So my last post was August 1, 2012. Yikes. Well, since then, baby boy #3 has joined our household. This week I was given an amusing insight into the difference in perspective between pre-baby women and post-baby women. A pregnant-with-her-first-child friend of mine made this comment to me on Facebook:

“How are you handling all your boyz? Are you able to make it to the shower? I need to hear the baby boy scoop from a professional!”

Pre-baby woman’s definition of “shower”: a party where you have time to socialize and have adult conversation, get gifts, eat yummy food

Post-baby woman’s definition of “shower”: something that involves water and soap and on really good days, shampoo


I Love Living in Cleveland

First I must say that I am ashamed that I have not written anything in more than 3 months.   That’s just terrible.   Tonight is one of those rare evenings where I managed to get chores done AND the kids in bed on time, while my hubby is at work, so I get to write.    And apparently, based on an email I had sent myself on February 20th, I’ve been wanting to write about living in Cleveland, or at least, living in Ohio.

I need to begin with an explanation.  Thanks to the hubby’s work, we have been blessed to travel to Hawaii for two weeks each year for the past four years.   While we are there he works in the evenings but we get to enjoy family time together when he isn’t working.   Three years ago I had posted about returning from Hawaii and being grateful to be back in Cleveland and see the big fluffy white snowflakes and just to be home in general.    The PD linked to it and someone made a snarky comment and have since basically felt as though I committed blog suicide here:

Well, in February we were back to Hawaii for the hubby’s work.  This time, while we were there, I was fortunate to meet a lovely family who was renting a condo in the same building where we stayed.   She (Indonesian) and her husband (Canadian) had lived in Japan for the past nine years and had just relocated due to work to Honolulu.   They have two awesome little boys who my sons loved to hang out with, and while they all played I had so many wonderful conversations with their mom.   I loved to hear about their search for a home in Hawaii, and their lives back in Japan and everywhere else.  But what got me thinking about writing this, was our discussions regarding the cost of living.

I grew up just on the border of Cleveland, and I feel I should add I apparently grew up “below the poverty line”, though it wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that this was made apparent to me when someone pointed this out.    My mom was a housekeeper in an apartment building and my dad was retired from working for the City of Cleveland.  I grew up in a two-bedroom apartment but we were comfortable.

In Honolulu, the two-bedroom condo where we stayed would cost twice as much as my current house.   It got me thinking, you can’t really afford to be poor and live in Hawaii.   There are a lot of places where you can’t afford to be poor in the US.  In Cleveland, there are so many services, so many opportunities, and the cost of living remains relatively low.  I had no clue I was poor.   So out of curiosity I looked up some cost of living statistics on Hawaii vs. Ohio.   I am sure there is some equation for doing a comparison, but just looking at the numbers to me was interesting:


Homeownership rate, 2006-2010: 59.3%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2006-2010: $537,400

Per capita money income in past 12 months (2010 dollars) 2006-2010: $28,882

Median household income 2006-2010: $66,420

Homeownership rate, 2006-2010: 69.2%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2006-2010: $136,400

Per capita money income in past 12 months (2010 dollars) 2006-2010: $25,113

Median household income 2006-2010: $47,358

The difference in Median household income is small, particularly when compared to the significant difference in the Median value of owner-occupied housing units.    Money simply buys so much more here, compared not just to Honolulu or Hawaii in general, but to many other metropolitan areas.

Beyond the cost of living, I do love to hear my five year-old tell me all of the things he loves about each season.   And I love all of the things that, when I have the time, I write about that my family and I enjoy doing all around the Cleveland area.

Do you love living in Cleveland?    What do you love about living here?

Until next time,


PS.   I should add that, periodically, I love having a St. Patricks’s Day that allows me to break out the slip-n-slide!  Did you hear there were 500,000 people in Downtown Cleveland on Saturday???


Is There Something Wrong With Our Kids?

Ok, so yesterday I posted about my surprise at teenagers who don’t work.    And I’d posted about it on Facebook and was not surprised at the number of responses I received from friends of mine regarding the age when they started working, and that many of them actually enjoyed working as a teenager.

Then I received a response in an email from a friend of mine who is a manager in a business that relies on teenage help.   And this was her response:

It’s frustrating because (like your facebook post), kids don’t want to work. They don’t want to do a damn thing. They want to be paid, but no one wants to come in on Saturday. So it’s tough to find a good group that says they will show up on time each week…

So what I want to know is, what has gone wrong?   And for me, as a mother of two relatively young children, what can I do right moving forward so my kids don’t have this attitude?  If these were my teenagers, I think I’d be embarassed.

Until next time,


Do Teenagers in the Suburbs Work?

Was just wondering, “Where do all of the teenagers in this city work?” Then realized, “OGM, they don’t work!” At what age did you start working? For me, I couldn’t wait til I turned 16 so that I could start working.

This thought came to me because, in our city, the little kids soccer games are all coached by volunteer parents, many of them reluctant to coach.    When I was growing up we had a huge rec dept. and all of the coaches for the various sports were paid teenagers.   So I was wondering, if they aren’t working at the rec center, where are they working?    And then I made the realization that, at least around here, I don’t think many of the teenagers work during high school.    At least not during the school year.

What are your thoughts?

Until next time,


Free-Range Kids

I just came across this blog as I was looking for safety info regarding church nurseries (I’m responsible for the nursery at our church).     From the few posts I’ve read on here already, I love it!    I’m probably behind on the times, and maybe you’re already reading this blog, but if not, check it out here:

Let me know what you think.    Are you too overprotective, or not enough?   How do you find a balance?

Until next time,


Surprised by Joy

I title this post after a book of my favorite author, C.S. Lewis, though it actually has little to do with him.

I attend church regularly, and when one does so, it eventually tends to happen that most sermons are content of which one is already aware.   Last Sunday however, I have to say that I was, “surprised by joy.”   Literally, it was the topic of the sermon.    But it was presented in such a way as to really hit me.   Because it was presented as an examination of the joy of a child.   I often tell the hubby how grateful I am to have our children, that despite how much work they are that they make life better.   A big reason for this, for me, is that whenever I get down on the world, I look at our kids, or any kids for that matter, and see how much boundless energy and joy they have.     They are happy to be alive.   The kiddo, a couple of weeks ago said to me spontaneously, “I am excited to wake up every morning, because I want to find out what’s going to happen that day.”      My thought was, at what point in our lives does that feeling go away?    Or at least, when did it go away for me, and when did it, on most days, get replaced with a feeling of dread?

So when the speaker began telling of a trip to NYC he took with his wife and nephew, and shared some stories of the nephew and his expressions of joy, it was so nice to hear a sermon based on this premise.

There were a few neat quotes that I took down, the sermon begun with one by G.K. Chesterton:

“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”

The speaker talked about the retired senior pastor of our church, and his wife, who are in their 80’s.   They still have so much vitality, and in reference to them he said, “You know you are getting old when you have more memories than dreams.”     This pastor and his wife still have so many great dreams for our church and it’s urban neighborhood as well as for other areas of the world, that it keeps them young at heart.

He talked about how God is so full of joy and that sometimes we miss that.   That joylessness is a sin.   He had a quote by A.W. Tozer, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” 

It was a nice “feel-good” sermon, and was just something I needed.   I’d never thought of God being the source of that child-like joy, or God having that particular quality Himself for that matter. 

Have you been surprised by joy lately?

Until next time,


The Lion King in Theaters Until October 1st

A week ago I took the kiddo to the movies to see, “The Lion King.”   At the time when it came out originally, it was one of my favorite Disney movies, and I was so excited to hear we could see it together at the theater.    Plus, we were able to see the regular movie, as they had both the regular and 3-D versions playing at the theater we went to.   It looks like the movie wll be in theaters until Saturday, October 1st.

The kiddo really enjoyed himself.    This is only the 3rd movie he’s seen in a theater, and each time he gets to enjoy all the popcorn and pop he wants.   For me, it ended up being a much more surreal experience than I could have expected.   It’s been awhile since I’d seen the movie.    Actually, the movie came out originally and I saw it for the first time the week my dad had passed away.   With the themes of the movie it probably had something to do with my connection to it at the time.    But as we were watching it, the whole, “Circle of Life” theme was something I wasn’t even thinking of when I had planned to bring the kiddo to see it.    But as I sat there next to him, thinking how the first time I’d seen it my dad passed away days later, and now I am seeing it, in a theater, with my son, it was all too strange.   This time rather than being so focused on the theme of losing one’s father as a child and the subsequent journey of Simba, I was thinking of Simba’s redemption and how life went on with the birth of his son.

Probably way more than anyone reads into a Disney movie!   

Until next time,