The Yesterday Special

The simplicity of the set and the costumes were stunning!

The Dance Recital was yesterday. Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Act I, and disciplines of modern, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, and tap, artfully and passionately performed in Act II. There are *two days/nights a year that I smile so wide, from ear to ear, that my jaw actually hurts by nights’ end I can, and have, thrown out my neck and back from experiencing such profound naches (joy). It’s because I am kvelling (oozing with pride over) over my girls, their friends and all of the dancers who work so hard every day to practice, grow, glean their art and perform it on the stage.

Spring! I have captured Big air-bound, and toes pointed! *Yes, I am that mom that used her iPhone to capture this moment… Es khoolempt zakh meer (I’m dreaming)!

Big, she has a grace and elegance that clearly is woven in her own personal strand of DNA. If all goes well, she will be on pointe oy, the feet, they will hurt in the fall. She is in pursuit of her dream. From the moment she could walk, she was twirling on her tiptoes in tutus. Fear? Never. She holds a comfort on stage that suggests she was meant to be performing.

My Little and her fellow ‘grass-mates’ of summer, dance with Persephone. Little is the second one from the right… and if I used a flash in this stolen moment, you could see them better

Now Little, she is following in the ballet leaps of her shvester (sister). She is dancing with her besties in class and on stage. I am watching her skills develop. Together, the shvesters are constantly dancing and leaping about — At home, they choreograph their own shows and put them on for me and the Mrs. We get tickets and directions that phones and flash photography are not allowed! These kinder (children) make me so fraylekh (happy) it is so true, 99.999% of the time. What? I’m human. Little, still only 7, has fun on the stage, and perhaps the performance itself is not quite as important. That in itself carries its own brilliance, for fun and childhood lead to greater learning.

And here is Autumn. Big is the one closest to us, in the front.

My Mrs., she tirelessly schleps (drives, rushes, and hauls) these kinder to and from dance classes, rehearsals, performances. Hairpins, bun makers, costumes, leotards, tights, ballet shoes… oi vey iz mir (woe is me!)! It’s a lot. On any given day, you can find hundreds of at least 12 bobby pins on the floor in the laundry, the sink, the car, the steps leading to our front door in our house. This is the emmas (truth)!

Could these little ballerina’s be any cuter? My kinder were there, what feels like minutes ago… And in the blink of the eye, these girls will be the new leads.

Me? I delight in my Monday nights when I get to pick up Big on my way home from work. I always get there around 5:30, knowing full well the class will go until 6. Spending time in the dance studio, spying in through the window and watching the process unfold is good for my soul. I welcome the congenial camaraderie of the cabal of caregivers making these same rounds. The chatter, the signals we share that show how we are a community holds yet another layer of priceless-ness.

And today, the day after the big night, our house is a disaster mess. Only Gatsby has food and even that is minimal. Bobby pins are strewn everywhere. The laundry, she is one tall mess, and we all have a bit of a pounding, massive ballet hangover. Gevalt (help), we are exhausted!

Yiddish Proverb:

Gebroteneh teibelech flien nit in moil arein (If you want something, you have to work for it).

A great big, heartfelt Mazel Tov (kudos, congratulations, thank you) to all who work so hard at the Wissahickon Dance Academy! ❤  *The Nutcracker is the other day where I grin like the Cheshire Cat! Get ready, auditions will be in about ten minutes…

A bei gezunt (Good Health to you)!

 

The Saturday Simcha

Yiddish proverb:

Even in this world, one can taste the joy of paradise. Afilu in dem velt, eyner kenen tem di freyd fun ganeydn.

Today, was a mitzvah (nice thing, good deed) for our family. We went to my machatunim (in-laws) (no, they are not ‘those kind’ of in-laws — I am so fortunate) with kinder (children) and Gatsby in tow. We always enter wearing our own coat of chaos and clamor. The maideleh’s (sweet girls) cross the threshold of the doorway, and they are starving like we never ever feed them kind of starving. They are so hungry, they are challish (faint)Nona, she is always ready for them to ess a bissel (eat a little something). She even has choices. Within moments, they inhale large slabs of thick tomato pie. Their cavernous bellies yearn for more. Next up, olives. Gorgeous gourmet kalamatas, and giant green greek beauties stuffed with gorgonzola cheese. Still, the hollows of their kishkas (intestines) cry out, “more please.” One may surmise we only feed them at Nona’s house… Bagels, cream cheese? How about some tuna and bean salad? Nona, a sincere balaboosteh (gourmet cook, cleaner, gardener, caregiver, efficient and loving too — Martha Stewart, she would be impressed, and would learn a few things from our Nona) she whips it all up in minutes. Chips? Who wants chips? Finally, the rumbling bellies begin to bloat. Success.

All the while, amidst the boisterous banter, the barking boy and the pure joy of seeing and feeding her bubbellah’s (grandchildren), Pop Pop, he sleeps soundly in the front room — a den recently turned bedroom. There’s been such tsuris (troubles, worries, grief) with his declining health of late. Our Nona, with a heart of pure gold, she deserves a little frailecheh (happiness).

So once the din of lunch was complete, and the starvation was temporarily sated, Nona, My Mrs., Little, and Big left for some much-needed, light and happy time together. I happily stayed behind, with Gatsby and Pop Pop. And hopefully Nona, she knew he was in good hands/paws with us, kaynahorah (with some good fortune). She can for a time, take her nurse’s hat off and put her sun hat on. Feel the warmth on her back and in her heart.

After about an hour and a half, he woke up. We chatted a little. I brought him his medicine (because Alexa, she told me he had must take it), his lunch (which of course Nona had already prepared) and some fresh water. I helped with the TV channels when his large fingers couldn’t navigate the proper buttons, and Alexa couldn’t make out his voice, now fainter than normal. I gave him a yummy chocolate chip cookie. We watched some golf together, quietly. Talking, not so much.

A bit later, an explosion of noise was welcomed as they all poured through the front door. Smiles on happy faces. Squeals of love and hellos to their Pop Pop, now awake. Joy in their eyes. Joy in Nona’s eyes.

Our Nona’s joy, priceless. Happiness is found in the heart…

And you’ll never guess… The kinder, they were hungry, famished even. After a nice nosh (snack), we headed outside to play. Scooters, hula hoops, and fun.

Joy for Nona, priceless.

To all, a bi gezunt (be healthy).

 

 

The chaos of the smile theory: An Update

Smile. Schmaichel.

Smile theory therapy. Yup, you read that right. Today, I am 6 months in, and still on task. I share with all of my fellow humans, my smile therapy cause, and update, in the hopes that the contagion of a smile, made by seeking eye contact and sharing with any and all individuals and groups I encounter, will elicit a return smile.  May those strangers, knowingly or unknowingly, share that smile forward throughout their day. May this much-needed therapy for me, have a similar effect for those that carry on, unaware that they have been smiled upon… and may the smile spread across the world, like the butterfly effect.

It works. Even our ice cream contagiously smiled back upon open!

Smile a bit in traffic at your fellow drivers if they can look up from their smartphones. Let that car edging out of a parking lot, get out in front of you, even though you may miss the green light. Hold open that door for those behind you. Wave and say hello across to the people walking across the street from you. Let’s act differently. Let us all smile a bit more and share some contagion that needs no doctor.

Six months ago, I made a conscious start while I walked with my Gatsby. Five out of five complete strangers smiled back at me and wished me a fine morning. As total unknowns, we schmoozed (talked) about the beautiful day ahead, the cuteness of my pup, the way the sun felt so nice on our backs.

Those butterflies, they know…

The butterfly effect is the concept that small causes can have large effects. 

And remember, just when that caterpillar thought the whole world was over, what did she become? A butterfly. A meshuggeneh (crazy) flight pattern, some lovely flowers to flutter by, freedom, and a touch of sunshine on her wings.

The bitterest misfortune can be covered up with a smile. Dem bitersten mazel ken men farshtellen mil a schmaichel.

I gotta happily report back to you, 9 times out of 10 okay, some days, it is 7 out of 10, most people smiled right back at me. Me! They didn’t know me from Adam who the f*ck is Adam anyway. But when we locked eyes, and I let out my inner Mona Lisa, bam! Like a ray of light that shines through your window and warms your soul, these beautiful perfect strangers lobbed back some pearly whites right at me. Priceless!

Smile. Schmaichel.

My hope is that this therapy will reach you, wherever you may be residing. And may the effect linger, lovingly and empathetically, to all in its spell. We all may be able to heal this shit show of a vulnerable, unhappy world after all. So, can you try this too? Too much is going on. As people, we need to heal. Are you in with me? Let me know how your smile therapy goes. Please. It can’t hurt. Nu?

  See how good that feels! 

 

      

      

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Harry Potter Festival!

It must be wizards… but what is a Yiddisheh muggle like me to know? Every October, Harry Potter and friends land in Chestnut Hill, a stone’s throw from us, where the whole town is magically transformed into Hogwarts. Even the local train station!

Friend of Hedwig?
Here’s Hedwig!
Yummy chocolate frogs…
Yes, eat the whole thing!
Ron’s car! The one that can fly…

4 Privet Drive
Wait, I have a letter for Harry too!
We even hung out with the Dursley’s!

Butter Beer, Diagon Alley, Sorting Hat stations, Bertie Bott’s every flavor beans that taste like vomit, grass, and boogers… Quidditch anyone?

and besties…

“There are all kinds of courage,” said Dumbledore, smiling. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

It was a day filled with wise wizards, witches and witty bits of Potter wherever you looked! What’s not to love?

And in Yiddish:

Fraynds. Mishpocheh. Mishpocheh. Fraynds. Friends. Family. Family. Friends. ❤

     

     

    

Spartanomics

  • noun

the science branch of knowledge projection of fear tsuris (troubles) concerned with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services buying the stuff you need today, tomorrow and the next day for your family.

  • verb

Meshuggah (crazy) behaviors or actions, that oftentimes arise with heart palpitations creatively as the direct result of the scarcity of means, in order to achieve certain common and normal ends. Huh? ex.: We need to brush our teeth, we still, really!!! have no toothpaste… Achh!

BTW, my Mrs., she is a BeautyCounter consultant. Click here to see how you can get safer personal and beauty products to help keep you and our world healthier.

Take a look at this photo. I walked into our bathroom the other day, and this is what I saw, no joke! From our loo to your eyes. I ran for my magical iPhone to snap this baby. And with this, comes a tale. After all, you that is why you are here …

Did you know, that when you run out of toothpaste, you can actually cut the tube in two or three parts, and have enough toothpaste to last a normal family of four at least five more days? Did you also know that when the deodorant thingy-mah-jiggy-holder falls from its container and bounces on the bathroom floor a few times and lands in the corner, a linty, hairy mess, you can remain odor free for about two weeks more, if you pick it up, wipe away the yuck, and rub it under your arms? Two weeks! And, that pump in the shampoo bottle… when that stops pouring out perfect spurts of soapy suds-making, you can lengthen and lusciously lather for days, maybe even a week if you take it off? The little straw itself holds two days worth of ‘do-cleaner! Then, the bottom of the bottle, don’t get me started! It’s robbery! In Yiddish, we call this, aroizgevarfeneh (pronounced ah-royz-geh-varf-ehn-uh). It literally means thrown out, wasted.

Extrapolate this scenario out across your personal purchases: think about the sunscreen, moisturizer, conditioner, make-up (like I would know, Nu?) caulk, paint, glue, … wait, don’t. It’s too upsetting to think of the money we’ve all put in the landfill left at the table. Look at this little Yiddisheh gem:

It is not so good with money, as it is bad without. Es iz nit azoi gut mit gelt es iz schlect on dem.

Living in the frugal lane, we’ve learned some very good money-saving tips and ideas. We’ve  all worked to change our anti-penny-pinching ways many years ago. It’s all good. And we’ve argued and cried learned and grown. Vey iz mir (OMG!), it is madness if any of you let the above actions go unnoticed! Think conservation! Teaching the kinder (children) about resources and savings, everyday environmentalism and, well spartanomics!

Big and Little, my kinder…

My glass is always half-full. Now, I think it may be even more full than I ever imagined!  What I do know:

To make promises and to love don’t cost any money. Tsuzogn un lib hoben kostn kain gelt nisht.

So try these tips. See if you save. If you have tips for us, please! Do tell! My Mrs. and me, we are trying desperately to save our money for a home. Alevai! (It should only happen!) These small humans we are raising, Little and Big, they cost a fortune! And, yes, these shanah maidels (sweet little girls), they are indeed priceless.

      

     

 

Through Gatsby’s eyes…

You have got to be kidding me. I stayed here, the entire meal. Quiet. Waiting. Under Little’s chair. I mean we all know she is not the neatest of eaters. I’d starve to death under Big’s chair… The kid eats macaroni like it’s popcorn? She holds a fork in her left hand and picks up the food with her right. That kid has the style that I admire! Surely something is gonna drop. Wait! They can’t be clearing the dishes already? Say it ain’t so? Wait! Wait! What about me?

The food is cooked in a pot and the plate gets the honor? Shpeiz kocht men in top un koved krigt der teller? 

    

Wordless Wednesdays: Life is a Bargain!

Lebn iz de greste metsye. Mir nemen es far gornisht. Life is the greatest bargain. We get it for nothing.

Please, can I come trick or treating with you...Pretty please.
Please, can I come trick or treating with you…Pretty please. Really.
Sleepovers, movies, and friends
Sleep-overs, movies, and friends
Windows update?
Windows update? Or a piece of sky…
Ladies who lunch...or sip?
Ladies who lunch…or sip?
Up we go...
Up we go…
Luka, watch me!
Watch me! I said watch me!
No, it's run, run, skip. Run, run, skip.
No, it’s run, run, skip. Run, run, skip.
Photo-bombed by Gatsby!
Photo-bombed by Gatsby again!

Lebn aun zei gezunt! Live and be well!

 

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Let them Play! Wordless Wednesday

#explorerkids
I can get them, I know I can (floaty bugs in the water)
Split by a rainbow
Split by a rainbow
roar!
Roar!
Mommy, I have to pee
Mommy, I have to pee!
There is something not right here...
There is something not right here…
They cannot get me, they cannot see me
They cannot get me, they cannot see me
Little and Big's world
Little and Big’s world
We found her, Amelia Earhart, she's here
We found her, Amelia Earhart, she’s here

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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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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Car Seats and Kids: Both the 2-legged and 4-legged kind

My Little being silly
My Little being silly. Oh how she loves her Gatsby!

Injury prevention in cars is a big deal. Seat belts really do safe lives. People on the roadways are especially meshuggeneh (nuts) and have too many reasons to take their eyes off the road. They are texting, shaving, applying make-up, taking conference calls, checking their noses for schmutz (dirt, like bears in the cave) and managing to find the teeny, tiny toy the kinder (children) have dropped to the floor with the one free arm that isn’t holding a scalding hot, freshly brewed latte. It’s a nightmare, or day-mare, depending on your driving routine.

By law, kids today will be in rear facing car seats until we take them for their driver’s permit. Then, and only then, will they be front facing and in a belt-positioning booster. As we drop them off at college or university, they will hopefully meet the height and weight criteria to be properly belted in as an adult. Oy!

I have a pretty good view here
I have a pretty good view here

Thinking further about car safety for Fido (or in my case, Gatsby), this Yiddisher Momma believes that kinder (sweet children) of all kinds need protection too. Enter the K9CarFence.

A hunt iz a mol getrei’er fun a kind. A dog is sometimes more faithful than a child. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Ira Stahl, owner and inventor of this harness-free, crash-tested, made in the USA, pooch protection when he was making a service call as an electrician at my work. Who knew this mild-mannered mensch (good guy) was electrician by day, and K9 superhero by night! We all got to schmoozing (talking) as people do, and this electrical maven (expert) mentioned his groundbreaking invention to help the doggies of the world travel safely in cars. My eyes lit-up! Gutinue (OMG)! I must have one for my Gatsby! After much nachas (joy and pleasure) shared over my 4-legged boychik (little boy) and Ira’s two little loves, it was agreed Ira would give my Gatsby the safety and security of his own K9CarFence TLC-2X in return for a product review.

What the, what the???
What the, what the???

I said, Ira, “I gotta be honest to my readers.” He was confident, and came within the next few days to install a brand new K9 CarFence in my car. Five minutes, he was done! He explained every step of the easy installation, and off he went.

We have now had this gem for some 3+ weeks and I have only great things to say. In fact, I’m kvelling (bursting with pride) over this safety fence. The first time in my car, Gatsby was not a happy camper and tried desperately to escape. He was used to laptop sitting (dangerous!) and snuggling. By the second ride in his enclosure, he was much more at ease. He could see us through the mesh and look out the window. By the third time, it was his throne! He owned it and walked in with pride. I lowered the window a bissel (bit) — he happily sniffed outside, and then settled into his ‘circle pose’ of rest. Canine shavasana! I added a blanket that he nuzzles, settles and snuggles, safe and sound. My Gatsby hound.

Look at that sun!
Look at that sun! I wouldn’t have noticed that before on Momma’s lap

Canine babies need their own place in the car too. Who would dare let their tiny human flop about in the back seat like I did as a kid? My Big and Little, shana maidelahs (beautiful girls) that they are, have been restrained by the very best. Now, they are bubbellahs (sweeties) in boosters. We strap in and click. What, the Gatsby’s of the world don’t need such protection? Of course they do! Dogs are good people!

The benefits of enclosing your pooch in the car with a K9 CarFence is very much like that of your kinder (children) in their car seats:

  • Holds them in one secure place as you drive
  • Confining comfortably protects them from acting as a projectile in case of a collision
  • Prevents them from climbing into your lap and stealing your sanity nudjing (pestering) you
  • One less thing to be distracted about while driving
  • Safeguards them from the impact of sudden or unexpected stops
  • In the case of an accident, kaynahorah, pthui, pthui, pthui (it shouldn’t happen), they stay confined, preventing further catastrophic incidents like running into traffic and possibly causing another crash pthui, pthui, pthui
  • Traffic violations for driving with a dog that is not properly restrained/confined range in price from $25 to $1000. Ouch!

The K9 CarFence is like a comfy den for your dog. Have a bigger dog? They have options my lovers of furry friends. The TLC-2X fits both front and back seat. As an added bonus, its durable and lightweight construction protects your car interior as it comforts your fur-baby.

I heartily recommend the K9 CarFence for the safe ride and peace of mind you have while driving alongside everyone’s best friend. My Gatsby, he gives a hearty 4 paws up! And the Mrs. and the kinder, they love it too! In dog we trust.

Please know, as in all of my writing, all opinions are my own. If you should agree with me, we are all the better! Either way, I’d love to hear read your comments! Nu? I can take it!

Ven dos mazel kumt, shtel im a shtul. If fortune calls, offer him a seat.

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Wordless Wednesdays: Last bits of Summer

The tire swing

Proud frog Mama

Eva and the Frog

Morning

Neko

Nona's things

Checking

School Shoes :)
School Shoes 🙂

The Mrs. at Work

Morning drive

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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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 Frugal Foursome Rant: An Update

Little and Big, with O. and S. Free fun for all!
Little and Big, with O. and S. Free fun for all!

Shhh. This weeks rant is a day late, and , well, a dollar short…

Last year, I shared a post that left me very vulnerable and open, in a good way. Authenticity at it’s finest, brought to you as many times a week as I can type. What, you want I should lie? Like sleep doesn’t already keep me awake at night…and you, my therapists, you should be able to take it.

Well, it’s time I let you know how the ‘path less purchased’ is going:

Live Lean:

  • Slash the budget and stop the hemorrhage.  As much as I’d like to say we have fully coagulated, even formed a scab, we are still bleeding. Maybe we need that nice, Dr. House to help us. Or Susie Orman. We rarely go out, and when we do, it’s a pizza or the diner—no extravagance here. Despite Ich macht a labent (I’m making a living), the cost of our life is still out doing my income. This keeps my metabolism revving, and leaves me a bit ferklempt (choked with emotions). Our biggest expenses still come from Doctors…because of me, I’m a pain in the neck, chronically and literally, and the best progressive education around, at the Miquon School, for the kinder (the kids). Two things we cannot stop attending to.
  • Cut the cord. Goodbye Cable! Done! And we couldn’t be happier. Savings here, ~$200 per month! We have wi-fi, and we stream, like all the cool kids!
  • Eat home, brown bag lunches, snacks and beverages, avoid quaint coffee culture. This has a steep learning curve. Stopping for ice cream, a bottle of water, c-o-f-f-e-e, snacks, all very difficult. We rarely eat out. We make rice and beans. Beans and rice, rice, with beans, and sometimes beans and rice. Thankfully, we are veggies and love this! No sacrifice! Little and Big, they get hungry, and thirsty, even after our well thought out bag of noshes (snacks and drinks) has been consumed. Oy! When we have nothing for me to bring for lunch, I wait until dinner. I allow myself one cup of coffee out per week. My coffee klatch, dear friends back from our barista brewing ‘Buckaroo days…are well worth every penny.
  • Sell the house—downsize, move, rent. Living life the Manor way. It’s an adjustment for us all. We have no idea whose basement has what of our stuff or how long we will be here. But, we carved a savings of about ~$1200 per month. 
  • Make memories, give experiences, learn to live well with less.  Major improvement! My wonderful machetanum (in-laws) gave us a membership to the Morris Arboretum. It’s like our backyard, without mowing or pruning. We have been there zillions of times and keep finding new things to fall in love with and explore. We are making wonderful memories and enjoying outdoor play together!
Coffee Klatch <3
Coffee Klatch ❤

Lean On:

  • Leave senseless money squabbles behind. Better. ❤ We find ourselves on the same page so much more often than ever before. My Mrs., she has come a long way!
  • Share the burden of stresses that I hold so deep and internal. The Mrs. and me, we kibbitz (talk) more about a lot of things. A stolen moment here, a quick sentence or two there—we’ve even texted each other while on the sofa. The best thing for me, when I hear her laughter. Priceless…
  • Recognize that ‘thrift maven’ may come in stages for those of us that are more ‘spendy’ and less frugal. And with this one, we bicker less. Win, win! Baby steps lead to long strides.
Yarn bombing At the Arboretum!
Yarn bombing At the Arboretum!

Lean In:

  • Control what I can control. I’m trying.
  • Always lead by example. Words I try hard to live by.
  • Keep my ‘cup half full attitude. A veritable Mary Poppins, I am.
  • Work hard and make the time to play hard. We all need more play.
  • Set goals together for a purpose, because some may just find the simple act of saving for savings sake boring. Oh savings! I should only live long enough to be bored by you!

Financial stability, I am searching for you around every corner. I am working hard to have you in our lives again. We will be fine. Things will improve. Time and karma.

 

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Thank You so much Su, from EthanEvelyn.com! #FabFridayPost
Thank You so much Su, from EthanEvelyn.com! #FabFridayPost
Pass the Sauce #AgentSpitback #Linky Party
Pass the Sauce #AgentSpitback #Linky Party

It’s a boy!

Meet The Great Gatsby!
Meet The Great Gatsby!

One of the posts I have been avoiding writing is the one called ‘We want a dog, dammit!’ The Mrs. and I, along with the kinder (kids), have been trapped in a long stage of grief. I refer to 2014-15 as our Titanic years. Such tsuris, you should never know from (so many bad things happened). And the worst of them all, were the loss of our two boychik (little boy) pugs, Atticus (from To Kill a Mocking Bird) and Elijah (because we were waiting for him).

If you are not dog people, or animal lovers, you may not understand such heartbreak. You may think these feeling absurd. My wish for you is that someday, you experience such great emotion that comes with the unconditional love of a dog. For us humans, who stand erect and have opposable thumbs, we come with countless conditions and circumstances.

Little and Big would talk about the boys, their brothers, constantly. They knew, when Mommy’s heart was better, we would get another dog. They watched as the Mrs. and me shed pools full of tears. They hugged us tightly and said it would get better. In every rainbow, we saw our boys (and I gotta say, we’ve never seen so many rainbows!). And remember, this Yiddisher momma just speaks a lot of this fun, robust language and soaks in the culture – beliefs, that’s another story. Not so much.

They say, di tsayt iz der bester dokter (time is the best doctor). Maybe. Sometimes when you go slowly, you get there faster.

image

This past Sunday, we rescued this little guy. His dog-mom was a Pekinese-Pug mix, and his dog-dad a miniature Dachshund. I guess that makes him a mutt with some pugger in him. We named him Gatsby (as in the Great Gatsby). He is sweet and handsome and every bit a dawg! Now our family has grown, and this boychik (little boy) has two shvesters (sisters) and two moms. Lucky dog! Lucky us.

On Sunday night, when we got home from our long drive, puppy in tow, Big walked over to me and whispered in my ear, “Mommy, is your heart feeling better?” Such wisdom! Priceless.

Now, our family has such naches (joy, pride and gratitude) from Gatsby. For me, I know my heart has two holes that won’t mend, but it also just grew a few sizes bigger.

 

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linky 4-29-16 #FabFridayPost Linky #29
linky 4-29-16 #FabFridayPost Linky #29
Bloggers Pit Stop #21
Bloggers Pit Stop #21

Straight from the pen of Big

Big, My Mighty Girl
Big, My Mighty Girl

Little and Big are always up to the most amazing things at school. These two mommas are constantly blown away by what they are learning and how truly hands-on their experiences are. I’m gonna kvell (ooze with pride) now a bit over Big and the art of persuasion.

Get a load of these two letters she brought home:

One for the Mrs. and me:

image

One for Little:

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Now that is my Mighty Girl in Action.

The Mrs. and I agreed, and so did Little. Onward! Keep up the amazing job #Miquon teachers. You rock! Keep working the #Miquon Magic!

 

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Germ-phobes Beware

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

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

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

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

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

Kid 2

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

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

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

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

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

And I am certain it will happen again.

This cough I now have, priceless.

 

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Two Moms. Two Girls.

Our Girls, Luka and Neko
Our Girls, Luka and Neko

Mom. A tiny little word filled with great big feelings. Being a mom, one of two in this relationship, is no easy task. Some may say it’s the toughest job in the world. This is not a news alert or a smoking gun. Any of you out there with the pleasure, and I do mean pleasure, of being a mom know that. (I’m kvelling…)

I’m the working mom and my partner, the love of my life, is the stay at home mom. While together, we are raising our two little awesome human beings to be wonderful people on the planet, Meghan clearly has the harder job (and I am often times filled with insane jealousy). We don’t claim to know everything, and we certainly know that parenting cannot be perfect, ours included. In fact we often strive for imperfect. The ‘P’ word itself is forbidden—invoking low self-esteem, eating disorders, $0.76 on the dollar, lack of interest in math and science, and probably even global warming and middle-eastern unrest.

We live in the age of ‘Leaning In,’ yet Barbie is still poorly proportioned. Pink prevails. It is not the new black. Our ‘Mighty-Girls’ choose twirly-swirly dresses over sensible clothes every time; and please, don’t get me started on their shoes. I’m becoming quite accustomed to the fact that a hike ‘over the river and through the woods’ will elicit the exact same wardrobe choice as a fancy party for my ‘little women.’ Cool. No sense arguing. Pooh says, “Be who you are.”

Well, they sure are who they are. And I love every minute of it. And Meghan and I will continue down our path to raise smart, brave, courageous, kind, grateful, empathic loving girls who will one day, hopefully a very long time from today, become women with those same traits.

 

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Priceless.

Luka: “Neko, let’s put on a show before dinner.”

Neko: “Luuuuuuuuu-kaaaaaaaaaaa!”

Luka: “C’mon Neko, it will be fun. Let’s go in our room and practice.”

Neko: “But I want Mommy to be in it too!”

Luka: “Ok, fine. C’mon. Hurry Up.”

Neko: “Mommy, we are going to practice in our room for our show. You’re in it too. Here are your lines.”

my lines

Priceless.

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