This year on Thanksgiving, to quote my Little, we took a do-over. Because chronic pain knows no dates, no holidays, no plans, not even the hopes and joys and dreams of little ones. Grandpa still arrived and swept my Littles and my love off to the theater to see the Peanuts movie. A lovely treat,  complete with lazy-boy recliners and plenty of pretzel nuggets. A good time had by all.

I stayed home to a mixture of brecching, gripping the porcelain pot, mixtures of meds, and an uncomfortableDo-Over ‘sleep.’ It happens. It’s out of my control and it is what it is. It’s a shonda when it affects my children, my family, but we will survive. When it comes, I cannot muster any of my mommy SuperPowers. Chronic pain trumps Super Mommy every time.

I wake the next day, somewhat better and in need electrolytes. Stiff, dehydrated, sad, and rallying. After all, this glass stays half-full. I know that today we can do it all over again today. Little said so, and Big agreed. I should probably wait another day, but I don’t.

That’s family. The kinder, the mishpucha. Love. That’s what I have been and why I am forever thankful, despite my lot.

Love, gratefulness, and thanks, isn’t that what this Holiday is all about anyway?

Wishing you all a happy thanksgiving, whatever day you celebrated.

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Twas the night before day
and all through the flat
the creatures were stirring,
we may need a cat

In morn found a mouse
that met with grim reaper
my love is fahrklempt
the Littles falling deeper

I said, call the Manor
to handle this scene!
They schlepped it away,
set another, we’re clean

By day there were challenges
met with delight
surely nothing as dreadful
as in the past night

The narrative went,
Lice or Mice, which is best?
My heart sank so deep
so sullen my chest

We noshed on our supper
we cleaned up the mess
what came next was bedlam
and chaos and stress

At night we don’t wind down
or find peace and calm
Littles dance, play and sing
oy gevalt, like a bomb

Pipe down, we need quiet time
Not shpilkes nor grief
Mommy and Ema require
needed relief

Ema informed me by text
’bout mouse lying in state
in the closet, over yonder,
this can’t be my fate

Drastic measures were needed
for it was after hours
My kishka’s a flutter
I summoned my powers

Super Mommy was needed
to perform the last rite
Dead vermin most certainly
cannot stay the night

As Ema combed heads
in search of the louse,
I tended to dearly departed
dead mouse

With bags two times thick
from elbow to fingers
I must move like a maven
‘fore smell of death lingers

I managed to handle
the worst task yet to date
The kids none the wiser,
pure joy for my mate

Now Santa may wonder why
I write in this verse
This Yid wants a favor
To be rid of this curse

I believe in your magic
I hear your bells ring
Surely Saint Nick can
do us one thing

What we ask costs no money
And it need not be wrapped
Just help with the tsuris
the stress and the crap

We’re tired dear Santa
Our lot has been trying
We lost both our boys,
the house, we’ve been crying

And still we march on
cup half filled with cheer
in hope that the future
is bright and is near

So please Mr. Claus
when you visit our house
please help us loyzem gayne 
this fucking mouse!

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Who is She?

ToothbrushI have to share with you the craziest thing that keeps happening to me. Each and every day, when I brush my teeth in the morning and at night, someone else is there brushing right there with me! Not in a ghostly way, or a spiritual way, or even a Harry Potter-esque way. It’s insane. She resembles me, I guess. Which in turn means she looks like my Dad (minus the dreaded comb-over). She has much whiter hair, much paler face and a she’s a bit gaunt and wrinkly. She is never anywhere else around the house. She’s not in the car. She’s not at the office where I work. She’s never reading or playing with the kids. She certainly doesn’t do the laundry around here…baffling how she has the same oral hygienic proclivities as me, in my very own bathroom, in my very own home. A fastidious flosser she is!

If she’s going to be here, she might as well do her part. Cook, shop, clean? Did I mention she should cook?

30Could that person be me? Really? Could my very own image of myself be so distorted that I am still recalling ‘the me’ of my 30’s? Or even my 20’s? Sheeze, at this point I’ll take ‘me’ in my 40’s! I’ve had a lot of diagnoses in my life, but am I really coming dangerously close to being an alte kocker (literally, an old fart?)? I already have an AARP card. When did this happen? How dare she, this woman, show up in my bathroom mirror, of all places, with the chutzpah to expose my vision of myself, to me, of all people! Oy vey.

Well they say age is just a number. As long as you’re healthy, a bei gezhunt

You’re only as old as you feel. Feel, shmeel. Let’s stop this right now.

IMG_0894I can walk away from that reflection, and be just fine. No need to be farhklempt. Age happens. I have a beautiful family, a loving partner, and two wonderful and sensitive daughters. I have more energy than all three of them put together (even with chronic pain-well mostly). I need to stop kvetching and keep kvelling. Look at all that is good in my life. Such naches. I am grateful. And yes, I am 52. Six hundred and thirty-seven months old (thank goodness, this horrid way of calculating age stops early).

I won’t think about this again (at least until tonight, before bed).

What’s a girl woman to do?

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Boo-Boo Power

Isn’t it remarkable that no matter what emotion is lurking inside your child, a boo-boo and some smooches can almost always bring a cure for tears, frowns, feeling scared, moping, disappointment, and yes, an occasional scrape or two. For best results, apply bandage to clean, dry skin and let the magic begin.

Olaf band-aid, need unknownHow old are kids when the charmed spell that comes with the unraveling of the wrapper and placing the boo-boo on any part of the human body, simply stops working? There are many parents who have treaded these waters well before me. Surely you know? I feel like an honest ‘heads-up’ on this topic is in order, especially for those of us who are still stockpiling at CVS.

Currently, my two girls, 5 and 7, can easily be distracted from a klutzy move on the sidewalk, an unwarranted kick on the shin from a sib, a shriek of, “She almost hit me,” or signs of an actual flesh wound, with the careful positioning of an adhesive bandage. Sometimes the cure is not as immediate if we have the wrong princess in supply. But more often than not, Band-Aids are like a silver bullet. I keep these charmed ‘body-stickers’ in my backpack, in their backpacks, in the car, in my partner’s purse, so we are always at the ready for whatever may come our way. This 2-mom family has reason to not be ready.

Earlier this week, Little, was fancifully sharing her latest dance moves in the living room with me when she slipped on the hard wood flooring and hurt her knee. I leapt from the sofa to her rescue while applauding her effort, grace, and now bravery. Kissing her knee repeatedly, we made a beeline to the medicine cabinet (yes, there are boxes in each bathroom too) and chose the right stuff for this particular injury. Apparently, even though it was her knee that was smarting, she led me to top of her left hand, for placement of a character from Inside Out (thankfully, it was Joy!). I realized that she needed to see her boo-boo and be reminded of the earlier painful experience, like some sort of proof that it happened. After all, with leggings on, what if she totally forgot? Perhaps it was even of ‘badge of courage’ to share later when Big gets home from school.

When Little or Big get hurt, even a miniscule one like the unfortunate ballet incident mentioned above, its rough on our 2 momma hearts. Witnessing the pain and suffering, even if only lasting 18 seconds, is still excruciating. Bigger hurts, feelings and emotions are like—lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!

boo boo 3Here’s an open-ended question for you—is pulling off the Band-Aid traumatic for your kids? Little seems to find no issue in this. In fact, I find them all over the house. Nothing much grosser than a spent Elsa and Anna bandage stuck to the dresser or at the bottom of the tub, wedged in the drain. But for Big—it’s as if we are about to amputate a limb. Bandages just need to linger on Big. At an attempt for removal, we will experience piercing cries, screams, squeals, kicks and punches, way worse than those of the original cause, if we get anywhere close to the target. Sometimes those gummy, tacky tchotchkes are just barely holding on for dear life on her twin kneecaps. The adhesive gunk has drawn in many interesting objects. At this point in the scene, this mommy has to inflict the unthinkable and rip.

“There honey, that wasn’t so bad at all? Just like I promised. Let me give those knees a little kissing.” We hug and all is good in the world. Little showed up to make sure Big was smiling, game on in case her comedic charm was needed.

The craziest thing is, given any other scenario, those same piercing cries, screams, kicks and punches of fear and dread, would be cured with a bunch of kisses and a boo-boo application.

Go figure?

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This is a fave from Big, that makes me, us, so very happy.

You are the greatest moms

You are funny

You like to play

You like to cheer us up

I’m kvelling. In the midst of all of the tsuris across the world, I thought it a good idea to share this gem.

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Help Make America Recycles Day Contagious!

How many of you know that today is America Recycles Day?

Big's worldIt’s a day set aside to honor and celebrate recycling of all kinds! It’s utterly fabulous!

Having worked a fair share of years in the recycling business, both curbside and textile, it’s just become a natural way of life for our family. Little and Big are growing up in the know. I used to (unintentionally) make my mishpucha (in-laws) so nervous with each trip to their house for fear that the wrong things would be in the wrong bin. “Nonna, I never meant any harm!”

Today is a great day to ask yourselves and your family to take the America Recycles Day Pledge. Click this link and voila. Do it individually, one by one in your family. Read the pledge out loud to each other and realize it’s not that difficult to make real change. And this change comes at no cost to you! It’s not like adding solar panels or green rooftops…

I would love to see the top of the pledge next year say that, “the national recycling rate has increased every year for the past thirty years.” The current rate is 60%.”  C’mon, join me! It can’t be that hard to do!

If we look at ‘contagion’ as a behavior we share with our fellow beings, I think we can spark a recycling revolution, and fairly swiftly at that.

Let’s look at a few things: Did you know that despite the fact that all vertebrates yawn, humans, chimps and some dogs are the only species that can catch the actual yawn? This act of yawning sends blaring alarms to our early ‘fight or flight’ selves and triggers our primal roots of social bonding and empathy. We literally connect to each other (hard to imagine in this disconnected world) over a yawn! LOL!

Little's worldHow many of you are yawning right now? I am yawning just typing about this marvel. (It’s also a tool I whip out when I cannot get Little or Big to fall asleep at night. Shameless, but it’s true. Try it for those of you who have problem sleepers like we do.)

Laughter is another infectious act. Numerous studies point to the facts that seeing or hearing someone laugh greatly increases the likelihood that you will laugh and/or smile. You don’t even need to know why the laughter occurred. Remember the laugh track? That was there for a reason!

Smiling is another catchy topic worth spreading. Walk down the street and offer a smile to every person you cross eyes with. The grin across your face will more often than not, cross barriers to a total stranger, and may even brighten their day! You will, unknowingly to the stranger, lower their blood pressure, boost their immune system, elevate their self-esteem, and ability to relax. This happens for you too! This is POWERFUL stuff!

Okay, time to loop back to the mission at hand–recycling. What if we simply release all of the positive contagions we know about into the air and continue to connect on this primitive and passionate level with persons that we inhabit the globe with? Our world as we know it, deserves to be happier, more relaxed and overall healthier in so many ways.

Spread the love of the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) right in your home. Let that joy permeate the children, who will happily prance off into the schools, neighborhoods, and communities. Heck, smile, yawn and laugh while you take your bin curbside. Whoop it up as you extend the lifecycle of the clothes and shoes your family no longer uses, by dropping them happily at the local thrifts. Split your sides as you stockpile cell phones to send for rehabilitation and reuse. Realize the real possibilities of the recyclable items in every room of your home. They are there.

So be a mentsh (honorable, good person)! Smile, yawn, and laugh as you reduce, reuse and recycle. Send out positive contagions for beneficial results. Our children deserve such a world.

Happy America Recycles Day all!

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Germ-phobes Beware

kids 1Now is the time of year, where everywhere you go, you will hear a cough, sniffle, sneeze, and even a wheeze.

The kids are back in school, and with that comes germ warfare, as parents (and teachers too) know only too well. Hand sanitizer, chicken soup and a Z-pack can’t hold a candle to what we are up against.

My girls are in nursery and second grade. Suffice to say, stuff happens. Kids share (usually very good), play, put things in their mouth (not good usually), forget to wash their hands before they eat or after they (oy vey) go to the bathroom, touch other kids in the face and touch who knows what? I’ve witnessed my youngest licking the ladder that led up to the slide. Can I call that, uh, entrepreneurial? Perhaps she envisions slide ladders and swing ropes coming in flavors, and that would elevate the entire playground experience. Well, I don’t think she’s quite ready for Shark Tank. No. It’s just weird and some kids do that.

And there is something else. I’m just going to say it. Boogers. There, it’s out there. They are prevalent. Finding a ‘bear in the cave’ is a pastime that both of my frilly, twirly-whirly, girly-girls partake. I wish I could say differently—but this blog is a safe place of transparency here. I know you won’t judge me, my partner or our parenting based solely on ‘the pick.’

My observation of this phenomenon is keen. You see the ‘pick’ is just half the fun for them. The ‘roll’ follows immediately. You’ve seen it. When the pointer finger and the thumb work in tandem to play with this fresh gem. Depending on concurring activities and complete concentration, the roll can last a few seconds or as long as an entire episode of The Odd Squad. After the roll, gem in tact, comes the nosh.

Kid 2

Yes. They eat it. If it dropped on the sofa or in the carpet while making it’s way to the nosh, sleuthing ensues. They can’t find their socks, the other ballet slipper, the book that has to go to the library, or the new tooth brush, but they will relentlessly seek, rescue and recover said jewel as if they were Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), from Law & Order: SVU, pursuing the perp.

The nosh helps to spread the bug. In no time, one of my little lovelies will sneeze while sharing lemonade with her sister. The next day, both lovelies sneeze. I declare a full on, “Moratorium on sharing of drinks.” But it’s already begun. We now percolate and re-circulate the rhinovirus at home. I do my best to dodge this latest outbreak, yet parenting must go on. No matter what trickles from the many orifices, no matter the color or the texture, you must keep on loving, tickling, nurturing, kissing and playing with your children. Hugs, kisses and snuggles are even more important when they are unwell.

And don’t you know it, as the girls (infested) and I (clean) are playing on the floor, one raised atop my feet and flying freely through the living room while the other is cheering and saying, “Me! Me! My Turn,” she coughs. Suddenly my world shifts into super slow-mo. Sounds get muffled. I can see the mist of tainted sputum headed slowly toward my open-mouthed smile. I feel the spittle hit inside my mouth like a shower of little bullets. I feel the miniscule germ-soldiers parading, prancing even, their way down into my throat.

I knew it was ‘T minus 2’ days until this malady would hit, at best. Cough happens. When I cough, it hurts my neck and back in ways that others (see my post titled: Les Misérables) might not imagine. And I wouldn’t change one thing (well, the nose picking could stop) about how this migration of microorganisms into my chest occurred. Why? Love. Truth is, these two girls (and my loving spouse) have crawled into my heart and filled it with such joy (mostly) and naches. I’m kvelling. So again, a little phlegm—bring it on.

My new need for a ‘mommy-carburetor’ came from me doing my ‘Mommy’ job and the girls playing the role of ‘kids’ as they do so very well. It came from laughter, and fun and playfulness, and trust and family, and L-O-V-E.

And I am certain it will happen again.

This cough I now have, priceless.


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