About Us

There are four of Them: three girls and one boy, little stair-steps all. There are two of Us: best friends, co-parents and truly in love. The Six of us have epic adventures full of laughter and love, occasionally containing tears, but always together.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

(I am going to post a few words to explain what the heck I'm doing.  Except the title should explain it, so I'm just going to send big thanks to Elm for this lovely idea!)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Louse-y Time

As I may have mentioned before, things are different over here in England.  And one thing that is drastically different is their treatment of head lice in school age children!  In America, if you have head lice then you have to get treated and you aren't allowed back in school if there is any sign of nits or eggs.  Here, no one checks, at.all.

So it was, that I found myself watching The Boy-child scratching vigorously at his head during dinner.  He was really, really scratching.  I got up and spread his hair and there WERE BUGS IN HIS HAIR.  LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF THEM.  (It must have been going on for quite a while, which is horrendous.  But I don't touch his hair every day.  He's gotten to the point where he washes it on his own and we just do a visual once over to make sure that his hair is all rinsed off.) I picked up the couple I could see and then excused myself (and him) from our dinner guests.  We went directly upstairs and I started treating him right away. 

I'm not going to lie.  I was freaking out.  Thankfully our dinner guests are close friends of ours AND they recently had head lice and they totally understood. 

I did everything that you are supposed to, including combing, picking through and pulling out the eggs and live bugs and then treated his head with lice poison.  (He's been growing out his hair, though, so it was quite a lot to go through.  I did tell him that we could deal with the problem very quickly by just giving him a buzz cut, but he was not interested in that.)  After three hours of working on him, I finally put him to bed.  (New blankets, sheets and pillow of course.)  It probably was obsessive, but I really.really.really didn't want to have to deal with a lice infestation for weeks or even months!

Like many things in life, the unknown is definitely the most worrisome.  I have always dreaded that my kids would get head lice because it seems like such a Big Deal.  Add to that, blood sucking insects that live in ones hair is a fairly disgusting thought.  But after experiencing it, I can now say:  I can deal with that.  I know what to look for, how to treat it and that we will all live through it, even if I make the children sit for hours on end while I pick eggs and lice off their hair. 

All that being said, I do hope we can keep from getting it again.  And you bet your bottom dollar I'll be checking their heads once a week from now on.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sevivon Sov Sov Sov

(The title of this post translates from Hebrew as:  Dreidle turn, turn, turn.)

After school, the kiddos pulled out the big box of dreidles.  They weren't really interested in playing the game that is traditionally played, they were much more interested in simply spinning them.  They were spinning them upside down, trying to get as many going at once, and generally just enjoying them as tops.  What started as one per child, quickly turned in to a non-hostile, complete takeover of the kitchen floor.  Unfortunately, the kitchen is the only room downstairs that has a hard floor(except the laundry room floor and that is almost always covered in dirty laundry/muddy shoes/etc.).  So, I took a break from Shabbas dinner preparation and took some pictures of everyone enjoying spinning dreidles. 

The Boy-child was so proud to be able to spin the dreidle upside down!

Here is Lu-lu trying to get all five spinning at once. 

Noodle is watching this one spin down. 

PrincessE is doing two at once!

After we got all our Chanukias lit, it was time for Shabbas candles.  Tradition is that the woman/women of the house light the candles.  We aren't all about defined gender roles, but since I am the singer of the family, usually I sing/lead the brachas for Shabbas.  Tonight, PrincessE asked if she could light the candles and sing the bracha.  Woah.  She took the matches, lit them (with a bit of a struggle with the matchbox, it was her first time lighting a match) and then beautifully said the bracha.  There she was, back straight, hands covering her eyes, welcoming Shabbat.  I could see her, past, present and future, all wrapped up in that moment.  What a beautiful Shabbat present.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy Chanukah!

Because of all the snow yesterday, today was a snow day for the kiddos.  Dadam still had to work, but these things cannot be helped.  Our first night celebration (last night) was low key and quiet.  We said the brachas (blessings), lit candles and ate (un)healthy portions of latkes (fried potato pancakes).  There were some presents to open and the kids enjoyed doing that. 

Tonight's celebration was also very quiet.  Everyone has been working up the courage to hold their own shamash (worker candle).  Last year, Talia was holding her own when some of the wax dripped on her hand.  For the rest of Chanukah she refused to hold her own candles.  I think she forgot that experience, though, because this year she is happily and confidently holding her own shamash AND lighting candles all by herself.  Leila was a bit nervous last night, but tonight did it with no hesitation.  They are all, healthily, nervous around the fire.  But we are trying to give them experiences and confidence to manage it, while still being respectful of its power.

It is so amazing to see them moving from being observers of the practice to practicers of the practice.  They are learning so much at school, they sing the brachas with confidence and gusto, they tell the stories and the meanings behind the ritual.  I am full of pride and love and hope when I see them living and loving their Judaism.  Chag Chanukah Sameach.  Happy Chanukah.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

More and More and More Snow!

Over the course of the last couple days we've gotten more snow.  Today we got A LOT more!  I dropped off everyone but Noodle at school this morning.  (Noodle has a fever so school was a no go for her.) Then we went to the grocery to get what we needed to make latkes for our first night Chanukah celebrations.  At some point while we were in the grocery, it began to snow.  And by the time we were checking out and making our way to the car, it was snowing extremely hard.  There was so much snow on my car that I had to brush it off before we could make our way home!

I figured that the snow would just knock off.  But it just snowed and snowed and snowed!  I started to get a bit concerned about going back to get the kids.  Just as I got really concerned the snow tapered off.  I did some more work around the house and then the snow started up again!  It was coming down so hard that it was difficult for me to see the bushes in the back garden.  I was about to go and get the kids from school when I got a text that school was closing.  Shew! 

After a very slow drive to the school and home again, I was much happier now that we were all safe at home.  I called Dadam and encouraged him to come home, as the roads were already terrible. 

The kids went out and played a couple of times and the snow kept coming down until early afternoon, when it finally kicked off.  All in all, we ended up with somewhere between 10" and a foot.  Very exciting!