Monday, October 31, 2011


HAPPY HALLOWEEN! This year I have two Darth Vaders and a baby Yoda. The Yoda hats are courtesy of my talented mama who knit them!

Hope everyone has a safe and fun Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dinner Dilemmas

Remember those commercials for Life Cereal in the 80's? "Mikey likes it!" the kids cheered as the picky eater gobbled up his breakfast, apparently this was a miracle.

I feel like that with my own kids, particularly around dinner time. With the exception of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and occasionally chicken nuggets they seem to turn up their noses at everything I serve them.

Exasperated, I sent out and SOS on Facebook asking for meal ideas. I received a few good ones and eagerly tried them out. I stuffed crescent rolls with ham and cheese. "Disgusting" was all my boys said. I served up tacos in giant shell pasta and topped them with grated cheese and tortilla chips. Totally disgusting, they said. A pound of hamburger meat wasted. Since then I have been on a mission to make a meal that my kids will eat. It isn't even about getting them to consume their veggies anymore, it's about me....winning. I had one small victory the other day when I made tuna patties. I didn't think there was a chance in hell they would like tuna patties of all things, particularly when they had called pigs in a blanket disgusting, yet they gobbled them up. Cleaned their plates. "Mikey likes it!" I thought to myself.

So I am continuing my quest to cook up meals my kid's will call delicious. I am committing to preparing one new recipe per week and chronicling it on this blog. I will post the recipe, pictures and my kid's review of the dinner. I will happily take suggestions from my lovely readers. I am looking for meals that take under 20 minutes to prepare (not including baking time),and call for ingredients that can be purchased at the local Safeway. PLEASE email me your ideas.

Up this week-sweet and sour baked chicken with crushed pineapple.....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

For you, my dear.

I walk in the front door and see him. He is sitting on the sofa, fixated. I know better than to interrupt.

"Hello" I mutter softly and take our dinner into the kitchen. I emerge a few minutes later with my plate. He hasn't moved, his brow is furrowed, and beads of sweat are accumulating on his forehead. He hasn't eaten, a beer is clutched tightly in his left hand. Liquid comfort.

The air is thick. I say nothing. So much tension.

He starts to pace and runs his free hand through his hair. I don't understand what is happening anymore, but I know that it is close to the end. I just want it to be over already, I have had enough.

Then it happens. The moment of truth. His eyes widen. "No!" he shouts, "No! No! No!". He hurls the remote control at the sofa.

"It's just a game." I laugh.

I'll know better next time.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The earth moved.

I felt the earth move. No, I mean I really did...twice. That is because two years ago my husband dragged us across the the map to earthquake country, and I finally experienced my first quake.

In all honesty it was totally uneventful, in fact when the first one hit, it took me a minute to realize what had happened. I was parking the car in front of Zack's school at pick up time. I felt a couple strange bumps, and worried at first that I may have accidentally run over a neighborhood pet. It wasn't until I got out of the vehicle and started talking to some of the other parents that I realized we had just experienced a real-life earthquake.

I was surprised but none of the kids seemed to be frightened, even though they had been herded out onto the playground. We went on about our day as usual. Later that evening the second one hit, a light jolt of the baker's rack in the kitchen is how we knew.

No big deal right?



Except that it got me thinking. Earthquakes are entirely unpredictable. I grew up in the Midwest, the land of tornadoes. Tornadoes can be scary, but at least you can usually see them coming. The sky grows dark. Thunder, lightening. Predictable. But an earthquake? Sunny 75 degrees, or rainy and cold-BAM an earthquake can hit. Bam! What do you do? There is no time. Bam! Hopefully your not on a bridge. That falls.

So what can you do? Buy an earthquake kit. I went to Target today and purchased Zachary a kit as requested by his school. 2 juice boxes, 2 cans of tuna, a package of tissues, a flashlight, fruit leather, granola bars, a pair of socks. Seriously? That was the list. An earthquake hits that is big enough to keep me from son, and a pair of socks and two cans of juice are going to be enough?

I feel a bit helpless. The world is bigger than us. There are dangers we cannot control.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011


According to my son I am one heck of a terrible mommy. The worst mom in the world in fact. At least that was what he told me this afternoon, just after I hosted a 3.5 hour post kindergarten play-date at our house and made the kids chocolate chip cookies from scratch.

I suppose I sound like a cliche, but will he ever realize just how good he has it? How freaking awesome I am? Hello, if I hadn't taken the initative he would have had zero play-dates with his kindergarten pals, as I seem to be the only mom willing to invite the munchkins over. Does he remember the baseball/Penguins of Madagascar themed birthday I threw for him and twenty of his buddies? That's right. He insisted on a dual themed party. Baseball. Penguins of Madagascar. Of course! But we did it, and it was fantastic.

Do I get him no less than three types of cereal and two types of berries for his daily "berry blast" breakfast? Why yes I do.

Do I wash his dirty bed linens every single day, because he wets through his pull ups at six years old? You bet!

Do I go to every single crappy animated-rated G movie that comes out? Uh-huh. I even buy the over-priced "kids" pack.

Do I engage in a power struggle over the hideous "graphic T-shirts" he insists on wearing instead of my mother's hand-knit sweaters? Nope. I let him wear what he wants to.

Maybe we should forget about Friday's "Spaghetti Night" at the elementary school. Personally I would prefer sushi. And Sunday's Harvest Festival? Yeah, I'm thinking lattes and The New York Times. How does that sound kid? You want bad? Damn, I can show you bad.

But I'm a good mommy and I love you. Even if you don't yet quite get it.


Monday, October 17, 2011


My Dear Old Friend,

It has been such a long time, and yet I still long for you. We spent some lovely times together, you and I, do your remember those days?

You would come to me in the evening hours and wrap your loving arms around me until morning. Our weekends together were even better. On Saturdays and Sundays you would stay with me until long after the sun came up, perhaps even rendezvousing again in the mid afternoon.

I am so sorry that I have had to leave you so often. My life has grown complicated, so many distractions. To be honest, most of my family does not care for you. I know, it pains me too. If it gives any comfort I spend much of my time trying to persuade my stubborn kin and help them to see your beauty and benefit. Alas, I have a long road ahead of me.

Please stay with me. Know that one day our relationship will return to the way it was. It has to.

Much Love,

Saturday, October 15, 2011

To Julian

Today we had a baby naming ceremony and celebration for Julian. Any Jews out there would know that you do not do a "baby naming" ceremony for a boy. A boy should get a bris eight days after birth. But I'm a bad Jew, and I opted for something a little different.

The ceremony was at our home and lead by my stepfather. We said a few traditional prayers, and I read a little something about why Julian was given his name. We then celebrated with cocktails and cake! It was simple, intimate and lovely.

Below is what I read to Julian today.

Julian, today we celebrate your birth and welcome you to our family and community. Although this event is pretty nontraditional in Judaism we have made it a family tradition, and each of your older brothers had a similar celebration.

Your Hebrew name is for your great grandfather. It would have meant a lot to him to know that you were given a Hebrew name and that we were raising you in a loving home, exposing you to your Jewish heritage.

We named you Julian for no other reason than I love the way that it sounds. To me your name is lovely, masculine, but still soft. The name came to me before I knew for sure that you existed and I felt that it was meant to be.

Your middle name Michael is in honor of your uncle. Your uncle Michael is an amazing man, he has so many qualities that I wish for you. More than anything I find your uncle to be incredibly warm, compassionate and generous. He is a loyal friend and brother and he is happiest when he is helping others. He is also very silly, laughs easily and has a terrific sense of humor.

Julian we feel so incredibly lucky that you are here and that you are ours. With you our family is complete.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Who am I?

I am an all you can eat flea buffet for our resident pests.

I am a 24-hour diner with a bottomless mug of milk for the baby.

I am a pack-animal, carrying a baby, pushing a stroller and holding a variety of jackets, Hot Wheels, lunch boxes and snacks at any given moment.

I am a mobile waste disposal unit. Please, oh please, give me your used tissues, half-eaten granola bars and the dirty band aid that you just picked up off of the sidewalk.

I am an energizer bunny. No need for sleep here. I just go! Go! Go!

I am a living fun-factory, answering the question "What should we do now?" at least 132 times a day.

I am a birthday party event planner, a social coordinator and a homework monitor.

I am the Easter bunny, Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy and Hanukkah Harry.

I am Mommy.