Thursday, September 29, 2011

The funniest Rosh Hashanah story you'll read today

So every year on Rosh Hashanah I reflect. I reflect back on the year and how far we've come. How our lives have changed. Some things are good. Some are bad. I cast off my bad memories and cherish the good ones. But every year I reflect on the funniest Rosh Hashanah moment I have ever experienced.
Our lives were confusing at the time. Rosh Hashanah had come early that year. So our daughter was just 2 years old. We had been living in San Diego for less than a year, my husband was laid off, things weren't easy. But instead of skipping on the idea of taking Evelyn to Rosh Hashanah services I stepped up and got us all dressed and ready to go. It wasn't easy knowing that I would know nobody at the Chabad of La Costa, but I figured if there was one place that would accept a mother and child it would be the place.
We got there and were greeted to the women's side of the Shul by several older ladies. I parked the stroller outside and walked in with Evelyn. We were given a seat in the middle of the aisle into the tiny Shul. But we were grateful for the ladies welcoming us, and greeting Evelyn and myself.
We did pretty well.... Until the Rabbi opened the arc to reveal the Torah dressed in the finest coverings. Covered in silver and beautiful white cloth. This is when my daughter started singing "YO HO YO HO A PIRATES LIFE FOR ME!" at the top of her lungs pointing to the Torah. I tried to quickly shush her... as the ladies stared at me aghast and confused.  I smiled and tried to whisper to Evelyn that we weren't at Disneyland.... but this just wasn't the best explanation for her.  She kept humming the tune while the rabbi lifted and carried the Torah around.

We packed up and left Shul not long after this.... I never returned to the Chabad of La Costa for fear that I had insulted the patrons.

So L'Shanah Tova friends.... When you see Rosh Hashanah on the calendar may you reflect on the happy memories of your year.... and remember this story to make you smile.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

shhh! Don't tell anyone.

dirty little secret time......

So I'm pretty well known for being a great home maker. I bake, I sew, I try to DIY as much as possible. I make my kids birthday cakes. I sew their Halloween costumes. I bake challah every Friday night.

People always talk about how lucky my kids are. How they are spoiled even. But guess what?
I don't do any of it for my kids!

I do it for me. I do it because I like to eat good food. I don't make special dinners for them. I do it for me. I don't sew because my kids begged me or asked me too. I do it because I enjoy finding the time to create. I don't make homemade yogurt because it's better for my kids. I do it because it tastes better. I prep dinner at 9AM so I can nap with the baby at 4PM.

But what pisses me off?
Is when people assume I'm doing it because I'm trying to be the best Mom in the world. Believe me, I'm far from it!

(Let's not even talk about how my kids LOVE when I give them hot dogs for Shabbat dinner with a challah!)

Monday, August 29, 2011

certainly uncertain

I am certain that I want my children to go back to school. What I am certainly UNcertain of is how I am going to survive when they go back to school. The drop offs. The pick ups. The homework. The lunches. The endless need to rush one place or another.
I wonder how I did it last year? The baby was a bit more portable I guess. But having 3 kids has left me with the idea that I am completely incapable of functioning. With the baby being bigger (Heavier) and more on a schedule, all the stuff that the other two do is seriously going to complicate life.

I am thinking I am going to need more than vodka!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Down one kid

So one would think in my "spare" time I would be writing up a storm. The problem isn't the spare time, it's the writing. I am finding myself staring at the computer with seriously nothing flowing to my fingertips. It used to be (pre-children) that I'd sit. Write. Be done. But now I find my brain takes a vacation once the children are in bed. I plop down on the sofa and half awake stare at Facebook or watch trashy vampire shows. And then I quickly pass out. 
But tonight for some odd reason I am only half zombie. I am pretty sure I had far less sleep than I normally do. I am fairly certain I spent the same amount of time cooking, cleaning, driving than I normally do. But tonight I am down one kid. 
Our oldest, the only girl, is at her very first sleep away camp. I was certain that there would be more time from when she was born until today. I was certain I'd WANT her to leave after 9 years of raising her. I thought I'd be excited for her to spend a week and a half away. 
But today I realized one thing... I was not ready for my little girl to leave me. She is at a Jewish camp a little less than one hour away. But the strangest feeling came over me when getting in the car driving out of the camp. And that was that I didn't say good bye to her. But I did. I know I did. In fact I hugged her so tight I thought I would hurt her. I kissed her face. All over her face. Her ears. The top of her head. I grabbed her face and told her how PROUD I was of her. I did all of these things to show her I was very much going to miss her. But all I could think as I drove out of the gate was "I didn't say good bye."
I know deep down that my daughter is going to be fine. It will be an adjustment. But that doesn't mean she won't have a fabulous time. She has been talking about going to this camp for over a year. I can imagine once things are settled in for tonight and she has her bed all made and her Kitty all snug up against her that she is probably going to be homesick. Of course I will never hear about this. I know because when she comes home she is going to tell me about all of the wonderful things about camp. She will "forget" about the sad night. Or if she gets hurt. She won't tell me about these moment. She will only tell me about the amazing days at Camp. 
Being down one child is also hard on the middle child. The youngest is way too young to even notice that his big sister isn't here. But my middle one took it rough when we said our goodbyes. I think out of all of us, he was the most upset. (He didn't see my tears behind my big dark sunglasses!!) So we had to do a lot of reassuring, and we pretended that she was in the room next to his, and he yelled good night to her from his bed. I hope she heard. 
I had this plan in my head that when my daughter was at Camp and my middle one was at his day camp I would purge their rooms from all of the junk they have accumulated.... Now I think I am going to just lay on my daughters bed and imagine she is there reading me stories. 

To make myself (and my husband) feel better on our way home from the drop off we stopped to drown our worries into booze. Booze baked into cupcakes of course! We'd always wanted to stop by Sift to try their Cupcake Wars desserts. So this cocktail girl chose a Pink Champagne cupcake. And my husband chose the Car Bomb which is an Lagunitas Imperial Stout with Irish Cream frosting. Yeah, I'd call that happy hour!

Monday, May 2, 2011

faux pas

So I was on the receiving end of that Working Mom versus Stay at Home Mom faux pas. It happened so quickly that I had to stop and think about it, let the moment pass, and then get pissed. It was innocent. Unintentional. And a flat out insult.
The day was starting off normal. Saturday afternoon hair appointment. I decided to take my daughter and the baby with me. Evelyn agreed that she'd be my babysitter, and Marcus agreed to be the baby that sat in the stroller having people constantly cooing at him.
Very quickly after sitting in the chair of the substitute hairstylist that I was seeing that day, she burst at the seams and exclaimed she was 11 weeks pregnant. I was very happy for her. She had a huge wedding in August and I being a new bride at getting pregnant with our daughter almost 10 years ago, I think she felt a connection to me.
We spent most of the time while she applied my hair color, and cut my hair talking about pregnancy and kids. She is an ex-special needs teacher so I highly respect her for that. We discussed her future of standing on her feet, touching chemicals, and the simple fact that she is a curvy mama. While she told me about her discussion with the owner of the salon she explained that she had heard after having a baby it takes 6-8 weeks to heal after giving birth. I explained that it depended on what type of birth obviously, and how you heal. I explained that three weeks after having Marcus I was out at the market with all 3 of the kids purchasing ice cream for my husbands birthday celebration.
Her response: "But you don't work a full time job so it's different."
Oh dear girl.
You didn't?
Did you?

I was a bit shocked. Mainly because I hadn't ever experienced such naivety. But also because as a stay at home Mom of 3 kids I forget that there people that do not view my life as working. I assume they also think I get to sit and watch crap like The View as I sip coffee in my fuzzy slippers. Reality is I haven't had a hot cup of coffee while watching TV in my fuzzy slippers in years. And yes I fully admit I have fuzzy slippers.

My first thought was to say "No, my job is 24/7." But I hesitated and instead let it slide. Reality is, I've never been an at-work Mom either. But I have been a Mom. Where she has not. And naturally we all have to grow into motherhood. Learning along the way is the only way to really get it. And by "getting it" I mean the person that has someone depending on them 24/7. Sure I am lucky enough to have a very supportive and involved husband. But reality is, my kids depend on me 24/7. Full time to its fullest. And trying to explain that to a Mom to be can only go so far.
It was pretty insulting to hear a 30 year old scoff at my gumption just three weeks after giving birth to my third child. But at the same time, its probably not going to be the last time either.

I guess after being confronted with the end all be all Stay at Home Mom VS. Working Mom comparison I find that it is best to let a person keep their ideas, because there is little I can do to show both sides of the coin.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Breakfast for champions?

There seems to be a lot of buzz these days in the mommy-blog world and in my personal world about mornings, and the rush/chaos that goes a long with a giant cup o'Peet's Coffee. I've been trying to figure out if it's the Spring Break anticipation. Or us all adapting to the time change. But one thing I do know is that with three kids my mornings generally suck.
It often starts with my husband turning off the alarm and going back to sleep. Me waking in a startle usually saying a few cuss words at my husband and jump out of bed. The kids are usually already awake either annoying one another or playing under the blankets in my daughters room. Neither one of them could ever take the initiative to get themselves dressed or God forbid get their own breakfasts!
I generally start with getting breakfasts done and at the table. This also causes a few cuss words and a 'Hurry up!' from me... But most often it just ends in me being annoyed and a half eaten breakfast. I try my hardest to get my kids to eat healthy in the morning. They aren't too fond of eggs, and honestly I've had it easy for the last three and a half years with my son because every day since age one he has requested oatmeal. (Except for weekends when he suckers me into making pancakes.) But the current status of breakfast with my two kids that aren't breastfeeding is: BREAKFAST IS BAD!
I haven't even figured out why this is either. I make fruit smoothies "they're too cold." they whine. I buy frozen waffles "these don't taste as good as the other kind." My son refuses to have a bowl of cold cereal with milk. It's like asking him to eat squid for breakfast. My daughter won't touch oatmeal with a ten foot pole, but likes the cold cereal... of course it can't be a bowl of Cheerios or something, it has to be half Cheerios and half Gorilla Munch or Three Sisters Cinnamon Sweets.
This is usually when my third child wakes up crying... and all the while my husband is still leisurely taking a long hot shower. The coffee of course is no where near done brewing, and lunches are still unmade. But, I continue with the cussing, and the constant shouting of "Hurry up! You'll be late for school!" Thank goodness we do not have a bus to catch or they would never ever leave the house. Sometime around 7AM my husband casually walks into the kitchen and sweetly kisses me on the cheek to say good morning. Forgetting about the cuss word I mumbled at him when I realized he had yet again turned off the alarm. The good thing about my husband is he will always pour my cup of coffee first. He knows his hand will be bitten off if he doesn't. So we are in sync that way.
Somehow in the rush of making lunches I will hear my kids either bitching and moaning about their breakfast or my daughter finishes really quickly and I'm stuck listening to her loudly sing in the bathroom while putting her hair up into the perfect eight year old lopsided pigtails. My son however will sit there for as long as it can possibly be before I finally get so fed up with saying "EAT!!" that I just send him away. Yet again, throwing out a bowl or plate of uneaten food, and him going to school hungry.
I have no problem with him going to school hungry, but what seems to happen is a quick downward spiral for the rest of the day when this happens. Mainly because he is so hungry at snack time that he eats his whole lunch, and then at lunch he has nothing left, and by the time I pick him up, he is a whiny cranky four year old.
And see, it all starts with breakfast, the most important meal of the day. When I read through classic 1950's cookbooks I see that Mothers back then were starting breakfast out with a fruit cup, eggs, toast, and a glass of fresh squeezed juice. Did those kids complain?
When I was a kid breakfast was always a bowl of cereal. You can have Cheerios or Life, take your pick. And on the rare occasion we had Eggo's. I do remember once my Dad getting so frustrated with me for not eating breakfast that he made me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  When I remembered this yesterday morning I finally realized what to do about my son. He loves Sunbutter and honey sandwiches. So I popped an English muffin into the toaster and made him his favorite sandwich. There was no yelling, no half eaten breakfast to throw away.... There was smiles all around.

I wonder.... should we just skip breakfast and go straight to lunch?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sipping Champagne in San Francisco

My husbands company just finished and released their newest game. It's a big deal to go from nothing to something promoted by a huge company and having it on the shelves of game stores across the country. So tonight my husbands company is throwing a party. 
These parties are the best! All sorts of foods, open bar, lots of laughing, and drunken silliness all around. The parties usually take place in San Francisco. I get to wear fun clothes. They are often held at a bar or club. It is just what a grown up couple needs for a night out away from the troubles of the world. And parenting. 

Tonight, we went to California Pizza Kitchen. 

All five of us went to CPK for a fundraiser for our daughters school. We got to watch all the kids run around and almost get knocked over by the annoyed wait staff. We had no cocktails. We saw the caloric intake of a child portion of macaroni and cheese. And I had to scrutinize the menu to verify there was no dairy in any of my food. This was the furthest thing possible from a night in San Francisco at a party with a bunch of adults chatting and indulging in an open bar. 

These are the trade-offs when you become a parent. My husband and I recognize this. However we still forgot when I got pregnant for the third time the "I can't leave my baby" stage. The "There isn't a babysitter that I can afford to come and watch my newborn so I can go to San Francisco and indulge in an open bar" stage. Not to mention there isn't someone that can nurse the baby for me either. 

Parenting is difficult. And tonight I'd much prefer to be in San Francisco sipping champagne for free. But instead I got to watch my kids eat hot fudge sundaes with mini M&Ms at California Pizza Kitchen. Which doesn't suck too much because they are pretty cute. The kids. Not the mini M&Ms.