Tag Archives: holidays

Close, but No Cigar

And now, a moment of greed.

For months, I’ve been taking my kids into a department store with me and showing them a pair of earrings I really liked. For weeks, I’ve been telling them to tell their dad I wanted those earrings for Mother’s Day. For weeks, I’ve been telling my husband to take my kids to this department store because they knew which earrings I wanted. Yesterday, my husband took the kids to the department store to buy the earrings. They came back and everyone was excited because they were sure they got me what I wanted.

I was excited too. I really wanted these earrings. I couldn’t wait to open them and FINALLY wear them. They were pretty cheap earrings, so I’m not sure why I didn’t buy them for myself, but I haven’t. I just want them NOW.

Can you see where this is heading?

This morning I opened the box to find NOT the earrings I’ve been showing the kids for WEEKS, months maybe. I’ve wanted these earrings a long time.

I’m not good at hiding what I’m thinking. I immediately said “That’s not them!”

I back-tracked and said “But they’re very close! Good job remembering!”

But still. How disappointing!

They were very close. VERY close. They got me the small stud version of the earrings I wanted when I’d repeatedly shown them the dangles. I’m a bead and a fishhook away from having the earring I want. But I REALLY don’t want the studs.

Which just goes to show that small children never understand what you want. It doesn’t matter how specific you are or how complete your plan is, when you put small children in charge of showing your husband what you want, it’s not going to happen. Even if you have a wishlist.

Anyway, I’m going to return these earrings to get what I want. Also, as payback for my pain and suffering I bought a second pair of earrings I wanted at Kohl’s today.

Otherwise, aside from some restaurant ridiculousness with the big kids, it’s been a lovely Mother’s Day and I’m thankful for my adorable children, even if they fail at following directions. The dangles! Not the studs! The dangles!

And thus ends our tale of a spoiled person. Or really an unspoiled person because I still don’t have those damn earrings!

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Egg on Her Head

Even though we are Jewish, the Easter Bunny comes to our house. Even though Santa barely paid attention to me growing up, the Easter Bunny always did a great job hiding eggs and bringing candy. I think the bunny came through for us because my mom is such an animal nut. How could she not embrace the most animal of our holiday friends?

Interestingly, the Easter Bunny did NOT come to my husband’s house when he was a kid and he was raised Christian/Catholic (depends on the year). It’s sort of funny to me that I, the Jew, had more Easter traditions and memories than he did growing up!

Anyway, I let the bunny come. After all the hunting was done, Rose made a game with the eggs. She kept pretending the crack an egg open on her and the baby’s head. “I broke an egg on my head! I broke an egg on Violet’s head!”

I do this to her sometimes with my hands. I pretend like a raw egg is oozing over her hair. It was hilarious to see this reenacted with a plastic egg.

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Merry Christmas


This is what happens when you try to get a picture of your daughter’s adorable Christmas outfits when your baby is fairly mobile. What choice was there for her to go directly up her big sister’s dress? I believe it was the shiny material that drew her in. How very “Awkward Family Photo“-esque.


This is what happens when you try to get four cousins in a picture on Christmas Eve when the oldest of the cousins is 5 years old. My nephew’s Dad is there to unsuccessfully force his kid to stay in the frame.

I’d say photo perfection will be here next year, but 18 month olds are perhaps the most elusive photography subjects there are and that’s exactly how old Violet will be next year. I’m Jewish and used to try to distance myself from this holiday, but marriage has forced my hand at celebrating it. If I have to celebrate Christmas, at the very least I want a pretty picture of Christmas dresses and cousins to go with it!

Merry Christmas, everyone! May your photo endeavors and other holiday traditions go better than mine!

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Happy 4th

Every year (except last year) we take the kids to this hill at the university to watch fireworks. Every year, Lily has gotten insanely excited and made awesome faces.

This year? Whining and complaints of being tired. Then claims of being “scared” of the loud noises from the fireworks.

Rose loved it though.

Violet cried and wanted to nurse almost the whole time, but then she slept from 10 pm to 6 am, so really dealing with the fussing was worth it even if it was frustrating at the time. Things always seem to get easier nursing-wise at 6 weeks with my kids, so we SHOULD be 2 weeks away from better, non-slave-to-the-nursing-baby times. Theoretically, anyway.

Violet is 1 month old today. Time flies.

That’s a 0-3 month swimsuit with a gigantic flower ruffle on it. Because newborns? Totally need swimsuits.

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Die Dye

Two different events I LOVED as a child are completely traumatizing to me as an adult because of the mess and headache it takes to accomplish them.

When I was a kid, I loved carving pumpkins for Halloween. As an adult, I find it messy and a little bit scary to wield knives (even safety knives) around the children. They always want to put their fingers where I’m trying to carve. The pumpkin is always thicker than I remember, making carving it awkward and sometimes physically difficult. My vision for what the pumpkin will look like never comes true. The pumpkin goop is hard to remove and gets everywhere. Kids are slimy and it’s all so messy and such a pain that I almost wish that I didn’t introduce them to it. Someone always cries.

The other event just happened this past Friday. We dyed Easter eggs. Even though I am Jewish, the Easter Bunny always came to our house. Santa made halfhearted cameos, but the Bunny was a key figure in our holiday events. Considering my mom’s love of animals, this makes perfect sense. I didn’t even realize what Easter really meant until I was ridiculously old. All the Jesus songs about Christmas pretty much tipped me off from the beginning, but Easter? A bunny and chocolate? It’s hard to put the pieces together without some specific instruction!

I remember loving dyeing Easter eggs, so every year since I had Lily I’ve looked forward to egg coloring. Every year, I’ve been absolutely horrified by how terrifying egg dyeing turns out to be. While it’s fun to watch the eggs turn different colors, it’s panic-inducing to watch pink dye drip onto the counter and not wipe up. No matter how much newspaper you put down (this is actually a problem too. We don’t get a newspaper.), you end up getting some dye either on the counter or the floor. Every single year there’s an accident dumping the dye into the sink, or the sink just turns pink for a week no matter how much I scrub.

No matter how careful I am, dye gets all over our hands. The dye won’t come off for at least a week. We walk around looking like we don’t know how to wash our hands.

It’s awful. Has the dye always been this potent? Was my mother hiding her “OMG, the house will be forever dyed pink!” panic attacks than I am? I’m not sure. This year I was absolutely relieved that it was warm enough to dye eggs outside. There wasn’t much spillage and somehow no one’s hands got very dirty, but this is not what happened the previous years.

This year I also made sure to dye eggs while Dr. Toy Warden was at work. Dr. Toy Warden is far, far, FAR from a neat freak, but when he sees small children with paint or dyes, he freaks out about our house getting ruined. Having Dr. Toy Warden at home for this adventure alleviated the stress by at least half. You’d think having the extra adult around would make projects like this easier, but it’s actually easier to hear less freak outs about the dye than to actually have him there to help me contain the chaos. I freak out enough about dye on my own without having to hear it from him!

Anyway, it’s amazing to me that more people don’t publicly panic about Easter egg dye and pumpkin carving. Is it a big secret that these things sort of suck? Are we all pretending to enjoy doing them as adults when in reality we are all worrying about our counters turning pink and pumpkin goop getting on the carpet? Surely, I am not alone. I mean, it’s great to watch the kids get excited about these things and I think the experience is important for their childhood memories, but yikes this stuff is a lot different than I remember!

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Wheneveryouwannukkah

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah at our house. Now, if you are not Jewish, you’re probably about to yell “Happy Hanukkah!” and run to write on all your Jewish friends’ facebook walls.

It is not Hanukkah. While it’s true that some years Hanukkah falls around now and in fact Hanukkah changes its date on the Western calendar every single year, it is not Hanukkah this year until December 20. Yep, 6 days from now.

But at our house, it’s Hanukkah. We have a lot of plans that will interrupt Hanukkah itself and make it difficult to celebrate when it is. The plans include visiting my in-laws. The idea of traveling with a menorah and candles and millions of presents, some of which would make our car trip seem shorter, turned me off so much that we are starting Hanukkah early here.

Or whenever we want, which is today.

It makes me a bad Jew, but a practical mom/traveler. Dealing with all those presents and candles and singing and a menorah and a long car ride and…

Yeah. No.

We will still overlap Hanukkah by 2 days and the girls will get all 8 nights of cultural goodness, if only on a different time schedule than other Jews this particular year. If it were different year, Hanukkah might have ended already! One recent year (too lazy to look it up) it started something like December 4.

I know that Jewish holidays follow the Jewish calendar and there’s a religious significance to when they fall, but our holidays seem really random by the Western calendar. It seems like Hanukkah already falls whenever THEY want (or whenevertheywannukkah). This year we’re just taking the power into our own hands and making it when WE want it/need it. It’s no different than meeting family members you couldn’t see on a holiday and celebrating the holiday later. Or earlier.

Let the Wheneveryouwannukah celebration begin!

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Lily Gives Thanks

Lily’s preschool classmates all worked together to make a thankful thanksgiving turkey. Each student had the things he or she was thankful for written on one of the turkey’s feathers. A lot of the kids were thankful for their families, their friends and their favorite toys. You know, beautiful nice things you’d expect people to say they were thankful for.

Lily was thankful for markers.

Not her family. Not her dog. Not her friends.

Markers.

Thank goodness for markers!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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The Secret to the Perfect Father’s Day

I know, I know, Father’s Day was weeks ago. We just got off of Fourth of July, for crying out loud. This post is LONG overdue, but we skipped fireworks this year and didn’t take cute pictures of the kids in red, white and blue because we were traveling. Today or yesterday’s or Monday’s post should have been Fourth of July, but I failed. So, to make up for it, we’ll go back in time to the last holiday I blundered: Father’s Day.

Only one child cooperated with Father's Day pictures this year.

My husband is a genius who discovered the absolute perfect way to spend Father’s Day: Chuck E. Cheese.

“Why the hell would an adult want to go to Chuck E. Cheese on a holiday that’s supposed to pamper them? Chuck E. Cheese is so loud and crowded and chaotic. It’s like torture to go there!”

That’s exactly what I said the first time he suggested it! I thought he was crazy. Who wants to chase the kids around that madness on a day you are supposed to be pampered and having selfish fun?

Well guess what? While Chuck E. Cheese can be torture, on Father’s Day it’s not! Why is it different on Father’s Day? Because every other father in the world is thinking “I don’t want to be tortured today. No Chuck E. Cheese!”, which means that NO ONE is going to Chuck E. Cheese that day. NO ONE. It is almost completely empty.

As close as I can get to photographic evidence that Chuck E. Cheese was empty.

The first year my husband wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese on Father’s Day, I thought he was insane, but we walked in to an empty restaurant and had the whole place to ourselves. It’s even fun for parents when it’s empty! As my husband says, Chuck E. Cheese is like Vegas for kids… and he and I have some kid left in us so we have fun playing all the games in there.

This year when we returned for what is now our Father’s Day tradition of Chuck E. Cheese and Friday’s (we don’t eat at Chuck E. Cheese, we only play there), we again found the restaurant empty. Not only that, but the employees were testing out the machines and leaving oodles of tickets hanging out of the machines for whomever played them first to take. This time, we were literally the only people in the restaurant who weren’t employees. We practically didn’t have to watch the kids! It was fantastic: Not loud, not crowded, unlimited access to games, no crappy pizza. Perfection.

And the kids had fun too.

Of course, now that I’ve shared this information, it’s no longer a secret, but unless this post goes viral it seems unlikely to me that OUR Chuck E. Cheese will be inundated a year from now.

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Passover Parody Songs

For my Jewish followers out there, I thought I’d cue you in to the wonderful site, DIY Seder*, where we designed our own hagaddah this year. The site is especially awesome because it includes a slew of Passover parody songs to the tune of popular children’s and rock songs. For example:

A Passover Song
[Sung to the tune of "These are a few of my favorite things"]

Cleaning and cooking and so many dishes
Out with the hametz, no pasta, no knishes
Fish that’s gefillted, horseradish that stings
These are a few of our Passover things.

Matzoh and karpas and chopped up haroset
Shankbones and Kiddish and Yiddish neuroses
Tante who kvetches and uncle who sings
These are a few of our Passover things.

Motzi and maror and trouble with Pharoahs
Famines and locusts and slaves with wheelbarrows
Matzoh balls floating and eggshell that cling
These are a few of our Passover things.

When the plagues strike
When the lice bite
When we’re feeling sad
We simply remember our Passover things
And then we don’t feel so bad.

There were many many other songs like this one. There were Passover parodies of “It’s a Small World”, “A Hard Day’s Night”, “Leaving on a Jet Plane” and ”Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid” to name a few.

We had fun giggling over these songs at our make-shift early seder earlier this week. You can also add jokes and coloring pages to your own personalized FREE hagaddah on this site. It’s absolutely fantastic! It made for the best seder ever for our Reform Judaism household.

To those who celebrate, have a Happy Passover this week!

*This site has no connection to DIY Seder and has received no endorsements or referrals from it. It’s just a fun site I discovered while frantically looking for a way to get a hagaddah on short notice.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

A week before Valentine’s Day, we got a note from Lily’s school that she should write her own name on all of her valentines. I knew the tiny Dora valentines we’d gotten for her wouldn’t give her enough space to sprawl her ginormous 3-year-old print, so I decided we should make it more of an art project. I cut out 18 red hearts and glued the Dora valentines to them. My AP art teacher in high school told me I should major in the fine arts in college, can you tell?

Who DOESN'T want a Dora valentine glued to a sloppily cut out heart?

I had Lily sign the backs of them before I let her at them with stickers. Her handwriting is SO legible, I can’t believe I’m letting you guys see her actual name in print. Surely you will figure out her real first name from this picture.

Lily's real name REVEALED.

I set Lily up with some stickers, and went off to look for some more. She and Rose had just received two sheets of puffy Hello Kitty stickers from their aunt. They were supposed to share them. I believe there were 50 stickers total. When I came back two minutes later, BOTH sheets of stickers were completely empty. Every single sticker, plus some Dora stickers, had been put on ONE valentine! You could no longer “read” Lily’s name on the back.

The back of this Valentine's masterpiece.

On the front, you couldn’t access the Dora valentine or even really see that it was there.

Truly a work of art!

While I was impressed by her amazing artwork, after that I had to stifle her creativity by limiting her to five stickers per valentine. I hate to crush the spirit of a budding artist, but she had 18 valentines to decorate and we just don’t have 900 stickers to contribute to this noble cause. Besides which, the only reason she’d stopped putting stickers on the first valentine was because she’d run out! If there had been 900 stickers available without limits, I’m sure she’d pile all of them on one valentine!

Since she stole her sister’s stickers, little Rose is the lucky recipient of this labor of love. Everyone else gets a less artistic valentine with only five stickers on each. The stickers are generally placed in a way that you can’t read the Dora portion of the valentine. They are the best-crafted valentines ever!

Also, it should be noted that every time Lily finishes a valentine, she brings it to someone and yells “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

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