Sunday, July 15, 2007

I give up!

That's it - I quit! - I am incapable of picking a double stroller! I never thought that such a seemingly simple task would take up so much time and energy.
Perhaps it would help if I even knew what I wanted. I think I want a side by side - easy to push - easy to fold - light weight - sturdy and small enough to fit in the back of the car- and in my house!

So far I have not been able to find anything that fits that description - or when I think I am getting close, I do an online review and discover that 3 people bought the stroller and 1 loved it and the other 2 returned it after the wheels fell off during the first week of use.

Or the reviewers claim it is the best double stroller they have ever bought - of course they only have one kid so far - the baby isn't born yet - and they haven't tried it out side of the house yet..

ARGHHH. I am so lost and confused - and even more annoyed that something so gashmiyosdik and seemingly unimportant is taking up so much of my time and energy!!!

I even had 3 other posts to write but I have been spending all of my energy on double stroller research. ( and the rest of life..)

So for those of you who have read this far I will reward you with a quick ref to the posts that didn't happen:

1 - Be the babysitter - recently when I have had enough of the kinder for the day I make myself pretend to be the babysitter - that requires being pleasant and keeping them entertained.

2 - Am I raising a house of thieves? - we seem to be missing money and my kids seem to have spending money with no source of income -hmmm.. maybe we should implement an allowance.

3 - Early nesting - ( I still may post this) -I have in the past week - washed the walls in the front hall and kitchen, paired 237 pairs of single socks, and reorganized my boy's clothes by size....Can I blame anything else?

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I was tagged by Mother in Israel on this topic. I am not going to use the list - because my life doesn't fit a list, at least not that one.

It really got me thinking, though, about whether or not I am a Supermom. After many days (too many - sorry M.I.I) I decided that I am not a superwoman, but a juggler- and not a very expert one at that.

I am constantly juggling, like the rest of us, family obligations, work, housework, gan parties, graduations, siddur parties, chumash parties, siyums, instrument recital, bar mitzvas, bat mitzvas, weddings of friends, weddings of relatives, community dinners, lack of babysitters, dinner, lunch, laundry, eye doctor appointments, skin doctor appointments, pulmonary specialists, ultrasounds, ob/gyn appointments (when my doc is not booked...), library books, tantrums, hormones, potty training, lost baby bottles, shopping, Shabbos guests, time for kids, time for husband, time for me.....that is just a sampling. Everyone has their own list.

The thing is juggling takes talent. I guess some training would also come in handy - last I checked there isn't any real formal training for motherhood and all it entails. You can take a parenting class, and home ec and go to "How to make your marriage better" seminars, but nowhere is there a degree in motherhood. "Congratulations on your achievement, you have completed the course work and are now fully qualified to be a mother!" It just doesn't exist. So I never really learned how to be a mother. It has all been trial and error.
( A young cousin -about 19 - recently mentioned to by first born that she should be prepared to suffer - as a first born he knows - in his words "They really mess up with us, they just don't know what they are doing, I feel so bad for you." - how's that for a boost of confidence?)

The thing is just when I think I have the juggling thing down - at least the basic juggling routines, I still can't rest. Because I am juggling outdoors and the weather is never predictable. Sometimes it gets really windy and I can't ran fast enough after the balls that I am dropping. Sometimes it is just so hot that I have no strength to keep in motion and keep the balls going. Sometimes- dare I say it - I stop to take a drink, or rest and just let the balls fall where they may. Does that make me a bad juggler, or just a human one.

I happen to know of 2 families that have "perfect" homes. They have very different financial situations, but otherwise are very similar. Always perfectly neat houses, with perfectly served meals, and perfectly dressed children. Never a speck of dust, or a crumb to be seen- let alone a toy on the floor! Always a smile and a kind word. Shabbos guests galore.

Am I jealous? I admit - I used to be. I wish I had it so together. But you never know what lurks behind closed doors. I discovered that both these families, at least one spouse has a psychological disorder. The main reasons that their houses are so orderly is because one of the spouses may have a panic attack and pas out -even at something so seemingly insignificant to us healthy ones, as fingerprints on the fridge! I am not exaggerating. In one home the bookshelves are alphabetized, and the father checks them each and every night to ensure that none have been moved, otherwise he cannot sleep soundly. In one of the homes the toys are hidden away to be taken out only with very special permission.

I know these examples sound extreme - but after speaking to a neighbor recently about how "normal" it is to feel overwhelmed, she told me about families that she knew with even worse issues. So it is much more prevalent then you might think. What's the point? I guess that we all push ourselves to hard - who wants to be Supermom anyway? At least in that 'put-together' kind of way. It may sound like a cop out, but if our expectations for ourselves are realistic, we would all be happier people. Right now I am an advocate for that poem about I'd rather spend my time with the kids - and all those fingerprints are to remind me that my family is healthy and well, and that Hakadosh Baruch Hu has given me the children along with the responsibilities that go along with them, and that He knows my limits, and I can only try my best. Juggling is not easy, and I know I constantly need to practice, though I don't ever expect to reach perfection - happily.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Once there was a little girl
sitting beneath a tree
dreaming about those flights
over mountains, streams and seas
but she knows she can't fly
over vast endless skies
because her wings are only made of dreams.

Once there was a little bird
living in a tree
making all those flights
over mountains, streams and seas
and he knows he can fly through the
vast endless skies
because he wings are his reality.

Once there was a little girl
sitting beneath a tree
she looked up at the bird
who said fly away with me
but as hard as she tried
her wistful wings would not fly
and the bird flew to a land far away.

So if ever you should sit and think
while sitting beneath a tree
dream all that you'd like
of mountains, streams and seas
but you'll never fly away to these places to say
because those dreams, they were never meant to be.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Medical Miracles or just Mistakes

Who hasn't heard of that amazing story - the one where they are about to operate and decide to scan one more time. Miraculously the growth has dissappeared! Usually these true stories accompany shiurim on the power of tefilla, emuna, and bitachon.

How many of those 'miracles' might be mistakes?

This current pregnancy started with a real rollercoaster ride. The inital ultrasound technician confirmed that there had been a pregnancy - but that there was no fetus to be found. A follow up call to my doctor, and we prepared to rid my body of the pregnancy leftovers. I was to come see him in the morning.

Next morning's ultrasound shows a healthy 8 week old little blob with a heartbeat.
Well, imagine the emotional drama..ooops pregnant- Why Hashem?...well not really - Why Hashem?... yup, pregnant - Oh um Thanks Hashem? Obviously we are meant to learn from every experience - no taanos on how Hashem wants to run His world- every minute of it but..

Medical Miracle?
Or in my dr.'s words,"NO way was that not there yesterday afternoon!". So - umm this technician needs to go back to school?

(We obviously don't trust our doctors too much, as I recently read an article about some sort of temporary tattoo used to externally mark the patient before surgery in cases where there are 2 of whatever needs to be operated on....This tattoo is becoming policy in that hospital.)

So I was thinking. How often is human error the 'cause' of a medical miracle?

Friday, April 27, 2007

infertility, birth control, miscarriage

I have been reading around the jblogshepere (at shpitzle and mizellie). These topics seem to inevitably come up amongst women's conversations. Most women have either have dealt personally, or have friends who have dealt with one or more of these issues.

What do these three things have in common? It seems quite a few things.
1- All relate to with the mitzva of 'pru u'rvu' which , in some circles, means that they have some amount of peer pressure and/or publicity involved.
2- All three are directly related to a women's physical and mental state and (even if the man is that is the cause of the infertility) the women suffers more than man, either agonizing over the issue, or emotionally dealing with the loss or status quo.
3 - All three subjects are taboo is most circles. No one talks about it - no one admits to it - unless it is obvious, and necessary to discuss it.
4- The thing that seems to most tie these issues together is the fact that NO ONE ever says the right thing to the person who is directly dealing with the issue.

Comments I have heard directly or indirectly:

"At least you have a husband."

"If you lost it, than that means that it probably would have been deformed or something, baruch Hashem you were saved from that."

"I can totally understand that you would need a break- I mean those kids you have are a real handful- I can't imagine having to deal with them every day like you do."

"Motherhood is not for everyone"

"You have so much time for chesed, without distractions"

"If I was able to afford household help like that, I would never have such a big space between my kids"

"Did you ask a shaila? - Aren't you embarrassed?"

"I don't know what you did to deserve this."

I could go on..the point is even with the right intentions, sometimes things are better left unsaid - you have no idea how the other person will interpret what you are saying - especially if you are not close.

That brings us to number

5 - Usually it is none of your business!

Monday, April 16, 2007

cleaning post pesach

A new persepctive -

Those kitchen counters had to be cleared and the sinks empty, in order to change from chametz to pesach and back again - why not try to keep it that way? After finally finishing a week's worth of laundry - I never want to see a dirty laundry pile up again...

For some people this may be the norm - but for me this is a whole new experience..

So my day now consists of:

1-wake up
2-wake kids/get dressed/check dirty laundry
3- feed the baby
4-make breakfast/feed animals
5- wash dishes
6- dress the little ones
7-wipe down counter/table
8- put in a wash
9-get everyone off to school
10 - check laundry
11- sweep kitchen
12 - go to work

13- come home
14- make lunch
15- wash dishes
16- clean up mess from ketchup/sugar/pancake syrup
17- check washing machines
18- sweep from lunch
19- make sure counters are clear
20- play with the kids
21- clean up from/with the kids
22- make lunch again for the stragglers repeat steps 15-19
23- give the kids laundry to put away
24 - start dinner
25 - make sure kids are not being destructive - take away scissors/glue/permanent markers/soup nuts/sugar
26- feed the baby
27- go into the kitchen and check what the big kids did while taking a snack instead of eating the late lunch
28- clean kitchen from their mess
29-check laundry- add little ones undwear/tights/shoes from accident..
30 feed animals
31 try to bathe the little ones
32 serve dinner
33 clear the table
34 everyone to bed
35 dishes
36 kitchen counters..
37 sweep again

Hopefully I stay awake until somewhere around number 31 when I start falling asleep..and then again after 34 when my husband says he is going out to learn..otherwise they just get added to the top of the list...

We will see how long this lasts...Note - no blogging on the list :)

Flylady would be proud - maybe- But I am just exhausted..happy - but exhausted!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Getting back to chametz

Pesach was fun, and tiring. Aside from the little incident involving a 3 year old and soup nuts on the last night, things were pretty uneventful. Cooking, eating, visiting with family and friends, trips, more cooking and more eating etc.. Probably the same as pretty much the rest of the world.

I finally stopped nursing completely and my baby is eating a lot. He seems to have had some trouble adjusting to his new diet, as he developed an ear infection and some sort of digestive issue. I think he may have even lost wight from not being able to keep anything down - but Baruch Hashem he seems to be over whatever it was. I feel SOOO guilty that I stopped nursing him. I nurse all my kids as long as possible because they all start out with food issues. My doctor had told me that I could contine, it was all my well meaning relatives and friends that said I was asking too much of my body, and I do think that stopping did help with the whole spotting issue. I still feel bad.

My kids are all acting out of sorts in one way or another - one friend said that they may not know why - but they know that mommy is not herself and they react to that..another thing to feel bad about?- dont know - I am the one suffering the consequences... a bunch of moody/kvetchy/chutzpadik kids. I must admit - they are still pretty cute when they sleep.

In the meantime I am like in early nesting mode - can't think of any other way to describe it - unless it is just post pesach cleaning neurosis... I feel like I have to reorganize my whole house - declutter - file papers - redo closets and cabinets....The problem is I get as far as 1 load of laundry or 1 sink of dishes and I need a nap. I then wake up in the morning even more frustrated. I know I need to calm down and put things in perspective.

I recently read an article on about a woman who discovers she has breast cancer and creates the motto - "Everything I have, I need" - meaning that Hashem provides us with what we need - exactly what we need - we are not lacking - and things that we have that we may think we don't need are given to us for a reason... trying to think about that concept more often and just take one day at a time.