Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

things i've learned (or confirmed) in 2009...

                And the end of the year lists have begun...

                1. Whisky is a very good thing for a parent--Evan is your friend.
                2. Moderation is actually a good thing, too.
                3. Reverse psychology works on tweens AND preschoolers. Not so much on six year olds.
                4. Kids can actually get sick of mac and cheese.
                5. They can get sick of noodles, too.
                6. No matter how far you're running, the last mile is painful.
                7. Even though self-brow waxing seems like an amazing time and money saving deal, um, it's not worth it. Same goes for any other kind of waxing.
                8. Same goes for haircuts.
                9. Costco is not a money saving venture for this family of five, especially since I spend as much on impulse buys as I do on groceries there.
                10. AmazonFresh is my new best friend. When the delivery person comes to the door, it's all I can do to keep from squealing in delight that I got out of going to the grocery store. (Did you know they can do same day delivery, or if you order at 10pm they'll have your groceries on the doorstep by the time you wake up??? Oh, and that they will deliver Nobilo AND kosher chicken? Seriously...)

                Wednesday, December 23, 2009

                Monday, December 21, 2009

                what's in a name?

                Last week, Naomi decided to change her name. I thought it was cute, as it is everytime she says something that surprises me a little.

                "What are you going to change your name to?" I asked.

                "Gabrielle. Or Gabriella," she says seriously. "I will answer to both of them."

                "Oh," I say. I think of all the Gabrielles and Gabriellas I know and try to wonder who might have recently made an impact on Naomi. I'd really thought that we'd have until at least six years old before she protested her name. "Gabrielle is a nice name," I tell her, "but I really love Naomi. That's why I chose it for you."

                "I don't like Naomi or Noemi. There's already another Naomi in my class. I want to be Gabrielle."

                "Okay, Noems..."

                "No! Mommy! My name is Gabrielle," she says adamantly.

                "Okay, okay..."

                So this afternoon when I pick her up from daycare, she runs up to hug me and I say, "Hi Baby, how're you doing, Noemi?"

                "Mommy! That's not my name!"

                At this point her teacher chimes in, "She changed her name to Gabrielle. She's been calling herself that all week."

                I can't help but feel a little rejected since I'd spent so much time pouring over the name books and thinking about her name. I love her name. And Gabrielle is a really nice name. But it's not the one I chose. I thought she'd forget about it by now.

                Any bets on how long this will last while I take consolation in the fact that at least my three year old is persistent?

                Wednesday, December 16, 2009

                Thursday, December 10, 2009

                three year olds are incredibly responsible...

                Last night Naomi stealthily snuck into our bed in the middle of the night, sneaking in between us and snuggling in quietly. I didn't even notice her until I woke up early (to make the lunches I'd put off making the night before) and punched down the snooze button.

                "Momma, don't get up," she whispered when I started crawling out of bed.

                "It's okay, Noems," I told her. "I'm just going to start the coffee and I'll be right back. Save my spot."

                "Okay, I'll do that," she said. Naomi loves a good job.

                So I ran downstairs to start the coffee and then hurried back up to our warm bed where Naomi was splayed out snow angel style and taking up as much room as possible.

                "Noems, scoot over. You've got the entire bed," I tell her. I think I was probably whining.

                "Mommy," she says as she moved over, "I was saving your spot and I think I did a pretty good job. You could say thank you."

                It's good to have a stickler for details in our family. We need one.

                Wednesday, December 09, 2009

                Friday, December 04, 2009

                lego forgets half of their marketing audience...

                My office is in an amazing location.

                Not only are there spectacular views of the Puget Sound and Mt. Ranier from the 28th floor where I work, but it’s a fairly close commute and BlueC Sushi is across the street and half a block away.
                Sam and Tali have never been to my work, but they also think it is the perfect location. Not because of the views, or even because of the sushi, but because the Lego Store is a stone’s throw from my desk. And that makes my little vendor desk some truly prime real estate for the grade school set.

                So the other day after work, I ventured over to Lego central to shop for some Chanuka presents. The kids are all in love with Lego and though we have a massive tub of them that they dig through practically everyday, what they really love are the people.

                But these Lego people pose a serious problem in our household. There are very few girl Lego mini figures, and those that we have are not heroines, but sidekicks or enemies to Indiana Jones, Spiderman, Batman, or Anakin. Sure, there’s Princess Leia, but she’s wearing her Jabba the Hutt slave girl outfit which is not acceptable to my daughters. (“Why does she always wear her bading suit, Momma?”) And true, Padme must be around somewhere, but I think she’s hiding in an $80 set somewhere. And who are we kidding? Ahem... sidekick.

                So I went to the Lego store. It’s an amazing place. Cool brick buildings everywhere, a huge Lego carousel that my kids would ADORE if it didn’t cost so much and was for ages 16+. They have a whole wall of spare bricks for those pieces you’ve lost over the years (does anyone actually rebuild according to directions after they’ve accomplished them once?), and bricks in different colors in case you prefer to build in pinks and turquoises.

                They have Knights and Kingdom sets, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Agents, some Miner things and a whole flux of underwater beasts and robots and battle things, as well as firetrucks, garbage trucks, police stations and cranes for their city sets.

                “Where are the girl Legos?” I asked the sales guy.

                “Girl Legos?” He paused. “Well, we have the Belville sets,” and he directed me over to the pink section filled with tiny Polly Pocket type dolls and horses. The sets are not made of bricks, or at least not very many, and the sets are in large pieces that can be put together quickly.
                A few years ago, we bought a set for Tali. We were thrilled to have some girl Legos FINALLY. And you know what? She hated them. The dolls were sort of strange looking and it wasn’t fun to build when the pieces were so big and easy. Total disappointment. They now live at the bottom of the toybox in toy purgatory--not quite dolls and not quite Lego. And even now, there aren’t any new sets. Just the same horse stable stuff.

                “What else?” I asked.

                “Um…This little camper set has a girl in it?” It was cute, but tiny. And the girl was an obvious sidekick. I think she was holding the picnic basket while the guy minifigure got the surfboard.

                “That’s it?”

                “Well, there’s that pink box of bricks over there. And girls can play with the other stuff. They have some girls in the Indiana Jones sets. His girlfriends and stuff.”

                I was getting nowhere. Even the minifigure bin had only male figures.

                So I walked out of there with a set for Sam and nothing for the girls. Lego is missing a huge consumer sector out there. Their homepage, newsletters, and online clubs are all geared toward boys.

                Hey Lego, I've got some news for you. Girls like online clubs and newsletters! In fact, I can see that you know that pre-tween demographic is a huge consumer marketing base since you've done an amazing job engaging my son in newsletters, online games and clubs, and catalogues that double as magazines. They play Wii and DS games, too, and they don't even require pink accessories for them.

                Did you know that 50% of that age range are girls?

                Oh, and girls like bricks and can handle a lot of them, too. Also, sometimes, they like to be the star and not the sidekick.

                And I thought for sure by now you’d understand that boys aren’t the only kids who like to build things.

                Wednesday, December 02, 2009

                let the festivities begin...

                With only 9 more days until Chanuka, I've finally started my holiday shopping. I know, I know... Chanuka isn't supposed to be a big commercial retail fest. But try telling that to my kids who, despite going to a Jewish school, are fully and completely immersed in American culture. At least Sam and Tali are. Tonight, Naomi noticed all of the xmas lights for the first time and I forget that at her age, she's sort of like an amnesiac.

                "Mommy!" She squeals as we were driving home tonight. "That house put up all those lights outside. Why did they put those up?"

                "Those are xmas lights, Noems. That family celebrates xmas, " I tell her.

                "Oh," she says, and then points to another house with lights. "Mommy! They have lights, too! And so does that house! When are we going to put up lights?"

                "Sweetie, we don't put up lights. We're Jewish. We celebrate Chanuka."

                "So we're not having xmas this year?" she asks.

                "We don't celebrate xmas. But it's fun to look at the lights, don't you think?"

                "I like the lights," she says, then pauses. "Are you sure we don't have a little xmas in our blood?"

                "Yep," I say. "I'm sure."

                "That's too bad," she says. "I really wanted some new scissors."

                "Guess what?" I tell her. "I have good news for you. You don't need xmas to get new scissors!"

                "REALLY?!!" If she weren't locked into her carseat, she'd be out of her seat. "Wow," she says. "I'm going to get new scissors!"

                I hope it's always this easy, but I've got a pretty good feeling it's as easy now as it'll ever get...

                asher has the one-up on his parents...

                wordless wednesday