Monday, April 27, 2009

Sick weekend

This weekend, three quarters of our little family was hit with a merciless, weekend-ruining stomach bug.

It hit Asher on Friday.
Then Abba on Saturday.
Then Ima on Sunday.

We were all pretty sick.
We're talking laid-up-on-the-couch,
kind of sick.

At various moments on Sunday,
one or the other of us
managed to hoist up the camera
so I could document this little adventure for you all.

Asher indulged in an unorthodox, middle-of-the-floor nap:

A lot of time was spent with Sesame Street clips via Abba's laptop:

After that, Asher lounged for hours without pants
but with his favorite shoes (thanks Logie):

As we enjoyed a good long sit outside at dusk on Sunday
(the first time we made it out of the house all weekend)
Asher improved our spirits (and our toes and legs, obviously)
by artfully coating them in watercolors.

The whole time,

I mourned the wasted weekend
tried to keep my achy eyes open
so that I could capture more precious minutes
with my little guys.
I knew I was missing out.
I hated it.
But, reviewing these photos,
I realized -
we were okay.
Naps happened (even if mid-floor,)
boys did not go (completely) naked,
art projects occurred,
time together was had.
Yes, it was a sick weekend,
but a weekend all the same.
We'll just have to make this next one
that much more awesome.

Friday, April 24, 2009

5 months old

Dear Rami,
Today you are five months old.
Every time I kiss your face,
your usually exuberant smile
shifts to one of
quiet, contented delight.

This trait, especially,
endears you to me
more than I can express.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


"You will only expect a few words - what will those be?
When the heart is full it may run over,
but the real fullness stays within.
Words can never tell you -
however, form them, transform them anyway -
how perfectly dear you are to me
perfectly dear to my heart and soul.
~From Robert Browning to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 12 September 1846

On Tuesday nights, I get to lead a dinnertime Jewish text study at Hillel.
(Jewish wisdom studied - and continued - by the brightest of students. Amazing.)
Consequently, my very late arrival at our humble abode
occurs as an endcap to David's very long day,
after Asher's bedtime,
and at the end of Rami's rope.

In our family's division of labor,
I am generally in charge
of the food in our bellies
and the prayers on our lips.

So, in my absence, a Tuesday letter is left
alongside a slow-cooker dinner

to remind the men in my life
that these things have not been forgotten.

The content remains mostly the same week after week:

"Hello my loves -
Asher: I hope you had a fun day. Please do not forget to say your Shema. I love you.
Rami: I hope you had a good day. I will be home soon for snuggles and love. Please be good to Abba in the meantime. I love you.
David: Dinner is in the slow cooker. I love you like coffee in the morning (or alternate similie.)"

These letters are written in a bound book,
page after page repetitive from week to week,
not because the instruction is needed
or because my return is uncertain
or because my love for the guys is unknown to them

but because the letter represents
the part of my heart that waits for them at home
on nights when I do not.

(Check out more letters here.)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Passover 5769: Epilogue

One amazing thing about Passover is that it offers a respite from the daily grind, usually when it is desperately needed.
Two days of that whole "no-work" thing in the middle of two consecutive weeks proved, once again, to be a breath of fresh air.
After a morning where nothing was accomplished except the all important Breakfast and Naptime, the boys and I enjoyed a delicious holiday lunch (made all the more delicious because I didn't have to cook it) with some fabulous Buckeyes, and returned home for a full afternoon of nothing-much-at-all planned.

As I deposited armfuls of stuff just inside the door, my ears were alerted to a suddenly whiny boy.
Asher's arm poked insistently back toward the door. "Osside!"

Outside was wet. And muddy. And chilly. And misting. Did I mention wet?

Hoping to preserve the dignity of my hair and the cleanliness of our floors (both leaving much to be desired in the first place,) I tried to direct Asher toward pursuits of the less-wet-and-muddy variety. "Asher, look! Wouldn't you like to play with your animals? Or your cars?"

A tiny foot was stamped, the level of whine increased, and the arm continued to jab at the door.
"OssIDE! OSS-IDE!!!"

Clearly I suffered some mental deficiency that prevented me from seeing the clear need to be outside.

Or I was just plain mean.
Or profoundly un-fun.
I glanced at Rami, solidly snoozing, despite the ruckus, in his car seat. This didn't help my cause.

Asher's pleading eyes remained fixed on mine.
So, outside we went.

The work involved mostly finding pinecones and throwing them.

Occasionally, the soccer ball was carried and deposited elsewhere.

Then, of course, we had to run up hills and back down again.

Which caused a tumble, which caused dirty hands, which abruptly ended Asher's fun.

Both Ima and boy were now thoroughly sodden and muddied.
A good time was had by all (including Rami, who enjoyed an unusually quiet nap.)
Yes, Asher. That was a great idea.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


A few weeks ago,
it was dreary outside.
Inside our house
was a sunny boy
with a bright red balloon.

David decided
to contribute some of our sunshine
to the overcast sky.

Here's the shot.*

*In an effort to share more of my shots of the boys without the requirement of brilliant flashes of inspiration for posts, I'm going to try one of these "photo-challenge-of-the-week" gigs.
If it seems tacky,or annoying, or boring,or altogether uninspired just say so in the comments....(you know I crave your approval.)


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Young Celebrity (or at least lookalike)

Rami got his first shoutout in the blogosphere!
(Oh, the milestones we mark in the 21st century.)

Check him (and the fabulous blogger) out here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

On birthdays

{My dad's birthday, circa 1978. He was clearly partying enough for the both of us.}

Today is my birthday.
I love my birthday as much as the next person -
how could you not, with all the good wishes, fun presents, and the cake (oh, the cake!)?

I have learned one surprising thing about birthdays since I became an Ima:
I never anticipated
that one day my birthday
would mean far, far less to me
than the birthdays of my children.

You see, I believe that we are defined by the people that surround us.
On the day that I was born, I became someone. Just someone.

On the day my children were born, however,
I became an Ima.
Someone who feeds and loves and hugs
someone who kisses hurt fingers to make them all better
someone who is sought to quash the scariest of nightmares.

(And this made me realize...)
On the day my siblings were born, I became a sister.
Someone who got to share childhood memories, whispered secrets, and love-piles.
Someone who understands family dramas and jokes alike.
Someone who snuggled under the covers on weekend mornings well into teen-dom.
Someone who is a best friend through thick and thin.

So, while I still love my birthday,
It's not the day on which my heart sings in celebration.
I actually get a lot more excited about my Ima-birthdays and my sister-birthdays.

(So, do you think I could get some cake on those days, too? Did I mention how much I love cake?)

What is the greatest lesson you have learned about birthdays?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Zissen Pesach

In each generation, every individual must look at him or herself as though he or she had personally made the Exodus from Egypt, as it is said,
"You shall tell your children on that day, 'it is because of what Adonai did for me when I went free out of Egypt.'" (from the Passover Haggadah)

In other words,

We are part of a story
but the only reason we must tell it
is for the sake of our children
who will then become part of the story
and then tell it to their children.

Children learn in many different ways.
Our Passover celebrations provide several different methods
for teaching them the story
of the Exodus from Egypt.
One of those is getting rid of all our leavened products for the week.

(If it were not for this beautiful and compelling drash,
there is absolutely no way
I would have been freezing my tuchus off
at the crack of dawn
teaching my 21-month-old
to burn Ritz crackers
on our porch.)

May your Seders be awesome and your Passover sweet.

{also enjoy some more snaps from our Passover preparations this past week}

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Parshah for Parenting - Tzav 5769

Well, we're on to the second portion in the book of Leviticus.
Which means writing "Parsha for Parenting" just got a lot more difficult.
You see, the book of Leviticus is all about the sacrifices in the Temple.
It talks all about the sacrifices:
When, Who, Why, How
Even what to wear.

Of course, Jews no longer offer sacrifices at the Temple.
I've heard of precocious children, in preparation for a bar mitzvah around this time of year,
trying to re-enact the ancient Temple rites.

This afternoon I was home alone with two boys and dozens of pounds of meat to freeze.
Rami was characteristically content to remain strapped into his car seat, observing.
In the midst of dividing chicken cutlets and stew beef,
I realized Ashi was sounding busy but quiet...

(Do you think he has Leviticus on the brain?)

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