Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I can't believe it's been a year

Since Baby M was born.

Yesterday was her 1 year birthday. Seriously, where did the time go?

I've mentioned before that all my kids have strong personalities. M is no exception. She knows her own mind, what she likes and dislikes and has known that from a very early age. She likes to eat chicken, meat, avocados, carrots, yogurt, cream cheese sandwiches. She doesn't like baby food. She likes to sleep but doesn't like it when we put her in her crib. She likes to suck both thumbs, it doesn't matter which one as long as she has one.

She has never been a crier. Even when she was a newborn, she barely cried when she was hungry or dirty. When she did cry we knew something was wrong because she did it so infrequently. That's not to say she was a lump. She was very alert and met all milestones but just communicated with us in a much quieter, gentler way. In fact, there were times I would forget about her because she was such a good baby and I was busy with the other children. She has always been a great sleeper, the other girls are always up before I even her noises coming from her room. I say noises because she usually doesn't cry when she wakes up. She just lets us know she's awake.

As she has grown I have watched her communicate with pointing and making noises but she still does not cry very often (she does yell at dinner when she wants to eat-we can't get the food on her tray fast enough!). She watches her sisters and loves it when they play with her, even when they play rough. M is slow to get angry or annoyed with her siblings and often when she sees them her face breaks out into a huge smile and she holds her arms out to them to be held. When we try to give her something she doesn't want, she shakes her arm back and forth to let us know. She loves people!! All people, even strangers. She has no stranger anxiety and loves to be held by other people (of course I am choosy who I let hold her), she would go to anyone if she could. That's how friendly she is.

She looks so much like her sisters (so people say) but her face is changing-she is definitely becoming her own person. I always find it so interesting that even from the moment they are born, babies have their own personalities and temperament. I have seen that be true for all of my children. Their temperament has stayed with them as they have grown. As a parent, it has certainly been an eye-opening experience to learn how to parent each child according to their own temperament.

Baby M has a sweet and loving disposition. I hope I am able to nurture that so she becomes a sweet and loving child. She has truly added so much love to our family.

Our year in pictures:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Talk About. . . While I'm Falling

It's funny that I am watching Baby M take some of her first steps while I am getting ready to talk about a book that has falling in the title. She is doing as much falling as walking but she is so determined I wouldn't be surprised if she is walking by the end of the week.

Anyway, it's finally time to share your thoughts (the good, bad, and the ugly) about the book While I'm Falling. Here's a synopsis from the jacket ( I know I'm cheating but gimme a break ok?).

". . . presents a compelling depiction of how one young woman's life changes when her family breaks up for good.
Ever since her parents announced that they're getting divorced, Veronica has been falling. Hard. A junior in college, she has fallen in love. She has fallen behind in her difficult coursework. She hates her job as counselor at the dorm, and she longs for the home that no longer exists. When an attempt to escape the pressure, combined with bad luck, lands her in a terrifying situation, a shaken Veronica calls her mother for help-only to find her former foundation too preoccupied to offer any assistance at all."

You get the idea. Maybe I should get a job writing summaries for book jackets. Get paid to read books and then write a few paragraphs about it. Sounds good to me. Uh, oh-getting off topic.

Back to the book. Whoever was nice enough to follow me in my search to read-what did you think of this one? Did you like the content? What about the writing? I find the older I get, the less that fiction holds my interest, unless it is really well written. Whereas before I would read any fiction I took off the shelf of the library, now I am a little more discerning.

I thought the author has a great writing style but the actual content seemed a tad immature. Even though I think that's what she was going for. But still. I'm not sure I really want to read about college juniors making poor decisions. Don't they all do that?

Ok, enough from me-what did you think?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

You might be bored. . .

Not much has happened of late.

Kids going to school, schedule resumed.

Life is actually pretty calm. Which is really wonderful. And I do mean that. But doesn't give much in the way of blogging.

I'm a little stumped for topics.

I did start reading some new blogs last night (it's really addicting once you start) and I did realize something. Just an observation that I made. Many people have blogs that keep them somewhat anonymous. Most of their audience is made up of people who don't know them in real life (IRL). My case is the opposite. Most of the people that read my blog are people that I know. I haven't tried to promote this blog in any way or broaden my audience. Which is fine-I started this for me, not for any other reason. But, since most people know me I can't share everything I probably would if people didn't know who I was. I guess I am afraid of judgement and of being too personal. Sometimes I wish I could just say whatever I want. Although it seems the older I get, the more I do that anyway.

That's my deep thought of the week.


Little T did say something funny a while ago. She asked me to buy a new house, one with a pool. I explained that houses are a lot of money ( I even told her "hundreds of thousands of dollars"). I asked her if she had that much money. She said no and then told me she had an idea.

Her words "If we all lost our teeth and put our money under our pillows, we could save up the money the tooth fairy gives us and buy a house that way." You can imagine my face, I was not expecting her to say that. My response "Honey, I don't think the tooth fairy has that kind of money AND not one in our family would have any teeth left!" (in fact I know the tooth fairy intimately and she is in debt-of course I didn't say the last part). Sometimes I just cannot keep a straight face with that kid! She just cracks me up!! I really do try not to laugh though, she gets angry at me when I think she is funny and she wasn't trying to be. Which is basically all the time.

Anyway, that's all I've got. Let's talk about the book on Sunday evening around 8ish? Oct. 25th? Hope that works for everyone.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I finished the book

I have been remiss (ok, I happen to like that word) in not sharing that I finished the book ( While I'm Falling by Laura Moriarty)about a week ago!!


Anyway, I was thinking of maybe doing a new format-what about if everyone who read the book left a comment on this post? Or do we like the "talking" format and we should set a time?

Let me know-it's probably better for me to talk about the book sooner rather than later-otherwise who knows what I might forget!

Anyway, this post was just supposed to be about the book but then something wonderful happened. Again- for the second time!

I found out about another Dominick's that is closing (Foster and Sheridan) and almost everything is 50% off. So of course I had to go. And of course I did not have my coupons with me yesterday (they are heavy-but I am starting to leave them in the car) so I had to drive all the way home just to drive all the way back to almost where I work. But it was worth it. I got so much food and saved so much money!!

Now, I am not a coupon guru like Sara or Shosh but I am trying to learn. So I have hesitated to share when I find good deals because I can't go into a store, walk out with a ton, and have spent nothing. But I am going to share now because I just got so much I can't resist talking about it!

Here are some pictures of my spoils:

So here is a rundown of what I bought:

2 bags of goodnites (like pullups), 4 cans of stir-fry veggies, countless bags of bisli, 1 can of frosting, 5 boxes of jello pudding, 2 boxes of lipton tea, 2 powdered creamers (for work), jars of bbq sauce and marinades, icing and a number 1 candle (M is turning 1 in a week), 2 cans of enchilada sauce, 1 jar crushed garlic, 2 jars of pickles, 1 bottle rice vinegar, 4 muffin mixes, 2 bags of sliced almonds, 1 box of cornflake crumbs, 2 cans chicken soup, a number of bags of kosher candy, 3 boxes of immodium (don't ask), 2 sudafed, 1 advil, 1 kids mucinex.

Not pictured: 8 boxes of pizza bagels, 1 morningstar farms, 1 box cinnamon waffles, and 2 pantyhose. Oh, and a bunch of snacks that are a cross between fruit roll-ups and fruit leather. Which I am annoyed that I bought because they were not half-off-they were considered produce and I didn't know that til after I bought them. But at least they are healthy.

I ended up spending $138. 06 as you can see by my receipt.

But I saved $153.83. That is a total of $291 dollars worth of groceries!!! I am proud of myself because I mostly bought kosher brands of food that don't go on sale (they had a lot of kosher food there, not sure why) and also lots of medicine.

I hope I get to go back!! I now have a $5 off of $50 coupon that is burning a hole in my pocket and I NEED to use it. This coupon stuff is a little addicting I think. I hope this wasn't too boring!! But if anyone is hungry feel free to stop by!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

I have the best husband ever!

Guess what my husband did yesterday. Maybe these pictures will help you figure it out.

He took the day off and took all 4 girls to the zoo. Bad weather and all. While I was at work. These 2 gorillas were sleeping curled up together holding each other. Aren't they cute? But not as cute as the cutie pie who was looking at the gorillas!

Anyway, I am super impressed with my husband for taking them out-it is hard work taking all 4 them anywhere by yourself. So I am publicly thanking him for his hard work!!

And the hard work just continues. . . with all the cooking that is being done for Yom Tov. Which he is doing most of. While watching 4 children. And working from home. Because you guessed it, I'm at work today. I will do the baking but he will do probably everything else. Whoever said men can't multi-task? Oh, wait that was me. Well, he has certainly learned how after 11 years of marriage.

So thanks honey, you are the BEST!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My descriptive skills are lacking

Here is a pic of the boots ( or as close as I could get):

Seriously? Maybe my style judgement is off but these just seem tacky to me. Oh, and just to prove they are trashy, when I was trying to upload a pic of it at work, my computer would not let me go to the website. I got warned that I was going to an inappropriate site. So there. However, I think I have talked this topic to death so I'm done.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Shiny. Purple. Boots.

Just to take care of some business from my last post-finna basically means "I'm fixing to. . . " Although it is used in many different ways and doesn't always seem to make sense to my ears. I have to keep up with the slang so I know what my students are saying!


Ok, new topic. This is funny because it is not what I planned to write about. But I saw something I considered funny/ridiculous when I was leaving Jewel yesterday and I think I just need to share.

I saw a frum (religious) Jewish woman walking to her car. Of course, I looked at what she was wearing (don't we always do that?) and was quite surprised at what I saw. (I don't know her so I am assuming she doesn't read this blog-I think she is from NY, so I feel safe writing this). If you know her, I'm sure she is a very nice person. Anyway, she was wearing all black with a shiny purple belt. That was fine. Until I looked at her shoes. Knee-high. Very Shiny. Bright Purple Boots. They matched the belt of course.

She looked like a streetwalker. Is that the nice way to say it these days? Hooker? Call girl?

Which then made me wonder: did she know that is what she looked like and didn't care? Or was she totally naive and not know and just think they were pretty?

I happen to like clothes. A lot. I have a walk-in closet full and always feel like I could buy more (much to my husband's dismay). I like trendy things and like to stay in style. Sometimes that leads me to make poor decisions about what I buy. Like the red pleather jacket (bad thrift store find). Or the hand-knitted sweater and skirt combo (again bad thrift store find). But I usually manage not wear them-someone stops me from making a fool of myself. But those clothes, as tacky as they are, are NOT slutty. I firmly believe there is a line between form fitting clothes and slutty clothes.

Clothes define who we are more often than not. Some people don't care what they look like and you can tell that just by looking. Some people have the latest trends as soon as they come out. Both of those styles send a specific message. Boots like that send a specific message. At least I think they do. Even though this girl was totally covered (modesty-wise) she still looked trashy to me. Is that possible? Those boots were just calling out for attention.

I think I am especially sensitive to this issue because I work with middle school boys. Who are, ahem, thinking about only one thing. Everyone knows what that is, right? And if you don't, you must have your head in the sand. But the girl students that I work with, more often than not, come dressed in clothes that are inappropriate for their bodies. We do have a uniform code, but even when they follow that they can still look hoochie (I am using a lot of words I wouldn't really use in real life-don't judge). Ultimately, as I am writing this I think it comes down to respect. Respect of your body. When you send a message to the world that you don't respect your body, why should anyone else?

As frum Jews, I really believe that even if clothing follows the modesty to the"letter of the law" there is also the spirit in which it is worn. And I do think you can be immodest even when you are all covered up.

Please don't think I am writing this because I think I dress perfectly. Because I don't. I have my own challenges with things I want to wear that are borderline. But those boots just struck a nerve. And while I am far, far from perfect I do try to be cognizant and aware of my clothes and how they might affect other people around me.

Ok, enough preachy talk for today. Go enjoy the beautiful weather we are having because it only lasts a minute in Chi-town!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Random but interesting facts about me

Nothing interesting has happened lately.

I did get the book from the library, haven't started reading it yet-I was thinking the end of Oct. for discussion?

So, I thought maybe I would tell you some things about myself that you do not know. Except I just re-read my 16 Things About Me post and now have to rack my brain to think of other things. Am I really that boring? I just might be.

Let's see:

1. I HATE scary movies. And I mean HATE. Ever since I saw Silence of the Lambs. Terrifying. I hate that feeling.

2. Speaking of things I hate and am scared of I have an irrational fear of moths. Not butterflies, just moths. They are so quiet and sneak up on you and then flutter around. I find it creepy.

3. I get really enthusiastic when I teach and often make a fool of myself in front of my students. I dance around, say silly things and just act weird. They seem to like it and it gets them to do their work. So it's all good.

4. I don't enjoy driving at night. I feel like a little old lady but it's true. The glare of the lights bothers my eyes.

5. Speaking of eyes, I am freaked out by any medical procedure having to do with eyes. I am not a squeamish person (I even watch them take my blood) but anything having to do with eyes freaks me out.

6. I like to make desserts but don't often eat them. I like to have them in my house, ready and available, if I might want to eat them. Sounds crazy doesn't it? Oh, and bakery items are not the same-they need to be homemade. My husband has learned to accept it and doesn't argue with me anymore when I make extra desserts.

7. Almost every room in our house is painted a different color. There is not one white room in the house. That's because when we lived in our apt. and then when we bought our house we ONLY had white walls and hated them. So now we have rooms that are orange, olive green, and red among others.

8. My mom made me take a typing class in high school even though I didn't want to. It was one of the smartest things I ever did. (I think watching adults hunt and peck on the keyboard is funny). Thanks, Mom!

9. Big groups of people make me nervous.

10. I love bargain shopping and rarely buy anything NOT on sale. Food, clothes, anything. It's sort of my own competition with myself. I do like to shop though, so I probably don't end up saving much money overall.

11. I remember my first "bad" grade. I was in 4th grade and I got a C in grammar. I still do not like grammar and I don't like teaching it either. Who needs proper English when you can say things like "finna"(I will give points to whoever knows what that means!)?

12. I don't appreciate music but I try really hard because my husband is very musical and it means a lot to him. But a lot of music sounds the same to me (although after 11 years of marriage I have grown a true appreciation for Metallica).

That's all I got. Wait, that's not proper-it should be: that's all I have. But that just doesn't sound as good!