Friday, December 29, 2006

Masquerading as a Stay at Home Mom

I took off from work this week to use up my remaining vacation days and now that the hoopla of the holidays is more or less over, I'm masquerading as a stay at home mom.

With the kids off from school, I have to say it's more than a little challenging. It would be so easy to just let them stay home and play with all the toys they just got but somehow I feel like a horrible parent if I don't have something planned every day to at least give them cause to get out of their pajamas.

Yesterday, a friend of mine came over with her two kids and while she and I got to catch up, our kids entertained each other for a few hours. The day before that, I took the girls to one of those indoor playgrounds. And today we are off to the library and then to Grandma's house for a change of scenery.

Somewhere in all of this I have to manage to run an errand or two with sufficient bribery to keep my two five year olds in check. I can see where this gets old very fast!

But I'm actually kind of enjoying it, I have to admit. And my house is certainly cleaner than it's been in a long time. I think we are going on 4 or 5 solid days with no dishes in the sink and no crap on the counter. A fact I felt I needed to point out to my husband who was less than optimistic that the trend would continue into next week when I go back to work. Hmmm. I think I smell a challenge here.

Next week it will be back to the grind with some new changes at work that will hopefully make my job a little more manageable.

But I'm not even thinking about that now (REALLY). I'm off to the library.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Things I should be doing instead of writing in my blog

It's 12:15AM. The dishwasher is running, the washing machine is running and the dryer is running. I SHOULD be sweeping or dusting or cleaning a bathroom since we are having a dozen people over for christmas on Monday. I'm rationalizing it as...I'm waiting for the dryer to finish so I can get the good comforter out while it is still warm.

And no sense in really cleaning a bathroom when my two 5 year olds will just destroy it tomorrow. right? (Please say..."right")

Problem is that tomorrow is going to be shot. At 10:30 we have to be at my mother-in-law's church for some Christmasy thing they are putting on (not a pageant...I know what those are... said the Jewish daughter-in-law). Then we are going to another christmasy thing over at Digital Father's church to see his kids in a pageanty thing at 3.

Meanwhile, my mind will be on not the spirit of the season but whether I have all the ingredients for everything I am cooking on Christmas Day. (no offense to Digital Father and his kids who we love!)

Oh, and of course, on what questions the kids will ask related to Christmas. I'm kind of dreading that. I have enough trouble explaining the facets of my own faith to five year olds.

The other day, while waiting for the bus, one of my daughters asked me what it means when someone dies. I felt like deer the headlights because it just came out of nowhere. She is the queen of nonsequiters.

OH, and it was 8:15 in the freakin morning!

So I started with flowers and bugs since I know she's seen dead flowers and bugs...and paused while I hoped and prayed that this was all she needed to feel complete.

No such luck.

HER: "What about people? Why do they die?"

ME: "Well, sometimes people die when they are very very old...and sometimes when they've been very sick. (think think can I explain this to her without scaring her or having her think that everyone is going to die tomorrow?) People's bodies are a little like machines with lots of working parts, and when some of those parts stop working and can't be fixed...then they die."

HER: "And then what happens to them?"

OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD.....WHERE is that BUS??? I was so unprepared for this conversation and it was on a rare morning that my husband didn't come with us to wait for the I had NO backup.

And did I mention that it was 8:15 in the freakin morning??

ME: "Well, lots of different people believe lots of different things about what happens after you die. And since no one's ever come back to tell me...I'm not really sure, honey. (yes, I realize this was the coward's way out but I was not prepared to debate Heaven with a 5 year old)

HER: "so they go away FOREVER?"

ME: "Yes, but it's ok. You won't have to worry about it for a very long time.... and look, there's your bus!"

HER: "OK, Mommy...BYE"

And yes, I sat in the car for a good three minutes after wondering if this little explanation was going to come back to haunt me later in life when my daughter needs therapy because I didn't provide her with something to believe in.

I can't wait to see what my girls come up with tomorrow!

Friday, December 22, 2006

The funniest post I've seen in a long time

I stumbled on this I do most blogs...posted on which proclaims itself to be for urban parents (which I am not).

Nonetheless, I thought this post about and the audacity of perfect strangers and the questions they feel are not too rude to ask was so funny that I nearly did a spit-take.

Please read it here but be forwarned that some of the language may not be appropriate if your boss (or child) happens to be reading over your shoulder.

Things I think I could do for 30 days in a row

I've really been thinking about this and the list is pretty lengthy of things I'd like to do to better myself (at least in a 30 day burst) Not that I'm so flawed as to need so much work...well, ok...perhaps I am.

So on the list of things I think I can do for 30 days is:

  • Wake up early
  • Exercise
  • Eat better (as in give up cookies or ice cream or some other item detrimental to my waistline).
  • Empty my email inbox (I'm terrible at this now and as a result I constantly get that annoying administrator message at work that says "your mailbox is full").
  • And probably a bunch more but these are the ones that make the top of the list.

The problem is that I want to do ALL of these things but I'm smart enough to know that doing them simultaneously is setting myself up for failure.

So which one will I choose? Hmmmm.

I think I'm going to shoot for the exercise thing since I know that this is the thing I need most to incorporate into my life.

Stay tuned. I can't really wrap my brain around this until after Christmas on Monday.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

December in a dual faith household- Part 2.

The balancing act between Chanukah and Christmas is going pretty well so far. The kids are exicted about the whole candle lighting thing and the fact that they get a little gift each night. Best of all, we found what I am proclaiming the BEST CHANUKAH/CHRISTMAS KIDS BOOK OF ALL TIME.


I went on a little tirade the other day because I wanted to get my girls a new book for the holiday and of course there are about a bazillion Christmas books covering everything from our old friend Santa to Mary in the Manger...and one teeny little shelf of Chanukah books.

And all of them sucked. Either they were picture books with merely pictures of dreidels and menorahs...or they were detailed accounts of the battle of the macabees complete with all this talk of the destruction of the temple. A little too heavy for my five year olds, if you ask me.

Thankfully, someone read my mind and several days later while wandering through the local Barnes and Noble, we stumbled on a book called "
Light the Lights! A story about Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas" by Margaret Moorman If you know anyone who struggles with the challenges of celebrating both holidays, go out right now and buy this book for them. I can guarrantee they will think it is wonderful. There is nothing preachy about it. It simply tells the story of little Emma who's father is Jewish and mother is Christian and how they celebrate the holidays as a family.

It's exactly what I was looking for.

What can you do for 30 Days?

The guys over at Blogfathers had an interesting post the other day about resolutions….now that New Year’s is almost here. But more importantly, they had a link to Steve Pavlina’s web site which proclaims itself Personal Development for Smart People.

OK. "I’m a smart person, so this is obviously directed at me", I thought.

And boy was it ever.

Read the post at Blogfathers because they did a great job of putting this all in perspective but..He covers everything from How to give up coffee to how to find your life’s purpose. I think the latter is taking things a bit too far but the one that interested me the most was his
30 Days to Success article. The basic premise is you can do anything for 30 days. Want to lose weight? Great, commit to a better diet for 30 days. Want to give up TV ( or watch less)? Great, commit to it for 30 days. I mean who can’t do something for 30 days? It’s not a lifetime commitment. But if it turns into one, then …Great. But if not, at least you have the satisfaction of having accomplished something for 30 days.

Check out his site, and my all means read this guy’s bio because if ever there was someone who was a walking example of someone who turned their life around… it’s him.

I haven’t decided what “resolution” I will test with this little exercise. What can you do for 30 days?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

December in a dual faith household

It’s tough to be a Jewish kid this time of year when everything around you is Christmas trees and santa claus. Not to mention the occasional nativity scene. Now that I have kids of my own, I wonder how any Jewish parent gets through the season without their child feeling like a second class citizen. As a kid, I BEGGED my mother for a Christmas tree. “We could call it a Hanukah bush and put a Jewish star at the top. It would be soooo cool.” And every year the answer was a resounding “no, Jewish families don’t have Christmas trees.”

Yes, Adam Sandler, I did feel like the only kid in town without a Christmas tree.

My act of protest? I married a Christian. So there!

The first Christmas that my husband and I were together, imagine my excitement to finally have a tree. But I quickly learned just how clueless I was to all the pomp and circumstance that goes along with Christmas. Standing in a store with an arm full of 18 different types of ornaments, garlands and bows (oh, my) feeling like “Janey Jew” not having a freakin’ clue what I was doing. Not to mention that neon sign I was sure was blinking over my head that said “JEW”

Bet you Christians out there don’t realize just how clueless we are when it comes to:

And so on

Because all we have to know is:

Hanukah over? Put menorah back in the box until next year.

Aren’t you jealous now? None of this putting up and taking down business. Out of the box…eight days later…back in the box.

My husband (God bless him) gets very into the season. Last week he rearranged the furniture in the living room in anticipation of where the tree will go. He’s hung the lights and a five foot wreath on the house. (A task which he does when I’m not around because he knows it makes me nuts to think he is up on a ladder or hanging off the roof to do it.) No Jewish husband ever fell off a ladder hanging lights.

For my part as half of our dual faith household, I've had to learn about real trees vs. fake ones, white lights vs. colored lights and tree skirts.

The problem now is that my five year olds are old enough to be aware of the holidays. And Hanukah just doesn’t have the same appeal. We have no cool icons associated any of our holidays. Who can compete with Santa Claus? Something tells me that the Macabees, despite their valiant cause and the whole mystery surrounding the oil…are no substitution for SANTA CLAUS.

We need a guy like that. Do you think I can get Hanukah Harry a good agent?