Monday, November 30, 2009

Boys vs. Girls

So today my kids (well 2/4) decided to write recipes.

Guess which was written by a boy and which was written by a girl.

Elisha's recipes for Ice Cream Bread and Fruit Bread, respectively

Shana's Chocolate Chip Pie.

I must say that my kids are fabulous.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

December 17th

Guess what happens on December 17th?

It's a very exiting day for Mr. Dovi.

He's getting his braces off!!!!

Huh? You ask. Didn't he just get them on last summer?

Why yes, he did get his uppers on over the course of last summer. A few brackets here, a few brackets there.

Then he got a tooth pulled this past summer to make a bit more room.

And let me tell you, those upper teeth look beautiful. Straight and perfect. Seriously amazing when we remember where he came from. I might ahve to ask the orthodontist for before and afters to show you all.

Well Dovi still doesn't have his bottom braces.

And he's not getting them.

We (and his wonderful orthodontist) have decided that the effort, pain, and frustration that will come along with the lower braces far, far, FAR outweighs the benefit that he would get from them. We'd have to pull at least three more teeth and put bands and brackets on every one of his teeth. Yikes. That would be absolutely terrifying.

So we're calling it.

Yes, he has an itty bitty crossbite.

Yes, one of his bottom teeth is not even-it's a bit behind the others.

Yes, it could be better.

But sometimes, you've gotta be happy with good enough.

And when Dovi smiles at you, his teeth look good enough. And good enough is good enough for us to not put Dovi through hours and hours of torture.

So on December 17th, Dovi's getting his braces off.

He is SO excited.

Monday, November 23, 2009

An addendum to the Obsession Confession

I can't believe I forgot this part!

I have introduced my daughter to the loveliness that is velour yoga pants.

I bought her a pair (where else than the Unique for $1) of black velour yoga pants.

Washed them.

Stuck them in her drawer.

She discovered them yesterday.

Ran up after school and changed out of her uniform skirt and into the velour yoga pants.

Happiest little clam ever. She couldn't get over how cozy she was.

She's soooooo my daughter.

Love her.

An Obsession Confession

My name is Sara.

And I am inappropriately obsessed with:



Velour Yoga Pants.

I cannot get enough of them.

Whenever I go to my favorite store (10 points, or a bottle of kechup, whichever your preference, to the first person who names my current favorite storethatisnotJewel), all I have draped over my arm are those two types of clothing.

It's rather ridiculous considering that I do not wear pants out of the house, unless you count tucked into my Uggs under a long black skirt.

My hoodie obsession is bordering on inappropriate. Yesterday was grey velour. Today was navy terry. Friday was black sweater. It's ridiculous.

I always complain to Benjie that I have nothing to wear.

I'm beginning to think that it's not that I have no clothing. It's because I constantly buy the same items over and over again in slightly different versions.

But then again, maybe hoodies are my signature look? Jackie O had her sunglasses, Sara P has her hoodies? That's gotta be it.

And I must say that wearing velour yoga pants and a terry hoodie while drinking red zinger out of my monogrammed mug while your kids happily eat their tuna quiche, salad, and veggie rice is rather lovely and Susie-Homemakery.

And it's also much more relaxing to drink my red zinger now that I don't feel like I need to ration it. I'm plowing through box 1 out of 6 at a steady clip.

Hooray for Hoodies!

Hooray for Velour Yoga Pants!

Hooray for Red Zinger!

I promise that I'll share the P for Dummies book soon. But really, it's not so exciting. Don't get all excited over it. I'm also just very lazy, and my camera is currently full with 9 months of pictures that need to be uploaded to Snapfish so as to empty my memory card and take pictures of P for Dummies. Yes, Shosh, I still have not emptied my camera. I'm clearly mother of the year.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Silly Readers

It's not you all who are nicely commenting to me that I'm concerned about.

It's the scary insane crazy people who read blogs and steal pictures and pass them off as their own families and know your personal address who scare me.

Not you people.

It's the ones who aren't commenting.

I hope to get to P for Dummies today-I just ran a few miles and have a few more Shabbos prep things to do (although my table is set and candles are as well!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hello? Hello? Anyone out there?

Are there any of my loyal readers left?

After all I haven't blogged in almost a week! Horrors!

I wish I could say it was because I was off vacationing in some amazing spa.

Alas, it's just life.

Sunday was Dovi's birthday dinner out. We went to a yummy Israeli restaurant. Dovi (and Elisha) got chicken nuggets. Shana got a hot dog. My apparently only smart child, Jacob, got a steak sandwich. Goofballs.

I had a chemistry test on Monday, which I successfully argued a question to be correct. People in college or who know chemistry: What is the maximum valence capacity of phosphorus? Comment your answer and I'll explain what went down. All I know is that my class loves me now because I got everyone points.

Tuesday was my kids' school book fair. It was a blast but I was at school literally for over NINE hours.

Wednesday I had book fair wrap up, school for me, and then PT for Dovi, and then Jewel for like two hours. It's a process I tell ya.

And today is today and here I am blogging.

I'm happy to report that:

  • Dovi had a rocking birthday. He got a Patrick Kane jersey from my mom which seems to be the coolest gift a 12 year old can get.

  • I ordered and received SIX boxes of red zinger tea from Amazon. Then one of my loyal readers emailed me that she found it. At a store less than five miles from my house. But no matter, I'm stocked in red zinger for a while. Speaking of which, I'll go make a cup now.

  • I'm sure no one noticed, but I have a request to make. I've decided that there are some nut jobs out there. None of you guys, my lovely readers, but there are some loony toons out there (the woman I saw by my school who was wearing gloves on her feet comes to mind). So I decided to take my last name off my blog. Now 99.9% of you know me in real life and can stroll on over to visit me. But in order to attempt to retain some level of privacy (kind of an oxymoron being as I blog), I no longer want my last name out there. So do me a favor and if you comment, don't write my last name. And DJ? Please call me Sara. It's making me nervous. I'm not a Mrs.

Hmmm I think that's all for now. Tomorrow I'm blogging on my "P Family for Dummies" book and all that jazz.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Know what today is?

It's my boy's birthday.

Yup. Dovi is 12 years old today.

One year till the big Bar Mitzvah. I told Benjie that I need to figure out a way to tell people that Dovi's Bar Mitzvah is in one year without crying every time. It's getting a little ridiculous.

But I digress.

I'm trying to think of some amazing, inspiring things to say.

But then I realize that there is nothing that I need to say.

Thank G-d, Dovi is here. He's healthy (in his own way). He is happy. He is thriving. His surgery on his leg in April was a success and he's walking even better. His speech is improving all the time.

I'm not sure there's anything else to say.

Happy Twelfth Birthday, Dovi Bear. We love you so much.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Insurance Stupidity Take 283,456

I swear. I could spend all day telling you all stories of the idiocy that I experience dealing with insurance companies. It seems that they try and find ways to make things difficult for us parents of medically involved children. Most parents would not expose their children to radiation just for kicks. Obviously, if a doctor ordered an x-ray, it was medically necessary. Must we submit a million pages of documentation to prove that?

But I digress. I have an actually amusing (well other special needs people will find it amusing. The rest of you will be perplexed) story to tell you all.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I'm not mistaken, the statute of limitations to bill someone for medical procedures is two years. Keep that in mind.

On October 17, 2007, Dovi broke his tibia (remember the six month stint of ongoing broken legs?). How do I know that very specific date, now, over two years later?

Well, my readers, that's because I received a bill from the orthopedist who saw Dovi in the emergency room. In September of 2009. For the date of service October 17, 2007. And I had never received any correspondence from the orthopedists' office before.

Hmmmm who do you think was auditing their accounts and realized that they didn't collect from the insurance company and decided to try and do something about it?

So I called the orthopedist practice in September and informed them that there was absolutely no chance of them seeing a penny of the $431 they were billing me. I don't even have that insurance anymore, but I knew that the policy covered emergency services at 100% coverage after a $50 co-pay. Which I paid. So heck if I was giving them $431. And had they contacted me, say, 18-24 months ago, I would have been happy to contact my then-insurance company to work it out, but this was soooooo not my problem anymore. I believe I might have ever so slightly slammed the phone down after informing them of said facts.

Well, they sent me another bill in October. I called them again. The "sweet" woman I spoke to informed me that I could say it wasn't my problem as much as I wanted, but if I didn't pay the bill they'd take me to collections. And they had been corresponding with my then-insurance company for the past two years but had been unsuccessful in collecting the account. I believe I hung up on her.

I then rethought the issue and decided that it was to my benefit to get it taken care of before the bill collectors came a-calling.

So I called them back and informed them that since I was a very reasonable person (I actually SAID that! I'm gutsy), I would call the insurance company ONE TIME and try and deal with it. And by the way, can I please have my ID number and group number because I haven't had this insurance in almost two years thankyouverymuch?

So I called. Got a very lovely guy on the phone.

Want to know why they denied the claim over and over? Well it seems that the orthopedists' office was billing the claim as an inpatient service when Dovi had never been admitted! And since there was no inpatient authorization on file, the claim was denied.

Ooh was I pleased to hear it was the orthopedists' fault.

So I asked the guy if we could conference the orthopedists' office on the line. He was happy to oblige.

We called the previously condescending snooty woman. She was all "we've been submitting, you keep denying, she needs to pay" etc

Then the insurance guy told her how they'd screwed up. Let me tell you, she was silent. But she never admitted she was wrong! She just got the fax information and said she'd fax over the claim and hung up sooooo fast.

But today, I had a message on my answering machine from the insurance guy telling me that he had not yet received the corrected claim from the orthopedists' office. Now I need to call them again. Drat.

Monday, November 9, 2009

So. You Want to Make Some Sushi.

We can do that!

I love sushi.

It's yummy.

It's relatively healthy.

And it appeals to my whole "everything in its place" mentality. Those little rolls of sushi are so nice and organized!

Sushi is often misunderstood. It looks a little daunting-all those ingredients, all sliced so neatly, yikes!

But I promise. If I can do it, so can you. You only need a few items.

Let's get started.

First, we need our rice. And the rice needs its seasonings.


Sushi Rice-you can buy it in the grocery store in the ethnic food aisle. I've never made sushi with regular rice. I suppose it sort of would work, but sushi rice is stickier than regular rice. So you can try it. But don't blame me if it doesn't work.



Rice Vinegar-the most important ingredient. Once I was making sushi and didn't have any rice vinegar-I used tarragon vinegar, and while it was ok, it DID taste a little funky.

And don't worry, I'll tell you how much (ish) of everything you need.

I think you all can safely figure out what these items are. But for those who really don't know what's going on in the kitchen, these are an avocado, a cucumber, and a carrot. Maybe this tutorial isn't for you. But for everyone else... And don't you see the package of mock crab next to the veggies? The invisible ones because I forgot to take a picture? C'mon. Pretend it's there. Mmmmmm. I love me some mock crab. Yummers. You need it. You can buy it most anywhere-but I generally run to the kosher store to get it because I also need...

Seaweed and wasabi powder. And a bamboo mat. The bamboo mat lasts forever, the seaweed does not. And I used to buy seaweed at the grocery store because "they" said any seaweed was fine, but then I read the back of the seaweed package, where it said that it might contain shellfish. Ahem. Sushi Metsuyan seaweed for me.

So now you have everything you need. Oh yeah.

You also need a cutting board, a sharp knife, some measuring cups and spoons, a small bowl of water, and a pot. And some yummy coffee. But that's to sip as you roll. Or as you blog. And a sick little girl (is 99.8 fever? Discuss)who is making me stay home in my pjs today. And ditch school. In my pjs. Did I mention that I'm in my pjs? I feel so decadent!

Ok back to sushi, enough about jammies and coffee and 8:15 on a Monday morning.


Let's make about 6 rolls of sushi yumminess.

Measure into a pot: (oops, no picture. Imagine)

1 1/2 cups rice and 2 cups water. As per the rice bag (toldya I'm lazy-my own recipe? ha! Read the bag to cook the rice, m'dears), bring to a soft boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Let it rest for 10 minutes.I often find it takes much shorter. Keep an eye on that rice. Don't forget it's cooking and then go jogging with your hubby and leave it cooking on the stove. It will burn. Just sayin'. Don't know who that happened to.

After it's done resting (it was hard work for that rice), you want to add some seasonings. Sprinkle about a few teaspoons of salt, a tablespoon or two of sugar, and lots of yummy rice vinegar. Don't ask me how much. Some. Sprinkle. Sprinkle some more. Then take a spoon and taste it. If it's too salty, add some sugar. Too sweet, add some salt. Not tangy enough, add more vinegar. Told you I'm lazy. Just sprinkle. Trust me.

Then, dump the rice into a bowl-it cools a but faster that way. I've burned my hands on too hot rice.

while the rice is cooling you need to cut your veggies. Remember the sharp knife and cutting board? Now it's time to use them.

here's my veggies. Well I forgot to take a picture of them in the beginning. So there's not that much left. And ooh yuck. I need a new cutting board. Mine looks kinda icky. But I digress. Notice the long thin slices of carrot and cucumber? Do that. And cut up the avocado into slices. If you don't know how to peel avocado nicely, ask me and I'll teach ya that next. It does not need to be scooped out with a spoon. What is up with that? wastes too much. Don't do it.

Oh yeah. Drink a bit more coffee. Mmmmmmm

Then unwrap about half of the mock crab-each piece is in plastic. Remove the plastic. Plastic is not yummy. Sushi is.

OK everything is all laid out nicely and ready. Cooked, seasoned rice, veggies, mock crab, and the bamboo mat and seaweed are nearby. Oh-one more thing-fill a small bowl with water to dip your hands in.

Now it's time to roll some sushi!

First things first. Lay out your mat. You can do that!

Lay a piece of seaweed on it.

OK here we go. Dip your hands in your water. You want them wet. Gather up a ball of rice in your wet hands. Kind of form it into a ball with your hands. It will look like this. Not sure why that's important, but it's what they do at the sushi places. So I do it too.

Now, take that ball of sushi rice and dump it on your seaweed. Pause and wet your hands again. All the wet hand-i-ness makes the rice not stick to you. Smoosh the rice all over the seaweed, leaving a small area around the perimeter without rice. See my picture? I'm very scientific.

Then, lay your veggies at the end of the rice closest to you. Choose what you want. I didn't have too much mock crab left (ate some by this point) so that's why I don't have a ton. But you can do whatever you want-no carrot, extra cucumber, whatever you, or your picky kids, want.

OK so now we're ready to roll ( literally!)
If you've made a jelly roll, it's similar-but even easier. I've never successfully made a jelly roll cake. Always falls apart. This works. So. Using your bamboo mat to help you, roll up the end a little-enough that there is a small roll of seaweed most of the way over the top and the filling items are encased. Like this.

Once it's enclosed, you want to squeeeeeeeze it. Kinds smoosh it together to be more compact. This is what makes the whole roll stay together. See me squeeeeezing? Ooh. I have old lady hands. What's up with my veins?

Pull back the bamboo. Your roll will hopefully look like this.

Say to yourself...hmmm...this wasn't too bad! I can do this!
Then flip the bamboo over the top again. Roll the sushi one more roll? revolution? Using the bamboo to hold it all together.
Squeeeeeeeze again.
Squeezing is important. It's also important to squeeeeeeze your kids. Hang on. Going to squeeeeeeze my sicky jammy girl.
OK. Back now.

Now that you've done the whole roll/squeeeeeze thing twice, you're left with a little bit of seaweed still to roll. Roll it right up. Don't need the bamboo at this point. But sometimes I flip the bamboo over again and squeeeeeeze again.
Now you have a roll of sushi! Once you get good at it, it takes about 30 seconds per roll. Stack them as you roll, and admire your handiwork.

Ahem. I forgot to take a picture of the slicing.
But once you have a whole pyramid of happy rolls, You need to slice them.
You want to use the sharpest, non-serrated knife you own.(those little knives from Israel are the best ones to use!) Serrated knives will rip apart the seaweed and you'll be sad. Trust me. I know what I'm talking about.
Take one of the rolls. I usually slice the first roll that I made first-because that roll has had even a little more time to mush together. So take a roll.
Put it on your cutting board. First, slice off your ends. They're a bit raggedy and not so pretty.
Slice em off.
Eat them. (They're messy, but yummy. We don't want to waste)
The, you want to slice your roll into slices about 1/2 inch wide. Use your sharp sharp knife, and as you slice, put them on your serving tray.
You need some wasabi, right?
OK. Take a little bowl. Pour in about a tablespoon of wasabi powder. Add little amounts of hot water to the powder until you get a nice pasty consistency. That was easy.
You've done it! Didn't it feel good to make 6 rolls for about $15 as opposed to buying 1 roll for $9.95?
I thought so.
And I promise. It's not hard. At all. I'm a cooking spaz, and I make it all the time.
Let me know how it goes!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A plea for help

I admit.

I have an obsession in life.

I adore red zinger tea.

It is the most perfect, delicious tea around.

I drink a cup a day. (1 tea bag + 1 splenda = bliss)

I am down to one ONE ONE ONE ONE ONE tea bag.

Why is that you may ask?

Well, no grocery stores here sell red zinger. They sell lemon zinger. wild berry zinger. raspberry zinger. But (sob) no (sob) red (sob) zinger.

I have purchased it in Publix in Florida and brought it home with me.

Most recently, someone found a box in a random fruit store and bought it for me.

However, I don't remember who bought it/which fruit store it was.

Hence, I am down to ONE ONE ONE ONE bag of tea.

And I am freaking out here, folks.

Please, someone.







I will pay a premium for it.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Go. Just Go.

If you live in Chicago

and eat bread

and buy said bread

and like to save money

and even if you don't

then please, please, PLEASE just listen to what I'm going to tell you.

Choose one Monday.

Go to the Entemenn's outlet. Shosh has blogged about it in the past. I thought I had blogged about it in the past but cannot seem to find it so pretend that I did.

Buy bread.

Save lots and lots of money.

Why a Monday, you ask? Well the Entemenn's outlet gives you a punch on a card for every $5 that you spend. When you fill up the card you get $5 off your next purchase. Well, Monday is double punch day. So you get $10 of punches for every $5 you spend. Nice.

What do they sell at the Entemenn's outlet?

Arnold's bread
Brownberry bread/buns
Weight Watchers products
Entemenns yumminess
Thomas' products

They also have something called the counter special, which is a specific item for $.50 with any other purchase, no limit. Be still my heart.

AND they give you free product for every $10 you spend.

Basically, they keep throwing stuff at you.

Today, I bought:

16 loafs Arnold's bread (yes, I have a deep freeze)
6 bags mini bagels
3 boxes Pop'ems (which are popping right onto my thighs as I type)
2 bags hot dog buns
2 bags Thomas' english muffins

I paid $19.88 for 27 bags of bread products.

The bread was the counter special. So the bread was $.50 a loaf! Cannot. be. beaten. Ever. Trust me. I've tried.
Pop'ems were counter special as well so $.50 per box. Ahem. Usually...what? $3.79 per box. Ha.
English Muffins were free item with each $10 purchase) she was nice and gave me a second bag even though I was at $19.88.

So really.

Even if you say you have no time to coupon. I totally get that. So send the hubby. Go on the way to work. Drag the kids.

Just go.

I figure I had about $150 worth of bread. For $19.88. Oh and I filled up my card so next time I go will be $5 less.

But I figure I won't be going until after Pesach.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Something very exciting occurred at our house on Sunday (well Benjie would argue that it was the installation of the new home theater system...speaking of which-are any of my readers good electronic tech-y people? We're having a few snafus with said home theater system...but no, I'm not here to blog about home theater systems)

So what was so exciting?

Dovi had a play date.

On Shabbos, Dovi informed me that he wanted to invite his buddy Seth over on Sunday "we watch da Bear game, Mommy".

So we called Seth on Sunday morning.

Wait, wait, I need to back up a tad. Seth is not a Keshet kid. Seth is a regular old kid from Schechter-who happens to love Dovi, and Dovi feels the same way. Through the years of awesome, incredible inclusion between the Keshet and Schechter kids, Dovi has managed to make himself some real, true friends.

And Seth is one of them.

So we called Seth. He wasn't home. We left a message.

His mom called back (speaking of which, didn't Sunday morning feel like it just went on forever? It had to be because of the time change. I'm telling you-at 10:30 am it felt like it had to be at least 3 in the afternoon). She said Seth was thrilled to come.

He came at about noonish, and stayed until 4:30. They watched the Bears game and played Wii.

Benjie and I always say that you can tell how parents raise their children by how they behave towards Dovi. And let me tell you, Seth's parents are doing something right.

He is so incredibly lovely to Dovi. Dovi tries, but he is really not a "normal" almost twelve year old boy. He's really more like a six or seven year old. But Seth? Totally gets Dovi. Totally cool with it when Dovi decided that he needed to lay down for a bit with his num num while watching the game. Exclaimed excitedly over Dovi's new Nikes that I picked up for him today (Famous Footwear, BIGI 50% off + 10% off entire purchase coupon-you don't think I'd just go in and buy a pair of shoes, do you?).

He was just so incredibly lovely. And what was really cool was that they are really friends-he wasn't just being nice to Dovi-he really likes him (you like me, you really, really like me! points to those who identify where that was said, and by whom).

Dovi had a fabulous day.

So did we.