Monday, April 29, 2013

happy birthday

We celebrated my brother-in-law's birthday in traditional Israeli fashion: Max Brenner!

Yes, those are shots of milk and white chocolate that my son is double-fisting. On top if the chocolate cake/banana split combo. And all of this is after the lunch at the ALL MEAT RESTAURANT net door. Next year, we'll celebrate with trips to the colon cleanser and the cholesterol doctor. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

cousin picnic

Today, in what must have been 112 degree heat, we met up with four out of nine of Max's maternal cousins. And their combined 18 children. Ranging in age from 2 to 20, they were amazingly polite, kind, and inclusive, and the kiddo had a hell of a time. He loved the older boys and their kipot (a special hat that practicing Jews wear to some degree) and had so much fun engaging with a large family--his family, but not in a way that he's ever experienced them before.

Every day, I find something to remind me that I'm not meant to have more than one child, and my reaction fluctuates between sadness, self pity, self loathing, anger, get the idea. My least favorite saying, but oh-so-usable in cases like this: it is what it is. Sigh.

As much as the kiddo brings to me in terms of challenge, fulfillment, pride, and amazement of my own abilities, I can't help but feel that we are missing something big. All at once, a baby, a sibling, a family member, a son or daughter...I don't know. But I definitely do know that cancer robbed me of the right to live a full and lengthy life and I no longer get to imagine things as the might be. Instead, I'm trying as hard as I can to do the best with what I have.

Kind of a different way of looking at life and parenting.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

lag b'omer

For everyone out there who thought all Jewish holidays were only about rejoicing and celebrating the things that god or Moses or some other biblical character did for the Jewish people, welcome to the world of Lag B'omer. No synagogue or prayers or 4 hour long dinners, you simply collect wood and brik-a-brak, set out your plastic chairs or beach towels and proceed to LIGHT SHIT ON FIRE.

The perfect holiday for kids and man-children everywhere, last night we experienced our first family Lag B'omer on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean, with the whole family, and roasted hot dogs and potatoes and marshmallows until the 5 year olds fell asleep, coated in charred sugar, nestled on Safta's lap.

It was so fun to experience a new Israeli tradition--after 13 years, it is sometimes hard to find something that reminds me how different from us Americans the land and people of Israel seemed before I joined an Israeli family. The wide-eyed awe and astonishment I felt during my first trip to Israel is a far cry from how I now approach a trip to Israel--which involves more eye-rolling than I'd like to admit. But tonight's festivities made me feel young again; for a few hours there, I was back in that place when I thought Israel was amazing and cosmopolitan and a great place to raise a family and not at all a humid, sweltering, dusty sprawl of annoying music and horrible fashion trends, before I had experienced the paralyzing fear of driving ANYWHERE in the country. I can usually overlook the horrible truth and embrace the seaside-y-ness, the amazing cheese and dozens of street cats, and tonight's bonfire reinvigorated my fondness for this place and it's corn-topped pizzas and myriad ice cream stands.

Friday, April 26, 2013


24 + hours and two barf bags later, we are safely on the ground. I will post more later when I am less jet lagged. OY.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Getting Ready 2

Well, we're definitely knee-deep in travel anxiety. From emotional eating to making mountains out of molehills in the health and wellness department, I'm exhibiting all of the classic signs of someone about to take a transcontinental flight with a five year old. At the same time, I'm super fucking excited to go on vacation! I've got some special little gifties for the kiddo on the airplane, and my very cool new office mate downloaded a bunch of movies to my Nexus 7 for me--such a nice and helpful thing to do! I guess I'm down getting ready.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Getting Ready

The kiddo and I are getting ready for our first lengthy trip in quite some time. We'll meet up with lots of friends and family, and I predict an amazing trip--both for the stuff that we're planning to do and see, and because we'll get to see lots of friends and go to the wedding of one very good friend in particular. This guy was one of the first of Max's friends that I met when I took my first trip to Israel in 2002, and he's always been a great guy to have in my life as an honorary Israeli. Mazal tov to him and his bride!

And now for your enjoyment, here is an old blog post from my December 2006 trip to Israel.

Lucky you!

Monday, April 22, 2013

screen time

I'm not sure why I've been forgetting to blog lately, but I'm guessing it's television related. I've been watching a lot of Power Puff Girls (kiddo) and Bob's Burgers (me). We've been minus a housemate since Friday, and I've noticed an uptick on the TV watching scale. Its not that we've been less active, but the dynamic is totally different between a 5-year old and a parent. I no longer out number him. And he knows it. And sometimes that means an extended cartoon marathon or cereal for dinner --them's the breaks.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Oh, deer

Tonight when we got home from the last string in a series of strings of outings, events and such, I took a chance. Instead of walking Turkey Sandwich and Fizzy up the stairs on their leashes, I let them bound out of the car and up the stairs freely, thinking to myself, they've been such good dogs lately, I can trust them.

Mom, I can already hear you snickering.

It's not that they weren't good dogs, because they were. But at the top of the stairs, they found a deer and they, well, acted like dogs. And the deer acted like a deer. It bounded (yes I'm using "bound" again. It fits.) down the side of the stairs with Fizzy hot on it's tail and Turkey coming in from the side. Fizzy stopped at the landing, and I, by the grace of god, was able to catch Turkey's collar as she barreled through the ivy.

Unfortunately, the story does not end here. Because as soon as the kiddo and I escorted the dogs into the house, Turkey slid right back out the door, ran down the stairs, and completely tore ass down the road after the deer. So I sighed a big sigh, put my stuff down and got ready to walk down my street for essentially no reason, in false hope that she would listen when I called her, even if she weren't halfway to Los Angeles by then. When Turkey gets out, she likes to make the most of it.

This time, she was back before I even got down the stairs, and trotted up to me proudly wagging her tail. I got lucky. And I doubt we'll be seeing any deer for a few days.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Put your clothes on and call me

NEWS FLASH: I bought tickets to a rock n' roll show. AND I INTEND TO GO.

Right around Max's birthday next month, The Presidents of the United States of America are playing in SF, so I went crazy and got us VIP tickets. That's right, we get to attend the sound check, meet AND greet the band, plus we get autographed CDs and laminated lanyards. The REAL DEAL.

I'm really actually very excited and listening to them nonstop on Spotify today. It's a little bit high school, it's a little bit college years--and 100% good times to be had. What could possibly go wrong?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A good day for the crick

The kiddo and I met some friends at the park after school and had our first splooshing day of the year--a true sign that winter is over. It's one of our favorite local things to do: we go down to the little creek that runs through the park and chuck rocks into it. When we hit the deep parts, it makes a great "sploosh" sound. It's very satisfying, and today was a great day for it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Honk if you're from Canada

Adorable little baby geese are out and about at the office! Hooray! So are the angry baby daddies!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tops Threez

My Current Top Three Jennys

1. 867-5309
2. Jenn-nay! (Forest Gump)
3. Jenny from the block--don't be fooled by the rocks that she's got.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mirror to your own soul

In the next room, Max and Samson are playing a goodnight game called ''neighbors.'' Created by the five-year-old, its a game where two neighbors discuss their days, what they've been up to, how the kids are, how work's going.

I have never been allowed to play.

From what I can tell, the kiddo just quit his job, and he's about to go on a 15 week trip to Israel. He has a new job at his neighbor's company, where they make soap cookies and kid-appropriate army books. His kids are finishing school tomorrow, and this will involve a great deal of cake.

I'm pretty sure that having a kid is the most terrible and wonderful thing that could ever happen to anybody. Anyone who's had a kid knows its really a crap shoot--no matter how much planning, preparation, praying or wishing one does, you still end up with a tiny version of yourself, one that regularly holds an emotionally jarring mirror up to your anxious face. At times, what you see in the mirror will fill your eyes with tears of pride. Other times, which is to say most times, it will scare the bejesus right out of you.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Alert the press!

My five-year-old son is TAKING A NAP. I am straight up shocked. This boy hasn't napped since he was 2. I am happily sitting in the car, parked outside of my folks' house while the kiddo drools on himself, head tilted back against the car seat. Nobody is complaining about my music choices. Nobody is claiming child abuse over my decision not to let them play games on my phone. The dogs are already inside the house, so the dog fart level inside the car is less of an issue than normal.

Shabbat shalom!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Day off

I've got the day off of work tomorrow, and IT'S ON. Lunch with one of my visiting besties, gift shopping for my new nephew and some special little kid birthdays--and the forecast calls for another clear, sunny 70+ day. I'm bringing some cameras along!

Uber Professional

I need to choose a photo for my "professional picture" at work. This is so the people I chat with on our "professional" network will know what I look like. All 2 of them. Who sit 5 feet from me.


No blog post yesterday, I was in very important meetings all day and all night with this lady:

A fuller, more robust blog post will magically appear on the screen tonight. For realsies!

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Happy Birthday!

As of this afternoon, the kiddo has a brand spankin' new cousin, and I've got a squishy little nephew on the other side of the country. I'm already counting the days (approximately 73) until I get to meet him. A new addition to my family gives me a special high--I can't stop thinking about how warm and soft he must be, how brave my brother and sister-in-law are to have him at home, and how lucky I am to have a whole new human I can send loving vibes to.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Scared myself a bit

I missed 2 days of blogging over the weekend. Yes, I was busy. And exhausted. And sleepy. There may have been a food coma involved. But I think it comes down to support I felt on the interwebs when I officially announced on Facebook, Twitter and G+ that I'm blogging again. I realized that some people might actually start ready this.


It's been three months now since I started blogging again. Almost every single day. Sometimes just a sentence or a link, sometimes some serious and internal stuff. I'm relearning how to use words that have been lost to me got 3 1/2 years. Even more so, I'm remembering who I am out here and how I express myself. What do I think and why? Does it even matter?

Friday, April 05, 2013

The waiting is the hardest part

My brother and his wife are expecting their second child any day now. There's nothing as awesome as a sweet little baby to cuddle and snuggle, to rock and sway, to pat their tush and then hand them back to their parents while you settle in for nice, long, uninterrupted sleep.


That being said, when I do get to meet the little devil, it will likely be in upstate New York at my mom's family's cabin, which is, shall we say, rustic. I'm pretty sure the wall are made of construction paper. So we all know this post will come back to haunt me about 7 times.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

I am the blog

I am very tired. And thusly, this blog has very little energy tonight. One might go so far as to say that it's not Extra Super Fantastic, but rather extra super fantastic. Or even, extra super fa.

It's been a long week, all post-vacation and what not. What not = a shaved kiddo head, among other things. Here's a song that fits this blog post and the way I feel to a tee.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013


How did you spend your day? Did you spend most of it agonizing over which was the best, safest, most effective way to rid your five-year-old of head lice? Me too!

We took the easy way out. No more combing, untangling, or screaming ("I've got a very sensitive scalp." he likes to remind me.). And we'll only have to buy shampoo like twice before he graduates high school.

There was no walk of shame when I went to pick the kiddo up at school after THE PHONE CALL. Today was the first day back after a 2 week vacation, and there were a decent sized handful of kids in the office, scratching their heads. At least we weren't the only ones, not even the only ones in his class, leaving much less of a chance for ostracization. It's not that we hadn't noticed his itchiness over the break, and I checked for lice many times. The problem is, I was looking for fleas. I was looking for something flea-sized, anyway, on his scalp. I've only ever had cats and dogs, and flea checks are a regular occurrence. But Samson is my first human pet, and it turns out that I simply didn't know what I was looking for or where. Once the professional head-examiner at school pointed out all the nits to me, it was like HOLY SHIT MY CHILD'S HEAD IS INFESTED and WE NEED TO BURN ALL OF HIS SHEETS AND CLOTHES IMMEDIATELY.

Thankfully, it doesn't really work that way. And best of all, I get to see the kid's forehead for the first time in 3 1/2 years.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The past is the future! Again!

Good news, you analog film fans of yester-year! I've brought the Lomo LCA out of retirement! After a test roll in Seattle, I dub the old girl ready to go. I used Kodak Ektachrome 100, and my oh my, just check out those blues!

Underground, below Pioneer Square:

Yay, the Space Needle:

I wasn't even sure the camera would still work; it's been in a box of camera crap and knitting junk for a good 4 years, and lord knows where I even got the film or when. But I'm inspired to keep shooting and to explore some of the other goodies in that box that's been on the shelf for way too long...ignored, scoffed at, and all but forgotten. Cross your fingers for the Holga, the Quad Cam, the color splash flash and brand spanking new Sardina which I got for my birthday but still haven't opened. Now, in unison, let's all squeal with anticipatory glee! Eeeeeeee!

Monday, April 01, 2013

Can't trust that day

The end of our epic vacation in Seattle + an average crappy Monday = KABLAMMO.

Top 5 Reasons Why Our Vacation In Seattle Was Super Awesome

1. Chowder.
2. Amazing weather.
3. Space Needle.
4. Chowder.
5. Record-breakingly good behavior from the kiddo.

Top 5 Reasons Today Pretty Much Sucked

1. Distinct absence of chowder.
2. Mean April Fool's trick played on me by my mean boss.
3. Markedly poor restaurant behavior by the kiddo.
4. Small dog rolled in large pile of goose poop at work.
5. Sister-in-law and highly rated boyfriend are leaving to go back to Israel tomorrow.