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.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Rag Rug

In this post I talked about a t-shirt rag rug. Well, I've finished it up and here's what it looks like! Such a fun spot of color for the kitchen.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pesach Seder Practice

The kids do practice seders at their school.  Parents are invited to see the first year's seder (reception) and the last two years' seders (Year 5 &6).  This means that this year we got to see Noodle's and PrincessE's.  They have some lines they have to memorize and it is a nice chance to see how much they know and how proud they are to show it! 

Here is Noodle getting ready to say her lines!

Noodle and Dadam post seder.

PrincessE at her school seder, ready to participate!

We definitely see the benefit of the school doing practice seders!  The kids were well prepared and could have led the seders at home without any help from us!!  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bubbles on a Beautiful Day

What to do when it is a gorgeous day outside, but one of your troupe is feeling a bit under the weather?  Well, play outside of course.  But the bikes and trikes and chalk and all that stuff gets old after a while, especially when the ringleader, the idea maker, the entertainement director is the one who isn't feeling up to snuff!

I was working on using up old t-shirts to make a rag rug.  Cutting the shirts into strips, I joined them and made a very long braid (or plait depending on where you are in the world) and then sewed the braid together.  But in the making, I was cutting off the sleeve and body hems of the shirts.  The strips needed to be an even thickness and those hems were just too thick. 

Bubbles be a fun and different thing to do, but we don't have any small bubble supplies in the house.  Big Bubbles would be lots more fun!  But we don't have one of those Klutz book kits.  Hmmm.  More brainstorming.  What we need are large circles of thick material.  It needs to stand up to being wet and be easily manipulated by little-ish hands.  WAIT!  Those circles of t-shirt might just do the trick! 

We made a bucket of very soapy water using Dawn (the best for large bubbles) and I found five or six hems(sleeve and body). And we started making bubbles. It worked GREAT! 

It works!!  Look at my bubble. 

The Boy-child starts a long bubble.

Even poorly PrincessE couldn't resist joining in the fun.

Lulu makes a looooong bubble!

Noodle has got this figured out!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad World

This week there is extra security outside our school. The shootings in Toulouse, by an unknown assailant, have put our community on alert. It's not that there's been an imminent threat, but we've all been reminded in a very arresting way, that because we are Jewish, there are people who wish us dead. It's a frightening thought, leaving my four, beautiful, precious children at school, somewhere I can't be to protect them. I have to trust someone else. I have to trust the system and hope it works out alright. The police van circling the block at pickup time made me shrink a bit inside.

In swimming, everyone has made huge strides in ability. Everyone is now very confident and Noodle (at four) is a much better swimmer than any of her siblings were at this age. (This is due to the year of consistent lessons she has had.) But this week, she was working on diving to the bottom and picking up a toy. After the lessons, we were playing in the pool and she was diving and retrieving. Lu and The Boy-child were professionals and happily played a dive and retrieve game of their own. Sometimes Noodle couldn't get to the bottom on her own and so she'd pop up and ask me to push her under!!


See, my children in the water has been a phobia of mine for a loooong time. When I had postpartum psychosis due to hypothyroidism after Lu was born, it was the pool and water that I spent hours obsessing over. I had nightmares of the children drowning everywhere; in the wading pool, the big pool, the bathtub. I had visions of them laying facedown, their limbs lifeless and their little bodies floating. It was totally illogical, completely terrifying and all encompassing. I have tried to get over these fears because they aren't healthy. The kids must be confident in the water to be safe and in order for that to happen, they have to GET IN the water. So here I was, pushing my baby under the water.

I did it because I was standing right there. I gave her a quick push and made sure to stand back, while maintaining a watchful eye.

It was so. hard. And I was fearful and filled with awe at her ease and skill.

Jut like they haven't batted an eye at the extra security, they are carefree and easy in the pool. At some point they are going to learn that the world is a big and very scary place, with dangers around every corner. But I know that the balance is the beauty and good that can surround us in this world.

It's a scary thing. I won't be able to protect them forever. I am able to protect them less and less with each passing day. But I can give them skills and strength and knowledge and unconditional love. And hope that is enough.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pursuant to a Previous Post

(I updated a LOAD of posts today.  Go back to February to see PrincessE's Birthday Letter, her cake, some updates on where our orders will take us in the summer and a bit about Purim-our most recent holiday.  Read on to discover why it's taken me so long to get those posts up and why I believe I may be a child stuck in a grownup's body.)

So, we're headed to Los Angeles.  This was pretty much my worst fear.  It wasn't my worst case because I think it is a horrid place to live.  Nope, it was my worst case because it is an Expensive place to live, it is a BUSY place to live and it's not my ideal.  This doesn't mean it doesn't have things going for it, but bear with me.  This is my therapy time. 

When Dadam told me our orders said LA I was in complete shock.  He was working so hard on a by name request so that this wouldn't happen.  He was trying to play the system so we could have control over where we went and what would happen for the next three years.  He tried so hard.  And we sort of thought it was working.  Until karma, feng shui, or whatever you want to call it whacked us upside the head.  After I was over the shock, I was in tears.  I dreamed of living in Colorado; mountains, plains, sunshine, extended family, snow, skiing.  Everything that I really, really wanted was just not gonna happen.  I cried a lot on the first day, but made sure I put on a really big (it felt totally fake to me) smiley face when we told the kids what was happening

(Side Note:  PrincessE saw right through my bulls*&t.  She's no dummy and I've got no poker face.  We had a conversation about being disappointed that night and I said that was okay.  I told her I was disappointed too and allowed that it was okay to feel disappointed, but tried to reassure her by saying we could go to the beach, have a picnic dinner and then be home for bed!  She liked that and perked right up.  Shew.)

Then I started going through all the stages of grief.  I was angry, I was in denial, I was depressed.  I was a small child who didn't get what she wanted.  Poor Dadam has been witness to more than a few temper-tantrums.  (I'm lucky to have him.)  I really feel pretty down about the whole thing.  It's become clear I'm going to have to get a job in order for us to be comfortable financially.  But I still really need to be at home and I feel very strongly about those responsibilities.  I also feel lost as to what I want to do.  Plus, who wants to hire a woman who has been out of the work force for a decade, minus some small jobs here and there??  How do I communicate my skills on a piece of paper that says I haven't held down reliable employment for ten years?!?! 

Panic ensued and I've stopped doing things that make me happy, hence a gap in the blogging situation. 

But I'm back on it now.  I'm trying to sort through the employment situation.  I'm trying to make a plan and have a way out.  I feel uncertain and uneasy.  For the first time in a long time, I don't see the way forward and that's not a great thing for a control freak like me.  So, that's where we're at.  LA, in July.  And I'll get back on the posting wagon, 'cause who wants to read about freakouts.  The kids are so much cuter. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Chag Purim

It's that time of year again!! Where we dress up, drink a bit (just the adults, thanks), make a lot of noise and eat delicious cookies. Purim is one of my favorite holidays and I bet you can figure out why!

The cookies we make are called "hamentaschen", which literally means Haman's ears, but the shape figuratively stands for Haman's hat.  They are a bit fiddly to make and require faffing about in the kitchen, which is why (even though they are remarkably delicious) we only ever make them once a year during Purim!  This year we had a fantastic break through in hamentaschen making.  We gave each of the kids a ball of dough and let them have at it.  PrincessE and The Boy-child were professional grade from the go.  Lu-lu and Noodle, as one would expect, needed more hands on, but it went fast!  We made about 60 cookies in 45 minutes.  Me doing it by myself would have taken a lot longer.  I can see that slave labor children in the kitchen will make fiddly cooking like this a lot more enjoyable!! 

Lu-lu and Dadam are hard at work! 

Noodle and The Boy-child pinch the corners up!

PrincessE uses all available workspace!

Our final product!!  Apricot, cherry, blueberry and a few chocolates for good measure. 

Purim fell on a Thursday this year, so the kids had a full day of Megillah reading, Shalach Manot giving and all around fun at school.  We didn't go overboard with costumes this year.  I would have been happy to do more to order, but there weren't any orders!  Maybe next year they'll challenge me a bit more.  

Princess Esther-Noodle

Princess Esther-Lulu

Ron "The Boy child" Weasley

Pirate PrincessE (no, there's nothing wrong with her right eye, she had a scar face painted over it)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Make a Little Whistle (Wordless Wednesday)

Lulu lost these two top teeth within the space of one week!  Toothless girl!  

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Honey Licking Good?

Yogurt is a popular breakfast choice in our household. I purchase plain and the kids flavor it up in whatever way they choose. Sometimes it's Cheerios and apple butter, sometimes they add some honey, you get the idea. It's customizeable, they do it themselves, what's not to like.

The particular morning in question, I got them set up with yogurt and left them to top it while I ran upstairs to get ready to go. They had out the honey, which comes in a lovely plastic squeezable container, with a flip top lid and a split membrane over the top to make the whole operation a lot less messy.

When I came downstairs I caught the tail end of what I was fairly sure was Lulu licking the honey bottle, where the honey comes out.

"What were you just doing?"

"Nothing." Old blue eyes responded.

"Please tell me the truth. It looked like you were Licking The Honey."

"I was. But The Boy-child told me to do it!"

"If he told you to play in the street, would you?"

"Well, they were all doing it too!!"

I asked Noodle and The Boy-child if they were also licking the honey. And yes, both answered in the affirmative.

"But I wasn't licking it, I was just dripping it into my mouth!!" The Boy-child protested, trying to defend his mouth to honey actions.

Noodle had no defense. She just looked mortified.

"Urgh!! Germs, gross, your mouths Do. Not. Belong. On. The. Honey!"

Now they are all on honey probation. I'm not sure how long that will last, but now I know that no one else can use that particular container of honey. Well, except for those three lovely children.