When I say Singapore Math, I do not mean the curriculum/books with this title in the USA.  I mean the actual math that Singaporean students are doing day to day.  I fell in love with many parts of the Singaporean education system while living there from Dec 2013-July 2016.  Because the smell of a bookstore is basically a narcotic to me, I spent a lot of time wandering the stacks of books and picking up mathematics resources and workbooks for my kiddos’ future use, and to use…Continue Reading “Strategies From Singapore: Learn To Do Math Easily With Rectangles”

I am crying right now, as I type this. I deeply miss my maternal grandmother. Still. She died 20 years ago, when I was 16. Yet, I barely knew her. To me, she was perfumed hugs, lipstick smudges on my cheeks, coca cola over ice, and strange little toasts in the pantry.  She was gifts at Christmas, cream-colored leather seats in the old-school car, and fur coats.  She was glamour, flashy eighties-style earrings, fabulous wallpaper from various redecorations through the decades, and heels clicking through the…Continue Reading “Living With Loss: The Myth Of Closure”

I recently wrote this review of the books of Mo Willems for Sassy Mama Singapore. I value reading to my kids. Really, I do. But at the end of a typical day with my kiddos, with all the ups and downs and silly faces and whiny voices, I’m flat out exhausted and the last thing I want to do is read long books to the bubs. I feel horrible saying it, but with dishes to do and the hope of a precious few moments of…Continue Reading “Bedtime Fun: The Books of Mo Willems”

Really, I have no idea.  I could barely figure it out for myself.  But this was a dire and pressing question for me last year when I wrote this piece for Sassy Mama Singapore. My ovaries are confused. They seem to have misplaced the memo I sent them during my hours of labour to deliver Baby Two which clearly stated that they could look forward to a lovely (and permanent) vacation. Yet within a few weeks of giving birth, to my sheer horror, I was…Continue Reading “How Many Kids Should You Have?”

This was written last month for Sassy Mama Singapore.   Don’t you hate it when someone gives you a hug, buries their face into you, and wipes their nose on your clothes? My kiddos love this move. It’s time saving, convenient, and they are giving me love to boot. Maybe it is their way of saying I chose the wrong outfit that day. Despite the fact that my children use me as a tissue, clothes are very important to me. I have always been a…Continue Reading “The Power of Minimalism”

I recently wrote a piece for Sassy Mama Singapore about coming to terms with aging.   Coarse, wiry, and demanding attention, it rose defiantly from my head. This bold strand of hair was a shiny silver color, perfect for the plucking.  As I reached for my tweezers, I noticed not one, not two, but MANY gray hairs. I froze. I began a rapid scalp inspection, barely thinking, just searching. What I found was not good. Not ignorable. Not pluckable—there were too many gray hairs, all…Continue Reading “The Day The Grays Came To Stay”

Did you know?  Everything I own is terrible.  I know this because I have been to Target.  I have seen all that my home could be, and it comes up very short.  I know you have experienced this phenomenon.  My Facebook news feed is cluttered with Target memes like the following: I am back stateside due to the bad air in Singapore, and my wallet is breathing a sigh of relief that I do not have much space in my suitcases to bring back hordes…Continue Reading “The Trouble With Target”

I’m pretty sure I’m a grown-up now. It’s hard to know for sure. When I was a child, I knew that my parents were grown-ups. I knew that for sure. When I was a teen, my teachers were grown-ups. When I was in college, my professors were certainly grown-ups. After that, things got blurry. I became teacher, but I hardly felt grown-up. In fact, just four months into teaching, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up, as…Continue Reading “Are you A Grown-Up?”

I need help.  I feel like I no longer recognize myself.  I have become MOM.  The role transforms you.  All the body changes make you no longer recognize yourself, and the lifestyle changes make you no longer recognize your life.  I need to draw a line in the sand (or in the pile of laundry and toys) and decide who I am again.  I want a wardrobe of clothing that I love, not just stuff that fits my body okay and happened to be cheap and…Continue Reading “Help Mama Get Her Edge Back”

peep hole

We have been living in our apartment for three months now.  Three very long months of being terrorized daily by the former tenants.  But despite their status as former tenants, they have been living here too.  THEY NEVER LEFT.  I wake up in the morning and they are in my bathroom, just hanging out by the sink all like, “Yo! Where’s breakfast?” In the kitchen, they use my sugar without asking, even when I hide it.  Though that seems to be the only thing they…Continue Reading “The Tenants–A True Nightmare”