Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I love Channukah!

What did Channukah Harry bring me this year???

What nice wrapping...

Hmmmm, it doesn't look like jewelry... 

Ahhhh! It's that blunt tip trocar and syringe I've always wanted!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Menopause flowers

"Wilted and dried up just like you"
                                                              - Dr. Cleve Ziegler, husband and gynecologist

Friday, December 2, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Parent teacher interviews, 23rd edition

This year I decided to make t-shirts to show the teachers that even though my children may not be listening, I am.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

All because of that damn apple

I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children.  Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.  - Genesis 3:16
On my wedding day a close friend offered congratulations to my parents, "don't think of it as losing a daughter, think of it as gaining a gynecologist".  Last night that gynecologist brought home some reading material from the office. Understanding the Menopause Transition. 
Menopause is a natural transition in a woman's life, she is no longer able to naturally conceive and her menstrual cycle stops. This time leading up to menopause is called perimenopause, and this can last from five to eight years. 
FIVE TO EIGHT YEARS???!!! That's it? I go from making lunches to night sweats? Where's the warning signal so I could take a cruise or a week at an all inclusive in between? 
What are the symptoms? Most women experience the physical and emotional changes of perimenopause in their mid-40's or early 50's, though symptoms can occur earlier or later.  
I took this to mean that women can suffer anywhere from the minute they get their period until death.  It certainly would explain why I've been so cranky for the last 30 years. 
A clear sign that menopause is approaching is when a woman experiences hot flashes; feelings of intense heat in the head and upper body. Other symptoms can include the following: night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, vaginal dryness, decreased sex drive, anxiety attacks, depression, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, mood changes, dizziness, nausea, loss of bladder control.
The next time Cleve asks me "what did you DO all day??" I plan to use the symptom list to remind him of the morning prayer Blessed are you, Hashem, King of the Universe, for not having made me a woman... before I stab him (and get away with it). All I can hope for now is that memory loss tops my list of symptoms so that I can forget why I'm so hot and cranky and fatigued and depressed and covered in pee all of the time. 

Looking back at my wedding day, I think I would've preferred if my parents had not lost a daughter but gained a plastic surgeon who brought home less reading material and more liposuction.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Parenting matters

A few weeks ago we were invited to our Rabbi's sukkah to celebrate the first night of Sukkot (Succot? Succoth?) with five other families. Halfway through dinner the little kids were excused to go run around inside the lobby of the apartment building. Suddenly one little girl came barreling back into the sukkah in tears and announced to the silenced room "Matthew just called me a piece of shit". 

Our first reaction was, of course, to pretend that we didn't know who she was talking about. Unfortunately for us, however, no other family had a 5 year old kid named Matthew with them. After absorbing the shock, we did what any mature adults would do. We laughed until we had to excuse ourselves from the table. 

Since that night I've been very strict about language in the house. I think it's working. 

me: Matthew, it's time for bed

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kids today

I was just trying to picture Matthew, one day in the far future, yelling with disgust at 'kids today'...

When I was your age I didn't have tv implanted in my brain! That's right! I had to hold the iPad in my hand! And I had to walk from the car into school! None of that teleportation from the house right into class! You kids today have it easy!
Monty Python said it best

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I once was distraught because I had no shoes, until I met a man with a locker full of shoes

The contents of Zack's locker: 3 polos shirts, 2 pairs of pants, 1 gym uniform, 2 t-shirts, 1 pair of running shoes,
1 long undershirt, no books... and it's only October
If Bialik High School had a laundry service it would TOTALLY be worth the private school fees. Maybe they could even teach laundry as a fifth language. Now THAT would be cool.

Next fundraising campaign? Walk-in closet size lockers.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

Maple plank salmon

Braided maple plank salmon
Because everyone is asking...

What you need:
Large piece of Salmon (skin off)
Maple Syrup
Garlic (optional)
Maple plank (you can find them in the fish section at most grocery stores)
Spray bottle with water

Cut the salmon (lengthwise) in three.
Marinate in maple syrup and a clove of minced garlic.
Soak the plank for at least two hours before cooking and follow instructions on the package.
Braid the salmon before placing it on the plank.

Drink the vodka AFTER you've turned off the BBQ.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Wrong holiday but ma nishtana*

Oh, look how cute he is asleep with his... um, cuddly little screwdrivers?
After all of the Rosh Hashanah eating, I blame the Tryptophan.

*ma nishtana

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shana tova!

Instead of sending out a warm mass email new year's card to all my friends and family on this most festive of holidays I thought I'd do the opposite and send out a cold but personalized note to everyone in my contact list.

It says "we're thinking of you at this time.... but not enough to make it fancy... enough to write just to you... but that's about it".

Shana tova

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dad's got groove

To highlight some of the critical work being done at the Goodman Cancer Research Centre, some of their top scientists, students, lab techs and dedicated volunteers, were gathered, they turned on the music - and danced!

Thanks to their proud sponsor, Medicom, a donation will be made for each hit to support advances in cancer research at the Goodman Cancer Research Centre.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

They're alive

It seems his pants refuse to die and made it all the way to the microwave for a frozen dinner. Or they were just trying to make a quick getaway out the back.

Monday, September 12, 2011


With the NFL season underway (is it too late to pray for a strike?) it's a little loud and hectic at our house on Sunday
... and Monday... and Thursday
On a positive we now know that Matt can actually put himself to sleep.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I'd like the title of this post to be 'why are men so stupid' but that would be rude

Dear dollar store toy manufacturers,
If parents are driven to insanity from your products it will not be good for business in the long run.

The woman married to the guy who can't say no to his kid so he will no longer be allowed to go shopping alone

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer vacation

After six weeks of 'the brothers' being in camp, Matt has decided that he's completely content with a basil plant and a pineapple for companionship. They let him watch his cartoons and they smell good. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer vacation

Michael has texted that he'd like to move to Oregon. Because of the spectacular landscapes? The culture and history? The weather? Uh, no.

He doesn't have a job but apparently sales tax weighs heavily on his mind and there is none in Oregon.

Best. Camping. Trip. Ever!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer vacation

So it's come to my attention that there is no vacation for a blogger. The truth is that while I have plenty to write about, I've just been enjoying my time away from the computer... kitchen... pretty much everything.

The three older boys are happy at camp/travelling across Canada and the US. Although I haven't received any letters I have received what I like to call deep, thoughtful summer logs in the form of text messages:

And so although I have the material to blog, I'm enjoying the six weeks of quiet to regroup (ie. learn to love again).

In the interim my summer project is to train my iPhone not to change 'hell' to 'he'll'. 

Friday, July 8, 2011


Nothing says I love you like a homemade t-shirt from mom... packed on top of your bag for camp.... for all of your friends to see... who are boys between the ages of 12-16, no?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

TV was my friend... until today

Matt: You know what's so cool? The tv has toys that tell me what I want to get! Can you get me Tonka?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

6 days until camp!!!!!!!

Me: Why did you leave your pants on the floor in the kitchen?

Zack: I was hungry and then my pants fell down?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

An engineer in the family?

In shock after learning that paper is made from dead trees
Matt turns to making carpet airplanes as a form of entertainment

Friday, May 27, 2011

Another doctor in the family?

After a science review with his grandfather...

Zack: It was kinda cool knowing stuff. Maybe I should go into doctoring.

Enough said.

Monday, May 23, 2011

What can happen in 24 hours right?

Yesterday I went to Toronto for a close friend's son's bar mitzvah party. 24 hours away in a luxurious hotel - just the girls - for a night of R&R.

I can't tell you how excited I was when I finally settled into my room... alone... without any kids.... for 24 hours...
Don't mind that beeping noise. It stopped after about 45 minutes 
just moments before I almost jumped off the balcony

The party was great but feeling a bit guilty I texted home to see how the boys did at their hockey tournament.  What the hell was I thinking?

Thank god Matt was fine. Cleve is now officially five years older.

Other than the phone call home I had a blast but the highlight of the trip was hearing the sister of the bar mitzvah boy serenade the crowd. As the dj last night said, enjoy it now while it's free because one day soon you'll have to pay $200 a ticket to hear Rebecca Codas on Broadway...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fourth kids are the best (no offense to kids one through three)

Today Matt took his toy/pet eggplant to school. After spending the day with his eggplant - Matt and his friends used it to play catch - he decided that he prefers his eggplant to getting a pet cat or dog.

No mess in the house or vet bills to contend with or allergies just a trip to the 'eggplant hospital' (aka the fruit store) every couple of days to 'visit' Rover's family and we get a nice ratatouille or baba ganoush with dinner. Healthy AND economical.

I can't wait until he starts teaching the eggplant to roll over.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

He's baaaaaaaaaaaackkkkkkkkk....

Cleve loves to spend Sunday at IGA.... can this mess cause my asthma to act up?
Oh look... you went to IGA.... uh.... THANKS!... that's so, um.... great! Ya, great! I was totally meaning to buy cheese and... *gag*... tomato KD not to mention the... er... Brisk soda (Brisk? Huh?).... uh, and the Coca Puffs cereal... um... on the floor over there... is the PERFECT way to start the day... for a four year old.... oh look, he's eating them now.... from the floor *takes a double shot of ventolin*.... really, I SO appreciate you making that shopping trip for me. 

As it turns out four kids is less work than one husband. Welcome home.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hey Zack! Your mom follows you on Twitter!

CAMP IS IN 49 DAYS!!!! KIDS LEAVE IN 49 DAYS!!!.... I mean, uh, PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY IN CLASS! Ya, that's it. That's what I meant. Not the part about the 49 more days before I'M FREE! WOOHOO!!... uh, no, really.... just put your phone away.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

This is not your grandmother's Mother's Day

Hey Bubby, when you're finished making chicken soup and verenekes go check your Twitter account. I have a surprise for you!... not.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and.... the cone of silence?

Matt made me a Mother's Day card in class this week. He brought it home today and clutching it like a winning lottery ticket, he couldn't take his eyes off of it for the entire drive home from school. After about ten minutes he picked up his head from his masterpiece...

Matt: what color wine do you like?

Me: Red! as if he had a bottle in his bag to offer me... I mean I like red OR white I suddenly felt bad that maybe Matt had drawn white wine and I didn't want him to think that he had disappointed me in any way.... although that really shouldn't have been my main concern given that the other kids in the class probably drew things like flowers and perfume and jewelry and my kid picked alcohol but at least he seemed to know me, right?

Matt: Oh well, I thought you liked grey!

I can't wait for Sunday and my grey wine (or maybe it's Grey Goose and the kid is way more astute than I give him credit for).

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I'm learning to be proactive

With Cleve away on The March of the Living I thought that I would carry on the theme of living at home as well by giving my kids a Mother's Day reminder about as subtle as the Heimlich Maneuver. 

If this doesn't work I'm going on strike. 

Cleaning up THIS trumps laundry on the floor or dishes in the sink
My gardener will be back from Poland next week and he'll want to mow the lawn. Given that his strengths really lie in gynecology and NOT landscaping, he'll plough right over this tarp if it's not put away properly. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

March of the living, 2011

From this..

To this...

In a small Shtetl once alive and thriving with Jewish life, a synagogue without a roof is still standing. The participants - survivors and high school students - sing and dance the hora

all photographs courtesy of PBL Photography

Monday, May 2, 2011

Never again!

Today 260 Montrealers together with 10,000 people from around the world marched from Auschwitz to Birkenau as they remembered those who perished before them.  Just 65 years ago before them. 

Never again.

all photographs courtesy of PBL Photography