We really do let him watch the TV…honest.
June 22, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
June 15, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
In honor of Lorelei’s birthday, I’m pleased to present the dancing Foster children:
June 10, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
Today’s guest post is courtesy of Erin Carrozzo, an NYC mother of three and former (and hopefully future!) high school English teacher turned reluctant stay-at-home-mom. She enjoys reading, writing, the NY Mets, and avoiding housework.
I am increasingly worried my husband is going to come home one day and find me dead…under an avalanche of pencils.
When did we begin celebrating every occasion, every season, and every event with pencils? My oldest kid is in 5th grade, my middle in 3rd and my youngest in kindergarten. How many more years of pencil favors and exactly how many more pencils are we in for?
Just a quick count this week alone turned up 49—yes, FORTY NINE—pencils. And that was in one room. Toy Story, Star Wars, Chinese New Year, Disney Princess, Valentine, Happy Birthday, Halloween, Santa, scented, mechanical…even a Jesus pencil for Christ’s…uhh…for Pete’s sake!
Not too long ago, while preparing my son’s lunch for school, I discovered a small package of Cheez Doodles in his lunchbox from the day before. I asked him where it came from and he replied, “From my 100 Days party.” That must have jogged his memory because he then exclaimed, “Oh wait, Mommy, I forgot to show you what else we got…”
Yes, you guessed it.
A 100 Days pencil.
Did “100 Days” even exist 20 years ago? Two decades later, not only does it exist, but we also have a pencil to commemorate it.
When I was young, back in the ’80s, if I got a Hello Kitty pencil I was in love with that thing for months—maybe even a year; it had a place of honor in my Hello Kitty pencil box and I wore it down to the nub and prayed for the day someone would give out another cool pencil. Today, my kids can’t make it through Memorial Day without receiving three flag pencils each.
And how about the erasers attached to these pencils; a more useless addition to this writing implement I cannot imagine. They are worn down or break off in about an hour and a half, leaving me to purchase individual erasers to complement the pencils. Or more pencils. Because, of course, the kids won’t use the pencils that lack erasers.
In order for us to begin to get a handle on these rapidly multiplying cylinders of graphite, can we moms band together and call a moratorium on pencil favors…not forever, but maybe for about a year? In that time period, I’m going to have my entire family write lengthy diary entries and book reports every day (if need be, we’ll copy the Bible)…in pencil. Then we should be good to welcome the pencil deluge anew.
In the meantime, may I suggest practical alternatives to the pencil?
How about hair ties? In a house with two girls, we can never find a single one when we need it.
Maybe shin guards? That might eliminate my need to scream, “Where are your shin guards??” every Saturday morning moments before game-time.
Perhaps underwear? That could reduce the number of times I have to hear, “Mom, are you planning to do the laundry this week?!”
Possibly mini airline bottles of liquor? (Well, that’s really for me, I suppose.)
Maybe calendars where the kids could write down and keep track of their own sports practices, dance classes, piano lessons, play rehearsals, games, homework, quizzes, tests, and chores for the week? That way we wouldn’t always need to be scrambling around at the last minute whilst sweating and cursing on any given day. And it might preserve what’s left of my sanity; well, that and the airline bottles, of course. Yes, that’s it! Let’s do a calendar instead!
But wait…I think we’re probably going to need a pencil to go with it.
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June 8, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
Everybody loves the first really hot day.
June 4, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
1. People tend to forget that your primary job is to get them safely to their destination (Tulsa, adulthood, etc.) – not to keep them supplied with endless beverages, snacks, and entertainments.
2. You spend a great deal of time in close quarters with irritable, irrational people – particularly when the weather causes delays and cancellations.
3. Your job does not involve long stretches of time sitting around doing nothing (if it does, you’re probably doing it wrong).
4. Your job requires saying the same things over and over.
– “Please stow your tray tables in their upright and locked position.”
– “Aiden, the cat is not a footrest.”
5. You are required to do your job in a perpetual state of jet-lagged exhaustion.
6. Stepping away for a quiet moment to pee is surprisingly challenging sometimes.
7. Your job forbids you, on a regular basis, from saying what you truly think.
8. Your feet are sore at the end of the day no matter how great your shoes are.
9. There is a great deal of monotony and repetition in your day-to-day work, punctuated by unpredictable moments of sheer terror.
10. You find yourself answering a lot of questions that really don’t deserve a response.
– “No, sir, I cannot sell your 14-year-old a nip of Wild Turkey, even though we will all be on the plane for the next 12 hours so I know he won’t be operating a vehicle.”
– “No, Ella, even though Skittles are fruit-flavored and very colorful it is not the same thing as eating a bowl of fruit salad.”
11. Regardless of how frightened you may be, you always need to present a calm face – because all eyes are on you.
12. Patches of turbulence are inevitable.
13. No matter how bad things get, once you’ve started your journey, walking out is literally not an option.
June 1, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
Our daughter, the lemonade magnate.
May 25, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
Cousins being cousins (photo credit to Papa).
May 18, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
Portrait of the artist as a young peanut.
May 17, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
I was fortunate to be able to travel a lot with my family when I was growing up, so it’s important to me to share those types of experiences with my own kids. My husband, on the other hand, never got to travel very far back then, so he’s excited to do more traveling now.
The bottom line is that we’re both eager to get out there and get exploring with our monkeys, but it’s hard when the kids are so young (because they’re, you know, monkeys).
Which is why I was super-excited to be asked to review Little Passports, a subscription service that sends your kids fun, educational travel-related materials every month in the mail. Little Passports currently comes in 3 versions:
– Early Explorers (ages 3-5): Each month has a different theme (such as oceans, landmarks, or music)
– World Edition (ages 6-10): Each month features a different country
– USA Edition (ages 7-12): Each month features two U.S. states
We were sent the Early Explorers edition, which included a cute little suitcase; a world map; an activity book and trading cards; a letter from our fictitious travel buddies Max, Mia, and dog Toby; and more.
Lorelei, who is almost 6, was delighted with the whole package, especially the world map we could affix our landmark stickers to (this month’s theme was landmarks). Everything was very informative and high-quality.
(Plus, hey – real mail in the mail! Increasingly exciting for all ages.)
While I was sent just one Little Passports mailing for review purposes, Lorelei was already looking forward to receiving next month’s installment (and beyond). The activities in the Early Explorers edition were definitely geared more towards younger kids, so I ordered her a World Edition subscription as an early birthday present.
Whether you’re real-life family travelers or more couch-bound wanna-be versions, as we currently are, Little Passports is a great gift for the little adventurer in your life.
Little Passports’ lovely PR folks sent me an Early Explorers package to review and write about on the site. I have received no other compensation and am in no way affiliated with Little Passports. We’re all about editorial integrity here at Mommy Tries.
May 11, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
A boy’s best friend, new millennium version: His stuffed emoji (which has inexplicably been named Jacob).