Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My nachat update

Somehow (again) I got carried away from my main reason for blogging. So here's an update on my yidishe nachas.

For about 2 weeks now SiM started pronouncing Eh's name correctly. It's very sweet and touching. I'm trying to teach him how to whisper (unsuccessfully of course, but it does good to my psyche) because in the morning he 'unt Eh' to play with him and I prefer for her to sleep as long as possible.

Eh sings the dreidel song quite well. SiM can finish all the 'stanza's of the dreidel song and loves to listen to me singing svivon ('unt moh svivon').

SiM knows lots of nursery rhymes and songs but the only thing he'd hear in the car is 'abba song' which is an instrumental CD of shabbat songs. The original 'abba song' is traditional shalom aleichem.

SiM's a party kid. Not only does he love dancing but he encourages others to dance as well. And when we went to a wedding a few days ago, he was clapping (without prompts) together with the rest of the guests, as various ppl walked down the isle.

Earlier today Eh's let SiM play with a latka-in-a-pan toy she made in her play group. They were taking turns catching the latka on the pan. At one point, SiM didn't get the latke where it was supposed to go, yet Eh happily cheered for him
"Good for you! You did a great job with catching the latka! Almost..."

Eh is SiM's teacher (vocabulary, play, squabble, etc). Recently, Eh started saying 'mines' instead of mine. Naturally, when it came to getting a treat/toy/anything, Eh would say (scream?) 'mines' and SiM would answer 'No, mines!'
Today, during dinner we were trying to decide who gets a Nemo cup and who, an Elmo cup. Eh said That cup is MineH (got to love all the great 'things' kids pick up at daycare). Sim replied - No, MineH! And I realized (and shared my epiphany with hubby) that if we continue to consistently speak with Eh in Hebrew, we may not need to work so hard with SiM.

And finally, tomorrow is Eh's birthday party @ play group and I cannot contain my excitement. I shopped for goodies for tomorrow's peckalach only to realize that
1- I still need to buy a birthday cake or cupcakes for all (This info because available around 10P after I spoke to Eh's morah);
2- The party bags that I bought are exceptionally cute and can barely hold 40%-less-fat-than-regular-corn-puffs let alone all the other stuff that I bought in 3 (three) different stores. I'm considering brown bagging it (hoping that my local grocery sells brown bags)...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Meme, edited

Thanks to Moshe's comment and "Dina's interpretation of my tag, I've edited my meme.


Unforgettable, that's what I'm not

Shabbat Chanuka I encountered a former classmate (high school). I came over. Said hi. Confirmed that she was who I think she was. She said she can't recall my name. I said it. She asked me if we went to seminary together...I, quite unnecessarily said, "high school".

My former classmate had a few kids around her...And for the rest of shabbat I had a recurrent and disturbing thought that maybe my pregnancy/childbearing-related memory loss is not as temporary as I hoped.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I can't believe I was tagged... For a double meme. Thanks Mike,I thought I'll just do one but thanks to Moshe, I'm doing both...

Here are the rules: Grab the nearest book. Open the book to page 56. Find the fifth sentence. Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your journal/blog along with these instructions. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST. Tag five other people to do the same.

---Uncle Vernon looked as though he has something stuck in his throat; Aunt Petunia, however, was oddly flushed. "Well, Harry...time for us to be off," said Dumbledore at last, standing up and straightening his long black cloak. "Until we meet again," he said to the Dursleys, who looked as though that moment could wait forever as far as they were concerned, and after doffing his hat, he swept from the room.

Truth be told, this was not the CLOSEST book. More than 40 closest books didn't have page 56. And the next closest book had a graph on page 56 and examples of regression analyses on pages 57 and 58. This was the 3rd closest. Hope it counts.

Seven Facts About Me:
The Rules:
1. Link to your blogger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people (if possible) at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

1. I like cars and I love driving. I also enjoy 'challenging' fast or expensive car drivers.

2. I know how to milk cows.

3. I used to enjoy catching bees, flies, and spiders. I no longer remember how to safely catch bees though.

4. I went to Touro college because the campus was around the corner from my house.

5. I usually remember names, diagnoses, physical appearance, room numbers, insurance info, date of admission, etc. of any patient with whom I have any contact for the duration of my assignment ( and sometimes longer). I usually cannot recall the name of the main character in a movie/book as soon as I finish watching the movie/reading the book.

6. I love fresh bread and butter.

7. I bought myself earrings for my 13th birthday and pierced my ears for my 16th.

I'm tagging Barb,Subjugatedwife, and
"Dina as they appear not to have been tagged by this one yet...

Friday, December 26, 2008

You aren't that yeshivish

Last Friday, I took SiM to MD @ 10:30. Then it snowed. So I had the luxury of a couple of hours to do what I please. So I decided to indulge in the forgotten luxury also knows as manicure.

In the nail place (calling it a salon would make me a superlatives user, so I shan't) I met one of my old neighbors. She asked me where I'm sending Eh next year.

Eh's school happens to be a bit of personal current events. My inefficient pushing combined with my unnecessary honesty resulted in Eh ( and me) missing some important deadlines. So I told this neighbor a short summary of our somewhat frustrating school application process. Then I mentioned that I'm still thinking of a couple of schools. The neighbor immediately told me not even attempt one of them because 'it's NOT for you *with a sourish face*'. Ok. I was just telling my options, not final decisions...Whatever.

Time in the nail places is kind of slow so we continued the conversation and I asked where the neighbor sends her daughters. She told me. And added right away. "But you aren't yeshivish ..." I agreed with her again and conversation dwindled.

A few minutes later I noticed one of this neighbor's daughters doing her nails, too. She was dressed exactly like me (minus the head covering/plus glam hair).

And since those nails take a long time to polish and dry, I sat there thinking. Why point out how unyeshivish my family is instead of describing the general parent body of the school? Why dispense invaluable advise to someone you see once in 6 months? And, was this just a case of yeshivish 'figi' and not-yeshivish 'vicked'?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Truck driver for a day

Today, for the second time this month, I got the honor (and the pleasure) of driving a Cadillac pick up truck. Here are some of my observations ( as seen from the driver's seat of a pick up truck):

1. Men stared.
2. Women stared.
3. A double parked yiddishe mench in a minivan did a double take.
4. Sedans cut me off less.
5. Those sedans and SUVs that did cut off/pass me, invariably showed off how fast they can really go.
6. Pedestrians were more cautious (except for one who tested pick up's breaks. b"H they passed).
7. Every pick up truck (especially domestic) challenged me to a race.
8. I felt like I was driving a tractor.
9. I enjoyed all the puddles, ponds, and mini lakes instead of driving around them.
10. A colleague pointed out that people with low self esteem typically overcompensate by driving big cars.I'm still thinking about this one...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What would you like for your birthday?

Eh's birthday is on Chanuka. And Eh's been looking forward to Chanuka for quite some times now.
On shabbat, hubby asked Eh what she'd like for her birthday. She said "I want a doll for chanuka and a balloon for my birthday." Hubby assured her that she'd get a doll and kept asking what else, besides the balloon, would Eh like for her birthday.
The reply was quite consistent - a buba for chanuka and a balloon for birthday.

Today after dinner I told Eh that as soon as she and SiM wash their hands they'd get their chanuka presents. However, the washing up process was taking a bit longer than anticipated. I started losing my patience and said to Eh that if she doesn't want her doll (by taking her time with handwashing), we can send it back to the store. Eh's response?

'I want the doll. And SiM wants a balloon.'

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

IS the cup Always 1/2 empty?

In 2003 I introduced 2 of my friends who became a couple and eventually got married. They were expecting a baby @ the end of November... They didn't respond to my texts in the beginning of December and I started worrying whether everything's ok with the baby. Tonight I got an email with links to baby's pictures. Thank Gd, the baby's well and is 3 weeks old. But what gives with the birth announcement.

Was this a case of neglect or (maybe) ALL their friends got first notice 3 weeks late?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

When I grow up...

Before going to sleep Eh told me the following:

When SiM's going to have teeth (we had many discussions that SiM cannot eat certain foods because he doesn't have enough teeth) he is going to go to my school. And I am going to get new teeth (possibly still impressed with out next door neighbor who got 2 new teeth) and go to school far away.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Crayola vs Laffy Taffy

The other day Eh and SiM were coloring. SiM's coloring activity usually involves a bit of scribbling and lots of opening and covering the markers. So while the kids were busy coloring, I went to the kitchen to make some tea. I came back, commented on Eh's beautiful pictures, then looked at SiM. And I had to do a double take because in a minute's time it took me to make tea SiM decided to digress from his usual coloring activity and try to taste the marker. Or was it 'eat' the marker.

His lips , tongue, and even tips of his front teeth were deep blue. (It must've been a fresh marker.) Amid adamant protests I quickly rushed to wash out ' the blues' before anybody else would notice what the kid has done under my supervision:) Thankfully, the markers are washable and in less than 3 minutes SiM was pretty much back to his usual 'color'.

Then, a couple of days later, grandma took Eh for pizza and the 'pizza man' gave Eh a laffy taffy for frequent patronage. Eh was so proud of her candy, she brought it home and showed it off to everyone. Then, she ate it.

After the whole PM routine of brushing teeth, putting on pjs, and reading a book, I said something that made Eh giggle. And I saw her tongue. It was deep blue ( apparently food coloring not as easily washable as the dye in the marker).

This left me wondering: should I be scandalized by my kids eating candy and be cool if they taste a marker once in a while?

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Timing is everything. I try to be punctual. I say witty things as soon as I hear someone else say something unwitty ( unless I'm working on self control). Poor timing is the pits.

With all that in mind, I didn't attend the memorial service for the terror victims of Mumbai, Hy'd, last Wednesday because I was 45 minutes late in leaving my house. Today, I decided to be on time and I was at the memorial service @ 9:05. The place was Packed. A rabbi was in the middle of a speech already. I was surprised @ such general punctuality but glad that I made it. Then, 10 minutes later, there was a break for Ma'ariv.

The service was called for 8...But the lesson of fighting bad with good, darkness with light, and loving every Jew still holds true.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Work, school, blah

I took Eh to a doctor today because she's been complaining of an ear ache. I lucky 9:15AM appointment still set me back 2.5 hours. I drove more than 1/2 way towards work when the babysitter called saying that she has a family emergency. I turned around, drive back home, take SiM and drive the babysitter to the location of the emergency.

That location is approximately 15 minutes away from work, so I make a judgment call and go to work with SiM to see if my presence is really needed there (read: if I have to look for someone to watch my kids in PM ). The situation @ work was under control but SiM ( as most 18 month olds would) got lots of attention and my quick stay extended to nearly an hour.

Then, the administrator walked into the gym (The same one, who spied on me for 3 months and THEN turned off the internet @ work). He greeted SiM (only) who in turn blew a raspberry. I felt obligated to return the greeting for SiM. The admin asked whether we are visiting or I don't have a babysitter. "No babysitter". Then the administrator asked How long is HE staying? I very much wanted to say that he is ready to leave but I'd like to take care of some things that I didn't finish the day before. Instead, I said we are about to leave. "Good, because kids aren't allowed here" and some other stuff re: policy.

I'm one of the first to follow and enforce P & P, that's part of my job. But just yesterday, I noticed that the admin had 2 (two) kids in his office for at least 1/2 the afternoon. And as per my colleague, sometimes there are 4 kids who come to visit dad...What gives!?

And then, to add an insult to an injury and annoy someone who's already annoyed, one of the schools to which we applied for Eh called and said that Eh's too young. I submitted her D.O.B. with the application before the interview. Did she become younger after they saw us/her!? Why waste my time with the whole application process???

Now I'm sitting and repeating my mantra "Love every Jew, Love every Jew" and thanking Gd the kids are napping so I can vent.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Still mourning

It all keeps running through my head. The bravery of Sandra Samuel and the miracle of Moshe Tzvi's survival. The personal tragedies and indredible dedication of the Holtzbergs, HY'D. All the others who perished. Rivka Holtzberg, zt'l, being 6 months pregnant. Little Moshe witnessing his parents' death. The funeral which I watched in the morning. The words of Lubavicher Rebbe -if a few terrorists can accomplish so much bad how much more good a lot of us can accomplish.

I think the first time I came in contact with chadabnicks was in Italy. After all other representatives of various orthodox organizations left by the end of the summer, chabadniks were the only ones who stayed on (I later realized they were shluchim). They tought us, fed us, help us celebrate Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. They gave us a glimpse into the Jewish life that we weren't allowed to know of in our previous lives.

In my glorious single traveling days, my friends and I used to go to Chabad houses for shabbat, frequently just arriving at their door steps without any warning and still being welcomed in. Chabadniks in SF were there to feed us delicious baked chicken in the Golden Gate Park on chol hamoed Pesach ( a funny site- us and some users happily munching).

Chabadniks are the ones who visit Jews in some remote and sometimes forgotten places like nursing homes and hospitals in not-so-Jewish neighborhoods. The minor nuisance of being offered chanuka candles to one who lights is nothing in comparison to many many people who'd light because they were offered these candles. They may be controversial, a group one loves to hate yet Chabadniks like you because you are Jewish. Period.

I'm mourning. We all are. But maybe the best way to find comfort is to remember that we, Jews, are one and act that way.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Murders in Mumbai

On my way home from work I spoke to one of my friends who started the conversation with 'terrible happenings in India'. Though it sounded like a general statement, something made me cut the conversation short and tune in to Fox News. The very first thing I heard on the news was that there were no survivors in the Chabad House. The glimmer of hope that intensified since the miraculous rescue of Moshe Holtzberg was gone.

I cried all the way home. I cried while I shopped and while I cooked. This terrorist attack seems more personal, my reaction more visceral. Maybe because Rabbi and Rivka Hotzberg, Hy'd were so young. Maybe because they were selfless people just serving the community. Or maybe because I hoped like many others that in the end they'd survive. I don't know. I'm sad. I'm angry.I mourn for them and other who perished in Mumbai. May Hashem avenge their deaths.

And, as my friend Esther said, today we are all Chabad.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Good friends we have, oh, good friends we've lost...

In the past few years, I've noticed a trend. A 'friend' completes her higher education/marries 'up'/marries 'frumMer'/marries kolel and then subtly (though often not-so-subtly) converts into a patronizing holier-than-thou being.

A few recent examples:
-A friend (one is tempted to write 'former') recently moved to LONG ISLAND. She was generous enough to buy a birthday gift for my kid. However the commute from LONG ISLAND was too great so she left the gift by her parents (who live in brooklyn) and called me to ask if I wouldn't mind picking it up. And she wasn't kidding.

-Two friends (?) (one- a kolel wife) seem to criticize with an air of subject-matter-experts practically any opinion I have on any remotely intellectual topics. And one of them couldn't understand why I don't want to socialize outside of work.

-A former-close-friend-now-a-respected-professional didn't attend my (very important to me) family simcha and called to say that she's not sure what to give as a gift. I told her not to bother, so she didn't. She also phased out of socializing. (peace out)

Today I had the pleasure of meeting with one of these friends. And after the meeting I felt like I stepped into something stinky. Have I become petty in my old age or did I have poor judgment of people when I was young?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

He did it again

Last night some time between 12 and 1 I heard SiM coughing. After some time he called 'mommy'. So I quickly got up for my baby, gave him his "geh" ( pacifier) and went back to bed. In a couple of minutes I heard another 'mommy', got up again, gave him a drink, went back to bed. In less than a minute I heard SiM calling "abba" and as much as I wanted to feel hurt by this dismissal I couldn't stop laughing.

Abba brought SiM a fresh drink after which SiM fell asleep. This wasn't the first time SiM gave hubby the preferential treatment and I'm hoping in the future he'll start out with 'abba' first:)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The excision of silver lining

Approximately 1 hour after 'starting' work, I found out, pretty much simultaneously, that there is no access to internet and no coffee in the cafeteria.

Maybe I'll be able to catch up on my reading or just fall behind on my blogging... And maybe I'll sleep more...So long, silver lining...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Midnight thoughts

Third night in a row SiM wakes up coughing and can't seem to fall back asleep easily. Hubby's taking care of him and I suddenly find myself very awake.

An intrusive thought keeps coming up of just how much I miss my previous work assignment. Nostalgic memories of the hospital-like environment, kosher cafeteria with its brew-it-yourself coffee, hot breakfasts and lunches, the doctors, the nurses, rec programs, the morning rounds with self-important-too-numerous-to-count-vice-presidents, the almost-always-annoying-but-sometimes-cool MD and PA students, social workers, dietitians, volunteers...lots of friendly and lots of unfriendly people who finally started to respond to greetings...

(I'm aware that I sound like an immigrant whose memories over time make everything and everybody 'back home' seem bright and beautiful, educated, and polite...Awareness is not helpful this time.)

I tell myself that I was 'the bigger person' for leaving instead of staying and getting two ignorant 'colleagues' reassigned or fired. But then, I remember that good guys finish last and I don't want to be the 'bigger', 'better', 'more mature'...

Hope SiM gets better soon (for many reasons and ) because typically midnight thoughts are quite unproductive.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What's doing?

If SiM wasn't cute before with his 'Hi' and exuberant waving to any and everybody he was, he is definitely cute now with his 'hi, whatdoing?' greeting now. It seems that he learns most of his vocabulary from his sister but 'what's doing' is definitely hubby's.

Eh, like many older siblings, acts as SiM's interpriter. Last week, SiM kept asking for something and neither I nor the babysitter had any idea what he was saying and SiM was getting frustrated with us. Then Eh called from the other room "He wants the booster seat..." How did she know?

Since then 'boo' became 'booter'. And when I pretend not to understand what he is saying, SiM takes matters into his own hands, brings the booster seat himself, and tries to climb on it. I'm alternately filled with pride (if someone other than self is there to supervise SiM in his booter) or a bit frustrated with my little guys independence.

Another cute but a bit more annoying is his newly learned phrase 'awnt hold it' which quickly became 'awnt hold it pee'. If 'it' is a piece of apple, a cookie, a cup-I think "aww, my polite little son'. But 'it' is usually a bag/box of chips, cookies, candy, box of cereal, 1/2 gallon milk jar and then I wish he didn't say please because it kinda makes me feel guilty for refusing his requests...

Anywho, it seems that I actually have to go work. Peace

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Met

My sister wanted to go to Botanical Gardens to view some flowers. Last week, I told her we (self and kids) would come along. Then when I found out it was New York Botanical Gardens, I convinced her to go to Prospect Park Zoo instead. Why go to the Bronx to see plants when you can stay in Brooklyn and see plants AND aminals?

This weekend sister was determined to go to Botanical Gardens but the weather was blah and she proposed we go to the Met. Recalling all the wonderful times sister and Eh had at the Met and considering the weather, Met sounded like a great idea. And Eh confirmed that she wanted to go to museum. So we were on.

We were in the car and on our way by 10:15! SiM fell asleep on Prospect Expressway. Eh kept saying that she is tired but she didn't fall asleep until we were on UES. All was going well. I even circled around the Met for a while looking for the best possible parking spot so the kids would sleep longer. My best possible parking was 2 blocks away and right in front of some coffee shop. The kids were sleeping, sister and I were having cappuccinos, and life couldn't get any better.

Then Eh woke up , climbed in the back a bit, and decided that she wants to come out. SiM was woken up and in a bit on a bad mood. Sister and I were still optimistic.

When we walked into the lobby of the museum both kids perked up and seemed to be delighted to be there. We decided to see 'the dancer from Olivia' and then play it by ear.

Then Eh refused to get into an elevator. From that point on, (though we did look at some paintings a bit) they were taking turns attempting to cry, asking to be carried, and asking for (lolly)'pop'/apple doos. We were alternately looking for Degas, elevators, cafeteria, bathroom, elevators, accessible exit. Finally, after riding up and down the elevator and walking up and down hallways, we found a cafe. The kids perked up significantly after eating some bamba, cheese and bread.

The trip improved from that point on. We even found Degas with minimal effort (Eh's reaction to all the dancers was minimal as well). But I think the kids enjoyed most standing by the banister overlooking the main stairway and yelling hello to the people down below:)

We'll try the Children's museum next week...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Number 12!

It's finally here. The 4th buttom incisor! Yay. Now little SiM's smile is more symmetrical:)

Friday, November 14, 2008

One way streets, flashing lights

Yesterday, when I was trying to turn onto my block, I found some truck conveniently parked across the whole street leaving just enough room for a smart car to pass. I waited one light worth of time to see if he'd move and since he didn't, I decided to come around from the other side of the block. Of course, as luck would have it, by the time I came around and started driving towards my house, the truck moved. So there I was, driving my conspicuous car down the wrong way on a one way street.

First it was my not-so-favorite neighbor, staring at me with her eyes and mouth wide open. I gestured her to keep moving ( while slowly driving myself). Then my friend who almost backed out from her driveway at me, she smiled and let me pass. I pulled over by a hydrant and let the traffic pass then continued to my driveway. As I was taking my baby out of his car seat, a young religious couple passed by with the guy looking at me once and his wife staring and staring and staring in the best tradition of boro park and flatbush.

If there was someone directing the traffic next to the truck/ if Eh wasn't late for play group / I wasn't late for work /if I was driving the wrong way just for the heck of it, I probably wouldn't find this whole story amusing. But I'm still grinning remembering the look of disbelief on my neighbor's face- like she never drove in Brooklyn before...

On a different subject- today on the way to work I was driving behind a Lexus with MD plates.
In front of us a school bus was flashing yellow and switched to red. The Lexus kept going.
What is wrong with all these drives who speed up instead of stopping when they see a school bus
flashing red lights!?!?!

Hubby once told me a story that a former school bus driver told him. When this driver started flashing red lights, some yiddishe mentch behind him DROVE ON THE SIDEWALK to pass the school bus! This yidishe mentch didn't have kids, siblings, relatives, neighbors? Or was he just impatient?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Eh's vacation aka dinning out without kids

For some time now two themes kept coming up. My mom saying that she wants Eh to visit overnight and Eh saying that she wants to go on vacation.

Tonight both wishes came true...My mom came to visit and asked if tonight may be a good night for Eh to visit. Eh didn't nap today so she was in a bit of a mood by 5 PM. However, when I asked her if she wants to go on vacation to grandma she happily agreed.

SiM napped today for about an hour and typically little people his age (17 months) and even he, do much better with a 2-3 hr nap. In short, SiM was down by 6:30! This wonderful opportunity called for celebration so we decided to dine out.

My stand-by babysitter took a night off (why didn't I think of dinning out earlier today!?) but thankfully one of my neighbors babysits. Or should I say she babysits just about any time except for the last 2 times when I asked (tonight included). She told me her husband wasn't home yet but I can come back in a couple of hours...Then, out of desperation, I called my old neighbor who only lives 2 blocks away. "Are you home? Can you come to my house for an hour or so? My husband and I wanted to go out but the baby fell asleep...We'll be out for 1.5 hours the most?"

Gd bless my old neighbor who said "I'm on my way". We were ready in a jiffy, hubby outside, me still inside in my house waiting for the neighbor. After 15 minutes I got a call "I'm stuck behind a garbage truck, should be by you in a few minutes." What happened to walking on a pleasant autumn evening?

Then, I got a call from my mom. I thought she called to say hi... No one in particular answered my hello, but I heard Eh in the background saying "No, I want to talk to mommy myself!" Apparently, Eh fell asleep, had a bad dream, woke up and decided it was time to go home (vacation interrupted). My mom said that Eh got dressed all by herself ( my big girl!), packed her pjs and told my mom that she wants to sleep in her own bed...So, to save time, I told hubby to go pick her up while I wait for the babysitter who got stuck behind a garbage truck.

Finally, neighborly babysitter arrived. I said that Eh 'may be' coming back and was politely asked to take her with us to a restaurant. At this point, I was quite hungry, a bit peeved, and a bit tired, but with hope to have a nice time out. Then hubby called and told me he is waiting outside. I come out, get into the car, and realize that both car seats are empty. "Where is Eh?" "What do you mean? by your mom. What took you so long to come out?"

Now I felt very hungry, disappointed, and not too hopeful for an enjoyable dinner out. As luck would have it, Eh didn't fall asleep on the way home. As soon as we walked into the house, the neighborly babysitter got up, greeted Eh, wished us good night and was gone.

Eh refused to put on her PJs and I was too annoyed to care ( after all , she was wearing her clean clothes intended for tomorrow). She was out in less than 10 minutes and I went to try my luck again with the babysitter on my block again since I saw her husband car parked on the street. I knocked and After the longest minute ever, her husband opened the door and said that she went 'next door for the tehilim group'. Darn it! I forgot about the tehilim thing AND I didn't have a babysitter.

Hubby offered to make me dinner or to bring something home...."No! You said we were going out for dinner! I want to go out!" and out of sheer desperation I called my stand-by babysitter again only to get her voicemail.

Then I called my dad but he told me that he's visiting with my brother and afterwards he plans on going to sleep. But, my brother is willing to babysit. Why didn't I think of my brother?!

Around 9 PM I heard my brother come in. As I instructed him re: what to do if the baby wakes up brother said, If I knew I was babysitting I would have brought my book. But it's ok, I'll use the computer...No no, I don't mind babysitting...

Apparently, brother thought he came to visit us.

In the end, we went to Cafe Venezia and had a great dinner. On the way back to his house brother told me that one of my neighbors came over asking if we still needed a babysitter...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day (PG13- graphic details)

The other day I asked one of the residents, a Vietnam vet, what was it that he was wearing around his neck ( just to get him off the topic of his infinite and almost always not so clean self composed jokes). And he told me a story that one day he saw a 9 year old boy whose body was torn open from his neck down to his groin, with his intestines all spilled out. This man, George, said that all marines had two ampules of morphine with them at all times. So George injected one of this ampules into boy's neck, picked the boys intestines up, washed them with the liquid (water with something a bit stronger) from his canteen, and sewed the boy up with a regular needle and a thread.

"We both knew he was going to die... The boy gave me his necklace, saying this is all he had, thanking me for what I've done for him. It's not gold or anything but I wore this necklace ever since."

Dirty jokes and all, I see George in a different light now. And today, I thank George and all the vets for fighting for Freedom that we so often take for granted...

Medicinal benefits of garlic

Yesterday I cooked one of my best meat sauces for pasta- the meat was actually defrosted when I started cooking it, the onions and garlic weren't burnt, the spices were just right. I also decided to sprinkle some fresh grated garlic on top of it because the kids have colds and fresh garlic is a wonderful healer of colds. ( I even made a salad because I was so excited about my main dish!).

We all sat down to eat. SiM wanted to protest being put in the high chair but as soon as he saw the delicious dinner that I put on his plate, he quieted down and started blowing on it saying 'hot?' Eh even put on a bib because she was so eager to start eating her pasta. Hubby served himself a full plate... And as soon as I sat down at the table, husband said "Oh, I think you made the sauce too spicy." I tried to deny it but Eh right away echoed 'Mommy, it's too spicy and it gave me a boo boo" and SiM continued 'hot?'.

I tasted my incredible, made on time, dinner. It was delicious. And the freshly grated medicinal garlic was quite overbearing in every second forkful... Once I explained the problem, hubby still finished his pasta and even took a second helping. And the kids seemed to be content with bread and cupcakes...

I must try to remember to use only 1 garlic clove next time...

Monday, November 10, 2008

All that glitters

It probably started when I was a kid. All the grown-ups looked so big and tall and fascinating. Then, when I grew up to be of average height I still found tall people interesting and fascinating. What the heck, I even married one.

Then I realized that there is a catch. It started with tall husband putting everyday objects on top shelves without realizing that the only one who can easily reach them is he. Then came the tall babysitter who also put things 'away' thus after either the husband or the babysitter straightened up the kitchen, an average person would for days and something weeks think that things disappeared from her kitchen (cursing potential culprits and buying replacements) only to discover the missing necessities weeks later on a chance trip to the top kitchen cabinets.
Then there is short yet one of the best (with a touch of OCD)cleaning lady. She disposes of dead and dying stuff from the fridge and other obscure locations. She finds a place for every toy in the house. She also straightens out my kitchen- it becomes extra shiny and beautiful. And, I cannot find half of my stuff.Last time she was here I had perfectly clean baby bottles but after 20 minutes of searching couldn't find the nipples that went on the clean bottles. The other day I heard a glass shatter while she was in the kitchen... Was it her way of recycling or was it yet another one of my wedding gifts disappearing into nothingness?

Anyhow, now that I've written my long intro, here's tonight's story. Our family went out for our first motzaei shabbat pizza together. We had fun, ate lots and lots, came home, put kids to bed. I was too lazy to go out again, so hubby went out for a bit and I decided to write a bit with a glass of good wine and then turn in.

By this point in my life I knew where hubby stashes the wine (top shelf, kitchen cabinet), I climbed up on a chair, chose wine appropriate for the occasion and went to get the cork screw. Except it wasn't in the place where I last saw it a few months ago. I climbed up on a chair again. Checked all the top cabinets, while blessing all the tall people under my breath. Nothing there. I got off the chair, blessed all the short people including my cleaning lady, and checked all the bottom ones. Nothing. I checked all the obvious and not so obvious locations.I didn't even want the wine anymore. I wanted to feel that the kitchen and its contents belong to me even if I don't cook so often, darn it!

I almost thought I got it but it ended up being just a cork stopper. I WANTED MY EASY-TO-USE-TRUSTED-CRATE-AND-BARREL CORKSCREW!!!

And then, epiphany. Earlier today, the shortest person in my household in his infinite need to explore emptied contents of one kitchen drawer. And I remembered seeing one of a souvenir basic corkscrews from Hotel in AZ where hubby and I had our first wonderful Pesach vacation together. (Thank Gd for obsessive souvenir collecting) I looked in the drawer and there is was "Omni Tuscan Resort and Spa" stick which converted to a corkscrew!

It wasn't as simple to use as my crate and barrel one and I gave a couple of negative vibes to all those who misplace stuff in my kitchen in the name of order but at last the bottle was opened.

Naturally, when I was in the middle of writing this composition and happily sipping my wine I realized that I could've called hubby and asked him where the corkscrew was but that would make my life simple and ordinary and I'd have one less entry in my blog...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lateral Epicondylitis

Thanks to encouragement from friends and family I'm writing about work, again.
There is a new nurse supervisor in the building. She seems quite benign. She had a bit of a problem reading my handwriting (she isn't the first and definitely not the last) and then comprehending the content but she's new and may not be familiar with the procedures followed in this facility.

Then, my lateral epicondylitis aka tennis elbow started acting up again. By midday I couldn't write anymore without feeling acute pain so I decided to ice my forearm a bit to get some relief.

Since this facility is run on a tight budget (read: no ice packs in the gym) I went to staff cafeteria to get some ice, put it into a disposable glove, and thus ice my forearm. I was about to start putting ice into the glove when I saw the new supervisor coming up with a cup. I told her to go ahead since I'd take a while. She looked at me and said 'You're going to eat your ice from a glove?!"
I smiled at her joke but she continued, wincing a bit "You know, the ice isn't going to taste so good from that glove". Then she turned around and went on to eat her lunch.
And as I poured the ice into my glove I wondered 1- how many years was this woman fooling the system/has shebeen falling through the cracks all this time? 2- poor poor residents whose care she'll be supervising...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Quick reflection

While trying to decide what to have for dessert, I thought I'd look through all the 'drafts' and see if I can finish any of my thoughts.... Well, I decided to have tea with sour sticks ( though didn't get the energy to make it yet) and no finishings to any of the drafted thoughts came to mind.
However, I saw my very first post on the blogger and it reminded me when and why I started blogging to begin with- my first pregnancy. I started blogging so I won't forget what an amazing experience it is to be a mom(-in-the-making) and I won't lose the 'diary' too quickly.

When the heck did my blogging evolve into a medium for venting about work, ignorance of friends and strangers, disappointments, politics and wannabe politicians, and other crap!? Do I really care about all that stuff to put it in writing?

Must remember to focus....And should make the tea before I finish the last sour stick...


As I've mentioned many times before I'm a proud flag waving American. So imagine how warm and fuzzy I felt when after coming from (a long day of partially gratifying) work I saw that my daughter came home with her hand made flag that said "don't forget to vote". My little patriot.

On to more routine matters. My kids, especially my little son, have a hard time adjusting to the return-from-daylight-savings-time. Two days ago, around 6:30 I told my daughter that I'm going to put the baby to bed and then she can watch "Elmo visits the Doctor" before turning in.
Imagine my surprise when a few minutes later my baby rejected his good-night-bottle with an unhappy no ( which he usually greets with delight) and started crying. I asked him what's the matter and he said 'unt Elmo data'. I was so impressed I let him watch Elmo data. He didn't watch much because he started dosing off after a few minutes. And I'm still impressed with his power of persuasion.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Two short stories

Yesterday, there was an announcement over the loudspeaker for all the residents who choose to vote to come to the main dining room at a certain hour. In response to this announcement one of my unbiased assistant-turned-politician yelled out "Any resident who'll vote for McCain will be discharged from this facility!" I asked if he is discharging them to his house but he didn't seem to think that my joke was as funny as his. He is one of many who preach (exclusive) freedom of expression and racial equality (and hinting that anyone outside of his race is somewhat inferior).

I drove to a Jewish neighborhood to buy me some pizza for lunch. The place is a bit overpriced but I was hungry and my choices were limited. As I was waiting for my pizza and old lady ordered a cup of soup. When a small $3 cup of soup was brought to her she asked what comes with it. The worker asked the owner can she get something with her soup, i.e. pita or crackers and the owner said " give her a spoon". The lady asked for something to go with soup again, and again he offered to give her a spoon. I know the economy is shvach and the times are tough but did he really need to be so RUDE?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Socialization over the weekend

Over the weekend I revisited my social-butterfly-days:
Friday night, for the first time, visited one of my neighbors whom I used to know in my HS/College days. Told her that I remembered her because of her 'distinctive features'..."Yea, one of my eyes is 1/2 grey 1/2 brown." 'Oh, it is??"

Shabbat day, I visited another neighbors who had some mutual friends over for lunch. We discussed many things that changed and many that remained the same. One of the friends said to my-17-lbs-heavier-since-the-last-meeting-self "You are still skinny after two kids! How you do it!?" I thanked her for the compliment, also wondering how I did it (and decided not to get up for the rest of my visit, just in case this friend looked at my midriff).

Sunday, in response to an email from an MD friend re: being on vacation, emailed back 'You are allowed to take vacation?" Got an email back "We are human, too." which made me think that some things are better left for personal conversations...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

But you gained weight...

When I was pregnant with SiM I had some GI issues which at one point made me loose my appetite. I tried to handle it on my own but then decided to mention it to my OB.
Imagine my annoyance and disappointment when instead of giving me some suggestions, pills, heck-just emphathy, he told me that I gained 3 lbs in 4 weeks and that's more than enough. He also suggested I take up exercise because all his patients who exercise have easier pregnancy and post partum experiences.

A couple of weeks ago I took my daughter to pediatrician for her shots. When the MD asked if I have any questions/concerns I told her that my daughter's appetite went down dramatically and would the doctor have any suggestions/recommendations for me.
MD's answer- "Your daughter's gained weighted since her last visit so I wouldn't worry about her appetite".

Do these doctors listen or only read charts?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Chol Hamoed

I think yesterday marked the very first time we as a family went to an amusement park. The trip included just about everything a family trip to an amusement park should have:
-a ride on a merry-go-round for all (with smiling kiddies and a bit nauseated mom and dad);
-a mini roller coaster ride;
-one parent getting most of the only-kids-can-enjoy spinning rides (because the other parent 'would throw up');
-a parent squeezing into the back of a kiddie boat ride and almost sinking the boat (or "how long can 3 minutes last?");
-being lightly shoved and pushed by little and big kids and by some;
-a mini panic attack when for a few long seconds a kid is presumed to be lost (and then found behind my back);
-overpriced but otherwise enjoyable burgers and fries;
-a mild disagreement on how many rides are too many for kids under 3;
-a mild disagreement on the necessity of pony rides for kids under 3 who are a bit tired and overstimulated by the amusement park;
-a happy ride home. (I think this one was a bonus).

Friday, October 10, 2008

20th anniversary

It's been 20 years since my family and I got off the boat ( @ the JFK airport) and I'd like to take this opportunity to yet again thank God and my parents for bringing me to the States!
This is a wonderful country where anyone who's willing to put in some effort can achieve just about anything and I'm proud to be an American.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

While I was sleeping

Yesterday I gave my daughter some chips and asked her to share them with her brother. In less than a minute I heard her call me to the living room (and the whole idea of the chips is to make the kids content and safely invisible for a bit). I went to check what was the matter. "Mommy, look!" I looked and didn't see anything. And then it hit me. The baby was sitting on the couch together with my big girl! And when I asked if she helped him climb up she said no. "Did he climb on the couch for the first time?" Again, no. In summary, though I missed the very first climbing, SiM repeated both climbing and discending from the couch quite a few times on shabbat. He definitely knows how to do it. Now I have to worry re: where to hide all the chairs from the kitchen.

Also some time last week I noticed that Eh was climbing up the stairs alternating her feet! Way to go Eh! (hope I was the first one to notice though...).

On a side note, last week I gave away 5 pairs of my shoes that I magically fit me in the store only(and I usually walk around in the shoes that I'm planning to buy for at least 10 minutes making sales people +/- secutiry watch me closely) or that I bought during a manic moment, managed to wear once and then then didn't fit me anyway. And as I typed this, I remembered 2 more pairs of shoes ( the once that I didn't find during my inventory but SiM found when he was offering me a ewe [shoe] to wear to we can go outside) that may hopefully change owners. Before I know it, I'll have enough room in my closet to buy new shoes!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


It seems like everybody and their grandmothers ( or toddlers, in some cases) have something to say about politics. Most of it seems to be hot air but as long as this hot air doesn't reek of anti US sentiment I dont' really care. That's what freedom of speech is all about. People can burp as often as they feel like.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Historical week for Wall Street

Or so Bloomberg says.

But who would have thunk it-Lehman Brothers went bankrupb, Merrill Lynch bought out by Bank of America (would be they keep The bull on Wall Street?), America International Group (AIG) owned by the feds ( and 79.8 or so % is as good as owned). Morgan Stanley is hoping to be bought and soon. Nowadays one doesn't feel so bad about foregoing investment banking career. One still wonders re: benefits of used car salesperson as a second career...

Friday, September 19, 2008

No, I'm just fat

This week 4 people asked me when my baby is due. 3 of them were apologetic when I told them my usual 'I'm not pregnant, just fat' line.
I also stopped asking how come guys with a belly aren't even called fat 1/2 the time. "Husky" is the word that's used to describe them and when one hears husky one thinks of cuddly doggies not globs of fat concentrated in one area.
And by the way, I'm not even fat. I just have imperfect posture and a good appetite. And on that note, I'm going to enjoy my sandwich...

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I usually associate anniversaries with something joyful but this one was somber and brought tears to my eyes more than once.

It started last night when I inadvertently overheard some of the 9/11 tv report. Then this morning, I saw a fire fighter in dress uniform walking to a 9/11 memorial in the Rockaways. Bloombergs radio reporting about now traditional ceremony @ ground zero and at the same time telling about all the conspiracy theories regarding who was behind the attacks.
TV in patient's room - a moment of silence for the fallen, recital of their names with their pictures in the lower left corner. (The patient got annoyed because I stood in her room mesmerized, unable to take my eyes away from the tv and break my thoughts away from the memories of that day.) Throughout the morning I bumped into a tv or a radio here and there and heard more of the name recital which brought tears every time. I tried hide the tears. Those who don't mourn won't understand and my explanation would only trivialize things.

I went to the Rockaways memorial during lunch. The flag was at half mast and beyond the park I saw the skyline, the spot where the towers stood.

After lunch some insensitive foreigner in my department asked what's the deal with today. And for the first time in 5 years I worked with 3 other therapists who were there by the window and saw it all happen together with me. One of them remembered how one of the present therapists cried bitterly for 2 hours until he finally got in touch with his wife who worked in lower Manhattan, the soot, the papers flying in the air, the panic, the need to stay at work and reassure the residents and the urge to find your loved ones, run home and hide.

I guess you had to be there to realize the way it changed everything.

A few weeks later I found some cards @ B & N : " we are all in this together" and " new york needs us strong". I gave them out to my coworkers and many of us had them handing by our desks.

I don't want to remember this but I hope I won't forget.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Trying to be an adult about things

I don't know where I've been for the past 15 months. Who took my bald little baby with a pointy nose and substituted him with a toddler who walk around shaking his fingers @ you saying 'no more', throws things to the garbage on command ( gabage) and takes things out of the garbage despite lots of commands not to do so. The toddler who stands by the window and waves 'ba ba' to me and then switches his tune and starts waving and hollering 'allO, Eya ( Leya) to our next door neighbor.

Today, I gave this toddler an ice cream for dessert. After a little while he gave his ice cream to his abba and took an apple as a substitute. He ate some of it, then started saying 'garbage' and pointing to the can. When I moved the garbage can close enough to his high chair, he took whatever chewed up apple was left in his mouth and proceeded to throw it into the garbage can ( with good aim, I should add). After thus disposing of his apple, he pointed to my ice cream and ahe'd @ it. Imagine my surprise when after I handed him the ice cream he promptly handed it over to his abba. Abba happened not to like the ice cream to begin with, so he passed the ice cream back to me. SiM ahe'd at my ice cream again. And when I handed it to him he again passed it over to abba.

And that's when I reminded myself over and over again that I'm an adult. And I'm not at all jealous of the attention abba got.

I'm an adult.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Silver lining

Yesterday I started a new assignment. It was definitely bittersweet. I was very delighted at the flexibility- I took Eh to her 'school' the first day and then went to work. But this facility is a bit gray and mediocre in comparison to the previous one. The patient population is different as well-one I prefer not to work with.

So today, after took my daughter to school, I had a bit of a better mood coming to work. And then I saw the other silver lining- the blogger is not blocked on these computers! What more can I say?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Anniversary dinner. Sim's 15 months

Since I forgot to make advanced babysitting arrangements, my daughter went for a sleep over party to my mom and my son went to celebrate our anniversary ( and his 15 month birthday ) with us.

Since the celebration was kind of late, the little guy went in to a fancy restaurant in his pjs (and since he was sleeping, we took him in in a stroller). And we sat outside to accomodate us and SiM in the stroller most comfortably. Thankfully, the weather was beautiful and the celebration was most enjoyable.

The dinner let me realized just how much I've changed. I barely ate any appetizers, didn't order a soup, got drunk on 1/3 glass of wine, AND was unable to finish a 14 oz stake! And yes, I had to decline the dessert. At first I was so embarrassed I wanted to keep all this a secret. But then I decided to embrase my maturity and admit that thankfully since I'm not as active my appetite is not as big. And yes, this, more than anything else can be an insentive to join the gym so I can proudly exclaim again:
Long live midnight snacks!

Preschool hygiene

When I used to work with kids the first thing I did when entering a kid's house was wash my hands. And, after the session clean the toys with some sort of sanitizer.

I'm embarrassed to admit I don't remember what the hygiene procedure was when I worked in a day camp. Did we wash/wipe kids' hands before we fed them???
I know I made them wash their hands after they used the toilet. And since I worked for large institutions it was assumed that housekeeping would clean the toys.

As a mom of a toddler I wonder how much of my attempt to instill good hygiene habits can be retained by the kid if I spend mere 3-4 of her waking hours with her? I'm hoping and praying that washing hands before meals/snacks and after the bathroom is the accepted routine everywhere she will go. Why has it before such a hot topic now? Because there is no comparison between learning something right the first time vs trying to break bad habits...

And the toys (especially outdoor toys) in day camps and day cares, how often, if at all, do they get cleaned?

One of my friends told me that she chose to send her daughter to a nursery in a big school rather than send her to a local, less expensive and already familiar to the child, play group because the play group was "dirty'. I thought the friend was mean. And that my experience with grody toys in one day care was not a typical depiction of the general picture.

I've checked out a few local establishments since. Now I can't help but wonder- do parents accept discolored-with-dirt toys as part of the toddler play group experience? Do parents just not care one way or the other? Or do I have a knack for picking run down places for generalizing current trends?

Saturday, September 6, 2008


SiM speaks in one word sentences that are sometimes so eloquent that he couldn't have said more even if his vocabulary was same as in a decent size dictionary.

When listing his vocabulary I forgot to mention 'Toda, rega, and danger'. Truth is he repeats and uses appropriately quite a few words but sadly I don't remember all of them.

Anyhow, today while both kids were playing happily in the living room, I went to the kitchen to get a drink. As I was drinking, I heard SiM saying something at a closer range than the one I left him. I told him I'm coming and when I came I wasn't sure if I should laugh, scream, or do a bit of both simultaneously. SiM climbed 3 steps. I caught him when he was standing on the third step chanting 'danger, danger'. And subsequently, he was very upset when I removed him from the 'danger'.

It was especially funny because he mispronounces danger a bit and it sounds like a blend of danger and dangger that only kids can make.

Later in the day, when I again left them playing to go and get a clean shirt for SiM I heard Eh call out 'Mama, SiM's climbing'. As I ran back to the steps I saw SiM standing on the landing this time ( again successfully climbing up 3 steps) chanting his favorite "danger" and laughing at the same time.

I appreciate in advance all the advice about gates that are mandatory on the bottom and not just on top of the stairs. It's well taken. Thanks.

I'm sure there would also be advise about childproofing all the bathrooms, closets and doors to the above since a either yesterday or the day before SiM learned to open the door handles and was caught today rinsing his hands in the toilet bowl. Thank Gd for the cleaning lady's attendance the day before and low traffic in this bathroom. But still, that gave me another reason to appreciate my firstborn girl.

It's not like SiM isn't supervised enough. He is just quick and resourceful. And now that I have a precedent, hopefully I"ll be quicker, too.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I just listened to Rudi's and Sarah Palin's speeches and they left me inspired and proud. More later.

Number 15 or the circle of life

Dentists number our teeth to make their life easier. Today, after putting it off for 35 months, I had to finally say good bye to my tooth # 15.

It started with an innocent cavity. The cavity progressed to a root canal in a couple of years. The root canal was just fixed and the tooth was filled. Then, when the dentist realized she can mild my insurance she convinced me to replace the filling with a crown "root canal means a dead tooth and without a crown it can chip at any moment"-and who wants a chipped tooth?
The crown lasted for a while until one day, while I was southbound on the West Side Highway, somewhere in the area of Chambers Street and happily chewing / making bubbles with my mint flavored Must gum, I realized that there is a foreign body in my mouth. A crown that popped off #15.

After getting over the initial shock, I put the crown in a napkin, swore off gum, and made an emergency appointment with my dentist. This dentist refused to use the old crown that the first dentist made ( because she, too, realized that she can milk my insurance for some USDs), and in a couple of weeks crowned my #15 with a new, weirdly feeling but porcelain-with-gold-beautifully-made cap. That lasted less than 1/2 year at which point I, 38 weeks pregnant, had to make another emergency dental appointment.

This time I went to a male dentist- he was trustworthy and didn't accept my insurance. He told me that the tooth was a gonner- not in the theoretical root-canal-equals-a-dead-tooth sense of the word but rather it-has-extensive-infection-and-bone-loss kind of a gonner. (And I bed the hyena who put on the new crown knew that, too). He sympathized with my situation, gave me an antibiotic and recommended to get rid of #15 ASAP.

I went to a factory of oral surgeons where one of the factory dentists with much less sympathy to my situation told me that #15 cannot be salvaged and he'll pull the it for 800 something dollars. And, I'll have to come back in a week to remove the stitches. "How about the stitches that dissolve?" "Those are not as good." " I'm 39 weeks pregnant, I can give birth any day." "Well, make up your mind."

I was pregnant, concerned for my little alien with an infection in my body. I was mourning the eminent departure of #15. Yet, I was even willing to shell out almost a thousand bucks just to get rid of my tooth and forgo the bad factory worker attitude. But regular stitches!?
I thought I'll risk it and just finish my antibiotics to quell the infection and take care of more permanent changes after my baby arrived.

My baby arrived and my tooth stopped hurting. And I figured a tooth inside the mouth is better than a tooth outside of the mouth. It hurt every 10 months or so, (the kind man-dentist retired, so) I went to a new dentist, heard the '#15's got to go' got my antibiotics, the pain would stop and the tooth's life 'd be extended. Until a few months ago, when due to unforeseen circs I went to yet another dentist with the same issue. He gave me antibiotics but said the tooth should go because I won't know when the it'll start hurting again and how serious it may get.

What do you know- last Friday and Shabbat #15 started hurting again. The pain was so severe that I couldn't really sleep ( with 2 painkillers in my system) motzaei shabbat, replaying the dentist's words, thinking that he must've given me the evil eye, desperately hoping I won't have to go to an ER on a long holiday weekend. And finally resolving to pull #15 out.

This morning, with lots of encouragement from hubby and my mom ( and hubby's kind company), I finally made it to the oral surgeons office. I almost backed out from pulling #15 after the xray was read. After all, the pain completely resolved already by Monday. It didn't even hurt when the dentist tapped on it. #15 was instrumental in my mastication and subsequent digestion. It and I went through so much together. I needed it, I'd dearly miss it.

But in the end, I just let it go. I took it home with me in a cup -it looked so big yet abused by dentistry. I acutely felt it's void in my mouth even before I started feeling very acute pain because it was gone. Now, thanks to time and pain meds, the acute pain is gone. I'll miss my #15 even if the advances of modern dentistry won't let its absence be palpable for long.

As I was writing this eulogy and listening to the Republican National convention speeches, I kept looking at the cup on my dresser and feeling the empty space in my mouth. Now, that the eulogy's completed I think I'm ready to say my final good bye to #15.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Number 7

Two days ago I tickled my little guy so he bent his head back and I saw it. A top tooth, somewhere in the back on the right side of the mouth. It kind of makes his two token buttom teeth even more special:)

And, in case I forgot to mention it before, he started saying "mamma", almost always while addressing me (though abba remains his most favorite).

His vocabulary also includes 'more, no more, up, elmo, amen, toda, hi, heLLO'.
He also says his version of his sister's name. He shares his food and drink with her. And today, he tried to put her crocs on her feet. That was smart and sweet.

My big girl allows me to wash and comb her now though I still need to ask permission before putting in clips or making ponies. And, permission isn't always granted...
She's practically toilet trained but since she is the boss, some days pampers are still requested.
(Pull-ups are poo pooed on though, and since I had lots of $2 off coupons I have a couple of girl pull ups which I'll try to use on my little guy before he realizes what I'm doing...).

Eh is looking forward to going to 'school' next week and I'm just a tiny bit nervous.
But, since Gd willing, next week I'll start working part time, I'll hopefully be able to take her to 'school' the first day so I'm looking forward to the event, too.

Monday, August 25, 2008

It's official

SiM's strolling around the house. He practiced shabbat and sunday by pushing the stroller up and down and up and down the first floor. And today when I came home from work I suddenly realized that he walked up to me all the way across the kitchen ( as opposed to the customary crawl followed by a tug at my skirt and a can't-be-misinterprited-hug of my lower legs) and then said 'allo?'.

It seems like he feels a bit more when he walks holding a big blue sand shovel in his hands ( a clever transitional object given to him by the babysitter) but even without the shovel, he is unstoppable!

Thank Gd for the babies growing and us getting wiser. Before you know it, by chasing after SiM I'll get to lose some of the evidence of my love of food (unless of course I'll let my motherly pride take over and just watch him run around).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

How to deal with rejection

A long long time ago, there was a joke making its rounds via the email where a guy politely declined to be laid off.

Don't know if my boss read this joke or not but today when I gave notice he told me he'll call me back and tell me where my new assignment is going to be.

Miscommunication or a great way to deal with rejection? I guess I'll have to wait and see.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Simpsons or the case of mistaken identity.

Firstly, believe it or not, but there is a real Lisa Simpson working under some alias in the short term PT gym.
Thin lips, yellow hair, stocky. It took me months of self control not to call her Lisa in her face…
But this post is not about Lisa.
It’s about Maggie. There are a few Margaret residents @ work. Some like to be addressed by their full first name, some by their last name, some by some nick name/ abbreviation. There is one particularly friendly Margaret on the 5th floor- always says hi, asks how my kids are, etc.
Yesterday, I was on the unit and she was sitting close to nurses station. So I greeted her with “good morning Maggie”, we had a little chat. Then I came to the nurses station and the unit clerk said ‘Marge’. I raised by eyebrows. And she said again, “Marge, not Maggie”.
Blah. Apparently I mixed up my Simpsons and didn’t know about it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ma ma

Finally, my baby says ma ma. 50% of the time after I nudge him. Not bad, not bad at all.
And, today he turned 14 months ( though I'm embarrassed to admit I forgot to celebrate it- we ate cake and all, just forgot the occasion...).

We'll have to eat some cupcakes tomorrow.

Poor Aim

I work in the department which is blessed with mostly male therapists. It's a rare luxury because typically you have a bunch of women with a couple of token men who are periodically asked to stand up or 'transfer' a heavy patient.

But this luxury isn't free. For the past month ( at least), I've noticed that our gym's bathroom's stunk of urine. The urine not only splattered pretty much all of the toilet seat but accumulated in messy puddles next to the toilet. I know that the detail may be excessive for some but I'm providing it to draw a more or less vivid picture of the event. Now, this is not the one and only toilet your truly can use but non the less, the situation was becoming more and more annoying.

So last week I decided to post a sign.

When I picked up the sign from the printer I tested it on a couple of people sitting at the nurse's station (just in case). They laughed. And asked why do I need the sign. After a brief explanation they seemed skeeved .

So, I posted the sign. I thought it was short and to the point.

Well, whatever point it was, it was lost on the shooter. There were absolutely no comments in the gym after the appearance of the sign. But sadly, there was no reduction in puddles either.

I even thought that maybe the location of the sign is wrong but the only better place would be to actually place it ON the toilet. Sadly it seems that the boy with the poor aim is also the one with poor attention to detail.
Maybe I should make the sign yellow for emphasis?
PS. Yesterday, when I was telling the story to one of my friends I suddenly deduced that the clumsy one among us is most probably my assistant.
I'll stop here. Peace

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fluff Race

Just as I thought I don't have enough time in the day for anything I've discovered fluff racing.
Is there fluff racers anonymous?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Every so often I let my inhibitions go and tell people pretty much exactly what I think about them. It usually happens when I'm very tired which makes me moody which in turn makes me uninhibited.

For over a year now I work in a facility which has 14 ( fourteen) vice presidents, too numeous to count assistants to vice presidents ( aka managers), heck knows how many supervisors, etc.

Possibly because of this culture of glorification of status (a concept not exclusive to this facility but definitely embrased by it) this facility employs a lot of snobs who seldom respond to a greeting let alone initiate one, are not helpful to a fellow employee ( esp if s/he's a newby), refuse to share charts/desk space, and are otherwise mildly unpleasant.

After more than 1/2 year of employment I earned the honor of a returned greeting. I still happen to think it was only due to my perseverance and treating the situation as an amusing research. None the less I never know when any of now-friendly-collegues would set me up or stab me in the back while looking me in the eyes. Still, it doesn't usually bother me. As a consultant who has to come to a facility and 'fix' things I'm pretty used to people resenting, disliking, or trying to ignore me. The duration of those feelings or my assignment by this point in my life became pretty irrelevant.

Unless, I'm in a bad mood. Then those feelings are still irrelevant but I let the masses know that I'm aware of the situation.

So today, when I came into one of the conference rooms to get some coffee ( the cafeteria was already closed), I greeted the 6 people sitting there. No attention was paid to me. I poured myself some coffee and instead of just going on with my business I told the woman sitting closest to me that it seems that people only greet me when they need something. She looked at me and tried to politely dismiss my observation though I saw in her eyes a bit of discomfort. I just shrugged my shoulders and left.

A few minutes later when I came back to the conference room to retrieve a chart one of the nurses addressed me with " I have a question'. But instead of just answering her question I felt I was on a roll and told her that I just mentioned to Prem (sitting right there) that people only seem to greet me when they need something. The nurse blushes a bit. The dietician behind her raises her eyebrows all the way up to her hairline. Another nurse didn't seem to care one way or another. And the social worker ignored the whole thing: I guess no one was being discharged home from her unit this week.

A couple of hours later, when I was more awake and contend I wondered if it was necessary to shock the 'team' on that unit. I verbalized something they all knew but somehow verbalizing it during a meeting seems equivalent to cursing, saying something forbidden and obscene.

And now, when I finished typing this up and realized that it's alreayd 11:30P and I don't even remember the reason I decided to post this ( aka the moral of the story), I beging to wonder if I should sleep rather than blog.

Only time shall tell:)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

5 steps...

Independently, even if a bit hurriedly were taken by my little SiM the other day! Only because of my profession I still hesitate to say 'yes, he is walking'. But as a mom, I'm even more proud of those 5 independent steps than SiM is. Way to go baby!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Of all the things I've lost...

Long long time ago my sister bought me a key chain in Sam Goody (just to show you how really long ago this way) which read " OF ALL THE THINGS I'VE LOST I MISS MY MIND THE MOST". Needless to say, I also lost the key chain.

But this entry is not about me but about my little big daughter to often comes to my bed in the middle of the night or too early in the morning and says "mommy, I lost my sossy [pacifier].' I dutifully get up, go find her sossy ( or give her a replacement) and hopefully we both go right back to sleep. Last Friday, hubby and I had to leave the house 3 hours before the arrival of the babysitter so my sister kindly agreed to watch the kids Friday morning.

When I asked my sis how did the morning go she told me that it was uneventful. As he typically does, the baby woke up first with his ' ABA!!!!!' and a few minutes after Eh woke up as well.

Eh's morning greeting was short and priceless. "Papi, I lost my mommy."

A quick update

With all the babysitting excitement and the general state of fatigue induced haze I completely neglected to write an update on my little ones progress.
SiM's been making a couple of independent steps by himself pretty much since the Independence day. Today it was more like 4 steps taken with loads of delight and pride.

He's also a happy rider of his sister's 'school bus' (though lately he's been eyeing the bycicle:))-he and the sis joyfully ride up and down the hallway. SiM on the school bus and Eh on the bike (Eh's developed a bit of a bug phobia and all her belonging have to stay home away from the bugs. Thankfully, the pool is not included in the 'curfue'.).

Eh started day camp three weeks ago-she naps through half of it but it is still a big step to being a 'big girl'. She is quite talkative and extremely entertaining. Every morning begins with 'mommy, don't go to work; I don't want to go to gan (camp) today; I don't want the babysitter to come' though eventually she lets me go to work without prolonged goodbyes.
Amusingly, for the past few nights, before going to sleep she also tells me not to go to work. I reassure her that I'm staying with her for the night. Actually, as I wrote the last sentence I realized why she started this strange request at night, but that will have to be a separate entry.

Peace out.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ehem or 2 stories about my observation skills

First story:

My current assignment is in a 540 bed facility which means I get to work with many coworkers of various disciplines. On the days when I'm lucky and I get to stay after the chance of shift I have the honor to work with many more peoples whose names and particulars I try to remember, just to be polite.

One of the people from the evening shift is nurse Dorothy. She's a sweet young large woman who's usually polite and helpful. And I had no problems remembering her name it is also the name of Elmo's fish. But, I digress...

On Monday, I lingered til the evening shift took over ( which since the change in my babysitting guard occured has been happening more often than not) and there I was again sitting at a nurse's station together with Dorothy. On the left of the station was one of slightly annoying chatty recreation workers ( who deserves an entry of her own). This time she was doing her 1:1 with one of the residents and chatting with Dorothy. She asked Dorothy some question to which she replied something like 'september", ' very soon'. To brighten up the end of my working day I decided to join the conversation ( though joining in usually means completing my work in 1.3-1.5 usual time and it cramps my style). So I asked Dorothy to repeat what's going to happen in September. She just said "my baby" and for the second time in a month I felt that I could've been knocked down with an 'F'.

I looked at Dorothy with eyes so wide she started laughing. She said sweetly that she knew she's a big girl but she thought that her situation was apparent by now and proceeded to comfort me by saying that her brothers only found out the day before and only because her sister told them.
And while I congratulated her and apologized for my delayed response the blessed rec worker continued with her preachy voice to say something about 'the baby'. AGGGGGR. But then again, she askes me about my babies, too so I have to take the bad with the good.

And as I left the station I glanced at Dorothy again and darn it ( though she WAS sitting), she just looked her usual chubby self.

Second story:
Yesterday early in the AM, as I was on my way to work I got a text from one of my lost friends that she had a baby girl. I was delighted on many levels and exchanged texts with her for an hour or so. Btw, this is her 3rd girl, b'H.

Another one of my friends had his 3rd boy last week. Naturally, while I was sitting in the morning report (where people take themselves so seriously it's hard to stay awake), I decided to text the 3rd boy friend and inform him of the recent good news (these 2 know/knew of each other). And the easiest way to do it was to reply to one of his text with "so and so just had her 3rd girl'.

Naturally I was taken aback when the new again mom sent me a message saying that she is in a girl business. It took a few seconds to realize to whose text I replied with the good news and thank Gd that my text was short, sweet, and to the point.

WHERE DID MY OBSERVATION SKILLS GO? Should I hope they will return or should I start getting used to the new me!?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Jerusalem today

On my way to work today, I heard that there was a terrorist act in Jerusalem. I said a little prayer for the dead and the wounded, got angry that the terrorist was counted with the dead, and quickly forgot about it (since I came to work very late and had lots of catching up to do).

Then, thanks to all the TVs that beg me to watch them on every unit, while I was on my way to do some routine assessment, I saw some Israeli guy talking on Fox news and I realized it was about earlier events in Jerusalem. He described the event in all its brutal detail -where the terrorist galantly let a female driver go ahead of him only to plow her seconds later, that one of the dead was a woman who managed to throw her infant out of the car before she was crushed. He appealed to the people of the world to try to imagine what the Israelis have to live through every day- that this attack is equivalent of a madman plowing through crowds on 5th Avenue, or on champs elysees...while the footage of the Israeli soldier shotting the terrorist was displayed in the background.

I felt tears welling in my eyes. I had a hard time concentrating on my work for the next few minutes. The general public (to whom the Israeli on TV appealed) around me seemed to be going about their business as usual. One kind man asked me if I was ok but when I explained what happened, he for some reason couldn't find words of comfort for me.

שהם give peace to Israel and ישוע to the the whole klal.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

May I help you please?

It's been a few months since I've been bestowed (if that's the expression I'm looking fore) with the honor and the pleasure of putting my daughter to sleep. As time went by, the ritual has become more complex rather than simplified ( which one would hope for since my baby's turned 2 and 1/2 today- yippy).

Anyhow, it involves reading book(s), +/- telling stories, +/- singing Eh's song, moma's songs, abba's songs, baby's songs, +/- singing stories, etc, etc, etc. I've recently discovered that if I park in my daughter's bed, I may not necessarily speed up the going to sleep process but I typically make it more comfortable for myself ( and take a nap as a bonus). To do this, I get into my lounge clothes.

Tonight, after about 45 minutes dedicated to the ritual I finally came to the kitchen to eat dinner. After being snuggled under a blanket for a while, airconditioned kitchen felt like a walk in fridge so I quickly put on the first available cover up which came to view. It happened to be my freshly washed labcoat with my name and rank on each side of the chest and my beeper, pens, and other miscellaneous goods in pockets.

I barely got a chance to sit down and eat when there was a long buzz. Silently cursing at a realization that I again forgot to put the sign "do not ring bell after 7 PM" I asked who's at the door. The voice replied "your neighbor, Connie Green." I thought I heard wrong because I couldn't remember any neighbors with that name combo plus I expected the usual mumbling for charity. So I asked again who's there and got the same answer. So I asked my neighbor to wait one minute, quickly looked for a buck and went to the door.

When I opened the door I'm not at all sure which one of us was more taken aback- me who saw my 'neighbor' or the neighbor who stuttered a bit with her (i'm sure much repeated) speech upon seeing me at the door.

I'm not sure whom my neighbor expected to see at the door, but I'm almost sure it didn't include a woman in a green headscarf, orange tshirt, brown skirt, betty boop fluffy slippers and a bit weathered white lab coat buttoned all the way down with a $ bill appearing ouf of one of the overstuffed pockets.

I wonder if it would scare her off from ringing strangers' doorbells after 9 pm?

Monday, June 23, 2008

I thought I knew you, what did I know?

I just realized that I can empathize with K fed who got a text from Britney saying that 'it's over'. But I digress. Here's my story of the week.

I got a text from our babysitter on Friday night (albeit I read and responded to it on Sat night) saying " Very important call me as soon as u get this text".

What can be so important that she sent me a text on Fri night? Why she couldn't just call? Did she get in trouble with the law and needed bailing out?! I was debating whether is was a good idea to call her at 9:45PM but then again, if someone needs bailing out, it's never too late.

I called her. With a wear voice she told me that her grandma is not doing so well and asked for the babysitter by name. So, she's flying back to her country ASAP. But, she's got number of 3 reliable and responsible young ladies to cover for her because she doesn't want me to be stranded.

In timesless words of Bertie Wooster " she could've knocked me down with an f".

I wished her luck and hung up. She even said she'd keep in touch and call back in a few days.

Hubby called her in the morning, asking for how long she's going, whether she needs help with her apartment, etc. She already said she planned on staying for a while, not sure when she's come back, the apt and the ticket are taken care of.

Her aunt, the original referral, called us later, apologizing. To make a very long story very short, our babysitter planned her emergency for at least a month. She disconnected her phone before noon on Sunday (I'm sure to ease the process of being in touch) and as far as we were concerned, vanished into thin air.

After working for us for a year, she didn't even care for a proper good bye, let alone at least a day's notice, closure, and all the other stuff our society seems to find important.

Who the heck watched my kids for a year, pretending so well to care?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Happy birthday SiM

I ment to post this on his birthday, but managed to be 24 minutes late. Well, a little late but a most sincere happy birthday to my big boy! I can't believe it's been a year...

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I didn't really get a chance to post an 11 month old update and Sim is almost a year old.
So a quick recap ( though my recaps notoriously lack the necessary detail):
-definitely a confident cruiser by 11 months;
-refused eating the classic 'baby food' from the jars-it's table food or nothing;
-ABBA! is his most popular word. Amusingly, abba worked very hard @ teaching out daughter to say that word ( pretty much since she was 3 months old). With this one it came with no effort on his part but with much delight on mine. Every time the baby wakes up in the morning, he calls 'abba', so I just tell my hubby 'he's calling you":) and continue pretending that I'm still asleep.
-he knows what he wants and points at it quite nicely;
-if something that he wants is in his sister's possession, he tried to take it away and very very quickly scoot in the opposite direction;
-albeit his favorite word is abba, he is mama's boy and every time he sees me he demands to be picked up or as a last resort, given undevided attention;
-he finally has a (cute) tuft of hair that's curling up in the back

Friday, May 30, 2008


I was waiting for my big toddler to start asking "why" question, and today it finally happened.
All of a sudden, I heard her ask why 4 times in less than 5 minutes!

YAY! I mean, why?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Albeit it's a national holiday, I went to work for a few hours today because I missed 1.5 days last week and because you can accomplish a lot more on a holiday ( since there are less people working who can potentially slow me down).

My little department is made up of immigrants ( with an exeption of 1 born American who wasn't there today), so none of us 'grew up' with a Memorial Day. So when one of my coworkers heard me wish a "happy Memorial Day' to one of the residents he asked me what exactly are we celebrating? Instead of answering him directly, I asked him ' what does it sound like', and ' how many years have you lived in America that you still don't know what's being celebrated?'. I gave him the brief description of the holiday after I told him off for living in the country for 7 years and not caring to find out the cause for 'the bbqs and sales'.

Later this evening, after the kids were finally sleeping and the adults were enjoying the obligatory barbeque (burgers and hot dogs on a George Foreman grill version), my sister and I started discussing some people's short memories when it came to late saddam and America's war in Iraq.

Now just to be clear, I'm not really into politics. I am an ostrich. I usually let you mind your own business if you don't put it in my face and let me peacefully mind my business. And along the same lines I don't care for wars. But in the land of freedom and opportunity it somehow becomes so easy to forget that as a bumper sticker reads ' Freedom isn't Free".

If freedom was free - no lives lost, no emotional and physical wounds, no billions spent- would all the immigrants have come here today and in the past, or would they have remained in their 'mother' countries and enjoyed the 'freedoms' there?

To quote our president "It's Memorial Day. It's a day to honor not only those who have died in combat, but it's a day to honor those who continue to serve," Bush said.