Makin’ Memories!

My Mrs. — my Bashert (destiny, as in soul mates), that is some view I had! ❤

As many of you know, we had a bit of tsuris (trouble) this past spring break, when everyone got sick, save for Gatsby and me. Everything was ferkokt (all fucked effed up) Plans were canceled, tears were spilled along with other bodily fluids … Well, we finally got a re-do on that break, and this time, we headed to Boulder, Colorado to see my shvester (sister) and shvager (brother-in-law). I hope you can see how much fun we had! I am so very lucky…

My kinder, my shvester, and my shvager, perched on steps of pride with the kinderlech
Great company, food, music, dancing, and fun! My ballerinas were mesmerized by the break dancers…
Chautauqua Trails — The Flatirons, what a beauty to experience!

The fresh smelling air, the sights, the sounds of nature, all were as glorious as this shot which doesn’t even begin to capture what our senses absorbed. We all need to be good to our planet to preserve such a treasure. A shtik naches (A great joy) for us all to revel and relish.

Climbing… climbing…

As an important note, I think we only stopped 7 or 403 times to utilize our new unicorn bandaids for various blisters and to add a bissel (little) bling!

I spy with my little eye, a wabbit! In this photo, he may be ‘actual size!’

Some of us were Terrified of back bear sightings — we stumbled into this tiny rabbit while hiking. A little later we saw a very big deer, resting in the shade. She was unscathed by our presence. Of course, we were then terrified of ticks and Lyme’s Disease and inspected our kinder like Jane Goodall and her gorillas in the mist. On our way down, we spoke to a couple that saw a few baby black bears (Oy vey!) playing, on their hike, higher up. Luckily my kinder won’t likely read this post for many moons, if at all Feelings of shpilkes (fear, pins, and needles) in our group?  ‘Spot on!’

Living and loving ‘in the moment’
Farmutshet (worn out, exhausted) A little bit tired after that hike…
How lucky am I to catch this shot of Little jumping and Big waiting?

Never too tired to swim, and the water is never too cold when you are kinderlech (young children). Besides, there are two hot tubs to choose from to warm up if you need to! The water was actually quite comfortable in temp. Nothing stimulates the soul, activates the appetite and allows for sweet slumbers, like daily swimming. And the scenery, it couldn’t be more beautiful. 

And my shvester follows suit!
“I told you, only the girls are allowed in here…”  TLM*

If he knew the words, he would have said, “Loz mich tsu ru! (Leave me alone!)” I had to look them up! He is one proud uncle, who gets a kick out of these maideleh’s (sweet little girls), and, he loves his ME time! Nothing wrong with that! ❤ While we swim, he aerobicizes and lifts, solo style. 

We learned how to throw a Frisbee, and catch it too!

With the patience of a saint, and an overwhelming need to play, she taught us again how to throw and catch a Frisbee. I really think we have it now! For me, just running freely, throwing, hiking, swimming and playing, without severe or any repercussions, shows the proof in the pudding from living so close to the dispensaries! Medical or recreational, cannabis works for chronic nerve pain (and so much more)! I see why people up and move to feel better. Mrs.? 

“I wish we could stay longer…”
“I wish we could stay longer…”
We had so much fun! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Aud-o and Steve-o! ❤ ❤ ❤ We love you so much!

We all had a blast. It was good to get away from our daily grind and take in new perspectives and sights. Needless to say, I was verklempt (all choked up, emotional) for the entire bus ride to the airport, and even during the frisking, she didn’t even know me! at the airport check-in … and, for a few more hours too. My shvester, she is a bit on the magical side. She is loads of fun for us all, and together, we laugh, and laugh and laugh until we pee ourselves. No joke! And for me, to have a body that can feel so good, priceless.

Abi gezunt! As long as you’re healthy!

On Sunday it was summer

Without some outdoor play, they are both like vilda chayas (wild animals).

      

  

Helping Hands

It’s been an ‘all hands on deck‘ kind of week. School is in full swing, dance lessons are back, and as they say in this Yiddish Proverb:

If you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.  Aoyb ir alts darfn a helping hant ir vet gefinen eyner in di suf fun deyn orem.

Take a look at my kinder (Sweet kids) and their hantalehs (hands) at work play!

They were so fascinated by the typewriters! They didn’t want to leave! Azoi!

Shana Tovah to all who celebrate! May it be a sweet and happy new year ahead for us all.

    

      

Playtime

Do you like my new dress?
I do. Mine is new too. Now let’s play already.

A cutie pie showing off her new dress.  A maidel mit a klaidel.

 

      

      

 

 

I spy with my little eye…

This My Sunday Photo happened when the storm Stella, she came to town. They played, they watched, they slid in the icy snow, and they sewed! Look what I spied with my little eye:

Look at these shana punims (radiant faces)!

 

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Power Outage

Goodness just radiates from her face. Di gutskayt ligt ir uysgegosn afn punem!

The beauty of being greeted at the door by my Big, and my Little, during a power outage
Goodness just radiates from their faces

A nice power outage!

 

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UPDATE: The Rule of Kind

Silly shvesters
Silly shvesters

A Kinder Kinder 

I thought now a good time to provide you all with some good, hard data anecdotal evidence on how we are doing as a family, with our one, single, solitary family rule: BE KIND. Some of you may recall this inspired post meant to get our little mishpocheh (family) out from under the tiny terroristic grip of Big and Little’s mood swings, urges and tantrums and back to the matriarchal quasi-control of the mamelehs (me and the Mrs.).

It was mid-August. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. We were feeling the worst of the heat, reeling from the weariness of endless pool days and we had hit the ceiling on late night movies. The kinderlech (kids) and the Mrs. had become nocturnal. By the time I joyfully strolled up the Manor steps after a hard days work, it was batshit crazy with a capital BAT all hell had broken loose. We had grown accustomed to our tsuris (troubles). It was pure mishegas (insanity and chaos).

Dos leben iz vi kinderhemdel—kurts un bash. Life is like a child’s undershirt—short and soiled.

Shvesters and goodies
Shvesters and sugar

Be Kind. How f@cking hard is that to do? I knew we could do it. I believed. The first coupla’ weeks were exhausting and awful filled with tears, apologies and repetition of our golden rule. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind.

Siri, How long until something basic, simplistic, and all encompassing becomes a damned habit?

It’s a shondah (pity) how my Little and Big, such sweet little maidelahs (girls), put each other through fisticuffs, scuffles, scrapes and screeches. Glass shattering screams, pushes, slaps and hair pulling. (It’s almost as if they had watched old reruns of Dynasty from the ’80’s?) I cried me a river. So did the nextdoorikeh’s (neighbors).

Time went on, as it does. We stuck to our one rule. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Patience. We had such effing patience! We were so very, very virtuous with all of our patience. And then, it started. 

  • Listening ears, they listened
  • We heard ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ fairly consistently
  • ‘I’m sorry’ flowed from their tiny little mouths appropriately and sincerely
  • Random acts of kindness happened without begging, yelling, nudging, cajoling any parental prodding
  • When Little ate all of her marshmallows before the hot chocolate was ready, Big happily handed her a handful of hers
  • When Big cried about not wanting to take a shower, Little volunteered to take one with her
  • They shared
  • If one was in need, the other helped
  • When one hurts, the other says, Vu tut dir vai (where does it hurt)?
  • If we said clean your room, they did it together

It was working. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Slowly and steadily our kinder (children) began to treat each other as if we were not behind the walls of the Manor, but as if we were in public and on their best behavior! They began to give one another the benefit of the doubt. My little bubbelah’s (term of endearment) were becoming menches (good, respected people) to one another. Loving shvesters (sisters), friends.

Shvesters plotting
Shvesters plotting

Now, I do not for one minute want you to think that we are all hotsy-totsy and blissful over here. We still have plenty of our moments. We will always have work to do and we still can be kinder, gentler, nicer and more empathetic. But so far, dos gefelt mir (this pleases me) very much! I’m kvelling (oozing with pride)!

Be Kind. Zeit gezunt (Be healthy)!

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Good Luck, Bad Luck: Wordless Wednesday

It's a Marvelous night for a moon dance
It’s a Marvelous night for a moon dance
Oops. She found me...
Oops. She found me…
So this is where they live?
So this is where they live?
Flying in a blur...
Flying in a blur…
They deserve so many freedoms -- family equality among them
They deserve so many freedoms — family equality among them
You gotta have heart!
You gotta have heart!
This tree missed me and Gatsby by 6 inches, literally! Good luck! Bring it on.
This tree missed me and Gatsby by 6 inches, literally! Good luck! Bring it on.

In a guter sho tsu reden; in a baizer sho tsu shveigen. In a lucky time it’s good to talk; in an unlucky time, it’s better to be silent. 

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Bedtime, in 4 hours or less

It somehow energizes them...
It somehow energizes them…

I know, you’ve been thinking, Lisala, it’s been so long since you shared your parenting perceptions and insights. Sure, a nice rant, a beautiful pic, sweet tender mishpocheh (family) moments. Today, we revisit bedtime. How on earth do you get the kinder to gai shluffin (the kids to go to sleep)? Well my readers, I offer you our thoughtful child rearing insights, in the form of a song. Hum along if you like, to the tune of Let It Be, you know, by the Beatles:

 

When I find myself in need of slumber

Trying to act sensibly

The whole world feels chaotic, fretfully

Retiring Big and Little takes too long

I doze off first expectantly

The kinder, they’re nocturnal, devilry

Empathy, empathy

Empathy, come and see

What, like our bed is the only bed on earth?

Their own room is so beautiful; come and see

 

I wake up to the sound of squealing,

Maidelahs have taken all control

The Mrs. voice is loudly fuming, testily

I muster up some words of wisdom

Pleading with veracity

Yet my babble is not in sentences, regrettably

Remedy, remedy

Remedy, eventually

We need a two bedroom like we need a luch in kop (hole in the head)?

They’ll sleep in their own bedroom, eventually

 

My Mrs., she chortles at my jabber

The kinder loudly laugh and giggle

Reveling in my senseless banter, splendidly

Minutes have slowly ticked to hours

Empty threats thrown about with leniency

We’re a helpless parent fail, professedly

Sleeplessly, sleeplessly

Sleeplessly, hopefully

Other kids go the fuck to sleep without such a gantseh megillah (long drawn out story)

Tomorrow night will be so much better, hopefully

 

Sleeplessly, sleeplessly

Sleeplessly, hopefully

Other kids go the fuck to sleep without such a gantseh megillah (long drawn out story)

Tomorrow night will be so much better, hopefully

 

Well, you know what they say:

Der shlof iz der bester dokter. Sleep is the best doctor.

Is there a doctor in the house? Oy vey iz mir.

 

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Guaranteed: The Greatest Gifts on Mother’s Day!

 

My mishpucheh (family)
My mishpucheh (family)

Just look at them. My shana madelahs (sweet little girls) and our new addition, a boychik (little boy) with a real puppy dog tail!

  • Remarkable
  • Genuine
  • Loving
  • Refundable? No way!
  • Miraculous
  • Amazing
  • Awe-inspiring
  • Kvetchy (Hanging on, and about to go boneless): They sometimes hock mier en chinikeh (Bang on my tea kettle!)
  • Imaginative
  • Creative
  • Beautiful (inside and out)
  • Affordable, feh
  • Special, oh so special
  • LOUD! It’s the emmes (I swear) truth. We should only not get evicted…
  • Practical? Not so much
  • Thoughtful
  • Courageous
  • Curious
  • DEAF: Disability that only occurs when the momma’s are talking. It’s a shonda (shame)
  • Smart
  • Rewarding
  • Mighty
  • Priceless
Big and Little
Big and Little

The Mrs. and Me, at times we are yelling, but we are mostly just kvelling (oozing with love and joy). And by mostly, I mean – well, you know!

A very Happy Mother’s Day to the Mrs. (I love you so) and to all you momma’s and caretakers out there. It is quite easily the hardest, yet most rewarding job to undertake.

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The Two Squabbling Shvesters (Sisters)

image

Once upon a time, you see

Lived two little madelahs (girls), the Mrs. and me.

Little and Big would play all the day

The time would pass, just whittle away.

They’d laugh and they’d giggle, they’d and sing and they’d dance

Fight? Not them! There isn’t a chance.

The Mrs. and me would smile with pride

as Little and Big played side by side.

 

Time would pass, as time will do

And every day befell a hullaballoo.

Breathing deeply, calmly, our patience tried

How did Little and Big turn into Jekyll and Hyde?

They’d start off smiling, so sweet and so kind.

From there, their behaviors only declined.

Their voices would raise, they shrieked and they whined.

The Mrs. and me had no peace of mind.

 

Such tsuris (trouble) would arise; out went all delight.

These shvesters (sisters) would bicker, squabble and fight.

One would be crying, the other would scream.

What happened to our dear little family dream?

The Mrs. would lose it, and me, sure to follow

It was fisticuffs, just like Rocky vs. Apollo.

What transpired, so unpleasant, unfriendly and loud

Our own Manor version of a ‘mushroom cloud.’

 

So we breathed and exhaled, and tried hard not to yell.

But this bickering, snickering was feeling like hell!

Another approach was required post-haste

Or our neighbors would see that we’d soon be displaced.

We tried essential oils shmeared (spread) ‘cross their toes

In hopes the sniffer approach would reach up to their nose.

We begged Little and Big to cease and desist

We cried, we waxed on, we all hugged and we kissed.

der kinder, our shana madelahs
der kinder, our shana madelahs

Shvesters (sisters) look after each other; the drama must end!

No more combat or brawling, you should be best friends.

Your two mommas want you to have a great love and connection

Instead, might we have to hire you each some protection?

Feeling tired and raw, our parental flaws all exposed

This mishegas (craziness) somehow must get juxtaposed?

Surely our love will surpass this wild frustration

and der kinder (the kids) will reach a warm-hearted elation!

 

The Mrs. and me, growing tired and weary

know that life must go on, it can’t stay so dreary.

After all, most of the time they are trying their best

Surely us mommas won’t yet get depressed.

So today when I wake them for their day to begin

I’m hopeful and gleeful, I mustn’t chagrin.

For life with our girls will have tears, fill some oceans.

Buckle up, sit back, it’s a rollercoaster of emotions.

 

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Rant, Shmant, at least I can vent…Week 8 is about ME

Flip-flops!
Flip-flops!

Shhhhh. Breakthrough therapy session in progress!

 Week 8! We need some progress. Today’s rant is all about me and my shtick (routine actions). I can most certainly do a few things in my life differently to save time, effort, energy, and all around self-made tsuris (trouble) and shpilkas (inner turmoil). This can allow me to be more present: As a parent, a partner, a person on the planet. That is a pretty important goal. So what follows dear therapists, is a list of the 5 things I will try, try, try very hard to break in my, well, shtick! Please note this is by no means a manifesto…I’m a work in progress. (Note to the Mrs., Little and Big: THIS-IS-ALL-ABOUT-ME. The queen of all OCD raised me. A master, she is. And, well, some things still remain.)

  1. The dishwasher. You and I have a strange relationship. Whenever I open you up, I have a need to re-stack and alter your contents. This is not to judge you, but to be more efficient and organized. Hey Dish, it’s your life. If you want to crowd your stuff all willy-nilly, so be it. No big mitziah (deal). Whether I can fit more in and allow you to wash more proficiently will no longer matter. I am going to focus on the fact that you are not in the sink and see the mitzvah (good deed) in that.
Because life goes by so fast, it's a blur...
Because life goes by so fast, it’s a blur…
  1. The toilet paper roll. Whether you roll over top, underneath, or sit atop the holder, I will just be grateful that you are there when I need you. I’m no TP maven (expert) so any way you show up, preferably in the bathroom, will suffice. 
  1. Laundry. Oh how I hate you. You are always there, ready to be washed, fluffed, folded and put away. I will try to take some days off from your siren like calling. I will only really fold my items, the towels and perhaps some of the nicer things all my girls wear. As for drawers and their contents, I will be my own keeper. 

image

  1. Food under Little’s Seat. Kaynahorah (warding off the evil eye) to my little tactile eater. You indulge and enjoy and really feel (and squish and mush) and ‘experience’ your food. It took me until my 40’s, when the Mrs. and I took a course on mindful dining, to be so engaged. You are awesome my shana madelah (beautiful little girl). Continue to ess a bissel (eat a little) your way. In the morning’s when I do Tai Chi, and things go crunch under foot, azoy vert dus kuchel tzekrokhen (literally, that’s the way the cookie crumbles). I will breathe and smile. 
  1. Stuff in general. Life here at the Manor is the closest this family will get to living in a ‘tiny home.’ So, when a few things are left out and about, it’s easy to get a bissel farhklempt (a little distraught). What’s to shvitz (sweat) over? No more utzing (nagging, like a pebble in your shoe) you. 

image

The goal here my dear mishpocheh (family), is for me to loosen up. Not get so meshuggeneh (crazy). Make memories, be more present. After all, I’m no yeller. I’m a kveller (one who gushes with pride)!

What do you thing doc’s? How am I doing? Please let me know.

 

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Beauty and the Beast: the real deal

Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast

Growing up, my mother told us (Shvesters) we were gorgeous. It was disingenuous. Even back then, at a very young age, I knew her words were for her. She would often fish for compliments with total strangers, coyly at the grocery store baggers, at restaurants with wait staff. To her credit, she was, and still remains a very nice-looking person. She took great pains to stay attractive, now approaching eighty years of life. Motivation for her was to look good on the arm of my father. Not a whole lot more going on, unfortunately.

My sister—her beauty comes au natural and is throughout. She favors my mom and has maintained a statuesque 3+ inches over her since the early teen years. Both were, and still are, very attractive. My shvester, she is truly beautiful, inside and out.

As a kid, I looked, and still highly resemble my father, who looks like his father did. Funny, resemblance was never a thing I could see until I became a mom. Likeness via DNA is powerful. I can stand at the airport or a movie theatre, a bookstore, and spot the packs of gene-poolers as they pass by. (Let the record show, that as a mom, I can also now detect fever and/or illness with my bare hand, nose picking clear from another room, and I have become completely desensitized to vomit and other bodily secretions that spout from the kinder. Prior to the arrival of Little and Big, none of these things were possible. I thought motherhood would also empower me the knowledge of how to fold a fitted sheet, but epic momma-fail there.)

Back to the premise here: The Mrs., she is a pure beauty. She even looks good with a paper hat atop her head during holiday dinners (just ask her mom! It’s no joke–and sorry, she won’t let me post one for proof). The kinder, my shana madelahs—together, I have three stunners from their inside core to the outer shell that is our body.

Me? No eye candy here. No meeskait; no train wreck, mind you, just normal. Well, less than average height and weight; run-of-the-mill graying of hair. My face is ‘a bit too well lined with character’ for my baby boomer ‘end of an era’ birthday. And, I will not for one moment, lose sleep over any of this. Why? Because I know I am a good person with a good core. Not just the ‘six-pack’ kind.

I do not fuss with my hair or even use a comb or brush. I had a fleeting encounter with makeup in my sophomore year in college (Bernice, remember?). I saw cotton balls in my home for the first time when the Mrs. first moved (in 1998!). I still have no clue what their main purpose holds. I want to thank Nature’s Knowledge for letting me know I can add some apple cider vinegar to a cotton ball and use it as toner for my face. (I do this now!) My outfit of choice is jeans, Dansko’s and several layers of shirts, and a hoody to keep warm (Blizzard of 2016 Jonas or not). Yes, I’m happiest in a hoody and sneaks, just like big-Daddy Zuckerberg himself. I despise dressing up and find shopping to dress up even worse. I come to you purely, sans schmaltz. What you see is what you get, always. And when you know me, you can see me inside and out. That’s the emmes truth.

Little and Big
Little and Big

My kinder are the ‘girliest’ of girls. I have learned to spy, with my little eye, a dress that has good twirl (this matters)…shoes and leggings that will enhance with sparkle, dazzle and élan, and what will ultimately make my daughters smile like Cheshire Cats. The fashionista-gene has been passed, along with the wherewithal to shop. I have made the case for pink chucks to no avail. Recently, Big announced she wanted a pair of pants! To my ears, such music! Kvelling!

So, not too long ago, that nice chap with the white beard and jolly red suit, he brought us tickets to see Beauty and the Beast (Feb.)! After studying the picture Mr. Claus left with the tickets, Little said, “Ema is Beauty, and Mommy is the Beast!” Okay!

Not long after, I was told that the same kinder, spry little fox that she is, was discussing Harry Potter and said, “Mommy can be Dumbledore.”

Thankfully I have thick skin, a good sense of humor, and the joy in knowing that my kids find me worthy of a Disney extravaganza! How can that be bad? I remain unscathed and well hooded. I embrace my inner and or outer beast and welcome another delightful day in momma’s house. After all, how many kids think their momma is Broadway Bound? Out of the mouths of these babes, right? Nu? 

 

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Rant, shmant. As long as I can vent…

QUIET: Therapy In Session
QUIET: Therapy In Session

A new weekly feature for you (really, for me. Remember, you are my therapists).

Many months ago something happened that gives me such shpilkes, even today. The Mrs., she takes Big to the doctor for her yearly check in. Little tags along, as she usually does. This is usually not too traumatic of an event. We love our doc and the visit is always followed up with ice cream for all! What’s not to love?

First, let me tell you that Big, she is fine. Our regular pediatrician is out on some emergency, so they ask if it’s okay that Big sees a male doc for this visit. This I think is nice thing. We say of course, no problem. We have no issue here.

Mr. Doc comes in, seems pleasant, engaging—all is good. A little doctoring goes on, looking in the ears, listening to the heart, etc. then he says to Big, “Do all of your friends hate you?” Big, (all of seven years old) looks perplexed and worried. The Mrs., she is mortified.

Mr. Doc continues to spew, “Don’t they hate you because you are so beautiful? If they don’t now, they will soon.” This, he says to the most sensitive little madelah on the planet. On a regular day, she is like a sponge soaking in the pain of the world. Really? We needed this new burden added to this thoughtful kinder like we needed a loch in kop?

The Mrs., she speaks up. She says, NO! THAT IS NOT A PROBLEM HERE. WE DON’T WORRY ABOUT THIS! NO ONE TALKS ABOUT IT! With eyes bulging and body language that I’m certain, has this medical macher in need of new boxers.

The rest of the visit is uneventful, thankfully. The Mrs., she has to explain to Big and Little, that the doc, he made a bad mistake. No one will hate her for being beautiful. To be a truly beautiful person means you are filled with kindness, compassion and love for yourself and others. Beauty comes from the inside out.

We have heard about Big’s allure from many, but never put forth in a way so crass, so blissfully ignorant and hopelessly tactless. Of all places, we would have never expected something like this to occur at our children’s medical establishment.

So Mr. Doc and those that surround you and your small thinking, you need to know that both of my girls are gorgeous in my eyes. Both of my girls are so much more than a pretty face. Do not, dear Doctor, ever hold them to such low standing, that you expect them to ride free on their stunning aesthetic qualities. They both will carry with them an appeal that comes from who they are on this planet and how they relate to their fellow human beings. They will utilize their brains in virtuous ways because they are cultivating a love of learning. They will grow up to become whatever it is they want to become, because they will both work hard and know they can. They both will lead and dictate their paths.

Hate is a mighty strong word. Please watch where you use such a term in today’s society; it resonates so freely off the tongues of way too many. Where lives get cut short over senseless violence, racism and bigotry. There are probably countless despicable persons on the planet, yet few deserve such a term as ‘hated’ from another individual, as my Big.

Mr. Doc, you have ticked me off in ways that you will never know or comprehend. And I do not hate you. I do fear and worry that there are more out there that think like you—and, I am one pissed Jewish Mamma.

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It’s Bedtime, by Santa

bed 2

Dear Big, mostly Little

It’s Santa you see

To talk about something not so great

Can it be?

 

By day you are both so mighty, so strong

I was hoping this nightfall report was all wrong

By watching, I noticed the shtick and the struggles

For Ema and Mommy who only want snuggles

 

bed 1

Those 8 crazy nights flew by without a tussle

But Santa you know, has so much more muscle

My powers cover the actions of naughty and nice

You may just get gornisht; you’re rollin’ the dice

 

By mail I’ve read of the things on your lists

Your chutzpah dear kinder must cease and desist

Something must change when you climb into that bed

A time filled with shpilkes and unneeded dread

 

Please know shaineh maidels, that I’ve got your number

After brushing and flossing and primping for slumber

When the last pages of book is read and completed

Your Mommies, the neighbors, are all quite depleted

 

Kicking and screaming is never okay

It’s a shandeh especially at this time of the day

You must stop the geshrei-ing and crying you see

And drinking so much that you just have to pee

bed 3

I know you’re not hungry; your belly is fine

Your eyes do not hurt; oh jeez, stop that whine!

Even boogers need rest at the end of the day

So leave them alone in your nose, okay?

 

Life in the Manor was quiet, serene

Before you two pishers came on to the scene

From now on kinderlech, no more meshugener making

Or your tchatchkes and presents will be mine for the taking

 

Be little mensches, close your eyes and gey schluffen

Leave the rumpus behind and there’ll be no more noodgin’

Nod off, conk out, cop some z’s, that’s my wish

Bubelah’s please, tuches ahfen tish!

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Oy Vey, It’s Nutcracker Day!

Nut 1a

Way back in September, when school first started and the chaos of a summer’s day turned just a tad bit more orderly, after school ballet began for Little and Big. What also started was The Nutcracker practice. It seemed crazy to be hearing the ‘Dum da-da-Dum-Dum-Dum-Dum-Dah,’ when just moments before we were splashing in the pool and schvitzing on a walk in the woods. The color of the summer still glowed, like the tans on the wee ones (despite massive amounts of sunscreen applied thick as spackle). And tonight, in the blink of just one eye, is the first performance.

nut 4a

As old Saint Nick is setting his Google maps ready for the minyan of reindeer led by sir Rudolph himself, we prep for several dress rehearsals, a school show, and two ticket-wielding performances.

 

This is serious stuff for Little and Big; and a gargantuan effort for Ema, who packs snacks, waters, books, crayons, toys and and schleps 4 days a week to pull this off. Despite the mishegas of after school extracurriculars, this show brings the discipline of every Sunday afternoon until now.

 

See the big deal is, that hoNut 3aused under the roof of the (dance school) Wissahicken Dance Academy, is a non-profit organization called the International Ballet Exchange (IBE). Professional dancers of the Donetsk Ballet of Ukraine come to the US to perform each year, with and beside my Little and Big! I’m kvelling as I type! My wee ones on stage with the big Ukrainian machers…pinch me!

 

It’s a meshuggeneh time around here. Two moms and two girls clearly get our panties in a bit of a bunch as show time nears. Hairdryers blow. Curling irons curl. Outfits are laid out, and usually argued about. Friends, family, mishpocheh gather outside the theatre. Butterflies dance in our tummies (it’s just us Moms with the kishkas twirling – the girls know no fear or performance anxiety).

nut 2a

And tonight at 6:30 pm, as the lights dim, the curtains rise and the music begins; you will see the naches on my face as I grin from ear to ear for both acts. While my littles perform, with the littles of others and the bigs of the Ukraine, my world is just about perfect.

 

 

 

 

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Sisterhood / Shvesters

Sis 1

As two moms with two girls, sisterhood is an important topic in our household. I watch Little and Big as they play, fight, hug, quarrel, dance, bicker, collaborate, mimic, accidentally draw blood, purposefully love, and magical things happen inside my heart. Things I never thought I could possibly know or understand until mommyhood happened. I think about my relationship with my sister, where I am Little and she is Big, and my heart fills with delight, love and naches from childhood through to present day.

 

The two things I can proudly give my mom credit for, and were drilled into my head as a wee one: (1) Shvesters should always love and protect each other, (2) Education is very, very important.

 

My sister is almost four years older than me and we were pretty, pretty, pretty (say as Larry David would) opposite as kids go. I now fondly recall episodes of our lives that were endearing, loving, and truthfully, downright frightening. Like the time where I was forced to sing Michelle ma belle (yes, from the Beatles) to a visitor of our neighbors, so that he would show us his wooden leg. I did, and he did. My Big was pleased and I didn’t get beat up. Win-win.

 

Another time, didn’t work out so well. I don’t even remember the request, but the outcome left fresh bicycle treads over my stomach. Yep, she rode her two-wheeler right over top of me! Crushed my kishkas for no reason that comes to memory.

Sis 3

I learned early that being a tattletale would not work out well for me. The damages that would ensue from Big were not worth the punishment she would get from my role as informant.

 

When she was old enough to be in charge, rather than the secret sheriff that had ruleSis 2, we would pleasantly smile as my parents left the house for a Saturday night on the town. As I heard the door keys lock, I would run like the wind to my bedroom and lock the door. Safety.

 

And there were times where her kindness shone so bright. Like when she put her arm around me at the funeral of my Nanny during high school, and assured me we would be okay. I still remember that touch, as if it were yesterday. Her assurance so genuine, I had to believe.

 

Being 4 years apart was tough. We had different friends, different ideas of fun, and a totally different way of being on the planet. She was rebellious, athletic, attractive, funny and smart. Big ‘leaned in’ well before Sheryl Sandberg’s bestseller. I was quiet (I’m fairly certain I did not speak until my thirties), absorbing, zaftig, nerdy (before nerdy was cool), smart and artistic. In my teens I had an uncanny resemblance to a young River Phoenix. Not necessarily a good thing for a young girl, but you get what you get and make do.

Sis 5

I can vividly recall a time in our kitchen, where Big caused some sort of major upset to our mother and received an abrupt, hard, right-handed slap in the face. With the chutzpah Big carried so well, she slapped our mom right back, turned, and left the room. Stunning. It was the kind of scene that happened on Dynasty between rival matriarchs, Linda Evans and Joan Collins. That made for an interesting evening when Daddy came home. I stayed the keen observer in the family, silent and soaking it all in, being ever the good girl.

 

I always knew my sister was a wonderful person, even as a young, bruised and tattered nudnik of a kid. She had tons of friends, fans and energy. She knew how to have fun, seek support from outside and had fearlessness worthy of applause. She would sneak out at night when the parents were long asleep, and I would let her back in when I heard the slight tap on my bedroom window. All unspoken. I quite envied her brazen qualities. My role was to keeper of the peace. Dangerous in a very different way and worthy of posts yet to come.

 

Suffice to say, our differences growing up left for not much getting along. “Shvesters, Shvesters,” was always cried in the background. I remember when she left for college. I thought my black-and-blue arms were up for some relief and the drama in the house would calm. One day, my parents awarded me with plane tickets to spend the weekend with her at college. Shvesters…surely this couldn’t be true? Why couldn’t they foresee the outcome? Didn’t they know we had nothing in common? Could they see me schvitzing at the thought of this tsuris-ridden adventure? That I may be left at the airport until the plane ride home? Was this some form of punishment? What did I do to deserve such a fate?

 

And it was during that very weekend, when our relationship grew like the heart of the Grinch. I was welcomed. We talked. I was introduced to her friends. Parties. Fun. Shown a good time and treated as an equal, rather than a pesky sidekick related merely by blood. And it was from that day forward that our bond formed and grew.

Sis 4

Big went on to marry the man she met at college. He is a true mensch. They had two wonderful boys who are now magnificent young men. All four of them deepen my life, our lives, in ways that words cannot begin to touch. Despite all the mishegas that happened in our family, here are three words that I may not say very often, but surely ring true in this instance. When it comes to shvesters, “Mom was right.”

 

As I am writing this, my Little and Big waken and walk out, hand in hand. Being closer in age, friendship comes easy. They are playmates by birthright. My heart does the love dance at the sight of them. They politely ask for one TV show, and then run off to play in their room when the show ends. The joy they see in each other is spectacular. Big cares for Little like a wannabe mom. Little provokes, cajoles, cavorts and acts ever the clown. Together they dance the Nutcracker, invent games and tinker. And they do fight. No candy-coating here. But a good 98% of the time, they are shvesters and this is one happy mishpocheh.

 

This post is for my shvester, Aud-o, Steve-o, Ben and Max. And my hope is that my Little and Big can keep as wonderful a love as my sister and I hold dear.

 

I am one lucky sister.
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