Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What Makes This Night Different From All Other Nights? (It could be the Easter Eggs)

So, if I showed you photos from a holiday that feels like it was weeks ago, would it hold your interest?

Okay, I confess, this post is mostly for the Grandmothers so get over it! Right after the holidays I had some house guests for a few days, and spent a few days preparing for them, so the holiday post went on hiatus.

Michael and I come from mixed backgrounds so we tend to celebrate both Jewish and Christian holidays which can really rock if you like holidays!

And I do!

So, over the Passover/Easter holiday weekend, we headed up to Michael's mom's house. The first night we had Passover and it's traditional Seder dinner. This is a very ritualized dinner, and everyone was very excited to see that Noah was finally able to participate this year by reading the children's part, called The Four Questions.

Noah did a really awesome job and was proud when people praised him for sounding out words like "vegetables", "recline", and "Maror"!

Earlier in the day, Mima took the kids (and Michael) to the Noah's Ark exhibit at the Skirball Center which is an awesome display of hands-on kid-friendly exhibits including dozens of animals made out of everyday objects like violin cases, toilet plungers, springs, oil cans, bicycle horns and the like.

I went shopping.

That evening, after the Seder, we put the eggs and the baskets outside for the Easter Bunny so he could hide them in the backyard after filling them with... you know... KOSHER candy!

Uh huh.

That's how we roll.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Little Tech Geek

We've found that we have had to limit Noah's time on the computer because he has discovered Super Mario Brothers and has become a bit addicted to playing it.

Okay. A LOT addicted to playing it.

But he recently found a downloadable program online that allows him to build actual Mario games, with different levels and such. I think this is actually pretty educational as he can figure out, as he plays his own games, what is too difficult or too easy to play and how to problem solve as well as get around inside menus and such.

Check it out.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Returning to Manageable

Noah is out of school for the next month.

With his high level of energy and wild pendulum swinging between Most Lovable Kid Ever and the Constantly Screaming Rudeboy, having him home for vacation can either be easier (no carpool to interrupt our day!) to much harder (trying to put out three fires at a time instead of the usual two, while cleaning house, and trying to make life entertaining and educational for young people).

But this time it has been different. And I think it's because the twins are maturing!

You know how people say "Oh, Honey, enjoy them while they are young! They grow so fast!" Well, don't get me wrong, I am totally enjoying them. But I look at women at the grocery store with middle-age kids and watch how the mom just shops and the kids actually follow without getting hit by cars or shopping carts, or knocking things off the shelves! It's downright astonishing!

And I yearn for my kids to be middle age: to go on adventures; to not be tied down with naps.

Look at the last four school breaks (Noah's school has 3 one-month breaks a year, not all together in the summer like most folks do). For the first of the last four breaks, I had Noah in day camp because it was just too hard to entertain him and manage the twin toddlers. I mean, I could do it, but it meant rarely getting out of the house and doing something fun for them.

Noah hated camp.

The last two times, I kept Noah home from day camp because he wanted to be with us. Why spend the money? I was able to manage getting out to some playgroups and such, playing in the back alley with the neighbors, and going to the neighborhood park. The twins had just turned three.

This current vacation break? I took all three of them to the dentist, across town to see a house for sale, into the post office, and then to the local kid friendly coffee house for play time before heading home, and all before LUNCH, baby!

And then today, the very NEXT day, we went to the park, had a picnic, rode a bus, went to a mobbed train museum (it was free museum day), ate cookies on the grass, rode a bus again! All without a stroller! The kids stayed with me, they followed direction, they held hands, they didn't fight, they dealt with crowds, and had a great time!

The twins are three and a quarter now. Some of you might think my kids should be able to manage all this just fine by now, but keep in mind, with twins, they don't get the practice singletons get walking with a parent and following along because if one goes off one direction and the other goes another, you can't keep them both safe. And if one gets out of the stroller, the other must as well!

Some years back, I was told by two separate twin moms that it all starts becoming easier, and more like normal life, like other people's lives, when the kids turn four. For singletons, it's age two. Double that for twins. But I think I am getting a reprieve. I think we are going to be an on-the-go family again, on a regular basis soon.

Very soon, indeed.