Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Hey, everyone! Check out Motherload TV! A friend of mine from my touring days in the theatre has launched a fabulously-funny webisode about Motherhood - its ups and its downs.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I remember when I was a kid, I used to ride my bike down Main Street to the public library - an old stone building with huge steps that led up to huge carved wood doors. When I entered, the place smelled of musty pages and book bindings - but I loved it! (Somehow I also remember that the late fee was only 2 cents a day - that was only in the late 1970s!)
Monday, April 26, 2010
How many times do our kids yell, "Mom, I need some milk! Mom, I spilled my cereal! Mom, I need my favorite shirt! Mom, Mom, MOM, MOOOOOOOOOMMMMM!" As we mutter, "What am I? Your servant?" under our breath - we acquiesce - we get the milk, we clean up the cereal, we search for the shirt. But, we are just setting ourselves up for the next tirade from our little prince or princess.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
'Tis the season for mosquitos! And, unless I am traipsing through the rain forests of Central America, I don't need a super sticky, oily, foul-smelling repellent. I don't want to "feel" like I am wearing repellent, but I certainly don't want to get gobbled up! So, I turn to Burt's Bees! They have a fantastic herbal repellent. And it smells delicious! It is 100% natural and includes oils of Rosemary, Lemongrass, Geranium, and Citronella as well as other oils that those pesky skeeters don't like! DEET-free, so it is safe for kids and pets.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
My son loves smoothies. And, for me, they are a great way to "sneak" things into his diet. Now, I know I could never get him to eat a date. I am sure he would say that they look like "cockroaches" - and they kinda do. But, dates are a wonderful source of fiber. So, here is my "sneaky" way to work them into his diet.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
At my son's Montessori school, all the families bring in their recyclables each week in order to raise money for UNICEF. Each month, one of the parents signs up to deliver the bins full of glass and plastic bottles and aluminum cans to our local recycling plant. Last year, the school raised over $600 for UNICEF. The money was used to purchase 60 mosquito nets for villages across the world where malaria runs rampant.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
I am so excited - I can hardly stand it! Earth Day is around the corner. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day celebration. On Sunday, my family and I are heading down to Balboa Park here in San Diego for Earth Fair 2010! This years marks the 20th anniversary of our city's fantastic celebration. Each year, it draws over 70,000 people - is produced by 400 volunteers - features 350 exhibitors - has
Thursday, April 15, 2010
OK... I said, in my last blog, 30 things I love about Jack, and only wrote 20! Boy, my math skills are a little rusty. So here are the remaining 10 things I love about Jack: (by the way, he is helping me write these - my son...the future blogger...)
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
“The child should live in an environment of beauty.”
I have just finished the first third of "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. This is a book that has sat on my shelf for over a year anxiously awaiting to be read, and I am thrilled that I finally have the time to read it. It is a book which follows the author's quest for peace and happiness. She embarks on a year long journey, in which she will spend 4 months in Italy, 4 months in India, and 4 months in Indonesia. In Italy, she will discover the earthly beauty of the Italian language and food. In India, she will discover peace by delving into the spiritual realm. In Indonesia, she will learn how to incorporate the two - "to live in this world and enjoy its delights, but also [to] devote [herself] to God."
As I read the section on Italy, I couldn't help but think of Maria Montessori. Gilbert speaks of beauty and Italy. Here is an excerpt from chapter 36:
"Luigi Barzini, in his 1964 masterwork The Italians (written when he'd finally grown tired of foreigners writing about Italy and either loving it or hating it too much) tried to set the record straight on his own culture. He tried to answer the question of why the Italians have produced the greatest artistic, political, and scientific minds of the ages, but have still never become a major world power. Why are they the planet's masters of verbal diplomacy, but still so inept at home government? Why are they so individually valiant, yet so collectively unsuccessful as an army? How can they be shrewd merchants on the personal level, yet such inefficient capitalists as a nation? His answers to these questions are more complex that I can fairly encapsulate here, but have so much to do with a sad Italian history of corruption of local leaders and exploitation by foreign dominators, all of which has generally led Italians to draw the seemingly accurate conclusions that nobody and nothing in this world can be trusted. Because the world is so corrupted, misspoken, unstable, exaggerated and unfair, one should trust only what one can experience with one's own senses, and this makes the senses stronger in Italy than anywhere in Europe. This is why, Barzini says, Italians will tolerate hideously incompetent generals, presidents, tyrants, professors, bureaucrats, journalists and captains of industry, but will never tolerate incompetent 'opera singers, conductors, ballerinas, courtesans, actors, film directors, cooks, tailors...' In a world of disorder and disaster and fraud, sometimes only beauty can be trusted."
As I read this, it made so much sense that Maria Montessori emphasized the importance of beauty in an child's life. She lived in this very world that Barzini describes. Montessori knew that beauty is incorruptible. It is something that we as parents and teachers can control. Beauty cannot be taken away. How items are displayed on a shelf, the manner by which a table is set, the way a simple vase of flowers are arranged are all essential for a child's growth and education, according to Montessori.
Here are a few simple ways to bring more beauty into your home:
~ Place a small of vase of fresh flowers in your child's room.
~ Play classical music as your child plays.
~ When serving his/her meals, arrange the food in a beautiful way on the plate. Teach your child to arrange his/her meals in this fashion.
~ Encourage drawing, painting, and sculpting. Have a well-maintained stock of art supplies.
~ Sing with your child.
~ Enjoy an evening stroll with your child. Listen to the beauty of the nighttime birds and other sounds of nature.
~ Point out the beauty in everyday things - a field of wildflowers alongside the road as you are driving, the glistening of a dew drop on a leaf in your garden, the sound of the breeze whistling though the trees...
Saturday, April 3, 2010
How often do we take our kids to the park and sit on a bench sipping our Lattes while we watch our kids play? Or, we drop them off at an art class, dance class, or karate class, where we wait on the sidelines as we browse through the latest magazine.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
As we make our last minute rush to the store for Easter, the lure of plastic grass, plastic eggs, and ready made baskets may entice some, due to their convenience. But, I urge you to get creative. This year, think GREEN! Also, think MONTESSORI, when creating your children's Easter baskets. Here are some fun ideas...
RECYCLED CRAYONS - INSRUCTIONS
First, peel the paper off the crayons and break them up into little pieces. Divide up the crayons into metal muffin tins. Mix up the colors pretty well. Preheat to 350. When you have enough crayons peeled and broken, turn the oven off and place the muffin tin in the center.