The Rule of Kind

teeny, tiny terrorists disguised as dainty, delightful maidelehs (sweet little girls)
Do not be taken in by the glitter and glee. These are cute, covert, teeny, tiny terrorists disguised as dainty, delightful maidelehs (sweet little girls) that rob us of our sanity ❤

By midsummer, things were getting a bit unsteady around the Manor. When I’d get home from work, the Mrs., she would have ‘the look.’ You know the one. It’s mostly in the eyes, but her face, oy vey; it gets so ashen and screams of defeat. It’s as if her pupils’ turn into little waving white flags, I give! Uncle! Calgon, take me away!” (Note: if you are not living life as a baby boomer, Calgon was marketed to females only as the answer to life’s woes in the form of a bubble bath). It’s a strong tell for me that the Littles had spent yet another day as tiny behavioral terrorists, ignoring all forms of vocal messaging from the mother ship until things got bat-shit crazy. Tears have fallen from all six eyes, Gatsby hides under the bed, and then, only then, do apologies abound from two miniature mouths.

Life without the chaos routine of school and all it’s afternoon extracurricular activities was affecting us all. The Mrs. and me, we needed to lay down the law. While not outnumbered, and still holding a slight edge in altitude, we needed some household rules. Over dinner, a purely shpilkes (anxiety, ants in the pants kind of feeling) producing activity referred to in a past post, I broached the topic of developing martial law some guidelines to help us all through sanity our cohabitation. I needed ‘buy in’ fast, so I said to Little and Big, as I made those eyes to the Mrs., you know the ones that say please, please, please… just go with me on this, “You two get to set the rules on how we are going to get along. Mommy and Ema need your help.” I begged, “Think about it now and let’s discuss how this is going to work.” And the Littles, they spoke, excitedly:

  • Always listen to Mommy and Ema
  • Don’t interrupt when anyone is talking
  • Clean up after we play
  • Answer your questions and look at you in the eyes
  • Clean our room after our friends come over or we made a mess
  • Don’t hurt Gatsby, or pull his tail, or poke him or yank his ears or put our hands in his mouth
  • No kicking or hitting or spitting
  • Share more and don’t say ‘mine’
  • No screaming because we have neighbors
  • Don’t jump on the sofa
  • Say I’m sorry like we mean it
  • When Mommy and Ema say it’s bedtime, we have to get ready for bed

They do listen. They just don’t do. We both applauded their thoughtfulness and went about our evening foolishly thinking, we rocked this! And then two minutes later… not so much.

I sadly looked over all of our house rules, and then came up with an idea. At the next meal (Jews, we always have to eat while doing important things, or at least talk about where we will next eat, or what we just ate), I bring it up:

All of the rules we discussed are wonderful and I think there are too many to remember? Why don’t we start with just one rule?

  1. Be kind

And don’t you know, about two weeks in, we are living life so much better, with two simple words…

Even with this killer watch dog, those thugs came after us!
Even with this killer watch dog, those thugs came after us!

Now, mittendrinnen (in the middle of) this mishegas (craziness), my Mrs., she loses both her credit card and her bankcard. Now, was it not just two weeks ago when I shared with you the struggles of the missing wallet? Oy vey (sheesh). In a freakish, ominous ‘take 2’ moment, we found ourselves at the same movie theatre, to see the same movie, Pete’s Dragon. This time, the hooligans who found her goods were not as nice as the previous Good Samaritan. They bee-lined it to Best Buy and did some substantial ‘best-buying.’ Over $2000 worth… enough damage to give us our own detective!

We are now without a credit card or cash and are fighting fraud. Our frugalista status has reached a record new low. The Mrs., she is distraught in a new way. I remember it is not her fault.

There is a genetic marker on her very DNA strand, aligned with both her mother and her sister – a truly unfair predisposition to the mis-placement of important items. Latin name, ‘vitalgoneastrayitis.’ They suffer.

Me, I thankfully also remember our house rule, be kind.

A shtikel mazel iz vert merer vi a ton gold. A little bit of luck is better than a ton of gold.

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You gotta have heart

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Oy. It’s only Tuesday and it’s already been some week. Little and Big, they are getting a little bit of shpilkes (like ants in your pants when it’s the littles) as summer winds down. The Mrs., and me we are a bit unnerved to say the least. These little shana maidels (sweet, beautiful girls) of ours, truly are wonderful little humans. And like all of you out there, we have our moments. You may have read about our dinner table tsuris (troubles) a couple of posts back. As they say, a work in progress? Nu?

I understand now why all adult characters on the Peanuts, you know, Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Linus, they all sound like,”Wah wah wah wah wah, wah wah.” It was an actual trombone they used to make the sound. That trombone is what our voices sound like to the kinder (kids)! Charles Schultz, he knew this way back when, that the kids drown out our voices with selective hearing. Snoopy is now 66 years old and lives in a retirement village with Peppermint Patti in Boca.

Until yesterday, it has been 192 degrees in the shade. Walking from the apartment to the car was enough to make you plotz (faint, or even drop dead). The water at the pool was near boiling, less than refreshing. My Mrs., perhaps inspired by the Olympics, she set up a gymnastics area in our hallway here at the Manor. The mini indoor trampoline leads into the ‘exercise mat,’ also known as the bottom of the trundle bed. The girls, they bounce and jump and kick and land in cartwheels, somersaults, flip-flops and triple double axles. It’s a lovely release of energy, a heart-starter and somewhat quiet in comparison to the,”Wah wah wah wah wah, wah wah” that has been going on, and ignored. My Mrs., a genius!

Mittendrinnen (in the middle of everything), I have been experiencing heart palpitations for the past thirty-six four months. It’s not enough to just have chronic pain and all the joy that comes along with that… I had to go ‘all-extracurricular’ and add a new medical ‘–ist’ to the team line up. After meeting yesterday with the cardiologist, they ran some tests, looked at my blood and ordered a halter monitor for me to wear for 2 weeks. Things look okay, but who’s to say? The doc, he says, “Do you have a lot of stress? Are you sleeping well?” What a jokester he is!

Ven tsores laigt zikh nit oifen ponem, laigt zikh es oifen hartsen (When distress doesn’t show on the face, it lies on the heart).

Apparently, I’m a chaleria (nervous, anxious wreck) on the inside only, from this thing called life, or at least the last couple of years. And it may be manifesting in the lub-dub, lub-dub of my very own Tell-Tale Heart. I get a call a few hours later from the heart monitor people who are setting up my delivery. They tell me my out-of-pocket expenses after insurance for this little device will be only $860 and change. Are they fucking nuts? We don’t have that kid of loot! This baby is a beauty, she records every blip, 24/7.

Elizabeth, this is the big one. I’m coming to join you!” (For all of you non-baby-boomers, this is a television reference to Sanford and Son.)

The 'Post-It Note' model, easy and affordable
The ‘Post-It Note’ model, easy and affordable

This fabulous pain point delivered directly to me from my brand new –ist! Is he kidding me? Who makes this MCOT unit, Rolex? What’s a frugalista momma to do? I dry the sweat from my forehead and dial-up Dr. Fancypants. I have to ask if there is another option? Of course, he has left for the day. Nu? I speak with his nurse and she tries to help me out. Lub-dub, lub-dub. A few moments later, I get another call from the monitor people. I’m still breathing, barely, and they tell me what good news they have for me! There is a cheaper version! Azoy (really)! It’s called the ‘Event’ monitor. It only records when there is a not so hotsy-totsy incident, like a skipped beat, added beats, or maybe a flat line. This one, a real bargain at only $187. Oy vey iz mir.

A bei gezunt (as long as you’re healthy). Lub-dub, lub-dub.

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Loose tooth, Lost wallet, Lots of drama

Big, Little and the Mrs. Photo credit: @willowandsage1 on IG (my Mrs.)
Big, Little and the Mrs. Photo credit: @willowandsage1 on IG (my Mrs.)

This week, oy vey, has been kurtser prolog tsu a lange drame (a short prologue to a long drama). Did I mention it’s only Thursday, in the very early, dark hours of morning? So far, we have had too many fits of tsuris (troubles and woes). Here, I share only two of them… I’m certain the others will find their way to you soon.

  1. My Big, oh how I love this madelah (sweet little girl), such a tender, sensitive soul, just like my Mrs. The other day, she realizes with some excitement, that another tooth in front has become wiggly, jiggly. The top two have been missing since early spring and maybe, just maybe, one of them is budding through the surface. The very small chiclet just next to the gaping hole, it teeters just a bissel (little). In my classic ‘glass half full’ style, I talk about readying for the pending tooth fairy visit. I even channel grandpa from Hotel Transylvania 2, and comment how she is a “late-fanger, just like Dennisovich.” My Little, she laughs. Big, she becomes nervous and taken in by the pain that may occur at some point, may not. The tears, they pour like a river. The moans, academy award winning whimpers these are! And mittendrinnen (just in the middle), we are struggling through making our best effort at dinnertime (see post about mealtime).
My Big, with the gaping whole...
My Big, in happier times with the gaping hole…

The Mrs. and I, we attempt to soothe the suffering with little success. The food hurts. The water hurts. The tongue in her mouth hurts. Little, she offers up an ice pack to chew on. I whisper to the Mrs., “I think for this one, I should get the crutches, nu?” After the piercing screams of anguish dust settles, she eats. We eat. And that Little, she whispers to us both, “Try not to remind her about her tooth tonight.”

Wink, wink, nod.

Matt and Brooke, who live right below us here at the Manor, please accept this blog post as an open apology for the noise. We feel your pain too!

My Little, a sweet little jokester
My Little, a sweet little jokester madelah!
  1. Next up, Wednesday morning at work, I get a frantic call from the Mrs. She has lost her wallet. Have I seen it? Please note: I am not at all alarmed at this point. My Mrs., she misplaces things. Her iPhone, her keys, her credit card. It is not her fault. There is a genetic marker on her very DNA strand, aligned with both her mother and her sister – a truly unfair predisposition to the mis-placement of important items. Latin name, vitalgoneastrayitis. They suffer.

We retrace her steps. Together, we realize she has not reached for her wallet since Sunday. Three days ago. This news makes my inner frugalista do the happy dance at work, right in the conference room a little bit happy. That is a big mitziah (huge honking deal). After she and the kinder (kids) toss the house like the feds searching for Hillary’s emails and come up empty, we talk again. We narrow it down to the only two places on earth it must be: The movies or the diner. Now, I am staying very calm, while visualizing the process of recovering our soon to be, or already stolen identities. Poor schleps (fools), when they realize who they are stealing from, oy vey. Pick someone a little more moneyed, wontcha? Little, in the midst of the madness, gets all of her hard earned gelt (cash), and offers it to a very upset Mrs. These kids are just too sweet for words. Such nachas (joy) they give me.

She calls the diner, gornischt (nothing). Simultaneously, I am preparing a gentle and composed catalogue of all the places, people and institutions she will need to call in order to make this right in the world, within the next 5 to seven minutes. She dials the Plymouth Meeting AMC Mega-Metro Movie theatre, where we saw Pete’s Dragon (such a wonderful movie!). Would you believe, she finds a person, not a recording? She asks, they answer (cue the band). Whoever cleaned the theatre after the 3:30 pm show, found her wallet, fully intact, and placed it in the lost-and-found. A real mensch (truly a good-hearted person) in the midst! We are sending a gift once we find the name of our hero!

Oy, how I can go on… But for now, let’s all rest easy knowing all is temporarily in good stead. A bei gezunt (may health be with you)!

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Wordless Wednesday: Walk this way…

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Der emes ken arumgain a naketer; dem lign darf men baklaidn (The truth can walk around naked; the lie has to be clothed).

Thanks for walking with us!

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Oh the places you’ll go (if you’re a germ)

These teeth, I have to protect, nu?
These teeth, I have to protect, nu?

It’s no joke! This blogging thing, it takes you places and introduces you to some wonderful, amazingly talented people. I’m having the time of my life! Nu?

Along this theraputic journey of mine, I met up with Lisa and the good people from Intellident. They asked me if I would do a product review of their Disposable Toothbrush Shields, mittendrinnen (in the middle) of my writing therapy. Who am I to say no to a new opportunity? The little box of free goodies arrived, and my mishpocheh (family), we got busy and tried it. So here I go with my very first product review. Stay with me, please…

Now, it must be said: I was raised by a militant, neatnik mother, who truly put OCD on the map. As an unfortunate repercussion, I like things to be a bit clean and neat. Tidy would be a word to describe me, sure. I am also married to my Mrs., have two beautiful shana madelehs (sweet little girls) and a puppy, Gatsby. We share 900 square feet here at the Manor. Together, cleanliness is next to dogliness. Walking in, I always have a sneaking suspicion that we may have been robbed, or at least the apartment was maybe tossed by the feds? But hey, we live here, we love here, we play here and we have fun here. Making memories, right?

Enter the bathroom. For my friends across the pond, I’m referring to the loo, the water closet. Here in the good ol’ U.S. of A., the library, the throne, the porcelain pot. In this room, no matter how often you clean it, lurks germs, noro-viruses, mold, E. coli, fungi, MRSA, your run of the mill surface and airborne ‘disgustingness’ and other toxic nasties. This is also where, we the people, clean up, clean out, shower, floss and brush. Oy vey.

Every time you flush, a literal mushroom cloud of poo, bacteria and beastly biohazards are thrust into the air by the cleansing flood of water. Our toothbrushes, that sit simply atop the sink in a shared family cup, absorb contamination and contagions that are ready to enter our bodies by any means accessible.

Location, location, location
Location, location, location… Right next to the mushroom cloud, oy vey

So for the past few weeks, armed with the new nasty knowledge of toxins brewing atop our toothy bristles, we placed disposable toothbrush shields on each of our 4 toothbrushes. The company says it’s like, a little surgical mask for your toothbrush. Me and the kinder (children), we called them hats. We were each in control of our own chapeau, and we changed it after 7 days as suggested. I must tell you the emmes (the real deal, the down low) truth when I say, I feel safer. It’s like my brush has its own hazmat suit. 

When Little had the sniffles and sneezes after swimming, or the Mrs. had the telltale signs of sickness, I didn’t think for one second, not one, that influenza would overtake our house. For all I know, it was allergies for both, but regardless, I was chill. My TB had a hat!

4 thumbs up (and a paw) from this family
4 thumbs up (and a paw) from this family

Our toothbrushes cuddle in our cup and we are protected. This my friends is a mitzvah (a very good thing)! I can’t wait to see how these little masks/hazmat suits/hats shield us from the dreaded startofschooleritis; when nose picking, water bottle sharing and free-falling ahhhh-choos spread from youngest to oldest before the first school bell tolls.

Negatives:

  • Not reusable/washable
  • Not recyclable

Positives:

  • Surgical mask for your toothbrush
  • 99.9% effective barrier against airborne and surface bacteria
  • Replaces those clunky plastic boxes that serve as breeding grounds for germs
  • Perfect for home, travel, work, gym, backpack, purse, etc.
  • Disposable
  • Inexpensive: click here to see (and I’m a forced frugalista)
  • Women owned business (yeah!)
  • Made in the USA, really it is!

So for you dear readers, there are two things I must recommend:

  1. When you geh in der klozet (go to the toilet), shut the lid before you flush
  2. Use Disposable Toothbrush Shields from Intellident

Please know, no toothbrushes were harmed during this test. No monies exchanged hands for this review. We are going to continue to use this ingenious product. 

A gezunt ahf dein kop (Good health to you)!

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Wordless Wednesday: Why Not? Nu?

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“I am the Entertainer…”

Okay, so let me start today with a very big M’wah (smooch) to Stephanie (a HuffPo contributor!) at Making Time For Me, who, has, well, made my week twice in a row (and vey iz mere, this has been a rough fortnight, no one should know from) by honoring me with this very special award, The Entertainer. Additionally, my incredible blogger-loving friend Stephanie, reblogged a post of mine on her site yesterday. Kvelling so much (oozing with happiness and pride), my heart has palpitations (a doctor, you think maybe I should call one, oy)!

Stephanie, I am happy to answer the call of The Entertainer award (and feeling very reminiscent of Billy Joel, happily), and even happier to be appreciated by the work I am doing here at my keyboard, in my growing corner of the blogosphere. Thank you doesn’t begin to tell you how I feel.

And here, are the rules, for without them, we have anarchy (dig to ‘Mr. rhymes with Rump’):

  1. Display the award image on your blog
  2. Write a post about the award, and graciously applaud your fellow blogger (with love and thankfulness)
  3. Answer the questions
  4. Share the blogger love by nominating others

Here are the questions:

Why did you start to blog in the first place?

The truth is, I started typing up my spiel because it is a helluva lot cheaper than therapy. I get to release my story, the good, the bad and the ugly, to you my dear readers, who I have granted honorary therapeutic degrees that allow me to heal in a world that is filled with tsuris (troubles) and naches (joy). Now mind you, I’m not always kvetching (complaining), but dreck (shit crap) happens. Without the dreck, where would the joy be? Armed with my old faithful, MacBook Pro, my iPhone camera and this journey called life, I  write about my muses, the loves of my world, the Mrs., Little and Big and our whacky adventures through my ‘glass half-full’ looking glass. We are two mommas with two girls and a pup named Gatsby, the only man of the house.

Together, I hope we can laugh, cry, learn and inspire each other. I want for us to find our commonalities, embrace our differences and hopefully grow with strength, empathy and compassion. And of course, I want to make you laugh. All the while, I am trying to keep the beautiful, dying language of Yiddish (thank you Nanny Helen) alive.

What is your favorite book?

This changes daily, weekly. Well you get me. I love reading, and with the littles, I read a lot of stories. Currently, I am one with, Zen Shorts, by Jon Muth. Some days, I read it just for me. I recommend it for every one of every age.

What is your favorite pastime activity?

I love spending time with my mishpocheh (family). On a nice day, we all sneaker up and head to the Wissahicken, a gorgeous, ginormous park, filled with trails and hikes and eye candy-scenery. We take along snacks and water, have Gatsby by our side, and we explore the nature around us. The fab five together is all I need (and then we tick check, not so fun)!

 Without further ado, I present to you my nominations, my fellow entertainers:

Thank you all for doing what you do! You have enriched my world in ways I cannot explain! M’wah!

 

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