Is it because even if I am taking a sick day I am checking emails, working on reports while juggling kids and laundry and medicine labels?
I meant to call the dentist today when I sat at my desk but forgot until it was time to take Motrin dosage #2. I finally called mid afternoon and scheduled an appointment first thing in the morning….of course so that I can head into the office afterwards.
Perhaps I can’t take a sick day because my definition of a sick day has changed. Unless I am unable to remove myself from a bathroom or I am unable to walk straight, then I suppose I can continue to manage. So I will take two more Motrin and head to bed. Tomorrow is a new day, a doctor’s visit and maybe a 1/2 sick day. We’ll see.
I am a Western mom. I allow my children to have playdates, sleepovers, choose their own extra circular activities, let them be in a school play/ballet and I let them watch tv. According to Amy Chua, my children will never fare as well as her children or those of Chinese moms. In fact, Chinese moms are Superior.
I know! I was shocked too.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Amy Chua clearly explains the difference (in her opinion) between Western moms and Chinese moms. She explains that she uses the terms Western and Chinese loosely, but her message is clear – Western mothers don’t have what it takes to raise the valedictorian, scientists and Carnegie Hall musicians. Western working moms are too tired and exhausted to give 150%+. For the record, Amy Chua is a working mom – Professor at Yale.
In her article, Amy Chua, without regret or apologies, explains how she had once called her daughter garbage after displaying rude behavior. She also recalls the intense battle she fought with her youngest daughter over learning “Little White Donkey” on the piano. She subscribes to the philosophy of verbally belittling the child so that they are driven and determined to prove her wrong. She goes on to explain that Chinese moms don’t love their children any less, they just don’t expect anything but the best from their children. On the contrary, Western moms coddle and cajole their children in doing homework, reading and practicing their instruments.
My children are still very young. In fact, my oldest is just beginning to realize that there ARE differences among her classmate’s knowledge base. I am not sure what approach I will take as both my children get older, but I do know this: Bella is at her best when I sit with her when she is doing her homework or sit with her when she reads. I have let her try gymnastics and soccer and made her finish both sports when she complained she hated it and begged me to stop taking her. I let her have her playdates and watch tv when and only when her homework is done and/or chores complete. Yes, when I get home from work, I am tired and would rather relax with a glass of wine than think of words that have “sh” in them (don’t get me started on that one). But this is the path I chose. I work full-time and I give my children my full-time too. I make it work even I am at my whit’s end. I am a Western mom and I am not lazy. I think playdates, sleepovers and choosing groups, clubs and sports help children develop into well-adjusted working members of society.
I suppose Amy Chau’s tactics and beliefs have validity in her world. Her daughter did perform at Carnegie Hall at age 14. So maybe her daughter missed sleepovers and playdates and watching tv…is she better off than Bella or Mikey? Maybe yes…. or then again maybe not!
It was 19 degrees this morning. Ice covered my car. I sat chattering in the driver’s seat waiting for my car to warm dressed in my gloves, hat and scarf. The digital clock read 5:17am.
Ten months ago, disgusted with how I felt and tired of being tired, I embarked on a six-week boot camp class. Once the six weeks were done, I underwent a transformation; and not just in my body, but my overall outlook on life. As the spring turned into summer, I continued taking kettlebell classes and working out several days a week. I was surprised at how easily exercise fell into the routine of my daily life. But I suppose all good things must come to end. By October, the cold weather set in and so did my craving for hearty cream based soups and all things cheese. Soon, the holidays were upon me and again I indulged. Holiday dinners, cookies, cocktails. You name it. I ate it. Debbie saw me sometimes just twice a week and sometimes just once. Sadly, almost all the weight I had shed came back. My jeans are again snug and my face super round.
So there I sat, frigid in my car, on my way to fill a spot in the next boot camp challenge. Would this time be any different?
No sooner did we start the ever dreaded jumping jacks – I found my answer. Last March, I could barely jump for longer than 20 seconds. Today, despite the weight I had gained back, I could finish each exercise during each drill.
The next six weeks will be tough, but well worth it. I am up for the challenge.