Monday, June 28, 2010


Why yes, that is the sound of  
my heart filling up with love and delight....

Time: Early morning but not too early....just right
Me: Yaelie, did you sleep well?
Yael: Yes.
Me: What was your best dream?
Yael: David. We were picking him up at camp.

Time: about 10 minutes later, the next child comes into the kitchen...
(oh, and he gave me a big morning snuggly hug. Sigh...)
Me: Sammy! How did you sleep?
Sam: Good.
Me: What was your best dream?
Sam: Camp.

And make it all even better....this was the status I posted on Facebook before bed, and I woke up to the comment below...
(I took out the name of my colleague who posted this from camp, just to keep her privacy.)

Does it get any better than this!?

I'm a happy ima today.

Cool Tushies

Real quote from these children:  
We're cooling off our tushies!

Do you like it better like this....
or like this...using a 70s action from Pioneer Woman?
What was your Best Shot this week? See Tracey's place for more.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Little Lovin'....

With one kid away at camp, I get to snuggle a little more with the other ones.
Gotta keep your blessings close.

See more Summer Stock Sunday over at Robin's pad.
P.S. Robin, does this count? It's taken outside in the summer!

I feel so blessed to be able to snuggle with my boy. I hope that Gilad's mother gets the pleasure soon.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dispatches from Oconomowoc

Today we received 3 letters from David at camp. Yep, three.
(The third was relatively incomprehensible, I think it might be a continuation of an-as-yet-unreceived letter!)

The first is the required "ticket into dinner letter" that the kids have to write on the first day.
I laughed a little as I read it because I didn't sign him up for (expensive) horseback riding. Guess he missed that memo! A friend pointed out that he forgot to sign it (there's no line, probably why he missed it!), but luckily, I'm quite sure of its authorship.

Here's the second letter: you think he really misses me? (Note, it's addressed only to MOM) Or do you think that he's trying to make me feel better? Maybe a little of both.

One week down, one to go. I do miss my boy. I feel better going into Shabbat with this sign of life.

Shabbat Shalom!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

One Happy Camper

So...we dropped off our oldest kid at camp on Monday.
(This is not a post about the importance of Jewish summer camp - this is purely an Ima post.)

Which means it's now been 2 days since I've heard from him.

I haven't called.
I haven't texted.
I haven't emailed.

Okay, that last one was a little lie. A rabbi-friend emailed to ask me a reasonable camp/work-related question. I snuck in a P.S. "how's my kid?"

But aside from that?

Truthfully, I miss him. I miss having him around and a part of our daily lives. But I'm also so curious to know how he's doing, I want to hear about every little detail, I want to know everything.

And I know that I just won't.

That is what I realized today. I just can't know it all any more. When he started in daycare (8 years ago!?), I got a little slip of paper at the end of every day. It charted every diaper change, every meal, every nap, every everything and I got a little written note telling me how his day went. Things have certainly changed since then.

But now? There will be mountains of details that he's not going to share with me. Not even because he's being secretive or whatever, but because that's just how it is.

And that's the sound of my heart breaking a little....

...but also rejoicing, too.
He's independent, bright, happy, and ready.

He's still my baby. Always.
But he's growing up too.
And that's okay.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Separation Anxiety

I really want to write a post about packing up my oldest kid for his first foray into overnight summer camp. Alone. Without me there.

But I'm not quite ready yet.

More to come.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Family Photo - Summer Stock Sunday

There are a couple of bloggers out there doing monthly family photos. A great idea, in theory. Getting us all in front of another person with a camera on a monthly basis? Much trickier than it sounds!

So...since I like to play along and support my pal Robin, here's my Summer Stock Sunday for this week. Even though it wasn't taken this week. Oh yeah, and I didn't really take it, my dad took it.

Okay, but with all that said, doesn't it look nice and summery!?
Humor me, people.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Haveil Havalim #271: Catchy Title Goes Here

haveil havalim
What's going on here today?
Founded by Soccer Dad, Haveil Havalim is a carnival of Jewish blogs -- a weekly collection of Jewish & Israeli blog highlights, tidbits and points of interest collected from blogs all around the world. It's hosted by different bloggers each week and coordinated by Jack. The term 'Haveil Havalim,' which means "Vanity of Vanities," is from Qoheleth, (Ecclesiastes) which was written by King Solomon. King Solomon built the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and later on got all bogged down in materialism and other 'excesses' and realized that it was nothing but 'hevel,' or in English, 'vanity.'
Please please please publicize HH on your own blog and share the news about it!

By the way, this is one of the first times that I feel the need to post that I don't necessarily (um, understatement?) agree with each post but I do try to include every post that is submitted. I feel very strongly that we don't all have to agree with each other but it's important to have a community that allows for all perspectives to be shared. Do other HH hosts edit based on their own opinions? Just curious, not judging.

Torah and Judaism

Over at Shiloh MusingsParshat Shavua, Portion of the Week, Sin of the Spies- Politics!
Life in Israel is asking us all to  Help the Lancaster Yeshiva Center win $50,000 - very easy to do - just go and vote!
Batya didn't Buy The Dress - go see why.
Leora's Here in HP offers us How to Pay a Shiva Call: A Guide for Non-Jews.
Frum Satire has some interesting and also funny questions in Getting to know conservative Judaism.
The Rebbetzin's Husband has something to say about Studying for Ordination - The Heart and the Mind and also posted A Tale of Two Yeshivot - which is yet another reminder to just go and vote!
Yechezkel offers an analysis of the Korach syndrome... Cops and Rabbis.
FrumeSarah had some serious questions about the role of a rabbi: There's No Such Thing...Is There?

Mazel tov to Mottel!!! - beautiful photos of A Bris By Any Other Name - Photo Essay.


Jacob Richman presents Uploaded New Learn Hebrew Video - Outdoors - a cool way to learn some new vocabulary!
Frum N' Flipping shares A Girl's Guide to Fashion Bargains and A Girl's Guide to Tznius Shopping in Jerusalem. You're all set for shopping!
Fun Joel's Israel wants to know What Would You Do?
Esser Agaroth has Neriyah Ofan, The Real Story and Israeli Book Exchange Group & Future Book Swap.
Joel Katz presents Religion and State in Israel - June 7, 2010 (Section 1) and Religion and State in Israel - June 7, 2010 (Section 2).

Ki Yachol Nuchal! spent an evening with "Standing Together" - "You make us strong."
Some posts from Shiloh Musings: IDF Appoints Internal Team of Experts to Examine Flotilla Operation Findings, Does The United States Promote Free Movement of Terrorists From Country to Country? and Countering The Con, First-Person Witnesses
Tikkun Olam shared this Frightening Article: The End of Israel (G-d Forbid)?
Posts from Israelity: An American star is born in Israel, Nathan Englander story and Nostalgia Sunday ? Pillbox.
Elianah-Sharon started a new blog called "Movin' On Up (To the Middle East Side!)" and she says, I have to keep pinching myself now that she's made a big decision!

From The Israel Situation: Why Israel Did Not Know – Flotilla Analysis and The Flotilla Fiasco.
Achas L'Maala V'Sheva L'Matta muses on Harav Mordechai Eliyahu, ZT"L - Finding a Body that Wasn't Lost.
Tzedek-Tzedek gives a summary of the weekly news: Bet Shemesh Weekly News.
Home-shuling, in her new Beliefnet digs, considers Hatikvah or not hatikvah. That is the question.
Yisrael Medad presents The Israel Flag Planted at the Goonies' Mansion, and also 10 Meters or 100 Meters? and My Right Word: Chabon the Exceptional Chelmite Himself.

Chabad reports on Chabad Welcomes Israeli Heroes to the U.S.
Our Shiputzim: A Work In Progress has this funny post on Heblish: Around the Dinner Table Edition - part of what appears to be an irregular series on Heblish in her household!


Liberty's Spirit posted The Blood Libel Has Begun - do you agree? She also posted Liberal Idiots and Jewish Guilt.
Tikkun Olam wrote Also in the "HUH?" Department and Geert Wilders: A True Man of Courage.

Funny Stuff

Scooter's Report offers up  Activist: "It Was Raining Jews" and "Raining Jews" Part 2 - a satirical interview.
Batya has It's Neither A Bird Nor A Plane, But It Moves Just The Same. It's...
Benji Lovitt is always funny: May Hahafuch Show: Who Wants Video? and Now There's a Slogan I Can Get Behind

Personal and other Miscellaney

Ki Yachol Nuchal! had an amazing week: A week in The Life.
The Homeshuler wants to know: Helen Thomas - what would her mother think?
Susan Barnes is gearing up for an Israel trip but she's not excited yet... Why I'm Not Excited To Be Going To Israel.

Seraphic Secret has Sunday with Karen and The Republican Jewish Coalition.
Tzedek-Tzedek explores "Protecting Your Kids from Abuse".
Jew in the City teaches The Torah of Lost.
The awesome Minnesota Mamaleh presents L'Azazel! (a great read and definitely an eye-catching title for the Hebrew-speakers!)
Robin is hosting Summer Stock Sundays again this year. Go and see some great pictures and contribute your own!

JaneTheWriter is finding comfort in the beautiful words of her mother's ethical will.
Ilana-Davita did an interesting interview with Rabbi Barry Leff.
In case you missed it, the President of the Union for Reform Judaism just announced his retirement. What do you think of his remarks?
The newly-married Chaviva is musing on her tichels.
My own child learned to ride a 2-wheeler this week...

You know the drill, please publicize Haveil Havalim on your own blog. It would be very nice of you! 
Submit your blog article to the next edition of haveil havalim using our carnival submission form. (It's being hosted by Frume Sarah, by the way.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Sign you don't actually watch a lot of sports with your kid (or ever):
While watching the Stanley Cup final, David: How many innings are there again?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Don't Stop Believing...

My 8 year old son has adamantly refused to ride a 2-wheeler.
Even with training wheels, he's just not interested.

I've tried to trace it back to a particular incident, a fall, a fear. He remembers something that I don't, something that he tells me was really bad. I know we never took him to the hospital! But in some way, it left a mark on him because he has absolutely refused. Last summer, it wasn't even up for discussion.

But I really really really wanted him to learn to ride a bike. Call me selfish. I want him to have the freedom and independence of a bike as he gets older. I want to have this skill that I think is really important. And fun!

I've offered toys.
I've offered money.
I've offered....well, almost anything. (Except this.)

What I think did it? (I'm still not totally sure!) A young friend recently announced that he wanted to teach Sam, age 4, to ride without training wheels. Notwithstanding Sam's lack of interest in this project, I think a little older-brother-before-younger-brother rivalry came into play.

All of the honor of this teaching goes to my darling husband. Seriously, his patience and calm was amazing.  (He promised David that he wouldn't yell. But he never even appeared to get frustrated with him!)
Teaching David to ride a bike was a remarkably cerebral experience. Michael spent way more time talking than anything. He kept telling David, "trust the bike, trust yourself." It was really amazing to see David actually commit to the learning process.
And then, magically, it clicked.
It took only about 30 minutes total until we got this:
(can you see the smile on his face?)
They make a great team.
I've never tried to rush a milestone for my kids. "They won't start kindergarten in diapers," I would say. "They won't crawl to preschool." But this one I nudged. (and nudged and nudged)

And yet, he still waited until he was ready.

I knew it would happen. I just had to believe it.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Finding Joy

All it takes is a summery dress (hand-me-down, no less!) and a little sunshine to brighten up a little girl's day.

Summer Stock Sundays are back!
Check out all the other happy summer people over at Robin's Island...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Peace for Shabbat

So much has been said this week. If you're following me on Facebook or Twitter, you'll know that I have posted so many articles and editorials about the flotilla incident. Many of my colleagues and friends have been incredibly eloquent and succinct.

But for Shabbat, I just want to think about peace. I know, I know, it seems so trite and silly. I know that peace needs work, it needs partners, it needs dedication and commitment. I know.

But humor me a little as we head into Shabbat, okay?

What shall I ask You for, God?
I have everything.
There's nothing I lack.
I ask only for one thing
And not for myself alone;
It's for many mothers, and children,
and fathers
Not just in this land, but in many lands
hostile to each other.
I'd like to ask for Peace.
Yes, it's Peace I want,
And You, You won't deny the single wish
of a child.
You created the Land of Peace,
Where stands the City of Peace,
Where stood the Temple of Peace,
But where still there is no Peace . . .
What shall I ask you for, God? I have
Peace is what I ask for,
Only Peace.
by Shlomit Grossberg, age 13, Jerusalem