Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Apparently, it's my day to throw random links at you.

I just found Lookybook through Tech Savvy Mama.

Lookybook allows you to access picture books for free over the internet.


I'm filing that one away.


Isn't this the neatest site? Replayground is chock full of some really cute crafts from recycled products. I'm forever looking at empty boxes and containers wondering, "What can I make with this?" Now I have some ideas.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Tell the world to simplify.

We have been making a conscious effort to simplify. So far, not bad.

Although, the sheer amount of crap that's out there is astounding.

So these "You don't need it" stickers are right up my alley.

They're gonna charge you for air

I just came across this at the Consumerist and it cracked me up.

The Future of Air Travel Fees

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Why oh why am I sharing this with you?

Tag, I'm not really it, but I'm pretending that I was cool enough to be tagged.

As luck would have it, when I'm feeling completely uncreative, up pops a meme at Dirty Little Secret. Yay.

The rules:

a. Link to the person who tagged you.
b. Post the rules on your blog.
c. Write six random things about yourself.
d. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
e. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.
f. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

I've taken care of A and now B, so let's move on to C.

1. This one is related to JerseyGirl's #4. My father has another child about which I knew nothing. So technically, I suppose I'm the youngest of 8. He only revealed this a few years ago. He insists he told my mother years ago (this happened when he was a teenager, long before my mom), but she has selective memory to go with her selective hearing, so chances are she will insist she knows nothing about it. So my dad told me in secret. He remembers nothing about the mother (which freaks me the hell out because that is SO not my father), but she was relative of close family friends. He actually moved across the country to be with her when she was pregnant, but he was in the military at the time and they then sent him out of the country before he could find her. So my unknown brother/sister would be in his/her late 40s.

2. I do not like beer. I'm always up for trying one I've never tried before because I keep hoping I'll find one I like, but so far, no luck. In college, when my friends got 50 cent beers, I had to pay 3 freaking dollars for each bottle of hard cider. That stuff was good, though.

3. I don't like cherries. You can dip them in whatever you want, but I simply cannot stand them. I can't even stand anything that's cherry flavored (including lip gloss) or cherry scented.

4. Jersey Girl's #3 reminded me of something from my youth. I used to randomly stop and pose like the kids did in sitcom themes. If I was playing ball in the back yard, I would grab the ball, turn my head straight to the front, tilt it slightly, hold the ball and smile. I don't know what I thought I was doing.

5. I alter t.v. shows and books to insert characters for me to play. I once invented an extra sister for Just the Ten of Us (one whose age fell between the dumpy one and the young one who played the sax on Rags to Riches). I worked myself into the Anne books. I created an older daughter for Luke and Laura (who actually wouldn't be physically possible because they had no children when they were married in 1980 and I was born prior to that, but I just sent her to that magical boarding school where the soap kids age. Hey, Jason and AJ are about 10-15 years older than they should be. They attended that magical boarding school just like Victoria and Nicholas on Y&R).

6. This may be surprising after the references made in #5, but I don't like soap operas at all. There was a time when I was absolutely addicted to them. I subscribed to every soap opera magazine available and was completely obsessed. Now, though, I think they're absolute rubbish. The acting is horrible. The story lines are insane. They're just cheap and cheesy. That being said, I will never stop believing that Hayley Vaughan and Brian Bodine were the perfect couple. I had the biggest crush on Matt Borlenghi and I came very close to worshiping Kelly Ripa in the very early 90s. While I never met Ms. Ripa (despite much trying), I did once meet Matt Borlenghi at a mall meet and greet around Valentine's Day. I got an autograph and gave him this stupid wooden heart on a stick thing with ribbons hanging off. On the ribbons, I wrote, "I love you."

I am such a dork!

Now I'm tagging 6 people. I tend to tag the same 6 folks, so instead, I'll bust out the Google Reader and pick some folks that I read, but who are typically exempt from my games of tag.




Hyphen Mama


Ramblin' Educat

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cupcakes or buzzy toys?

While I'm busy making felt cupcakes, some brilliant creative person has made Dr. Goodvibes. Oh my goodness! That gave me my smile for the day. I hope it does the same for you.

I could have said the exact same thing.

2PM I Don't Even Try to Fit in Anymore

Coworker #1: Yeah, we should go ahead and fix that. Then, when we're done, we could dance around it like pagans.
Coworker #2: What? I don't even know what to say to you sometimes.
Coworker #1: Just stand back and pity my mother.

Washington, DC

via Overheard in the Office, Apr 23, 2008

What are you making?

So, all you creative souls, tell me, what are you making? I'm curious what type of craft/creative projects everyone is immersed in.

I made a few felt cupcakes. I tried a different pattern. These new ones look better than the truly odd one I made the kids for Chanukah.

How about you? What are you creating?

ETA: I had no idea that the blogger who posted that cupcake pattern was Jewish. I found the pattern the other night and used it. Then, I found it again via Google for you folks. After I posted the link here, I poked around at her links and found felt hamentaschen. AHHHHH. I think I'm in love. I MUST make those. We're a little late for Purim, but my kids need those regardless. I'll just skip the magnet part. How cute!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Do you see what I see?

I went to Target to kill some time and look around. I did not plan on Hannah Montana assaulting me with crude language (and an obvious lack of knowledge about basic anatomy).

Said the blogger to her audience: Do you see what I see? In that funky font, oh audience, do you see what I see?

We're off to see the Wizard...

to ask him why the freaking munchkins can't make their absolutely adorable shoes in sizes that fit my kids (or hell, even me).

At Kohl's last week, I annoyed the husband by drooling over these clogs. It doesn't help that I'm forever complaining about the price of children's shoes and how I would never spend more than $10 for most shoes. Then those pop up and I was almost willing to actually entertain the idea of getting them--at full price. Alas, they stop before sizes into which my children can actually fit.

While searching through Kohl's website in an attempt at sharing the cuteness that is those clogs with you, I came across yet another pair of munchkin shoes that are too freaking cute.

Alas, dear readers, please, I beg of you, in the future, NEVER let me search the internet for things to share with you.

Since those Kohls shoes are from Stride Rite, I headed over to their website to look around. You know I won't pay much for children's shoes, you should know I have never shopped there. I did once order two pairs when Amazon had a huge sale, but the pair for TheBoy was too small and the pair for me (yes, I can fit into kids' shoes) was a very different color than it appeared, so both were returned and I got a refund. I don't have much experience with Stride Rite, so when I looked around, the sheer cuteness almost knocked me on the floor.

You all suck! I want to share with you, but instead, I fall in love with things I will be forced to drool over from afar because I will never spend that much money on kids' shoes.

But damn it, these are some of the cutest shoes I have ever seen.

Let's not forget these, these (which are available in my size), and TheBoy would love a pair of shoes that are very much like his daddy's.

Who decided to let me have kids? I was a shoe fiend when mine were the only feet with which I was concerned. With three wee ones, I have the opportunity to hoard 3 times the cute shoes. Is there a 12-step program for this?

More useless cuteness that only a mother could truly appreciate.

The kids' had this interaction today:

Me: Your daddy rocks.
TheBoy: Daddy rocks.
Me: Yes he does. Go tell him that. Go say, 'Daddy rocks.'
TheBoy: Mama rocks.
Me: Well, yes, but go tell daddy he rocks.
TheBoy: Mama rocks.
Me: Daddy rocks.
TheBoy: MAMA rocks.
Dh: Figures.

Just moments later, there was another discussion.

Me: Girl2 rocks.
Girl2: I rock.
TheBoy: Girl2 rocks. Rock. Rock. (pats her head) Pet rock.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Wouldn't that be a kick-ass band name?

On Yahoo, I saw the headline, Painful Fill-ups & Papal Trivia.

Am I the only one who thinks that would be a great band name?

So now you tell me, what random phrase have you heard that you think would be great band names?

My sister and I have a whole collection of not only bands, but also song titles and album names.

Chametz, let the countdown begin.

I've noticed that every year, during Pesach, companies just love to introduce their new chametz-filled/coated/composed entirely of foods.

Last night, I saw my first one. Keebler has come out with some sort of fudge-filled cookie dipped in even more chocolate.

Damn you advertisers and your timing.

They advertise (or even create) foods to make life easier on the Catholics. Every fast food joint around town offered some sort of deal on their fish sandwhiches and a few places introduced new seafood products just in time for Lent. Actually, after seeing a commercial for one such fish sandwhich dh said, 'It must be that Catholic holiday 'cause the fish sandwhiches are making the rounds."

Yet they seem to introduce new foods just to make life more difficult for us.

Although, this year, we found a local grocery store that was chock full o'Kosher for Passover foods, so we're much happier. I even found a Dannon coffee flavored yogurt that's specifically kosher for Passover. Although, it wasn't featured with the Pesach foods, but matzah meal that is specifically NOT kosher for Passover was on the table with all the safe foods.

Now that I've remembered that yogurt, I'm off to have some. Yum! You Keebler Elves can shove your new cookies up your beloved tree. I'd much prefer my coffee yogurt.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Life lessons from around the seder plate

We attended the second seder at our old shul today. While there, I was amazed at the kids. We sat with a little girl that my kids know from camp. I've seen the mom around and I know the little girl, but I'd never spoken with them and I had never met the dad.

Our kids got along fabulously. This little girl is a very outgoing cute little kid. At one point, she led my girls in a game where they all hid a pen and pretended it was the aficoman. Later, the kids took a piece of matzah and created their own aficoman which they "hid." When the rabbi announced it was time to search for the real one, they presented theirs.

Rabbi knew what was going on (because this little girl is quite talkative and told him all about their plan beforehand), but he was impressed with their ingenuity. I was too.

There's a life lesson for you: Searching for someone else's aficoman can be fun, but being the mastermind (and seeker) of your own is just as rewarding. Sometimes more so because you don't have to waste time looking for it.

As a reward, the kids got Pesach stickers which are now plastered all over the place. I myself, was covered in 2 glittery frogs, 3 sparkly pieces of matzah and a disturbingly flashy pitcher of blood.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My love of felt food is unending

Recommended by The Opinionated Parent

My obsession with felt food is well documented. So when the Opinionated Parent offered an extra entry for Lilly Bean felt food (my very favorite) if I blog about it, I jumped on the train to selloutville.

They're giving away some super-cute felt food from Lilly Bean and I want it!

New study proves my point.

The drug/nursing dilemma is a big problem. I've known people who weaned because a doctor told them to in order to take a certain medication. In several cases, they have had me check Hale after the fact only to find the drugs they were on were actually very safe.

Let me say that the majority of drugs are safe for nursing or have a safe alternative. Yet we're being lead to believe otherwise. Apparently, many doctors and pharmacists believe otherwise as well.

I have ranted about this before.

Now the Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog brought a new study to my attention.

"For 75 percent of drugs that are considered unequivocally safe for breastfeeding, pharmacies were inappropriately advising mothers to stop nursing."

GAH. I could say so much, but instead, I'll just say GAH.

I said more in my last post on the topic, so I'll just direct you to that post.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I love my kids.

They provide hours of entertainment.

TheBoy is walking around with a nail file. He keeps putting it in his mouth. Every time, Girl1 tells him to take it out.

How does my 2-year-old solve the problem? He said, "Hamotzi. Amen," and THEN shoved it in his mouth.

Oh how I love my kids, their grasp of Judaism and their reasoning.

Somewhat related: I found this on You Tube. It's motzi signed in ASL.

7 Random Things

I'm taking the prompt from Robin and so I'll be sharing 7 random things about me.

1. I need a nap. This is always true regardless of the day or time. I swear that song could be my theme.

2. I have the worst time finding sneakers that fit because I'm an odd shoe size (I fall between kids and adults). I've been searching for new sneakers for a year now with no luck.

3. I'm addicted to chapstick. I must have it with me at all times.

4. I carry a ring-sizer in my car. Don't ask me why. I have no idea, but it has proven to be very useful.

5. I carry the most random collection of stuff in my bag. Part of that is because I have twins. You just have to carry more when your kids come in pairs. Another part of it is that I like to be prepared. At conferences, we sometimes play those "Get to know you" games and whenever we have the one where they ask if you have things on you to help in certain situations, I always win--always.

6. I'm the youngest of 7, although only 5 of us are alive today. I'm only close to 2 of my siblings and this may sound very strange, but 1 of those is not alive and has not been for my entire life-time.

7. I cannot look at bees. Even in high school, when we had a picture of one in our Bio book, I had to cover it when we opened to that page in class. I cannot look at bees at all. They freak me the hell out. Our local zoo is putting a bee hive in for display. I'm dreading that like crazy. Every time we go, when I see there's still a "coming soon" sign in that display, I breathe a sigh of relief.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

8 things to be thankful for

1. Friends

2. Good food

3. comfy beds

4. naps (theirs and mine)

5. coffee

6. paint

7. crafts

8. E-mail

How 'bout you? Anyone else care to play?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Personal torah: friends

Here's my personal torah for the week.

Isn't friendship odd?

There are those with whom you feel an instant connection. Whether you're 4 years old and it's another little child at the park who just happens to be near you on the swing set or you're a new mom trying desperately to figure things out and you find a mom on a message board with whom you click instantly. Maybe it's a person who, upon first meeting them, you stay up all night discussing nothing and everything all at once. Sometimes, you may notice them instantly, but maybe it takes some time (or a seemingly random event) before he/she recognizes him/herself in you.

There are also those that you may not like initially. Your mother will never forget how, when you were a freshman in high school, you ranted about that girl who played all those sports and was the first ever freshman editor of the school paper and then you wound up best friends with her the next year. There's the guy you hated working with or sitting beside in your Bio lecture who wound up being one of the greatest friends you ever had.

Sometimes, people enter (or re-enter) our lives seemingly by chance. I don't believe in coincidences for the most part. I believe they're miracles we just haven't recognized. Maybe it was through a string of bizarre events that you found an old friend. It wasn't until an acquaintance graduated high school that I realized she had been my best friend in pre-school, several schools and towns ago. Only after dh and I started dating did we realize that my friends and I had struck up a conversation with him months earlier. While we both remembered the conversation, neither one of us realized it had been the other.

One of my best friends in high school was someone I met at a summer program. She helped keep me sane and helped keep me alive. She was exactly what I needed at a rough time in my life. When the pamphlet came for that summer program, I threw it away. It was too expensive and it was a topic that didn't really interest me. My mother found it in the garbage and took it out (VERY uncharacteristic for my neat-freak mother). She insisted I go. Sitting in the huge conference room the first night of the program, I noticed this blond girl in my group instantly, but I didn't think I liked her and she didn't seem to even see me. A few days later, the girls in the room next to me made far too much noise while my roommates and I were getting ready for bed. I banged on their wall. This started a game between us where we banged back and forth. I gave up feeling annoyed and just had a good time. The next day, I laughed with a friend about the banging incident and from a table near us, the blond girl leaned over and yelled, "That was YOU?" By the time the week was over, we were good friends. In the months that followed, we sent at least one letter daily and became the best of friends. Eventually, she slipped away, but we're still in touch. I know that if need be, she'll wander back into my life.

And in today's world, we have friendships via e-mail, blogs and networking sites. Some of these are friends you may have known in the real world ages ago, but distance has taken them away. Thanks to the wonder of e-mail, you can keep in touch. Many of these are people you have never met. Yet when you need to vent or share a funny story, they'll listen (read, actually). You also find yourself wrapped up in the lives of people you have never met. I can't tell you how many people I've prayed for or worried about and sent gifts for who I knew only through message boards. While I don't frequent message boards anymore, blogs have filled in that void. The internet is a harsh mistress because it tends to breed drama more so than anywhere else, but that can be dealt with among true friends (and can help weed out those who don't fit that title).

The nature of friendship is so odd. I can't fully analyze it, but I can be thankful for it in all its forms (except the aforementioned drama. I could do without that).

"And when somebody knows you well
Well, there’s no comfort like that
And when somebody needs you
Well, there’s no drug like that" Heather Nova (London Rain)

Monday, April 07, 2008

Come out. Come out wherever you are.

I am miserable. I got something stuck in my eye and it's still there. It burns like crazy. There has been a virtual deluge from my eye, but it's completely in vain (unless the goal was to soak the collar of my shirt). Whatever has wedged itself in my eye is hanging in there.

Nothing is working to get it out. This sucks. If you have any tips at all on how to get this thing out, please let me know.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The tooth fairy is back for a repeat performance

Girl2 is now tied with her sister. They have both lost 4 teeth. Just yesterday, Girl2 lost one and then another today. So we're keeping the Tooth Fairy on her toes.

Yesterday, she left a silver dollar. Tonight, she left a dollar bill morphed into a heart through the glory of origami. Rumor has it that she learned her awe-inspiring dollar-folding skills here:

Money Origami (Heart) Very Easy - The best home videos are here

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thursday Thirteen: Random Things About Me

I'm not at all creative. As usual, Thursday snuck up on me yet again. I have nothing planned, but rather than go silent again, I'll just do 13 random things about me.

Thirteen Random Things About Me

1….I am currently wearing shorts.

2....I twirl my hair. It's kind of scary. I often find myself doing it when I didn't realize I was. Once, I saw my hand as it moved up towards my hair to twirl it. It freaked me out because I saw it moving, but I wasn't consciously doing it. When I was 13, my sister used to laugh at me and insist, "Playing with your hair is a sign of sexual dissatisfaction." I never was able to find any confirmation on that.

3.....I have a collection of funky socks that I wear often.

4....Everyone feels compelled to buy me Chanukah socks. I have about 8 pairs.

5.....I love thunderstorms. There was a time when we lived on the bay and we could watch the storm clouds come across the ocean. We loved it.

6.....Based on my astrological sign, A Cancer or Scorpio should be my perfect match.

7.....My husband is an Aries which is not supposed to work at all.

8....My absolute worst match is a Virgo. My mother is a Virgo. That explains so very much.

9....My mother recently sent me a great big box o'WTF (she likes to throw as many random things as possible into a box and then spend at least $20 to send it to me) which included a set of salt and pepper shakers shaped like a trout (one is the head and the other is the tail). Dh and I HATE them.

10....I am very much not an outdoors person (I love the outdoors, but I hate camping and things of that sort), so we have no clue why she sent them to us and we really wish she hadn't.

11....They have recently put in a bunch of those huge red metal donation dumpsters around town and I couldn't be happier. We've already made several visits to them to deposit donations and we will be doing that again soon (see #9).

12....Up until I was 10 (and was teased mercilessly), I said "Pellow" instead of "Pillow."

13....Whenever I do these "Random things about me" type entries, I always ask dh for help and despite the fact that he's known me for more than a decade, he very rarely offers any suggestions at all.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Screw the yellow brick road.
Follow the candles.

This post has really helped me put Pesach (Passover) into perspective. I always dread all the work. It's far more work than anyone who isn't observant will ever realize. And once you've completed all your cleaning, then you have to go a week eatting nothing that isn't specifically Kosher for Pesach (and in my little corner of the world, that's not much).

In that post, though, she really made me change my focus. This year, I'll try my damnest to see it not as a chore, but as a connection to other Jews around the world and throughout history.

Her post has inspired my personal torah for this week. I've written about this before, but I'll do it yet again.

Candles brought me to more traditional Judaism. There are those who don't light Shabbat candles. There are those who light them only out of a sense of obligation or habit. And then there are those who light Shabbas candles because in that moment, they find magic and connection to something far deeper--to G-d, to their fellow man and to their history.

After only knowing the first two, I was blessed by the third type of person when I was about 20. I didn't yet have kids, but watching that, I thought of Bubbe in Germany. I remembered her stories of having to build a sukkah inside near a window one year because it wasn't safe to build one out in the open. I thought about how she nearly died because of Judaism and how she struggled in a new land, all the while maintaining her identity as a Jew. Her children were raised as Jews (albeit with a very different level of observance--Bubbe was raised Orthodox, but once her parents passed away, she joined a Reform shul). At that point, all her grandchildren had intermarried. So with our generation, Judaism would end for the family.

Any children we had would never know Shabbat. They would never light candles as their great grandmother did. They had every right to it, yet we didn't welcome Shabbat with candles (we didn't even acknowledge it), so they wouldn't either.

I did quite a bit of soul searching and from there, became more and more observant.

Our children are being raised to embrace Judaism, but so too am I. I made changes inspired by children not yet born, but in the end, it has made all the difference for me as well.