Erev Rosh Hashanah

I got all sad tonight. I'd kind of remembered to forget that tonight is Erev Rosh Hashanah, mostly because I am completely not a Practicing Jewish Person in any religious sense.

But, as I attempted to convey to my children at dinner, I am culturally Jewish. And therefore, half their ancestors are, too. I told them that they come from a long line of people who were strong in the face of much persecution, and I said that my cultural background has trained me to Be Straightforward - no wishy-washy namby-pamby afraid-to-talk-about-what-we-believe around sirree!

How to French Braid Your Hair

A retelling of "Upstairs Downstairs" from "Owl At Home," with apologies to Arnold Lobel
by Sarabeth

(Details have been rearranged and omitted to protect the innocent.)

Once upon a summer day, Ivy got up really early. So did her parents. Amazingly, after two hours of pooping, playing, nursing, complaining, nursing, and playing while complaining, Ivy fell back asleep. Even more amazingly still, so did her parents.

Two hours after that, I awoke again with a start, clutching the edge of the bed since I was trying to make room for Ivy.

How to Replace the Incredibly Disgusting Range-Hood Filters Above The Stove (when they're literally dripping grease onto the burners below)

After dialing unsuccessfully through Lowes' call-waiting system, and talking to a Home Depot customer service person who actually went into the back to see if Home Depot carries the correct replacement size (they do not), I finally got through to a Live Person in the Lowe's Appliance Department, who sent me over to the Parts Department, because the filters were not in stock in that store either.

I told the parts guy what I was looking for, and he inquired mildly: "Have you tried cleaning them?"

"Ah...Well, no," I said, "actually, I haven't, because they're literally dripping grease onto

Do Parents Have The Right to Feel Overwhelmed?

I find myself feeling guilty about feeling exhausted by having four kids. I find myself getting defensive: Yeah, I know, If I didn't choose to homeschool them, If I didn't choose to be obsessive over their nutrition, If I balanced my life better, If I had obtained the right sort of therapies for my kids and me, If I managed my stress better, If I didn't choose to be a stay at home mother, if if if...then I could occupy myself with something more legitimately useful about which I could stress, like a Successful/Ambitious Career! Got it.

Some Interesting Articles

Below is an excerpt from an article that makes my blood boil (if you can tolerate a crazy level of boiling, check out this amazing book that goes into great detail concerning why the drug cartels - I mean Pharmaceutical Companies - are more like the mafia than you can even imagine):

"Few know that systematic reviews of hospital charts found that even properly prescribed drugs (aside from misprescribing, overdo

An Update On Ben

Ben is healthier these days than I ever imagined he would be. And he continues to Eat (A Lot) of Good Food. (No, I will never totally take for granted that Ben eats!) But there's more: he reads to himself, he manages Impulses and Frustration a lot more functionally than he used to, and while he is still a Fragile Individual - and deals with relatively high levels of gastrointestinal instability, perseveration, and OCD-type anxiety - the past year has been markedly better than those that came before.

Time Keeps On Whizzing

Let’s meet in a restaurant

Is food the enemy?
Giving a dinner party has become
an ordeal. I lie awake the night
before figuring how to produce

a feast that is vegan, gluten free,
macrobiotic, avoiding all acidic
fruit and tomatoes, wine, all nuts,
low carb and still edible.

Are beetles okay for vegans?
Probably not. Forget chocolate
ants or fried grasshoppers.
Now my brains are cooked.

Finally seven o’clock arrives
and I produce the perfect meal.
At each plate for supper, a bowl
of cleanly washed pebbles.

An Open Letter to the Politicians who Represent Me

Our local newspaper recently published this letter

We are a family of six, living in Tompkins County.

There's A Baby About The House...

Dear Family,

"People wonder what it's like having four kids.

The Birth of Ivy Lyn

In the moments between the crazy, I am treasuring brief bits of total magic. We have a new baby human at our house! Who three days ago went from upside down, umbilically-attached to lung-breathing-infant On The Outside. She's so new that even though her eyes are bright, you can't yet tell what color they will be. Times like these, you really notice the transitory nature of the universe. Our baby had a time Inside, and is now launched. And this is how the transition went.

I felt like I was in labor for two weeks before Ivy arrived.

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