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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I'm back

i'm welcoming my self back to the world of blogging.  Much has happened since I last blogged here, and it will explain the long hiatus.  Through out the entire summer and fall, my mother was ill. She would rally and then fall back, all the while getting weaker and weaker.  Miraculously, she was able to be released from the rehab/nursing facility she was in to attend her grandson's (my nephew's) bar mitzvah in mid-November.  One month later, she passed away in her sleep.
She was 92, but i was still devastated.
It was so hard to say goodbye to my last parent, and it was made doubly hard because my daughter was away and was in the middle of finals.  In the Jewish religion, a person must be buried as quickly as possible; within 24 hours.  I had to decide what to do-tell my daughter the night before her biggest final of the semester, or wait until she came home the day after the funeral.  I thought about what my mother would want me to do.  So I waited.  When she came home and I told her, she was very upset, but she did understand.  She knew why I did it.  i have a very mature and wonderful daughter. I have to be thankful that my son, although he is only 14, is such a mature and wonderful young man,  He was very close to his grandmother, and even though he was devastated, he was a tremendous help.  I know he is still hurting.
Even though it has been almost three months, I miss her every day.  Its very hard but I have the best family and friends and I am so thankful.  My son is having a great first year as a freshman in high school and am ready to et back in the blogging swing.
Thanks to all of you who have stuck with it here and I will have more stories of whats going on in the world of teenagers, colleges and high school.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stressed Out

The school year has just started and I'm already feeling my stress level increase. No, it's not the school supply shopping that worries me anymore. This year I have a High School Senior to deal with. This time around, it's my daughter. You would think that since I just went through this 2 years ago I would be more calm, but I'm not. The College application process is long and tedious and hard on my nerves as well as hers.
We have our college advisor meeting next week- not our first or our last. Normally, I would reach for an Oreo or the  M&M bag, but then I would just be stressed out and feeling fat. Any suggestions?

Monday, August 29, 2011

VMAs-Right or wrong?

     Now I know this is America and we are all about free speech and all that.  But this is an issue separate and apart from that.  It has to do with right and wrong.  And in my opinion, it was wrong, wrong, wrong for the VMAs to showcase Chris Brown the way they did.  The man is a felon.  The man beat up a woman so badly that she has cuts on her face.  Then, after he supposedly dealt with his "anger issues", the man tears off his shirt and puts a chair through a plate glass wall.  So whgat do we do?  We spotlight him and have these other idiots in the music industry give him a standing ovation.  All but one person-Jay-Z

     My hat's off to Jay-Z for standing up for his friend Rhianna, and for women.  While that idiot Kanye West is rattling off about how Bush doesn't like black people, he is jumping up and down with a big smile on his stupid face. Can we now say that Kanye West loves abusers? But I don't expect anything less than that from an ignorant fool like that.  The music industry, like the sports industry has sunk to the level that we now glorify thugs, felons and fools.  We thinkit's ok to get arrested for carrying unlicensed guns.  We think it's ok to beat the crap out of people and then write a song about it and absolve yourslef of any responsibility for your actions.  We think its fine to glorify the use of drugs and violence to our children.

     Yet the VMAs and MTV don't really care, when they give us crap to watch like the Jersely Shore and Real World.  I'm not even talking about Teen Mom...this show really doesn't glorify pregnancy from what I've seen.  My daughter would never want to end up in their predicamnet.  But we have created this mini universe of people who are parasites on socirty and really offer nothing to the world and are lauded for it.  Oh yes, Chris Brown is a great dancer, yes his songs are catchy.  THE MAN BEAT UP A WOMAN!!  Does anyone seem to care?  I don't think so; after all, it's been a few years already.  What's the big deal right?

     How do you all feel about this topic?  Please comment and tweet about it!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Yes I am back.  And I have an interesting question to pose to you all.  Right now, I am starting the process of packing up my child for her trip to college.  She is a freshman and it is her first time.  We are all a little on edge, a little nervous and a little scared.  I anticipate it all going well, even though she has about 40 pairs of shoes to find room for.  But this is her first time moving away and she is starting a new chapter in her life (that will definitely be the subject of many more posts I am sure!)

    But I was faced with the question of  "Well you aren't going to have to do this every year.  You won't have to go with her next year."  I thought to myself, "Huh?  Why wouldn't I?"  And people explained to me that she won't need me as much next year, that it will be so much easier for her.   There will be no adjustment period.  Blah, blah blah.  I said, what does any of that have to do with anything?  Why wouldn't I want to go down with her next year, if she wanted me to?  I have friends who have a child who will be a senior this year and they are taking her back to school.  I didn't think it strange at all.  Friends have said to me that I am still thinking of my daughter as a baby.  When I talk to them nd tell them of people I know who are still taking their almost graduated children up to school, they scoff and say the parents are too over-protective, and their children will never break free of these "helicoptor-type" parents.

   I don't see it that way (And funny enough, these are parents who wouldn't dream of letting their children walk around NYC and take the subways, something that both my children have bee doing for years now).  I don't see it as over-protective-ness or smothering them.  I see it as being involved and leting my child know that her parents are there for her and if she wants us we will always be there for her.  It's also what makes me comfortable and how I feel.

    What do you all think?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

From Child to Parent to Child

     I've been MIA for the past week.My elderly mother fell and broke her hip and is in the hosptal doing rehap.  Remarkably, she is up and walking and we hope to have her fully mobile soon enough.  She said to me, that now she is like the child and I am her parent.  It is true, that at some point, if you are lucky enough to have a parent who reaches an advanced age, that your role is reveresed; whereas once they worried about you eating right, bundling up against the cold and making sure not to catch a cold, you now assume the poisition of parent to your parent.
     My mother is the best caregiver in the world but is the worst patient.  She readily admits it too.  She can't take any kind of pain.  It is hard for me to see her laying in bed, whereas she was always up and about and verylively.  Thankfully her mind is good, and she is still able to complain about the economy, or how bad the food is, and can I bring her potato chips and ice cream.  (Hey, she's 92 if she wants it, she's getting it!)  She knows that this is a big set back for her.  She was living just one month in a n assisted living facility.  We had moved her out of her big house becuse we were afraid of this happening there.  So it happened where she was surrounded by people.
     I guess the point of this post is that we as mothers (and fathers) are always in some type of caregiver situation.  Our children can get older and they think they need us less, but it isn't so; they just need us differently.  As our parents age, we assume the role of their caregiver; most elderly pople don't have anyone to advocate for them. All my life my mother has cared for me; I could never give up on her.  We just take it in stride and add it to the list of what we as parents know is a never ending job. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Friendship, Facebook and everything in between

     You know it's funny.  One of the first things we do as parents when our children are old enough is to tell them "Don't talk to strangers", and "Never respond to a stranger online."  .  I really was not too savvy on the interent, and mainly used it to plan my daughter's bat mitzvah.  While planning her party, I found this group of women who were also planning their parties, and we would chat and email each other.  Several months down the line, we all decided to meet for lunch.  Little did I know that this would be the start of friendships with a special group of women, who really are like a family to me.  We have met for the past 4 years, formally at lunches, and informally for parties, dinner, concerts and unfortunately funerals.  I count on these women like they are my sisters.  Because they are.

     When I joined Facebook, about 3-4 years ago, I did so mainly to spy on my kids (yep, I said it!) and to just see what the hype was about, and play games.  One night just playing around, I decided to put in the names of people who I went to elementary school with, and up popped familiar names.  Little by little, we have found each other; from all over the country, all reuniting.  Some of us have known each other from 1st grade.  The funny thing is that I noticed that with some of the people, I may have gone through a lot of schooling with them, but we just will never be anything more than "Facebook friends".  With others, we have sort of found our way back and rekindled old friendships.  Its a nice feeling, to have found your past, and know that there are so many people to share old memories with.

     I started the discussion yesterday about anorexia not only because of the Today show segment, or because I have a teenaged daughter, but because through Facebook, I found out that one of my oldest friends died of it.  She died when she was 34.  I had lost touch with her in college, and we didn't have Facebook back then.  A mutual friend whom I found again on Facebook, told me that story.  I found an old picture of her and put it up on Facebook.  That picture engendered so many comments and brought back so many wonderful memories of our friend and each other.  It turned out to be a ccelebration of her life in a way.

     It also made me realize how lucky our children are now.  They will never lose touch with their friends.  They won't have to wait 30 years to find someone and renew a friendship.  And for all the "bad stuff" that Facebook does lead to, if we know our children and keep that parental eye on them, they can use the Internet for its bast possible use.

    How has Facebook and the Internet changed your life?  Have you found new friends and old?

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Skinny

     So here's the deal.  As women, many of us are conditioned to think that we aren't ever thin enough.  We look in the mirror and we don't see what everyone else sees.  When we were little, maybe our mothers  told us "you don't really need that extra cookie", or "do you really need that?"  Everywhere we go, we are bombarded by the sights of weight loss plans, television commercials and workout videos.  We can watch Celebrity Fit Club and The Biggest Loser, and feel comforted that we are not alone. "See-look, she got fat too!  It isn't just me!!"

     But now we have a different issue.  What about those celebrities who have their babies and are then thin again in 2 or 3 weeks.  What's up with them?  Are they really human?  Look at Giselle, and Gwenyth and Victoria Beckahm.  It seems that one day they are pregnant, and the next day, boom, they are back to a size 2.  Are they starving themselves?  Are they trying to eat healthy?  Are they obsessing over their weight and going to the gym for 5 hours a day?  Maybe.

     Last week, on the Today show, Dr. Nancy Snyderman went off on a different type of momma drama.  The "Mommyrexic"  These are women who are so afraid to gain the weight during their pregnancy, that they actually diet while pregnant.  Is that sick or what?  Now, the controversy has arisen, as Dr. Snyderman sort of "went off" a little during the segment, and called it  "an Upper East Side, white girl issue."

     Now, I don't really know how I feel about that.  (Disclaimer-I don't live on the Upper East Side.)  I do see these women, who teeter around on their high heels, with their little bump and are oh so very proud when they say "Yes, I'm 8 months and I only gained 10 pounds!"  I know that there are doctors who will "help" these women not to gain too much weight while pregnant.  But there are also women who are dangerously obese and do not try to get to a healthy weight.  The truth of the matter is we send mixed messages to women.  We tell them it is ok to "accept your body" and "show your curves".  But then we are bombarded by magazines that do countdown to bikini season and give more ab exercises than there are grains of sand on the beach.

     Anorexia is a very serious issue among the young girls of today.  It is a killer for some.  My children know a girl in their school who is in 10th grade and is in rehab a second time for anorexia.  It is very, very sad to see girls judge their self worth by how skinny they are.  But I don't think the problem is only what Dr. Snyderman says.  It isn't just an Upper East Side white girl issue.  It is a psychological issue regarding control over one's own body  Statistics are changing.  This article shows that eating disorders aren't just a "rich white girl thing" anymore.  It is a problem that we as parents must be vigilant about.

     How do you all talk to your daughters about food and weight and body image?

     I am including a link to the Today show segment, below.