Saturday, February 28, 2009

My son always keeps me laughing.

Today, the big kids and I had a discussion about something or other. Girl1 asked if something was possible. I said, "I guess it is in theory." The kids then asked me to define, "In theory," and I did.

TheBoy, however, piped up with, "We live in this state (insert name of state which is particularly funny when said by a 3-year-old). We don't live in theory. We live here in this state."

Later in the day, he came to me with a broken finger nail along with the nail clippers and he asked me to take care of it. When asked, "How did you break it," he replied, "In half."

Oh, I do so love my kids.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I get by with a little help from my friends.

Purim is quickly approaching. This year, it has really taken me by surprise. I have no idea what the kids can dress up as for Purim and I'm desperately in need of costume ideas. I love making costumes, but with the baby on the way, I don't know if I can do much right now.

So I'm particularly thrilled to see this post from A Mother In Israel.

If you have any costume ideas at all (even if you don't, but you need some), head over there and either share the love or be inspired by the comments. And look around whlie you're there because she has some fabulous information on her blog on a wide range of things.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What's funnier that a mute monk choir as provided by a Jew?

Answer: not much.

This cracked me up. I hope it does the same for you. We can all use some laughter right about now.

And the mess gets messier

This has been at the head of a very bad mood of mine recently. After carefully planning and being responsible all these years, we're in trouble.

Dh just found out that his company has lost the client who supplies 90% of his work. He's ALREADY down to 1/3 his usual pay.

Just figuring our mortgage and basic grocery bills, his current pay doesn't cut it.

Add to the fact that dh's knees are really bothering him lately (military injury, but they won't cover the cost of any care), but he won't see a doctor in large part because of the cost. And add to that the fact that we have three children, soon to be 4. We have a baby on the way very very soon. What happens if this birth doesn't work out and I wind up in the hospital with another c-section? We have insurance, but we won't be able to cover our portion.

Dh has already been looking for a new job, but with no luck. I've been searching around the house trying to find any newer items we can return and instead use the refund for groceries or more necessary items. I'm planning on selling my kids' toys out from under them because we need the money. But that won't be enough.

Does he go back to Active duty and this time, I stand there with FOUR crying children as the military sends him off for yet another deployment? Do we raise yet another baby who thinks "Daddy," is a telephone? Will they even take him back with the injuries they caused, but refused to acknowledge at the time (they "lost" his medical paperwork documenting the cause of the injuries)? Can he stand to go back to that way of life? Is Active duty even an option?

What do we do? What can we do? Now what?

Monday, February 23, 2009

When choosing your porn name...

please, for the love of all that is holy, do NOT go with a last name from a Sesame Street character.

Apparently, there is a playmate with the last name Grover. You learn something new every day. Unfortunately, sometimes you learn these new things via Google images when your children are in the room with you.

Odd coincidence or blood relative?

Have you ever met someone who reminded you so much of someone else? In high school, I met a guidance counselor who my mother swore bore an incredible resemblance to my grandfather. My mother once worked with a woman who looked so very much like my aunt (OBM) that my mother was speechless. I once met a girl my age who also reminded me very much of that aunt and even had the same rather unusual name. I had a dear friend who was often mistaken for a girl named Jade. We never did meet Jade, but on several occasions, we had strangers strike up a conversation assuming she was that girl.

I had one such experience this weekend. I met an artist who is very similar to one of my sisters. She looks similar. Her tone of voice was often very similar. Even her attitude was very much like this sister. She's even the same age.

The thing that makes this so striking for me is that my sister is adopted. We know her birth family (she was raised by her mother and my father adopted her when she was very small), but her birth father died years ago. We know he was an "interesting" man. He was wild and a convict (not even an EX-con. He was on the run from legal authorities when he dated my sister's mother). My sister met him later in life and had a hint of a relationship with him, but I never met him. I have no idea if this woman could be related to her.

It's such an odd position to be in. The resemblance could be purely coincidental. Then again, since my sister was adopted, this woman could be a relative. It's so bizarre to look at someone you've just met and think, "You could be related to my sister."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Monsters peeing on cheese

Tonight, before bed, my son confessed to my husband that he had a nightmare about a monster peeing on cheese.

I have no clue how to interpret that other than the fact that it's pretty damn funny!

The modesty of painted bellies

Maybe if I wore long skirts and wigs, this wouldn't be a problem. Maybe then my views on modesty would be a bit more obvious.

I am a Jew. I am a traditional Jew. I do not follow Orthodox customs of dress (long skirts and sleeves) nor do I, a married woman, cover my hair. I do, however, believe in Tzniut--modesty. My daughters do not wear bikinis. They will not wear anything that leaves their belly button beared. Generally, the most skin I show are the elbows down to hands. Some O's would have a problem with that, but I don't. It's how I feel comfortable, yet honor the concept of Tzniut.

If I wear a top that's too low cut, I hold it up with safety pins. Yes, I do carry a selection of pins in my bag just for that cause. Now that I'm at that hugely pregnant stage, I often lift my shirt up at home so that I can watch a foot poke out here to the left or see a bum roll when he/she launches off from my ribs. There, with only my immediate family, you will see my stomach in its stretch-mark glory. Well, YOU won't see it because of the rules of Tznuit. My husband and children will, but no one outside our immediate home. When my brother came to visit, I never once bared my belly. When my parents were here, I had no urge to show them. When it comes to friends, I am the same way. My belly is reserved for me, my husband and my immediately family. I am not comfortable with having it on display in any way shape or form nor do I think it's appropriate.

I have a (goy) friend who had henna tatoo done on her stomach during her last pregnancy. It was lovely--just gorgeous and it fit her personality wonderfully. It was not, however, me. It's my understanding that she plans on having that artist do my pregnant belly. I desperately want to avoid that. I very much do not want that to happen. If I say that, though, I risk hurting her feelings (I hear she's been planning this thing for a while). If I go along with it, I will be annoyed with myself. How can I ask Hashem for protection in labor when I just so blatantly ignored not only His laws of Tznuit, but also my own conscience which He gave me?

I'm at a loss and I only have a few hours to figure it out.

EDIT: I called my friend and explained my feelings to her. She suggested we do the art on my hands which is what we did. I was MUCH more comfortable with that and she was thrilled that she got to do it for me.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I started to accept the mess I'm in. I know that mess spelled backwards is 'ssem' and I felt much better armed with that information." Tori Amos

I'm recycling that post title from one 3 years ago. It's fitting.

I've been reluctant to blog about this. I've been reluctant to speak about this. I've only told two friends and just within the past week. The economy is kicking our butt in ways I never imagined and it's scary.

We have always been very responsible when it comes to money. We have a money market account into which we file away a percentage of our income every month. While we do give ourselves some leeway, we don't spend money frivolously. We discuss all big purchases and anything over $30 is a big purchase. I ALWAYS look for a deal on kids' items and we buy consignment when at all possible. We have health insurance because not having any is not an option. If there's a medical emergency, we will not be solely responsible for insane bills. Remember, my daughters' birth and NICU stay was over $200,000 which was completely covered by Tricare. Each time, before we started trying to conceive, I insisted we have a certain amount of money saved--enough to tide us over should we need it.

Well, thanks to the state of the economy and a bit of a catastrophe we dealt with a while ago (about which I didn't feel compelled to blog), we're hurting financially and it kills me. Dh's income has suddenly dropped to 1/3 of what it was. I realized the other day that we now qualify for food stamps. How in the hell does that happen? How does that happen to us?

Our money market account is almost gone. Every month, I've had to transfer money to our checking to pay our bills. And our bills are NOT extravagant. We no longer have cable. We get our books and DVDs from the library. The only things I've bought for this baby have been from the clearance racks and even then, not much at all. I haven't bought anything for the bigger kids at all with the exception of shoes they needed all of which were on clearance. We're not eating out at all.

We have a baby due in a matter of weeks. I'm more than a little scared now. We were financially safe when we started TTC and even through most of this pregnancy. Now, though, not so much and that worries me. I asked for stroller/bouncy seat recomendations, but when I saw a bouncy at a rummage sale for $8 the other day, I thought, "We can get by without it." Dh and I were considering looking at strollers at a consignment sale in 2 weeks, but now I don't think we'll get one at all. We can't afford it.

This is killing me. We've always been responsible with our money. The only designer clothing our kids have ever worn came from garage sales or were hand-me-downs. We are not the types who take trips to exotic locations. Hell, our only family vacations, with one exception for which my parents' paid, have been to visit family (and even that aforementioned parent-funded Disney trip while dh was deployed was actually to visit cousins we hadn't seen in years). Yes we have what I consider luxuries, but we have the bare minimum (cell phones, but no internet access, fancy phones, or text plan).

Anything that costs money has to wait. We've had to put off major and minor repairs because we don't want to spend the money. When the kids were sick a few weeks ago, I didn't take them to the doctor because I knew they'd all be charged the $150 fee each for first-time visits in addition to any prescriptions we'd need. Yes, our insurance helps, but not enough. And yes, if the illness had gotten worse, I would have taken them in, but just the thought of having to balance my kids' well-being with what we can/can't afford killed me.

This lack of money is breaking my heart. My mother had some serious health issues lately. All I wanted to do was jump on a plane to help her, but we can't afford it. My FIL's cancer is back and he's nearly halfway through with his radition. I know a visit from the kids would lift his spirits, but we can't do it. Bubbe is getting worse. When she passes away, we cannot afford to go to her funeral.

Our whole lives are now on hold because we don't know what to do. We don't know what we can afford to do. We were supposed to move closer to family after the baby is born (remember, the military left us in a state where we have no family), but we don't know if the house will sell given the current market and the downpayment we had saved for another house is gone. We had to use it to pay for gas and food.

Luckily, we're getting some money back from taxes. Dh's work load has picked up quite a bit in the past week. We know we have more money headed our way. That has me sighing with relief (at the rate we're going, our money market account would have only lasted us another 3 months before it's gone). Still, I'm terrified. I don't know what to expect. We're trying to be proactive, but this all came on so suddenly. What do we do? What can we afford to do?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sharing a link: The Day After He Left for Iraq

I had to share this link. The Day After He Left for Iraq

I particularly like this line:
"There is no graceful, easy, painless, romantic way to send your husband off to war. The emptiness left behind the fading sound of his boots is deafening."

The very last portion reminds me quite a bit of the portion of Hello Jupiter that I quoted here.

I really like this as well:
"With my belly swollen, again, I stood in a parking lot, holding our second newborn and searching for a way to say goodbye. Again. This time, Iraq beckoned. I had no way of knowing what would become of us. Of him. Of our marriage. I only knew one simplified version of our life, our struggle: I loved him."

Great read. I want to add the book to my wishlist.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Kids say the darnest things: Questioning Existence

After my shower, TheBoy came over to kiss the baby (aka my stomach). It was very cute. Then he noticed I was topless and asked, "Is da baby in your nipple?" I assured him that the baby was not, but I pointed out that the baby would nurse from my nipple. He added, "When da baby is born."

This conversation followed:

Me: Yes. You nursed when you were a baby and your sisters did when they were babies. This baby will too.
TheBoy: I not born anymore.
Me: Yes you are. Once you're born, you can't go back.
TheBoy: I not a baby anymore.
Me: No, you're a big kid.
TheBoy(proudly): I'm a big kid.
Me: Yep.
TheBoy: I don't exist?

At this point, I asked him three times to repeat himself to make sure I heard him correctly. I had. I assured him that he does, in fact, exist.

Again, this child is 3. What in the hell am I going to do with him in 10 years?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kids Say: Light vs. White

This weekend, we took advantage of some gorgeous weather by taking the children to a park. It's near the water where there is a light house. The big kids remembered being there in the past when we walked to the light house and asked to do so again. TheBoy got very excited by this, but we couldn't figure why. Then he became his usual verbose self and it all made sense.

TheBoy (very excited): Light house? Yeah, go to white house. I want to go see white house. We can all go. Is Obama there? We can see Obama at the white house. I want to talk to him.

The child is 3.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Fear and Screaming in Parenting

A few days ago, my daughter got hurt.

A few days ago, my daughter got hurt and she screamed.

A few days ago, my daughter got hurt and she screamed IMMEDIATELY after I had just gone to the bathroom.

Never freaking fails!

Although, I have to tell you, that is one of the most sickening thing that can happen to you as a parent. You know a child is hurt, but you can't help. You can't do anything about it. You can't comfort them. You can't even get to them.

I flew out of the bathroom as fast as I could and found her right outside the door crying like crazy. She's the child we joke is built like a truck (she doesn't seem to feel pain as much as other kids), but she was screaming. I feared gushing blood, but luckily, didn't find that. She was bleeding and she had quite an injury, but we got through it (thanks to Bumps and Bruises tablets--these things are WONDERFUL, pain reliever, and a bucket of ice water for her to keep her hand in) and lots of hugs and kisses from her sister.

I was very impressed with Girl2. She was so motherly. She hugged her sister and whispered to her comfortingly. When Girl1 asked for her stuffed toy, Girl2 jumped up to go get it. When she couldn't find it, she brought back her own lovey and another favorite toy. Girl1 played gofer bringing toilet paper to Girl2 when she needed to blow her nose, running dirty tissues to the garbage and then repeating when asked (I eventually had her bring the bathroom garbage and a roll of toilet paper out with us to save the poor child from utter exhaustion).

All seems okay now, but those moments (and those screams) are absolutely horrifying and haunting.

Tu b'Shevat is here.

It's Tu b'Shevat again--the New Year of Trees. I, however, am lazy. Therefore, in honor of the day, I'll just direct you to my thoughts on the topic from last year.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Distract me, baby, one more time.

I need a distraction. I have got to get my mind off all the awful things that have happened lately.

I want to make something. Crafting keeps my hands and mind busy plus I have something to show for it in the end. So it's an all around pick-me-up.

Anyone have any ideas for crafts? I can't knit or crochet and my sewing must be done by hand, but if you've got ideas, I'm up for trying.

My current idea is to make t-shirts for the kids each with the number of their birth (1 for Girl1, 2 for Girl2 and 3 for TheBoy) then make a onesie with the number 4 for the newbie. I have the plain t-shirts (and a few onesies I've bought at consignment stores/garage sales) and a big box of different color permanent markers thanks to mom's recent office closing (since she was one of the last few employees, she was allowed to take what she wanted and she sent us a ton of office supplies. Anyone need star stickers? I don't know why they had 12 packs of them, but now we do). I also have drawers FULL of fabric paint. Painting clothing is favorite craft of mine.

I'll share the results.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Can't wrap my head about this and can't stop praying for them

I recently became acquainted with Cynthiaa over at Confessions of a Yummy Mummy. She was due on Valentine's Day. Just last night, we were chatting. She laughed when I was super excited about being due NEXT MONTH and she shared how excited she was to be due in just 2 weeks.

Today, I got news that her son has passed away.

Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha'olam, dayan ha-emet.

All I can do is pray for them at this time. They're in my thoughts, prayers and in my heart.