Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Shawshank P Family Redemption


My basement.

Did I mention that we are having some sewer issues?

As in the pipe that takes the SEWAGE (can we discuss that sewer is spelled sewEr and sewage is spelled sewAge? What's that all about?) out of my house has a crack?

And oh.

The crack is under my foundation?

He's never seen anything like it.

It seems that before we owned the house, the original owners patched said crack.

And a few weeks ago, after a day of torrential rain, we came home and found this.

Can you tell what it is?

It's a large sinkhole. Along the foundation of the house (the west side, near the side porch, if you must know).

They came.

They dug.

First they thought it was the underground gutter line that was cracked.

Then they saw that no, no such luck.

It's our main sewer line.

And thus poo is seeping into our ground.

I want to vomit.

So they told us that since the pipe is positioned all strangely, they need to jackhammer our basement floor.

"You don't have a finished basement, do you?"

Oh no, Mr. Hunter Sewers. That ship sailed about six months ago when our 70s paneled basement became the scary slasher basement.

So they started the pipe repair yesterday.

This is what I came home to.

The view from looking down the stairs. Unfortunately, blogger has decided to rotate the picture. I can't get it back. So rotate your head or your screen if you need to get the full effect.

And the hole.

It's about 3 feet by 2 feet and 3 feet deep.

There is water in the bottom of it.

I am scared.

This one is also rotated. That is my basement wall on the bottom of the picture.

The heap of earth.

It's not even dirt or rubble.


Probably with poo in it.

Back to my title.

Remember in the Shawshank Redemotion when Tim Robbins bangs the stone on the sewage pipe to escape from prison?

And he crawls through the river of poo?

Well we have a mountain of poo to climb over.

To get to this.

The soda stash.

Notice the the disproportionate amount of Fresca.

Yes, it was all free, thankyouverymuch.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


For my non Jewish/non religious readers, I'll translate.

Loosely translated, Nachas means to be proud of someone.

As in "my kids were so amazing in their Chumash (Bible) play this morning they gave me lots of nachas. Pronounce the ch not like Charlie-but that hard Hebrew cccchhhhhh. Either way. Every year at my kids' school, the first grade puts on the Chumash play-it's basically a review of all the parts of first grade-they sing songs and each kid has a little part.

First, they came in. Well first, I got there 45 minutes before it started to snag good seats. The only person before me was my friend Becca who came 10 minutes before that! I got second row seats, and proceeded to put out my pre-printed "reserved for P Family" papers. It's cutthroat for seats at our school. We don't mess around.

OK. On to the performance. They came in.

Hi Shan! You're so cute. I love you too.

My handsome Elisha. Isn't he adorable?

Oh look! It's the side of Jakie's head. Why, oh why did he turn away? Typical Jakes. But you do get a nice view of (a) his haircut I gave him-not too shabby, huh? and (b) how his hair grows sideways a la my brother David. But then again that doesn't really matter because he and Elisha (and Dovi too) will be balding by age 18.

Shana her friend saying their lines

Jakie and co saying their lines

And my shrimpy Elisha and his TALL friend saying their lines.

Seriously? How cute are they?

And after the performance, one of the teachers came up to me:

Her: "And NOW is when it's awesome having triplets"

Me: "I know! I only had to come once!"

Her: "No, I meant triple the nachas!"

Me: "(furiously backpedaling) "Oh yes, that too! It's soooo wonderful!"

I was seriously sweating by the time we left from the effort of getting everyone's pictures.

And now I leave you with two little video clips.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My day with Rachel

Yesterday, I went thrifting with a new bloggy friend, Rachel. I've known her for about 10 years-well known who she is-but we've become friends because we both blog.

And we have discovered a mutual love of thrift stores.

Yesterday being Memorial Day Monday, neither of us had to work. So we ditched the kids with various family members (me, my hubby, her, her mom), and hit the stores. Both stores we went to were half price-one is half price every Monday, one just this Memorial Day.

We had a blast! Here's the plunder.

White long sleeve shell... $1
White CK short sleeved tee for under tops... $.50
Tan t shirt... $1
Black velour hoodie...$1.50. I have a great obsession love for hoodies. And for yoga pants. Which is ridiculous because I don't wear pants out of the house.

Summer skirts! Yay!
Green layery skirt...$2
A line jean skirt...$2.25
Orange H&M...$2
Stripey Abercrombie...$1.50

Crazy dress (you can tell which that is)...$2
Black ruffly wrap dress...$1.75
short sleeved Gap denim shirt...$1.50
grey fringy, layery skirt...$2
2 ties for Benjie...$.50 each

Ummm...yes, I'm wearing my new yoga pants in the picture. Kind of a greenish color, velour.
I might have to sell them on ebay.

No, I don't have a two year old.

But it was so cute we got it for Shosh's incredibly cute daughter, T

So grand total, $27.
For my wardrobe for the entire summer.

Not bad if I might say so myself.

Rachel-want to go again next week????

Monday, May 25, 2009

How'd you spend YOUR weekend?

I spent the weekend switching the kids from winter to summer.


Don't worry, sweeties. It is clean now. All clothes are either put away or repacked in the totes and put into the attic. If you don't have an attic I highly recommend investing the money for a pull down ladder, light, and plywood floor. Life changing in the clutter department.

And when the kids are bad we put them up there.


Really not.

Don't all go call DCFS on me. I'm JOKING.

For real.

Maybe I should delete that whole joke.

Then I organized my coupons. Yikes. My dining room table is COVERED!!

And then I cut the kids' hair myself.

Yes, myself.

With this clipper.

It actually worked very well. I didn't scalp 'em!

And then last night I ate lemon log for dinner.

While reclining on the couch.

And today I hit the thrift stores with another blogger.

We're doing a joint post for tomorrow with our plunder.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Note to Self.

If you hang decorative plates on your wall with adhesive

and you are cooking in your kitchen when it is 800 degrees outside

and your kitchen heats up to approximately 900 degrees

the adhesive that holds said decorative plates will melt,

thus causing the plates to begin to fall off the wall.

Luckily, the pretty P plate was saved.

I cannot say the same for the two little saucers.

Rest in peace, little saucers.

Luckily, they fell tonight.

Not on my children's heads while eating breakfast at the kitchen table.

Worldless Wednesday--But Wait it's Thursday!

Oops. I had it all planned. I was going to share this picture yesterday. But then I got carried away by home decor. You know how it is.

Dovi is notoriously unphotogenic. Terrible. He grimaces, makes goofy faces, closes his eyes, etc etc etc.

So feast your eyes on one of the most gorgeous pictures of Dovi ever taken.

It was actually on my cell phone, and I don't have a data plan. So I picture texted it to Benjie on his Blackberry, and he was able to email it back to me.


I could seriously take a bite out of his cheek. Or his ear. Is that wrong?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Getting Sick of the Home Decor Yet?

For those of you who are not aware of this phenomenon, when Dovi has medical issues going on, I get seized by a burning desire to be crafty/redecorate my home.

My friend Aliza says it's called transference-transferring the inability to control Dovi's medical issues into the controlled environment of craftiness.

Whatever the whole psychobabble explanation is, when Dovi is sick, I paint. Or decoupage. Or hot glue.

So, without further ado.

I read this tutorial. And had to do it.

And I hung it up on the wall in my kitchen.

But it looked sad.

And lonely.

It needed friends.

So I went to the scary thrift store on half price Monday.

Ta da!

Total cost?

$3.60 for the entire display.

Well, if you include the mounting hardware, $6.60.

Plate 1 (the monogrammed one) cost $.50
Napkin pack cost $1.99
All other plates? $1.11 together
Mounting hardware cost $3


Monday, May 18, 2009

The Masses Have Spoken

Off come the panels.

I'm taking laPetiteDesk to work tomorrow and begging and groveling asking the guys to hack off the mission spindles. Maybe they'll have some beadboard hanging around. Or some plywood and molding. Ooh I'm getting excited.

For those of you who don't know, I work at a custom cabinetry shop.

Be jealous.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My $18 Desk Area/If It's the Spring You'll Find Me Spray Painting on My Front Lawn

A few weeks ago (oh who am I kidding-on Thursday-I have major instant gratification issues) I decided that I wanted a little desk in my den. My laptop currently lives on my sofa, and frankly, it was only a matter of time before one of us bumped it onto the floor. So I decided I wanted a petite desk. I only had 30 inches of wall to deal with, so I knew it would be tight.

I found one that was pretty nice at Target, but I did not feel like spending $100. I've been crazy thrifty recently-at some point in the near term I'll tell y'all about my $15 grocery shopping. For the entire week. Including 6 pounds of ground beef and a bag of Tilapia.

But I digress.

So I wanted a desk. I am cheap.

On Friday, I was at a thrift store, hunting for plates for my kitchen wall (oh yeah, I need to show you a picture of a decoupaged plate I made. With a tutorial from here. I {heart} this blog).

Then I saw her. She wasn't much to look at, but she was the perfect size. Dumped the plates on a shelf (heck this thrift store is such a disaster I'm sure no one noticed). I looked at her price.


But she was (a) light wood and (b) mission style.

But she was $15 and the right size so I knew I could make it work.

I decided to cover the mission spindly things with tufted upholstered panels. I found 2 old canvases in my scary slasher basement that fir PERFECTLY, as well as some brown fabric and some fiberfill. I couldn't find the batting, so just artfully arranged the fiberfill :) Then I tufted the panels with some $.88 for two buttons from Wal Mart. I'm considering asking the guys at work if they have any beadboard that they can cut to fit-and I'll remove the panels. But they work for now.

All I needed to buy were 2 buttons and 2 cans of black spray paint.

After I painted it black, I decoupaged a toile P on the top of the desk and put on about 5 coats of poly to protect the whole thing.

Then I "shopped the house" and found an unused black shelf in the basement, another canvas that I upholstered to use as a bulletin board, an unused lamp, and a little flower pot that I painted black and embellished to use as a pencil cup.

I forgot to take before pictures until I was mid-primer spray. So ignore the odd gray primer marks.

I am not a fan of the mission style. Apologies to anyone I offend.

And now...the great reveal. It turned out even better than I had hoped!

Opinions on the upholstered panels? Unsure.

But overall, for $18? Can't beat it!

And then I found a blog carnival. Go over to Southern Hospitality to see what other thifty decorators are doing...

Friday, May 15, 2009

And Now...the Benjie Fainting Story


Benjie almost fainted on Tuesday at the doctor's office. I did not.

Now I will publicly humiliate my husband tell the story.

When Benjie was 18, he tore some ligaments in his ankle playing basketball.

He needed surgery. I actually have pictures from then. I'll try and dig 'em up (yes. We started dating when Benjie was 17 and I was 16. awwwww) for you all.

When they took off his cast 6 weeks post surgery, he fainted. They're not sure why-some reaction to the shock to his system of his leg moving after being immobile? Whatever the reason, he fainted. He was fine, we all just mocked him a bit.

Fast forward 14 years.

My husband is not squeamish at all. He watches Shark Week on the Discovery Channel and live surgery on the internet. He's not scared of blood or gore.

On Tuesday, Dovi got his cast (on his leg, remember-like Benjie's leg) removed, as you all recall.

Benjie was sitting on the table with Dovi, and I was texting sitting in the chair next to them.

Ella, Dr. Feldman's nurse, was removing the stitches, we were all chatting. Dovi was playing with the music on Benjie's phone.

I looked up. Benjie was literally white as a ghost.

"Benjie, are you ok?"

"I'm not sure. I feel really weird"

Ella looked up:

"Mr. P (she always calls us Mr. and Mrs. I don't think she can remember our first names)! You're about to faint!"

We made him sit in the chair and Ella put a cool compress on his neck. We got him water. We mocked him. He felt better.

We mocked him some more.

Dr. Feldman (after he mocked Benjie a little too) said is was a vasovagal reaction.

For whatever reason, his body "remembered" the experience of 14 years ago and was gearing up for a repeat.

Then Dr. Feldman told us other funny stories of parents fainting, including one when the mother fainted and the father, while they were dealing with the fainted mother, asked Dr. Feldman and Ella where they should go for lunch.

So there you have it.

Never invite Benjie along for when you're getting a lower leg cast removed.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Keepin' It Real...


there has been some chatter (who am I kidding? I have 12 followers. Who is chatting?) that I keep a reasonably organized, neat home. Well, I DO like decorating. And I try and keep it clean. And often it is.

Yes. My table is set for Shabbos already.

But let's keep it real, folks.

Be prepared to avert your eyes. It's not pretty.

Time to stop blogging and start cleaning.

Benjie story coming tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How do you say no to this??

Short answer, you don't.
Yes, Dovi, you may play Wii for the 3rd hour today. Yes, Dovi, you may watch TV in your pajamas.

After today?

Off to school.

We have the wheelchair with elevating leg rests and seat belt (won't even tell you what I went through this morning to get that delivered today. Remember my woes with my home health provider and them losing orders/messing things up/generally wreaking havoc? Yup, did it again).

We have the doctor's note clearing him for school.

Buh bye, Mr. D. Enjoy your day at school tomorrow.


We had a 9 am at Dr. Feldman. Arrived at 10:30. We were late for a few reasons:
  • New York traffic sucks. Big time.
  • I forgot the iPass in the car in Chicago. Which meant we needed lots of cash for all the tolls we had to go through. But the magnetic strip on Benjie's cash card no longer works and...ummmm....I forgot the PIN for my card. It could have been (these are not the real numbers but you'll get the idea) 3368, 3668, or 3688. So we tried all three, and in the process put a fraud alert on my card and deactivated it (maybe the trying it at 3 different ATMs was a bad idea?). So we were in Teaneck at 8:40, having left my brother's at 7:50, and needing to be in the Village at 9. With literally not one dollar of cash. And then I had an epiphany. No mocking, k? I have a Chase account that I only use for my bargain hunting- I got sick of seeing 20-30 $1-2 charges on my debit card from my primary checking-it made a PITB to balance. So I opened up another account. I dump $50 or so a month into it and keep track of my deals on line. Voila! So...I had $65 in deposits to make in my purse. We found a Chase bank, deposited it, and withdrew it right back out. I seriously have not a clue what we would have done had I not thought of that. The 10 minute stop at Dunkin Donuts didn't help either!
But between those two problems, we didn't get to the 9 am appointment until 10:15/10:30. Yikes.

Dovi's leg looks great. Only one little pin protrutding ever so slightly. Most of his stitches came out. It's not too bad at all. Except for Benjie, who almost fainted. We were all much amused. If you ask nice, I'll publicly humiliate my lovely hubby by telling that story.

So D is recasted in a NONwaterproof cast (boo hoo! But he needs lots of padding due to, ya know, the pin protruding from his skin and the 8 million stitches) and we need to see him again to remove the cast in June. Which means that we'll have a slightly longer trip to NY for Yaffa's Bat mitzvah than previously planned, because Dr. Feldman doesn't see patients on Friday or Monday. So we have an appointment on Tuesday. Happy Summer Vacation Before Summer Vacation, kids!

Then, since he was a bit under the weather on Monday, we scooted over to Dr. Axelrod to get him cleared to fly home.

After 2 hours in radiology and 2 more in Dr. Axelrod's office, it was determined that, no he did not have pneumonia, only a slight atelectasis (airlessness of the lung), but he was satting fine. So he was fine to fly home as long as he was on oxygen (check!), we nebbed him in the airport (check!) and was on continuous oxygen monitoring (not check!). Oops. We do not have a portable pulse oximeter (note to self: get portable pulse oximeter).

It was 3 pm. Flight at 8 pm. I was sure as heck not staying in New York and away from the little ones another night for no reason.

So the hunt was on. My wonderful friend Eli had one for me-but she was in Passaic, home with her son who had just broken his leg, and Passaic is just a little far from JFK. So next I called my friend Dini-who lives in Monsey. She has many connections to Chesed organizations, so I thought she might have a connection to a medical supply g'mach in Queens/Long Island. She did not. But she DID have the pulse ox for us. So wonderful Dini hopped in her car from Monsey and met me halfway-in the middle of Harlem. I was cracking up-she literally opened her window and passed us the goods-for sure people thought we were doing a drug deal. If they only knew!

Then we headed off to JFK, with a little side trip to Cedarhurst to grab some Subway for dinner. Yummmm....

Got to the airport, nebbed Dovi,

And flew on home.

D and I have been hanging in our jammies all day.

Dinner just arrived. (thank you Michelle!)

Back to real life tomorrow.

Home Sweet Home.

We're home.

Thank G-d.

Will update all later.

Suffice it to say our triumphant return home involved a rendezvous with a Chassidish woman in Harlem and the transfer of medical supplies through open car windows.

Monday, May 11, 2009

And oh yeah I suck

Remember how I did a whole bunch of thank-yous and said I shouldn't be going this because I'd surely forget someone?

I did.

I forgot my mom.

The woman, who, y'know, birthed me?

And flew in for four days and cared for my children?

And spoiled them rotten?

Yep, her.

I'm a real gem.

Thank you so much, Mommy, for all you did and continue to do. We couldn't do it without you.

Seriously? Seriously?

Everyone, think happy thoughts for us about getting home tomorrow...

The D man was in crisis (remember our happy times in January?) on and off all night last night. And he had a fever of 104.

Benjie took him to see Dr. Axelrod this morning.

His throat is red, but his lungs are clear.

They put him on antibiotics to be safe. Hopefully that will get him organized and well enough to fly home.

I must say, the boy has the most impeccable timing. He had all week last week to pull this stunt.

Why 24 hours before we're going home?

And oh, yeah....I'm in Chicago.

Fun, fun!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Ooh La La

I am posh.

I am chic.

I lurve my new layout.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I Made It

Wow. I'm tired.

But I'm in Chicago and Benjie is in New Jersey. The plans went off without a hitch.

My brother drove me to the airport. Yoeli came to take care of Dovi.

Benjie parked his car at the airport and left it unlocked with the keys in the glove compartment. Before you all judge me, if anyone would like to steal an eight year old Galant that's making a funky clunky noise, has 62,000 miles, and a cracked windshield, feel free. He also left it with some flowers in the front seat for me. Awwwwww.

I landed at 9:15, grabbed the car, and was at work by 10 am.

Yoeli and Dovi picked Benjie up at JFK at 9:30. My sister in law was watching D from when I left a 6 am until Yoeli came at 7 am. I *thought* Dovi had fallen back asleep (see below. I'm making no sense today. This post is all over the place. Sorry), but Tamar called me at 7:15. Dovi had scooted his little self up two short flights of stairs (she has a split level) to her kitchen without her realizing it!

All is well.

Except that Dovi woke up FOR THE DAY at 4 am. Yes, 4 am. That's 3 am Chicago time. I've been up since 3 am. I did sleep on the plane...but....I feel kinda fuzzy.


And to go to sleep tonight.

In closing, a big thank you to all those who made today possible:

Aaron for taking me to the airport. and for letting us live in your house for two weeks.
Tamar for watching Dovi. And for letting us live in your house for two weeks.
Yoeli for watching Dovi and picking Benjie up at the airport
My mother in law for getting ESJ off to school
Rebecca Amster for driving carpool FOR THE PAST TWO WEEKS. Seriously, Rebecca, you are an angel.
Shosh for bringing me dinner tonight. I'm clueless as to what is in my house.
While I'm at it, more thank yous to my other dinner givers:
And also an enormous thank you to my sister in law Rochie, for having ESJ come home to her house this whole week, feeding them dinner, and doing their homework with them. While she has four kids herself.

And I'm sure I've forgotten someone and I'll be kicking myself. But I'm soooo tired.

I cannot thank you all enough.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

On a More Serious Note

Dovi is doing well.

He's been quite the busy guy, entertaining guests, dining in fine restaurants, and doing a spot of shopping.

My sister came yesterday.

We went to Garden State Plaza to look for clothing for ourselves for my niece Yaffa's Bat Mitzvah which is in June (yes, we are going BACK to New Jersey the weekend of June 7!) . We were successful! Yay! Either way, in the mall, there is a carousel. Dovi was happy.

He actually sat in a store with my mother and me today for almost two hours! (he entertained himself by taking pictures with my phone and texting Benjie)

My back, on the other hand, is beginning to feel the pain of shlepping around a 70 pound hunk of burning lurve.

I come home on Thursday morning!!! Benjie and I are switching places. I miss Elisha, Shana, and Jakie SO much-I cannot wait to see them.

Today was Yaffa's Hebrew Birthday. So we had dinner and cake at my brother David's house. Happy birthday Yaffa!

An Ode to the French Fry

Oh my lovely French Fry

My beautiful golden stalk of potato.

I would love to partake all day long

Of your gorgeous, crunchy oiliness.

When with you I do feel complete.

The perfect combination of crunch and soft.

Oh Potato!

Oh French Fry!

You are the most perfect shade of ocher.

Your oil is so very lovely.

If given the choice

I would eat nothing but you.

As it is my mommy is a very large pushover

And I have partaken of you no less

Than three times in two days.

Oh the joy.

Oh the heaven!

Dear French Fry...

How I love you.

You complete me.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Alternate Plans

As we expected, the Yankees game was rained out.

No worries, Raphi managed somehow to get four tickets for Thursday night. So Benjie gets to go after all. I'm still trying to figure out how Benj pulled it off.

So...what to do on a rainy Sunday in New Jersey?

How about a get together with Raphi, Yoeli, and Ezra? Good idea!

Hugs all around...

Adina, Ezra's mom was shocked that Dovi lays on the floor all time-just like Ezra! So they relaxed together. See how they're holding hands? They kill me.

And chatted.
Notice those adult sized legs and feet on the bottom right of this photo?

That's Yoeli, being attacked by three little ladies (2 of my nieces and Ezra's younger sister). We told him that worst case scenario, if the Dovi's Life shidduch page doesn't work out, hey, they're only 19 years younger than him.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Aack! Rain!

I guess hubby's extreme jealousy of us going to the Yankees game without him paid off.

It's raining.

No Yankees game for us.

Boo hoo.

They're on their way to Teaneck now and alternate plans are being made.

These alternate plans involve Raphi, Ezra (remember Dovi's best buddy ezra?), and Yoeli, Ezra's counselor.

BTW, ladies, as far as I know, Yoeli's single too :)

Hey! I should start the Camp Simcha Special weekly single guy feature or something. Maybe some shidduchim can be made :)

I crack myself up.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I'm sure you've been on the edge of your seat

waiting for an update from Shabbos.

I'm sure you all have been hitting "refresh" over and over on the home page, waiting with baited breath to hear how Dovi's Shabbos was.

Aside from the fact that traffic sucked and they got there a wee bit late (for early Shabbos, not for regular Shabbos)

And that I miswrote one of his meds instructions and they almost overdosed him on Robinol (sue me! It was liquid and I'm not used to the liquid form, and i wrote mg instead of mL...luckily Raphi and Sarah Miriam-the nurse-are fairly intelligent people and realized what I must have meant)

And they couldn't get his Shabbos pants over his cast and he wore black track pants to shul on Shabbos...

he had an amazing, fabulous time.

He didn't want to call me tonight!

He stayed with Raphi, and they were ordering pizza and watching movies.

Next up tomorrow?

Yankees game.

Yeah, Dovi's really convalescing.

Friday, May 1, 2009

OK He's Gone

And I totally, 100% made the RIGHT choice.

He was sooooo excited.

Raphi and Hudi were only 30 minutes late.

I only forgot to pack his black shabbos sock and his belt.

I've texted them and said he can't look nerdy with white socks.

Here's to hoping for good traffic!

I'm so glad I sent him.