Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble Gobble!

Just wanted to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!

Ours was perfect - lazy family morning followed by realization that we lolled around for too long and then needed to rush to get everything done and get out the door, wonderful family dinner complete with enough food for at least 2 more Thanksgivings, and so many other things to be thankful.

I am thankful for family, friends, the food I had to eat today (as I sit here complaining about how full and uncomfortable my tummy is, I am painfully aware of those who do not share the same feeling as me right now).

Most of all, I am thankful to have an amazing little girl who I have watched grow more and more with each Thanksgiving we've celebrated since her arrival.

MH, just 4 Turkey Days ago, you were still cooking away in my belly, and here you are ready to turn 4 in a couple of months.

I find myself amazed at you year after year (well, really day after day) - especially when the holidays hit.

Daddy and I hope you will always know just how special you are to us and just how much our love grows with every day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blogging Mommas Gone Wild

Well. I can only imagine the hits this post might get.

And although there are parts of the title that are true (we are moms, we do blog, and there was animal print), I really just couldn't resist using it.

The boring title would be: RI/MA Bloggers Get Together For Girls' Night Out.

A fabulous Girls' Night Out.

That happened last Tuesday.

And that I am just now finally getting around to posting about.

We met at The Melting Pot for some delicious food, yummy cocktails, and excellent conversation.

I found our choice of meeting place rather apropos - isn't that what this great big blogopshere is?
A great big melting pot full of people whose lives we get to share in, whose differences and similarities from our own keeps reeling us in and leaving us dying to read more? A place where we find things in common and ties that bind us in a world where we'd otherwise be unlikely to ever cross paths? That's how I like to think of it.

And how it came to be that my friend Liza had the great idea for a bunch of us from this area to get together and take the plunge into the IRL meeting. I had a wonderful time!

There were eight of us (and some who couldn't' make it this time, but I really hope will be able to do the next round!):

(clockwise: Lisa, Beth, Felicia, Liz, Kameron, Liza, me, Andie)

Andie and I (who have many IRL things in common including our very dear friend Marni, who was missed! Although we've chatted plenty via email, I was so excited to finally meet her!)

Beth, with whom I've also traded many emails and came all the way from MA!

Felicia and Liz, who were already friends, but new friends to me

There was delicious food:

We tried three cheese fondues - all of which were scrumptious!

They even gave some of us pink-handled skewers!

Dessert was too amazing to describe. Again three kinds of chocolate fondue with all kinds of treats to drown dip in them

There were drinks!

My cup runneth over . . . the Pomegranate Cosmos were yummy!

And champagne for toasting . . .
And our server, Keith, who was a great sport - he could barely get a word in edgewise (imagine that!)
I had such a wonderful time with such a diverse group of women. Some blogs I was already avidly following, and now I've got some new addictions. It was so much fun to put real faces to names (and pictures), and to see if peoples' real-life personalities matched that which comes across in their writing. And it was amazing to sit down with a group of women I felt I'd known forever, and who share my love of blogging and understand it in a way that not everyone else does. There was laughter, incessant chatter, and it was just a great time.
I can't wait to do it again!
And did I mention, the food rocked too?

Friday, November 21, 2008


Lately, MH has been a bit on the bossy side and occasionally forgets her manners. I'm not complaining, it could be far worse, but I am a stickler for please and thank you.

In the morning, we have a little routine that consists of her drinking chocolate milk munching a few animal crackers in my bed (I know, many of you out there are cringing at the idea of the crumbs in bed, but I assure you, it's well worth the mellow start to our day).

The routine is at its best when Daddy is still home and I don't have to do much more than try to find Dora in the DVR queue sans glasses, and then cuddle up.

But I digress.

This morning, after a rough night of sleep for all of us, MH came in all sleepy and sweet.

We snuggled quietly for a few, then she asked for Dora.

And a few minutes later "Can I have chocolate milk and animal crackers?".

Followed by: "No animal crackers, just chocolate milk".

Followed by: "Sweetie, I think we forgot a word - let's try again the right way, k?"

Followed be: "Mommy, can I please have no animal crackers and chocolate milk please?"

In the cutest little morning voice ever.

No animal crackers and chocolate milk she received!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's good to be a girl . . .

But even better to have a little one you can use to exploit all the fabulous fashions you'd like to wear if they made them in your size!

I may be sad that the freezing cold weather seems to be here to stay, but super excited to break out one of the fabulous togs we purchased at the Corky sale in October.

To my amazement, she was ecstatic to wear a hat. I'm sure that will change by tomorrow.

Or the time I pick her up this afternoon.

Therefore, as the picture-taking maniac I am, I had to capture the moment in case it's a fleeting one . . .

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Sunday Well Spent

Today was action packed from the start.

It was filled with family contentment, happiness, and inspiration.

PJ Library is a program we participate in where every month in the mail, we receive a Jewish book or CD relevant to both a current holiday and MH's age. It's completely free for the first 2 years of enrollment, and just $18 each year after that up until age 6. It is fantastic!

We love receiving our special book every month - PJ Library books are full of learning, and it makes me so excited to see MH specifically pick a PJ book at bedtime (even when they are completely "off season" - she definitely has her faves!).

In addition to receiving these fantastic books (did I mention that they're FREE???), there are PJ Library events all year long.

This morning, MH eagerly picked out a pair of new jammies to wear to Temple for one of these programs to participate in a couple of hours filled with Jewish learning, a wonderful craft, music, and meeting new friends. Watching her take pride in her religion and see how much she'll enjoy attending Sunday school in a couple of years was heartwarming and made me full of pride.

After the program ended, DH, MH and I shared a fabulous brunch at one of our favorite spots. Again, I felt a huge amount of pride as MH practiced writing letters (her favorite today was H) while we waited for our food to arrive. This letter-writing thing is new . . . a couple of weeks ago, she was playing at her easel when she exclaimed "Look Mommy! I made an A!" And she had. She has continued to write more and more letters since then, completely on her own. It's so exciting!

Next up, a visit to see Grandma G at her rehabilitation facility.

That's right! This morning, MIL was transferred out of the hospital and into a wonderful facility where she will receive extensive physical therapy and literally learn to get back on her feet.

Over the past few days, I have become an advocate for MIL, working hard to make sure she would be in a facility that would make her happy and want to work hard at getting better. I am blessed to have some wonderful resources who helped me achieve my goal.

For the first time in about 10 years, I saw a happiness in MIL's face that I have never experienced.

She walked, further than I have seen in ages.

She smiled, saying I'm the best daughter-in-law she could ever ask for.

She beamed, as MH quickly became the littlest ambassador at the facility, introducing herself to everyone she met, endearing herself to the nurses and other staff (we were immediately shown where cookies and juice could be located for her enjoyment any time we visit!), and cheering on Grandma G with every step she took.

I was happy (which might be a slight understatement).

And proud of how hard I fought to make sure MIL will be getting the best care possible in the best environment possible, regardless of what others in the family thought.

After a wonderful visit, it was off to the Jewish Federation of RI (JFRI), the largest Jewish fundraising organization in the state.

The money raised by JFRI helps on a local, national, and global level (one of the local levels being helping to fund the fabulous aforementioned PJ Library).

I've become involved in several committees of JFRI over the past few years, mainly so I could understand more about why it is that they want and need money so badly.

I've learned that the things they do are amazing.

I've learned that they don't just "want" my money. That a small donation can help feed people in another country for a month. Or provide medication for someone who would otherwise go without.

Today was "Super Sunday", a day when people volunteer their time making phone calls to solicit and secure donations.

And, while I'm normally content to send in my donation every year, wishing it could be more, this year I decided to commit myself and my husband (with a little added incentive since my best friend and her husband were chairing the event) on a much larger scale.

I was briefly trained in how to solicit someone over the phone, something I must honestly say I was not all that comfortable with.

However, I quickly took on the attitude that this was not personal. I was not asking someone to give money to me. I was asking for money to help people in need - something that at this particular point in time is far bigger, and far more important than my worries that someone would hang up on me, or worse yell at me for interrupting their dinner.

With the first calls I made, I was fairly close to hyperventilating. I got some interesting excuses. I even got the daughter of a previous donor who told me that the said donor was no longer alive (not the best call of the evening for me!).

I also started to gain a bit of comfort. And confidence.

And as soon as I secured my first donation, I was absolutely positive that it would be no problem to keep going.

I spent three hours on the phone, soliciting people I did not know, and earnestly thanking them from the bottom of my heart for whatever it was they could give.

The experience was fantastic, and I would do it again without hesitation.

I have no idea how much money I raised in total, but that part really doesn't matter to me.

What matters is that we were doing a mitzvah.

For three hours (which passed so quickly), I was a part of something far bigger than me, and something that I can speak of with great pride.

All in all, I'd say it was a Sunday well spent.

My heart is full, and for the first time in weeks, I feel at peace.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


As I was posting my WW post a few minutes ago (and it's not so wordless!), it occurred to me for the umpteenth time in the past few days that I have not blogged in a while.

One week to be exact.

Last Thursday our world was turned upside down as my MIL, who had been in the hospital since Sunday, had a major change in her health status.

She went in with an inexpicable rash and such fatigue that she had fallen down and hit her head, to ending up with almost no pulse, and only being able to take about 4 breaths per minute on her own.

Needless to say, the days since have rushed by in a whirlwind - sometimes the minutes seeming to last forever, and other times everything moving so quickly it feels like a big blur.

I have thought about blogging as it is so therapeutic for me.

I have many scattered thoughts in my brain.

When I'm driving, I have bursts of ideas of what I am going to write about.

I have an amazing memory (scary, actually), yet somehow by the time I get to my computer, I remember nothing.

I suppose this is completely normal.

Trying to manage being there at the hospital, being here at home, keeping life as stable as possible for my precious daughter, it is hard.

But, it is life. It's the life I signed up for when I married my husband, and I wouldn't do things any other way.

Sadly, test upon test does not seem to give us answers as to what actually caused all of this. As I said, my MIL is a very unhealthy woman. She has many things already against her, but she also has many things going for her.

So, given her stable status over the last few days, we remain cautiously optimistic that she will bounce back from this soon.

She is only 75 years old, which in this day and age is young.

But she is old.

The last 10 years of her life have been filled with surgeries, a heart attack, and being fairly bed-ridden.

Sadly, she is a glass half-empty kind of person, and has not done much to help herself get better.

I hope that with the help of her family, she'll be able to see that there is so much left to live for, and that we're all here to help her in any way we can.

But, she needs to accept that help, and also do the work she needs to put in.

I pray that soon we'll hear the news that she's being transferred to a regular medical floor.

And then I pray we can get through to her and make her see how much life is worth living instead of giving up, as I fear she's already done.

She is far too young to spend the rest of her life in bed, accepting things without fighting to regain at least some of the life she still has left in her.

MH up at bat!

We had a great playdate a couple of weeks ago with our friend R - a little boy who knows more about baseball and football at the tender age of 3 than I will know in my entire lifetime.

Since we were at his house, he introduced MH to the thing he loves to do most (kudos to his mommy, my friend A who is 6 months pregnant and is out there for a good portion of most non-rainy days pitching to him and retrieving the ball from his amazing hits!)

Here's proof that my girl will be sticking in dance class for a while longer . . .

Not really understanding "eyes on the ball" . . .

Please notice the slight shift in hip, bend in knee, and assumed "model" pose!
And here's what we don't do with the bat!
Trying out as catcher - unfortunately, she didn't move from that position!
And then we found something we enjoy a bit more . . .

We love to collect beautiful leaves, and on this day, MH made a lovely leaf bouquet

For now, we'll stick to being beautiful (or byu-dee-full as MH puts it)

We will take you any way - you are just perfect to us!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

WW - Sleeping Beauty