Day 11 of the Electronic “Fast”

I thought this was going to be harder than it has been.  I am not sure my son would say the same thing.  Last Tuesday evening when my husband and I were out I did receive a text from my son that explained to me that he is not creative and has no imagination to continue NOT playing video games and watching TV.  I completely understand how he felt.  So far though, we are doing pretty well.  Jonah did tell me last night that we only have 19 days left. 

We are making  up the rules as we go along, but I incorrectly categorized our electronic “fast” as a “ban” last week and I wanted to clarify….we haven’t banned anything. 


  • In our house, no television and no video games.  The exception to that rule is on Friday, September 6. 
  • When at someone else’s house, their house rules apply.  If TV is okay, it is fine by me.
  •  Computers are okay as long as it is something creative like writing, photo editing, blogging, etc.
  • Phones are okay for communication purposes.

Lessons Learned

  • Without the electronics, we are eating more meals together at the TABLE.
  • The kids are finding books they enjoy reading.
  • Toys are being rediscovered!
  • We are playing family games.
  • Homework is less of a chore to get finished.  Even the extra credit is done by the end of the day. 
  • The park across the street is their newly discovered favorite place to be.
  • There are things that the parents can do with out TV too.  😉
  • Nothing like a good night sleep for the whole family.  Who said 8:30 is too early to sleep?
  • Samir and I have a tendency to try to go through our family time as quickly as possible to get to the television and “relax.”  Not to mention that “Breaking Bad” is hardly RELAXING!!  This is teaching us to be more mindful while we are together.
  • Need something to do?  Pack your own lunch for tomorrow!




Four Generations

This weekend we headed to Grandma’s house for our first ever, mom and kid sleepover.  The kids had no intertest going to a restaurant as suggested by Grandma, they wanted to cook her dinner and serve it to her as if her kitchen was Chez Grandma’s French Bistro.  Grandma being Grandma agreed this was a fantastic idea.

On the drive to her house, my son asked me if it would be okay if he asked Grandma questions about how she and Grandpa met and what her life was like as a child.  What more could you ask for from your child?  I told him that Grandma would love to talk about Grandpa.  I think people avoid asking questions about loved ones who have passed away to avoid avoid triggering saddnress or loss.  I believe it must be hard for someone like my Grandma to NOT talk about the man who meant everything to her (and still does) for over 70 years.

We had a wonderful time, my Aunt Janet came over to complete the full 4 generations of Ostermeier’s!  My kids were thrilled that Aunt Janet actually LIKES to play games with them and doesn’t mind getting down in the dirt.  For dinner, the kids served mac and cheese, huge deli sandwiches, salad, hummus, and cupcakes that we bought from the cupcake truck.  They ran around the backyard like my sister and I did as kids, we visited my aunt’s house and investigated her back yard, we played some games of Uno, ate sweets (cause as my daughter says, Grandma is the best sweet maker around), Grandma and I continued our effort to trace the lineage of our family tree combining folder after paper folder and logging them in to  It was especially sweet when Aida told Grandma that her middle name is Tongret and that her great grandpa painted a picture just for her.  Grandma chimed in that yes, he sure did.  In actuality the painting was painted by Grandma’s dad, Bland Tongret.  Grandma gave it to Aida when she was born because we chose Tongret as her middle name. 

Grandma made a wonderful breakfast, cinnamon rolls, eggs, cinnamon toast, extra crispy bacon, YUM.  We ended up messing up grandma’s house beyond recognition (sorry).

I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend with my family.  I can’t think of a better way to honor the life of my grandfather.  His spirit and presence is everywhere in that house.   At one point Grandma said, “It is good for the kids to know this place.”  And she is right, this house of Grandmas has been a fixed beacon in my ever moving life.  This house is home, filled with love, love, love. 

Grandma and Aida!

Grandma and Aida!

Sandwich bigger than the plate!

Sandwich bigger than the plate!

menu, restaurant, kid

“restaurant” menu

family viewing photo book

Here Aida shows Grandma and Janet our family photo book. Jonah wants to see too!!

Dad is great…he gives us the chocolate cake

My husband is a hero. He more often than not is the parent running around in the morning making lunches, dressing the kids, and dealing with the general chaos that 6:45 am brings. I guess then that I have little right to comment on morning cuisine choices. I try to bite my tongue most days. Today though, I had to say something. Ice cream cake? The Cosby family reinvented.


Barcelona – Day 1

We woke up late and missed the hotel breakfast.  Loaded up the cars, but I could only think of trying to drive a stick shift up that darn parking ramp.  I am telling you, this thing freaked me out.  We had a breakfast of café du lait and some meat pastries (don’t knock it till you tried it)  We then did the thing I absolutely HATE to do….we took a tour bus.  I was a bit reluctant at first, but then, since K was only going to be in Barcelona a day, it seemed like a good way for her to get an idea of the whole city.  Plus it seemed like a  good idea to help my family figure out the must see places for the 2 days we’ll spend there at the end of the trip.  The bus tour was long.  It was good to see everything, but it was a bit long for the kids and the adults.  We had a lovely Italian meal and headed back to the hotel.  I met the fear of the ramp head on.  We actually made it out of the city with only one turn down a one was street.  It felt like a resounding success.  We drove straight from Barcelona to the house just outside of Canet-en-
Rousillion.  The farm-house is amazing.  It has a rustic feel without roughing anything at all.  The kids immediately got on suits and jumped in the pool.  My sister and I headed on a journey for wine, beer and food only to get nothing.  Everything was closed.  We ended up at a vintner pizza restaurant and had mediocre meal, well, my dish was actually disgusting.  When we got home from the restaurant, this  little guy was waiting for me in the bathroom.  He is so CUTE.  I had to take another photo of him…and accidentally step on him and killed him.  

The cute little lizard I killed. (preying mantis memories again)


Nice.  The kids got to see the dead baby lizard in the bathroom.