Tuesday, December 16, 2008

my four year old and i were discussing the IU sticker on the back of the car in front of us when she informed me that indiana university is about going to school and playing basketball. i told her i didn't think it was possible to be more succinct. ;)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

still learning the details

Lilah just called out to me: Ima, I like the number "L"!

Monday, July 21, 2008

distinctions are important.

lilah: *growly voice* rahr! rahr! *walks around frankenstein's monster style, stiff legs, arms out*
me: are you a scary monster?!
lilah: *growly voice* no! i'm just a peanut butter monster!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I wrote my alma mater...

my alma mater has a quarterly magazine and every class gets a little part of the "Class Notes" section in the back. last time the 1990 section was all about the woman who volunteered to write it, because no one else wrote in. she interspersed stuff about, say, her bird feeders, with pleas for people to write. so, i wrote.

. . .

Kristen, I read your plea, so I went to California and got appointed to my local School Board just to have something to report.

Indiana folks get all excited for me when I tell them I went to California, but I learned if you land at LAX, find friends you met on the internet, rent a car and drive northeast, you will find the middle of California is a desert. Holy guacamole. Who fills a desert with farms? California is a crazy, crazy place. On the other hand, where better to meet up with crazy friends? The Pottermamas bonded on the internet over the Harry Potter books and now we get drunk in California oil towns and rebury clams on Pismo Beach. I tried to teach them our MHC drinking song and was deeply distressed to discover I've forgotten almost all of it.

Despite the heat, I had a blast. My spouse and three kids even cleaned the house while I was gone. (Covering every surface with dirty laundry seems to have worked.)

Turning 40 was a mixed bag. My spouse threw a dinner party at a local Italian place. We had a fabulous time and I told him not to tell me how much the evening cost. I got just tipsy enough to announce I was thinking of going for the open school board position caused by a neighbor's move East and my spouse pointed out later this meant I had to go for it or I'd look ridiculous.

I went for it and am now the only member of my local school board with children enrolled in the public schools. Something is out of whack here and it is probably me. I think all the other moms without paid employment are actually taking care of their homes and children. Whereas I apparently have signed up to spend the next two and a half years in a meeting.

Thanks for the push to write!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

All day alone with Lilah...

Lilah and I took a walk earlier, and she pointed at something in wonder.
"Ima! Look at that!"
"What, honey? The cut branches? The mailbox?"
"The mailbox! . . . It's not singing!"

Think she watches too much Blue's Clues?

Also, I gave her fudge swirl ice cream. She likes it. She still likes it. She likes it again. She likes the chocolate part. She wants to eat the chocolate part again. Hmm. I think she likes this flavour!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

the family of five, all home again.

the boy is home, tan, happy, and in the bathtub.

abba bought a "new" vehicle (1988 chevy blazer) today, and we even got to have lunch with Grandma before we left "the big city."

all is well!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Best letter EVER.

i got a letter from razi!!!!!!!!
i don't think i can really express how thrilling this is. but!! i can quote him!!!
he says:

its fuN!

(yes, he really does go back and forth between lower-case and capitals like that, only all his letters are generally the same height.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My oldest child is now at sleep away camp.

K! My day!
Woke up, left Joshua (who came home from work at 4am) in bed, showered, made lunches, brought girls to their synagogue/preschool camp, left car seats in hallway.
Came home, finished packing Razi's plastic "footlocker" thing (a small plastic trunk, really), printed out directions, hung out, ate food, wasted time till around 11:30 or so.
Got in car, headed off to the sleepaway camp.
Drove for a long time.
Realized the directions had confused me and turned around and went back about 5 or 10 miles.
Got to camp and saw they were turning people around. Got to front gate to get instructions. Heard that they are "too muddy" for us (and the gazillions of other parents) to park, needed to go down a bit and park at the little restaurant we just passed. A school bus will come get us.
Got to tiny restaurant and quickly saw this isn't going to work at all. Heard from other parent who is giving up that we need to go down the road to "some church at M-- and L--."
Headed down M-- a ways.
Saw a church at "T" of M-- and L--, and two dark-haired girls in matching purple t-shirts at the entrance to the lot. Felt sure we'd found right place.
We had.
We waited.
For a long time.
They put tags on Razi's stuff. He was going to be in cabin 11.
I knitted.
They got a lot of the girl's stuff.
We waited.
They came by again with a rental truck and picked up... girl's stuff.
Razi looked for bugs.
(We have a photo of us waiting by the van, but Joshua hasn't emailed it to me yet.)
Many more cars came in the lot.
A school bus took a bunch of kids and parents and younger siblings to the camp.
Razi and Joshua looked at a catalog that had come in the mail for us this morning.
Another bus left.
I knitted some more.
They told us that they would make certain that no one but them took Razi's things and we should probably go wait for a school bus because it wouldn't be long at all now.
Razi was shockingly patient.
We got on line for the bus.
A bus filled up and left.
The one right behind it did too.
I finished a row of knitting and went back to put my knitting bag back in the van.
The pair of busses filled and left again.
Razi was oblivious (we hope) of the conversation right behind us between two women talking about how one of them sent a daughter to some sleepaway camp and the kid was bullied and miserable and got into a lot of fights.
I cut in line a little hoping to get the heck away from them.
It didn't really work.
A bus came and filled up and then we were just about at the front of the line. (With just one teenage boy and his parents ahead of us.)
A bus came. We got on. Joshua sat with Razi and I sat alone.
Someone sat next to me and we chatted a bit on the way to the camp.
Her son had gone to a different Jewish summer camp but then they moved and her daughter started this camp and adored it. Today was the start of her 4th year.
We got there and went into what must be the mess hall.
It was painfully loud.
A lady had a microphone and was yelling at us to "Come over here! Here! The line starts here!" But her voice was coming from speakers in the ceiling and I couldn't find her. Even after we found the right place she was yelling so loud that I couldn't get Joshua or Razi’s attention without touching them.
They gave him a name tag.
They checked him for lice!
He didn’t have any.
They asked if he was nervous.
I said he wasn’t.
We talked to the nurse.
We'd left the Alavert in the car.
(We are so dumb.)
She was really calm about it. She put a note in a ziplock bag and told us to get the Alavert, bring it to the front gate and give it, in the bag with the note, to a counselor and say "for nurse Wendy."
We escaped the screaming building.
We asked directions three times, and finally found cabin 11.
Our shoes got pretty muddy but we couldn’t see why we hadn’t been able to park there earlier.
Razi has the top of a triple bunk bed!
Very, very cool.
A kid ran over and said "My name is Max. Do you want to be my friend?" Joshua and I pushed Razi to answer. He said "yes" and bouncing smiling Max took Razi’s picture.
Razi grinned like a madman for Max’s picture.
Razi explored his bed and the cabin and met two or three of the four counselors in his bunk.
Razi was about as happy as I have ever seen him.
I made his bed and put some of his stuff on his shelf.
I counted bunks. Fourteen 8 year old boys.
We talked to a couple of counselors.
Joshua helped Razi find the bathroom.
We found Razi’s flashlight and he put it where he would find it if he needed the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Razi escaped while we were finishing in the cabin.
Joshua got worried that Razi would wander off and get lost while he was at camp.
Joshua worries a lot.
Razi was right outside, wrist deep in mud, talking with counselor Evan.
Joshua and I think Evan is a junior counselor, about 16 yrs old?
We took a picture of Razi showing off his muddy hands.
Razi went back to playing in the mud.
We said goodbye, but I do not think he noticed.
We walked back, waited, caught the school bus, brought back the Alavert, went to Trader Joe's (because hey, it was there), drove all the way home (a lot of it in construction and rush hour traffic) brought in the groceries and walked over to get the girls from Becky’s house.
Lilah was a tired, miserable little grump.
Zora was extremely well behaved and slow as cold molasses.
I wrestled the baby beast into her pjs and she fell asleep in between demands for more food, more apple juice, more D, D, Dora and the dragon video!
I read bedtime stories to Zora.
We let her go to sleep in her big brother's bed.
Joshua went to work.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

creativity revisited

razi: (in the pink toy tent) Lilah! Privacy! I'm trying to wash my brain!
(to me) This is a brain washer.

Lilah: (singing) A brain washer, a brain washer. A brain washer!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

the vegetarian version, of course

this morning my son made his own matzah with ketchup sandwich. then he sat at the table, bit into it and said: "mmm! tastes like chicken!"

Monday, April 21, 2008

frightening stuff, all okay now.

i wrote this sunday morning.

holy moses. i just tripped on a toy that someone, probably the three year old, left on the stairs. i came terrifyingly close to a serious injury, and possibly going unconscious. my husband is not home and won't be for around six hours. no one is expecting us anywhere until 5:30 this evening, but i frankly doubt anyone would worry if we didn't show, they might not even notice. it's the huge communal seder at synagogue and they expect more than 100 people.

suddenly, i'm forcibly reminded of, and reawakened to, the perils of the isolation built into most of modern life. i live in a stand-alone house. my parents live 15 hours away. my mother-in-law lives an hour away. my closest friend is right around the corner, and we see each other quite frequently, but not every day. and we certainly don't check up on each other to make sure the other one isn't unconscious in a pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs.

my children would have, i think, no clue of what to do if i fell down the stairs and broke a leg and went unconscious. we've been wary of teaching them about 911 because our oldest is the sort of kid who would dial it for an experiment. the middle kid isn't, but she talks about everything incessantly and she worries about upsetting things. how do i teach her to call 911 if i get injured? not to mention they can't open the front door. we deadbolt it with a key so they won't let strangers in. the littlest already understands how to turn a lock to open a door. they could easily let paramedics in through the front room window, or escape a fire that way, but they couldn't let anyone in through the door. they might be able to get in and out through the garage, but it's a mess of epic proportions right now, so i'm really not sure.

my ankle still hurts ten minutes later, and i'm scared and unnerved. *shiver*

Friday, March 07, 2008

apparently that's not all i left at home...

i did the stoopidest thing this morning. as planned with Alex's mother, i dropped razi off at school and then went to pick up Alex for a play date with zora. i was in such a rush i put lilah's coat on over her dirty diaper and pyjamas, and carried her through the snow so i wouldn't have to bother with shoes.

so i get to Alex's place and no one answers the door. i ring, i knock, i wait, i try again, ... complete silence. so i go to call and, remember that big hurry? apparently i left my bag and my cell at home. we drove all the way back to the house (it's only a mile and a half) and i leave the girls in the car (at zora's express request) while i run in to get my bag and the synagogue directory in case i don't have the right number in my phone. i call their house from my driveway and no one answers, it gets forwarded to voice mail. so i leave a message. now i'm really freaked out. is the sitter in a coma on the floor? what is going on?

i call Alex's mother at work (so glad i grabbed the phone directory!) and she thinks maybe the sitter was putting Alex's little sister down for a nap and Alex didn't want to come to the door for some reason. she says she will call the sitter's cell phone and let her know i am coming back. as for the phone, she now realizes she must not have turned the ringer back on last night after she accidentally shut it off. oh, whew!

so i drive back on snow and ice and park in the driveway again and go to the door again and... wait a minute... this isn't the porch i was on ten minutes ago. i look around and recognize a decoration hanging on an outside wall. next door. the last time i was here, i rang the neighbor's doorbell. oops. so once i figured that all out i rang Alex's doorbell and their dog goes nuts inside. oh. right. i didn't hear a dog last time. now i feel REALLY stoopid.

anyway, this time the sitter opens the door right away and says that the ringer was indeed off on the phone, which is why she didn't answer when i called. so i get Alex in my car and all is well.

and they're closing school early because the snow is coming down like gangbusters. i've decided i'll take Alex home at about 1:30 and then go get razi, whose school is going to let out at 2 instead of 3:10. and i don't have to worry about lilah's bus reorganization getting messed up, because this means no afternoon preschool.

so it all worked out fine in the end.