Monthly Archives: November 2012

What do you want to be when you grow up?

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. E.E. Cummings

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. E.E. Cummings

There’s been a lot of “When I grow up, I want to be…” talk at our house recently. It’s funny how my kids’ interests are evolving and getting refined as they grow up.

In the past few months I’ve read in several books explaining that, to find your very own passion in life, you have to go back to your childhood and remember what you really, really enjoyed doing at the time, the one thing you preferred to do over any other activities. I remember my favorite activities (there were several). Unfortunately I don’t really follow any of these passions for a living today, although I find myself trying to get there now. It’s never too late, right?

When it comes to making career choices, a lot of people tend to influence us as children.  Negative comments such as “you don’t want to be that”, “that’s not a career”, “you’ll never make money” can not only be hurtful, they can literally suck the passion right out of our kids’ souls. And I believe that’s what happened to me. So I swear, I swear, I swear I won’t be like that with my kids! And if I am, somebody please knock the stupidity out of me.

Here’s what my kids have expressed when it comes to growing up these past few months:

Son #1 (age 6): “When I grow up, I want to be a writer, an illustrator, and a movie maker. But not all at once. I can’t draw and make a movie at the same time.”

I hope the kid gets what he wants. He deserves it and is showing talent for a few of these things already.

Son #2 (age 4): “When I grow up, I want to be a plumber, a cockroach exterminator, a firefighter, and a paleontologist.”

That’s a plateful too and I love it!

Of course, my kids are always curious to know more about me, so my four-year old and I had this conversation a few weeks ago:

Son #2: “Mama, what do you want to me when you grow up?”
Me: “Er, I’m already grown up.”
Son #2: “Oh. What do you want to me when you’re already grown up?”

That’s when it hit me. Just like them, I don’t want to do just one thing, and I still have a lot of growing up to do when it comes to following my passions. So here’s my list, in almost no specific order:

“When I’m already grown up, I want to be a mother, a friend, a writer, a photographer, an artist, and a mentor.”

What do you want to be when you’re already grown up? Are you today what you wanted to be when you were a young child? Do you live your life’s passion or did you get sidetracked along the way?

Growing up old cartoon

Growing up old

WWW Wednesdays – November 28, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

The book thief by Markus Zusack– What I’m currently reading 
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I like it so far. The choice of narrator for the story keeps me on edge for sure.

– What I recently finished reading
Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other by Sherry Turkle. I can see Turkle spent a lot of time gathering the research needed to write this book. The results of her research are quite fascinating and it’s surprising how people can react to technology. The conclusions she draws from studying people’s interactions with pet robots is very interesting. I laughed at the comments people made about Disneyworld’s Animal Kingdom, where using real animals didn’t appear as “realistic” as the animatronic creatures used in other parts of the park! By reading all the positive things adults and children alike have to say about robots, you can’t help wondering if robots will replace humans in various parts of our lives in the future. As for technology like cell phones, social sites and online communities, Turkle show clear evidence the younger crowd prefers this way of communication over face-to-face discussions, which is quite concerning. She also explains how 9/11 changed our relationships with cell phones, when we realized we had to be able to get a hold of everyone and anyone at any time, in case something happened. I didn’t like the density of this book, which was full of so much research, it made it hard for me to read. But if you can read through all the data, there’s a lot of good stuff in there.

– What I think I’ll read next
The Giver by Lois Lowry. It’s been on my to-read list for a while and last time I had it, I had to return it to the library get I could read it. Now, I can’t wait!

My kids’ bookshelf

What they’re currently reading
Several books by Leo Lionni, including:
Little Blue and Little Yellow, where the two colored dots are friends and manage to merge as one green dot. They get scared when they try to go back home and their parents tell them they don’t belong there (wrong color).
The Extraordinary Egg, a very funny book where one frog finds an egg and shows it to the other two. One of them, who “knows everything about everything” says it’s a chicken egg. When the egg hatches, she confirms, “I was right, it is a chicken”. Yep, just take a look!

The extraordinary egg by Leo Lionni

The extraordinary egg by Leo Lionni

– What they recently finished reading
Zen Ties by Jon J. Muth, a favorite children’s book author and illustrator of ours. Stillwater, the big panda, goes to the train station to welcome his little nephew Koo. “Hi, Koo”, he said, a play on words with “haiku”, which is how Koo talks throughout the book. I love all of the Stillwater stories and how they each teach a kind lesson. This one is about taking care of an elderly woman who may have something to teach the kids. And Muth’s watercolors are so colorful and beautiful, they almost look magical. It’s a pleasure to keep turning the pages.

Zen ties by Jon Muth

Zen ties by Jon Muth

– What I think they’ll read next
I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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WordPress weekly photo challenge: Thankful

A few days ago, I shared a list of what I’m very thankful for this year. Today, I’ll use the WordPress weekly photo challenge theme on Thankful to expand one of the items on my list.

I’m very thankful for my boys and how much joy, fun and laughter they bring to my life every day.

I’m thankful for my boys going on a hike with me and not complaining that they’re tired after half a mile anymore.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Thankful for my boys

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Thankful for my boys

I’m thankful for my boys’ bravery, especially when it comes to putting out fires.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Thankful for my boys' bravery

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Thankful for my boys’ bravery

I’m thankful for my boys’ neverending ability to keep me entertained throughout the day, for example when we’re waiting in the car for school to start.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Thankful for my boys' entertainment skills

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Thankful for my boys’ entertainment skills

I’m thankful for my boys’ neverending creativity and how they manage to give life to any toy, and then take a few lives back… The dragons won, by the way.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Thankful for my boys' creativity

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Thankful for my boys’ creativity

I’m thankful for my boys’ amazing creativity, which allows them to never be bored. They sure know how to give a new meaning to the term aging rock star!

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Thankful for my boys - aging rock star

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Thankful for my boys – aging rock star

Finally, I’m thankful for my boys being thankful and showing it through hugs, kisses and words every day. My six-year old recently awarded me the “Best Mom in the World Award”, along with a golden trophy, and I couldn’t be more thankful.

Thank you, my boys.
Love you always.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Thankful for my boys being thankful

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Thankful for my boys being thankful

What are you most thankful for?

The yummiest turkey you’ll ever eat – no cooking required

I want to wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving holiday. I hope you have plenty to be thankful for this year, no matter how good or bad things have been for you in 2012. I’ll share a few things I’m thankful for in this year full of small and big, fun and painful challenges:

– My kids: I’m grateful for their love, their determination, their brightness, their inquisitiveness and their creativity.

– My health: after a couple of health scares, I seem to be OK. Fingers crossed.

– My family and friends: I’m grateful to be surrounded with people who have nothing but love, help and support to offer me. I have formed close relationships with a few friends this past year and I feel so lucky and blessed to have met such wonderful women.

– The blogosphere: I’m grateful to have met so many interesting people I would never have had the opportunity to meet in person. I’ve also found lots of support in the blogosphere during my trying experiences and the launch of my new enterprise (my photography website) this year.

What are you thankful for this year?

And now, I invite you to have a little fun on your Thanksgiving day by making the yummiest turkey you’ll ever eat. The best part? You won’t have to cook it for hours! My son did this in his class last week and his brother and I helped a bit to finish it. All you need is a red apple, toothpicks, raisins, cranberries, marshmallows (1 big one, several little ones) and a gummy worm. If you’re looking for Thanksgiving craft activities to keep little kids entertained, this is a great one to try. I present you turkey art!

Thanksgiving craft - make a turkey with an apple

Thanksgiving craft – make a turkey with an apple

Happy Turkey Day!