I am home with four kids - two girls, two boys - ages 14, 6, 5 and 3 (and when I started this blog, just a little over two years ago, I had an infant, a 2yr old, 3yr old and 12yr old - feels like a lifetime ago, but it wasn't ;-). Until about four or five years ago, I worked in marketing. I have been and done many things - dancer, magazine "multi-tasker", advertising copywriter, gymnastics coach, resort town waitress, grad student, etc. Now my areas of expertise are different and diverse. I am savvy, efficient, patient and earthy (like it or not). I am a better cook, an Ok herb gardener, an impressive artist to my kids, an active and prolific photographer, a childrens' clothing stylist (in my head), a manager of all things "household" and a news enthusiast (from politics to celebrity). I am more cynical though less of a worrier / hypochondriac than I used to be. I am increasingly proud of what I do with kids, family and home, but I do still present myself as a "freelance writer".
That's right. These past few weeks at home - with family - holiday festivities - crazy hours, etc. - has felt like a literal blur. Truly. I mean, we are "in it" on a daily basis, so... it gets past us, ya know? Museum one day - home baking cookies the next - trying to get out to see a movie without kids the next - family dinner after that.... and on and on. Well, today it all ended, and we went back to the bulk of the school year (that's right - NOT half over yet) with a new year on the calendar, feeling (hopefully) refreshed and ready to begin new projects (and, if you're me, finish way old ones ;-).
So ... as is the case with most new years, new starts or - who am I kidding?? - new weeks, in general, my brain is filled with a bunch of random stuff. Foremost in my mind? The happy fact that Hidden Valley ski resort now has care for the younger kids. When we went in previous years, any little ones under 4 (and I've had a few) had nowhere to go aside from a random craft or snack gathering in one of the rooms in the very small lodge there. Now.... kids 2 - 6 years old can stay all day in the "Powder Pups" room where they will do, presumably, fun indoor activities while the "big people" ski :-). I have Lil signed up for MLK weekend.
Next? The fact that REM has a new album coming out 8 March 2011. Not sure how I feel about it. LOVE REM,but... have not been overly impressed with recent releases. I hear Eddie Vedder (of Pearl Jam, of course) is on this one. At one time, I thought he was a bit of a cry baby, but... after seeing his great tribute to REM when they were inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame (Hi, Cleveland :-) a few years ago, his speech was just so great, and.... I decided to give him another chance ;-). Anyway.... we'll see.....
And.... this just in..... Applauding a mother I just saw on the Today Show who wrote the book My Princess Boy in response to her 4 (now 5) year old boy's love of dresses and anything pink or sparkly and... his conviction to actually wear such outfits, often to the dismay of his classmates, family and other peers. His mom, in a brave show of support, has written a book to help other kids struggling with acceptance and / or bullying for their individuality. A lesson for us all, I think. I just remember feeling total acceptance for all my quirks when I went to my Montessori school, but... as soon as I moved and went to public school.... not so much. I know kids, now, who have left the comfort of their smaller private grade and middle schools to go to larger high schools where bullying or teasing for all sorts of things exists - from the way people dress to the activities they do - if they are, at all, different than their peers. So.... like I said.... applauding her today.
And, lastly, I am a little freaked that I just heard a comedian, Greg Giraldo, who I really like died like two months ago. I had no idea - have been laughing at him for years now. Anyway ... it was another prescription drug overdose, which just scares me. I mean, what are people thinking when they abuse themselves in such a way - taking drugs that are legal but can causes serious damage??? Sad.
So .... yeah - the New Year. Oh - and all those resolutions..... Hubby hitting the gym this am (all energetic,basking in the Steelers recent big win :-) - the teen asked me to pack her a healthy lunch today, and... me.... well..... I finally made a couple of silly, check up appointments that I have not had time for all year (the three little ones could care less - aside from resuming their regular routine). Time to check off that "to do" list and time to get healthy and stay active. We'll see how long that lasts for all of us, huh? ;-)
Speaking of such resolutions, I will be cleaning up Christmas for the rest of the day.... trying to get and stay organized along the way. Happy day to all of you, btw! 2011. Bring it!
Photo: Hubby and his band - circa 1995 (in the spirit of reminiscing over the holidays, this photo & an accompanying newspaper article emerged from somewhere).