Tag Archives: Parenting

The Write Way.

10 Apr

I worry that there is this disconnect between what Bear learns in kindergarten and what is reemphasized at home. Aside from emails sent by his teachers or papers I see once a week in his folders I don’t really know what they’re learning beyond a Kindergartner’s recollection of the day. I know that he is doing well. I know that he is a kind, rule abiding boy. But, I’m not there anymore to volunteer on Mondays. I’m not there to prod it out of him after school. So, I do my best to make sure he is learning something outside of school and fingers crossed it’s the same as what he’s learning at school.

Because I am here and he is there we have a special notebook. He writes me every day for a week and when I come home for the weekend I take the notebook back and write him everyday. We switch every time we see each other. Sometimes he’s practicing writing and sometimes he’s practicing reading and I know I’m practicing penmanship so he can actually read what I’m saying.


I love it. I love the three sentences he writes me that are often the same, but every time I see his kindergarten “I love you” or “I miss you” I fill with hope and ever enduring love.

Beyond writing to each other we rely on other things to help educate and yet often entertain because the H simply cannot do it all. No man or woman truly can, we all just do the best that we can. And yes, the kids watch TV (almost exclusively Mickey Mouse Clubhouse because Bear is too accommodating and Bella too stubborn). And no, that doesn’t make us bad parents, it means we’re doing the absolute best we can.

I have raved about various Leapfrog products before because I can’t get over how they are educational and entertaining. Can all things be that way? Why am I not usually being educated when I read buzzfeed, but just entertained? And why am I often bored when trying to read a particularly laboriousness article on the New York Times?

Bear got the Mr. Pencil: The Lost Colors of Doodleburg ultra e-book and I have to say that I love how it emphasizes the reading and writing skills that he learns in Kindergarten with what we’re trying to do with our special notebook. There are three different reading levels that change as your child progresses to have longer sentences and words. The same is true for the writing levels. In the reading portion, you have the ability to choose a word and have it defined or sounded out which adds so much depth and breadth to the content. You can also be at different levels within writing and reading if you’re stronger in one.

We’ve never had an ultra e-book before, but I really like them and I think that I will definitely get more. Especially for Bella because I think adding the story line adds to the game play because you feel more connected and engaged with what you’re trying to achieve in each of the mini games. Bear loved the mini  games, of course, especially trying to swim away from “the scary fish in Finding Nemo”.

It gives me some semblance of comfort to feel like I’m still a part of his day and his educational development with our notebook and also knowing that he has his Leapfrog games to give him more chances to learn outside of school.


All opinions and grammatical errors are entirely my own. I was provided with the Mr. Pencil: The Lost Colors of Doodleburg ultra e-book by Leapfrog for the purposes of this review. But honestly, I love Leapfrog and have now been converted to ultra e-books! 


8 Apr

I can’t write, for words feel like emptiness in the air. I barely breathe in fear of the sigh that may escape. I’m held on an edge, screaming in an echoless cavern.

That is what four months and counting living without my family feels like. That is what every question of how I’m doing, how they are doing, when will they come here feel like. Like fingernails in my palms, tearless cries and fake cheer. I am fine. He is fine. The children are fine. We are in a perpetual state of “fine”. Of please don’t ask us. Of we don’t know. Of everything is fine.

I did not know the depth of my love until it was challenged. I did not know the capacity of my strength until it was tested. I did not know what I could endure for the love of my children until I had to.

Emptiness is the corners of my heart without you there. It is hands without a partner. Quiet. For the cries are unheard and the tears remain unwiped. They are there and I am here and when this all comes together it will be great. We will be great.

But until then we are simply just fine.



Linked with Just Write.

Easter. Uncensored.

29 Mar

If you missed it last year you must read my uncensored version of Easter. I’m hoping of a better on this year. While you’re at it click over to the censored version too for comparison.

Lost and Forgotten

For the censored version go here.

Friday after working four non-stop hours I hurried home expecting a spotless house having hired a cleaning service for just that task. This was not remotely the case and instead the H and I spent 90 minutes cleaning after the cleaning lady.  I was hoping to wow my mother with my cleaning prowess. No one noticed or mentioned it.

I picked up the hunny bunny I ordered and impulse bought some Hot Cross buns that I thought we could eat as we dyed Easter eggs. Bear didn’t like the raisins. The H doesn’t eat anything healthy. Bella ate only the frosting. My mother despite me asking her multiple times rejected them, so only my father and I actually ate the nine dollar buns.

We went to pick something up at the store and my father honks at a pedestrian trying to walk across…

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It’s Not Our Fault.

20 Mar

Awhile ago I saw Anonymous’s video of the football players of Steubenville, Ohio. I was horrified at their blatant disregard for their actions as evidenced by their brazenness to video tape and post the video online in the first place. They didn’t care what they had done, it was funny to them, and after all they were the untouchable golden children of their town. Nothing bad could happen to them, right?

Their conviction made headlines and the media instead of banding around the innocent victim chose to highlight the promising careers of these poor boys. They leaked the victims real name carelessly and thoughtlessly. And then I had the misfortune to read about how members of society seemed to also rally around the rapists, because they are after all convicted rapists, and kept insinuating that the victim was not a victim at all but just another slut who deserved it as documented in this Atlantic Wire post.  And as angry as I was, as disgusted as I am, I know there are people out there who are speaking for the victims. Who are victims finding their voices. Who are mothers to children who will teach that this behavior cannot stand.

Because it can’t.

Because it shouldn’t.

Because the fact is it does. The fact is the media cares more about a football career than a teenage girl’s life. They care more about your sons than your daughters.

And as parents we have the responsibility to not let this continue. Because Heather wrote about how she will teach her sons differently, and you should too. We have the amazing ability to teach our children and they will in turn influence their friends and one day teach their own children. We can’t keep quiet because it’s too hard. We can’t keep quiet because it could never happen to us. Because we owe it to every women and child who has ever for moment questioned if it was their fault.

Because Tracy confessed and brought me to tears about her own fear that it was her fault. Because I have that fear. Because it lingers in my mind in the shadow of my thoughts were I hide these things. That it was my fault too. That at thirteen I deserved it because I was bad or not good enough, or asking for it, or too pretty, or maybe my bikini was too revealing, or maybe this or maybe that. But somehow my fault. Somehow the burden of what happened was placed on me. And so I hid it. I hid the truth in dark corners of my memory never talking about it. I still do not, will not, talk about it. But I’m proud of those who can.

I am proud when Jenni writes about how we need to talk about the rape culture.

I am proud every time a victim stands up for themselves and reports a crime. 

What could make me prouder? Is if every woman knew that it wasn’t her fault.

Because it’s not.

Because you’re never too drunk.

You’re never too pretty.

You’re never dressed too inappropriately.

You’re never too promiscuous.

You’re never asking for it.

And it is never your fault.

Even when somehow nagging in your mind is the terrible shame of it all.

It never is and never will be your fault.

To My Son on His Sixth Birthday.

7 Mar

Dear Bear,

I love you so much it hurts. I never knew before that love could hurt when you were still in it. Sure when it was over, but when it was alive and well? It was a surprise to me.


The cliche of “I love you more every day” is true. In fact I love you more on your 6th birthday than I did your 5th or your 4th. And I will love you more next year on your 7th, on your golden birthday.

5th Birthday

I am so proud of you — I need you to know that. To know that I’m proud of how well you’re learning to read and write. How well you do in school and what positive things all your teachers have to say. While it puzzles me, I love how you love science. How you have no time for children’s books, but would rather have an encyclopedia on spiders or animals. I love that you like things like LOTR and Harry Potter. I love that you will grow up to be just the kind of man I like. The kind that will watch Big Bang with me and laugh. I love that you love googling. It’s an activity for you. A treat. You ask me if you can google dragons or spiders like other kids would ask for an ice cream cone. (You ask for those too.)


I love how sensitive and caring you are because when I see you do it, it reminds me of myself. Timid and shy at first, but outgoing with all your friends. When I get to volunteer in your class I can see that everyone likes you because you are friendly to everybody. When I see you model that behavior it makes me feel like maybe I am doing something right. Please don’t lose that. The world is mean and cruel and people will exit your life leaving you whiplashed, but don’t give up. Don’t stop loving and laughing and being kind to everyone you meet.


I always remember two years ago (at least) when you came home from daycare one day and it was the summer. You told me how kids were being mean to the grasshoppers. How they were killing them. And your eyes welled up with tears. And you asked me why they would do that. And I didn’t know how to tell you. I think of you, my little grasshopper, so full of love and compassion and I don’t know how to tell you what you will inevitably learn about the world. I want you to remain pure and loving for as long as you can. I want you to think about that grasshopper when ever you see injustice. I want you to be brave for that grasshopper. To stand up for him when he can’t stand up for himself. Because to be an advocate is the greatest thing you can do for someone. I will always be an advocate for you. I will always protect you. I will always be here for you.


You teach me to be brave and strong. You make me want to be a better person. I am so grateful to you for that.


I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.*


Happy Birthday!


Bear’s letters: four and five
Bella’s letters: one and two

* From Love You Forever by Robert Munsch


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