Friday, September 30, 2011

It's Now Officially Autumn...So Here's Our Summer Recap!

Hey Peeps! Look what I did on my summer vacation! Better late than never, right? I went on some pretty cool adventures with my this trip to Studio Grow! Here I am helping Bailey down the slide....

And here we are again, painting a masterpiece together that we will be selling on EBay for lots of money.

I took a break for a little snack with the gang (Caleb, Bailey, and Nathanael)

And then went back to playing in this fun kitchen....literally. IN the kitchen.

Of course I had a one-man sideways dance party....

I discovered a new love of trains and carousel rides....

And now that my belly likes cheese and tomato sauce again, I can help make pizza!

Sometimes I like to walk around like this, by the way.....

We ended our summer with a great visit from Uncle Michael, Aunt Suzy and cousins Jenna and Kayli!

As you can see, I loved every minute with them!

Again, the sideways Max would say "So Sah (sorry), so sah"!

Well folks, it feels like Fall around this Pumpkin Capital Of the World. Hang in there with us....there's more to come!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Sunday was sweet Molly's special Baptism day, but while I'm working on putting those pictures together for you, take a look at our attempts at getting a "nice family photo".....

This picture just screams CHANUKAH CARD, doesn't it?

Suddenly I don't feel so guilty for not having professional shots taken......

Bet you can't wait to see our smiling faces in your mailbox this December!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Five For Friday (the blog catch-up edition)

1. Bedtime is BONKERS. A full hour laying in bed with Max while he tosses, turns, crashes, kicks the shit out of the wall, talks to his stuffed "Mousey", jumps, and generally loses his mind.....while laughing. Interspersed with many moments of genuine cuteness, like cuddling up nose to nose and wrapping his arm around my neck. Whispering to me "Kay, mama, Kay" as he pats my back. Exclaiming that he is now laying "up sigh DOWN" and "I see ma TOES!"

2. We had a great "first date playdate" with some amazing new friends. This little farm was the perfect spot to get to know Alex and her super adorable Milo. We fed some goats.....

And watched these two boys act like they've known each other their whole lives. They are kindred spirits. Little mirror images of action, curiosity, sleepless nights, question marks, and exclamation points. Milo has the sweetest little spirit, and his mama? Well, I'm ready for a second, third and fourth date. Alex and I share this bond that was born in the trenches and nurtured on this crazy unexpected journey of raising a little guy who does everything to the extreme. darn cute. I must convince them to stay here and never move away like they are planning on doing in oh, just a few weeks. Why does this always happen to me, that I meet a great partner in crime and they LEAVE? Do you hear me Siyana's mommy?.. Do you HEAR me?!

3. Daddy's home....after a long week away that thankgodknockonwood only included ONE near catastrophe for Mommy and Max. It included a swing, a ten year old, and a terrifying bonk....don't ask.

4. Apparently I'm the Room Mom. Don't worry, a completely flipped the fuck out blog post will follow, as soon as I figure out how shy little me is going to rock Room 5 with some awesome room-parenting abilities. Don't you worry though....I've got playdates/cheerleading/teacher wish list fulfilling/Shabbat dinner planning SKILLS yo.

5. Told Max I loved him the other day (because I do this ten million times an hour) and he RESPONDED "me too"!!!!! Me too! Where does he get this??

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's Not About Where You Were, It's About What You Do

Ten years. The nation is writing about it, thinking about it, re-living every detail of what happened when a beautiful September day became etched in our collective nightmares.

There are educators arguing over what we should (and shouldn't) teach our children about that day. There are news anchors providing voice overs for fiery footage, over and over and over again. And there are bloggers and celebrities and morning talk show hosts asking us to remember where we were when the entire country took a collective gasp as we watched that morning unfold. What it felt like. What we did. How we responded.

That doesn't feel right to me.

It's not about how I felt. I was sitting in my mom's living room, safe in California, glued to the television. Actually, I had been sleeping. My dad called from San Francisco and said that they had evacuated his office building. "Go turn on the TV honey. This is history happening right now." I was home from college and about to go back to finish my last year. I had a love of politics and an insatiable appetite for news, but I had never seen anything like this.

I had spectator's grief. Of course I was afraid, and of course I felt empathy and compassion and sorrow and rage for all of the lives that were lost. But it wasn't my husband or daughter or father. I didn't understand it in an adult way, because I wasn't an adult yet.

This September 11th, I am overwhelmed by the thought of what it must've been like for husbands and wives whose partners never came home. Suddenly I am a mother, and a wife, and a partner who sometimes forgets to kiss Max's Daddy goodbye when he leaves to board a plane for yet another business trip that takes him across the country. Like all of those Mommies and Daddies did on that September day. I have a two year old who wears his Eagles gear on Sunday morning so he can be just like his Daddy, and asks me 5 billion times a day "Da-da car?" because he wants so badly for it to be the time when Daddy gets home. Suddenly it occurs to me that so many little boys just like Max never got to see their Daddy come home, and THAT sadness overwhelms me.

So today is not about how I feel about what happened. It's about how THEY feel. It's about bearing witness to the undeniable intersection of sadness and the beauty of how these parents lived their lives. It's about acknowledging the thousands of families who were splintered that day when their partners cars didn't drive back into their driveway. It's letting them know that we acknowledge THEIR pain, not ours. And maybe, just maybe, it's about turning off the TV and saying out loud that we respect their privacy.

Because when you really stop to think about it, watching what cameras captured on that day means that you are watching someone's child pass away.

When my friend Mike was murdered many years ago, there was news footage of the minutes after he had been stabbed. A camera crew captured the 30 seconds where he was put on a stretcher and wheeled into an ambulance. Over and over and over they played that footage, at 5pm and at 6:30 pm, and at 11 pm. I participated in a documentary that summer and when they profiled me (and my friendship with Mike) they chose to use that footage. I was horrified. That picture of him on the stretcher was private. That was NOT the young man that I had laughed with. That was not how I wanted the world to know the person who had hugged me and told me about his mom and his adventures and his dreams. Someone, at some point, called the news station and asked them to stop showing it. Those were the minutes where Mike lost his life. His last breaths were private. Can you imagine how his mother felt, watching the images of him dying, over and over again? Can you imagine how his best friend felt? His best friend who was there with him, and had to see it all re-played on the nightly news, over and over again?

We replay the images of September 11th because we feel like we all lost someone. I get that.
I can appreciate that we all want to learn from that day. We want to "never forget". But does bearing witness mean that we allow our media to show us the moment that thousands of people died, over and over and over again? We are a country numb to violence. We pay $12 a movie ticket to watch action "heroes" shoot each other and blow things up. September 11th was not a video game. Watching those planes hit the twin towers may be part of our collective history, but it is also the moment that someone's loved one died. It is the instant that families changed forever. And for me, bearing witness means that we do not intrude on what is a very private moment for thousands of families, even when it happened so publicly.

On this day, I ask that we bear witness not by watching everyone die over and over again, but by paying tribute to the ones they left behind. Write about them. Reach out to them. Acknowledge the families who have spent ten years rebuilding their lives. Find them. Find them in their grief, find them in their healing, and ask how you can help. And the effects of that day do not begin and end that morning. There are also military families who live each day waiting for a call from their soldier in Afghanistan. There are children who have to wait far beyond dinnertime to see their own daddies come home. Invite a military family to a holiday meal, ask them if you can buy their groceries or fix their car. Their partners are making the ultimate sacrifice too.

On this day, as a mother and a wife, I can tell you that I will be sure to never forget to kiss these boys hello and goodbye each morning.

Friday, September 9, 2011

That's What I'm Talkin' About!

Everyone said it was bound to happen. That my little guy would one day start talking. REALLY talking. And while I still stay up late at night Googling things like "toddler speech delay" and "toddler uses single syllables", I'm starting to see that Max's speech development has hit the fast-forward stage.

And what comes out of his mouth is REALLY funny. In the whole my tiny two-year-old just told the lady at the grocery store "bye!! drive car!" kind of way.

Last night when he woke up at his favorite special hour (3:30 am, in case you were wondering), I went down to his room and unlocked the hook/eye latch on the outside of the door and climbed over the footboard of the bed because the crib that he doesn't sleep in is pushed up against the side of the bed because the toddler safety railing doesn't quite cover the whole side and he likes to wiggle like an inchworm forward and push pillows away with his head...right out the side of the darn bed and he patted the spot next to him and said "Ma go night ME?". He doesn't like the word "with", but I understood. It was so cute that I almost forgot it was the middle.of.the.goddamn.night.

He yells "Oh DEAR! What happ???" when something falls.

Anything that makes a lot of noise and catches him off-guard is a "Big loud!" as he covers his ears.

He yells "Hey Big Kids!" at the park, and loves to play our new family game "Chase Da-Da!".

He sweetly says "Move PLEASE" as he pushes you out of the way. He asks daily to "Go Zoo! Ride Train! Choo-Choo!"

He'll let you know what he wants to eat, too. He yelled out to my mom and I from the back of the car "Eat cupcake!" for no apparent reason, other than that he wanted one. And when the nice bakery lady at the grocery store today found out he couldn't have the free cookies because they had nuts in them, she gave him a CUPCAKE instead. "MO cupcake! Put mouth!?" he asked all through the produce section, and up and down the bread aisle.

He'll request his favorite IPad game or the "Joe (George) moo-bee". And watch out, he's dangerous in this here "ha(t)" and "cow-bow boo(ts)"....

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Place In Your Heart Where Friends Become Family

There's something about these boys that makes my heart swell. Maybe it's because they came into this world just days apart. Maybe it's because they are such mirror images of each other. Maybe it's because they have spent their entire two years doing the exact same things, in the exact same ways. Kind of like Susie and I, without the fireman hats.

Maybe it's because Susie and Matt are the kind of friends that are, in every way, our family. And then this little girl came along....

And I fell in love with her too. It's not just that she wears pink tutus, it's that for every way that Max and Jack are exactly alike, Little Miss Molly is so very different. Of course the love that you have for your best friends kids is enormous. Of course the pride you feel when you watch your own child growing to love your best friends kids, well, that's enormous too. So when sweet little Jack walked over to me with a card in his hand, and that card asked me if I would be Molly's godmother.....there are just no.darn.words that can describe what that felt like. So I'll just sit here and cry for a minute, and figure out what to say.

Of course I am honored, and blown away, and so deeply grateful that Susie and Matt would trust me enough to play such an important role in Molly's life. But I'm also floored by the beautiful responsibility of holding this sweet little baby's hand as she grows into a little girl who is strong, kind, funny, and brilliant. The honor and joy that brings me is like nothing I've ever experienced before. I have learned so much from my Roomie, and there are so many "girl things" that we've shared. To be asked to share that with Susie's sweet girl....well that's a full circle moment that makes me smile every darn time I think about it. And I'm Jewish y'all. So it's extra special to be asked!

Watching these boys love on her makes my eyes tear up. Because it means that the gang is growing. And when they get as close as they can to her and hold her hand, and kiss her head, and are fascinated by every little toe, it makes me think about Jack and Max kicking the ass of any guy who ever does her wrong.

You can't hear what Max is saying in this video, but it was DARLING. "So nice, Bay Moll (Baby Molly), so nice". As he touched her leg, and her arm, and her head. Oh my GOD. If this doesn't make me want to have another baby......CRIPE.

Like I said.....they're besties.

They help eachother out. And even though we are so lucky to be spending so much time with them this summer, I get all weepy and sentimental every time we do!

This feels like home to us.

Can't you just imagine them sitting in their chairs watching a game together 15 years from now?
Yelling at Molly to put a longer skirt on before she goes out, or they'll have to kick some guy's ass?! Just kidding Matt.....Molly won't be allowed to wear skirts until she heads off to Stanford.

This is how best friends begin....

Friday, September 2, 2011

Blog Love

How many of you have been sucked in to the world of Mommy Blogs??

We used to have to drive Max around the neighborhood every night to get him to fall asleep. I'd be so tired, and bored, and feeling so I'd look in all of our neighbor's windows as I drove by. Sort of makes me sound like a stalker, but don't worry neighbor who leaves your Christmas lights up till February and has the awesome spiral staircase and the crazy piece of artwork hanging in your front room...I'm just imagining what your life is like from right here, inside my SUV, with my baby snoring in the back.

That's kind of what it's like to read Mommy Blogs. It's like looking in someone's window. So I read because I'm nosy, I suppose. But also because it takes a village, and it's nice to know how the village feels about things like potty training/preschool/what to have for lunch. Blogging is Parenting in Public, and I have learned so much from other parents by "driving by" their blogs.

Today at Kelly's Korner, she's asking everyone to write about their favorite blogs. So let's start with hers. I love that she invites her readers to "Show Us Your Life". Her blog is a meeting place for moms, and even though she is a Southern Belle/Jesus-loving/Mommy of two girls, I think we may be soul sisters. Don't laugh. I may be a California Girl/Jewish Princess/Mommy of a very active boy, but I have Southern charm/crockpot recipes/embroidered monograms/a really adorable blond bob haircut in my BLOOD, y'all! I do. Somewhere.

I also read Tiffany's blog, but I actually know her in real life. Tiffany's blog is a mother's love letter, and has taught me so many things. It's because of Tiffany that I have a new understanding of loss and grief, and how to support a friend who has lost a child. It's because of Tiffany that my knowledge of birth, and breastfeeding, and attachment parenting has grown. Tiffany makes me want to try for a VBAC if if if we were to ever have a second child. She makes me think that I could be a nursing GODDESS with all of the knowledge that I've gained. And even though she is WAY cooler than I am, I like to think that her and I are soul sisters too.

While we're at it, I love Enjoying The Small Things for Kelle's amazing photography and beautiful essays about mothering. OK, and because she has great hair and a unique, eclectic style that inspires me to re-decorate my house. Or spend a ton of money on Etsy.

Kayla Aimee's blog is uplifting and raw, as she tells the story of her sweet baby girl who was born too early. She tells the story of her daughter's journey with honesty and insight, and she's crafty too. She sees motherhood with an eye for hilarity....I laugh out loud when I'm reading about her new-parent adventures.

See? Now I can't stop telling you about my blog-world "friends"! Oh dear, you're going to think I'm insane. Please tell me I'm not the only one who reads Mommy Blogs?

Because I have a few more left....

I've been following Logan's courageous journey as he battles cancer, and this little boy and his brave mama have taught me so much about the power of prayer (I know...and I'm Jewish!) and the strength that a family can have. We could all learn from Logan, and his smile has a million things to tell this world.

I've loved Amalah, and more! And this one is a biggie. We have a family friend named Robyn who is just the sweetest, kindest, most beautiful girl. She's in college, and her family and our family have known eachother since the parents were little girls. Robyn was in a serious car accident two weeks ago, and is fighting her way out of a coma. Her family just created a website, and it would be great to have as many prayers/thoughts/"you can do it" cheers headed their way.

OK....those are some of the windows that I've been driving by. Thanks for driving by ours. And thanks for not honking. Max is sleeping (in his big boy bed! by himself! what???!!!!) and I wouldn't want you to wake him up. Now can you PLEASE take down your Christmas lights??