My Little Picasso's

My Little Picasso's

Sunday, November 2, 2014

What My Students Taught Me

I’m a teacher, pretty damn proud of that fact.  Yes, the smell of new textbooks, the sound it makes when the binding is cracked, Ticonderoga brand pencils, Trapper Keepers; it all does it for me.  Yet, nowadays, I have noticed that I don’t just teach, I learn.  I can be taught.  I can listen.  I can take criticism.  If my lesson sucks, tell me.  Does that mean I can tell you about yourself as a student?  I sometimes feel underappreciated, I feel worthless, and I get pissed off.  If I think about this to myself, I will often get a sudden urge to blurt out in front of room 214, “Do you know how late I stayed up last night doing all this work for you and now you throw it in the garbage can …”, it wouldn’t be the first or last time.  I work my ass off to teach my students.  But I also understand that I am meant to be a learner, because I love learning.  How cliché?  Aren’t we meant to be life long learners as educators?  Here’s the catch though … I learn from my students.  Most of the teachers around me don’t teach me much, but the students do.
They have taught me how to care in a manner I have never cared.  I have learned to buy extra snacks for my teacher desk drawers because someone is always hungry.  They always need pencils, Band-Aids for too tight shoes, boy advice, girl advice, parent advice, and college advice.  They still cry.  They’re still sensitive.  They know what they want.  They know who they are.  They know what they believe.  You just want to hug them.  Girls talk about girls and say mean things when you have thought they are friends … and then they turncoat on each other.  It’s sad and makes me first of all disbelieve I was ever that way, even though embarrassingly I know I was.  Secondly, and more importantly, they have taught me they are tough on the inside, but also outside.  They’ll get through and think back “How silly” just like I do all the time.  
What I just said, I have known.  Here is what I am learning now.  Students.  Don’t.  Care.  I don’t understand.  They teach me just how apathetic and ignorant they are.  They blame everything and everyone around them for their lack of “whatever” except themselves.  This is not one of those stories where I tell you how I walked up hill, both ways, in the snow, with wet shoes to school and I appreciated it.  I never walked to school.  I never had holes in my shoes.  The worst was standing outside in the snow – it was cold – but snow is cold.  I did carry textbooks, big heavy ones.  There was no such thing as a classroom set.  We carried our books from class to class to class because we went to our lockers in the morning, and afternoon, and we never questioned that.  Kids have really grown a set to question our expectations in their everyday scholastic lives. 
Students believe themselves entitled.  Entitled to whatever they want.  Now, before you get all hot and bothered under the collar, get your panties in a bunch, take a chill pill … I’m generalizing.  That’s right, profilin’.  Every student is not this way.  There are still the ones who care, who value and appreciate their education.  However, I challenge you to show me a teacher who cannot say they have seen this plain truth in the flesh.  Students.  Don’t.  Care. 
If our students are passing, that is all that matters.  Passing.  And I’m talking passing.  A 59.5% is passing in the school district I teach at.  A 59.5% rounds to a 60, that is the lowest D- you can earn.  And I do say earn.  Grades aren’t given; at least not in classroom 214.  Kids will try to negotiate with me about having homework?  One such situation; a boy asked a buddy to do one side of a worksheet and he would do the other side.  They could switch answers.  This same student then negotiated the other side with someone else.  Did he do any work?  NONE. What happened to the dignity, the prestige, the honor of earning a really high grade and being proud of your own hard work in the matter?  I remember sitting up for hours studying APUSH, doing a French Cultural project, don’t get me started about Calculus … but I did it because it was expected.  I was a student.  My job was to learn.  When I went to school I could not stand in front of a Smart Board and take a picture with my cell phone instead of copying the notes from the board myself.  I wrote until my hand hurt … literally.  I was afraid to miss something.  I fell asleep with textbooks in my lap in the middle of the night.  I started the coffeemaker at 10pm.  My parents were in bed asleep.  I could not imagine failing … let alone a B or [gasp] a C.  When did this become OK?  When did it become acceptable to not do your best, but just pass?  All is well if you pass.  Don’t get me started on getting paid for good grades. 
Is it all a show?  Do they actually care, but just want to act “cool” and seem as though they don’t.  I can’t tell.  I don’t know.  I have had too many students tell me they would rather take a 0 then do the assignment or try again to think it is all a show.  How disappointing. 
And that is what it is … I’m disappointed.  As teachers, we hold on to that hope, that dream, that “joy”, that we will have the privilege of teaching those students (or even a few students, I’ll take a few at this point) who care about their future.  That we can say we sat across a table from them, challenged them to think, and saw them win that challenge due to hard work.  I wish I saw every day those students who put in every ounce of effort they can … A for effort.  Those who know they are not the next D1 athlete, or D2, or D3.  They are not the next HOVA or “creative genius” but they are just an everyday all-American, drive a 10-year-old Honda student who works their ass off and is rewarded for their hard work.  And they might not go to Harvard, but they go to a pretty great university, perhaps they rush, perhaps they don’t.  They go to class because that is what their loans or their scholarships or their parents’ hard earned money is paying for.  They earn high grades by going to classes that actually happen, and do their work, and are proud of their achievements and they find a job. 
Perhaps they become a teacher and stand in front of a classroom of 30 students who maybe smell, perhaps they seem sleepy, perhaps they’re high, and will say … this is what Mrs. Walizer was talking about. 
It’s 10:26 pm on a Tuesday night and I’m tired, but one of my classes did not fair so well today, so I’m rewriting an assignment to help them.  Perhaps not all of them will end up in the circular file tomorrow.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sometimes ... you just put the kids in daycare ...

My husband and I don't get much time together ... just the two of us ... (we can make it if we try, just the two of us).

His work shifts generally start at 7am or 8am.  I say his shifts start ... there is no end time.  The end time is when everything is handled.  That's what you get when you're the Front of House Manager at The Hotel Hershey.

I'm a teacher.  I'm at my high school generally by 7am and I leave at around 4pm.  I get the boys since Michael has dropped them off and we wait for Daddy to come home.  When he comes home we have dinner, take baths, do programs, do bedtime, and off I go to the basement to appease my very busy teaching schedule with lesson planning, worksheet making, and test grading while Michael answers emails, texts, meeting reminders, etc.  

Today was one of those rare occasions.  I had Columbus Day off and he could ask for the day off and DAYCARE WAS OPEN.  So, I 100% admit that we put the boys in daycare and we had our day.

It might of involved:

sleep in
lie in
coffee in bed
"coffee in bed"
solving world hunger
kudos in whatever to each other
lovely dinner with our boys
picking them up together - both being heroes

Damn, we needed it.

And it just so happens to be my 36th birthday in 2 days.  Great occasion!

October 13th, 2014

Friday, September 5, 2014

I can vote now ...

So, it's happened.  I finally did it.  I took the plunge, or more literally, the OATH.

I am now a citizen of the great country of the United States of America.

It's been a process that started back in April, maybe March.  Do the form, send the form, pay the money, get your picture taken, get your fingerprints, go to an initial hearing, get more pictures, get your documents, study for the test, get the interview, go to the interview, pass the interview, go to the ceremony, raise your hand, say the words, CRY.  Because I did.  As a dear friend said to me today, you will finally feel like you belong.  And he was right.

My dear husband joined me today with our two sons, who he wrangled in place while I sat and raised my hand and said the words and was accepted.  I think he took a few people out when trying to get me on tape saying the oath.  What a dear.

But I can vote now.

And I belong.

And I am proud to say that I am now an American.

September 5th, 2014

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hey, where's Perry?

I'll take a great shopping trip whenever I can.

Today, my boys let me get coffee and breakfast, and joined me.  We looked for winter coats(yes, I was that mum kneeling on the floor of Carter's Outlet as my boys tried on 4T, 5T, size small coats) as I judged what a sweatshirt underneath would do to sleeve length.  They also helped me window shop and choose a dress for my OATH ceremony this Friday.  I'll try it on later.  So, did I reward them?  Yes, I did.

Hey, where's Perry?

September 1st, 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014

the things pregnancy does to us

The end of summer ... and its been long.  Let me tell you how it started.

My summer started early, you see.  As of April 29th, I have been to a vein specialist ten times, maybe 11.  I lost count.  For much of my life I have suffered from the very unsightly and often painful condition of varicosity.  The technical definition quoteth

"Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veinscamera.gifnear the surface of the skin. They are most common in the legs and ankles. They usually aren't serious, but they can sometimes lead to other problems.
Varicose veins are caused by weakened valves and veins in your legs. Normally, one-way valves in your veins keep blood flowing from your legs up toward your heart. When these valves do not work as they should, blood collects in your legs, and pressure builds up. The veins become weak, large, and twisted.
Varicose veins often run in families. Aging also increases your risk.
Being overweight or pregnant or having a job where you must stand for long periods of time increases pressure on leg veins. This can lead to varicose veins.
Varicose veins look dark blue, swollen, and twisted under the skin."

I will spare you the pictures.  
Laser treatments(injections of local so they can shove a laser up your dead vein and kill it), phlebectomies(stab avulsion and scalpel cuts to pull out your veins with clamps WHILE YOU ARE AWAKE - they look like shoelaces by the way), sclerotherapy(foam injections to be bound with really big PUFF balls), compression hose(boy, these are something special), large maxi-pads taped to my legs(YES, maxi-pads), bruising, discoloring, limping, inquisitive toddlers, etc. etc. etc.  
But I am on my way to being done ... thank goodness.  Unfortunately, my doctor has retired in ... 7 days.  My last appointment he wanted to pop one of the small clots in my left leg, but I wouldn't let him as my boys were with me, so I must now start (or shall we say continue) these procedures with a new doctor.  I loved my doctor.  I will miss him.  
Tomorrow, I will go back to school with fewer veins, more bruising, and inquiring students.  These procedures kicked my ass.  I never expected to be so tired, I never expected it to be so painful; and I can take pain.  The hose are a joy - let me tell you.  Sooooo tight.  You sweat putting them on.  NOT COOL in the summer, not cool.  At least the students will not think I have aliens growing in my legs anymore. 
What have I learned from all this ... I should of had this done a long time ago.  Atleast before considering pregnancies.  As you can imagine, they(my veins, because THEY'RE people) got so much worse with each pregnancy.  After Max, I said I would take care of them after nursing and before another one.  Well ... doesn't always happen that way as I was pregnant again before I had finished nursing Max.  (WOW, I was fertile.)  
It could have been worse, but it could have been better.  I'm happy to be on the road to recovery.  Showering with a garbage bag duct taped around your leg is overrated. 

August 24th, 2014

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I'm published!!

So, it's just one article, but I still feel pretty cool.

Perhaps one of these blog entries will make it there one day.

July 1st, 2014

Saturday, June 14, 2014

My name is Max and I WILL take over the world ...

with corks.

Let's just settle one thing first and foremost.  NO.  One hundred percent NON.  Nee-et.  Nein.

I did not drink all the wine that produced this many corks.  I might have helped, but not ALL.

I'm lucky I did not break my ass.

seriously ...

Got to acknowledge his creativity ...

June 14th, 2014

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lititz, PA

I had recently had the great pleasure of visiting Lititz, PA - the so-named "America's Coolest Small Town."  No really, that's what it is called.  Thanks to the advice from one dear Brandy Brandt, a colleague of mine, we all decided to venture out because we actually had a day off together.  I know, GASP!

I have to say, it really was a cool little town.  There was the Sturgis Pretzel factory where my boys helped twist pretzels and "mock-play" putting them in the old ovens.  The Wilbur Chocolate Factory ... almost as good as Hershey's ofcourse, offered many tasty treats and streets were lined with quaint little shops and boutiques where you could buy some Hot Pepper Jelly for only 8.99!

My favorite part would have to have been the old English, true to style, British pub where there was no table service, you must order from the bar where they sold Walker's crisps, many a brew, and staple son the menu were bangers and mash, cornish pasties, and fish and chips.  Max and Charlie did not so much enjoy the British fare yet Michael and I went to town.  It was perfect.

Explore your towns ... see what is out there!

makin' some pretzels

my men

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hershey Farmer's Market

I have made it no secret where my family and I live ...

we live in Hershey, Pennsylvania, "The Sweetest Place on Earth."  Yes, it really does smell like chocolate here.  I. Am. Not. Kidding.

(Except on those few days when the nearby sewer plant is turning over ... sickening, no joke.  These would be the days we play inside.)

There are many hidden secrets about Hershey besides the rather large not so secret places, such as the park and Chocolate World.  Yes, there is a world.

One of our personal favorites is the Hershey Farmer's Market, held every Thursday afternoon outside the local coffee shop, the Cocoa Beanery, and U-Gro(how convenient).  They, obviously, specialize in fresh produce from close-by farmers and farms, yet there are also activities for the kids, local musicians, specialty tents ... think medical or political, and various other goods; local rug-makers, pot-makers, scarf-makers, and hummus-makers.

Yesterday was the grand opening, re-opening for the summer season.  I picked up the boys and off we went.  We always visit the same farmer's tent.  We're loyal.  Schaeffer Farms are out of Pitman, PA and have the most lovely apples, tomatoes, lettuce, etc. etc. etc.  Yesterday our haul included tomatoes, apples, and asparagus for a simple cost of 6 dollars.  There was a jumpy house set up for the kids.  As you can imagine I had to drag my two away.  We then went off and planted some flower seeds(which were later spilled, which were quickly repotted and watered).  I will hopefully have some little sunflowers at some point.

The best part of this little place is that the boys look forward to it.  They ask to go.  They ask to eat the fruit and vegetables we buy.  They ask to go back.

I wonder what we'll find next week?  Shouldn't blueberries be out soon.

May 23rd, 2014

Monday, May 19, 2014


me(at the Hershey Gardens last Sunday for Mother's Day): Are you guys getting tired?  Are you hot? - Max was an impressive shade of crimson.
Max: Mommy, the sun is making me tired.
me:  What a very astute statement, Max.  Want to go to Harvard.
Charlie: (with extreme enthusiasm) YEAH!
me: Win the lottery.
...... this is where a mother and daughter within earshot started chuckling.

me: Charlie, want to go to the store with Mommy.
Charlie: Mommy, bagel.
me: Yes, you can have a bagel.
Charlie: I want 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 bagels.
me: Sure.
Charlie: (emphatically) I want bagel all day.
me: all day?
Charlie: (screaming) All. Day.
me: (turning to the husband) so, we're going to go to the store.
Michael: Don't forget the bagels.

Max: (from upstairs) Mommy.  Mommy.  Ma-me...
me: (slowly going up the stairs)  Yes, Max.
Max: Can I tell you something?
me: sure.
Max:  I want your hair in a ponytail.
me:  [WTF].
Max: no, mommy, a nice one.
me: (leaving)

Charlie: ok, mister mommy
(enough said)

a few mother's day thoughts from Max:

Her favorite place to shop is the grocery store.
Mom always says "I love you."
If Mom had time, she would do more laundry.
When she grows up, she wants to be a "Princess Elsa"
Her favorite food is sausage and ice cream(chocolate)

from Charlie:
Mommy, I don't like the car wash.  It's scary.

in the bathtub:
Charlie: ma, ma, maummy, I wash my penis.
Max: I wash my buttcrack.

This is when I say the all-knowing line ... "I cannot make this shit up."
May 19th, 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


This past Saturday to Sunday ... I mean it,  I had the utmost absolute privilege of spending the night at Susquehanna Township high school with over a hundred some high schoolers as their unselfish efforts drove them to earn over ...

17,000  dollars 

for pediatrics cancer.  They were amazing.  Their strength and willingness to go all night long impressed me.  My college all-nighters came flooding back to me ... whereas mine were flooded with runs to 7-11, cigarettes, coffee, russian, literature, lesson plans, more coffee, etc.  Their's were flooded with dodgeball tournaments, video-games, zumba, walking tacos, ice cream, karaoke, laser tag, etc.  They did such a great job.

We got to meet numerous families affected by this horrific disease, who's lives changed in an instant.  I had the honor of teaching a few of these students and I am very happy to say some of them are still alive, 10 or so years cancer free, and going strong.  I CANNOT wait until next year.

Dodgeball was harsh.  I took a few to the face, one or two to my delicate ankles ... I am for sure recruiting for my team next year ... but what an experience.  These kids put their weekends aside and came on in.


a few for you to enjoy ...
before ...

the one and only "Maddy"

The greatness that is Michalia

Hi.  We hijacked Mrs. Walizer's phone while she was playing dodgeball ... somewhat well.

adopted daughters

some overall captains


and who was awake when i got home at 5:36am?

April 30th, 2014

Thursday, April 24, 2014

My name is Charlie ...

and I am going to take over the world with ...

coffee filters.

I know what you're thinking ... why the hell did this crazy mother let her son or give her two year old all those coffee filters.

I DIDN'T.  Ok.  I didn't.  He got into the pantry.

That is not too hard of a task for a somewhat tall 2 year old, just about 3 year old.  He's quick, ok.

Don't judge.

I think Max is meant to be the prisoner, or the evil leader of "living room"
these are Charlie's little minions

and more ... 

even more ... 

 sigh ...

April 24th, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


What were you doing this morning at 7:13am?  Perhaps you were still asleep, drinking a coffee, watching the news.  I was in my classroom making a crossword puzzle of French food words for my Honors 2 class.

At approximately 7:13 am this morning a young 16 year old boy wielding 2 knives of 8-10 inches in length went on a rampage through the halls of the science wing of my alma mater.  My high school.  My hometown: Murrysville, Pennsylvania.

My hometown is a rural suburban community outside of Pittsburgh.  Route 22 goes through my hometown.  Everyone knows about everyone.  Blink and you miss us.  The local dentist and orthodontist lived in my neighborhood growing up.  They were running partners.  The dentist's daughters babysat me.  My high school football team qualified to play at Three River's Stadium my senior year.  I was confirmed, baptized, and married in the local Presbyterian church.  In 1996, I graduated from Franklin Regional Senior High School with Honors.  I babysat my French teacher's son.  She lived up the street.  My mum worked at the local pharmacy, my dad for Alcoa.  A friend and I used to go play on the elementary playground late at night over the weekends.  My sister and I lifeguarded at the school a few nights a week.  We gained lifelong friends there.  Some friends are now raising their families in Murrysville, Pennsylvania.  Murrysville, Pennsylvania IS a safe town, has a safe high school.

That high school where this young 16 year old boy decided to blaze through the hallways slashing and stabbing in no particular fashion.

We don't know why this happened.  More evidence will be seized and evaluated while 19 students and 1 adult try to recover from their injuries, some life-threatening.  The wound of the trauma and terror that this entire community and school will now and forever bare might never close.

What is happening with our young people today?  Is it social media?  Is it texting and smart phones?  Is it bullying?  Is it too much pressure to succeed or the fear of not succeeding?  This young boy was said to be a good likable kid.  No one ever expected this.  No one.  Not even the vice principal who lives on his same street.  The same principal who left from the same neighborhood having no clue he would soon be subduing his neighbor to the ground.

As I sat in my classroom through the day in a haze, I wasn't just thinking about my alma mater.  I was thinking about the alma mater of my students.  Of where I teach.  Every teacher felt that burden today.  I looked at my beautiful young students imagining how they would react, how they would feel.  Who would never come back after such an event?  Who would help?  I hope I never have to find out.

We send our children, our babies to school with the naive thought that they are safe.  That they are fine.  What happened today just proves that they are not.

This is just a bit "too real" for me right now.

We are FR.

April 9th, 2014

Sunday, April 6, 2014

iPods, iPhones, and iPads ... oh my.

Why do they know how to text, how to open my cell phone, how to find the on/off button on the TV, turn on Netflix, start YouTube videos, and call things iPads?  As I tried to print out some pictures for my son, he brought out his cord for his LeapFrog, plugged it in to my laptop(Correctly!) and asked for it to sync.  EXCUSE ME!  I'm sorry, did you stutter?  What do you know about syncing?

When I was little I played with My Little Ponies.  I had maybe 7 ponies.  I loved them.  I did their hair ... or manes shall we say.  I had two Cabbage Patch Kids and considered myself pretty lucky.  My sister and I had Fashion Plates - do you ladies remember Fashion Plates?  We had the Treehouse Family - I loved the Treehouse Family.  Renting a VHS tape was a big night for us.  We watched Pollyanna and the Parent Trap - the old ones.

My children have books upon books, LeapFrogs, trains, trucks, farm animals, Lite-brights, stuffed animals, BigWheels, tools, etc. etc. etc.  I admit I rarely walk out of a Barnes and Noble without at least a Golden Book or Curious George.  Michael and I get so frustrated when they have so much, some wonderful gifts from family members and ourselves, yet a wrapping paper tube will do just the trick.  Our little boys tie towels around their waists and call themselves chefs.

How much do we allow ourselves, as examples, to embrace all new things "tech?"  I, for one, would feel completely unsafe without a cell phone.  It's my only phone.  I would feel incomplete without this hear MacBook.  My NOOK is my getaway.  If we are so tied to our devices, are we raising little Silicon Valley monsters?

Speaking from a teacher standpoint, I become very frustrated when a student does not know how to complete simple tasks through programs such as Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, yet they can find this website, navigate this search, find someone's information, and tell me how to do something on my own phone.  Are we doing too much?  Are we not allowing our children to really be children?

Look at it this way ... our children have to have a fighting chance, so they must be "tech savvy."  IT is the demand to make it nowadays.  I just find it sad when Max tells Michael ... "I don't need a book tonight, just my LeapPad."

April 6th, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

bragging rights

So, maybe just for a few minutes, I'm going to be that mom putting her kids' faces all over the place and declaring THEY ARE THE CUTEST THING UNDER GOD'S GREAT BEAUTIFUL SKY.

Not that I am biased at all.

I'm just glad they kept their hair straight and appear to love each other.

Max - 4 years old.

Charlie - 2 years old.

and they do love each other ...

March 27th , 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Charlie's little friend ...

Charlie has a friend.  Charlie's friend is a little boy at U-Gro, about his size in head and body(this is saying something if anyone knows Charlie), same spirit, same brutish-ness, same smile.  He always wears a sweater vest.  Always.  Even if he has a sweatshirt on, he then wears a sweater vest. 

Charlie constantly goes on about his friend ... "Hoo."

Yep, that's right, Charlie calls him Hoo ... as in a hoo-t hoo-t from an owl.

"Charlie, who is your friend?"


"Yes, that's what I am asking, who is your friend?"


I found out a little later that the boy's actual name was Yuan, pronounced WHO.

Can you imagine the difficulties this has placed at the school? 

Now we all him Yu-an.

But he is sooooooo cute.

March 16th, 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


My husband's amazing "Handy Manny" like skills have been recognized.  He has been recruited to do this, that, and everything at his mum and dad's new place down south, so off he went(bright and early Sunday morning at 8am) ... and here we stayed(pending snow/ice storm).

By late Sunday morning, I was sending him joking texts ...

"That's it.  I've had it.  Come home."
"How's the drive?"

My back up had left.

I know what you're thinking?  Don't you generally spend a weekend day alone with the boys?  Yes, I do, but I knew Michael would be home at dinner?

Now he wouldn't be.  It was a little looming to me.  I had no back up.  My constant threat of, "I'll tell Daddy ... "  wasn't going to work that night, or the next few ahead.  I now know how my mum felt all those nights as my dad traveled for work as my sister and I grew up.

It was me.  All me.  If they cried, fought, hit, tugged, pushed, pulled, puked, peed, pooped ... WHATEVER.  I was handling it.  My new found respect for single parents is amazing.

A few things I have learned ...

a.  when in doubt, threaten with Santa Claus or the Elf on the Shelf
b.  if it smells like poop, just assume it is poop, not a fart
c.  ALWAYS have a program ready to go on Netflix
d.  stock the wine
e.  macaroni and cheese also
f.  if you want to order pizza, order pizza
g.  savor the cuteness of your four year old who has decided not to listen telling his daddy on the phone he will listen
f.  wash their favorite sweatpants
g.  if they want to go to school in said sweatpants, let them, avoid the tantrum
h.  go out for dinner with a lovely girlfriend the night before your husband leaves
i.  plan a night out when he gets back
j.  savor the loudness of a high school hallway(at work) ... it's not whining at home
k.  just say a little prayer before bath time that the older one does not learn how to make tidal waves
l.  watch an extra cartoon ... who cares

and I'm only on day 3.

March 4th, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

it's been a while ...

Yes, I am alive.  I did not jump out my window from too much Handy Manny or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  My children are in tact.  So is my house.

I'll keep it short - the past two months have had many trials and triumphs; ER visits, hospital stays, one broken tree, too many copays and failed prescriptions to count, too much snow, too many school closings, Charlie is beginning to try to go on the potty, filled up the oil tank three times, ICE ICE ICE, Max shovels snow, Charlie is scared of snow, etc.

Moving on ...

The numerous days of being trapped inside watching the lovely snowflakes fall has taught me a very severe lesson that I was not prepared for - how do you entertain children who NEED TO BE OUTSIDE but cannot be outside?!

<Insert all your wisdom here.>

My boys are 2 and 4 - they lose interest very quickly and I can only tolerate a little bit of TV watching a day.  Here is my go to list - please share ideas.  I'm desperate.  They're calling for 2-4 more inches of the white shroud tonight.

1.  play-do and cookie cutters
2.  let's make cookies
3.  white boards and dry-erase markers (on the white board that is, not the walls - CHARLIE)
4.  books, books, and more books
5.  we clean here
6.  forts or tents (have not quite perfected these skills)
7.  wrestling  (i'm outnumbered)
8.  pretend cooking
9.  tools
10.  lite-brites

I need more crafty ideas - please help.  Losing my mind quite quickly.

February 17th, 2014