Thursday, May 16, 2013

My son is disgusting

"Mom! Dad!" S yells excitedly at us as we are waiting for the Costco employee to process all of our returns.
"What?" I reply wearily.
"Dylan found a piece of gum on the floor and is eating it!" she reports.
"DYLAN!" yells Josh, "Did you find a piece of gum and are you eating it?"
"No," he replies with the utmost gumption in his proclamation of innocence. He is chewing with his mouth open and clearly, he IS chewing gum.
"You didn't?" confirmed J.
"No," Dylan insists and assures his father of his innocence. All of this is happening in less than 5 seconds, but it feels like an eternity to me because I can almost feel the germs in my own mouth. I was really shocked by what I felt was a delay in the appropriate response. I started thinking that J was going to let this horrid act slide or that he was fooled by D's outrageous lying, but thankfully, he gave D a what-fo and told him how disgusting he thought it was. And of course, he made D spit out his found treasured booty.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Welcome back, Me, after a long blogging hiatus. The reason for starting up again is to "butter" (more about that later) my father in law all up.

You see, he'd rather read my blogs than interact with me. At least he had admitted to that in person in the past.

Anyhoo, because my mother has gone and moved in with my sister, I'm in need of intermittent childcare and occasional chauffeur. My father in law will be fitting this bill.

To get ready for his arrival, my husband and I are going into a nervous fit of frenzy making arrangements for his arrival. We are "afraid" that he could fly off the handle or get into a fit because something isn't just so or is just so, who knows? So we have major plans to clean the garage, basement and the room that he is staying in. And ultimately, maybe none of this would matter if he was in a good mood, but you never know. This way when he does have a fit, at least we can say, "Well, we tried."

This morning, my husband forgot to put the Smart Balance away so it was sitting on the countertop when I came downstairs and into the kitchen. I looked at the nutrition information, 90 mg of sodium per serving. I was satisfied, knowing that a tiny amount was going to add a lot of flavor. So I buttered up some toast for my kids. Then something on the package caught my eye, "Tastes like real butter". Now that set off some alarm bells in my head. It must be full of fake stuff and chemicals, I surmised, as it's trying to imitate something "real".

I scanned the ingredients and came up with diglycerides and a preservative or two. I wasn't sure what diglycerides are and it also reminded me of mono-diglycerides, which I see all the time in junky baked goods. So I did a little Google search. Basically that stuff is trans fat. It doesn't need to be labeled as such per the FDA (only triglycerides need to be called out as "trans fat"), since mono and diglycerides are classified as "emulsifiers". I don't know what kind of disgusting woo-ha this is but it allows manufacturers to use trans fat without labeling it. Another terrible thing is that a lot of mono and diglycerides are derived from animal sources. The redeeming factor in this area for Smart Balance is that it's made from "vegetable" diglycerides. But that only means that you are eating hydrogenated palm or other oils.

I hope that my in-laws stop using such a pernicious product. It will be very hard as they are both addicted (or maybe mostly my father in law). I don't have the guts to tell them to their face about this, so I will publish it on my blog.

And since this is the way my father in law prefers to interact with me, I'm hoping it will work.
So back to "buttering" him up - I hope that he will stop using Smart Balance and find this blog to be sufficiently satisfying. Best of all, it's real and is not trying to be something else.

Monday, October 1, 2012

School pictures

I can't make peace with the fact that I am compelled to purchase overpriced school portraits each year. I try to select the cheapest package possible, but it works out to about $30-40 each time. I do enjoy the portraits that my mom bought when I was in elementary school but that might be because so few of my childhood pictures exist. Or there's something about the expression/feeling that's somehow not captured anywhere else like a school portrait that really brings you back to the time it was taken. Even though I admit I like looking at the portraits of my children, I don't feel like I should be buying them.
That's because I can put myself in J's shoes...$35 compounded for 20 years....
(begin anguished wail) OH THE MONEY WAAAAAAASTED! (end of anguished wail)

Monday, September 17, 2012

S: Daddy, can you teach me how to make Challah, so I'll still be able to make it after you die?
D: Yes.
S: Will you die when my kids are grown?
D: Yes.
S: Daddy, please stop talking about dying ... it's scaring me.
D: OK.
Started kind of shallow ... but seemed to grow into recognition of something a little deeper.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New toy

I gave little D a new toy today. As I understand it, it's supposed to be some kind of a robot with different parts that fold into itself so that when all appendages are folded, it forms a ball. Then if you press a button or something, all the appendages come out and the form is quite different from a ball.

Little D was trying to get it to "come out" but couldn't figure it out. "Let big D try it," I told him. "She's good at...
"mysteries!" as she finished my sentence.

How does a starfish eat?

How does a starfish eat? A question I posed to D.
"They take out the stomach and then chew. When they're done chewing they put the stomach back in!" (In her signature booming voice).

The Amazing Human Body

We were looking at a medically inspired drawn picture of the human body and its various parts.
"What are those red grapes?!" D says in her loud booming voice. "Red blood cells," I answered.

"Look! That's my stomach," as she points to the small and large intestine. Then, she correctly identifies the heart. She is puzzled by the eye. I ask her to look carefully at the ear and she correctly identifies it as such.

Here are more amusing labels she made and what they are in actuality.

Pizza (plasma)
A piece of pie (cross section of the skin)
Big worm (spine)
Necklace (I'm not sure)
Blueberries (Gall stones?!)
Avocados (I don't know)

First day of school for the big D

She seemed happy when she got off the bus. But when I asked her how her day went, she frowned. I tried all sorts of questioning. Finally, a dismal proclamation, "There were none toys to play with" and then another equally depressing declaration, "I sat in my chair all day". Poor D. Kindergarten is an adjustment from preschool.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I still love him

I often physically and mentally struggle with my 21 month old son who doesn't always like getting buckled into his carseat. Usually I'm short on time and not in a good mood, so that helps to exacerbates the situation (especially for me). This morning was no different.

So, I'm in a rush and probably foul mood as I carry him into the car and try to place him gingerly into the carseat. His body goes stiff and he immediately wriggles out of the seat. D always has other ideas. Dammit I'm thinking. Car keys? I say desperately as I jangle them in his face. Sometimes this enticement works really well but this time, he ignores me. I offer him another trinket but again he ignores me.

His mind is wrapped around something else. Like a hungry raptor with determination and precision, he reaches down and across for a shrink wrapped goody that I made Dazee leave behind earlier today. With that treasure in hand, he is completely pacified and oblivious to me. Now, I have reflexes like a predator as I quickly take the opportunity to put him into the car seat and buckle him up.

Only seconds before, he had fought me out of the seat for dear life, but now he is too busy pawing his booty like a depraved animal. "OPENITANDRIPIT," he commands me in one quick breath. "Rip it!" he repeats like a mantra.

I was so shocked by his first statement - 5 words I counted. I couldn't believe my ears. A month or so ago, this boy-genius only knew two words - "No" and "mama" (not for me but a word he used indiscriminately for anything he wanted).

It is funny to me when D behaves aggressively because his voice is so soft, like a kitten.

Recently I've been trying to re-teach him to say Thank you in a voice that can be heard. He had been saying it but stopped all of a sudden. He replaced it with "You're welcomed." I guess that always followed when he said "Thank you" that he decided saying "Thank you" was totally unnecessary.

"Say thank you, D" I would ask. "You're welcomed," he'd say.

After I successfully got him to eliminate the extinction of "Thank you", I decided to conquer the other skill with him. Saying it in a loud, audible, big, voice like Dazee.

"Say THANK YOU LOUD" I coached him.
"Thank you LOUD", he'd say.
Later that day, I asked him again, "Say THANK YOU LOOUUUD!"
He replied, "LOOUUUUUD!!!!"

Poor D is always in the car with me because I shuttle his two sisters to so many activities during the week. What's a 21 month old to do except find trouble and amusement even if he's bound and shackled? So when S left for Hebrew school, she threw her book into the car. As I drive off, I hear a crinkling of paper noise. "Noooooo!" I shriek, as I realize while driving that my son is probably tearing the book to shreds. "It's S's new book! Please give it to me." Of course he doesn't. And being that my patience is low, I try to snatch it from him. But that never works. Somehow whenever I try to get into a physical struggle with D, I always lose. (It doesn't seem to be that way with J, but then again, I think he doesn't know about opening doors for women or stepping aside in the elevator to let them off first).

Of course, I need to find another distraction. Granola bar! I offer him one. I throw one to the back of the car and he is soooo happy. He throws S's book to the floor like a scorned piece of garbage. I do a modified yoga-like move to grab it off the floor and throw it in the front seat, away from his reach.

"Open it!" he commands me. I wait for a red light to peel off the top part of the wrapper for him. He breaks off the visible piece and holds it in his hand. "Open more!" he commands again. A true offspring of two hoarders, D will not eat something unless he has at least two pieces in hand.

I didn't want to give him more (because I'm guess I'm a hoarder too) but I go against my will and open up more of it. He's now holding two inch-and-a-half pieces in each hand.

I take away the rest of the bar, saving the still ensconced bar in its wrapper, maybe for myself. We could all use a sugar rush.

Well that must've set him off. He crumbled up his two big pieces into a million sticky pieces. He smeared some of it on himself, the car seat and dropped the rest with glee on the floor of the car.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

It's all in the tone and teaching your 4 year old about idiomatic expressions

Upon leaving a birthday party, I ended up speaking with a woman walking her dog about children's birthday parties. She then told me she had three grown children - something like 18, 23 and 25.

She looked so young, I couldn't believe it. "Get out of here!" I exclaimed. We chit chat a little bit longer. After we said our goodbyes, I rolled up my window and started driving away.

S tells me in a soft and serious voice, Mom, telling someone to get out of here is not nice.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

She automatically thought it was her sister

Picture this scene: S and D are standing next to each other on the ball field with their backs facing me. Another child, who was off the field, is running towards them. That child throws a ball and unfortunately it hits poor D from the back.
As soon as the ball strikes D, with the quick reflex of a predator in the jungle, or a sister who's been damned too many times, D makes a fist and hits S really hard. S starts crying and hits her sister back. This may have happened for a few rounds until someone broke them up.

The mom of the girl who had hit D with the ball starts apologizing profusely for being the cause of the hurt and the fight between the two girls, but I don't think it's necessary, plus I'm too busy laughing. I really wish I had it on tape.

For some reason it was really funny to me. The other parents probably thought I was mean to laugh and out of a dozen or so parents only I and this other guy (who admitted that it wouldn't be funny if it was his own children) found it funny.

Cheap date and cheap thrills

Tonight before S goes to bed, she told me it was the best day ever. Why? I asked.
She told me it was because she "got sparkly hearts and a candy can".

A candy can is a candy cane - For his own amusement, J does not correct them when they mispronounce words. Another one that he likes is when D says, "shop" for shot. Am I going to get a shop? she might ask.

Nice ending

I couldn't get the kids off the playground to go home today. After a few "five minute warnings", I started to get a little frustrated. It was already 6PM and they were still in the sandbox making "cookies". All the other families had already left. I felt like an irresponsible parent (although a level below the people who smoke pot with their kids), in allowing my preschool children to play so late.
S is focused on playing with a huge bucket, I tell her two scoops and then let's go. No, she bargains. More. I want to fill up the bucket and dump it out.
I agree to let her do it but I start scooping like a mad woman to help her fill it up. We filled it to the top and she dumps out the sand which makes a little mountain. She and D start to stomp in it. At this rate we'll never get home so I threaten to leave and start to walk away.
Finally, they leave the sandbox, we head out towards the gate....but they get sidetracked by the plentiful fallen white azaleas. Two flowers for each girl and then we go, I bark.
I unlock the gate and D runs out like a locked up criminal, heading straight into the parking lot. "FREEZE!" I yell at her. I'm so afraid she's going to get hit by a car. Let's hold hands, I suggest. S and D don't like this idea. I modify it a little and asked them to hold each other's hands while I hold one of them. For some unknown reason, this is agreeable to both of them. So we go on our way to the car. While we're walking, I'm nervously scanning for any moving vehicles.
When they are finally in the car, predictably, we had other "struggles" and mishaps.
Preempted by a four year old - First S takes off her shoes and dumps literally a liter of sand from her shoe into her car seat just as I said, Can you please give me your shoes so I can empty the sand outside the car?
A 3 yr old driver? Just what I need - D crawls into the front of the car and starts playing with the steering wheel. Seeing her there made me think of her as a teenager driving and that made me anxious. S interrupts my free floating anxious mind with a request, Can you get my ____ (I didn't quite catch what she said) for me? I bend down and strain to reach under the passenger seat to pluck out something that looks like garbage to me. It turns out to be a drawing she had made a time long ago.
As soon as it's in her hands, she starts with the complaining. It's not straight! she screams with consternation. She looks like she's going to cry. I have no idea what she's talking about. I finally figure it out and I tell her that we can get rid of the jagged edges by cutting it. Nooooo! Don't cut it! she whines fearfully as if I suggested cutting a body part. She goes back to being a broken record by repeatedly asking, Why isn't it straight? None of my explanations or solutions satisfied her. I pray that she forgets about it and move on but of course that won't happen. When she's focused on something, she can amazingly retain it with unrelenting zeal.
Meanwhile, D is still in the front seat, doing what she does best, trying to break things. This time it's the steering wheel. Because the car is parked, it's locked, but I'm confident that if I had given her enough time, she'd definitely unlock it, despite what the manufacturer may claim when a car is in the "Park" gear. I can see her saying to me, I broke it Mom, with the gleeful satisfaction after a job well done. My mind starts to drift into a daydream that we will get a nice new car if she breaks this one.
Back to reality, we have to go home! One of my children is in the driver's seat! So I bribed her to go into the car seat with some trinket.
Finally both kids are buckled in their car seats and we're headed home.
Unfortunately for me, I feel a bad mood coming on and just before it actually descends on me with full force, I get a break of light...D starts singing this ridiculous silly and funny song that made me laugh out loud.
She belted this out. It was funny, loud, obnoxious, flat and un-melodic:
DRIPPING DOWN MY ELBOW, DRIPPING DOWN MY ELBOW (I can actually picture this comically messy scene happening since she's such a slob with food).
SPIT OUT THE SEED, PFFFFFFFT, SPIT OUT THE SEED, PFFFFFFFT (as she bends her head to mime spitting).

Thursday, April 29, 2010

They grow up too fast

Earlier today, D told me that she had a boo boo.
Where? I asked
Right heah, she answered, lifting her head up showing me her chin.
Do you want me to kiss it? I asked.
No, that doesn't work, she replied matter of fact-ly.

My hair is definitely too cool for me

I recently got my hair highlighted and regret the results. Although I've received a lot of compliments, I feel that it looks trashy and like I'm trying to be 18.

In any event, today I was a little disoriented driving around White Plains. I was driving on the right street, but I wasn't sure if I was heading in the right direction. I nervously scan the sidewalk for pedestrians to ask for some directions. I see a very young and unsavory looking character, the type that I wouldn't normally ask for directions. I figure why not, it's a simple question that he'd probably know the answer to and it's not nice to prejudge who might know the answer to my question. He did know the answer and pointed me towards the right way. As I drove off, he yelled, YOU'RE HOT!!!

I feel so embarrassed. I could be this kid's mother. This is not the type of attention I want to generate.

Monday, April 26, 2010

This is why my cheap husband married me

Recently I vexed over the application for our temple membership. Mostly because I wasn't sure what to fill in for "Hebrew name" and the "Hebrew names" of my parents.
Finally, upon the advisement of my mother in law, I left it all blank.
Today I got a call from a temple official who inquired why I left it blank. Boy did I feel put on the spot. Then he went ahead and said, "Are you a Jewish person?" I practically felt like crying (for some reason). And I even considered lying. Anyway, very awkwardly and full of shame, I told him, Um no.
And he told me that I couldn't be a member of the temple, as per their constitution. He went on to console me about how Josh could be a member but not me but that didn't mean I wasn't welcomed to all events. Plus, we would even get mail in both our names, Mr and Mrs Josh Jupiter. I couldn't help it but feel a little left out of the club.
Finally he said that he would have to bill us at the single rate, not the family rate since only one of us (Josh) would be a member. The single rate happens to be a lot cheaper than the family rate.
After I got off the phone with him, I turned to my husband and asked him, Did you know about this? Is this why you married a shiksa? To save on your temple fees?

Keeping fingers crossed

Hope I'm not giving my daughter an eating complex. I promised her a pretzel that she waited patiently for. When I was ready to give it to her, she found a stray jelly bean on the countertop. She promptly popped it into her mouth and I told her I wasn't going to give her a pretzel since she was having the jelly bean.
She said, I can spit out the jelly bean, which she did.
Then she put it back into her mouth and started chewing again. Then she tried to pull out the green shreds.
Watching all this happening so quickly and her emotions made me so sad. I told her she could have both.
She didn't even believe it, "I can have both?" she repeated.
Yes, I told her. So she swallowed the shreds with glee and also got her pretzel.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


We had a nice family day at the Museum of Natural History today but as usual I have a number of gripes.

Mainly, everything is too expensive. I believe that a museum should be available for public enjoyment, this is not possible with the exorbitant entrance fees of the MNH. Also in the museum food court, there's a sign posted, "No outside food allowed". That made me think that food would be reasonably inexpensive, but actually it wasn't. It doesn't seem like a good society when it costs a family of 4 well over $100 to have a nice morning or afternoon at the museum.

Needless to say, we ignored that sign and ate our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in their food court. I even got into a tussle with some French people over seating. I was there first and wasn't going to let them take my seats. It also pissed me off that they probably thought the food was uber cheap. Sigh...I remember a vacation in Italy, before the conversion to the Euro, how wonderful it felt to feel as if everything was on discount. Fast forward a few years later, J and I take a few trips to European countries and we feel totally gypped by even the smallest of purchases. I refuse to go to Europe until the currency situation improves. Unfortunately for me, I've been waiting 4 years now.

Friday, April 23, 2010


"Look! She has an umbrella stick!" D says pointing to an elderly lady using a cane.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Date night: gluttony without guilt and boy are we cheap

I've been making a string of purchases recently that has left me feeling a little gluttonous and guilty.

However, last night, I was able to enjoy a lot of gluttony guilt-free.

A Fairway has opened in Westchester! Hurray!

Josh and I like to go to supermarkets together and work out the best deals so a new supermarket is like a date night.

Fairway did not disappoint. It was HUMONGOUS. They sold everything! Here are some happy acquisitions:

1. Unsalted, organic pistachios (I can't find these any where else) for $6 a lb.
2. 3 bagels for a dollar (my mom said they were sub-par and even the kids refused to eat them after toasting and a cream cheese lathering)
3. Lox for only $8 a lb!!!!!! (it was the "ends" pieces, they don't look so nice but they taste the same as their good looking counterparts).
4. Muir Glen Organic canned tomatoes for $1.20 a can.
5. Extra large eggs for $1.
6. Organic milk for $2.50 a half gallon. Conventional milk for $1.89 a gallon.
7. The nicest looking tilapia I've ever seen for $4 a lb.
8. Strawberries for $1.25 lb.
9. Green beans for $1 a lb

It goes on and on. One nice thing was that we didn't have to buy huge quantities of anything and there are no club cards or coupons to deal with. Then again, maybe my mother in law gets better deals, I wouldn't want to go head to head with her. I think sometimes they end up paying her to take stuff out of their stores.

Any way, as if this wasn't enough excitement, we also got $10 off $75 - It was a little nerve wracking trying to get to exactly $75, but we did it. $75.66 to be exact.

I don't remember the last time I was this excited with my husband. I can't wait to go back because we have another one of those $10 off $75 coupons.

My husband knows me

Josh left this cartoon on my desk for me:

I don't know if it's clear, but basically it's an old person on his deathbed saying, "I should have bought more crap." Hehehehehehee!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sounds like a criminal to me

"How does a police officer help you?" a school project that my daughter worked on.

She replied, "They don't help me because I don't have any problems."

Friday, April 2, 2010

Life is complicated

The other day S was yelling Ouch! from the back of the car.
What's the matter? I asked.
She replied, My finger hurts. I don't want to touch it but I always touch it.