Sunday, May 30, 2010

Is it a Church Function?

I sat in the parking lot of the baseball park facing the Church.  I was to attend an event at the Church with some friends.  It was an event I wanted to go to, with friends I was happy to see.  But, it has been so long since I have been in a church, I was a bit nervous. 

As I sat there I saw someone park in the minister's proscribed spot.  Then I saw a group of teenagers show up, teenagers make me nervous.  Perhaps I was in the wrong place, maybe I would be walking into a Church function. 

I sat in my car in the parking lot next door to the Church and waited until I saw my friends arrive.  They arrived at the appointed hour.  I got out and entered.  My nostrils assaulted with musty bible smell.  It was, thankfully, a Unitarian Church, so it wasn't like there were crosses with Jesus hanging around.  It was really just a big building.

My friend was already in the multi-purpose room, so I didn't immediately see her once I walked through the doors.  I saw a sign that announced all the Church activities for TODAY.  Crap Monkey, I have been suckered into a Church event.  My friend is going to save my soul. 

Nervously, I peak into the room, and I see her.  She is 6' tall, so easy to spot.  She waves and welcomes me in.  I walk over, a bit relieved, because it is just a room of people playing games.  She introduces me around and chastises me for not having my knitting on my person.  It was in the car. 

As I scampered out to the car to get my knitting, much relieved that things were as they were to be, it dawned on me... her Facebook profile says she is Buddhist.  I didn't need to worry in the first place.  The folks organizing the event really were just borrowing the space.

The event as a whole was worth the price of admission.  More on that tomorrow.

May Re-Cap

Ok, so I didn't exactly do everything on the list, but I think the month was still successful!  I did some other things that spoke to me.  But, there are no knitting goal police.. Right!

Monthly Goals:

  • Knit one skein on my February Lady Sweater (almost done with this!)  -- I finished the body of the sweater.  All that is left to do is the sleeves.  The exciting thing is that it fits!! :)  Also looks sort of cute.  Very excited.  I am going to let this hibernate for a month or two and work on some other things.  It is just too warm to imagine wearing this sweater, but I am excited to have it for next winter!
  • Knit 25 squares on my blanket  -- I think I did about 26 or 27 squares.  I lost count.  The blanket is moving right along and I can see the half way milestone!
April Goals:
  • Finish scarf from last month -- I didn't really do that, but I did get a bit more of it done.  It is a slow knit, mostly because it is super boring.  I need to knit just a bit on this every week.  No ufo pics though!
  • Make Sunday Swing Socks -- Done!

  • Make Just Enough Ruffles scarf -- Done!

  • Pokeball hat for Sam (hopefully!!)  -- Done!

Extra Credit:

I made some dish rags for a swap.

A bath cloth as part of a birthday gift.

Some Rainbow socks... love them!  They make me so happy.  When I got the yarn, I knew I had to knit it immediately.

More than just knitting:

Finally I got around to creating some decent sock blockers.  They are super fun!

I made some project bags too!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sock-tacular Summer Goals

June Knitting Goals:

Oh no, not this again... I seem to vastly under-estimate the amount of knitted objects I can create in a month.  It always leaves me at the end of the month, wondering what to work on.  I don't imagine that I will have that issue this up-coming month, as we are headed to California.  I will be limited by how many projects I bring.  Of course I could always purchase a project while I am there... something to think about.

Anyway, in the spirit of travel and keeping things light, I am going to dub this month the kick off of the socktacutlar summer.

The goals:

SKA Patterns:
  • Make January Club Socks
  • Bella Socks, with Dream in Color
  • Cookie A March Mystery Sock in Lorna's Hot Pink
Other Sock-y things:

  • Christmas Sock #2 for Martha
  • 25 squares on my Sock yarn blanket
  • Work on Sock yarn scarf... really need to finish this thing
Because I don't want to be socked:

  • A birthday scarf for a friend of mine, who might read this so, if you are someone who might or might not sock me if I don't make you a gift, then you know what you are getting.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Email saved me again

Here is the situation, for the past 2 years, Mac has been a bit lazy about completing his homework for his reading class.  He knows he can get away with this because there is no regular homework for the class and I have absolutely no way to verifying when there is homework.

I have spent the last 2 years begging, deploring, and generally pestering the teacher to give me some visibility to the homework schedule.  Nothing.  This coupled with the fact that she argues with Mac has driven me to a breaking point.  The irony of this whole situation is that I fought tooth and nail to have the district maintain this program for Mac, but I seriously question the value of the class he is currently in. 

Yesterday, I lost it.  I am not proud of my reaction, but I was sick and tired of having the same conversation with her.  I was also just not feeling so great either, got a bit of a cold.  When I told her that her lack of responsiveness does not help me in ensuring that Mac completes things on time, well it escalated.

The Principal is involved.  I also sort of think this teacher won't be back next year.  While this does not mean the new teacher will be better, at least there is the opportunity for that to happen.  When the Principal read my chronology of events, well I think that he was a bit amazed at the vast amount of email I have saved.  Bob teases me about it, but it has pulled my fat out of the fire more times than I care to say and I have a lot of fat to remove from the fire!

I have complained, ranted and generally carried on about how much I dislike this teacher for the past year.  It seems that now that I finally have some action on the problem she is going to move on.  Isn't that how it works out?  If she does not move on, it will be interesting to see how it goes next year.

All I can say, is that while managing three kids all day for the next couple of months is a lot of work, I am looking forward to ending the battle between Mac and the teachers.  A respite for me to gear up for the next round of fighting.  I wish it didn't always have to be a fight.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday's list

Yes, they were just pots, but I had to pick them out, buy them, put 200 lbs of dirt in them and then fill them... so it isn't like it was a small project.

If I would just re-varnish the door twice a year, I wouldn't have this problem.

Lack of responsiveness on your part does not constitute and emergency on my part.

I hate you. (probably not you specifically, unless you are the person I hate.)

Around me massive changes are happening.  In my small sliver of the world it is calm, this makes me nervous.

Why do I look at the Zillow for my house?  It only depresses me.

6 1/2 more days of this, and then, summer.  I am ready.

Finally turned the A/C off, because I am a wuss, apparently.

I need a nap

A poetry project... goody.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Finally Flowers!

I decided it was time to add some color to our house.  Look at what I have been working on.

I know it looks like some pots, but it was a procedure none the less!!   We are happy to finally start to look like we are settled in this house!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Air Conditioning

Saw a Facebook status that said if you turned your A/C on today you are a wuss.  Seriously, I am about the cheapest person on the planet, but when the kids start complaining about stomach aches and are rolling around on the ground because they are so hot, it is time.  It was 83 degrees at 11:00 at night, and still.  Not a cool breeze to be found.

Our A/C is original.  Now somethings are cool to be original, like thoughts, ideas and radios in old cars.  But, the A/C that the corner cutting builder put in the house a couple of decades ago, not so much.  Since the whole job thing has happened, and well the new windows ate our tax credit, our interest and desire to put in a new A/C is minimal.  So, I try and prolong its life by not using it.

Also, a unit that old, well, it eats electricity like a Hummer eats gas.  When I power up that bad boy, there is a demand surge on the grid that make ComEd look twice.  Let's face it, here in the midwest electricity is cheap, but it sure isn't free.  So, being a true tightwad, I am not one to turn it on.  We muscle through as much as we can.

So, my hat is off to you, non-wusses who didn't turn on the A/C.  Perhaps your homes are better protected from the heat than mine, but my house is a hot box.  Perhaps your kids can tolerate the heat better.  Perhaps you like to sleep in a pool of your own body fluids.  We couldn't hack it anymore, and we turned it on.

As a total aside, YIPPY!!!  Summer is here.  Bring on the pool.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Shrek House Party

We were one of the lucky ones to get the Shrek/McDonalds house party.  A party in a box, gotta love it!!  This was definitely one of the nicest house party boxes I have ever gotten.  Granted it is also the second one I have ever gotten, but this box ROCKED!!  Literally a party in a box, only thing we had to add was guests.

The whole purpose of the deal was to create buzz about the new and improved McNuggets and the new Shrek movie.  The nuggets were definitely a hit, we didn't buy enough!  Even Mr. Picky ate his, which was pretty shocking as he usually won't touch them.  So that was a nice development.

All the kids loved watching the DVD and then learning the moves to the donkey dance.  There is a jukebox special feature, so after the movie we had a dance party.  Of course we had to round out the event with a little Gaga, just to make it fully multi-cultural.  (For everyone not in the know, Gaga is Israeli dodge ball.)

All the kids left with full bellies, ready for bed and everyone had a great time.  Thanks House Party, McDonalds, and Hallmark for a great time!! :)

Friday, May 21, 2010


Albert Einstein is credited with saying the following:  Insanity -- doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

It seems that when ever things stop working for me something happens to remind me of that quote.  Just as I was at the breaking point with the kids, I thought, seriously what can I do differently?  I decided to do something completely unpredictable, and put them back in bed right after they woke up.  By returning them to bed, I managed to snap them out of the morning fighting/whine fest that they were having.  It separated Mac from everyone else and calmed him down too.

At the gym this morning the instructor said, that we were going to do things differently, because if we don't change the impact of the exercise will be minimized.  I laugh, because her class is so hard that I feel like I need to throw up most of time, change it?  Increase the impact?  Ok, what ever. 

But, her point about trying to do things differently resonated with me.  When ever I have a problem, or issue, I try and think about what I can do to impart a change to that situation.  Sometimes the tried and true just doesn't work and it is time to shake things up and try something completely different.  My go-to response is not always the solution.

A woman I know told a story about making cookies.  She mistook powdered sugar for flour.  She couldn't figure out why they were not working, and made three batches before giving up.  She kept doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

So, what isn't working in your life?  Are you doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result?  Maybe it is time to try something different.  Shake things up and do the opposite of what you are doing now.  Might not work, but you never know unless you try.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


When I found out I was pregnant, I had visions of the perfect baby.  S/he would sleep, be adorable, smart, funny and would be the apple of my eye.  My child would never hate me, because I wouldn't make all the mistakes my parents made, I would learn from them and get it right.

It took me weeks to purchase clothes from the baby, because I had no idea what babies wore and there were no fashion magazines.  I didn't want to put him in the wrong thing.  I wanted to get the right car seat.  I wanted to do it right.

The reality is that I don't do it right.  I am the parent, with the kids that kick each other at the corner in front of the school.  I am the parent that has to go to the psychologist to have her kid diagnosed, because well, he is diagnosable.  My kids are not perfect.  I am not the perfect mother.

I think I abandoned the idea of perfection when Sam melted down on the third day of school in front of the car line, the Principal and half the teachers.  I realized as I carried him away from the school to the car, as he screamed, you are hurting me, you are hurting me, that I sucked at this whole parenting thing.  Admitting that I suck at this is freeing, because well, now the bar is so low I can step over it.  But, more importantly it frees me from the panic of making the wrong decision and messing up our prefect.  Sure ain't no perfect over here.

Our trip around the mayberry bush today, was brought to you by the judgmental crossing guard who thinks I am a bad parent (nice to know she is on board), because I spoke sternly to my boys while the older one kicked the snot out of the younger one.  I did not address the issue with the kicking at the corner immediately, because if I have learned nothing, it is wisest to diffuse the situation and deal with the consequences at home.  Let me tell you there were consequences... 

I look at the parents that are all calm and perfect and wonder how the got there.  I am not calm and perfect, I am out of control and messy.  Things here are not where they are supposed to be.  I wonder if when, you get right down to the ones that are calm and perfect are really out of control and messy too.  I sometimes tell myself that they are just better at faking it than I am.  Maybe that is just a way for me to excuse my lack of perfect.

Monday, May 17, 2010

4th Grader Married

Mac is a married man.

When I woke him up yesterday, I told him it was time to get up, it was his wedding day.  He told me that wasn't worth getting out of bed.  But he sounded excited.  I said well what is worth getting out of bed for?  He told me that it was on the calendar.  Which reminded me, his wedding day was also the same day as the Survivor Finale.  That was worth getting out of bed for.

He married his "arch enemy."  The plan was to get divorced as soon as it is over, but his bride didn't want to once it was said and done.  Mac said that she did look pretty good.  I am not sure what I will tell his next wife about all this...

He didn't want to get dressed up, but, he did.  Doesn't he look cute?  Kid cleans up pretty well!

The sister is still in the making faces at the camera stage, but she wasn't missing any opportunity to dress up.  The middle brother on the other hand couldn't be bothered to dress up or be in pre-wedding family pictures.  An indicator of things to come?

Finally, pictures from the blessed event.


Next time, well, if there is a next time.... we will hire a photographer to take pictures of Mac's wedding.  Clearly the iphone was not the way to go.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Three Weeks

So, I took a little peaky-poo at the calendar.  You know, to think about my up-coming week, maybe even do a little long range planning.  I glanced at the lunch menu for school to see how many lunches I have to make next week so I can ensure enough bread in the house.  Nothing crazy, just usual stuff....

Then like a ton of library books it hit me, the kids have 3 weeks of school left.  3 weeks is not enough time to clean out all the closets, write my novel, calm my nerves and generally prepare for the onslaught of free range beasts.  Upon further inspection, of the planner of doom, I notice that Hannah has 2 days of school left.  Count 'em, 1 and 2, and out the door. 

So much for knitting lovely teacher gifts.  Which is really ok, because the holiday hat I knit for Mac's teacher went completely unacknowledged and I hate Sam's teacher.  I think I could do a whole post on teacher gifts, but to sum it up, I am over it.  So this year, NO gifts for you.

Today I load the van up for the final trip to religious school.  Next week will be the end of "presk" and in three short weeks we go to California and welcome summer.  It has happened.  Summer is coming.  Yes, I am thrilled to wear flip flops and hide my winter coat and boots, BUT, I am not ready to go into full time kid wrangling mode.  I am not properly medicated.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Arizona, the New Regime

I could be arrested in the state of Arizona.  I drive a mini-van, generally loaded with three screaming kids.  I have a valid drivers license, issued to me by the state of Illinois.  Sure, there are some questions about how fast I drive the mini-van, my ability to make a right turn at an intersection, while the light is green, and my ability to make a right turn when it is 4:07 pm.  Yes, I am a bit bitter about the intense enforcement of the minute laws in this state, but I digress.

FACT:   Per Arizona law, my valid drivers license from the state of Illinois can NOT be used as a from of identification to obtain an Arizona drivers license because Illinois does not verify lawful presence.

FACT:  Arizona's new law, would require immigrants to carry documents verifying their immigration status. It would also require police officers to question a person about his or her immigration status if there is "reasonable suspicion" that person may be illegally in the country.

I am not an immigrant, so I don't have any documents verifying my immigration status.  The state of Illinois does not verify my legitimacy to be here in this country, and per Arizona law can not be used as verification of my status.  If I was pulled over in the state of Arizona, I could be arrested, because I do not have a valid passport, nor do I regularly travel with my birth certificate.  In spite of the fact that I was born in this country, to parents that were born here, I could go to jail.  Because I would not be able to prove my legitimacy to be here. 

The law states "reasonable suspicion."  What does that mean?  Nothing.  It means, that the police officer has a bee up his butt about the brand of underwear his girlfriend bought and he can decide I look illegal.  I can not prove I am legal.

At this time, I would like to point out that the President of our country travels on an Illinois drivers license, and there are some that question his immigration status.  According to the law in Arizona, the President of our country CAN NOT prove that he is legal, and could be arrested.  Just sayin'.  (Yes, I realize that to be President you must be a natural born citizen.  I do live with Mac.)

Granted, once the dust settled and I could obtain a copy of my birth certificate, I would be released.  It scares me to know that I could go to jail only because I live in a state that does not verify legitimacy.  Any interaction I would have with the police in that state would only end positively at the whim of that officer.  I do not regularly travel with any paperwork to prove I am legally here in this country.

I am a law abiding citizen, (minor driving infractions aside) of this country.  I deserve to travel within the confines of this country without fear.  This is not currently the case.  I will NOT be going to Arizona anytime soon.  Not until the Federal Government can ensure my safe travel.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


When I was 16 or 17, my mother told me that happiness is the calm period between all the really bad things and the really good things. 

That happiness does not live at the ends of the spectrum, but rather the middle.  The middle, where it is calm and boring.  Happiness does not like drama.

Today, my happiness came from finishing the body of my sweater and having it fit.  From learning to do a Russian join.  From sitting with Hannah while she worked on her needlepoint. 

My happiness is small and quiet.  It is not bigger than life or loud and exciting.

Happiness is present, and in the moment.  Happiness hides when I look for it, and appears when I least expect it.  When I can still myself to allow it to creep in.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Right after my Dad died, it was sort of a bad spot for me.  I was definitely not have a look at the world as half full mindset.  The facts:  I had a baby, was working full time and my Dad died.  Then about 3 months later I was fired for not "doing" my job.  I had been on maternity leave for 4 months, bed-rest for 2 months and at a funeral for a month. So, yeah, I missed some work.

When I told someone I had a death in the family, this man said, oh did your dog die?  I said, "No, my father did."

I was all kinds of angry about what happened.  I found another job, very quickly, which after 6 months didn't work out.  Things seemed very bleak.  We needed my income to pay the bills an keep our house.  My options didn't look good.  The economy was in the toilet, nothing like today, but the toilet none the less.

A recruiter got me an interview with Rowenta, they make really fancy irons.  I aced the interview.  I was perfect for the job.  I loved the people, and I thought they loved me.  When I got my feedback from the recruiter, she told me they were passing.  That they loved me and thought I was perfect, but there was just something that didn't seem right about me.  Could it have been my total lack of confidence and misery?

She told me that I needed to take some time and get myself right, because looking for a job when I stink of failure will not work.  She told me to think seriously about what I want to do.  Do I want to keep doing this type of work.  Do I want to do something different.  She asked me to think about what would make me truly happy and then figure out how to get it.  Over the course of the next couple of months she called me a couple of times to check on me.

On July 1, I called her.  I made the decision to stay home with Mac.  This woman pushed me to view my circumstances as freedom and possibility not as failure and depression.  I do not remember her name, but her impact on my life was enormous and wide sweeping.

I think it was the decision my Dad would have wanted me to make.  He wanted me to stay home with my kids and raise them and not have a career.  While I may complain about the kids and my lot quite a bit, it is and was the right decision.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday Dad

When we were at retreat we were supposed to think about people that have had a profound impact on our lives.  There are several people who have impacted me greatly.  Some are obvious and others not so much. 

My Dad was defiantly one of those people.  His birthday was on the 9th.  Since it conflicted with Mother's Day, I decided to wait a couple of days and start another project about people who have impacted my life.  Sort of a shout-out to my Dad.

How my Dad impacted my life is hard to verbalize, but he was a very wise man.  He had all sorts of pithy little sayings.  One of my favorites was "irreconcilable ski differences."  This phrase was coined when we were on a chair lift in Mammoth, and a man was walking down a mogul run under the lift and he yells down to his friend:  "I used to call you friend."  My Dad started to pick out all the ski pairs that had "irreconcilable ski differences."  It became a fun game.

He was also famous for redirecting me to focus on the solution and not the problem.  "Problems," he was known to say, "are like waves in the ocean, when one washes away, another one comes.  Some are bigger and some are smaller."  It isn't the problem that was the issue, because they will always exist, but rather your decision about how you wanted to handle the problem that he wanted to talk about.

I have talked about hearing my Dad's voice before we made this move. I kept hearing him tell me that the deal isn't done until the deal is done.  Or, more precisely, The house isn't sold until the escrow closes.  That was his way of saying, it ain't over till it is over, and anything can happen.  We didn't live by this "law" and found ourselves in quite a mess!  But, we embraced the solution rule, and things turned out ok.

My father was such a force in my life it is hard to pinpoint it specifically.  I am in a great measure, who I am, because of him. 

There are other people, who don't even know it, who have impacted me greatly.  I will share about that tomorrow!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Chocolate Formula

When my children where young, I said I would never do a lot of things.  Guess what, I have done a lot of them.  You do what you have to do in the situation you are in... until you have walked a mile in that mother's shoes, don't judge!

Chocolate formula seems to be burning up the blogosphere.  Mothers are out-raged that the corporate machine is making out kids fatter.  I would like to point out that the corporate machine does not force the kids to eat chocolate formula, parents do... but I digress.

When my middle child was young he was very ill, we did what ever we could to get him to eat.  I am sure if this formula was available and dairy free, we would have tried it just to get nutrition into him.  To this day, the kid is still a picky eater.  My other two eat everything, but not him.  So clearly it isn't my parenting that caused this, it is a combination of his personality and life circumstances.

While adding more processed foods to a toddlers diet is not optimal, there are times and places for many things.  My pediatrician told me one time, when my middle one was very dehydrated, "I don't care if you are giving him a beer as long as he is drinking something."  This was in response to my telling him I was giving him frozen pedialyte rather than jello as directed.  Now, I don't think my pediatrician wanted me to give my child a beer, but, well, you get the point.

Not one of my kids made the switch from breast milk to cows milk without adding something to the cows milk.  I think cows milk is more bitter than breast milk.  Interestingly, only the middle one liked chocolate, the others all liked strawberry.  For the most part, only Sammy drinks chocolate milk, but keep in mind he doesn't really drink milk... it is soy, plain soy is all kinds of nasty.

Should you give your kids more sugar?  Probably not.  Should you judge other moms for doing that?  Probably not.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Interview with a Vampire?

Well, you read all the interviews with my family.  It was sort of a fun project, didn't take up much time and gave me 4 posts.  This is a win/win in my book, but perhaps not yours.

One thing I thought was interesting was that everyone said that I don't like being yelled at.  This would be because the yelling at mommy is at a crisis level in our house.  If you don't get what you want, when you want it, the way you want it, the go-to response seems to be to pitch a screaming fit or whine like crazy.  I must tell you, I am on my last nerve.  I am very close to cracking and going postal on the whole lot of them,

Seriously, if you don't get to wear flip flops that are slippery AND hurt your feet, this is not reason to melt down.  My youngest seemingly did not get the memo.  The problem is, that while it is some what age appropriate for a 4 year old to have tantrums, especially at the end of the school year, the other kids have jumped on the band wagon.

I can not abide the fighting and screaming and whining that goes on in this house.  I have tried it all, redirecting, distracting, punishing, rewarding nice voices, etc., etc.  The reality is that like most things this is a phase and it will pass, the question at hand is am I strong enough to survive it all?  Not sure.

I would also like to clear up a few misconceptions, Fish tacos are not my favorite food, chocolate is... how they missed this is odd to me, since I protect my chocolate stash with the ferocity of a lioness protecting her cubs.  Actually she could take a few pointers from me protecting my chocolate stash.  I will bite you if you touch it.  You have been warned.

Survivor is not my favorite TV show.  I am sort of over the whole thing, but the boys love it, so it is like a family thing to watch it.  Russell annoys me.  I am so over the whole villans/heros thing.  Make it end.. please.

I hope you enjoyed our interview project.  Who knows what other ideas I will steal from people!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Interview with a 43 year old

What is something mommy always says to you? Thank you and I love you.

What makes mommy happy?When everything is picked up and put away where it belongs and when she is not yelled at.

What makes mommy sad? Inverse of above, and being taken for granted.

How does mommy make you laugh? Lots of things

What was mommy like as a child? Very active and inquisitive

How old is mommy? 29

How tall is mommy? 5'10"

What is mommy’s favorite thing to watch on TV? I don't know

What does mommy do when you’re not around? Herds cats, I mean kids

What is mommy really good at? Cooking and writing and lots of things

What is mommy not very good at? Baseball and stuff

What does mommy do for her job? Keeping the family from falling apart.

What is mommy’s favorite food? Fish Tacos

What makes you proud of mommy? All the wonderful stuff she does so well.

If mommy were a cartoon, who would she be? Superwoman

What do you and mommy do together? uuummmm, for the blog?  Watch tv together, yeah... that is it.

How are you and mommy the same?  We both believe in education.

How are you and mommy different? I am a boy, she is a girl

How do you know mommy loves you? Still married after all these years.

What does mommy like most about daddy? Laughter, my word that is a loaded question, how much should I divulge?  There really isn't enough time to expose all my wonderful qualities.

Where is mommy’s favorite place to go? Her room with the door closed.  Ok, the knitting store or knit group.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Interview with a 4-year old

What is something mommy always says to you? Stop yelling

What makes mommy happy? When I say nice words.

What makes mommy sad? When I yell.

How does mommy make you laugh? When I am funny.

What was your mommy like as a child? Me.

How old is mommy? I don't know

How tall is mommy? 40 inches

What is mommy’s favorite thing to watch on TV? Commercials

What does mommy do when you’re not around? The dishes

What is mommy really good at? Gaga

What is mommy not very good at? Dodgeball (not sure how these two answers are different.)

What does mommy do for her job? Important things

What is mommy’s favorite food? Tacos

What makes you proud of mommy? When I give you hugs and kisses

If mommy were a cartoon, who would she be? Looney Tunes (very insightful)

What do you and mommy do together? Make pizza

How are you and mommy the same? We do the same things

How are you and mommy different? I am not wearing the same clothes as you.

How do you know mommy loves you? Because you love me and I am the best, and you are really silly.

What does mommy like most about daddy? You like marring him, because he is the best dad ever.  He gets a lot of money for us by doing a lot of jobs.  Dad is good at doing jobs.

Where is mommy’s favorite place to go? Baja Fresh

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Interview with a 6 year old.

What is something mommy always says to you? Clean your room.

What makes mommy happy? When you don't yell at her.

What makes mommy sad?  When you aren't nice.

How does mommy make you laugh?  When you are with Kendall

What was your mommy like as a child?  I don't know

How old is mommy?  30

How tall is mommy?  I have no idea

What is mommy’s favorite thing to watch on TV? Survivor

What does mommy do when you’re not around? Go buy yarn

What is mommy really good at?  Gaga

What is mommy not very good at? Gaga (not sure how these two answers are different.)

What does mommy do for her job? Nothing

What is mommy’s favorite food? Pizza

What makes you proud of mommy? When you make really good food.

If mommy were a cartoon, who would she be?  Supermom

What do you and mommy do together?  Go out.

How are you and mommy the same?  We both love each other

How are you and mommy different?  You go in the car more.

How do you know mommy loves you?  You always give me kisses

What does mommy like most about daddy?  Daddy goes to work.

Where is mommy’s favorite place to go?  Baja Fresh

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Interview with a 9-year old

What is something mommy always says to you? Get up!

What makes mommy happy? When she receives presents (chocolate and yarn) and she is told she is pretty.

What makes mommy sad? When people "yell" at her.

How does mommy make you laugh? Can this please be a rhetorical question

What was your mommy like as a child? I don't know I am not that old.

How old is mommy? 18

How tall is mommy? 6 feet tall

What is mommy’s favorite thing to watch on TV? Survivor

What does mommy do when you’re not around? Clean

What is mommy really good at? Cleaning and knitting

What is mommy not very good at? Gaga

What does mommy do for her job? Take care of us

What is mommy’s favorite food? Mexican food

What makes you proud of mommy? She gave birth to me and is still alive.

If mommy were a cartoon, who would she be? Candice Flynn's Mom

What do you and mommy do together? We do homework

How are you and mommy the same? We both like California

How are you and mommy different? We have different last names

How do you know mommy loves you? I don't, she could be a robot

What does mommy like most about daddy? That he is older than her.

Where is mommy’s favorite place to go? The Yarn Store

Monday, May 3, 2010

What happens if...

At Sunday School yesterday, my little gaggle of friends got to taking about my most recent blog post.  They were all in agreement with my basic premise, you must choose one, you can not be both.  This of course is probably because they all choose one.  Interestingly, my group of friends are the non-Jewish partners in the relationship, but it is US that hang at religious school not our Jewish spouses.  As an aside, I think now it is because we like the company, but in the beginning it was because we were following through on our decisions.

One of the folks turned the conversation to, what would you do if something happened to your husband?  If he left you or worse died?  I have thought about what I would do if Bob died on numerous occasions.  Let's face facts he used to travel all the time, I worried. 

My plan would be to move to La Conchita, live on the beach and let the palm fronds fall where they may.  But, at no point did I consider what I would do about the kids religious up-bringing.  Should I enact my plan, they would be bussed to a good school in town, about 20 minutes away.  But, would I schlep them to temple two times a week?  Doubtful there would be any other Jews in La Conchita to car-pool with, and I would most likely have to have a job.

The decision has been made to raise the kids with a specific religious background.  If Bob is no longer in the picture, it is still my responsibility to continue on that path.  For what ever reason, if the kids lost their Dad, it wouldn't be cool to also have them have to change who they are.  Remember, I said that all three of them would say they are Jewish NOT Christian.  I never considered the long term implications of my decision; which is surprising, because until yesterday I would have told you I thought it through.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The time has come

Sometimes someone else says it so much better than you can.

The time has come.
The time has come.
The time is now.
Just go.
I don't care how.
You can go by foot.
You can go by cow.
Marvin K. Mooney, will you please go now!
You can go on skates.
You can go on skis.
You can go in a hat.
But please go. Please!
I don't care.
You can go by bike.
You can go on a Zike-Bike if you like.
If you like you can go in an old blue shoe.
Just go, Go, GO!
Please do, do, DO!
Marvin K. Mooney, I don't care how.
Marvin K. Mooney, will you please GO NOW!
You can go on stilts.
You can go by fish.
You can go in a Crunk-Car if you wish.
If you wish you may go by lion's tail.
Or stamp yourself and go by mail.
Marvin K. Mooney!
Don't you know the time has come to go, Go, GO!
Get on your way!
Please Marvin K!
You might like going in a Zumble-Zay.
You can go by balloon....
of broomstick (editors note:  this is the most probably method).
You can go by camel in a bureau drawer.
You can go by Bumble-Boat
...or jet.
I don't care how you go.
Just GET!
Get yourself a Ga-Zoom.
You can go with a ....
.... BOOM.
Marvin, Marvin, Marvin!
Will you leave this room!
Marvin K. Mooney!
I don't care HOW.
Marvin K. Mooney!
Will you please GO NOW!
I said GO and GO I meant....
The time had come.
Marvin WENT.

Full text from Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! By Dr. Seuss (aka Theodore Seuss Giesel).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Interfaith Families

You did not think that I would let the recent ruling the Reyes case go without comment?  You don't know me very well if you did!

For those not in the know, Joesph Reyes sued his ex-wife for the right to take is preschool aged daughter to Easter and Christmas services.  Their custody arrangement stated that Mr. Reyes would not expose their daughter to non-jewish religious activities.  Apparently, the judge didn't think this was harmful and altered the original agreement.

Sometimes, I think parents use the courts as a way to punish each other, but that is a blog post for another day.  What I want to talk about is raising an interfaith family.  There was another article in today's paper where the author says that her interfaith family is doing things right, raising the child in both religions, and it is working out just fine.  Granted her child is still an infant, so let's just wait and see, but with that, and the court ruling, I felt the need to dust of my soap box and climb on up.

Here is the deal, you can NOT be a Christian Jew.  It just doesn't work that way.  Either Jesus Christ is your savior or he isn't.  You can't have it both ways.  It makes me crazy when folks say, well, I am going to expose my child to all that is good of both and let them choose.  Who is the parent here?  You are going to make your child choose because you are too wimpy to make the decision yourself?  Yeah, that is good parenting.

I whole-heartedly agree that there is more than one path to G-d.  This is why I was comfortable being in an interfaith marriage to begin with, but I was not ok letting my kids choose their identity.  So much so, I felt that we needed to sort this out before we got married, because once you married and have kids, it is a little late for the discussion.  I realize that I am an exception, and am not trying to toot my own horn.  There is wisdom in making this decision before you get married, because face it folks, it is a deal breaker.  Better to know before than after... who needs to pay divorce lawyers.

We chose to raise our kids as Jews.  There is a myriad of reasons why we made the decision, and that isn't really relevant.  If some other family chose to raise their kids as Catholics or Baptists or Hindus that is great.  I just think letting them choose when they are older is the cowards way out.  It is your job as a parent to give your kids a foundation and an identity.  You can not be both, so you have to pick.  If my kids decide to become born-again Christians when they are adults, so be it, but for now, they are Jews.

Oh, but you are denying the other parent from sharing their heritage too... at least that seems to be the prevailing argument in the Reyes case and in the current article.  My kids are well aware of my background.  They know about Christianity, but the fact remains is that they aren't Christians.  If you ask them, all three of them will tell you they aren't Christian.  But, that said, I am not left out, nor is my heritage ignored and my kids don't have to make a decision that I was too wimpy or scared to make.

It frustrates me that the court is allowing this parent to fundamentally alter his child's identity.  It just isn't the right thing to do for the child.  Poor kid, I hope she turns out ok, in spite of her parents.