Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cute things my kids have said

In the past.

When Elisha, Shana, and Jacob were little, I did not keep baby books. Instead, I kept two things. Baby Boxes and Toddler Notebooks.

Baby Boxes are little boxes where I tossed all their meaningful papers and stuff. The stuff from the NICU, papers from pediatrician visits, birthday cards, and the like. With three itty bitties to deal with, baby books were not in the cards.

Toddler Notebooks were little notebooks in which I wrote the funny things they said. And let me tell you, they said some funny things...

I hereby bring you...

funny little things said by funny little kids...

  1. "I wanna see the bunder"...
  2. "We went to Baby Country' (Chicagoans know where this is!)
  3. "Where's the fly sweater?"
  4. "I have a boo boo. I need a headband"
  5. "I like my paci. It is red. I like it in my mouth"
  6. "I was thinking of dirt. I digged"
  7. "That cloud looks like a lawnmower"
  8. "And I have three more things to tell you. I love you. How many phones are there at the cell phone store? Let's have a slllooooow hug"
  9. "My mouth is a kind of a bouncy cave. Because my tongue is in it. How dark is it in my mouth?"
  10. "Why are the Golden Grahams not gold?"
  11. "I want a bagel with pop machines' (anyone know what those are???!)
  12. "Mommy, where is Calcutta?" (huh?)
  13. 'Fishy, you cannot wear my pink shoes. Not today, not right now"
  14. "Moosie is a giant. A giant of the ABCs"
  15. "Don't worry, Mommy. I am the girl who helps"
  16. "Princesses DON'T clean up" (well that's not what you said before, Miss Shan)
  17. "On Yom Kippur the grown up don't eat. They rush" (get it? Fast? Rush? she's too cute!)
Those are some cute little stinkers.

Extra points for those who guess who said what...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Packin' Up

So a few Sunday ago, Benjie and I had to go up to Milwaukee to clean out and close up my father's apartment. We had to gather all of the personal stuff-papers, artwork, wine fridge (I kid you not-it's in my living room now!), CDs, cookbooks, and pottery and bring it back to Chicago to sort out.

It took us about four hours to finish packing up-luckily some stuff had been packed already. As we were packing up, we left the storage locker unlocked. Benjie went back to get some stuff and found an old man going through the boxes. Ahem? That is not your stuff, mister.

So we packed up the van. Luckily we had no children with us. Or we would have had to strap them to the roof.

See those big silver things in the back? Those are two foldable, portable wheelchair ramps. They are now mine. Dovi has had much need for wheelchairs in his little life, so we're quite excited to have them in our basement. But we got to thinking: Dovi needs the ramps every so often, but, ThankG-d, not all the time. There have to be times when other people are temporarily in wheelchairs, or they are having wheelchair bound guests. How about we help them too?! So we called the people who maintain G'Mach listings. For those who don't know, a G'Mach is almost like a lending library of something that you might need for a short time. G'Mach stands for (I believe) G'Milas Chasadim, or good deeds)\. There are bridal clothing G'Machs, baby equipment G'Machs, medical equipment G'Machs, to name a few. In New York there is even a GPS G'Mach for people who are traveling out of state!

So we are starting a Portable Wheelchair Ramp G'Mach. Sounds a little goofy, but why not? People can now invite wheelchair bound guests and have an easy convenient way to help them into their houses. I'm mighty excited, and hope that the word gets out and people take advantage. I already printed out labels with our last name and phone number and stuck them onto the ramps. We'll see what happens.

Also notice in the right hand side of the picture is a burgundy van? That's my dad's wheelchair accessible van. It has now been towed to Chicago and is parked outside my house. We need to sell it. Know anyone who wants a van with undermount lift and hand controls? I hope it sells quickly...

But let's look at another view of how out van was packed up.

Oy. Makes me stressed just looking at it.

After all the holidays are over, I will begin the enormous job of sorting and cataloging everything so everyone can figure out what's going where. Oh also notice the 2 reams of copy paper shoved by the door? Heck if I was leaving good office supplies behind. I shoved those suckers in.

I still cannot believe the volume of stuff we got in there. Our van was so loaded down that Benjie could not go over 55 on the highway. And I was terrified that our tires were going to blow out. They did not. We got home intact.

Wish me luck in the sorting....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

And you all mock my couponing.

Amazing lessons can be taught to your children, all through the magic of coupons.

This actually happened back in August but I forgot to blog about it then. So I will now. It's my blog. I can blog in non chronological order if I want to. So there.

One week this summer, the couponing G-ds aligned and there was a money making deal on Dannon yogurt. It involved coupon blinkies, multiple stores, and multiple trips to said stores, and much rolling of catalinas.

Being the insane couponing geek thrifty chick that I am, I took major advantage of said deal. To the tune of about 50 32 oz tubs of Dannon yogurt. Now I like yogurt, and my kids like yogurt, and Benjie hates yogurt , but even I could not eat 50 tubs of yogurt. I DID freeze a bunch in free Hefty One Zip bags, but STILL! it was excessive. Why did I buy so much yogurt that I did not need? Well the yogurt "paid" for lots of other stuff. Don't ask. It's complicated.

So I taught my kids a thing or two about food pantries. We loaded up the van with about 40 tubs of yogurt and some other assorted goodies and off we went to the local food pantry. My kids were AMAZED that some people don't have money for food (maybe that's because they see my insane grocery store stockpile in my basement). They couldn't get over that people need to go to the food pantry to feed their families.

We met the people who run the food pantry and gave them the yogurt.

Then one woman who works there (who happens to be Shosh's mother!) gave us a tour of all the other services they have there. My kids saw the free medical clinic, the free pharmacy, dentist's office, eye doctor's, and glasses "store". They were amazed. They really and truly could not wrap their little minds around the concept.

Now my kids know all about charity. It's a big concept in Judaism (as it is in many faiths) to give to those who are not as fortunate. But going to the food pantry made it real for them-they saw up close and personal what a less fortunate person might need.

So ahem, all ye of little faith in the power of the coupon. Much good can come from my madness those little pieces of paper.

They were so excited that they had helped. It was one of those "I'm an awesome mom" moments. Unlike today on the way home from Dovi's PT. Those little suckers were none too enjoyable.

But they like sushi. Just sayin'.

(Yes, of course I made the sushi. Would I ever spend $6.99 on a freaking California roll for those little clowns? I think not. And I made about 8 full rolls for under $10. It's REALLY easy peasy, I promise. Maybe I'll do Sara's Sushi for Lazy People if anyone is interested.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I've written in the past about what my normal is with Dovi.

Yesterday I picked up Dovi's meds from Target. You all know how I lurve Target pharmacy. Seriously. If you have medical needs that require prescriptions, I cannot stress enough my absolute adoration of the Target pharmacy. My only issue is that they are not 24 hours. Which is a problem when your nurse doesn't tell you that the valium is used up and it is Rosh HaShanah and you forget to walk to get it and only remember once they are closed when Rosh HaShanah ends and you have no valium in the morning. Don't know who that would have happened to. Just sayin'.

So I was unpacking Dovi's meds and as I was neatly stacking the 5 prescriptions that I picked up, it struck me how ridiculous my life is and how un-normal it is, but how normal it is for us. I had a virtual pharmacy of albuterol, pulmicort, valium, fludrocortisone, and clonidine all neatly arranged on my kitchen counter. Albuterol and pulmicort? Big boxes into the bathroom cabinet, individual packets one at a time into the side table in the den. Fludrocortisone? Kitchen cabinet. Valium and clonidine? Dovi's bedside table.

I started thinking about all the other hiding places I have for the equipment of the Dovi.

Feeding pump bags? Wicker basket on a kitchen shelf, of course.

Under bed drawer? Why that holds extra g-tubes!

Decorative box in Dovi's room? Diapers. Where else?

I try my darndest to hide all the stuff of Dovi. Because even though my house seems to function as a little mini hospital, does it need to look like that all the time?

So I try. I really do. And generally I think it works.

And my grrrr for the day? "member how I told you all that I won with the whole portable oxygen concentrator (Sequal) saga? And they WERE NOT going to charge my debit card? Well guess who was balancing her checking account and found a $200 charge? Why might you inquire, did I not notice a $200 charge? Well it was the day of my father's funeral. So there. Walgreens is getting a piece of MY mind at 8:00 am when they open. I expect that money back no later than 8:15. Will report in.

Oh and by the way...Bio quiz...aced that sucker. I think that unless my professor got all nitpicky and took off for something silly-I believe I got 10/10. But we'll see on Thursday...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Covalent Bonds, Isomers, Glucose, and the like.

I am officially immersed in school. My darned teachers think that they need to give quizzes and tests in rapid succession. I feel like I've spent the past week and a half cramming like in a summer school session.

But on an up note, I seem to be doing all right in most of the quizzes and tests. I'm not sure why some of my classmates have a hard time studying-oh yeah-they need to go out and party. There's a girl in my class who is on her third try through Bio 121. Yes, her third try. And it's not like she's trying her darndest and just can't pass the class. Nope. She just doesn't study. Ummm then why the heck are you wasting time and money???? I suppose that it's not my problem.

On another good note, I found a Jewel about a block from my Monday/Wednesday school, and only need to find another one near my Tuesday/Thursday location, for optimum deal shopping. Speaking of which, 10 packages of Eggo waffles? $4.90 + tax. I'm the nicest mommy ever with the little cinnamon toast waffly thingies.

Tomorrow I have a quiz on Proteins and Carbohydrates. They are about as interesting as this blog post. Which is not at all.

So I'll change topics, thankfully, because I'm boring even myself here.

As most of you know (because most of you know me in real life), my hubby davens from the Amud (leads services) on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, so we don't go to our normal shul (temple). Last night, Benjie went to Maariv (evening services) at our normal shul. The Rabbi asked Benjie where he was over Rosh Hashanah. Benjie told him that he davens, etc. So the Rabbi asked Benjie if he was going to be at our shul for Yom Kippur. Benjie said no. So the Rabbi then asked if there was any way he could just come for Kol Nidre. Benjie asked why. The Rabbi responded that everyone really missed Dovi on Rosh Hashanah.

You see, Dovi has a job at shul. When the Torah is read, it is put on a large table called the Bimah. Various people stand around the table-on three sides. The fourth side is usually empty. Well Dovi has taken it upon himself to stand on a little chair at the fourth side. He helps open and close the Torah, and cover it, and holds the pointer. Everyone loves him. And he loves it.

He has totally charmed the entire congregation. And then some.

Why does that not surprise me?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Things I Currently Love.

  • My "new to me" Keurig. Thank you, Tati (my father) for this little toy. When we cleaned out his apartment on Sunday I brought this back with me. It's soooo fun. Still trying to figure out why it makes so much better coffee than my Mr. Coffee. I think it might be because the little pods are oh so cute and tiny. Now to find a source for cheap pods.
  • Fresh Figs. OMG these are so good. When my mom was here this summer she bought some and I rolled my eyes-what the heck are those weird looking little green fruits-and I hate dried figs so I figured they were icky. They are not. They are divine. I ate a pint in less than 24 hours.
  • The fact that I am done with all my chemistry and biology quizzes and tests. Until Tuesday. But at least I don't need to cram study until Monday.
  • All my wonderful family and friends who took pity on my pathetic self and invited me for ALL the Rosh HaShana meals. You saved me and my family from a sad pathetic meal of deli and chumus.
  • Zara. Yes, Shana will most probably match most of the girls in our neighborhood this winter, but thanks to my lovely personal shopper sister in law, Shana's winter dress clothes are taken care of.
  • The fact that my lovely other personal shopper friend Michelle picked up dress pants for Dovi. And they fit perfectly.
  • Food 4 Less: kosher tater tots. On sale. Perfection.
  • Dominicks: closing a store for remodeling, everything 50% off. $180 worth of stuff, most of which I can never get for awesome deals, for $60+ tax. Thank you Elisha for that.
  • The fact that when I said "Goodbye, Stinky" to a I thought she was stinky T in the Dominicks parking lot, she looked at me and said "Goodbye Skunk" (seriously-how does a not even two year old crack jokes like that????) Oh look! Shosh blogged about it too! She's much funnier than me.
  • My kids. They are cute. And funny.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Things Dovi Says WITH AN ADDITION (because Benjie remembered another one)

Dovi's now a tweenager. He's 11. Almost 12. And he's funny. He totally gets the whole "cool" vernacular of kids (did I just use the word vernacular? The fact that I'm back in school must have gone to my head. Speaking of which? 100 on my chemistry quiz. 8/10 in my bio quiz. Should have been 9/10 but I'm a dummy and converted something backwards. But my second bio quiz? Oy. The notes I got from the classes I missed? Well they were slightly missing...ummm... about 95% of the information on the quiz. So I'll be pleased as punch to get 3/10 on that sucker. Currently memorizing ions for my chemistry test tomorrow. Then I breathe).

Yet again I digress.

Back to Dovi and his extreme cuteness.

Dovi's favorite thing to say when he likes something?

"Sweeeeeeet". (more like "shweeeet") Maybe I should get him to say it on video and upload it. It's that good.

When he likes what we say...

"Good call!" or "Guh cah" (thanks Benjie for this one)

Last night he was trying to be sneaky and steal the remote from Benjie to turn the baseball game back on. He reached over very nonchalantly and tried to take the remote off Benjie's lap. Benjie stopped him.

Dovi's response?

"Then again...maybe not" we about peed our pants laughing at him.

When we tell him he can't do something or reprimand him?

"OK, OK, enough already!" who teaches him these things???

And when he really loves you? Arm around your neck, tiny little hand caressing your hair (mostly Benjie gets this a week at most)

"This guy here...he is my Abba"

Is Dovi possibly the cutest guy in the entire world?

Love him.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I feel like

all I've been doing recently in my blog is kvetching (kvetching means complaining). I kvetch that my house is a mess. I kvetch that I have a lot to do. I whine. I complain.

And here I am, coming here AGAIN and kvetch about my house. But I suppose this is my blog and it's my darned right, right? On Sunday, Benjie and I went to Milwaukee and packed up and brought all my father's personal stuff. To my living room. Because, you see, as we got home last night, and Benjie started to shlep boxes (20 of them, if you must know, and about 6 large pieces of artwork. And a computer. And a wine fridge that is taller than Shana) to the basement, we discovered that our basement drain was backing up. Not flooding my basement making a terrifying mess, but making the floor a little wet.

So all the boxes are in my living room. As is the wine fridge.

So I need to kvetch more. Wow, my blog is just a barrel of laughs recently, huh?

We got the drain rodded out today. So we can take showers and run the dishwashers again. Now all the boxes need to get moved downstairs.

I have a terrifying list of things to do before Rosh HaShanah arrives. Luckily we're out for all the meals (I seriously don't know what I'd do otherwise).

But I have a list. And you all know that I believe that I can do anything with a list. I have my list of things to do. Shabbos shoes for Shan (Marshalls). Winter Shabbos dresses for Shan (I hear Zara is good this season). Sort out dress shirts for boys (climb into the attic and pull out the size 7 winter boxes). Move boxes to basement. Call shiva chair woman AGAIN (we've called every single day since shiva ended) to return the chairs that are in the middle of my living room. Take 2 biology quizzes, a chemistry quiz, and a chemistry test. All before Wednesday afternoon. Breathe. Deep cleansing breathes.

But I have to say that I am happy tonight.

I went to parent orienation tonight for ESJ. And I am the happiest woman ever. My kids have the best teachers for each of them that I could have ever imagined. Each of my kids have different personalities, different strengths and weaknesses. And each of their teachers is the perfect person to work with each of their personalities. I'm a happy person.

So it all works out. It always does. So we're fine.

I need to get all a-bloggy again. I need happy topics, peeps. Give me some ideas.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm back

First of all, thank you everyone for your well wishes, whether through comments, phone calls, or visits. It really meant a lot to me to know that you cared.

As you all know, my father passed away one week ago today. We got up from shiva this morning. He was 66 years old.

You are probably wondering what caused my father to pass away at such a relatively young age.

To fully explain, I need to go back about 40 years. That was when my father was diagnosed with sarcoidosis. For most people, sarcoidosis is not too life changing. However, for my father, it caused granulomas on his spinal cord, which slowly progressed, ultimately causing him to be essentially paralyzed from his waist down by the time I was about 12 years old.

Over the past 3 years, his health had deteriorated as he began to have more and more associated health issues from the sarcoidosis. About 2 years ago, a small mass was found on his pancreas. The doctors were of the opinion that the mass was probably nothing, a benign growth, but even if it was not, due to his poor health, there was nothing to be done. Nothing came of it, and we all forgot about it.

Fast forward to 3 weeks ago. My father was admitted into the hospital for surgery for gall stones. He'd had gall bladder issues for the past few years, and the doctors felt that they would need to replace the stents that had previously been placed in his gall bladder. In preparation for said procedure, he had an MRI so the doctors could see what was going on.

When they did the MRI, not only did they see the expected gall stones, but they saw that the small mass on his pancreas had grown exponentially and was now cancerous. This was on Tuesday August 24th. We were told that due to his poor health, he was not a candidate for either surgery or treatment. My father agreed and was transferred to a hospice facility on Friday August 28th.

My brother David and I went to see him on Sunday August 30th. He was completely with it and talking with us. On Wednesday he was in a lot of pain, thankfully controlled with medication. At about midnight on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, he became non-responsive. We were all called at about 3:30 in the morning to come quickly, and Benjie and I were in Milwaukee by 5:30 am. My sister Rebecca and other brother Aaron arrived from New York at about 1pm and he passed away peacefully at 6:30 pm, never regaining consciousness.

The funeral was Friday afternoon at 3pm at a family plot here in Chicago, and we sat shiva together at my house through Monday, and my siblings returned to the East Coast on Monday afternoon and we finished the week of shiva this morning.

Now I'm just trying to catch my breath and catch up on everything that gets neglected over the week of shiva.

Again, I'd like to thank everyone for their well wishes and condolences.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Just a quick post to inform all of Sara's blog readers that her father passed away tonight.

For the next 7 days, Sara will be sitting Shiva and will not be updating her blog.

Anyone who knows Sara in real life and wants to know funeral/shiva information can contact me.



I really, really love KMart double coupon days.


Ninety three cents got me all you see here:
  • 3 rolls paper towels
  • 4 rolls toilet paper
  • 400 napkins
  • 1 box pasta
  • 2 boxes granola bars
  • 2 boxes baking soda
  • 4 boxes coffee mate creamer sticks
  • 4 packets tuna
  • 8 kids' toothbrushes
  • 2 tubes carmex
  • 4 boxes single serve instant coffee
  • 1 8 pack reeses peanut butter cups
  • 2 2 packs reeses peanut butter cups
  • 1 pack wet ones
  • 1 bottle WD 40
  • 1 four pack batteries
  • and not pictured, safety goggles that I needed for chemistry class (can someone please explain to me why I paid a $50 lab fee for chemistry class and had to buy my own safety goggles? And furthermore, could someone also please explain to me why a girl in my class wore hers for our entire class today, including the first hour, where we were having lecture, not lab?
I started out at about $70. Paid $8.50 from my now used up Kmart gift card gotten for transferring a prescription (so I consider that free money) and $.93 on my debit card.

See the big huge two foot long receipts?

I love KMart doubles.

It took much planning and organizing, but I really think that I rocked the final KMart doubles event of the year.

If anyone is interested, I'm happy to give coupon matchups and the exact breakdown of how I did the deed.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Do I get to take a deep breath now?

Woah. Time to put the brakes on here.

You might have noticed that my postings have been a bit...spotty? irregular? the past week or so. Let me explain.

Camp ended for the kids.

School started for me.

Dovi went to Orlando.

Dovi started school.

ESJ start school today.

Holy cow has it been busy in this here house.

Let me tell you, it's mighty hard to go to school four days a week when your kids are home. Correction. It's downright impossible. For the past two weeks, I have had college girls galore in and out of my house for a few hours here and a few hours there so I can dash my tired, overwhelmed self to my biology and chemistry classes.

And oh yeah, in between running to and from class, I'm supposed to be entertaining said children, keeping house, reading said chemistry and biology books, studying for biology and chemistry quizzes, and generally keeping it together.

I do not have it together.

Case(s) in point:
  • Laundry is piling up (clean, but not folded).
  • Coupons are flying through my house (I just spent about three hours organizing the coupon stash. It was getting scary. Downright terrifying).
  • I have not been to Jewel in five days! (deep breaths. deep cleansing breaths. I'm in catalina and deal withdrawal. Must. get. Jewel. fix. tomorrow. must. get. Jewel. fix. tomorrow).
  • I have not been to the fruit store in two weeks! (bought on sale items at Jewel).
  • I just paid $28 in overdue fees to the library (and still owe another $20 on my card. I did not have the desire to pay $48 in overdue fees at one time. So my card is still on restriction. I took out Cecilia Ahern and Jane Green books on Shana's card. hee hee)
  • A small animal (one of my children, perhaps?) could eat a meal off the floor of my car.
  • I have not had Shabbos guests in two weeks. And I'm not sure I have it in me to cook for MY family this week, let alone someone else's, and my kids are starting a mutiny for guests. ( ok it seems that some people-that means you, Shosh and Benjie, think that I was wrangling for an invite here. Ahem. I was not. I merely meant that I need to get myself in gear and start entertaining again. But I do thank the lovely people who must have heard the desperation in this post and took pity upon my starving family and invited us for lunch. Looking forward to it :) )

But all is becoming well in my little home world. The fearsome threesome starts school. My house will remain clean. I will not need to pay a minor fortune to babysitters. I will have time to run errands sans 6 little helping hands (stay at home moms who shop with your kids, I tip my shaitel to you. My kids are 7 and it still gives me the shakes to shop with those little buggers). Routine will return to our home.

If you haven't noticed, I thrive on routine. Order. Normalcy.

Without order, my mental health suffers. I get stressed. Ornery. Crabby.

Here's to hoping that sanity returns.

Anyone who'd like to come over, say, around 4:30pm to help with homework, let me know.