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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Are Thank You notes dead?

I don't consider myself old fashioned. I feel like I'm pretty trendy and try and keep up with the latest style, etc. But the one thing I have noticed in my generation is that hand written thank you notes are obsolete.  The only people I get thank you notes from are from my mother and mother-in-law. My mom will snail mail one to me in what seems like a New York minute. My mother in law will send me a thank you for a thank you. My mom always forced me to write thank you notes as a kid. It was brutal. And it wasn't one of those generic one size fits all thank you notes, it was detailed.
When I went to college, I kind of let this habit stay at home. It wasn't until I had spent a fabulous weekend at my then boyfriends parents house in Rancho Santa Fe. It was breath taking. The home, the accommodations, the company and the food.  I left and went on my way. Then a couple of weeks went by and my said boyfriend told me that his mom had asked why I hadn't written a thank you note.

I felt as though the wind had been knocked out of my body. I had spent the entire time trying to impress them but I fell horribly short when I simply forget to thank them. She was right to be upset!   I figured that it was better late then never and I sent her a much belated note of gratitude.   lesson learned.  Now I understand her dissatisfaction with my lack of appreciation.  If my boys ever bring home a girl they had better thank me... but really, will they ever find anyone good enough for them in my eyes? Doubtful.
So the other lesson I have learned is hand written thank you notes are a great way to show that you appreciate whatever it was that the person gave to you, said to you or just to say thanks for friendship.
In my jewelry box I have one of the best thank you notes from my late grandpa. Its on a piece of paper the size of a sticky note and in shaky cursive writing it says
"Happy Birthday, your grandma always loved making you cakes. Thank you."
I don't know if it was a birthday note or a thank you note, but I'm glad he wrote it.
My point is, that yes you can send a quick text or post it on their wall, but when its all said and done, being able to hold something is so much better then it being lost in spam.
I have now continued the thank you note writing with my boys. They think its agonizing  but if they grow up to be gentleman then I did my job.
Just as I am wrapping up this post, a family friend who we invited to Jack's 3rd birthday party overheard me say that I couldn't find Jack the one Yo Gabba Gabba character he wanted, Muno, (he is very popular) I had searched for months, online, every store I could think of with no luck.  She said she happened to be in Big Lots and found Muno, she bought it for Jack and made a special visit to deliver his Muno.
Off I go to write a thank you note.....

Television and my children

I came into work today exhausted.  My 3 year old decided to wake up at 4: something, right after the baby had gotten up.  Jack doesn't really understand that at that hour his voice does not need to be as loud as he is at a park. But since the baby had just been up I was somewhat coherent.  Per his request I got him a drink and a poptart. Then I was off to the gym.  But to keep the rest of the house sleeping I turned on Sesame Street and left him content on the couch.
I don't think that there is any harm in that. But as I checked my work email this morning right there smack in my face is this article form WebMd saying that too much TV is harmful to tots.   As if I don't already feel the guilt de jour of being a working mommy now I have this. I immediately sent the article to my husband.  Who by the way, is a teacher and is home with 4 boys this summer. I felt that I could warn him of the eminent danger of tv watching today.  How does my mind allow me to get caught up in this?  I doubt he will read it.
On average in the summer, if the weather is poor, I would say our boys watch about 2-3 hours of tv a day. Now although that number is slightly alarming its not all at the same time. Lets use today for example.  Jack will be awake from 4:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. with an hour nap.
That is 15 hours.   He has already watched 1 hour of tv
add a half hour before his nap,
a 1/2 hour while we make dinner, now we are up to 2 hours.
Then about an hour before bed.
To me, that doesn't seem like too much. What this article failed to discuss is what the kids are watching. I'm certainly not going to put him in front of a True Blood episode, or even icarly for that matter.  Its, Dora, Yo Gabba Gabba or Baby Einstein. I don't have any expectations that this will do anything but entertain or relax my nocturnal little boy.
Yes, in an ideal world I would have my house set up in the most Montessori natural setting for my boys, but that world, is not our world.
Plus, I enjoy watching them laugh. Life it too short to cut out a little cheap entertainment once in awhile. https://www.webmdhealth.com/nl/nlv.aspx?id=gbcIp7Ijk8A=&s=495

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"I can't believe you have 4 kids"

I have returned to the work place.  In body of course, not exactly in mind. What I find interesting is that everyone kind of left me alone for the first month or so. They think I'm going to be overwhelmed with emails etc. so they just pop in to say hello and leave. I have a feeling in August I will get 4000 emails.
The one statement I hear on a regular basis is  "you don't look like you have had 4 kids" or "I can't believe you have 4 kids"
What does a typical woman who has 4 kids look like anyway?
My response to this is usually a smile. I honestly don't know if its a compliment or not. Like, based on my maturity level, I cannot handle 4 kids. I'm possibly reading too much into it. But if you think about it how a women is expected look is kind of determined by their region.  Say I'm in LA where women are expected to look like a model 3 months after they deliver but I live in the midwest. Where its perfectly acceptable to have a belly 5 years after you have a baby.  I however believe that a combination of diet, a lifetime of exercise, and genetics, have made it possible to lose the weight quickly.  With that said, I in no way am 100% delighted with the way my body looks.
No way, but have I ever really been?

A little history.

She has a degree in theater, which she has never used. Except to talk her way into getting a real job in publicity at a University. The degree also came in handy to meet her husband of 9 years Don, whom she met in Los Angeles, when they were both out of work actors. After their first date they both agreed that the world was overpopulated and having kids was just selfish and somewhat gluttonous. The two now live in the Midwest and are raising their four young and crazy sons.