Sunday, February 28, 2010

Queen Esther...

"Go and gather all the Jews in Shushan, Fast for me: do not eat or drink for three days and nights. My girls and I will also fast. Then I'll go to the king -- against the law -- and if I am killed, I will be the only one killed." The Book of Esther 4:16

We followed the Jewish calendar the year before our 2nd daughters birth. With a Seder at Passover, and the start of our Easter morning tradition of going to the zoo . The High Holidays in Fall were met with the need to find many days of alternative daycare, as school was closed. We spent December preparing for Hanukkah -- with a concert and baking potato latkas and lighting the Menorah with friends. We spent some Friday evenings eating a Shabbat meal with our neighbors. We bought Challah bread from our corner kosher bakery. Eloise gave a blessing in Hebrew before many meals -- saying in her sweet 2 year old voice "Ba-ruch a-tah A-do-nai..."

So it was on the last weekend of February 2005, Eloise and I were busy in the kitchen baking Hamantashen and preparing her costume for the Purim celebration. We read many stories of Queen Esther saving the Jews. How brave, strong, wise and compassionate this queen was. Queen Esther put her own life on the line to convince the King to save the Jews and punish the evil Haman.

Purim is the most joyous holidays in the Jewish calendar -- celebrated with parties and costumes. It is the ultimate triumph of good versus evil.

Purim is today, Esther's birthday. Our Esther.

Eloise chose her sisters name. Queen Esther - the brave. An original strong woman. The hidden and bright morning star to be literal.

The week after Esther's birth, I marched with Eloise in the Purim parade at the Jewish Community Center - - with my newborn blond hair, blue-eyed baby in my arms. Over and over, the women we met would ask "what is your beautiful new daughter's name?"

"Esther!" I would say strongly. Every time they would meet my eyes and pause, with a nod and a smile, giving complete approval. All agreed that she was indeed an Esther.

That this Esther, given this important name, would indeed brave, compassionate and wise. This Esther gave us reason for complete joy and celebration. And nobody likes a party more than Esther.

And she will be our shining morning star. Forever.

Happy Birthday our Queen Esther.

We Love You,

Friday, February 26, 2010

Weekend Reading...

Do you ever feel a bit weird reading your children some of the classic books from your childhood? We have been reading the Bobbsey Twins and boy do I enjoy their adventures.
Do you read it with today's politically correct words? Do you skip parts? Do you read it as it was written 50 years ago?
And I am not just talking about the description of their maid, Dinah...even this sentence bugs me "Mrs. Bobbsey looked young and pretty standing beside her tall, athletic husband" I puked a bit in my mouth when I read that.

So we while we continue our edited Bobbsey Twin are a few blogs I have been enjoying of late that I am sharing with you.

The Women's Colony. - Seriously funny, enjoyable and brilliant. There are some amazing writers who contribute to this blog. They get me. Enjoy.

The Bloggess. If you have an aversion to profanity - don't go there. But. I happen to love the appropriately placed "f" word - so I do go there. A lot. She is FUNNY and makes me laugh everytime I visit.

Esther turns 5 this weekend, so I am busy turning her hair pink and baking cupcakes - when I am not crying on the bathroom floor thinking about the fact that my baby is 5.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Daily Bread...

Two months into the New Year and I am making some progress on my goals.

I am using yeast for baking at least once per week - either making breads, rolls, or pizza doughs. You know, because I have like 3 extra hours to myself each week to knead dough - between lice picks, laundry, nursing and Girl Scout cookies, and of course the daily life crap. My husband saw my head explode today when I came home to find him reading on the couch with his feet up, oblivious to the 6 loads of laundry around him, homework to be done or dinner to be made, because we have too much daily life crap to deal with to find time for that behavior.

But I had time to make bread on Sunday. Maybe that is like my reading on the couch time. Not.

Baking with yeast is easier than I imagined it would be though, and my heart is full when I see my labor disappear within minutes of removing it from the oven.

Homemade bread is making my family happy. And getting my aggression out on the dough takes me to a happy place.

How is your New Year going?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Astrid 7 months...

I did it today...I left my baby.

That is a VERY big deal for me. I am rather psycho when it comes to my babies. I never leave them. Ever. I nurse exclusively, stress about pumping and fret when I am away - even to Target for a 1/2 hour. I left Esther for the first time when she was 11 month old...for 6 hours and it was awful.

So, I was a wreck about leaving Astrid for 3 hours today at 7 months. My breasts ached the whole time I was without her. Too much information? Too bad.

The separation was painful for me.

Why am I so strange? I see other moms going out for lunches and dinners and off to work...perhaps even away for a weekend. I physically ache thinking about being away from my babies until they are at least a year old. Ache.

Help me here. Do you enjoy your time away? Do your fret about it? Do you think they should live at home until they are 35? Do you think I am crazy? Do you think I smell?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tooth Scary?

Eloise finally lost her 2nd top tooth a few days ago. It was hanging precariously for days and was disgusting and would spurt out blood at really fun moments. She also could only eat food through a straw for 3 days as real food hurt her tooth and produced more blood.

This made for fun times during lice season. Really..just one more thing to worry about. I wanted to just yank the sucker out, but she was still mad at me about the hair. I didn't want to use too many mean mommy cards at once. It is good to spread them out a bit.

So I played good mommy and fed her smoothies and shakes...but picked her head every time she drank anything.

I think I now have total OCD from nit-picking. I do it constantly. Every time one of them walks by, I spray them with oil and comb through it.

So the tooth fell out, but she didn't want to put it under her pillow...well for one, she doesn't have a pillow..she has a beach towel currently. She determined there was no way the tooth fairy would know to look under a beach towel. Then she couldn't use her "official" tooth fairy pillow to put the tooth in, because it with the other 4000 stuffed animals and pillows are in leaf bags for 2 more weeks. She determined that the tooth fairy would not come if her official tooth fairy pillow was not used. The tooth has sat on our dining room table for 2 days as she weighed her options.

Talk about flipping OCD. My god I just wanted to yell "I am the gosh-forsaken tooth fairy and believe me I will find it and LEAVE YOU just get over yourself child!" But I didn't.

Finally I convinced her to put the tooth in a baggie to protect it from lice and put it next to her beach towel.

When she woke up this morning, she found the tooth gone and $2 in it's place BUT NO BAGGIE. She flipped.

Apparently she expected the fairy to take the tooth out of the baggie, but slip the money inside the baggie. This was never discussed.

Upon her freaking out that the money was not in the baggie, and me coming up with no logical answer except wanting to say "I AM THE TOOTH FAIRY AND HAD NO CLUE HOW THIS WAS SUPPOSE TO WORK!!"...Esther said "well, the tooth fairy is so small that if she were to climb inside the bag to leave the money she would stop breathing and DIE!"

Problem solved.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lice Cuts...

We are digging out here. The lice are gone(hopefully) - no sightings for 4 days now. I am still doing 6 loads of laundry a day, spraying furniture, vacuuming twice per day, changing bedding daily, three daily hair checks and no one is allowed on the furniture.

I believe my diligence will continue for the next week. I do not want them back.

I love my girls with long hair. I never wanted to force a cut upon them. Lice made it unavoidable.

Now I love their short hair and I hope they do to. And they forgive me?

I have wine now. I can breathe again. I even took time to start prepping Esther's delayed birthday party....making the party hats, linens and flowers.

I am hopeful that this will be a much better week.

Any week lice free is a better week.

Don't ever get lice. Ever.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Important News?

Was anyone else home at 10 A.M. Central today? Come on you stay at home moms - you know you had just turned the TV on to watch The View.

It is here that I admit that I sit down to nurse at 10 every morning, just so I can turn on The View and watch the banter between Whoopie and Elisabeth. I love their Hot Topics and well - some good gossip for my day.

Imagine my surprise, and at first worry when ABC said "we interrupt this program for a special report" - as the Special Report graphics filled the screen. My heart stopped - was it Haiti, another earthquake, an accident, the president was shot, a tsunami, an Olympic disaster?

No, it was Tiger Woods giving a press conference.

Seriously, every channel interrupted their programming to televise the Tiger Woods press conference.

Who the hell does he think he is that 1. we actually even give a shit at this point and 2. that he is so important to preempt any programming whatsoever. Am I the only one who has completely forgotten about it? I am a golfer and guess what - I DO NOT CARE. Apologize to your wife, your family, your sponsors, you friends, your employees PRIVATELY and leave me out of it. I DO NOT CARE. I do not need to listen to your robotic attempt to regain your popularity. I do not need to listen to you read verbatim some bullshit you may or may not have written. I do not feel sorry for you and frankly I DO NOT CARE about you. At all.

And now after not even worrying about you for the last 3 months, I am now mad at you because there were NO Hot Topics on The View this morning. Frankly, I would now like a public apology from you for that.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lice Ramblings...

In this 7 day period I have the Matilda Jane Launch, Esther's birthday party and Girl Scout Cookie delivery (did I mention I am cookie mom?).

The above list was highly manageable..unless you get sick and lice.

Did I mention I was sick and lost my voice? It rocks. I have sexy 4 pack a day smokers voice now. Call me.

Matilda Jane is still selling without me there. Not sure I am comfortable with that sentence.

Poor Esther's party has been postponed by two weeks. No one wants to come to a lice heads party - nor enter her house. That would not be a nice parting gift to give.

The cookies will have to live in our garage until we can get them delivered. I have heard they freeze well.

Tiernee still comes daily to pick my head. This is a trait of a very good friend. Not only is she not worried about getting lice, she brings Chocolate babka and never mentions how horribly gray my hair is or that I should really investigate some Head and Shoulders. She is my window to the outside world. I have been locked in with my kids for 6 days now. She will enter my home and act like we are normal and not fear for her life. You can tell she has had lice before. She is happy to wage war with me.

I miss people. A statement I never thought I would make.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I have done this without wine...

I gave up wine at New Years. I decided that I would not drink any wine from New Years until Ash Wednesday. As I don't formally "celebrate" Lent - I decided that I would give up wine before Lent and then make fun of all of my sucker friends during Lent who were silly enough to give up wine now.

For 7 weeks I have been dry, except for 2 glasses at Kristi's house 2 weeks ago. But drinking at Kristi's doesn't count. It is just unfortunate that she only invited me over one time during the last 7 weeks. Darn taxes.

I had plans to go buy wine today, lots of wine, but didn't think it would be prudent to take my lice infested family out into public.

Oh you heard me right - WE HAVE LICE.


Before I go on about my hell during the past 72 hours, I would like to formally apologize to the 2 little blond girls who road my bus in 4th grade. The 2 sisters who lived in the trailer park behind the 3D discount store. The 2 sisters who were sent home with lice. The 2 sisters that we called "lice heads" on the bus for the next 2 years.

Kids are mean. We were mean.

I would also like to make that shrink appointment now - for 15 years down the road when Eloise is seeking counseling for her mothers reaction upon finding the lice in her head. Yes, I win mother of year. I tilted her head over and saw a BUG on my CHILD's HEAD. I screamed like a baby and ran from the room screaming "OMG YOU HAVE LICE YOU HAVE LICE!!!!"

Oh yes, mother of the year right here. Turns out the proper reaction was "oh no sweetie - looks like you have lice. It is not your fault. You are so beautiful and perfect and mommy will take care of it in a few days" - this was then to be followed by a warm embrace turns out. Not for my child to see her mother running away from her screaming. tsk tsk.

Jed also wins father of the year when he told her we should just shave her head. Oh yes he did. We ROCK as parents. ROCK. It is so hard being the oldest kid watching your parents make so many mistakes.

We have now spent the last 72 hours filling 42 leaf bags with stuffed animals and pillow and coats and rugs and toys and dolls.

I am on my 33rd load of laundry - the linens, towels, coats, pillows, clothing - over and over again. I can only hope the silver lining is that my 1979 Kenmore washer explodes and I get a new one. My 1981 Kenmore dryer is taking almost 3 hours to dry each load. Thus laundry is going 24 hours per day and so am I. My head is hitting the bed at 1am and rising at 4am to put in another load. My kids are sleeping on beach towels as they are easier to wash than pillows. I vacuum every 4 hours and spray my home constantly with tea tree oil. I make my kids stay off the furniture and their little butts hurt from sitting on the hardwood.

After spending 3 hours picking eggs out of their hair yesterday, I finally cut about 6 inches off of both their heads. It is Summer bob time 3 months early. I have had a few Joan Crawford moments.

I have forgotten to feed them and they were both crying by 11am yesterday asking if they could eat.

They have been home from school now for 5 days straight and between laundry, treating heads, picking heads, nursing and bouncing little miss cranky pants - who thank God is bald - I have little time to think about groceries or food.

And during this time the new Matilda Jane season started. In fact the season started an hour after I found the first louse. I love my life.

For 3 days my phone has been ringing off the hook, I have not only done laundry, treating, picking and nursing but have tried to sit in front of a computer to get people their cookie tanks. I have been yelled at, cursed at and have been told what a disappointment I am to them because of not getting them their tank top. I have cried to one as I hung up on her because I needed to get back to picking the nits out of my child's hair.

And yes, I have had shows scheduled that I cannot work because we have lice.

I have really good friends though - who come to my house and check my head, treat my kids, tell them what they need to hear as their mother is failing them. They bring me more laundry detergent, do my shows for me and mostly let me know they are here if I need them.

I need wine really. That is all I need right now. Wine.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Refrigerator Confession...

This is how I know my husband is leaving on a trip.

The Empty Refrigerator.
I love it.

We have many housewifery duties - and grocery shopping and cooking a proper meal are on the top of my list of things I hate. Hate.

Not because I hate cooking, but both of these duties take time, balancing and people management. Yes, I have nursed near an open flame on the stove. I have held my babies on my back hip while opening the oven. I have relied on PBS kids as my babysitter so I can just cook.a.meal. This is if I manage to actually find that window of time to make a meal plan, a grocery list, get to the store and unpack the groceries.

I also find most of this I do as I feel my husband expects to eat a meal..whereas I really could care less, nor could the girls. He is the only one to ever ask "what is for dinner?" or stand at the fridge and say "is there anything to eat in here?" or "did you buy ice cream?" (which I never do...)

Perhaps it is the same phenomenon with teenage boys?

So, I admit I do celebrate a wee bit when he goes on a trip. I don't grocery shop, I don't cook, that duty is off my list for as many days as he is gone. Us girls live on cereal and salad...pancakes and popcorn. We watch movies at night and paint toenails.

But mostly we just enjoy taking a vacation from the kitchen.

It is almost like going to Mexico for me. Almost.


What housewifery duties do you abhor? Do you love when you husband goes on a short trip or miss him dearly? Am I awful to enjoy the break?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dear JCrew...

I love you. I do. I have loved you for years - the place to find some cute basics and the place to find a few stand-out pieces to give me a bit a frou-frou, some panache or just a bit of somethin-somethin.

But I really need you to stop selling these..

..because I cannot wear them anymore. I have reached the age where I can never pull-off wearing a headband matter how hard I try. I now look like my Grandma - wearing a headband. It looks stupid.

Not good.

Now, I realize that I am not your complete demographic, and I know a thing or two about marketing - since that was my full-time job before my full-time breastfeeding gig started.

If I had to guess, you target ladies ages 18-50ish - which is a huge spread as during this time our boobs sag, our wrinkles emerge and well, by 40 we look like idiots in headbands.

However, because we just bought that cute ruffle blouse, we now feel compelled to accessorize with the headband. We cannot help ourselves.

So, for our sanity and well, to save us from further public humiliation, can you please just stop selling these as a ladies accessory - as I cannot police myself.

Thank you for your time.

t. leave a comment - what are you too old to wear? or too young to wear perhaps??

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Thank Heaven for Big Girls Too...

I took some pictures of Eloise the other day for a Valentine's collage, and I was getting frustrated with her.

She wasn't smiling "right" or looking all "cute" like I expect from my little girls.

She wouldn't wear a pink shirt or a bow in her hair.

She wanted to wear something gray and her hair straightened and me.

She wanted to show-off her ever changing mouth and teeth. She is so proud.

I downloaded my pictures to my computer thinking that I got nothing good.

But what I saw was beauty - not that of a little girl anymore though, but of an older girl...

...a look into the future of what is to become of my household as these little ones age and change, develop and grow.

I cried - tears of "oh my gosh how did this happen so fast" and tears of "oh my gosh, what beautiful women they will become."


Sunday, February 7, 2010

5 A.M.

I have company at 5 A.M. now. I love her, but I hate it.

5 A.M. is my running time, my coffee time, my computer time, my quiet time.

Now I have company. Company who sings and gurgles and coos and demands constant attention.

She cannot run with me, she doesn't drink coffee and she is jealous of my computer like the cat is of her. Mainly she is not quiet.

When my mom was a young, new mother of 20, her first baby woke-up by 5 A.M. every morning and she told me stories of getting up with him, putting him in the playpen(baby cage) with his toys and then snoozing off and on upon the couch nearby.

I have no need to sleep, I just want to plop her on the floor so I can go running or selfishly read some blogs. She is much too demanding for that.

So, I beer-bong my coffee and shake toys at her while I watch the morning news. Problem is, Matt Lauer doesn't come on until 7. He is like my morning porn. Not that I have evening porn. But morning Matt Lauer porn is good. He makes my morning quite a bit brighter. I just wish he started work at 5 A.M. There must be some other 40 year old moms of babies, who lust after him who can sign my petition for the very early Today show? Please?


Thursday, February 4, 2010

On a Much Lighter Note from Yesterday...

No matter how sad or melancholy I may be - I know I had kids to provide me with comic relief..

Eloise and Esther come running to the kitchen yelling "MOM MOM quick we both need a glass of water!!!"

Me "Why so urgently?"

Eloise "We need to get this yucky taste out of our mouths - hurry now!!!!"

Me "What yucky taste - what did you eat?"

Esther "We were sucking on each others toes and eating our socks just like Astrid does."


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Braids...

She pulled tightly at her granddaughters hair. The only proper way to French braid is to do it tightly. The granddaughter winced at the procedure, but knew the pain was worth the final product.

Her fingers worked quickly and professionally, as they should, having spent many hours of her life braiding her 6 daughters hair most every morning.

She laughed as she braided, as she told stories of her childhood and just acted plain silly.

Mainly the granddaughter didn't care so much about the braids. She just wanted her Grandma to braid her hair - to have her undivided attention and listen to her sweet, soft voice and lively laughter. Mainly the granddaughter just wanted to feel her Grandmas sweet touch.

And she would laugh and tell her granddaughter the same thing, every time she braided her hair..."Oh, Tracy - I am so sorry you inherited my thin, limp hair. It is so hard to braid. I pray for a daughter for you with thick, long locks."

The granddaughter would close her eyes and dream about the daughters she would have with thick hair - unlike her own and her grandmas.

She would finish the braiding the same way every time. With a gentle kiss on the top of her granddaughters head.

The final product was always perfect.

The granddaughter looked up into her Grandma's sparkling eyes and thanked her for braiding her hair and laughed like a school girl at the braids she now wore as a 32 year old woman.

The granddaughter would never feel too old for her Grandma's touch or to hear another one of her stories.
As the granddaughter gently braided her own daughters hair this morning, a cardinal flew by the window.

A tear ran down the granddaughters face as she remembered that this is the day her Grandma passed 4 years ago.

How bittersweet to kiss her own daughters head and wish for her a daughter with thin and shiny hair - hair just like her Grandma's.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

No more butt wiping?

5 is a very big deal in our home. 5 is no longer a little kid/preschooler - 5 is a soon to be primary student and a very big kid.

5 year olds set the table - even the glasses.
5 year olds wash the table after dinner AND can now reach the counter tops.
5 year olds have to move beyond matching socks and now fold towels and even learn to fold a shirt.
5 year olds make their beds, tie their own shoes, zip their own zippers, put their own toothpaste on their brushes..

...but most importantly, a 5 year old wipes their own butt.

Thank God.

Therefore, for such a large entry into the realm of a big kid to happen - I make a pretty big deal out of a 5 year olds birthday party.

Eloise still talks about her 5th birthday.

Esther doesn't turn 5 for 26 more days..but we already have 2 weeks of planning behind us and many more hours to go.

We sit and write out storyboards and poster boards full of ideas.
We look at fabric swatches for her skirt, her party hats, her linens.
We taste cake samples and plan games
We make a list of proper guests and choose invites direct from England(I hope they get here soon.)

Esther knows how to throw a party and knows exactly what she wants.

Stay tuned for a most glamorous and proper 5 year old party.

..and if you don't hear from me - I am neck deep in tulle. But at least not wiping butts.


Monday, February 1, 2010


I have to admit that I am one of those moms that hates snow days, and school breaks, and teacher "in-service" days, Summer break and pretty much most weekends.

I love a good school day.

I go a bit crazy with messes and toys and art and food and just generally too many people underfoot on a day off. My head explodes.

Too many people need me - "Mom I need a snack" "Mom what is for dinner" "Mom where is this or that" "Mom Esther is bothering me" "Mom,mom,mom, MOMOMOMOMOMOM.."

It is enough to change my name.

Last week, with a 3 day weekend approaching I was consumed with fret and negative anticipation. I asked the girls what they wanted to do and they responded with "nothing." I wondered how I would survive.

But I did. Turns out they have turned that corner of needed constant interaction/entertaining/annoying needing - and the 2 of them just played, all by themselves, for 3 days straight.

THREE whole days - I was just there for meals..but otherwise..THEY NEVER EVEN TALKED TO ME.

They played school and house and swimming and dolls and art class and ballet and just PLAYED, like kids, all day, for three days and NEVER TALKED TO ME.

And best of all, they never fought and they picked up after themselves.

It was an amazing glimpse into freedom. And I liked it.

Of course this one kept saying "eeh eehh eeeehhh" all weekend long.

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