Saturday, April 11, 2009

There Is Calm Now....

Aaaaaaaaaaaaah, it feels good to be back!!! (For a little while anyway).

I am exhausted from Passover preparations and schedules completely thrown off the past few days, yet I am calm, because there is nothing left to prepare for.

Passover is not over by any means. It is an eight day long Holiday that for some reason requires about eight weeks of preparation.

Passover commemorates when the Jews were enslaved in Egypt and Moses beseeches the Pharaoh to release the Jews from captivity. The Pharaoh was unwilling and G-d struck Egypt with ten plagues, finally culminating in the Pharaoh's willing release of the Jewish People. In their haste to leave Egypt, the Jewish People did not have time to pack up and they also did not have time to let the dough rise for their bread, so they left with "unleavened" bread for sustenance and began their journey out of Egypt. Of course, the Pharaoh had second thoughts after he released them and he sent his Egyptians to chase after the Jewish People and return them to his ruling. The Egyptians came upon the Jewish People as they were standing at the Red Sea, and it seemed the Jews were trapped. However, G-d performed a miracle and split the Sea so the Jews could cross. When the Egyptians ran after them, the parted Sea began to fill the sea bed and the Egyptians were immediately drowned.

Because the Jewish Nation left in haste and did not have time to wait for their dough to rise, a big component of the Passover (Pesach) Holiday is to remove all leavened bread from our home. Leavened bread includes, but is not limited to, many processed foods made with any flour and water combination. We refer to all of this as "Chametz". We spend weeks making sure that there can not possibly be any Chametz in any area of our home. We go through drawers, pockets, cabinets, toy bins, couch cushions (you have no idea what sickness I found deep in the crevices of my couch - I mean ewwwwwwwwww) and many other locations that one would never assume has accumulated these food items, and yet - it has.

Ultimately - this turns into a very focused "spring cleaning", however, decluttering and organization is not supposed to be the purpose or the goal. But I always feel, how can you spot the "Chametz", if you do not remove the clutter.

Many people are in fact, able to accomplish the removal of the forbidden "chametz" in much less time than the eight weeks I previously mentioned. I actually started after the Purim Holiday (remember our Mexican theme), which gave me about five weeks.

But here is the time consuming, energy sucking, monstrous Mommy creating thing:

1. I am extremely pregnant and slow moving. I have lost my nimble, flexible self, and can not easily access all the areas I typically have no problem accessing in a non-pregnant state of being. I burn out quickly and during my cleaning madness, found myself resting every hour for about 20 minutes at a time before I could resume. I also have nesting instincts which make me focus more on the organization and decluttering in addition to the "Chametz" seeking, and this just prolongs the ultimate goal of being "Chametz" free.

2. Because, until December, my parents had been living by me for 16 months while they were remodelling their home, they basically moved their HOUSE into my house. I had to rearrange my possessions to make room for theirs, and was left with a crap load of things that were out of place and cluttering other areas they would not normally be. I had extra work on my hands this year, returning my items to their proper location.

And in general, there are other preparations for the Holiday that takes time and energy and sucks more life out of me and many other women. We get hair cuts for everyone. We may feel the need to purchase new, seasonal Holiday shoes for growing children. We may need new seasonal Holiday clothing for growing children. I pretty much skipped the new shoes and clothing purchases. Instead I kept checking the weather forecast for the Holiday, and realized that 40 degrees would not require an immediate purchase of new Spring attire. I guess that would be one advantage of the suckle weather we have been experiencing thus far.

There were many other things I let go of this year, they were just not pertinent as preparation for Passover, and I have to focus on the task at hand.

I did purchase some appropriate Passover food and change my kitchen over to Passover mode, which includes a major overhaul cleaning of ovens, stoves and microwaves. A whole set of different appliances, pots and dishes to be utilized for only eight days needed to be brought up to the kitchen. My counters were covered with heavy duty liner. My stove top was covered with heavy duty aluminum foil and my Passover set of stove grates were put in place.

Oh, but I don't want to go without mentioning that I changed over my entire kitchen even though we are eating out, pretty much every meal this Holiday. And I still felt compelled to make homemade apple sauce, strawberry ice cream, a potato kugel (quiche), and two cakes, because it is in the Holiday spirit. I would have made more, but ran out of time.

And originally, the plan was to just close off my entire house for eight days and bring my Husband, children and my big, fat pregnant self to live in my Parents' freshly remodeled, full of empty bedrooms, home for Passover. But that plan changed quickly when my sister decided to bring her husband, ten children and a daughter-in-law and her lovely self all the way from Israel to live in my Parents' freshly remodeled home. In addition to two other siblings from out of town, seven bedrooms have quickly filled up.

So yes, I also let go of my blog. I had to. I did have down time, because I do not think I need to "ENSLAVE" myself to get into the spirit of the Passover Holiday. But every time I sat at my computer to do the bloggity blog thing, my mind went blank. No I lie. My mind was not blank, it was consumed by what "Chametz" might be in the video console, or under the refrigerator, or behind the bookcase in my husband's study where he left a bag of dum-dum lollipops that seemed to be hanging open over the edge, probably dumping some non-passover permitted lollipops where I could not possibly get to them...

But now, I am just enjoying what is left of the Holiday. I get to focus solely on family - Hun and the children. I can give them my undivided attention now because I do not have to run off and clean something. I do not turn into a flaming, green ogre - yelling at them for bringing chips and pretzels where I have spent precious and valuable time removing aforementioned items. My stress level did not put me into premature labor, and my stress level is now in check.

I am exhausted, yet I am calm.

6 have shown Orah a little love: said...

It is good to hear from you and to hear of the traditions that you are enjoying.

Is it supposed to be a mystery... you know, when your baby is due?

Happy Holidays right back at you ")


Domestically Disabled Girl said...

I love that you always share what the holidays mean, that is so cool.
Have a relaxing, non green ogre weekend!

Carey-Life in the Carpool Lane said...

Wow! You have been busy... Good for you letting the blog go with everything else you've had going on. But glad to have you back!
Happy Holidays!

elisha said...

think you captured the essence of the holiday! Have a great Chag!

Anonymous said...

There is definitely a sense of calm and relief once Pesach is here....and now that is nearly half over I can almost smell that deep dish....hmmmmmmmmm deeeeeep diiiiiiiiiish!

Heidi @ Tayterjaq's Rebels said...

I hope your holiday went well. We'll all be looking forward to hearing from you again when things settle down.