Monthly Archives: January 2010

Brief Update

I couldn’t not post about this. Yesterday as Empress CaresALot and I were crossing the border I was asked a question I had never been asked before. The border guard takes the passports and checks everyone out. He looks at mine, and asks me if the picture really is of me. I say yes. He says “what happened?” – I told him that I had lost a significant amount of weight since the picture and grown my hair. He kept looking from the photo back to me. Finally he asked me to show him my ears. Say what? That’s right, he asked me to pull back my hair and show him my ears. I had to turn my head this way and that. My ears?!! So strange…..

Then he went to the trunk, rooted through the suitcases a little bit, and sent us on our merry way.

As the KoD put it, how eerie!

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ROAD TRIP!!!

I will not be blogging much in the next few days as I am leaving for New York for an extended weekend with my KoD. The kids have mid winter break and are spending it with their other parent. I had reserved a rental car at the beginning of the week at a good rate, but yesterday I cancelled it. Empress CaresALot called me, and asked if I wanted to drive down with her and her kids as they had a family simcha to attend. Heck Yeah! Her timing fitted in with mine, the schedules aligned perfectly. Such a gift from God. Usually I have to do the drive alone. Sometimes I relish the peace and quiet. Sometimes, well, I start talking to myself to relieve the boredom. So to have a driving partner and built in entertainment (the kids) is just phenomenal. We will be cranking up the 80s music and singing at the tops of our lungs.

I spent a couple of hours in the kitchen today baking 144 chocolate chip cookies for my KoD and my boys. It was a great feeling watching the boys walk in the door after school, sniff the air and jump into my arms thanking me for baking them their favourite treats. Then they tried stealing them when my back was turned. Which of course, I did not notice at all. Nu uh! (For the recipe and how-to pictures for the chocolate chip cookies go over to my fan page on Facebook- linkage up top, on right).

Have an awesome weekend everyone, I hope to be back to blogging by Tuesday, if not before.

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Help me out here, parents!

How do you stop the bickering and the fighting? Two of my kids seem to resent the other one even breathing the same air. One looks at the other and it’s “what are you looking at me for? Ima, he’s watching me. Ima, he’s breathing on me. Ima, make him stop!”

It just seems like they are oil and water sometimes. Separating them helps to a point, until they come back into shared space and it starts all over again, over nothing.

So those of you with more experience than me, can you give me some tips? Help me regain some of my sanity?

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How many did you date?

In recent conversations with a friend, who is in her twenties and married, she happened to mention that her husband had dated almost 50 girls before he met her, and she had dated almost 20 guys. I was kinda shocked. I mean, I dated too, but I didn’t count how many failures I had! It just seems like an awful lot, but apparently when you do shidduchim it’s common. Since that conversation I have been trying to work out how many guys I dated before each of my marriages. By dating I think I am supposed to count each first date. Not phone dates, or internet chats etc. Each person that I met in the flesh, as it were.  Just bear in mind I did NOT shidduch date either time.

So here are my numbers. First time around I was 20 when I got engaged. I had dated 7 boys including the one I married. Second time around I was significantly older and wiser and well entrenched in my 30s. I did a lot of internet dating as most of the eligible guys were in NY. But I actually went out with 7 and married lucky number 7. To me that’s a lot in 18 months of serious dating.

Do people keep some kind of a log? I am sitting here counting on my fingers, wondering if someone was so forgettable that I….forgot him.

So, care to share your numbers?

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Wednesday’s Wacky Signs

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Mini Rant

You disturb family time with your phone call. You say you are doing a survey, do I have a few minutes. I try to be nice to you folk. I say ok. Then you ask if I speak French at home. I say no. You say, sorry, our English quota has been filled, thank you. Click. Pfffft.

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Junk

I was at the local dollar plus store. I came across these can coolers.

and

and my favourite:

and then I came across this clock / photo frame – and I have absolutely no idea what it is trying to say. Do you? (manufactured in Japan)

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My face

I am continually asked about what products I use on my skin to keep it looking so youthful. It is at this point that I am supposed to say that I spend thousands of dollars per year on certain creams, and slather them all over my face before bed, so that I can wake up looking so fresh and beautiful. But that would be misleading.

Genetically (thank you Mum) I have great skin. I barely suffered from acne as a teen. I didn’t really start wearing make-up until I was 16 or 17, and even then I didn’t really need it.

I have been blessed with the English Rose complexion. I play it up, but minimally. At a minimum I always wear eyeliner – probably too much, but I feel as if my eyes would get lost if I didn’t. Plus I want to draw attention away from my fat bottom lip, courtesy of my Sabo genes, not collagen injections. I will not leave the house without eyeliner on. On a regular day when I want to wear a little more than eyeliner I wear a little blush, some lip balm or gloss, and some concealer on those suitcases and bags I shlepp around under my eyes (genetic too). I wear mascara too, but only occasionally. Sometimes I trade the lip gloss for a deep red lipstick when I feel like playing up my Sabo lips. I only wear Rimmel, Maybelline and L’Oreal products as I have found that they are the best for my sensitive skin.

When I have a function to attend, a wedding or barmitzvah, then I do go all out. In addition to the regular make up I will use foundation and powder, and eye shadow that complements my outfit. To emphasize the lips, I will use a lip liner under the lipstick, and gloss over it.

For a while I did use and sell Mary Kay products, and I loved them. But I do find them pricier than the brands that I use. Although I will say their satin lips lip balm works better at keeping those lips soft and kissable than anything I have ever tried.

I moisturize my face with Vaseline cocoa butter in the morning and at night. That’s it. No cleanser or toner. I take my make up off with cleansing wipes and eye make up remover. I rarely do face masks or facials. I think I did a facial twice. It was fun, but my face broke out afterwards. So, not a fan of doing it again. I keep away from chocolate most of the time, as too much ingestion leads to pimples (and migraines).

I do have wrinkles and laugh lines and I am not interested in getting rid of them. I know I look younger than my age, but that is all natural. My wrinkles and laugh lines tell many stories – and I am proud of how I look. I will never do Botox or collagen injections, nor will I go under the knife for a face lift. I am no Heidi Montag. Shudder.

For me, make up is about enhancing my looks, not disguising them.

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Dear Selfish Neighbour

I am feeling sick enough today, thank you very much, that I do not need your cigarette smoke drifting into my apartment through the bathroom vents. I choose not to smoke, nor to be around people who smoke. You are not supposed to smoke in our apartment building. You are told to smoke outside on your balcony. Smoking in the bathroom affects more than just your lungs.

Stub it out.

Signed,

I wish I could vomit through the vent so you would get hit with it.

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Parenting Stream of Consciousness

One of my boys is AD(H)D. Thankfully he is not hyperactive. He was diagnosed relatively early, at the age of 6, and later on was also diagnosed with some learning disabilities. By the time of his diagnosis I was frustrated with his inability to keep track of his things. I used to joke that things needed to be stapled to him in order for him not to lose them. It was eventually explained to me, that it isn’t because he doesn’t care about his stuff. He does. He has the thought to put the sweater in his school bag, or to put the lunchbox back in the locker, just on his way there he had 143 other thoughts that totally sidetracked him from the task at hand and he lost focus. Having AD(H)D and learning issues severely impacts his self esteem and it’s a tough job to keep him focused and feeling good about himself.

He is different from my other kids, in that he needs a different part of me, but then again they all do. When you start raising your kids you have this idea of the type of parent you will be. You don’t think that each child will need something different from you, that each child has to be parented as a separate entity. That what works with one son, will not necessarily work with a younger sibling. I now believe parenting needs to be tailored to the child not the parent.

If one of my non-ADHD kids loses something, or messes up in school, I feel differently. For them, sometimes, it’s sheer carelessness, or laziness or just plain obnoxiousness. To them I am sure it seems that their ADHD brother gets away with a lot. It’s tough to explain to them, in a way that they will understand, that his brain processes things differently. That if I lose my temper with him and tell him I am angry at what he did, that he will take that as if EVERYTHING he does is wrong, that I think he is stupid and useless and worthless. I have to be extra mindful of the way I talk to him, so that even if he did lose his house key, for example, he needs to know he was wrong, but it doesn’t have to be this huge deal where everyone over-reacts. I have to balance the lesson and the consequence with love and acceptance of who he is. But then again, isn’t that what we need to do with every child?

I was thinking about this the other day. I was so convinced (especially also having been told by others that I let him walk all over me) that I parent him with kid gloves, and am more tough with the others, so I decided to try to observe my own parenting based on each child.

My findings: I am more gentle with him, but I don’t let him have a free pass. He does get disciplined and doesn’t get away with things. His consequences might, however, be different than if another brother had committed the same “crime”. If I ask the others to complete a list of tasks, I am more apt to nag at them to get finished. If I assign the same tasks to him I know I have to remind him step by step what he needs to be doing, so I am more patient. The others have no problem with remaining focused on the task at hand. He gets sidetracked so easily, even when medicated (which is a story in and of itself).

No one warns you when you are pregnant that parenting is a tough gig. That you will doubt yourself at so many points along the way. That if your child has special needs that you will blame yourself and want to give that child the essence of your own soul to make up for his challenges. No one explains what the feeling is like to watch your babies grow up and become real and good people because of the care you have nurtured in them. No one adequately explains the emotional roller coaster that parenting is.

This parenthood thing – it’s so awe inspiring and scary and just plain wonderful. I am so blessed to be mommy to these 4 boys and to see their individual characters develop and grow. I hope and pray that God continues to help me to give them all that they need, and to be the best Ima I could hope to be.

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