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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Auditions Today!

Nutcracker tryouts
Nutcracker try-outs

It’s September again; the stores, they started it first

Christmas, its here and now it’s time to rehearse

Find the nice tights, leotards; put buns in their hair

It’s Nutcracker tryouts — hurry, hurry, let’s prepare


Every Sunday from now, right up to those two special days

They’ll practice away in their sugarplum haze

We’ll leave other events early with a sigh or a pout

And arrive at the studio to grand jeté about


As the music is cranked our smiles quickly return

It’s Tchaikovsky we hear, so many new parts to be learned

The Littles and Bigs, they will dance with the Donetsk ballet

As they show the story of a girl, her gift and her dream in a magical way


My sweet little maidelahs making Yuletide traditions

Sharing steps with Ukrainian mavens, in Balanchine’s celebrated positions

A mouse and a cook for my Big this holiday season, My Little a polichinelle and a small doll

Two roles, two acts, and two costumes for each, making memories, having fun, above all


In theatre with stage sets that ‘wows’ every viewer, this Yiddisher momma, oy how I’ll kvell

Come one, come all, grab a seat and enjoy, such nachas can only make you feel well

The Holiday season is right smack dab on us; the emmes truth, we couldn’t be cheerier

Vas, like you have something better to do? Not when the Wissahicken Dance Academy is so superior!


A bei gezunt to all (You should all be healthy)!








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Wordless Wednesday: Oh the places we go

mt airy fest

big at the fest


little in car

look whose tooth came out...
look whose tooth came out…

Wiss 1

log play

log play color

what is it


wiss walk

cicada season


Oib di velt vet verren oisgelaizt, iz es nor in zechus fun kinder (If the world will ever be redeemed, it will be only through the merit of children).




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Wordless Wednesday: Lazy, crazy summer days







A bei gezunt (as long as you’re healthy)! 



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Busy, Shmizzy: Eat Dinner Together for a Better World

Folks, it’s time for a post update. We still fearlessly, tirelessly, endlessly march on, supping together in hopes of a higher purpose. Manners are hard to come by here at the Manor. This week I see that mac-n-cheese is still perceived and approached as finger food. Opposable thumbs do not impress our small humans. The Mrs., and me, our voices continue to make no sound at all to our giggly little, pierced ears who nosh (eat a little) during this very important nutritional act of derring-do. My glass, it stays half full yes, they spilled again, but I am using the metaphor now

and this is how we eat noodles
and this is how we eat noodles, in stereo with Cousin Max, at a restaurant no less. Oy!

I’m always telling suggesting to the Mrs. about the importance of sitting down together to ess a bissel (eat a little). How we need to dine with the full mishpocheh (family). Studies by big machers (hot shots) like scholars and doctors all laud the big meal get together as the solution to practically all that plagues the planet (don’t get me started, oy vey iz mir).

Jointly sitting and supping brings benefits to the body, brain and overall ‘mini-mojo’ of our kinder (kids). A nice nosh (proper meal) together makes for little epicureans that become ‘epi-curious’ eaters who will choose more fruits and veggies, and pick less fried foods and sugary beverages. If mealtime is conquered correctly, the consuming kinder (children) are less likely to kvell (be happy) over a ‘happy meal’ that is loaded with tasty toxins, added fats, oils and who the hell knows what other unsavory ingredients. They won’t hunger for the little tchotchkes (small, unnecessary plastic toys), that promote future gluttony and materialism. They will be less likely to become obese. That alone equals a healthier lifestyle with fewer illnesses. Kaynahorah (to ward off evils — like the big C, heart disease and stroke), all this magic with one familial sit down a day?

Wait! There’s more. Those same above-mentioned mavens add that clever conversation over a nice meal boosts vocabulary for our kinder (kids), which makes for stronger, happier readers. Nu? If you can survive manage regular family mealtimes as the kinder mature, higher test scores, better grades and overall academic performance are in your future.

Add an avocado to the meal, and you win top honors in Nobel nutrition.

Well, it is obvious that no maven of any sort has observed the goings on at our little corner of the dining room here at the Manor. The Mrs. and me, we do our best to offer nightly variations of healthy, overly expensive organic suppers while trying to stick to our frugalista rice and beans every night still ways. With you, I must be honest, dinners hock mier en chinikeh (drives me bat-shit crazy). Etiquette and decorum have left the building by this witching hour!

Things usually start smoothly. The girls, they clean up a bit and set the table when we beg, plead and bribe. They help bring out our food (beans and rice). We all sit, and the Mrs. and I, we ask open-ended questions like a job interview to try to get them to respond speak with us. They sit with their knees up, spread eagle (vey iz mir), and have clearly left their listening ears in the ‘OFF’ position. They seem to have their own form of communication that is specifically designed to exclude us. They use their fingers instead of utensils even for soup. In fact, just last night, I was prompted to wax eloquent on the beauty of our opposable thumbs and how they separate us from the animal kingdom in hopes they would just pick up a g-damned fork or a spoon and eat like humans.

Little, she has a tendency to lick random and incredibly disgusting things WTF. She gets up from the table an average of  267 times per meal. She may need more water, go use the bathroom, want something better to eat, have an undeniable urge to dance, jump on the trampoline, or simply incite an enormous giggle-fest with Big. And I won’t kid you when I say it, she ‘toots like a trumpeter’ at the table. My madelah (sweet little girl)!

Big, she started with the whole knees up posture. She may use a fork for a moment or two, then she will quickly resort to her more primal instincts and pick up everything with her fingers, especially condiments. She can tell a story or two during dinner, and get up to act it out, share via interpretive dance, or become totally taken in by the mishegas (craziness) of Little. This leaves the Mrs. and me sitting table-side for what must be days, weeks, months hours, getting all cobwebby, and stiff-jointed, waiting for her to finish the feast.

And mittendrinnen (in the middle of everything), Gatsby, will jump into any temporarily vacated seat, and make a quick and successful quest for any food sitting idle.

Gatsby, on the prowl
Gatsby, on the prowl

The shvesters (sisters) behavior has the Mrs. and me chugging the Apple Cider Vinegar (an excellent indigestion remedy) nightly, straight from the bottle. It’s a mitzvah (good deed) we don’t drink enough or at all!

Lo and behold, we will endure these rituals because we have put our trust in the big macher alrightniks (good people).

Charlotte, she will weave her nightly web around us. We make this sacrifice night after night with the promise that our girls will not engage in high-risk behaviors like smoking, drugs or sex ever, ever, ever. They won’t have depressed or suicidal thoughts. They will avoid bullies at school and online. They will be self-confident and self-loving and avoid eating disorders.

They will be strong, mighty girls who can lean in. And they will have empathy and compassion, because each night, we do our best to make it through another make your own burrito bowl.

I wonder if there are any studies of what happens to us mom’s as we suffer go through this phase?

A bei gezunt (Live and be well).




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3 Days / 3 Quotes: Game On Day 3


Day 3 is already here. Oy! (wow). I want to share with you, some quotes on Love. Today, is for the Mrs., the love of my life, my best friend, Ema (mother) of our kinder (kids Big and Little), and a SAHM (no easy task)! She is smart, creative, such talent she has… And her beauty, it is inside and out. Oozing from her… If you think you’re going to see a picture of her here, now, you’re missheguneh (nuts)! I don’t have a pre-approved, okay to share with the world shot. Photo, shmoto — I wouldn’t be able to capture her essence anyhow. And that is the emmes (absolute, for real, not lie) truth.

Why Quotes? Because who am I to say no to a challenge? Don’t you know, just a few short days ago. I’m reading some of my fave bloggers, and I see that Helen, over at At Least I Have a Brain, is in the midst of a 3 day quote challenge. As I  study the quotes on her page, there I am, mittendrinnen (smack-dab in the middle) of her post! Game on Helen, and THANK YOU for this wonderful experience.


Day 3: Honey, my Mrs., today is for you. Ich hob dir lieb (I love you)! Thank you for putting up with me, all my mishegas (craziness) and associated dreck (crap) like chronic pain, and, well you know… Here we go:

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”

— Winnie the Pooh

“I love her and that’s the beginning and end of everything.”

— F. Scott Fitzgerald

“I love you. I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I’ve ever had, and no matter what happens to us in the future, everyday we are together is the greatest day of my life. I will always be yours.”

— Nicholas Sparks

And, one Yiddish line of wisdom I must add here. It is so important for us in this frugalista state of our union:

Tsuzogen un lib hoben kost nit kain gelt (It doesn’t cost anything to promise and to love).

Of course, there are rules!

  • Provide 3 new quotes on many topics each day for three days
  • Nominate 3 new bloggers each day for three days
  • Thank the lovely writer who challenged you (HELEN!), always
  • Let the bloggers you have challenged, know about it (it’s a thing, part of the shtick)

My three maven (expert) bloggers for Day 3:

  1. Jenn at AMotherofAllTrades
  2. Cecile at TheFrenchieMummy
  3. Mac at ReflectionsFromMe

Have at it my friends…M’wah!

A bei gezunt (As long as we’re healthy)!



We need some ‘Law and Order’ at the Manor

This was not what I intended by having a room with a view
This was not what I intended by ‘A room with a View’

Who needs cable? We have our own excitement around here. Vey iz mere (heaven forbid) some normalcy we should have. Our evening started off so tranquilly. As a family, we noshed (ate dinner) on a nice meal. We streamed a delightful documentary, ‘First Position,’ about young ballet dancers, hard work, determination and the joy of the dance. It was magnificent. Little and Big were kind to each other, wore their listening ears well, and we were all assembled in a family-style, sofa-sized snuggle. Bouts of ballet broke out before us as Little and Big sensed the genius they were watching and tested their own moxie as dancers took to the stage. We watched through the credits, kinder leaping and twirling.

It was Friday night, my turn to cuddle my kinder (kids) to schluffy (sleep). We kissed the Mrs. and Gatsby, our pooch, good night, and pranced into the bedroom for dreamland. I had a shana madelah (little innocent daughter) curled in each arm. What could be bad? Nu? Big, she fell first, as witnessed by the cutest little purr of a snore. My Little, always the challenge, dared dreamland and the imaginings ahead in the dark. Yet even she soon surrendered sweetly. I felt her soft breath on my cheek. The toil of the ‘short-long week’ took its toll, and I soon drifted off too, smile on my punim (face).

Mittendrinnen (in the middle of everything), the Mrs., she comes running in, out of breath, shaking my feet, trembling, and saying, “Someone’s been shot in the parking lot!” Not two minutes before, she was outside with Gatsby for the last walk of the night. I pray, no I don’t hope I’m dreaming? No such luck. I pinched myself; it hurt. Kaynahorah (without the evil eye), I looked around and my family was okay.

I stumbled out of the bedroom to the frightening scene that played out downstairs, just below our kitchen window. Police cars, marked and unmarked, flew in, lights blazing as it neared midnight. A man stumbled and fell out of a white car, blood pooling around him as he lay in agony on the macadam. Neighbors were trying to stop the blood that poured from his groin. Everyone called 911. I even called NBC 10 news-as if they would cover such a story.

“We’ll be right over, said the women at the news desk.” Have you seen them?

Where in the hell was the ambulance. At least six cop cars had arrived. Two cops dragged the poor screaming man by his legs, across the pavement, to their car. A trail of blood followed him. His girlfriend cried out in terror; he shouted, clearly suffering. The cops, they insisted they were helping him to get to the hospital. I can still hear his screams. My heart still thumps uncomfortably in my chest. Was this brutality? The Mrs. and I, we couldn’t help but wonder if a white man on a better street in a better section of Philly would have been schlepped (pulled) like that. #BlackLivesMatter

So began the investigation. No sign of a gun. No sign of a struggle. No shattered windows. No bullet holes from outside of the vehicle. A bloodied drivers seat and blood along the parking lot. What’ happened? The police turned to the girlfriend, arms bloodied as she tried to help her boyfriend, to stop the flow of his blood into the street.

“Where is the gun? Where are the cell phones? Do you have his SIM cards? Did you give them to your daughter to take inside?”

“I didn’t know he had a gun! He has lots of cell phones. I didn’t know he had a gun!”

This, it makes me like mice
This, it makes me like mice (well, they are better than this)

We were two white moms witnessing the horrors of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The fear and the tension for everyone outside, painfully clear. The detectives started to pressure, to criminalize the girlfriend, who lives two flights below. The police wanted to take her in, didn’t trust her innocence in the events. The Mrs., she ran down 3 flights of steps to tell the detectives, “She’s telling you the truth! I was there, with my dog. Everything she said is what happened.”

The cops took the young, bloodied woman to the station. Her mother said to her, “Go along. We don’t want any trouble here.” The woman walked confidently to the car. The grandmother stayed home with the 9-year-old granddaughter, a witness to too much too soon, and perhaps too often.

The remaining cops and detectives placed yellow police tape around the area in question. The pool of blood shimmered in the night. The evidence bags came out, the flashlights. The Mrs. and me sat on the sofa, holding each other, crying. We were so grateful our girls slept through it all. We talked about what happened. Were we safe living here? What about the kinder (children)? Moving forward, we will refer to this horrible event as ‘pasta salad’ because Little and Big are too damned smart for their own good, figuring out everything we talk about in front of them. Listening only when we don’t want them to.

The next day, the Mrs., she ran in to the family, three generations of black women. They hugged her. They told her they loved her and that she really saved them that night. The daughter was released from the police safely, without incident. They said they let her go because the Mrs., she vouched for her.

We can only surmise how the gunshot transpired. Said boyfriend called moments before arriving to tell his girlfriend he was picking her up. Somewhere in the two minutes between, “I’m coming to get you” and pulling into the lot, he was shot. With no visible distress to the vehicle, he quite possibly, accidentally shot himself in the groin as he removed the gun from his pants before he picked up his girlfriend. He very likely shot his own nuts private parts off and ditched the gun along the way.

A few things I do know:

  1. #BlackLivesMatter
  2. Black people are and have been deprived of basic human rights and dignity in our country and it’s got to stop
  3. I despise guns
  4. My kids do not know about this event at the Manor, so please refer to this as ‘pasta salad’ if you discuss it in front of your kids, their friends
  5. My kinder, they know #BlackLivesMatter

This has got to stop.

A bei gezunt (we should all live and be well) together.

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