Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day

Growing up I really had no idea what this day was for. Kind of ironic since both my dad and uncle fought in WWII. As I've grown up, my understanding about this day has grown up too. And so I would like to honor my dad and uncle in this post for the sacrifices they made as soldiers protecting our freedom.

My uncle past away a few years ago when he was 85 years old. No, he was not my great-uncle he was my uncle. (My parents got married late-that's a story for another time). In WWII he was in the army and he stormed the beach at Normandy (I think it was Omaha beach). He saw terrible fighting and really did not talk about his experiences. He received a purple heart for his bravery as well as other medals . When I was in high school I was lucky enough to take a class trip to France and we spent some time in Normandy. We visited the American cemetery there filled with soldiers that gave their lives during that fight.

My father has an equally interesting story. He joined the Navy and fought in the Pacific. His ship was a minesweeper which did exactly what it's title says-it deactivated mines that the Japanese left in the ocean. Kind of dangerous, which is an understatement. In those days they only had sonar and it wasn't as exact a science as it is now. His ship, the USS Minivet, sunk. Thank G-d he was rescued(by the Japanese) and taken to safety. Not all the soldiers on his ship were that lucky. If he had not been rescued, I would not be here today.

I think it is amazing that people believe so strongly in our country that they dedicate their lives to serving it. So many young people today (and I would include myself) don't know what that kind of selflessness means. We take our freedom and country for granted. So for one day I want to say thanks and really mean it.

Thank you Dad and Uncle Joe for helping keep this country safe! I have been blessed to have known 2 heroes in my life.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A steal

Yikes, it seems I was too brutally honest in my last post and must have scared some people away. So I've decided to switch it up and share a funny/slightly bizarre story.

I work in an up and coming, part inner city/part yuppie area of Chi-town. It used to have a lot of homeless shelters. It has lots of gang activity (so I've heard) but I am not afraid to walk around the area-I've always felt safe.

Anyway, I don't want anyone to think this story is about safety or something dangerous happening because it's not. Just trying to give a little background so you can picture it in your head.

I pass a drugstore on the way to work and I often stop there in the morning to get any last minute items that I might need before I get to work. This is after I stop for coffee-which I MUST have. But that's a different story.

Okay, so I stopped at this store last Friday, chose my items (it's usually food if you must know) and got in line. There was one older lady in front of me and she had two items, one of them was a bar of soap-this will be important later I promise! I guess she told the cashier she didn't want the soap and put it down next to the counter. She paid for her other item with cash and received her change which she counted and asked for specific denominations. Next, the cashier gave her the item she purchased in a small bag. Which wasn't good enough for her because she asked for a bigger bag. She then proceeded to steal the bar of soap using the bigger bag. To be honest, I didn't really notice until the cashier said something.


She had plenty of money in her hand. Did she really need to steal the bar of soap? It probably cost less than a dollar. I mean, what was she thinking?

All I could think is that she could be someone's mother or grandmother. What a terrible role model. At least she'll be a clean terrible role model.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Disclaimer: Although I would like to have some personal life and not air all my dirty laundry on this blog, I think it will benefit me to write about this.

This week has been rough so far and it isn't even finished yet. My husband's grandfather passed away Monday evening and Y flew out at 2 am to get to California where the funeral would be.

And I lost it.

I feel pulled in so many directions and have so many things going on at the same time. I need help just to manage my everyday life. I am not a person who is supermom, super employee, super volunteer all at the same time. When my husband left so suddenly I felt bereft and lost. My anxiety overtook me.

I have always been a worrier. I can worry about big things just as easily as little things.

"What will the kids wear on Shabbos?"
"What should I make for dinner?"
"What if my boss doesn't like me?"
"What if someone I love gets sick?"

You get the idea. I read directions 12x before I drive someplace unfamiliar. I try to anticipate every situation so I can be prepared. I am not spontaneous, don't like surprises (even good ones), and am really not a flexible person. I pretend to be but I like advance notice and being warned ahead of time. So, even though Y's grandfather was on hospice and we knew it was coming soon I was still shocked. Shocked that it happened and shocked that Y would leave so quickly. And it triggered anxiety that I have never,ever before felt so physically.

I will spare you all the gory details but the anxiety just took over. I couldn't do anything else-it was paralyzing. I had a really hard time breathing and thinking. It felt like a rock was on my chest, I could only take shallow breaths. I had to sit down.

So, how to manage this? It seems I have a predisposition to being uptight and anxious about details (life). Someone recommended a book to me called Garden of Emunah (faith). Which I am going to read and post about at a later date. But it does bring up an interesting point. I know that Hashem controls everything AND that everything happens for a reason. But I only seem to know it with my head and not my heart. I don't FEEL it the way that I should. If I did, then I would be able to shrug things off and give the worry back to Hashem.

Well, maybe the book will help me get to that point. And I know I am oversimplifying things-emunah (faith/trust) is more complicated than the way I am explaining it.

I am done being brutually honest, for now. Thank G-d Y is coming home tonight!

Monday, May 18, 2009

My love/hate relationship with Sundays

Sundays are supposed to be calm, relaxing fun-filled days to spend with my kids.

It never seems to turn out that way though.

All week long we have a schedule and routine and then Sunday comes and throws everything haywire. An aimless day that never seems to have enough time in it.

As a working mom, I try hard to keep things running smoothly. Every spare moment is utilized to the full extent. Of course, nothing goes perfectly all the time but I really try hard not to waste time. And because I work, Sundays are full of errands, laundry, other chores, and menu planning. Things that I have a hard time doing during the week because of time constraints or because I am just plain exhausted. I try to fit fun things in for the kids but I usually fall short.

So, often I hate Sundays. The fact that I have the possibility of "freedom" and "fun" and almost never get to experience those things make me a little bitter. And then I take that out on my husband and kids. Not good.

This week I decided to do something for myself. I have been trying to get up the motivation to start exercising and I finally started! I ran (read mostly walked fast) for about 40 minutes. It felt great. I hope to be able to continue doing it at least 2x a week, maybe more. Maybe it will restore my sanity. Maybe not. But at least I will have tried (and hopefully lose some weight in the process).

If my sanity doesn't return, maybe I'll try a cleaning lady next!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Post lost in cyberspace

I am angry at blogger-I wrote a post today and when I went to publish it there was an error message and -BAM, no more post. How can that be-it was saving all along! Where is my post? It wasn't a great post, it was actually kind of random and probably not worth trying to re-write it. I really can't remember what I wrote anyway.

I just really haaaaaate putting effort in something and then having it not work out!!!

Will write more later, I hope!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May 5

Today was my grandmother's birthday. When she passed away 5 years ago her death was my first real adult experience with the death of someone close to me who I loved. She lived a long life (she met 5 great-grand kids) that ended as a result of her battle with lung cancer.

Some things I remember about her:

She loved to eat.

She was generous and always bought my sister and I things that my mom wouldn't.

She loved to read romance novels.

She raised 2 wonderful daughters and taught them how to be great moms.

She wasn't afraid to state her opinion, to hell what other people thought.

She always had her nails and hair done.

She stayed with us for 2 weeks after Lulu was born and held her and held her. She loved babies.

She told me stories about what life was like growing up in Vermont with lots of brothers and sisters.

She had great jewelry and she used to let me look in her jewelry box when I would visit her.

She always had M&M's or some other type of chocolate in her house.

I miss her. I feel her presence a lot. Even more now that Baby M is named after her. Sometimes Baby M looks at me a certain way and I just see my grandmother in her so clearly.

I wish my kids would have had a chance to know her and make some memories with her.

This video inspired me and comforted me today. Her words capture everything that I need/want to say. I hope it inspires you too.

We love and miss you, Grandma.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Restored Calm

I've recharged a little over this weekend. I wish I could just plug myself in and get my energy from the electricity like my cell phone does, but that is not to be.

M did not really sleep Friday night. She got another tooth and between that and the shots from this past week she has been a mess.

I still have tons of IEP paperwork to do that is hanging over my head.

I have terrible allergies that I think have begun developing into a sinus infection-my throat was absolutely killing me on Shabbos! And no nap either.

But even with all these difficulties going on-we had a nice Shabbos and Sunday. The weather here has been gorgeous (even though I can't fully enjoy it because of the allergies) and we have had lots of great family time. Sometimes that is all you need. To look at your kids and just be happy because they are happy.

I'm sure it will be another busy week-but right now I'm happy. I'm going to enjoy it!