Thursday, February 28, 2008

self-portrait during first pregnancy

I drew this for Stupid Daddy in an attempt to convey my experience, late in the game, when I felt like a giant bubble, with all the curves just melding into one.

The truth is, I loved being pregnant, all three times. I even loved the terrible parts.

We saved this sketch all these years and uncovered it recently. I guess I'm feeling a little nostalgic now. Ezra turned six a few weeks ago.

I miss those days, when this little thing I didn't know was growing inside. I miss that sense of endless possibility and potential. And heartburn. And oh, the leukorrea....

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I think I'll take the ferry, thanks

Levi: Why do paper boats not float?

Me: Well--

Ezra: I'll explain it to you!

Me: [sigh of relief]

Ezra: It's because the paper is so light and the water is so heavy and the water just pushes into the boat really hard, like woooosh, and then the boat sinks down.

Levi: Oh.

Me: [That explanation will do just fine for these purposes.]

Ezra: But you could tape some metal to the bottom of it and then it would float really good.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

kids really use their imaginayshuns!

Yesterday Levi and Lilah came with me to pick up Ezra, and because the weather was so glorious, we decided to hang out on the grounds of the church across the street from school. Lilah stayed close to me, climbing up and down steps, while the boys went off on their own, to be joined, moments later, by another kindergarten boy. For an hour, the three of them explored the area, sneaking along the narrow path between the brick building and the surrounding hedge, running up and down the ramp to the basement, charging across the lawn, jumping off the stone wall--all of it with a sense of incredible urgency.

I wasn't close enough to hear exactly what they were talking about. But there was a lot of "Come on, guys!" and, "This way!" and, "Hurry!" I'm sure there were bad guys involved.

Watching them transform a bunch of buildings and some grass into this magical world, I remembered that there was a hedge bordering our yard in the house where I grew up, and that there was this one bush that created a low canopy I could crawl under. I spent so much time there when I was little, feeling the dried out dirt underneath me, peering out onto our lawn even though nothing was happening, just enjoying the feeling of being hidden in that special space.

It hurt a little, to be so far outside that experience now--that sense of wonder. I wish I could have been truly shocked when Ezra informed me that they found a way to make it all the way around one of the adjoining buildings. I wish I could have had no idea what time it was. I wish I could have looked at the cement walkway and seen a river, teeming with alligators, or a stream of lava, glowing and red-hot.

Monday, February 25, 2008


I try not to let more than a weekend pass between posts, you guys. I know how much I matter to you; I know how your coffee/wine/chocolate milk just doesn't taste the same when you're not spewing some of it on your monitor because of me. Me! And my words!

So I've been sitting here for the last half hour--when, given what a fucked up night last night was, what with the musical beds, and the nightmares, and the kicks to my gut from various bedfellows, and the cats thundering around the room in hot pursuit of each other (though it wasn't really too much worse than any other night around here), it's quite obvious I should have gone to bed an hour ago--trying to come up with something.

And yet, I'm at a complete loss. I'll make sure that tomorrow, something really blog-worthy happens, or is uttered by one of my kids, or occurs to me in a moment of insight. And whatever it is, you'll be the first to know about it, I promise.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

nighttime haiku for Miss Lilah-boo

You're very cute, yes.
But it's nine o'clock, so please
Get the fuck to sleep.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

kindergarten semiotics

Have I ever told you about baby puppy? It's a game where Ezra is always the mama and Levi is always the baby, and neither of them does anything remotely dog-like. In fact, neither of them really does anything. Mostly it's a game about establishing the rules to the game.

Ezra will say, "Let's pretend you were afraid of the dark and so I had to hold your hand."

And Levi will say, "Yeah, and let's pretend I wanted something to eat but didn't know how to feed myself yet."

And Ezra will say, "Right. And you were thirsty too."

And Levi will say, "Yeah, and I only liked milk. From a sippy cup."

And on and on it goes.

So the other morning they were playing baby puppy, and Levi pointed to his panda bear and said, "And let's pretend I was trying to get my bear to talk to me."

Ignoring the premise of the game--the premise, again, being that you are never supposed to get around to playing the game--Ezra said, in as maternal a voice as he could muster, "That bear doesn't talk, Baby. It's just a symbol."

And then they took a break to read Roland Barthes.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

talk about a vicious cycle

On a trip to Target a few months ago, Stupid Daddy discovered you could buy all manner of quality and even organic cereals for a lot less than what the local upscale grocery store charges. So, even though he goes there like once a week, he bought about 25 boxes. You know, just in case Target suddenly closed because it couldn't draw in enough business.

A strange thing happened once all the pantry shelves were so prettily lined with cereal boxes. I started eating lots of cereal--way more than any woman in my advanced age and with my resulting compromised metabolism should be eating. And then, when the cereal supply began to dwindle, Stupid Daddy would return from his next Target trip with a whole new assortment. I told him he needed to stop.

"Stop!" I said.

"I keep buying it because you keep eating it!" he said.

"I keep eating it because you keep buying it!" I said.

Boy, were we ever at a standstill. And now here I sit working my way through yet another bowl of granola.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

a FUNdraiser, it turns out, and by the way, I do feel like Michael Scott saying that

So we've just returned from a fundraising event for Levi's and Lilah's (and what used to be Ezra's) preschool. We never go to fundraising events, mainly because we're really greedy and hate supporting worthy causes, but also because my husband is not a doctor and I'm not that type of boisterous, bejeweled wife who is a regular at those fundraising events we never go to but somehow know everything about.

But someone offered us a ticket, so we only had to pay for one "head," and since I turned 40, I'm all about paying my preconceived notions no mind. So we decided to go. And before we knew it, we were rubbing elbows with doctors and boisterous, bejeweled wives.

It was fun, actually. We got a tiny bit dressed up and our kids were elsewhere and we smooched a little bit at the bar. I do wish I had had an appetite then, when there was pan-seared, thinly sliced tuna to be had, and not now, as I finish off the kids' Spiderman and Dora Valentine's chocolates. But you can't have everything.

Anyway, there was a silent auction, and unbeknownst to me, Stupid Daddy did some bidding. Thanks to his efforts, we are now the proud owners of this:

Yes, that's right, the fancy margarita mix and the two glasses, and I know you are totally jealous over how hooked up we are. But maybe we'll host a fundraiser of our own. And maybe, just maybe, you'll be invited.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

feeling the love, on Valentine's Eve

As I was getting back into the car after a yoga class at the Y this morning, I noticed there was a note on my windshield. I immediately began to wonder who the fuck had the balls to write some obnoxious commentary on my behavior, and also what the fuck I had done to piss anyone off. (This yoga, I'm telling you, it does wonders for putting me in a tranquil state of mind.)

But boy was I ever off base. Here was the note:

He/she was referring to this bumper sticker, which we have on our car (right next to this one).

Whoever you are, thank you for thanking me. You pretty much made my day.

shout out

I gots nothin' to say tonight, so let me direct you to another blog I just discovered a couple of months ago. This woman amazes me: she is hilarious and thoughtful and passionate and humble and always willing to take risks (you know, the good kind). I admire her muchly.

Here, gallivant your way over and see. (But please do come back to visit me every now and again.)

Monday, February 11, 2008

how disgusting are we?

Right now my husband is drinking yoga while I do a glass of red wine. Oh, wait. (I actually did get as far as the "while" before realizing something was amiss.)

Right. So. My husband is doing yoga while I drink a glass of red whine. Oh, wait.

He's doing yoga and I'm enjoying a glass of red wine. When he's finished, we'll share a salad made of organic, locally grown greens. After that, we're going to drink chai lattes and put our precious heads together to decide which cotton sheets we should order from West Elm. And then, we are going to "make love."

Actually, not all of that is true. But enough of it is true that I feel disgusted enough to want to take a shower. (In my slate-tiled shower, the one with the brushed nickel rainshower shower head.)

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I'm pretty certain the answer is "c."

Worst. Weekend. Ever. (And I hate when people break up their sentences with periods, so believe me when I tell you: it was bad.)

Friday, February 8, 2008

have I mentioned that I'm Jewish?

This marks the fourth evening in a row that I have handled all three kids and put them to bed solo while Stupid Daddy is away at his Stupid Conference. I have to say, things have gone very well--far, far better than any other stretch in which I've parented by myself.

Some theories:
a) The boys have reached a point developmentally where they're not especially interested in fighting my every instruction and fighting each other to the death;
b) I've figured out how to drink just enough wine that I can tolerate their obnoxiousness in the evenings without feeling like shit the next morning (and believe me, if you saw just how many times I've had to retype every single word I've written so far, you'd put your money on this one);
c) because I'm Jewish, I can't leave well enough alone and have to talk about my good fortune on the Internet, knowing (because I'm Jewish) that all it takes is sharing my good fortune with the Internet to ensure that, as punishment, tomorrow will totally suck.

have I mentioned that I

don't know how to delete a post that I accidentally published?

What is wrong with me?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

toddlers today

Lilah has a little friend named Sammy, whom she has known, from preschool, since infancy. Long before babies are supposed to have preferences for who they drool on and squeal at and sit next to at snack time, these two were clearly delighting in each other's company.

Neither has ever looked back. Now, almost two years later, they call out to each other on the playground, gleefully chase each other around our house, giggle when the other one gives them that special look. They really are in love.

But apparently, they really are in love. Moments ago, I was lying next to Lilah trying to get her to sleep. I rubbed her tummy; I sang her a lullaby. But her mind was on other things. She kept patting the empty space on the other side of her and saying, "I want Sammy, right here."

Just last night, it was her dolly she was calling for. Tonight, it was Sammy. First thing tomorrow, I'm going to find out whether they make diapers with a built-in chastity belt. Meantime, Stupid Daddy is loading his shotgun.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

stands by her man

When Lilah was first born, it seemed that Ezra was going to be the brother who had a strong and abiding connection to her. He cuddled her, she cooed at him, he dangled colorful toys in front of her face. Whereas Levi--well, the day after she came home from the hospital, Levi knocked her out of her swing onto the hardwood floor, and that pretty much summed up their relationship.

Ah, but once Ezra started kindergarten, the tides turned. These days, Lilah is more or less indifferent to Ezra (and he to her), while she and Levi are completely in sync. They play together, they share their snacks, they egg each other on and get in trouble together. And yet, because she's so much younger, it's not exactly a partnership. Levi can treat her well but just as easily act cruel. Lilah, on the other hand, is downright worshipful.

A few months ago I took the two of them on a walk at a nearby lake. Levi, ever the explorer, kept venturing out towards the water on logs and boulders. Every time he did, Lilah started crying. "Be-bi, come back!" she'd scream. "Be-bi, careful!" And she wouldn't stop until he was back on solid ground. I wasn't worried at all, but she was absolutely panicked.

Yesterday the boys were wrestling on the couch, and all of a sudden Ezra started crying. It was obvious that Levi had done something to hurt him. But before I could launch into my generally ineffectual diatribe about playing nicely/apologizing/not being a bozo, Lilah, who was sitting at the dining room table, pointed in their direction and said, "Ezra hurt Be-bi too."

This morning, Lilah asked to help pick out Levi's clothing. When I opened up the shirt drawer, she said, "Spiderman shirt? Spiderman shirt?" It's Levi's favorite, and he would wear it every day if he could. When we found it, Lilah grinned very broadly. She knew her brother would be happy.

Hysterically nagging him, reflexively defending his honor, lovingly picking out his clothing in the morning: she's going to make an awesome housewife someday.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

a game with its own liabilities

For the last few days, the boys have been in an intense wild cat phase. Yesterday morning at home they were leopards, chasing and clawing and hunting prey. Yesterday evening at the mall they were cheetahs, chasing and clawing and hunting prey. Tonight before bed they were tigers, chasing and clawing and hunting prey.

They are forever trying to rope me into these games. Sometimes I'm told I'm the mama cat, in which case I'm supposed to teach them how to chase and claw and hunt prey. Sometimes I'm told I'm the prey, in which case I'm supposed to run screaming and then allow myself to be captured and clawed at and nibbled on.

Overall, it's not so much fun for me, though I wish I could tell you otherwise. There's only so much energy I have left over for this kind of play, and if I kept at it, something bad might happen to my 40-year-old body, like getting really tired.

Because Ezra is the older of the two, he's the decider in this as in most things. He chooses the roles and the rules and generally bosses everyone around. But separate from that, he's more committed to these fantasies in the first place, whereas Levi is happy to play tiger but just as happy to abandon the hunt for prey and hop onto the bike with training wheels that's currently indoors ruining our newly finished floors.

So tonight, when I was tucking Ezra into bed, feeling bad that I don't play tiger as well as I'd like, I said, "Good night, my tiger." And I kissed him.

"I'm not playing tiger anymore," he said. "I'm playing your son."

Monday, February 4, 2008

a reconciliation with 40 that doesn't even last the duration of this post

My 40th birthday kicked ass and included an excellent, decadent dinner, some interesting drinks, and a small party with some good friends.

It was so much fun that I don't really feel bad about getting old right at the moment, though it was kind of depressing that with the combination of (a little bit of) drinking and staying up (slightly) late, Stupid Daddy and I had to spend the entire next day trading off naps until it was bedtime.

I'm going to keep it short tonight because Stupid Daddy just moments ago left for a conference and won't be back until Saturday night, and I think I'm suffering from some anticipatory exhaustion.

Either that or I still haven't recovered from Friday. In which case, shit, I really am old.

Friday, February 1, 2008

birthday conversation

"Am I ever going to get over the shock of turning 40?"

"The shock, yes. The reality, no."

"What do you mean?"

"It just changes your perspective. You start thinking in terms of how many years you have left."

"I've been doing that since I turned 30. But do you mean in a good way, like, I don't have a lot of time so I better really go for it? Or in a bad way, like, Shit, I'm never going to accomplish all that I wanted to."

"Both. I'm definitely more aware of how I spend my time and use my days. But I used to think that I had something great to give to the world--"

"Yeah, me too."

"--but now I just figure if I raise three healthy kids and have a happy marriage, I've succeeded."

"I wish I could lower my standards like that."