Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Quick Note:

Everyone who has been inquiring and looking out for my next post -

A) I appreciate that you are even interested in my next post

B) Everything is a-okay

I have not given birth, the child is still cooking.

I have been giving more attention to preparing for the Passover Holiday that is coming up in a week. I still hope to post before then, but I have to prioritize and get certain things done.

Thank you all for coming by, and I hope to share much more Orah craziness when I have a little more time.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm It!!!

I was tagged!

And, I told Carey that she could look out for my response to the tag on Tuesday. Well today is Thursday and I did not post for the past two days, so I suppose I spoke too soon.

For those of you who do not know Carey, you can find her blog and the post that tagged me


I have been enjoying her blog, and she has returned the favor by mentioning mine, albeit, in a tag.

I am supposed to write 7 things about myself, which seems like it will be a bit contrived since my entire blog is already pretty much about me and everyone and everything included in MY life. (Isn't every one's blog?)

I also fell prey to the infamous "25 random things about you" on Facebook, so before I begin, I already feel the redundancy.

But I feel obliged (sort of), so here goes:

1. I hate being tagged. (Although, Carey - I appreciate that you thought of me enough to choose me as a tagee). I am not dependable when it comes to tagging. I will only let you down. I will break all tags and I do not respond to chain letters. As I write this, I have no intention to continue this specific tagging process. I will write six more things about myself - because, let's face it, who does not like to talk about herself? But, I will not be tagging any more people - the game dies with me. However, I used to like tag in grade school - the actual game that is. I liked to chase and be chased and call out new safety zones in middle of a game that were not agreed upon at the beginning of the game. I liked it.......... until my friend Judith ran into a table and needed stitches on her chin. Now Tag is pretty traumatic for me. Oh well.

2. I collect shot glasses. I have shot glasses from every city/state and Country I have been to. Some that are included in my collection - London (it says "I got pissed in London"), Budapest, Stockholm, Frankfurt and one from Ohio that has a picture of Hillbillies on it holding rifles that says, "Homeland Security - Ohio Chapter". I have a total of 27 right now.

3. I am full of useless information. Friends call me Cliff, as in Cliff Claven the know it all mailman who sat at the bar at "Cheers". I read all news periodicals, whether they are educational or vacuous. I watch every news program, including but not limited to - 60 minutes, Dateline, Nightline, 20/20, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Entertainment News Programs, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and more. I also like all the information I gather from TLC and Discovery Health. It is not normal - but it comes in handy when people want to know about the lack of specific migration of Orca whales, because they go where the food is instead, even showing up in the Gulf of Mexico (warm waters) when it was believed they only swim in cool waters.

3. I have gone on "March Of The Living". This is an organized trip to Poland and Auschwitz, as well as other concentration camps. I went with a group from Chicago that invited my Father along, to be the token Holocaust Survivor on the trip. I watched my father say the "Kel Maleh Rachamim" (a Hebrew prayer for the souls of the departed) while he stood in front of a crematorium - possibly the crematorium where remnants of his Parent's ashes still lay. I will never be rid of this image from my mind - EVER.

4. I have gone to the Oprah show twice in the mid 90's. It is so much harder to get tickets now.

5. I had a lengthy conversation with Rachel Dratch and Tina Fey at "Second City" in Chicago in the mid 90's about the "joys" of dating, while hanging out after the show. I think about it every time I watched them on SNL and on "30 Rock". Poor Rachel - still not married.

6. I will eat a pastry over ice cream any day of the week. I am a carbo freak, but it's okay, because I am a treadmill whore.

7. My hair (which is hardly seen these days, due to the myriads of coverings that I wear on my head) is naturally curly. However, it was only wavy until I went on a trip to Israel in '89. Something in the water made my hair go all ringlet on me. It is still curly, but I hot iron it straight most of the time. All the hot ironing has now left my hair looking like a frizzy wavy mess when I do not straighten it. I can't win. Good thing it's covered up.

Well there you go. Have you learned anything seemingly interesting about me? Probably not. But thanks for taking the time to read my blas`e affairs. And thank you Carey - I apologize for breaking the tag though.

EDITED: You got some extra information out of me - because like the dork that I am, I have two separate points listed under number 3.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Not Me! Monday - It's All RELATIVE

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival full of gaffes and bloopers was originally created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been goofing up this week.

Edited: I am wishing MckMama's baby boy - Stellan a speedy recovery and good health...

It was not me who prematurely decided at the beginning of this past week that Winter is officially over and chose to run my errands in 32 degree to 46 degree weather wearing short skirts, while bare legged in nothing but open toe wedges. It is not me who realizes that this means I somehow have to figure out how to get over the hump - that is my pregnant belly to reach the bare legs that need some "spring cleaning" of their own.

It was not me who was beaming with pride as I left Parent/Teacher conferences for my first grader So, who apparently was evaluated without my knowledge by the "Enrichment" teacher and discovered to be at over a 95% reading comprehension level for 1st grade, a 75% reading comprehension level for 2nd grade as well as an above average reading comprehension level for third grade. It is not me who immediately thought I should have my daughter's DNA tested to ascertain that she is in fact, MY daughter and was not somehow switched at birth.

It was also not me who became rather amused by my two year old, Ate when he followed me around one night as I was preparing dinner saying,
"Mommy, push me...... push me Mommy..... Mommy will you push me..... push me Mommy".
When I asked him why he wanted me to push him, it was not my very sensible and logical two year old son who said,
"cuuuuuuuuuz, Mommy......... I can't push myself".

It was not me who had to RELUCTANTLY admit to my brother, that I was wrong when I predicted his wife would give birth to their third daughter, because on Friday she actually gave birth to a boy. It was also not me who found out about the aforementioned birth when I discovered a one word text message from my brother on my phone............."PENIS". It is not me who thinks I should have my brother's DNA tested to ascertain that he is in fact my brother and was not somehow switched at birth. Who am I kidding - It was soooo not me who laughed hysterically when I discovered his poignant, one word text message on my phone.

It was not me who accidentally discovered, during a phone call, Saturday night with my sister who lives in New Jersey, that both my Mom and my brother failed to call her and let her know about the birth of her latest nephew.

It is not me who sometimes wishes I was somehow switched at birth and that I actually come from a family that HAS INDEED mastered the art of communication.

How did your week NOT go down???

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It Is Not through WHOM We Learn The Lesson....

Most people know the tragic events that recently unfolded leading to the untimely death of Actress Natasha Richardson.

She was skiing on Monday in Montreal with her two sons. She was on a beginners slope, without a helmet, taking lessons when she apparently fell and hit her head. Although she was feeling fine immediately after the fall, about an hour later she was complaining of a headache and was taken to a Montreal hospital where she quickly began to deteriorate.

Why am I blogging about this?

Wednesday night I was having a conversation with a friend (on Facebook, of course) about the unfortunate events and my friend realized I was not getting overly excited about this story.

While in general - I will admit, I am somewhat of a celebrity junkie. Mostly because I am curious about all people. In fact, I love to hear interesting and outlandish stories about complete strangers, celebrity or not. But, while this particular story is sad, I realize that it becomes so public due to the fact that she is a celebrity, while the truth is, these accidents and those like it happen more than we hear, to random people.

When I think "ski accident" specifically, I think of Sonny Bono (former singer, partner to Cher and then politician) and Michael Kennedy. These two come to mind right away due to the "Celebrity" aspect.

But here is the sad reality - unfortunate circumstances and tragedy claim the lives of way too many people, and I don't want to minimize the sadness revolved around ANY ONE'S untimely death, celebrity or NOT.

At the same time that Natasha Richardson was officially declared - deceased, I came across two other sad stories.

An 18 year old girl from Colorado was pumping gas into her mini-van when a car accident between two other cars sent an SUV barreling into the gas pump causing an explosion. The 18 year old girl was caught between the pump and the car and was screaming for help while she became engulfed in flames. She, as you can imagine, did not make it.

A young man was hiking through desert in Israel when he entered into a mine field. He lost his foot at this time and called for rescue. While he was being airlifted into a rescue helicopter, he somehow came loose and fell to his death.

So I realize, it is not the "CELEBRITY" aspect that makes the tragedy so sad. Each of these people were young, at the prime of their life. One was skiing with her children, one chose hiking as recreation and another was just going about her day exhibiting those mundane chores of life, and that was it. Life, in a moment or a few is over for them as they know it. They each leave behind grieving family and friends. They left, probably with plans in place for tomorrow, for a week from now, for a year from now....

Each person had an equally worthy life. Each person has no future ahead of them. Each scenario makes me think about the importance of focusing on the depth in my life. I am reminded of what is truly important and what is not. I am reminded to not take for granted, each and every moment I have and all the blessings I have. I need to make the most out of today, because I do not know what tomorrow will bring. And I learn these lessons, not because a "CELEBRITY" was taken from this world too soon, but because, a "LIFE" was taken from this world too soon - because too many lives are taken too soon.

It is not through whom we learn the lesson, but that we learn the lesson well.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

From Ima With Love!!!


Right about now, some of you are totally cursing me out, because if given the opportunity you would most likely choose to strangle your mother-in-law. I have heard the horror stories - sorry - can't relate.

I have to preface my aforementioned love for Ima (as I call her) with some history, so you will have an understanding of what it is that Ima has done that has me praising her so publicly.

Hun and I got married in September of 2000, almost nine years ago, in Chicago. However, after the wedding and a few festivities, we got in my Camry and drove off to live in New Jersey. My in-laws were also living on the East Coast at the time, only a half hour
away from us, in another State.

Like everyone, after taking the plunge and relocating, I spent my time settling in and making our apartment feel all homey while looking for a job - LIFE - I think is what it's called.

At some point - the videos from the wedding were edited and sent to us in New Jersey. It took three videos to capture our wedding, I have no idea why, but every moment of that glorious day was captured on three VHS tapes that.......... we never watch.

It took a little longer, but at some point, I received a message from my mom that the wedding proofs had
arrived as well.

The wedding proofs first sat in Chicago, and my mother did not go through them to pick out the pictures she wanted in
an album. At some point, for a holiday or some other reason, we took a trip to Chicago. I brought the proofs back to NJ to make my choices and wrote the negative numbers out on a paper. After I was done, my Mother-in-law took her time choosing pictures, which apparently she also had to do for a fourth album for Hun's Grandmother. However, at the time Hun's Grandmother had some medical issues requiring surgery and a hospital stay...

More time passed.

When my Mother-in-law and I had our pictures chosen, we sent in our requests to the company and expected them to get to work.


A) We were supposed to place the negative numbers on some special form (that they were obviously supposed to provide, but never did)

B) They did not want to start putting together the Albums, until all parties requests were in. (Meaning, my Mom needed to get moving).

Well, more time passed and we brought the proofs back to Chicago. They sat with my Mom for a while, because my Mom was now consumed with preparing to make another wedding for my brother. He got married in August 2002.

I had So in September 2002, and we still had no wedding album, and no wedding photos (besides those from friends who somehow managed to take the most unprofessional and unflattering photos ever).

It just seemed that life kept taking every one's time and energy. There were family issues, some great, some not so great.....and the proofs just sat and sat and sat.

In March of 2003, Hun and I moved to Chicago, shortly followed by my In-laws. It was completely a business move, decided by Hun and his father, but I was ecstatic. I love Chicago. I grew up here and I believe it is a wonderful place for my children to grow up.

My Mom then had to succumb to hip pain......followed by hip replacement surgery and rehabilitati

It is now 2004 - I give birth to Ro in February and suffer the baby blues (a lighter version of post-partum depression).

Like I said, LIFE - some good, some not so good, and still no wedding album.

Finally we decided that we should have not let the photography company dictate to us that all album choices have to be in at the same time. That was one of our biggest mistakes. We were different people living in different cities and we were preoccupied with many different life experiences that over time had our priorities moving further and further away from putting together a wedding album.

But we attempted to contact them and set up a
n appointment to finally put together the albums, sometime between 2004-2005. They kept canceling on us, and pushing our appointments off. We were no longer a priority for them because they had a million more recent weddings to contend with.

It was a mixture of life, logistics, our faux pas and their lack of professionalism, but in 2005 there wa
s still no album.

And then the news came.....the company that had my negatives, and still owed us albums already paid for in the package my in-laws chose for the wedding..........were no more.

They went belly up - BANKRUPT!!!

But where are my negatives???

Two of the photographers from the original company, who shot my wedding and have worked at many weddings in my community, went off and started their own company. They continue to work on many weddings that take place in my community.

I called their place of business to get any informatio
n I could on where my negatives might be.

The secretary told me that they did in fact buy ou
t all the negatives from the old company, but could not be certain that mine were still in existence.

"They may have been disposed of."


She said she would have to call the lab and have them check if my negatives were still being stored. She also said she would get back to me.

Lying B$&#!!!!

She never got back to me. Every time I called, I g
ot the run around. She was obnoxious - constantly telling me that they were probably destroyed, I would never see them, that they were too busy for me...

I kept telling her, that I would not accept that until she could officially tell me the lab looked and it was no where to be
found. She could never tell me this, because no one was on top of the lab, and frankly, no one was looking.

She would tell me, even if they found it, they don
't sell negatives (they just end up in the garbage anyway) and the new company would not honor the inclusion of albums in the pre-paid package. So even if they found the negatives, it would cost about $300.00 or more for just one album.

I literally spent months calling again and again
and again. I also spent a lot of time crying. I can't believe I let it get to this point. I blamed myself completely and I would never have a wedding album, unless I made one from the proofs - which would cost an arm and a leg. I was really depressed over the whole matter.

I also knew that if I had to keep calling them to be on top of the situation, I would get nasty. I would no longer be nice, and I would probably become so angry, that if they did find the negatives, they
would set up a bonfire, throw them in, dance around my incinerating negatives with bottles of Jimmy Beam in hand, and photograph the whole scene, and then send those pictures to me with a big "F YOU" written across them.

My Mother-in-law kept reassuring me, don't worry - I will get it done.

My Mother-in-law is a very soft-spoken person. I do not think she knows what a potty mouth is. She can be irritated, and yet, no vulgarity exits her lips. I have hardly seen her in a fit of anger. Yet, who is going to take her seriously???

That was three years ago - THREE FRIGGIN YEARS AGO!!!

I resigned myself to the fact that I will never have
a wedding album and I will never have the negatives. I stopped crying over the matter, and went on with my life.

But for three more years, my MIL was on top of it. Without my knowledge, she was calling and calling, and tracking the photographers down themselves at other weddings and events they were working on. She spoke directly to them and insisted they help find the negatives and hand them ov

Last night my MIL stopped by. She had just returned from LA where she attended an extravagant Bris (Circumcision and baby naming ceremony) for her brother's latest son. Hun's uncle alway
s throws big parties and this was no exception. My MIL told me she had something for me and came in with a box full of something.

In the box, were some party favors that came from the Bris. Cute baby boy paraphernalia filled with more junk food, that I need like I need a hole in the head, as well as some other cutsie party favors.

But then my MIL made me close my eyes and she handed me something else. When I opened my eyes, I realized I was holding something that many people never receive after they get married.


I have in my possession - every picture ta
ken at my wedding in it's original form. I can take the negatives anywhere and have any album created. I am also fortunate that I have an Uncle in NY who is a photographer and has a dark room and can make me that album.

But in addition to the negatives, I have two CD's. They were not putting photos on CD's in 2000 when I got married, bu
t now they are, and I was holding in my hand some very valuable memories. And this is all due to my MIL's hard work, dedication, determination, will, and love for me.

It has been almost nine years, and the last t
hree had my MIL never wavering, never giving up as I did.

And although I still do not have the album, I am one
a million steps closer.

Thank you Ima! Thank You! Thank you! Thank you!

I am totally crying right now (damn hormones). I think my Mom still has my proofs and I really do not think I saw these photos in almost nine years.

My parents on the left, my in-laws on the right.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Not Me! Monday - It's Just A Little Amnesia

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival full of amnesia was originally created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been forgetting this week.

It was not me, who forgot my Doctor's appointment for a second week in a row. I certainly do not see the irony in the fact that PREGNANCY is causing my brain to shrink and work inefficiently thus causing me to miss OBSTETRIC appointments.

It is not the same brain that had me forgetting to put a load of freshly laundered clothing into the dryer for a whole day, therefore forcing me to rewash it so it would not smell funky after drying, only to leave it in the washer again for 24 hours, requiring a third washing before it finally made it's way into the dryer. I do not love to use up unnecessary water and detergent on a regular basis these days.

While doing laundry in my basement, it was not my hunger and my laziness that had me rummaging through my basement pantry for anything to eat rather than going upstairs to have proper breakfast. I did not discover a Hunt's chocolate pudding calling out to me, and realize there was no spoon to be found in the basement. I certainly did not decide that I can still eat the pudding without going upstairs for a spoon if I used my finger instead. You would not have found me polishing off a pudding with my index finger in my basement - no it was not me.

I was one of the lucky few whose Circadian rhythm was definitely not screwed up all week from the time change and therefore I was absolutely not a cranky, barking Mama. I was sooooooooo wide awake and full of energy this week that it was not me who forced lovingly asked Hun to oversee the Children all weekend while I slept and read and slept and read and slept and slept and slept and cleaned and slept.

I do not have the most understanding, caring husband who would like to go on many business trips for the foreseeable future.

I have no idea how a light got left on in my van over the Sabbath, at which time it was not driven, and the lack of juice in the battery was not discovered until 3 kids were loaded in the car on Sunday ten minutes before swim lessons. It was not me who was last to drive the car. It was not Hun who had to transfer two booster seats, a full size car seat and 3 kids to the back of his sedan in less than five minutes.

It was not me who was now stuck in the house on Sunday without a working car giving me plenty more time to clean SLEEP.

It was not me, after changing Ate's diaper Sunday morning and getting him dressed, ignored his attempt at making me aware of some strange phenomenon taking place in his nether regions. I did not brush off his gesturing at his diaper as more talk about his lack of interest in pooping. Hun did not have to inform me later, upon his return back from swim lessons that some other mother had to point out that Ate was wandering around with a diaper dragging around his ankles. It was not me who disregarded any responsibility of mine in this unfortunate "diaper drop" and focused solely on the fact that Ate somehow, miraculously did not wet himself.

It is not me who blames my pregnant brain for the fact that after taking a two hour nap, I FORGET that I slept and then I take another two hour nap.

It is not me who keeps forgetting what I just blogged about and has to keep re-reading it.

C'mon, 'fess up - what did you all forget this week?

Friday, March 13, 2009

More Purim Fiesta!!!

If you are just joining my blog, today's post is a continuation from yesterday's post. So go take a gander at Thursday's post and learn all about Purim and its festivities.

The Jewish holidays tend to start at night. I guess we are nocturnal People. Monday night we read the "Book Of Esther" followed by a Purim celebratory meal in the Synagogue for.........oh............roughly 350 people. I think my kids were there, but they may have stepped out for a smoke and a swig and I would be none the wiser. Although, they are 6, 5 and 2 years old, so I gather they were just hanging out with the balloon making clown.

Apparently this is the only picture we actually took at this specific event. I was probably too busy stuffing my face to have any other pictures taken.

The Purim holiday (which starts at Sundown) is a 24 hour holiday. On Tuesday morning, we woke up bright and early even though some of us did not get to bed until 1 am the night before. Of course "WE" refers to inconsiderate adorable children and "US" refers to a tired, snappy very forgiving Mommy.

At some point, Hun took the kids out to deliver our gift packages and I cleaned up the aftermath of that morning's Hurricane.

But another main event in the Purim Arena would be the upcoming HUGE feast that we begin before Sundown Tuesday night.

Some people start this feast early and it falls more into the lunchtime category. My family likes this to be at dinner, and wants the maximum time to cook before we begin this meal. But because this holiday is only 24 hours and officially ends at Sundown, the meal must be started, usually with a blessing on bread, before Sundown. Well this year........some Government officials decided that daylight savings time would come the weekend before Purim. So now we have to start the meal an hour later than usual which is just perfect for kids who have had their sleep schedules completely thrown off since Saturday night and are high on SUGAR.

I am, however, grateful for the fact that my Mom was the one who made the meal and cooked the entire feast. We pretty much just showed up.

My mother had a total of 27 people over. Included in this count, was my Mom's recent Contractor. He and his wife and three kids, who are in fact Jewish, have never celebrated Purim before, so this was a welcome invitation for them.

I will just remind all of you, that until this past December, my parents were living in my home for 16 months while their home was under major construction. Robert Lew, the contractor, also built my deck - which I just love. But people want to know what my Parents were doing to their house that took 16 months - and now I will offer you a glimpse.

I know, I know...I posted this picture yesterday. This is my Mother's new entrance. It was pushed out forward and widened. She has a new front door with sidelight and overhead window, and I learned how friggin' much a brand new front door can cost. She also has a much bigger coat closet to the left.

This is my father's new "cave".
My Mom built a room over the garage that can function as an at home office for my "retired" father as well as a guest room, when she gets the sleeper sofa. It has a beautiful, high, vaulted ceiling.

Every man has a cave. It might be a garage, or a workshop, or a shed, or his bathroom. It's the place he goes to hide... from his nagging wife and suffocating children. My Dad used to have a desk down in the basement. The basement was only semi-finished and not very welcoming. There was also no bathroom in the basement. Every time I would go down there, I would forget what I came for and I would inconveniently all of a sudden have to pee.

My Dad "claimed" he was going through the mail, but half the time he could be found sleeping in the
chair at the desk with a TV on anything from, Pavarotti on PBS, to Baywatch. Many times he was watching some Spanish channel. My Dad can speak, like every Slavic language in existence, but not a lickin' worth of Spanish. Like I said, the basement was his cave. Now his cave is a much nicer place to fall asleep while watching Lazos De Amor do mail.

Although, the basement (not pictured) is pretty sweet now. It was dug out to be bigger and now has a bedroom and bathroom (no more running up to pee), as well as a second kitchen. It also has it's original main area which is now more beautiful and a lovely walk in cedar closet, a whole lot of other storage and a utility area....

But I move on...

I have to throw in this picture of my Brother and his family. They were Bert and Marry Poppins with the kids Jane and Michael. Of course Michael is actually a girl, and if you did not notice, Marry is extremely Pregnant. I think my brother is hoping the next one will not need to be dressed like the son he always wanted, but will actually be the son he always wanted. (But I think it's a girl - hmmmmmmm)

Apparently Jesus Christ came to visit as well. My brother-in-law claims he was "Samson" as in "Samson and Delilah", but I say he was the "Jesus Christ Superstar" version of JC. Either way, he is standing in front of the, carpet removed, freshly stained, improved upon steps. And notice all the lovely molding. There is beautiful molding all over the house now.

This would be the lovely Contractor and his beautiful family.

And THE KITCHEN!! You think my Mom has enough cabinets. Actually, this is only half of the kitchen. I could not get it all in one shot. The kitchen was pushed out and is 100% new everything. I did not feel so bad that my Mom cooked the entire feast, because she at least got to do it HERE.

Would you like to meet my Mom?


I love the juxtaposition of THIS lady standing in THIS kitchen.

Remember, it is Purim and we do dress up. My mom is her usual "Bag Lady". Remember this
Chanukah post - Return Of The Bag Lady? My Mom likes to give out gifts, via grab bag, to the kiddies and she does it in style. At least THIS time she had age appropriate gifts for each child that was labeled already with their name and was purchased more recently than the 1960's.

This would be the more classy, and usual, look of Mom.

And here are a few more Purim Pictures:

Ro and cousin Yo

My Don Juan on the right, hangin' with the ladies.

Some stragglers left at the table. My Mom has had many meals that had a table going from the dining room to the living room, however, she has recently widened the archway going between the rooms, so now, big fat pregnant ladies can get around the seats.

All the way in the back of this picture is a wall with more lovely molding and a painting in the middle. That wall used to be french doors that opened into a hallway leading to the master bedroom. The hallway behind this new wall has now become my father's new walk in closet. The original large dressing area my Mom used to share with Dad is now just for her. She also pushed out the master bath and the bathroom is G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S. No picture of course.

Besides structural changes, my Mom made a lot of spacial changes and aesthetic changes. This is not the house I grew up in, but I will be showing up from time to time. My mom is going to have about 17 people living in her house for Passover this year and another ten (at least) who keep showing up for meals. And we will enjoy it, oh, so much more.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Purim Fiesta!!!!

Well I am still recovering...

After losing an hour Saturday night, making a birthday Sunday night, going to hear the "Book Of Esther" read Monday night, followed by a late dinner party at my Synagogue, then staying up until 1 am closing up my Purim food baskets, only to wake up by excited children who needed to be dressed in costume yet again, sending them out to deliver the food baskets, cleaning the mess in my house, spending the rest of the evening eating more food at my parents house with 27 people and not getting the kids to bed until 10:30 pm Tuesday night - I thought Wednesday would be my "new" day of rest.

(That was the longest run-on sentence ever.)

Of course - Ate had other plans and somehow ended up in my bed last night, tossing and turning due to his "anal - retentive" habits and coughing from the lovely evolving cold and post-nasal drip, putting a halt to my much needed rest.

So I was thinking of taking ANOTHER day off from blogging (not like anyone misses me anyway) but these withdrawal symptoms are nasty.

Let me backtrack.........this post is about Purim.

Purim is actually a "universal" holiday. Did you know that? You don't have to be Jewish to celebrate Purim. Just ask Madonna and Demi Moore. They are waaaaaaaaaaay not Jewish and they know that Purim is a universal holiday. Either that, or they like costume parties and booze.

Purim is celebrated to remind us of one of the many times in history, that the Jewish Nation was to be annihilated, yet through "messengers" actions and the hidden hand of G-d, the lives of the Jews in Persia (now Iran) were spared and the evil Haman who got the King of Persia to make the decree in the first place, was killed along with his ten sons.

Queen Esther - who was in fact Jewish and through random events and circumstances was married to the King of Persia, along with her uncle Mordechai, convinced the King to overturn the decree - thus saving her fellow Jewish people.

If you never read the "Book Of Esther" it is actually a fascinating story. I always felt, that it has the making of a great Disney movie. All the characters are already set in place.
The aloof, easily swayed King Achashveirosh
The antagonistic, evil advisor to the King - Haman
The absolutely, stunning, beautiful savior (and protagonist) - Queen Esther
The friend, and supporter (and possibly true love) to the Queen - Mordechai.
And some other characters, such as Haman's wife and two bumbling fools out to poison the King, who can be used for comic relief, and help carry the story along.

The script is practically written already.
(Did you know I took a movie script writing course? You do now.)

On Purim, we dress in costume, that may or may not be related to the characters in the Purim story. We also deliver baskets of food to friends, family and neighbors. It is a completely celebratory holiday. We also have a big feast, usually with family and/or friends. These feasts usually include some amount of (safe) boozing. (Which I could not partake in this year due to fetus in utero.)

It is a day that is full of joy, joy, joy.................and exhaustion.
And waaaaaaaaaaay too much sugar that has children bouncing off the walls. But the smiles on the children's faces, says it all.

Because I mentioned my lack of recovery, still - I will post a couple of pictures today. However, the feast I had with my family, needs its own post, because it comes with some rather INTERESTING pictures. So I will hopefully have that up tomorrow.

Every year, my family gets dressed up with a theme in mind. My food baskets also usually have a theme. But in years past, the two themes are never related. This year, however, it all tied together.

I will aslo mention, that this year, the costumes and theme solely revolved around what I could possibly fit my big, pregnant belly into....

So here it is:


This Mexican Poncho fit me perfectly.

Here are my two beautiful Mexican dancers. I knew they would not agree to wearing the more masculine serapes and sombreros, so I found these dresses. I think these dresses are actually from some other Country, but still the colors of the Mexican it works. If they have long flowing dresses, make-up and a smashing hair-do, they are agreeable to anything.

Speaking of hair-doos...

Between Monday night and Tuesday night, I had to do their hair on three separate occasions. It was two pig-tails , each braided with a red ribbon and then pinned up across their head. It took for - friggin' ever and did not come without crying on Ro's part. I asked her if she wanted them many times, and she said yes again and again - but she cried through it, each time. The things "women" do for beauty - starts younger and younger these days.

And my story teller - So, she told friends that she got her hair professionally done. Seriously - she has a vivid imagination.

And this little dude in the middle - he is already the biggest flirt in general, but put on the costume and all of a sudden he is "Don Juan". He was totally hitting on all the ladies...

"Wanna come under my poncho....come.....wanna see...come under............wanna...."

And these are my Mexican themed Purim Fiesta - food baskets sombreros. We call them "Shaloch Maanos". I only made 16 of these, which I give to neighbors and family (so I Hun does not have to drive all over Chicagoland doing deliveries). I give all my friends baskets that get sent from a local Jewish High School. The school makes money and I save time and energy. I also saved time and energy this year, by only including purchased items in my basket. I usually bake and make home-made chocolates, but for reasons you can probably guess, I took the year off from the home-made goodies.

Each basket Sombrero, had a rolled up poem inside, pretty much describing the items within the sombrero (because I have little confidence that the recipients of the basket will figure it out on their own). I wrote the poem at 12:30 in the morning, and it is not that creative, but it does what's intended.

Just in case you can not make out the poem, here it is:

It's a Purim Fiesta
So put on your Sombrero
There is plenty to eat
Treats, tu quiero

The tamales are hot
The tortillas are not

Nuts full of chili and lime
A bottle of Corona, so sublime

A jar of salsa, so nice
An avocado to slice and dice.

Plenty of food
For a Mexican party
Enough for a feast
So wholesome and hearty.


So there it all is - the first half of my Purim anyway. I hope to post a little more tomorrow, including a most hysterical picture of my mother. So stay tuned.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Not Me! Monday - Not Taking The Easy Way Out.

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog full of my indiscretions was originally created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what indiscretions she and everyone else have not been practicing this week.

It is not me who is writing this post at 8:53 am on Monday when I usually have it written by Sunday afternoon.

I did not procrastinate for a month when it came to making Ro an "at home" birthday party" because the thought of having 17 four and five year old kids over needing some form of elaborate entertaining, gave me heart palpitations. It was also not the thought of it alone that already zapped the valuable energy out of me.

I did not take full advantage of the fact that Ro is my "easier to please" daughter and ask her if she minded having just a family birthday party this year. She, of course, did not, as expected take this suggestion request very well, responding,

"But will I have a cake and will I get presents?"

I did not put together such a low maintenance birthday party, that only included six children altogether and ten adults, and yet for some reason I was so NOT wiped out even before it begun.

I did not have to run around Sunday morning to five different places in a torrential down pour and figure, that at least I am saving money on a car wash.

I have not been constantly looking for the "easy way out" of things lately.

It was not me who did not even turn my clock back an hour this past fall, so that this weekend, I did not then have to move it an hour forward. I mean, how lazy can I one person be?

Even though So's school was having a carnival on Sunday, that partly took place during So's usual swim lessons and then continued a few hours after when she also had a friends birthday party, I certainly would not have given So an ultimatum - birthday or carnival - pick one.

When she originally picked carnival, I did not cringe because that would require more from me than just a drop off and I did not want to be subjected to a multitude of children screaming in a school gym.

It was not me, who squealed with delight when I heard that the majority of So's friends were picking birthday over carnival. I would not then, use that to my advantage and remind So that she would not see her friends at the carnival because they were all going to the party.

She did not sooooooooooooo change her mind in an instant.

I do not try to take the EASY WAY OUT. No, not me!

What kind of "easy way out" were you all not taking this week.

Friday, March 6, 2009

So The Doodle Pro

My sweet six year old, So is my Michelangelo, my Degas, my Picasso. She is not nearly as good as any of the aforementioned artists, but her spirit is definitely haunted by at least one of them.

So is responsible for systematically killing most of the trees that have been logged for paper. She does not stop coloring, painting and sketching. Although she is no child prodigy, when it comes to her artistic talent, she is damn good for a six year old. I mean, I seriously could not manage a picture of an orange at her age, much less a fairy sitting on top of a daisy with the finest features I have ever seen.

Of course, right about now, some people reading this are thinking,
...every mother would say that about her own child,
...just biases,
...just a mother who thinks her kid is superb, great, above all else.

The thing is, I am not that sort of mother. I came from a very critical mother and I am sure that some of that constructive criticism is ingrained in me. Although I dish out "I love you's" like they are headed for extinction, I have to make a conscious effort to give my kids the praise they deserve. I do though, every time I see their efforts in anything, but it just doesn't seem as authentic for me as it may be for others. I have no idea why this is. I have just as much a hard time accepting compliments, as I do shelling them out. I am sure a licensed professional can help me figure out why I have an aversion to praise and compliments.

Anyway, So's latest artistic adventure, included entering a contest called "Doodle 4 Google" through her school. She has to take the "Google" template and apply to it, artistically, a wish she has for the world. She spoke about this contest for weeks. And mostly spoke about her understanding of the prizes for winners,

"I can win a laptop, or a t- shirt, or a laptop, maybe some money (scholarship for college), or a laptop. If I win, I hope it is the laptop..."

She continued to talk about the laptop for days. Did I also mention, she has no understanding of the fact that out of everyone in her own school who enters, only six are sent to the actual National Contest. Then it is compared to, who knows, thousands , tens of thousands of other artistic renditions.

But, although I want her to understand reality, to spare her from disappointment, I also want to encourage her passion and praise her for her work. How do I find the balance?

I can't possibly say,
"Oh, So, that is exceptional. It will surely win something. It is probably the best one out there..."

I also don't want to relay over and over again,
"You know So, there are a lot, I mean, A LOT of people who enter, and so many are good, but only one will win a laptop, and it may not be you."

I tell her I think she did a great job on her artistic entry, and I encourage her to enter it. I tell her, whatever happens - you did a great job...

But remember - this is my extremely precocious child. She is not content, with JUST "Good Job". And if (a very likely if) she finds out, she did not win for her masterpiece, she will be terribly sad, and I will have to console her.

I curse the day "Doodle 4 Google" came into my life.

Of all the things I need to worry about, I certainly do not need to use up valuable energy worrying about a silly contest -

a silly contest, that just happens to mean the WORLD (and a laptop) to So.

How do we, as loving, praising, proud, but realistic parents find the balance?


Thursday, March 5, 2009

From Ate To Ro & Green Means Stop And Red Means Go?

I kind of feel withdrawal symptoms when a whole day goes by and I have not posted. I can not even begin to describe two nights ago and yesterday. I have upped Ate's Miralax to help "move" things along quicker in the six foot long digestive tract, but he is a stubborn little thing. He fights it and fights it, and decided to do so for two hours in my bed and another hour downstairs, and still - NADA.

So after less than four hours of sleep , two nights ago, and another day of stuffing him with melon and Miralax and dried fruit and Miralax and Miralax and more Miralax, and somehow managing to conquer three loads of laundry and some other tedious responsibilities of mine, he finally lost his fight with the sh#* and I left the clean up job to my lovely Hun. But this whole process is extremely draining, physically and emotionally.

And at ten o'clock at night, when he finally emptied himself, we now had to fill him up again with his requested, string cheese, cereal and milk and a doughnut. I of course made sure to throw some grapes and a nectarine in there. Because, as the vicious cycle begins again, I certainly do not need to encourage constipation by feeding him crap. He went to bed shortly after he was satiated, AS DID I. And thank the Good Lord, he slept contently through the night, AS DID I.

But I needed the sleep to prepare me for the fun that lay ahead for me this morning. It's D - day for Ro. That is, it's Doctor - day for Ro. She is up for her five year physical (which I have put off for a month) and Ro, being my most sensitive one - I suspect would not be happy with what awaited her.

I typically set up appointments at a time that guarantees me, I will only have that particular child with me. But, I set up an appointment for Ro at 8:45 am, in an office not far from school, where I needed to take both Ro and Ate (usually at 9:00 am). So this meant, I had to have both of the little critters ready for school even earlier today and take BOTH of them to the Doctor so that we could continue to school from there. I knew Ro would need my undivided attention, but Ate had to keep us company nonetheless.

Ro was agreeable with the start of the appointment, even though she knew there would be shots coming, because her very wise and older sister decided to make a point of telling her this fact early this morning. (Thank you So.)

Ro is not the type to answer the Doctor's "stupid" questions about whether or not she knows her ABC's, or what a penny is or what her phone number is........because Ro is thinking,
[Uhhhh - if you have to ask a five year old what a penny is, you must not be too bright.]

And she will not demonstrate "two jumps in a row" for you, because according to Ro,
[I am not a Court Jester here for your entertainment...]

So or Ate, on the other hand - would come in with their motor mouths running and would not only be jumping, but would demonstrate cart wheels and the "Sleeping Vishnu" yoga pose, whether the Doctor wanted to see it or not. In fact, Ate (remember, he is keeping us company) would not shut up about "stefacopes" and "blood pisher cups".
(I knew he was referring to stethoscopes, although I can not be certain he was also referring to blood pressure cuffs as opposed to some other cup like device used for bodily fluids.)

In addition to Ro's small lack of compliance, she by nature is an extremely private person. When Doctor G. (who is lovely, but also happens to be male) took a little glance down south to make sure all looked okay, she was no longer happy with the way the check-up was going. Even though I was right there the whole time, I knew why Ro, who was giggling when he tickled her tummy a second ago, was now pouting and making weird cat like shrieks. I turned to Doctor G. and told him, how Ro is by nature a very private person. In fact, my six and a half year old will run around the house naked, no matter who is around. So still has to be reminded that it is appropriate to close the door when she is on the toilet. So has little inhibition and not much interest in modesty and discreetness.

Ro, on the other hand, for a couple of years now, will intentionally go somewhere private to change her clothing. She always closes the door when she is in the bathroom, and if I hear her crying while on the toilet, it usually means that Ate has decided it was a good time to visit Ro. She has a need for space and does not like when people intrude on her privacy.

Doctor G. was taken aback slightly, because most kids this age do not YET demonstrate this sort of sensitivity.
But, I know my Ro, and I know her INNATE sensitivities, so I will be more respectful to her and her needs in the future.

Doctor G. was done, and shortly left the room, and then I asked Ro,

"Ro, what was it that upset you, why did you begin to cry?"

to which she responded,

"I don't like.....he's a boy."

So I asked her if she would be more comfortable, for her next physical if she would have a lady Doctor? She smiled and nodded. Even five year olds deserve to have their nuances and sensitivities respected.

WHEN YOU CAN, that is......

Because I am sure she would like me to respect her lack of lovin' for all things SHARP that have the potential to tear through her skin and offer up some stinging solution of some sort. But no, as much as I would like to respect THAT sensitivity, instead I hold her down and make her accept it.

Needless to say, she did not care for the vaccinations, and I still was not done.

I had to take her to the lab across the way for a lead test/blood draw. Normally I would just assume this test to be unnecessary. Really, where is my kid exposed to lead these days. Then I remember all the China made crap that fills my house and I have to wonder...

Ro was physically fighting to get out of my lap, that the lab tech had to say,
"wrap your legs around her legs".

To which I replied,

Wrap my legs around her legs? I don't know if you noticed, but I am quite pregnant and my ligaments have softened to the point of causing my pelvic bones to pull apart in two different directions. I have not been able to sit with my legs together in over a month now (which has the potential of offering way too much information to complete strangers sometimes, depending on my skirt length and whether or not I am aware that I may not be sitting like a lady). I certainly can not turn my pelvis controlled legs into a pretzel, so just grab her arm and get this over with.

When the tourniquet was in place, poor Ro asked if the needle can go into the "rubber band" instead of her arm. I am just thankful for great phlebotomists, who get the stick on the first try. Ro hardly noticed once the "butterfly" was in, and I was so happy to be done with this ordeal. And I handed her the dum-dum lollipop which I brilliantly planned to have with me to reward her obvious lack of braveness.

I was also grateful for the very lovely woman who was really in line before us for some sort of blood work, but offered for me to go first. That was mighty kind, and as usual, makes me want to "pay it forward".

I was however, mystified by the woman who asked me if my two year old Ate and my five year old Ro were twins. I should have known then that she was not a very vigilant person. But I realized that shortly when we were both leaving the parking lot at the same time. We were each in two separate left turning lanes, waiting for the light to change from red to green. Well I was waiting, she, not so much. She apparently decided to turn left on a red when she saw no more cars approaching.

When the light turned green and I made a left turn, I ended up behind her as we approached the end of this busy street, in a right turning lane. And this time the DYSLEXIC driver decided to SLOW down as she was approaching the EXTREMELY green - right turn arrow, at which point I became a honker. And after we turned right, she felt like driving in between two lanes, causing me to become more perplexed over her, and some other car to the left of me became a honker.

I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt as not to be the judgmental kind (is this considered paying it forward?) I decided that she has red/green color blindness, which confused her knowledge of when to go and when to stop, although I think this is impossible, because I am pretty sure that only males can suffer from red/green color blindness (or at least it is a zillion times more common for males) and anyone who does is probably NOT approved for a license. So I include in my "benefit of the doubt" that she is really a man and is driving without a license. All this benefit of the doubt, definitely means I have "payed it forward".

In conclusion of my morning -
Ro is at school with brand spankin' new stickers to show off and I am exhausted once again. I think it was the incredible amount of physical exertion required to get my uncooperative pelvis to allow my legs to go all pretzel like around Ro, that has me tired as hell. But at least I got out a post.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

To Judge Or Not To Judge???

Are you a wayward soul in need of direction???

I once had this question posed to me...

when this guy got off his soap box and followed me for two blocks down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Other notable questions from his mouth -

"Are you ready for your soul to be eternally damned?"

"Have you prepared to repent - for the Apocalypse is upon us?"

While I am very respectful of all religions - this guy was clearly crazy.

Personally, I am a religious person as well as a spiritual person (two different things by the way).

My religion is not a choice, how spiritual I choose to be - is a choice.

And whether or not I am a morally obliging, decent human being who is contributing productively to society, is between G-d and myself AND ONLY G-d and myself.

This is why I am not (in general) a judgmental person. I do not care for the self-righteous mumbo jumbo that so often comes from someone who believes he or she is on a mission and has an obligation to save a soul. My feelings about, intrusive, uninvited opinions of my personal level of religious practice is not specific to those just from religions other than mine, but also include those opinions of people who share the same religion as me.

Am I a perfect person?

Absolutely not - is anyone?

I think we spend our lives working on ourselves. I mean, just my potty mouth is reason alone, that I am not perfect. But we all have vices. The point is, if we are people who are self-aware, we recognize our vices and try to curb them while also recognizing our virtues, and expanding on those.

If we are people who are not aware, I am pretty sure that G-d will somehow make us aware (hopefully, delicately). But I certainly don't need a guy who calls himself "Messiah Moses" to help make me aware.

And ONLY G-d should be judging me, partly, because only G-d has the entire picture before Him.

Sometimes we see something awry in someone, and judge them on that small indiscretion. But what we don't know, is this person had 10 other things about them that we could find fault with, only they just worked on those 10 things and have become a much better person, left with only this last remaining indiscretion.

I liken this to weight loss...

How so, you ask?

Let's say you are walking to your local public pool with your very judgmental, health obsessed friend. Just as you arrive, you notice a hard to miss woman who looks like she must weigh at least 300 pounds.

Your judgmental, health obsessed friend turns to you, snickers, and says,

"Oh m' gawsh, look at the size of that thing. She should serry us lee, contact, like, Jenny Craig, or like, those Weight Watcher People. She so, like, let her self gooo."

(I wrote this in immature "valley girl" language, because I do not want to accept that someone with more appropriate language skills would be this obnoxious...)

Anyway, what you and your friend don't know, because you are not privy to the COMPLETE PICTURE, is that this lovely lady (who is probably at the pool focusing on her current exercise program of choice) used to look like this...

But, she worked her a*# off (literally and figuratively). She spent an enormous amount of time working on herself, and continues to do so, so that she might be healthier and in a better place in her life.

The only difference between this woman who has conquered a battle with weight and the first person who has dropped about ten vices, is that one revolves around physical work and one revolves around spiritual and religious work.

And yet, they are both still judged by others, for the one vice and the remaining weight that they still hold onto.

My point - obviously, is that people need to stop and think before they use their own personal measure of right and wrong to judge others.

I mean, there is no need to hold someone else in such contempt over how he/she lives his/her life to the point of creating righteous indignation.

I don't even know how people have the time to work on themselves, if they are so busy judging others.

REALLY - Who is the wayward soul in need of direction?
The self righteous Judge or the one who is being Judged by their peer?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Not Me! Monday - When Exhaustion Sets In

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog of exhaustion induced craziness was originally created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not exhaustively been doing this week.

I did not start off my week by throwing a "fabulous" Oscar party. By party, I am not referring to four women stuffing their faces with some yumm takeout, while watching Hugh Jackman sing new show tunes projected on my wall in 25 square feet of space. There is no way that this years "exciting" Oscar extravaganza put one of us to sleep, gave another of us a headache, gave my two year old son the opportunity to flirt with a thirty something year old woman, and has left me struggling to get "Slum Dog Millionaire's" Jai Ho song out of my head.

It was certainly not me who was walking around the local supermarket, three separate times this week, for two hours at a time and ended up with only six items in my cart at the end of those two hours. I am certainly not such a "walking zombie" lately that I almost ran my own father over with my shopping cart on Friday while he happened to be at the same supermarket as me. If I did, I definitely did not then say,
"Oh, excuse me SIR"
and then begin to walk off.
I could not possibly be that spaced out.

I do not totally blame my pregnancy induced anemia for my exhaustion as opposed to the fact that on average, I have not been getting more than five hours of sleep a night. It is not me who can not take responsibility for my own decision to go to sleep late, because I think that watching "Big Love" repeated at 1 in the morning is more important than sleep, even though this show repeats itself all week long at earlier hours.

It was not me who was just getting over the Jai Ho song when I stupidly decided to finally go see the Movie "Slum Dog Millionaire". And now it is not me who not only STILL has the Jai Ho song stagnant in my brain, but is also experiencing bizarre dreams about random wedding parties posting their stupid version of the Jai Ho Bollywood dance to "You Tube". These bizarre dreams are then, in no way contributing to my lack of proper sleep.

It could not be me, who after months of popping CRAP loads of iron (no pun intended), finds out I am still anemic because of the child growing inside me who has taken my blood volume hostage and will not share the iron with me. I would not reasonably consider that my aversion to all things protein and iron rich, such as, meat, chicken, fish and eggs could also be playing a role in my iron deficiency. This did not justify my decision to go get myself a burger so I may eat a large amount of grease with a small amount of iron rich, meat attached to it. I am in no way currently suffering for this bright decision I have made.

And to make myself feel better, it is not only me who has had a NOT ME! WEEK.

It was not So, who was so excited to go to her friends' swimming party, only to discover along with, about 20 other girls five minutes before pool time, that there would be no swimming because a child, just moments earlier, had decided to make the pool her/his hazardous waste dumping site. It was not the birthday girl's mom who asked the lifeguards,
"Can't you just remove IT from the pool"?

To which the lifeguard did not say,
"Ummm, IT's sort of.....all over the pool".

It was not me who had to figure what else to do with 20 girls for an hour.
(No really, it was NOT me)
(Sorry A. and C.)

What have you all not been Jai Ho'ing bout this week???