Random views from the past couple of weeks

Yiddish quote:

When children are young; their parents talk about how smart they are; when parents are old, their children talk about how stupid they are. Ven di kinder zaynen yung, dertselyn di eltern zeyere khokhmes; ven di eltern zaynen alt dertselyn di kinder zeyere narishkaytn.

Oy vey iz mir, may they stay young! May we all stay young(ish).

And another one for all:

Time is more precious than money. Di tsayt iz tayerer fun gelt.

The week that was… different

Spring break and we have been counting the days to our trip to see my mishpocheh (family). We’ve had four Nor’easters in 3 weeks, snow up to my tuchas (tush, derriere) and all too much tsuris (troubles, stress, woe) filling our minds. The thought of 80-degree weather, sunshine, swimming, and laughing my ass off with my shvester (sister) until we literally wet ourselves was naturally the stuff of dreams… like unicorns, L.O.L surprise dolls, and glitter falling from the sky. And the kinder (my girls), they love seeing their Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins more than anything!

A blast from the past! From the top, schvoger, shvester, me, little, big

T minus two days, and the fever, she burns through my Little. A temperature of almost 104She had complained of a tummy ache, and like all good Jewish-atheist momma’s, I told her to sit on the potty. She has had so much junk food of late, a good poo would be a relief like it would for all of us. She tried, my madelah (sweet girl). We watch The Greatest Showman on the telly.

This is my magical cocktail, keeping me safe. TY Ilaria! Notice how my cup is marked — no sharing with the sickies — my glass, half-full

T minus one day, fever sticking around like gum underneath the table in a diner. Lethargy and skin as pale as fine porcelain said porcelain will play a role very soon. We plan, we pack, we share the news of germs and we try to stay positive. We watch The Greatest Showman, then we snuggle off to bed, my Little wrapped tightly in my arms. A few tired hours pass and we all awaken to a fountain of vomit. Nothing really says love more than getting thrown up on, and only worrying about the helpless, unhappy, scared little patient in your arms. We clean her up. Big, she helps us to change the sheets and blankets. The Mrs. presses the ‘sanitize’ button on the wash cycle.

There is a strange calm in the air, with a scent none too pleasant. Little, she fell fast and hard to sleep, again tucked close by my side. I could hear the soft crying moans from Big, realizing that we wouldn’t be taking that big ol’ jet airliner in a few hours time. Tears roll down my cheeks, silently. At 4 am I text my shvester, our friend who was to stay with Gatsby. We are a no go. Ix-nay on this oliday-hay.

Has the world ended? No. Are we grateful that we only have a petite passing pathogen that will eventually vanish? Of course. Are we all desperately disappointed? Big time.

Day of. I let all three of my girls sleep. I promise my Big that we will find a way to make it fun. That we will take turns taking her out of the sickly house and have some well-earned fun. I speak several times with my mishpocheh. My schvoger (bro-in-law), he punches frantically in the keyboard to see if we can squeeze out different dates of travel, salvage our trip. We have teary-eyed FaceTime calls. So many plans they had in store for us! Vey iz mir. (oh my effing G). 

Gatsby, so happy

Little, she cries for my Mrs. to stay with her, so Big and I make our way into the world. We have a nice nosh (little something to eat) at Starbucks. And head to the movies in a gray, teary day. We see A Wrinkle In Time. The woman at the ticket sales booth is 803 years old if she is a minute. In the past, she has given me the senior rate, to my dismay. Today, she again rings us up, 1 senior, 1 child. I feel the dark cloud above, rather than reveling in the 8 dollar savings. f*ck it and enjoy the show with your daughter

We had a lovely afternoon and decided Little, she would have been afraid in this movie. We bring home a vast array of popsicles (they used to call them poppa-sicles) for the sick one, in hopes of getting her to eat/drink. We learn of the day spent in (and close to) the porcelain seat, now the excrement exodus from the southern region. Oy. This reaffirms our tough decision. We watch The Greatest Showman. 

Little finally wakes up with no fever and no symptoms. We convince her of just one more day indoors. The 24 hour, fever free rule — to keep the rest of humanity safe.

photo by my Mrs., hair by my Little

Her hair has begun to form dreadlocks. We all fear the brushing of that mop. The Mrs., she starts round one, and Big, me and Gatsby head out the door to explore our new ‘hood. We walk for an hour, in hopes of better hair days. We have such a good time! Gatsby is loving the spring and leaving pee-mail messaging around for all his new friends.

We open the front door to a geshrei (shriek, loud, unearthly Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween cry). At least another hour goes by, and I am summoned so Big can get out’a dodge with the Mrs. Armed with a brush, conditioner, and really bad TV, I sit with my muse. It will be 4:45pm before I claim victory. Her head, like a BP oil spill, finally combs through. We did it.

Later that night, we watch The Greatest Showman. Who knew our spring break, our circus, would also be our groundhog day. Aud-o, Steve-o, Max, Vic, we love and miss you all so much.

Yiddish Proverb:

A mensch tracht un Got lacht. Man plans and God laughs.

 

From The Greatest Showman:

‘Cause we’re dreaming with our eyes wide open.

So come alive!

And of course, a bei gesunt. As long as you’re healthy! Stop by tonight! The Greatest Showman, 8pm.

I can do this

I’ve really been dreying my kop over this of late… (trying to wrap my head around this topic)

I remember the time I first saw her. My heart raced a little and my palms, they were even a little sweaty (not a real schvitz (good sweat) this was well before hot flashes. I had no qualms at all. I knew she was right and true and good in oh-so-many ways. Then, I held her. We were meant to be — it was love. Who knew what was to happen over time. To me. To her. To us. It’s a shonda (a real shame), I tell you.

Drink? No. Drugs? No. Sex? No.

No! Please, don’t you worry about me and my Mrs. Kaynohora! (a great, albeit magical word, to ward off the evils of the world) We are just fine. Poo-poo! (more magic) I am talking about that ferkokteh (all effed up) iPhone! Smartphone. Choose your brand poison. That damned diminutive, divisive, device that is constantly causing digital dilemmas and drama, stealing life from right under us. I used to pee and walk the dog without a phone, well, obviously not at the same time.

My pocket-sized pal, she is always at the ready with a brain-strengthening game, a word with friends, a voyeuristic view into the curated world of my Insta-friends, an up-to-the-minute news flash (Vey iz mir (OMG), what has mr t done now…) of the world and it’s tsuris (troubles).

Have you seen this? The next time you are in a restaurant, a coffee shop, grabbing a nice nosh (little smattering of something to eat), look around. People are out, together, and looking only at their ‘phones.’ Tables full of people in self-imposed, solitary confinement. As I type the term ‘phones,’ I notice a smirk on my punim (face). This thing started as a phone. Who even talks anymore? Text, text, text, yadda, yadda, yadda… My car? It has become just an expensive accessory for my iPhone. Oy vey…

Well, so I did a little digging into this overwhelmingly addictive behavior. Turns out, ‘they’, yes the proverbial ‘they,’ designed this mighty machine with the intent to deliver a deluge of dopamine, so we continue to crave! Sound familiar, Marlboro Man? Dopamine, she is like a chemical messenger from your brain, bringing only rewards, joy and good feeling. Nachas in the form of a neurotransmitter. Kum-bah-yah everyone Often, we get a nice dopa-release from food, sex, giving gifts, falling in love, all things pleasurable — and unfortunately, from addictive behaviors like gambling and drugs… WTF Now, this 10-year-old technology, as old (or young) as my Big, has us all entranced and SIA (speaking in acronyms). Remember when you really did LO? And just screamed SHIT instead of a carefully chosen emoji! It was aerobic, cathartic, true.

Addicted? Here’s what to look out for, my friends. Sleep problems. That bedside blue essence and sheen, she is enticing and lures you in like the sirens of the sea… just like Carol Ann in the movie, Poltergeist, I warn you all, “Don’t go near the light!” I learned that heavy-duty smartphone users all of us have grapple with more depression and anxiety than ever before. Nu? Apparently, the more you hang with your digital dynamo, the more lonely and anxious you feel. The more lonely and anxious you feel… the more real life becomes socially awkward –The biggest hurdle? FOMO. FOMO is yet another acronym in our ever growing lexicon we have come to know and love: fear of missing out. We all worry about that. What?

I tell you today, and you read it here, I am putting her down. After what the hoodied-Zuck has done to us, we should all jump out of the new-found country that is FB and re-enter our present lives. 

She does offer function. That I give her. I love that I have a camera wherever I go. I get to capture memories when I am present enough to make them. She keeps me safe. Driving alone, parking late at night, traveling for work, her mapping prowess, like prophecy… She lets me know where the kinder (kids) and the Mrs. are, and I can even see their precious punims (beautiful faces) when we FaceTime. I remember the Jetson’s did this She offers open access to just about every piece of vital information I would need at my fingertips.

For the sake of my children, and the love of my life, iPhone, we are through. Finito. Kaput. Tsebrekhn. My mishpocheh (family, my peeps), I will now, try my absolute human best, to be forever or at least a real lot of the time present and mindful in our moments. And like all proper addictions, I must gain my strength with you still by my side.

It may not be easy. But hey, nothing in life ever really is…

Yiddish Proverb:

A curse is not a telegram; it doesn’t arrive so fast. A klole iz nit keyn telegram; zi kumt nit on azoy gikh.

How about you? I’d love to know your thoughts on this telephonic topic. Leave me a note, or stop by, and we’ll nosh.

      

     

      

 

How to set each other up for success!

Vey iz mir. (OMG.) I am in the midst of what can only be a true epic mom-fail. I need your help. You see, I believe, no matter what you are doing, how big or how small the act, you must always set up the next person for success? Nu? Is this so hard?

Let me get to the point. No matter which bathroom, loo, water closet I enter, I am often always left high and dry. You know, you rush in for a tinkle, hope that maybe, just maybe, you can pass water in peace. Alone. The door won’t fly open with a concern, a to-do needing arbitration, a question like, “What are you doing, mommy?” Just trying to pee alone, just this once. And you reach across to the toilet paper holder, usually placed convenient to the action at hand, only to find… 

All too often, this is my room with a view…

Am I the only one capable, culpable, hell-bent hung up on hanging up a new roll of toilet paper when I reach the cardboard holder which is effing recyclable people? The other day, in the course of just a few hours (I have the bladder of a flea) I was left as dry as the Sierra Desert at high noon in all three technically 2.5 of our bathrooms.

Some facts for you: We are four women. Two moms, two shana maideleh’s (sweet little girls). That’s a lot of estrogens well, it used to be more…  coursing through this home. No one leaves the seats up. No one can technically, er, um, drip dry (Gatsby, our man of the house, uses the outdoors mostly).

Not two weeks ago, I had that alone moment every parent craves and snuck into the kinder’s (kids) bathroom. I went, I turned, I reached…  NO! I stayed seated. I took a deep breath. I called for my kinder. They came joyfully running. The entered without abandon. “Hi mommy, what’ryou doing?” I asked, “What is wrong with this picture, my kinder?” They both cocked their heads, like when I ask Gatsby if he wants to go in the car or have a treat. “What do you mean, Mommy?”

I pointed to the sad scrap of paper attached to the TP holder. I said, “Have you girls ever changed the toilet paper roll before? Let me show you how, so this can stop happening to Mommy? Nu?” Since I was, well, indisposed, I asked Little to reach for a new roll. She handed it to me with her playful, almost spritely smile. I said to them both, “Watch this.” I held the new, plush roll in my lap still seated on the throne as I lifted the cardboard insert and the metal bar that holds it in place. I showed them how to emancipate remove the empty roll and did a shtick (shpiel, speech) about recycling. Then I gently placed the lovely, fresh roll onto the metal bar and lowered it into place. Thus securing the new roll, with a clean top-over pull, ready for those in need me

Still sitting atop said porcelain, I explained a bit about setting each other up for success in big ways, in small ways, in all ways. They nodded as if they understood. Giggling at my vulnerable state, I’m sure. Then, they scurried off to play. I completed my transaction and went about my day, thinking, “I made a difference today.” 

… Later that same day, the commode conundrum reared its ugly head yet again. This time, upstairs, in the bathroom I share with my Mrs. (and kinder too) I didn’t even try to shut the door.  I went, I reached, NO! Gatsby was curled on the mat near the shower. I looked at him and his tail wagged, making a lovely noise as it smacked the floor. He knew nothing of the tsuris (trouble) I was facing. I looked up, and across the room which felt a million miles away, atop the sink, sat a brand-new scroll. I laughed cried. I waited for eons. I stood and walked over like Elvis, with my pants around my ankles and seized my prize. Oy!

So my friends, If as a human being, living and sharing space on this precious planet we call home, you are looking to bring solace to your fellow dwellers, simply follow these easy steps.

You will need some basics.
1 new roll of (whatever ply suits your system) TP
A free hand put down the smartphone
Recycling bin (YES! It’s recyclable should not be sent to the landfill)

It’s simple really.
Remove empty roll.
Replace with new roll, paper coming over top.
Place empty roll in the recycling bin, or save for reuse as beautiful junk in a craft project with your kinder. 

Beautiful. Now watch Helen Hunt do it… you won’t be sorry for these 25 seconds, I promise.

Voila!

Anyone having these same issues? Do tell!

Yiddish Proverb:

If the Student is successful, the teacher gets the praise. Az der talmid iz a voiler, iz der rebbi oich a voiler.

     

     

      

  

Meshuggeneh, American style!

The L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls in action, with sharable wearable too!

My Mrs., oh, she is a wise one; and can she spot a deal? A million years ago, or maybe it was just ten minutes, the kinder (children) were still in diapers (nappies for my friends across the pond). As crunchy, granola environmentalists, we would vehemently argue debate about the value of cloth nappies, vs. disposable. Hot water and detergent use vs. landfilling. And point for point I lost there was just no easy answer. Long story short, My Mrs., she purchased some swanky ‘n ‘spensive nappies for the tender tuchas’ (butt cheeks) of my Big and my Little. After paying what easily felt like a gazillion dollars for literally, shit holders these wonder cloths, she assured me they would pay for themselves and then some when she sells them. It’s a wonder I didn’t plotz (collapse) right then and there… Nu? Along the way, she had purchased a prized, rare, limited edition cloth poopie-holder print it was just Tye-dye, very Jerry Garcia that started a bidding war! Vey iz mir (OMG), she made some $350 on that one (1) golden cloth, shat in by my madeleh’s (sweet girls). She made hundreds more on the rest of the lot… she was right, I was wrong and people, they are simply meshuggeneh (crazy)!

Photo, courtesy of my Mrs. and a little tweak or two…

Fast forward to today. Welcome to a world run by little plastic babies, no joke. LOL surprise. Have you heard of these? I’ve been working on the side on a startup that is in dire need of life support. How we didn’t think of these babies, oy, gives me a migraine…  A perfect sphere. Wrapped tightly, securely in plastic. Unpeel each layer to surprise and delight everyone who watches. Crack open the orb, more plastic wrapped surprises don’t get me started on the environment again. Every layer unearths pure, childlike wonder. It’s nothing but nachas (pleasure, joy, gratification) in enough plastic to choke Flipper it’s own carrying case. Big sisters, little sisters, pets, and charms. These babies have more shoes and accessories than I do! And their own latte cup holders. They are absolutely positively adorable. For this, I gladly handed over $9.99 USD. Oif tsulaches (as luck would have it) they unlock hours of blissful play and imagination for my Big and my Little?  Not to mention, they turn colors if you freeze them?

On to the meshuggeneh part… Mrs., so enthralled by our new family additions, so interested, she gets pinterested… Turns out, there is a market of collectors scouring the globe in search of rare LOL babies. Little, she is in custody of one LOL Kitty Queen, a truly magnificent species. Marked ‘Ultra Rare,’ she holds the beauty and grandeur of the Grand Canyon, only smaller and more portable. Silver, sparkly hair, pink kitty ear headband Accident? I think not, pink latte to-go cup, pink high boots, and the biggest, sweetest eyes on her coffee colored creamy skin. A lichtikheh punim (beaming, happy face) for all who see her. Turns out our Kitty, she is retired. I’m working my tuchas off, trying to eke out a living, and Miss Kitty, she’s retired? Nu?

Handsome, and a little guilty, No?

The Mrs., she tells me, Miss Kitty could bring in about $175 buckeroo’s! WHAT? Meshuggeneh? We tell Little, Miss Kitty is worth a lot of money. If we sell her, she can get two new ones. But first, we must find her missing pink boot she apparently has no value without her footwear. True story. In a plot-line like Cinderella, Miss Kitty Queen is shy one boot. Mittendrinnen (in the middle of) we are packing and moving, and all of us, we are looking for a boot, 3/8″ of an inch tall. I fear the worst. I look at Gatsby, and he looks away, showing me his very guilty, yet handsome look. No, it cannot be. We pack, we move, we sort of begin to unpack. Now a few weeks go by. The girls, they are playing downstairs when Little, she lets out a geshrei (yell), “I found her other boot, Ema!”

Mrs., she snaps a pic, uploads, and in minutes, $140. Meshuggeneh? That is life in these United States….

Random shot of Little, without her two front teeth. Nothing to do with this post, just sharing!

Yiddish Proverb:

If luck plays along, cleverness succeeds. Az di hatslocheh shpilt, gilt ersht chochmeh.

Please know my friends, no LOL dolls were hurt during this post, nor provided to me for my glowing review. They are just loved and cherished by my girls. I give them a 10 out of 10! This is the most fun I have had since I was ages 3+. If I were a kid, my pockets would have been filled with the littlest ones, and I do see a pet on the list that resembles my Gatsby. Just sayin’.

     

     

     

 

That’s it. Period.

Guess what… this a not a political rant or a thumbs down to the tsuris (troubles) our world is facing due to mrt kind of passive aggressive of me, eh?. This is a girls story. My Big, she is growing up. Born not ten minutes ago, yet my shana maideleh (sweet little girl) is soon to enter double digits. She is gaining wisdom, confidence, curiosity and her own personal identity, wrapped in a blanket of kindness and love. Oy, here I am kvelling (enthusiastically bursting with love and pride), again…

Big and Little, so grown up!

I should probably show a Georgia O’Keefe painting right about now because I am going there… Periods. Girls are getting them. There is chatter. We have chatted. And we are doing everything we can to keep it positive, normal and free of shame as we begin to prepare for this milestone gallstone kidney stone. She’s got two moms — this should be a walk in the park for us, right?

But I gotta say, she just learned to ride a bicycle. Am I ready for the menstrual cycle?

Which of course got me thinking about my own very strange, first-period experience. It was the Saturday of labor day weekend, 1976 and I was thirteen. We lived in south Florida and it was hotter than hell in a sauna on those particular September days. School had begun in August and I had welcomed the 3 days off. The Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon played on every TV in our house. I went to pee, and there it was – the small red blot. It was more of a dot than a blot. Definitely a dot. I was rattled I wanted to write, ‘mortified’ but you’ll soon see, my father’s name is Morty. Some of my friends had already gotten their periods, so I knew time was not on my side. I read Judy Blume’s, Are you there God, It’s me, Margaret, a few times by now.  I just did not want it to happen. Gay avek (get lost, go away)!

So I very inconspicuously left that bathroom, and quietly went into my room with Buttons, our poodle, and my closest confidant. I closed the door and sat on the floor quickly putting my legs up on my bed. I went vertical, in what I now know was a yogic shoulder stand. I was upside down. Dammit, I was going to send this period back where it came from… Surely if I stayed this way, there was no way for the ‘flow’ of Aunt Flo to wind its way, well, down. Why had no one else tried this? I was brilliant! Buttons agreed.

Day 1: After the initial spatter, I was fine. Feeling positive that I had this entire situation well under control, laughing with Jerry Lewis. Buttons, she was just happy we were staying in the air conditioning. Day 2: Coasting. Not even Dexter could find any blood spatter. I stayed on the phone, watched the telethon, Buttons at my upside-down, side. Day 3: WTF What happened to physics? How could this happen to me? I was in a shoulder stand for three solid days! I was as invested in this endeavor as Jerry was in raising money. I had to do something. I had to call my mom… Ugh!

They were at the tennis club. This was all pre-smartphones. I picked up my princess phone and dialed the club. Max, who manned the front desk and was 90-years-old if he was a minute, answered the phone. He paged my mom. Yes, called her by name over the loudspeaker and told her she had a call. Kill me now, before she picks up. A bolt of lightning. Divine intervention. Thankfully her doubles match was over and I wasn’t too much of a burden. I told her I didn’t feel so good and could she please come home. That was all I said.

Inside Red Canna, 1919 Georgia O’Keefe (c). I had to put it in…

Instantly, she screamed across the entire restaurant, “Morty! Lisala got her period! Let’s go!” They came home, my father teased me incessantly and my mother handed me a futon-sized bedroll and called it a maxi pad. She said, “You know everything, right?” I mumbled, “of course I do” and slinked, head down, in shame, into the bathroom where this nightmare began. She added, “Be careful of the sheets at night, from behind the locked bathroom door.

Later, on that dreadful night, they took me out to dinner an alleged celebration at The Rascal House where they embarrassed me by telling everyone in line, the waitress, the guy who brought the pickles, the other guy who cleared the dishes, the cashier, that I just got my period. Wasn’t it bad enough that everyone could tell I had a mattress between my legs? I prayed for invisibility well before Harry Potter had the cloak.

Needless to say, things got way worse before they ever got better, and there will be more stories, to share, I am sure. And I never wore white pants again.

Who doesn’t love a nice carousel ride

Last week, I was invited with my Big to go with her to Diana Circle. It’s like the happy, hippy, feminist version of Girl Scouts no judgment here, no cookies to sell either. They are an empowering, safe, and inclusive group that celebrates modern young girls as they experience their own, unique rites of passage. In a world filled with mixed messages, misogyny, double standards, a stunning amount of sexual harassment, and thankfully, oceans of #strongwomen in #pinkpussyhats marching the earth, I am so very grateful to Tara R. and her spiritual girl-guidance. She helps us to help our kinder (kids) embrace life, take the bullshit by the horns and grow up to be strong, healthy, and proud women.

At the previous gathering, one of the older girls got her first period and she was celebrated in a beautiful and moving way. The Mrs. and me, we are trying our very best to do right by our kinder. May they never be shamed for their bodies or their natural bodily functions. May they embrace the challenges of growing up as their uniquely beautiful selves free from adolescent misery and filled with love, connectedness, and honesty. A way I never knew was possible until a decade or so of therapy.

And friends, I leave you with this Yiddish Proverb:

No one knows whose shoe pinches except the person who walks in it. Keyner veys nit vemen der shuckh kvetsht, nor der vos geyt in im.

Nu? What’s your first-period story? Share with us and we all become a bissel (little) closer. Here’s to #mightygirls becoming #strongwomen!

      

      

      

Kvelling, by photos

Kvelling. It’s a verb. It means to be extraordinarily pleased or happy! We have our ups, we have our downs, but this week has been filled with a lot of, much appreciated, extraordinary happiness! I hope the same is true for all of you!

Working hard at what you love comes easy when you love it — I’m kvelling!
Frog and Toad — I love those guys (and she is reading, to me… I’m kvelling!)
“Mommy, can I learn to type on my computer, please!” Yes, I’m kvelling!
Forget Godot, we’re waiting for Barbara! Yes, kvelling! ❤
Watching the E-A-G-L-E-S fly! Kvelling for the underdogs! We moved to the big screen shortly thereafter!
Who’s kvelling more? Me looking at my boychik? Or Gatsby, dozing in the rays of sunshine?

And the Yiddish proverb I leave you with this week is:

Love your neighbor, even if he plays the trombone! Libh deyn khbr, afilu aiob er fyeses di trambone.